Jennifer's Journal


Monday, November 07, 2011

The Jennifer Blake Newsletter-November 2011


A lot has been going on this past month, so let me get right to it. I have an exciting new venture to announce, one hinted at in a previous newsletter. It’s called Steel Magnolia Press, after the nickname given to me a decade ago by Public Relations genius, Nancy Berland. An independent, family-oriented online publishing house, it was established with my niece who writes as Phoenix Sullivan and is the tech master for the operation. Two other nieces are involved, Tamelia Tumlin and Trudy Edgeworth, and also my two daughters, Delinda Corbin and Katharine Faucheux. You can be among the first to see what the SMP web site looks like, for it went “live” just this afternoon at:
So what are we doing at Steel Magnolia Press? At the moment, we are presenting my current and backlist titles, plus great e-books done by Phoenix and Tamelia. The major event, however, is release of new editions for two of my Blake novellas. These tales were issued in mass market paperback anthologies in the 1990s, but have been out of print for years. They are OUT OF THE DARK, a historical romance about an unusual young woman who dares attempt to tame both a swamp panther and the famous duelist known as the Dark Angel, and a paranormal romance, THE WARLOCK’S DAUGHTER, which famed Avon Romance editor, Ellen Edwards, once said “reads like an ancient legend.” Other titles are set to follow. Coming from me in the next few months will be a Gothic mystery-suspense novel and a contemporary romance novella, both reissues, but also a never-before-published contemporary novella and a contemporary romance that continues my best-selling Louisiana Gentlemen series.

You can find the newly released novellas with their matching covers  at the addresses below:


Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Phoenix and Tamelia will have new novels out too, and as other authors in our group complete work now in the pipeline, their books, bios and photos will go up on the site. Fun additions to the site’s pages will soon appear: we will run free or low-priced e-book specials, provide book bundles and add to our current multi-author blog. Sign up for the monthly newsletter called Fresh Leaves, and you’ll not only get details on specials and prizes, future books and author news, but receive the bonus free e-booklet, 20 Tips for Writing Romance Novels, a Steel Magnolia exclusive. You will also be automatically entered in the weekly drawing for a collection of free e-books that can be downloaded to the Kindle or Nook, or saved as PDF files for reading on your computer screen.

Speaking of the Louisiana Gentlemen books, this 5-volume series of contemporary novels is currently being reprinted in hardcover large print editions by Severn House. LUKE was released this summer, and ROAN is scheduled for March, 2012. Look for these, with their stunning new cover jackets, on your library shelves. And coming in December from Sourcebooks Casablanca Classics is a reprint of a best seller from 1996 titled SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL, about a woman who wakes after an accident to discover herself married to a stranger.

Last week saw the online posting of nominations for RT Book Reviews Magazine’s annual awards. Book 1 of the Graces trilogy, BY HIS MAJESTY’S GRACE, was nominated as Best Historical Romance, and I am also a nominee for the Career Achievement Award in Historical Romance based on the trilogy. Competition is stiff for both awards but, win or lose, it’s an honor to be among the chosen. Before this news broke, I’d already agreed to travel to Chicago for the RT Book Lovers Convention, venue for the awards presentation, April 11-15, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. While there, I’ll be on a special panel for a 30-year retrospective of the romance industry. In addition, I’ll be doing an Author’s Chat in company with best-selling authors Loretta Chase and Mary Balogh, plus autographing books at the huge, 400+ author book signing that’s always a favorite event. There will be parties, parties, parties and loads of free books and other giveaways. For registration information:

The Three Graces books can be viewed here:

Another happening marked on my calendar for 2012 is a featured author chat with the Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers group on Facebook. This will take place on the first Friday in February, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST. Focus will be on the medieval and renaissance periods in romance novels and the pleasure of “meaty” reads. If you enjoy reading something other than what’s been called “cookie cutter historical romances,” then you might want to join this group moderated by Emery Lee, talented author of FORTUNE’S SON.

Meanwhile, the big triple contest for the Graces trilogy ended on November 1, and names were drawn from Facebook and Twitter friend lists and newsletter loop members. Notices were sent to those selected, and I’m waiting to hear from all three before choosing the winner of the grand prize, the Three Graces Italian cameo pendant. The winner from this newsletter group was bluecrowofhappiness. If this is your yahoo email, please contact me from it with your mailing address at:, or Another name will be drawn on Nov. 15 if contact information is not received before or on that date.

In other contest news, my 6-copy, giveaway of Graces Book 3, SEDUCED BY GRACE, ended in October. The books for these winners were shipped two days later.

You might think this string of events kept me too busy to do much else. Close, but not quite! I also wrote a new book proposal in October. It covers three stories in what will be known as the Tudor Heiress Brides series, with settings in the same late-medieval/early-renaissance period as the Graces trilogy. Henry VII will continue to play matchmaker, pairing the young women he claims as his wards with his bravest and most favored knights. Fireworks naturally erupt as the couples struggle mightily against being wed at the king’s command. More about these books will be posted, including titles and tidbits about the characters, when a contract agreement has been reached.

While all this has been going on, the days have faded into fall here in northern Louisiana. Black gums trees and swamp maples are lipstick-red, and the Bradford pears are decked out in autumn hues. Marauding deer level fall gardens overnight, dogs howl at the harvest moon, and flocks of migratory ducks come and go on the lake. We’ve had rain, but not nearly enough; we still have a mud flat around our boat dock. But the summer heat is slowly giving way to cooler days, and I’m beginning to contemplate turkey and dressing, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie and all the other traditional fare. It feels like the right time for thinking of gratitude as well, as Thanksgiving draws near. And I am thankful, indeed, for good news, good times, good weather, good food, and all of you.

With warmest wishes for all the beauty and bounty of the season,

Jennifer Blake

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