Today I am so pleased to welcome Edale Lane to Joyfully Jay. Edale has come to talk to us about her latest release, Merchants of Milan. She has also brought along a great tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Edale has written some questions and answers to share with us today

When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?

I have been composing stories since I learned to scratch words on paper with a pencil. My first “book” was completed when I was in grade two (Mama was so proud!) It was about dinosaurs, featuring my favorite ones, completely plagiarized but I did do the artwork. In high school my friends all wanted to read my stories and swore they were wonderful, but they just said that because they were my friends. I discovered I was good at academic writing while completing my master’s degree in history which I embarked on to raise my teacher’s salary but also because by then I truly wanted to write historical fiction. I was in my thirties when I completed my first full-length, well written, fully fleshed out novel and I recognized it was good because my mother, the perfectionist English and literature teacher, was overwhelmed that her little girl could produce something as complex, imaginative, and exciting as Viking Quest.  It was never picked up by a publishing company and languishes on my shelf and computer desk top… oh yeah, I started up Past and Prologue Press! Hmm, possibilities.

Have you ever taken a trip to research a story? 

I wished to take trips for all of them, but that was not practical. I did, however, travel to Charleston, S.C. doing background research for a lesbian romance set in Antebellum Charleston. Even though being from the Civil War city of Vicksburg, MS and knowing all about the Old South, I wanted to see the architecture that is particular to that city, walk its streets, go inside the old churches, and learn first-hand everything there is to know about rice plantations. Every book set in the Old South is woven around a cotton plantation, but the low country of South Carolina was one of the very few rice producing parts of the south and I wanted to tell about something different. Behind the Door is a wonderfully unique book–maybe I’ll finish it one day!

How did you choose the topic for this book?

My thesis professor said that almost everything that can be written already has, so in choosing my topic I need to either search deep for something new or explore a familiar subject in an entirely innovative way. Heart of Sherwood is a completely different way of telling the Robin Hood story, so for my new novel I decided to go for a story-type that to my knowledge has never been used, a kind of “Batgirl meets Leonardo da Vinci.” I chose Italy and the Renaissance because I was able to locate few novels with that setting as opposed to volumes in Victorian England or Medieval northern Europe. My master’s coursework prepared me for this period and my mother loved da Vinci so I was brought up marveling at his genius.

What secondary character would you like to explore more? 

Antonio Torelli, Alessandro’s oldest son and Madelena’s nephew, is a teenager trying to become his own man. Like many youths, he can’t decide which of various directions he should take, but being headstrong the the last thing he intends to do is obey his rich and powerful father. Having already plotted out books two and three in my head, I know where his story leads and can assure you that we will see more of Antonio and his transformation from boy to man.

Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Goodness no! I was a slow reader–no problem with comprehension, could always answer the questions, but reading was a very difficult endeavor. I was never diagnosed but later discovered that I have dyslexia. But my mother was an avid reader and our house was filled with books from classics to Agatha Christy. I spend many afternoons or nights–even into my teens–lying in bed listening to Mama read to me. Now I listen to audio books.

What other artistic pursuits (if any) do you indulge in apart from writing?

I was first, and am still, a musician. Starting with the piano, I moved to French horn and sang in my church choir. In high school, band was my life, and it was my dream to become a band director. I graduated with a degree in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1982 never to stand on the podium lifting my baton to give the downbeat. Life got in the way, but I did spend many enjoyable years as a church choir director and playing my French horn in the Mississippi Wind Symphony.

What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?

This is a tough one with a myriad of wonderful worlds I would love to explore! But if I could only choose one it would have to be Middle Earth, the land of Tolkien. Rivendale is so beautiful, the shire so peaceful. My intellect would revel in learning anything Gandalf would teach me and I would canter my steed with Riders of Rohan anytime. Besides, elves are just too cool!

What’s your drink of choice?

For every day, water and iced green tea with lemon. On that special occasion, give me a frozen lime margarita!

What are you working on now, and when can readers expect it?

That would be Secrets of Milan, book two of the Night Flyer Trilogy! And while I don’t wish to keep my fans waiting too long, I do have a “day job.” Additionally, I am meticulous with research, rewrites, and editing, so I hope to have it finished by this fall, maybe August but more likely September or October. Want a teaser?

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.



Three powerful merchants, two independent women in love, one masked vigilante.

Florentina, set on revenge for her father’s murder, creates an alter-ego known as the Night Flyer. Madelena, whose husband was also murdered, hires Florentina as a tutor for her children and love blossoms between them. However, Florentina’s vendetta is fraught with danger, and surprising developments threaten both women’s lives.

Merchants of Milan is the first book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like gadgets and gismos, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and fast-paced action with a slow-boil lesbian romance, then you are sure to love this series. Buy this one of a kind novel today and let the adventure begin!

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Edale Lane is the penname used by Melodie Romeo for LGBTQ fiction novels. She is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in History from the University of West Florida.

Ms Romeo is a retired school teacher who currently travels the country as an over the road truck driver. Her first book, Vlad, a Novel, an historical thriller, was published in 2002. She has had short stories published in anthologies by Seventh Star Press, Charon Coin Press, Alban Lake Press, Less Than Three Press, and Past and Prologue Press.

Edale Lane’s first novel, Heart of Sherwood, is an historical retelling of the Robin Hood story supposing that the hooded outlaw had been a woman:

In addition to driving and writing, Melodie is also a musician who plays the French horn, composes, and has spent many years as a choral and instrumental director. She aspires to be a successful enough author to quit driving and devote herself to writing fulltime. Melodie resides in Utica, MS with her longtime partner, Johanna.

Some of her works can be found at

In 2019 Melodie founded Past and Prologue Press. Please visit her website.


Edale has brought $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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