Oh My! @Jenna_Jaxon Shares Her #HistoricalRomance #Betrothal

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Welcome to the very first Oh My! Monday here at Through Stephanie’s Eyes. I’m thrilled to welcome today author Jenna Jaxon and her historical romance Betrothal (Time Enough to Love). If you love stories with knights, nobleman, lords and ladies this one is for you. Here’s the blurb

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?

Ohhhh! A medieval triangle unfolding right in front of our eyes. I’m already hooked, but I can see that some of you may take a little more convincing. Jenna was kind enough to send along an excerpt to entice you just a bit more. Take a look.

“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. Hisname, pray God, on the king’s lips.
Thomas.
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. 



If you’re not done for with that excerpt, then honey, you just haven’t got a clue what a gem this novel by Jenna Jaxon truly is. I’m heading out to get my own copy now. Here are the links if you want to join me.

About the Author

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.

Connect with Jenna



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Introducing the Characters of The Do Over

Hello all! I’m excited to share with you my cast of characters for my most current WIP and one I hope to have out before the end of the summer. This character description also serves as a basic story outline for me to follow. Of course the characters will take over and change things up here and there…especially the Goddess Rhiannon. Can’t you just see her meddling a bit more with Claire and her men? Let me know what you think of the characters and the basic story so far. I found pictures of the actors, models and singers who gave inspiration for the characters. They are who I see in my mind while I write, not necessarily who you will see so just go with it! 

~Steph


The Do Over

By
Stephanie Ryan

Cast of Characters

Claire Dunning   42 year old chef from Michigan who now lives in California with her husband of two years.  Claire has long raven black hair and eyes to die for in the shade of jade. Not the blue green variety that seem to change color with what the person is wearing, but true green eyes, with a dark emerald green ring around the edges. The effect  often startled people when they first meet her and everyone asks where she gets her contacts.  She stands 5’ 8” in bare feet with curves to die for.  Usually wears her waist length naturally wavy hair up in some form of braid or clip to keep it out of her way while in the restaurant.
She’s been married to Sean Maguire for just over two years at the start of the story. They met through a group function 5 years before at Epcot. He was starting out in a brewery contest and she was entered in a catering contest. Both won their categories and each other in the process.  For the first two years they were always burning white hot for each other, barely able to keep their hands off each other, until their restaurant opened up.  They started drifting apart sending Claire into a “what if” mode and reconnecting with a love from long ago.
After a third and very emotionally painful miscarriage, Claire turns to a very unlikely friend from her past. The teenaged love bubbling up to the surface each time she talked to him, wishing she could just wrap herself up in his arms and forget everything and everyone else.  She would prefer to have that reaction for her husband, but he was always too busy for her and avoided her and her grief. His family, although trying to make her feel better, kept telling her it wasn’t in God’s plan for her to have children now with all that was going on in her life. She just had to keep trying.  Unfortunately it was getting too painful to go through the disappointment each and every month when there was no baby. Just when her hopes would be raised and that magical three month marker approached, she would awaken to a pool of blood in their bed and no baby.
Sean Maguire  36 year old hot shot brew master of the pub The Blarney Stone he runs with Claire and the rest of the Maguire clan. As the middle son, he always had to work harder to get the recognition from his father that he craved growing up. Now with The Blarney Stone taking off and becoming the hottest spot in San Jose, CA frequented by many local celebrities, sports celebrities and even the Food Network, Sean finally has the approval from his Da. In fact all of his siblings are thrilled for him and all work with him and Claire to make the place shine each and every night.
He’s ripped,  6ft 2” former football player who lost his spot with the pros after a near-fatal car accident. He wasn’t driving, but one of his teammates was. They were hit by a drunk driver. The teammate died instantly and Sean woke up after a three month long coma in traction with a broken back. With his football career over, he turned to his studies of brewing beer and wine, entering in every competition he could in order to learn his craft from the best.
It was his shoulder length dark brown hair and hazel eyes that had the dark emerald ring around the edges that drew Claire in. His mother said the matching eye rings meant the fae had marked them as mates.  It felt right the moment he kissed her. He couldn’t see his life without her and yet he knew she was pulling away.
The joy of their life…The Blarney Stone…was slowly tearing them apart. Struggling with infertility, Claire turned inward and shut him out more than not.  If he didn’t do something fast, he was going to lose the only woman who ever completed him heart and soul.
Nicholas (Nick) Brendan 43 year old police officer back in the Michigan town he grew up in. The place he spent all of his teen years trying to escape, he now called home and the town called him Chief. Living in the small town again after doing his 20 in with the Corps, was the furthest from his mind, but the chance to be near his kids and new granddaughter made the case. His divorce from his second wife was brutal, but luckily his first wife was still at least cordial and helped him rebuild his battered relationship with his kids. He missed a lot of the years they were growing up, but he wanted to be there for his grandkids now that he had his head on straight.
Partying every night and jumping into bed with any bar fly was no longer his thing. In fact he gave that up as soon as he had his discharge papers from the Marines. His tours in the desert took their toll, leaving him with shrapnel in his shoulder and back, and nightmares that could still put him in the fetal position.  It was the memories of Claire and her jade eyes that could pull him through all that pain. Seeing her wedding announcement in the local paper damn near killed him. He had always hoped she would come back home after her first marriage failed and maybe they could pick up where they never started.
From the tenth grade on he had nursed a serious crush on the raven haired beauty, but she was just always out of his league. It’s not like she was dating anyone back then, but she kept more to herself and was considered a “good girl.”  Now that he had a great job and could actually be considered a good catch, he went looking for her online. Through Facebook he learned about her first wedding, divorce and now second wedding. She looked so happy to him in those photos of her wedding to Maguire. Her eyes drew him in as always and made him want to be the one to put that glorious smile on her face.
Lately something had changed though. She seemed sad in her posts, not willing to chat with their groups, begging off for one crisis or another with the restaurant. Then she confided in him that she miscarried once again. He wanted nothing more than to put his arms around her and take away all that pain, but she was so far away. Maybe if they could see each other in person for the 25th reunion they could see if there was still that spark? 
If he could go back in time and relive any part of his life, it would be to take a chance with her. Maybe they would still be married now, with children and a grandchild on the way, with Claire in his arms and bed every night. 
Rhiannon the honey skinned passenger next to Claire on her flight back to Michigan for her reunion. Rhiannon’s laugh is soft and melodic at one moment, loud and bawdy the next bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. Her silver eyes pierce you to your very soul when you stare into them, and you can’t help but surrender to her charms.  She dresses in flowing mid-calf length dresses,  that do very little to hide her voluptuous frame.
There’s a reason this beauty commands the attention of all around her. She is a Goddess, sent to grant Claire her wish to live part of her life over again. Rhiannon didn’t want to do it for she thought it was foolish to allow humans to be able to rewind part of their life cycle without learning all the lessons they were meant to learn, but her siblings felt this Do Over would be the greatest lesson of all for sweet Claire.
Rhiannon’s wild, long curly hair was streaked with blondes, reds and light browns. No one could tell what her original color was supposed to be and that was how Rhiannon liked it. Keep them guessing and you will always be the one they dream about!
Claire’s heartbreak of her last miscarriage tugged at her own emotions and Rhiannon wanted nothing more than to just tell her to hold on. Her child was waiting to come to her very soon, but first things first. The clock must be turned back 25 years, to Senior Prom when Claire had her chance to give her heart to the one boy she would have given anything to be with.
©Stephanie Ryan and Sassy Vixen Publishing 2013

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