Jennifer's Journal


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August Newsletter


The summer is almost over, or so it seems, as I'm home again after my sojourn in the cool mountains of Colorado.  It's time now to turn to new projects.  I think I told you last month that I had finished the last book of the Masters at Arms series and was considering a new book proposal?  My agent presented this idea to my editor while in San Francisco, July 27 – Aug. 2, for the national Romance Writers of America conference.  She loved the project—which has turned into a three-book historical series—and contract negotiations are underway. 

The New Series

The new project will be subtitled The Three Graces series.  Set in 1840s New Orleans, like my Masters at Arms series, it will follow the fortunes of three young American women who become involved with dashing French Creole gentlemen.  The story lines are expected to revolve around women's issues pertinent to the time, also the cultural and political clash between the aristocratic Vieux Carré, or French Quarter, and the increasingly powerful American section of the Garden District above Canal Street.  I'm so excited about the first story in the series that I'm already working on Chapter 1.

Foreign Sales and Publications

Foreign sales and publication this month include the release of GUARDED HEART (Masters at Arms #4) in the United Kingdom as well as a hardcover version in the Czech Republic.  German publication for GALLANT MATCH (Masters at Arms #5) has been set for May 2009, only a couple of months after its February 2009 release in the United States.

Appearances & Book Signings

I've been asked to be the moderator for a romance author panel at the 2008 Louisiana Book Festival.  This will be held in Baton Rouge, October 4, 10 AM – 11 AM, State Museum, 3rd Floor Gallery.  Other panel members will be Connie Cox, Robin Wells and Farrah Rochon.  We'll be talking about how living in different areas of the state affects our writing, and also answering questions from the audience.  Following the panel, the four of us will sign our latest books at the special autographing pavilion for the festival.  This is only one of many forums and lectures that will be presented by Louisiana authors.  Please stop by if you're in the area.

Research & Development

The day after the festival, I'll drive on down to New Orleans where I'll be doing another round of research for The Three Graces.  The Masters at Arms series covered 1840 – 1847, and I photocopied hundred of old newspaper pages at the Historic New Orleans Collection in the French Quarter for those books.  I'll be doing the same now for 1848 – 1850, to effectively round out that decade and add appropriate color and authenticity to the new series.  While hard at work in the archives, I'll be wearing a special talisman bought while in Italy in June, a hand-carved, aqua-colored agate cameo featuring—what else?—The Three Graces of antiquity, traditionally known as Joy, Charm and Beauty.

Other Events

The calendar for most authors usually begins to fill well in advance.  Accordingly, I have a couple of events already planned for next year.  On February 13, 2009, at 2 PM, I'll be speaking to the Arcadia Literature Club at the Bienville Parish Library.  Then, during the weekend of March 6 – 7, 2009, I'll be giving the keynote luncheon speech for the annual conference of NOLA, the North Louisiana Chapter of Romance Writers of America.  This conference will include dozens of workshops by authors and editors, plus agent and editor appointments where beginning writers can pitch their work.  The grand finale will be a book signing at a local book seller.  FMI:

New Cover Art & Blurb!

Saving the best for last--the cover art for GALLANT MATCH, my Kentucky sword master's story set for release in February 2009, is now available for viewing on my web site,  Take a look if you have the time.  And here's an advance peek of the cover blurb (back cover description) for the book:

"He has learned much from the dashing Maîtres d'Armes of New Orleans: artistry in combat, loyalty in fellowship…and audacity in pursuit of love…

Kerr Wallace has spent years studying swordplay, preparing to challenge his sworn enemy and avenge his brother's death.  The scoundrel Rouillard, now living in Mexico as a profiteer, has decided to take a wife, and the lady requires an escort to Veracruz.  Kerr seizes his chance—he will deliver the bride…and dispatch the groom.

If only it were so easy.  Headstrong Sonia Bonneval will do anything to escape this doomed marriage to Rouillard.  Coquettish ploys cannot melt the iron resolve of her damnable escort, however, and the voyage with Kerr Wallace becomes an exhilarating battle of wills.  But a very real declaration of war forces them into even closer quarters—and greater temptation—in a fight for survival.  Before the end, both must choose between duty and freedom—vengeance and passion."

That's it for this month!

Warmest wishes,