Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Lucy. It’s an honour to be here, and to introduce Veronica to your readers. My erotic novella is inspired by the life of one of the most sought-after 16th Century Venetian Courtesans. These gifted ladies were trained, usually by their mothers, not just to have sex but also to entertain their patrons by singing, playing music, dancing, and witty conversation. Veronica was a talented seductress and also a published writer and poet. Her forward, feisty personality impressed me when I read her work and it was a joy to bring her to life on the page, helped by my brilliant editor John Hudspith who also worked with me on my time-slip historical romance Lady of Asolo. Veronica had a passionate affair with a fellow-poet; the following extract is taken from the start of their first sexual encounter. I’m now working on Book Two in the series, which will be set in 6th Century Constantinople, and is inspired by a courtesan who set her sights on the most powerful man in the world: the Emperor’s nephew and heir apparent.
We take our leave of the company, put on our cloaks, and walk to my house. Finding his hand, I tug at him and pull him towards the front door. Moonlight illuminates the calle as, heart pounding, I fumble to insert my key into the lock.
‘Pray, let me do it.’ He reaches for the fob.
‘I can manage, my lord.’ I nudge him out of the way, turn the lock and push the heavy door open. My household has retired long since.
All is dark except for a tallow candle left burning on the stairwell. It provides just enough light to see up to the piano nobile. I hop on one foot, trying to unlace one of my chopines. He steadies me, removes his sword, and kneels to take off both of my shoes.
I wriggle my toes. ‘Oh, such relief.’
He touches my calves, behind my knees, and the outside of my thighs, sending a tingle to my core. I place my hands in his hair, and tug gently. ‘Come, my lord!’ I urge him to his feet, then walk up the stairs. He follows me to my chamber, and stands in the doorway, watching me, while I light candles.
I pull the earrings from my ears and the bracelet from my wrist, setting them on my nightstand. Slowly, I untie my bodice. Reaching behind I undo my overskirt. My clothes fall to the floor and pool at my feet. Only my underskirt remains. Soon that joins my other garments. I’m standing naked now except for my pearl choker.
‘Pray, unclasp me, sir!’
Turning around, I lift my hair. In a few steps, he’s standing next to me, reaching for the clasp of my necklace and unhooking it, setting it on the nightstand next to the earrings and bracelet. He rests his palms on my shoulders and slides them down my back, breathing fast and deep. I catch the scent of musk and his citrus cologne.
‘Disrobe now,’ I tell him. ‘For this challenge, you are required to do exactly as I tell you.’
I watch him watching us, imagining how he would take me.
I send him the message with my eyes.
This is who I am.
I am Veronica Franco.
I am a COURTESAN.
I court the cultural elite for fame and fortune, giving my body to many.
And I’m good. So very good. After all, I was taught by my mother, and mother always knows best.
How else to please the future King of France than with the imaginative use of Murano glass? How else to fulfil the desires of all yet keep my sense of self-worth?
But when disaster strikes and my life begins to unravel, I’ll have to ask myself one question:
Is it too late to give my heart to just one man?
Set in Venice 16th Century.
Advisory: sensuously erotic. 18+
Amazon Kindle: http://viewbook.at/Veronica_FC1
Siobhan Daiko is an author of romantic historical fiction and a new series of erotic novellas featuring famous courtesans – strong women who held their own in a man’s world. A lover of all things Italian, Siobhan lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband and two cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK she now spends her time, when she isn’t writing, enjoying the dolce vita near Venice.
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/siobhan-daiko/