Announcing My Latest Up-Venture: Gemelli Press, LLC

Gemelli Press logoMy one-word theme for 2012 is UP, and upwards we go, indeed . . . right into a new position as the Co-Managing Editor of Gemelli Press, LLC – Calabria location (press release).

Some of you may already know of Gemelli Press as I’ve reviewed a few of the company’s books (Beyond the Pasta, Pieces of Someday, and Impariamo l’Italiano con l’Aiuto della Mano), but in case you don’t, Gemelli Press is a boutique publishing company founded in Seattle in 2007 by Kari Hock, who lived in Sicily and fell in love with the bel paese. The company gets its name from Kari’s adorable twin boys“gemelli” is twins in Italian.

Gemelli Press focuses on Italy-themed fiction and nonfiction, combining twin passions for books and Italy, carefully selecting titles that will inspire readers to learn more about Italian culture, cuisine, wine, travel, and lifestyle.

On the last day of 2011, Kari asked me to join her. I thought about it for about five seconds before I jumped at the opportunity.

My love of books has fueled a desire to work in publishing for as long as I can remember. In college while pursuing an English degree, my graduation plans included finding an entry-level position at a New York City publishing house — but at that time, law school seemed the safer, smarter choice. Or at least the one more expected of me.

So my publishing house dreams fell by the wayside. I considered jumping in again after law school, this time into legal publishing, but I wanted to at least work in the law for a couple years first, which I did as an appellate law clerk. During my first summer at that job, I took a trip to Italy. As you may recall, I fell in love with this village on that vacation and moved here a year later. At that point, I stopped thinking of publishing altogether. Logistically, I just didn’t see how it was possible.

But I stayed involved in the book world the only way I knew how — by continuing to read and later, by publishing book reviews here at my site . . . book reviews that almost got the ax. Some of you may remember when a few years ago, I asked for feedback on the parts of the site. The resounding answer was to drop the book reviews. But I love books, and I especially love sharing books I enjoy. Besides that, I figured, hey, this is the space I created to pursue my passions. Book reviews were here to stay.

And so they did. And that’s how Kari and Gemelli Press found me — initially as a reviewer, then as an editor, and now as a partner.

Mai dire mai, as we say in Italy. Never say never.

Along with sharing editorial decisions with Kari, I’m now handling Gemelli Press’s PR, marketing, social media, and web development . . . and speaking of which — the lack of posts you’ve seen around here lately? I’ve been busy working on our brand spanking new website at

Gemelli Press

Please feel free to “like” us at the Gemelli Press Facebook page and follow on Twitter @gemellipress as well!

And while I have your attention: we have a new book that many of you will love — fate and destiny mixed with delicious gourmet food and wine. Tempting? It’s called Among the Cloud Dwellers by Giuliana Sica and you can read more about it at the Gemelli Press site. Both paperback and Kindle versions are available (though remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle versions)!

Another new release to look out for, available for pre-order now, is Wrestling With The Devil by Tonya Hamilton Russo and Tony Russo, the true story of a ten-year-old boy who traveled from Naples to NYC by ship, by himself in the 1950s and ended up becoming one of the finest high school wrestling coaches in the country. You *will* get hungry reading that one too, especially for a nice ragΓΉ. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So that’s what’s been going on around here, aside from my darling pregnant goat who scared me with a hugely swollen jaw, our annual pig slaughter that resulted in 100 kilos of pork on my kitchen table, and my having written more than 20,000 words in my work-in-progress novel. Whee! Up, up, up!

How is your 2012 going so far?

76 Beans of Wisdom to “Announcing My Latest Up-Venture: Gemelli Press, LLC”
  1. 03.12.2012

    Congratulations on the new job and the wonderful website. Can’t wait to wander over there and see what I need to start reading.

    Love it when someone’s word of the year and experiences in his or her life go together so perfectly. You are inspiring to me. Up, up– indeed.

