Winter Blogfest: Annalisa Russo


This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of book (shipping US only) and $10.00 Amazon gift card .

Fa-la-la-La-la! It’s early December as I write this and the day I set aside to decorate for Christmas. Last year, since I wasn’t expecting any company, I made do with a couple of wreaths and called it a day. I realized too late that I would miss the smell of pine, the festive lights, the old manger set, and the all-around good cheer that accompanies a home decorated for the holidays. So, this year I turn on Christmas music and pull out the multitude of boxes from the basement to the tune of Bing Crosby’s, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”

I start with the all-white lights for the tree in my bedroom. Soon, I realize I’m unpacking memories along with ornaments wrapped lovingly in thin, raggedy tissue paper. The box is a mini time capsule: a fragile glass ornament announces Buon Natali, bought for our first tree together in 1966; counted cross-stitched ornaments made and exchanged with friends, some forty years old now; teacher ornaments from former students; ornaments purchased on vacation to remember the occasion. I place them just so—in my favorite spots around the tree.

I think about how children’s memories last longer than most of their presents and of the memories I made with my own children. I wonder if I succeeded in sharing what was in my heart. Some Christmas rituals remain, some just fade away, and some new ones are introduced over the years—the past blended with the present—traditions passed down to sons and daughters, nieces and nephews. And so, hosting the celebration evolves.

Then I turn to my favorite task: setting up the manger—the reason for the season. I nestle the wooden manger among three small lit trees, unwrap the paper mâché figures, and carefully place them, one by one, in the setting, always placing the Babe in last. I hang the golden angel from one of the branches, high above, and all is right with the world.

Holidays don’t always go as planned, but it’s not about being perfect. They may not end as expected or desired, but if they end with shared stories of time spent together and the Child, you have the heart of it.

So, I finish my tasks, make a cup of hot chocolate, and sit in front of the fire to read the mail. I see an old friend’s name on a Christmas card. What a nice end to a lovely day!

Wishing you a stress-free Christmas full of joyful new memories!
Merry Christmas!! Annalisa

Fifth grade math teacher Jillian Magee loves Christmas and all the folderol that goes with it. Unfortunately, the universe seems bent on depriving her of joy in the season. All her well-thought-out plans have gone awry, including her family members, who are all MIA this year. She’s stuck with her awful cat, Buster, and a deep longing for the good old days when her best friend, and first love, lived across the street. Then, a well-intentioned celestial do-gooder shows up in the form of a quirky Jacob Marley—of the female variety. So as Christmas Day draws near, Jillian finds herself careening toward a Yuletide disaster.

Tristán Solano aka Trystan Sol, mega heartthrob and lead keyboardist for a popular rock band heads home, where he finds himself up to his elbows in tinsel and small-town holiday traditions—and everything else he left behind to follow his dreams, including the only girl he ever loved. With more money than he could ever spend in one lifetime, he longs for his old, uncomplicated life back…and for his first friend, Jillie Magee.

Is Jillian destined to have her heart broken again, or can she and Tristan overcome the past and keep each other warm this Christmas?

About the Author: Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated, first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Rags to Rubies, her first stand-alone book, was published in 2012. Annalisa’s first series, The Cavelli Angel Saga, was recently completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of the series which chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Angel Lost, Angel Found, third in the series, was a finalist in the IDA-International Digital Award 2016 for historical romance. Her newest projects include a holiday book, All Hearts Come Home for Christmas, and a stand-alone book, A Girl’s Best Friend due out by end of 2017. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks.

LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Angel Boy by Annalisa Russo


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

Private Investigator, Meg Cavelli, wonders why her traitorous family has trotted out the fatted calf for Seth Truitt, the boy who left her flat eight years ago. Now he’s back, sexier than she remembers, and needs her help. How can Meg accept Seth’s no-strings-attached-deal in return for bringing a deranged predator to justice when their steamy attraction to each other might very well get in the way?

Army Air Corps pilot, Seth Truitt needs help to erase his dark-stained past, but soon realizes helping Meg Cavelli solve a dogged criminal case in return for salvaging his military career might be more dangerous than flying P-26 fighters for USAAC. But since Seth has no intention of letting Meg go again, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe from the twisted, unnatural threat they dubbed “the monster” as kids.

As the mystery unfolds, joining their minds and hearts might be the only way to stay alive.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: An Angel Healed by Annalisa Russo


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

Archaeologist Raphael Cavelli wonders why he isn’t in some watering hole in Peru drinking a lukewarm cerveza next to a bosomy blonde. Instead, back in Chicago trying to stay one step ahead of the law for stealing the archaeological find of the century, he bumps, literally, into the reason he left seven years ago—the girl he traveled halfway around the globe to forget. Hope Macklin, sob sister/obituary writer for The Spectator, wangles the assignment to cover a high society wedding. If she does well, it means a promotion and a raise — but the heiress’s bothersome brother remembers her from St. Rose’s Home for the Friendless, a time she’d rather forget. She’s on the lam, so she can’t afford to draw attention to herself, even for a carelessly handsome man. Fate throws Rafe and Hope together again just in time to square off with the faceless opponent doggedly threatening them. Will they risk everything for what matters most?

