Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Spotlight: THE PAINTER'S APPRENTICE by Laura Morelli

I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Painter’s Apprentice by Laura Morelli, ​taking place from October 16 to November 17.


BOOK DETAILS

Book Title: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author: Laura Morelli
​Category: Adult Fiction, 350 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

BOOK DESCRIPTION
Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.
Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.

WHERE TO BUY THE BOOKS


MEET THE AUTHOR


LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Prize: ​Win a signed paperback of The Painter’s Apprentice and a $20 Amazon gift card (open to USA only). Ends November 25, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Laura Fabiani for the opportunity to be a part of Laura Morelli's book tour. Please visit the other blogs for the BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice by Laura Morelli for more reviews and giveaways.


Thank you, too, for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pre-order The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli

I'm really excited about Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter's Apprentice! She is one of my favorite authors. The book is now up for pre-order on the major book retailers and the author is offering a bonus package for those who pre-order before October 31: http://lauramorelli.com/preorder-tpa/. I'm definitely getting my copy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Duolingo Swedish: Progress Report (52% Completed; 47% Fluency)

Hej, hej! It's time to report on the progress of my Duolingo Swedish. I'm on a 37-day streak! Here's to another week of successfully maintaining my streak! Something new is happening and by that I mean I created two groups (one for Swedish and one for Italian). More about this and my XP report card in yesterday's post.

There are five main sections for the Swedish language with a total of 66 modules. See breakdown below:
  • Section 1: 9 modules (Completed)
  • Section 2: 8 modules (Completed)
  • Section 3: 12 modules (Completed)
  • Section 4: 18 modules (Completed = 5; Incomplete = 13)
  • Section 5: 19 modules (Incomplete)
Out of the 66 modules, I've completed 34 (52%). According to Duolingo, I'm now 47% fluent in Swedish (intermediate).

SECTION 1: 9 Modules
SECTION 2: 8 Modules
SECTION 3: 12 Modules

SECTION 4: 18 Modules (Completed: 5; In Progress: 1)
SECTION 5: 19 Modules

As mentioned in my previous progress report, the orange icons are the completed ones. The greyed-out icons are completely untouched, and the colorful ones are in progress. Each sub-module is enabled as I complete them and I cannot move on to the next if I have not completed the current one (which is why they're in grey).

Notes about XP goal: There are a few options to pick from for the XP goal (from "Casual = 10 XP per day" to "Insane = 50 XP per day") and I chose "Serious = 30 XP per day."

Are you also using Duolingo to study a foreign language? If yes, I would like to hear from you about your experience!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Duolingo Report Card

Hej, hej! I hope everyone is having an awesome weekend. It's time to report on the progress of my Duolingo Swedish. I'm on a 37-day streak!

I have been quite busy catching up with Duolingo. This week, I created two Duolingo groups: Swedish in Singapore and Italian in Singapore. Both groups have 15 and 6 members respectively. Since then, it has been quite intense for me because I have some REALLY active members who seem to be hell-bent on overtaking me! That keeps me on my toes if I want to keep my #1 position!

This is the XP chart for Saturday (340 XP). I had to do more than 30+ sub-modules in order to catch up and overtake two of my most hardworking members, Natasha and Stefan, for Swedish, and Matheus Lanzarini for Italian.



And... this is the XP chart for today, Sunday (200 XP).


In summary, lots of healthy language competition is happening! It's always more fun doing it with fellow learners and growing together in fluency.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Italian Maintenance Mode (Part II)

Last Saturday, I talked about my Italian Marathon Day. The plan was to bring up to speed all the Duolingo Italian modules within the same day as part of my Italian maintenance program.

However, I didn't succeed in doing so, so I spread out the remaining work throughout the following week (8 through 16 October). I started off with what you can see below.


Then, I managed to complete only up until the module "Determiners" and by that time at night on 7 October, I was exhausted and all Duo-ed out.


So today, I've caught up in all the remaining modules for Section 3. All the icons have turned wonderfully warm and orange.


My last hurdle is to complete the fourth and final section as depicted below. And then I will "graduate" from the Duolingo Italian course!


Sunday, October 08, 2017

Duolingo Swedish: Progress Report (45% Completed; 43% Fluency)

Hej, hej! It's time to report on the progress of my Duolingo Swedish. I'm on a 30-day streak! From the chart below, Saturday (810 XP) was my most hardworking day (I overachieved by 780 XP)—more about this in yesterday's post.

Summary of my progress today on the Duolingo dashboard.

Notes about XP goal: There are a few options to pick from for the XP goal (from "Casual = 10 XP per day" to "Insane = 50 XP per day") and I chose "Serious = 30 XP per day."

There are five main sections for the Swedish language with a total of 66 modules. See breakdown below:
  • Section 1: 9 modules (Completed)
  • Section 2: 8 modules (Completed)
  • Section 3: 12 modules (Completed)
  • Section 4: 18 modules (Completed = 1; Incomplete = 17)
  • Section 5: 19 modules (Incomplete)
Out of the 66 modules, I've completed 30 (45%). According to Duolingo, I'm now 43% fluent in Swedish (intermediate).

SECTION 1: 9 Modules
SECTION 2: 8 Modules
SECTION 3: 12 Modules

SECTION 4: 18 Modules (Completed: 1; In Progress: 2)
SECTION 5: 19 Modules

As mentioned in my previous progress report, the orange icons are the completed ones. The greyed-out icons are completely untouched, and the colorful ones are in progress. Each sub-module is enabled as I complete them and I cannot move on to the next if I have not completed the current one (which is why they're in grey).

Are you also using Duolingo to study a foreign language? If yes, I would like to hear from you about your experience!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

What About Italian? Maintenance Mode

Today is an Italian Marathon Day. My plan was to bring up to speed all the Duolingo Italian modules, which have fallen abysmally low due to neglect on my part. It's time to rectify this as part of my Italian maintenance program.

At about 1 PM, I started off with everything you could see below, which is so colorful and nice to look at, but also means A LOT of work to be done to "strengthen" them again.


At 3:10 PM, I managed to complete Section 1. At 4:39 PM, I completed Section 2. My XP has shot up the roof to 530 XP as a result from completing all the modules for the two sections! What this means is for today I have done approximately 53 strengthening exercises for both Swedish and Italian  (10 XP per exercise).


I then took a short nap and decided to do an Udemy course on Swedish pronunciation; therefore, giving Duolingo a rest. I completed the 1.5 hour course and was awarded the Certificate of Completion!

At about 10 PM, I didn't quite make it to complete the whole of Section 3 and only managed up to the module "Determiners"—I will complete the remaining 10 modules tomorrow. I'm exhausted and all Duo-ed out.


Here's where I stand at the end of the day for my Italian Marathon Day...