SPIRIT DAY – SHOW YOUR PURPLE

Today is Spirit Day. Show your “Purple” in support of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and stand against bullying, hate, and discrimination. We are ALL Mother Earth’s children.

PURPLE IRIS

PURPLE IRIS

 

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Author Interview

Author Interview

It was an honor to have Fiona Mcvie of “Author Interviews” invite me for an interview. I feel privileged to be included alongside so many accomplished authors. In addition to my personal background, the interview concentrates on my novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, my inspiration for the book, my research, my writing background and style, etc. However, Fiona also threw in a few fluff queries to lighten the mood: my favorite foods, what makes me cry, my age (Ha! Not even an adept interviewer such as Fiona could get that answer out of me), and what I want written on my headstone (That’s what I get for sidestepping the age question). Check it out.

The interview is below, or you can go to the “Author Interviews” site where you will find many interesting author interviews.   Here is the link: https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/here-is-my-interview-with-pamela-allegretto

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello, Fiona, thank you so much for inviting me to this interview. My name is Pamela Allegretto, and my age, well…I’ve been old enough to vote for a very long time.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I’ve also lived in L.A., California, Florence, Italy, and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I currently reside in Connecticut.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I attended Colorado University Extension in Denver and later moved to Florence, Italy where I studied art and Italian history at L’Università Per Gli Stranieri. To finance my education, my job résumé was as colorful as the Renaissance city itself. I shivered as an artist’s model and sang the blues in catacomb nightclubs. I worked as an interpreter/translator for a textile company and hawked leather goods to tourists.

Back on US soil, the colors on my résumé remained vibrant. In addition to Italian teacher at Berlitz School of Languages and a two-year stint as a Playboy Bunny, I added hairdresser/salon owner, to my palette. Classes in writing, cartooning, and art filled whatever free hours remained.

In 1996 I sold the hair salon and moved with my husband to Hawaii, where, for the following ten years, I devoted myself fulltime to painting and writing. Now, a resident of Connecticut, I divide my time between writing, painting, and Italian poetry translations.

In addition to my current novel, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, my published books include L’Alba di Domani, and Immagini both are dual-language poetry books written in collaboration with Luciano Somma, two-time winner of Italy’s Silver Medal of the President of the Republic. My writing has appeared in four other Italian poetry books and in Italian literary journals that include: The English Anthology of The Italian-Australian Writer’s Literary Academy, Omero, La Mia Isola, and Poeti Nella Societa`. I have published book and CD covers as well as cartoons, and my art is collected worldwide.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My World War 2 novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, has been chosen as Book–of-the-Month for the Johnsonburg, PA Library Book Club. This is the 4th book club to select my novel for their monthly read. I am honored and grateful to have been chosen by each of these prestigious clubs.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have been writing ever since I can remember. I like to write both fiction and non-fiction, but prefer fiction as I enjoy using my imagination to create something from nothing that hopefully entertains the reader.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After the publication of several articles and cartoons.

 Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

While growing up, I always hated listening to jokes about the Italians going into World War 2 with their hands raised. This was not at all the case, and I wanted to point out the bravery of the Italian population during this horrific time. Although Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is fiction, It is based on real events. I felt compelled to write a war novel in which the women don’t play the role of wallpaper or objects of amusement to soldiers and politicians. The women in Bridge of Sighs and Dreams take center stage in a behind-the-lines battle between good and evil.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) in Venice, Italy was built at the beginning of the Seventeenth century. It spans a small canal and connects the Old Prison and interrogation rooms in the Doges Palace to the New Prison.

Opinions about the naming of the bridge are plentiful. However, there are two theories more popular than the rest. One involves the prisoners who walked across the bridge on their way to the executioner. The prisoners would “sigh” as they crossed the bridge and caught sight of their last sunrise. Another story maintains, if a couple kisses under the bridge while gliding below in a gondola at sunset, they will ensure eternal love. Thus, the “sighs” are lovers’ refrains.

Lord Byron wrote: “I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace and prison on each hand.”

