Please welcome, Jenna Jaxon
1) What genre(s) do you write in? Why?
I write historical romance and some erotic. The historical is my first love. I was a history major in college and have always loved history, especially social history, which is a big part of historical romance.
The erotic novellas I just kind of fell into. When I was just starting out and burning to get published, one of the authors on one of my loops was starting his own publishing company. He had an open submission for Fractured Fairy Tales. I came up with an idea for The Three Little Pigs as bikers (HOGs) with a sexy she-wolf. And my career as an erotic romance writer was born.
2) What/Who inspired you to start writing?
Romance author Kathleen Woodiwiss’s books The Wolf and the Dove and Everlasting inspired me to start my writing career. I read the former as a teenager and never forgot it. The latter I picked up in early 2009, read it and said to myself , “I could write something like this.” And I sat down and began the book that became Time Enough to Love. I self-published it as three novellas and the final part, Beleaguered, has just released.
3) Is there a book or two that you wrote and love that’s not published? If so, tell us more. Or tells us about your current WIP.
I do have one book that is complete but is not published. It’s a Victorian romance called As Long as You’re Mine. It’s sort of a Taming of the Shrew tale, where a headstrong Englishwoman, Lady Samantha Easterling tries to flout her father’s wishes and ends up in bed with an American architect, Raphael Beauregard. They are forced to marry and Samantha begins a campaign to make her husband want to divorce her. By the time she realizes she no longer wants that, it’s too late.
It’s been pointed out that my heroine isn’t sympathetic or likeable enough, so the book needs to have a bit of an overhaul before I can try to publish it.
4) Who would play your characters in a movie?
For my current book, Beleaguered (and the two previous books Betrothal and Betrayal), Alyse would be played by Jennifer Lawrence, Geoffrey by Clive Owen, and Thomas by James Purfoy (hair dyed blond).
5) What writers/books inspired you?
As mentioned above, Kathleen Woodiwiss was a major inspiration, but also Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Lisa Kleypass, and Mary Balogh were all inspiring to me.
6) When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Actually in third grade when I wrote my first short story: Miss Priss Finds a Kitten. Afterwards, though, I ended up writing mostly academic papers and my dissertation. I decided to pursue a career in writing just five years ago.
7) Any suggestions for would be writers?
Keep writing and grow a thick skin. I also pass along the advice of my mentor, romance author Judi McCoy: “You can fix crap; you can’t fix nothing.” If you don’t write it, you can’t do anything.
8) What makes a good story to you?
Even though I feel I should be saying plot, because that’s my favorite thing to write, what really does it for me as a reader, is character. Well developed and interesting characters will keep me reading even if the plot bogs down.
9) Do you believe writers are born or made or both?
I truly believe they are born. I think you must have a spark within that says “I must do this,” because you won’t be happy if you don’t. Craft can be learned, but the instinct that makes a writer is something I believe you are born with or not.
10) Besides getting published, what was your awe moment?
Last year at RWA when I met my romance author idol, Jo Beverley. I went all fan-girl, got my picture taken with her, got an autographed copy of one of her books. But the truly “awe” moment was when I told her my name and that I wrote historical romance and she looked at me and said, “Oh, yes, I’ve heard of you.” I was truly speechless for the first time in my life. J
Thomas rolled over in bed, his eyes fluttering open. He gazed at her, then a frown rent his face. “Why are you dressed so early, my love? ’Tis barely light. I thought sure we had some hours left to ourselves?” He held out his hand to her, and she smiled as she moved to him.
“I am sorry, my love, but the princess bade us all come to her chapel early this morn for special prayers of thanksgiving that the pestilence has seen fit to pass us by. Were it otherwise, I would certainly still be in your bed.” Alyse kissed the hand that entwined hers. “There is nothing short of a royal command would keep me from you.” She leaned over to give him a loving kiss. “When do you meet Geoffrey?”
“He will come fetch me before breakfast so that we may see to some business in the village before the heat of the day sets in.” Thomas stretched and lay back on the pillows. “’Till then I shall lie abed, remembering the sweetness of our night past.”
“You are lazy today, my lord.”
“You have worn me out these last few nights, my lady.”
Alyse looked askance at him and moved back to stand before her husband, hands on hips. “A complaint, Lord Braeton?”
He grinned, a wicked glint in his eyes. “A boast on your behalf, Lady Braeton.”
“Mayhap then tonight we should simply sleep the night away in sweet repose,” she said, with feigned innocence. “I would not have you fatigued and neglect your duties.”
Thomas chuckled and pulled her down to him. “Not while I have breath in my body, sweet Alyse.” He pressed another, more ardent kiss to her mouth.
Loath to leave when he heated her passion thus, Alyse sighed and broke the kiss, moving determinedly toward the door. At the moment, her duty lay with the princess, not her husband. “I will return to you as soon as possible, my love,” she said, blowing him another kiss ere she closed the door.
Determined to concentrate on the task at hand and not her longing to return to Thomas, Alyse made her way to Princess Joanna’s private chapel. She opened the door, hoping the service had not yet begun. As she stepped inside, the complete silence of the place gave her pause. Had she mistaken the time the princess had appointed? There was certainly no one in evidence here, not even the priest who had come with them from England as the princess’s spiritual advisor. Frowning, Alyse left the chapel and walked swiftly toward Joanna’s apartments.
The door to the princess’s chamber was slightly ajar, an unusual sight, and Alyse could hear an odd sound, like a low whimpering, emerging from it. Alyse pushed the door open with trepidation, entered and stopped, transfixed by the tableau before her.
Princess Joanna sat in her accustomed seat in the middle of the room, her eyes wide and staring. Lady Anne stood to her right, wringing her hands, her face contorted in fear—the same look Alyse had seen the day they left Bordeaux. But most terrifying, Lady Mary sat at the princess’s feet, her head in Joanna’s lap, a low moan issuing from her open mouth.
Shocked by this unheard of breach of protocol, Alyse stood, confounded for some moments, before the import of the women’s grief sank in. She swept forward demanding, “Highness, what has happened?”
No one moved. Alyse glanced from Anne’s staring eyes to Princess Joanna’s tear-stained cheeks, her gaze finally coming to rest on Mary’s contorted face.
What is wrong with this goose now? She caterwauls as if…
An icy hand clutched her heart.
- It cannot be so.
Her mind reeled. She bent and grabbed Mary’s arms then jerked her up almost off the floor. Peering directly in her face, she searched her eyes for the horrible truth she could not bear to hear.
“Geoffrey?” The only word she could summon from a throat that had suddenly gone dry as dust.
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