Monthly Archives: July 2013

Betrothal by Jenna Jaxon

Please welcome Author Jenna Jaxon!

Jenna explains what she learned and worked through in writing Betrothal, a historical romance.

A New Romance Language?

The exacting use of language is the writer’s major tool for expression.  So what happens when that tool turns on you?

I had realized from my extensive research and reading of historical romance that people spoke differently in different historical periods. When I wrote my other historical works–set in Victorian and Georgian England–I accounted for these differences by using different syntax, fewer contractions, and scrupulous use of words and slang only available during those periods.

When I originally set out to write a medieval romance, however, I was blissfully ignorant of the perilous waters I’d be treading with regard to the language usage during the fourteenth century.  Time Enough to Love was my first book and when I decided to self-publish it, several years after it was originally written, I told my editor I wanted the language to be as authentic as possible.  She said okay, and about two weeks later she sent me the first five pages.

One of my favorite things about the medieval period is its use of jewel colors in clothing and stained glass.  My manuscript pages were jeweled colored as well–with track changes.  

Almost every word had a notification saying, “This word wasn’t used until 1533,” or “The first use of this word was in 1660.”  The most appalling instance was when she informed me that the word “betrothal,” the title of the first novella in Time Enough to Love, was not used until Victorian times!  When I learned this I wrote back, “The word they would probably have used is ‘espousal,’ but I don’t think that has the same ring, do you?”

My editor agreed and then said, “If you want to be authentic with the language in this book, you’re going to have to re-write this like Chaucer.”

And how many people are going to read a romance that starts out something like, “Where be he?

Lady Alyse de Courcy walketh in hir grace forth to the Grete Halle, hir cuntenance with care composed into lignes of plesaunce.”

So we’ve compromised.  The language to be used in Betrothal and the other two novellas, gives the flavor of the period, using syntax, words and phrases common to the fourteenth and not readily discernable as modern.  Did you know that the words “hallway” is from 1875 America and “corridor” is from 1585 and “passageway” is from 1640.  So what did they call it in 1348?  I couldn’t discover it, and if I had it might not be recognizable.  You will therefore see both corridor and passageway, which are closest in time.

The language in Betrothal challenged me on several different fronts, but I hope in the end it evolved into an easily read historical romance that evokes the time period without sounding like a reading assignment for a senior English class. J


Blurb for Betrothal:

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?

Excerpt for Betrothal:

“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.

Buy Links (Psst–On sale for .99 for ONE more day! Ends 08/01/13)



Also available on Smashwords:


Author Bio:

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  Her historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do, 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.


Published Works:

Betrothal–Historical Romance

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


Find Jenna around the web on;
FB: Twitter: Goodreads: WordPress:



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Steamy Paranormal Romance-Like shifters?

Lured into a fate he didn’t deserve, Moss wanted only desired to be left alone. To remember the family he’d let down.

Townsfolk had other ideas as legends of the elusive Bog Man swirled.

Beth knew better than to listen to her dumb-ass brother. But he dared her.

Now’s she’s in the swamp, after dark…and just found the Bog Man!

Swamp Magic -On Sale for $1.99 until 7/31

(Available now in Print as well)


Grace had loved and lost. Still unable to shake the memories of what could have been.

Damien wanted vengeance. Played for a fool by the seductive Swamp Witch he’s become a recluse in his hidden cave, deep in the heart of the swamp.

Embroiled in a battle of good and evil, Grace unleashes the magic within. She never expected to meet sexy armadillo shifter Damien.

Thrust into a fight for their lives, can Grace let go of her past in time to convince the shifter there’s more to life than vengeance?

Or will the past creep up to devour them both?

Under the Full Moon- Bk 2 in the Swamp Magic Series!

Go on an adventure…deep into the heart of the Swamp!

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Liza O’Connor’s ‘Worst Week Ever’ Tour

The Rehabilitation (rather than killing) of Liza’s Darlings.

