Southern Storms Spring into Undying Love #SecretsOfRoseville #paranormal #romance #PNR #fiction #amreading #books

Once you live through a scary event it can really color how you view related occurrences for the rest of your life. I’m speaking specifically about the April 2011 swarm of tornadoes that swept across northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. Most of the damage occurred in northern Alabama, but an F0 took out a pine tree next to our farm house in southcentral Tennessee. We lost power for the day, but it was back by dinner time. Hubby and I left our teenage children at home and went to work, where we spent most of the morning in the storm shelters in the basement of our respective office buildings. Listening to tornado sirens going off every so often all the time. Watching the weathermen/women track the multiple tornadoes sweeping across the state. I can’t tell you how concerned I was that we’d left our very capable, nearly adult teens at home alone. We did touch base with them via phone, of course. They were fine. I was the one having the issues!

When there was a break in the chain of storms, the powers that be let us out of the shelters. I picked up my hubby at his office and we headed home. We stopped on the way to pick up batteries and ice but then went straight home. It was a long day, let me tell you! Hubby finally made a dash to the pizza place to pick up our dinner, but raced a tornado warning home. Thankfully, it veered away from our house. By the time he got home, the power came back on. We were lucky, but Alabama was not. Significant damage was done to the power grid, which left the northern region without power for at least a week. Which meant we couldn’t go to work and since we didn’t bring our work laptops home, couldn’t work from home either. Since we lived in Tennessee we had power, but people just south of us in Alabama—a mere half mile away—did not.

At that time, the spring of 2011, my dad was still alive and living in an assisted living facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Because we were not residents, we could not go visit him because they’d instituted a curfew and you had to prove residency in order to enter any given area. He was barely able to talk on the phone, but I could call the nurses and they would take a phone to him so I could check in with him. It was difficult, but I knew it would only be for a short period of time. That experience gave me some measure of insight into how care givers and family dealt with not being able to see their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. I know that must have been very, very difficult!

So what does this have to do with my stories? Well, when I was writing Undying Love (originally titled Traces when first released in April 2014) I included a tornado hitting the Twin Oaks plantation since it’s set in the spring of the year and in Tennessee. Actually, the fictional town of Roseville is modeled on the small town of Fayetteville, Tennessee, near where I lived then. Here’s a snippet from Undying Love:


The double front doors stood open, creating a picturesque backdrop to the array of delicious foods. Grizabella had been relegated to Meredith’s room until the luncheon ended so Meredith wouldn’t worry about her venturing outside, checking out the food, or tripping someone. Before very long, the crowd thinned. The dark storm clouds continued to gather overhead, lightning fracturing the sky. Finally, the last of the mourners paid their condolences, ate their last mouthful, and drove away. The thunder and lightning drew nearer, carried by the increasing wind whipping through the trees and blowing the tall grass so it danced under the onslaught.

“Quite a view from here.” Max had sneaked up on her so quietly she hadn’t heard even a floorboard creak.

“I’ve always loved being on the porch, drawn to it for reasons I only now understand.” She gazed out over the vista, the rolling hills boasting copses of trees, the lake churning in the wind, the road winding its way across the valley and disappearing to the left. The sky turned from dark gray to silver with a green cast, as though growing ill from its own increasing ferocity. She turned away from the storm to contemplate Max, drawn to him, too, for very different reasons. Reasons she must deny herself in order to protect them both. He’s my lawyer, not my lover. “I guess it’s time for you to head to town for the vote, right?”

His expression turned grim. “Why are you pushing me away?”

Before she could formulate a response, the tornado siren blared at the same time the weather radio sounded. Together, they gaped out over the valley in time to see the funnel cloud come into view and take aim on Twin Oaks.

“Oh no!” Meredith cried. “Where’s everybody? We need to take cover.”

“Get down to the basement,” Max said. “I’ll get the cat. Go!”

“I’ll find everyone.” She closed the double doors and then raced down the hall, searching for her family.

They found her, emerging into the hallway from side rooms as she ran toward the kitchen. Brock’s stalwart expression calmed Meredith’s rising panic. Her mother and sister exhibited concern but not fear.

“The tornado is coming this way. Go to the cellar. Now!” She shooed them before her, aware of Max’s heavy footsteps above as he hurried to retrieve her cat.

His offer to find Grizabella and keep her safe warmed Meredith’s heart. His longer stride made it faster for him to retrieve the cat than for Meredith. As long as he hurried, they’d all make it to the safety of the storm shelter.


It seemed logical to include the tornado but little did I realize I was tempting fate!

I set up a Facebook launch party event with other authors helping me celebrate the release of then Traces in April 2014. Note it’s the same month as when the swarm of tornadoes attacked three years earlier. It was nearly the same day of the month, too. That should have forewarned me but did I listen? Um, nope. I carried on, obliviously. Until the afternoon of the release party brought with it severe weather in the form of thunderstorms and, you guessed it, tornado warnings!

I managed to stay online for this virtual book launch through most of the planned event. Then we lost power so I was unable to interact with the partiers any longer. But I had told my co-hosts that I might lose power due to impending storms so they were able to pick up the party ball and carry on. The next day I went back to the group event and let everyone know we were fine and to touch base with everyone who had been kind enough to attend my first romance book launch party. But wow! What a memory, eh?

If you haven’t read Undying Love yet, the Kindle edition is on sale for $.99 through April 7. Grab your copy today and enjoy!

Happy Easter! Thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Meredith Reed inherits the family plantation after the tragic loss of her family and now must decide its future. Max Chandler has found his soul mate in beautiful yet aloof Meredith, but she threatens to destroy the property he cherishes. Can Meredith learn a lesson from the spectral lady in time to save both her family and home from destruction?

