Courting Cassandry by Joyce DiPastena – Blog Tour Guest Post & 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!

Medieval Tokens

by Joyce DiPastena


The theme of medieval love tokens, or small gifts sent between would-be lovers, runs throughout the story of Courting Cassandry. In reality, as romantic as such gifts might seem, they would have been frowned upon during the Middle Ages. “Courtship” was not a luxury that the medieval upper class could afford to indulge in. Marriages, for the most part, were straightforward business arrangements between two families. The criteria for choosing a spouse usually boiled down to two things: will this union bring our family more land (the medieval equivalent of wealth) or more political power? Parents chose spouses for their children and the children were expected to obediently marry one another when the time came.


2 Guest Blog - young couple

(Parents decided who their children would marry)


However, during the 12th century, a concept developed in medieval France known as “courtly love.” This became a highly structured game between men and women, usually with adulterous overtones, in theory if not often in practice. A man, usually a knight of lower birth or wealth, falls in love with a married lady and courts her with poetry and gifts. It is unlikely that the majority of such “courtships” ever passed the bounds into full infidelity, for infidelity was a serious matter during the Middle Ages and was met with heavy consequences. But that does not mean the game was not still sometimes surreptitiously, and carefully, played.


These were some of the gifts, or tokens, that were acceptable to be sent to a lady, according to Andreas Capellanus in his 12th century treatise, The Art of Courtly Love:


“A handkerchief, a fillet, a wreath of gold or silver, a brooch, a mirror, a purse, a girdle (belt), a tassel, a comb, sleeves, gloves, a ring, a powder box, little dishes, or any small object useful for the toilet or serving to remind of the lover, if it be certain that, in receiving the token, the lady is without a touch of avarice.” (Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings, by Amy Kelly.)


2 Guest Blog - medieval comb

(A comb was considered an appropriate token to send to a lady)


One event at which a lady might quite openly give a token to a man with few repercussions was at a tournament. These tokens were usually called “favors” and when worn by the knight, indicated that all his successes on the tournament field would be won on behalf of the lady whose token he wore. These tokens could include such things as ribbons, the woman’s girdle or belt, a ring, the veil she wore over her hair, or even a removable sleeve from her dress. The knight would tuck the token into his helmet or tie it around his arm so that it could be clearly seen while he fought in the tournament.


2 Guest Blog - Mathilde_God Speed

(Lady tying a favor around a knight’s arm before a tournament ~ painting by Edmund Leighton)


As mentioned above, this game of love tokens plays a significant role in Courting Cassandry and it is a game taken very seriously by the heroine and hero, Cassandry and Gerolt, who believe someone is illicitly courting Cassandry’s daughter after she becomes betrothed to Gerolt’s son. In true medieval fashion, the parents are determined to put a stop to the game. But are the tokens truly intended for Cassandry’s daughter, or might they be intended for Cassandry herself?

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 12tha Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The covers are amazing!

  2. Thanks for competition!

  3. Joyce DiPastena says

    Thank you for sharing my guest post and spotlighting Courting Cassandry for my book launch tour today!

  4. I loved it all! This is a great author.

  5. I love the cover, very eyecatching

  6. I’m in love with the cover.

  7. the book looks very interesting , i would love to have the chance to read it

  8. joeysammyk says

    Love the unique pics in this post! Thanks for sharing!