Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blitz : All the Way to Heaven

When in Italy… Learn Some Italian! 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! 

All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty

(The Fallout Series, #1)
Published by
: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 2nd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she’s been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early—a trip to Tuscany—but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.

When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family’s country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it’s been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.

Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.

Although All the Way to Heaven is a stand-alone novel, it is the first book in The Fallout Series, a collection of sweet contemporary romances that follow characters featured in the first book.


Seven AM in Lucca, and the quaint medieval town was teeming with life, fueled by a caffeine-and-Mediterranean-air-induced high. Bicycle bells jingle-jangled, and boisterous greetings volleyed from one side of the narrow streets to the other. School children laughed and called out to comrades as they scurried off to class.

“Why is everyone so happy?” I pulled a lumpy pillow over my head, but I could find no entry back into the anesthetizing arms of sleep.

My first morning in this enchanted place, and I felt more like a forgotten princess in a tower than a girl on a much-anticipated trip to Italy.

I hadn’t expected to fall asleep right away, but after a hot shower and a bowl of the packaged soup my mom had slipped into my luggage before they drove me to the airport, fatigue settled its heavy cloak around my shoulders. Crawling between the crisp sheets that smelled of bleach and lavender, I was disquieted by the unfamiliar stillness of a town that collectively slept at night. My world was round-the-clock, where the freeway slowed, but never stopped, businesses stayed open twenty-four hours a day, and people lived in shifts, as though afraid the earth might cease turning on its axis the moment no one was looking. But sleep, I did, like a stone, in spite of the tears that made it impossible to breathe through my nose.

Morning, however, had arrived with a vengeance, the stillness before dawn exploding into a cacophony of sound as unfamiliar to me as last night’s stillness. Cobbled streets bordered by tall, ancient stone buildings made shouts and laughter echo and reverberate, each sound amplified. Everything felt so close, but no one here seemed to mind. Like an orchestra tuning its instruments before a performance, each noise outside the window was finding its perfect pitch in the symphony entitled, “A Day in the Life of Lucca.”

Ten Trivial Truths About Becky Doughty

  1. I’m part chameleon. Not because I can change colors on demand (which would be AWESOME!), but because I can move my eyes independently of each other. It gives me a serious eye-strain headache, but it’s entertaining. I may post a video one day….
  2. I live in Southern California, but I can’t stand the sun. It burns my eyes and makes my skin turn glittery–er, I mean, red. I should live somewhere like Ireland or Scotland where it rains a lot. Or Forks.
  3. Speaking of Ireland, I ran The Dublin Marathon in Dublin, Ireland, in the year 2000. That was my “epic millennial triumph” for the turn of the millennium. It rained the whole 26.2 miles. Chafing and blisters commenced.
  4. I am adopted. It’s pretty cool. I come from nowhere, anywhere, and everywhere. I’m pretty much a superhero.
  5. Speaking of being adopted, one of my favorite pastimes is people-watching. In airports, and waiting rooms, etc., I pretend to read, but really, I look for people who might be my long-lost birth relatives, then I write reunion scenes in my head. Someday, I might publish those reunion stories.
  6. I still read aloud to our 20-something year-old married children after dinner during our weekly Family Night. We like all things Middle Earth, Otherworld, Time-travel, and non-Muggle. We keep it real, baby.
  7. I have a secret that I can’t tell you.
  8. My children have some incredible tattoos.
  9. Book stuff: I love to read historical and dystopian fiction, but I usually write contemporary fiction. I keep threatening to put out a nonfiction book…but I kinda like the whole…ahem… ‘creative license’ thing with fiction. Baby, I was BORN TO LIE!  (Bumper sticker, anyone?)
  10. I grew up in the boonies, so we had no television. But a supporter sent a shipment of all the Nancy Drew books ever published to us for Christmas one year. No, I wasn’t Nancy. I was George.

Author Bio

Becky Doughty is the author of the best-selling Elderberry Croft series, The Gustafson Girls series, Waters Fall, and more. She’s also the voice behind BraveHeart Audiobooks. She writes Women’s Fiction with strong elements of romance, as well as Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. Becky’s favorite people are edge-dwellers, those who live on that fine line where hope and despair meet, where love is the only answer and grace becomes truly amazing. Becky is married to her champion of more than 25 years. They have three children, two of whom are grown and starting families of their own, and they all live within a few miles of each other in Southern California. They share their lives with too many animals, a large vegetable garden, and a strange underground concrete room they’re certain was built for dark and sinister purposes….

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing about me and my new book today!

    I appreciate you,
    Becky Doughty


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