Spotlight and giveaway: Dreaming Sophia

Dreaming Sophia:
Because Dreaming is an Art


Dreaming Sophia flat

Book Title:  Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:   August 2016
Tour dates:  Feb 20 to March 10, 2017
Content Rating:  PG

Book Description:

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

​Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Watch the book trailer:

Buy the Book:  

Amazon – print
Amazon / Kindle – ebook
Create Space
I-tunes – Apple Store-ebook
Barnes & Noble – ebook


Melissa meets Sophia Loren in March 2016!

Melissa Muldoon and Sophia Loren

Melissa MuldoonMeet the Author:
Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned”. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta ( Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.

Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:
Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~

@italiamelissa and @NouveauWriter

studentessamatta   #dreamingsophia  #florence


Win a copy of Dreaming Sophia
(print open to USA & Can, ebook int’l)
One winner will also get a $10 Amazon gift card
(3 winners total)

Ends March 18


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Guest-post and giveaway: Judith Works



Judith Works

author of

Coins in the Fountain

Book Title:  Coins in the Fountain: A Memoir of Rome by Judith Works
Category:  Adult non-fiction, 283 pages
Genre:  Memoir / Travel Memoir
Publisher:  Booktrope
Release date:  January 2016
Tour dates:  February 29 to March 18, 2016
Content Rating:  PG 

Book Description:

Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon. While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations, her husband tangled with unfamiliar vegetables in a valiant effort to learn to cook Italian-style. In between, they attended weddings, enjoyed a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.

But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room, neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the night, an auto accident with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the spaghetti sauce of their life.

Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.

Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   Amazon.UK

City of Illusions:   Amazon

Judith Works

Meet the author:

Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome.

Her publishing credits include a memoir about ten years in Italy titled Coins in the Fountain, a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions, and flash fiction in literary magazines. She continues to travel in her spare time, having fitted in over 100 countries. And when she is in Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another visit.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Blog


When I’m asked about the funniest thing that ever happened to me; or the scariest; or the strangest I always end up with an event that contained all three at once:

My husband and I were visiting friends in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, where the wife worked for the United Nations World Food Programme and her husband did an excellent job of managing everything else. They’d planned several events but I’d always wanted to visit Zanzibar, the exotic island in the Indian Ocean a short flight from Dar. Our friends, accustomed to hopping about East Africa in tiny planes, booked the flights. (Think Out of Africa.)

We trekked out to the airport early on a steamy gray tropical morning to find a tiny four-passenger plane parked on the tarmac. No one was around and we stood in the damp waiting. Eventually the pilot showed up looking rather the worse for wear. His uncombed dyed-red hair with gray roots and carelessly buttoned wrinkled shirt didn’t look encouraging. He motioned us to climb in. One friend sat in the front seat, the other in the back; my husband and I in the middle two seats. The pilot slammed the passenger door shut, climbed into the pilot seat, began to fiddle with the controls, and when the gauges gave him the information he wanted we took off.

The skies cleared and we flew low over the Zanzibar channel. Great flight, I thought. That is until I realized the pilot had latched the door with my long silk skirt hanging halfway out. I couldn’t move unless I undressed. Worse, when I looked out the window I saw the bottom half of the skirt trailing in the wind. I was terrified I was going to be sucked out and spent the remainder of the flight thinking about life insurance and obituaries.

We landed and I retrieved my skirt, sure there hadn’t been any danger after all and I needn’t have been worried. Then my husband said, “I hope you didn’t notice the fuel leaking from the tank from my side of the plane.”

We took a commercial flight back to Dar. And I wore slacks.

@JudithWorks @nouveauwriter

#travelmemoir  #Italy #memoir



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