Jennifer's Journal


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March Newsletter

The Jennifer Blake Newsletter – March, 2008


The newsletter is late this month, I know—but I have the perfect excuse. I’ve been hard at work these past few days on the final chapter of book 6 in the Masters at Arms series. I wrote its last line yesterday afternoon in the middle of a thunderstorm and tornado watch. For better or worse, the rough draft is done then. I still have three months of editing and polishing ahead of me before it’s shipped to my editor, but the hardest part is over.

The final line of the book (for the moment, at least) turned out to be: “Oh, why not?” In celebration of the book’s completion, I had a couple of Dove dark chocolates after I wrote them. Guess what the positive affirmation printed on the wrapper of the first chocolate said? Right: “Why not?” You can’t make these things up…

E-reads, the electronic book publisher ( is going online with more and more of my older, out-of-print titles, with 22 listed at present. As electronic book readers gain in popularity and decline in price, I believe this type of sales outlet will become more and more important for writers. E-Reads is a pioneer in the technology, and has literally hundreds of books available for download in all genres. Do check out their databank of authors and titles if you have a little free time. The web site is well organized and has amazing content. You never know, an e-reader may be in your future.

The Romantic Times Convention in Pittsburgh is drawing closer. I’ll be on hand there April 16-20 at the Hilton Hotel Downtown. Along with Bertrice Small and Roberta Gellis, both of whom I’ve known for years, I’ll be presenting a workshop of a different kind on Friday, April 18, 3 – 4pm. The title: “How to Use Historical Facts without Crossing the Line into Plagiarism.” We will all be on hand for the convention book fair as well, a huge book signing with more than 250 authors that will take place on Saturday, the 19th, 11am – 2 pm. This should be a fantastic event. Do drop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

My husband and I live on a lake in northern Louisiana, as you may know if you’ve ever read the bio in the back of my recent books. This morning, I looked out and saw a flock of about two hundred large black birds resting on the water. They turned out to be migrating cormorants, known locally as water turkeys, and not too unusual a sight for us since we’re in the path of the Central U. S. Fly-way. Mixed in with the cormorants, however, were a dozen or so huge white birds. Were they geese, herons, swans, some type of tame duck? Out came the binoculars. Pelicans! Wow. Since we are over 250 miles from the coast, it’s unusual for us to see these—this is our first time in the ten years we’ve lived on the lake. Last week, we also saw a small group of sea gulls, another first. I can only guess the visitations have something to do with the change in the weather pattern this winter. Record snow for some, sea gulls and pelicans for us—I’m okay with that. Really, I am.

It’s chilly today, in the low 40s, but outside the daffodils and narcissus are blooming, also the red buds and purple-leaf plums, the camellias and, my favorite, the sweet olives. Maple trees are shedding old blooms and weeping willows showing whips of green. It’s been a long winter for us with few of the balmy days that normally make the Deep South such a nice place to spend the winter. Spring is on its way, however, and I’m doing everything I can to send it northward to all of you who are still enduring snow and ice. Hold on. It’s coming.

Warmest wishes,