The title Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is an allegorical connotation of the characters’ hopes, dreams, and struggles.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I love to create and flesh-out my characters. I look for an eclectic collection of complex individuals, each with his or her own values, lack of values, dreams, and goals. I want the reader to see them as I see them, not only the basic physical attributes: short, tall, bald, etc., but I want the reader to remember that this character has a bluish-black mole on the tip of his nose that holds his eyeglasses in place, or that character has a cheek tic. I want the reader to “hear” each character’s unique cadence. I like writing in the third person so the reader can get inside the heads of my characters to understand how they “feel.”

 Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I will say, to weave my fiction around the time-line of real events that I wanted to highlight was tricky, but I didn’t want to alter facts to fit my fiction; instead, I utilized truth to enhance my characters and their story.

I wanted Bridge of Sighs and Dreams to be a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlighted the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and that illustrated the tenacity of the human spirit. However, I thought it was also necessary to inject some light humor, not merely for the reader’s benefit, but to show that a sense of humor can serve as a valuable shield during dire times.

Finally, yes, my family members did experience some of these events.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

My research included interviews throughout Italy including multiple family members, and translating countless documents and publications. The discovery of personal letters and journals written by Italian POW’s augmented my study. The consistent manifestation of hope, scribbled across those abandoned pieces of paper, afforded a valuable glimpse into the Italian sentiment during this horrific period.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I knew what I wanted for an image, and graphic designer Todd Engel produced exactly what I asked for. He also designed the front and back text.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are no winners in war, only various degrees of survival. During challenging times that test our spirits, it helps to have a dream, a goal to strive toward.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I have been reading mostly indie works lately, and I have discovered many awesome writers. I hesitate to name them, as I might accidently leave one out. You can visit my Goodreads page and see my reviews and likes.

One of my favorite authors is Alberto Moravia. He writes with such visual and emotional truth, that reading his work is pure joy.

 Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I won’t name names; they know who they are. They are my long-time friends who read my early stories and cartoons and laughed in the right places and cried in the right places and asked for more.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Since, according to Social Security, I am officially retired, I don’t suppose I can call writing or painting a “career.” However, that’s what I do each day, and that’s what helps to pay the bills. If I didn’t get paid for my work would I still write and paint? Absolutely!

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. Well, actually there are a couple of typos I would love to correct, but ecco la vita.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned so much about World War 2 and the Nazi occupation in Italy. I learned about the often under-publicized persecution of Italian Jews. I learned more about the brave efforts of the Italian Resistance. I learned that good can overcome evil but not without a price.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I believe Natalie Portman could portray a sympathetic Angelina, and Meryl Streep would be a triumph as the evil Lidia.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write what you love. If your heart’s not in it, your writing will never “sing”; at best it will “hum” a forgettable and often flat tune.

Don’t follow trends just to make a buck. Let’s say that the current trend is to write about sunflowers and every 3rd book sold is a history of sunflowers. But if you are gravely allergic to and thus loath sunflowers, and the mere mention of those mutant daisies sends you diving for the tissue box, then don’t write about sunflowers. Each sentence will be agony, you’ll never be satisfied with the results, and any money earned will be spent on tissues and allergy meds. This is an extreme example, but you get the idea. Continue learning. Never believe you know all you need to know about writing. Get feedback from fellow writers, read what interests and excites you, and write, write, write.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate every comment and review. My goal was to entertain.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading All our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburg.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Gosh, no. Probably fairy tales. My favorite childhood book was Pinocchio. I am still a big fan of Collodi and have 8 editions of Pinocchio in Italian and also in English by various translators. I do remember reading the Nancy Drew mysteries when I was about 8-years-old, and I was an instant fan of whodunits.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Everything. I’m Italian.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

It would be amazing to meet Elsa Morante. Her writing takes my breath away. And the gutsy manner in which she lived her remarkable life is inspirational.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

When I’m not writing, translating, or painting, I read. Believe it or not, I like to clean. I get some of my best ideas while washing windows and scrubbing floors.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I watch as much PBS as I can. I’m a huge fan of all things British when it comes to drama and comedy.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Foods: Italian and Mexican

Colors: vibrant hues in paintings/black in apparel.

