Jennifer's Journal


Monday, May 04, 2009

April Newsletter


Ah, Spring. I love the warmer days, tender green foliage and flowers, but admit I’m not fond of the dust storms of pollen that swirl in the air or the thunderstorms that roll through one after the other. I blame one of our storms a couple of week ago for the crash of my computer’s hard drive. It may have actually been caused by a virus, an Internet worm or even one of the super-size dust bunnies that lurk in my office, but lightning is my bet. The good news is that I had a recent backup of my last ten books and all their research notes, also that the 300-plus pages of my work-in-progress, the medieval book, BY HIS MAJESTY’S GRACE, were safe on my laptop. The bad news is that I had no backup for all the other programs (photo, music, genealogy) that lived on my computer. My fault, I know, but this is the first time in over 20 years of using computers that any of the dozen or so desktops or laptops I’ve owned has crashed. I suppose I thought I was immune. But you can guess how I’ve been spending my time lately.

I’ve also been double checking my research on the medieval book while its text “cools”. As a part of the effort, I spent some time searching through the Google free electronic book database. Have you checked this out? Google claims to have 500,000 titles online and I believe them; it’s truly amazing what they have available. I found an illustrated book on English plants and flowers published in the mid-1800s, also copies of several histories from the early 16th and 17th centuries that I had never thought to see in this life. I downloaded 14 or 15 books in all, a treasure trove of research material. And I can’t wait to log back on and see what I can find for “light” reading. In case you don’t know, Sony’s E-Reader library web site offers these downloads from Google, as does Amazon for the Kindle. And while I’m on this subject, I hope you have picked up your downloads of free books from In honor of their 60th birthday, Harlequin is offering 16 free books, one from every line they publish, to anyone who wants them. I’ve downloaded these, and discovered some great new authors among them.

For several days this past month, I thought the 75 or so pages of the New Orleans book begun back last fall (working title: TASTE THE JOY), had fallen victim to my computer disaster. Talk about depressed! Then I remembered that I’d transferred them to my laptop for a plane trip. Happy day. I still intend to finish this story, would have been working on it except for the need to get the desktop back up and running again. For those new to the newsletter, TASTE THE JOY was part of a trilogy accepted by my publisher before the marketing dept. decided books set in England promise better sales. At my editor’s request, I stopped work on this tale and created a medieval trilogy for my current contract. I liked the first story so much, however, that I’m completing it on my own time.

Appearances this month: On April 15, at 2:00 p.m., I’ll be speaking at the Jackson Parish Library, Jonesboro, LA, and also signing books. Later in the month, April 23-26, I’ll be at the Wyndham-Orlando Resort, Orlando, FL for the 30th Anniversary Convention of Romantic Times BOOKreveiw Magazine. GUARDED HEART, my 2008 title has been nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance with an American Setting, so I’ll be front and center for the award ceremony on Friday, April 24. Another feature will be a huge book signing, with over 300 authors. This amazing event is open to the public, and will be held on Saturday, April 25, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area!

What else can I tell you? Two books of my current Masters at Arms series are out of print, book #1, CHALLENGE TO HONOR and the book #4, GUARDED HEART. This is good news and bad news—good because it indicates nice sales, bad because readers who pick up book #5, released in February, may have trouble finding these previous titles. Mira Books has promised to go back to print for enough copies of GUARDED HEART for the Romantic Times book signing, however. Discussion is also underway concerning the reissue of the entire series when the final book, TRIUMPH IN ARMS, comes out in 2010. We’ll see what happens.

Here’s hoping the warm winds of spring are blowing in your direction—but not too hard!


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