Author Spotlight: Grace Mattioli

Today I bring you an Author Spotlight for Grace Mattioli.   She has written several novels and  three novels will be featured here today, starting with her newest: The Bird that Sang in Color. **All of her novels are available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook.**


Grace Mattioli is the author of three novels–Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees and Discovery of an Eagle, and a book of short stories, The Brightness Index. Her newest novel, The Bird that Sang in Color, was released  on January 17, 2021.

Her fiction is filled with unforgettable characters, artful prose, humor, and insight about what it takes to be truly happy.  She strongly believes that if people were happier, the world would be a better place.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her cats. She worked as a librarian for over twenty years and has had various other job titles, including jewelry designer, food cart owner, shopkeeper, book seller, substitute teacher, art school model, natural grocery store clerk, short order cook, food server, street vendor, barista, and a giant Twinkie! 

She has been writing creatively since she was a child and has participated in various writing workshops and classes. Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. Her favorite line of literature comes from James Joyce’s novella, The Dead:  “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”


The Bird that Sang in Color

Published: January 17, 2021
217 Pages

Donna Greco subscribes to a conventional view of success in life, and she pushes her freewheeling, artistic brother, Vincent to do the same. However, he refuses to conform, and she harbors guilt for her supposed failure to ensure his happiness until she discovers a book of sketches he made of his life, which allows her to see his internal joy and to discover the secret to living free! 

While this textured story combines serious issues such as alcoholism, death, and family conflict, it’s balanced with wit and humor and is filled with endearing, unforgettable characters. The story spans decades, beginning in 1970 and ending in the present. Readers will be immersed in this tale which poses an intriguing question: “What pictures will you have of yourself by the end of your life?”

“a refreshing family portrait about interpersonal evolution…presented with affection, humor, and insight…an inspiring slice of life blend of philosophy, psychology, and transformation that draws readers into a warm story and examines the wellsprings of creative force and legacies.” Midwest Book Review

“highly polished artistic prose…evolves fluidly; with great heart and humour…A consummate exponent in the art of storytelling and skilled in the imagery of words…Without exception, the characters are all emotionally complex…lyrical and lovingly written…profound and thought provoking,” Fiction Books Biz Book Reviews

“a heartfelt family story told with grace and humor,” Rose City Reader

“The periods and places are so well realised, with the kind of simple, yet revealing, strokes Donna admires in her brother’s drawings. This is writing of the highest quality…it is a book that makes you think, to question your assumptions. And that is something that the best literature sets out to do,” Rosie Amber Book Reviews

Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees

Published: July 9, 2012
266 Pages


23-year-old Silvia Greco is broke and living with her father in New Jersey when her mother asks her for help in gathering her family together for a celebration commemorating her brother’s high school graduation. Uniting her feuding family who haven’t been together in over six years and whose parents are newly separated will be a great challenge, but she can’t refuse her mother, with whom she sympathizes. She knows the core of all their fighting is her father’s alcoholism, so she attempts to sober him up while appealing to the sensibilities of her other family members. Her challenge takes on greater significance when she realizes that her own peace and happiness is linked to the state of disharmony in her family and that she must save them all from devolving into families like those of her parents—loveless with siblings who are estranged from each other. But the task of uniting her family may prove to be too huge for her. Can she do it? Buy this book and find out while immersing in a wonderful world of unforgettable characters, great humor and delicious food! Best of List, Suspense Magazine. 

**Get your FREE copy at Amazon or all other major online booksellers today!**

Best of 2012, Suspense Magazine 

“The author…manages to make us care about this family. All of the Grecos…are entertaining and their quirks are endearing. OLIVE BRANCHES DON’T GROW ON TREES is a very real drama that gets to the heart of the conflict within the Greco family.” Indie Reader Reviews (5 Stars)

“The author weaves a tale that is a moving and realistic portrayal of a dysfunctional family with enough drama and humorous family situations that will keep the reader engaged and entertained, while providing a witty sense of humor and subtle messages of life lessons to extend the olive branch and learn to live, love and forgive.” Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“The sequences of Silvia’s recollections into the past with her strong willed, born ahead of her time grandmother, the jobs she has held, and lost as it were, are nothing short of brilliant.” Chapters and Chats Book Reviews

Discovery of an Eagle

Published: April 30, 2014
276 Pages

28-year-old Cosmo Greco is perfectly content with his humdrum existence in Philadelphia until he realizes he has been joylessly sleepwalking through his life. This sequel to Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees begins when Cosmo gets laid off from his job, after which, he takes up his sister on her offer to drive with her to Portland. A near fatal car accident in the beginning of the trip wakes him up to the fragility of life and characters he meets along the way further open his eyes. But his pragmatic nature and his fears come into play and he’s conflicted about whether to go back to his old way of life or to go forward in his journey of self-discovery. His inner conflict grows when he learns that the lay-off is ending and he’s been invited to interview for a promotional job. What will he do? Buy this book and find out while going on a magical, spirited road trip filled with colorful characters and vividly painted landscape.

“The characters the two siblings meet along the way-whether delightfully crazy or attractive or lost-serve as foils for a kind of personal growth particular to a road-trip scenario, and the landscape of the vast space between the East and West coasts acts as a catalyst for emotional and spiritual change. Author Mattioli (Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees, 2012) writes in an assured voice that carries the story through its potentially sentimental passages, and…by the end, (readers) may be surprised find that they, too, have undergone an emotional odyssey…poignant and well-drawn.” Kirkus Reviews

“A warm blend of travel and observation, family interrelationships, and reflections that ultimately captures the meaning and purpose of getting away and journeying to new places…a soaring story of one man’s exploration of new possibilities, new worlds, and ultimately, a newfound purpose to life.” Midwest Book Review

“The book isn’t just about Cosmo’s journey. It takes a hard look at the lives we live, the monotony we assume is a part of adulthood and the mediocrity we’re content to settle for. Through Cosmo’s shoes, the reader’s perspectives are quietly opened to new possibilities.” The Lit Room Reviews


Get a free copy of “Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees” from any major online book seller.

When you sign up for Grace Mattioli’s monthly newsletter, you will get a free copy of “Discovery of an Eagle.” Purchase the latest novel featuring the Greco Family for only $0.99 from your favorite eBook store! You can sign up for her newsletter from her website.

Buy Grace’s Books Here:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Mattioli/e/B008K6DYGS
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Grace%20Mattioli%22
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=grace%20mattioli
https://www.annieblooms.com/book/9780990575191
https://www.audible.com/author/Grace-Mattioli/B008K6DYGS?
https://books.apple.com/gb/author/grace-mattioli/id899423478
https://play.google.com/store/search?q=grace%20mattioli
https://www.chirpbooks.com/search?q=grace%20mattioli

Contact Grace:
Website
Instagram @fiction4change
Twitter @fixion4change

Book Review: Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker

Published: October 30, 2007
248 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The Mister B. of the title is Jakabob Botch, a demon whose ghastly past could make even the most merciless sociopath whimper in sympathy. Born in the deepest regions of hell, the spawn of an abusive drunkard and his whorish wife, Jakabob escapes to the world above after suffering fiendish torture. Once topside, he lands conveniently in 15th-century Mainz, the home of printing inventor Johannes Gutenberg. However, Mister B. isn’t interested in merely observing history; like any other self-respecting diabolical being, he’s just searching for a new demonic angle. A ghoulishly good fright fest.

Kim’s Review:

This is my first Clive Barker book. It seems a little on the obscure side, but I liked it so I plan to read more. The whole “burn this book” tag line really drew me in. I’ve never read a book quite like this where the narrator is so commanding of the reader. I legit wondered if I should set fire to this book when I finished! That kinda says a lot!

I think this was one of those mostly metaphorical reads that I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get beacuse I’m definitely not deep enough, but I’m pretty sure I got the main lesson. Jakabok Botch was definitely interesting. A demon kidnapped from hell and set to wander the earth and learning as he went; I grew to like him and hate him all at the same time. I found his simultaneous optimism and cynicism very fascinating. And Barker seems to have a finger on the pulse of any ruling factions in the world. I may not have liked the religious aspect of the metaphor, but the underlying philosophy is on point!! Overall, I really liked this book! I’d recommend this to those who enjoy random philosophizing and metaphorical meanderings!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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Book Review: Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin

Happy & You Know It
Author:  Laura Hankin
Narrator: Laura Hankin
Published:  May 19, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 24-31, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars     

Book Description:

A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers and the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies and finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

Jessica’s Review:

Can you imagine you are in a band right on the verge of superstardom and then you are kicked out? This is what happened to Claire. And now she is struggling to make a living and comes across this mommy group that needs a musician for the babies’ enrichment. Do these mommy groups actually exist and do they exist as they do in this novel?  Maybe in the rich, upper-class neighborhoods like this novel takes place in.   And not just a mommy group, but a paid musician to sing songs to the babies while the mommies gossip and drink?

I came across this one on my Libby app and decided to give it a shot. At about 50% in I was debating on DNF’ng (Did Not Finish) as I am not a mom and was identifying more with Claire the struggling single musician versus the mommy group.  I kept going and then at about 65% in the novel went in a direction I was not expecting, which did keep me listening.  My ‘favorite’ mom was Amara. 

The direction the novel goes in gives a different feel from the beginning of the novel and the moms are far from perfect themselves.  Life is not as happy as they make it seem at first to Claire. Now, I feel I can’t say more about the direction it goes in without giving spoilers, but if you pay attention to things going on, you might see what will come.

The author also narrated the novel, and I felt she did a good job with her narration. This might not be for everyone, but I can see some readers enjoying it more than others. I awarded it 3.5 stars, so it was just over a ‘good’ read for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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