sabato 15 giugno 2019

Quattro amici in cerca di guai di Rachele Coerezza

QUATTRO AMICI IN CERCA DI GUAI di Rachele Coerezza

Pietro, Mara e Tino sono tre fratelli che di recente si sono trasferiti con i genitori in una casa nei pressi di un bosco. Con l'arrivo della bella stagione decidono di esplorare i dintorni insieme agli amici Miki e Betta. A loro si aggiunge anche Tobia, cane trovatello, che pare conoscere il bosco e alcuni dei suoi segreti.
L'avventura giocosa si trasforma presto in una missione terribilmente seria: i ragazzi sospettano che nella villa della signora Matilde, al di là del ruscello, stia accadendo qualcosa di losco. Seguendo un indizio dopo l'altro, il gruppo di amici dedicherà la propria estate a svelare il mistero e a liberare, con l'aiuto di genitori e amici, un gruppo di bambini cinesi tenuti prigionieri dai trafficanti.

Un racconto avventuroso che ha per protagonisti dei ragazzini coraggiosi. Pur consapevoli dei rischi, si buttano a capofitto nella missione, indignati dal trattamento riservato a bambini indifesi. Nonostante la paura che incutono i malviventi e i loro cagnacci aggressivi, i ragazzi andranno fino in fondo, coinvolgendo lo zio Roby, ex-poliziotto, che li aiuterà e farà di tutto per assicurare ai piccoli prigionieri un futuro felice e sicuro.

Compra l' e-book o la versione cartacea sul negozio online de Le Mezzelane Casa Editrice.

giovedì 13 giugno 2019

Promise


Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is “a cat always stares at something behind its owner’s back. What does it see?” Today’s tale comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Girl Who Flew Away (https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Flew-Away/dp/1941295355) and lots of other works for children and young adults. 
***
Promise
by Val Muller

