Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Yes it is a stop for the Fire & Ice Giveaway Hop here on Book Haven! I got asked a long time ago to participate in this and so I'm very excited about what I have for you today. The point of the hop is to share some of your favorite romances from books. Spotlight an author....yahdi-yahdi-ya...GIVEAWAY! And it was seriously NOT HARD to come up with an author who writes about lovely Italian men who I adore! Presenting....FIONA PAUL!
Er....well I mean Fiona Paul, AAAAAAND her hottie Falco, from her book. Introducing Fiona & Falco! Welcome to Italy. Where the magic happens.
Fiona Paul has hopped back into her magical time-traveling gondola (okay, whatever, it’s a kayak, but let’s stay focused on what’s important, hmm?) for a second trip to Renaissance Venice. For more about her first trip, click HERE.This time, instead of a civilized dinner with dashing Luca, she’ll be meeting up with Falco at his favorite hangout, Il Mar e la Spada. (That’s The Sea and the Sword in case you were wondering). She has opted to forego the misery-inducing uncomfortable Renaissance garments in favor of her usual Rock&Republic jeans and fake Uggs combo, so she gets plenty of strange looks as she saunters up to the door of the taverna.Falco is sitting at a table in the back corner of the room. He stands as Fiona approaches, openly staring at her strange apparel. His dark brown hair falls over one of his blue eyes. He smile crookedly. Fiona resists the urge to trace the tiny scar under his eye with her fingertip. Instead, she does her best to curtsy. Falco bows in response and then gestures to the chair across from him.The barkeep brings each of them a tankard of ale.
[Inky is hanging from the rafters of the roof to
Falco: Why drink alone when you can drink with fine company? *He chuckles.* And it’s Falco, please. The only time anyone calls me Signor da Padova is when I’m about to be fined or arrested.
Fiona: Falco it is. *She clears her throat and tries to focus despite his mesmerizing stare.* So the reason I arranged this meeting was at the request of some of your fans from the United States.
Falco: The what? He takes a long slug of ale.
Fiona: Er, the Americas. *She sniffs daintily at her mug and recoils ever so slightly from the sour aroma.* There are readers there who like you a great deal.
Falco: You don’t say. *He grins lazily.* Perhaps I should visit this America place someday.
[Inky resists the urge to let go and fall to the floor at feet of Falco.]
Fiona: Definitely. All right. Question #1: How old are you, anyway? And where were you born?
Falco: I am seventeen years old. I was born in a small village outside of Padua. My parents still live there.
Fiona: And what brought you to Venice?
Falco: Sometimes I think Cass brought me here, like I was meant to meet her and it could only be done in this city. He glances down at the warped wooden table before looking back up. I suppose that sounds silly. The truth of it is, I had always wanted to be an artist. A plague broke out in my village when I was fourteen. There were some…unanticipated consequences. I set out, not knowing exactly where I would end up, but Venice seemed a fitting place for an aspiring artist. So here I am.
Fiona: Signorina Cassandra. So glad you brought her up. Tell me about the time you two first met.
Falco: You mean when I ran into her in the streets? His eyes fall shut for a moment and a small smile plays at his lips. Caspita. She was a vision. Not her fancy dress or her ornate hairdo or anything such as that. Just the way she looked at me when I picked her up off the cobblestones. Many women would have been horrified or embarrassed. They would have run away and sent their male relatives to dress me down. But Cass, she was angry. Filled with the kind of emotion that lights up a person, do you understand? She looked me in the eye and I saw all of these little pieces of her—the lock of unruly hair, the freckles hiding beneath the face powder, the way her hands were curling into fists as if some part of her wanted to strike me. He shakes his head. I was intrigued.
[*bites lip* it's so cute it's sad my name isn't Cass...]
Fiona: That’s kind of sweet. Do you think her fiancé, Luca, recognizes the same things in her?
Falco: Well, he’s a fool if he doesn’t. His eyes darken. But then again, he left her here in Venice alone for years to go study in France and that seems quite foolish to me. Can’t he see her soul craves adventure? Falco drains his tankard of ale in one long drink and signals for another. I fear I may have said too much.
Fiona: No, it’s cool. She coughs. I mean, you may say whatever you wish to me. She sips her ale and tries not to make a face. So you met Cass again in a graveyard, right? Do you spend a lot of time among the dead?
Falco: Graveyards afford a young artist such as myself many opportunities to further my craft.
Fiona: She furrows her brow. You mean because you can draw the different tombs? Or because the solitude helps you focus or…
Falco: Yes, yes, both of those things. Next question?
[*twirls hair and thinks* Your accent is so cute you could just expound on that...]
Fiona: Science. Do you really consider science to be your religion? Isn’t that against the law?
