Book review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

How can you write about the world of time travel and still make it unique? 

Before The Coffee Gets Cold manages to pull off the miracle of combining sentimentality and magic in a web of stories and characters that you can’t help but root for.

What if you could travel back to the past or take a peek into the future? But with the knowledge that you can’t change the present, no matter what?

That’s the question the quirky characters in this short novel ask themselves, and that’s the question we ask ourselves by the end of the book.

The time to drink a coffee, so much time is given to face our regrets or reassure ourselves of a choice. And a series of conditions that, if not met, will make the unwary digressors slip into perpetual oblivion.

But if we can change neither the past nor the future, what is the point of taking such risks? Is everything really immutable?

Read in one sitting, Before The Coffee Gets Cold brought me to tears on several occasions. Kawaguchi’s writing is of a simplicity that, were it not for the originality of the story, would be almost trite. And that is perhaps what made this book so enjoyable to me.


Last chance to get a free copy of “The Fire Opal”

It’s been a while since I last promoted my novel, so here I am. It’s FREE on Amazon today so don’t miss the chance to get it and, equally important, please share the love with any fellow reader enjoying contemporary romance!


The Crimson Stone: cover reveal!

As I move forward with the novel, I thought it was time to give it a cover worthy of its name. Hello hello, here it is and I adore it! In the next few hours, I will also post the next installment so hold on to your couches and reading sofas! Comments of appreciation are welcome lol


Book review: The Capri Girl by D Guy

The Capri Girl by D Guy is a delightful book in The LaFollette Chronicles series that can be perfectly read as a standalone. Set in the twentieth century, it weaves the stories of different families of Italian and Irish immigrants who set up house in the USA. It mostly takes place between the small town of La Follette, Tennessee, and the suggestive island of Capri in South Italy.

J.P. White, born J.P. Bianchi, is the third generation of a hard-working, successful Italian family that first landed in New York in 1910. Born rich, he could live off his family’s money and never work a single day in his life. But at the age of sixteen he discovers he has a unique flair for songwriting that will turn him into the golden goose of the discographic industry. This talent will provide him with even more unnecessary money, a flock of women and a wounded heart when his love Teresa decides to settle down with a more pragmatic man, becoming food for a tear-jerking song.

In the aftermath of his heartbreak, J.P. decides to take a trip to his homeland, to the place that was the birthplace of his grandfather; the city of Castel Volturno in Italy. But a little vacation on the near island of Capri will change his life forever. A hurricane named Rosina enters his life, making him reconsider his existence, and ends up tearing his whole being to pieces. The outcome of those few days of whirlwind is the “Capri Suite” album which, not only brings him worldwide fame, but encapsulates all the dark secrets happened on the beautiful island, secrets that keep haunting him day and night and that lead him to the brink of suicide.

After Teresa makes a brief comeback just to break his heart again, J.P. is left with only one option: going back to Capri and retrace all those painful steps. But will he do it? And what could he find there to restore meaning to his life? To find out, you will have to read The Capri Girl until the end. I can only say, it will not disappoint you.

This book truly has everything you might want from a story: strong family bonds, school romance, stunning settings, a tragic love, deaths and do-overs, all held together by a patchwork of colorful characters you simply cannot not love.

The portrayal of the Italian-American families couldn’t get more accurate than that, and this comes from someone who happens to have an Italian-American family. The sexy moments, yup there are quite a few, are graphic enough to be enjoyable but not inconvenient. The pages are interspersed with lively dialogues, tearful events – both sad and happy, and some shocking events that will leave you breathless. One thing is sure, D Guy knows how to develop a story, entwine together so many different characters and keep you hooked till the very last word..

Only the need for a round of polishing prevents me for giving it a full rating. But aside from that, I truly recommend this book and grant it a respectable three out of four stars.

Book review: Looking Glass Friends by E L Neve

Looking Glass Friends: A Novel Inspired by Real Love Letters by E.L. Neve is much more than just a novel. It’s a dreamy weave of romance, poetry and philosophy, all at once.

It’s 1997. It is the era of missives, emails and printed books, where mobile phones are still a thing for rich people.

Neil is married to Fay but unhappy with his life choices to the point of considering suicide. Ellie is married to Jake, mother to a five year old and lives the high life.

On a day like any other, Ellie walks into the local bakery to buy cream puffs for her son. On a day like any other, Neil decides that the client on the other side of the counter is worth giving up the secret stash of cream puffs he had set aside for himself. As a way to say thank you, Ellie gifts the kind baker with a copy of her favorite book, “Atlas Shrugged”.

The rest of the review can be found here on OBC.