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Getting to know Jenna Jaxon #author #historical #romance #HistoricalFiction #suspense #GetReading #Storytelling

My guest today shares several of my favorite things! She reads and writes historical romance/fiction, for one. See how many other similarities you see as we get to know Jenna Jaxon. Let’s take a look at her bio and then we’ll dive in.

Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling author of historical romance, writing in a variety of time periods because she believes that passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna 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–including two vocal cats, one almost silent cat, a Sharpei-beagle mix (Sharp-eagle), and a very curious bunny.

When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna equates her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Betty: When did you become a writer?

Jenna: I have been a writer practically since I learned to write. In third grade I penned my first masterpiece, a story called Miss Priss Finds A Kitten. I’ve loved writing ever since and relished all my creative writing assignments in high school and college. But I started writing romance in 2009, after six months on a gluten-free diet gave me a huge boost of creativity. I finished a book by Kathleen Woodiwiss titled Everlasting, set in my favorite period—Medieval—closed the book, said aloud, “I could write something like that,” sat down and began to write the book that would become Time Enough to Love. I haven’t looked back since.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Jenna: I began writing in 2009 and my first short story was published in 2011, followed by my first novel in 2012. But I consider myself always learning how to better my writing. Of course, I’ve been honing my writing skills all throughout my school days, including a 400-page dissertation for my Ph.D., so the short answer is “a very long time.”

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Jenna: Two authors have had a great influence on my writing style. The first was Kathleen Woodiwiss, whose books I devoured as soon as I began to write. The second was Jo Beverley, whose books I stumbled upon while reading an anthology of romance novellas that included a novella by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Ms. Beverley’s works (and I read them all as quickly as I could get them) showed me the depth and breadth of characters and made me fall in love with the Georgian period.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Jenna: Strangely enough, I began writing because I became gluten intolerant. Once I realized I had to go on a gluten free diet in the summer of 2008, I was diligent about it. Six months into the diet I felt a huge rush of energy and creativity. At the time I was teaching theater and had already directed a production in the fall semester. So I had no creative outlet for all this energy to flow into. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Everlasting (her final romance) prompted me to begin writing and the rest, as we say, is history.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Jenna: I jumped right into writing historical romance (I was a history major in college, so that was rather easy to decide.).

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Jenna: A Countess of Convenience is the first book of my new Captivating Countesses series. Each book of the series will feature a heroine who first appeared in book 3 of my House of Pleasure series, Only A Mistress Will Do. One of the major secondary characters of the book was Dora Harper, who was betrothed to the hero (but does not end up marrying him). So many people wanted Dora to have her own book, I started thinking about her story soon after Mistress was published. But there were several other women in the book whose stories begged to be told, so I came up with the series title, and began creating romances for each of the four heroines. The heroine of A Countess of Convenience is Judith Harper, Dora’s sister-in-law who we hear is ill and bed-ridden in Mistress (we don’t actually see her at all). But Judith whispered to me that she had a story to tell, so I listened, and she became one of my countesses. Dora’s story will be the next in the series, the romance titled Almost A Countess.

Following a tragic accident, an unconscious Judith Harper is returned to her childhood home only to awaken to a horribly changed world: her husband is dead and her child has been given to her in-laws to raise.

As Judith regains her strength, she makes plans to reclaim her child, but to her dismay, the law of the land might not grant her guardianship unless she can show herself to be the better choice, which means she may need to marry again and quickly. Not only is Judith not ready for another husband, but she is newly widowed and will be part of a scandal should she wed before her year of mourning is up.

Still, if she hopes to have her daughter with her once more, she will have to make a marriage of convenience, but to whom?

John, Lord Haxby has loved Judith since childhood, and because of that he let her marry another eight years ago. Now she is free of her odious husband, he hopes he can persuade her that he is the only man who can make her truly happy. However, he discovers Judith is more than interested in Lord Fitzhugh, the man who saved her life. Can he stand aside once more and watch the love of his life make a grave mistake, or will he step up and show the woman he loves he is not a convenient solution to her problem, but the perfect solution?

Excerpt:

“Why have you come here?”

“To apologize to you, John.”

“Apologize for what, my dear?”

“For teasing you earlier.”

Of all the things that might’ve come from her lips, those words were the last ones he’d have imagined. “Teasing me?”

“When I asked if there was something I could do for you.” Her voice had dropped so he could scarcely hear her.

“Ah.” As if the fire suddenly blazed anew, sweat popped out on John’s brow and his cock surged forward as if eager to answer the question. “I believe I take your meaning. Think nothing of it, my dear.”

By God, he wished he could think of anything else.

“But I shouldn’t have flirted like that, John.” She stared directly into his eyes. “We have already discussed the…possible necessity of our marrying. In asking that, I may have given you an erroneous idea about my…feelings for you.” Abruptly, she dropped her gaze.

Of course, he’d assumed she’d meant an amorous tryst but had known the offer had come from her nervousness or a need for some kind of physical contact. But since she’d brought the subject up… “Then why did you ask, Judith?”

Her tiny gasp filled him with his usual protective instincts, and it was on the tip of his tongue to tell her not to worry, it was all forgotten. Yet something held him back, some part of him that wanted desperately to hear her answer.

“Because I wanted to know what it would be like to kiss you.”

Buy links: Amazon

It’s always intriguing to have an off-stage character start telling their story, so much so that you have to write the book. Thanks for sharing your book with us, Jenna!

Happy reading, folks!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.