17 July 2012

The Evelyn Project by Kfir Luzzatto (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Thanks to PumpYourBook Book Blog Tours and the author for letting me be a part of this tour! I have an excerpt + giveaway for you guys today =)

The Evelyn Project by Kfir Luzzatto.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Action, Adventure, Suspense.
Publication : April 1st 2012 by Pine Ten, LLC.
A loving father's cry for help gets into the wrong hands, and a hundred years later things get out of control.

Evelyn’s father did everything that was in his power to save his dying daughter, black magic included. But when a century later his plea for help gets into the wrong hands, all hell breaks loose.

Caught in the slippery battlefield between the Vatican and a cult that wants to change the past, a young Italian professor and a beautiful French aspiring actress are too busy running away from murder and conspiracy to let physical attraction develop into love.

And it doesn’t help that Her Majesty's Secret Service decides to take an interest in what everybody else is doing and to pull some strings of its own. Quite the contrary, in fact…


Udine, Italy. June 1894

The Honorable L. stepped down from the unmarked carriage that had stopped in the dark and empty street. He wore a long black overcoat against the chill of the late evening but still shivered a little, standing before the closed door of a house that, judging by the state of its fa├žade, had seen better days. His graying goatee made it difficult to guess his age and the worries of the last months had carved his face to look older than his fifty-two years. Still, his lean figure conveyed an unmistakable innate strength that never failed to impress those who met him for the first time.

He felt uncomfortable, standing there at the door of a house in which he was about to seek help. He had never asked for help from strangers before and recoiled at the thought that his behavior might be viewed as a sign of weakness.
To him, weakness was a mortal sin, but this time it was different; his whole world was at stake and he had to go ahead and do everything in his power to save it. In reality, he thought, reassuring himself a little, the fact that he was willing to go through with something that other people might construe as a sign of weakness, was in itself a sign of strength. Yes, that was bravery, and shying from the deed would have been an act of pusillanimity…

The thought strengthened him as he banged the knocker on the door with three short, resolute strikes.

A young girl opened the door almost immediately. She stood there, wiping her hands on her apron. He eyed her briefly and immediately discounted her as irrelevant.

“I am here to see Mrs. Cecchi…”

“Yes, Honorable L.…” she started to say, bowing a little to emphasize the recognition.

“Shh! Don’t you say my name, girl!” he admonished her.

“I’m sorry, Sir. Please do come in…”

She moved aside and he walked in, taking off his top hat. She closed the door, careful not to bang it, and bolted it, and then she turned to the Honorable L., who stood there rigidly, scanning the dark hall. When she saw that his gaze rested on her she nodded briefly and walked to a door located at the far end of the hall.

“I’ll tell Mother that you have arrived, Sir,” she said. She disappeared through the door leaving the Honorable L. waiting in the hall. He looked around the dark, gray surroundings and sniffed the air. It was heavy with an odor that evoked the image of a room that has remained closed for the winter season. He shivered, and reckoned that it was from the cold. The door through which the girl had disappeared reopened a few moments later; she curtseyed and said, “Please come this way.”

The Honorable L. shifted his walking stick from his right to his left hand and walked through the door, which closed behind him. The room was large and badly lit, with a fireplace in which the embers of a small log were smoldering. Judging by the smell of smoke, the chimney wasn’t drawing too well. Two high-backed armchairs were placed near the fireplace and in one sat an old, wrinkled woman. She was dressed in black as befitting a widow, with a bonnet that she had surely put on especially for him. The black lace that surrounded it nearly covered her small, brown eyes. She didn’t give any sign of being about to get up or speak, so after a brief hesitation, the Honorable L. walked up to her.

“Missis Cecchi…” he said, not asking a question but stating a fact.

“Welcome,” she answered with a high-pitched, croaking voice, “although your deed is not a happy one.”

He didn’t respond to her remark but, instead, maintained a businesslike countenance that was too obviously designed to hide his emotions.

