veniceVenice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna is a fast-moving, atmospheric romance. Set in eighteenth century Italy, we meet Marietta Gatti who is having rather a tough time of things. Her husband, Dario, is an obnoxious, unfaithful bully and as for his mother, well, she’s beyond awful. When Dario dies prematurely, Marietta is thrown out by mum-in-law and returns from Verona to her parents in Italy but finds that her father has been murdered and someone unpleasant is after her. But fortunately there’s Nico so she’s not totally alone.

This is an unusual story. As well as a bevy of trials for our heroine to get through, we have the heady atmosphere of carnival time in Venice, plus devil worshipping and also a blind hero. The author is particularly good at depicting characters. We really get into their shoes and see how their minds work. Venice is beautifully portrayed and we can imagine ourselves there in this almost magical world.

The story is absorbing and it’s easy to get lost in it. Elizabeth McKenna writes with a keen eye for detail but never goes over the top with it. The story never wallows and neither do our characters. There’s energy and optimism, despite the difficult circumstances the find themselves in. This is an enjoyable historical romance/mystery that makes for a pleasant, interesting read.

You can buy it on Amazon.com here.

About the author

elizmcElizabeth 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 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 http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.

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It’s party time! Today Karie Hendon is celebrating the launch of her historical romance Keeper of my Heart. Set in the kindgom of Greenwood, Josian, the village seamstress, has caught King Tobias’s eye. After a few months of visiting her for unnecessary clothing repairs and alterations, he comes clean and tells her he wants to hand fast with her – become engaged. Naturally he thinks Josian will be thrilled to be his chosen one, but she isn’t that impressed. She’s a strong-willed young woman and doesn’t take to being told what to do, even by her king. Tobias’s Captain of the Guard, Avery, warns Tobias he’s got his hands full taking on Josian.

And he has. Josian hangs on to her independence when she first moves into the castle. She finds a wonderful friend in her Lady in Waiting Cecily, but she also makes some enemies. Josian is in for a hard time but luckily she has Tobias to watch out for her. Gradually she learns to see beyond his apparent arrogance but he still might not be enough to keep her safe…

This is a thoughtfully and beautifully written story with an amazing amount of attention to detail and light, humorous touches here and there. There is so much going on in the story. We meet Josian’s family and face their hardships, we quickly dislike Josian’s seamstress rival, Elizabeth, and we find out the truth about Andrew la Barre, Tobias’ uncle. The plot never lets up, but there are moments of tenderness and reflection amongst all the action. Karie is a very clever writer and keeps her readers thoroughly charmed and entertained.

I also happen to know she’s a really lovely person and I asked her a few questions. She was kind enough to find time to answer them, in the middle of launching her new book and just after coming home from honeymoon. She’s one energetic author!

Here’s the link to