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Blog Tour: The Renaissance Club by Rachel Dacus

The Renaissance Club

By Rachel Dacus

Fiery Seas Publishing

January 23, 2018

Time Travel Romance

May Gold, college adjunct, often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis - Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque.

But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend who is paying her way. She yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit, and when the floor under the gilded dome of St Peter’s basilica rocks under her feet, she gets her chance. Walking through the veil that appears, she finds herself in the year 1624, staring straight into Bernini’s eyes. Their immediate and powerful attraction grows throughout May’s tour of Italy. And as she continues to meet her ethereal partner, even for brief snatches of time, her creativity and confidence blossom. All the doorways to happiness seem blocked for May-all except the shimmering doorway to Bernini’s world.

May has to choose: stay in her safe but stagnant existence, or take a risk. Will May’s adventure in time ruin her life or lead to a magical new one?

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May sat down and arranged her skirt. Bernini went over to a modeling stand, set up a block of clay, and fixed his analytical gaze on her, squinting and then tilting his head one way and then the other. After a moment, he gave directions. “Pull up your skirt to your knees. I want to see the calves. Let the legs be straight, but twist your torso and shoulders to the right. Look up to that corner, but only slightly. Just with the eyes.”

She tried to find and settle into the pose he wanted, but he shook his head and waved her to twist more. She did, but she turned her head back to see if it was enough. He nodded and gestured to turn her head back. His stare was intense, as if he were looking through her. The thought of Bernini sculpting her was thrilling, as was watching him do it.

She turned her head and spoke without looking at him. “When we first met, you sketched me. What did you see that you wanted to capture, besides my too-long nose?”

“I had ideas for you. Your look is unique. Please keep your body turned one way from the waist down and the opposite way from the waist up. I want you as my model for a statue of Truth. Were we not speaking of truth in art?

“I do remember we were.” She thought of his great sculpture Truth Unveiled by Time, a seated, smiling, voluptuous woman whose drapery was being lifted away by the invisible figure of Time. Invisible, presumably, because Bernini never finished the work. Or was it that he preferred Time to be invisible because of its illusory quality? Truth’s smile looked like she was a woman radiantly in love. She twisted upward, looking up and over her shoulder at her lover. Was he saying Truth is in love with Time—or was he depicting his model in love with her sculptor? That must be how she looked right now.

He folded his arms and tilted his head. “No, I cannot do this in clay. I must go directly into the marble.”

What an exciting thing—to watch him work on marble! He went to a small block on another stand, pulled out his charcoal, and swiftly marked all around it. Then he took up chisel and hammer and gave the marble a few blows to test its soundness. He began to work. He was incredibly fast. Crouching, stretching, and marking around the block, he struck it again and again, without even breaking his gaze at her.

~ Praise for The Renaissance Club ~

Enchanting, rich and romantic…a poetic journey through the folds of time. In THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, passion, art, and history come together in this captivating tale of one woman’s quest to discover her true self and the life she’s meant to lead. Rachel Dacus deftly crafts a unique and spellbinding twist to the time-traveling adventure that’s perfect for fans of Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon. — Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

The Renaissance Club is a beautifully written story about a woman torn between two worlds—the present and the distant past. This time-travel adventure kept me guessing until the end about which world May would choose, and if that choice would be the right one. Highly recommended for lovers of time travel fiction or anyone looking for a compelling story about a woman trying to find happiness. — Annabelle Costa, Author of The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend.

The Renaissance Club shimmers with beauty, poetry, and art. Author Rachel Dacus sweeps her readers away to Italy with her, lifting the senses with the sights, sounds, and tastes of that stunning country; imparting her deep knowledge of Renaissance and Baroque art while immersing the reader in a gorgeously romantic story. This book is time travel at its best! — Georgina Young-Ellis, author of The Time Mistress Series

About the Author:

Rachel Dacus is the daughter of a bipolar rocket engineer who blew up a number of missiles during the race-to-space 1950’s. He was also an accomplished painter. Rachel studied at UC Berkeley and has remained in the San Francisco area. Her most recent book, Gods of Water and Air, combines poetry, prose, and a short play on the afterlife of dogs. Other poetry books are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau.

Her interest in Italy was ignited by a course and tour on the Italian Renaissance. She’s been hooked on Italy ever since. Her essay “Venice and the Passion to Nurture” was anthologized in Italy, A Love Story: Women Write About the Italian Experience. When not writing, she raises funds for nonprofit causes and takes walks with her Silky Terrier. She blogs at Rocket Kid Writing.

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