Come away with me to Venice
Ahh, Venice. La Serenissima, as Venetians sometimes call it, which literally translates into â€œmost serene.â€ It brings to mind images of churches, museums, quiet city squares and alleyways.
Wow, what a mix of history and present day. There are tours of Casanovaâ€™s old hangouts, dances and burlesque shows, exquisite cuisine and wine, opera and rock music.
Maybe it was this very mix that inspired me to come up with an immortal hero with roots in the 1400s, but whoâ€™s also very savvy in present day. His history is intertwined with Veniceâ€™s, mysterious and romantic as a gondola ride along Veniceâ€™s canals. (There are 177 canals, so plenty of opportunity to cuddle with your honey.)
When I first read about it, Carnevale captivated me. The costumes are so amazing, their elaborate designs are world-famous, and immediately recognizable. But the people within them arenâ€™t! All the many possibilities made my imagination run as wild as a Carnevale party. Beneath those gilded, feathered or painted bauta, or full-face masks, might be anyone â€“ or anything.
Maybe thatâ€™s why Venice began restricting mask wearing? Who knows? Luckily, the Venetian Senate decided to revive Carnevale in 1979. Partiers can wear masks for the ten day duration of the festival, but then must put them away until the next yearâ€™s celebration.
So let me take you away to Venice for Carnevale. Dance the night away. Join a parade. Catch a show. Take a tour. Steep yourself in local history. Just take care you donâ€™t wander too far down the cityâ€™s narrow alleyways. You never know who you might meet.
After youâ€™ve left, youâ€™ll want to visit Venice again! And donâ€™t worry, I can take you back â€“ with Charmed, the followup to Cursed, which Decadent recently contracted. *grins*Â Iâ€™m now working on Claimed, the third in the series.
Hereâ€™s a peek at Cursed!
The Vitruvian Man, book 1
by Cate Masters
Paranormal romance novella
Available from Decadent Tease: http://www.decadenttease.com
Ten days of freedom. Thatâ€™s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.
During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.
For ten days, it didnâ€™t matter.
Until I met her.
Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera â€“ the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.
Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.
Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Brunoâ€™s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man sheâ€™s just met and never seen.
Watch the book video: http://youtu.be/Zwp1Xdg0Dd8
Light danced in his dark eyes. â€œI must admit, your fire dancing fascinated me. What made you choose such a dangerous skill to master?â€
â€œThe thrill of the challenge, I suppose.â€ It balanced the rest of her mundane life, to a degree. Mastering each new level gave her a sense of achievement, where work couldnâ€™t.
Something flashed through his dark eyes. â€œMistakes must be very painful.â€
â€œI practiced a long time before I worked up the nerve to actually light the wands. I found the fire great incentive to focus, however.â€ God, her grin must be goofy, the way he stared. Such gorgeous eyes, such a deep brown they almost appeared black. He probably had rugged features, if his large hands provided any indication. Too bad he wore gloves, another barrier between them.
â€œYes,â€ he said, â€œI imagine so.â€
â€œWhat about you? What other magic do you know?â€ Oh please, can you get any more ridiculous? It sounded like a line from a bad chick flick.
The crinkle around his eyes was the only evidence of his smile, but enough to charm her.
â€œLifetimes of studying the dark arts have provided me with many tricks.â€
â€œLifetimes?â€ she blurted.
He stiffened in her arms. â€œPardon?â€
She watched him carefully. â€œYou said â€˜lifetimesâ€™. Plural.â€ And what the hell did he mean by â€˜dark artsâ€™?
Rigidity masked the grace of his movements. â€œIâ€™m sure youâ€™re mistaken.â€ He stared over her head as they whirled to the songâ€™s rhythm.
Mistaken my ass. How very strange. More strange that the question upset him. Heâ€™d clammed up, and his muscles were so tense, she expected him to bolt. Better to drop it. For now. â€œMust have been a slip of the tongue.â€
â€œYes.â€ Relief sounded in his tone, though guarded.
This man had something to hide. How intriguing.
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but sheâ€™ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
Cate loves to hear from readers! Email her at: email@example.com
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