Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Promo- Jannine Corti Petska

Assapora la passione
(Feel the Passion)
Buon giorno tutti! I am thrilled to be here today on Paty's blog. My thanks to Paty for allowing me to be her guest author. I love sharing my stories and my life's experiences with everyone, and I promise not to bore you. *grin*

I'm Jannine Corti Petska, Corti being my maiden name. I grew up in a very Old World Italian home. It was the right beginning for my eventual leap into writing romance novels. So it's no surprise that I love to set my stories in Italy, or make my heroes or heroines Italian if the stories take place in the good ol' U.S.A. Several years before I wrote my present release, I had researched 15th century Italy for another series of Italian romances. From that moment on, I was hooked on this period in Italy's history.

Would you like to receive a copy of CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN in ebook format? Anyone who leaves a comment is in the running. One name will be drawn and the announcement will be made Thursday, February 19.

What intrigues you about writing historical romance?
For someone who hated history in school, my family and friends were shocked when I began writing historicals. But I had been a reader of sweeping historical romance novels for a number of years before I penned my very first book. For me, it's the intrigue of history, the obvious and the not-so-obvious events that would make an exciting backdrop for a romance. Although you can research any subject and any country, there is the fact that there was so much more to it than what books relate. And this is where a writer's imagination starts brewing. I think it's the mystery of the past that has me looking forward to researching a new book. Sometimes, I feel like a detective, finding clues until I get to the center of truth. Then I stretch the truth, lol.

What do you think makes a sexy hero?
Long hair and a buff body. No kidding! But beyond the aesthetics, a sexy hero must have a sensitive side, no matter how arrogant or unapproachable he is, and no matter what his situation is in the story. He must be dedicated to the heroine, be selfless and, above all, treat her with respect.

What makes your characters come to life for you?
I'd like to think my characters are closer to how we as humans today feel and interact. They're not one-dimensional or unfeeling. I put my characters in situations very similar to what people in modern society face, then I fit them back in time. Many of my stories deal with issues. One dealt with spousal abuse. Another with alcoholism. And another with pride and greed. These were all historical romances, two of them set in the medieval period. My characters have problems just like everyone else. They have flaws. That's what makes them realistic.

My latest release is the first book in the Sisters of Destiny trilogy about three psychic sisters separated at birth. The story takes place in the Po Valley of Northern Italy in 1425.

Here is the blurb for CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN.

Forced to the streets after her mother dies, Carina Gallo is desperate to survive and find her long lost sisters.

Consumed with locating his missing brother, Count Luciano Ruggero has forsaken his needs.

When Luciano catches beautiful and vulnerable Carina stealing from him, he takes pity and cares for her until she's strong enough to work off her crime. Carina is forever grateful to Luciano, yet fears he will learn of her wicked secret and condemn her to burn.

Will Luciano and Carina find a way to feed the mutual passions they share, or will heresy and obsession with lost family destroy them both?

(setup) After Carina steals food from his tavern, Luciano rescues her from starvation and takes her to his home to get healthy and to work off her crime. This is the first meeting where he tries to learn who she is. His manservant has fallen ill, and his upstairs maid is also showing signs of becoming sick.

“Did you come here to ply your trade?”

“And what trade might that be, my lord?”

He forced himself to remain rooted to the floor else he’d throttle the

outspoken wench. “Are you a strumpet?”

His directness caused her to blush. She wasn’t unshakable after all.

“I fear you have misjudged me, Count Ruggero.”

“Then from where did you come? And I’ll have a straightforward


She dropped her hands to the folds of the silk gown. To hide her

nervousness over speaking of her past? Luciano wondered.

“I worked for the Baldovini,” she replied.

His eyes bore into her. Carina read his suspicion.

"If you do not believe me, send someone to the Baldovini to inquire

about me,” she openly challenged. “I spent the whole of my life on their

lands, working the fields these four years past.”

He set his goblet down gently and moved closer. “You were a


She nodded but couldn’t speak with the count standing but a long

stride away. His imposing presence commanded attention. Were she not

a pauper and he a count, she’d assuredly lure him into a kiss, as

improper as it might be. It wouldn’t be an unpleasant experience, she’d

wager. The only kiss she’d ever received from a man had been from the

lecherous, slobbering Signor Baldovini. He had cornered her and tried to

snatch more than just a kiss. Miseria! She still cringed from the horrible


“The Baldovini employ only men and boys to work their fields,” the

count pointed out.

