Cursed (The Vitruvian Man #1) by Cate Masters
Publisher: Decadent Publishing (new TEASE line)
Release Date: April 21, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 30,000
Welcome Cate Masters with one that is going straight onto my TBR list: Cursed: The Vitruvian Man #1. But first, get to know Cate better as she answers my ten.
How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book? I’m less about genre than writing a good story. 🙂 I love paranormal/fantasy, but also love contemporary and historical, sometimes mainstream, speculative/futuristic. I love to experiment.
Cursed is a bit of a mashup – it has some historical elements, a little science, a smidgeon of suspense, with the very cool backdrop of Carnevale, a ten-day masquerade festival in Venice, Italy. A couple of magazine articles sparked the story idea and it took off from there.
Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world? As the youngest of seven children, I’ve always had to scrabble to keep up, lol. But it’s taught me persistence, which is an essential trait for a writer. Growing up on a country road with no neighbors within walking distance made for a solitary childhood (my older brothers and sisters were all out doing other things!) so the writing instinct developed.
Where is your favorite place to write? Our house had a spare room that I claim as an office, though it also serves as a guest room, junk room, and hide-the-Christmas-presents room as needed.
How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains? I don’t write mystery or thrillers, so I don’t often kill them, but I do chuck them under the bus quite a few times, lol. Conflict and tension help drive the storyline, and I love flawed characters. Tortured heroes like Bruno are an added bonus.
You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? There are so many authors I’d love to meet! It’s so hard for me to pick favorites, but if I had to choose only one, it would be T.C. Boyle. I think I’d just ask if I could hang around with him for awhile in hopes some of his genius would rub off on me, lol.
Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows. I’m afraid I’m much more interesting as a writer. Most of my free time’s spent at the keyboard. It doesn’t make for gossip column material, lol.
You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack? A loaded iPod (solar-powered, I suppose), a computer (also solar powered with satellite Internet) and since my hubby probably wouldn’t fit in the backpack, I’d take my dog Lily. 🙂
If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be? Only one? Hmm. Flying’s high up on the list, but I loved the mom on The Incredibles – her elastic powers came in pretty handy. 🙂
Favorite snack? Chocolate covered almonds. Yum.
Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I can see the finish line from where I start, but how I get there is often different than I think when I begin. There’s a famous quote, and I wish I could remember the author, to the effect that I can see enough of the road in my car’s headlights to take me the entire journey. (I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea!)
Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Danita! It’s been a real pleasure.
Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.
During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.
For ten days, it didn’t matter.
Until I met her.
Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera – the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.
Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.
Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Bruno’s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man she’s just met and never seen.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Light danced in his dark eyes. “I must admit, your fire dancing fascinated me. What made you choose such a dangerous skill to master?”
“The thrill of the challenge, I suppose.” It balanced the rest of her mundane life, to a degree. Mastering each new level gave her a sense of achievement, where work couldn’t.
Something flashed through his dark eyes. “Mistakes must be very painful.”
“I practiced a long time before I worked up the nerve to actually light the wands. I found the fire great incentive to focus, however.” God, her grin must be goofy, the way he stared. Such gorgeous eyes, such a deep brown they almost appeared black. He probably had rugged features, if his large hands provided any indication. Too bad he wore gloves, another barrier between them.
“Yes,” he said, “I imagine so.”
“What about you? What other magic do you know?” Oh please, can you get any more ridiculous? It sounded like a line from a bad chick flick.
The crinkle around his eyes was the only evidence of his smile, but enough to charm her.
“Lifetimes of studying the dark arts have provided me with many tricks.”
“Lifetimes?” she blurted.
He stiffened in her arms. “Pardon?”
She watched him carefully. “You said ‘lifetimes’. Plural.” And what the hell did he mean by ‘dark arts’?
Rigidity masked the grace of his movements. “I’m sure you’re mistaken.” He stared over her head as they whirled to the song’s rhythm.
Mistaken my ass. How very strange. More strange that the question upset him. He’d clammed up, and his muscles were so tense, she expected him to bolt. Better to drop it. For now. “Must have been a slip of the tongue.”
“Yes.” Relief sounded in his tone, though guarded.
This man had something to hide. How intriguing.