Loving Leonardo
Loving Leonardo – The Quest

Rose Anderson, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We’re excited to interview
your character, Nicolas Halstead from the book, Loving Leonardo – The Quest

Genre: Erotic Romance/Historical m/m/f
Publisher: Calliope’s Writing Tablet
Cover artist: Kim Van Meter
Length: Approximately 200 pages
Heat rating: R
Tagline: Love transcends all barriers.
Blurb:
Never in his wildest imaginings as an art historian, could Nicolas Halstead conceive the book Leonardo
da Vinci created for his lover Salai existed, let alone lead to the discovery of hidden declarations of love worked into da Vinci masterpieces.
Happy and content in their polyamorous relationship, Nicolas, Ellie and Luca embark on a quest to learn all they can about the greatest mind of
the Renaissance. But their world takes a devastating and deadly turn that sends Nicolas into the deviant underworld of Victorian London. It becomes clear that Conte Acario Bruno lives, and the madman wants far more than Leonardo’s book. He desires Nicolas’ death, and Luca for himself.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations? 
Nicolas Halstead 11th Earl of Halstead: 31 years old. House of Lords, Art Historian for the famed Ashmolean
Museum. He acquires and manages her Majesty’s art collections.
Elenora Schwaab Halstead: 24 years old. The new Lady Halstead. Student of philosophy, Suffragette, and American Progressive. Daughter of the American Consul to her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Luca Franco: 32 years old. The new Professor of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. Son of a Venetian merchant. Head of the Franco family. He acquires items of history to add to the vast museum collections.

Interview with Nicolas Halstead

Tell us about yourself.
Nicolas seated himself
and crossed his legs comfortably before him. “Well, let me see…My name is Nicolas
Halstead, 11th Earl of Halstead.
I’ve assumed my deceased father’s seat in House of Lords. Though my travels puts
me hardly ever there. As a young man I was educated at Eaton, and then finished
my art history education at Oxford.
From there I did my internship at the Ashmolean, where I recently became a fellow.
It falls to me to add to her Majesty’s collections of state, and to do so, I acquire
artworks from private holdings and collections.
I’m an exceedingly private
person. To maintain that desired privacy, I live in London, away from the family estate. Mrs. Fletcher,
my housekeeper, looks after me and has since the accident that killed my parents.
My grandmother, Lady Augusta Halstead did me immeasurable kindness when she gave
me over to her trusted servant’s care all those years ago. She has no idea of the
bond between Mrs. Fletcher and me, or what we truly share. You see, my Grandmother
comes from a time of little deviation from the path society placed before you. The
old dear would come undone in knowing the truth of me.”
Nicolas’ lips twitch.
“Until recently, I lived a quiet, somewhat content, life.”
Tell us about Ellie and Luca.
The twitch transformed into a wide smile. “I’ll assume by the question, you
are aware of my nature. Therefore, to phrase it simply, we three are lovers and
I love them. It’s trite to say,
but we complete one another in ways we hardly realized were incomplete. Through them, I’ve discovered and accepted myself.
Were I to describe my new wife, I’d say she’s unlike anyone, male or female,
of my acquaintance. Bold as brass in speaking plainly…in attitude and affections
as well. She’s a suffragette, a progressive in the truest sense. If any woman deserved
the vote it would be she. Her mind is extraordinary, her heart fiercely loving and
protective. She’s American, you know. In general, Americans reminded me of impressionist artists.
The Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting, and Americans violate
the rules of conventionality. As a student of nuance, I very much like her. That
on top of the love I feel. I consider Ellie
to be a true partner in life and love.
Luca? He and I are cut
from the same cloth in our interests and we share compatible views. I see Luca as
one of the world’s purest souls. He’s kind and sensitive, loving and thoughtful.
And I’ll add to that — he’s compassionate and self-sacrificing to a fault. Luca
is also bold and brave, far braver than I. He’s been through a lot in the last ten
years. Were I able, I’d take the heartache onto myself to free him of it. I know
he would do the same for me. He’s a man anyone would be proud to know, let alone
love.”

What do you think is your strongest point?

“Modesty?” He laughed.
“How does one consider their strongest attributes without sounding conceited? Let’s
see…I’m a loyal friend and devoted to those I love. I have empathy. Consequently,
the unfortunate and hungry souls in Rome
laid me quite low when we were there. Admitting to that, I’d have to add that I’m
more than soft-hearted, I’m painfully aware. I suppose that is my strongest and
weakest attribute — my attention to detail. I simply do not possess a blind eye.
Given my training and interest in the artworks of the ages, I readily grasp nuance.
I see the subtle shading of life in those small details often missed by others.
It allows me to read situations quickly. Not a bad skill for a man with a deviate’s
proclivity in an intolerant world!”As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us
about him/her.
“When I was a lad of
twelve or so, Mrs. Fletcher’s orphaned nephew Thomas came to Halstead. He was a
few years older than I and possessing a ready talent with horses, took a position
working in the stables. I got to spend time with him when my Grandmother was out
and about. I found him witty and fun and although our stations in life divided us,
we enjoyed one another’s company. I went away to school and we stayed in touch through
letters. When I returned home, I went to the stable to find my friend, and instead
found him with his lover, the farrier’s son. Thom and I became lovers shortly after.
Our relationship changed. And so had I.”What do you wish was different about your life?“I was born to a world
divided by class structure and limitations. My mind sees the outward trappings of
this divide daily, especially at Halstead. But my relationships with Mrs. Fletcher
and her nephew Thomas transcend such boundaries. They mean the world to me, and
my heart rebels at the very idea that I must keep my love for them a secret. I love Luca as well. It wasn’t all that long
ago, loving him would cost us our lives. There’s no longer a death penalty for homosexual
Englishmen, but we are still not free to love. I wish I was able to openly
show my affections.”If you were given your
fondest wish, what would it be?“I’d wish to turn back
the clock to see my dear Thom living a full and happy life. We’d been together nearly
thirteen years before I married Ellie. It was he who ended our relationship out
of respect for her. I miss him.”What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask
and answer it now.
“I would have asked,
Will we ever live in a tolerant world?My answer would be,
yes. It’s 1887. Look how far we’ve come. Women will be voting side by side with
men shortly, and are soon to be equal in every way. Especially if my wife has her
say! With such social progress broadening our understanding of ourselves, I can’t
imagine it taking long for prejudice, bigotry, and hatred to fall by the wayside.
Love and kindness, tolerance and charity – these are precepts of faith around the
world. But we don’t need our faith to tell us this is best. Like water, mankind
eventually follows the path of least resistance. I have every confidence that before
long, we’ll do what makes sense.”About the AuthorI love words and choose them as carefully as an artist might
choose a color. My active imagination compels me to write everything from children’s
stories to historical nonfiction. As a persnickety leisure reader, I especially
enjoy novels that feel like they were written just for me. It’s hard to explain,
but if you’ve ever read one of those, then you know what I mean. I tend to sneak
symbolism and metaphor into my writing. You might say it’s a game I play with myself
when I write. And I so love when readers email to say they’ve found something. I’d
like people to feel my stories were written just for them, for that’s the truth.
These hidden insights are my gift to my readers.  Find Me HereMain Blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.com/Satellite Blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/Youtube: http://www.youtube.com//MusesWritingTabletTwitter: http://twitter.com/roseanderson_Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rose.andersonPinterest: http://pinterest.com/FollowTheMuse/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4317188.Rose_AndersonAll books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Anderson