Hi, Everyone! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know I enjoy hosting other authors—especially when I’m a fan of their work. Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome my good friend, Staci Troilo, with her latest release, Tortured Soul. This is the final installment of her Medici Protectorate series, and as sorry as I am to see these fantastic stories come to an end, I can’t wait for the world to discover this book. I got to read it in the development stage and highly recommend you go forth and one-click. First, here’s Staci to tell you a bit about the series and the characters who populate Tortured Soul.
Ciao, everyone. Nice to be here today. Mae, once again, thank you for hosting me.
If you promise not to judge me, I’m going to admit to a guilty pleasure. My husband and I love watching Ancient Aliens. I know how absurd many (most? all?) of their theories are, but we are avid History Channel viewers and love to learn about ancient civilizations. While I seriously doubt the veracity of the show’s claims, we do learn many irrefutable facts—things about the societies, beliefs, art, and architecture of these peoples.
One fact I learned while watching the episode called “The Da Vinci Conspiracy” (season 4, episode 8) was that Leonardo disappeared from society for a couple of years, and when he returned, he became the Renaissance genius we know him as today. This disappearance is fact.
Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The British Library in London has his Codex Arundel
, his collection of writings, notes, drawings, inventions—thousands of pages of his thoughts on all sorts of topics. Of all that work, very little recounts details of his personal life. Yet one of the earliest entries is of the cave.
He describes standing at the mouth of a dark, vast cave and feeling a profound sense of terror at what might be inside. Conversely, he also experienced an insatiable desire to know what secrets were hidden within.
The show theorized that his documented retreat from society (1476 to 1478) occurred when he found the cave—and he spent those missing years with aliens, learning things centuries beyond what people of the time could even conceive of. When he returned to society is when he began demonstrating his brilliance and talents, qualities he gleaned from his time in the cave (or when “beamed up” from it) with the extraterrestrials. And of course the show goes on to offer “proof” of their claims.
Why am I telling you all this? Certainly not because I want you to think I’m a conspiracy theorist. (In fact, I’m far from it.)
I bring it up because the mention of his two-year disappearance and his specific notes about the cave sparked an idea in me. (See? Writers really do get inspiration from all kinds of places.)
What if the cave wasn’t a portal to aliens but rather a private retreat? A secret lab of sorts, where the forbidden practice of alchemy could be explored without interference or fear of discovery?
Furthermore, what if those alchemical experiments yielded success?
That spark of an idea blossomed into a full-blown plot point which, combined with my own family history, formed the basic concept of my Medici Protectorate series.
This four-book saga follows one of Leonardo’s contemporaries, Michelangelo, who practiced alchemy in secret and mastered both immortality and transmutation of metals. Still alive and wealthy beyond comprehension, he endeavors to fulfill a vow he made centuries earlier to the Medici family—to protect their descendants from harm, something he’s done for nearly half a millennium. The Notaro sisters are now the sole heirs to the Medici legacy, and because of an impending revolution in Italy, they are positioned to try and recapture the throne. It’s something none of the girls would ever consider.
Unfortunately, a nefarious organization has learned of their lineage. And they want to use the girls’ hereditary rights for their own benefits—or eliminate them.
Michelangelo formed the Medici Protectorate to keep all the Medici descendants safe throughout the years. And four of the members—the Brothers—were selected to serve as personal bodyguards for the latest generation. The fourth and final book, Tortured Soul, is the culmination of this battle between the Medici family line and the evil power hoping to usurp their rights and rule the country. And ultimately the world.
To think it all stemmed from a few simple ideas, like my own family history and a two-year retreat in a cave.
Protection is safety. Until it stifles.
After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.
Roberto Cozza—Coz—faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war—if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.
Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play—and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.
As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.
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Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.
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