THE ARTIST'S MASQUERADE...
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: December 21, 2015
Length: Novel (300 pages)
Dreamspinner Press ebook
As the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country, including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive p lace in which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.
Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’m Antonia Aquilante, and my new book, The Artist’s Masquerade will be out on December 21st from Dreamspinner Press. The Artist’s Masquerade is the second book in the Chronicles of Tournai series, but it can be read as a standalone if you haven’t read the first book yet.
I never intended for Cathal, one of the heroes of The Artist’s Masquerade, to have a story when I first wrote his character in The Prince’s Consort, the previous book in the series. But, to be perfectly honest, I’m far more a pantser than I am a plotter, so a lot of what I write is something I didn’t intend to write at the start. In any case, when Cathal first appeared, I didn’t see myself writing his story - I didn’t see his story. He was cousin to Prince Philip, one of the heroes of The Prince’s Consort, and was dedicated, overly concerned with propriety, and quite charming. He was also having an affair with a beautiful woman, the latest in a long string of such affairs.
And then Cathal turned from his cousin when he should have stayed and supported Philip and his love for Amory. Suddenly I knew more about Cathal, and I knew I would have to tell his story - Cathal kind of demanded it. Because there was far more going on beneath the stiff, overly proper exterior than came across in The Prince’s Consort, part of which was Cathal’s attraction to men as well as women, something he hides because of his strong adherence to duty. I had to write his story to show why Cathal acted the way he did and all the parts of himself he keeps hidden.
But most of all, knowing what I did about Cathal, I had to write his story because he needed love and a happily ever after of his own pretty desperately. And he really needed to be shaken up along the way to finding it. Flavian seemed like just the person to do that.
About the Author:
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent - they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. Sh e usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.
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