Free Read Friday

I thought I’d give my fans a little treat on Fridays and give them a free read from either a current WIP or one of my published novels or novellas.  And sometimes the free read will be a completely new piece written just for this post, or perhaps a scene taken out of a novel in editing–something that no one but me and my editor has seen. :)

If you seem to like this new feature (leave me a comment and tell me if you do), I’ll make it a Friday fixture. :)

For the inauguration of Free Read Friday, I’m posting Part I of the first chapter of a WIP that’s finished and edited, but I felt needed to sit a minute and let me see if it needed one more revision.  Some of you may have seen snippets of it a while ago on Six Sentence Sunday.  I’m only posting part of Chapter 1 because it’s a long chapter! Click the title below to take you to Free Read Friday:

As Long As You’re Mine

A possible cover if I self publish

A possible cover for As Long As You’re Mine


Enjoy!  Come back next week for Part II.

Posted in Free Read Friday, Free Reads, On As Long As You're Mine, on Victorian Romance, On Works in Progress, WIP | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A Good Rejection


A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of a very busy week, I got a rejection letter for my Regency romance To Woo a Wicked Widow. Now, this is not an unusual occurrence as this is the third book I’ve queried and I have yet to get “the call.” But as hope springs eternal, I continue to query.

I do, however, tend to expect rejections now. I open the emails marked RE: REQUESTED MATERIALS reciting the mantra of, “Dear Ms. Jaxon, I was intrigued by your premise but this book is simply not for us at this time.” Although many of the rejections I get these days are not form rejections, I steel myself for the inevitable ahead of time. It helps toughen the skin and make the hurt smart less.

The rejection I got on Wednesday, was no different from others I had gotten from this agent, but that was the good thing. I always query this agent, and a handful of others, because with all the queries I’ve ever sent them, they have requested partials or fulls and even though their ultimate answer was “no,” they always gave me a personal rejection that I can tell was tailored for my book. These agents are on my “dream list,” agents I would love to have represent me. Because they took the time to give me a reason for rejecting my work.

Now, I know that each agency is different with different policies, and all agents are super busy, but these particular agents take the time to make one of the hardest letters to read at least softened with the knowledge that the agent did read and consider the book. Form rejections or personalized form rejections, while necessary I’m sure, don’t make a bad situation any better on the author’s part.

And this is why these agents are on my “dream list.” Because if they take the time to write something personal to me, an author they are not taking on as a client, what on earth must they do for their clients? I’m reminded of the movie Jerry Maguire, about an agent whoWilliam_Catherine_balcony_wave got fired for wanting to personalize the sports management industry. Tom Cruise bent over backwards for his client, and I believe these agents who take the time to give encouragement and even feedback to writers they are not taking on, must treat their authors like royalty.

The rejection I received that Wednesday gave me just such feedback about why the agent wasn’t taking the project on. Advice that I can use to revise my work should I choose to do so. One of my cardinal rules is to send a thank you email as soon as possible to thank them for their time and consideration. And this time, I even told the agent that one reason I kept querying her was because she always sent such helpful rejections with feedback and told her I could use her advice to revise the book and I hoped her assessment that it would only take a little more for the characters to work was true. She emailed me back immediately, saying that if I did indeed decide to revise in the areas she had pointed out, she would want to take another look at the book. And if I didn’t, she would love to look at anything else I had to send her.

This rejection kept me smiling all day. And thinking about how I might revise the book to entice this agent to take a chance on me.

Pretty good for a rejection, don’t you think?

Posted in On Writing | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Jenna’s 411 ~ 11/18/14

Welcome! I’m back with this week’s installment of Jenna’s 411.

Book Chat

NOT the cover, but I needed an image :)

NOT the cover, but I needed an image :)

Not much news on the book front for me this week.  I did send off final content edits for Only Marriage Will Do and can expect them back in a couple of weeks. My editor seems to think they will be an easy line edit (from her mouth to God’s ears). From what I can tell the release date is still May of 2015, but I know that can change.  And I’ll keep you up to date on when you can expect the cover reveal.  I’ve seen the cover and it is absolutely delicious.  Perfect for this story.  Can’t wait to share it with you!


On the Home Front:  Sick Kitty

While I was working day and night at my production, my newest kitty, Sebastian (who I20140916_234050_resized got from Ella Quinn earlier this year), got sick.  He stopped eating and started drooling, so we took him to the vet and found out he has gingivitis.  A week later he’s still not eating like he once was and I’m very worried about him. I tried baby food but he doesn’t like it.  I’ve been giving him shredded food instead of his usual paté because he will lick the gravy and eat some of the shreds which are soft. I’m not sure what to try next. But he is a good patient–he takes his medicine very well.  I just hope he gets his appetite back soon.


