Tag Archives: Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Kindred Intentions by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

A book is something that we pick up to read and if we are lucky will light our imagination. If we are even more fortunate it, that same book will get us hooked. The reader will not want to put it down as they are afraid to miss a moment of what is unfolding in the story that is being told by those words on the page. It is not every day that a reader will come across a book like that, and it’s even more rare to have an author continually turn out books with such storylines we cannot help but want to read it cover to cover in one sitting. Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli really hooked me with her Red Desert set of books, about life on Mars, but has done it again with her book, Kindred Intentions.

Kindred Intentions takes the reader into a police investigation of murders that are happening at the law firm of, Goldberg & Associates. We are quickly introduced to agent Amelia Jennings who has the job of finding out who is committing those murders.  However, things never seem to go as planned and before we know it people are out to get Amelia and she has to find out who is behind this all.

The reader will also find out as Amelia runs she will have one Mike Connor along for the ride. The issue is can she trust Mike and is he who he says, well I’m sure I could say but that is giving things away.

In the previous point I mentioned, “along for the ride”, and that’s what this book is. Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli has so many twists and turns within the pages of the book you may feel highs and lows as if riding a roller coaster.  The book has spots of humor that had me laugh out loud, and get a strange look from those nearby as I read. On the other side there are points that are dark as one must recall they are after a murderer.

The story is well developed, well told and if one tried to create a murder board as seen on TV shows, the intersections and paths would be confusing to follow, at first. This is the great hidden piece of the book the way you think you may have finally figured things out only to turn a page, and realize you were wrong. It can be upsetting for sure but it also makes you dive further into the story as you tell yourself you’ll figure out who it is.

I’ll add that this was one of the complaints about Agatha Christie’s books on how she would hide things from readers that only her detectives picked up on. It did frustrate some during her time, but it’s not the case within the pages of Kindred Intentions. Instead all you need to figure things out are here but life its complex.

Now, I will add that as I read this I would have to tell myself that what I thought could be misspellings are not ones at all. The books setting is in London, England, and thus the British English is utilized in the book and to me just added more realism. I would not expect a British character to be using American terminology, and as a reminder English is not author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli first language. It however does not matter what language you may read this in as the story in itself is what will capture your attention and suck you into the pages, be that they are digital or real. Kindred Intentions is just one well written book with plot lines that are developed masterfully and a story more twisted at times than a pretzel, but well worth the read.

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Posted by on October 28, 2017 in Reviews


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Red Desert – Back Home (Book 4) by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Back HomeThe media has stories all the time about how humanity is racing to get to our big red neighbor, the planet Mars. There are government, and private industry, all working on what it would take to reach the red planet. There are also books and major motion pictures that have all shown the potential dangers of man going to Mars.

The book Red Desert – Back Home is the final chapter in the Red Desert set of books by author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli. As readers of the previous books will know the main character Anna is back on Earth along with Hassan. Their ill-fated trip to Mars had led to a remarkable discovery that could almost be ripped from the headlines. There is water on the planet and in this case past readers have found there is more to that water.

The book will use a combination of o some flashbacks to steps into the future to tell a great tale. There are many characters that readers only saw through talks to Earth that will be tossed into the moment. They all will find a massive challenge as something did come back with Anna and Hassan and it is trouble and may be trouble for those in and outside of NASA.

The book is much like the other three in the series as there are many plots and twists. The characters stay true to much that has been learned through the series. There will also be some surprises in some of the earthbound characters that readers are getting their first big glimpse of. The book will not disappoint anyone who has stayed with the series to its conclusion.

The review could be longer but the fact is I want to make this as spoiler free as possible. Readers really should discover the end of this great saga on their own as it is a great read and an accumulation of a great story. It will capture the imagination and plays so well into the world’s appetite regarding Mars. To consider this series is from an independent author that has captured such a sense of the mystery speaks volumes about her. Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli has done an impeccable job and uses her background and love of science to create such a real world that the book will be hard to put down till it’s complete.


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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Reviews


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Red Desert – Invisible Enemy by author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Invisible EnemyThe last time a reader had seen Anna Persson she had just made a shocking discovery on Mars. She had found the original mission site and what she found inside would make her forget all of the problems she was having back in her habitat. The deaths, a potential murder, and a potential dangerous crew mate where all gone at that moment. However, one discovery cannot change everything as she will find out in this book.

Red Desert – Invisible Enemy, is the third entry in author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli’s Red Desert series. The book will continue the tail of Anna and Hussan on Mars and reconnect the reader with Mission Control and Anna’s fiancé Jan. A connection that will be part of this series as intrigue will spill from the red planet back to those on Earth.

The book opens with those left in Alpha fighting among each other. Robert is attacking Hassan and he has no recourse but to strike back. The actions of the two men are brutal as Robert seems almost possessed by some unseen force. He blames Hassan for Anna leaving and the laboratory is Robert’s newest target for destruction and it is hear the two men will have a potential final battle. The outcome will not be shared for some time in the book but so much will happen between that point and the story.

This third installment will tell the reader what Anna has found on the planet is not just a living virus but more life. The life she finds will save her from certain death and shock those back on Earth into agreeing to launch a new mission to Mars. One would think that after all the calamity that has been happening with this second, cursed, mission they would not but things change.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli does it again as she inter winds high drama on Mars with drama back on Earth. Jan will accidentally uncover a dark secret that will shake him to his core. He is so shaken he is willing to make a deal with a reporter and tell this woman all what is happening on Mars. This is just some of the intrigue happening on Earth as Mission Control must deal with all the data they are getting from Mars.

The book is aptly titled with Invisible Enemy as you never know where the danger will come from. It can be from your fellow humans to the minds of those around you. Their thoughts could be hiding an evil intent or even something more serious can be behind everything. The book will take the reader into a great tale that will leave all wanting more and nervous on what could eventually happen on both planets.

If this review isn’t enough to get you interested check out the books trailer.

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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Reviews


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What’s coming in 2015 and Thank You 2014

ThankYouThe year of 2014 has been an exciting one as I was able to read over twenty books and post reviews on the blog.  The greatest thing is that often an author, or publisher, has reached out to me regarding their book. This to me is exciting and helps to show that I am reaching the right audience with the reviews.  The audience I refer to is those people who look for authors, publishers and books that often fly under the mainstream market place. My eyes, and then fingers, help put out a forum for their books and draw attention to their works through my reviews. The word reviews is used as I don’t just put them on my blog but cross post to Amazon and just recently all went up on Goodreads as well.

These individuals produce books that are just as engaging as a Stephen King,  Stephanie Myer, Suzanne Collins and other well-known authors.  They bring imagination to life which is what I believe many authors endeavor to do with their readers. The pages can be digital, or physical, but have the same effect no matter how you read. It is why I write this post as I want to thank those that helped my imagination over the past year. I hope my review helped other readers find their books and enjoy them as much as I have. This is the main reason on why I never say NO to a review request.

Before I start with listing and thanking those who gave me the great opportunity of discovering a new world through their prose let me share with you what I have coming for 2015.  As you will see the list is growing and it’s how I want it to be.

Upcoming in 2015 in no particular order:


  • Playback Effect by Karen A Wyle
  • Glimpses of the Undead by Julianne Snow
  • The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin
  • Thunder Bay by Robert Reynolds
  • Why 319 by Mark Love
  • Counting Churches The Malta Stories by Rosanne Dingli



Now it’s time to thank those authors, and publishers, for the books I enjoyed over 2014. The list is in order of reviews from most recent to beginning of the year. If I missed anyone it was not on purpose but a MAJOR oversite on my part.



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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Reviews


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People of Mars by Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

People of MarsMars the fourth planet in our solar system and one that holds so much mystery for mankind. It is a planet that many feel is where man should next explore with manned craft. This is what author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli is doing for her readers through her knowledge of the technical, scientific, and biological.  The next book in the Red Desert series, People of Mars, will reintroduce the reader to one Anna Persson.

The first book in the series, Point of No Return, saw Anna apparently running from the Isis module in a rover. She was being called from mission control back on Earth, and her ex was trying to get her to turn back. Hassan had followed her briefly in another rover only turning back when he was at the point of no return. Anna kept going and it became obvious to so many she was probably out to kill herself.

People of Mars does not open with what happens with Anna but takes the reader into the last moments of another woman. Michelle is her name and she is in an airlock. Her hands are bloodied and she begins to have flashes to what had happened to her. She had been slapped over and over again before she must have lost consciousness. The buzzing was bringing her back to reality and helped her realize where she was. The problem she’s in that airlock, and not in a suit. The doors are going to open and all she has tried isn’t stopping them. Will she get out? Yes, there is someone there looking in on her.  Is this her help, her salvation, or the one who put her in the airlock sealing her fate

This opening will show the reader that things are not right within the station. There will be tension in not just personal but sexual and professional. Abuse is happening within those walls and it’s not like the inhabitants can just go and take a long walk, or move. They are stuck with each other and there is even a chance a second mission could be terminated. This would cancel the introduction of new staff and a possible way home for Anna.  What is one to do with so much perceived mistrust with those she lives with?

