Happy Thanksgiving!

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I hope you are all surrounded by family and friends, enjoying good home cooking or a gourmet meal out. But always with those you love around you.

I’m at my aunt’s house in Central Virginia today.  Family from North and South have converged on her house for a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal.  Everyone has brought their own special dish–mine is collards, my Dad’s secret recipe.  I’m sure I will eat too much, but I’m not going to regret it one minute afterwards. :)

Below is a video of my favorite Thanksgiving hymn.  I post it each year because to me it holds the spirit of the holiday.  Hope you have a safe and happy one!


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

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Jenna’s 411 ~ 11/26/14

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

Book Chat

120px-Paperback-stackEven less news on the book front for me this week.  I’ve been working on edits to the book I should be getting the rights back to next week.  I’m hoping to re-release it by the end of December.  Next week, if I’ve received the rights, there should be a cover reveal right here. :)


On the Home Front:  Sad News

Sebastian in St. Thomas

Sebastian in St. Thomas

I am so saddened to report that our sick kitty, Sebastian, passed away on Sunday night.  We had taken him to the vet Saturday morning because he was still not eating and so  very weak. The vet said he had gone into kidney failure and he tried to give him fluids to maybe reverse it, but didn’t hold out much hope.  We got the call Monday morning.

Although we are heartbroken at his passing, we are so grateful that he came into our lives even for a little while.  As I said in my first 411 he was a charmer and very debonair–I thought of him as the Cary Grant of cats.  He loved water, would jump into the bath tub after one of us had taken a shower and lick the water from the spigot. Same thing in the bathroom sink.  We called him the “Water Boy” when we petted his wet little head.

Sleep well, good boy.  Rest in Peace.


Jenna Fun Fact of the Week

Meet Precious

Meet Precious

I suppose it’s no surprise that I am a cat person.  Growing up I had only three dogs but hundreds of cats.  After I got married, one morning my husband and found a young cat, a gray tabby, lounging on my husband’s motorcycle.  We adopted him and Henry became our first pet together. Then we decided Henry needed a companion and adopted Ellie, a brown tabby. At the end of that summer I happened to be in an animal shelter and saw a sweet black and white kitty that I just had to rescue, and Kodi (short for Kodak) came to live with us.  Our menagerie was complete we thought until a litter of five kittens whose mother had died insisted that we adopt them. So we ended up with eight cats in one very small house. That was a very   long time ago and all of those cat have passed on except one.  One of the litter is still with us:  Precious.  She was 21 years old in April–even older than my children.  And still going strong.

Well, that’s it for this week.  I hope to have better and brighter news for you next time.


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Alphabet Post: V is for Vamp


No, not vampire, but something just as sexy.

A vamp is a seductive woman, one who uses her sexual attractiveness for the seduction and manipulation of others, according to the Urban Dictionary.

Think of all those Bond girls like Honey Ryder, Plenty O’Toole, Mary Goodnight, and Alison DoodyPussy Galore (the name says it all!).  They were vamps trying to seduce the #1 sexy agent of all time.

532px-Ona_Munson_in_Gone_with_the_WindIn literature the role has also been called the femme fatale, “a woman who, while not necessarily attractive, has a certain allure (usually this striking, exotic, overtly sexy glamour), and is usually a heartless, man-eating seductress.”


I always think of Belle Watling in Gone With the Wind.  Or some of Mae West’s Mae_West_LATroles in film.  The femme fatale is usually the counterpoint to the fresh, wholesome and naïve ingenue role.



Back in the day, The Sonny & Cher Show had a feature called “Vamp” that had very campy skits about different vamps throughout history.  Below is  a sample I thought you might enjoy. :)


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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?

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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!


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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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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.

Website: http://www.joanavery.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1574046.Joan_Avery



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