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A Sign From Heaven Sent

A war weary anthropologist finds incredible things can happen when she puts herself in the path of the gods.
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File Type: htm
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File Type: prc
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Author: Robbi Perna
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Book Two - The Venetian Masquerades Series

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tags: Venice, romance, signs, gods, destiny, peace

Release: August 17, 2012

Editor: Carrie RO

Line Editor: Greta Gunselman

Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek

Words:  28368

Pages:  83

ISBN:  978-1-77127-124-0

Price:  $4.50

Back Cover:

Diane Carrero, a cultural anthropologist, has served two years in the war zones of the Middle East as a member of the Army’s Human Terrain System.  Images of death and destruction haunt her and she flees to Venice instead of returning to her teaching position at the University.  Her college classmate, Paolo D’Amato and his partner, Ron Lindquist offer a peaceful respite.  She tells them she needs a sign from God.  Her future is uncertain, and the University president is pressuring her to return.  Then Diane encounters a professional colleague and her cousins, the Paladino family.   When she accepts their invitation to dinner, she meets the handsome, reserved Luca Savarese.  They share an instantaneous attraction, but he runs hot and cold, leaving her confused and unsettled.  A golden eagle appears on her hotel balcony, making Diane believe she has received her sign, but why is her path forward still so unclear?  On a side trip to Rome, she visits the ruins of an ancient Roman temple and the experience changes her life.  Diane returns home to Virginia.  Six months later, Luca pays her a surprise visit, but who is Luca, and what role does he play in her life?


Ciao, bella, you rested well?”  Paolo rose from a chair as I stepped into the hotel lobby, his expression a clear indication the time I spent in the spa had improved my appearance.

Si, grazie, molto bene.”  I dropped into my best dancing school curtsy.

Andiamo, we’ll have a drink to celebrate before dinner.”  Paolo escorted me out of the hotel toward one of the outdoor cafés in the square.  Music from the competing mini-orchestras around the square provided a nice backdrop to the noise of the crowd.  I surveyed the surrounding area, caught myself doing it, and transformed my appraisal into one of appreciation.  On the wrought iron balconies around the piazza, empty urns awaited the arrival of spring to come alive with cascading trails of brilliant, scented blooms.  An inchoate longing for the peace to enjoy the fragrant rose beds of my own home surged through me.

“You do look better, not quite so hag ridden as when you stepped off the launch this afternoon.”  He seated us at one of the outdoor tables.

“Oh, I’ll bet that was attractive.  Well, I spent four hours in the hotel spa getting the works, and afterward, napped for about two hours—something I haven’t done in months.  With a few weeks of this regimen, I should make a full recovery.”

“How long can you stay this time?”  His dry tone of voice expressed his unvoiced disbelief at my glib remark.

“A few days, few weeks, I don’t know, Paolo.  I need to recharge my batteries, and make a decision about what comes next.  My experiences as a cultural anthropologist in the combat zones of the Middle East over the past two years have wearied my soul.  With luck, I’m hoping this trip will give me the solace I need to answer the question, what next—and that simple question includes plans for what to do with the rest of my life.”  I read sympathy and understanding in his dark eyes and I had to look away.  “Do I go back to teaching anthropology at the University or do I retire, grow tomatoes, and preside over elegant salons?  I guess I’m waiting for a sign.”

“Oh, yes, un segno de Dio, the old Italian standby.  What do you suppose will constitute this sign?”  Although his comment and tone of voice mocked my superstition, he grinned at me as he took a sip of his drink.  I grinned back at him and felt a small sliver of normality slide into my heart.

Mi scusi, Signore, do you wish to order your dinner now?”  The waiter approached the table, and we turned our attention to the menu.  When he left, we talked of inconsequential matters, but then Paolo took my hand and placed a light kiss in the palm.

“What is that in aid of?”

“The months in the desert have taken their toll, cara mia.  Now I see you, I don’t wonder you feel so burned out, and have a desperate need to find yourself, and your place in the world to which you have returned.”

“Thank you, amico mio, I knew you’d understand.  This is why I’ve come here to Venice instead of returning to the University.  I know what my team and I did made a difference, but now…” I broke off as the waiter placed our dinners in front of us.  The food smelled wonderful.

Così, per la signorina—il vitello Marsala, e per il signore—il saltimbocca.  Va bene?”

Si, grazie.  Niente più.”  Paolo dismissed the waiter and turned his attention back to me.

“You must rest and let me take good care of you while you are here.  Allora, we will enjoy our dinner and talk of breath, fire, and glass, not of war or universities.”  I appreciated his words and wished it could all be that easy.

About the Author:

Dr. Robbi Perna is a professional author with more than thirty-one published credits that include novels, short stories, articles, essays, and editorials. Muse It Up Publishing released a Christmas romance, A LOVE LIKE NO OTHER in December 2011, and a mystery romance, WHAT HIDES BEHIND THE MASK in February 2012. ONCE A SOLDIER, the second book in the Domenico Family Case Files series, appeared in April 2012, and the series concluded with the final book, ALL THE DAYS OF FOREVER in June 2012.

A SIGN FROM HEAVEN SENT from Muse It Up Publishing is the second book in the Venetian Masquerades series.  MY HEART STILL SURRENDERS, a historical novel inspired by three events in Robbi's great-great grandmother's life, is scheduled for release in December 2012 in electronic download and print formats.

Robbi's short story entitled TO EVERYTHING ITS SEASON appears in the 2010 Edition "A Magical Summer" hosted by Pandora's Imagination and as an electronic download. Both the anthology and the single download are available from Amazon.

Robbi's published works in non-fiction include a broad range of subjects across the spectrum of the military, political, and art history spheres of influence.

A Colorado native, Robbi returns to Denver for visits with her friends and family members.  She resides in Virginia with her parti-poodle, Santino, who manages the house between naps while Robbi writes.

Interested readers can contact Robbi through her website at or at


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