A Sip of Limonata…

… and A House Near Luccoli

Fruit and book_pe

Besides the folder of music, Donatella carried up a tray of limonata and anise cake, another of Nonna’s suggestions.

“At last.”

She smelled a candle burning, but it didn’t light the short hall. In the main room a window was open, with the settee moved closer to it, Signor Stradella a masterpiece resting there. One dark leg was stretched and falling over the back of the couch, a ruffled hand on its knee; the other bent to the floor and, even without stocking and shoe, appeared ready to walk away. He had also undressed to his shirt still buttoned high and wrinkled softly because it was made of the finest linen. A slight breeze blew his hair over his face. As he realized her burdened entrance, his right shoulder pillowed a half-smile and he reached out lazily.

“Did you bring bavareisa?”

“What’s that?” She clumsily laid the tray down on the gray marble hearth, not wanting to bend with her back to him.

Cioccolata and caffè.”

“We don’t have coffee. It’s too expensive.”

“I’ll pay for it.” He swung into sitting, hunched and rubbing his neck. “I’m getting one of my headaches.”

“It’s the weather.” Donatella offered him a drink.

He accepted it, the tips of his fingers friendlier than they should have been. “A veil over the sun, like a woman at Messa.”

He tasted it. “Ah. Fresco.”

“Squeezed this morning. Nonna says it’s good for clearing the voice.”

Cara Nònna.” He raised his glass, then emptied it with a kiss on its rim. “I’ve heard she was very rebellious. I wonder you didn’t become the same.”

“I wasn’t meant to.”

“How do you know?”

“Because it didn’t happen.” She was still holding the folder.

“I believe that’s why you’ve come?”

He moved slowly to make space on the table where his inventions were layered and sprawled, so many at once. By the time she placed the copy there he was sitting once more, leaning forward, his head in his hands.

“You can let me know.” She felt intrusive. “I’ve never seen you at Maddalena before.”

He rose, admitting his rudeness. “I was testing the sound for a wedding there.”

“It must be a special one.”

“Ah. I’ll make it so.” His teeth showed. “Così.” He leaned over the table, the side of his face long and angled, eyelashes still and mouth taut, the first page flipped for the second, the second for the third, every one after that as unremarkable.

“I’m untrained.”

He looked at the first page again, his index finger, chin, and muted hum following the stanzas. “Ah. You see. Just a little more space here and this note a little higher, the words not quite aligned.”

Her hope of impressing him was gone.

“No, no.” He showed sensitivity to being misunderstood. “Even my last copyist, a priest, cursed my sloppiness.”

“I did my best.”

“Ah. Anyway, there are many arie in the serenata, besides duetti and trii and sinfonie. I need copies of each by—you saw the date; barely a month away. Before that for rehearsal.” He closed the folder, falling back on the settee. “And only so-called musicisti in Genova, too quick or too slow or distracted by ambizione. Will you do more for me?”

She had to consider. His reputation. Her motivation. She couldn’t sign her name to the work, freely spend any payment, or even show some pride. Sneaking around, her aunt would eventually find out and put a stop to it anyway.

“Is that cake?”

“Yes.”

“For the flies?”

“Oh.” She rescued the plate.

He took a slice, eating it almost without chewing. “As we live dangerously opening windows.”

He reached for another, nodding for her to take what was left.

“All right,” she answered.

Bene allora.”

“I mean … I will help you.”

Mangia.”

“Oh, yes.” She broke a corner of the last piece on the plate.

He got up to pour her a glass of limonata, staring as her lips, covered in crumbs, finally took a sip.

From Chapter Five of A House Near Luccoli by DM Denton, published by All Things That Matter Press, available in Print, Kindle, Audio Book and NOOK Book Editions

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Win an E-Book Copy of A House Near Luccoli

A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th century Genoa

A novel of musical intrigue & intimacy in 17th century Genoa

I wanted to give my blog followers and visitors a chance to win a KINDLE or NOOK Book copy of my literary Historical Fiction, A House Near Luccoli.

All you have to do is LIKE the Facebook Page and you will be entered into a drawing. If the page reaches the next milestone of 250 LIKES, there will be two lucky winners!

If you already have a copy of the novel – and with the Holiday Season fast approaching – remember Kindle and NOOK Books may be given as gifts.

Thanks in advance and GOOD LUCK!

And thank you to those who have already supported me in this way – and a friendly reminder that if you have read the novel and haven’t written a review for it, I would really appreciate if you could post one on Amazon, Goodreads (if you are a member), and at barnesandnoble.com. Reviews really help a book’s exposure.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

Happy Halloween!

Copyright 2012 by Diane's Mom, June

Copyright 2012 by Diane’s Mom, June

A House Near Luccoli – One Year Anniversary

My historical fiction, A House Near Luccoli, imagining an intimacy with the Italian Baroque composer, Alessandro Stradella, has been out for a year!

It is available in Paperback, Kindle and NOOK BOOK  editions, and also as an Audio Book.

A House Near Luccoli Front View color adjusted cropped resized

I still pinch myself, feeling so blessed to have caught the attention of the award-winning novelist, Marina Julia Neary, who introduced me to my wonderful publishers, Deb and Phil, at All Things That Matter Press. They consistently offer sincere support, encouragement, respect and friendship to their authors who are also very supportive of each other.  I hope to have a long and productive relationship with ATTMP!

At this (just over) one year anniversary of the publication of A House Near Luccoli, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has purchased, read, is reading or planning on reading the novel, and to those who have taken the time to write and post a review. You can see many of them here on my website.

Reviews, ratings and recommendations are very important to a book’s exposure, to expanding its readership and giving it more chance for success. If you enjoyed the novel, please spread the word!

So, a gentle reminder and entreaty: if you did read A House Near Luccoli, are in the process of doing so or planning to, a review (of any length) would be welcome and can be easily posted to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads (if you are a member).  Whenever and wherever I share a review, I am happy to link back to the reviewer. I also am open to review exchanges.

If you don’t feel comfortable writing a review, I would still welcome your feedback, even in the comments on this blog or somewhere else like Facebook. If you wish to do so privately, there is a contact form on my website. If you have not yet considered ‘visiting’ A House Near Luccoli, I invite you to go to my website  to read about it, including excerpts and an audio sample.

Thank you all for your friendship and encouragement as I pursue my passion!

I wish you all much happiness and fulfillment in whatever yours may be.

Finally, I’m offering this excerpt from my other publication, A Friendship with Flowers, with the understanding that taste in reading like anything else is a very personal thing.

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Pinky-white the blossom,
black the berry;

otherwise the only query between
the flower and the fruit
is which kind of taste
they better suit.



donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

What Would You Like to Know?

Flower Question Mark-page-0 (2)This post is a little different for me, but I am hoping some of you might be able to help.
Regarding my novel, A House Near Luccoli published by All Things That Matter Press: I will be doing an interview in early April for Unusual Historicals, a blog where historical authors brave the wilds of unusual settings and times to create distinctive, exciting novels just outside of the mainstream.
For those who don’t know, the novel imagines a fictional intimacy with one of the most legendary and yet obscure composers of the 17th century, Alessandro Stradella. Set in Genoa where Stradella seems to have made a new start after being involved in scandals that forced him to flee Rome, Venice and Turin, his professional and personal life have begun to unravel once more. The novel begins as he moves into a new apartment to the curiosity and consternation of its caretakers. At first, one of them, Donatella, is in awe of and certain she will have little to do with Stradella. Slowly, his ego, playfulness, need of a copyist and camouflage involve her in an inspired and insidious world, exciting and heartbreaking as she is enlarged by his magnanimity and reduced by his missteps, forging a friendship that challenges how far she will go.
Of course, if you have read the novel or are reading it, I would love to know what you would like to know about it.
Even if you haven’t read it, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the kind of questions you might like to ask an author about their work specifically or generally or otherwise. (You can read more about the novel at its page on my website.)

Cover Artwork by DM DentonCopyright 2012



Just put any suggestions in a comment to this post. All those who do offer interview questions will go into a draw for a free Kindle or NOOK Book edition of the novel. (If you already have a copy, it would make a great gift!)
I look forward to your ideas! Thank you in advance.




PS: Likes, Ratings, and Reviews are always welcomed, whether on amazon.com, barnesandnobleGoodreads, or all three – and don’t forget my Facebook Author Page! (I am always willing to return the favor.)



©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

New Book Release: My Novel, A House Near Luccoli

That figure was the 17th Century composer, violinist and singer, Alessandro Stradella (1639 – 1682). My novel, A House Near Luccoli, published by All Things That Matter Press, is set in Genoa, Italy, imagining an unusual intimacy with him as he tries to sustain his career and escape his demons.

It is now available!

In the US, through amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle Edition 

In the UK, through amazon.com.uk in Paperback 

(and–in English–through amazon.com Germany, Italy, France and Austria)

Please note: Kindle editions must be ordered through amazon.com 

Through Barnes and Noble as a NOOK book

You can read a sample at amazon.com and request one sent to you from barnesandnoble.com.

I offer a small excerpt here … which I post in tribute to a beloved friend who died yesterday, an amazingly talented and bravely spirited singer and musician (mainly Medieval and Renaissance music) who will never be absent from me. My heart goes out to his beautiful wife and sons, and all those who are missing him so much already.

She was caught in a wishful trap, like the first time she had seen him. No, not really the first, for that was from afar and without any intent but to keep him in impossibility. It was when he blew in on scandal and forgiveness, delicate and dynamic, climbing to the top, carrying his fortune, mistaking identities but not character, his heart not skipping a beat so hers found some rhythm again. And from that beginning offered everything and nothing, working and playing, rising and falling, causing concern and relief, making music more important than memories.

from A House Near Luccoli© by DM Denton

If you wish to contact me regarding the novel, please go to my website’s contact page, or email me at astradellasojourn@earthlink.net





©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.