Happy Anniversary! Time to Party!

HAPPY 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME!

Ten years ago today (and I remember the date because it was such a momentous occasion) I began my career as an author of historical romance. It is one of those memories that is so detailed that you feel like it just happened yesterday.

In the spring of 2008 I had directed a production of Macbeth that was so terribly stressful that it made me gluten intolerant. Kicking and screaming I went on a gluten-free diet (back then the food was miserably bad) in July and after six months, just after Christmas, I had a huge surge of creativity. I wanted to direct another show, but it wasn’t my turn and I was desperate to do something to occupy my time that was fun and creative. During the after Christmas sales at Barnes & Noble, I had come across a romance novel by Kathleen Woodiwiss, Everlasting. (I found out later it was her final novel.) I’d read and loved her Wolf and the Dove and Flame and the Flower when I was a teenager, but gave those books up for non-romance writers like Stephen King, John Grisham, and Patricia Cornwell. But I picked up Everlasting, saw that it was set in the medieval period, one of my favorites, and so I bought it.

I started reading it at home and took it to work to finish it, absolutely in love with the hero, Raven. When I finished it, I clearly remember standing at my office desk, holding the book, looking at it and saying out loud, “I think I could write something like that.”

And I sat down at the computer and started to write the novel that became Time Enough to Love.

Seeds of the story had been sown earlier, in October, as I watched a program on the History Channel on The Plague. (I do have a dark and twisty side.) And I remembered a segment that talked about how royalty wasn’t spared by the disease. King Edward III’s daughter, Joanna, left England to go to Spain to wed Prince Pedro. On the way, they stopped in France. She caught the sickness and died in Bordeaux in September 1348. When I decided to write a romance novel, of course it would be set in the medieval period and the story of Princess Joanna sounded tailor made for a romance, although the main characters would be the princess’s courtiers.

The book I began on January 9th I finally finished a little over six months later, on July 28. It was 187,000 words and it had made me laugh and cry and reap the joy of creation.

Ten years later I have revised the original novel (which was hideous in all its head hopping, incorrect comma usage, dangling modifiers, and the like) and turned the book into a series called Time Enough to Love, with currently five books total in the series. The original book was crafted into three longish novellas: Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered. I later added a short story, Beloveds and a Christmas novella, Seduction at the Christmas Court. The original covers were very medieval-esque, with jewel-tone covers and a font that was the epitome of medieval script.

As part of my 10-year celebration, I gave my medieval series a make-over and had the covers re-envisioned to blend better with my brand. Today I’m unveiling the first of those covers, the cover for the complete set of Time Enough to Love:

 

I’ll be revealing the rest of the series one each week in January, so every Wednesday will bring a new cover in the series. Time Enough to Love: The Complete Series includes Betrothal, Betrayal, Beleaguered, and Beloveds (the only place you can now find the short story). Here is the blurb for the whole story:

BLURB:

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

EXCERPT:

“Lady Alyse de Courcy!” King Edward called out again, bringing Alyse’s head up like a startled deer. “Present yourself before the court.”

Alyse shot off her seat. Oh, Lord! She had kept King Edward waiting.

“I beg pardon, sire.” She hurried from behind the table, too aware of all the eyes now on her. As she moved to stand before the king, the low drone of many voices rose around the room.

“Impudent girl.”

“I’d not want to be in her place.”

“Do you think the king will…”

Each snatch of conversation made her heart beat faster.

What will he do to me?

Her normal embarrassment at being the center of attention tripled at the thought of this blatant lapse of protocol. She stopped several feet from the dais and the room hushed as though everyone held their breath.

“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.

King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”

Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.

“Rise, my lady.”

She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”

Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.

King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”

Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”

King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.

Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.

Thomas.

In her mind, she heard the word.

The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.

“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”

Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.

Not Lord Braeton.

Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.

God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not.

Time Enough to Love is available on sale at the following e-retailers for $2.99 until January 31:

Amazon      Barnes & Noble    Apple    Kobo    Smashwords

And now I have promised you fun and games today! So to begin with, leave a comment below and one random commenter will receive an e-book copy of Time Enough to Love and another commenter will receive a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.

And if you click here there is a Rafflecopter giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon gift card. All you need do is enter (there are several ways to get chances) to have a chance to win. Drawing will be held on January 31st.

Also, come back today at noon for a chance at different prizes and a look into how scent and the sense of smell played such a big part in the book.

TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE SERIES:

 

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Giveaways, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 01/06/18 Time Enough to Love: “Where is he?”

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!

