Friday, July 5, 2013

Guest Post with Jenna Jaxon and her newest yummy: Betrothel

Good Morning my naughty nibblers!!  Today I have an extra special guest with me, you may remember her from my first encounter with Only Scandal will Do, Jenna Jaxon!!  She has a new book out that I will be sharing with you, but first I had to ask Jenna what inspired this tale.  This is what she had to to say:

The back-story for Betrothal (and the whole Time Enough to Love trilogy) is that this was the first novel I ever wrote.  

Although I have always had a love of writing (I wrote my first short story in the third grade), I’d never considered writing as a career path.  I was always going to teach history or English or be in a theatre company.  Well, I ended up teaching theatre, but I never lost my love of reading or writing.  I love doing research so academics satisfied me for a long time.

Then I developed a gluten intolerance (can’t eat products with wheat) and went on a gluten-free diet in August of 2008.  After Christmas, I found Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's last romance,  Everlasting set in the middle ages, which is my favorite period. I had not read a romance novel in about twenty years, but the first two I read were Woodiwiss’s The Wolf and the Dove and The Flame and the Flower. So I thought, “Why not?”

About the time I started reading it, I experience a rush of energy and creativity.  (My doctor later told me that my body no longer had to deal with the wheat that was sapping my energy, thus the boost.) But I needed a creative outlet for all this energy to go.  As I read Everlasting I suddenly said, "I can write a book like this."  

And sat down and began to write!  Strangely enough, my initial idea for the book came from a History Channel program on the Black Plague. (I told you I love history!) Not your average theme for a romance novel, however. 

The program mentioned Princess Joanna, the daughter of King Edward III of England, on her way to Spain to marry the heir to the Spanish throne.  So I started spinning a tale, not about the princess, but about the courtiers who accompany her on her voyage.  187K words and six months later, I finished it.  

It is the book of my heart.  Even after working on it for four years, I still love the story and my characters.

Unfortunately, I found out later that the book, as written, was way too long.  I cut it down to 160K but got stuck with what else to cut (a lot goes on in this novel!)  Then someone suggested dividing it into 3 books or novellas, which is what I did.  Each novella is about 50K after editing and I'm self-publishing them because I kind of broke some romance rules along the way. You don't get any rule breaking until Books 2 (Betrayal) and 3 (Beleaguered), though. :)  But Betrothal should be a nice, satisfying historical romance read.

We all remember our long historical romances......I lost many an hour sleep because I just had to finish it!!  I was absolutely delighted with Only Scandal will do and can't wait to finish us her next yummy!!  Let's take a look:

Blurb for Betrothal:
Lady Alyse de Courcy has fallen in love with Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court and a man to whom she has barely spoken. Fate, however, has decreed her betrothal to his best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford—a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed.When Sir Geoffrey is bound in betrothal by his father, he could not have expected the beautiful stranger to win his heart the moment they meet. Nevertheless, the fascinating Lady Alyse has done exactly that, and his feelings for her only grow as he learns more of her gentle yet spirited nature. But Alyse’s infatuation with his friend casts doubt on whether she can ever return his regard and their wedding day is fast approaching… Will he have time enough to win her love?

Excerpt for Betrothal:

“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. 


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. 

Fearful, she cringed as her gaze climbed higher, over his chest, over his chin, finally resting on the dark blue eyes turned toward her.

Geoffrey returned her appraisal, his gaze sweeping her figure as a smile crept over his face. “Your Majesty.” He spoke to the king but his attention remained fixed on Alyse. “When my father told me of the betrothal contract before I left his home, I resolved to play the dutiful son. Now, however, I find I do not wish to act that role after all.” His eyes held hers as he paused.
Dear God, does he mean to renounce me here before the entire court? 

Alyse stared at the man beside her, willing herself to remain upright, despite the waves of ice and fire alternating through her body. 

“Now I find I would rather play the ardent lover.” 

An amused murmur ran through the Hall at his words. Sir Geoffrey grinned, his eyes sparkling with humor and something more. Despite the uneven light, Alyse saw an unfathomable promise in their dark depths. She took a shaky breath and looked away. 

Author Bio:

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  Her historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do, the first in a series of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of Seduction.  She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this summer as a series of three novellas.  The first book, Betrothal, released on April 19th.

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. 
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
Buy Links:
Published Works:
Betrothal--Historical Romance
Only Scandal Will Do--Historical Romance
7 Days of Seduction--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Almost Perfect--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Hog Wild--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Heart of Deception--Historical Romance


Jenna said...

Thank you so much, Nikki, for hosting me on your blog today! I'm always excited to be here. And the timing is fantastic because I've just put Betrothal on sale on Amazon for .99! If your readers like what they see, I hope they will take advantage!

Karen Lopp said...

Can't wait to get this one read, I enjoyed your other books.

Margery Scott said...

What a great story, Jenna. Isn't it strange what first draws us to a plot? I love the History Channel, too, so you're not alone :)

D'Ann said...

Love the story of your story! There's nothing like seeing the story of your heart in print. Congrats!

Jenna said...

Thank you ladies for coming by the blog today!

Karen--I do hope you enjoy it when you have time!

Margery--I know! Plots come at me like fly balls in a baseball game sometimes out of nowhere, sometime out in left field. LOL

D'Ann--I am so excited just thinking about having all three parts of the trilogy out in e-book and print. A lot of work still to be done, but I know it's going to be awesome when it's done. :)

Brenda said...

Jenna, I'm a huge fan of yours. I loved Scandal and I loved Betrothal. I'm biting my nails, waiting for the next book.

Sandy Owens said...


I love the idea of having to win the love of one who loves another. Also, I love your cover!


Jenna said...

Thank you, Brenda and Sandy for coming by today.

Brenda--Thanks so much for all your wonderful support! I hope the next one won't disappoint!

Sandy--I like that trope a lot. Love triangles can get so messy and this one just doesn't stop in Betrothal. The title of the second book--Betrayal--says it all. :)

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

This is a wonderful book!! I tweeted.

Jenna said...

Thanks, Ella! Appreciate it! :)

Patricia Green said...

The Wolf and the Dove by Woodiwiss is one of my all time favorites, too. I can definitely understand how her books could be inspirational. It's interesting to see so many factors converging together, prompting you to write. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your wonderful book. I love everything you write.

Jenna said...

Awww, thank you, Patricia! That really means so much! I've read all of Woodiwiss's works, but I too think W & D is my favorite. Of course, it's medieval, so that's one in its favor to begin with. :) Thank you so much for coming by.

Sheri Fredricks said...

I'm really looking forward to this book! Knowing how you put your heart and soul into the creation of it makes it all the better.

Jenna said...

Thank you, Sheri! I know you know all about putting your heart and soul into a work. I hope you do enjoy Betrothal when you get to read it.

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