The Vitruvian Man, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date of Publication: April 21, 2013
Number of pages: 30,000
Cover Artist: Cribley Designs
Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.Excerpt:
During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.
For ten days, it didn’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 – 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 Bruno’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 she’s just met and never seen.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Melina should have stayed in her room. Finding him had seemed like such incredible luck. Now she wondered whether luck had turned against her.
That sound—almost an animal sound—had that come from him? Had she imagined it? Strange things went on during Carnevale, her online friends had said, some so inexplicable no science could explain them. She’d laughed when they warned her she might get in over her head.
The sheer strength of his muscles, the raw power beneath his clothes, thrilled her. His pace conveyed the same urgency.
Pressed to his side, nerves jangling, her foot slipped on the stone step.
In one fluid motion, he scooped her into his arms and continued hurrying along. “Are you all right?”
“Unless embarrassment leaves a mortal wound. I’m normally not so clumsy.” She settled against his broad chest. Such incredible stamina. An image pierced her mind: his muscular, naked torso above her, his hips rocking against hers. His presence overwhelmed her, and she was acutely aware of every motion, every breath.
At the bottom of the stone stairs, he set her on her feet but maintained his firm hold. “Dampness has a habit of lingering here. You’d best allow me to assist you.”
“Please.” She fitted herself against him, acutely aware of the way his body moved against hers.
“In these calle of San Samuele,” he said, “Giacomo Casanova spent his youth.”
“Calle?” She should have brushed up on her Italian.
He dipped his head closer. “Narrow alleyways.”
“Narrow and dark. I wonder how many trysts Casanova had in these alleys?” And Casanova had nothing on Bruno. Women probably flocked around him constantly. Acid flashed through her at the thought.
“Too many to recount.” He paused, then added, “If one believes the writings in his diary. His mentor, the poet Giorgio Baffe, lived just down there.”
“Mentor?” She didn’t recall Casanova writing poetry. Did Bruno as well? Or was he not romantic that way?
“Of a sort. The man who introduced Casanova to worldly pleasures.”
The way the last two words rolled off his tongue, so enticing. She glanced at the dark steps that led to deeper shadows beside the canal.
She surprised herself by steering him down there, tugging him to an abrupt halt. “Do such mentors still exist?”
He whirled her against a wall. “Why? Would you be interested?”
She let her hands wander across the contours of his chest. “You did offer to introduce me to the delights of Venice.”
The same growl as earlier rumbled in his throat, unmistakable this time. “You do like to play with fire, don’t you?”
And he knew how to ignite one.
Today, we welcome Cate Masters to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!
I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
Ready when you are! And thanks so much for having me at Musings and Ramblings today. :) Let the geekiness begin.Writing Specific
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
You mean reveal my secrets? Oh noooo! Don’t open that basement door... oh too late. Everything fell out, lol. Okay, I’m a terrible housekeeper. I’m the anti-Martha Stewart. I can’t cook gourmet meals, or whip up Christmas decorations from a few twigs and straw. I love that I can create characters who can, though. :)2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
What? There are other things to do besides writing? Okay, occasionally I sneak away from the keyboard to play with the grandboys, or hang out with my hubby on the deck under the stars. I try not to get too involved in TV (but there are sooo many enticing new shows this fall, that’s going to be a challenge) and I’m way behind on movies, but love to catch up when I can. And I collect books all the time, hoping I’ll be able to absorb them by osmosis. And when that doesn’t work, I read them. Eventually.3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
Genre follows the story. Cursed is a paranormal with elements of fantasy, a little science and history. Ideas will grab me, and sometimes evolve from a setting, or an event, so I take the story in whatever direction it needs to go. In between Cursed and its followup, Charmed, two other stories released that were completely different – a 1Night Stand with futuristic/time travel (back to the Eighties), and a historical set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. I have a few contemporaries coming up for release later this year, and am working on a new paranormal. I’m not about labels, lol.4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
None in particular, really. My first addiction was the epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings, then I moved on to speculative/horror such as Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and have always loved mainstream/literary. The heart of any great story is a love story, so romance was a natural.5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
No specific criticism that I can remember, but I did have to learn to detach myself from my work after finishing it. Criticism isn’t a personal attack (not true criticism, anyway) and we writers have to grow that thick skin, and view our stories objectively so we can find the plot holes, the places that don’t work, and listen to the good advice of our critique partners.
I love it when readers say my characters were like real people to them, and my descriptions dropped them right into the setting. My stories play in my head like movies when I write, so it’s great to hear that it translated to the page!Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Mark Twain. He lived such an adventurous life, and his stories grew out of that. To hell with dinner, I want to follow him around the equator!7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
A smart phone so I can read, stream Pandora tunes and talk to my loved ones. :) The makings for a treehouse/hut would be wonderful so I wouldn’t have to fend off wild animals all night. And a lifetime supply of bug repellant is essential – I might as well have “All You Can Eat Bug Buffet” stamped on me. They can’t get enough.8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I love that they’re humanitarians as well as creative types. And she’d be a kickass mom. No bullies would mess with me!9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Some containers of leftovers, fruit, yogurt, milk, eggs and other such healthy-type stuff.10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Confessions of a Catholic School Survivor Turned Romance AuthorThink Fast
Summer or Winter? Summer, though I’m always glad for a change of season :)
Coffee or Tea? Tea, preferably chai latte
Cake or Pie? Whatever tiramisu qualifies as :D
Car or Truck? Wrangler (a little of both, lol)
Print or Electronic? I love my Kindle! (But I love all the books on my shelves too)
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Jackson Browne said, Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb – that’s where the fruit is. :)
Thanks again for having me at Musings and Ramblings! It’s been a pleasure.
Prize is a $15 GC PLUS book swag.
Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Sept 23.
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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Multi-published, award-winning author Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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