Guest Post: Antonia Aquilante



Oh My Shelves welcomes author Antonia Aquilante to the blog with the release of her latest book in the Chronicles of Tournai series, The Scholar’s Heart – out today from Dreamspinner Press – and to talk a bit about libraries, why both she and Etan love them, as well as offering a wonderful giveaway.

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Thank you so much to Oh My Shelves for hosting me today! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about libraries. I love libraries – but then I love most places that are filled with books! Which is probably not surprising since I’m such a book lover and a reader in addition to being a writer. There are books in every room of my home. My first job in high school was shelving books in my town’s library, and I thought it was the best after-school job. I got to be surrounded by books the whole time, and I was always finding new things to read. (I promise I shelved books too.)

Etan shares my love of libraries and books. He’s a scholar and a reader, and he feels most at home surrounded by books. Even as a child, he preferred a book to some of his brothers’ more athletic pastimes. His favorite place, the place where he feels most at home, in Tournai’s royal palace is the library. Which meant I got to design my dream library in the palace library, and make it as amazing a library as I could. I thought of all the fantastic libraries I’ve seen (Belle’s library in Beauty and the Beast, anyone?), and then let my imagination run wild. I wanted a beautiful place filled with all the books you could imagine, with bookshelves soaring to the ceiling in some places and quiet, cozy reading nooks tucked away elsewhere. I wanted a treasure trove of a library that would be every book lover’s dream, and would still be the place Etan goes to feel safe and comfortable.

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 His friend’s quiet support soothed Etan enough for him to walk back to the palace and manage a little sleep, but not enough to put him in his usual frame of mind in the morning, not with how angry he was at himself. He was grateful he had no obligations that morning. The free hours gave him time to get over his ludicrous snit without having to interact with anyone. And the best way he knew to force himself back into a calm, normal outlook was to bury himself in the library and his books until the feelings he hated went away.

So that was where he went, and he felt better for just stepping into the room, just breathing in the scent of the lemony wax the servants used to polish the wooden railings and furniture and, most of all, of books, that leather and paper perfume he loved. The library felt like home. The main room was lit by two windows flanking a large, ornate fireplace. The rest of the walls held books, reaching floor to ceiling, some of them only accessible from a balcony that ran around three sides of the room. Thick, jewel-toned rugs covered the marble floor, and furniture that seemed to invite a person to sink into its cushions was placed around the room. But Etan didn’t stop; he continued through a small doorway into the rest of the library, a warren of various-sized rooms, each unique and charming in its way and each filled with books.

The sun was barely up when he settled at the table in the small room he often claimed as his own. It was tucked away in the middle of the rooms that made up the bulk of the palace library. It was cozy in chilly months from its own small fireplace and bright from a large window that let in the sunlight. Another thick rug covered most of the polished wood floor, and bookcases filled with books of history lined three of the walls. A small, plush couch sat near the hearth, a place he often read if he didn’t want to do so in his own book-filled suite, and a table, wood polished to a gleam and inlaid in patterns, occupied the center of the room.

He sighed when he sat there, letting himself sink into the leather back of his chair, letting himself breathe in the calming scent of the library and take in the tranquil view out the window.

Then he turned to his books.


ScholarsHeartLGThe Scholar’s Heart by Antonia Aquilante
Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Three
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Pages: 294
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe  Kobo • B&N  iTunes


Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.



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About Antonia Aquilante

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

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