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Sweet Delicious Madness and the Many Mysterious Deaths of Silvio Berlusconi (A Kissed in Italy Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 341 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy with a twisting plot that pulls your forward. Characters that are easy to love. -Ann Mc Gregor, Book Reviewer

The strong sense of place is the best thing about this intriguingly titled ebook. You get a really good feel for the country’s culture-clash of modern and traditional values, as well as discovering its colourful people. -The BronteSister

About the Author

I am a happily married mother of two. Although, I do suppose there is some give and take when it comes to marriage, if you know what I mean. For instance, I did not know about the DISHWASHER OPTIMIZATION RULE before I was married. Here's the thing, if I put a fork in the dishwasher, my beloved will come along behind me and remove the fork, and then put it back in the dishwasher in some sort of OPTIMIZED fashion. Not only does he do this, but he will give me a disbelieving look and may even grunt as if to say, "What the hell? Seriously, what the hell, by now you should know EXACTLY where the fork goes in the dishwasher." I find him in the kitchen at ten thirty at night rearranging all the dishes I have already put in the dishwasher. In the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind it does not even occur to me that there is an optimization plan for the dishwasher. You put the dishes in, poof, they come out clean. Now that is not to say that I am not down with the Obsessive Compulsive Thing. I am down with it. I steal chalk. That's right, chalk. It's not that I want the chalk per se, it's that when I am done lecturing I swoop up everything in my path and deposit it into my bag out of fear of losing my keys. When I get home after a class,I look in my bag and it is FULL of chalk. I take the chalk back, free it and go on about my business...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1878 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: January 6, 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007P73OEA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,777 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I am a happily married mother of two. Raised in Colorado, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of years of my life in Northern Italy. I graduated with an M.S. in math and economics from The Colorado School of Mines, and then promptly went to work on the Titan program for Lockheed Martin Astronautics.

I have to say, I worked on the more boring bits of rocketry, but the fun thing was we all got to wear shirts that said, "Actually, it is Rocket Science." Around the same time, I began working as a part-time professor of Economics and Statistics. Some people find these subjects a little dry, but I made my classes super scintillating by dressing up on occasion as Professor Trelawney form Harry Potter and trying to forecast the future.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be the next Carolyn Keene. When I was in third grade, I used to sit on the porch and read Nancy Drew in the morning, and then write my own mysteries in the afternoon. My characters in Sweet Delicious Madness are completely fictitious, but draw on people I met when I lived in Italy. For my first series I wanted to write a Cinderella story, I wanted to ask, what if a perfectly ordinary woman, flawed in many ways, messed up her life the first go around, but got a second chance to meet and fell in love with her own version of Austin's Mr. Darcy. And what if, along the way, she met and learned from other characters who surrounded her; characters that had quirks of their own - a women with a passion for animal rescue, an Italian housemaid who talks to the dead, and a curator of a museum who intimately knows the history of the stolen antiquities market. All of these items synthetized into the making of The Sweet Delicious Madness Series.

In 2015, I am busy tying up loose ends in the fifth book in the series, tentatively titled The Knotty Bride. I am also asking myself a new question, what if Arthur Pendragon had a daughter. I look forward to releasing my newest series, Magda Pendragon: Heir to Arthur in the coming months. Oh, and for the record, I was lucky enough to meet and marry my own version of Mr. Darcy on the first go round. We live our lives in the Colorado sunshine, with an ever-changing collection of adopted dogs and cats. - See more at: http://juliesarff.com/about.html#sthash.b6sETwcM.dpuf

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By DALwrites on May 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First, let me admit that I don't typically read romantic comedy-type books. Second, I'll also admit I am a man. However, I consider myself a voracious reader, and have become tired of my usual genres. After searching around the internet for a different reading experience, something about the title of this book caught my attention. Perhaps it is the adjectives used to describe a typically dreadful experience (i.e. `going mad'). Perhaps it is the fact I am going through a period of madness in my own life, and have learned some fantastic things about myself in the process. Perhaps it was simply dumb luck. Whatever the reason may be, I'm glad I had the chance to read it.

