Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Writers Wednesday:Jannine Corti-Petska

We are so lucky today. Guest author Jannine Corti-Petska is giving away an e-copy of her short story, MINE TO KEEP. So be sure to leave your email along with your comment.

Jannine, your Italian medieval book was released in July, and your story is in an anthology came in August. Could you tell us about both of them?

I’d love to. In July, DANTE’S FLAME, book 3 of my Italian medieval series was released. Here’s the blurb:

Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong people and endangers her life.

French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French in maintaining their rule over Naples. When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family, he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra's life is in jeopardy Dante must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?

In mid-August, MINE TO KEEP, a novella for The Wild Rose Press’ Love Letters series was released. Here’s the blurb:
Lady Elizabella Aldrich receives notice of an inheritance in Padua, Italy. Arriving from England, she discovers another heir lays claim to the castle. An unreasonably handsome Italian rogue stands between her and the castle she’s inherited.

Leonardo Da Mitri never met the noble who included him in his will. But after one look at Lady Eliza he relishes the challenge of defeating the beauty to make the castle his own.

Astonished to learn they must wed and remain married for a year, it soon becomes apparent someone does not want the nuptials to take place. As Eliza fights her growing desire for Leo, he fights for his life. Will he walk away from his inheritance—and Eliza? Or is he willing to risk everything to stay married to the woman who has claimed his heart as hers... to keep?

Both of these stories sound great. The setting and era has been a favorite of mine for a long time. What draws you to this genre and area?

First and foremost, I’m Italian. So there’s a natural desire to write stories set in Italy. As for the medieval period, there is something romantic about brave knights and “playboy” nobles. Although only one of my stories, KNIGHT’S DESIRE, has a knight hero, the others are somewhat similar to the My Fair Lady concept, except my heroes are usually the wealthy noble and the heroines have no noble bloodline and come from a lower-class background. Yet they are all intelligent and very-well educated.

Would you share an excerpt of MINE TO KEEP?

Of course! In this scene, Elizabella and Leonardo learn that in order to inherit the marchese’s castle, they must marry and remain married for a year…and a day.

“There is naught I can do. The will is binding.”

“There must be a way to unbind it.” She tapped her toe on the floor and stared at the wall over his
head. Just what was she thinking that set her features askew?

“My apologies, for I am certain there is naught either of us can do to change our situation.”
Leo observed her closely. He’d never seen so many expressions skitter across a woman’s face before. She ran through every one of them, settling with a quiver on her lips that spoke of tears to follow. Crying women were his forte. Comforting them usually led to carnal pleasures. He frowned as he stared at the signorina. He tried to bring to mind the women from his past, but all resembled Lady Elizabella. Unwilling to delve into the reasons his mind betrayed him, he stepped closer to her, old habits coming back to mark his undoing. “It appears you and I will soon be husband and wife.”

Shock widened her eyes. “Are you gloating?”

“What reason would I have to gloat? I know not what else we can do to remain unmarried. If we must follow the marchese’s stipulation, then I shall do my best to be a good husband.”

“Think you I will allow you husbandly rights?”

She didn’t have to sound appalled. “They are part of a marriage.” One more step toward her, then another until they were toe to toe. “Neither of us is ghastly to look upon. We might discover that we enjoy the privileges matrimony brings.”

She tilted her head back and glared up at him. Damn her stubbornness. Could she not understand that once the year passed, they could negotiate which of them would inherit everything the marchese had left behind? To be sure, she’d never adjust to castle life, for she was brought up spoiled, as were all noble children.

Leaning in to whisper, he found their close proximity too much to bear. Unwise as it was, he circled her waist with one arm and pulled her to his body. She opened her mouth to protest, but Leo seized her lips, kissing her as if he’d not kissed a woman for quite a long time. She tasted sweet, boldly delicious. A groan died in his throat. She rested her hands on his hips, more than likely to balance herself. She needn’t be fearful, for his hold was made of iron. He wasn’t about to release her until he took his fill. Yet he began to understand that he wanted more, wanted to caress her womanly curves, cup her breasts, run his hands up and down her legs. He groaned again, but this one died at their lips.

The tautness in her body eased, and she leaned into him. He capped the back of her head to hold her to the kiss while his tongue slipped just past her lips then teeth, encountering her gasp. Leo refused to let her go. Kissing was one thing, but he feared the sudden urgency, the need to bare her to his view. The control over his desire she could make him lose.

Her hands wandered to his back, tentative. Perhaps she was frightened she’d succumb to his exploration. Was she afraid she might beg him for more? Gladly would he accommodate her, but she’d no doubt wake up from the euphoric state she’d lapsed into and slap him soundly should he even try to remove any part of her clothing. Leo released her lips and kissed a path down her graceful neck, losing himself in the pleasant scent drifting out of her pores. He glided up to her mouth again, perched to sink his tongue into the moist cavern. A loud gasp from across the room doused his rampant lust.

