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Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa PalomboMost Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

Thanks to Staci Burt of  St. Martin’s Press, I am giving away one print copy of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo.

Description of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence—most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici—become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo’s The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candor and unforgettable passion.

Praise for Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

“In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Palombo has married fine art with romantic historical fiction in this lush and sensual interpretation of Medici Florence, artist Sandro Botticelli, and the muse that inspired them all.” – Booklist

“Strikingly feminist…a compelling narrative that is difficult to put down.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“This captivating, beautifully written novel may be more fiction than fact, but readers will be entranced and will feel they are an integral part of the unfolding story. Palombo joins the ranks of Tracey Chevalier, Rosalind Laker and those who perfectly merge history and reality.” – Romantic Times

About Alyssa Palombo

Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

Credit: Elizabeth Snyder Photography, LLC

ALYSSA PALOMBO is also the author of The Violinist of Venice. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively.  A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. The Violinist of Venice is her first novel. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Website: https://alyssapalombo.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssinwnderlnd

Giveaway of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on May 13, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on April 25, 2009
Posted in Books Read in 2009Historical FictionItalyRobin Maxwell  | 12 Comments

Stirring Portrait of Renascence Italy

Historical records tell us very little about Leonardo Da Vinci’s mother, Caterina. All that is really know is that she had Leonardo out of wedlock and that he was taken from her by his father’s family and raise by them.

Robin Maxwell tries to fill in the blanks and the remarkable work of historical fiction. Caterenia grew up in a small village with her father, Ernesto, an apothecary. Her mother died when Caterina was very young. Ernesto was a true believer in education and educated Caterina even though it was almost unheard of for a woman to have an education. He also taught her how to be an apothecary.

One day Caterenia was gathering plants for the apothecary when she happened to meet Piero, the son of the richest family in the village. After that they met regularly until he finally propose marriage. With the promise of marriage, they consummated their love for each other.

Piero went home to tell his family about his future wife and he was forbidden to see her again, let alone marry her. A couple months after that, Caterina realized she was pregnant. After she gives birth, is when the story really spices up!

Caterina was an intelligent, kind, caring mother who would do anything for her son, even at great personal risk to herself and her identity.

Robin Maxwell writes a very colourful story of Caterina and her relationship with her son. She captures the essence of the Italian Renascence with vivid prose and includes details of real people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo de’Medici.

Maxwell did make one mistake, when Leonardo was almost 16 years old, Caterina was 21. She was 15 when she had him. The math does not add up at all. LOL!

Despite that, Maxwell wrote a stirring portrait of Renascence Italy and Leonardo da Vinci’s mother. Highly recommended!


Stay tuned, in mid-May I will be posting my interview with Robin Maxwell and a giveaway!

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