Bloodstone Castle by Mirella Patzer - Virtual Book Tour June 2008
Bloodstone Castle stands sentinel on the shores of the Ligurian Sea. Secreted somewhere in itdungeons is an ancient Roman treasure of immense value. Contessa Morena of Bloodstone Castle possesses a mysterious bloodstone pendant, the only proof the treasure exists. Since childhood, she has been promised in marriage to Duke Ernesto of Savona. Ernesto is a desperate man, a gambler who has lost his family's fortune, a man who resorts to murder, not once, not twice, but three times to keep from paying his debts and to hide his dirty secret. Marriage to the lovely Morena will make the treasure his and restore his power and desperate circumstances. After the brutal murder of his father, Duke Amoro of Genoa swears two oaths. The first is to avenge his father's death. The second is to honour his father's dying wish and wed Morena of Bloodstone Castle and end the violent feud with between their two families. He severs his affair with his mistress, Laria, and departs for Bloodstone Castle to propose to Morena. But Morena refuses to marry him. Her life thrown into chaos, Morena must choose between obligation and honour, truth and lies, good and evil. She must honour the betrothal her father arranged with Ernesto. Amoro continues to try to convince Morena otherwise.
Ernesto arrives at Bloodstone Castle to claim his bride, but finds Amoro there. The two men confront each other with much animosity.
Then, when the murdered body of Morena's father is brought home, Amoro helps her with his burial, then her and takes her to his home in Genoa. He is fiercely protective over her. This angers Morena at times because she insists upon her independence. While she is conducting an act of charity, she notices Amoro's men following her. As she tries to escape, she falls from her horse and is taken back to Amoro. When Amoro agrees to allow Morena full independence, they set a wedding date.
Laria and Ernesto meet and together they plan to separate Amoro and Morena.
On the day of the wedding, Morena falls into the clutches of Ernesto. Amoro arrives to rescue her and the two men agree to battle each other - winner gets the girl. Ernesto cheats and Amoro is held prisoner. Morena realizes her love for Amoro and to save his life, agrees to marry Ernesto. Laria is free to pursue Amoro again. But Amoro continues to refuse Laria. When Laria learns that Ernesto plans to kill Amoro, she aids Morena in a daring rescue to Amoro and his men.
In medieval Italy, two men face each other with ruthlessness and intensity. Enter their world of splendour and depravity, of passion and wickedness. It is Italy's most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Duke Amoro of Genoa and Duke Ernesto of Savona match wits and cunning, it is a dance the death to decide which one of them will win the hand of the beautiful Countess Morena and the hidden treasure of Bloodstone Castle.
Meet Mirella Patzer - Your Guide on This Adventure
Books are one of Mirella Patzer's obsessions, especially those that pertain to medieval eras and with Italy as a backdrop. To fulfill a life long dream, she began writing several years ago and has never looked back. Since then she has published several short stories and completed two novels with several more novels in various stages of completion. Her fascination for women of history and Italy is often reflected in her work, blogs, and website. When she's not immersed in research or writing or blogging, Mirella works as an editor for Enspiren Press. She writes from her home in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, surrounded by her husband, two college-bound daughters, and a rambunctious little grandson who frequently interrupts her work with a variety of unanticipated, yet humorous calamities and interruptions. For her, life couldn't get any better.
The complete tour schedule is posted here -
Questions I asked Mirella and her answers:
1. As a historical writer, what are your best research tools? Libraries? Online? Contacts?
Most of my research is conducted through the purchase of books and through the Internet.
I regularly scan Amazon or Alibri for books pertaining to the 10th century, medieval women, or the Ottonian Empire. I've purchased books from Italy (thank goodness I can read Italian), England, Utah, and even Germany.
I also research from the Internet. Often, I have to stop writing to research a simple detail as far as clothing, or maps, or distances, or weapons. The Internet often provides those quick and easy answers.
But the books give me more focused details and answers pertaining to the 10th century. I also depend on contacts and my critiquing partners in the two on-line critique groups I participate in. They diligently read my chapters and sometimes find little inconsistencies.
2. Do you tend to use bits and pieces of people you know in your characters?
Most definitely, but very loosely. I never take one person I know and use them to build an entire character. Rather, I will use attributes, both good and bad, from friends, acquaintances, and family to pepper my characters with. Sometimes, I will use a particular person to describe the physical characteristics of a character. But no person I know or who knows me will recognize themselves in any of my characters.
3. Do you use real historical characters as secondary characters in your story? If so, does that add to the research?
In Bloodstone Castle, all the characters are fictional. However, I'm working on a trilogy of the Ottonian Empire. Almost all the characters are true historical figures and it is only some of the secondary characters who I've had to create. So my research entails not only the facts about what happened, but details about the people too.
4. Tell us how your characters emerge in your mind and how your premise is decided upon.
Fictional characters emerge more slowly because they must be created from scratch which includes everything from their physical attributes to personality traits. In Bloodstone Castle, all the characters and the entire story is fiction, so everything had to be created from scratch. I started with a simple idea for a plot - i.e. an ancient lost Roman treasure and a castle. From there, I built a hero, a heroine, and a plot. Then I have to flesh out the secondary characters to help the plot along.
In my current works in progress about the Ottonian Empire, historical accuracy is paramount. I can't change the characters or the plot. The 10th century is so far in the past that history often contradicts itself. Record keeping was poor back then. Sometimes all I have to go on is basic information. The challenge is to fill in the blanks and make them come to life on the pages I write. To make them human they cannot be perfect. History is clearly defined, but it is the various scenes, locations, and interactions between characters that must be created or recreated in detail.
5. What about this book is different from other historical romances?
Bloodstone Castle is most definitely a romance, but it is a little on the dark side. My villains are very very bad and some of the circumstances I put my heroine or hero through can be considered a little more violent than one finds in most historical romances.
I think I possess a little Stephen King in my soul because I love the "odd and unusual" and strive to shock my readers. I just retired from a 28 year career as a manager at a police service so this may be where some of my rough and tumble style comes from - the situations I've heard about all these years. I strove to write the kind of book I like to read - something that is not sweet but definitely satisfying. I hope I have achieved that.
Wow! Great questions. Very indepth. You really made me think hard and deep.
Great job. ~ Mirella
Find Out More About Mirella Patzer and Bloodstone Castle
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Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-Castle-Mirella-Patzer/dp/0978486528