Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Award-Winning Western Romance Author Jennifer Jakes

A man with a bitter past…
After the Civil War, Major Sinclair Bradford fled West to escape the pain of battle and the shame of a failed marriage. Haunted by betrayal and lies, he trusts no one—especially women. The last thing he needs is the lure of a dark haired brothel madam. Not only is she beautiful enough to tempt the devil, she’s deceitful enough to shred what’s left of Sinclair’s heart. But when she asks for his help to investigate the attack of a young girl, he can’t say no to her—nor the aching desire she stirs in him.

A woman with no future…
Eden Gabrielli lives by three rules: Never trust the wealthy, do whatever it takes to survive, and never again believe a decent man could love a whore. After being stabbed and left for dead, she must lie to keep her secrets and protect her sister from a life of prostitution—even if that means deceiving the handsome and determined Major Bradford, the one man who tempts her to break her rules. She might need his help, but she craves his touch, which makes him a dangerous ally. Because if the truth is revealed, more than her rules could be broken…

I’m thrilled to host Jennifer Jakes at Get Lost In A Story today! Not only is she an uber-talented author, she’s one of my writing partners for the Western romance anthology Passion’s Prize, which contains her steamy new novella, Eden’s Sin. Jennifer was a Golden Heart finalist in 2010, the same year I made the finals, both of us with Western romances. She’s an amazing writer, but you’ll find that out as soon as you pick up one of her books.

 After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.

Married to her very own hero, she lives on seven acres along with two beautiful daughters, two spoiled cats, three hyper dogs and one fat rabbit.
During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.

Her debut novel, RAFE’S REDEMPTION, was a RWA Golden Heart® finalist and Won BEST ROMANCE 2011 at DITHR and many other awards. RAFE’S REDEMPTION has since become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon! 

Her second book, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, was an International Digital Award finalist. It has also recently become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon! 

An excerpt from Eden’s Sin…

“We can see if Mary Rose feels up to talking now.” Eden stacked the dirty plates into the sink. “The dishes can wait.” Better to let the major ask his questions and be gone. This evening was too …cozy.
“All right.” He pulled the frying pan free from the heat. “After you.”  He smiled again, and it was discerning as hell. His dimple, the fact his eyes crinkled at the sides…and the way his hair was still mussed did crazy things to her insides. He was nothing like the men she’d been with. High-bred dandies, they were. Alexander being the cream of the crop, or the bottom of the barrel depending on how you looked at it. Nevertheless, all of them were worthless, selfish men who betrayed their wives, their business partners, and anyone dumb enough to associate with them.
She much preferred Sinclair’s class of people. Much preferred a lazy smile from a man willing to help in the kitchen over a rehearsed laugh from a man sprawled over a fainting couch. Much preferred the heady scent of saddle leather over bottled toilet water. Much preferred the man following her over any man she’d met in a long, long, long time.
She felt his gaze scorching her back as she led him through the kitchen to the spare room where Mary Rose rested. What was he thinking as he trailed behind? Was he wondering about her limp? Why she'd become a whore?
Something foreign inside made her want to tell him, wanted him to understand this life had chosen her, not the other way around. That given a choice, she would have been anything but a whore. Could have been a wife, a mother. Could have been someone respectable, wonderful, loved.
Before they reached the door she stopped short and turned – colliding against the major. His arms shot out catching her, wrapping her in his heat for just a moment, but searing her with the memory she wouldn’t soon forget. She glanced up to apologize, but the words froze in her throat. His brown eyes darkened to black, and a thick, languid heat flooded her limbs, making her boneless.
She melted against his hard body. Oh, God, she wanted him, wanted to stay right here in his heat for just a minute or a month. She wanted to feel safe, warm. Wanted, wanted so much.
She lifted her head. His lips were full and so close. His breath brushed across her cheek, warm, sweet from his sugared coffee. His palm slid up her ribs, his fingers achingly close to her breast, closer, closer, so close the breath froze in her lungs. The look he gave her was unguarded, exposed, raw, a look that stirred a spark inside her, sparked embers she'd buried long ago. A spark she thought to keep extinguished forever, but now it scorched her inside out.
And God help her, she liked it.

E.E.: How often to you get lost in a story?
Jennifer: Not nearly as often as I wish I could! But I do manage to read a few chapters each night before bed—even if that means staying up a little too late…LOL

E.E : What’s the first romance book you remember reading? 
Jennifer: Oh, good question! And I actually do remember! I was 11 yrs old and it was summer break. I must have been driving my mom crazy because she handed me a Harlequin and said, “Go read!” The title was Blue Jasmine. And the rest, as they say, is history. I was hooked on romance!

