Friday, 7 June 2019

Eternally Artemisia by Melissa Muldoon + #Giveaway + Guest Post

Eternally Artemisia by Melissa Muldoon

Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 312 pages
Genre: Fiction General, Fiction Women
Publisher: Matta Press
Release date: March 2019
Tour dates: June 3 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The themes of the book deal with rape and overcoming sexual abuse. It is a book about female empowerment and how with the right tools, and support women may rise above past tragedies to build a better future for themselves.)

They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.

As Maddie's relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.

In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.

Praise for Eternally Artemisia:

“A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th-century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.” -- Dianne Hales

What a lovely story! Melissa weaves the lives of 4 women across time, all with some connection to Artemisia Gentileschi, a 16th century Italy painter. They represent the feminine strength that arises from life challenges, each with their unique intelligence. Underlying their stories is the idea that love transcends all, even time, love is timeless. As with her other books, Melissa fills the story out with interesting facts and references to the Italian life, culture and it's history, her attention to detail is immaculate . I loved all of the many connections in this story that tied it all together, very cleverly done. Wonderful read, I would highly recommend it. – Lize, Amazon Reviewer

Melissa Muldoon does a phenomenal job blending fiction, romance, art history, and the Italian language into this gem. For fans of historical fiction, romance, and time travel, I strongly recommend this novel. –Exemplary Editing, Amazon Review

To read reviews, please visit Melissa Muldoon's page on Italy Book Tours.

Guest Post by Melissa Muldoon
How I came up with the storyline for Eternally Artemisia

As I was finishing my second novel “Waking Isabella”—that tells the story of Isabella de’ Medici who was murdered by her husband in her bedroom and the intrigue surrounding a portrait of her that was lost during World War II, I realized I didn’t want my writing experience to end with that book. So, before I had even published that story, I was already thinking about a topic for a third one. It didn’t take long, and the subject came to me as I was driving home from the gym one afternoon. While waiting for the light to change at an intersection I cast about for ideas, and it came to me—I wanted Artemisia Gentileschi to be my next heroine! At the next stop light, I already had my title and a vague glimmering of an idea for a storyline.

Like my protagonist Maddie, in “Eternally Artemisia,” from the first day I was introduced to Artemisia in a darkened lecture hall in college, I have been fascinated and intrigued by her story. Raped by Agostino Tassi, a friend of the family, Artemisia and her father took the man to court, but not for the crime of molestation, but because Tassi had stolen a picture from them and then refused to marry Artemisia even though he had promised to do so. In a time when it was unheard of for a woman to accuse her rapist publically, she did. But in the end, she suffered great indignities and torture during her trial to prove that she was the one telling the truth. After a year, she finally won her case, but her reputation was in tatters. Her rapist, however, never spent a day in jail. He was, however, sentenced years later in Florence by the Duke of Tuscany—Cosimo II, Artemisia’s friend, and patron—for an unnamed crime, and served his time on a prison galley ship.

I always thought Artemisia’s trials and tribulations would make an interesting story and at first, I thought the story would be about avenging Artemisia. In fact, that was my first title. But as I began working on the plotline, I realized I didn’t want this to be just about revenge dealt upon Agostino. I didn’t want to focus on a wronged woman seeking a way to bring down her abuser. Instead, I knew there was a bigger, more enduring story to communicate to my readers.

Artemisia rose like a phoenix from the flames and used her art to heal herself. She threw herself passionately into her work, even painting images of herself and her rapist in her biblical scenes to work through the myriad of emotions such violence causes a woman. Artemisia was also very astute, and despite being illiterate and living on a shoe-string budget, married off to a philandering man by her father to save her reputation, she succeeded in a male-dominated society in Florence to become a notable painter. The Grand Duke of Tuscany regarded her so highly he admitted her into the elite all-male Florentine Art Academy. She was the first woman to shatter the glass ceiling of the art world in the seventeenth-century.

To me, Artemisia’s story is one that shouldn’t be forgotten and is relevant today. I want to bring her to life for my readers and remind the world that some women—like some beautiful works of art—live on and will never be forgotten. What I wanted to demonstrate was the brilliance of Artemisia. I also wanted people to understand that by Artemisia realizing her full potential and becoming a fierce woman—like the goddess Artemis for whom she was named—that was the best kind of revenge the woman and the artist could possibly have.

Meet the Author:

 Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.

Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English ( Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l'Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.

She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three books. Visit for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Win a 3-book set (Dreaming Sophia, Waking Isabella, and Eternally Artemisia) by Melissa Muldoon;
2nd and 3rd prizes: Win a paperback copy of Eternally Artemisia
(open to USA & Canada / 3 winners total)
Ends July 5, 2019

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Melissa Muldoon / Women's fiction / Books from America


  1. I need a book (or a few) to read at the beach this summer and this sounds great! Thanks

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