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Saturday, 7 June 2008
Bloodstone Castle by Mirella Patzer--an Excerpt
Topic: Blog Tours

Also available in electronic format and audio book. ISBN 978-0-9784865-2-5

Prologue Portovenere, Italy 947 A.D. The cold claws of death reached for Vittoria Monterossa, Contessa of Portovenere. In a childbed in the highest tower of Bloodstone Castle, her lifeblood waned. Despite the warm blaze from the hearth, Vittoria shivered. With much toil, she birthed the babe. A hive of activity surrounded her and the small cradle. "Please, let me see," she pleaded. "We must bathe and swaddle the child first, my lady," the midwife declared as she exchanged bloodied towels for fresh ones. Vittoria could not see it, but she sensed the warm dampness of the ominous crimson stain, dark as midnight, that crept across the bed linens. Fear lived in every cranny of the old midwife's wrinkled face as she worked to quell the incessant bleeding. She threw another blood-drenched cloth onto a growing pile in the corner. An attendant scurried over with a stack of fresh linens. Two noblewomen, shocked to silence, stared at Vittoria. One reached for the babe, and set the mite into Vittoria's arms. The other woman stared unmoving as if afraid. To Vittoria, only the bundle in her arms mattered. The daughter, for whom she laboured so long, suckled at her breast. She pulled the child close and inhaled sweet scent. Vittoria savoured a moment she knew would not last. 9

"How cruel for destiny to deny you a mother," Vittoria whispered. Tears flooded her eyes. She looked down to memorize the child's features. Vittoria ran a hand over the delicate pink face and dark threads of hair and heaved a forlorn sigh. The tiny baby would never remember the warm caress of a mother's touch. That knowledge left a bitter edge to these sweet final moments together. Vittoria removed a golden necklace upon which hung a large bloodstone pendant encircled by gold filigree. Peculiar flecks of reddish brown that resembled splatters of blood blighted the large green gemstone. The midwife gasped. "My lady, don't remove the amulet. Its powers will quell the blood." Vittoria shook her head. She knew her fate. Not even the bloodstone could alter the eminent. Perhaps it lost its powers. No one in the room dared to argue. Her hands trembled. Vittoria draped the necklace over her daughter's tiny head and neck. The bauble looked immense against the baby's diminutive chest. She turned the familiar pendant around and ran her fingers across the ancient Roman writing on the back. Faded and worn from years of wear, the words remained discernible. Vittoria reached out for her dearest and oldest maidservant and read the words aloud. Redder than the rose, Whiter than the lilies, Fairer than everything, All will glory in thee. "A mountain's worth of significance," Vittoria whispered. She paused to recover her energy. "For generations, my family handed the amulet down from mother to daughter." The maidservant gave Vittoria's hand a squeeze. "A mysterious legend decrees the jewel originated from a Roman treasure casket buried somewhere beneath Bloodstone Castle - a treasure many searched for, but none discovered. In childhood, I searched, but failed." Desperate to convey a lifetime of love into the little soul, Vittoria leaned forward, and pressed her lips to her child's forehead. "Tell my daughter this." With tearful eyes, the maidservant nodded. Vittoria breathed a sigh of relief. 10

Time lingered then stopped altogether. Nothing mattered except the power of her love in this final farewell. At last, Vittoria pulled away and let her head sink back upon the lace-trimmed pillow. The midwife lifted the child. The noblewomen crossed themselves. Vittoria's eyes fluttered. The room grew dark. Her body weakened with every breath. Tell my husband - her name is Morena. He must love her enough for both of us." Her chest rose one last time.


Find Out More About Mirella Patzer and Bloodstone Castle

Mirella Patzer's Website -

Mirella Patzer's Blogs

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Posted by joyceanthony at 3:53 AM EDT
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Saturday, 7 June 2008 - 10:43 AM EDT

Name: "Mirella Patzer"
Home Page:

Good morning,

It's always exciting to see one's work in print, so thank you for making my day special.  Here in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, we are having a rainy day.  On days like this I look forward to doing a bit of writing and making some progress on the two novels I'm currently working on.  

I'll be checking back throughout the day to visit.  

Now, back to my morning coffee and the writing of a scene about a soothsayer who utters a nasty curse to my antagonist. 



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