Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 01/17/21 Only A Mistress Will Do ~ The Interview

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week I’m continuing snippets from my upcoming re-release Only A Mistress Will Do, Book 3 of the House of Pleasure series. I’ve recently gotten the rights back to this book and am eagerly awaiting re-publication as an indie release at the end of January.

NEW BLURB:

Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.

Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.

This snippet continues on from last week, although I’m skipping ahead a few paragraphs to Violet’s interview with Madame Vestry, who speaks first in this snippet.

EXCERPT:

“You have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.

“Yes, ma’am, as of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to,” a sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her, “nothing else of value.”

Except herself.

“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.

Violet straightened her skirts as best she could; suddenly stiff and self-conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting–she clenched her hands and averted her eyes.

“Turn please.”

Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.

In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod and said, “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton–with a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons so I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”

And now to finish the scene :

Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.

The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”

Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.

“Lie down on the sofa please.”

“What? Why?”

“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”

Only A Mistress Will Do is now available for pre-sale for just $1.99 on Amazon and set to release on January 29! After release the price will increase to $3.99.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

The House of Pleasure series

by Jenna Jaxon

Posted in Blog Hops, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Only A Mistress Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

New Release: The Last Dragon by Daryl Devore

My good friend and fellow author Daryl Devore has just released a medieval romance that I can’t wait to read: The Last Dragon.

I’ve asked Daryl to talk a little bit about the book and specifically about the dragons in the book. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!

Dragons

by Daryl Devore

Few words invoke a medieval visual as strong as knight or dragon. Dragon lore has existed for eons. Delving into the mythology of dragons is a very deep chasm, in which you can get lost for days. (Been there. Done that.)

But what I discovered, is that because there are so many variations in the lore that the dragons I was creating were within the bounds of mythology.

This is the first time I’ve written a fantasy and I know the lovers of this genre LOVE their knights, maidens, demons and creatures. I knew I had to step-up, or face the wrath of an angry dragon… uh, I meant reader.

In The Last Dragon, the legend states there was a sorcerer who craved absolute power. He merged with a dragon. The power was too great and he divided into three dragons.

Lean in a little closer and I’ll let you in on an inside secret. In the original draft, the sorcerer only broke into two dragons. I teach a beginner’s writers course at our local library and at the end of the course they presented me with a statue of a dragon. (I might have mentioned my story once or twice.)

After thanking them, I said that I’d have to incorporate the dragon into the story and the third dragon, Demora, was created. I love the addition as it adds an unexpected twist near the end of the story.

There is a new story being written, which is an off-shoot of The Last Dragon, and now I’m researching other mythological creatures; faeries, imps, trolls, pixies… the list is endless. So, possibly there are many more stories to come.

Which is your favorite mythological creature?

Excerpt:

Hawkyns raised his head. “The dragon is named Demora. He was the first dragon to be called.”

“Or she.” Derry’s voice was playful.

Pariset stifled a chuckle.

“Or she.” Hawkyns glanced sideways at her, a smile hovering on his mouth. “Demora was the protector of a kingdom called… Rothen-Od-Ta. A neighboring war faring kingdom attacked. Their knights stormed the castle. The king was killed. The people attacked Demora, angry that… she… had not protected their liege.”

He turned the sheaf of vellum. “Come look. It is a drawing of the dragon. The tapestry spoke the truth. He…”

Derry lowered her head to hide her smile.

Hawkyns continued, “He… is large and fierce-looking.”

Pariset and she stared at the page. The reddish-brown of the dragon’s scales against the gold and black designs drawn on the page showed a powerful beast.

“It says, he disappeared for many years then returned to Rothen-od-Ta and controlled everyone.”

“How?” Derry wished she could read the scribbles.

Hawkyns shook his head. He flipped between two pages. “See here. Sheafs of vellum have been ripped out. There is a bit here. It speaks of taking the will away.” He looked up and shrugged.

