An #EnterTheFantastic Special Feature | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale Lane

Posted Saturday, 13 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might have gathered by my re-emergence back onto Twitter on Friday (erm, yesterday!) I am starting to end my unexpected social hiatus. It was necessary for me to retreat a bit offline in order to recover from my afflictions stemming from severe seasonal allergies; I am not alone in succumbing to these and I have full sympathies for everyone whose life is made miserable by ‘pollen’. Blessedly – I exited May with only one migraine (at the start of #WyrdAndWonder) and dodged 3x others in the fortnight since the event officially concluded on the 31st of May.

However, as I didn’t get a proper send-off for my final two review showcases for #WyrdAndWonder – nor did I get the chance to reveal and share my photo challenge posts (there are two still in queue) outside of the first one I was able to assemble – you could say, I still have a bit of Wyrd And Wonder happening on Jorie Loves A Story this June! I am full of gratitude to extend the event a bit as each June I have struggled with ‘letting go’ until the next May wherein we get to rally together, celebrate our community of Fantasy enthusiasts and champion a genre we’re mutually passionate about celebrating. 

My featured author today is Edale Lane who first inspired me to begin hosting for OWI – Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours – whilst I read a wickedly delightful Historical Fantasy novel. I happily get to anchour this delightful #vlog interview I shared after concluding my readings of the first novel in this trilogy “Merchants of Milan” with my ruminative thoughts on a review of “Secrets of Milan” and a conversation thereafter this July whilst hosting for Tomorrow Comes Media.

For those of you whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, let me share a bit about why I loved reading the Night Flyer trilogy when I first discovered Ms Lane’s writerly style:

Lane inserted such a beautiful scene wherein the children of Maddie, Florentina and her childhood friend discussed how da Vinci painted The Last Supper, noting the techniques he used in the paint choices, the ways in which he used perspective to draw your eye towards a particular section of the painting itself and what this representation of the scene he painted reflected on himself as a painter, an artist and a man of faith. This isn’t the first inclusion of Medieval thoughtfulness on religious discourse in the novel – where Lane has bridged the gap between known history and religious history as it would be anchoured into this background given the age of where enlightenment first began and how openly curious those persons were who lived in the age of the Renaissance. It was a time of rebirth but also of intellectual curiosity – where pursuing knowledge was the mainstay of those were intellectually adventurous.

This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.

The Night Flyer exists similar to Zorro – as a person for the people and the ones in their society without the voice to give light to the ills of the city. It is here where you start to see how the Night Flyer has taken on more than what they originally sought because it is too hard to bypass the needs of the people in pursuit of one man who wronged so many in his lifetime. It was a clever plotting how the Night Flyer could have a bit of duality – not only in their life when their unmasked but as a masked figure they had a certain layer of freedom and of movement that would not have been afforded to them if they hadn’t conceived of the masked identity. That in of itself spoke volumes about the greater purpose of the Night Flyer and also how hard it would be to find truer justice in this world that was severely unjust to the working class.

There is a secondary focus on the villain’s family – wherein his wife Daniella and his daughter Agnese are discussing their health and how the mother feels that perhaps her own health was destroyed by the personal care products she had been using ahead of her own health’s decline. Products such as cosmetics and hair dye – which I felt were a fitting reference, as in other historical narratives it is revealled how toxic those products were to be used and how uninformed people were of what they were actually using on their hair and face. It was also a stark contrast to today’s world where there is still a misalignment with safety when it comes to personal care products and cosmetics overall.

I loved how approachable Lane made this world – you took up residence in the story as soon as it began – with the presumption of a horrid man getting away with a despicable truth and wherein two women join together to take-on the conspiracy of injustice they both mutually shared. I loved the descriptions of the objects in the novel, too, from Florentina’s father’s clock to how Lane wanted you to have a fuller appreciation for the engineering and production of things in this world.