When writing the first draft of Worst Week Ever, inspired to show vs. tell, I scripted the entire Broadway show Trent and Carrie see on Monday. While my critters thought it sounded like an excellent show, watching a two hour show IN my book seemed excessive. So slowly I came to reason and began whittling it away. This scene has now been condensed to a paragraph. This is an earlier version where we watch some of the antics that occurred. (Don’t worry, it’s not the two hour version.)

A soothing low announcer voice that made him think of liquid chocolate filled the auditorium.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together for the dynamic duo, Tall and Tiny.”

The entire auditorium stood, clapped and yelled as a seven-foot man and his four-foot partner entered the empty stage with a fishing pole, a pink plastic bucket, and a giant umbrella with a bull’s-eye painted on its canvas.

They stopped center stage and waved at the crowd. Tall scratched his head and spoke, “Boy, whoever said New Yorkers weren’t friendly is nuts.”

Tiny reached into the bucket and pulled out a four foot cut-out of New Jersey. He pointed to the watch on his wrist and then to Jersey.

“You think so?” Tall asked.

Tiny nodded his head in sweeping ups and downs.

Tall stared at the audience. “How many of you are from New Jersey?” The crowd roared and two thirds of the audience raised their hands, including, of course, Carrie.

“Well, Tiny, you’re mostly right, but the other third is from New York.”

Tiny shook his head then buried it in the bucket pulling out a five foot shape of Iowa.

A group of people yelled from the right cheap seats. He continued to pull out giant foam states from the small bucket.

Trent guessed there was a hole in the bottom, because the growing foam pieces the fellow had thus far pulled out of it would barely fit in a moving van.

Someone yelled out California. Tiny stared into the bucket then stuck his arm and shoulder into the bucket, trying to reach the state. He tried again, with his head and arms disappearing in the bucket.

Tall walked over and picked up the bucket and stared beneath it, revealing a solid floor. He sat Tiny, stuck in the bucket, back on the floor and grabbed the fellow’s wiggling feet and with a foot on the rim of the bucket, he pulled the little guy out and to the crowd’s delight, out came Tiny with a fifteen-foot-long and six-foot-wide foam cut out of California. The entire crowd stood and applauded as the little fellow performed gymnastics on the multitude of states covering the bare floor. Coming down from New York, he leapt onto New Jersey, rolled himself inside it and would have flown off the stage had Tall not stopped it. Yet, when the giant, gangly man unraveled the state, Tiny was no longer inside.

“These guys are amazing!” Trent yelled to Carrie over the cheering of the audience.

Her eyes sparkled with joy as she nodded in agreement.

Now alone on the stage, sorrowful Tall looked around and shrugged.

“We love you,” someone yelled from the audience.

Instantly, he pulled a giant ring from his suit and sent it flying across the audience. The spot light followed it and a middle aged woman caught and hugged it to her chest before sitting down.

When Trent returned his focus on Tall, the man opened his bull’s-eye umbrella so the top of the canvas faced the audience. As he twirled the umbrella, the pattern seemed to spread out until it disappeared, leaving a pure white umbrella. Then from behind it, Tall retrieved a wooden chair that he kept unfolding until it became a long deck recliner.

Impossible. Trent had no idea how they were doing any of this.

He gripped Carrie’s hand in his. This was the best thing he’d ever seen in his life!

The lugubrious mournful fellow tried to sit in his recliner, but it was too small, so he tugged at both ends and the side, then sat back down and astoundingly it now fit him perfectly. He reached for his fishing pole and cast it over the heads of the audience.

Trent turned to see where it went but he couldn’t tell, so he resumed watching Tall.

He was glad he’d turned back around, because Tiny was trying his hardest to crawl out of the bucket. He kept waving at Tall, but Mr. Morose was staring out upon the imaginary water and didn’t see him.

“Save Tiny!” someone yelled and soon the audience was chanting ‘Save Tiny,’ Trent and Carrie included.

Finally, Tall turned to see his friend stuck in the bucket. He ran to the fellow and tried to pull him out, and almost did. Only his feet remained stuck inside, thus the bucket rose off the solid floor and its plastic bottom was visible to the audience. With a swat of Tall’s hand, the bucket fell away.

The moment he set his tiny friend down, Tiny ran to the chair, pushed it into a much smaller chair, then takes up the fishing pole. Tall walks to the umbrella, spins it the other way, making the circle move to

the center and pulled out another chair from seemingly nowhere for himself. However before he has time to sit in it, Tiny gets a strike and despite some hysterically funny mule-like resistance, the unseen fish slowly pulled Tiny closer to the edge. With a sudden hard tug, Tiny flew off the stage.

Trent held his hands out ready to catch the fellow, while the man beside him covered his head.

Amazingly, Tall ran across the stage and snatched Tiny’s foot at the last second. The little guy now became an extension of the fishing pole for Tall. When Tall pulled back and up on Tiny’s foot, the small man lifted along with his pole.

Their imaginary fish put up an enormous fight, and the slapstick had Trent laughing harder than he ever had in his life. Tears were streaming down his face by the time someone squealed and he turned around to see a forty foot giant grey whale struggling above him.

The animated whale looked shockingly real. The air even smelled of salt water.

The battle was ferocious and just when it looked they’d beach the monster, Tiny slipped out of the shoe that Tall held onto. A second later, the little fellow flew into the mouth of the whale, who burped and swam off into the blackness.

When Trent refocused on the stage, Tall was weeping. He then looked at the audience as he cradled Tiny’s shoe. “Never take life for granted. Treasure every moment. Love when you can, not when it’s convenient.”

The man’s sunken remorseful eyes stared straight into Trent’s.

Hope you enjoyed Act One of Tall and Tiny’s Broadway show!

Worst Week Ever

by Liza O’Connor

New Adult, Humor, Contemporary


What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?

Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love.


Worst Week Ever.


Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant, or as his drivers refers to Carrie: ‘Trent’s brain, left hand, and right hand’. He’s had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry his brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he’s threatened to fire her, he’s not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie’s Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.

(Hilarious to the reader–Carrie is not having much fun this week.)


Carrie squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the thump of a body against the limo’s hood.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted Sam take a shortcut,” Trent muttered beneath his breath.

She groaned softly. If her boss questioned his actions, then matters must look grim outside. She tensed even further, expecting to hear multiple bodies slam into the car.

Sam braked hard, turned right, and resumed driving a billion miles an hour. If not for the seat belts, she and Trent would’ve sailed into the front seat, and then plastered against the door. To secure her further, Trent protectively placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his warm chest.

She focused on the thumping of his heart. It beat once to three of hers. God, how can he be so calm?

Determined to match his bravery, she tried to raise her head, but he wouldn’t let her.

“Just a little longer, I hope. Sam, when do we depart this third world country?”

“Two more blocks, sir.”

“Thank God. You’ve terrified poor Carrie to death.”

Instantly, the limo’s speed dropped.

She turned her head sideways so Sam might be able to hear her words. “Your driving doesn’t frighten me, Sam, the neighborhood does.”

As if on cue, a round of three loud pops sounded, followed by three thunks into her side door. She squeaked like a mouse at the first thunk. By the third, her body shivered in fear.

Trent’s arms tightened around her as the limo picked up speed again. “We’re okay,” he assured her, then his lips pressed against her temple. His calm certainty silenced her tremors.

Having successfully soothed her, he released his outrage upon Sam. “Why the hell did you drive us through here?”

Sam calmly replied as he drove the car at a billion miles an hour, taking corners at deadly speeds. “I warned you the locals might not welcome us.”

“Someone just shot at us?” Trent yelled.

Sam’s nonchalant reply sounded almost surreal. “I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to take it personally, sir.”

Maybe none of this is happening. Maybe I fell asleep in the traffic and my dream has gone rogue.

Her heart calmed and she nuzzled closer to Trent, breathing in his masculine scent. Secure in her dream, she confessed something she never would in real life. “You smell good.”

Trent’s arms relaxed a bit and he chuckled. “It’s called Trent. I had the cologne custom developed. They assessed my natural odors and then determined the optimal combination of scents to create my unique smell.”

