Welcome Author, Beverly Jenkins!

night-song.jpgbiophoto.jpgHey all. Thanks for the invite. My name is Beverly Jenkins. I’ve been an Avon author my entire career and my first book, Night Song was published in 1994. Since then I’ve done about 22 books most of them historicals. In 2002 I started writing romantic suspense in addition to the historicals but historicals are my true love.  

Night Song was a western of sorts. It’s set in one of the all Black townships in Kansas founded after the Great Exodus of 1879. The hero is Sgt. Chase Jefferson a member of the highly decorated 10th Cavalry, which was based at Ft. Davis Texas. The men of the 10th Cavalry and those in the 9th were known as the Buffalo Soldiers.  

topaz.jpgMy first real western was Topaz originally published by Avon in 96. Because it is still in print Avon was gracious enough to publish a tenth anniversary edition last year and I will be forever grateful to them for that.  My historicals are played against an African-American background so for Topaz I chose Indian Territory, (which after statehood became Oklahoma) because of its rich and diverse history. Topaz’s hero, the truly tall dark and handsome US Deputy Marshal Dixon Wildhorse is of Black Seminole descent so readers are able to learn about that fabulous and yes, bittersweet history through him. 

Our heroine is journalist Kathryn Love. Through her we learn about the Black newspapers of the 19th century, and how she handles having to follow Dix to IT because of the antics of her con man father Bart Love. Bart is based on a real Af/Am con man of the old west named Ben Hodges, who lied so much and so often that if he said it was raining folks got up to go look.  Hodges was a contemporary of Wyatt Earp – in fact both men died on the same day in 1922.  He is buried in Boot Hill so that all the old gunslingers and gamblers can keep an eye on him. Topaz’s main story deals with a group of Af/Am mail order brides traveling to meet their contracted husbands. (Think Westward the Women)  It is a wild and comedic ride. 

jessirose.jpgMy other westerns are: Taming Jessi Rose, about a female Texas rancher trying to hold onto her land, then comes Always and Forever the sequel to Topaz. Next up is A Chance at Love which features female gambler Loreli Winters who made her debut in Topaz 

wildsweetlove.jpgThen comes Something Like Love. The hero in SLL is Neil July. He and his train robbing outlaw clan also have their roots with the Black Seminole tribe and it is his baby sister Teresa who stars in my latest western release: Wild Sweet Love that debuted in May 07.   

In addition to all of the historicals, I’ve had published 5 novels of romantic suspense, two historical YAs and a couple of anthologies. I’ve won 6 Borders Bestsellers Awards, a couple of Lifetime Achievements from RT and numerous other awards that let me know I’m doing a pretty good job with this writing thing. I hope I haven’t been too long winded and that you’ll check out my work when you get the chance. All questions and comments are welcomed. Once again, thanks for having me over.  B

Beverly has two advance reading copies of WILD SWEET LOVE that she’s going to sign and send to two lucky readers who leave her comments!

Madison Nance, the hero in Wild Sweet Love,  is up for KISS Hero of the Year from RT!

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50 thoughts on “Welcome Author, Beverly Jenkins!”

  1. Good Morning Beverly

    I will confess I have never read any of your books, but that is true of some of the other fillies here. Your story lines sound really great. I have a desire to read about Bart “the con man”.

    I started reading historical romance when I was about 12 and read a book a night. I got married in 1987 and I lost interest in the romance and went over to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, true crime and etc. About 2 years ago I picked up a book by Karen Harper – A suspense book that had romance in it. I came to realize how much I missed the romance part of a book. So it is taking me awhile to get up dated with all the writers.

    The problem I have once I try a new author and like their work, I can’t stop til I have all their books. I know that would be great for you (lol)…. For someone sitting here with books all around – Believe me it is a problem.

    But I have just got to read about Bart “the con man”.

    Sorry, this is so long. God, isn’t history and romance great!

  2. Morning ladies. Thought I’d start things off this morning by listing some of my favorite western movies. Silverado; McClntock!; Westward the Women; Rawhide; Congaher; and of course Support Your Local Sheriff. What’s on your list? B

  3. Morning. HIstory and romance are two of my favorite things. Topaz is a great place to start with my work. Many of the main characters like Grace, Jackson Blake and Loreli Winters wind up in their own books. I looove westerns and as far as I know I’m the only romance writer doing af/am westerns so I have the niche all to myself, though it would be nice to read someone else’s take on the genre.

  4. As I noted in my opening piece, Bart is based on legendary con man Ben Hodges. He was something. Stole a man’s cattle and then sold the herd back. Hodges had the railroads thinking he was Mexican royalty so they supplied him with a free pass for railroad travel. Many weren’t even sure if Ben Hodges was his real name. LOL He was a mess. I had to create someone to represent him and thus Bart Love was born. B

  5. My favorite Western movie is Tombstone. best ever. The one with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. Absolutely the ultimate. Your books look wonderful!