After reading several more pages, Hawkyns raised his head. “Ayrradex and Yidithe are mentioned. Ayrradex is the most vicious. Yidithe is the protector.”

Derry felt the heat of blush on her cheeks.

“The pages continue with stories of battles with dragons, but they become muddled like the hairs on a horse’s tail. Many nights reading ahead with great stories to tell.” Hawkyns closed the book and placed his hand on the cover. “Aye, Pariset. I fear there is another dragon.”

Blurb:

What do dragons, knights and romance have in common? Grab a copy of multi-published author Daryl Devore’s medieval fantasy romance – The Last Dragon and discover the answer.

A sorcerer craving dominance merged with a dragon, the power overwhelmed him causing him to split into three dragons. Demora ruled thought, but was lost in time. Yidithe offered protection, shining like the light of the sun. Ayrradex craved chaos, revelling in destroying souls.

Many knights died, attempting to slay the devil beast. One knight, Prince Hawkyns, did not fear death. He’d lost everything. Away on a mission when Ayrradex attacked his father’s kingdom, Penrythe, Hawkyns returned to find his noble father – feeble and defeated. His wise mother – crazed. His beautiful wife and unborn child – dead. Only a pile of ashes remained for him to bury. He knelt before his King and vowed to slay the devil-beast or be slain.

Derry was born with powers that terrified her parents. They delivered her to a nunnery to be raised in secret. Jathe, a wise sorceress, discovered the young girl and trained her to one day use the secret hidden in her soul.

Legends spoken around campfires hinted the sole way to destroy Ayrradex was when the hearts of a knight and a golden dragon became one. But after a vicious battle with Ayrradex, the golden dragon was thought to be dead.

Can Prince Hawkyns’s bravery and Derry’s powers end the reign of the devil-beast’s terror?

Buy Links:

Amazon – ebook – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QPW4CVF

Amazon – print – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QRVJ59P

Books2read – universal link – ebook – https://books2read.com/The-Last-Dragon

Books2read –universal link – print –  https://books2read.com/The-Last-Dragon-

BookSprout – read and review – link pending

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/daryldevore2013/the-last-dragon/

 

Bio and Social Media

Two writers in one. Daryl Devoré writes hot romances with sexy heroes and strong heroines and sweet romances with little to no heat. She has several published books available on Amazon in ebook or print book and available at other book retailers via Books2Read.

Daryl (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and 2 cats. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.

Get in touch with Daryl!

Blog – Romance – Sweet to Heat

Twitter

Bi-monthly Newsletter

Pinterest

Instagram

Facebook

Website

Amazon Author Page

GoodReads Author Page

LinkedIn

Book Bub

 

Posted in Book Spotlights, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cover Reveal: Only A Mistress Will Do

At long last (I’ve waited for this cover for five long years), I am thrilled to present to you the cover for book three of the House of Pleasure series, Only A Mistress Will Do.

 

The moment I saw this pose on Period Images, I knew what my cover should look like. However, Kensington, the original publisher of the book, had a different brand in mind, so my perfect cover had to wait until I regained the rights to the book this past December. Now my dream cover is reality at last and is a true representation of the passionate and tumultuous relation between Violet Carlton and Tristan, Lord Trevor.

Here’s the new blurb for their incredible romance:

BLURB:

Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.

Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.

And here’s an excerpt to give you an idea about Violet and Tristan’s relationship.

EXCERPT:

“You are pleased, miss?” Susan beamed with satisfaction.

“I cannot believe it is the same dress. The same me.” Violet couldn’t take her eyes off the image in the mirror.

“Lord Trevor has always been pleased with my efforts for his mistresses.”

Violet froze, the smile still on her lips.

“His last one, Miss Starke, was delighted as well. She wished for me to go with her when she left, but unfortunately could not afford to employ me.” Pinning up a final curl, Susan gave a nod of approval to Violet’s coiffure. “So I was happy to receive his lordship’s summons last night.”

