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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - An Italian Adventure by Gaia B. Amman

An Italian Adventure
(Italian Saga, #1)

Author: Gaia B. Amman
Publication date: November 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Book Description:
A humorous coming of age tale of friendship, sisterhood, and family drama set against the gorgeous backdrop of northern Italy.
Recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Green, Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie

Italy, the late 80s. Leda is a bookish tomboy whose life is turned upside down by shady Nico, who just moved north from Sicily. Their unlikely friendship will evolve through a whirlwind of adventures leaving both kids transformed. Ultimately, Leda will discover that adults aren’t always right, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of everything else.

Recommended for ages 13 and above. Some swearwords, mostly in Italian.

The book is the first in a series following the same characters throughout their life.

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On that Tuesday afternoon in the April of 1987, I had no idea that I was finally about to shed some light on the mystery of sex. Indeed adults had made it clear that sex, just like God, was a topic of the utmost importance yet never to be discussed. Questions were received with trepidation if not outright embarrassment, and the only answer so far was that one day everything would make sense.

It didn’t, yet.

Peo, Flavio, and I spilled out of the church with the rest of the kids. The sky was a promise of the summer to come, and the blackbirds celebrated it from the poplars and cypress surrounding the cornfields. Hoping to inhale freedom and spring, I was disappointed by the stench of the new road: a black, sticky umbilical cord that connected the church to the small town of Arese.

Flavio nodded toward the countryside, where the dust of a dirt-path glowed in the sun. “Wanna go for a recon?”  

He was the tallest in our class, while I was the shortest of all the almost nine-year-olds in school, probably in all of Italy.

I answered, “Why not,” and Peo nodded. He never spoke much.

We always spent the afternoon playing together after Catechism, which we had to endure to maintain our good-standing position in Jesus’ fastidious notebook of sins. I would have never suspected that I was about to add to it big time.

We called ourselves the trio but we really were the better version of the A-team. Flavio was Hannibal, poised, charming, in charge. Peo was Mr. T, muscular and gruff. Because my older sister Viola insisted in beating the hell out of me, I feared nothing (at least in daylight), which had gained me my Howling-Mad-Murdock’s name. I mussed up my hair to revive the spikiness Mom insisted in trying to tame. I hoped the green eyes behind my much-hated glasses gave me the crazed look I was going for.

Following the path cutting through young corn and poppies, we rounded a bend and spotted Nico, squatting on his heels by a big poplar, poring over something on the ground.

What the heck?

Nico the Thug, as I had taken to call him in my head, had moved to our small northern town of Arese from Sicily a few months before. He was always by himself, it looked like he didn’t even try to make friends. It wasn’t clear to me whether his hostile attitude was cause or consequence of the troubles that he seemed to slide into constantly, every time emerging more aggressive and isolated. The aura of doom that surrounded him suited his gypsy looks, which would have been remarkable if not for the unsettling smile of the unrepentant.

Nico heard us and lifted his gaze. “Guys! Guys! Check this out!”

Nico the Thug wanted to share something? What sort of incredible happening could have caused him to transcend his angry, unfriendly self?

We looked at each other and Flavio stepped ahead. “What?”

Nico picked up his treasure; it was some sort of magazine. “Look! Look what I found!”

He held the journal up in front of his face as we approached. Our jaws dropped, it was a porn magazine.


Book Two


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About the Author
Gaia B Amman was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her PhD in molecular biology. She’s currently a Professor of biology at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she was voted “the professor of the month” by her students. Her research and commentaries have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed international journals including Nature.

A bookworm from birth, she wrote throughout her childhood and won two short story competitions in Italy in her teens. Gaia is an avid traveler and many of her adventures are an inspiration for her fiction. Mostly she is passionate about people and the struggles they face to embrace life. Her highest hope is to reach and help as many as she can through her writing as well as her teaching. She authored the Italian Saga, an irreverent series of humorous and insightful young adult novels taking place against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy. The books, light-hearted and funny at first sight, deal with issues like sexuality, divorce, friendship, abuse, first love and self discovery.

Among her favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, Jandy Nelson, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Antoine de Saint Exupèry.

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  1. Thanks for hosting today! :)

  2. Thanks for the intro to what looks like a great book!

  3. Thank you for the chance to win! Your book looks amazing. I cannot wait to read it!