Meowser always ignored me. Always used to, anyway. He had his own existence, and I had mine. I kept him fed, he kept me company. That was the deal, until my sister was able to take him home again.
Ellie was off for a three-year stint in Italy. Her husband was put on temporary duty there. Rehoming the cat, with all the required paperwork, quarantines, and the like, wasn’t up her alley, so she pushed the cat onto me.
I always pictured myself as a dog person, if I had a pet, that is. I mean, if I had one of my own. But here I was, just out of college. I couldn’t even keep a girlfriend for more than a month.
Ellie handed Meowser over right before she left. “He won’t be any trouble,” she said. “I promise.”
Ellie didn’t say goodbye to Meowser. That always struck me. I guess she didn’t want to cry about it. No need to make goodbyes more sentimental than they need to be. We fell into our ways, Meowser and I. Ellie couldn’t get back at Thanksgiving, so I sent her a picture of the cat sitting on the coffee table eyeing the ample feast. Ellie always got a kick out of things like that. She liked coming up with captions that assigned all kinds of human thoughts to the cat. I probably sent her a picture once a week or so. She posted them on Facebook, too, as if the cat still lived with her.
To me, though, a cat is just a cat. Meowser couldn’t care less about me except when it was feeding time, or if I got lazy cleaning out the litter box.
Ellie made it back during Christmas. Steve flew home to Minnesota, and she flew in to BWI to visit us. She stayed at my place, not Mom and Dad’s, and we all knew it was for Meowser. I don’t really buy the whole animals-have-emotions thing. Didn’t, anyway. But as soon as he saw Ellie, Meowser was a different cat. It wasn’t just that the two were inseparable. They anticipated each other. Meowser would hop off her lap ten seconds before she finished eating. When she’d get up for a glass of water, Meowser was already waiting at the kitchen counter. He was there when she went to the bathroom, to the door, to the couch. At the time, I told myself they were both just really good at reading body language.
Meowser turned psycho the morning Ellie left for Italy again, right after New Year’s. He hissed at shadows in the hallway. He clawed my face—I’ll bear his mark for life, three slashes on my right cheek. And he even bit Ellie. She cried, then, looking at Meowser like he’d betrayed her. Something in Meowser—a look, a feeling—made Elli’s face flush with guilt. “I’ll be back, Meowser. I promise, promise. I’ll come back for you.”
She pressed her forehead to his and paused for several moments. The cat seemed to calm. Then he went about his way, not bothering to watch as she left the apartment. Her promise had calmed him. We lived on, the two of us, for three more months of him ignoring me and me feeding him, waiting until Ellie could take him again.
It wasn’t until last night that Meowser stopped ignoring me. He was sitting on my chest when I woke up. I can’t tell you the adrenaline spike caused by the penetrating green eyes of a cat. Only they weren’t penetrating me. No, they were focused behind me, like on my pillow. Fixated. A focused stare and a blank stare all at once.
I knocked him off me and padded to the kitchen to feed him. But the usual tinkle of food into his dish had no impact. He sat instead on the counter, staring right behind me. We sat there until dawn, him freaking me out and staring and me being freaked out and staring back.
When the sun rose, I left the kitchen to get dressed, and he followed. Freaky cat. I bent down to pet him, and he raised his head toward my hand—but he missed. Only it seemed intentional. He was raising his head to be pet, only he was raising it at something directly behind me. I turned around, half expecting someone, but of course there was no one.
Freaky cat.
I pushed him away with my foot and closed the bedroom door to finish dressing, but his insistent meowing unsettled me. I opened the door to shush him, but his let out a wailing cry at the empty space behind me.
I turned on the TV to drown out the caterwauling. It was a commercial for an HVAC company, a terrible and memorable jingle. I sang along. It silenced the cat, but still Meowser stared behind me.
I thought I saw something walk across the room behind me, a reflection moving across the mirror. But when I turned, I was still alone.
A pizza commercial came on, but my usual appetite sparked by those kinds of commercials had diminished. I didn’t even want breakfast. I picked up the phone to call Mom. Something came over me, and suddenly I had to get Meowser out of my apartment. Surely Mom and Dad could keep him for Ellie.
The phone rang before I could dial, making me jump half out of my skin and drop it on the carpet. Meowser didn’t even flinch. Just kept staring.
It was Mom.
“Baby, turn on the news,” she said.
The news was already on—the pizza commercial had dissolved into a breaking story of a terrorist attack in Paris. A coordinated attack of vans and trucks driving into crowds. The confirmed death count was twenty-two and counting.
“I called Ellie as soon as I saw,” Mom said. She was sobbing. “She didn’t answer. Steve, either.”
“Mom,” I said. “Ellie’s in Italy. Paris is in France.” My mind briefly relaxed, worried only about Mom possibly having a senior moment.
“No, honey. Ellie’s there. Steve is on leave, and the two of them went to France. They were touring the city today and tomorrow.”
“They could still be out touring,” I said. “I mean, do their phones even work in France? I think calls are super expensive. They probably have their phones off. You know, so they can concentrate on their tour.”
But even as the words left my mouth, I knew the worst was true. I knew it because Meowser knew it. The cat’s eyes softened as the realization hit me. Ellie was no longer in Italy. She was no longer in France. Meowser meowed again and ducked his head toward the shadow behind me. His beloved Ellie. She always kept her promise.

***
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

martedì 11 giugno 2019

La Grotta dell'Origine di Leo Todisco

LA GROTTA DELL'ORIGINE di Leo Todisco

Axel e Lisa sono cresciuti ascoltando la mamma raccontare la favola di una grotta leggendaria. Come avrebbero potuto immaginare di trovarla veramente, un giorno?

Quando nel loro paese d'origine una rivolta studentesca viene soffocata dalle guardie della regina, entrambi si ritrovano improvvisamente ricercati e costretti a fuggire. Affrontano insieme un lungo viaggio che li porterà a fare nuovi incontri e scoperte incredibili: creature e popoli mai sentiti nominare prima, tecnologie mai viste e risposte a domande cruciali, dalle quali dipendono la sopravvivenza e la qualità della vita di milioni di persone. 
Insieme al loro amico Diego vivranno molte avventure, che li entusiasmeranno e li spaventeranno. A fianco dei Numi della Terra combatteranno contro l'esercito della regina, che vuole impadronirsi del segreto della leggendaria grotta. I ragazzi, tuttavia, sono determinati a proteggerla anche a costo della vita.