Violet’s mouth had dried. The roaring in her ears kept her standing, staring at the image in the mirror. Mistress.

“Shall I draw a bath for you for after breakfast? Do you know if Lord Trevor will require you today?” The maid had bundled up the cloak and put her satchel in the wardrobe. “I will take this down and bring up fresh linens before you have done.” She looked pointedly at the door.

Still unable to form a word, Violet made herself turn from the mirror and walk stiffly down the stairs. Mistress. He had said she would be that, but in name only. Had it been true? She’d believed him last night, but now…. Taking hold of herself, she continued toward the murmur of voices at the bottom of the stairs. The room to the left seemed a parlor, empty save for a sofa, end tables, and the chair she remembered sitting in last night. Apparently, she’d fallen asleep. Then how had she awakened upstairs?

She turned toward the right hand room, and away from all thoughts of that question.

“Well, if Gates has taken another position, I cannot blame the man.” Seated at the small dining table, Lord Trevor, impeccably groomed and dressed in an elegant suit of dark blue wool, raised a cup his lips. Coffee to judge by the savory aroma. He spoke to a footman who nodded at regular intervals. “However, I must have a butler nonetheless. Put your ear to the ground, Thomas, and come up with some sort of solution. There must be one butler in London currently without a position.”

When she entered, the quiet young man stood even straighter.

Lord Trevor marked the man’s movement, noted her, and rose. “Miss Carlton.” He stopped, his mouth still slightly open, but wordless.

What was wrong? A thousand possibilities bloomed in Violet’s imagination. Fearful her dress had suddenly popped open at the site of the repair, she glanced down. When she raised her head, Lord Trevor had managed to close his mouth, but that hungry look still smoldered in his eyes.

“Miss Carlton, excuse me.” He cleared his throat, sipped the coffee, and tried again. “Please be seated.” He pulled out the chair next to him. “Another plate, Thomas.”

With a lurching bow, the footman hurried out of the room.

“I trust you slept well? I apologize for the lack of creature comforts. However, you look as though the night’s adversities never happened.” His sapphire gaze hadn’t left her face since she entered the room. “You are a most beautiful woman.”

Heat rose in her cheeks. “Susan is a very skilled ladies’ maid, my lord. She believes me to be your current mistress and insisted on turning me out for your satisfaction.” The words were a challenge. Let him deny what he would.

“I beg your pardon, Miss Carlton. I wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed.” Lord Trevor sat back in his chair, shoulders sagging. “I’m in two minds about the situation, you see.” He folded his napkin and laid it neatly on the table before looking at her. “What we do not wish to happen is for anyone to discover I’m keeping you here. You’d be as ruined as if you were found at Madame Vestry’s, no matter the true circumstances. Last night I had no choice but to bring you here, since you had no companion or maid and could scarcely be left alone. It may be that in several days I can move you to more suitable lodgings. With Susan accompanying you it may serve.”

“Thank you, my lord.”

Thomas entered with a plate filled with sausage, smoked herring, grilled kidneys, potatoes, and hot rolls. Enough food to feed her for a week.

She inhaled and the rich scent of the kidneys mingled with the yeasty smell of the rolls made her sway. A quick indulgence before she shook off the delicious distraction. “That is most kind of you. However, why did you tell her I am your mistress?” Violet forced herself to remain calm. Lord Trevor seemed to trust the maid to remain silent, so she must as well.

He shrugged and sipped his coffee again. “I told her only that I wished to employ her services again, immediately, for a guest at Lammas House. She assumed our relationship based on past occupants.”

“Then you don’t intend to make me your mistress, Lord Trevor?” Her voice came out harder than she had intended, but she was coiled like a spring inside.

“Would you like to be, Miss Carlton?”

Only A Mistress Will Do is on pre-order on Amazon for the pre-sale price of $1.99. It releases on January 29, 2021, at which time it will revert to the regular price of $3.99.

