Venetian Magic –researching my story



Venetian Magic cover #2

When Susan’s boyfriend postponed their plans to visit Northern Italy, he encouraged her to go on ahead, saying he would meet up with her in a few days. Unfortunately, major problems  developed with his work and he decided he wouldn’t meet her Italy after all. Susan was devastated. She had thought he would propose to her while in Italy.

In her emotional distress, she decides to abandon their original itinerary.  Not sure where she wanted to go as she drove away from their hotel and headed north, with no destination in mind. Seeing a road sign indicating the Venice turnoff, on impulse, she decides to go there.

Through a simple quirk of fate, she meets an older woman in the lobby of the Hotel Daniele who makes her an incredible offer. Thus, begins an adventure filled with magic, creativity, counterfeit goods, a lecherous Count, delicious food, and an old magician. who tells her magic will happen when Marangona, the huge campanile bell in the Piazza San Marco, strikes midnight.

My latest book, Venetian Magic will be available October 2019


mask line drawing

Researching my Venice notes took me back to magical times I spent in Venezia. I want to share some of my photographic memories that relate to Venetian Magic with you.


Sunrise — notice the glass in the street lamps are pink.


Map of neighborhood My Venetian friends invited me to stay in the little apartment they keep in their Santa Croce area building..

Bridge near apartmentMy apartment was just over that little bridge on the right side.


Canale Grande Venezia Italia

Late afternoon sunlight turns averythig golden.Hotel Danieli



The Hotel Danieli where a total stranger makes an offer Susan can’t resist.

Hoanioomelli bedrThe beautiful apartment in the Danieli

baby elephant

The Baby elephant at the Sheldrick Foundation nursery that Betty Bockner adopted.




Mask shop

Susan meets Cinzia an artisan mask maker.
Do Forni

Do Forni Restaurant features classic Italian food, served in a beautiful restaurant with rustic and Orient Express-style dining rooms.  It is my favorite Venetian restaurant and where Susan and Cinzia enjoy a spectacular dinner

trattoria-do-forni                                                           Canocchi – a very special treat.

You don’t find Canocchi on every restaurant menu but it’s worth seeking them out. They are a species of mantis shrimp about the size of a prawn and found in shallow coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.  They are available for a short season, so finding them on a menu is a special treat. They are absolutely delicious!

Seppie con Polenta





Seppie con Polenta is one of my favorites.  The black Cuttlefish on top of the bright yellow polenta is not only beautiful but is also absolutely delicious!


Strawberry red dressA strawberry red Fortuni dress.  Similar to a dress Susan finds in a very strange little shop.


Palizzo at Night   Palazzo at night

During a fancy dress ball Count Sarantonio lures Susan into the garden and makes a pass at her and where she makes a startling discovery.


Piazza San Marco midnight

Piazza San Marco at midnight

where Venetian Magic …… well, you will have to read the book to find out what happens!

Happy reading!  I’ll keep you posted on the release date.



About FoodFlirtOnline

Jacqueline Harmon Butler, recipient of many press awards for her writing, including Italy’s prestigious "Golden Linchetto Prize” for best foreign journalist and the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for internet publications. In a variety of international publications and anthologies, her travel writing has tempted readers’ palates with mouth-watering meals. Her books include “The 6th and 7th Edition of the Travel Writer’s Handbook,” Agate Publishing. Her published memoir, "Taking a Chance on Love," chronicles her 20-year romance with a much younger Italian man. Her book, "One Last Trip to Paris" is about a 50-year-old woman who moves to Paris, France, to begin living the life she never had. In her latest book, “Venetian Magic,” she follows in the footsteps of a broken-hearted American woman in Venice which includes a generous offer from a total stranger, finding a job with a mask maker, a failed seduction by a prominent Count, and uncovering a smuggling operation.
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