Una storia avvincente ed entusiasmante, in cui non c'è spazio per annoiarsi. 
I ragazzi seguono una lunga traccia di indizi misteriosi e mezze rivelazioni ottenute per caso, rendendosi conto a ogni passo che è sempre più impossibile tornare indietro. Il loro piccolo atto di coraggio iniziale, partecipare a una protesta studentesca contro le condizioni inumane in cui sono costretti a vivere molti sudditi della regina, si trasforma rapidamente in una missione per proteggere un potere più grande di tutti loro. Mostrando grande determinazione, non si danno per vinti e non si arrendono neanche quando tutto sembra perduto e la verità impossibile da svelare. 
Nel corso del viaggio, il legame fraterno tra Axel e Lisa diventa più profondo, e la loro amicizia con Diego mostra nuovi risvolti. Sono un bel terzetto, e lo sanno. Lo spirito che li unisce sarà anche quello che consentirà loro di cavarsela nelle situazioni piu critiche, quando la fiducia nella loro amicizia e nella magia del luogo che stanno difendendo salveranno loro la vita.

 Compra l'e-book o la versione cartacea sul negozio online de Le Mezzelane Casa Editrice


giovedì 6 giugno 2019

Who's that girl?


Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: “A story that involves someone, not a stranger, standing on the edge of a precipice.”
This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

 ***
Who’s that girl?
by Chiara De Giorgi

I was quietly walking, lost in thought.
At some point I looked around. I was surrounded by a thick, white fog, I could barely make out the tree lines at both sides of the road. Where was I? I thought back, but couldn’t remember what my destination had been when I’d left home. Weird.
I kept on walking, hands in my pockets, white puffs of breath leaving my body and mixing with the fog.  
Slowly, the fog dispersed and I realized the sky was turning dark.
This isn’t good, I thought to myself. I did not know where I was, and with the darkness it would be impossible to make sense of that place.
I stopped  and took a good look around. It was a forest. There were trees everywhere, but it was eerily silent. What forest is that silent?
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, I spotted someone walking far ahead of me. Luckily, they had a red coat on, otherwise I might have missed them.
Knowing I was too far away for them to hear me calling, I started running in order to catch up with them.
When I was almost running out of breath, the person luckily stopped, so I slowed down and kept walking briskly towards them.
Wasn’t the coat red? I though. It was clearly blue. I shrugged. It wasn’t important. Now that I was getting closer, I could tell that she was a woman with long, dark hair, falling neatly over her shoulders. There was something familiar to her shape. Did I know her? I was still too far from her to be sure.
I was about to call out to her, when I realized she was standing over a precipice. A cold hand gripped my heart and I closed my mouth. Was she about to jump down the cliff? What was a cliff doing here, by the way? And where was ‘here’ anyway?
I slowed down, my eyes glued to her back.
Suddenly I was standing next to her. I turned my head and looked at her. At first, I couldn’t see who she was, then realization kicked in and I gasped. That was me! How was that even possible?
She – I – slowly turned her head to look at me. She had a smirk on her face; her eyes – my eyes – were clean and clear, not a trace of concern in them. Her skin was smooth, no frown lines marked her face. She was me, but a neater, more defined version of me. She looked confident, brave. It looked like she was in charge and she knew it.
“Are you going to jump?” I whispered.
What if I fall? – Oh but my darling, what if you fly!” she replied. That was one of my favorite quotes, but I honestly wouldn’t be willing to put it to the test, not literally at least. I was about to tell her just that, when she opened her arms and took a step over the edge.
My hands ran to my mouth and I stifled a cry. She disappeared under a thick layer of white clouds. Not a sound could be heard.
Seconds ticked by and the sun rose from behind the mountain facing the cliff.
Suddenly she resurfaced from the clouds with a glorious cry, the sunlight was painting golden shades on the white sea and on her face. Her arms were wide open, her smile was big and pure, her coat was blindingly white.
I smiled. She’d done it. And if she could do it, well…

*****
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/


lunedì 3 giugno 2019

Fiabe e Magie

Racconta Storie - Fiabe e Magie



Fiabe e storielle,
fratelli e sorelle,
tanta magia
da portarci via!
Le storie speciali
ci metton le ali!