 

 

Posted in Cover Art, Cover Reveal, House of Pleasure Series, New Release, Only A Mistress Will Do | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 01/10/21 Only A Mistress Will Do ~ “What’s Yer Name?”

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week I’m continuing snippets from my upcoming re-release Only A Mistress Will Do, Book 3 of the House of Pleasure series. I’ve recently gotten the rights back to this book and am eagerly awaiting re-publication as an indie release at the end of January.

As promised, here is the new cover!

 

Isn’t it steamy and gorgeous? 🙂

NEW BLURB:

Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.

Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.

This snippet continues on from last week, at the very beginning of the book, where Violet is attempting to gain employment at The House of Pleasure.

EXCERPT:

The appraisal stung, but was probably fair. She’d come down fast in the months since her grandmother’s death. Her possessions long gone, her wardrobe—reduced to two dresses and a well-worn cloak—had been sold, leaving her with only the dress she stood up in. These clothes wouldn’t fetch a shilling in a secondhand shop now.

The servant girl nodded to Willie. “Close the door before we freeze to death, jingle-brains. Come on.” She led Violet out of the foyer. “I’ll ask if Madame will see you. But she won’t be happy being woke up this early, you can bet your dippers on that. What’s yer name?”

The last thing she wanted was to antagonize her future employer. Still, she couldn’t risk waiting until later. “Miss Carlton. Violet Carlton.”

And now to finish the scene :

Taking a firm grip on herself, she followed the girl down a shadowy hallway until she motioned her into an equally dim reception room. “Wait here.” The girl turned on her heel and left.

Violet let out the breath she’d been holding. She hadn’t fainted yet, though her empty stomach had tied itself in knots. The pain meant she was alive and by God she intended to stay that way.

Only A Mistress Will Do is now available for pre-sale for just $1.99 on Amazon and set to release on January 29! After release the price will increase to $3.99.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

The House of Pleasure series

by Jenna Jaxon

 

Posted in Blog Hops, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Only A Mistress Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Winter Frolics in Regency London: The Last Frost Fair

Today is the first Wednesday in January, therefore it’s my “day” over on Historical Hussies.  To celebrate winter (which we’ve not had enough of here in Virginia), I decided to do a post on a very chilly subject, the last Frost Fair in London, which happened in February 1814.

 

If you’d like to head over to Historical Hussies to read about this fascinating bit of winter follies, click here.

 

Posted in Historical Hussies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 01/03/20 Only A Mistress Will Do ~

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week I’m continuing snippets from my upcoming re-release Only A Mistress Will Do, Book 3 of the House of Pleasure series. I’ve recently gotten the rights back to this book and am eagerly awaiting re-publication as an indie release at the end of January.  A new cover will be forthcoming in early January, so I’m using this place-holder cover until then.

 

NEW BLURB:

Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.

Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.

This snippet continues on from last week, at the very beginning of the book.

EXCERPT:

“I need to see her now.” She raised her voice, threw her weight against the rough boards, and despite her small stature, she was stronger. He staggered back and she fell into a narrow back foyer with a row of coat hooks and the devastating yeasty smell of baking bread. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled–she hadn’t eaten for days.

Blonde hair straggling from under a mobcap, a girl, maybe fourteen, rushed into the room. “What the hell’s going on in here Willie?” She wiped her hands on her apron, streaked with flour and grease. Warily, her gaze shifted from Willie to Violet and asked, “Who are you?”

“I’ve come to see Madame Vestry,” Violet focused on the girl’s narrowed eyes, “I need to talk to her, please.” Her heart gave a sickening lurch.

And now to finish the scene :

In one practiced glance, the girl took in her appearance, from what used to be her second-best hat to the rumpled and stained deep-purple dress to her scuffed black boots, and sniffed. “I see you do.”

Only A Mistress Will Do is now available for pre-sale for just $1.99 on Amazon and set to release on January 29! After release the price will increase to $3.99.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

The House of Pleasure series

by Jenna Jaxon

 

 

Posted in Blog Hops, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Only A Mistress Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 12/27/20 Only A Mistress Will Do ~ “What You Doin’ Here?”