“Get your hands off Lady Elizabella immediately!”

Leo snapped his head up. A red-faced dandy near the door drew his sword, pointing it with authority. “Who the hell are you?”

“Baron Geoffrey Camden, and that woman is my fiancé

I can't wait to read this. What’s your next project?

I’m currently working on TEMPT NOT MY HEART, book 4, and the final book, in my Italian medieval series. (Although, I’ve been contemplating a new series with the children of the heroes and heroines from four-book series.) This story takes place in Siena around the time of the Palio, the famous horse race held twice each summer.

The hero, Niccolo, who was a secondary character in book 1, THE LILY AND THE FALCON, is the cousin of that book’s hero Cristiano de Medici. He finds himself in an unreasonable predicament the moment he checks into his hotel. Sabrina, the heroine, jumps into his bed. Moments later, her father and fiancé barge in. Of course, her father announces that she and Niccolo will marry come morning. The fiancé is outraged, but Sabrina isn’t. She accomplished what she wanted: not to marry her pompous fiancé. Niccolo, however, loves all women and a marriage wasn’t in his future…at all.

There’s intrigue surrounding the Palio, and secrets and finger-pointing. lies, evilness, and a harrowing ending. The reader will see a new side of Niccolo that they’d never dream was there, not from THE LILY AND THE FALCON, or his brief appearance in book 2, SURRENDER TO HONOR.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Since my first draft goes directly into the computer, I usually write where my PC is located: in my office—a little room crammed with bookcases and over 2000 research books, a few desks and other things—where two people standing in it is a crowd! If I’m stuck on a scene or chapter beginning, I’ll take my pad and pen and write at the kitchen table or outside under the patio. Normally, that’s the length of writing a sentence or a paragraph, sometimes a full page, to get my brain back on track. Then I’m at my computer again.

I do have a laptop gathering dust—rarely used it. It was too heavy to carry around. I have a netbook, but the keyboard is too small for my chubby fingers. Whatever I type looks as if it’s in Russian, lol. And the screen is much too small. I need larger print.

Any challenges with finding writing time?

On paper, I should have all the time in the world to write. No kids at home, closest grandkids about 40 minutes away. I so have 3 demanding Rat Terriers with abounding energy. I have to keep them busy throughout the day. Above all, I’m a wife, mother and grandmother first. I will drop everything—and even give up writing, if I had to—when it comes to my family…dogs included.

Plus, I think I have A.D.D. lol. I can’t sit in one place for long and always get sidetracked. A fly on the wall will capture my attention. Concentrating on one thing at a time seems impossible for me. I’ve been like this my entire life but no one diagnosed A.D.D. way back when I was a child in the 50s.

Summers are the hardest on me. I wilt in the heat, have headaches almost daily, and get very depressed. I have more energy and find more time to write in the colder months.

This must have been difficult summer for you, then. The heat has been oppresive in so much of the country. Thanks so much for being here today, Jannine. I hope you’ll come back again.

Thank you. I’d love to!

You can find Jannine and her books here:
Website: http://www.jcortipetska.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jcortipetska
Facebook: www.facebook.com/janninecortipetska

To buy Jannine’s books: DANTE’S FLAME--The Wild Rose Press


The Wild Rose Press



  1. Lovely interview and excerpt. Congratulations on your release.

  2. Thanks, Ella! And for being the very first commenter, you'll receive a copy of MINE TO KEEP.

    I'm giving away another copy to one lucky commenter.

    1. Wow, congratulations, Ella. Nice prize. So glad you stopped by.

  3. You've been one busy lady, Jannine! Best of luck with your books.

    1. I agree Miriam, Jannine's really been fortunate with her two new releases. How exciting.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Too busy, lol.

      Thanks, Miriam.

  4. Both books look wonderful. Love the excerpt. Congrats!

    1. When I read those excerpts, I went immediately to the links to see where I could buy. Glad you're here Lisa.

  5. Hi Jannine,
    I'm so glad you're here today. It's been great to 'talk' with you. Best of luck with your new Italy-based historicals.

    1. Thanks, Barbara! It was a pleasure working with you on the interview.

  6. oh my.... They all sound like captivating reads. Thank you Barbara, for introducing us to this talented author. AngelaDrake@webname.com

  7. Hi Kelly:
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. And especially thanks for the compliment.

  8. I will announce the winner of a copy of MINE TO KEEP tomorrow. I want all time zones to be able to comment.

  9. Kelly, you won a copy of MINE TO KEEP! Congratulations!!!

    Thank you all for stopping by and commenting.

    And a special thanks to Barbara for having me on her blog.