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks so much Ally; your support is very much appreciated πŸ™‚

  2. 03.12.2012

    I am doin’ my touch down prance/dance for you right now!

    michelle Reply:

    HA! Love it πŸ™‚

  3. 03.12.2012

    congratulations, I am looking forward to following your new adventure !

    michelle Reply:

    Thx so much, Anni πŸ™‚

  4. 03.12.2012

    Augari! Up is certainly a great word for you.

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie Sue!

  5. Nicole

    You have been busy!! Congrats and good wishes for the future!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Nicole πŸ™‚

  6. Michelle!! Wow and double wow. I am so thrilled for you. Congratulations and auguri for such a great and well deserved opportunity! I know you’ll succeed and have a great time doing it!

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie, Joanne πŸ™‚ xx

  7. 03.12.2012

    Brava! 2012 does seem fabulous already!!!

    michelle Reply:

    Agreed, Judy πŸ™‚

  8. 03.12.2012

    Exciting news, Michelle. Congratulations!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Susan! xx

  9. Cookie

    Hey, I have been a silent reader of your blog for a while. Congratulations of your new job-wish you all the very best.

    michelle Reply:

    Thx for commenting and for your support, Cookie πŸ™‚

  10. 03.12.2012

    Bella! Tanti Auguri!! That is such wonderful news -couldn’t have happened to a better prepared person!
    Funny just this weekend I was thinking about our move back to the states and how much my little man has forgotten of Italy. As I went over some of our photos I was thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful to write a book for him and my daughter about Italy? Hmm… perhaps we can chat about that someday soon?? πŸ˜‰

    michelle Reply:

    You know where to find me, Alex πŸ˜€

  11. awedree

    Congratulations Michelle!!!! So happy for you πŸ™‚ Well-deserved ragazza!

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you cara!

  12. awedree

    Che bellissima il Website di Gemelli Press! Love the background pics!

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie! So happy you like it πŸ™‚

  13. 03.12.2012

    This is fantastic. Congratulations! Way to stay true to you:)

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you, Melanie πŸ™‚

  14. 03.12.2012

    How perfect! Congratulations, Michelle!
    So far, 2012 is going quite well for us too. πŸ™‚

    michelle Reply:

    Awesome! So happy to hear it, Loulou πŸ™‚

  15. 03.12.2012

    Auguri Michelle, your story is inspiring, as always! From someone who constantly feels misunderstood I especially appreciate your tenacity sticking to your guns when there was resounding opposition to what you were doing. Love that it turned out so well for you Brava! Just goes to show that when you do what you love, the right people will love what you do! Look forward to following you in this new position! ciao bella. Liana.

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie mille, Liana xx

  16. Congratulations! I am looking forward to these books, both sound very interesting. I’ll have to see about getting a copy. Remember me if you need a blogging book reviewer!

    michelle Reply:

    Will be contacting you soon, Michelle! Thx for your support πŸ™‚

  17. 03.12.2012

    As you already know I am thrilled for you Michelle and I look forward to doing some reviewing for you as agreed.

    michelle Reply:

    I’m looking forward to your reviews, LindyLouMac πŸ™‚

  18. Beth

    congratulazioni! su, su e via!

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie mille!

  19. 03.12.2012

    Complimenti e tanti auguri per il futuro.

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie mille Elisa!

  20. Laura

    Congratulations! Exciting news!! I like your book reviews and trust your opinion totally, which has resulted in my reading many of the books you review. Anyhow, this is very cool!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Laura; that’s great to know πŸ™‚

  21. Carlo

    Dear Michelle,
    Impossible not to join the congrats and partake in your party. I too last month ended a project publishing Fogli di Guerra, a book on family letters from the Italian imperialist wars of a century ago, and sharing it with my surviving relatives in Reggio Calabria. Hooray! and I’ll stay watching

    michelle Reply:

    Oh that sounds wonderful, Carlo; how can I see this amazing work?! πŸ™‚

    Carlo Reply:

    Thanks, I’ll tell you more by email. Hugs for your new path!