E.E.: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Jennifer: Is it wrong to have a crush on Flynn Ryder from Tangled….? No, I didn’t think so. He’s the BEST Disney hero ever—not to mention the only one who could grow facial hair and act manly…just sayin’.

E.E.: What sound or noise do you love?
Jennifer: I love rain on a tin roof. Makes me wish my house had a tin roof. Since it doesn’t, I do like the ticking of a clock or the lapping of waves.

E.E.: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
Jennifer: Oh, yeah. And in the hero’s. That’s why I’m such a tough critique partner. :)

E.E.: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Jennifer: Historical Romance all the way. Preferably, Western Historical. I want action and danger, and I like the grittiness of the Old West.

E.E.: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Jennifer: I’m not familiar with these 2 words. What are they? LOL  Honestly, I am a workaholic. Wish I wasn’t but it’s my nature.

E.E.: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Jennifer: I have a very odd sense of humor. ;) Odd and ornery and a little dirty.

E.E.: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Jennifer: Iced Tea/ “Girly” (as my dh calls it) Coffee. A little coffee with my cup of cream and sugar.


E.E.: Who's your celebrity crush and why?
Jennifer: Ohhh, Alex O’Loughlin, 100 %.  He is gorgeous and has an Australian accent (tho’ we don’t get to hear it on Hawaii 5-0). What more can you ask for in a hero? He’s fodder for many a daydream, er, I mean plot. Plot, yes, that’s what I meant.

CURRENT RELEASES: Eden’s Sin, an individual novella and featured as one of three interlinked stories in the anthology Passion’s Prize. This book, written with Golden Heart sisters E.E. Burke and Jacqui Nelson, is the first in a new series, Steam! Romance and Rails.

UP NEXT: Ah, decisions, decisions. I have so many plot ideas right now, I’m having a hard time deciding on which one. I have part of ALASKAN HEAT written but a group of sexy Civil War heroes are bugging me to write their series….so we’ll see.

PREVIOUS RELEASES: Well, my Debut Book and Golden Heart novel recently made Kindle #1 Best Seller. Check out RAFE’S REDEMPTION if you have time.  http://tinyurl.com/btv45l2

Here’s where you can find Jennifer:
Twitter: @jenniferjakes
Pinterest: Jennifer Jakes
Blog: Wild and Wicked Cowboys

Will you be giving away a book today?
Actually, two ebooks. Eden's Sin and Rafe's Redemption. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


Jennifer: If you’re a fan of the Western genre, have you been watching the new(ish) T.V. series on AMC-TV, Hell on Wheels? If so, who is your favorite character on the show?


Mary Preston said...

I haven't watched HELL ON WHEELS, but I have heard that's it's very good.

Ada said...

I do like Westerns but I haven't seen Hell On Wheels at all. I should look into it though :)

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Mary! Yes, it's very good -- particularly if you like the grit of the old Clint Eastwood movies. In fact, the hero, Cullen Bohannon ( played by actor Anson Mount) has said he "steals" from Clint Eastwood's style for this role on Hell on Wheels. And it's easy to see he has done his homework! :) Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Ada-
Yes, I think you'll like it. And I'm just so happy to see a Western back on TV. I know there are lots of Western genre fans out there, and I think the TV networks will see that too :)
Thanks for stopping by today!

E.E.Burke said...

Hey Jennifer. Looks like Hell On Wheels may be the best kept secret amongst our romance fans. I've heard from several who read our blogs that they've started watching and are now hooked just like us.

Thanks for joining us here today on Get Lost in a Story and sharing about your wonderful story. I've read it, folks, and you will LOVE it. Jennifer is the queen of steamy Western historical romance.

My favorite character on Hell On Wheels. Well, it's a tie. Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is right up there. But so is Joseph Blackmoon (Eddie Spears) who appeared in the first two seasons. His ill-fated romance with Ruth was so touching, but heart-breaking, too. I really prefer happier endings, but that's why I write romance. :)

Jennifer Jakes said...

LOL! I agree, E.E. -- but it's a service to romance readers everywhere to help share the handsomeness of Cullen/Anson. hahaha
I have to say I'm tied on favorites too. Mine would be Cullen or Elam Ferguson, played by Common. His character and love relationship with Eva is so heart-wrenching...*sigh* I don't see it ending well for them, but I hope...!!! It's the romance writer in me! LOL Always wanting that Happily Ever After.
Thanks so much for hosting today! You ROCK!
See you soon at the Moonlight & Magnolias conference.

Angi Morgan said...

Welcome back to GLIAS my Unsinkable Sister !
It's so good to see your success !

I don't watch HELL ON WHEELS, but I'm sure I'd love it since I trust you, E.E. and Jacqui ! But I have recently watched three seasons of Justified...Oh! My! Goodness!


Maureen said...

Eden's Sin looks like a great story. I have never heard of Hell on Wheels but I will definitely check it out.

Jacqui Nelson said...

Hi Jennifer, Elisabeth and everyone here at Get Lost in a Story. Love Eden's Sin! Also love that I get to put my name on a book cover (Passion's Prize's book cover) next to your name and Elisabeth's! Total thrill!! Love Hell on Wheels too. And, even though he's evil, my favorite character is the Swede.

Jennie Marts said...

Hey Jennifer-great interview! I haven't tried Hell on Wheels- but now I think I should. it sounds like you and I share a similar sense of humor, so I would probably enjoy it! Can't wait to read your latest story! :)

Rita said...

I haven't seen it but my son was telling me about it a few days ago.

Melanie said...

Hey you two!

Great interview btw. I must admit I've never read either of you:( Shame on me! That needs to change ASAP!

As for the question: Last month I got a really bad cold, stuck at home for the whole weekend, in bed & stumbled onto "Hell on Wheels"...watched a marathon of the first season, then caught up to the second season on Comcast on Demand just before the third started on August 10th. I have to say I was blown away by the writing, acting, directing...the show is just first class all the way!

Anson Mount is one hot dude! His portrayal of Cullen Bohannan is riveting! Love him to pieces! Hope the show sticks around for awhile :)

Thanks for the giveaway!


bn100 said...

haven't seen it yet

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I like westerns but haven't seen Hell on Wheels. I'll have to check it out.

Marcy Shuler

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Jennifer!
So happy to have you here, GH sis! I'm so excited about your stories, and about the anthology with E.E. and Jacqui. You guys rock! I'm one of the sad many who hasn't discovered Hell on Wheels. I have the same problem with Downton Abbey. I only just caught up on Sherlock. I seem to have problems finding the classy shows that cause the biggest stirs. But, you've got me feeling totally behind the times, so I may have to go look HOW up online now.
Thanks for coming by--I wish you nothing but the very best with your hot, hot Western heroes!!

chey said...

I haven't seen the show.

Linda said...

I do enjoy reading westerns but I don't watch tv much other than some sports (tennis!). I'd much prefer spending my free time reading.

May said...

No, I haven't seen the show. I watched old westerns though... especially Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid.

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Angi! Thank you!! *Waving and giving air hugs* LOL
Oh, well, you might be on sexy-hero overload after watching that much Justified. haha But there's always room for 1 more hero..........

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Maureen!
Thank you! It was lots of fun to write. We had many emails and brainstorming sessions....and learned a lot about the Katy Railroad -- much of which E.E. had researched prior to the anthology. I had always done more research on the Transcont. Railroad which Hell on Wheels is based.
Anyway, I think you'd like HOW. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Jacqui!!! :) Oh, yes, The Swede! He is the villain we love to hate. His is a wonderfully creepy character and I admit I can't wait to see what he does next. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hey Jennie! :) *Waving*
Yes, you would like the dry humor from Hell on Wheels! And having to look at Cullen / Anson for an hour doesn't hurt either. LOL
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Big hugs!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Rita-
Well, it's gritty......that's why I always compare it to the old Clint Eastwood movies. But if you like the grittier side of the old west, then Hell on Wheels could be for you!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Melanie!
Oh, YAY! So glad to meet another Hell on Wheels fan! Isn't it just the BEST??!! It really helped re-fuel my love of the Western and I'm so glad to see it making a comeback. :)
Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi bn -
Yes, if you get the chance, it's worth watching. I believe you can watch it on AMC TV.com if you don't get that TV channel. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Marcy!
Oh, yes. This show has it all. Handsome hero, several villains of various degrees of mean - ness.....A love story, greed, hatred, competition, dirty politics....everything!
I think you'd like it :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Lizbeth! *waving and sending air hugs* Thanks to all of you for having me here today :)
Yes, I think you can find it on AMC TV.com or Netflix. :)
And I know what you mean about missing out on the best shows. I just happened to see this advertised early on and since it was Western...since I'm such a Western nut I marked my calendar. HAHA
Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Chey!
I bet you'd like it -- if you like Westerns ;)
Thanks for stopping by today!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Linda-
LOL.......I can't find fault with that! I wish I had more time to read! So many great books, so little time.
Thanks for stopping by today.

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi May-
Oh, I loved Butch and Sundance!! Paul Newman....Yum. Were you a Paul or Robert fan....or both? Hard to choose, I know.
Thanks for stopping by today! You made me want to watch Butch and Sundance again!