Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Coming of Arabella Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: The Coming of Arabella 
Author: Joanne Guidoccio 
Series: Mediterranean Trilogy #2
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

~Martinis for Mermaids~
When Barbara Davies decided to spend a month in Sedona, she hoped the breathtaking scenery would provide enough distractions from her problems. She was pleasantly surprised when the layers of discontent and disappointment started to melt away within hours of arriving at the home of psychic ex-mermaid Kendra Adams.

All it took was one watermelon martini, albeit a martini filled with magic ingredients that helped Barbara drift away from everyone and everything that had contributed to her meltdown in Ontario. At least, that’s what Barbara believed when she tasted the refreshing drink.

Kendra would only comment, “The only magic that exists is the magic you create for yourself.” But that didn’t stop Kendra from offering pitchers of martinis to visiting ex-mermaids on retreats.

Before introducing the martinis in The Coming of Arabella and The Making of a Mermaid Psychic (work in progress), I decided to research the history of this classic cocktail.

Here are ten interesting martini facts:

1.      The martini was created sometime between the years 1862 and 1876. According to one account, the martini is a descendant of the Martinez, a sweeter version made with gin, sweet vermouth, and cherry juice, invented by famous bartender Jerry Thomas of the Occidental Hotel.

2.      An early recipe for a martini appeared in The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them (1907) written by William Boothby: “Into a mixing glass, place some cracked ice, two dashes of Orange bitters, half a jigger of dry French vermouth, and half a jigger of dry English gin. Stir well until thoroughly chilled, strain into a stem cocktail glass, squeeze a bit of lemon peel over the top and serve with an olive.”

3.      The martini first gained popularity during the Prohibition era. Drinkable “bathtub gin” was easy to produce and made martinis more readily available. The wide mouth of the martini glass made it easy to dump the contents during a raid.

4.      The stem on a martini glass was designed to keep the warmth of your hands from affecting the temperature of the drink.

5.      The concept of “bruising the gin” has been debated by many martini aficionados. Is a shaken martini better than a stirred martini? Many believe that shaking breaks up the ice and adds more water, weakening the drink, while others claim the shaken martini has a more rounded taste.

6.      W. Somerset Maugham declared that “martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other.”
7.      James Bond orders his martinis “shaken, not stirred.” In Casino Royale, Ian Fleming provides the following recipe: “Three measures of gin, one measure of Vodka (Russian or Polish), and half a measure of Kina Lillet aperitif, shaken until ice-cold and with a large, thin slice of lemon peel for garnish.”

8.      The martini dipped in popularity during the 1970s but has shown resurgence in the past fifteen years. The television series Mad Men, based in the 1950s, has contributed to the martini’s resurrection.

9.      At the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, you can order a $10,000 martini. Instead of an olive, the garnish is a diamond.

10.  Here are some famous martini quotes:
“Martinis are the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.”
H. L. Mencken
“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”
Jackie Gleason
“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini.”
George Burns
“Happiness is…finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.”
Johnny Carson
“I like to have a martini, two at the very most –After three I’m under the table, After four, I’m under my host.”
Dorothy Parker
“If it wasn’t for the olives in his martinis he’d starve to death.”
Milton Berle

Any other martini facts or recipes to share?
~Try an Excerpt!~
Arabella’s eyes glazed like burning embers of coal. “You don’t know or what to know what I capable of.” She snapped her fingers. “I can discredit you just like that.”

Barbara laughed. “Discredit me without discrediting yourself? I’d like to see you try that.”

As Arabella got closer, Barbara could smell that flowery scent she had always associated with Belinda. It did not suit Arabella in the least. The younger woman needed a muskier scent, one that would blend in better with her predatory nature.

“You’ve already lost Graham and Gwen. Mama and Paul are on my side. Do you want to lose Sharon as well?”

“There’s nothing you can do or say that will turn Sharon or anyone else in this office against me,” Barbara said. “So, don’t waste your breath.” While she maintained a tight smile and spoke in an even tone, Barbara could hear her pulse pounding as tremors of anger shot through her limbs. She wanted desperately to sit down but would not give Arabella any more physical advantages.

Arabella smiled smugly. “Sharon doesn’t like secrets or people who keep them. I wonder how she would react if I told her about your . . . our origins.”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

Arabella shrugged. “I don’t care one way or another. Stewart is encouraging me to write about our lives. He thinks it has the makings of a bestseller.” She laughed. “In addition to the erotica, of course.”

She’s bluffing. Barbara ignored the intrusive thought as memories of Stewart rushed back. He was the consummate businessman and enjoyed being on the cusp of the latest trend. His artist clients produced edgy and controversial art that had been rejected by more conservative agents. Vast stores of family money allowed Stewart to be more daring and sometimes even provocative. What could be more daring and provocative than a mermaid wife?
~Meet Joanne!~ 
In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

 Joanne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Loved the quotes thank you. Now I know why I don't jog.

    1. Hi Mary, Couldn't resist adding the quotes. Thanks for dropping by. Joanne :)

  2. What is your most bizarre talent?

    1. Hi Mai, I'm not sure if this bizarre or simply weird...I have a talent for bringing order to chaos. I enjoy decluttering and often attack closets, drawers, and files.

  3. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Rita! Good luck with the giveaway. :)

  4. I enjoyed the post! Thanks for sharing, this sounds like a great book!

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment, Eva. Remember to enter the giveaway. :)

  5. I still have my high-school book of poetry, and now four decades later I am not a professional writer. I blather on and on when commenting on blogs (see how well I do it, LOL?), I write long news updates for older relatives far away at Christmastime, etc., but I do not write books. I leave that to you and others so that I can simply enjoy your written word. Thanks for going to that effort!

  6. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Great post, thank you! Now I want a martini, magical or not!

    1. Go ahead...treat yourself to a real martini. Thanks for dropping by, Betty :)

  8. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the guest post about martinis. This book sounds like such a fun, interesting, and intriguing read! Looking forward to reading this book!