Jenna Fun Fact of the Week

800px-USMC-101210-M-5623T-086I spent most of the Saturday mornings of my childhood  bowling on a youth league.  My best friend and I were on the same team and teamed up in doubles for tournaments.  For my 10th birthday I got a bowling ball, bright blue with my initials engraved on it.  My highest game ever was a 200.  Not bad for a 12 year-old!

That’s all  for this week.  See you next Wednesday with more  news from Jenna!


Posted in Jenna's 411 | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Spotlight: Love’s Legacy by Joan Avery



Grenada, British West Indies, 1875

English plantation owner Geoffrey Worth has misgivings about hiring an American widow as a governess. But while Geoffrey longs to forget the past—and the daughter who reminds him of it daily—there is still duty to consider. And Bellefleur, his plantation. This is his life now. Warmth, family, love; these things only bring pain. And scars he’ll carry forever…

Elizabeth Malfonte is certainly not the aged widow he had anticipated. She’s young and beautiful, with a determination that wakes something deep within Geoffrey. Yet Elizabeth hides her own secret―the babe within her womb. And despite Geoffrey’s handsome―yet scarred face―her new employer has a cold and unforgiving nature that unsettles her, even as Elizabeth’s wariness slowly heats to desire.

But the bright beauty of this land is no match for the dark, ominous clouds of the past…

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Buy Links:

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About the Author:  Joan Avery was an award-winning writer/producer at a major national advertising agency for over fifteen years before she retired to raise a family and write. Joan has been blessed with a daughter, two sons and two stepsons. She and her husband now have five grandchildren. Although she has lived in the Detroit area her entire life she has traveled extensively for both work and leisure. She and her husband, an attorney, have visited many fascinating parts of the world. Joan feels her travels enrich her writing. THE WORTH BROTHERS TRILOGY takes place in three of her favorite places.





Posted in Book Spotlights, Promotion, Spotlights | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Alphabet Post: U is for Underwear

Women's Panties

Women’s Panties

Here’s a brief history of underwear to start off your week. :)



Underwear, garments worn underneath outer garments, has been in existence for thousands of years. The first form was the simple loincloth that covered men’s genitals, in evidence 7,000 years ago. In fact, more than this simple undergarment was deemed unnecessary by most people until the Middle Ages.

By the Medieval period, men’s clothing had changed and men acquired



several new undergarments. Braies were a loose-fitting pant-like garment that men stepped into, then tied at the waist and around the calves. Wealthier men wore chausses, worn only on the legs and again tied at the waist. These were eventually replaced by hose that in the Renaissance were



adorned with a codpiece, a pouch covering the genitals that was also meant to accentuate that area.

What we would deem women’s underwear does not come on the scene until the Renaissance. Previously women would have worn a chemise, a shirt-like garment made of linen worn next to the skin that could be laundered easier than the costly silk and velvet outer garments. At this time women also acquired stays, a garment of linen stiffened with buckram, whalebone, reeds or canes that flattened their breasts.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, stays changed to be more lightly boned and were called

18th century corset

18th century corset

corsets. In the Regency period they were more relaxed, less constricting. By the Victorian era, when a wasp waist was the cornerstone of beauty, they became extremely constrictive. Corsets remained the major women’s undergarment until the 20th century when the liberty bodice gave them more freedom.

In the 19th century, women also acquired pantalettes or pantaloons, crotchless underwear designed to hide the legs and provide warmth under the huge bell-shaped gowns of the period.



The modern brassiere was invented in 1913 by Mary Phelps Jacob and caught on during World War I when metal for boning corsets was in short supply.

Men and women’s underwear changed constantly during the 20th century as the garments became increasingly more comfortable due to new fabrics. Modern underwear came about



largely in the 1930s. Men’s briefs and boxer shorts, women’s girdle and bra all became popular in the 30s. By the 1960s and 70s underwear was touted for its sex appeal rather than its durability.



Current popular items include the G-string and thong for women and boxer briefs for men.



So what style do you prefer?

Posted in Alphabet Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Jenna’s 411

Welcome! I’m back with this week’s installment of Jenna’s 411.

Sorry I’ve been AWOL the past two weeks, working on my production.  But now the play is over and I’m hopefully back on track. So on with a brand new, long delayed 411.

tetl-frontXBook Chat

In the midst of my hectic life, I read a post on one of my loops that the 2015 RITA awards contest was open for entries.  This is  the RWA’s Oscars for published works, except you can self-nominate your own books. So I did!   I nominated Time Enough to Love for the 2015 RITA awards. :) I’ll find out in March if I made it to the finals, and while I’m not holding my breath, it’s really exciting to be part of this contest.  Wish me luck!


