Thanks for having me on your blog today! I’m Antonia Aquilante, and my new book, The Artist’s Masquerade, will be out 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 previous book, The Prince’s Consort, yet. It’s the story of Cathal, cousin to the prince and son of a duke, and Flavian, an artist on the run from his restrictive and dangerous homeland.
A theme that developed in The Artist’s Masquerade, and to some extent in the previous Tournai book, The Prince’s Consort, is how we deal with the expectations others have of us. I think we all have to figure out how to balance who we are and who we want to be with the expectations others have for us - what they think we should be, what they want us to be. It’s not easy to do what we want, to be who we want to be, in the face of others’ expectations, especially if those people are our loved ones. In The Artist’s Masquerade, Cathal has to find his way through this situation. The expectations of his father that Cathal be the perfect royal duke’s heir - marrying the right woman, providing an heir for the dukedom, following his father’s rigid concept of proper behavior - have begun to wear on Cathal even before his father arranges a marriage for Cathal without his knowledge or consent. But still Cathal tries to live up to those expectations, because fulfilling his duty to family and country is the most important thing in his world. Then Cathal meets Flavian, and everything changes. He has to struggle with meeting his father’s expectations, or if he should even try, and to find some sort of balance between the duty he’s been raised to and the love he’s coming to feel for Flavian.
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)
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 place 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.
Dreamspinner Press ebook
Dreamspinner Press paperback
Giveaway: One signed paperback copy of The Prince’s Consort, the first book in the Chronicles of Tournai series. (Paperback for US entrants only; if winner is international, they’ll receive an ebook.)
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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. She 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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