Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Author Day with Jannine Corti Petska

Welcome to my Reading Nook, Jannine Corti Petska. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

Tell us about your latest release or upcoming release. What inspired it?

I have a 4-book Italian medieval series; two books were released last year and one will be released in July. Book one, The Lily and the Falcon, is set in 1433 Florence. The hero, Cristiano de’ Medici, cousin to influential Cosimo, marries Bianca degli Albizzi, cousin to Ronaldo, who is trying to oust the Medici and rule Florence. Secrets and a crazy brother nearly destroy their tenuous relationship and threatens to take Bianca’s life.

Book two, Surrender to Honor, takes the reader to 1440 Palermo, Sicily. The hero, Antonio Massaro, was the stablemaster in book one. He returns home after a 15 year absence to find his family embroiled in a war against the Falcone family. In the middle of it all is Prima Ranieri, the woman he was pledged to marry, who blames the head of the Massaro family for fleeing her home. She is now battling against not only the Falcone but also Antonio’s family. This story sheds light on the beginning of the mafia.

Dante’s Flame, book three, will be released in July. The heroine in this book, set in 1437 Naples, is Bianca’s cousin, Alessandra Podesta. She’s sent to Naples by her father who cannot control her desire to write forbidden tales of romance. She meets Dante Santangelo, a tutor who secretly sides with the French, and unwittingly becomes entangled in the middle of the French-Spanish struggle over who will rule Naples. Dante suspects her cousins are Spanish sympathizers, and to get to the truth, he marries Alessa, which puts her life in grave danger.

I am working on the fourth book in the series, Tempt Not My Heart. This takes the reader to 1441 Siena, and the passion and intrigue of the Palio, the famed horse races held twice a year. Niccolo Ghilberti, cousin to Cristiano de’ Medici, and Sabrina Carissi are brought together under false pretenses. A contest of lies, deceit and greed throw both into danger when someone will stop at nothing to win the race.

This series was inspired by my Italian upbringing. The beauty of Italy and it’s rich history are near to my heart. It is my way of  paying tribute to my family and my Italian heritage.

If you could throw a party with any five people (living or dead) who would you pick and why?

When asked this question, I usually have different answers, depending on the day and my mood, lol. But for now, at the top of my list is (always) Leonardo da Vinci. The man was a genius and so ahead of his time. I’d love to pick his brain. Then there’s Errol Flynn. He was quite a character and quite handsome and charismatic. Paolo Maldini, one of the greatest Italian soccer players, should be there. I’ve had the biggest crush on him for the last 20 years! I’d bring Beau Hamilton, my hero in Rebel Heart, to life. I have been in love with him from the moment I created his character. And, of course, my mom would be there. She’s been making lasagna for God for the last 15 years. I miss her so much.

I want my party to be full of people who enjoy/enjoyed life and didn’t take it too seriously.

What are at least five things you have on your bucket list and have you done any of them?

Return to Italy and travel up and down the country for a few months. Buy an Italian villa. I’d love to speak 5 languages fluently. I want to learn to sing so dogs won’t howl when I open my mouth. I’ve always dreamed of dancing professionally. And I’d like to be rid of my diabetes for a week so I can enjoy all the foods I love and can no longer eat. And no, I haven’t done any of the above.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I multitasked 35 years ago. These days, I can only handle one thing at a time. I just read an article by Dr. Oz about this subject. It’s in the May issue of Woman’s Day. He says, “Research now shows that our brains actually can’t multitask, and that when we think we are, what’s really happening is that our attention keeps switching from one thing to the other and we end up doing both tasks poorly.” I can totally identify with that.

What song would best describe your life?

When my daughters were young, it was On the Road Again by Willie Nelson. But today, it would have to be the song that describes my present state of mind. That would be It’s My Life by Bon Jovi.

It's my life, It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever, I just want to live while I'm alive

My husband says it should be They’re Coming To Take Me Away HaHa HeeHee by Dr. Demento. It has nothing to do with the lyrics. The title says it all!

Do you listen to music when writing? Do you feel like some stories write themselves a soundtrack with specific music? If so, what book and what kind of music influenced it?

I listened to Bon Jovi’s Young Guns cd while I wrote Rebel Heart. Actually, the song is what influenced the story.

I also listened to Italian music when I wrote books set in Italy. Unfortunately, I can no longer concentrate with noise around me. I need absolute quiet.

Are any of your characters just like you or have personality quirks/traits of you or someone you know?

All my heroes and heroines are stubborn. That, above all, is the one trait I blame on my Sicilian side, lol. My characters are never cruel to animals; in fact, they are fond of dogs, as am I. I tend to react before thinking. And I speak my mind. So, yes, my heroines—and to an extent—heroes are just like me. but all of them have kind hearts and want to help people, although it may not seem like it at first, especially with the heroes.

Who are some of your other favorite authors and genres to read?

I read religiously Kathleen Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsey when I began reading historical romance in my late teens/early twenties (way too many years ago to remember). Other than historical romance, I like romantic suspense. I wish I could get into Regency and paranormal. I’ve tried. There are so many great-sounding books out there in those genres. I thought I’d try Steampunk, but those books are buried at the bottom of my huge pile of paperbacks. I do read erotic romance when I have the time, which is rare.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

God, I gotta do something with my hair. LOL  I’m a restless sleeper, and in the mornings, it’s easy to tell if I was terribly restless or mildly restless during the night by how bad of a nest egg I’m wearing at the back of my head.

What is one thing scientists should invent?

They should figure out how to make 48 hours in a day.

Anything else you want to mention?

Please check out my website at There is loads of information about me and my books there.

You can find me on Facebook (when I remember to go there!)

I have a Twitter account (again, I need to remember to comment there)!/jcortipetska
To be honest, I haven’t a clue about Facebook and Twitter, even though I took an online social media class. But it did get me to sign up for Twitter.

Thanks for taking the time to be here today. I wish you many sales and wonderful reviews.

Thank you, Dawn. It was my pleasure to be a guest on your blog. 

THE LILY AND THE FALCON, book 1 of my 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?
Buy Link, ebook:

SURRENDER TO HONOR, book 2 of my 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 that jeopardizes her life as well as his own. 

Buy link, ebook:

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