Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NBTM Virtual Tour + #Giveaway: The Renaissance Club by Rachel Dacus @Rachel_Dacus @GoddessFish

The Renaissance Club
by Rachel Dacus
GENRE:   Speculative Women's Fiction


Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? That's what young art historian and teacher May Gold must decide when she slips through time's folds to meet the man of her dreams and the subject of her master's thesis -- fiery 17th century genius artist Gianlorenzo Bernini.

In her fantasies May is in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who steered Renaissance art into the Baroque. In reality, she has just landed in Rome with her stodgy boyfriend and teaching colleagues for a tour of Italy. She yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit.

When the floor under the gilded dome of St Peter's basilica rocks under her feet, she finds herself in the year 1624, staring straight into Bernini's eyes. Their immediate and powerful attraction grows every time she meets him during the tour. Passion blossoms, but history says they have no future. Can May thread her way through time, and will she take a perilous risk to begin a magical, exciting new life?

This time travel romance is perfect for lovers of Italy, art, and love stories.


May changed her mind about going into the church and decided instead to climb the tall hill of Assisi and find a shop or two. She passed a small shop tucked under the overhanging, geranium-strewn balcony. Its window bore a sign: “Farmacia.” Pharmacy. She stopped. A morning-after pill was an over-the-counter item in Europe, probably here in Assisi too.

She ventured inside. It was a small place, a new shop built inside the ancient stone walls. She looked around at displays of mementos, purses, and perfumes. A small counter had a sign that said “Farmacia.”

She was about to call for the proprietor, when the light inside the shop changed. Glass bottles rattled on their shelves. She looked around and saw the shopkeeper emerge. Their gazes held. Earthquakes were familiar in Assisi, and could be frightening after their huge quake. The ground settled again, and he smiled and shrugged in that very Italian way.

George called them folds in time. She didn’t feel them any differently than normal quakes, but they made her unsteady. She touched the counter. Her mind raced somewhere else. Could he possibly appear here? She felt the doorway appearing at her sides and overhead.

A glimmer all around. Just step through.

Bernini came out of the shadows looking different than last time. He had circles under his eyes, and his skin was paler. He wore a flowing white shirt and a black jacket, as he often did, but the slashes in the sleeves were frayed, and the jacket was dusty, as if it had been through many travels.

Guest Post:

Hardwired for Story

Are our brains hardwired to love stories? Story Genius author Lisa Cron thinks so. She cites scientific evidence that humans are neurologically inclined to love stories because we want to learn how to solve life problems. Not just how to survive, but how to live and live well with each other.

The minute I read about this, I realized it was true. I’ve loved stories ever since I picked up my first Oz book, followed quickly by all the rest of them, then Little Women, and then all the Nancy Drews.

Stories present challenges in living we can identify with and learn from, as the main character encounters and overcomes them. Contemplating the story I wanted to tell in The Renaissance Club, I posed myself this question—if I could go back in time and meet one of the fantastic artists whose works I encountered in Italy, who would I like to meet, and what would I want to learn from them? Would it be Michelangelo or Bernini or Raphael, and what would I ask them about living a creative life and making art? Would I feel drawn to them in other ways?

That’s how I gave birth to May Gold as my main character. She’s an art historian with a passion for beauty and a creative soul she longs to unleash, but she’s uncertain of her abilities and doubts that she could ever measure up to the greatest artist she admires, Bernini. She lots of questions. And she’s lucky enough to slip through a fold in time and meet that living, breathing genius. She gets to ask lots of questions, and to find out that geniuses are compelling and difficult to live with. And thereby hangs a tale … the tale of The Renaissance Club.

If we are all hardwired to love a story, it’s hard to imagine we wouldn’t want to step through time and meet people from history, see what another place and era really looks like. If you could safely travel to any place in time, where would you go, and who would you want to meet. How might getting to do that change your life?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Rachel Dacus is a poet, essayist, and novelist who writes about love and relationships, with a touch of the supernatural. Love and history are the themes of her debut novel, The Renaissance Club, a tale of romance between a young art historian and her hero, the fiery 17th century Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. Praise for her novel — “enchanting, rich, and romantic” — describes the kinds of love and adventure stories Rachel enjoys, preferably set in exotic places. She has traveled to Italy and India and plans to expand her journeys beyond countries that start with the letter “I”.

She’s the daughter of a bipolar rocket engineer who worked on missiles during the race-to-space 1950’s. He was also an accomplished painter.

Her interest in Italy was ignited by a course in Renaissance art history that culminated in tour of northern Italy. She’s been hooked on Italy ever since. Her essay on Italy, motherhood, and infertility was anthologized in Italy, a Love Story: Women Write About the Italian Experience.

Dacus shows off her versatility in four poetry collections. Her newest is Arabesque. Three other collections are: Gods of Water and Air, Femme au Chapeau, and Earth Lessons. She raises funds for arts, human service, and healthcare organizations and takes walks with her way-too-smart Silky Terrier.

Find out more about Rachel Dacus  and The Renaissance Club:


$20 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

I appreciate you taking the time to give us a great book description and giveaway as well. Thank you so much!

Bernie Wallace said...

How did you come up for the idea of the cover of the book. Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Rachel Dacus said...

Thanks so much for hosting my giveaway, book, and article!

Rachel Dacus said...

Thanks for the congrats, Bernie!

Rachel Dacus said...

I came up with the concept of the cover by asking the designer for a woman walking away from the viewer into another era in time, and indicating that a scene in one of the locations in the book -- maybe Rome or Venice -- would be a good landscape to show a different time period.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt, I enjoyed reading it.

Bernie Wallace said...

Who is your favorite character in your book? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Beyond Comps said...

Nice looking cover!

jean602 said...

Love the cover.

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