Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, VENOM! Welcome Luca, "The Other Guy"

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1) 
VENOM by Fiona Paul
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review: Venom Review

Blurb about Fiona:  Fiona Paul lives in St. Louis, Missouri where she's managed to persuade prestigious universities to award her degrees in psychology and nursing. Between her studies, she traveled around five continents and spent time living in Thailand and South Korea (which is probably why she finds the idea of wearing shoes in the house a little weird.)

In addition to writing, Fiona is somewhat obsessive about coffee, music, and adventure sports. Her future goals include swimming with great white sharks and writing a whole truckload of novels, not necessarily in that order.

I am thrilled to have to opportunity to re-post this awesome interview between Luca (who I think is the hotter of the two love interests!) and Fiona Paul. This was first posted by the awesome Rachel at her terrific blog, Fiktshun. Here is the link to the original post:

Getting to know Luca: A Q & A session with the other guy from VENOM.
Dressed in full Renaissance attire—yes, including those chest-crushing, skinny-making whalebone stays—Fiona Paul lifts her skirts as she alights from her magical time-traveling gondola onto the private dock of Palazzo da Peraga, the family home of Casandra Caravello’s fiancé, Luca.

The butler opens the door and ushers her into the dining room where Luca awaits. Luca is about 6’3” with close-cropped blond hair and just a hint of beard. He’s wearing black velvet breeches and a dark green doublet that is stretched tight across his broad shoulders. He stands and bows, and then pulls out Fiona’s chair for her. 

Fiona: Signor da Peraga, Thank you so much for inviting me to your palazzo for dinner.

Luca: The pleasure is all mine. And Signor da Peraga was my father. You may call me Luca. He hands Fiona a lily. For you.

Fiona: It’s gorgeous. Thank you.

Luca: My fiancée, Cassandra, loves lilies.

Fiona: That’s exactly who I wanted to talk to you about. Can you tell me a little bit about the day you first met Cass?

Luca: He blushes slightly. When I first met her, we were both children. Her parents were always bringing her over to the palazzo when they came to visit my parents. Somehow, I was the one tasked with the job of entertaining her. She never wanted to just play quietly or read books. She was always digging in the garden dirt or chasing after the kitchen cats, making her maidservant half-crazy. He smiles to himself. She would find the strangest little trinkets: buttons, scraps of lace, perfectly shaped leaves, and insist on keeping them.

Fiona: Would you say it was love at first sight?

Luca: Er, no, since I was ten and she was only six and that would have been a little odd. I didn’t fall in love with her until—He stops, suddenly fascinated with the fraying edge of his cloth napkin.

Fiona: Until when?

Luca: Our visits dwindled after her parents died. They had arranged our betrothal shortly before their demise, but once Cass moved to San Domenico to live with her aunt I saw her less. It was difficult watching her grieve. I remembered how taken she’d been with random little treasures so occasionally when I visited I would hide things for her and mark the hiding places with a lily. But in my head she continued to be that rambunctious little girl I knew when I was younger. Before I left for university, I went to see her one last time. He blushes again. I found her in the library reading Michel de Montaigne. The way her graceful form bent over the book, the glow from the fireplace backlighting her slender frame and thick wavy hair—suddenly I saw her for the enchanting and intelligent woman she had become. It was that day I realized exactly how fortunate I am.

Fiona: What a beautiful story. What is it that you study?

Luca: I study law at the renowned Montpellier University, in France.

Fiona: So then what brings you back to Venice?

Luca: His eyes flick down toward his napkin again. Family business.

Fiona: I see. Have you thought anything about your wedding to Cass? Where you want to have the celebration? What sort of foods you’d like to eat?

Luca: Honestly, I still can’t believe I’m to marry a woman who is as kind and beautiful as she is smart. All I want is for her to be happy. I will marry her anywhere she desires and eat anything she wishes to eat.

Fiona: Whoa. It sounds like someone has got it bad. Aren’t you worried about Falco?

Luca: Who is Falco?

Fiona: She coughs. Um, hey look, the food is arriving. Yum, it smells delicious.
Three kitchen servants enter carrying tarnished silver platters heaping with food. They set the platters down on the table. Fiona eyes the one nearest to her. It looks suspiciously like a…

Fiona: Is that a porcupine?

Luca: He smiles broadly. It has been roasting on the spit for three hours! We’re also having eyeballs of veal and guinea pigs with French mustard. I had the cook prepare only the finest Venetian delicacies for you.

Fiona: She turns a little green. Oh, I think I completely forgot to tell you I was a vegetarian.

Luca: What’s a vegetarian?
Another platter arrives holding a steaming three-foot wide pie. The pastry’s fluted edges are adorned with gold leaf. The servant cuts into the hard crust of the pie and a wet, soggy blackbird wriggles free from the filling and begins hopping about the table.

Fiona: Her eyes go saucer-wide. I actually just remembered somewhere I need to be. Curtseying quickly, she abruptly flees the dining room, takes the stairs two at a time, and throws herself over the side of her magical time-traveling gondola.

Author's Note: The 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. The bird baked into a pie, though? I have it on good authority that stuff like that actually happened!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of Venom by Fiona Paul today! It's an awesome book!
Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose)

Check out these giveaways!
1. International Giveaway of signed copy of If I Lie by Corrine Jackson OR Three swag packs!
IF I LIE giveaway

2. Spooktacular Giveaway Hop- $10 Amazon gift card/$10 towards a book from Book Depository (winner's choice)- INT
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  1. Venom's cover is soooo pretty :O Haha you guys are hilarious posting together...

    1. I can't take any credit from this post-- Fiona put it all together on her own. However, we are planning to do a joint project in the future... stay tuned!