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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Winner of To Sleep...Pe​rchance to Die, by Donald R. Grippo

I'm sorry for the late announcement, but here it is: The winner of the Donald R. Grippo's new novel, To Sleep…Perchance to Die is... TRAVELER! Congratulations! Your email has been sent to the publisher and they will be getting in touch with you.



BOOK SYNOPSIS
Eurasian beauty Mai Faca plots to marry Jake Warden, a successful oral surgeon forbidden to her because of family honor. In an unheard-of scheme, fellow oral surgeon, Bret Manley, falls victim to Mai's seduction as she and Jake play a cruel trick to be together. Jake acts with surgical precision to clear the path to Mai's happiness, threatening lives including his own. In a wake of turmoil and destruction, Bret's uncle and well-known criminal attorney, Hubie Santos, attempts to find out if a surgeon would use his knowledge to kill.



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P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

While I Am Flying... Stopping at Frankfurt, then Milan

I'm currently up and away tens of thousands of feet up in the sky, and thought I'd schedule this post ahead of time and let it pop while I fly. I'll be transiting at Frankfurt, Germany, before arriving in Milan, Italy today. This is my second trip to the beautiful country; the first was last year in November making Rome my base to Naples, Pisa, Florence and other beautiful medieval villages.

There will be lots of things to keep me busy while I travel. I have my iPad with me that is already installed with Kindle and Zinio. Kindle will handle all my bookish needs and it's loaded with language books, novels and non-fictions. Zinio takes care of all my magazine needs and it's loaded with English and foreign language mags in Italian (of course!) and French. I'll be adding Spanish to the collection soon. I wrote a Zinio-related post on Reading Foreign Magazines to Learn a Language, and thought I'd share it with you again. Now, all I have to ensure is my devices are fully charged to survive the journey!

Meanwhile... I strongly encourage you to participate in a Book Giveaway I'm currently hosting for author Donald R. Grippo for his book To Sleep...Perchance to Die. Check out the giveaway and author interview here. It's open internationally until Sunday, 29 June 2014 23:59 Eastern time. Please leave your email and state book preference (e-book or print copy) in the Comments section in the post and you will be entered for the draw. I will be announcing the winner on Monday, 30 June 2014 while I'm in Italy. The publisher will then get in touch with the winner to send the book. In bocca al lupo! Good luck!

Lastly, catch my travel updates and Italian adventures using the links down below.

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P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Off I go to Italy!

Buon viaggio! Bon voyage!

Follow my trip on the links below #theweekendtravelergoestoitalyAGAIN
My post about the photo above.

P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Off to Italy in... 1 More Day!

Just before I leave for my anticipated trip to Italy, I'd like to share again an old post from my blog in November last year: When traveling, read Psalms 121. I'm going to reproduce the verses here.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

I'm ready for my trip! Sono pronta per la mia vacanza!


Follow my trip on the links below #theweekendtravelergoestoitalyAGAIN
My post about the photo above.

P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Off to Italy in... 2 More Days!

Some time earlier this year, in February, I wrote a post on Why I Love Italy. I will be leaving for Italy in 48 hours (!!) and revisiting that post makes me happy. For this trip, Milan is where I will be landing.

Milan: I've already bought the ticket (€8 without guide) to the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie to view the Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano). Another highlight for Milan is the Duomo; I definitely want to climb the stairs to the terraces (€7 on foot—my option, €12 by lift). I haven't heard from its Chapter Library about my intended visit, so I suppose that is not going to happen. I've also studied all the Metropolitana linea (M1, M2, M3, M5) and would love to try to take as many rides as possible. To do this without breaking the bank (each ride is €1.50 valid for 90 minutes across networks), I intend to buy the Milano Card which will allow me to take the Metros, buses and trams for free for up to three days!

Follow my trip on the links below #theweekendtravelergoestoitalyAGAIN
My post about the photo above.

P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Off to Italy in... 3 More Days!

The story behind the picture: I took this photo at the Vatican Museums in Rome last year. The ceilings are so full of beautiful paintings such as this one. I asked one of my Italian friends about this painting because I was very curious and fascinated by it. The lady, surrounded by angels, held a sword in her right hand and a scale in her left.

Lucky for me, my friend Gianluca P. managed to find out for me. The painting's called Justice from the Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican. It was painted by Raphael (start: 1509, end: 1511).

I'll be going to Italy again very, very soon. Am so excited!

