Friday, September 18, 2020

Celebrating the Novel Playing by Heart, Inspired by the Agnesi Sisters

Monday, Sept. 30, 2020, will mark the third anniversary of the original release of my novel Playing by Heart, which was inspired by the lives of Maria Gaetana Agnesi and her sister, Maria Teresa Agnesi. To celebrate, I'm hosting a book giveaway Sept. 9 through Sept. 30, 2020. You can enter on the blog page of my website.

 If you're not familiar with the novel, here's a brief summary:
     Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the 'second sister' means she'll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia's only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father's quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. Too late, Emilia realizes that her success could threaten not only her dreams but her sister's very life.

I incorporated a number of real-life events into the novel, which I explain in the book's Author's Note. And I did extensive research to find details that would help bring the story to life. I feel rewarded for my hard work whenever readers or reviewers comment on the book's details, as the Booklist reviewer did: “Martino’s romantic read features lovable characters and is vibrant in setting and detail.… The book is filled with rich depictions of houses and clothing, allowing readers to clearly picture the historical settings of both Milan and the countryside.” 

The novel has also received some lovely awards. You can read more about Playing by Heart on my website