I have published my novel.
The Virgin and the Griffin is now available on Amazon.com as an e-book for the low, low price of $3.99US, plus tax.
It's a work of historical fiction set in the small Italian city of Perugia, and filled with intrigue, Papal plots, and a sexy priest.
I'm urging all my friends and blog readers to buy it - not only because they're friends and I would like their support. But also, because I think it's a good book.
So, bring it to book club! I'll be happy to answer questions; Skype with book clubs about it, if they would like.
And, I would greatly appreciate feedback and constructive criticism. Drop me a note!
This is my first novel, and it took 3 years to write and publish. Hopefully, my next novel, which I'm currently working on, won't take quite so long.
BTW, I should also mention this novel contains a sex scene with a priest - I hope that won't dissuade readers! Really; it's not at all gratuitous!
As I've mentioned before, the novel was in many ways, inspired by a gorgeous textile that I bought several years ago from Marta Cucchia, a very talented weaver in Perugia who is trying to keep the Umbrian weaving tradition alive at her family's Giuditta Brozzetti laboratorio.
The Virgin and the Griffin tells of a young woman's struggle to find a measure of joy and beauty in a violent, fear-filled society in a Renaissance Italian city fractured by politics and war, yet a place where great beauty and love are still possible.
In 1504 Perugia, an ancient city in central Italy, is a place of great art, great violence – and a great many secrets. Isabella Bevilacqua, a young weaver in her family's small workshop, understands this very well. Her dreams of creating a work of great beauty must, like her burgeoning relationship with the enigmatic Father Michele Gialletti, remain carefully hidden from her family and from Perugia's powerful weavers' guild.
Keeping secrets is essential to survival in this city, where wealthy and jealous noble families clash viciously on the streets, in the piazzas – even within the Cathedral of San Lorenzo....
Much of the background to my novel is based on facts: Pope Julius, known so well for commissioning Michelangelo to paint the Sistine ceiling, did in fact march an army on Perugia to control the warring families. Great painters discussed in the novel, such as Raphael, really did live and work in Perugia.