Jennifer's Journal


Sunday, January 03, 2010

January Newsletter

January 1, 2010

This morning, I'm cooking the traditional black-eyed peas and ham hock (read the bone and chunks of meat left from my spiral-sliced, honey cured Christmas ham) for good luck in the coming year, along with cabbage for prosperity. These are Southern traditions, I think, since dried "cow peas" are a Southern delicacy. And the need to have them is so strong here that grocery stores were mobbed yesterday afternoon as people sought to help ensure better times ahead. What do people cook in other parts of the country, I wonder? Do they have similar superstitions… er, I mean traditions?

I'll be starting the New Year right by beginning a new book. This will be book 2 in my medieval Three Graces series, with a working title of BY GRACE POSSESSED. I'm ready to get started, can feel the story forming in my mind, see the characters moving and speaking. It must be time.

Only a month left before TRIUMPH IN ARMS starts showing up on the shelves on its "pub date" of February 1. The little brown truck should deliver my 50 author's copies any day now. Reviews are beginning to trickle in. This past week, the book received a much appreciated Best-of-the- Best "Top Pick! 4 ½ star" designation from Romantic Times BookReview Magazine. The reviewer commented: "Blake's last Maîtres d'Armes book is an absolute joy. With a sharp eye for detail and dialogue, she serves up murder, secrets, retribution and the return of the members of the Brotherhood in an intensely passionate and emotion-filled romance." Currently, the prologue for TRIUMPH IN ARMS is available as an excerpt on my web site (www.jenniferblake. com) under the heading "Next Book". And several pages of Chapter 1 are also available as an excerpt on Check out both, and you'll have the first 15 pages or so of the book!

In other news, my 2009 title, GALLANT MATCH, book 5 of the Masters at Arms series, has been issued in hardcover as a large print library edition. The cover is entirely different from the mass market (paperback) version of this antebellum Louisiana story. In fact, it shows a castle that's more suited to the medieval series I'm writing now. Ah, well, who can figure publishers? I gave up trying long ago.

Also on GALLANT MATCH, Romantic Times BookReviews Magazine has nominated the book's hero, Kerr Wallace, as Best Historical Romance Hero of the Year, 2009. A number of other heroes were nominated, including that of a friend, Bertrice Small. My title won out over hers for Best Historical last year; this year may be her turn. The award will be presented at the RT BookReviews convention, April 28-May 3, in Columbus, Ohio.

My resolutions for this year are to finish some of my many needlework projects lying around the house (knitting, embroidery, crochet and quilting) and to work more in my yard for exercise and the benefit of my flowers. Will I actually do these things? My track record isn't so great, especially when I have a deadline looming, yet hope springs eternal!

It's time to go check the peas and cabbage. I leave you, then, with my fondest wishes for hope, happiness and all things grand and glorious in the New Year. You're the greatest for staying with me here and reading my books which give me the excuse to keep writing, so deserve only the best.



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