The Swept Away Hop is over and over 100 new visitors stopped by my blog. Tomorrow I’ll sort through the comments and pick a winner for my kindle copy of The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo. You’ll hear from me if you’ve won. Thanks for participating everyone!
In this past Hop I touched upon Loving Leonardo winning the 2012 CataRomance Sensual Reads Reviewer’s Choice Award for Historical Romance. I’m thrilled. Hermes Online got the same under the Contemporary category last year. It’s wonderful when your intellectual creation gets such a nod of appreciation.
After writing the first three chapters I realized these characters might go beyond this story and solve crimes a la Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles. On a whim, I chose their names to go with that idea – Nicolas Halstead and Elenora Schwaab.
The main observer in this romantic tale is Nicolas Halstead, a man of means forced by society to wear a disguise. He’s the narrator here and it’s through his perspective that we see and feel his world. An art historian by profession, Nicolas can’t help but compare life to art. Because of this, he leaves many references to artists and artworks scattered throughout the pages.
Why did I create an interactive art history scavenger hunt in an erotic romance?
Probably because I grew up in Chicago. The city is famous for its museums and renowned Art Institute. I’ve seen paintings there that so captured my fancy, I was certain I understood the artist’s emotion behind the artwork. I’ve put several art references in this story. If my readers would like to see what Nicolas sees when he mentions artworks, do look them up. This interactive bit of art history isn’t necessary to the story, though to see what he sees will certainly add color to the tale. I chose each carefully to reflect the moment.
Where does Leonardo da Vinci fit into this tale?
I’m a huge informational reader and one person I find particularly fascinating is Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo was denied traditional education because of his bastardy. The things that man went through to become the genius he was were impressive. Da Vinci immersed himself in the world to learn. What else could my characters do but the same? Da Vinci was an artist. Nicolas is an art historian. Da Vinci was a philosopher. Progressive Ellie was a student of philosophy. Da Vinci was a grand inventor, much of his knowledge based upon processes that came before him. Luca is a historian. Before I knew it, these three were having the most amazing discussions! Certainly love had to follow such compatibility.
But no one likes a novel without a story in it. The Victorian era had a seedy side few people realize. It wasn’t enough just to have three people fall in love in a very unorthodox manner, I added obstacles and roadblocks to make the journey rough.
And for balance – I added a conscienceless adversary who’d stop at nothing to get what he wanted.
Loving Leonardo – The Quest comes out very soon. From there, these three might have more stories to tell.
I’m knee-deep in another two novels, and hopefully, I’ll get back to the blog to post something by the weekend. Until then, here are my books, my links, my next Hop, and something to make you smile.
As a bird lover, I think this is adorable.
The sanctuary needs donations. More info about Snowball and who looks after him here: