Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday

It's Sunday, I'm participating in the Sneak Peek Sunday mini hop! The deal is to post 6 paragraphs from a writing project, published or unpublished. Today, I'm offering another small sampling from my unusual Victorian polyamorous romance written with a touch of reader-interactive art history: Loving Leonardo (book 1 in the series)

Setting the scene: Nicolas meets a woman with an outrageous plan, and he's about to agree with it! In this scene Here, Ellie describes a book by a famous Renaissance artist. The tempting hook is too good for him to resist.

My Six:
 “And yes, I am aware of such books.” It was obvious when her pretty smile widened that she could see she’d hooked me like a trout. In fact, I had the impression this woman had somehow studied me at length. Though my interest was piqued, I couldn’t fathom what she was driving at, nor could I see a connection between ancient Asian renderings and da Vinci’s longtime lover… let alone a connection to a proposal of marriage to me. “And what does Salai have to do with these works?”

She smiled that smile again and this time I was met with a sense of familiarity I couldn’t quite identify, like there was more to it than what was seen upon the surface. My focus redirected when she explained, “My father is in the American Consul, you see. And now with my elder sister Luise Marie wed to Jean-Paul, I’ve become my father’s hostess when he entertains here. I don’t mind it, though listening to men talk trade and commerce mostly bores me. Anyway, enough about that.” She waved her hand and shook her head, as if determined not to go off point. “The other night my sister and her husband joined us when we entertained an Italian merchant and his relation by marriage. The former, a Signore Ambrosini, deals in raw fibers such as cotton and jute from India and is seeking business relations in the New York textile industry. I found him a likeable man. The latter... well, there was just something not quite right about him. His name is Carlo Posateri. He…”

My mind could barely keep up with the twists and turns Miss Schwaab’s mind was wont to take. Then too, I was somewhat surprised that this conversation was being piloted by a woman at all. Women of my acquaintance steered clear of most sexual topics, though every one of them would perk if the focus of conversation leaned in that direction. Sifting through her rambling recount of that night, I learned this Signore Posateri hated all things homosexual in nature, including the works of the masters. Apparently the man took pride in influencing Pope Pius IX to castrate the statues in the Vatican for the homosexual thoughts they provoked. Out of sight out of mind, I’d say, or a gloss on the phrase Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet: The man doth protest too much, methinks. In my experience, them that had the most to say against a thing often coveted that very thing. Her next words pulled me from my contemplation.

“To put it simply, I plan to steal it.”

I stared at her dumbly having not fully listened to what preceded that statement. Eyeing me suspiciously, her pretty bowed lips took on a frown when she reproached, “Oh fiddlesticks. You weren’t even listening. Have you no concept how important this work is to humanity?”

Chastened that her winding road of a tale had lulled my mind, I ate the crow. “Forgive me Miss… ” — her eyes narrowed, causing me to amend — “Ellie. My mind was lost on the man’s contribution to the Vatican’s defiled statues. Please, if you would, back up a bit and explain it again.” 

"I loved all the art references. The author did a great job of researching both the period in history and the art works referenced. The story is both sensual and tender. I especially liked the way the author delved so deeply into each character. Truly an inspired novel and very well written. I'm anxious to see what this author has in store for us next. Good read!"
~A Reader

Sample all of my love stories, including Loving Leonardo, for free


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