New Junior Fiction – Venice Escape – A Travel Fantasy Adventure Celebrating Italian Luminaries in the Golden Age of Exploration

13 05 2011

Shameless self promotion but had to blog about my wonderful new book

June 21, 2011 has been selected as the launch date for a new junior fiction novel, Venice Escape – Maria’s Golden Gondola Adventures. This will be available on and also at

Blending the dual themes of music and Italian luminaries, this blog author has created a whirlwind time travel adventure of a young girl eager to learn about the world outside her cloistered Venetian surroundings. This junior travel fantasy paints geography, history, music and adventure on the canvas of a light-hearted voyage of self-discovery for a young heroine.

The concept of a united Italian nation is fairly recent, yet the accomplishments of those born within its current borders, such as in music and exploration, have been plentiful and rich down through the ages. Venice Escape launches on the 21st June 2011 to pay homage to two events: 2011 is the 150th unification anniversary of Italy and 21st June is the annual “Fete de la Musique”; an event started in France that is now worldwide.

The plot:

“Venice Escape is the story of a lonely young Italian girl, Maria Mozzarella, who lives in a Venice convent school. Having been chased by a rat through a secret door she meets a Lion, Marco, and his magical golden gondola. He tells her about his many famous Italian explorer friends and how he is able to travel to the countries they discovered and meet them.

Maria’s curiosity is high and she joins Marco on a high-speed voyage through time and around the world to meet remarkable people, and admire their architecture, cuisine and music. With her passion for music and musical instruments ignited, she wishes to remain longer in each place, but the time with Marco is limited. Meanwhile after each journey the riddle of her mysterious benefactor grows.”

Venice Escape contains an appendix where you can learn more about the Italian explorers and Vivaldi. There is also a companion multi-media website with music clips for each instrument and musical style.

The author added,

“My free online resource has been developed to offer readers of Venice Escape an improved reading experience, and at the same time provide teachers with the opportunity to use this material to trigger cross-curricular discussions in their classes. My hope is that the book will be used in schools to assist discussion on music genres/instruments, history and geography. Alternatively, young readers can simply enjoy linking to the music sounds and reflect back on how Maria would have enjoyed hearing this music for the first time.”

Another attribute to this book and online companion, is the addition of a piece of guitar and string music called Venice Escape which has been commissioned by the author. Venice Escape, the music, and has been written to capture the feeling of travelling from Venetian canals to the far-flung countries visited. Find it on

International Teacher, Denise Gilby added, “I think children will definitely enjoy it by reading it in sections and having the practical side of then listening to the music and following the travels around the world.”

Special Education Needs (SEN) Teacher, Lisa Carey added, “It is often hard to capture the attention of pupils during history class (as it is so far removed from daily experiences). The online resource at ‘Sandra Arthur Books’, for Venice Escape, will be really useful in my SEN work. I loved the storyline.”

Venice Escape – Maria’s Golden Gondola Adventures is aimed at 9 to 12 year olds.

This story is beautifully heart-warming; a surprising mix of adventure, mystery, and historical and musical education. Even adults who may read the story to their children will find they have learned something about the places, explorers or music.




3 responses

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13 06 2013
Sandra Arthur

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