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week I’m beginning snippets from my upcoming re-release Only A Mistress Will Do, Book 3 of the House of Pleasure series. I’ve recently gotten the rights back to this book and am eagerly awaiting republication as an indie release at the end of January.  A new cover will be forthcoming in early January, so I’m using this place-holder cover until then.

 

NEW BLURB:

Friendless and destitute, Miss Violet Carlton has no choice but to seek work in London’s most notorious brothel, The House of Pleasure. She steels herself for her ultimate ruin at the hands of her first customer, only to be offered a reprieve in the form of a position as the gentleman’s mistress—in name only. Grateful for his benevolence, Violet agrees to the proposition and enjoys the life of a pampered courtesan—until her dashing rescuer puts her heart in jeopardy. Violet’s growing desire for the gentleman must be squashed when she discovers he belongs to another woman.

Tristan, Lord Trevor enters the House of Pleasure bent on a final night of carousing before donning the leg-shackle of marriage. To his shock, he recognizes the woman in his bed as a lady of the ton and resolves to save her from life in a brothel. After whisking her away under his protection, Tris endeavors to find her a husband, to secure her future and stem his own intense longing for the beautiful woman. With growing anguish Tris fears he can never make Violet his own for the impediment of his coming marriage pales in comparison to the secret he must hide from her or risk her loathing him for the rest of their lives.

This snippet is from the very beginning of the book.

EXCERPT:

Shivering in the brisk wind cutting straight through her thin gown, Violet Carlton trudged across the small dirt-packed backyard, littered with tufts of dead grass and scattered brown and red leaves. Teeth clenched to stop their chattering, she mounted the short three steps of the back stoop, straightened her shoulders, and rapped three times on the dull gray door of the silvery clapboard house. Beyond the weathered board fence of the house next door a dog barked, but no one stirred. No prying eyes to witness her shame.

The door opened a crack, and a lad of about twelve stuck his head out. “What you doin’ ’ere this time o’ day?”

“I would like to speak with Madame Vestry, please.” Perhaps she should have waited until later in the morning. Such an establishment would obviously keep late hours. But the ache in her belly had forced her here as soon as the sun had risen.

And now to finish the scene :

“She’s still sleep. Come back later today.” He started to push the door closed but Violet rammed her boot between it and the jamb. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back. If she didn’t do this now, she wouldn’t have the courage, or the strength, to come back.

Only A Mistress Will Do will be available for pre-sale on Amazon later this week!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

The House of Pleasure series

by Jenna Jaxon

 

 

Posted in Blog Hops, Historical Romance, House of Pleasure Series, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Only A Mistress Will Do, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Merry Christmas! A Very Frenchie Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas on this blessed day!

Our family is very grateful to be together for this special holiday and even more so for the addition to our family of Frenchis (French Toast formally), our new SharpEagle (Sharpei-Beagle mix).

Frenchie was a Christmas present for my husband, who missed our daughter’s dog, Severus, once they moved out of the house. We searched literally from coast to coast to find a smallish dog who was a young adult of medium size. It took me and my daughters two months to find her, but we (and she) now feel so blessed.

Frenchie

Frenchie is about 4 years old, is spayed and microchipped, housebroken, and ignores our three cats. She plays really well with Severus (who visits frequently) and loves to play in her backyard (which my husband calls “The Outback.”) She is, in short, the perfect dog for us. She loves people and loves to be petted and spoiled. She came from a not very good home-life and after hearing her sad story, we were even more determined to adopt this loveable girl and give her the life she deserves. She has made our Christmas very, very special this year.

So here is wishing you Merry Christmas once more. I hope all your Christmas wishes come true as perfectly as ours have!

 

Posted in Holiday Posts | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Seduction at the Christmas Court ~ A Royal Christmas Feast

Today I’m continuing with Christmas snippets from my medieval romance novella Seduction at the Christmas Court.