-quoted from my book review for Merchants of Milan

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Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

This post was a lovely surprise for me as I signed on to host something special by the author and I am wicked thankful I had! I *love!* grab bag surprises – for me, getting a wholly original post by an author on a blog tour is just about as wicked sweet as it can get – this is the second time I’ve been thus blessed by an author via OWI!

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An #EnterTheFantastic Special Feature | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author)
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

Also by this author: Merchants of Milan, (Video) Interview feat. Edale Lane (Merchants of Milan), Secrets of Milan, Secrets of Milan (Interview)

Published by Past & Prologue Press, Self Published

on 5th May, 2020

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Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) * review forthcoming!

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #Fantasy,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

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The following guest post was wickedly developed by Ms Lane to celebrate the release of her second novel in the Night Flyer trilogy. I loved the topic she selected to write about as she gave us a wonderfully wicked #behindthebook insight into her writerly process!

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When setting out to write the Night Flyer Trilogy, one goal I had in mind was to showcase Renaissance art and artists. All factors being considered, I decided on a year spanning 1502-1503. Then I researched all of the great works that had been completed by that time, compiling a list. The majority of the pieces I chose to include could be found in Milan, Rome, or Florence, so it was the works of art that determined the locals in which the action would take place. In book one, Merchants of Milan, our main characters visited Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie to view Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper; book two, Secrets of Milan takes them to Rome to witness several significant masterpieces. (Watch for book three, Chaos in Milan, where our couple travel to Florence.)

Now, I wish I could tell you that I booked a tour package and boarded a plane for Italy so that I could bask in the presence of greatness, appreciating the brilliance of those Renaissance masters in person as in awe I walked the halls lost in wonder. Unfortunately, such a trip was outside my grasp. So I did the next best thing, which was to search for imagines and articles, and interview people who did have the opportunity to see the great works for themselves.

There were so many sites to see in Rome in 1503 and tourism, pilgrimages for those with a purely religious motivation, was an important part of the city’s economy. The first issue was to narrow down the attractions to only the most significant few – which was no easy task! Outdoors, Florentina, Madelena, and the children explore the old Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Church of Quo Vadis, and the Piazza Navona. (The Pantheon warrants a more dramatic visitation). But it is Vatican art that receives the center place in their holiday.

Alessandro joins the women and children as they tour St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, but what they see is not exactly what a visitor would see today. In 1503 Michelangelo had not yet painted the famous ceiling of the extraordinary chapel; instead, overhead was a canopy of stars on a blue background. The cycles of paintings, The Life of Moses and The Life of Christ produced by the notable masters Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Cosimo Roselli and their workshops, were there at the time to be marveled. But I discovered so many interesting facts in my research for this book that I had not known, such as the building was constructed 40.9 meters (134 ft) long by 13.4 meters (44 ft) wide, which are the dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, as given in the Old Testament. Additionally, the Sistine Chapel has no exterior door and can only be accessed from the Papal Palace and St. Peter’s. And while I found this very curious, the scene I truly build the tour of Rome around was the viewing of the Pieta.

Today Michelangelo’s touching treasure is housed in St. Peter’s; when my character’s experienced it, the Pieta’s home was the Chapel of Santa Petronilla, a Roman mausoleum near the south transept of St. Peter’s. That chapel was torn down in a reconstruction project and is no longer there. I discovered a fascinating story behind the creation of the sculpture. Cardinal Jean de Bilhères engaged a promising young sculptor, twenty-three year old Michelangelo, to produce his funeral monument. He carved it from Carrara marble, a particular stone which the artist called the most perfect block he had ever encountered.

It was my intent to create a very touching, introspective scene as my characters noticed different things about the piece. I was very fortunate to come across a website that presented a 3-D replica of the Pieta which could be turned with the mouse to view all sides, allowing me to examine every detail; I had to go by the testimony of others and my imagination to create the “feel” of being in the room with a life-size representation of Mary holding the body of her crucified son.

This scene is told from Madelena’s point of view – a mother who could fully appreciate how it would strike her heart to witness her son’s death, if that were to ever occur. She marvels at the emotion Michelangelo captured – or perhaps the better term would be “released” – in the marble figure. In a profound exchange between Maddie and her brother, Alessandro, she comments on the expression cast into Jesus’s face:

“He looks peaceful, content even,” she observed in wonder. “Do you think that expression is correct?”

Ally considered and then gave a nod of approval. “If I had just saved the world, I would feel absolutely wonderful about it, even if I had suffered great pain to do so.”

“Yes,” Maddie agreed, a smile trying to form on her bereft countenance. “He died knowing that He had won, so He wore a pleasant look. She is the one with the broken heart, but… it’s like she knows, too.”

Ally leaned into her, his potent presence reassuring. “It is no small thing to save the world.”

Few of us will ever have the opportunity to travel to other countries and take in the wonders they boast, but we can still appreciate extraordinary beauty in the creations of great artists through other means, such as photographs, films, and reading about them. I do not possess the ability to completely relate in words what the master’s generated with brush and chisel, but I hope I have ignited a spark of interest in the readers such that they will take the time to seek out these spectacular works of art and reserve a moment to appreciate what we mere mortals can accomplish when we set our minds and talents to manifesting a vision formed in our mind’s eye.

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My favourite part about this guest post is to open the door to what is possible as a writer who is dedicated to research their story. There are no limits when it comes to how we can ‘bring forward’ a subject, a timescape or a particular niche of interest which thrives in the world being built inside a novel. This is a wonderful example of how authors are finding new ways to not only engage with their research but to find how to fuell research in non-traditional ways of travelling and/or interviewing to gain a foothold of familiarity with their subjects & topics which befit their narratives.

I’ve been keenly interested in Art History since I was quite young – da Vinci is amongst my favourites along with several pre-Raphaelites artists. Visiting art museums and galleries was a fixture of childhood – whilst taking art lessons & seeking out my own artistic path took a bit longer as I became an adult. I still want to pursue illustration however I have a penchant for still and digital photography, mixed media collage, fibre arts and rubber stamp art. By keeping still in the presence of the masters whose art still speaks to us all today, we can find our own path into the world of art.

I also advocate for finding ways to bring art & culture into your life even if it feels far removed because it thrives everywhere. Similar to how Ms Lane is advocating today – I am wicked thankful to be a stop on this blog tour which helps educate and inspire more writers to think outside the box about their own writerly research paths and how best to bring research into their manuscripts.

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About Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

OWI Blog Tours badge provided by Otherworlds Ink Blog Tours and is used with permission.

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Be sure to leave notes, takeaways and commentary for the author who would love to hear your thoughts on behalf of this featured post. We look forward to seeing what you felt about the topics discussed.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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#EnterTheFantastic banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This post is part of my #EnterTheFantastic showcases!

A book blogger’s journey into the realms of Fantasy betwixt and between #WyrdAndWonder (annually in May).

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Secrets of Milan”, book synopsis, the special guest post feature writ by the author, “Secrets of Milan” quote promo banner and the OWI badge were all provided by OWI – Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours and used with permission. Book cover for “Merchants of Milan”, author photo and biography previously provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and is re-used with permission of the author. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Guest Posts & Reviews banner, #EnterTheFantastic banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 13 June, 2020 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, #WyrdAndWonder, Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

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2 responses to “An #EnterTheFantastic Special Feature | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale Lane

  1. Johanna

    Thank you so much for featuring the Love of My Life on your webpage. She is a marvelous author who writes very interesting and well told stories.

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Johanna,

      The honour was mine – I’ve been wicked blessed my paths have crossed with hers, as I couldn’t agree more! Her stories are a delight of joy to be read – I cannot wait to share my thoughts on behalf of this sequel in early July. It was such a lovely surprise finding out how she curated the background of the story – how art played such a strong role both for inspiration and for influence. I was wicked happy when I read this guest post and getting to share it now is true bliss! I appreciate your kind words and your visit today. Have a lovely weekend!!

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