Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vinnie Falco of Mind Control by @stacitroilo #Alchemy, #Medici, #RomanticSuspense

Hi, Rochelle. Thanks for taking the time to meet with Vinnie and for introducing him to your readers. I appreciate it.

Let me warn you all in advance—he may seem cranky because he doesn’t like to be the one answering questions; he likes to be on the other side of the interrogation. He’s a little prickly and a bit saucy. Some of his answers might make you a little uncomfortable. But just remember, he’s one of the good guys and he just likes to push people’s buttons.

Besides, we may get lucky and catch him on his best behavior. Fingers crossed!

RW:   What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

VF:    Because no one would want to read about a former orphan, right? (He sighs.) Sorry. My story… There is unrest in Italy—the government is crumbling and people are revolting, calling for rulers like the Medici were. The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici line. It is believed that when the country learns of the descendants, they’ll be pressed into service as new rulers of the nation. The girls don’t want the responsibility. Furthermore, a nefarious faction is determined to control the girls after their ascension to power or, if they can’t manipulate the girls, to assassinate them. The author told my story because I work for the Medici Protectorate—a secret organization centuries old, sworn to protect the Medici line until such time as their identities are revealed to the world.

RW:   Can you tell us about your heroine?

VF:    What can I tell you about Jo? She’s one of the four sisters targeted for assassination. She’s also beautiful, tough, and secretly haunted by a tragedy in her past. Peeling back all her layers is becoming an obsession of mine. And as I face a few surprising revelations of my own heritage, she’s the person I’d most like to share them with.

RW:  Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?

VF:     Alone, steamy showers, but with company, either will do. (He waggles his eyebrows, then clears his throat.) Water is water, you know?
Ocean over mountains.
Puppies over kittens.
Chocolate over caramel.

RW:   If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

VF:     Money’s not an object. I spend my time split between Italy and New York, and I’d have to say I prefer Italy, especially near the coast. But lately I’ve been with the Notaro family in Western Pennsylvania. Honestly, I love Italy, but I’ve grown quite fond of the greater Pittsburgh area. The view of the rivers is spectacular, the people are pretty cool, and the food is great. I wouldn’t mind splitting my time between the two areas.

RW:   If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? You can choose any living, deceased or mythical figure.

VF:   I’d have to say Jo. Not only is she great company—most of the time—she’s a construction genius, so I have no doubt she could figure out a way to build us a sturdy shelter. Besides, she’s not hard to look at, and if I’m going to be stranded for a while, might as well be with someone easy on the eyes, you know?

RW:   Cherries or Bananas? Leather or lace? Black or red? Mud Bath or Oily Massage?

VF:     Cherries over bananas.
          Leather for me, lace on a woman.
         Black over red for clothes. Red over black for a girl’s hair.
         Oily massage over mud bath. Mud’s not much of a bath.

RW:   If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

VF:    (He grins.) The “dark” in tall, dark, and handsome refers to more than my looks. Engage at your own risk.

RW:   Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton?

VF:   Egyptian cotton. The higher the thread count, the better.

RW:   Party life or quiet dinner for two?

VF:     People tend to piss me off. Definitely a quiet dinner for two. But don’t ask me to cook it. I can barely manage a microwave dinner on my own.

RW:   I love pizza with (fill in the blank).

VF:     Meat. The more, the better.

RW:   Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

VF:     I’d say it was my pleasure, but I didn’t want to do this. I shouldn’t be away from Jo this long. She has a tendency to get into trouble when I’m not around. I’m only here because Staci made me do this. (Staci’s in the corner waiting for Vinnie, and she clears her throat. When he looks at her, she glares at him.) I mean, you’re welcome, Rochelle. Thanks for having me. Now I really need to get back. (He bolts out of the room, shooting Staci a dirty look on the way out the door.)

RW:   (I giggle.) Poor boy’s got it bad for Jo. Thanks for getting him here, Staci! Not sure she heard me. She’s running after Vinnie shooting daggers with her gaze.

Staci Troilo


Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was a young girl. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool.

Mind Control

The Plot

Three decades. Two continents. One secret that could cost him everything.

Too many secrets... and Vinnie Falco is buried in them. He works undercover day and night to keep watch over Jo Notaro, whose fiery temperament matches her boundless energy and unparalleled beauty. Jo is unable to withstand the endless scrutiny and constant surveillance, so when Vinnie’s ever-watchful gaze lingers too long, she can feel his touch—and she doesn’t know if she loathes it or loves it.

Vinnie’s job to watch Jo goes much deeper. He’s a vice president of an international corporation, a front for a secret organization—the Medici Protectorate—which continues a tradition going back nearly five hundred years to guard the Medici line. Jo and her sisters are the descendants of the Medici and someone wants them dead.

But Vinnie has another secret he’s desperately trying to hide. A secret that could push Jo too far away for even him to save her.

An Excerpt:

“What are you doing here?”

“I think a better question is what are you doing here?”

“Damn it, Vinnie.” She snatched her rental agreement and keys from him and stormed into the parking lot. “You know why I’m here.”

“And you know why I’m here.” He followed her.

“No, I don’t. You being here defeats the whole purpose of me being here.”

“Sorry, Red, but I’m just doing my job.”

“Well, stop doing it so well. I fired you, remember?”

“For some reason, I don’t think this is what you fired me from.”

“Well, from this, too. I need to go. Stop interfering.”

“Stop running away, and I won’t have to stick so close. Unless you want me to.”

“Go away.” She unlocked the driver’s side door.

“You better open this door.”

“Or what?” She got in the car and shut her door.

“Open my damn door, Jo.”

She started the car and turned on the radio. “Sorry. Can’t hear you.”

He clenched his fists. “Now, Jo.”

She shook her head and gestured to her ear. “What’d you say?” She put the car in reverse and backed out of the space. Way out. He stood there, staring at her. He’d be mad that she stranded him, but she would get away. It was all for the best. They’d be safer without her.

He clenched his jaw and shook his head.

Yeah, he was definitely going to be angry with her. But she had to do it. She put the car in drive and hit the gas.

He didn’t move. Was he crazy? Was he seriously playing chicken with her? Didn’t he realize he’d lose against a car? Maybe she should swerve. Or stop. Or surely he’d move at the last second, right? She took her foot off the gas. Waited.

He didn’t move.

Her foot hovered over the brake. She looked down at the speedometer.


Contact Staci at:

Amazon Author Page:  

          Lagan Press, imprint of Oghma Creative Media

Book Links:


  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Thanks for hosting me (and Vinnie) today!

  2. What a great interview, Staci and Rochelle! Yes, Vinnie is a tad cranky, but he's fun all the same. Can't wait to read the Medici Protectorate series! Best of luck with everything :)

    1. Thanks, Harmony. Vinnie might be my favorite character I've ever written. I love his story. And I love a tall, dark, handsome hero, so what's not to like?

  3. I'm closing my review site, so I won't be reviewing MIND CONTROL, but it's definitely on my to be read list. Vinnie was definitely a fun guest! And I'm dying to learn what his secret is. Thanks again for "dragging him in."

    1. It was a pleasure, Rochelle. Sorry to hear about your review site (they do get awfully hard to maintain, though, don't they?), but I appreciate you considering reading Mind Control. It is the second book in the series, but it functions well as a standalone. Please let me know what you think!

  4. This was fun! Vinnie had me until he said puppies over kittens.

    1. Sorry. He, like me, has a severe cat allergy. Doesn't mean they aren't cute, though!