21 September 2013

Cursed Blog Tour Stop!!!

....a cold and lonely existence....

Bruno diCesare lives in the shadows. Alone and hidden from the world, his only joy comes but once a year---at Carnevale. For ten days, he can blend in with the colorful, masked masses without revealing his true nature. But this time, he is faced with fiery temptation.

Carnevale allows Melina Weaver to be someone else--someone sexy, daring, enticing, someone who lives on the edge. It's a far cry from her real life, with long and boring hours spent in a sterile lab. When her fire dancing arouses the curiosity of a dark and compelling stranger, she might have more excitement--and danger--than she ever imagined.

Can Bruno escape his cursed existence? Can he protect her, and can she trust him to save them both?

Ten days. The difference between bliss or desolation, redemption or remaining forever Cursed.

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.

When I first started reading romance novels, I was a strictly paranormal romance girl.  Once I read Fifty Shades of Grey, I transitioned into more of the contemporary/new adult romance genre, but it’s books like “Cursed” that help me to remember what I love about PNR in the first place.

In Cursed, we meet Bruno.  He is a creation of Leonardo Divinci, a chimera, who only comes out for 10 days a year to be among people during Carnevale in Venice.  He’s lonely, obviously, and from the beginning I felt a real pull and sympathy for his character.  He’s kind of been cursed to a life that he didn’t want, and now must suffer.  This year, however, he meets Melina.  She’s a scientist and uses Carnevale as her own escape from reality, where she can throw off her stuffy and uptight self and let loose for a few days as a fire dancer (note to self: learn to fire dance…quite a hobby).  When they meet, it stirs something inside for both of them.  Melina feels drawn to Bruno, and Bruno’s animal instincts kick in, urging him to claim her for his own.  Oh…and does he claim.  There’s romance, sex, mystery, adventure…it’s enchanting.

What I liked most about this book was the tone.  The storytelling, the setting, the characters, the plot…they all set this dark, mysterious and captivating tone for the book.  The way the entire story is told is very sensual.  You feel the electricity, longing and heat between Melina and Bruno, and the mystery of the air of Venice during Carnevale.  The writing transports you there, which is what any good storyteller should be able to do.  I was honestly blown away by this story.  It’s short, but doesn’t leave you feeling unsatisfied.  I really hope that this is the beginning of an entire series, because I want to go back to this world as soon as possible.  I highly recommend you visit, you won’t regret it.  4.5 stars.

Five reasons I love mythology-based paranormals

For a writer, the stuff of myth and legend is treasure. Pure story gold. Heroes and heroines who don't simply embody the hero archetype, they invented it. Here are a few reasons I love paranormals based on mythology:

1. Myths are classic. They're the originals. The stories most every other story is based upon in some way.

2. Immortality. Immortals particularly intrigue me. Existing since the dawn of time tends to lend interest to a character, doesn't it? They've seen it all, done it all, but still have to keep up with the latest.

3. Different versions of myths. Not all legends are the same, even about the same character. It allows for a little, ahem, leeway for writers. Some creative license. Room to play--expand the character traits, place them in situations they've never before faced.

4. Kickass heroes to make you swoon. Don't you love them? Alpha males with special talents or powers. When paired with a strong females who can bring them to their knees, the sparks fly off the page!

5. The coolness factor. They may be old school, but immortals in the present have rock star cool. By definition, an immortal would still exist in present time, and I love nothing better than placing an ancient character in a modern setting.

I am not, however, a fan of stereotypes. I love to mix it up. Sometimes a lot! My Decadent release, Cursed, isn't strictly based on myth. I mixed a mythological creature and some current-day science, an instantly recognizable historical figure, and some (distorted) history in a fun but mysterious setting: the ten-day festival of Carnevale in Venice, Italy.

Thanks for having me today! It's been a real pleasure.

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 cate.masters@gmail.com.

  Click above for tour schedule!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you can't imagine how gratifying it is to receive such a lovely review. Thank you so much, Sara!
    And yes, Cursed was the first of a trilogy. Charmed and Claimed are both available now. :)
    Thanks again!