Music: Jazz/Blues

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Paint, read, sew, sculpt, make stained glass, mosaics, pottery, jewelry……………

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Well, I plan to be cremated, so there will not be a stone. But if there were, I would want it to say: She loved, she laughed, she cried, she tried.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Website links for Writing:

http://www.pamelaallegretto.com

http://www.pamelaallegretto.blogspot.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14409573.Pamela_Allegretto

 

Website links for Art:

http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

http://pamela-allegretto.fineartamerica.com

http://pamela-allegretto.pixels.com

http://www.redbubble.com/people/allegretto http://www.pamelaallegretto.com

 

Buy links:

 Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

 

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

 

Here is the link: https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/here-is-my-interview-with-pamela-allegretto

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

 

 

 

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NEW 5-STAR GOODREADS REVIEW

I am pleased to share this new 5-star review of my novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams posted on Goodreads.

“This novel captivated me from the intense opening set in a small Italian village to the surprise twist at the end. I particularly appreciated how the author seamlessly wove in Italian words and phrasing. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, vivid characterization, and/or just darn good writing, be sure to pick this one up!”

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

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TROPICAL FUN GALLERY

TROPICAL FUN GALLERY

TROPICAL FUN – Proceeds from all the paintings in my “Tropical Fun Gallery” on Fineartamerica will be donated to the Island Relief Fund. Available for purchase are quality giclee prints, tote bags, beach towels, design pillows, i-phone cases, mugs, shower curtains, etc. If you make a purchase, you are not only getting something very cool, but you will be helping our neighbors in need. Cheers! https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/pamela-allegretto.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=45394

Click on sign post to enlarge image.

FINDING PARADISE

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FLOWER POWER

 

Flower Power

Flower Power

Flower Power

Although I am clearly not a botanical artist, still, I think all flowers are beautiful whether real or imagined, and the bolder the better. The original 11”x14”acrylic on one-inch thick wrapped canvas is available for purchase on my website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com.  Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size, tote bags, pillows, etc. are available for purchase at: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/flower-power-pamela-allegretto.html

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BOOK OF THE MONTH

BOOK OF THE MONTH

 I am over the moon that the Johnsonburg Library Book Club (Johnsonburg, PA) selected my novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams as their August read. I am honored and grateful. Thank you so much to the Librarian, Melinda, for making the selection, to Pamela for the recommendation and for helping to host the event, and to the 13 members who read the book and offered such positive reviews.

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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How Translating One Poem Led To A Profitable Spin-off

How Translating One Poem Led To A Profitable Spin-off

Until I stumbled into this little side gig of translating Italian poetry, my idea of poetry didn’t go much further than, “Roses are red…” etc., etc. Occasionally, I read and reread and tried to understand some of the poetry published in The New Yorker, but first of all, it didn’t rhyme, so that threw me off. Then, on many occasions, even after a third or fourth read, I was still asking: “Say what?” I must have snoozed through the poetry segment in English class because all this free flowing thought was news to me. And now, I was being asked to translate it.

Fortunately, my first stab at translating Italian poetry was the poem “Attimo” (“Moment”) by Luciano Somma, Italy’s preeminent poet and two-time winner of the Silver Medal of the President of the Republic. After viewing my writing in various Italian literary journals, Luciano sought me out to translate the poem “Attimo.” His imagery of “the sun yawning between clouds and a dove dying in the snow” drew me into the truth that each “moment” in life is “merely a grain of history, a drawing in the wind.” I was hooked, and the seed was planted. That one free translation led to six (paid) dual-language poetry books, in collaboration with Luciano and two other poets.

So how do you go about finding foreign poets who want their work translated into English? Do some research. Use your “search-engine” and type in: poetry/French, poetry/German, poetry/Spanish, etc. Start reading various poets, find out if they are published, self-published is actually better than traditionally published, as traditional publishers usually have their own cache of translators.

Contact the poets: Always write in their native tongue, so they can see that you are truly fluent in their language and not just offering up your version of Google Translate.

Compliment their work: Don’t merely say, “I like your poetry,” pick out a phrase or a line that grabs you and comment on that.

Ask if they’re interested in having their poetry translated for publication on their website or eBook or print book.

Offer a free translation for their review.