This coming Wednesday, January 9, I will be celebrating my 10-year anniversary as a writer! To celebrate I’ll be having a big anniversary party on my blog that day, with games and giveaways and revealing my new set of covers for the first books I wrote, the Time Enough to Love series. So I thought I’d begin January with the beginning of the book  (the series was originally intended to be one book). This is the cover of the print edition. You’ll have to wait for next week for the brand new version. 🙂

 

I’m beginning at the beginning. It is 1348 in England, at the court of King Edward III. Edward’s daughter, Princess Joanna, is about to journey to Spain to marry Prince Pedro. This is the story of some of the princess’s courtiers.

(Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules and snippet may therefore be slightly different from published version.)

Princess with her Courtiers

Where is he? Furtive looks up and down the Hall proved futile.

Despite her distraction, she managed to maintain the proper distance behind Princess Joanna as they headed toward the royal dais at the end of the Hall. As they neared his usual table, Alyse craned her neck, searching the various groups of nobles–he was not there. Her heart gave a strange little skip, and her lips quivered as disappointment washed over her; she had waited all day for this one chance and now he had not appeared.

The princess continued to her accustomed place with the royal family while Alyse turned toward the trestle tables set up on the left side of the Hall for the attendants; she joined Lady Maurya Wakefield and her husband Sir John at the table closest to the dais, all the while busily searching the courtiers.

“Your father has still not sent word?”

A sharp poke in her arm made Alyse jump. “Oh, I beg pardon, Maurya, but no, he has not given me the merest hint,” she replied absently as she scrutinized a new courtier entering the Hall.

Not him.

BLURB:  

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Time Enough to Love is available on Amazon .

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

Time Enough to Love series by Jenna Jaxon

 

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Winners from My Release Parties!

Congratulations Winners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINNERS OF

A MATCH MADE AT CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY

S. ELIZABETH M. ABBOTT ~ GIFT CARD

SANDY FEHR ~ CARDINAL ORNAMENT

JACQUIE BIGGAR ~ COPY OF A MATCH MADE AT CHRISTMAS

 

WINNERS OF

WHAT A WIDOW WANTS GIVEAWAY

 

ED HOORNAERT ~ GIFT CARD

SILVATREND ~ SIGNED COPY OF WHAT A WIDOW WANTS

 

Thank you all so much for attending my release parties! I’ll be contacting you all shortly about how to deliver your prizes.

Please come back and help me celebrate my 10-year author anniversary on January 9! Food, fun, and giveaways throughout the day as I reveal the new cover for my medieval series Time Enough to Love!

Posted in A Match Made at Christmas, Giveaways, Release Party, What a Widow Wants, What a Widow Wants, Winners, Winners | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 12/30/18 Beloveds: “I will always be with you”

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For my last WWW post of 2018, I’m going to an older novella from my Time Enough to Love series, Beloveds. Because it’s going away on New Year’s Day. After Jan 1, 2019 it will only be available in the Time Enough to Love Complete Set. So I thought perhaps you’d like a snippet from it.

 

It’s an erotic novella (although this snippet is PG-13) about the three main characters of Time Enough to Love: Geoffrey, his best friend Thomas, and Alyse–the woman they both love.

In this snippet, Alyse is ill and is visited by someone very dear to her.

(Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules and snippet may therefore be slightly different from published version.)

He picked up her hand and kissed the knuckles.

Warmth flowed through her, soothing her, making her body tingle with that single touch of his lips.

“Is it really you?” Strength welled within her, and she struggled to sit up.

“As ever I was,” he said and smiled, his gaze sweeping her body and his eyes darkening with the desire she remembered well.

“Oh, Thomas,” she cried and threw her arms around him, sighing when they embraced the hard-muscled chest she had lain so oft upon. “I thought you dead, my love–did I but dream?”

“Shhh, my sweet, I am here now.” He stroked her head then pulled it back to peer into her face, saying “I will always be with you, love.” He sank his mouth onto hers, and she melted at the touch of his insistent lips.

BLURB:  

Passion never dies.

Lady Alyse Braeton frets over her renewed passion for Sir Geoffrey Longford, her first love. They have pledged their hearts to one another, despite the fact that both are recently widowed. Alyse worries that she has not properly mourned Thomas and cannot think herself as true wife to Geoffrey until she puts her feelings for her first husband to rest.

And then Thomas unaccountably appears in her bedroom, leaving her stunned and confused. When he begins to make love to her, however, she joyfully surrenders herself to his familiar caresses and expert ministrations…until Geoffrey arrives.

