Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friday Free for All - Meet Author Jannine Corti-Petska!

Please help me welcome Jannine Corti Petska! Her latest release, LOVE'S SWEET WAGER, is one story I can't wait to read! Why, yes, it's a Western Historical (my favorite)! How did you guess?? LOL 

I'm thrilled to have such a talented author as Jannine here today, and I can't wait for you all to read the blurb for this story and for her other works. You can see everything on her website but come on back and visit with us awhile;)

Thanks for being here, Jannine!

Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

The first fifteen years, I couldn’t write fast enough to get all those ideas from my head to paper. (I started out writing long hand; no computer.) My mind was flooded with storylines. Four years after joining RWA and getting serious about publishing, I sold my first book to Kensington in 1999. That’s where delightful ended and the tiring jog over hot coals began. Getting published doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in and will sell all you’ve written. After the first two published books, I had a four-year dry spell. And I couldn’t seem to catch an editor’s eye in N.Y.C. I turned to small press in 2006. At times, I questioned my writing and why I was putting myself through the rejections and disappointments. There were so many times I wanted to quit. In reality, I still feel as if I’m on the road to publication and not quite there.

Tell us about your real life romance.

I met my husband on a So. California beach 40 years ago. We’ve been married 39 years this past July. I wrote a very short story about our first meeting for the book Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer, which was released in February 2011. There are 67 authors, all relating how they fell in love with their better half. It can be bought at all the major bookstores.  You can read how my mom almost ended the relationship before it began. My story is titled Romance is calling: Don’t hang up!

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

On a scale of 1-10 (10 the highest), the likelihood of people I meet ending up in my books probably would be a 3. I think I draw something from every person and put all the little nuances into characters. Of course, I’d never tell who the real characters are. It’s my secret.

If you could time travel would you go forward or backward?

Definitely backward. The future and all the technology doesn’t interest me. But I’d love to have lived in the 1800s or 15th century Italy. It’s a very wide spectrum of time and place, but history in those eras is fascinating to me. I especially love the American West and cowboys. The medieval period wasn’t nice to women, but I still love the romance of knights and nobles…and their feisty women. I seriously doubt I could have lived back then without a bathroom, shower and running water. My idea of camping out is the nearest hotel, lol. That’s very telling. J

What did you do to celebrate when your first book was published?

I wish I could remember the details, like what I was wearing and all that, but that was 12 years ago. I know I was in a state of shock and thought it was a dream. I called my husband first. Then my agent. My editor at Kensington had called me directly to say she’d like to publish my book but couldn’t get a hold of my agent. She didn’t reveal the details until she talked to him first.  That’s about all I can recall.

What is your favorite writing conference to attend?

While I like the RWA conference and the Romantic Times convention, they are too big and noisy and busy. Too many people. But I love talking to the many writers and readers, as long as it’s only for a few days, then I’ll crawl back into my hole of solace. Actually, I prefer RWA chapter conferences. The chances of getting a one-on-one with an editor or agent are much higher. It’s calmer, not as fast-tracked as the larger conferences.

Tropical or European vacation?

European (if I wasn’t afraid to fly). I’m not a fun in the sun person, although a tropical island would be heavenly for a short spell. But the history of European countries, the castles and churches and other historical sites are what I crave and love. I’m sure writing historical romances has a lot to do with it because I hated history in school. When I began writing, there were many times I wished I had paid more attention to what my boring history teachers were saying. Researching my stories has given me a deep appreciation for Europe’s history.

If you’d like to find out more about me or my books, please visit my website at

My latest release in Love’s Sweet Wager, set along the California Trail in 1852.

Book video

Her gambler father murdered, Rachel Garrett joins a wagon train west to be with her aunt and the fiancĂ© she's never met.  Her dream is to forget the life she led performing on stage to earn the money her father gambled away and settle down in one place.  But along the trail, she is helplessly drawn to a priest--forbidden fruit--and her hopes are shattered.

Professional gambler Reno Hunter is wanted for the murder of  James Garrett.  His disguise as a priest on a wagon train is foolproof, until he discovers the woman the old gambler wagered in that fatal card game and Rachel Garrett are one and the same.  Can he protect his identity and his heart, or will he surrender to his desire for Rachel and risk being apprehended by the law?