Sabato 8 giugno alle 10:30 al Totem Bookshop

Per volare con la fantasia tra fiabe e magia! 

Costo: 6 €
Durata: 45 minuti
Età: 2-5

giovedì 30 maggio 2019

Perspective


Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: “A story that involves someone, not a stranger, standing on the edge of a precipice.”

Today’s post comes from Phil Yeats. Last December, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

 ***
Perspective
by Phil Yeats

The sun remained high in the late afternoon sky as Alan climbed from the village to the cliffside path. That morning he’d found work processing the kelp harvest. Those twelve hours of hard labour would fund three or four days pursuing his dreams.
While strolling along the track to his hovel in the adjacent cove, he spied the local squire staring to sea from the cliff edge. Why was he standing on the brink? Did something in his lord-of-the-manor life lead him to the precipice?
The squire turned as Alan approached. “I have a job for you. Fifty pounds for an hour’s work.”
Fifty pounds was a fortune, more than he’d made during his day processing kelp. “Fine, what do you need?”
“Someone to deliver a bear cub to Miss Vanessa’s Animal Hospice.” The squire pointed toward a small copse some metres back from the cliff. “It’s there, and my estate’s in the car park. If you deliver it now, the fifty pounds is yours.”
Alan stared at the furry brown animal. “Is that a North American black bear? Vanessa won’t accept such a foreign beast.”
“All arranged, Vanessa will find it a home. Deliver the bear, return the car, and give the key to Mrs. Morton. She’ll give you fifty pounds. One last thing. Don’t mention how you came by it.”
Alan took the bear’s chain, and the squire strolled to the village. The cub was playful and rambunctious but not difficult. It climbed into the Range Rover after a little persuasion. Thirty minutes later, Miss Vanessa accepted the beast with no questions asked, and Alan was on his way to the manor house.
He parked by the garage and wandered into the kitchen. Mrs. Morton offered him five ten-pound notes and a bowl of steaming stew in exchange for the car keys.
Alan slowly shook his head as he counted the notes. “What’s this about?”
The normally loquacious cook offered no explanation as she resumed her task of preparing supper for the family.
Alan pondered as he ate. The secrecy was meaningless. Miss Vanessa and anyone else would realize the bear arrived in the squire’s estate car. It must be a pretense, a fabrication that would allow Vanessa to claim ignorance without outright lies. That allowed only one explanation. Martin, the squire’s mentally challenged third son, had acquired the cub by less than honest means, and the squire had to deal with it. Everyone knew the old gent had a soft spot for animals. He couldn’t bring himself to kill the beast, so he entrusted it to Vanessa.
After finishing his stew, Alan strode to Martin’s rooms in the estate’s gatehouse. He’d be missing the bear and eager to hear what happened to it. He’d also be incapable of prevaricating. Martin was a decade older than Alan’s twenty-seven years but like a child constantly in need of reassurance and friendship.
Alan found him crouched in his front garden feeding the squirrels. “Howdy Martin. Beer sound good?”
Martin, like his father, was a devoted animal lover. He spent his waking hours looking for wild animals to befriend. Martin also liked beer. He wasn’t an alcoholic. He kept no booze in his apartment, and if pub patrons offered him a drink, he never had more than a pint or two of lager. But he loved his pint. If the landlord let him, he’d share it with little critters he usually had hidden in his oversized anorak.
“I took your bear cub to Vanessa’s wildlife refuge,” Alan said after they’d settled by the fire in the pub.
“Thought you might have. She was getting too big for me, but I couldn’t leave her with the gypsies. They were mean to her.”
“Vanessa said she’d find her a good home.”
“Miss Vanessa will be good to her, but I think Winnie will frighten the other animals.”
“Winnie?” Alan asked.
“I named her after Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s my favourite book.” He pulled a tattered copy of the old version of A. A. Milne’s masterpiece with the E. H. Shepard drawings from his anorak. “Have you read it?”
“Yes Martin, I read it a long time ago. It was my favourite book too.”
He extracted a mouse from another pocket. “I read it to my animals.”
Alan lingered over his beer because Martin liked to take his time. He became anxious if he thought others were ready to leave. When Martin finished his beer, Alan bought him another. Two regulars sat at their table and offered to see Martin home.
Alan took his leave and walked to the waterfront, across the river, and up the path to the cliff top. He strolled past the place where the squire waited for him, then the copse and car park, and on to his home. Tomorrow, he’d wander the seashore looking for bits of driftwood and other beach debris. He’d turn his discoveries into sculptures he’d sell to the tourists when summer finally arrived.
He’d solved the mystery of the bear and had a pocketful of cash. With no pressing worries, his world was unfolding as it should.