Falco: Law. It’s only against the law if anyone knows about it. And as I am just a peasant, very few people find my thoughts worthy of inquiry.
Fiona: But you told Cass.
Falco: It came out in conversation, yes. But I do not worry that Cassandra is going to report my blasphemous thoughts to the authorities.
Fiona: Why not?
Falco: I feel Cass has her own thoughts that run directly opposite to what she’s ‘supposed’ to think. So even if we do not agree on religion, we are in agreement that people should not be judged simply for what’s inside of their heads.
Fiona: That’s deep. All right. Here’s a fun question: have you ever been in a fistfight?
Falco: He chuckles. I’m a seventeen-year old peasant who drinks a lot. I get in fistfights at least once a week.
[I give you permission to fight over me. I am open.]
Fiona: How about this: tell me about your first kiss.
Falco: Oh, that is a question. *He traces one finger around the rim of his beer mug.* Her name was Ghita. We grew up in the same village. Like Cass, she was…unusual. One day, when I was thirteen, I was walking through a field. I was on the way to draw a stream that skirted the edge of my village. I came across her gathering herbs. Not just gathering them—she was categorizing them. She had a rolled parchment. She had drawn them. *He rubs at the scar under his eye. The words come out of his mouth in short bursts.* When she saw me, she tried to hide her sketches. She said she was ashamed of her work, but her drawings weren’t so bad. I showed her how to render her round berries more lifelike, how to express the shadowy network of veins in the leaves. I never made it to the stream that day. Ghita and I, we drew herbs for hours. And when the sun set and we had to part ways, she took my hand and leaned in toward me. *He exhales deeply.* She smelled like lavender. Her skin felt like silk. I thought she was going to whisper in my ear that I had to keep her secret, or perhaps just going to touch her lips to my cheek as a thank you. But no, it was more than that. Much more.
[....I'm so torn right now...]
Fiona: That’s really beautiful. *She pauses.* What happened to her?
Falco: *His jaw tightens visibly.* She died.
Fiona: Oh, I’m so sorry. You mentioned a plague. I am always doing this, saying the most
awkward thing and making people uncomfortable. Please forgive me. I’m going to finish up with
some fun speed-round questions from my friend Signorina Hannah.
Falco: It’s all right. As much as I don’t like to think about it, I don’t ever want to forget Ghita
either. *He arches an eyebrow.* Hannah, what an unusual but lovely moniker.
[WARNING: Death by Swooning is an actual cause of death. Likely in all bibliophiles.]
Fiona: I agree. All right. Here we go: Candy canes or candy corn?
Falco: Candied corn? Candied…canes??? Both of those sound positively dreadful. Where did you say you were from again?
Fiona: Er, let’s skip that one. *She tries furiously to Renaissance-ify the speed round questions off the top of her head*. All right. Ale or wine?
Fiona: Drawing or painting?
Fiona: Hmm. I think perhaps you don’t know how this game is played. Let’s try again: blonde or brunette?
Falco: *He coughs into his hand and then grins a lopsided smile*. Definitely both.
Fiona: Signor Falco!
Falco: All right, all right. Brunette--auburn to be exact.
Fiona: That’s better. Sword or club?
Falco: More of a fists man myself, but if I must choose I’ll say club.
Fiona: Florence or Venice?
Falco: Definitely Venice.
Fiona: And finally, true love or torrid but fleeting romantic interlude?
Falco: Ah. *He leans back in his chair*. Wouldn’t you like to know....
["HELLO! I'M RIGHT HERE!! *waves hands*]
Fiona: Mannaggia! No spoilers from you, eh? Well thank you for taking the time to chat with me and I look forward to seeing more of you in book #2, Belladonna.
Falco: It was my pleasure. *He stands and dips into a slightly drunken bow. He points at Fiona’s almost untouched tankard of ale*. Are you going to drink that?
Fiona: *She curtsies*. It’s all yours.
[Inky tries to call after him not to leave, but his royal hotness is gone. So much for the painting lesson.]
Author’s note: Just FYI--the kayak/gondola is just a means for me to travel to and from Renaissance Venice. VENOM does not contain magical time-traveling gondolas, though in retrospect, I kinda wish it did.You guys, I'm so glad Fiona was able to give me the inside dig on her interview with Falco! I'm honored! Thanks so much for letting me share that with everyone!! AND THANK YOU FALCO. *giggles* I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Trust me, if that didn't make you want to get reading these books -if you haven't already- then I don't know what will!!!
Soooo, for those of you who are intrigued and dying of venomous desire to read this book, I'm gonna help you out! Fiona is KINDA awesome enough to provide a SIGNED copy, SIGNED I tell you, of Venom!!! It's open INTERNATIONALLY and will run for TWO WEEKS. Deets in the Terms of the Copter. Enter away! And make sure to leave some Falco love below!!
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