Join me in giving a warm welcome to Elizabeth McKenna! Be sure to check out the excerpt from her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, and of my interview with Elizabeth.
You can see where inspiration for Nico came from, you won't be disappointed!
And, of course, be sure to enter the giveaway for a print (US) or e-copy (INT) of Venice in the Moonlight, and a $10 Amaozn GC.
Venice in the Moonlight
Author: Elizabeth McKenna
Release Date: 2 October 2013
A Story of Vengeance, Forgiveness, and Love
Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.
After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.
When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.
Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.
InterviewShare 4 fun facts about yourself!
1) My house must be clean and orderly, but my home office is a disaster. It only gets cleaned when the dust starts to clog my lungs.
2) My ancestors came from Ireland, but when I visited Germany, I realized the Germans were my true soul mates. Everything was so clean, and they all followed the rules. I was in heaven!
3) I can kill a plant or flower just by looking at it.
4) At one point in my life, I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I figured out I was really claustrophobic.
What gave you the boost to dive into the world of writing and self-publishing?
I'm a technical writer/editor by day, but I had always wanted to write fiction. I thought there would be more jobs in the non-creative writing sector, so I put the idea of fiction out of my head. I was discussing my career choice with my children one day and I decided I wasn't being a good role model. I always tell them not to give up on their dreams, but I had. So, I started writing my debut novel Cera's Place. There are many days that I want to give up, but I don't because of them.
Which authors are you most inspired by?
In the romance genre, the first one that comes to mind is Nora Roberts. I love how she writes dialog. Of course, I'm in awe of J.K. Rowling, and I love Suzanne Collins' books.
If Venice in the Moonlight was made into a movie, who would you cast as Marietta and Nico?
I've always liked Keira Knightley in her period movies, so I would probably want her as Marietta. While writing Venice in the Moonlight, I struggled a bit with Nico's character because I didn't have an actor in mind for him. With my first novel, Cera's Place, I imagined the hero as Viggo Mortensen's character in Lord of the Rings. I finally found a photo of an Italian model that helped me.
What drew you to 18th century Venice, as a setting?
I usually pick my setting before I develop the plot of my novels. I visited Venice years ago and found it so romantic and full of character. I read about the history and picked the time period that Casanova lived there. I thought it would be interesting to have him as a minor character in a romance novel.
Can you share a little bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I'm working on a contemporary romance right now. The brief description is: At her 15th high school reunion, Jessie Baxter must confront her failed marriage and her own insecurities to find happiness with The One Who Got Away.
Thanks for visiting Rookie Romance!
ExcerptNico shrugged in the French wingback chair they had placed by the fireplace for his portrait. He looked regal in a black silk suit trimmed in gold and a waistcoat of burgundy and gold leaf-patterned brocade. It seemed Raul had excellent taste in men’s fashions.
Marietta rolled her eyes before she settled in a chair behind the easel. “Please keep still while I draw.”
“May I talk?”
“I’d rather you didn’t.” Looking at him was going to be enough distraction. She didn’t need to listen to him also.
He ignored her request. “I have to ask—why Palladino?”
Marietta blew out an exasperated breath. “I can’t sketch you properly if you talk.”
“You could have chosen any man at the Consul’s villa. Casanova himself expressed interest in you, yet you leave with that pig.”
“It’s not what you think.” She compared her drawing to Nico and frowned. His shoulders were no longer in the same position.
“You didn’t have to suffer the man’s dismal lovemaking. What were you thinking?”
“We did not make love,” she replied through clenched teeth.
He continued as if not hearing her. “You’re the first woman in years that he didn’t have to pay, though he would never admit to his need for courtesans. I just don’t understand how you could find him appealing.”
“We did not make love.” She practically shouted it this time. “I’m not attracted to Palladino or any other man for that matter.”
This silenced him, gratefully, but only for a few moments. “Well, in that case, I know of a few courtesans that can accommodate you. I am told they are quite beautiful and skilled.”
Marietta threw down her charcoal and marched over to him. She grabbed his shoulders and repositioned him. “That is not what I meant and you know it.”
He smiled up at her innocently. “I didn’t mean to offend you, but you have refused my charms, so what should I think?”
She glared at him for her own benefit, knowing it would have no effect on the man. “You need to stop talking and moving.”
When he didn’t respond, she said, “That’s better.”
He lasted almost fifteen minutes. “So, what kind of man are you attracted to? Perhaps, I could suggest a few potential lovers.”
“How about one who has fewer conquests than fingers and toes? Or one that values honesty and fidelity over all else? Do you know any like that?”
From the thoughtful look on his face, he took this as an earnest question. “I’m afraid a man like that will be hard to find in Venice, especially this time of year.”
“Well, then, I guess I’ll have to go without.”
“How depressing. What will you do for amusement if you don’t take a lover?”
Marietta rubbed at her temples and decided she deserved more than the coins she’d already been paid. “There’s more to life than pleasuring oneself.”
“Yes, Signore, really.” She placed her stub of charcoal on the easel’s tray and rolled the stiffness from her neck and shoulders. “That is all for today. I have another appointment.” It was a lie, but she felt the need to rest and the bed in the corner was tempting her tired body.
About the Author
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon | Email: email@example.com