Henry III said, “If I were not King of France, I would choose to be a citizen of Venice.”
wasn’t alone in his admiration. Venice, Italy has whispered its
inspirational promises to mankind for centuries. Its charms have proved
the catalyst for art, music, literature, and pleasure from lowly
artists to pedestaled kings.
Everything from its
romantically-arched windows overlooking bobbing gondolas, to its
gargoyle-shaped doorknobs, speaks of its uniqueness. There are sights
and sounds particular to Venice: bells’ flat gonging, water lapping
against boats, hand carts thumping across the walkways on the way to a
seven-centuries-old market, pigeons’ cooing right before their riotous
fluttering as tourists pour contents from seed sacks into their eager
palms, Byzantium architecture, blown-glass chandeliers, standing
gondoliers steering their crafts effortlessly through dark water, shops
with window fronts advertising hand-crafted shoes or carnival masks.
first visited in 2005 with a friend since high school. Nacicchetti—and drank wine from the region with names like Prosecco—which we recognized—and the lesser known to us at the time—Soave and Valpolicella—in enotecas and osterias.
Everything was strangely delicious and the art and sculpture was so
beautifully moving we could barely digest the richness that makes Venice
one of the world’s top travel destinations.
took the clichéd gondola tour. We ate squid and other small bites—
Who was the occupant requiring medical attention?
What had happened?
Where were they from and where were they headed?
Why had this been necessary?
A new story forged from this wonderment; one which culminated inBehind the Mask, a suspense-filled romance novel with Venice as its backdrop.
intention is to bring Venice’s full flavor to the reader as the journey
is set into motion between characters who might never have met without
this one event which required an ambulance. There is, of course, a
mystery to be solved and lovers to bring together—my own Bridge of
Renee Johnson is the author of Herald Angels,
Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray. She is currently working
on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has
international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.
She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson,
and two very spoiled German shepherds named Hansel and Gretel.
Renee Canter Johnson
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