So far the snippets began with a boar hunt some days before Christmas in 1349. Geoffrey, Lord Longford and his wife Alyse have been summoned to the King’s Christmas court and this is the King’s favorite sport.

Today I’m switching to the Christmas Day feast, replete with the hunt’s bounty. A feast fit for a king, as it were.

Available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

BLURB:

Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?

EXCERPT:


The Great Hall was alive with bustling servants, finely dressed men and even finer ladies, a troupe of merry minstrels plying their trade with harps, fiddles, and flutes to entertain the company as they ate. The royal family looked on benevolently from the dais. Despite the cold outside, the warmth of many bodies, mingled with the roaring fires at either end of the hall and all the flickering torches and candles, transformed the empty space into a cozy place.

Geoffrey led them to their places while Alyse craned her neck, eagerly peering about. Even though she’d lived at court for many months, she’d never been to such a glittering feast—fragrant candles, strings of green garland glinting with red and gold, platters of gold and silver, bejeweled courtiers dressed as sumptuously as possible. Even the most important banquet she’d attended last year paled in comparison to the display in front of her.

A steady stream of servants brought in platter after platter of food, extravagant dishes she’d never seen before: roasted crabs nestled on a bed of smoked eels, a capon studded with cloves—the beak still attached with a sugared cherry in it—a huge fish on a sea of salad greens, three different birds suspended in a towering aspic, a full peacock looking alive with all of its feathers sitting on a log of burnt sugar. Behind this parade of fantastic food came the boars, four huge pigs, roasted whole with apples stuffed in their mouths, carried in by four servants each. The spectacle took Alyse’s breath away.

The procession of dishes made its way around the tables and Alyse helped herself first to a stewed rabbit pie, the crust so flaky it melted on her tongue.

Geoffrey carved a leg from a pheasant baked with cinnamon and saffron, the tender meat slipping from the bones as he transferred it to his trencher. “I will say I wish for such birds on our estate, Alyse. They would grace our table often if so.”

“Are there no pheasants at Longford?” She spooned up the tender rabbit meat, savory and hot.

“Nay, those birds have never roosted on our lands. ‘Tis a pity.” He bit into the leg with relish.

“Think you the king might allow us to take a dozen or so to Longford to breed for meat?” Alyse scooped up several whitish balls from a passing platter. When she popped one into her mouth the flavor of onion and thyme burst in her mouth. “Mmmm…what are these tasty morsels?”

Geoffrey gave them a glance. “Calves testicles, I believe.”

“They are very good.” Alyse scooped up another one, savoring the delicate flavors.

Servants bearing one of the platters replete with boar stopped before them and Geoffrey

carved slices for both him and Alyse. He lay pieces of meat on their trenchers so large they hung over the sides.

“I think you took too much, my lord.” Alyse surveyed the vast slab of pork and sighed. She could never eat all of it.

“’Twas my boar. We will eat our fill of it.” Geoffrey laughed as he cut a hunk of meat, speared it with his knife, and popped it into his mouth.

“How could you tell ‘twas your boar? There were four killed it seems.” Alyse carefully cut the meat into more manageable pieces, then bit into one good sized chunk and chewed. The rich, juicy pork melted in her mouth. Truly a festive dish.

“I just claimed that one.” Geoffrey washed his mouthful down with a gulp of wine.

Laughing, Alyse savored the rest of her bite, wondering how she could eat two more of the pieces that lay on her plate.

The noisy chatter of well-satisfied guests swirled around them as the meal continued. A second course of succulent meats arrived, followed finally by a stream of towering confections made completely of sugar.

Alyse’s mouth dropped open as the servants carried in an entire nativity scene, complete with Baby Jesus, shepherds, cows, and the three kings riding on camels carved from blocks of sugar.

Geoffrey took one look at her and laughed. He put his finger beneath her chin and closed her mouth. “An ‘twere summer, you’d catch flies, my lady.”