List your credentials: Let them see that you are a serious writer with more than a pedestrian knowledge of grammar.

What to know: Translating poetry presents challenges not found when translating basic prose. You arm yourself with the same essential tools: dictionary, verb book, and thesaurus, however, for poetry translations, you also need to add creativity. Your aim is to maintain a line-for-line translation while sustaining the author’s “voice.” Given the differences in sentence structure between languages, this can be tricky, and occasionally no matter how you hard you try, a line-for-line is impossible. Other problems occur when you overuse the thesaurus to a point where the word takes on a new meaning. This happens when you think your word fits the “idea” better than that of the poet. A good translator needs to put ego aside and keep the poet in mind at all times. If you think you can do better, write your own poetry. Don’t rewrite the work of someone who has trusted you and paid you to do a worthy translation.

Many people assume that translating is little more than looking up each word and writing down its English equivalent. If you believe that’s the case, you need only go to Babel Fish, Google Translate, or one of the other on-line translation sites, paste a small amount of text in another language and then “hit” translate. More often than not, the translation, although in English, is almost as difficult to understand as its foreign counterpart.

There are times when a poem is so encumbered in idiomatic nuance and ambiguous metaphors it can take as long, or possibly longer, to translate than it took the poet to write it. I’ve experienced this on a few occasions, where even after extensive conversations with the poet, I’m still scratching my head and wondering how he got “this” idea out of “that.”

Even though many poets on the Internet are amateur writers, believe me, there is some real talent out there. An unknown today could end up to be the next Pablo Neruda. And if you get in on the ground floor, Pablo#2 might very well take you and your translations along for the ride.

Here’s some fun news: The Italian poetry anthology “Da Ischia L’Arte,” written by Bruno Mancini and Roberta Panizza, in which several of my translations appeared, was featured at EXPO Milano 2015, where over 20 million visitors attended.
http://www.emmegiischia.com/wordpress/expo-milano/

Da Ischia L'Arte

Da Ischia L’Arte

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“A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story…”

“A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story…”

When you receive a 5-Star review from Bobby Underwood, noted author and respected reviewer of classic films whose comments have been quoted in the Saturday Evening Post, you are compelled to shout it from the rooftops. I am humbled and grateful for the time he spent to write such a lovely review.

“This wonderful book needs to be on everyone’s TBR list sooner, rather than later. Not only is it a beautiful evocation of a time in history, but an exciting narrative that belies expectations for this genre. I had to think long and hard about how to adequately describe what a wonderful read Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is, and all I can say is this:

If David Dodge, Martha Albrand, and Sidney Sheldon had ever gotten together to write a novel in this genre, it might read something like this. It has the swiftly moving, natural narrative style of Dodge, and the page-turning drama of Sidney Sheldon at his zenith. More importantly, it has that Martha Albrand template of telling a huge story on a smaller canvas, giving it intimacy and vibrancy. It’s rare when a book that falls into the historical fiction category is this utterly entertaining, and alive with so much movement. It grabs the reader right from the harrowing opening moments in Southern Italy, 1938, and an act of brutality by Mussolini’s Blackshirts which will shape Angelina’s life.

“There are times when those of us who are the least political become the most involved. War changes everything.” — Signor Biasi

The narrative which ensues is deceptively easy reading, like David Dodge’s storytelling. Like a painting by one of the old Dutch Masters, however, perhaps Vermeer, layers upon layers are meticulously added by the author until a rich and evocative portrait of Italy occupied by the Germans in WWII emerges. At around the twenty-percent mark, the reader is finding the novel to be a quick and lively read. By the halfway point, the events transpiring have become so incredibly exciting, the reader is unable to turn away. The rich and colorful picture emerging from all the applied layers is so involving we have to keep staring — or rather turning pages — until we have the entire picture. That isn’t hyperbole, it’s an honest evaluation of just how good I think this is. If you’re the type of reader intrigued by the book description, the synopsis, but are afraid you’ll be disappointed, don’t be. This isn’t boring, or dry, nor is it bloated or padded. It is a great story, excitingly and tenderly told.

