Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Get Lost in Time with Historical Fiction

Some author friends and I have banded together to create the Lost in Time with Historical Fiction Giveaway, running now through April 19th. We're giving away FOUR $10 gift cards ($40 value) to Amazon, B&N, or iTunes (winner's choice). And while you're entering for the gift cards, you can browse 12 historical fiction ebook titles (all PG-13 or lower rated) and download any or all of them for FREE in exchange for signing up for the authors newsletters. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time, but maybe you'll want to stick around and learn more about them.

My romantic historical novel, The Lady and the Minstrel, is one of the selections, so if you've been wanting to grab a copy, here's your chance to get it FREE. 

This giveaway only runs through April 19th. To check out the Lost in Time with Historical Fiction Giveaway and enter for a chance at one of FOUR $10 gift cards, click here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hug a Medievalist Day ~ Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of my Hug a Medievalist Day giveaway!

Melissa K won the illustrated copy of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and map.

Julie P won the autographed copy of my medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart.

Thank you to everyone who entered and helped me celebrate Hug a Medievalist Day 2017. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hug a Medievalist Day giveaways!

March 31 is International Hug a Medievalist Day and I want to share it with you with not one, but TWO giveaways, and a book sale! (Click here to read an interview with the creator of Hug a Medievalist Day.)

(Have you hugged a medievalist today?)

Prize 1 is a two-pack prize: an illustrated copy of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales plus a replica of a hand-drawn map of the pilgrims' route to Canterbury, which I picked up at this year's Arizona Renaissance Festival.

This giveaway is available to USA residents only. If you're international, check out my next giveaway below. (If the Rafflecopter form doesn't show up, just click on the link that says "a Rafflecopter giveaway")


a Rafflecopter giveaway

OFFICIAL RULES: NO PURCHASE NECESSSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Deadline to enter is April 5, 2017. Winners will be selected on April 6, 2017 and have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. OPEN TO USA ENTRIES ONLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Questions? Contact me at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

Prize 2: An autographed PRINT copy of my medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart. (This is marked Book 2 in my Poitevin Hearts romance series, but can be read as a standalone novel. If you've downloaded a copy of Loyalty's Web in one of my recent giveaways though, you might want to read that one first, but it isn't necessary to enjoy Illuminations of the Heart.)

(Click on the book cover to read a summary of the book)

Autographed copies will be sent to USA residents only, but if you're international you can still win! I'll send you a print copy via Amazon Global -- it just won't be autographed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OFFICIAL RULES: NO PURCHASE NECESSSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Deadline to enter is April 5, 2017. Winners will be selected on April 6, 2017 and have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. OPEN TO USA AND INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES ONLY ON THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Questions? Contact me at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

Finally, I'm also holding a $0.99 sale of my medieval romance, Courting Cassandry, March 29 - April 4, so if you've been wanting to grab a copy on sale, this is your chance.

(Click on the book cover to read a summary)

Click here to be directed by Books2Read to the bookseller of your choice for a $0.99 copy of Courting Cassandry.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Teaser

Here's a new Tuesday Teaser from Nick & Gia's story for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!


“Sir,” she said quickly, “I assure you that we are but—”

“Brother and sister, cousins” —the man cut her off, a thread of laughter in his voice— “he is clearly too young to be your uncle.” He waved a hand that looked gloved in the air. “It is no concern of mine, signorina. I will leave you and your . . . ‘brother’ to resume your amusements, then. Buona notte!”

He strolled past them, his cloak rustling on the breeze as he whistled a light tune into the enveloping darkness.

Amadio muttered, “I warned you in the tavern that men would mistake you for a—”

She whirled on him. “Do not say that word with my name. If you had stayed home as I ordered you, I would not be so humiliated.”

“It was reckless of you to follow me, and unnecessary, as well. What, did you think Il Cavaliere Scarlatto had abducted me? I would like to see him try!”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Looking for Historical Fiction?

Remember that Historical Fiction Giveaway I told you about? Well, it's up and running now on BookSweeps! Over 45 historical novels are part of a prize pack being offered through February 27th. I can't vouch for the content of all the titles, but I'm familiar with authors L.C. Lewis, Rachael Anderson, and Rachelle J. Christensen. Each of them offer good, clean historical fiction with great plots that keep you turning the pages. Some of the other titles look interesting too. I may check them out myself! And yes, that's my romantic historical, The Lady and the Minstrel, there on the second row. If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and enter. You might win a copy!

Oh, and did I mention that they're giving away a Kindle Fire as a Grand Prize?

Here's a picture of all the prizes up for grabs.

That looks like 50 novels to me! Here's the link to enter: Book Sweeps Historical Fiction Giveaway.