“How wonderful, Geoffrey.” Alyse couldn’t take her eyes off the beautiful creation. “And to think ‘tis made entirely of sugar.”

“A sweet scene indeed.” He rubbed her back and warmth radiated down her body. “A happy mother and Child.” His wistful tone smote her heart.

“Fear not, my love. Soon I will hold your son as does the Blessed Mother yonder.”

“Aye, as God wills it, so it shall be, sweetheart.”

Be sure to return for  next week’s installment of Seduction at the Christmas Court or grab a copy on Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble now!

Time Enough to Love Series

(Available on Amazon, and Free on Kindle Unlimited.)

Posted in Jenna Jaxon, Medieval Monday, Medieval Mondays, On Time Enough to Love, Seduction at the Christmas Court | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 12/20/20 It Happened Beneath the Mistletoe: She Must Summon More Words

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week I’m continuing snippets from my newly released Regency Christmas novella, It Happened Under the Mistletoe. It’s a companion piece to last year’s It Happened at Christmas, and is the story of Roger, Lord Daventry (friend of Nicholas, Lord Benberry from It Happened at Christmas) and Lady Sylvia Montgomery.

 

BLURB:

Christmas magic under the mistletoe…

Roger, Lord Daventry is contemplating a quiet Christmas at his home in Bath—until he literally falls at the feet of beautiful Lady Sylvia Montgomery. He and Lady Sylvia have an immediate attraction, but everyone is leaving London for their country homes for the holidays. Roger says his goodbyes, hoping to meet Sylvia again in the spring.

Lady Sylvia, however, has other plans.

Cajoling her parents into spending Christmas in Bath, Lady Sylvia is thrilled to meet Lord Daventry once more at the city’s Assembly Rooms. She and Roger manage a tryst under the mistletoe and Roger is ready to make a declaration for Sylvia’s hand. But when her father is called away on business, and her brother, Lord Chumleigh, arrives to chaperone Sylvia, Roger recognizes a man from his past who can sabotage his hopes of marriage to Sylvia.

To set the scene, Roger has come with his cousin to a winter’s ball in London to meet the young lady the cousin is enamored of. But Roger loses his cousin in the crowd, and ends up careening around the room, landing on his knees in front of someone in a white gown.

This week I’ve skipped ahead a few paragraphs. Sylvia has just finished a set with another partner and is perplexed that she cannot find Lord Daventry. We are in Sylvia’s POV.

EXCERPT:

The Waltz

“Perhaps I should not have spoken to you of that, my lady–our acquaintance has been extremely short, and we are about to part for several months–so I simply wished for you to know the depth of my admiration for you.”

“Oh.” She must summon more words before the dance ended. “I believe I understand, Lord Daventry. As I think of it, I am glad you did not dance with other ladies this evening.”

His head snapped back toward her, his eyes wide. “You are?”

“Yes.” Her confession came out a whisper.

And now to finish the scene :

The last strains of the waltz ended and, reluctantly, she released his hands.

He tucked hers in the crook of his arm and started them toward her mother.

Still rather dazed, she looked up just in time to see Mamma marching toward them, a mixture of sternness and outrage mingled in her face. Apparently, she’d finally discovered Sylvia had danced her first waltz in public.

“I think we should retire to the supper room, my lord. I believe we are in for a lecture on the scandalous nature of what we have done.” Mamma would likely say little in public, but a great deal in the carriage on the way home.

“As you wish, my lady.” Lord Daventry dutifully turned them to follow the throng descending on the supper room.

Yes, everything seemed to be working out exactly as she wished. Now she simply had to devise a plan to keep those wishes alive.

 

It Happened Under the Mistletoe and other Yuletide Tales, an anthology of five of my Christmas novellas, is available on Amazon for .99 and on Kindle Unlimited for free!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

Christmas Romance Novellas

by Jenna Jaxon

 

Posted in Blog Hops, Christmas stories, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, It Happened Under the Mistletoe, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments