The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon, Franggy Yanes & GERGO JONAS

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *

HAVE YOU MISSED ANY OF The #Brazilliant adventure tour?


  DAY EIGHT & nine

🇧🇷 DAY TEN ~the #brazilliant adventures


Today has been fascinating. I’ve been doing one of my favourite things – talking to other members of the Gift Box team about their lives, and about their writing and creating.

First I talked to Brazilian Author Paola Benalia, through our translator, Carol.

I learn that her first historical romance was set in London, and that although her family support her in her writing, they don’t read her books. She thinks if her husband read her books, he’d blush. Gotta say, that’s intriguing!

It’s frustrating that I won’t be able to read her books except through Google Translate.

Paola used to be a Psychologist although she’s a full time writer now. I imagine that’s a useful background for a writer.

Then I chatted with Cristina Melo, and she said that her husband not only reads her books but critiques the first draft and always encourages her to improve.

I’m intrigued to learn that she ran a pet shop for 15 years, and dumped her ex-boyfriend because he didn’t want dogs in the house. Smart lady!!

I think her husband shares her love of animals… I certainly hope so!

My interpreter, Carol Dias, is a 23 year old author who also works for Gift Box publishers. She also has an amazing voice and used to sing with her church. She can also dance samba but sadly failed to teach me the moves. She tried, I tried, but this body just won’t move like that. Oh well.

Interviewing Gergo Jonas was also incredibly fascinating. Originally from Hungary in Eastern Europe, he’s lived in the UK for 10 years.

When he first arrived, he didn’t speak much English so worked three jobs as a cleaner to pay the bills, and taught himself English along the way.

He’s a fitness trainer now, but admits to being a chubby child and had years of yo-yo dieting. The last few years has been a journey for him to a balanced lifestyle, his words.

My final interview of the day was with photographer Franggy Yanes.

He says he doesn’t consider himself a model, despite being on the cover of almost 70 books. It’s photography that is his passion. His eyes light up when he talks about ‘learning his craft’, or the photographers who’ve inspired him, particularly those who from the fifties and sixties who caught the emerging street style.

I’ve been trying to think of the words that sum up his style to me. I’d say his images are ‘the beautiful natural’ – capturing unexpected moments of beauty in what he sees around him.

He says Stu is someone who energises him with his positivity, which he needs, and we can all see that they have a true friendship that will stand the test of time.

I’ll publish all the interviews in full after I’m home.

It’s been an incredible adventure, which isn’t quite over, but I’m looking forward to being with my family again soon.

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventures when we hit the road again with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends Forever  or in Portuguese at The Gift Box Blog and Jane Harvey-Berrick






The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon, Franggy Yanes & GERGO JONAS

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *

HAVE YOU MISSED ANY OF The #Brazilliant adventure tour?




🇧🇷 DAY EIGHT ~the #brazilliant adventures


The day started with a short session at the gym – very important with the amount of amazing food on offer. I’ve never seen so much bread, cakes, donuts and pancakes available for breakfast. But as I’m a coeliac, I have to watch. Probably just as well.

Stu is militant about healthy eating, as is Gergo. The difference is that Ger follows a plant-based eating plan and has for over a year now. Luckily the coffee shop here has soy milk because he does love his caffeine in the morning.

Today we travelled into Salvador. This city on the sea was founded by Portuguese sailors in 1549. It’s one of the oldest colonial cities in South America. It was the capital of Brazil for over two centuries. It’s home to 3 million people and our guide said there were 365 churches – one for every day of the year 😊

Fran loved photographing the picturesque cobbled streets of the Pelourinho district, famous for its African culture, music and food.

Stu tried the acarajé, a sort of seafood samosa. I had fresh coconut water, straight from a green coconut. Delicious on a boiling hot and humid day.

I left the group briefly to call my husband but was told to stay close. Being blonde and a tourist makes me a target. Hmm.

I made a pilgrimage to the home of romance author Jorge Amado with Carol Dias and Martinha Fagundes.

Amado is best known for his novel ‘Flor and Her Two Husbands’. He died in 2001.

Then it was time to lounge by the pool with Author Andy Collins (pronounced ‘Angie’) and Stu.

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure when we hit the road again with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends Forever  or in Portuguese at The Gift Box Blog






The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon, Franggy Yanes & GERGO JONAS

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *







Today was the day of photoshoots – yep, that’s what counts for work around here. I got to see Fran in action shooting both Gergo and Stu.

It’s fascinating to see Fran so intense and focused when usually he’s laid back and joking around. Also there was quite a difference between the way he works with both guys.

Stu is a very experienced model, but this is only the second time that Gergo has done a model photoshoot. As a fitness trainer, he’s used to having his photograph taken to illustrate the correct way to use the gym’s equipment. He summed it up by saying, “I only know how to be myself.”

But Fran has a way of easing people into being natural, which isn’t as simple as it sounds. If, like me, you don’t like having your picture taken, as soon as someone point a camera at me, the urge to do something funny to compensate is keen.

