One Night in Venice
“Il sono molto pericoloso,” he said softly, “I am very dangerous—for you, caro—don’t you think?”
Kate Pollock is an average art student from London who, by sheer fluke, ends up in Venice on a scholarship. On her first day, she spots sex-on-legs in the corridor, the illustrious Martinez Di Ser Piero, and is shocked to learn he’s her Practicals tutor. The last thing she expects is for him to be attracted to her, but after one kiss, she’s lost to this mysterious man.
Following a dry spell in his career, Kate inspires Martinez to paint again. When his latest work goes missing, she has to solve the crime, as well as the enigma that is him. Kate thinks she’s falling in love with Martinez—could he be ‘the one’, or will his secret past break her heart?
My Art Practical room was a basement, and it was cold. Basements are one thing, historical basements quite another. This one was not merely musty, it smelt like a catacomb, and I swear I could feel the pull of all that water beneath me.
It was the understatement of the year to say that I felt nervous. I was beside myself with fear as I sat waiting for him. I kept wringing my hands, which were freezing. Somehow they managed to be sweaty as well. I ran them over the plain brown skirt I was wearing to smooth it down and glanced up. I was sitting under an unflattering fluorescent light.
The door opened behind me and then clicked shut. I could feel his presence; a powerful energy that filled and warmed the space. I turned around on the high bar stool I was perched on and involuntarily spread my legs. Seeing him again did bad things to me. A tingling in the soles of my feet that started inching up my legs. Oh God, I was so primed. I was going to come, just sitting here.
“Ms Pollock.” He was in the same tan jacket and his eyes were glowing, his voice firm and earnest. “You seem a bit underdressed.”
Did he mean the cold, or was he finding fault with my nun’s habit of a skirt? It was all I had brought to Italy in that line. My stomach flipped.
“You don’t get to call the shots,” I heard myself saying.
“The skirt is perfect,” he answered. It was such a quick, charged exchange that I didn’t know quite what had happened. Yes I did. We were cutting to the chase, just like we had in the locker room.
“How much do you know about me?” I asked. I had this funny feeling that he knew more than he had let on. He sat on the edge of the bar stool nearest me and crossed his arms. I loved it. The way his shoulders bulked and his thighs flexed. I just had to stare.
“I know enough,” he answered. “I read your application form.”
I groaned. It was an awful document, more like a cross-examination, in which we’d been asked to write about our likes and dislikes and even our family history. The attached photograph showed me at my worst, taken on a dull London day in a Tube station kiosk.
“Are you ready?” he asked. I didn’t know what he meant.
“Ready to… what?
“To work, Ms Pollock. Are you ready to work?”
I thought about it for a moment. I had definitely not come to this basement to work today.
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Q and A with Eden Walker:
What inspired you to write this novel? Where did the idea come from?
I’m going to be really honest. I loved the heroine in Fifty Shades: I loved that her hair is messed up at the start of the book because she slept on it wet, that she trips when she meets the hero, that she’s plain and not very sexually adventurous (or so she thinks!) I wanted to write about an ordinary woman who finds something really passionate, really special with a very unusual, gorgeous man! Someone right out of her league. He’s rich, he’s famous, he’s talented – and she doesn’t appear to be any of these things at the start of the book. And yet suddenly, she becomes his teacher. In love, in lust, in life. She heals his heartache. And guess what? He’s had her in his sights from the first. He’s known she’s ‘the one’ since before he met her. And he’s scared sh**less.
Do you have a dream cast for your characters? If so, who?
Yes, sure. Kate Pollock is played by Emma Stone and Martinez Di Ser Piero is played by Oliver Martinez (I even named the character after him). If you’ve seen Unfaithful, you’ll know why, ladies.
If you could be best friends with one of your characters who would it be and why?
Well, it would have to be Dr Onele Dlamini in This Crazy Paradise: she’s very brave. And of course, being a psychologist writing romance, she reminds me of me.
What’s your favourite colour?
What’s your favourite food?
A cheese sandwich. Sometimes. Otherwise pasta.
What is your typical day like?
Pretty unstructured. Recently I’ve had to set up some WIGs (Wildly Important Goals!) for myself because otherwise I get overwhelmed, or carried away by Twitter, resurfacing days later in a kind of haze. So now I’m doing Deep Work for two hours first thing in the morning. And every second day I do some marketing stuff for my books.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tahiti. There’s a plan in place to make this happen J
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
It’s my way of playing. I’ve been doing it since I was 7. I think I can credit my mom for being around so much when I was a kid, reading to me and talking to me in that fabulous way of hers. You need to talk to your kids and play with them. It’s how they learn big words. Both my parents read to us a lot. And we had unlimited access to TV (not that there was that much on in those days!) I think my stories grew out of what I watched, and how I acted it out with my dolls afterwards. It was like a private life. I still have that.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
I like to play with my son, go to the beach with him and this puppy we borrow, or get massages, see psychics, make out with my gorgeous man, read Marian Keyes. I take hot baths and I dance Nia. But to be honest, I’m always writing in my head.
What are you writing now?
A self-help book for young adults under a different name. On the romance front, I’ve just finished the sequel to One Night in Venice, which is set in Bali and is called One Night in Denpasar. And for my African romance line, I’ve written books 3 and 4: one set at Cape Point in South Africa, and the other in the Maasai Mara!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up. Every book has a home.
What’s the hardest part about being an author? And the easiest?
The hardest is this fear that I won’t have time to write all the books I want to (I trust it’s just a fear!) The easiest is the actual writing. I’m not someone who worries about how the sentence is coming out. I just go for it, knowing it probably has nothing to do with me and I can fix it up later.
How do you handle writers’ block?
I haven’t had that, but I did have a moment where I allowed some feedback to start making me self-conscious in the creative act. To hell with that. It’s a killer, and I had to shake it off. I’m a woman of faith, so I use a combination of affirmations (thanks, Louise Hay!) and The Force.
Have you learned anything from your readers? Or had a response that especially touched you?
Yeah, one reader wrote about how she really hated a secondary character who was trying to steal the hero from the heroine (in The Seeing Place). It made me realise people are relating to my characters as real people, having strong emotions about them as if they exist. And I made them up. That’s really cool.
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