The main character, a mother of twin boys in her late 20s, is an American expatriate living in Northern Italy after a failed attempt at attending a now-shuttered art restoration school. Her estranged, cheating husband will not grant her a divorce, nor pay her a living alimony/child support wage, so she is forced to take a housekeeping position at a large Villa in the town of Arona, which has been recently purchased by an American A-list movie star. To add insult to injury, her boss, Alice, is her husband's Aunt - and she is a `driven woman', to say the least. Think along the lines of an `anti-Under the Tuscan Sun' with a bit of mystery sprinkled in for good measure, and you'll have a fairly good handle on the basic premise.

However, where this book really shines, is the author's delivery. After being introduced to the main character over the first couple chapters, we learn she is someone who is hanging on to the rope of sanity by the tips of her un-manicured nails. The author allows you to understand her plight - to really walk in her shoes, or to roll around in her head for a while.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Gregory on April 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book during a promo and I loved it. I would have paid full price.
This book crosses several genres including chick lit, rom com and mystery. That sounds like a lot to pull off but Sweet Delicious Madness and the Mysterious Deaths of Silvio Berlusconi had me smiling from the time I read the title. And I never stopped.
There was something lovingly familiar about the plot, but the author gave it a few spins to create a modern day heroine with whom you'll fall in love. As it is, Lily Bilbury is badly in need of a husbandectomy, she can't get rid of the one that's done her wrong. And now, several years after the separation, she finds herself a bit down but not out. She takes a job working as a maid under the supervision of her Italian husband's strict aunt, hoping to fulfill her theory that economic independence will lead to a divorce which will ultimately lead to happiness. She is optimistic that working at Villa Buschi will only lead to good things, but that optimism is cut short when she receives daily task lists that are long enough to stretch from the hamlet where she lives on Italy's Lago Maggiore `all the way to the Swiss border.'
At Villa Buschi, we are introduced to a whole host of supporting characters, a grizzly old gardener who seems to have no desire to do his job, a maid/psychic who continues to forecast preposterous deaths for the poor prime minister and a cook and a laundress with big hearts and a penchant for gossip. But the most important people Lily meets at Villa Buschi are the owners, past and present. Through word of mouth, and through Francesca the maid/psychic, some curious secrets are revealed about the past owner of Villa Buschi. Enough to send them on a hunt for some missing diamonds. (Now, I admit, the set up sounds a bit rich.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By TheQuirkyCreative on April 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
A delightful tale for independent women, mothers and cat-lovers alike (or all three at the same time). I believe the true charm of this novel by first-time author Julie Sarff is the thoroughly developed main character, Lily Bilbury. We live Lily's adventure right along with her, privy to every thought and emotion --many of which are utterly hilarious.

For those who love romantic comedy, and are not afraid of scooping a litter box, this novel will not disappoint.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Y. Tietgen on March 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm surprised by all the wonderful reviews....the main character is just very immature. I read at night to settle in before bed, and this character's spaztic ramblings kind of stressed me out....and I did not LOL once! I didn't care what happened to her or any of the other characters. I was most interested in why the gardener was so mysterious and that storyline was not amazing or anything. Book was boring to me, a very long book about celebrity crushes, hard to finish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nathan J. Barnes, PhD on August 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
If you're looking for an entertaining romantic comedy that has a good plot, well developed characters, and just makes you feel good -- this is a great choice!

I read a lot of ebooks. We've all learned that you never quite know what you're going to get. But there are a lot of gems out there, and this book is most definitely one of them. It's rare to find a book of such quality on this level, and discovering this author was a pleasure. It was very easy for me to imagine the characters in a romantic-comedy movie. This book is well conceived and very well written. I think that this book has some literary value - there are many different things going on in the book, but there is a clarity and simplicity to it that prevents the plot lines from being confusing.

The most exciting thing for me about the book is that it is intelligently funny. It's just a fun book to read; I think that something made me laugh on every page, and that's a very rare find for me. It is very difficult to read in bed while your partner is asleep - I woke my wife up a few times laughing. As such, this book thoughtfully accomplishes all of its purposes - it's consistently entertaining, fun to read, and the storyline is carefully introduced and everything comes together nicely in the end.

Best,

Nathan Barnes, PhD
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