Saturday, November 2, 2013

Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna: Interview and Excerpt


How do you describe your writing style? I’ve always been a concise writer. In college, I started out with an English major but was intimidated by the other students who could write paragraph-long sentences. I switched to Journalism and felt more at home. Journalism led to technical writing, but I still wanted to someday write fiction. My novels are on the short side, but I just can’t make them longer. When I read, I find myself skipping pages in books that are too descriptive. I like dialog and action. I try to add humor and of course romance. My debut novel, Cera’s Place, had several sex scenes, which not every reader has liked (though I don’t think they were overly graphic). My current release, Venice in the Moonlight, is more toned down in that area. I let the characters drive the level of heat.

What are your favorite TV shows? I would like to thank who ever invented DVRs. My life would stink without the ability to record the multitude of shows I want to watch. I used to have stacks of VCR tapes and I would reuse them until they broke. It is so much easier now. We watch Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Nashville, Glee, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and several others!

How do you react to a bad review of your book?  Just the other day I read a bad review of Cera’s Place. The reader didn’t like the love scenes. In this case, I didn’t feel too bad. I think I could be the best writer in the world but this reader still wouldn’t like my stories because of the sex. And that’s ok. There have been other reviews, though, that made me very sad and depressed. You just try your best and learn and grow.

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words. Very Tough Skin

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? I think I would choose Paris. My husband has had some travel-heavy jobs, so we’ve been lucky to go to several places in Europe, but I haven’t been to France. I’d like to see why it is the city of love.

Do you have any special routines or rituals? I have a touch of OCD, so routines help me with my anxiety. As far as writing routines, before I can do anything with my current work in progress, I have to check all my social sites, book pages and sales reports. Then I can settle down and write.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering? I want to try a contemporary romance. The working title is Homecoming, and would revolve around a woman at her high school reunion. There would be conflicts with an ex-husband, a high school boyfriend, and some catty high school girlfriends. It doesn’t matter how accomplished you are in life, once you’re back with your high school peers, all the insecurities come out. I think it will be a story that everyone can relate to.

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it? “There's no right way of writing. There's only your way.” ― Milton Lomask

A Story of Vengeance, Forgiveness, and Love

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family’s villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. She returns to her hometown of Venice and her only kin—a father she hasn’t spoken to since her forced marriage. Her hope of making amends is crushed when she learns she is too late, for he recently has died under suspicious circumstances. Grief-stricken, Marietta retraces her father’s last night only to discover someone may have wanted him dead—and she may be next. When the prime suspect turns out to be the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta risks her future happiness and her life to avenge the death of a man she once hated.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Excerpt – Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna – Copyright 2013

Nico shrugged in the French wingback chair they had placed by the fireplace for his portrait. He looked regal in a black silk suit trimmed in gold and a waistcoat of burgundy and gold leaf-patterned brocade. It seemed Raul had excellent taste in men’s fashions.
Marietta rolled her eyes before she settled in a chair behind the easel. “Please keep still while I draw.”
“May I talk?”
“I’d rather you didn’t.” Looking at him was going to be enough distraction. She didn’t need to listen to him also.
He ignored her request. “I have to ask—why Palladino?”
Marietta blew out an exasperated breath. “I can’t sketch you properly if you talk.”
“You could have chosen any man at the Consul’s villa. Casanova himself expressed interest in you, yet you leave with that pig.”
“It’s not what you think.” She compared her drawing to Nico and frowned. His shoulders were no longer in the same position.
“You didn’t have to suffer the man’s dismal lovemaking. What were you thinking?”
“We did not make love,” she replied through clenched teeth.
He continued as if not hearing her. “You’re the first woman in years that he didn’t have to pay, though he would never admit to his need for courtesans. I just don’t understand how you could find him appealing.”
“We did not make love.” She practically shouted it this time. “I’m not attracted to Palladino or any other man for that matter.”
This silenced him, gratefully, but only for a few moments. “Well, in that case, I know of a few courtesans that can accommodate you. I am told they are quite beautiful and skilled.”
Marietta threw down her charcoal and marched over to him. She grabbed his shoulders and repositioned him. “That is not what I meant and you know it.”
He smiled up at her innocently. “I didn’t mean to offend you, but you have refused my charms, so what should I think?”
She glared at him for her own benefit, knowing it would have no effect on the man. “You need to stop talking and moving.”
When he didn’t respond, she said, “That’s better.”
He lasted almost fifteen minutes. “So, what kind of man are you attracted to? Perhaps, I could suggest a few potential lovers.”
“How about one who has fewer conquests than fingers and toes? Or one that values honesty and fidelity over all else? Do you know any like that?”
From the thoughtful look on his face, he took this as an earnest question. “I’m afraid a man like that will be hard to find in Venice, especially this time of year.”
“Well, then, I guess I’ll have to go without.”
“How depressing. What will you do for amusement if you don’t take a lover?”
Marietta rubbed at her temples and decided she deserved more than the coins she’d already been paid. “There’s more to life than pleasuring oneself.”
“Yes, Signore, really.” She placed her stub of charcoal on the easel’s tray and rolled the stiffness from her neck and shoulders. “That is all for today. I have another appointment.” It was a lie, but she felt the need to rest and the bed in the corner was tempting her tired body. 


Love to get lost in the world of historical romances? Check out my alter ego, Elizabeth McKenna:

Author’s website / Facebook  My novels are available in e-book and paperback format. 

Just released!  Venice in the Moonlight - a story of vengeance, forgiveness, and love

 Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so when a psychic told her she would write a book, she felt obligated to give it a try. She combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

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Ends November 30th. 

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