Niccolo Rising . . .

Before I add another chapter to The Masked Ball, this time from myself, I must tell you that my Niccolo de Fleury is a mere caricature, a light pencil sketch, even a cartoon.  He was loosely inspired by the real Nicholas van der Poele, alias Niccolo de Fleury, who is one of the most extraordinary creations in the world of Historical Fiction.  Nicholas van der Poele, (de Fleury) is a blonde Renaissance man from Bruges with a stupendous intellect that enables him to range across all the political, economic and cultural demesnes of Europe in his time.  Dorothy Dunnett wrote 8 books about him and I love every single one of them and would like to say without fear of correction that I believe she is the greatest historical fiction writer the world has ever seen.  Equally my Sir Percy is a caricature of the most excellent Sir Percy Blakeney of The Scarlet Pimpernel and if either of my characters prompt you as reader to dash off and read of the real characters in the afore-mentioned books then I will, quite simply, have done my job.  Having said that, if ever there was a movie made of The House of Niccolo, I can actually imagine Richard Armitage in the role as he has proved himself time and again through North and South, Robin Hood, Spooks and no doubt with his upcoming and more contemporary  TV dramas that he could pull off the convoluted and intricate character that is Nicholas van der Poele.  I must also add, if anything has really inspired me in this whole Masked Ball story, it’s the perfect creations from Bo Press Miniature Books 

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Bacigalupo . . .

When I began the journey to hold a Masked Ball on Mesmered’s blog, I never dreamed that a story would emerge from it, two stories in fact.  One is a short-story called The Masked Ball which is entirely different than the blog-story and which Pat from Bo Press Miniature Books is using in one of her brilliant limited edition creations.  But here on Mesmered, another story is developing and it’s exciting for me to see what my co-conspirators come up with each day.  Till now, we haven’t communicated a story-line with each other, we have just run off with the last line of the previous submission to write our own submission and move the story forward.  It’s become an exercise in fleet wordage and spare detail for me and I find I am learning quite a lot about the craft of writing and getting the message across in the shortest possible time.  Please sit back now and enjoy Pat Sweet’s continuation of  her part in The Masked Ball as Parthenope Neroli: 

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A letter from Annabelle Dechanel . . .

More of the story of The Masked Ball, this offering from Rebecca. (I’m having so much fun with this story that I wonder if I shall ever go back to normal blogging!)

Dearest Clarissa,

Such news! I am going to a masked ball in a fortnight and it is sure to be the event of the season. It will be held at the Museo and will be a very grand affaire indeed. There are rumors that the Prince may attend! And there are rumblings about the possible presence of Others, although Charles makes fun of me for placing credence in that story.

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Spooks . . .

‘I’m bored, Percy, and restless.’  I took up a stiletto and flicked  it in the direction of the especially erected target in the salon.  ‘All the ladies do is gossip and giggle and spend hours discussing lengths of lace and flaunting the provenance of their escorts.’  I took up another stiletto after the first had gratifyingly entered the painted face of my target, the next punctuating the chest and damn near hitting X marks the spot. ‘And Gad, what have I to offer?  My escort appears to be a figment of my imagination.’  I sighed.  ‘Take me falconing Percy, I’ve a wish to get away from the canals.’ 

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The real deal . . .

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent’s blog today,

( talked  about good old-fashioned books, the real deal.  As opposed to the new e-readers.

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A letter from Vittoria . . .

Patricia Sweet continues the intriguing story of  ‘The Masked Ball.’ . . .  

A letter from Vittoria!  


“…and I cannot thank you enough for taking my part about the mask. My Aunt doesn’t understand how important it is that I make an impression on a certain person and his family! If we hadn’t met at Signorina Brabante’s conversazione last week, I would never have known of the existence of the most wonderful, the most handsome, the most admirable-in-all-ways man I have ever seen!!! When you pointed him out to me I near swooned with mingled apprehension and desire, as my innocent heart was pierced with a flaming arrow of love that clove my breast and spilled my very Soul into the aether, my blushes setting my cheeks afire with a sign of my passion that he could not help but see. But I will reserve till our next meeting, the true extent of my regard for him.  

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Lucia Brabante and Sir Percy Blakeney . . .


Niccolo De Fleury


Well!  Having asked to escort me to the Masked Ball and depositing a roll of white beaded silk georgette  for my gown on the table, Ser Niccolo de Fleury has disappeared as if he had never been.   

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Intrigue . . .

My other partner in crime in this jaunt through a costume drama toward the night of the Masked Ball has sent another post.  Rebecca introduces her alter-ego, Sarina.    

Dear Hugh,    

I have much to disclose to you and little time in which to do it, so please forgive me if I neglect some of the usual niceties.  You must arrange to be in Veniche on 1st May.  I know how you dislike leaving your estates for what you term the frivolity of town life, but indeed, there is no choice.     

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A flock of butterflies . . .

My writing life has the capacity to be chaotic at the moment. Flittering from one direction is the fine-tuning of Paperweights, from another comes the continued creation of the story of The Shifu Cloth, from another direction still comes the writing of a short-story for Bo Press’s new limited edition Masked Ball box and book, and from the busiest corner of all, the development of the ‘virtual’ Masked Ball.

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Lucia Brabante and Ser Richard Armitage . . .

Whilst you all know me as Mesmered, for the night of the Ball you may call me Lucia Brabante and until today, I was excited to be attending.  I was sure Ser Richard Armitage, an entrancing visitor to Veniche, would ask to escort me.

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