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Tag Archives: Historical Romance

Luminous Memories of Alexander Vile

Today we’re interviewing N Jones, author of The Luminous
Memories of Alexander Vile. Tell us about this book.

In 1891, in the suburbs of Victorian London, a tragedy took
place. Here is a tragic tale compiled by the Maid, who worked her whole life
for Alexander Vile, and his late family. She remembers as she wanders up the
cobbled streets that echo her every footstep and underneath the over-bearing
trees which give her sunless days. She paces through the open market squares
where strangers are living their life as if no event took place, all gathering
to find out about the innovations, all dressed in blacks and greys. While the
world is whizzing by, she reminisces over a chain of events so romantic and so
woeful that you’ll wish you could re-write the ending…
Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy links:
Book is out March 25, 2013


What is the most
important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first
started writing?
I network! I think networking is important both in terms of
becoming more culturally and inter-culturally aware, but also as you don’t know
who could make impact on your career.
What websites do you
visit daily?
I’m always on Twitter! I check YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr
regularly too, but Twitter is a guarantee!
If you could change
something about your first book, what would it be?
I would probably research more in-depth at the start of the
project. I would use a plan at the beginning too – boring answer!
What do you enjoy most
about writing?
The freedom! How it takes over your time, every moment is
thinking about that character, the storylines intertwining and where the story
will go. I would say it’s exhausting in a positive way!
If you could choose
anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
I would love to say Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, or Stieg
Larsson but unfortunately they are all no more. I would really like to meet
Jeff Lindsay; he wrote/writes the Dexter novels which made a big impact on me!
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t worry; you’ll be more confident in a few years.
How do you cope with
stress as an author?
I’m not sure I’ve reached that level yet! I’ve spent the
majority of the past few years stressed because of University; I think that’s
good preparation for a career in the media – University!
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
Not in this novel, but my second novel which I’m currently
writing is a modern story which will feature some of my friends and family
stories and anecdotes, and maybe a character or two will be based on someone I
Which of your books
would you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
My debut novel ‘the Luminous Memories of Alexander Vile’,
although is thwarted with suspense, grotesque scenes and a lot of imagery has
an underlining romance about it. Infact the romance scenes are my favourite
moments of the novel and the most personal to write. There’s definitely a
subtle emphasis on the romance elements.
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read too many genres! I just finished reading the Great
Gatsby. I plan on reading ‘Persuasion’, the new book from Lucy Robinson and the
latest Dexter book soon!
What was the proudest
moment of your life so far?
Graduating was quite amazing! I think the release date will
be the best day for me though!
What was your favorite
vacation and why?
It was California
– hands down! I loved everything about the place! I saved up my University loan
and wages to go there, and it’s geared me to try and achieve success ever
Favourite Dip?

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Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a
book and includes only a blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the
author. Today’s featured book is: Sky Tinted Water by Keta Diablo.
Genre: Sweet Historical Romance
Familial bonds, malevolent schemes, and passion collide in
this sweet historical novel. Set in Minnesota
during the Civil War and the Sioux uprising, this is the story of Rory Hudson,
the exquisite Irish lass with an unbreakable spirit and the enigmatic Dawson
Finch, a man bound by honor, duty, and loyalty.
When Dawson
enlists in the army to bring peace to nation divided, Rory’s world plummets
into a tailspin. War, distance, and time separate them, but nothing can dispel
the haunting memories of their love. Not even death can destroy their fierce
passion or a love so strong it beats the odds of the impossible.

Buy links:

Barnes and Noble:

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The Stuff of Myth and Men,
Rising Above