Podium1On the Home Front:  Madame President

This past Saturday my local RWA chapter held elections for the chapter Board for 2015.  I’d already served on the Board a couple of years ago for two years as VP of Programs.  But this year, as we are a small chapter and RWA rules about who can run for office are rather strict, I ended up being nominated for and elected President for the next year.  It’s going to be a challenge, given my work schedule and my writing, but the alternative was unacceptable (possible disbanding of the chapter) so I stepped up and will make the chapter one of my priorities in 2015.  Again, wish me luck!  I’m pretty excited about it, especially as I dislike speaking in front of  groups, so it will be an education in public speaking which will probably do me good. I will keep you posted.

Jenna Fun Fact of the Week

I spent my honeymoon under water. That’s right, my husband and I went to Florida forFlickr_-_JennyHuang_-_I_love_deep_blue two weeks to scuba dive on our honeymoon.  It was absolutely fantastic–we did 14 dives in 14 days, usually 2 dives per day.  We dove on things as diverse as reefs, a Rolls Royce, a sunken ship.  And our last dive was a “shark dive” where we were supposed to go down 140 feet to swim with sharks.  An equipment malfunction caused us to miss that dive, but it was exciting nonetheless.  That was my last dive, and it’s still a fantastic memory.



That’s all  for this week.  Let’s hope this next week is as productive!  Come back next Wednesday for more  news from Jenna!




Posted in Jenna's 411 | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Interview with Gina Danna ~ Great and Unfortunate Desires

Gina_036Today I’m so excited to have my good friend Gina Danna under the gun in a quickie interview (so she can get back to writing these sexy historicals!).

1.  What was your inspiration for this story? Its a bit complicated – my agent at the time I started it wanted me to go back & write another novel on lords & ladies. I didn’t want to do a Regency mainly cuz I was intrigued by Sherlock Holmes (RDJ movie version – with Jude Law as Watson) the movie where Sherlock talks about Watson’s walking stick & how it involved his military & Afghanistan. That got me researching and finding out about The Great War, which is Britain and Russia fighting in Afghanistan – it was all over Russia wanting to take the wealth of India from Great Britain.

2.  Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and what qualities do they possess that makes them memorable? Wow, I have many that I consider my favorite hero. One driving factor is they are complex characters, not just a role.

3.  Who has been the greatest influence in your writing? Probably my significant other. He’s my greatest supporter, can push me even when he doesn’t know it and makes me dig deeper, making my characters greater in depth of complexity, making them more real. He makes me tap into my emotions, forming those feelings into words.

4.  Do you have plans for a sequel to the book? Probably not; will probably write about this period, the late 19th century but probably not Tristan & Evelyn.

5.  What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done? Probably working all summer as a living historian, firing cannons and entertaining guests at Vicksburg National Military Park – moving there, playing with explosives, etc.

6.  What is your favorite amusement park ride? Rollercoaster. I was terrified of them when I was young but now they’re my favorite!

7.  Tea or Coffee? Coffee

8.  Boxers or briefs? (or Commando?) Boxers – they’re sexier than hell!

And now here the blurb and  the gorgeous cover for Great and Unfortunate Desires:


Victorian England c. 1870

Operating as a British spy, Tristan St.James, the new Marquis of Wrenworth, barely escapes Afghanistan with his life in the spring of 1869. He plans to seek vengeance against the traitor who exposed him and for the agent he’s forced to kill. Returning to England, as a lord, he must marry. Haunted by guilt from the horrors of war, he avoids love at all costs, but finds himself drawn to the only woman who is disinterested in him.

Lady Evelyn Hurstine has waited over two years for the return of her love, a man who left for war in the East. But during that time, she suffered a brutal assault, resulting in a child and fear of any man touching her except for the man she once knew. The pursuit by the marquis scares her but her excuses against his proposal dwindle.

Their marriage strengthens into love until she discovers her husband isn’t the safety she believed but the one who killed the man she once loved. Caught in a world of intrigue and mayhem, Tristan must prove his love to her before the traitor destroys them both.

Great and Unfortunate Desires is available at

Amazon –




Author Bio:

A USA Today Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she has found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream —her Arabian horse—With him, her muse can play.

Contact Gina on Website   Facebook  Twitter.



Posted in Author/Character Interviews, Book Spotlights, Guest Bloggers, Historical Romance, Interviews, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments