Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cate Master's & CURSED

Book Name: Cursed

Author: Cate Masters

Series: The Vitruvian Man

Release Date: 04/20/13

Main Characters: Bruno & Melina

Category: M/F

Heat Level: Transforming

 Buy Links: Kindle  Nook

Blurb: 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. 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 but has never seen.

Interview with Cate

1. Can you explain in your view, how Bruno truly looked?
Yes! First, thanks so much for having me at your very cool blog. In my head, Bruno was part man, part chimera -- his head and torso could have used some manscaping, lol. Hairier than my hubby! But being only half chimera, not completely lion. From the waist down, soft scales covered his skin. Technically, a chimera's part serpent, part goat and part lion, but I applied a little fictional license. It was, after all, an experiment gone wrong. :)
As always, I had specific people in mind as I wrote. You can see for yourself how I imagined Bruno in my Casting Call blog series: Cate's Blog-HERE

2. Where did Leonardo  da Vinci get the DNA from a dragon?
My version of Leonardo is different from actual history -- one of the best things about being a writer is that I can invent alternate scenarios like this. Leonardo's genius drove him to invent and experiment (in both versions). My Leonardo dabbled in dark magic. All good warlocks must keep an apothecary with unusual ingredients. Being an extraordinary person, I imagined Leonardo's apothecary jars filled with extraordinary ingredients, including chimera DNA.

3. What made you choose a Chimera as your DNA mix?
One of the crime shows on TV (I can't remember which, possibly Criminal Minds) had an episode dealing with human chimeras -- literally, a person with two sets of DNA. The idea stuck with me. Later, a dual DNA seemed the perfect fit for Leonardo's experiment to create an actual Vitruvian Man.

4. If Bruno and Melina have children would the child be Chimera also?
I don't want to give too much away for anyone who hasn't read Cursed, but the end of the first book will hint at the answer. The second book provides a more definite answer.

5. Where Bruno lived under the city... was it really a home/city or more a tunnel he made into a home?
Not a city, no. Venice apparently has a system of pipes beneath it to manage its various utilities, and Leonardo sealed off one very large one for Bruno to make into his quarters. Inventor that he was, Leonardo devised the security system using grommets in the metal door, not unlike current-day keypad security systems.

6. Was Melina able to over look Bruno's scales and lion fur because she fell in love with the man in the mask first?
Yes, their connection is soul to soul, heart to heart. The exterior was far secondary to that because true love transcended appearances to connect their spirits. Ray Bradbury based a story on a man he'd seen in public who was horribly disfigured by an accident, and later it surprised and delighted Bradbury when the man joined his family and they all laughed and talked together. When you love someone, you look past their appearance to what matters inside.

7. The lab that Melina worked at, were they connected to Leonardo da Vinci experiments? 
No, not at all. Melina worked at a university lab in Philadelphia. Having worked at a university myself years ago, I know researchers sometimes take on projects related to their lab work. In this case, Melina had no idea her work with the hormone oxytocin would be developed into a military application with very frightening possibilities. She only learned of Leonardo's experiments after traveling to Venice for Carnevale, and meeting Bruno.

8. From the way the booked ended I feel there will be more to this story, will we have more DNA mixed people like Bruno? 
No, Bruno was one of a kind -- the result of Leonardo's experiment, which was never repeated. Cursed is the first of three stories in The Vitruvian Man series, and all mash various genres and elements - a little paranormal and fantasy in a contemporary setting, giving history and science a twist.

9. Tell us three things about yourself Cate.
 I'm your average writer - I live inside my head with a bunch of crazy characters, lol. My supportive hubby of 36 years and I are tucked away in the scenic orchards of central PA. I'm addicted to hot black tea and stories of all kinds.

10. Can you tell us what you're working on now or about some future projects in the works?  
At this writing (in July), I'm in edits for the second book of The Vitruvian Man series, Charmed, and as I mentioned, have subbed the third, Claimed, to Decadent. I'm also in edits with Decadent for a historical novel set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Betting It All. I recently finished a contemporary holiday novella, Blue Moon Over Bliss Lake, and have started a second contemporary in this Blue Moon series. Decadent's accepted three more 1Night Stand stories, and those should release this year.
As usual, about a dozen WIPs are calling my name, lol. In addition to the Blue Moon series above, at the top of the list is the third book in The Goddess Connection series, with a few contemporaries and paranormals impatiently waiting their turn.

Thanks again for having me today at Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies, Oh My (love that name!) :)

 Review by LT--My Rating: 4

Every time I say this I believe in it, this is one of the most different never done before stories I have run across to this day. Bruno is a Chimera, which means he has the head of a lion and the body of a dragon. But with my understanding it was more of the features of a lion and has scales on his lower body. Bruno is lonely and has been alone since the 1400’s after being experimented on by Leonardo Da Vinci. His DNA was blended with the genes of those animals. Leaving him only 10 days a year at Carnevale to try and escape his lonely life. He has to wear a costume and a mask around the humans.
Melina wants excitement in her life and finds it with Bruno, who she meets at Carnevale. He's a sexy mysterious alpha male that she is drawn to. She was taken from him way to quickly when she is forced to return to her lab in the middle of her vacation. Melina is a science geek and works for a lab that has recently changed from laid back to scary. She starts to fear for her life when she learns her formula will be used to enhance the military. Knowing her formula isn’t ready to be used on humans she tries to stop them. Returning to her vacation in Venice that was cut short, she returns to the very intriguing male who refused to remove his mask. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for the fun interview! And for the lovely review. :)

  2. Sounds like a great read. Great interview.