Buy the book at Amazon.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: An Angel’s Redemption by Annalisa Russo


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

Michael Vincente Cavelli would have been happy as a farmer. Instead, he has a lot on his plate. For starters, he’s the only rational Cavelli male, the one who inherited the mantle of patriarch at a young age, not only running the family’s successful dairy, but overseeing the lives of his large and unruly family. If that isn’t enough, someone is out to cripple his business. So when a redheaded siren appears at his door the morning of his sister’s wedding, he wonders about the deity’s sense of humor.

As one of the few female doctors in Chicago in 1925, Faith Truitt has something to prove, and she can’t afford to make a mistake that would destroy her career, like getting married. Everything was looking jake until Michael Cavelli opens his door that fateful morning and pulls her into the crosshairs of lies and treachery reaching back a generation—and into the whirlwind of a desire she cannot deny.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Angel Lost Angel Found by Annalisa Russo


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

Gabriel Cavelli makes a deathbed promise to his friend, Big Mike O’Malley, to look out for his young, educated-out-east daughter. Little Charity O’Malley turns out to be a beautiful and feisty twenty-three-year-old about to support herself by becoming a “whisper sister” for her father’s speakeasy. Gabe must decide whether to honor his promise or strangle her. Charity has secrets, and Gabe doesn’t like surprises. He’s not the marrying kind and should be running for cover, but her mean streak intrigues him. His brothers tell him it must be like looking in the mirror. When a crooked Prohibition Man comes into the picture, Charity needs help. Unfortunately, Gabe never could resist a damsel in distress, especially a pretty one. But this one could end up getting him killed. Still, a promise is a promise…

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Angel Boy by Annalisa Russo

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annalisa will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

perf5.000x8.000.inddPrivate Investigator Meg Cavelli wonders why her traitorous family has trotted out the fatted calf for Seth Truitt, the boy who left her flat eight years ago. Now he’s back, sexier than she remembers, and needs her help. How can Meg accept Seth’s no-strings-attached deal in return for bringing a deranged predator to justice, when their steamy attraction to each other might very well get in the way?

Army Air Corps pilot Seth Truitt needs help to erase his dark-stained past, but soon realizes helping Meg Cavelli solve a dogged criminal case in return for salvaging his military career might be more dangerous than flying P-26 fighters for USAAC. But since Seth has no intention of letting Meg go again, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe from the twisted, unnatural threat they dubbed “the monster” as kids.

As the mystery unfolds, joining their minds and hearts might be the only way to stay alive.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Seth Truitt stood on the street in front of the only home he remembered. The autumnal drizzle of mid-October wet his thick mop of brown hair and plastered the starched shirt of his uniform against his skin. He turned back, grabbed his leather flight jacket and small duffel bag off the back seat, and paid the Yellow Cab hackie.

As the cab sped away he let the sight of Bellaluna sink in, soothe.

Bellaluna, beautiful moon in Italian, the ancestral home of the Cavelli family—people who took him in—raised him really—a place for family, for love, and now for sanctuary, he thought.

His Army Air Corps-issued boots crunched gravel underfoot on the long walk to the back yard. The overspent blooms of summer stretched proudly upward from terra cotta pots set on the flagstone portico. Faith’s attempt at a green thumb—his sister, Doctor Faith Cavelli now, and only living blood relative.

Two automobiles were parked out front. One vehicle he hadn’t recognized—a snazzy, brand-new Buick Coupe in hot red. Maybe from Gabriel Cavelli’s auto and motorbike collection. Gabe…one of his titulary uncles.

The three Cavelli brothers: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, named after the archangels by their overly optimistic mother; Michael, proverbial head of the family, shrewd, astute businessman; Raphael, globe-trotting archaeologist, now curator of the Field Museum; and Gabriel, confrontational, Harley-riding badass, self-made entrepreneur.

He wasn’t related to any of them by blood… but he was by heart, by love.

About the Author: mediakit_authorphoto_angelboyAnnalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Her first series will be completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of The Cavelli Angel Saga. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book at Amazon, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, or Bookstrand.