Stu, on the other hand, can get into character really quickly. That comes from experience and isn’t something he has always known how to do. 

Both guys are body-confident, but that’s different from performing for the camera. I asked Gergo how he felt about doing the shoot, but his answer was ‘fine’ for most of it. He said trying to do a sexy shot lying on a sofá with his shirt off felt unnatural, but otherwise, ‘fine’.

The third photoshoot of the day was for my military charity www.felixund.org.uk They’re promoting a new running t-shirt so sent me out with shirts for the guys and Martinha.

And just to prove that this is a working trip, this was all the authors working hard this afternoon. It looks like a staged shot, but it’s not.

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure when we hit the road agai with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends https://kkforever.com or in Portuguese at www.thegiftbox.blog.com



The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon  and Franggy Yanes

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *






My roomie Martinha and I make it to the gym aaaages before the guys. Well, maybe Gergo was there at 6 a.m, but Stu and Fran didn’t arrive until we’d finished our workout. Slackers!

Then we had a meeting where we actually talked about writing, but then it was time to play.

We headed out to the resort town of Buzios and I felt right at home with the sand under my feet and the beachlife on every cobbled street around the harbour.

It’s known as the Brazilian St. Tropez and for good reason. Brigitte Bardot stayed here in the 1960s and fell in love with chilled lifestyle and friendly people. There’s even a statue to her, unexpected and beautiful. Yeah, I had to do the tourist thing LOL!

Fran and Stu were in photographer heaven with so much rich life to take in – football on the beach, volleyball, fishermen as well as all the touristy things to do.

We’re only an hour from Rio, but it already feel completely different.

There’s also a charming bronze statute to Brazil’s best loved president Juscelino Kubitschek. He was President from 1956 to 1961 and founded a new capital city, Brasilia, right in the centre of the country. His presidency also brought a time of economic success and his personal wealth also increased considerably. He died in a car crash that was thought to be suspicious, but here he’s remembered for his playfulness and his habit of taking off his shoes during meetings.

Stu and I did an impromptu photoshoot to publicise my favourite charity www.felixfund.org.uk the UK bomb disposal charity.

Tomorrow we’ll do a photoshoot for real with Stu and Gergo both wearing Felix Fund t-shirts, alongside Brazilian author MS Fayes. Another Brazilian writer is Andy Collins, and she’s chosen Gergo to be her cover model for her next book. Later on this week, I’ll share some behind the scenes shots from that, too.

I think I’m beginning to understand the Brazilian attitude to food. It’s not about fuel, but more a social occasion where dishes are often shared and it’s a time to chat and relax, not just eat. Just because it looks good, it doesn’t mean I have to order it…

And on that note, I think it’s time for dinner

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends https://kkforever.com or in Portuguese at www.thegiftboxbr.blog.com





The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon  and Franggy Yanes

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *





After meeting a few of our reader friends last night in São Paulo, we had another early start to get to the airport for a flight back to Rio.

You can see the guys were taking it easy in massage chairs, and I couldn’t help thinking of Joey and Chandler in friends with their Lazyboy chairs. ‘How YOU doin’?’

Stu and I snuck into Saraiva bookshop at the airport and signed the copies they had of UNDEFEATED \IMBATIVEL. The woman working there was so excited to have her picture taken with us (which means Stu). He made her day 😊

Waiting around at airports is never fun, but I took the opportunity to talk more to Gergo. Not only is he a fitness trainer in Brighton, UK, but he’s just started his own fitness clothing company, ‘Aesthetic Culture’ where the material is ethically sourced from bamboo. Yep, bamboo. I didn’t know that was possible, but it looks great.

One day, he’d like to be able to organize retreats for people where they can workout, learn more about healthy eating, and generally unplug from life for a while. It would be great if he can make that happen.

We land in Rio and finally, FINALLY, I’m reunited with my suitcase. Soooo happy. 

The weather in Rio is hot again, at about 26oC or 75oF, so it’s time to break out the shorts and flipflops again. My husband tells me that back home it’s cold and raining. Perhaps I should feel guilty… I feel guilty for leaving my little dog behind because how do you explain how long you’ll be gone? “Ten big darks and I’ll be home.”

My Brazilian writer friend Martinha (MS Fayes) has been teaching me a little more about the culture and some useul phrases too.

A cute guy is ‘gato’ but a hot guy is ‘gastudo’. I guess that could come in handy. Here she is making Stu laugh.

Stu and Gergo have already found the gym and are trying to persuade us to join them at 6am before breakfast. Nice try, guys!!

The food situation is reaching critical level – I should have brought clothes in a bigger size. Why does everything have to look and taste so good?

Monday we travel to the Brazilian ‘St Tropez’ where the guys will do one of their photoshoots. I’m expecting thongs on the beach. Not me, hell no! But perky arses are sure to be on display.

After talking to Gergo, I think it would be interesting to do interviews with the guys and the authors I’m traveling with, so look out for that later.

Ciao Ciao (tchau tchau) as they say here.

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends kkforever.com or in Portuguese at www.thegiftbox.blog.com









KFF are delighted to share our 5 star review of
with you!

New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.

When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.

The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.

The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.



Amazon: U.S | U.K | CAN | AUS



Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

It’s been quite a while since a book has inspired me to read from beginning to end without putting it down when the genre isn’t exactly my choice reading material! That being said, I had absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for since I hadn’t read the synopsis. The mere fact that it was written by an author who had previously written an unforgettable book engraved on my heart was enough for me to one-click. So, did her writing exceed my expectations? Yes! Sheridan’s unpredictable tale in present and past melds two stories together with the precision of reality, entwining unimaginable past happenings. Always intriguing, the mysteries of a convoluted logic took this reader on a journey of wishes, making me try and guess the outcome.

A broken soul. The owner of wishes. A mysterious wall, bleeding tears of despair. Light is shone on a lass whose curiosity to know the whys and wherefores of a fascinating story she’d inadvertently stumbled on, brimming with unanswered questions, the unknown. She becomes a lonely man’s shadow of hope confined in his solitary world behind mortar and stone. He hadn’t had the courage to venture further afield in many years for reasons you will discover. Right guys, this isn’t an easy read. It’s not all rose petals and strawberries, but it will keep you stuck to the pages. The emotional stress broke my heart too many times to count. Then my heart skipped with joy when beautiful scenes gained not only a semblance of relief, but also left me in awe for such compounding compassion.

New Orleans’ historical richness, its architecture and a stifling humidity caused by the river are incredibly well-described. The climate was most certainly different to what ballerina, Clara Campbell had ever experienced. Never once did she complain because it wasn’t in her nature. I couldn’t help but like her. Clara’s gratefulness for everything small, big and in between sizzles off the pages. If anyone in Jonah Chamberlain’s existence could lessen his grief, it was she. Oh my, to say I felt sorry for him would be an understatement. I desperately wanted a know why there were so many dark areas in his story. Only one person could unlock two parallel stories’ truth. Who?

Jonah. Goodness me. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you have to gravel for that connective tissue we all look for in our heroes. He is a sorrowful fellow buried deeply in his woes although his acceptance of bad luck or call it what you will, made me respect him. I found fault in him as did Clara but as they say, love moves mountains…it gives fuel for change and can lift even the most desperate to unimaginable levels!

I am going to keep this review short. Firstly, I have no wish to spoil this magnificent story for you and secondly, you have to see for yourselves if hope, self-forgiveness and love rules. Sheridan’s storytelling technique is beyond exquisite. Her secondary characters’ abounding sense of goodness and encouragement left me smiling. Only one more thing to say. Sheridan, bravo!


Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub



The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon  and Franggy Yanes

with The Gift Box Team

(Roberta and Esther)



Our adventures took a more relaxed turn today. We had the morning to swim in the pool (and some of us to use the gym (no names!).

Strange as it sounds, I was enchanted by the bugs I found floating in the pool, including a bright green grasshopper that was so beautiful. I tried to save it, but too late. Farewell, little friend.

The heat grew gradually until I became more and more pink, but Stu and Fran took a walk in the sun while I stayed in the shade – they both got sunburn. Guys!!

But we had time to talk and I found out some interesting things about our favourite guys. Fran said he’s always been tall, even as a child. At birthday parties, he couldn’t get the nice gifts because he always looked older. Aw. He’s nearly 6’3’’ but says that where he lives in Holland, he’s just average height. Hmm.

And Stu has challenges, too – he struggles to get jeans and trousers to fit. He has a 32’’ waist but his quads and glutes (thighs and backside) are so well muscled that jeans don’t fit. I think we can all sympathise with finding the right jeans. When it comes to suit pants, he has to buy a 36’’ waist and then get them tailored to fit.

I know these are small points, but I find these details fascinating. I think writers are observers by nature – and nosy, too!

After more food (!) we headed out to the Itaipu dam, the 8th largest in the world, and a massively important source of hydro-electric power. Like all countries, Brazil has a rising need for power, but is trying to move aways from fóssil fuels like oil. I haven’t seen many electric cars here, but I’m told there are more and more.

The dam is a partnership Project with Paraguay, so technically I visited another country today. It’s quite a piece of engineering. The idea was first mooted in the 1960s but it took politicans 10 years to agree the deal (no change there), then 10 years to build, and finally opened in 1982.

The plan was to get a boat trip on the lake behind, but Fran predicted a storm was coming and he was right. Rain lashed into our windowless bus, so they rushed to pull down plastic covers, but we were wet… again!

The rain was Biblical, but really refreshing. I love how quickly the weather can change here, and so dramatic. But it was warm rain, at least!

Tomorrow we travel to São Paulo to meet up with our Brazilian author friends and Gergo Jonas, the cover model for EXPLOSIVO \ TICK TOCK which was released in Portugese today. I think he and Fran and Stu will really get along – they all have kind hearts.

I know … good looks and they’re sweet – it is possible!

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure with @thegiftboxbr

PS And my luggage has arrived in Rio. I hope to be reunited soon!
@thegiftboxbr @jharveyberrick