Read A Romance Month!

I am so honored to be recommended by Cathy Maxwell for Read A Romance Month! How amazing it is to celebrate a genre and group of people I love so much. I’m writing this from San Antonio, Texas, where the Romance Writers of America’s National convention just wrapped up last night. So to speak about how incredible this group is truly is foremost in my mind.

Every person I meet here is excited and in love with love, and that in itself is what makes my ‘workplace’ and my ‘coworkers’ so incredible. This week was our water cooler and we talked it up like crazy.

There is no other place in the world I’ve ever felt so welcome and like I belonged. Just like sinking into a wonderful book, sinking into the world of romance writers is like coming home and getting lost in a world that seems so wonderful it’s almost impossible.

One of the biggest things to happen this year was that two self-published novels won in their respective mainstream categories in the RITA Awards. This was a benchmark for self-publishing, a proof that self published novels CAN compete against their big published counterparts. What does that mean? It means we will all work harder to write, polish, and create the BEST POSSIBLE BOOKS for the readers.

My novels are different, they’re fully illustrated. The editors, publishers and agents I queried didn’t understand what I was doing, so I went on and blazed my own trail—learning and publishing that book myself. Now with two successful illustrated novels published that people can SEE to understand, I have those publishers interested in what I’m doing. It’s fantastic! In the past a book like mine would have ended up under a bed somewhere, or published in a way that was completely different from what I’d envisioned.

That’s not the world we live in now, now we live in this incredible world where different books that can’t be mainstream published are finding their own audience.

IT’S AMAZING and who wins in this new world? THE READER.

 

So that’s what I’m here to celebrate— THE READER of the romance, because you guys are voracious, passionate, wonderful and just as in love with love as we writers are. I LOVE YOU guys.

 

.Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I’m not much for actual adventure and daring—the sort that involves jumping from planes or going into scary places. But in my former life I was a photojournalist, and I was put in some interesting positions when covering stories. I remember the most exhilarating thing I ever covered was the Denver Grand Prix, and the moment I remember as the most heart-pounding, terrifying, oh-my-goodness-I-just-survived-that moment was during a practice. I was shooting at the edge of a turn and a car spun out, coming within inches of the barrier I stood behind shooting. I held my ground and kept shooting as everyone around me scattered in fear. In hindsight, I probably should have scattered with them, but if he’d hit the wall… it really wouldn’t have made any difference if I’d made it 5 feet away from that wall.

 

.Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.

I was born to be a photographer. Everything I did was to that end. I always wanted to write a book, but I never had any support from my English teachers, I was always doing something different and they would mark me down because of it. None of my teachers understood my need to bring visual creativity to writing, it drove me NUTS and apparently would become a theme later on when I went to publish. I had a vision though, and that vision included visuals, I pursued it, I ignored the people who wanted to stop me and now? NOW they understand.

Listen to your heart if you want to write, if you want to do anything creative. LISTEN to your heart.

 

.Tell us about A Book That Changed Your Life.

I have to say the book that changed my life was AFTER MIDNIGHT by Teresa Medeiros. She was my gateway. I didn’t know romance existed, and after I read TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer (because my daughter’s were all obsessed with it), I went looking to find other books out there. AFTER MIDNIGHT is what I found, and historical romance spoke to my heart in a way I never knew possible. I started writing my first book a few months (and about 100 romance novels) later.

 

.Recommendations 

I’m going to recommend the two self-published RITA winning novels, as well as a RITA nominated novel.

TAKE ME COWBOY – Jane Porter, a western novella

OFF THE EDGE – Carolyn Crane

THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY – Courtney Milan

 

.Giveaway

I’m giving away one of these three books, from the e-retailer of your choice, anywhere I can gift an eBook to one commenter. Tell me the most adventurous thing YOU’VE done! 

 

Historical romance author, Jenn LeBlanc

Historical romance author, Jenn LeBlanc

 

Canon. Curls. CJs. Chuck Norris.

Born and raised in this beautiful state —very nearly with a camera in hand— I never left. I started my own family, got used to the curls, went to college, built a CJ, started a business, and totally beat the daylights out of Chuck Norris, all with a camera in hand.

 

Spending my days in parenting chat rooms I got highly adept with one-handed typing and I can still type just about as fast with one hand as I can with two. It’s a great talent to have when engrossed in a scene and in need of a hit of caffeine. Once I finished my first novel I quickly realized: I was born a photographer.

 

From the realization that someone ELSE would be shooting the cover of MY book my control-freak took over. What started as an easy cover shoot ballooned into this completely new kind of media, designed specifically for digital book readers. The Illustrated Romance.

 

I live and thrive off chaos and the constant flow of the creative process. I wears shorts and flip-flops year-round —much to the chagrin of my friends and family.

 

The images from my book started a ruckus, and from there, #StudioSmexy was born, I’ve since shot over 300 romance novel covers, and currently shoot custom images for very special clients.


My second novel ABSOLUTE SURRENDER  is doing its own Chuck Norris impersonation with the charts on Amazon. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook sharing eye candy (NSFW) and being a total rock star.

Absolute Surrender - Cover

 

 

Happiness was always too much for Lady Amelia to hope for.

Now all she expects is to secure her future and marry Charles, Duke of Castleberry, as arranged. But Amelia has a dangerous secret that could not only destroy her in Charles’s eyes and the eyes of society, but could also very well condemn her to Bedlam.

Baron Endsleigh, Amelia’s oldest friend, has other ideas. Ender has loved Amelia all his life. He knows her secrets, and they don’t frighten him. He plans to come between Amelia and Charles in any way he can to prevent the marriage and finally claim Amelia for his own. Though her father forbade the match years ago, Ender is determined to have her as his wife and nothing can stop him. Not even a duke as powerful as Castleberry.

That duke has hated Baron Endsleigh and wanted Amelia for, what seems to him, forever. Charles will stop at nothing to make her his, and his alone, even if that means destroying the one thing he knows she loves most in this world—Endsleigh.

Will Amelia be able to choose when one man speaks to her head and the other her heart?

None of them will find happiness until they all three learn to embrace absolute surrender.

 

iBOOKS 

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO

All Romance

TRADE PAPERBACK

Goodreads

 

Comments
6 Responses to “Read A Romance Month!”
  1. molly says:

    Yay for being a trailblazer! I just sent a sample of Absolute Surrender to my Kindle. What is a CJ?

    Like

  2. Martha B says:

    In 1992, after the Iron Curtain fell and Boris Yeltsin became president, I moved to Moscow, Russia (site unseen) for 3 + years. I worked at the Radisson Slavjanskaya Hotel. Yes, I left Minnesota. If I were comparing those experiences to ice cream flavors – – I exchanged my French Vanilla life to Rocky Road! It was rich, colorful, textured and full of hidden surprises

    Like

  3. Sue G. says:

    Most adventurous thing I have done is have daughters! They are now 21, 19 and 17 but there were days where those hormones were really running wild!

    Also, I got back into reading again by picking up Twilight too! My oldest was obsessed with the book and just could not put it down. I picked it up to see what it was and was hooked. Read the first 3 books in 7 days! Just loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenn says:

      Sue. This is axing and I totally agree with you, I have four daughters and they are now 21, 18, 17 and 13 SO I TOTALLY GET IT! How funny is that?!?!

      I think that many daughters trumps just about anything. 😉

      Like

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