The Evelyn Project, which is beginning its tour on July 2nd through August 31st is sure to be a blockbuster! With all the intrigue and suspense you could hope for in a contemporary, paranormal romance novel, this book will have you guessing until the very last pages. Kfir Luzzatto is an author making a name for himself, and one we’ll be hearing from in the future!
Here’s a summary: Evelyn’s father did everything 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 actress are too busy running away from murder and conspiracy to let physical attraction develop into love. And it further complicates things when Her Majesty’s Secret Service decides to take an interest in what everyone else is doing to pull some strings of its own.
Love that lasts through the veils of time, a mystery, and a race to end a conspiracy, “The Evelyn Project” is a story that will stir both your heart and your intellect.
Particulars of the Book: Genre: Suspense-Thriller/Paranormal/Historical Fiction Pages: 305
What others are saying : “This book was haunting from the moment you open it up ’til the end…Trickery, murder and confusion ensue and is wrought so transparently and well done by our author you cannot help but jump on the train and go along for the ride…it was like being in the middle of a REALLY good Hitchcock movie! but with WORDS instead of moving pictures!…I recommend this book to people who are looking for a literary tale that will have them at the edge of their seats, who like a bit of intelligent twists and a little Noir/ hard-boiled feel to their tales sprinkled with mystery, suspense, thriller and a cast of characters that have you toasting each page turn!” Kriss Morton-Weekley, The Cabin Goddess
THE GUEST POST
“I am always taken by surprise when a story line somehow finds its way into my consciousness and, once settled there, demands to be written. Then I’m stuck with it, whether I like it or not. And, unfortunately, those story ideas don’t come equipped with a well thought-out plot; instead, you get this rather fuzzy but nagging image that won’t go away until the story is fully developed. This is what happened to me with The Evelyn Project.
Evelyn (or, rather Evelina, as she was named in my native Italy) was my great aunt. She died of tuberculosis in 1894. She was only 26 years old. My great-grandfather was an influential politician who left no stone unturned to try to save his daughter and got her the best medical care that was available at the turn-of-the-century, among which praying was probably the most effective measure.
Evelyn’s studio portrait, which I used in the book cover, hangs on the wall beside my writing desk. My second daughter, Lilach, is her living image and her 26th birthday is approaching fast. That might have been a catalyst for me to write the book, although the sad story of Evelyn’s death was always a part of my family’s ethos; I must’ve sucked it in with my milk because I can’t remember the first time her name was mentioned. When my parents died I was left with the responsibility to make sure that my family history would not be forgotten. That entailed a lot of reading in books, documents and letters, which brought Evelyn’s figure increasingly to life for me. I learned of her warm relation with her father through letters she had written to him, and I discovered more than I already knew about my great-grandfather’s devotion to her.
Throughout my reading and learning one persistent thought kept popping up in my head: today her death would have been an unnecessary tragedy; with readily-available antibiotics an otherwise healthy young woman would not have succumbed to her illness. So what if it was possible to go back in time and save her using medical technology commonly available today? It is probable that saving Evelyn’s life would not have changed the course of history (contrary to what many science fiction books would predict), but even if it did, preventing her father’s private hell would have been well worth the price.
Having got emotionally involved in her story I realized that I had to do more than just sit there and shake my head in sorrow. I couldn’t just let Evelyn fade away in those yellowing papers. I had to do right by her (whatever that meant). My investigation of Evelyn’s misfortune allowed me to put myself in my great-grandfather’s shoes, to feel the emotions that he must have felt (he was approximately my age when Evelyn died) and to test the length to which a father would go in an attempt, no matter how futile, to save his child.
Overall, writing this book turned out to be an exceptionally emotional journey for me. Sometimes I felt ashamed that I was enjoying writing it. Instead of dishing out a uniformly gloomy piece I was writing a fast-paced thriller that, beside the suspense, also has its hilarious moments.
This is not the first time that inspiration has come to me like an assignment from above without any real control from my side. I have learned not to fight the impulse and, instead, to embrace it and to allow myself to be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride without a clear vision of where the journey is likely to end.
I don’t believe in stereotyping ghosts, so I won’t say that I recognize Evelyn’s hand or my great-grandfather’s stick behind my urge to write the story. It is true, however, that now I feel much closer to them than I did before; they have assumed characters and a presence so real that at times it feels as if we had actually met. I often wondered whether they would have grudged me the use I made of their characters in a commercial book, but something tells me that if they can see us they understand that this is my way to give Evelyn some of the life she has been denied, even if only on paper.
But this is not only about Evelyn. My great-grandfather was no less of a victim to her disease than she was. The Evelyn Project is my tribute to them both.
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.
Kfir has publishedextensively in the professional and general press over is the author of several short stories but now mostly writes full-length fiction. Books: CROSSING THE MEADOW (2003 P&E “BEST HORROR NOVEL”), THE ODYSSEY GENE (2006), HAVE BOOK WILL TRAVEL (2012). He got the idea for his new thriller, “THE EVELYN PROJECT,” from an in-depth research into the family archives.
Author’s website: http://kfirluzzatto.com
Excerpt from “The Evelyn Project” Chapter Two :
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 façade, 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.”
Monday, July 2nd
Spotlight & Giveaway at Blood Hounds
Thursday, July 5th
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Friday, July 6th
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, July 10th
Guest Post at Writing Daze
Wednesday, July 11th
Review at Far From Reality
Thursday, July 12th
Guest Post at Laurie Here-Contemporary Fiction & More!
Tuesday, July 17th
Review at Dreamers, Lovers and Star Voyagers
Promotion & Giveaway at Kindle And Me
Wednesday, July 18th
Review & Giveaway at Rivers I Have Known
Thursday, July 19th
Interview at Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews
Friday, July 20th
Review at The Book Connection
Sunday, July 22nd
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Monday, July 23rd
Guest Post at The Housework Can Wait
Tuesday, July 24th
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Bookish Babe
Wednesday, July 25th
Guest Post at Review From Here
Tuesday, July 31st
Guest Post & Giveaway at Reading Lark
For more information, or to host a tour of “The Evelyn Project” please contact Deborah Previte at email@example.com.