Jennifer's Journal


Monday, November 01, 2010

The Jennifer Blake Newsletter-November


What a month October turned out to be! Wild winds, threats of tornados usually seen in spring, yet weeks so dry the oldest oak trees are dying and the lake here at the house is a good four feet below normal. Regardless, the poule d’eaux (“water hens” in French, a type of duck with feet like a chicken though webbed and which winters here in Louisiana) have returned in their season. We also have Halloween candy left, which is a Good Thing as I only buy the kind my husband and I like. And this will also be an October to remember because I completed the rough draft of the final book in my medieval trilogy, which is also the last in my current contract.

The End was typed on the last page of BY GRACE SEDUCED on October 21, a few days ahead of schedule. This isn’t the end product by any means. I’ll revise the manuscript not once but twice between now and March 31, adding a couple of scenes that came to mind as I neared the final chapter, also layering in description and emotional reaction that was skimmed over in the race toward the finish line. You may get tired of hearing about this book! Lest you think that I should be able to do this faster, I’ll tell you that I’ll be receiving my editor’s line edits for books #1 & #2 of this trilogy in this same period. They take precedence, big time. I’ll have to read the two manuscripts with extra care, approving changes and making others before sending them back ASAP. All the labor is advance preparation for the release of this Three Graces trilogy in August, September and October of next year.

Actually, I’ll have a total of five titles out in 2011, with the reprints of two more of my older novels by Sourcebooks, Inc. These will be FIERCE EDEN in February and MIDNIGHT WALTZ in August. It’s the first time I’ll have so many books out in the same year.

Published this past month in Australia and New Zealand was DAWN ENCOUNTER, book #2 in my Masters at Arms series. Oddly enough, the cover art used on this book was the same as that for the U. S. version of Masters at Arms book #6, TRIUMPH IN ARMS. Both covers are turquoise blue, so it’s possible some art department person became confused. Or maybe they just liked the TRIUMPH cover better; who knows? What they’ll do Down Under when they publish book #6 is anybody’s guess as well.

Another peculiar happening this month was notification that one of my older pseudonyms is being used to sell books that I never wrote. How the mistake came about, I don’t know, but both and are currently selling a contemporary romance titled THE HIRED WIFE as a Maxine Patrick title—though the cover plainly says it’s by Lynna Cooper. A bit of online research shows that Lynna Cooper was a pen-name used by a man named Gardner Francis Cooper Fox. Though better known as a creator of comic book heroes, he wrote novels and short stories under a variety of male and female pen-names until his death in 1986. One of his male pen-names was Michael Blake, so the plot thickens. In addition, a novel called BABY DREAMS by Maxine Paetro is being sold under my old Maxine Patrick pen-name on Amazon. Please be aware that I did not write either of these books. The Maxine Patrick pseudonym was created by my first agent in 1980 as a reversal, of sorts, of my real name of Patricia Maxwell. I wrote only six contemporary romances for Signet/NAL under it during that era: THE ABDUCTED HEART, BAYOU BRIDE, CAPTIVE KISSES, LOVE AT SEA, SNOWBOUND HEART and APRIL OF ENCHANTMENT. Any other titles being sold under Maxine Patrick are listed in error.

My Mira Author’s Blog post for October, “Synchronicity and the Writer”, is still up. It’s an exploration of events in the lives of authors which connect in mysterious ways to their writing. The main thrust of it is the amazing discoveryI made, just as I began to write medieval novels, that I’m related (many times removed, of course!) to several of the major historical figures in my medieval trilogy. Check this out by clicking on “Mira Author Blog” at: My next post for this site will be uploaded on November 9.

At present, I’m at Writing Tip of the Day #200 on my Jennifer Blake web site blog. Current tips explore POV (point of view), while next up will be bits about the writer’s “Voice” in writing. I should have more tips posted by now, but am lagging behind due to close deadlines and summer travel. My goal is at least 365 tips. It’s beginning to look doable, though all in good time.

Houston will be my destination later this week. This is for the International Quilt Festival held at the Convention Center there. I’m really looking forward to the break, not to mention the beautiful quilts and the vendor’s booths. In pursuit of this hobby, I’ve been working on a “row quilt" (each row using a different quilt square) in conjunction with a series of quilting classes sponsored by my sewing buddies, the Magnolia Stitchers Needle Arts Group. The classes are being taught by Rhonda Ponder, though I spent one night demonstrating appliqué methods with a good friend, Melva Beard.

On December 11, 2010, I’ll be speaking at the annual Christmas gathering of NOLA, the North Louisiana branch of Romance Writers of America. This will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Bossier Library History Resource Center. Visiting with writer friends at this event will be great.

Can you tell my life is bountiful and never boring? That’s something to be grateful for during the up-coming season of Thanksgiving. With warmest wishes for the same to you and yours,


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