JUPITER & THE GHOST OF MONA LISA     

MONA LISA HAS A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY AND SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!

Is the ‘Mona Lisa’ beguiling or smiling, alluring or obscuring, devious or mischievous? In my fictional account of her life in ‘The LISABETTA TRILOGY’, she is most decidedly, all six.

BUT JUST BETWEEN THE TWO OF US:THE ‘MONA LISA’ IS NOT POSSESSED… SHE’S ARTFUL!

There are always a few characters inside my head vying for attention, dying to tell their stories. Lisabetta Buti, Leonardo da Vinci’s (half ?) kid sister, was such a character. She was relentless. And since only the most persistent stories make it to paper, I wrote about the mysterious identity of the ‘Mona Lisa’.

My imagination played out the tale of a desperate spirit with unfinished business, trapped in her famous portrait, who confronts the living in order to be known for all that she was born to be after a misshapen letter ‘a’ unseated her from Gioconda to Giocondo. Go figure. Typos happened even in the fifteenth century!

LEONARDO TAUGHT HIS KID SISTER TO PAINT… SHE TAUGHT HIM HOW TO SURVIVE!

A story idea descends like an entity, fills a writing room with creative ectoplasm, and relentlessly stalks an author, day and night, as a restless spirit. There is no peace until a muse’s phantom thoughts are on paper, and so, this tagline presented itself in letters the size of the Hollywood sign:

The fanciful biography of Lisabetta’s hidden, forgotten, and overlooked life unfolds when the embittered spirit of Leonardo da Vinci’s kid sister steps outside her portrait to redress a five-hundred-year-old case of mistaken identity. And it soon becomes apparent, that although the ‘Mona Lisa’ may be priceless, she must now become a woman worth saving!

Ghosts make amazing narrators. The ‘Lisabetta Trilogy’, is narrated by the ghost of Mona Lisa; Veronica Lyons a troubled single parent raising an autistic child in 2008; and an omnipotent ‘fly-on-the-wall omnipotent historian time traveler’, travelling incognito. 

And so, Jupiter Lyons, an autistic boy meets, befriends, and rescues Mona Lisa’s spirit trapped in her portrait when he visits the Louvre with his troubled mother. Together, this genius child with a heart the size of a planet and a distraught woman trapped in a 500-year-old portrait set out to save each other from obscurity only to discover Jupiter’s fraught mother needs saving first!

1. ‘LISABETTA – a stolen glance’ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K6SBB78

2. ‘LISABETTA – a stolen smile’ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1775047113    

3. ‘LISABETTA – a stolen sister’ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1775047121

My stories explore the lighter side of alternative physics: where museums archive the essences of past lives, sentient buildings host generations of ghosts and elementals, and mystical places provide safe harbor to lost souls determined to find each other across time, resolve their unfinished business, and make their way home.

I write about haunted paintings, undying love, ghostly lovers, creative autism, buildings with minds of their own, time travel, themes of reincarnation and ancient mythology, cozy time-slipping events, mystical settings, historical romances of love undiminished by death or time, and art history mysteries where painted portraits refuse to stay on the canvas.

THE ‘LISABETTA TRILOGY’ PREMISE… THE BIG PICTURE

Leonardo da Vinci is a visual telepatha psychic painter, well-acquainted with the ‘mediums’ of paint and charcoal. He is a super watcher, possessed of such amplified seeing he may be considered a master seer capable of capturing every nuance of a subject’s likeness: trembling lips a museum visitor swears they witnessed, or the wink of an eye, or a smile that shifted from joy to pain from the gallery walls.

Troubled in life equates to restless and determined in the afterlife. Mona Lisa is impatient to be found… literally ‘found out’ because what was once a welcome refuge and a safe haven, has become an unbearable humiliating confinement, inhabited by her soul pleading to be liberated.

AN AUTHOR POSSESSED

In my ghost-inspired stories, disembodied voices whisper in the living’s ears, the swishing of robes brush their shoulders, hints of exotic perfume breeze by, and then, along comes an unsuspecting storyteller who agrees to help them out – a.k.a. me!

The loaded words ‘possession’ and ‘haunting’ are creepy key words that distinguish the classic ‘ghost story’, but that said, and in as much as unhappy spirits are involved, I write cozy.

Surprisingly, there are ways to free a spirit who helps you back. Author and protagonist make supernatural pacts written in stone: “You write me out of here,” Lisabetta says, “and I will tell you a secret I’ve been too ashamed to admit, a hiding place of a lost work, or a document you can take to the bank. Take your pick.” I did the math: possession of a secret is nine-tenths of a mystery, a ghost remains nine-tenths alive, and the sitter trapped in a portrait is nine-tenths free. “So, do we have a deal?”

excerpt from the prologue of book 3 of 3 ‘LISABETTA – a stolen sister’

MONA LISA HAS A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY AND SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!

[ Jupiter found me in the ‘living’ room – an unlikely place for a ghost to hang out. He always says goodnight after his bath.

He approached me silently, padding towards me barefoot, ready for bed, an angel slightly pink about the ears smelling of soap, his hair still damp… hugging a large book.

The expression on his sweet face was determined. He sat beside me and leaned his forehead on my arm. “This is you,” he whispered huskily and thrust the book in my lap. “Page 222, please.” 

     Page 222 showed my portrait as no person could ever imagine it, expanded many times larger than life revealing layers of infinitesimal detail.

I had aged 500 years. My face was ravaged beyond repair, as weathered as peeling paint on an old door which was ironic because I referred to my painting as a window.

I was at once, a microcosm and a macrocosm.  

     The poplar panel on which I was painted showed a hairline crack, split diagonally from left to right that stabbed my forehead.

Jupiter’s eyes were agog with awe. He touched the lightning bolt zapping my forehead and referenced Harry Potter’s scar. “Are you a wizard?” he asked.

I glared back affronted. “If I was, would I BE here?”

“Maybe someone put a spell on you.”

I chuckled. “Maybe someone put a spell on LEONARDO.”

Jupiter’s face registered a new concern. “Maybe someone put a spell on ME!”

From the binding, it was clearly a stolen library book – one of his mother’s art history textbooks: ‘The Mona Lisa – a retrospective’.

I assumed he wanted his usual bedtime story, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Jupiter came bearing a gift – a deep knowing, what he couldn’t possibly know after mulling over a collection of random snippets of data he called ‘secrets with wings.’

I know now that Jupiter intended to save me from myself. He had gleaned a solution. – Lisabetta

The ‘LISABETTA trilogy’ will be available as a Kindle e-book by October 30

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1775047121

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website - www.veronicaknox.com
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