Book review: Loving Lucianna by Joyce DiPastena



Loving Lucianna is a historical romance set in the Medieval period. It is the love story between two very different but mature people who had long since given up any idea of falling in love and getting married. Lucianna is a fiesty, green-eyed seamstress who has a heart-wrenching secret that has always threatened any chance she has had at love and security. Sir Balduin de Soler is a gentle, yet determined knight who admires her feisty nature and will do anything to win Lucianna’s heart but it appears that Lucianna’s secret is too powerful for them ever to be together.

I particularly enjoyed reading the descriptions about the different types of sewing needles, fabrics, embroidery and pieces of clothing that were worn during that period.

A nice, easy read for someone who loves historical romances.

(this book was provided free of charge from the author)

Joyce DiPastena

Author Interview:

  1. I noticed you write books set in the medieval time period. Can you tell me why you chose this time in history?

I’ve always enjoyed learning about history for as long as I can remember, especially ancient through the pre-Industrial age. I still enjoy reading about those time periods, but when I went to college and decided to major in history, I found myself gravitating increasingly towards the medieval era. Something about the time period just seemed to fascinate me. I’m not sure I can put my finger on what it was (and continues to be) even today. But all my novels and short stories have been set during the Middle Ages and so far, that’s where all the future stories in my head keep appearing, so I’ll continue to write about the Middle Ages for the foreseeable future.

  1. Throughout yourbook there are numerous references to sewing and embroidery.  Is this something that you are interested in personally?

I remember my mother trying to teach me to embroider as a child, but I’m afraid I was more of an Elisabetta and her daughter, Siri, than I was a Lucianna. I think it’s a case of deeply admiring a talent that I don’t possess myself.

  1. What inspired you to start the “Hearts in Autumn” romance series, which as you describe revolves around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years”?

Last spring I participated in an online promotional event on Facebook with some other authors who write clean/sweet romances. At the end of the event, one of the members challenged us all to write an autumn-themed short story, novella, or novel and try to publish it in time to promote it for a similar promotional event scheduled for the fall. So I started batting around ideas for an autumn-themed story in my head, and the thought came to me, “What if I wrote a romance about a couple who were in the autumn of their years?” And I remembered that I had introduced such a couple as secondary characters in my previous romance, Illuminations of the Heart. I had only touched lightly on their romance in that story, but I decided it would be fun to follow-up on them and find out how their romance turned out. That couple was Lucianna and Sir Balduin who are now the heroine and hero of Loving Lucianna. So the idea originated as a writing challenge from a fellow writer, but the idea for a series came when I told some friends what I was planning and they actually began thanking me for writing a romance with “mature characters” as the focus. That suggested to me that there might be an audience for romances centered on somewhat older couples, and thus the “Hearts in Autumn” romance series was born.

  1. Your heroine has a secret. Do you think readers are more inclined to read books whose plot centers around a secret?

Well, I personally enjoy stories that contain some sort of mystery. I enjoy trying to guess “what’s really going on.” I want to keep reading so I can find out whether my guesses turn out to be right or not. I can’t speak for all readers, but yes, for me, I love a story with mysteries and secrets!

  1. Are you working on the next book in this series, and can you tell us a little more about it?

I only have the kernel of an idea for the next book in the series, but I’m anticipating it centering on a fortyish-year-old troubadour who has never married and a fortyish-year-old widow with a troublesome teenage daughter and son. And yes, I have in mind a little mystery to wind into the story, but I can’t tell you what that is, now can I? J I hope to have the story written and published in time for release in the fall of 2015.

  1. Although you write romance, do you read other genres? If so, which ones do you enjoy the most and why?

I do enjoy other genres, but mostly if they’re based in some historical setting. I enjoy historical mysteries and straight historicals. I’m reading a novel I’m greatly enjoying right now about the story of William Bradford and the American Pilgrims, but it’s covering all sorts of historical parts of their story I’ve never known about, like the details of their long stay in Holland, why they decided to leave Holland and go to America, and just how hard it was to get the expedition going. What has touched me most about the story is learning how deeply the Pilgrims loved their families. I guess I love to read stories about love, whether it’s romantic love or friendship love or familial love. Oh, the name of the book, by the way, is One Small Candle by Evelyn Tidman. (It’s a fictionalized retelling of the story, not non-fiction.)

  1. If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you what would it be?

That I gave them a few minutes of escape and enjoyment from what is often a difficult and troubled world. That is what other authors have done for me and I will be forever grateful to them. If I can provide that same gift, however temporary, to someone else, I will know that choosing the often challenging path of being a writer will have been worth it.

Where to buy the book:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iTunes

Connect with the author:   Twitter   Blog

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