If you love passion, romance, and murder, you’ve come to the right place. I write the Valentine Mysteries that feature Tess and Jack, a passionate couple who seem to always get involved in murder. The first book, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest in 2013 and received a review from Publishers Weekly saying: “Written with precision and care, this intriguing romance/murder mystery is a fun read that will keep readers guessing until the very end."

I hope you'll stick around and come back for all news, info, events, fun facts and more related to reading, writing, romance, chocolate and more.

5 Factoids about Old Flames Never Die

I did 5 factoids about Deadly Valentine and thought I’d do the same for Old Flames Never Die, book two in the Valentine series. While I wanted to share interesting stuff, I also didn’t want to give away any plot details to avoid any spoilers. Those of you who have read the book, will understand all the factoids.

One fact I left out was that Old Flames Never Die was my first successful attempt at writing 50,000 words for NANORIMO. Of course, it went through many edits after that, but I got the complete draft in one month.

How Hot Do You Like Your Romance?

When it comes to romance, some people like ‘em hot and others not. How much heat do you like in the romances you read? Do you like every little explicit detail or implied sensuality? Take the poll and let me know!

Celebrity Romance

hollywoodstarI’m a die-hard romantic. Since I was a ‘tween, I loved movies and tv shows with romantic couples. And like some people, I got caught up in celebrity romances. I remember thinking how romantic it was when I learned that Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had married twice. I know many fans of his 80s show wonder and wish about a relationship with his co-star, Stefanie Powers, following Natalie’s and William Holden’s deaths (Holden was the long time flame of Powers’).

Although those are old examples, today people get just as caught up in who’s with who and who’s marrying who. After the movie Twilight was released, fans were thrilled to discover Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were dating and crushed when she was caught kissing another man. I think people are still upset with Angelina Jolie for her part in Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s divorce. It seems like I can’t go anywhere without seeing Kanye and Kim or Beyonce and Jay Z in the tabloids.

What I’ve found facinating and annoying is that celebrity gossip is like soap operas: Everyone roots for couples until they’re together. After that, all the news is about whether or not the couple is in trouble. Everyone wants a happy ending, but they want angst more.

I’m not as into celebrity romance as when I was younger, although I would be sad if Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson broke up. And I’m a little sad to hear about Robin Thicke and Paula Patton. I’ve always liked their story because they met as teenagers. But even though I don’t follow celebrity romances much, I know it’s still big news. That’s why I wrote ‘Til Death Do Us Part. It’s my tribute to everyone, like me, who’s ever gotten caught up in celebrity romances.

How about you? Is there a celebrity couple you found yourself rooting for?


Photo Credit Free Images

Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was very annoyed to reach the end of A Discovery of Witches only to discover it wasn’t the end. When Shadow of Night came out, I picked it up at the library and started to read, but couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. With the third book out, I decided to try again. This time I finished the book in a weekend.

Shadow of Night picks up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off; Diana and Matthew are time traveling back to 1590. Their goal is to find an ancient text that could explain where non-humans (witches, daemons and vampires) originated and to find a witch who could teach Diana about her abilities (she was “spellbound” by her parents to protect her).

The author has a deep, detailed understanding of Elizabethan times, but in some spots those details slow the story down. Except for one bad attempt at finding a witch tutor, most of the beginning of the book doesn’t stay on plot. Instead we meet historical characters, such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlow, which is fun at first, but starts to get old.

The book picks up steam when Diana and Matthew go to France. Although still very little is done to find the book or learn witchcraft, this section does reveal a lot about Matthew’s past and demons that torture his soul. We also find out why after being married twice in the first book, they haven’t consummated the marriage. That is remedied after a third marriage in this book.

Eventually they leave France and head back to England, where again, things slow down a bit until Diana gets her witch tutors and two children (one teenage witch and a 7 year old pick pocket) are introduced. A visit in Elizabethan England wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Queen herself, which results in Diana and Matthew heading to Prague. Thing slow down again (each time they go to somewhere new, too much time is spent on the settling in aspects), until they actually find the book they’ve traveled through time to get.

At that point, the book moves fairly quickly to the end. Getting back to England, the biggest danger to Diana aren’t witch hunters, but Matthew’s friend and sister. There is a surprising visit from an unexpected guest and the rush to get home (back to current time).

Unlike the first book, Shadow of Night has some resolution when you reach the end. Diana and Matthew make it home and reunite with Diana’s aunt, Matthew’s mother and close friends. However, they still don’t have answers and they’re still in danger, which hopefully will be resolved in book 3.

I enjoyed the book much better the second time than during my first attempt. I like the plot and many of the characters are terrific (I love Matthew’s nephew Gallowglass). At the end of each section, we are brought back to the modern day as Diana and Matthew’s family look for and collect evidence of their time travel (the ramifications of changing history). I like romance, so it was fun to see Diana and Matthew navigate their marriage, including loss, and finally have make love.

However, there are big chunks of the book that slow the story down. The fact that we don’t get to the point of the plot (finding the book and a witch tutor) for hundreds of pages is evidence to that. I feel like this book could have been a third shorter and be better for it.

Historians of science and literature will probably get a kick out of Matthew’s friends, but too often that part of the story gets in the way of the plot. Matthew’s character flip flops and behaves in unexpected ways. The author suggests this is his reverting to who he was in 1590, which makes some sense, but still made it hard to see him as the man he was in the first book.

Overall, I’m glad I read it and will be picking up a copy of the 3rd book, if only to see how it all ends.

View all my reviews

What Would You Ask??

I’d love to have dinner with Nora Roberts. And Stephan King. In fact, I’d like to have a meal or even just coffee with any author. It’s why I love going to book festivals and writing events. Often it doesn’t matter what they write or if I’ve ever heard of them. I still love to hear them talk about writing, their books, their characters etc.

I’m no Nora Roberts or Stephan King… etc… but perhaps some people out there might be interested in asking questions about my writing, books, characters etc. So I’ve gone ahead and turned on the Ask the Author option at GoodReads.com for the next few days and you can ask a question. Wonder why Tess’ favorite lingerie is Carine Gilson, over La Perla and other couture options? Although I don’t want to give any spoilers, I’d be happy to answer questions about the Valentines and their world, writing, publishing etc. All you have to do is visit my GoodReads profile and scroll down to “Ask the Author” and ask your question.

Ask the Author Jenna Harte

It’s not as exciting as lunch with a mega-super-star author, but it can still be fun! And if you’re not on Goodreads or aren’t a friend of mine there yet, please connect with me!

WARNING: Explicit Content
The Delecoeur stories are adventures featuring a romantic couple who sometimes do what people in love do. Part of this story maybe be considered adult content, so if you are not of legal age or are easily offended, you should click the exit button.