Toni Noel, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Rising Above.
Genre: Historical Time Travel
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Cover artist: Carol Fiorillo
Length (words): 105,000
Heat rating: R
Tagline: A misfit tomboy goes back in time, compromises her reputation
with a disillusioned Pinkerton man who to her dismay insists on a marriage of convenience,
while she longs to return to her own time.
Bad weather cuts short Wilda Stone’s hot-air balloon race, throwing
her back into widowed lawman Hal Grantham’s time, the 1870’s. A sand storm forcing
them off Hal’s horse and into a cave where they spend two nights, compromising Wilda’s
reputation, and forcing Hal into a marriage of convenience. Once they make love
Wilda realizes she has fallen in love with the terse lawman and abandons all thought
of returning to the twenty-first century. Her stoic husband conceals his true feelings
for her. When diphtheria– the same disease responsible for taking his first wife
and son — threatens the silver mining town of Cerro Gordo, deep concern for Wilda’s
welfare drives Hal to send his wife back to her own time in her balloon. His actions
convince her Hal shuns her love and she departs, whispering a promise to return,
without revealing her pregnancy. Once her conveyance rises beyond his reach, Hal
realizes his mistake and launches a futile search for the woman he now readily admits
he loves.
Buy links:
Desert Breeze Publishing
Or from your favorite eBook store.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Wilda Stone and Hal Grantham. 28 and 32. In her other life Wilda
was a flag person on a Caltrans road crew. In Cerro Gordo
the only acceptable work to fill her time is helping out in the kitchen of the American
Hotel, a totally unacceptable activity for an awkward outdoor girl who can’t cook.
Hal is a disillusioned undercover Pinkerton agent ready for a


How do you come up with ideas?
Inspiration strikes me at the oddest times, and in unexpected
places. Usually it’s through something I see, or hear. A boarded up house in a ritzy
neighborhood we were driving through inspired Decisive Moments. A network news story
about the rising birthrate in a faraway Irish town inspired Fairy Dusted. A weekend
stay in the refurbished bunk house of a restored silver mining town inspired Rising
What do you enjoy most about
I love the freedom of being my own boss, and the chance to escape
reality while I write, but I also enjoy the anticipation I feel when a friend buys
one of my books. I can’t wait to hear how they liked it, whether it made their day
a little happier or gave them something new to think about.
What do you enjoy most about
The thing I enjoy most is simply being alive. I am so blessed.
A loving family. Good health. A wealth of knowledge at my fingertips and time to
explore all of it to the fullest. It’s a great life.
Where do you start when writing?
Research, plotting, outline, or…?
The inspiration comes first, then a character’s name or the novel’s
setting. Next, as ideas come to me, I list fifty scenes necessary to move my characters
through the story and reach a satisfactory conclusion. I’m very visual, so I transfer
the scenes to stickies, arrange those on a story board, and after identifying the
major turning points and the blackest moment for each character, I’m ready to write.
The beauty of this method is the stickies can be moved around countless times, and
the scenes rearranged as I write to give the story ending a satisfying resolution,
showing ways in which the main characters have changed.
What are some jobs you’ve done
that would end up in a book?
In my teens I called square dances for the Y.M.C.A. and later
did alterations for a cleaners. When we were without health insurance, and our four
young children had run up a big debt at their doctor’s, I made drapes for his new
office to settle our account. I’ve also performed puppet shows and taught crafts
at nursing homes. Before retiring, I supervised a computerized payroll, and included
some of my office experiences in Temp to Permanent, a romantic suspense.
What do you hope readers take
with them after reading your work?
I want my readers to feel satisfied with their read. I write
novels about finding a safe haven for the heart and firmly believe this is what
everyone hopes to find. I found my safe haven early in life, but it still delights
me when the book I’m reading ends with the heroine finding her safe haven in the
arms of her newly found love.
Picture yourself as a store.
Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold
I would specialize in classically styled upscale dresses and
suits, go-to outfits a woman reaches into her closet for every day. I’d have a complete
selection of leather boots in a variety of styles and widths. The leather purses
I carry will have wide openings and no places for lipsticks and car keys to hide.
I’d showcase earrings with silver or gold posts for pierced with only snap closures,
no easily-lost separate parts. In the casual clothing department you’ll find quality
merchandise for travel, spectator sports and working out all in one place, the huggable
woolens and cashmeres incredibly soft to the touch, the baby terry and fleece silky
smooth next to your skin.
As a child, what was your favorite
thing about school?
I loved the countless opportunities for expanding my horizons
school provided. I had endless curiosity and still question everything. My favorite
question is “Why?”
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
Caution. Contents under extreme pressure and with good cause
will likely explode. (I inherited my father’s volatile temper.)

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love vegetarian pizza with artichokes.
I’m always ready for fun.
When I’m alone I eat dinner on our best china. It makes me
feel like I’m eating out
You’d never be able to tell, but I was the head cheerleader
for my high school
If I had a halo it would be bent.
If I could crochet I’d own that sweater I’ve been admiring.
I can never diet for long because I love to eat and
have no willpower

My Booklist

Law Breakers and Love Makers, soon in print, too.
Temp to Permanent
Decisive Moments
Restored Dreams
Fairy Dusted
Rising Above

Books Coming Soon

To Feel Again
Fragile Bonds
Toni Noel
Homeward Bound

About the Author

Toni Noel’s Novels… Safe havens for the heart.
Toni Noel’s love of books started in childhood, when her
mother first read The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to her. She helped
start church libraries in two rural Tennessee
towns and appeared before the City Planning Commission and the San Diego City
Council to urge a site be purchased. As the neighborhood spokesman for the new
library the City Councilman for her district invited her to turn the second
shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking for the new library. Toni’s fondest dream,
to see one of her safe-haven-for-the-heart novels available for checkout there
may soon be fulfilled. Desert Breeze Publishing will release in print form in
November the author’s first published novel Law Breakers and Love Makers.

Find Me Here

Dante’s Flame.
Janine, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about
your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If
so, what are they?
is a medieval set in Naples, Italy, during the political struggle between the
French and Spanish kings for control over Naples.
Dante Santangelo sides with the French and is watching the Valente family for
signs of Spanish loyalties. Alessandra Podesta is sent to Naples by her parents to get her out of the
“tempting” Venetian environment, hoping it will stop the illicit tales she
writes. She lives with her cousins, the Valentes. Dante thinks she was sent
there to aid the Spanish king. She gets caught up in the politically tense
situation while looking for adventure to write about. Her curious nature
befuddles Dante and nearly gets Alessandra killed. She’s a firecracker, and
he’s very intelligent, serious. Needless to say, they don’t see eye-to-eye.
What is the single most important part of writing for
Research. Because I write historicals, it’s imperative to
know about the location and time of the story. During the research process, I
usually discover reasons for conflict between the hero and heroine. Without
becoming aware of 15th century Naples,
I wouldn’t have known about the political war. Or about the people and their
superstitions. All of which factor into the story.
What do you enjoy most about life?
1) Spending time with my husband of 40 years; 2) Being a
grandma, or Nonna, as my 6 grandkids call me. I enjoy all of them, even the one
who is more stubborn than his mother was, lol. 3) Besides my grandchildren, I
enjoy my dogs and wish I could have more than just three. Dogs are refreshing,
loyal, loving. 4) During the summer, I love getting outside and tending to my
gardens, both floral and vegetable. The string beans, peppers, tomatoes,
zucchini, fingerling potatoes, and everything else I grow tastes a whole lot
better than what I buy in stores. 5) I love watching soccer, particularly the
Serie A, which is Italy’s
top-flight league. And, of course, I love the Italian national team. My
youngest daughter began playing soccer nearly 32 years ago when she was four.
She never looked back, and my husband and I were so proud of her accomplishments
on and off the field. LOL, I had a difficult time watching her play. She’s a
goalkeeper (she still plays), and that always made, and still makes, me
What did you learn from writing your first book? 
The first book I wrote was in 1980, or there about. I was so
new to writing and broke every rule in the book. It was such a learning
experience. At the time, I didn’t belong to RWA, which I joined in 1996. That
first book, though, made me realize how difficult writing a novel really is. I
probably would have ended my career there if I hadn’t received good rejections
from editors and agents. Encouraging rejections. And the wonderful support of
Would you consider self publishing?
Yes, I’d love to self-publish. I might one day, but I’m so
inept with the tech. side of the computer. I can’t even figure out Facebook or
a blog I started that has only a name to it. It’s mind-boggling to me. I’ve
taken classes, yet I still cannot figure them out! Twitter, too. But
self-publishing will give me a chance to have control over every aspect of my
book. There’s the potential to make a good living selling on my own. Right now,
I don’t have a manuscript ready to self-publish.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice
what would it be?
It would be the same as I give all writers, whether starting
out or advanced: Don’t give up! That was one of the hardest lessons I learned.
Had I given up, I would have never published and likely would have always
wondered if I might have achieved that goal.
Also, read, read, read! Which I did. The only regret I have
is not finding RWA 10 or so years sooner. The organization opened an entire
world of insight to the craft, the one thing a writer should never stop
Lily and the Falcon
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one
would you recommend I start with and why?
REBEL HEART. There is something about this book and the
hero, Beau Hamilton, that has been my favorite ever since I wrote it in the
80s. He’s irascible, gruff, but underneath it all, there is a man with a soft
heart for the heroine and others who are important to him. But she drags him
kicking and screaming all the way to the end before he finally admits he loves
her. You’ll see his transformation in small degrees, and you’ll understand why
when you learn his backstory.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I hope they see that love does conquer all, that it can be
quick or slow-building, and with an unlikely person. I think you have to
believe in the power of love, and I hope my stories convey that.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
I posed this question to my family, and they agreed on:
Proud, Passionate…and Italian
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
of course! I’m not sure what city, but more than likely Rome
or Milan. My
favorite soccer team is A.C. Milan. Roma is my second favorite. Plus I’d love
to live among the history and the medieval feel of thecities. The one time I
visited Italy,
I fell in love with the atmosphere and the way of life as well as the ancient
and medieval architecture.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Books, music, Italian and soccer related things, anything
for and about dogs. I’d also have a café in my store that served Italian drinks
and pastries. It would be very eclectic but it would be warm and inviting.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I looked forward to writing papers. I think writing novels
stemmed from that early desire.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
“Open carefully. Contents under pressure.” Admittedly, I
have a temper, and it doesn’t take much to set me off, especially if I see an
injustice being done.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with cheese and pepperoni.
I’m always ready for watching Italian soccer.
When I’m alone, I listen to music and dance around the
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m Italian. (blonde
hair and blue eyes fool everyone).
If I had a halo it would be an angel’s halo with the
devil’s horns attached
Surrender to Honor
If I could become a billionaire I’d help all the
homeless animals in the world
I can never travel far from home because I’m
afraid to fly

Character Interview

Tell us about the main character in your current book.
What is he like?
Dante Santangelo is a highly educated, intelligent man with
a secret he hides until the very end. He was born in Naples
but left at an early age and grew up in Provence.
His eyes are a captivating blue/violet. He teaches Latin and French at the University of Naples and speaks four languages. Dante
is fairly easy-going but can get intense over injustices to human or animal. On
the surface he seems to be quiet, agreeable. But beneath the surface, his
seldom lost ire lurks.
If your main character was here today, what would he say
is his strongest point?
His patience.
Does he think he has a weakness? (If so, what does he
think it is? What does his lover think it is? What does his enemy think it is?)
Alessandra is his weakness. She constantly tries his
patience. A man can only take so much!
What drives your hero to do the things he does? What
makes him want to be the “good guy?”
Dante lived a privileged life, but his mother and father
wouldn’t let him forget that their wealth and lifestyle could be taken away in
a heartbeat. He was taught to help others, treat women with respect, and to be
open-minded. His parents had a strong influence in his life. They’re responsible
for the man he became. But don’t let that fool you. He is by no means a Beta
What’s your main character’s favorite guilty pleasure?
Besides the heroine, lol? Sugared almonds from Rome.

Answered as Dante Santangelo:

If you didn’t know how old you were how old would you be?
Judging by my maturity, knowledge and wisdom, I would
probably be in my mid- to late 30s.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
The French-Italian Connection.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
Most likely Naples or Northern Italy.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
The pranks I pulled. My teachers did not have a sense of
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Do not provoke. Volatile beneath the surface and may cause
physical pain.

Please Fill in the Blanks (as the character)

I love sweet cakes with thick cream filling.
I’m always ready for making love to my wife.
When I’m alone, I’m pensive.
You’d never be able to tell, but I do know how to have
fun. I’m not always so serious
If I had a halo it would be fairly
straight because of my kind-hearted nature
If I could have the power I’d end the conflict
between countries.
I can never figure out my wife because she lacks
fear and has a strong sense of adventure

About the Author

Jannine Corti Petska was born in New
York but raised in Southern California.
Her parents’ first language was Italian, and Jannine was raised in an Old World environment. She began writing romance novels
when her three daughters were young and she was a stay-at-home mom.
In-between writing and caring for her family, she tutored Italian, Spanish,
German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Although she loves
placing her stories in medieval Italy,
she has also written romantic tales of the cowboy in the American West. Jannine
lives in Southern California with her husband
of 40 years and three high-energy Rat Terriers. To find out more about Jannine,
please visit her website.



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?

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press
REBEL HEART, American western
CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, book 1 of my medieval psychic
sisters trilogy
CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY, book 2 of my medieval psychic
sisters trilogy
LOVE’S SWEET WAGER, love along the California Trail
THE LILY AND THE FALCON, book 1 of my Italian Medieval
SURRENDER TO HONOR, book 2 of my Italian Medieval series
DANTE’S FLAME, book 3 of my Italian Medieval series
Short stories, both Medievals set in Italy
Books Coming Soon
MINE TO KEEP, release date Aug. 15, 2012
Janine Corti Petska


I will give away an e-copy of DANTE’S FLAME to one lucky

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Blog: No time for one.
Granite Rose.

Linda, Welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Please tell us about your books.

My latest book is called The Granite Rose. It is an historical romance, set in ancient Rome. Yes, it is a very different time period for the usual romances. It is also a very different book for me to write. Most of my writing is romantic comedy, as I find love and romance, well, very fun!
The Granite Rose is set in during an actual event, The Dacian War. The characters that fill the book really existed, Emperor Trajan, Hadrian, Kind Decabalus – my hero and heroine however, did not, they are entirely figments of my overactive imagination. Essentially, it is the story of two people who because of events, politics, and circumstance are forced together.
The hate each other and their hatred moves along cultural lines. As they learn how badly their countries and their families have betrayed them, they discover they are not so different. Soon they realize they are dependent on each other to survive the labyrinth of Roman politics. Once they get past their differences their hearts begin to take over.
Here’s a blurb:
Sworn to uphold his Emperor’s orders, General Marcus Alexius must silence his inner voice to obey an Imperial command that his conscious is rebelling against.  He is asked to perform a clandestine kidnapping of the Dacian Princess – the princess of a country that executed his brother, and insure her safekeeping.
Sianna Cynara, the Princess of Dacia must endure the treachery of Rome, the enslavement of her country, her people and the horrible realization that her father might have sacrificed her to realize his dreams of Imperialism. 
They are thrust together in a Roman Empire where the Emperor has no heir, and where the dark forces of Rome’s elite Patrician society work to ensure one of their own will be named the successor.  The enemies of the Emperor bribe, coerce and murder to ensure General Alexius will never become emperor and that the Dacian Princess becomes a spectator sport in the Coliseum.  Thrust together by elements out of their control, two bitter enemies will find solace in each other’s arms and the courage to challenge the powers of the Roman Empire.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
In a wandering RV.
What song would be describe your life?
Twilight Zone
If you came with a warning label what would it say?
Caution, may erupt with uncontrolled laughter at the worst possible moments.
Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with – pepperoni.
I’m always ready for – camping
When I’m alone – If I told you I’d have to include you in a future novel and it wouldn’t be pretty.
You’d never be able to tell but – I’m full of worthless info. Someday I’m gonna win big on Jeopardy.
If I had a halo it would be –Chrome. It’s the classic car girl in me.
If I could – travel – I’d – never stop.
I can never – run for president – because – I’m too honest and not “politically correct.”
Find Me Here:
Find My Books:

The Fall of Rain, by Renee Vincent.
Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.
For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.
Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.
Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?
Buy Links:

Turquoise Morning Press:

About Renee Vincent:
I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.

When I am not writing, I love to spend my time on the back of a horse, whether with my family or with my friends. There is nothing like feeling the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair, and the power of the animal beneath you as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Seeing the world from a saddle is, by far, the best view and the best therapy for a heavy heart or a troubled mind. My therapist’s name, or my horse’s, rather, is “Statues Suddenly Lucky”, a full-blooded Tennessee Walker, and of course, he goes by the name of Lucky for short.

I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar…and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can’t resist watching great epic historical movies.
CBLS Promotions


Deep In The Heart Romance:
Turquoise Morning Press
Romance Writers of America

Kentucky Romance Writers

Ohio Valley Romance Writers

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers:

Hearts Through History:
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