“My friend, who recommended you to me, said that you can be counted on to be discreet…”

“Of course, but won’t you sit down?”

He sat in the armchair in front of her but did not relax in it. Instead, he kept to the edge of the seat with his walking stick between his legs and his hat in his left hand, edging slightly forward as if about to sprint away. The only allowance to comfort that he made was to unbutton his tight overcoat.

“Thank you,” he said dryly. “You will appreciate that my visit to you cannot be allowed to become generally known…”

“Yes, I know…you would be ashamed to admit that you have consulted with a witch.”
Her bitter tone surprised him and he hastened to disassociate himself from the accusation. This woman was his last hope and he couldn’t afford to offend her.
“No, it’s not that. It’s just that, you see, I’m a public figure and this renders everything much more complicated...”

“Never mind,” she said, cutting him short. “I’m willing to help, if I can. Your friend gave me a brief explanation of your problem, but I’ll need to hear the whole story.”

“It’s about my daughter, Evelina. She is dying of consumption and the doctors are not giving me hope. She’s in Switzerland right now, getting the best medical attention that modern medicine can give and breathing the best air you can find, but she’s getting thinner every day...”

For the first time he had trouble mastering his emotions and his voice broke for a moment, but then he got hold of himself and continued.

“She keeps saying that she’ll get better and that she knows I will choose the best cures for her…as if the doctors knew how to treat this damned illness! She relies on me, and I’m powerless to help...”

“You’re not!” she said, sounding both determined and motherly, in a way that strangely contrasted with her appearance. “You’re doing the right thing. You’re here to help her. Did you bring the items as I said to your friend?”

“Yes,” he said, hastening to take an envelope from his inner pocket and hand it to her. “Here I have her photograph and a lock of her hair that I always carry with me.”

She studied the photograph closely, and then she laid back with it in one hand and the lock of hair in the other. She closed her eyes and remained motionless, except for the finger and thumb that kept smoothing the lock of hair in her hand, and her lips that moved rhythmically as if trying to articulate a sound. He watched her intently, without shifting or moving for fear of disturbing her concentration, until minutes later she shivered, shifting her body slightly, opened her eyes and gazed piercingly at him.

“How far are you willing to go with this?” she asked him point blank.
“To the end of the world and farther than that, if that’s what I have to do,” he answered, sitting up even more rigidly, as if to emphasize his unbendable will. Her question had given him sudden hope.

“Then there is something we can do. I can’t guarantee success. It will require faith, but all is not lost.”

He got up, excited and unable to sit still. “Tell me what to do. I’m ready for anything. Anything!”

“That I will,” said the woman, gazing at him and nodding with approval, “and may God forgive me.”

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is US/Canada Only.
  • It's the author/publisher's responsibility to ensure that the winner gets the prize.
  • Prize is a paperback copy of the book.
  • Giveaway ends on 7/27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kfir Luzzatto was born and raised in Italy, and moved to Israel as a teenager. He acquired the love for the English language from his father, a former U.S. soldier, a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Kfir has a PhD in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney. He lives in Omer, Israel, with his full-time partner, Esther, their four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and the dog Elvis. He has won numerous awards for his writing.

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  1. Thanks for your excerpt and giveaway, Anjana!
    This is an awesome book!

  2. My favorite historical fiction is Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar.

  3. Awesome excerpt ! Cant wait to read the book

  4. great excerpt I look forward to reading this book

  5. Wow! This books sounds amazing! I loved Elizabeth I by Margaret George! Thanks for this wonderful giveaway - I would love to win!

    Suz Reads

  6. Witch child for the book! and Sleepy Hallow for the movie!

  7. Thanks for the excerpt. I want to start reading more historical fiction, since I don't have a favourite yet!

  8. I am wondering what will happen to the daughter. One of my favorite historical mysteries is Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn.

  9. To tell the truth I am pretty good at fingind the things that I really want to get.