Anna does stumble onto a potential break through that could change so much for those within the mission and maybe guarantee the second mission. The discovery is questioned as there is a potential of contamination in the tests, and thus another group of samples must be taken. It is upon this second sortie that Anna discovers something additional, and although unknown, when it becomes clear will lead to that faithful rover trip.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli continues with great character development with in People of Mars She will take the reader into the past of Anna and other characters. She will show prejudice, hate, fear, longing and so many other raw emotions within the different characters. You add this to the pure mystery of Mars and the book will become hard to put down. As discoveries are being made about the planet there are even more to be made within the pages of the book.

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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in Reviews


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Labor Day, Falling Behind and Crickets.

Labor Day is a period that many workers across the United States get a day off in celebration of labor. I was one of those many people that had the day off, and with good planning had Friday previous off too. So what does this mean?

It means I fell a bit behind in my reading, blog work as the 40 hour a week job sure had same demands on one less work day. So, instead of posting a book review this week has been quite. You’d say crickets invaded the blog with the silence coming from my end. Thus it’s time to scare the crickets away, dust away the cobwebs and clear the mind.

I’m going to share with you the books I currently have in my readers list for the blog so you can see what I’m reading.

Death+in+MaltaDeath in Malta is Author Rosanne Dingli’ first novel. This is one book I contacted the author about a review as it is set in Malta. My father’s family is from the small island and one of the characters shares my last name of Micallef.

Here is the Book Description from Amazon:

Disillusioned and depressed, Gregory Worthington sets off from Perth in search of inspiration. He arrives in Malta full of resolve to reignite a flagging writing career. Quaint surroundings, the potential of a love affair, and the antics and warm-heartedness of villagers he befriends fuel his imagination, but his writing brings him more disquiet and confusion than he could anticipate.

What is inspiration, and what is the reality behind the disappearance of little Censinu Mifsud, a ten year-old boy who was never found? There is a twenty year-old secret in the village, one Worthington resolves to unravel, to turn into a novel, despite warnings from a retired doctor and the antagonistic parish priest. They are ambiguous about his involvement with a young Maltese woman, but are very clear about one thing: the author has no business nosing around his old rented farmhouse, looking for clues and disturbing the past.

Poignant and moving,
punctuated by comical scenes and passionate
interludes, Death in Malta is a powerful novel of love and loss,
disappointment and dislocation – curiosity and consequences


The next two are listed in no special order.

People of MarsAuthor Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli has released her second book in her science fiction series, “Red Desert”, titled People of Mars. This is on my electronic book stack as one of the upcoming reviews.

Description here is from Goodreads:
After 995 days on Mars, the enthusiasm of the Isis crew has turned into frustration and intolerance. Their research hasn’t provided the hoped for outcomes, the resources at their disposal are insufficient, and NASA had previously cancelled the launch of a second mission, which would have brought more colonisers and equipment to the planet.
Relationships among the five members of the expedition have become difficult. Station Alpha is home to a complex web of conflicts, secrets, alliances, and rivalries.
Now a new launch window is about to open, but the news from Houston isn’t reassuring at all. While the finding of a possible ice sac might give a positive turn to the events, Anna, embittered by the unusual behaviour of Robert and the cold war against Hassan, is considering the opportunity to return to Earth.
When death strikes amongst the five inhabitants of Mars, Anna finds her only possible choice is a solitary escape.
But Mars has got an incredible discovery in store for her, a key to a mystery hidden in the depths of Valles Marineris.

The first book is “Red Desert – Point of No Return”.
The third book, “Red Desert – Invisible Enemy” (a novel), will be published at the beginning of 2015.

Note for the reader: this book is written in British English.


Sun GodThe remaining book in my stacks is by author Elliot Baker and titled, The Sun God’s Heir.

Description again from Amazon:

When an ancient evil awakens, one young pacifist is all that stands between the world’s freedom and the red tide of slavery.

In 17th century France, a young pacifist kills to protect the woman he loves, unwittingly opening a door for the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian general determined to continue a reign of terror begun three thousand years ago.

Taking up the sword will not be enough. Rene must reclaim his own ancient past to stop the red tide of slavery from engulfing the world.

Joined by a powerful sheikh, his sword wielding daughter, and a family of Maranos escaping the Spanish Inquisition, they fight their way through pirates, typhoons, and dark assassins to reach Morocco, the home of an occult sect that has waited for Rene through the eons.


I should point out and thank Julianne Snow at Siren’s Call Publications for sharing with me a LARGE number of the books the company has published. I plan on reading more of those books and fitting many into the blog after I finish those listed above. I will not be stopping taking any further requests for reviews, but just a note one of the Siren’s Calls books may be reviewed first.

Now, followers you are up to date on what has kept me from reviewing the last week, and what I have planned to come. Here’s looking forward to the review of Death in Malta next week and more to come.

Here’s how you can contact or follow me:


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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Reviews


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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

RitaAuthor Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli is an author that calls Sardinia, Italy, home. She has quite a full plate of activities as she is involved in things from web development, biologist, writer, and so much more. It’s actually surprising that she had time to write Red Desert Point of No Return but we are fortunate writing is one of her many talents. You can find more about her in her English site at Anakina on You can find her on Twitter and Facebook as well. Her home site is found here.


Question 1: What inspired you to write Red Desert – Point of No Return?

It was autumn 2011. I was completing the first draft of my very first novel, which I’m finally going to publish in November (in Italian), and at that time I was reading a novel by Robert Zubrin (the founder of the Mars Society) titled “First Landing”, which was about Mars manned exploration and colonisation. In the same period there was the launch of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. So in general it was a period in which I was keeping myself interested with Mars. Just after “First Landing”, I read “The Case for Mars” (non-fiction) by Zubrin. Then I completed that first draft, it was December, and I was looking for an idea for a short story or a novella that I wanted to publish on Amazon KDP, which had just arrived to Italy, just to try this publishing platform.

And there it was when an image appeared in my mind. There was an astronaut driving alone in the Martian desert. I didn’t know whether that was a man or a woman. He/she had a limited oxygen supply and I was wondering what he/she was doing there alone. That was when I started imagining the story of the Red Desert series; “Point of No Return” is just the first book of four.

My intention was to write a series of novellas, but then the story grew so much that the other books became novels (the third and fourth ones are quite long novels).

“Point of No Return” isn’t exactly the beginning of the story, actually it is in the middle of it. The whole series is written in a non-chronological order.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name names of your main characters?

Not the name but the initial. Most main characters (protagonist or co-protagonist) on my books have a name starting with A, like my nickname Anakina. So the protagonist of “Red Desert” is called Anna Persson (she is Swedish).

Don’t ask me why I do like that. I really don’t know!

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your memories?

Of course yes. I continuously take inspiration from my memories. The “write what you know” rule definitely applies here but in a more general meaning then most may think. There is a bit of me, my memories, my life in all characters. Sometimes it’s the memory of a place, or of a particular feeling, or of someone I know. Some experiences or features of many characters are taken from real people I have met in my life, sometimes just for one day.

I take all my memories, whether they are coming from real experiences or from those coming from books I’ve read or films/TV series I’ve watched, and I freely use them in my books.

For instance, when a character stands by the sea and I have to describe what they feel (what they can heard, smell, touch, but also their emotions), I just use my own memories regarding a similar situation but at the same time I identify with the character, so I adapt what I remember to the situation narrated in the book.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I remember that when I was a child I read “Momo” by Michael Ende. That book really affected me. It was about some entities stealing time from your life without you even noticing it. That was scary considering my age, but I still consider the idea quite scary even now. That was the very first book I couldn’t put down until I had finished it.

I also read a lot of novels by Agatha Christie when I was a teenager. I loved them.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

Fortunately, my books sell quite well in Italy and I’m continuously in touch with my readers mostly on Facebook and Twitter, many of them have written to me privately. Well, they say a lot of different things. What I like most is when they tell me that after reading the series they had the impression to have learnt something about Mars and space exploration in general. There was a reader who thanked me because my series made him get interested about space exploration again after a long time.

I also like when female readers contact me. Most of them are not into science fiction normally and they are happy to have given a try to my books because they made them discover a new genre.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

Actually I published my first printed book only on December 2013. It was an omnibus of the Red Desert series. I did it because my readers asked for it. They wanted to have a hard copy of the series and possibly to be able to give it as gift for Christmas.

