They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the "peculiar feeling" she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie's previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it. As Maddie's relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together. In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the "thing" we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.
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About the Author
Melissa Muldoon is the “Studentessa Matta.” In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned.” She promotes the study of Italian language and culture through the dual-language blog StudentessaMatta.com. Melissa began the “Matta” blog to improve her own language skills and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per Italiano, and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy. She has a B.A. in fine arts from Knox College, and a master’s in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She studied painting and art history in Florence.
Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel about Italy and Waking Isabella is her second novel. Both stories weave together historical facts with an imaginative story line, focusing on Italy, the language, art, and culture. It is the desire of the author to introduce her readers to the world of art history and inspire them to learn the Italian language.
When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles named Sinbad and Moka.
Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for both her novels. More information is available on the author’s website: www.MelissaMuldoon.com