The Widow Wore Plaid
The Widow Wore Plaid
by Jenna Jaxon
GENRE: Historical Romance
The Battle of Waterloo made them widows, but each has found new happiness. And Jane, Lady John Tarkington, intends to keep her freedom, even if love—and one particular gentleman—are determined to claim her heart . . .
It is a truth rarely acknowledged—at least in public—that a wealthy widow is free to pursue a great many adventures. For two years, Jane has privately enjoyed her independence. Why should she remarry, even when the gentleman proposing is as wonderful as Gareth, Lord Kinellan? She entreats him never to ask her again. But as her Widows’ Club friends—now all joyfully remarried—gather at Castle Kinellan, Jane begins to wonder if stubbornness has led her to make a terrible mistake . . .
Kinellan needs a wife to give him an heir, and he wants that wife to be Jane. They are perfect together in every way, yet she continually refuses him. Just as he is on the point of convincing her, a series of accidents befall Gareth and point to an enemy in their midst. He has promised Jane a passionate future filled with devotion, but can he keep them both alive long enough to secure it?
Parched, Gareth headed for the refreshment table that had been set up sufficiently far from the dancing to be out of danger. Footmen were stationed at each end to help keep those who might have imbibed too much from crashing into the table. He grabbed a cup of ale and drank thirstily until the tankard was empty. Setting it back on the table, he then took a glass of rich, red wine and sipped more moderately before heading back to the dancing.
He skirted the dancing couples, where Lathbury was heying with Jane, who was now flagging a bit. Two sets of fast-paced Scottish dancing was hardly comparable to the more staid English country dances. One actually had time—and breath—to converse during those. The faster paced Scottish tempos demanded stamina and good wind.
A young couple ran laughing in front of him. Smiling at the gaiety of the pair, Gareth backed out of their way, toward the blazing bonfire, his gaze still on Jane’s entrancing form. She did cut a delightful figure when dancing.
A passerby jostled his elbow, but he managed to save most of his wine. He spun toward the ungraceful lout when someone else shoved him harder.
The jolt propelled Gareth, already off balance, backward, directly into the flames of the roaring bonfire.
Desperately windmilling his arms to regain his balance, Gareth fought the sickening, helpless feeling of falling backward. Searing heat on the back of his head and jacket grew greater with each passing second, telling him his efforts to right himself would be in vain. God help him, but this would be a fiery end.
About the Author:
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, two curious bunnies, and a Shar-pei beagle mix named Frenchie.
Q&A With the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
Probably in third grade when I wrote a little story titled “Miss Priss Finds a Kitten.” Even then my life revolved around cats. And I’ve always been interested in and enjoyed writing fiction in my English classes. But I truly considered myself a legit writer when I finished my first book, Time Enough to Love. It was 187,000 words and took six months to write. But I had a completed manuscript, and that meant, to me at least, that I was a writer.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
My advice to new authors is the same that my mentor, author Judi McCoy, gave to me when I took a workshop of hers at my very first writer’s conference: “You can fix crap; you can’t fix nothing.” That bit of advice is hanging in front of me this moment and it has helped me immensely over the years to do the other piece of advice Judi had for me—finish the damn book. You have to give yourself permission to write crap, because you can always go back and fix crap. But if the page is blank, there’s no fixing that, save to put something on the blank page and kickstart your book.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Plotting the book is always the most fun and easiest part of the writing process for me. I love to let my creativity flow, starting with the magic “what if?” used by actors. I start with that little germ: what if a bunch of Regency widows wanted to sleep with men as much as they wanted to? How would they do it? Once I have the premise, I’m off to the races. I start with Chapter 1 and just keep on writing until I have a 10-12 page detailed outline in front of me that spells out the plot turn by turn. Now, when I begin to write, I allow myself to change the outline slightly if I come up with a new idea that works even better, but the plot itself doesn’t really change once I get it in my head.
What is your favorite part of this story?
I have to say my favorite part of this story is Jane and Gareth’s ordeal at the cabin and their flight down the mountain pursued by a man bent on killing them. I got all caught up in writing that part of the book. I searched out and consulted pictures of the area around Loch Kinellan (a real place) and described it in detail as my couple try desperately to flee their stalker. It was a really thrilling part of the book to write and I hope also to read.
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
I’ve known Jane’s character since Book 1 and she’s had a significant part in just about every one of the Widow books, so she’s rather easy to write by this point. But she did surprise me sometimes while writing this book. I found out a lot more about her background with her first husband, the background of her family, and was surprised by new strengths and weaknesses as her character evolved during this book. So I’d say Jane was a lot of fun to write in this book.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
I’ve written about almost all of the major characters in this book for some time now, so they aren’t really difficult to write about now. The hardest thing I had to do was to keep them all straight when each of the other five widows and their new husbands were in the dining room or drawing room together. It was hard to remember to put in every one and then keep all their children straight! Plus, I introduced a sub-plot with two characters who were introduced in previous books, so there is quite a lot going on in The Widow Wore Plaid!
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