Personally I wasn’t particularly thrilled. The book for me is what’s inside not the hard thing.

Instead, a great moment was when I first saw the Italian version of “Point of No Return” on the Kindle Store and definitely when I received the very first review.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Of course! After the Red Desert series, which I have written in Italian between 2012 and 2013, I’ve already published another novel, a crime thriller titled “Il mentore” (The Mentor), on May. My next novel will be published on November 2014. I’m currently writing the third draft. This is the novel I’ve been writing back in 2011. It’s titled “L’isola di Gaia” (The Isle of Gaia) and it’s in the same universe of the Red Desert series.

One day they will be hopefully published in English, too.

Moreover I wrote an action thriller in 2013 (during NaNoWriMo), which I’ll publish in 2015. I’m planning to write more books in the very next future. It’s my intention to publish at least two books per year in Italian.

Question 8: What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

I don’t like books with a morale. I don’t feel I have any title to send a message. The main topic of my books is the subjectivity of good and evil. There aren’t real heroes or villains in my stories. All characters are in a kind of shadow zone. Good is what the character holding the point of view in a specific scene thinks is good for them. You tend to find yourself agreeing with them, in most cases, even if what they think may be morally bad in real life.

The only “message” of my books is the absence of a real message. Everybody is right and wrong at the same time. I always keep a neutral position so as each reader is able to choose what they prefer, their own message.

It’s a way of showing the importance of differences and the need to respect them, to see the good and the bad in each of them without any general judgement.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

I perfectly know the future of Anna Persson, but I really can’t say anything about it. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m going to publish another book in the same universe of the series. Actually the Red Desert series is the first part of a bigger saga called “Aurora”. It will include “The Isle of Gaia” and three more novels I’m going to publish by 2020. Their titles will be “Ophir”, “Sirius”, and “Aurora. Although Anna is the main character of the entire Red Desert series, the other books of the saga will have different protagonists. Anyway Anna will be definitely involved until the end of the saga. So, sorry, I can’t say what will happen to her!
Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

Actually, there’s no dedication in my books, but there are some important acknowledges in the end matter. Beside the people working in my publishing team (test readers, beta readers, proofreaders, translation revisers for the English version and so on), I had to thank my partner Federico, who is continuously supporting me in this publishing adventure, and of course my parents, who became science fiction fans just for me.


The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

Just one? That’s difficult.
One of the place I would love to go for a book tour, or just for tourism, is Australia. I don’t know why. I’ve never been there and it’s so far, so I’m curious to go there. I love travelling, I love visiting any place that I haven’t visited before (and even some places I have already visited), I love to learn about life and people there. I would spend all my life travelling if I had the chance.
A big dream of mine is to go cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula, but I doubt I can do a book tour there!


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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Interview


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Red Desert – Point of No Return by Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

RedHumanity has been looking at the stars in the skies for the longest period of time. Cave drawings, pictographs and so much more has been used to write down the speculations of what is out in the vacuum of space. Drones have been sent to other planets, and satellites have encircled the world, yet we still look out into space. Currently there are those who want to land on the big red dot out in space, the planet called Mars.

Italian independent author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli dives into speculation on what could be on Mars in the novella, “Red Desert – Point of No Return”.  The novella will take the reader into the mindset of the crew of the Isis mission to Mars.

Isis is not the first attempt of humanity to colonize the planet, but the hope is they will have better results.  There was the Hera mission that had gone before, but those people died mysteriously. After so much time the Isis mission was sent and their arrival on the Red planet will also come with challenges.

The novella will take the reader into the mindset of Anna Persson, who has left the station and begun walking out into the vastness of the planet. She will tell the reader what has been happening on the planet since their arrival.

The first of four parts, Point of No Return, will live up to its name. Why? It’s simple Anna’s “stroll” out onto the planet is one way. She is burning up her oxygen supply as she continues her walk. The events on how she got to this point in life will be remembered. The eventual acts that pushed her out of the station and onto the red planet will also become very clear.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli does a great job in setting a story for the follow up novellas in the series. American readers may get a bit thrown off by some of her word choices, or spellings, but this is due to the book being written using British English. This fact will not take anything away from the book, and neither will the fact English is not her first language. The facts portrayed and story development show work was done to get the proper feeling for this novella. It is something that many will put down asking where’s the second part.  We may have to wait, but after this first entry into the series, it should be well worth the wait.

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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Reviews


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