Jennifer's Journal


Monday, September 24, 2007

Nice Compliment

You can never tell what's going to happen in the writing life.  This morning, I had a message from my agent saying he'd been contacted by a publisher asking if I might have a "trunk book or two" hidden away somewhere.  By this he meant a book written long along that had never sold but might be rescued with a little work.  Unfortunately, I don't.  Those I had of this kind were resurrected and sold in the years just after I became a New York Times best seller.  Still, it's a lovely compliment that a publisher was interested enough to inquire.  I do remember the days of knocking on publisher's doors, instead of the other way around.... 

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reader's Tapestry

Writers seldom learn how readers are affected by the stories they have to tell.  They write with little feedback beyond reviews or an occasional email.  Yet now and then some word comes about a particular book or phrase that has had special meaning.  Not long ago, I had an email about an unusual tapestry done in cross-stitch and framed for a reader by her sister.  It detailed in thread and lovely embroidery the last few paragraphs from ROYAL SEDUCTION.  I was incredibly touched by the idea that these words of mine were memorable enough, meaningful enough, to make the stitching effort worthwhile.  I asked to see the piece of needlework, and it turned out to be just as lovely as the thought behind it.  Thanks so much to Susannah for sending the note and the address to view the tapestry.  You can see it, too, at:
Click on the first tapestry for a larger view which can then be read.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Quilt Show Coming UP

Do you quilt?  It's a hobby of mine, along with knitting, reading and travel.  I'll be helping out at my quilt guild's biennial quilt show on Friday and Saturday, September 28 -29, in Jonesboro, Louisiana.  Three quilts of mine will be on display, an applique quilt, a colorful "Turning Twenty Again" quilt in my fav colors of blue, purple and turquoise, and an embroidered Mardi Gras quilt.  I'll also have several knitted items in the Wearable Art section.  Our show is always smashing, with over 100 quilts, plus wall hangings, challenge quilts and the aforementioned wearable art.  We also have demonstrations and vendors, and the ladies of the First Assembly of God church, 1490 S Hudson, where the show is held, provide a wonderful lunch.  Do join us, if you happen to be in the area.  

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Book Signing

This past Saturday was one of those days.  I had a two-hour book signing at Barnes & Noble.  It was a lovely venue, great-looking new store, nice set-up near the front door with three other writer friends to share the down time.  The manager brought complimentary vanilla latte coffee for several of us, a much appreciated gesture.  But the inspirational author next to me sold out of books due to her church friends stopping by, signing many more copies than I did.  She kept trying to push my "steamy" books, bless her heart, but couldn't seem to interest her clientele.  (Now why, I wonder?)  Store traffic was thin and none of the other authors did too well, either.  To top it all off, as I was signing stock to leave behind, I knocked over my coffee cup and spilled what was left of the latte in my lap.  Let's just say, it wasn't the best book signing I've ever done!  Now you know why authors aren't always fond of these things....  

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

September Newsletter


September at last.  School has started again, our summer heat wave has broken and autumn beckons with its turning leaves and periwinkle blue skies.  Traditionally, it's the time of year when I start a new book.  This came about because I took the summers off from work while my children were at home.  Though they are now out on their own, the timing still feels right.  I've been doing preliminary writing on my WIP (work in progress) these past few weeks, but now need to buckle down and pile up the pages on this last book of the Masters at Arms series, TRIUMPH IN ARMS.

FYI, in case you think the all-caps used above is a form of Internet shouting: Most editors, agents and writers set down book titles in all-caps.  The practice has been around since the advent of moveable type, well before the computer or even the typewriter came on the scene.  It has no "vocal" connotations, but is just a way of calling attention to important information in the midst of other verbiage.  I promise!

I received the official cover flats for GUARDED HEART (On Sale date, January 29, 2008) this week.  (The preliminary cover art was sent vial email in July and posted to the Internet then.)  I do love the new look the Mira art department has given the series.  These cover flats will be sent out along with the ARC (advance reading copies) that will soon go to reviewers and booksellers.  An autographed cover flat will be included with the free book sent to the contest winner this month.

Foreign publications for the past few weeks include CHALLENGE TO HONOR in Japanese and Hungarian and CLAY in German.  It's always interesting to see the Japanese versions of my books since they are printed in vertical lines of characters and bound so as to be read in reverse order compared to English language publications, what we think of as back to front.  They are also designed on a smaller scale, being only two-thirds as tall or as thick as U. S. editions.  The Hungarian editions, on the other hand, are in hardcover, and have their own cover art and print font that's unique to the series.

A few days ago, the country noted the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  It was impossible not to look back and remember.  New Orleans is recovering, but it's an incredibly slow process.  I'm forced to wonder if it will ever again be the "City that Care Forgot", or if the blues that echoes down its old, iron lace-lined streets will sound anything other than mournful.  I prefer to think about the glory days of its past, when it was the fastest growing city on the Mississippi with the commerce of the young United States flowing through its ports, when its lifestyle was high, wide and handsome.  Not surprisingly, perhaps, I also prefer to write about it that way.

I'm relieved to be able to report that my daughter Kathy's oncologist has declared her free of cancer following surgery for the removal of her melanoma and a complete battery of "alphabet" (CT, MRI and PET) tests.   It's been a worrisome time, but she can now go back to teaching with a free heart.  Kathy teaches Spanish in the Franklin County, MS, school system.  As for my own visit to the dermatologist, it was a non-event, no sign at all of melanoma.  Guess that means another reason to go back to work for me, too.  :)

Note: Spoiler!!!

Not long after the publication of ROGUE'S SALUTE, it was brought to my attention that I'd left out an important bit, namely the resolution of the sensual scene between Juliette and Nicholas in a dark garden while she's disguised as the "Fair Incognito".  I did include a few lines of dialogue to let the reader know Nicholas was well aware of who Juliette was behind her mask, but never allowed him to reveal this truth to her at the end.  I couldn't believe it; normally, these things are caught in revision or noted by the editor.  This one had slipped through in large part because of my fractured concentration during my husband's diagnosis and surgery for a (benign) brain tumor.  Recently, an email from a reader set me to thinking about the problem again.  I realized I still have a chance to resolve the problem in the current WIP, and will certainly do that.  In the meantime, I've created a temporary fix in a short, original scene posted to the "Jennifer's Journal" section on my web site.  Check it out, if you're one of those who are still wondering about this small, dangling thread.

The winner of this month's autographed book is:  If this is your email address, please send a message from it to  In the subject line, type "Book Winner" and include your name and snail mail address in the body of the message.  Your book will be shipped ASAP. (To enter the autographed book contest, click on the "Contest" link on the Home Page, then click on "Join this Group."  You will also receive a personal copy of the monthly newsletter via Yahoo Group email.)

With warmest wishes for a lovely September free of gales and rich with new beginnings,


"Death ends all things and so is the comprehensive conclusion of a story, but marriage finishes it very properly too and the sophisticated are ill-advised to sneer at what is by convention termed a happy ending." ~ W. Somerset Maugham, THE RAZOR'S EDGE

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