The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

giovedì 23 maggio 2019

Alla mia generazione. Vi ricordate?

Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

Alla mia generazione. Vi ricordate?


Vi ricordate quando facevamo l’Interrail, con le tasche piene di monetine diverse? Franchi, Marchi, Peseta, Corone… Vi ricordate come andavamo alla scoperta di Paesi diversi, incontrando gente diversa, vi ricordate come poi ci rendevamo conto che non era poi così diversa, alla fine? Vi ricordate quanto desideravamo di poter essere tutti un unico popolo? 
 
Vi ricordate quando è caduto il Muro di Berlino?

Vi ricordate che emozione? Vi ricordate che sensazione?

Vi ricordate quando è nata l’Europa? Vi ricordate che ascoltavamo “Blowing in the Wind”, vi ricordate che cantavamo “Imagine”? Vi ricordate un milione di accendini brillare nel buio, vi ricordate di “Winds of Change”, vi ricordate gli abbracci, le lacrime?

Vi ricordate David Bowie? Vi ricordate l’ispirazione, vi ricordate che bello scoprire che avremmo potuto diventare qualunque cosa avessimo desiderato?

Vi ricordate la grandiosità di vivere in un tempo come il nostro?

Vi ricordate il sogno ardito di un mondo senza frontiere? Vi ricordate l’orgoglio, la consapevolezza che QUELLO sarebbe stato il nostro lascito alle generazioni future?

Vi ricordate i discorsi sulla libertà? Vi ricordate come desideravamo che tutte le persone fossero unite, indipendentemente dal loro colore, dal loro genere, dal loro credo?

Vi ricordate che emozione? Vi ricordate che sensazione?

Ci siamo dati Internet, ci siamo dati gli smartphone, ci siamo dati i voli low-cost perché il mondo diventasse più piccolo, per poter essere più vicini gli uni agli altri, su questo nostro meraviglioso pianeta.

Vi ricordate le marce contro la guerra, contro la discriminazione, vi ricordate il desiderio di rendere il mondo un posto migliore per tutti?

Vi ricordate che ci sentivamo capaci di cambiare il mondo? Vi ricordate che lo stavamo facendo?

Vi ricordate che emozione? Vi ricordate che sensazione?

Perché state permettendo a pochi bulli, che non sono mai stati capaci di immaginare un mondo migliore, di distruggere i vostri sogni? Di distruggere in pochi anni, con spregio e meschinità, quello che avete impiegato una vita a costruire?

Perché lasciate che una manciata di persone di mentalità ristretta annientino il calore della fratellanza che vi eravate sforzati di diffondere e condividere? 
 
Non permettete a quegli uomini e quelle donne gretti, incapaci di sogni propri, di rubare i vostri. Non permettete loro di calpestare tutto quel che avete compiuto finora.

Ricordate quell’emozione. Ricordate quella sensazione. Ricordate il sogno. Sono ancora vivi, quindi lasciateli vivere. Continuate a sognare.