A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge.
Welcome to the March 1st stop on the blog tour for Chandelier by Michael Leon with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
What is the inspiration for this story?
A lot of my stories draw from my experiences travelling the world, mainly Europe. I spent a lot of time in Europe on an extended break, travelling through France and Italy by car, followed by a Mediterranean cruise visiting famous landmarks from Venice to Bordeaux. The experience allowed me to imagine my subsequent novels: Phantoms, an update of Leroux’s famous novel, and Chandelier, a complete re-imagining of the story. Here are some examples of how travel influenced my writing.
Opera has loomed large in my novels, not in small part due to a visit to the famous Garnier Opera House, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. I added other opera houses in Chandelier. The Milan opera house, La Scala, considered one of the leading opera houses in the world, was initially constructed in 1886. It hosted many of Verdi’s operas and had a special relationship with Italy’s famous composer, Guiseppi Verdi.
I spent a week exploring the scenic towns of Cinque Terra, a divine coastline on the west coast of Italy and a famous tourist destination. The town of Vernazza, one of the five century-old villages on the rugged but picturesque Ligurian coast, served as a perfect setting for one of the scenes in Chandelier. The scene is set in the town’s cliff tops above Doris Castle, a medieval structure clinging high on a cliff face overlooking Cinque Terra’s only natural port.
I also spent a week exploring Lake Como, one of Italy’s popular travel destinations and home to the rich and famous, such as George Clooney. The Grand Hotel Bellagio is the scene of Erik and Carlotta’s reunion in Chandelier. This beautiful hotel, built in 1850, has spectacular views of Lake Como and a popular retreat for Kings, Queens and Hollywood stars, a fitting setting for a world famous diva!
About the Book
Phantoms Book Two
by Michael Leon
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Page Count: 365
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.
The twilight between tired revellers and early morning risers had become Erik’s refuge, a place where the pains of past and present could coalesce in his ritual of the macabre. He’d dreamt of his tormentors again, beasts controlled by masters who understood their canine’s savagery as intimately as a mother knew her child and recurring nightly, taunting his mind.
Chilly breezes flowed down from the Lepontine Alps, carving patterns across Lake Como, so he drew his coat closer, protecting all but his face, but he wouldn’t feel an arctic breeze there. He touched his pale cheeks, not to warm them for they were permanently cold, an immovable party mask. Instead, he felt the rough texture of the implanted skin, grafted to his face. Habitually, he reached into his coat pocket for a medicated ointment that soothed and camouflaged his face in equal measure.
A single boat predictably made its way toward the Bellagio port, the first for the day, in wait for the steady procession of commuters and tourists that would navigate the Lombardy region, Italy’s foothills to the Swiss alps. The light from the slow-moving boat cast a darker than usual spotlight on the famous U-shaped lake, lit by its twin light, a crescent moon. It took Erik back to a dark past when he ruled the Garnier from the recesses of its famous lake chamber. His rule was cut short through carelessness, a mistake he would not repeat. He’d return to the jewel of the opera crown and rule that grand world again, but this time he’d lead it from the stage rather than Garnier’s hidden lake.
Were similar dark secrets contained in the black depths of Lake Como? The thought made him grimace, drawing pain. He held his mouth and cheeks, soothing the scar lines camouflaged beneath a thick beard. The scars, like his name, Erik, were all that remained of his past life, contingencies needed to protect him from those who’d seek to destroy him.
About the Author
Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. Michael has traveled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.
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