Sunday, 22 September 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Cursed by Cate Master (The Vitruvian Man # 1)

Please welcome Cate to my blog today as she talks about her new book and using music to inspire stories. She mentions one of my favourite bands, The Goo Goo dolls so we must be kindred spirits! Now be sure to enter the rafflecopter as she's giving away a $15 GC PLUS book swap. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Sept 23. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Music to Write Stories To

Did a song ever stop you in your tracks? Or maybe just work its way into your subconscious and keep replaying in your head?

Lots of songs do that to me. I'm not someone who can write with music playing in the background. Oh, I absolutely love music, and I could spend countless hours trolling YouTube for favorite bands. But while I'm writing, I find music too distracting, and I'd end up either singing along or blocking it out completely.

Music often inspires me, and I love to incorporate it into stories. Sometimes all I need is a snippet of lyric, and a story evolves. That's how Cursed began. The oldies station my hubby likes often plays The Goo Goo Dolls' song Iris.

One line of lyrics jumped out at me: "I'd give up forever to touch you." What a powerful notion. Such an incredible sacrifice.

I began jotting notes revolving around that line. But I'd already written several stories about angels who'd given up their heavenly status after falling in love, so I wanted something a little different. An alpha male, for sure, but a little bit unusual.

So Bruno diCesare began to take shape. Bruno's a music lover, too, and sometimes people strolling through Venice might hear the lovely strains of a Stradivarius violin echoing along the narrow alleyways. They'd never see him because he hides himself away until Carnevale, the ten-day masquerade. And even then, he stays in his disguise.

Until the day he meets Melina. :)

What about you -- have you ever fallen in love with a song? Or its lyrics?

Cursed is the first in The Vitruvian Man series, and Decadent recently released Charmed. Watch for Claimed to release this month!

Purchase from Amazon, B&N and ARe.

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.

Melina should have stayed in her room. Finding him had seemed like such incredible luck. Now she wondered whether luck had turned against her.

That sound—almost an animal sound—had that come from him? Had she imagined it? Strange things went on during Carnevale, her online friends had said, some so inexplicable no science could explain them. She’d laughed when they warned her she might get in over her head.

The sheer strength of his muscles, the raw power beneath his clothes, thrilled her. His pace conveyed the same urgency.

Pressed to his side, nerves jangling, her foot slipped on the stone step.

In one fluid motion, he scooped her into his arms and continued hurrying along. “Are you all right?”

“Unless embarrassment leaves a mortal wound. I’m normally not so clumsy.” She settled against his broad chest. Such incredible stamina. An image pierced her mind: his muscular, naked torso above her, his hips rocking against hers. His presence overwhelmed her, and she was acutely aware of every motion, every breath.

At the bottom of the stone stairs, he set her on her feet but maintained his firm hold. “Dampness has a habit of lingering here. You’d best allow me to assist you.”

“Please.” She fitted herself against him, acutely aware of the way his body moved against hers.

“In these calle of San Samuele,” he said, “Giacomo Casanova spent his youth.”

“Calle?” She should have brushed up on her Italian.

He dipped his head closer. “Narrow alleyways.”

“Narrow and dark. I wonder how many trysts Casanova had in these alleys?” And Casanova had nothing on Bruno. Women probably flocked around him constantly. Acid flashed through her at the thought.

“Too many to recount.” He paused, then added, “If one believes the writings in his diary. His mentor, the poet Giorgio Baffe, lived just down there.”

“Mentor?” She didn’t recall Casanova writing poetry. Did Bruno as well? Or was he not romantic that way?

“Of a sort. The man who introduced Casanova to worldly pleasures.”

The way the last two words rolled off his tongue, so enticing. She glanced at the dark steps that led to deeper shadows beside the canal.

She surprised herself by steering him down there, tugging him to an abrupt halt. “Do such mentors still exist?”

He whirled her against a wall. “Why? Would you be interested?”

She let her hands wander across the contours of his chest. “You did offer to introduce me to the delights of Venice.”

The same growl as earlier rumbled in his throat, unmistakable this time. “You do like to play with fire, don’t you?”

And he knew how to ignite one.

Multi-published, award-winning author Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web. Cate loves to hear from readers! Email her at

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  1. Thanks so much for having me Samantha! So cool that we're kindred spirits. :)

    1. My pleasure! The Goo Goo Dolls have inspired me many times so it's so nice to see I'm not the only one. Best of luck with your book x

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Susie! And for the good wishes.

  3. Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. Song: How Do You Talk to An Angel. Congrats on the completion of the tour. evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. Aw thanks Eva! It's been a wonderful tour for sure. :)

  4. Oh, that's cool that you can tie a lot of your books into music from The Goo Goo Dolls. Iris is wonderful :) Good luck with your new book!

    1. Thanks much smiles! (Love that name :) )