Today we're spotlighting Diana Rodriguez Wallach's novel, Proof Of Lies!!
Read on for more about Diana, her novel, a guest post, and a giveaway!
Meet Diana Rodriguez Wallach!
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three young adult spy thrillers. The first book in the series, PROOF OF LIES, is set to debut in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books.
In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.
Meet Proof Of Lies!
Some secrets are best kept hidden…
Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.
And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.
She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.
Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.
She will find her sister.
Top 6 Photos of Fictitious Scenes that Will Make You Want to Go to Italy
Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Author, PROOF OF LIES
You know you have a pretty awesome job when you can claim a trip to Italy as a work expense. I love to travel. I have a goal to visit every country in Europe before I die, and I have to say I’ve already knocked my fair share off the list. So I set all of my novels both home and abroad. My first YA series, Amor and Summer Secrets, takes place in Philadelphia and Puerto Rico. My YA short story collection, Mirror, Mirror, is set in New Jersey and Santorini, Greece. And Proof of Lies, the first book in the Anastasia Phoenix series, is set in Tuscany, Rome, and Venice. Every place I describe in each of my novels—from a café in Cortona to a dark alley in Venice—is based on my two feet wandering the streets. My settings are real; it’s just the events that take place there that are fictitious.
So if you really want to delve into the world of Anastasia Phoenix, here are some of my personal travel photos that correspond with pivotal scenes in the book. Trust me, once you’ve read the novel, you’ll be saving up for airfare.
View of Cortona, Tuscany
“An emerald valley spread wide with lush vineyard grapes twining in neat rows before small farms with burnt-orange shingled roofs and churches with green copper domes and pointed spires.
If it came to it, it would be a pretty place to die.”
It’s hard to describe how all of these photos tie-in without giving away too many spoilers, but I can say that Anastasia spends time in the small town of Cortona searching for clues as to what happened to her family. Anyone who’s been to Tuscany will know that it’s a very hilly region. Picturesque towns are plopped on top of mountains, and you’ll want to be careful about standing too close to the edge of a cliff…
Alley in Tuscany
“He spun through Cortona’s maze of cobblestone streets, under stone archways, and past ancient facades. ‘How did you find me? Were you following me? What’s going on?’ I asked.”
Proof of Lies is a YA spy thriller, so I think it goes without saying that there are a few chase sequences. Some are on motorcycles, some in cars, and some uncomfortably over cobblestones.
“Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of cathedrals as tourist attractions—if you’ve seen one gilded Jesus, you’ve seen them all. But even I had to admit that Italians did churches right—all marble, frescos, and gold-plated reverence.”
It’s hard to throw a stick in Italy and not hit a church. And there’s just something gothic and creepy about a dark, marble, chilly cathedral full of frescoes. It’s perfect for a dangerous, secret meeting.
The Coliseum, Rome
“He even took us past the Coliseum, the only time in my life I’d ever seen the iconic structure, not that I got the chance to appreciate it. Though I did imagine all the gladiators who’d been here before us; at least they had spears.”
There are a few landmarks in this world that truly take your breath away—the Eifel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and definitely the Coliseum. For those who haven’t been there, spoiler alert: the Coliseum is now surrounded by city traffic. But that’s doesn’t make it any less majestic, or full of brutal history that is uncomfortably relatable in this novel.
Waterways in Venice
“Now, this was the postcard.
Ancient, colorful residential buildings sat with their foundations fully immersed in the rising tides of the canal. Arched pedestrian bridges crossed the muggy current at random intervals. Shutters framed every window, and the remains of centuries-old front doors peeked from far below the water line.
‘Wow,’ I gaped in wonderment. It was like seeing the ruins of Atlantis.”
There are no cars in Venice. At all. The only way to get around the city is by foot or boat. It is seriously amazing. Seeing front doors submerged in water is a reminder of how much the city is sinking, and how quickly you need to enjoy the breathtaking beauty before it does. It’s also the perfect place for a boat chase—gondola traffic is a very real obstacle.
Dark canals of Venice
I pictured his mouth bleeding and his eyes blackened.
I imagined him wincing in pain.
I remembered him touching my sister.
Step. Step. Step.
I recalled every feeling of guilt, every comment I regretted, every tear I shed.
He turned the corner of the narrow alley, and I flung my fist into the base of his throat.”
If you’re going to fight to the death, a pitch-black Venetian alleyway is not a bad place to do it. So many buildings are abandoned (it’s hard to find tenants when the homes are literally sinking into water) that the air is quiet and the alleys are private. Of course, this is only a problem if you need someone to hear you screaming…
You can find more photographs of the places that inspired Proof of Lies popping up on my website in the coming weeks, so stop by and drool at how gorgeous Italy is, www.dianarodriguezwallach.com. It will make you want to follow in the footsteps of Anastasia Phoenix from Rome all the way to Venice.
Proof Of Lies
By: Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
One winner will receive the chance to name a secondary character in book #2 of the Anastasia Phoenix series!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*