This is Franca Hernandez’s first work of fiction. She is an experienced freelance journalist. Venezia—The Talisman is inspired by her many years living in Italy and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central Asia.
Title by Franca Hernandez
Released: March 2021
In the early medieval kingdom of Venezia, gateway to the Silk Road, an undercurrent of intrigue affects the lives of the island dwellers as relentlessly as the sea tides. Against this backdrop, the daughter of a Lombard knight and an orphaned servant girl find friendship. Ademara, a novice of a convent, is unsatisfied with the life chosen for her. With the help of the spirited Lucilla, a foundling fostered to Lia and Toso, servants to the wealthy foreigner, Ximeno, the girls undertake what they think will be innocent escapades.
One winter’s eve, Ademara encounters Bartolo, who remembers nothing before he was brought to Venezia. On impulse, he gives her an ancient sea creature, a talisman. Then, unsavory characters, caring only to accumulate wealth and prestige, kidnap the girls and take them over the Adriatic Sea to the ancient kingdoms on the Illyrian coast to be sold as slaves. Can the girls evade their captors and avoid lives of servitude?