Tonya Macalino lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her husband and two children. She is an avid collector of folklore and folk history, far too many to fit comfortably within the pages of any given book. When not working on her latest novel, she enjoys coaching other writers through the How to Build a Book workshops at Jacobsen’s Books & More. To read more of the little folklore gems she unearthed during her research, please visit her blog at www.tonyamacalino.com
For news and events, drop by her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TonyaMacalino.com
The Story of Place Blog: www.tonyamacalino.com/page10.php
Faces in the Water (The Shades of Venice, #1) by Tonya Macalino Editions: paperback Published 2011 by Crystal Mosaic Books Who created that slide of silk across your skin as you reached for your cinematic lover? Who recorded the crushing weight of the grizzly as you fought for your life in the fictional wilderness? It is Lone Pine Pictures’ Alyse Kate Bryant who wraps your body in the story only your mind was privy to before. A brilliant sensory immersion artist and a wild daredevil, Alyse will do almost anything for the perfect sensory file, but the violent death of her father has her teetering on the very edge of reckless sanity. For just one night, Alyse seeks refuge in the arms of a beautiful stranger. And her recklessness finally has consequences. Now Alyse finds herself trapped in the flooded ruins of Venice, a quarantine camp for the carriers of Sleepers’ Syndrome. But it can never be that simple. Because the Sleepers’ Syndrome carriers who populate the camp are no longer as human as they seem. The city of legend is bringing its legends back to life. They come now, Alyse. Run. ~ Goodreads Blurb
In FACES IN THE WATER, we watch Alyse Kate Bryant rapidly succumb to the beauty and terror of a ruined Venice as the ancient city’s legends rise up to live again. But there is a moment, a tranquil, glittering moment when Alyse clings to the peace she finds in the arms of a beautiful stranger, Matteo Ranier.
Glimpse how that moment looked through his eyes…
The champagne sparkled in my veins. I felt it shimmer in my fingertips, in my toes. My knees grew loose. I pulled her tighter against me, knowing she could feel what my body was thinking, not caring that she knew. I rested my chin on the glossy, smooth satin of her hair, breathed in the rich scent of her—intoxicating like pine and wildflowers in a crisp mountain breeze. She reminded me of home.
Alyse Kate Bryant. After all these years.
How different my life might have been, if I’d had the guts to walk up to her in that last row of drama class? I held back an ironic laugh that would have shattered Vivaldi’s season of peace. I pinned it down to a self-deprecating smile. I would never have had the guts back then. I’d been wandering through my senior year, half lost in hormones, only vaguely understanding the world expected me to become…something. And Alyse? She’d been a force of nature, just biding her time until she could explode out into the world.
What ifs were dangerous thoughts for a soul quarantined in Hell.
Sighing, I guided our orchestrated sway between a pair of couples giving the dance a more serious effort. I glanced past them, out at the reality beyond my drunken haze. I hesitated, nearly lost the rhythm. Across the room, at the entrance to the ballroom, Jürgen and Suzie stared back at me. I saw the cold hunger in their eyes. I blinked when I recognized that same cold creeping over the warm contentment in my chest.
No, please not now.
But the icy tendrils didn’t emanate from the direction of the ballroom door.
They weren’t reaching for me.
I was reaching for her.
I loosened my embrace.
She stirred against my chest, her groan of protest bringing my arms back around her. No. No, it couldn’t be me. She wasn’t one of us. And I, I didn’t have that problem anymore.
Slowly, I swayed us in a circle until my back was to my superiors, until the warmth of her body and the soaring of the strings forced the cold to recede, to release its grip on my chest. Just paranoia. Nothing more. Dr. Roz had warned us it might be like this after so many years away from people who didn’t carry this goddamn syndrome.
I closed my eyes and ran my hands up Alyse’s back, trim and strong, let my fingers run back down through that hair. Her body melted against mine, relaxed and trusting. I pressed my cheek to the top of her head and caught myself wanting to make promises I couldn’t keep. I squeezed my eyes tighter shut.
Just for tonight, then, Alyse.
Just for tonight.
Do you prefer to know both sides of the story or would you rather the leading man remain a mystery?
Livia says: I generally like to go with only one side of the story, single POV. It’s fun to go with either side, but just one of them always works best for me. What about you guys?