I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Inspiration and Writing The Sign of the Weeping Virgin: Guest Post by Alana White + Giveaway

Author Alana White is touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for her book release, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin.  This is to be the first book in an ongoing series and Alana White has taken some time to explain to us what led to her writing this novel, and subsequently the series.

Inspiration and Writing The Sign of the Weeping Virgin

Guest Post By Alana White, Author of
The Sign of the Weeping Virgin


Lorenzo de' Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli: Renaissance Italians, all. Which is shorthand for saying the first thing that drew me into the Italian Renaissance was the burning desire to write about the people who made fifteenth-century Florence the Golden Age in Europe, bursting with brilliant painters and scheming politicians just dying to be captured on the page.

Years ago, when I first read of the attempt in 1478 to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici in Florence Cathedral during Easter Sunday Mass, I was intrigued. I read all the books I could find on the event. The more I read about the Medici family and its circle of friends (which included my protagonist, lawyer Guid'Antonio Vespucci, and Guid'Antonio's precocious nephew, Amerigo) the more my fascination with them grew. Here were the lives of the rich and famous: Leonardo, Toscanelli, Michelangelo and Botticelli, complete with Botticelli's gorgeous paintings of breathtakingly beautiful young women and men. They all knew one another, loved and lost one another. Fought one another. They are all forever linked, and many of them are portrayed in the artwork of the day, making them real to us, almost six centuries later.

I am currently pondering the next book in the series, and I am drawing on some of the amazing and inspiring true incidents I have come across in my Italian Renaissance library. For years I have collected nonfiction articles and books on that special time in history. In these books, I discover all manner of family entanglements, vendettas and colorful mayhem. I enjoy drawing parallels between events then and now. I find this old saying true: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." And so here I am, and here I remain, in this time and place with these fascinating people.

You can visit Alana at her website for more information on her book.

Alana White

Romance and intrigue abound in The Sign of the Weeping Virgin an evocative historical mystery that brings the Italian Renaissance gloriously to life.

In 1480 Florentine investigator Guid Antonio Vespucci and his nephew Amerigo are tangled in events that threaten to destroy them and their beloved city.

Marauding Turks abduct a beautiful young Florentine girl and sell her into slavery. And then a holy painting begins weeping in Guid Antonio s church. Are the tears manmade or a sign of God s displeasure with Guid Antonio himself?

In a finely wrought story for lovers of medieval and renaissance mysteries everywhere Guid Antonio follows a spellbinding trail of clues to uncover the thought-provoking truth about the missing girl and the weeping paintings mystifying and miraculous tears all pursued as he comes face to face with his own personal demons.

TSOTWV Tour Banner

You can follow along with the rest of the blog tour by visiting the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour site or on Twitter with the following hashtag: #SignOfTheWeepingVirginTour.

I also have a giveaway to offer you – I have one copy of the book to giveaway and it is open internationally!  The last day to enter the giveaway if March 3rd.  Fill out the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. This book sounds great; I just finished a novel set in Florence but a century later. I'd love to read more with early Italian setting.

  2. I am always reading novels set in Scotland, or England... Ireland would be a nice change of scenery! This sounds like a great read - thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I love books that continue. When I get involved with characters I don't want to leave them.

  4. Italy and historical fiction is a combination I can't refuse! Sounds like this will be a wonderful book to read while curled up on the sofa next to a fire. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. It is amazing that all these talented and powerful people had there lives intersecting.

  6. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  7. This book looks interesting to me, I look forward to more in the series. Thank you

  8. Sounds really good would love to read it.

  9. Thank you all for the kind comments. I appreciate it so very much.

  10. Love the setting in Italy, certainly different from anything I've read. Sounds fantastic!

  11. This sounds like a wonderful read and I love how the author is such a prolific reader and uses it to benefit her writing.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!