Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Loyalty's Web, Joyce Dipastena

In twelfth-century France, King Henry II of England has just finished crushing a rebellion by his power-hungry sons and now seeks to tame the lawless barons who supported them in this corner of his "Angevin empire." To this end, the king has sent the Earl of Gunthar as his royal representative to ensure that Prince Richard and his former cohorts faithfully adhere to the terms of the peace treaty.

Far from being welcomed with open arms, Gunthar no sooner steps foot in the county of Poitou than he is greeted by a series of assassination attempts. All appear to be linked to the former rebellious prince through the agents of the family and friends of young Heléne de Laurant. A clever, intrepid young woman, Heléne realizes that the only way to prove her loved ones' innocence is by exposing the true assassin. Heléne races against time--and dark secrets of the past--to unmask the killer before the kingdom plunges back into war.

Fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction as Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor. But their blinding magnetism almost causes them to overlook an even deadlier threat from an entirely unexpected direction.

She spun on her heel, but had not run two paces before he croaked out, "Helen, don't go. Don't leave me like this again."

She whirled about as his voice broke. He did not care what she saw now in his face, if only she would not leave him in bitterness and hate.

Whose movement it was that brought her into his arms, he did not know, but he wound them about her so tightly, it was a wonder she could breathe.

"I'm sorry," she panted as he crushed her to his chest. "I did not mean it. Were anything to happen to you, I should want to die, too!"

He lowered his head with a groan, but found his mouth blocked by her hand.

"No, you must not. I cannot betray my own sister like this. She will be your wife."

"And you are my love," he said savagely. "Helen, I cannot endure it any longer."

"Let me go."


"Let me go."

Her voice was quiet but firm. There was no mistaking her resolve. He gave a despairing shudder and released her.

When she walked from the garden, she took his heart with her, leaving him more devastated and alone than he had ever felt in his life.

Loyalty's Web is a historical tale of intrigue with multiple twists and turns, arranged marriages and true romance. It is a face-paced, well-written, fascinating read. If you enjoy historical novels...you will enjoy Loyalty's Web. --Midwest Book Review

Elegant descriptions, a juicy plot line and some "hold your breath" action scenes made this my favorite historical to date. The one thing I loved about it, my teenage daughter is able to read it and I don't have to worry about what she's reading. This book is truly deserving of the You Gotta Read rating that I am giving it. Pick up Loyalty's Web, you will be so happy that you did! It is a book to be read several times over. -- You Gotta Read Reviews

Why Joyce Wrote this book:
I wrote my books to share my love of history along with my love of happily-ever-after endings, and do so in an exciting, romantic, but "safe" reading environment. In the end, I wrote books that I wanted to read myself but have been unable to find on the bookshelves. Stories where the focus is romance, not sex. Where true love really does mean, "I love you more than I love myself, and that means waiting for marriage, because to do less would, in fact, be false to the love I bear you." I write for a secular audience, yet without stating them outright, I hope that my Christian values shine throughout my stories. I hope that by doing so, those who may not yet have fully found their own faith and who may be hesitant to pick up an "inspirational", might nevertheless be touched by the themes of honor, integrity, and virtue that my characters reflect in their lives.

Author Bio:
Joyce DiPastena is the author of two sweet medieval romances: Loyalty's Web (a 2007 Whitney Award finalist) and Illuminations of the Heart (a 2009 Whitney Award finalist).

Joyce moved from Utah to Arizona at the age of 2, and grew up to be a died-in-the-fur Desert Rat. (110 degrees? A little toasty. 117? Utah isn't looking quite so bad right now!)

She first fell in love with the Middle Ages when she read Thomas B. Costain's The Conquering Family in high school. She attended the University of Arizona, where she graduated with a degree specializing in medieval history.

Joyce has taught piano lessons to children and adults of all ages for over 20 years. She loves to play the piano and sing for her own amusement, as well as in her church choir. Other interests include reading, spending time with her sister, trying out new restaurants, and unfortunately, buying new clothes. The highlight of her year is attending the Arizona Renaissance Festival, which she has not missed once in its twenty-two years of existence.

Joyce has been owned and loved by many cats, the most recent being Clio (who helps her with my website), and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov (that's all one cat).

Joyce love chocolate chip cookies, Hershey Kisses with almonds (because if they've got nuts, they're good for you), and Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Popcorn with a video/DVD or TV on Sunday nights.

You can visit Joyce at her website at http://www.joyce-dipastena.com and at her JDP NEWS blog at http://jdp-news.blogspot.com
Don't forget to leave a comment so you can have a chance to win.:)
Happy Reading!


  1. This is an incredible book! The love scenes are wonderful, the action fast and tense, the historical details brilliant.

    Everyone NEEDS to read this book!

  2. Hi Joyce,
    Your book sounds so interesting. I loved the excerpt and what a plot -- sister against sister. This book has to have some interesting twists and turns to it. Congratulations.

  3. Hi Joyce,
    Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading your book, the excerpt was wonderful! Good luck with your writing. Shawna, thank you for such a beautiful site.

  4. Hi,

    I love stories of Knights and Ladies and I don'tknow why. I read alot of this period.


  5. I love medieval romances.

  6. Oh, wow, another Thomas Costain lover. I made a copy of the dragon on the front plate of one of his books in high school and my dear husband lets me keep it on the wall above the bed. Love this idea.

  7. I love medieval settings too. I am glad I didn't live back then, though.
    Thanks for the comments!

  8. I love the excerpt, love history and look forward to reading the full book.

  9. Thanks for all your wonderful comments, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed my excerpt. ;-)

    Sending a special wave of excitement to fellow-Costain lover, Lisa!

    (Oh, heck, you're all special. Sending a happy wave to each one of you! :-) )

  10. I hope it is not too late to enter. I love medieval books! Keep writing them.

    bookwurm70 at gmail dot com