Belle Ami - Compelling Thriller with a Time-Travel Twist
Belle Ami is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller, The Girl Who Knew da Vinci, Book 1 in the Out of Time Series, a compelling thriller with a time-travel twist. The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio, Book 2, was recently released - as our Author of the Day, she tells us all about it.
Please give us a short introduction to what the Girl Who Loved Caravaggio is about.
The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio is the second book in my Out of Time art thriller series. My heroine, Angela Renatus, is an art historian turned detective with a psychic gift—she can see into the past—into the lives of great artists. In The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio, Angela is working full time with her fiancé, Alex Caine, a former Navy Seal turned art detective. When they’re enlisted to solve the mysterious theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity—one of the greatest art heists in history—Angela senses her visions about the tortured artist go far beyond the missing masterpiece. A web of secrets and lies entangles Angela and Alex on a twisted and treacherous journey as they trace the final years of Caravaggio’s tumultuous life while facing danger on several fronts as they seek the missing painting.
What inspired you to write about the theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity?
A crime that has never been solved is irresistible to me. In 1969, on a rainy night in Palermo, Sicily, Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Nativity with Saint Lawrence and Francis was stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo. Rumors abounded that the Mafia was behind the heist. The painting has never been found. If that isn’t reason enough to inspire an art-thriller about Caravaggio, consider this, he murdered a man in a duel and was on the run for the last seven years of his life with a bounty on his head. A bounty that would be paid if his severed head was delivered as proof of death. During those seven years he painted many of the greatest masterpieces of the Baroque period. But who was Caravaggio? Madman or misunderstood genius?
Why do Angela and Alex make for such a great team?
When two souls have loved and lost each other through multiple past lives there is a bond that is timeless. Angela and Alex share that connection and are aware of it because of Angela’s psychic abilities. Alex and Angela are determined to hold on to each other in this life. Angela’s visions, dreams, and time-travel ability combined with Alex’s finely-honed military skills, bad-assery, intuition, and smarts make them an unbeatable team. Finding lost or stolen masterpieces is their goal, but more importantly, resolving the errors in the historical record are what drives them. Angela believes uncovering the truth is their real mission.
What interested you about the time period?
I’m a history junky. I’m also fascinated by the idea of reincarnation and past lives. I’ve traveled the world and millennia through reading and from that knowledge comes my feeling for certain eras. My research is extensive, and the Renaissance and Baroque periods are rich with art, remarkable lives, and historical mysteries.
If you had your own time machine, where would you take it?
If I could travel back in time it would be to Paris in the 1920s. There was a 20th Century Renaissance going on in the arts. Everything from ballet, to books, to painting, to music was being reinvented. I haven’t written about this period yet, but eventually I will.
Were there any interesting connections that you found—ways that this work fits with the rest of your books?
The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio is the second book in my Out of Time series. The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci was the first and set the stage for what will be a multi-book series. I’m almost done with book three and I already know who the artist will be for book four, so I can’t see myself running out of ideas for books in this series for many years to come. I’ve also begun writing a new time-travel series about World War II, the French resistance, and the Holocaust. I absolutely love writing time-travel. It’s a wonderful way of conveying history, mystery, and how it relates to the world today.
What are you working on right now?
The Girl Who Adored Rembrandt is almost finished. A Rembrandt painting is stolen by a Mexican drug cartel. Well, that turned out to be a complete story in itself, with a new cast of characters that I’ve had to weave into the book. I never planned in my outline for this to become such an important part of the book, but in the end, I couldn’t stop these characters from developing. I’ve learned characters have a voice, and sometimes their voice is louder than mine. I think readers are going to love the additional love story and new characters that are created in this novel.
Please give us three good-to-know facts about you.
An interesting fact from Wikipedia, “The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with cognitive skills, such as creativity, emotion and intuitiveness. It also controls the left side of the body, so right-brained people are often left-handed.” I’m left-handed.
I’m a classical pianist, and music plays a huge part in my life.
I’m also a gourmet cook and love cooking. Food factors hugely in my life and in my books. It seems my characters love to eat too! Alex is a gourmet cook and a foody. Angela is always up for a meal, particularly pizza!
Where can readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I put out a monthly newsletter with giveaways, contests, and other interesting fun. Readers can sign-up at: https://www.belleamiauthor.com/newslettersignup I love interacting with readers and always respond to comments and suggestions.