Monday, May 3, 2010

Interview with Jannine Corti Petska

Jannine Corti Petska, the author who brings medieval romances alive, is here today to tell us about her new release in her Sisters of Destiny Trilogy. She'll share her favorite secrets of success and reveal one of her favorite reference books. A must have for historical romance writers.

There's a Contest today! Jannine's giving away one pdf copy from the exciting Destiny Trilogy. Winner's choice. All you have to do is leave a comment or ask a question and you're entered. Good Luck!

Tell us a little about yourself. (Do you use a pen name? If so, why?) I’ve added my maiden name to my married name. I decided to do this with the hope that friends and acquaintances from the past might recognize who I am if they happen across my name. Also, I’m proud of my Italian heritage. Using Corti is a tribute to my family.

Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them? My support system is my husband and three daughters. They encourage me when I hit a road block in my writing. I also have my “family” in my Sons of Italy lodge. Many of them have bought and read my books, and they keep coming back for more!

As for a writing community, I have my RWA chapter in San Diego along with the online chapters I belong to. I can’t stress enough to new writers how important it is to be a member of writing organizations. Even for seasoned writers, there’s always a lesson to learn somewhere. For a historical romance author, one of the best online chapters is Hearts Through History. Each member has an expertise in an area of history, culture or customs. If they don’t have an answer to your question, they provide links to help you out.

You write historical romance. What kind of research goes into each of your books? Do you enjoy the research process? Have you visited any of the countries your stories take place? I spend about 4 weeks researching one book. Sometimes I’m researching while I’m writing. I not only use books, but I also get info online. And I have files stuffed with my research. These files fill two tall file cabinets. Plus I have over 2000 research books in my home office. Depending on what sub-genre I’m writing and the locations, my research will take me on a wild ride. I usually end up with more story ideas. ;-)

I have always loved researching a subject. This goes back to my high school days when I was the only student in class who turned in a mini-book for my assignments, lol. I still enjoy doing the research. There is so much in history that is fascinating.

The only country I visited is Italy. I love writing medievals set in Italy, mostly in the 15th century. There is something about that time that draws me deeply into the research process. I’m sure it has to do with growing up Italian.

Do you have a favorite book on writing? If so, which one and why? Not so much on writing, but the book I cannot do without is English Through the Ages. This is a must have for anyone who writes historicals. It’s broken down by dates and lists words that came into use during a particular time period. And of course, this is the written word. I’m sure many words had been spoken long before anyone wrote them down. I can’t say enough about this book.

Tell us little about CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY without giving too much away. By the way, I love the book cover. Thank you. The cover does set the tone of the book. This book is the second in a trilogy about three psychic sisters separated at birth and taken to different countries. Charlotte, or Char, as she prefers to be called, is having an identity crisis. She’s a fair-skinned blonde raised among Gypsies. She never felt like she belonged. When the opportunity comes for her to locate one of her sisters, her plans go awry when Rafael Cazares returns to camp after a three year absence. What comes next is a battle of wills that revolves around the Gypsy culture.

Tell us about your heroine, Charlotte. What or who threatens Charlotte and will her psychic powers help in finding out the answers?

In book one, Carina and the Nobleman, Carina’s psychic powers helped the hero find the answers he had been looking for. But Charlotte, unlike her clairvoyant sister, is clairaudient. She hears what people are thinking. What makes matters worse—or amusing—she hasn’t yet learned how to control her gift.

Char sees Rafael as a threat. She’s willful and intends to go in search of her sister Callie, no matter that she’s forced into marriage with Rafael first. There are many other dangers for her in the story, but I’ll leave them for the reader to discover.

Tell us a little about your hero, Rafael Cazares. Tall, dark and handsome? Alpha male? Rafael is as alpha as they come. And being a Gypsy male, he ruled the roost over his woman. Unfortunately, tall-dark-gorgeous-and-sexy has met his match in Char. He doesn’t handle her with kid gloves, but there is a transformation by the end of the story. He still remains the alpha male, but with Char he’s a bit more giving.

What are your current projects and works in progress? I have several projects going on at the moment. I’ve just finished editing a historical western romance and submitted it. I am now reading through books one and two of my four-book Italian Medieval series. Once I get them submitted, I’ll be working on book three of my Sisters of Destiny trilogy, Callie and the Knight.

I am also doing some research into a few short stories. Once the third book in the trilogy is finished, I’ll be editing book three of my Italian Medieval series after which I’ll write book four. Are you still with me? In other words, I have so many projects that will keep me busy for the rest of the year and into 2011. When all of these are off my plate, I won’t be sitting around searching my brain for another story to write. I have five that have their own file boxes filled with some research, characters, plots and ideas. I think I have enough to get me through to 2014!

Tell the readers where they can find you: First, you can learn more about me at my website: I don’t have a blog—don’t have time for one—but I am a guest on about 2 to 4 blogs a month. I hope to have a schedule up on my website soon.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers? I have three books and a short story available, all medievals except for one, which is set in the American West. You can find these at Amazon or Barnes and Noble as well as my publishers’ websites. You can read the first chapter of each book on my website.

I love reader feedback. You can reach me through my website or at

Blurb: Charlotte Nikolos keenly feels the difference between the dark coloring of the Gypsies who raised her and her own pale hair and skin. When she learns she has two sisters somewhere who share her looks and psychic powers, she's determined to search for her lost family and find answers about her past. But how?

For three years, Rafael Cazares has been away from the Gypsy camp and the woman who makes his blood boil. He's determined to win back Char's trust and recapture her heart. He insists on helping her to find her true family, but someone or something is determined to keep them apart. When a deep dark secret is revealed, Rafael would do everything in his power to keep the only women he has ever loved out of harm’s way. Even if he must die.