  6. Sherry. Since you are the first person to leave a comment I’m going to send you one of the arcs for my latest Wild Sweet Love. Hit me up at indigo@beverlyjenkins.net and leave your mailing address. Please put WSL in the box so I’ll know you aren’t spam. It’s a secure site. I’m the only one who reads the emails there, so thanks so much for being first!! B

  7. Morning Anne. Tombstone is a good one, too. I’m a sucker for the old school movies and heroes like Tyrone Power and Eroll Flynn. Susan Hayward played some great western heroines. She is one of my all time favorites.

  8. Enjoyed your post, Beverly. Did you always love history or was it something you developed in order to write? I’m curious about that. I was always interested in anything historical and years later when I began to write, I really could see how those years of loving it prepared me to write. I wasn’t sure at first, like all writers, whether I’d write contemporary or historical, and have written both but I think I love hisotricals best of all. Read them long before I did contemporaries. Great post, Phyliss

  9. Morning Phyliss. I’ve always had a love of reading history and movies thanks to my mom and my John Wayne lovin’ grandfather. When I did my first two books they were straight up historicals. Then a fan wrote and wanted me to do something “lighter” in tone. A comedy and out of that came Topaz. I spent most of my adult years working in libraries – no degree in it – but I would take armfuls of the Journal of Negro HIstory out to the riverbank behind the library and leaf through. Fascinating stuff. Articles on teh all Black western towns, IT, Reconstruction etc. and I found all of this info came in handy when I began writing because those sources are the ones I use. Who knew back in 1974-78 that it would come in handy. Life if funny and very strange sometimes. Hope this answered our question. If not hit me back.

  10. I know my mom really loves your book… however I have never read any of your books… what can you say to convince a regency historicals fanatic to try your westerns!

  11. Gosh, Beverly

    Thanks alot! I absolutely love Tyrone Power and Eroll Flynn. Love them in those pirate movies also.

  12. Girl, If you haven’t read a western book you don’t know what you are missing.
    I too love the Regency books but when I get on a western kick it takes alot longer to get back to the Regency.

    Just try it girl you will love it


  13. Morning Nathalie. Well, let’s see. Let’s start here. I grew up in the 60s. I’m 57 this year – (loving my 50s BTW) – but growing up, Georgette Heyer was one of my faves. Read everything shed’ written by the time I was oh 17. I also read P Whitney. V Holt, Jane Aiken Hodge, Mary Stewart. Now. Al of those writers have influenced my publised career. The spin of a regency or a historical or a straight contemporary may be different but underneath – the bones – the common elements are the same man woman conflict love. Those bones are what you get in my stories. My women are strong, my men are gallant. Love is love – be it mainstream, ethnic, gay – and and none of us can live without it. So I said all this to say, take a chance. Step outside of your comfort zone. I happen to read everything and it delights me to no end when I pick up a new author and fall in love whether it be romance, scifi, fantasy or history. I’m always looking for something to feed this addiction. Hello my name is Beverly and I’m an addict … LOL B

  14. Sherry. Captain Blood was on a few weeeks ago. I hadn’t seen it in YEARS! Loved every moment of it. Back in my youth I was so busy drooling over the Great Flynn I must not have been playing much attention to the story because I kept saying as I’m watching – I don’t remember this – or I don’t remember this, then I realized back in the day, movies were cut to fit the time slot, so some of the scenes were new. Thank the Lord for AMC. Their stuff is uncut. B

  15. Hi,

    I have also never read any of your books… but I have just checked your website and they seem great, and I am not even talking about those great covers!

  16. Avon art has always been a blessing. I’ve had absolutely fabulous covers and they continue with my new one coming out in May. Jewel. It’s a marriage of convienience and a follwup to my second book, Vivid.

  17. Welcome to our humble little town, Beverly! We’re really glad you came. You and I share a love for history and research. I never know what stories are going to evolve when I start digging into the past. That Ben Hodges in Topaz must’ve been a hilarious character and provide lots of humorous moments for Bart Love.

    I’m curious, do your characters come first or your plot when you’re starting a new book?

    As for favorite western movies, my list is forty miles long. There are so many great ones that I enjoy, but I think 3:10 to Yuma with Russell Crowe has to be at the top of the list. It was wonderful! I also love Rooster Cogburn, Quigley Down Under, Hidalgo, Maverick, the TV series Desperado, and more recently, The Outsider. Lots of interesting characters and I sure don’t mind looking at them either. 🙂

  18. Morning Linda. Thanks for the welcome. For me each story is different. Most times it’s the history and I use that history to create the character. I don’t think I’ve ever had a character come to me first. I take the history and if the muse gives me a character who can be or wear that history then I go with that. Sgt. Chase Jefferson in NightSong is our hero but he represents the Buffalo Soldier history. Dix in Topaz the Black Seminoles. (During the research I found the up until Vietman, the Seminole Wars were/was the most costly (money wise) war in US history. The LeVeqs who are in my books on reconstruction represent not only the wealthy free Black folks in Louisiana but we see the history of those turbulent years through their eyes. In my books i give you a history that many of us didn’t learn in school on Blacks, Natives, Latinos,etc and I give you a killer romance. My readers are so busy fanning from the love scenes that not until later do they realize that they’ve learned a hell of a lot. I call it edutainment. Entertainment and education.