She snorted. Even in her dreams, he remained the strangest man she’d ever met. If she had all the money in the world, she’d try to end poverty and violence in…whatever hell they’d just driven through, not have some custom designed perfume created so she’d smell really, really good.



Author Bio:

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

Author Links



Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

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Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop!

 Welcome to the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop!

Here’s how the hop works! Each author invites up to five other authors to answer five questions about their current summer release or WIP and a tasty recipe that ties into it! As more authors join the hop, I will post links to their blogs so you can add these awesome treats (and reads) to your to do list 🙂 I have invited the lovely Nikki Lynn Barrett and Linda Nightingale to join in the hop, and they should have their recipes up soon, so just click on their names to see what they’ve got cooking!
My new Fantasy romance, Under the Full Moon, Bk Two in the Swamp Magic Series just released on the 17th of June. Ebook format for now, but Book One, Swamp Magic, is now available in PRINT or is now on SALE in ebook form!

Now for the Random Tasty Questions:
1) When writing are you a snacker? Yes. If so sweet or salty?  Salty like popcorn.
2) Are you an outliner or someone who writes by the seat of their pants? And are they real pants or jammies? Seat of my capri’s, as I’m mostly dressed. Sort of let the girls stay free and being in the south, stay barefooted too.
3) When cooking, do you follow a recipe or do you wing it? Both. Depends on the dish. Mostly wing it. Just made a cake today with WeeMan. Totally winged it and it was pretty good.
4) What is next for you after this book? Working on Bk 3 in the Swamp Magic series now, but also editing one of the first stories I ever wrote.
5) Last question…on a level of one being slightly naughty and ten being whoo hoo steamy, how would you rate your book? Woo Hoo steamy, but this one isn’t erotic.

And now for the really tasty part!
 Bobbi Romans Decadent Potato Casserole (This is my most requested dish and can be played with)

(1) Bag of Frozen Potatoes O’Brien (Potatoes w/onions and peppers)

(1) Block of cream cheese.

(1) Carton of 1/2 & 1/2 or Heavy Whipping Cream

(1) Stick of Butter

(2) Bags of Instant flavored potatoes. (Butter Garlic/Loaded-whichever you prefer)

(1) Bag of shredded Italian cheese.

Durkee’s French Friend onions. (Optional)

Now here is where you can play. Just THOSE ingredients as a side-dish…or, add a meat and vegetable (like peas and ham, etc) and serve w/nice yeast rolls to have a complete meal.

Put large pot of salted water on to boil. In a large casserole pan empty the packet of instant potatoes and shredded cheese. In a microwave safe bowl soften the butter and cream cheese. Once water bowls, add the frozen potatoes to quick thaw only (about 2 min stirred) then drain.

Dump the potatoes and softened butter and cream cheese into the casserole pan with instant potatoes. Mix up. Add the 1/2 & 1/2 or Heavy whipping cream until the mixture is of runny gravy consistency. (Potatoes thicken in the oven)

Top casserole with Durkee’s around the edges and bake for about 30-40 min or until bubbly and golden on top.


Link to the 1st Blog Hop ‘Codi Gary’:


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Pop into my interview with the funny Codi Gary!

There’s chatter about my latest release, a big sale and LOST GIRL! Dyson talk and Big Bang snippets.

Check it out here:

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Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop- Codi Gary

Author Codi Gary started it off…check out her interview and lip smacking recipe!



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Orgasms. Is there a reason?

So on Twitter of all places this discussion came up. I saw @SocialCrunch tweet,

“Researchers have no idea why women orgasm, because unlike men, it serves no biological function in women”

But (any of you watch it? Tell me in the comments below) I watched a documentary hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal on Discovery about this.

I’m going to try and post the link.Discovery’s: Curiosity-Reproduction

Hopefully I did that right.

Anyhow, during the program it was suggested that the orgasm effectively worked like a super vacuum, pulling the sperm to where they need to go to help ensure pregnancy.

The show was absolutely fascinating and Ms. Gyllenhaal did a splendid job hosting it.

But…weigh in. Did you see the program? Believe that the BIG O has a purpose other than pleasure? Any thoughts on the program?

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