Hi! This is the blitz for All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty! This blitz includes a blitz-wide giveaway for a copy of All the Way to Heaven, an excerpt from the book, and an interview with the author. Enjoy!
There was a tiny alarm going off somewhere in the back of my mind. Warning. Warning. Warning. It was persuasive speeches and gentle caresses that had blinded me to Jacob’s true colors. Were Cosimo’s words practiced seduction or was he just as flustered in my presence as I was in his? And if so, what about me had turned his head so completely? I was nothing special. My hair curled a little too zealously just below my shoulders. I wasn’t overweight, but I was no health nut, either. I suppose, if I was honest, I might even qualify as being plump. At least certain body parts that I didn’t have to look at. I had funny quirks and unglamorous habits, like chewing on the cuticles around my thumbs, which made me look like I was actually sucking my thumb from the right angle, and not painting my toenails because the little toenail on my right foot had been damaged in a childhood bike accident and was only about a millimeter wide. It looked like a racing stripe when I did put polish on it. Tish had dubbed it Toe-Hawk.
I was twenty-two years old, just a college kid, broken-hearted, broken-legged, still frail from three days in the sick bed, and penniless to boot.
Maybe that’s exactly what he saw in me, just as Isa had said. I was the quintessential damsel in distress.
So what was it about damsels in distress that stirred the need in men to slay dragons, to sweep the fair maiden off her feet and carry her away to his castle in the sky? I glanced past his shoulder out over the valley spread below us. This was as close to a castle in the sky as I was ever going to get.
Perhaps I could do this after all.
[scroll-box]When in Italy… Learn Some Italian!
by Becky Doughty
I love to travel. I grew up in the South Pacific on the island of Papua New Guinea, in the area now known as West Papua. My father was a jungle pilot and mechanic and we lived among the indigenous tribes there. My siblings and I made unchaperoned two day, 3000 mile, flights to and from a boarding school in the Philippines for high school, coming home for two and a half months in the summer and about two weeks over the holidays. Every couple years, our family would pack up and come back to the United States for a couple months. In other words, traveling has simply been a way of my life, and I love it.
What I don’t love, though, is the fact that I have a major mental block when it comes to learning new languages. Which seems odd to me, since I make my living with words. But for whatever reason, I’ve always struggled to learn new languages. Even though I spent most of my childhood in countries where my English was not even a second language, I bumbled and blundered my way through on the bare bones of the native tongues, not because I was lazy, but because it was the best I could do. In fact, I often taught my friends to speak English so we could communicate, as it always came much easier to them than it did to me.
The thing is, one of the most effective ways to endear yourself to people in another country is to learn something about them, and in particular, to at least attempt to learn enough of their language to show you’re not coming to them with an entitled attitude.
So with every trip I take, I make a point to learn a few catch-phrases and carry around a pocket English-to-Italian (or whatever language is spoken) dictionary, like the one Rick Steves puts out. (Rick Steves’ pocket travel guides, by the way, are BRILLIANT! Packed full of useful info; not just the dictionary!) The following list is never quite adequate, especially not when you’re slightly accident-and-blunder-prone like I am, but when I show that I’m trying, it never fails that someone will notice and take pity on me and offer to help.
Hi/Goodbye! (Informal) – Ciao/Salve!
Goodbye! (Formal) – Arrivederci!
Hello/Good morning! – Buon giorno!
Good afternoon/evening! – Buona sera!
Good night! – Buona note!
Welcome! – Benvenuti!
What is your name? – Como se chiama?
My name is Becky. – Mi chiamo Becky
It’s a pleasure (to meet you). – Piacere.
How are you? – Come va?
Fine, thank you! – Bene, grazie!
So-so – cosi-cosi
Please – Per favore
Thank you – Grazie
You’re welcome (Everything is fine. It’s all good. Etc.) – Prego!
Nothing/It’s nothing/Never mind – Niente
Excuse me – Mi scusi.
I’m sorry – Mi dispiace
I don’t understand – Non capisco
I don’t speak Italian – Non parlo Italiano.
Do you speak English? – Parla inglese?
How do you say “___” in Italian? – Come si dice in Italiano “__”?
Repeat that, please. – Ripeta, per favore.
Speak slowly, please. – Parli piano, per favore.
You are very kind. – Lei è molto gentile
“Hello” when answering the phone – Pronto!
My goodness!/Wow!/etc – Ai vello!
How much does it cost? – Quanto costa/costano?
Is the tip included? – Il servizio è incluso?
Can you help me? – Mi può aiutare?
Wait! – Aspetta!
Where is Fillunga Street? – Dove è via Fillunga?
Where it the train station? – Dove è trova la stazione?
Where is the bus stop? – Dove è la fermata dell’autobus?
Where is the public bathroom? – Dove è la toilette?
What is in this entrée? – Ciò che è nel antipasto?
There were several fun Italian terms, endearments, and phrases used in All the Way to Heaven. Here are a few of the yummy ones:
Tesora – My darling (literally: treasure – a term of endearment)
Un altro glorioso giorno! – It’s a glorious day!
Caffé y colazione – Coffee and breakfast
Alla Dolce Vita – The sweet life (This is the name of the guest house where Ani stays)
damigella in pericolo – damsel in distress
passerotta – sparrow (a term of endearment)
Vorrei baciarti. – I would like to kiss you.
Voglio baciarti! – (more urgent or informal) I want to/I must kiss you!
Brindiamo alla vita, all’amore, alla felicità. Salute! – We toast to life, to love, and to happiness. Cheers!
Cin cin! – Hear, hear! (informal response to a toast)
Sei ubriaco – You are drunk
Buonanotti e dormire bene – Goodnight and pleasant dreams
Cucciola – puppy (a term of endearment)
Invaiatura – The changing of the color of fruit as it turns from green to ripe.
Mi lasci senza fiato! – You leave me breathless!
Va con Dio – Go with God.
How I wish I could say I have these all stored on the memory files of my mind, but I’d be lying. There is one phrase I do know by heart; one I used often as I traveled from place to place during my stay in Italy. I leave you with this:
Mi sono divertita! (I had a wonderful time!)
Thanks for having me today![/scroll-box]
Enter the Blitz-Wide giveaway below!
This blitz was brought to you by: