Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today the Spotlight is on Cursed by Cate Masters Giveaway, Guest Post and Excerpts

Cursed (The Vitruvian Man #1)
by Cate Masters
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Categories: Action/Adventure
Publisher:  Decadent Publishing (new TEASE line)
Release Date: April 21, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 30,000

Available at:

Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.

During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.

For ten days, it didn’t matter.

Until I met her.

Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera – the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.

Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.

Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Bruno’s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man she’s just met and never seen.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

About the Author:
Multi-published, award-winning author Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania
her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web. Cate loves to hear from readers! Email her at

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Excerpt One

Light danced in his dark eyes. “I must admit, your fire dancing fascinated me. What made you choose such a dangerous skill to master?”

“The thrill of the challenge, I suppose.” It balanced the rest of her mundane life, to a degree. Mastering each new level gave her a sense of achievement, where work couldn’t.

Something flashed through his dark eyes. “Mistakes must be very painful.”

“I practiced a long time before I worked up the nerve to actually light the wands. I found the fire great incentive to focus, however.” God, her grin must be goofy, the way he stared. Such gorgeous eyes, such a deep brown they almost appeared black. He probably had rugged features, if his large hands provided any indication. Too bad he wore gloves, another barrier between them.

“Yes,” he said, “I imagine so.”

“What about you? What other magic do you know?” Oh please, can you get any more ridiculous? It sounded like a line from a bad chick flick.

The crinkle around his eyes was the only evidence of his smile, but enough to charm her.

“Lifetimes of studying the dark arts have provided me with many tricks.”

“Lifetimes?” she blurted.

He stiffened in her arms. “Pardon?”

She watched him carefully. “You said ‘lifetimes’. Plural.” And what the hell did he mean by ‘dark arts’?

Rigidity masked the grace of his movements. “I’m sure you’re mistaken.” He stared over her head as they whirled to the song’s rhythm.

Mistaken my ass. How very strange. More strange that the question upset him. He’d clammed up, and his muscles were so tense, she expected him to bolt. Better to drop it. For now. “Must have been a slip of the tongue.”

“Yes.” Relief sounded in his tone, though guarded.

Be careful what you wish for

Did your parents ever tell you this? (Over and over again, like mine, lol. It was one of my Dad’s favorite sayings) Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.

Telling that to a desperately lonely woman is a waste of breath! Those long hours of working in a lab make her imagine the guy she’d love to meet – tall, dark, strikingly handsome. Alpha male, of course. Intelligent would be great. And cultured. A guy who appreciates hard work as much as fun and humor.

My dad used to have another saying that stuck with me – don’t wish your life away. So true! I spent way too much time as a kid dreaming about what I wanted. Dreaming is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. Without dreaming, I’d never be a writer. All those daydreams brought to life stories and vivid characters that now seem like dear old friends. And while I was wishing and dreaming as a kid, I was also writing. Some dreams just stay with you.

I know what I’ve been wishing for lately – release day for each book in this trilogy! Decadent released Cursed in April, and last month released the second book, Charmed. Claimed, the third in the series, releases this month! It’s a dream come true.

Tourwide giveaway!
Enter the contest at each participating stop for a chance to win a $15 GC PLUS book swag. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Sept 23. 
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
You can enter the rafflecopter here:  

....a cold and lonely existence....
Bruno diCesare lives in the shadows. Alone and hidden from the world, his only joy comes but once a year---at Carnevale. For ten days, he can blend in with the colorful, masked masses without revealing his true nature. But this time, he is faced with fiery temptation.
Carnevale allows Melina Weaver to be someone else--someone sexy, daring, enticing, someone who lives on the edge. It's a far cry from her real life, with long and boring hours spent in a sterile lab. When her fire dancing arouses the curiosity of a dark and compelling stranger, she might have more excitement--and danger--than she ever imagined.
Can Bruno escape his cursed existence? Can he protect her, and can she trust him to save them both?
Ten days. The difference between bliss or desolation, redemption or remaining forever Cursed.


Melina should have stayed in her room. Finding him had seemed like such incredible luck. Now she wondered whether luck had turned against her.
That sound—almost an animal sound—had that come from him? Had she imagined it? Strange things went on during Carnevale, her online friends had said, some so inexplicable no science could explain them. She’d laughed when they warned her she might get in over her head.
The sheer strength of his muscles, the raw power beneath his clothes, thrilled her. His pace conveyed the same urgency.
Pressed to his side, nerves jangling, her foot slipped on the stone step.
In one fluid motion, he scooped her into his arms and continued hurrying along. “Are you all right?”
“Unless embarrassment leaves a mortal wound. I’m normally not so clumsy.” She settled against his broad chest. Such incredible stamina. An image pierced her mind: his muscular, naked torso above her, his hips rocking against hers. His presence overwhelmed her, and she was acutely aware of every motion, every breath.
At the bottom of the stone stairs, he set her on her feet but maintained his firm hold. “Dampness has a habit of lingering here. You’d best allow me to assist you.”
“Please.” She fitted herself against him, acutely aware of the way his body moved against hers.
“In these calle of San Samuele,” he said, “Giacomo Casanova spent his youth.”
“Calle?” She should have brushed up on her Italian.
He dipped his head closer. “Narrow alleyways.”
“Narrow and dark. I wonder how many trysts Casanova had in these alleys?” And Casanova had nothing on Bruno. Women probably flocked around him constantly. Acid flashed through her at the thought.
“Too many to recount.” He paused, then added, “If one believes the writings in his diary. His mentor, the poet Giorgio Baffe, lived just down there.”
“Mentor?” She didn’t recall Casanova writing poetry. Did Bruno as well? Or was he not romantic that way?
“Of a sort. The man who introduced Casanova to worldly pleasures.”
The way the last two words rolled off his tongue, so enticing. She glanced at the dark steps that led to deeper shadows beside the canal.
She surprised herself by steering him down there, tugging him to an abrupt halt. “Do such mentors still exist?”
He whirled her against a wall. “Why? Would you be interested?”
She let her hands wander across the contours of his chest. “You did offer to introduce me to the delights of Venice.”
The same growl as earlier rumbled in his throat, unmistakable this time. “You do like to play with fire, don’t you?”
And he knew how to ignite one.
This man had something to hide. How intriguing.

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My 4 Star Review

I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

A fast paced and quick read that I read in one sitting. We are taken into the world of genetic science and mystic. Corrupt politicians and scientist and a beautiful sorceress that wants her own way. Two people, so opposite from each other met the first night of the Carnevale in Venice, and immediately you could feel the scorching passion ignites as their eyes locked. Filled with mystery and romance you quickly learn that the masked man is not whom he seems to be. I loved the way that the author took real historical figures and brought them to the story line to give you more of a reality feel to the plot. The reason for the name of the series.
Our heroine an ordinary woman, turned into a seductress and literally played with fire, but at the end we learned more about her feisty side, determined to help the man trapped in the clutches of magic. Bruno's only wish to be accepted as he is finds a woman made for him, and together they not only scorched the sheets but brought to light the evil lurking in normal everyday life.
An entertaining paranormal story that will keep you guessing till the very last page.

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Giveaway Info: 

Prize is a $15 GC PLUS book swap. 
Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Sept 23. 
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 


  1. Thanks so much for the lovely review! And for featuring Cursed. :)

  2. You are welcome Cate, wish you all the best with the book.

  3. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com