Faced with the dilemma of wanting two lovers, Alyse simply cannot choose—until Thomas suggests she doesn’t have to. Instead, he and Geoffrey will share her. The scandalous proposition awakens new hungers within her. Can she allow herself to abandon all she’s been taught a proper woman should resist, and find pleasure with both her beloveds?

Beloveds is available on Amazon for two more days only!

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

JENNA

Time Enough to Love series by Jenna Jaxon

 

 

 

 

Posted in Betrothal, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, On Time Enough to Love, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 12/23/18 A Match Made at Christmas: Under the Mistletoe

 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Because it’s so close to Christmas, I’m switching to my newly released (last Sunday, which is why I wasn’t here)  novella A Match Made at Christmas. It’s one of two Christmas stories I wrote this Christmas, but I think it’s perhaps a little more romantic. 🙂 At least this snippet is! LOL

 

Lady Sophia Constantine has made a dreadful mistake. She’s finished her third Season and has refused every offer, hoping for a love match. However, she forgot that she promised if she was still unmarried at the end of her third Season, she’d allow her grandmother to choose a husband for her.

Now Sophia has four days at a Christmas house party to discover who her betrothed is or find and fall in love with another gentleman.

In this snippet Sophia and Lord Ashurst are out in the New Forest gathering greenery and looking for mistletoe along with others of the party when they encounter a boar. Lord Ashurst dispatches it, and afterward Sophia wants to try out the mistletoe ball they’d found before the boar appeared.

(Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules and snippet may therefore be slightly different from published version.)

With gentle hands, he cradled her head, tilted it so their mouths joined perfectly, as if they were indeed one person. Head spinning, he eased his lips open and ran his tongue lightly along the seam of her lips—would she know what he subtly asked?

Apparently so, for she immediately opened her mouth, as though she couldn’t wait to welcome him into her. When he slid his tongue in, she sighed, her whole body relaxing its weight against him. What glory it would be to have her thus, but naked and in his bed.

The fight with the boar had intensified his already aroused state. So everything that Sophia had done to him afterward pushed him closer to an edge he would’ve loved to leap over—but would she be willing? They could find a secluded spot away from prying eyes where he could lay her down on the soft carpet of leaves…

“Sophia!”

They jumped apart as her father’s bellow shook the very trees around them.

BLURB:  

A promise is a promise…

Unable to find a husband to her liking in three years, Lady Sophia Constantine is appalled to discover she’s promised to allow her grandmother to choose the gentleman. Balking every step of the way, Sophia is compelled to attend a family Christmas party where the man she’s expected to marry will be revealed. But when Grandmamma is delayed in London, Sophia decides to take matters into her own hands to find a husband of her choosing.

Leonardo, Lord Ashurst, has returned to England after five years of mourning. Ready to begin the search for a new wife, he accepts an invitation to a neighbor’s Christmas party and is introduced to Lady Sophia, for whom he experiences an immediate attraction. With the lady’s betrothal on the brink of being announced, can Leo win her heart by posing as her betrothed or will his deception ruin any chance they have of a happily ever after?

 

A Match Made at Christmas is now available on Amazon!

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

JENNA

Christmas Books by Jenna Jaxon

 

 

Posted in A Match Made at Christmas, Christmas stories, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Regency Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Book Signing Today!

oday I’m signing my Widow’s Club series books (To Woo A Wiked Widow, Wedding the Widow, and What A Widow Wants) at The Little Shoppes on High in Portsmouth, VA.

If you live in the area or happen to be in the area, please come by and join in the celebration of the release of What A Widow Wants. There will be cookies, candy and some very good deals on all my books. I’ll have copies of my House of Pleasure series, as well as the Christmas collection Yuletide Happy Ever Afters, and my medieval saga Time Enough to Love.

And I have a new signing pen that I’m just dying to try out. 🙂

So I hope to see you this afternoon at The Little Shoppes on High!

Happy Holidays from Jenna!

Posted in Book Signings, Release Party, What a Widow Wants | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Release! What A Widow Wants (The Widows’ Club, Book 3)

 

Happy Release Day!

My newest novel in The Widows’ Club series is releasing today!

What a Widow Wants is a story of tangled intrigue, sins of the past, and passion that refuses to die.

 

BLURB:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are returning to London society—with their futures in their own hands . . .
 
The widowed Lady Stephen Tarkington, Fanny to her friends, has finished mourning her cad of a husband and is ready to enjoy her freedom. The kind of freedom neither a gently bred miss nor a close-watched wife is permitted: dressing up as Aphrodite for a masquerade, drawing gentlemen away from the party, and hinting at late-night assignations with her dance partners. All is going pleasurably according to plan—until the Roman god Fanny kisses during a masquerade turns out to be Matthew, Lord Lathbury, whose proposal she refused years ago . . .