There are two very different women at the heart of this engaging novel. One you will love, one you will loathe. Stories of war and occupation are best told from the viewpoint of the people, and that is what the author has done. Angelina, Lidia, their husbands, Pietro and Aldo, their children and friends. The Italian Resistance in German occupied Rome. The betrayers and the betrayed. Hope and despair, and the resiliency of the human spirit shining through. Not all Germans are shown to be bad. Many, like Karl, hang fiercely to their humanity in the face of war. Nor were all Italians good. Some collaborated with German forces out of greed, like Lidia, one of the most shallow and deceitful human beings you’re likely to ever run across between the covers of a book.

“I can’t put into words the pain in my heart knowing that this and other atrocities I have witnessed have been carried out by citizens of my homeland.” — Karl

As Angelina is swept up in war, and the machinations of the sister-in-law from Hades, we are swept up in it along with her, seeing the brutality and retaliations by the Germans. We also see the absurdity of war, as in the pounding of Italy by the Americans. It was necessary to liberate the country, yet caused great damage and fear. If anything, this book spotlights the terrible price the citizens of all countries pay for so dearly, when countries go to war — even when it is absolutely necessary. Were I to list all the events and years this novel covers, it would sound sweeping. Yet Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is told so wonderfully, with such an intimacy, there are times when we feel like we’re reading an exciting Sidney Sheldon novel — if he’d ever gotten all serious on us. Just terrific stuff here, with lives we care about in doubt, and some intriguing twists the deeper we get into the war.

A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story, in conjunction with an ending that satisfies in every way possible, make this the best novel I’ve read in quite awhile. If there is any caveat, it might be the obliviousness to Lidia’s manipulations by everyone around her, until it’s too late for some. It does make the first portion feel a bit more soapy than it should, but with each layer the author adds to the small canvas on which she’s chosen to tell this sweeping story, it gets better and better. At one point, you just want to crawl into the pages and throttle Lidia yourself. And likewise, you’re on the edge of your seat for Angelina, anxious for everything to turn out alright, even in the darkest moments.

“He was a gentle boy whose sense of decency became too much for him to bear in this hellish war. I pray his compassionate soul is finally at peace.” — Karl

If you’re like me, and lament that so much historical fiction is dry and boring, then read this. Seriously, this is fabulous stuff, and deserves to be moved up on your TBR list if you already have it on there. And if you don’t, then it needs to be there, and soon. My highest recommendation.

I knew it had to be tricky business keeping the fast narrative flow to Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, considering the period, which is why it was so impressive. It just swept along like a river, never slowing, yet allowing the reader to see peripherally the war, the events going on, from a smaller perspective, the lives of Angelina and her daughter. Hawthorne said that easy reading was *&%#* hard writing, so whenever I read something that has that kind of movement and pacing, while still giving the reader everything they want and need emotionally, to be involved in the story, I know all the sweat and hours that went into that for the writer. Terrific stuff that deserves to be read by a wider audience.”

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

I’m not a fan of wishy-washy, muted colors, and so I played with the vivid Rainbow Coalition colors that speak to me of peace and unity while hanging out in Paradise, sipping a smoothie, and waiting for the waves. The original 11″x14″ acrylic on wrapped canvas is available for purchase on my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size, tote bags and pillows can be purchased at: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/hawaiian-sign-posts-to-paradise-pamela-allegretto.html

 

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“Bellissimo libro!”

 

My heartfelt thanks to Cristina, author of the popular blog Un Po di Pepe https://unpodipepe.ca, for writing this lovely 5-star review for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams on both Amazon Canada and Goodreads.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

 

“Bellissimo libro!” I really enjoyed this book. It has all of the elements of a great read….love, family, bravery, greed, jealousy, betrayal, intrigue. The characters are well-developed, and the book is very descriptive without being overly wordy. I love that the protagonist and some of the other characters are artists. The descriptions of the art and art-making are beautiful, even in the backdrop of war, although the atrocities of war and hunger are not down played in any way. The inclusion of Italian words is both appropriate and educational…..because, of course, learning Italian is always a good thing! Ciao, Cristina

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

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THE BIRTH OF A NOVEL

The Birth of a Novel

The tutelage of my Italian family launched my love for the Italian language the moment the first trilled “R” danced on my tongue and tickled my teeth. Animated conversations around the supper table often veered from current events to life in Italy during World War 2 and the impact the War had on our family. These conversations piqued my curiosity and planted a seed that nagged me to learn more.

I was 17-years-old when I took my first trip back to Italy with my parents. The moment the airplane touched ground, I had this overwhelming feeling of “home.” Meeting my Italian aunts and uncles in their Southern Italian village of Faicchio and listening to their personal accounts of the War sprouted that seed and it began to grow. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.

After high school graduation, I moved to Florence, Italy and attended L’Università Per Gli Stranieri, which heightened my passion for Italian history, especially those War years. My Florentine friends all had personal family stories relating to the Nazi-occupation and the brave Italians in the Resistance Movement. These first-hand accounts were a direct contradiction to the denigrating jokes I heard while growing up about Italian cowardice. The seedling strengthened its stem. I determined that someone should write a book about the Resistance. Well, my research revealed that there were already dozens of books on the subject. However, the more I read, the stronger my conviction to write my own novel based on my family’s experience. I also felt compelled to write a war novel in which the women don’t play the role of wallpaper or objects of amusement to soldiers and politicians. I wanted my women to take center stage in a behind-the-lines battle between good and evil.

As is often the case, life got in my way; and I shelved my anticipated novel for a few decades. Then one year, on what had become my annual visit to Italy, a conversation with my aunt thawed my dormant plant and ignited my shelved idea for a war novel. She told me about the suffering under Mussolini’s Fascist Regime, and how life in Faicchio became a daily challenge to survive: “Human supplies dried-up. Whatever remained was rationed, including bread and flour. There was no salt or soap. New clothing didn’t exist nor did thread to mend the old clothes. Even if one was to recycle used thread, it was futile since there weren’t any needles. The steel was required for the army. There were a few bicycles, but the seats were made with straw, and the tires were crafted from a synthetic material. Rubber was for the army. The tires didn’t last long, and because they were impossible to replace, the bicycle was saved for emergencies. For those who were sick, it was a real problem. The few bottles left on the pharmacy shelves were empty. There were no antibiotics, no Band-Aids, not even aspirin.” She related how after Mussolini was overthrown, the Nazis commandeered her home and banished her, 8-months-pregnant with her third child, and her two small children from their home with only the clothes on their backs.

By now, my plant was sprouting leaves left and right, and I was determined to find out more. I visited one cousin who supplied me with a detailed accounting of the Nazi occupation of the Village of Faicchio written by one of his professors, who had been a teenager during that time. It took me the remainder of my visit to translate this eye-opening account. Strangely enough, a compassionate German soldier, whom I had initially incorporated into my fiction, was real, and the professor had fleshed out his back-story. After I left my family’s farm and traveled toward Rome, I spent some time in the charming hill-top village of Anagni, where on a narrow side-street I stumbled across Tarsie Turri, the tarsia lignea (inlaid wood) workshop of Carlo Turri. Since one of the proposed characters in my novel practiced this intricate art form, I found this a serendipitous occasion. Not only was I able to glean information about tarsia lignea, but the data came from the best possible source. It seems Carlo Turri’s work has been collected by dignitaries world-wide, including Pope Paul and the President of the Republic. Carla Turri, Carlo’s daughter who carries on the tradition, gave me a detailed tour and demonstration of this Renaissance art form. Unfortunately, due to story “flow,” I was not able to include in my novel as much information about this art form as I would have liked. However, that personal experience is one I hold dear, and I consider the knowledge I gained to be priceless.

My next stop was Rome, where again fate stepped in. I came upon a vintage market, not far from Piazza di Spagna. There, I encountered a merchant who dealt in World War 2 paraphernalia. I had wanted to incorporate information on the treatment of Italian Jews under the Nazi occupation, and here I found real-time publications regarding the events that took place in Rome during that time-period. The discovery of personal letters and journals augmented my study. The consistent manifestation of hope, scribbled across those abandoned pieces of paper on which the ink now weeps, afforded a valuable glimpse into the Italian sentiment during this horrific period. I deemed all this information to not be coincidence, but rather a sign that I was meant to continue with my novel.