  22. 03.13.2012

    Congratulations Michelle. You are perfect for this job. I love what you did with the website. I’m glad you never gave up the book reviews and I’m always looking for books with Italian settings or themes, so I’ll be looking forward to all the newest releases.

    michelle Reply:

    Great to know, Linda; will be in touch with as I get my bearings for possible reviews if you’re interested πŸ™‚

  23. Holy freakin’ moly! Boy, have you been rockin’ it! I’m so excited for your new venture – CONGRATULATIONS!! And great news also on your 20K words. You have really put the beginning of my 2012 to shame. But you inspire me SO much – even if I move REALLY slow when it comes to doing anything about it. Thanks for all your hard work and for touching so many of us with your magic inspirational wand!

    michelle Reply:

    Haha slow and steady wins the race, Salena…keep (wait for it) truckin’ πŸ˜‰ xx

  24. cristina


    michelle Reply:

    Grazie Cristina!

  25. Gil

    Congratulations on your new venture! Knowing you it will be a tremendous success,,,,,

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Gil; your support is always much appreciated πŸ™‚

  26. Joanna Hamil

    I am so inspired by your drive and tenacity! Way to go, Michelle! Brava!

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie mille carissima xx

  27. 03.13.2012

    When I first read your blog in 2008, I knew you were a girl who would go places. I even dream’t that I had you as a neighbour, as even though there is the age difference, we have a lot in common.
    I am so very pleased for you. You rock!

    michelle Reply:

    How wonderful if we could be neighbors, Rosa! Grazie mille for your support πŸ™‚

  28. Imani

    Michelle, you are always a surprise!

    I’d wish you good luck but it is clear that you make your own good luck and do a darned good job at it. Instead, I wish you a beautiful new kid this spring. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see pictures on Goat Berries.

    Up you go!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Imani! Pasqualina looks so big I think she might have…gemelli hahaha…we’ll see πŸ™‚

  29. 03.14.2012

    This is such inspiring news Michelle!! I am a huge fan of finding your niche market and really working to them. Gemelli sounds like a perfect example. Congratulazioni di cuore! Janine

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Janine! I really couldn’t have put together a better position for me if I tried πŸ™‚

  30. I didn’t know that Book Reviews were almost dropped!

    And you kept them because they were your passion. That passion (and talent of course) led to this incredible opportunity. Wow.

    Auguri, cara.

    michelle Reply:

    Yes, Arlene, they were on the chopping block for a few minutes…until I couldn’t bear to see them go hahaha…grazie cara xx

  31. Pretty amazing. You’re definitely living the sweet life over there, girl. I love it for you. Law, books, writing, editing, publishing and Italy!?!? Doesn’t get much better! πŸ™‚

    michelle Reply:

    Agreed, Bren! Grazie!

  32. 03.15.2012

    Congrats on the new venture Michelle! I’m sure it will be a huge success πŸ™‚

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie Robin!

  33. Kim B.

    Congratulations Michelle (and to Kari for having the good sense to snag you)! This is wonderful news and seems a perfect fit. Gonna check out and like your site now!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Kim! We make a good team methinks πŸ™‚

  34. 03.16.2012

    Congratulations Michelle. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Don’t you love it when an opportunity comes out of a passion and a belief that something is the right way to go? Keeping the book reviews has paid dividends! πŸ™‚

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you Cath! I’m extremely happy with the way things are turning out πŸ™‚

  35. 03.18.2012

    Congratulations! What a great match! And yes, I’ve missed your posts…glad to know that you’ve been doing something so special.

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie GG!

  36. 03.22.2012

    I love books too! Pursuing your interests can only lead to good things as your new position proves. Congradulations.

  37. William Kiaune

    Congratulations. Happy for you. Gemelli knows quality and I’m sure they realized that in you.

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you, William!

  38. Many many congratulations! I am so happy that you found your dream job. All the best for the future!

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you!



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake