Duchessa Anastasia sneaks away from the family mansion at night in 18th Century Venezia during Carnevale. Giorgio, her cavalier servente, has feelings for her. Anastasia accepts the esteemed courtier, Leandro’s marriage proposal though he fails to disclose an important detail about himself. The royal guards seize Giorgio at the d’Alessi manor. The Crown accuses Giorgio of treason. Capriana, a servant, knows how Giorgio was framed. A conspirator intends to murder her. Anastasia and Leandro investigate Giorgio’s allegations before they are wed. The duchessa is surprised as to whom it leads.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have a fascination with Italy. This was my first historical romance novel to take place in the city-states and I have always inclined towards the 18th century. I looked at old 18th century paintings and frescoes to have an idea of the environment. The characters however developed organically–and so did the story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The protagonist in my books, primarily female with her counterpart love interest usually is the center and my starting point. I began generally with what is typically known of people's physical features of that region so I could see how she was in stature, potential beauty and personality. She developed along with the plot and the other characters which interacted with her. It is the problem or obstacle which any of them have to overcome which leads me to develop what type of character, strengths or weaknesses they may have.
Venice appeared a more developed city of the Veneto region than that of Tuscany, a city-state which was reeling from the aftermath of one of the most important deaths in the land. There was one ennobled gentleman who was the patriarch of the eldest serving House with the title of duke. Others were growing in disdain with an attenuated shock from the French encroachment towards its neighboring city-states. Venetians did what they were known for, they feasted, held balls and attended much theatre. Entertainment and fashion were culturally as important as the members of the king’s court. To learn fluently multiple European languages and of the art and architecture of those neighboring countries was to elevate the culture and etiquette of Venezia. Yet, even this could not distract the astute and wealthy from an impending political disaster which loomed near their boundaries. Nevertheless, these worries were for another day. The gentry focused their attention to romance, ennoblement and wealth. The patriarch of the House of d’Alessi, Pasquale, concerned himself with riches and how to maintain them. Giorgina thought romance a silly notion as she aged and one of their daughters, Anastasia, had yet to know where her place was in this aristocratic order.
Patricia M. Muhammad is an American fiction author of crossover contemporary romance/science fiction, science fiction/fantasy, and historical romance genres. She has currently written 19 novels.
Before penning fiction, Patricia emerged as an international legal history scholar and academic author, focusing on human rights, international law and restorative justice. She has currently written and published a combination of 21 research papers and academic book reviews in these subject areas. Her work has appeared in the American University International Law Review, Columbia Journal of Race and Law, the Willamette Journal of International Law and Public Policy as well as the New York History Journal. Her non-fiction writing has been cited dozens of times in various respectable academic journals.
Her poem, 'Uncertainty' appeared in the April 2020 issue of WritersTalk.
Oh, I really enjoy coffee.
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