Follow my trip on the links below #theweekendtravelergoestoitalyAGAIN

P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Giveaway & Author Interview with Donald R. Grippo, author of To Sleep...Pe​rchance to Die


BOOK SYNOPSIS
Eurasian beauty Mai Faca plots to marry Jake Warden, a successful oral surgeon forbidden to her because of family honor. In an unheard-of scheme, fellow oral surgeon, Bret Manley, falls victim to Mai's seduction as she and Jake play a cruel trick to be together. Jake acts with surgical precision to clear the path to Mai's happiness, threatening lives including his own. In a wake of turmoil and destruction, Bret's uncle and well-known criminal attorney, Hubie Santos, attempts to find out if a surgeon would use his knowledge to kill.



I have the privilege of hosting an author interview with Donald R. Grippo as part of the Book Tour for his new novel. I hope you will enjoy it!

1. How did you do research for your book?

I should start out by stating that my novel, To Sleep…Perchance to Die, benefited from my life experience. I wrote about a profession and locations with which I was quite familiar. I had practiced oral and maxillofacial surgery in northeast Connecticut for more than thirty years and had lived for several years in New York City. In addition, I had worked as a jail guard and a prison dentist which aided my portrayal of the prison scenes.

A great deal of the research I had to do was via the internet. Also, I visited the novel’s plot locations to confirm my memory of them, and I interviewed the non-fictional character in the novel, Attorney Hubert Santos, to learn of legal and courtroom procedures in a major criminal case.


2. Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

My favorite character and the hardest one to write was Mai Faca. She is the most psychologically complex and interesting of my three main characters. Mai drives the plot.

I didn’t want her tarnished by my male prospective, so I sought the advice of my wife, three daughters, and several female acquaintances to ensure the gender validity of her actions. It is my hope that Mai will be recognized as one of the most interesting female villains in current literature.

The easiest character to write was Bret Manley. He is naive but, basically, a good guy who falls hopelessly in love with the wrong woman. He has innate moral values that prevent his doing certain things such as consorting with a prostitute and murdering his evil prison cellmate. Bret is the type of person who can be used by manipulating people.


3. What advice would you give budding writers?

I’d say no matter your innate writing talent, it is important to learn the technical skills of writing. This goal can be achieved by taking writing courses and seminars and joining writing organizations.

I’d advise reading about famous writers and their struggles to become what they are. Stephen King’s On Writing is a good example. It records the ordeals he endured in order to reach the pinnacle of his profession.

Finally, I’d say: Write. Chances are, the more you write the better writer you will become. Do not be deterred by failure to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Persevere. You may yet attain them.


4. What is your next project?

Revenge Best Served Bloody, the sequel to To Sleep…Perchance to Die, is slated to be released on June 1, 2014 and will be sold on Amazon.com. It is the second of the Bret Manley series. A third novel is in outline stage with preliminary research being done.

Revenge Best Served Bloody is a murder mystery, but its plot will seem a one hundred and eighty degree departure from its predecessor.


5. What is your writing schedule?

I’ve learned the truth of the maxim that when a writer isn’t writing, he or she is thinking about writing. Although I write most days, I have no set schedule. I write when what’s in my head is ready to be put on a page. It may be early morning or late night. This system works for me.


6. Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?

Yes. In the morning I have to have a cup of black coffee to the right of my computer. In the afternoon or evening, it’s a glass of club soda. They usually sit untouched during the session.


7. If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?

I’d like readers to know that I take pains to bring psychological depth to my characters. I want readers to become involved with my characters and feel they know them.

In To Sleep…Perchance to Die I received emails, letters, and phone calls from readers asking questions such as:

Why did you kill Frankie? I was hoping she would be saved at the last minute. I was disappointed she died.

Why didn’t Bret get even with Sammy? I would have killed him if I had the chance.

Getting feedback like the above makes me feel that I accomplished my goal to some extent.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donald R. Grippo, DDS practiced oral and maxillofacial surgery in northeastern Connecticut for more than thirty years. On a daily basis, he encountered patient's fear of undergoing oral surgery and associated anesthesia. To help allay such fear he wrote A Guide to the Guy or Gal Who Takes Your Teeth Out, a series of short stories dealing with the treatment of typical oral surgical problems. His resume includes working as a dentist at the Tennessee State Prison outside of Nashville and as a guard at the Hartford State Jail on Syms Street in Hartford.

Website: http://www.dongrippo.com
Twitter: @DonaldGrippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dongrippo


WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK
Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Book Depository | Indigo Chapters


BOOK GIVEAWAY
The giveaway is open internationally until Sunday, 29 June 2014 23:59 Eastern time. Please leave your email and state book preference (e-book or print copy) in the Comments section below and you will be entered for the draw. I will be announcing the winner on Monday, 30 June 2014. The publisher will then get in touch with the winner to send the book. In bocca al lupo! Good luck!


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P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!