Scene set-up: A long caravan of Gypsies are travelling into town. Rafael wants to talk to Char about their kiss at the river and smooth out her ire. First, he has to get rid of her brothers Rye and Ker who are flanking Char on horseback.

Rafael urged his horse ahead and caught up with the Nikolos siblings riding alongside Char. "Rye, a word with Char, if I may?"

Rye nodded and both he and Ker hung back. Char glanced nervously at her brothers. In her beautiful gold-flecked hazel eyes Rafael read her misgiving over his presence. Was she afraid he’d steal a kiss in front of the Gypsies? Although his lips begged to taste hers once more, he’d not shame her with her brothers looking on.

"Unless you have an apology, I’ve naught to say to you," she said.

Her stiff posture and taught features made clear her lingering unhappiness over his impulsive kiss. "I’ll not apologize for our mutual transgression."

"Mutual? I think not." Venom coated her tongue.

"Why did you run off?"

"Because you—" she broke off and retuned to the deserted road ahead.

"Could it be that you feared your desire for me?"

She glared at him. "I desired not the kiss but to be left alone to finish my bath."

He longed to kiss away that temperamental pucker on her lips.

"And do not speak of your rights," she added scathingly. "My lips belong to me, and I’ll share them with the man I truly desire."

"Then I shall make you desire me once we are wed."

"How dare you continue to taunt me with a wedding I refuse. You would deal better with a woman who will shower her affection upon you."

Rafael smiled slyly. What she had conveyed in that exquisite kiss was a desire most women wouldn’t deny.

Buying info and trailer links:

Charlotte and the Gypsy, Book two in the Sisters of Destiny trilogy

Available in print and ebook at Amazon and

Book trailer: Http://

Carina and the Nobleman, Book one in the Sisters of Destiny trilogy

Available in print and ebook at Amazon and

Book trailer:


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful tales with us. I do love your book covers, too. Really beautiful!

I plan on checking out your 'must have' reference book. :)

Margaret Tanner said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Jannine,
Great interview. Great covers and great story. Good luck with all your projects.


P.L. Parker said... Best Blogger Tips

Good Morning Ladies - good information, interesting blurb. Much luck. (By the way, loved the hunky cowboy guy.)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Jannine! I can tell everyone that Carina and the Nobleman is a wonderful book. I recommend Jannine's books to everyone...they are great!

Debra St. John said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Jannine and Karen,

Nice interview, ladies. I agree, I love the cover!

Good luck with the third book in your trilogy.

Rebecca J Vickery said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Jannine and Karen,
I love books about psychics and this trilogy sounds great. Loved the interview and wish you mega sales with your work.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


The hunky cowboy is my favorite, too.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Karen. I think the covers do capture the characters. The cover artist did a fantastic job!

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Margaret. Glad you stopped by.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi P.L. Parker. LOL, the hunky cowboy caught my attention, too!

Thanks for stopping by.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Anna, you're so sweet. And I didn't even pay her to say that, lol.

So glad you stopped by and commented.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Debra:
Thanks for coming by.

I hope to have the final book of the trilogy finished by the end of the year, sooner if all goes well with the writig.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Rebecca, for stopping by and for the good wishes for sales.

I had fun with the psychic aspect of the trilogy. The only problem I had was making sure I didn't go overboard with the sisters' abilities. Didn't want them to be unbelievable.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Wonderful Interview, Jannine! Although I dont read alot of Historicals, your books sound fascinating --especially with the psychic powers included --and Im putting them on my TBB list.

Loved the cover, too!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Kari, I get a lot of interest in my psychic sisters trilogy, even if the readers don't read historical. It's a new avenue for me. But it was so much fun.

Thanks for commenting.

J K Maze said... Best Blogger Tips

What a fascinating trilogy. I loved the excerpt and would like to read the book - also the first one. All three go on my list.

You mention #4. Would that be in the same series and, if so, who would the protagonist be? I read there were 3 sisters. Intriguing.


Amy J Ramsey said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen and Jannine. Nice interview and Jannine, it seems I will be adding you to my TBR list. I love Medieval Romances and I love your book cover, Karen, wonderful questions.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Amy for stopping by. It's always wonderful to have you here.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi JK:
There are only the three books in the trilogy. Book number 4 is in my 4-book Italian medieval series. I will be submitting books one and two from that series before summer.

Good luck in the drawing for a free book.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Amy:
Thank you for stoppy by and commenting. Good luck in the drawing. If you win, you'll get a head start on the trilogy, lol.

Lisabet Sarai said... Best Blogger Tips

Hello, Jannine,

Thanks for recommending "English Through the Ages". I've been seeking a book like that! But does it have sexual terms as well. I occasionally write historical stories (though I wouldn't dare attempt a novel at this point) and I don't want to use a word that would not have been current during my period.


She said... Best Blogger Tips

Interesting interview. I loved Carina and the Nobleman. Can't wait to read about Charlotte. I love the medieval period of history. So much happened. Can't wait to read that series.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a winner!!!!! Drum roll, please.................

Anna Kathryn Lanier, come on down. You've won your choice of either Carina and the Nobleman or Charlotte and the Gypsy.

Contact me at


Lisa Witham said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so proud of you, mom. I love reading your books...even the "love" scenes...LOL I loved the interview.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Lisabet:
English Through the Ages lists body parts and slang. It doesn't go into the heavy core sexual terms. When you see the book, you'll be amazed by what you'll find.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

SHE (I wish I knew your name ), I'm so glad you liked Carina and the Nobleman. Hope you enjoy Charlotte and the Gypsy as well. It's more than 100 pages longer. More time spent with a hunky Gypsy. **smiles**

Thank you for commenting.

Jannine said... Best Blogger Tips

Lisa, my first born. LOL, thank you for commenting. I love you, too.