“Signora Baldovini did not allow me to work in her private


He stepped closer. So close, Carina smelled the clean scent from his

morning bath and the faint fragrance of wine on his breath. Her heart’s

pace quickened.

“Why would the signora forbid you from her home?”

“Truth be told, Signor Baldovini had an eye for me. The signora told

my mother I tempted her husband. Mamma knew better, for Signor

Baldovini has an eye for all women and has many bastard children.”

The count’s cheeks lined with shallow dimples when he suppressed a

smile at her directness. Carmine Baldovini’s illegitimate children were a

well-known fact, one his wife continually denied.

“Did you tempt him?”

Carina cocked her head and tightened her mouth.

“I will take your silence as an affirmation.”

“No!” she exploded, unduly put out by his judgment of her character.

“I did not tempt him, and I am not a strumpet. I am still a vir—” Her lips

slammed together.

Pleased to hear her virtue remained intact, Luciano took another step

forward. His pulse hastened and suddenly he desired to touch Carina’s

cheek, to know if it was as preciously smooth as it looked. “Why are you

no longer working for the Baldovini?”

He was not prepared for the sadness flooding her features. He

gentled his demeanor.

“My mother died four months past. Signora Baldovini demanded I

leave at once. I had no where to go but the streets.”

The directness of her gaze captured his. Not weak in courage by any

means, she hadn’t looked away when she replied. Gesu, how could he

allow her to pluck his heartstrings as she did? He felt her sorrow and

wished he could comfort her. Sorrow he knew all about. But where did

the need to hold her come from?

“And still a virgin. You are fortunate.”

“Mayhap.” She shifted her stance. “I am certain you did not bid me

here to discuss my virtue.”

His gut constricted again. “Maiden, you’d do well to mind your place

in my presence. And that includes your impulsive tongue.”

“Sì, my lord.” Contrite, but nonetheless acceptable.

“I shall leave you in Sandra’s care. Once you have attained a more

substantial…a healthier look about you,” he said carefully when her

head tilted, “you’ll tend to my chamber.” So much for keeping her at a

distance. “That means seeing to my laundry and cleaning my chamber

and reading room, the same in which you sleep. You will also mend my

garments. Marcello carries my meals up when I am in no mood to dine

downstairs. So too, he lays out the clothes I wish to wear and sees to my


“Your pardon, count. Am I to clean your chamber pot as well?”

His tone clipped, he replied, “I use the garderobe.”

“And your bath?”

She wouldn’t ask if she knew the road his mind drifted down. The

scrawny wench teased his lust into awakening yet again, and the day

was still new. “That, angel, I shall take care of myself, with help from my


Was that relief he saw flitter across her face?

“Then I agree to the duties you have stated.”

“Agree?” He couldn’t hide his disbelief. “Agree?” he repeated,

closing the gap between them. Looming above her, forcing her to tilt her

head to see his face, he wondered if she was a fool or just naïve. She

didn’t even attempt to move away. Any other woman would have

cowered back.

“Sì, agree.”

“There is naught for you to agree to. You are working off a debt. Your

service to me is your punishment for stealing.”

“It is, my lord.”

She relented. Luciano became suspicious.

“How long must I work to pay my debt, for I barely ate enough to

warrant a lengthy punishment. And I did lose it all, do you not recall?”

Her reasoning askew, he realized he could reprimand her until the

morrow and she’d not tone down her carelessly spoken words. Had she

lost sight of the fact she had committed a crime? It mattered not how

much she stole. Or that she’d lost it shortly after eating.

A firm knock interrupted their meeting. Agitated, Luciano barked,


Sandra rushed in, her cheeks flushed, her face wrought with worry.

“Beg your pardon, Count Ruggero. Please forgive me for not

accompanying Signorina Gallo.”

He nodded, though he was concerned. Except for the warm color on

her cheeks, she appeared as if standing was a chore. Her rapid breathing

confused him, and he would have addressed her health if he knew she

was prone to illness. But Sandra and Marcello hadn’t been sick a day

since they came to work at the manor.

“Our meeting is over,” he said and slid his gaze to the wench. “Get to

the kitchen for food. The first order will be to fatten you up. For that I

shall add a new debt for you to work off.”

He glared at her to keep her from speaking another cursed retort.

“I do not run a room and board here.”

“Count Ruggero—”

“Not another word.”

“But I must—”

He clamped his hand over her mouth but her lips continued to move,

tickling his palm. “Be damned, woman. Must I tie a cloth around your

mouth to silence you?”

“If you must…” She swept past him, her head held erect, and glided

toward the open door. Her gracefulness contributed to the appearance of

her floating on air. No commoner had he ever seen walk as regally as she


His fingers twitched, his entire body tensed. As he watched her walk

away, a strange feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. About to turn his

back to her, he paused when she called his name and faced him with a

tantalizing grin, which renewed the tingling in his groin.

“You cannot fatten me up, count. I am thin by nature.”

Blasted wench! He slammed the door then miserably adjusted the

swell in his hose.

CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN is available from and from

ebook: 978-1-926640-59-4

print: 978-1-926647-35-7

(print release date tba)
To learn more about me and my books, please visit my website at


Carolyn Matkowsky said...


I enjoyed the interview and the excerpt. You write about a time period that is very interesting, but little known. After reading your interview and excerpt, I want to read more of your book and learn more about Medieval Italy. Like you, my family is from Italy. Good luck with your book.

Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Like you, it is the people we don't hear about in the course of history that intrigue me. I enjoyed your excerpt and think I will like Carina--very much indeed!

Edie said...

Jannine, this excerpt is great! I really like your writing. I hope you makel a lot of sales!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Jannine and Paty. Great interview. I love the excerpt. It's a great time period to write in.

Anna Kathryn

Jannine said...

Hi Carolyn:
Where in Italy is your family from? I am always excited to meet paesani.

Thanks for reading my blog entry, and for the good wishes for my book.


Jannine said...

Hi Gwynlyn:
There have been many historical romance books with Italian settings published over the years. I read a few long ago. I thought they weren't a true Italian romance. Usually either the hero or heroine is Italian and the story has more to do with another country. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read any more. I do have a couple on my tbr pile that author friends have written. One of these days.........

Carina is a very likeable character. She strong and witty. I suppose we'd call her a smart-mouth today, lol.

Thanks for commenting.

Jannine said...

Hi there, Edie. Your comment about liking my writing made my day. LOL, authors are insecure people!

Thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to see a familiar face.

Jannine said...

Hey Anna. I can always count on my "sister" to stop by. Thanks, sweetie.

Misty Evans said...

Great excerpt, Jannine, and it's nice to learn a little about you too. I don't read much historical fiction...any chance you'll write a hot contemporary with Italian characters?

All the best!

Helen Hardt said...

I love historicals, and this one sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!


Becky said...

I enjoyed the interview. I also loved the excerpt, but now want to read more. I have add this title to my list to get. I love reading historical romances. I love reading about Italian and Greek men. I read a lot of the Harlequin Presents, which most of the stories deal with Italain men.

Linda Wisdom said...

Wonderful post, Jannine! And the excerpt has me wanting to read more. I've always enjoyed reading historicals and this sounds very good!


Lauri said...

Wonderful interview and excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

Jannine said...

.....I don't read much historical fiction...any chance you'll write a hot contemporary with Italian characters?.....

LOL, Misty. Yes I have written a hot contemporary with an Italian hero. In fact, I've written two, but they are sitting in the closet gathering dust. One of these years I'll pull them out and edit them.

The only somewhat contemporary I had published was FOREIGN EXCHANGE. It takes place in 1970 U.S. and Italy with an Italian soccer stud as the hero. That, too, will get a rewrite one of these days as it is no longer available.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jannine said...

You're quite welcome Helen. Thanks for reading the blog.

Jannine said...

Hi Becky:
I noticed that Harlequin Presents has published Italian heroes. I haven't read one yet.

Thanks for adding CARINA and the NOBLEMAN to your list of books to buy. Please let me know what you think.


Jannine said...

Well hi there, Linda. How nice of you to stop by. And I'm glad the excerpt left you wanting to read more. LOL

Jannine said...

Laura, thank you for reading the interview and excerpt. I appreciate your support.

Paty Jager said...

Jannine, Thanks for sharing your story and your information with us today. It was fun and enlightening.

Jannine said...

Thank you, Paty, for having me. I'll pick a name of the winner of a copy of CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN. It will be posted tomorrow.

My thanks to all of you who stopped by. I enjoyed all the comments.

Anita Davison said...


This excerpt was really engaging. I wish you luck with all the blogs ou are are working hard with and hope they result in lots of sales.

Jannine said...

Thank you, Anita. I appreciate your stopping by.


Nancy said...

Jannine, I'm so sorry to be late!

I love the excerpt - wonderful! I love historical romance (okay, I love about anything), and the triology sounds divine!

It's great to see you here!

Nancy Haddock