It’s day three of the Story Empire Roadshow and I’m delighted to welcome Staci Troilo to my site. Staci is going to take you on a visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (a place near and dear to her heart.) Take it away, Staci!
Thanks for hosting me today, Joan. Hi, Joan’s followers! It’s nice to be back with you.
The Story Empire Roadshow takes the bookmobile to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today. Which is fitting, because my Medici Protectorate series takes place (in part) there. I thought I’d give you a few highlights, but you can click on one or more of the links for more information.
Schenley Park is right next to my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University. When the weather is nice, and even sometimes when it isn’t, you can find college students hanging out there, playing intramural games or just taking in some sun.
At the top of the hill, you will find Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. It’s a beautiful glass building which houses displays of various flora from around the world. It’s hailed as a beautiful example of Victorian greenhouse architecture, and is actually one of the world’s most environmentally green facilities, as well. It is registered as a protected historical landmark.
Bleeding Heart has a scene set at Phipps and Schenley Park. It’s an important scene for the budding relationship between Franki and Gianni.
Washington. From the observation deck at the top of the mountain, riders have a breathtaking view of the Pittsburgh skyline.
Mount Washington is where the Notaro sisters work. (It’s also where I got engaged. The view is gorgeous and the restaurants are top notch.) The fictional corporate office of Notaro Building and Design (NBD) has a similar view of the city.
Bleeding Heart has several scenes at NBD on Mount Washington. One of my favorites is when Gianni and Franki take a moment to enjoy the simple pleasure of the vista below them before leaving work for the day. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much.
Carnegie Museum of Art
The Hall of Architecture boasts the country’s largest collection of plaster casts, coming in third globally behind the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Musée National des Monuments Français in Paris. Pittsburgh’s architectural cast collection is renowned for staying virtually unaltered through the years. The magnificent sky-lit hall was inspired by one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
This location is crucial in Bleeding Heart. It’s where Franki and Gianni grow closer, and one of the exhibits there has special significance to Franki.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University was founded by Andrew Carnegie, a hard-working Scottish immigrant who came to Pittsburgh in 1848. He founded what became the largest global steel producing company by the late 1800s, and at one point, he was the wealthiest man in the world.
He believed “to die rich is to die disgraced” and by focusing his later efforts into writing, social activism, and philanthropy, he set out to give education opportunities to the general public. With a $1 million donation, he formed Carnegie Technical Schools, which offered programs in engineering disciplines. He also formed the Margaret Morrison Carnegie College for women. The schools continued to expand to accommodate a growing need for various disciplines, and in 1967 Carnegie Tech merged with the Mellon Institute (a science research center) to become what is today known as Carnegie Mellon University.
Carnegie Mellon University isn’t just my alma mater. The Notaro sisters went there, as did some of their employees. I like to think they stayed up late sometimes to paint the fence. Oh, did I not mention The Fence? Here’s a link to a cool bit of Fence tradition. You might want to check out some other cool Carnegie Mellon traditions, too. Some famous names pop up.
Pittsburgh, the City
It’s probably pretty obvious by now that I absolutely love Pittsburgh. I grew up in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, about forty minutes from the city. My family are all diehard Steeler, Penguin, and Pirate fans. My husband and I are both alumni of Carnegie Mellon University. We’ve taken our kids to the city zoo, amusement parks, and museums in the city. One of their—and our—favorite things to do in Pittsburgh is walk through the Strip District, a small section of the city with various shops and restaurants with global appeal that you don’t want to miss.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pittsburgh. There’s so much to do there. I could never do the city justice here. I miss the ’Burgh every day, which is why I pay homage to it in many of my stories. Thanks for indulging me in this wistful trip through the city. I hope you enjoyed this brief glance at just a few of the many landmarks. And if you get a chance, visit Pittsburgh. You won’t be sorry.
And, because you were troopers and read through to the end, I’m offering you the chance at two prizes. One commenter will receive a free eBook of their choosing, not just from the Medici Protectorate series (although you can choose one of those), but from any of my works (the complete list can be found by clicking here). Another commenter (US only) will be sent a Medici Protectorate pen. Good luck!
Medici Protectorate Series Premise: The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.
Book One, Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both.
Bleeding Heart is only $.99 throughout the duration of the tour. Click the universal link for purchase information.
Book Two, Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late?
Mind Control is only $1.99 throughout the duration of the tour. Click the universal link for purchase information.
Book Three, Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.
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Staci, I enjoyed hosting you again today. Staci is giving away some cool prizes, so be sure to leave her a comment for a chance to win. And don’t forget to check out the other authors on this week’s tour by clicking the links below.