In this scene, Reno is jealous that his brother Alex accompanied Rachel into the fort to shop. Because of his disguise as a priest,  Reno couldn't do anything about it. Neither could he suppress his strong attraction to her.
    Reno shrewdly watched Rachel ride into camp alongside his brother. His gut twisted every time he saw the two together. He was still irked at Alex for accompanying Rachel into the fort on the premise that Mrs. Larson called for the priest. The lie battered his mind, and he’d conjured up many reasons for Alex’s duplicity. The moment his brother left Rachel alone, Reno walked up to her before she had the chance to dismount.
    “A new hat?”
    She touched the hat, seemingly guilty for wearing it. “Yes, it is. Alex bought it for me—I mean…he—”  She pressed her lips together in displeasure then stated bluntly, “I didn’t ask him to buy it.”
    Her familiarity with Alex’s name raised Reno’s suspicions. It slipped off her tongue as if she’d spoken it a hundred times before. He doubted the gift didn’t mean anything. Knowing his brother lavished gifts on the women who had succumbed to his charms turned Reno’s gut inside out. He scowled while thinking up ways to make Alex suffer for his indiscretions. Reno inhaled deeply to collect his unhealthy thoughts and control his precarious temper.
    “I see you have your own gloves.”
    She bunched her hands into her skirt and indignant fire flared in her eyes. When she sat up taller with a look of challenge, his gut twisted tighter.
    “I cannot lie to you, Father. Alex bought the gloves, too.” She pulled blue material out of her saddlebag. “And the reticule.”
    Apparently, guilt rode her to tell the truth.
    She swung her leg over the horse’s neck to dismount. Reno curved his fingers around her small waist, forcing her hands to his shoulders as he set her to the ground. Remembering his place, he dropped his arms like felled trees.
    “Apparently you and Alex are on friendly terms now.”
    Her sunny smile stole his breath. “Yes, he and I are on friendly terms now.”
    A tick worked along Reno’s jaw, and he couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it. He felt a burning need to ask how friendly. Instead, he chomped his teeth together and pried his lips apart with a reserved smile.
    “May I help you unsaddle your horse?”
    “Don’t trouble yourself, Father.”
    “Believe me, it’s no trouble at all.” He clenched his jaw. Better me than Alex.
LOVE'S SWEET WAGER can be bought through The Wild Rose Press 
Available in ebook and print.

Also released this year was Charlotte and the Gypsy, book 2 in The Sisters of Destiny trilogy about three psychic sisters separated at birth. It takes place in the 15th century in an Andalusian Gypsy camp and later in England.

Charlotte Nikolos was raised in a Gypsy camp, her pale hair and light skin in stark contrast from the darkness of her family. After she learns she has two sisters somewhere who share her looks and psychic powers, she's determined to search for them and learn why her birth mother sent her away. But where does she begin?

After three years of roaming, Rafael Cazares returns to his Andalusian Gypsy camp to pursue the woman he left behind in disgrace. He must win back Char's trust and recapture her heart. He insists on helping her find her true family but soon realizes someone is determined to keep them apart.  When Rafael's deep, dark secret is revealed, he will do everything in his power to protect the only woman he has ever loved. Even if it costs him his life.

This book is available through The Dark Castle Lords in ebook only.

Book 1, Carina and the Nobleman is also available in ebook and print.


  1. Jannine-

    Great interview! Loved the 'tiring jog over hot coals' comment. So true! Man, all those hours struggling to get the stories out of our heads don't come close to how difficult it then becomes to promote ourselves so we can get that story into readers hands, does it? :-)

    Wishing you many, many sales. Love's Sweet Wager sounds fantastic, I've added it to my TBR list!

  2. Great interview ladies. And I love Western historicals. I've also been writing since 1999 but wasn't published until last year. I love writing, but I sometimes wonder if I'm crazy for doing it. lol!
    Congrats on the release. Adding it to my TBR pile.

  3. Sarah and Lilly, thank you so much for reading the interview and commenting. As authors, you truly understand what we go through to get the word out about our work. It's tiring. When I first began to write, I thought once the book was sold, I didn't have to do anything except write the next book. LOL, back then, there were no ebooks.

  4. Wonderful interview, Jannine! Love's Sweet Wager sounds FABU! Jennifer's Rafe's Redemption got me hooked on western historicals, and based on your excerpt, this story sounds just as great. I'm adding it to my TBR list! Congrats on staying true to your heart and getting those stories out there!

  5. Thanks again for being here today, Jannine. And thanks ladies for stopping by :)

  6. I love your answers Jannine. I love hearing other call stories and road to success stories. Great interview ladies!

  7. AJ and Calisa:
    Thank you for your comments.

    AJ, I hope you like Love's Sweet Wager when you get around to reading it.

    Calisa, I love to read about how other authors got "the call," too.

  8. Jennifer:
    I loved your interview questions. After doing so many over the years, it's hard to ask me anything new...but you did!

    Thank you for having me as your guest. It was a very enjoyable experience with many lovely ladies coming to visit.