Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Welcome, Jannine Corti Petska
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.
When I set out to write the Sisters of Destiny trilogy, I had the concept that each sister would have her own story and live in different countries. Beyond that, I wasn't sure how I would tie the books together. But towards the end of book one, Carina and the Nobleman, Carina decided to go in search of one of her sisters. She ends up in Andalusia and meets Char. I want to thank Carina for showing me the way.
Book two, Charlotte and the Gypsy, is set in a Gypsy camp in Andalusia, Spain. I enjoyed researching the Gypsy culture. It was most fascinating, but it was also quite simple yet complex. Like most cultures, Gypsies had their hierarchy within their clan, and they preferred to be left alone. The difference between the Andalusian Gypsies and others throughout Europe depended on location. Many of the Andalusian Gypsies spoke Spanish and wore the clothes of the land. However, Gypsies never lost sight of their own culture, language, clothing, and how they lived. It was unfortunate that Gypsies rarely kept journals.
At the end of book two, Char travels to England to locate the third sister. I am researching Callie and the Knight and hope to start writing the story by July. And not to worry, the mystery surrounding the sisters and their birth will come to light at the end of book three.
Charlotte and the Gypsy draws the reader deep within the gypsy world; familiarizing the reader with gypsy traditions, gypsy life, and gypsy love. With vivid descriptions and attention to detail, this book made it easy to get lost in Andalusia, and difficult to return to reality. --Siren Book Reviews, 4 siren stones
Corti-Petska does it again, with the other sister, Charlotte. I always love the way Corti-Petska sets of the scene, characters, and dialogue. This second book of the trilogy swept me away to another place as did the first book in the series. This is a must read for all of you romance junkies! I found myself going back to read the first book again. A beautiful story of finding out who you are at the cost of harms ways and undeniable love. This author will always remain one of my favorites! --The Pen and Muse, 5 stars
Rafael has been gone from his Gypsy camp for three years. When he returns, he assumes he'll pick up where he and his betrothed had left off...about to get married. Throughout the story, he discovers that things don't remain the same. And Char fights for women's rights, medieval style. ;-)
Scene set up: Rafael thought he knew all there was to know about Char...until he learns she has two sisters. But more is his frustration over her continual disobedience and her unwillingness to forgive him for what he'd done three years past.
Note: Lennor is Char's father.
Rafael ate up the ground as fast as his legs carried him. He was furious with Char for defying an order. After Lennor had filled him in about Char’s sisters, he’d gone to her tent to inform her of his decision. When he got there, she was gone. Now his blood boiled hotter than burning wood. No woman took his directive lightly.
He found her sitting at the river’s edge, her bare toes tickling the water’s surface. Her arms hugged her legs, and her cheek rested on raised knees. She looked content. He was loathed to disturb her, but he couldn’t let her dictate their relationship. With a woman like Char, she’d trample over his good intentions with her stubborn streak, if he gave her the chance.
Quiet as a bird’s tiny feet on grass, Rafael approached and planted himself at her back. He noticed her arms tighten around her legs and her toes curl. She was aware of his presence.
"I know not what to do to make you understand what is expected of you, Char."
"As do I."
He tilted his head in thought, unsure of what she meant? "If you cease going against the wishes of the men in your life, mayhap you’ll avoid these unpleasant confrontations and threats of punishment."
She twisted her neck to peer up at him. Her eyes were puffy, red. Char seldom shed tears.
"You misunderstood," she corrected. "I know not what to do to make you understand that I’ll not be governed by you or any other man."
Bedamned, she was headstrong. She had him tied into painful knots and his mind befuddled with indecision. "Think you I enjoy reminding you of my rights? Or making threats against you when you gainsay me?"
"I think it is a man’s way to make women submissive."
"I believe it is because women are difficult creatures."
"If a man did not make unreasonable demands, his woman might comply with his wishes," she said matter-of-factly.
He stepped around her and squatted. "What say you?"
"How do you train horses?" she asked.
"With a gentle hand and firm commands."
"Do you whip them if they fail to follow your command?"
"Of course not." His brows drew inward. "You are saying that a man should handle a woman with a gentle hand?"
"Precisely." She let her feet slip into the water.
Studying her profile, he was hard-pressed not to caress the soft edges of her features. She was the epitome of a beautiful woman.
With a heavy sigh, Rafael rose. "Enough about your perception of how a man should treat a woman. I am here to discuss our wedding."
Interested and anxious, she searched his face for a sign of hope. Was she waiting to hear he’d decided against a wedding? Alas, he couldn’t grant her that wish.
"The Rom Baro and I have agreed that you and I will wait until autumnal to be wed."
Her relief was blatant. "Thank you," she said softly, vulnerable and kind, like a child.
Icy fingers scraped down Rafael’s back. "Thank me not. I promised Lennor a stable of horses. After I bring them to camp, it will take until autumnal to train the lot."
"As you have a purpose before we are married, I have one too. Did Father tell you about my sisters?"
"He did." A far away look slipped into her eyes. The wistful sight made his heart stutter in his chest.
"Carina, Callie and I were born as one."
He’d heard of women birthing two or more babes within minutes. Usually, one or more didn’t live. "Know you where in England Callie lives?"
"Gustav said I’d find her near London."
Rafael tensed at the mention of Char’s tutor, a huge man with the strength to match. He rubbed at his jaw unconsciously. They’d fought hand-to-hand over Char’s virtue, and he remembered well the feel of the man’s powerful fist slamming into his face. Gustav protected Char well and would lay down his life for her. After that encounter, Rafael respected his loyalty.
"Then we shall travel to England at winter’s end."
Char flounced to her knees. "I cannot wait that long. If I leave at once—"
"Traveling by horse over unfamiliar land is dangerous, more so for a woman. Think you England is beyond the mountains? It will take months, Char, not just weeks."
"I’ll ask Ker or Petrus to accompany me."
The depth of his being rebelled, and it reflected in the low rumble of his voice. "Ker will not accompany you. And Petrus—"
Petrus’ interest in Char had never been a secret. The man’s lust for the wench had caused many a fight between the two of them. Upon his return to his people, Rafael had inquired about Petrus and learned he’d leave for days and weeks at a time, no one knowing where he’d gone.
"I’ll not allow Petrus to go with you either."
Char rose woodenly, holding his gaze, castrating him for wanting to protect her. "Then I shall travel alone."
"No one will go against me, so hear me well, Char. Our wedding may be two months away, but your father is turning you over to me. You’ll soon be my responsibility. And my woman." He caressed the heat suffused on her cheek, and she slapped his hand away. "Return to your tent."
Her lips compressed to a bloodless line, and she stood her ground. Would she force him to hoist her upon his shoulder and carry her back to camp? Was that the way of it?
"You try my patience, Char. Do as I say or—"
"Never will I concede to you."
He grinned salaciously, and her eyes stretched open wide. "Querida, there will come a time when you cannot help yourself, then you’ll concede to me over and over…"
CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY is available in print and ebook at Moongypsy Press. Don't forget to visit my website.