Lathbury is charming, passionate, inventive, everything Fanny wants in a lover—but unfortunately, he’s on the hunt for a wife. He’s more than willing to use all his wicked skills to persuade her back to the altar, but he can’t wait forever. And now Fanny’s position is more precarious than she once thought. If the tongues of the ton set to wagging, it’s possible no offer in the world will save her from ruin. But does she want to be saved?

EXCERPT:

Lifting her left foot over the water, she sucked in a breath and braced herself for the plunge.

Beneath the water, something grabbed her right foot and pulled.

Fanny shrieked and fell backward onto the wooden planks of the wagon floor. Scrabbling for a purchase, she dug her elbows in and yanked her right leg back, trying to free it from whatever hellish monster had seized her.

The monster’s grip was relentless, however. It clamped down on her ankle and refused to be shaken off. Dear God, what had grabbed her? She had to get away before it dragged her under the water. If she couldn’t pull away maybe she could injure it so it would let her go. Fanny pistoned her leg back and forth, kicking it at the unseen menace. Grunting with the effort, she frantically peered about the bathing machine for some kind of weapon to use against this terror. Blast it, nothing of any use close to hand.

The chair that held her clothing stood directly behind her a foot or two away. She dove backward, shooting her hand out to grasp it. Fingers gripping the sturdy square wooden leg, she jerked it toward her but the chair moved not at all. Fanny pulled harder, but her fingers encountered the cold metal heads of the nails that fastened the chair to the wagon floor.

The murky water stirred between her legs. Bubbles broke the surface, followed by a sleek, round black form.

She screeched again, pulling herself back from the dark figure that was trying to claim her.

A black head emerged from the depths.

Drawing a deep breath to scream once more, Fanny stared at the monster climbing into the wagon and blinked. “Matthew?”

The name came out an absurd little squeak as she stared into the dripping, grinning face of Lord Lathbury.

“Are you all right, my lady?” A distant shout came from without the bathing machine. Apparently her screams had alarmed her driver and brought him to her rescue.

“The water’s so cold,” she called, scooting back as Matthew mounted the steps, his magnificent naked body towering over her. “I was quite shocked.”

Drops of seawater slid gracefully down the sleek muscles of his chest and arms, over his taut abdomen to fall from his body onto her stomach.

“Are you ready to come out, then, my lady?”

Matthew raised an eyebrow and whispered the words “Or do you want to be wicked?”

Heat surged in Fanny’s belly. “No, I believe I can get used to it,” she called, raising her hand toward Matthew.

He grasped it and pulled her to her feet.

“It’s just going to take me a little bit of time. I’ll call you when I’m done.”

“Very good, my lady.”

Wrapping cold arms around her, Matthew pulled her against his wet chest. Her breasts protested the chilly contact only for an instant before the warmth of him began to seep into her skin. “You are a lunatic. I nearly died of fright.”

“I had faith you were made of sterner stuff.” He grinned, gently grasped her face, and brought her lips to his.

She thought to settle into a long, soul-searing kiss, one that would curl her toes and warm her from the inside out. She’d dreamed of such a kiss often since their encounter at Lady Beaumont’s masquerade.

Matthew, however, had other ideas. He brushed her lips with a fleeting kiss, then pressed his mouth to her cheek, traveled upward to caress her eyelid, then breathed into her ear sending shivers of delight all along her body. With the tip of his tongue he traced the shell of her ear slowly from the top, sliding down the sensitive edge until he reached the bottom, then sucked the lobe into his mouth and kneaded it with his tongue.

Blissful shudders wracked her and she arched her back, pressing her breasts harder against his chest. “Mmm. Matthew.”

His chuckle rumbled against her ear, sending another wave of shivers down her spine. “You wanted to be wicked, my lady. Does this qualify?”

Leaning her head back to gaze into his dark blue eyes—now mostly black with desire—she arched an eyebrow. “That depends on what you intend to do.”

 

To celebrate this new release, I’m giving away  prizes today to people who comment on this blog post. Signed copies of What a Widow Wants and a $10.00 Amazon gift card will be awarded by random drawing. So tell me what you think of my third “wicked” widow?

What A Widow Wants is currently available in e-book format at Amazon  , B & N, Kobo, Google, and Apple.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

The Widows’ Club Series

 

 

Posted in On Regency Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance, Release Party, The Widow's Club, What a Widow Wants, What a Widow Wants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments