My main area of interest for historical romances is 15th century Italy. Growing up Italian definitely played a part in setting my romances in Italy. My first one, THE LILY AND THE FALCON, originally published by Kensington in 2000 and will be reissued by Highland Press in Fall 2007, takes place in Florence in the time of Cosimo de' Medici. Although my father was born on the island of Ponza off the coast between Rome and Naples, his father's family originated from Florence. So it was only natural that I chose that location.
The second book in this four-book series is SURRENDER TO HONOR, which will be released in Spring 2008, also by Highland Press. This one was written in honor of my Sicilian mother. The setting is Palermo, and the story incorporates the beginning of the mafia. This was a work of love and very dear to me. Not the mafia part (I won't go there *g*), but using Sicily for a backdrop.
I think I'll stop there for now.
Jannine Corti Petska