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LASR Anniversary: Annalisa Russo

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Annalisa Russo Coleslaw

One of the things I associate most with summer are our family get togethers. The location might rotate, but the fun is the same. Like the Cavelli family of my books, I have a large extended Italian family. And like Gwen, the cook for the Cavellis, our family functions always revolve around good food. My contribution to our summer events is usually my coleslaw noted for its vinegar brine, rather than mayonnaise, which can be problematic on hot summer days. And the longer the salad sits in the fridge, the better it gets! I hope you enjoy!

Annalisa Russo Coleslaw
Makes 10-12 servings

1 large head of cabbage (3 lb.) cored and sliced thin
1 medium-sized sweet green pepper, cored, seeded, and minced
1 medium-sized sweet onion (Vidalia, if available) peeled and chopped fine

Dressing:
1 cup sugar
1teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 cup cider vinegar
¾ cup vegetable oil

1. Combine cabbage, green pepper, and onion in large bowl and toss to mix
2. Mix sugar, salt, mustard, and celery seed in small saucepan, add vinegar and oil and let come to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
3. Pour hot over cabbage and toss well to mix
4. Cool slaw to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (I usually turn it over several times as it sits in the fridge)

perf5.000x8.000.inddCharity O’Malley is about to break the law of the land in order to follow her dreams. They’ll call her a whisper sister, a tarnished woman. Jezebel. A woman who wants to shape her own destiny, she’s about to reopen her father’s speakeasy, but Big Mike O’Malley reaches out from the grave to save his recalcitrant daughter from her folly.

Gabriel Cavelli, the Harley riding, bad-boy of the Cavelli family, has to honor a deathbed promise to a friend to look out for his young, educated-out-east daughter. Gabe, one of the three Cavelli boys named, or rather misnamed, after the three archangels, finds himself caught between trying to save an unwilling damsel in distress and a crooked Prohibition Man.
As more threats unravel, old enemies come out of the shadows and force Charity and Gabe to band together against decades old, dark secrets—and find safety in each other’s arms.

About the Author: Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she now shares her home with a narcissistic cat named Buster. She loves hearing from readers so check out her website at www.annalisarusso.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon

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#LASR_Anniv An Angel Healed by Annalisa Russo

anniversary post header 500 pixels 2015

Enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC + other prizes!

An Angel HealedArchaeologist Raphael Cavelli wonders why he isn’t in some watering hole in Peru drinking a lukewarm cerveza next to a bosomy blonde. Instead, back in Chicago trying to stay one step ahead of the law for stealing the archaeological find of the century, he bumps, literally, into the reason he left seven years ago—the girl he traveled halfway around the globe to forget.

Hope Macklin, sob sister/obituary writer for The Spectator, wangles the assignment to cover a high society wedding. If she does well, it means a promotion and a raise — but the heiress’s bothersome brother remembers her from St. Rose’s Home for the Friendless, a time she’d rather forget. She’s on the lam, so she can’t afford to draw attention to herself, even for a carelessly handsome man.

Fate throws Rafe and Hope together again just in time to square off with the faceless opponent doggedly threatening them. Will they risk everything for what matters most?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago. Annalisa writes romantic suspense. She published her first book in 2012, Rags to Rubies, a stand-alone book based in Chicago in 1928, and has completed the first two books of her Cavelli Angel Saga: An Angel’s Redemption and An Angel Healed. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s. Her third book in the series will be released in late summer 2014. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

www.annalisarusso.com
https://www.facebook.com/AnnalisaRussoAuthor
https://twitter.com/russoauthor
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1628304936/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#LASR_Anniv An Angel’s Redemption by Annalisa Russo

anniversary post header 500 pixels 2015

Enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC + other prizes!

An Angel's RedemptionMichael Vincente Cavelli would have been happy as a farmer. Instead, he has a lot on his plate. For starters, he’s the only rational Cavelli male, the one who inherited the mantle of patriarch at a young age, not only running the family’s successful dairy but overseeing the lives of his large and unruly family. If that isn’t enough, someone is out to cripple his business. So when a redheaded siren appears at his door the morning of his sister’s wedding, he wonders about the deity’s sense of humor. As one of the few female doctors in Chicago in 1925, Faith Truitt has something to prove, and she can’t afford to make a mistake that would destroy her career, like getting married. Everything was looking jake until Michael Cavelli opens his door that fateful morning and pulls her into the crosshairs of lies and treachery reaching back a generation — and into the whirlwind of a desire she cannot deny.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago. Annalisa writes romantic suspense. She published her first book in 2012, Rags to Rubies, a stand-alone book based in Chicago in 1928, and has completed the first two books of her Cavelli Angel Saga: An Angel’s Redemption and An Angel Healed. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s. Her third book in the series will be released in late summer 2014. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

www.annalisarusso.com
https://www.facebook.com/AnnalisaRussoAuthor
twitter.com/russoauthor
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1612177891/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

a Rafflecopter giveaway