Guest Author: Jannine Corti Petska & Giveaway!

As my readers already know, I love historical romance.  No surprise, right?  So it makes me very happy to have a fellow historical romance writer on the blog today, and one who writes outside the standard, sometimes very confining boxes.  She’s Jannine Corti Petska and she’s the author of historical fiction novels and romances set in a variety of different time periods and locations, and with really interesting heroes and heroines–including a gypsy, an Italian knight, a professional gambler in the Old West, and a French spy in Naples.  Cool!

Jannine is hear today to tell us a little bit about her herself and new book, set in Medieval Italy.  Take it away, Jannine!

SURRENDER TO HONOR is the second book of my 4-book Italian medieval series. It’s set in 15th century Palermo and takes a look at the beginning of the Mafia.

What genres besides your own do you like to read in?

I read romantic suspense. I also love to read autobiographies and biographies of celebrities from the golden era of Hollywood as well as those of Italian soccer stars.

Do you do a lot of reading while you’re writing a book, or does that mess with your voice?

I haven’t had time to read an entire book in years, which is unfortunate. There are so many great stories I’ve missed out on. However, I’ll try to find a book that’s around my era, and when I get stuck or feel like I’m straying from the era, I’ll read a few paragraphs and get back into medieval or western mode. The problem is, 99% of my medievals are set in Italy. It’s not a place where books are usually set.

I don’t think it messes with my voice. At least I’ve never felt it was a problem.

Do you listen to music while you’re writing?

I used to, but the older I get, the more peace and quiet I need so I can concentrate. <g>

You’re stranded on a deserted island and can only have two luxury items with you.  What would they be?

I’ve answered a question like this before. I can’t recall what I said, but at this moment it would be a computer and never-ending coffee. I think a hunky guy would be a distraction, lol. Of course, I’d have to have at least one dog.

I can definitely relate to having a dog with you.  And now, a little info about Jannine’s series…

THE LILY AND THE FALCON, book 1 of Jannine’s Italian medieval series

Bianca degli Albizzi is outraged when sworn enemy Cristiano de’ Medici asks for her hand in marriage. With her father’s blessing, she weds the handsome warrior to end the war between Florence’s two powerful families. But headstrong Bianca vows to teach her husband that loyalty cannot be bought…not even by seduction.

Cristiano, a well-known warrior with the wealth of a king, could have any woman he desires. But for the sake of peace he ends up with a defiant bride who awakens his deepest passion. Her vengeful scheming puts them both in peril, but is he prepared to sacrifice his life to safeguard the woman who has stolen his heart?

SURRENDER TO HONOR, book 2 of Jannine’s Italian medieval series

Prima Ranieri seeks retribution for her family’s death and loss of home and land. Her plans go awry when the heir to the powerful Massaro family returns home. After only one glance, Prima’s attraction to him undermines her furor toward those she blames for her plight.

After a fifteen year absence, Antonio Massaro returns to Palermo to find a war raging between his family and the evil Falcone. His refusal to accept his rightful position as the head of the Honored Society carries serious consequences. The welfare of the people of Palermo is at stake. But one look at the beautiful woman Prima has become costs him his heart. She’s a deadly distraction…one that jeopardizes her life as well as his own. 

Oh, my gosh!  They sound wonderful, don’t they?  And so different!  Readers, check out the details on Jannine’s website, which includes excerpts, buy links, and reviews for all her books.

And for my readers today, Jannine is giving away a copy of one of her books.  Just tell me which type of romantic hero you’d prefer to woe you:  an Italian knight, a gypsy lover, or a French spy?  One person who comments will win a copy of Jannine’s book!


We Have A Winner!

The winner of Marilyn Brant’s upcoming release, A Summer in Europe, is Tina Simon.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My featured authors next week will be contemporary romance author Barb Meyers, and romantic suspense author Carol Ericson.  Be sure to check back next week!

Guest Author: Marilyn Brant & Giveaway!

I’m very happy to have one of my writing pals on the blog today.  She’s acclaimed women’s fiction author, Marilyn Brant.  Marilyn has spent most of her life immersed in the written word.  She’s a former teacher, a library staff member, freelance magazine writer, and national book reviewer.  It’s no wonder, then, that she writes award-wining books that are witty, smart, and totally engaging.

Marilyn burst onto the scene with her debut book, According to Jane, which won the prestigious Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America.

Take a gander at the blurb for this book:

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett’s teacher is assigning Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet “tsk” of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who’s teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author’s ghost has taken up residence in Ellie’s mind, and seems determined to stay there.

Jane’s wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the trauma of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go, but Jane’s counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham.

Still, everyone has something to learn about love — perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie’s head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond all she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending…

Seriously, doesn’t that sound great?  Readers can certainly see why reviewers called Marilyn’s debut smart and wildly inventive.  Marilyn’s second book, Friday Mornings at Nine, was a Doubleday Book Club & Book-of-the-Month Club Featured Alternate Selection for October 2010.  Wow!  Impressive, eh?

And here’s what NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles had to say about Marilyn’s books:

“Reading a Marilyn Brant book is like eating a piece of rich chocolate – it gets you excited, it’s deliciously satisfying, and it leaves a smile on your face after you’ve finished it!”

Marilyn’s fans are eagerly anticipating her next book, A Summer in Europe, which will be released by Kensington Publishing on November 29.

This book has already been picked as a Literary Guild & Rhapsody Book Club Featured Alternate Selection for December 2011.  How cool is that?

Here’s the blurb for A Summer In Europe:

On her 30th birthday, Gwendolyn Reese receives and unexpected present from her widowed Aunt Bea: a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bea’s Sudoku and Mahjongg Club. The prospect isn’t entirely appealing. But when the gift she is expecting — an engagement ring from her boyfriend — doesn’t materialize, Gwen decides to go.

At first, Gwen approaches the trip as if it’s the math homework she assigns her students, diligently checking monuments off her must-see list. But amid the bougainvillea and beauty of southern Italy, something changes. Gwen begins to live in the moment — skipping down stone staircases in Capri, running her fingers over a glacier in view of the Matterhorn, racing through the Louvre and taste-testing pastries, wine and gelato. Reveling in every new experience — especially her attraction to a charismatic British physics professor — Gwen discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within…

A Summer in Europe has already been getting fantastic reviews, which you can check out on Marilyn’s website.  If you like beautiful, warm stories with lots of wit and heart, I think you’ll really love Marilyn’s books.  And by the way, while you’re visiting Marilyn’s website, check out her ebooks – two really fun romantic comedies.

For my readers today, Marilyn has graciously donated a copy of A Summer in Europe.  Since the book takes place in Europe, let’s talk about that.  If there was only one country you could visit on that wonderful continent, which one would it be, and why?  One person who comments will win a copy of Marilyn’s book!




We Have A Winner!

The winner of Zoe Archer’s book, Rebel, is Pam.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog.  My guest tomorrow is women’s fiction author Marilyn Brant! Be sure to stop on by.

We Have A Winner!

The winner of Amy Atwell’s fabulous romantic suspense, Lying Eyes, is Veronica Scott.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.   My featured authors this week will be historical and paranormal romance author Zoe Archer, and women’s fiction author Marilyn Brant.  Be sure to stop by!

And while you’re here today, please check out the two fabulous contests I’m running on my facebook page, which include prize packs of books by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Cynthia Eden.