For once, I was eager to leave Italy, but only because it was time to write my novel. I concluded: if not now, when? My next step was to flesh-out my characters. I sought an eclectic collection of complex individuals, each with his or her own values, lack of values, dreams, and goals. I wanted Bridge of Sighs and Dreams to be a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlighted the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and that illustrated the tenacity of the human spirit. However, I thought it was also necessary to inject some light humor, not merely for the reader’s benefit, but to show that a sense of humor can serve as a valuable shield during dire times.

I will say, to weave my fiction around the time-line of events that I wanted to highlight was tricky, but I didn’t want to alter facts to fit my fiction; instead, I utilized truth to enhance my characters and their story. And so, after decades of research, translations, false starts, writing, editing, shelving, writing, editing, shelving, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams finally bloomed into a novel of which I am proud.

My one regret is that sadly, my beloved parents and some of my aunts and uncles who played such a pivotal role in this novel have all passed away before its publication. However, I do take solace in fate. Considering the serendipitous chain of events involved in the birth of the novel, it happened when it was meant to happen. Ecco la vita.

A thousand thanks to Jennifer S. Alderson  for featuring Birth of a Novel on her Travel Writers website. I am honored to be included alongside such gifted authors.I hope you enjoy the article and to also take the time to visit the Travel Writers website that features articles written by other authors who share the fascination and joy of international culture. http://jennifersalderson.com/2017/03/27/the-birth-of-a-novel-by-pamela-allegretto

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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“It Was Amazing” 5 Star Review

“It Was Amazing” 5 Star Review

 Those words and this review just sent me over the moon. I am deeply grateful to author Mary Feliciani for taking the time to write such a lovely 5-star review.

 “I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Bridge of Sighs and Dreams. The end of each scene left me wanting more. The storyline has many layers: the atrocities of World War 2; human nature at its best and worst; the love between a mother and daughter; the love between husband and wife; loyalty among friends, manipulation and betrayal; and the power of hope. It has all the elements of a book that can captivate and engage.
I was enamoured with some of the characters: Angelina the compassionate artist and her daughter Gina, who represents the innocence of a child; noble men like Pietro, Aldo and Karl who do what is right even when everything around them is wrong; Rosalina who became the grandmother figure, and who provides the much needed comic relief.

“The aforementioned benevolent characters are balanced off with the sociopathic behaviour of the SS, Fascist extremists, and Lidia, Angelina’s sister-in-law.

“The author demonstrates that the human necessity to bond is still present during wartime, and that there still is life after war. The author, being an artist herself, lovingly crafted a new family unit for Angelina using the broken pieces of other families.” Mary Feliciani

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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It Was Amazing!

5 Stars on Amazon/Canada – Wonderful things happen when there are no “walls” between countries to get in the way! Thank you, author, Janice J. Richardson, for writing such a lovely review.

It was amazing!

“What a beautiful story. It is exquisitely and descriptively written, a tale of love and hate, betrayal and trust set in Italy during WWII. This book should be made into a movie. An absolute must-read for literary, historical fiction fans and those who have yet to pick up and read that genre. This story will leave you breathless from the first page to the last.”

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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A MUST READ

A MUST READ

Thank you to Emmy Award winning film editor and author, Rick Tuber, for this lovely 5-star review.

“Nazi’s, Fascists, greed, and revenge, “Bridge of Sighs and Dreams” has it all. A suspenseful story of survival that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I really enjoyed this book that was so unpredictable. Pamela Allegretto paints a picture of one family’s love and hope during occupied Italy of WW 2. A must read. ”

Bridge of sighs and Dreams is a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlights the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and illustrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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SURF’S UP

SURF’S UP –

Surf's Up

Surf’s Up

For me, big, bold colors reflect the joys of a tropical island. I wanted to keep this painting as uncomplicated as island life. It’s all about celebrating color and simplicity that speak to me while hanging out in Paradise, sipping a smoothie, and waiting for the waves. The original 8”x10” acrylic on wrapped canvas is available for purchase. Contact me here for information. Or, visit my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size are available at:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/surfs-up-pamela-allegretto.html

 

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