Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Courting Cassandry: Historical Romance with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Courting Cassandry
(Hearts in Autumn #2)
by Joyce DiPastena
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 348 pages
February 17th 2016

Is it too late for second chances when the girl you loved in your youth comes back into your life?

Gerolt de Warenne became guardian to a child-heiress named Cassandry when he was only nineteen-years old. As he watched her grow into a lovely young woman, he found himself falling in love with her, but Cassandry viewed him as an older brother. So, burying his feelings, he gave permission for her to marry another.

Twenty-four years later Gerolt and Cassandry meet again. With the loss of their respective spouses, Gerolt hopes to finally court Cassandry, but she desires to remain a widow. Instead, they agree to a betrothal of their children.

Matters become complicated as their friendship begins to evolve into the romance Gerolt has always wanted. But by the law of the medieval Church, Cassandry and Gerolt can’t marry if their children do. Can they find a way to be together? Or must they sacrifice their future for the love of their children?

"Courting Cassandry" is a “Hearts in Autumn” romance, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because love isn’t only for the young!

The First Book in the Series

Loving Lucianna (A Hearts in Autumn Romance, #1)Loving Lucianna
(Hearts in Autumn #1)
by Joyce DiPastena
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 220 pages
October 11th 2014

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life. 

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love. 

"Loving Lucianna" is the first in Joyce DiPastena’s new "Hearts in Autumn" romance series, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because you’re never too old to fall in love!

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Medieval Rules of Inheritance

by Joyce DiPastena

Sometimes well-meaning readers question the lines of inheritance in my medieval romances. More familiar with the popular and wide spread Regency romance, they assume that the strict rules of inheritance that basically disowned the rights of daughters during the Regency or even Victorian eras have always stood in England. This was not the case.

It is true that after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the law of primogeniture whereby the eldest son alone inherited a father’s lands became the common law in England. If the eldest son died, then the brother next in line stood to inherit, and so on down the line of brothers. The goal was to keep the main wealth contained in the inheritance (which usually equated with land) concentrated in the hands of one man, rather than continually dividing and thus diluting that inheritance among multiple sons, and grandsons, and great-grandsons, etc.

(sons inherited first because they could offer military service to their lord)

However, according to the common law of England during the Middle Ages, if all the sons died, or if there were no sons at all, the inheritance did not pass to the next collateral male relative (uncle, cousin, nephew) as it did during the Regency. If there were no sons or if all the sons died childless, then daughters were next in line to inherit.

(sisters could inherit if all their brothers died or if they had no brothers)

Thus women could and did inherit, at times, great wealth. Women, however, were considered incapable of managing and defending great tracts of land. Every man who held land owed fealty (military service) to some man of higher standing, with the men of highest standing owing fealty to the king himself. Since women could not participate in military service, some man had to perform this service on their behalf. An heiress, therefore, regardless of age, came under the guardianship of the man to whom her father or husband had owed fealty. This guardian had the power to choose a husband for the heiress who could perform the military responsibilities required in that day and age. The woman had no choice of whom she would marry, unless a particularly generous guardian, like the hero of Courting Cassandry, gave his assent to the marriage.

Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).
When she’s not writing, Joyce loves to read, play the piano, and spend time with her sister and friends. A highlight of her year is attending the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival .

Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Tour Giveaway

$20 See's Candies Gift Certificate (if US) or $20 PayPal Cash (if international)
Copies of Loving Lucianna and Courting Cassandry (signed print if US, ebook if international)
Ends March 12th

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Joyce DiPastena said...

Thank you for spotlighting Courting Cassandry for my book launch tour and for letting me share a guest post on your blog!

Annie Douglass Lima said...

My pleasure. Your post was very interesting!

Tina at said...

I found this post really fascinating. I had no idea about how the inheritance stuff differed in the Middle Ages from later periods. Thanks for being a part of the Booknificent Thursday reading community this week!