Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blog Tour Q&A with Barbara Lynn-Davis, Author of Casanova's Secret Wife

Please join me in welcoming Barbara Lynn-Davis to Let Them Read Books! Barbara is touring the blogosphere with her debut historical novel, Casanova's Secret Wife, and I recently had the chance to ask her a few burning questions about her famous subject and his not-so-famous wife. Read on and enter to win a paperback copy of Casanova's Secret Wife!

Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever …

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Target | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Hi Barbara! Welcome to Let Them Read Books! Thanks so much for taking the time to join us today.

Can you tell us what inspired you to write a story about Casanova from the point of view of one of his conquests? Was Caterina a real historical figure?

Caterina Capreta was a real person in Venice, only fourteen years old when she met Giacomo Casanova. But he was not notorious or even well-known at the time my story takes place. I challenge my readers to think apart from Casanova-as-myth and she as just another “conquest.” Theirs is a story of passion, hope, desperation, loss, and enduring love. These are the reasons I wrote the book: to share their haunting love story.

What kind of research did you do to prepare for this story? Did you come across anything that surprised you?

Readers often remark on the setting: the inimitable city of Venice. I first became enchanted with Venice while working at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in the neighborhood of Dorsoduro. Later, as a graduate student, I returned to live in Venice and got to know the city inside and out. I can walk the streets, dart in and out of churches to find hidden altarpieces, smell the night jasmine creeping out of garden gates, and hear the lapping water in my mind. I did do “book” research for the story, like about midwife practice, horse care, and the Jewish ghetto. But mostly, the story is an unpouring of images and memories I carry inside of me.

Which scene in the novel was the most fun to write? Were there any aspects that were more difficult for you?

Oh! No question there. After I’d finished (or thought I’d finished) the book, my agent said, “I want MORE CASANOVA.” The story is told from a woman’s point of view, but she wanted to understand his motivations, his humanity more. This prompted me to reread the memoirs and really think about him again. I felt I was able to dig so much deeper and wrote my favorite scene, when Caterina and Casanova go on a walk together in the night, and he tells her about his past.

My favorite part about writing is when characters just start “doing” things you didn’t anticipate: in this scene, following his confession, Casanova kisses Caterina against a church wall … I didn’t plan it, it just happened :)

(This chapter is excerpted on Passages to the Past.)

And lastly--because inquiring minds want to know--if you had been a contemporary of Casanova, do you think he could have seduced you?

OMG I’m so excited you asked me this question because I’ve asked myself this many times! Experiencing his life through his memoirs, I find him clever, amusing, adventurous, a risk-taker, and of course, seductive. Reader, I fell in love with him.

Short answer: yup.

About the Author:

Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her PhD in Renaissance art at Princeton University.

She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College and lives outside Boston with her family.

For more information, please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Casanova’s Secret Wife! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Casanova's Secret Wife
Casanova's Secret Wife is on a blog tour!


  1. Thank you so much for hosting Barbara's Blog Tour, Jenny! I loved the interview! Good luck to all who enter the giveaway. You are in for a reading treat!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. I enjoyed reading the post. Sounds like a fascinating story It's on my TRL and I can't wait to read it.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com


I love comments! Getting feedback on my posts makes my day! Thanks for being here!