1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been writing since forever it feels like. I’ve always loved to write. Writing assignments were always my favourite in school. I wrote my first short story in 3rd grade and ended up with I think four or five before that year was through. Too bad it took me so long to realize this is what I want to do with my life. But then theatre was also a great passion of mine, so I went with that as my career goal instead. Now they sort of work in tandem. I use the one set of skills to compliment the other discipline.
2. Tell us a little about the book you are here to promote?
Betrothal is Book 1 in a series, actually one bigger book, called Time Enough to Love. This was the first book I wrote when I said to myself, “I can write a romance novel.” But the end product was way too long for publication, so someone suggested publishing it in three sections and publishing it that way. Book 1 is about the arranged marriage of Lady Alyse de Courcy and Sir Geoffrey Longford--not a big deal in the medieval period when the story is set. However, Lady Alyse is in love with Sir Geoffrey’s best friend, Lord Braeton, and the dynamics of this triangle resonate not only in Betrothal, but throughout the entire novel.
3. What was your main inspiration for this story?
The idea came to me from watching a History Channel program on the Black Plague. LOL Not the usual fare for romance novels. But the program talked about how the plague did not discriminate between noble and peasant and how the impact of all these deaths changed the world in just a few years. A time of change is always interesting to look at--how do people cope when the world as you knew it is gone? I think this question is one we all find fascinating--look at all the zombie apocalypse movies, the dystopian novels that now abound. We are interested in thinking about how would I react/survive if the world turned upside down.
4. If your book was made into a movie, which stars would you want to play your Hero and Heroine?
Wow. That would be too cool! I think Clive Owen would be an amazing Geoffrey. And Jennifer Lawrence has the strength and softness to play Alyse.
5. Describe your Hero/Heroine in five words?
Geoffrey: passionate, honorable, loyal, loving, jealous
Alyse: naive, passionate, intelligent, strong, caring
6. If you could go back and give your-struggling-author-self one piece of advice now that you are published what would it be?
Don’t publish too soon. Once you publish you are sucked into promotion which eats ravenously into your writing time. Before I was published I could focus solely on my writing. Now I don’t have that luxury.
7. Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I’m not sure how interesting they are but I write best when it’s completely quiet--no music, no background noise. Like it is right now. So quiet I can hear the refrigerator turn on from two rooms away. And I have to write straight through a book. I can’t stop and write the last chapter and then go back. I can jot down points that I want to happen, but I can’t write chapter 13 before chapter 12. I’m too linear.
8. How do you stay motivated when the Muse is being temperamental?
My muse is always whispering in my ear. I haven’t had any trouble with her being silent. I do, however, have to ‘gear up” to write. You might call it procrastination, but my creative juices need to reach a critical mass before I can sit down to write. So if the time’s not right, I’ll check email, do promo, get something to eat or drink, load the dishwasher, go to the store, anything but write. But when the time is ripe, I sit down and simply vanish into the manuscript. The world disappears and the family has to come drag me into the kitchen to make dinner.
9. What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing?
Reading and watching TV--my favourite show right now is Big Bang Theory. ‘Cause I’m a nerd too!
10. Fast Five:
a. Tea or Coffee? Tea
b. Kindle or Nook? kindle
c. Beer or Wine or Spirits? Whatever Bailey’s Irish Cream is. LOL
d. All-time favourite book? Devilish by Jo Beverley
e. All-time favourite Movie? Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis
Lady Alyse de Courcy has fallen in love with Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court and a man to whom she has barely spoken. Fate, however, has decreed her betrothal to his best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford—a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed.
When Sir Geoffrey is bound in betrothal by his father, he could not have expected the beautiful stranger to win his heart the moment they meet. Nevertheless, the fascinating Lady Alyse has done exactly that, and his feelings for her only grow as he learns more of her gentle yet spirited nature. But Alyse’s infatuation with his friend casts doubt on whether she can ever return his regard and their wedding day is fast approaching…
Will he have time enough to win her love?
“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.
King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”
Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.
“Rise, my lady.”
She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”
Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.
King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”
Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”
King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.
Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.
In her mind, she heard the word.
The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.
“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”
Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.
Not Lord Braeton.
Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.
God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not.
Fearful, she cringed as her gaze climbed higher, over his chest, over his chin, finally resting on the dark blue eyes turned toward her.
Geoffrey returned her appraisal, his gaze sweeping her figure as a smile crept over his face. “Your Majesty.” He spoke to the king but his attention remained fixed on Alyse. “When my father told me of the betrothal contract before I left his home, I resolved to play the dutiful son. Now, however, I find I do not wish to act that role after all.” His eyes held hers as he paused.
Dear God, does he mean to renounce me here before the entire court?
Alyse stared at the man beside her, willing herself to remain upright, despite the waves of ice and fire alternating through her body.
“Now I find I would rather play the ardent lover.”
An amused murmur ran through the Hall at his words. Sir Geoffrey grinned, his eyes sparkling with humor and something more. Despite the uneven light, Alyse saw an unfathomable promise in their dark depths. She took a shaky breath and looked away.
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romance, , the first in a series of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of Seduction. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this summer as a series of three novellas. The first book, Betrothal, released on April 19th.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
Only Scandal Will Do--Historical Romance
7 Days of Seduction--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Almost Perfect--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Hog Wild--Contemporary Erotic Romance
Heart of Deception--Historical Romance