Check it out and good luck! I'd love it if some of my followers won! (If you do, be sure you come back and let me know in a comment.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Teaser

Today's Tuesday Teaser introduces my heroine, Giacinta, as my hero, Nick Ryder, first sees her as she enters a tavern in Venice. (Keep in mind that this is 1st draft material, so there may be some clunky sentences. They should get smoothed out in revisions. This is just to give you a taste of the story I'm working on.)

A woman stood in the open doorway. Not the sort of overly-primped wench with stained cheeks and lips that the harlots of Venice attempted to seduce men with. A natural elegance radiated from the crimped coils of her bronze-colored hair, to the delicate blush on the glow of her faintly golden skin, to the modest embellishments on the gown that draped a shapely bosom, and the slender, beringed fingers that somewhat tremblingly clutched the doorjamb. Nick’s gaze followed the flow of her skirts over the graceful curve of her hips to the tips of the red slippers peeking out from beneath their folds, before returning to her face. He judged her to be near her twentieth year.

Her brown eyes, warm and luxuriant as honey, stared into the tavern, round with dismay, as though she gazed upon some scene from purgatory. Her blush deepened, perhaps from all the stares of the men fixed upon her, more than a few of which had gone broadly lecherous. Her hand left the doorjamb to briefly touch her hair, as if belatedly aware that she had failed to don a covering veil. Dread flashed in her eyes, so stark Nick thought she might turn about and flee. To his surprise, a shout half-rose in his throat to stay her, for he sensed her departure would leave a blast of cold in his chest.

Then her gaze darted to some point behind Nick and he saw her spine stiffen. Her expression altered. He had seen just such a look in men’s eyes on the battlefield: an unflinching resolve to face the enemy blazing in defiance of the weakness of fear. Her sweetly rounded chin lifted with all the fortitude of an unflinching warrior.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Get your February Romance Fix with more free ebooks!

February is the month for romance, and I'm taking part in another book promotion on My Book Cave this one exclusively for clean/sweet romances. 14 romances authors are giving away FREE ebook copies of their titles, and another $10 gift card is up for grabs as well. If you're a romance lover, you won't want to miss checking out these titles! (And yes, my medieval romance, Loyalty's Web, is one of the free books again. If you wanted but failed to download it last time, here's a second chance.)

Once again you'll be asked to sign up for each author's newsletter in exchange for a free book, but you can unsubscribe from any or all of them at any time. Click here if you'd like to browse through the books and see if any of them strike your romantic fancy.

And just as a head's up . . . next week, my romantic historical, The Lady and the Minstrel, will be participating in a free giveaway centered on historical (not necessarily historical romance) novels. I'll let you know when that's up and running in case you'd like to add some historical titles to your libraries, too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Valentine Tuesday Teaser

I fell a bit off the writing rails in 2016. I spent the first 5 months of the year being sick and the last 7 months trying to catch up with all the things I fell behind with the first 5 months. But 2017 is starting off better (knocking on wood, let's not jinx it, shall we?), and I'm working hard to get my writing back on track. Instead of resuming a sampling of daily sentences from my daily writing sessions to share with you, I've decided to share a weekly Tuesday Teaser from my work-in-progress instead.

If you read my 2016 romance, Courting Cassandry, my new story takes place 31 years earlier when the hero, Gerolt, was nineteen years old. He and his friend, Samson, play young secondary characters in this new story, but the romance centers around an English knight named Nick Ryder and the daughter of a Venetian silk merchant named Giacinta. And yes, the story takes place in Venice!

Here, in honor of Valentine's Day (which should always involve flowers, don't you think?), is a tidbit of a scene between Nick and Giacinta in Giacinta's garden. I hope you enjoy it!

These narrow, tiled gardens of Venice must not be conducive to inspiring romantic garlands or chaplets. Nick's fingers flew now as he entwined one flower after another into the braided ivy. He interspersed the bold colors of the violets, gladioli, periwinkle, and melograno with the delicate white of the gelsomino and an occasional honeysuckle, wrapping their stems around the ivy to secure the flowers in place.

“Oh, but how pretty!” Giacinta exclaimed when he tilted the wreath for a final inspection of his work. 

He set the wreath atop her crisscrossed braids, then smiled. “Now it is beautiful.”

Her cheeks turned a becoming pink. She reached up a hand, tentatively touching her fresh-blossomed crown. “English ladies wear these on their heads?”

“Young, unmarried maidens do.”

She sighed. “I am not young.” She lowered her hand, but to his relief, did not remove the wreath.

“How old can you be? I guess you a mere twenty.”

“I am twenty-two,” she said, though she looked slightly pleased that he had under-guessed her age. “Nunzia Rosa has been married for seven years. If Stefano does not marry me soon, I shall end up a spinster.”

“You? A spinster? The thought is absurd!” And who the devil is Stefano?