The Fortune Keeper

Book Title: The Fortune Keeper

Series: Italian Renaissance Series

Author: Deborah Swift

Publication Date: 24th November 2022

Publisher: Quire Books

Page Length: 412 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handle: @swiftstory @maryanneyarde

Hashtags: #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub #FortuneKeeper #HistoricalFiction

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Book Title and Author Name:

The Fortune Keeper

By Deborah Swift


Count your nights by stars, not shadows ~ Italian Proverb

Winter in Renaissance Venice

Mia Caiozzi is determined to discover her destiny by studying the science of astronomy. But her stepmother Giulia forbids her to engage in this occupation, fearing it will lead her into danger. The ideas of Galileo are banned by the Inquisition, so Mia must study in secret.

Giulia’s real name is Giulia Tofana, renowned for her poison Aqua Tofana, and she is in hiding from the Duke de Verdi’s family who are intent on revenge for the death of their brother. Giulia insists Mia should live quietly out of public view. If not, it could threaten them all. But Mia doesn’t understand this, and rebels against Giulia, determined to go her own way.

When the two secret lives collide, it has far-reaching and fatal consequences that will change Mia’s life forever.

Set amongst opulent palazzos and shimmering canals, The Fortune Keeper is the third novel of adventure and romance based on the life and legend of Giulia Tofana, the famous poisoner.

‘Her characters are so real they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf’ – Historical Novel Society

NB This is the third in a series but can stand alone as it features a new protagonist. Other two books are available if reviewers want them.

Trigger warnings:

Murder and violence in keeping with the era.

The Fortune Keeper Tour, for When Angels Fly Blog.

The inspiration behind The Fortune Keeper

by Deborah Swift

Where does inspiration for a book come from?

For me, it’s a mingling of research, interest in the era and a vision in my head that has probably come from years of looking at paintings, films and theatre productions.

The Fortune Keeper is the third in a series, though it will also stand alone as an introduction to my novels. It is though, the first book I’ve ever written which is set in Venice at the end of the Renaissance.

I also loved to watch films or documentaries about Venice, both old and new, and to take guided online tours. One of the best tours I did online was with also enjoyed various youtube videos like this one which gave me some idea of masked balls and the carnival.

Much of my inspiration came from books though, and one of my favourites was the heavily illustrated ‘Venice from the Water’ by Daniel Savoy, which alongside the drier research such as academic papers provided me with visual imagery and also a description of the different rituals that used to take place on the water.

Find me online at

Twitter @swiftstory

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Author Bio:

Deborah Swift

Deborah Swift is a USA TODAY bestselling author who is passionate about the past. Deborah used to be a costume designer for the BBC, before becoming a writer. Now she lives in an old English school house in a village full of 17th Century houses, near the glorious Lake District. She divides her time between writing and teaching. After taking a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, she enjoys mentoring aspiring novelists and has an award-winning historical fiction blog at her website

Deborah loves to write about how extraordinary events in history have transformed the lives of ordinary people, and how the events of the past can live on in her books and still resonate today.

Recent books include The Poison Keeper, about the Renaissance poisoner Giulia Tofana, which was a winner of the Wishing Shelf Readers Award, and a Coffee Pot Book Club Gold Medal, and The Cipher Room set in WW2 and due for publication by Harper Collins next Spring.

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