Review of G.G. Vandagriff's book, The Only Way to Paradise

I love to travel. I've been to Ireland, Peru, Africa, Mexico, England and Wales. There are some wonderful places I want to go to again and some places I haven't seen yet, that I hope to before I die. Italy was never on my list as a place I wanted to go to see. I just never had the desire. That all changed, however, when I read The Only Way to Paradise by G.G. Vandagriff. Now Florence Italy has been added to my places to go and see.

Georgia, MacKenzie, Roxie and Sara, are four women who, because of upsets and tragedies in their lives started attending the same group therapy session together with the same therapist. After months of coming together to talk about their problems they've decided therapy isn't doing any good. Then Georgia has an idea. She invites all three women to go to visit Italy for a month, all expenses paid. It took some fast talking but she was finally able to get them all to agree to go.

When they arrive, one by one, they face their demons and begin to heal. Georgia lost her husband years ago and still grieves for him as if he died yesterday. MacKenzie's marriage is falling apart and her children are out of control. Sara is a doctor who loves to play the violin but never does anything about it, because it makes her feel guilty and Roxie, is a beutiful Cuban who hides her beuty behind baggy clothes. She is a reporter but has always wanted to write a book.

When they travel to Italy, one by one they begin to heal. They start accepted themselves for who they are and what they are meant to do, including, finding love again. Italy is the right place for romance and the four friends find that there is more to all of them than meets the eye. If they want to change, they have to change themselves and as the magic of Italy begins working it's wonder on  them, they each transform into who they are supposed to be.

The Only Way to Paradise was a delightful read. The characters were very real. If you close your eyes and imagine, you can see yourself in each of them, or I could anway. Mrs. Vandagriff writes of Italy in such away that you dream of going there yourself. I could almost see the Michalangelo, the David and taste the cooking of the rich Italian food. As Roxie writes of her Isabella, I can picture her as a real person with real problems and as Sara plays the violin, I can almost hear the music.

The Only Way to Paradise was a wonderful, though provoking read that makes you think that if you just take a chance, everything you've ever dreamed of can be yours. Bravo Mrs. Vandagriff!

My rating: ****1/2 stars.

Review of Only Way to Paradise by G.G. Vandagriff

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Welcome back. Stay tuned. A review of G.G. Vandagriff's book, The Only Way to Paradise will be posted soon. Don't go away!

It's time for another author blog!

Hi folks! Join me on November 29th, 2011 when I will be reviewing another book by GG. Vandagriff for Nurture Your Books. Hope you can drop by!

Review of The Arthurian Omen by G.G. Vandagriff

    Growing up, I just loved stories about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, so when I heard about The Arthurain Omen, by G.G. Vandagriff, I knew I had to read it.
   When Maren Southcott gets a call from her sister, Rachel, saying she thinks there is a manuscript that would prove that King Arthur was real and not just a story, Maren is just as intrigued as Rachel. When Rachel asks her to come to Scottland, to help her find the manucript, Maren jumps at the chance. She doesn't realize her life is about to get very complicated.
   Losing her husband to a killer, Maren marries a man who she finds out is a crook. When she overhears him talking about the manuscript, she is determined to keep him from getting it.
   When Maren arrives in Scottland, she finds out that Rachel has been murdered. She vows to find the manuscript because that's what Rachel would have wanted. She had no idea that others want it as well and when Maren's daughter, Clair, is kidnapped and held for the manuscript, she will stop at nothing to find it.
   Cheif Inspector Llewellyn from Scottland Yard is determined to keep Maren safe and to help her find her kidnapped daughter. Now Maren is in a race against time to find the manuscript before anyone else does so that she can get her daughter back. The problem is that she's not the only one looking.
    The Authurian Omen has a good storyline. There is plenty of history, mystery, suspense and even a little bit of romance. My only problem with the book was that it seemed too slow at times. There wasn't as much nail biting action as I would have liked to have seen. Overall, however, the story was very interesting.

My rating? ***stars

I would like to thank G.G. for making The Dark Circle blog a stop on her Gala tour and I wish her all the luck in the world with her book.

Guest Post with G.G. Vandagriff

Hello and welcome to The Dark Circle! Today it is my pleasure to have G.G. Vandagriff with us today. I have a guest post from her where she was asked if she could change places with any of her characters for a day, who would it be and why?

If you could change places with any of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
I have a hard time choosing just one.  And I would have to be very specific about the day I chose.
I think I would have to be Roxie Castro in my latest book, The Only Way to Paradise. That’s probably because I am already Roxie in a lot of ways.  No one would ever guess it who doesn’t know me really well, but my husband guessed right off.  The book is about four neurotic women in therapy together who ditch their therapist and take off for Florence, where all their problems come to a head.
Roxie’s problem is the worst, but ironically she thinks she is the most well adjusted.  She wears baggy sweats, her hair in a ponytail sticking out of a baseball cap, and treats life as a circus. Her problem is deep seated and she doesn’t even remember the trigger. 
Here are a few of her characteristics:
a.) She’s Cubana, 3rd generation American with a love of salsa dancing, bright colors, traveling, and riding on the motor scooter she rents in Florence—the Red Rocket. (I am so American I have Mayflower roots, I would love to learn to Salsa dance, traveling is my favorite pass time, and I’d love to ride a motor scooter, but my husband would say “over my dead body.”  I’m a terrible driver.)
b.) She’s a journalism professor, but deeply wants to be a novelist.  She lives in the house we lived in in Oakwood, and is absolutely terrified of handsome men who flock to her because she is even more gorgeous than J-Lo.  She is 31 and has never had a relationship.  You guessed it.  Sexual abuse when she was too young to remember. (I am a writer, and find the emotional stripping a great trial but do it anyway, my relationship with men was complicated because I was pretty good-looking for a Stanford girl, had sexual molestation issues when it was the 60’s and so dealt with my dates using hand to hand combat, and had a new boyfriend every month.  Same problem, different reaction)
c.) The most charming, sincere, intelligent, handsome, nurturing, Florentine history professor is attracted to Roxie and then, sensing her hang-ups (when she literally runs away from him several times) he is fascinated by her and wants desperately to help her for both of their sakes. 
I think, therefore, that I would like to be Roxie for a day, after she has gone through therapy (which will occur in a sequel) and is back in Florence (my favorite place), writing her time-travel novel about the murder of Isabella d’Medici (which I plan to do) together with her professor, Stefano, enjoying the agape (selfless love) of the Italians, and the golden light of Tuscany (and , of course, tender but passionate lovemaking with Stefano).  How’s that for a sentence?

New book trailer for The Betrayal

Hi everyone! Just wanted to share the link of the new book trailer for The Betrayal with you. Hope you enjoy it!