  19. When I was growing up westerns were on in prime time. Wagon Train, Maverick, Bat Masterson, Rawhide – who can forget the young Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates! The Virginian. Who’d I leave out? The post menopausal brain is oftimes a very unreliable organ. LOL

  20. Oh man how could I leave out Steve McQueen!! LHM! Saw the Thomas Crown Affair recently. OMG! Loved the Big Valley, too. Bonanza! How could I forget Big Ben and the boys?!! If you call my mom during mid day and ask her what she’s doing her answer is; “I’m at the Ponderosa! Call me back!”
    She loves her some Big Valley. LOL

  21. Ladies. I’m going to have to leave you for a while. I have a memorial to attend this afternoon. A good friend lost her husband and his memorial is this afternoon. So, I’ll ride back into Wildflower Junction around 3EST. This way you all can attend to what you need to attend to this afternoon, as well. I’m having a great time. If you’d like to continue to post questions while I’m away, please feel free and I’ll answer them all when I return. Adios and Hi Yo Silllverrr!! LOL B

  22. Hi Beverly,
    I have not your work but after reading your post I think your books sound so interesting. Do you have a website?

  23. I’m 57 too lol. So I can relate to your timeframe. Historicals have always been my favorite although I will read a little of most anything. I just had to say I absolutely love your book covers. They sound like wonderful reads too. Thanks for the insight.

  24. I am enthralled with all Westerns since I grew up with them. All throught the 1950’s I watched all the movies and shows and enjoyed them thoroughly. I love Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Older the better since I am of the vintage. Your books look simply great and glad that your writing is so diverse.

  25. Hey ladies. I am back. The memorial was wonderful. My friend and her husband are Native American so there were Native drummers and singers. I’ve learned a lot about her culture over the years like the protocol for Pow Wow and the mouth watering goodness of fry bread. She’s full blooded Mohawk and is the godmother of my son. He husband Frank will be missed. So, I’m back in the saddle here in Wildflower so thanks to those who left posts in my absence. Maureen asked for my website; http://www.beverlyjenkins.net

  26. As for the diversity in my books. I’m very proud of the history I present. As I stated before a lot of what I include is not history any of us were taught in school. Weaving the history into a great story is a fun and painless way of educating readers without hitting them over the head with facts and figures. It also serves to dispel some of the myths surrounding the minority cultures. My philosophy is the more we learn about each other the better off we as whole will be.

  27. You know culture differences to the side, it all boils down to people or people no matter what.
    Love and romance is the same for everyone.

  28. Oh, I need to share a story with ya’ll

    Last we I had to visit my doctor. I had the book “A Belated Bride” with me. It contains a picture of a lady with a wedding dress and a man with tight pants and no shirt.

    Dr. High picked it up and asked me why he had no shirt on and the lady was in a wedding dress. I didn’t commit then he says “You might be a redneck if you attend your wedding shirtless”. I was speechless for he is not known for being funny.

    What I should have said was I don’t know but he Looks SOOOOO Good doing it.

  29. Sherry you are a woman after my own heart. Love is love. Period. I’ve had some, note I’m saying some romance readers who say they don’t or won’t or can’t read my work because they worry about realting to the characters or that there might be a lot of racial fingerpointing. I assure them that one they can relate because people are people and love is love and two there is no fingerpointing or sermonizing. Just like love is love. History is history. It happened.

  30. I am so taken with your blog today. It resounds with me. The Westerns in my day were something special to behold and I did have favorites. The Virginian,Gunsmoke and Have gun,will travel. Now that I live in the Southwest it is amazing to still feel that authentic atmosphere which permeates. Your books all sound incredibly wonderful.

  31. And yes, I have to make some allowances for that history. My Buffalo soldier hero Sgt Chase Jefferson can rise no higher than a sgt because of the times, but it doesn’t make him less proud to be who he is or any less proud of 10th’s higly decorated service to our country.

  32. Ellie, I got that same, feel the land kind of experience the first time I set foot in Oklahoma. The history there is so rich you can feel it in the air. I could almost see my characters from Topaz and all the research. The history fills and feeds me in so many ways.

  33. Does anyone remember the books of Zane Grey? I believe those were the first westerns I read. I spent an entire summer reading everything. And does anyone know how close the movie Congaher (sp?) is to the actual book by louis L’Amour? Been trying to find someone who’s read it since seeing the movie. I loved the movie so much – what is there not to love about Sam Elliot?!- and when she would send tie her poems and yearning to the tumbleweeds. My goodness jsut about broke my heart!

  34. Well ladies. I’m going to ride off into the sunset. Thanks so much for your warm hospitality. You all have been welcoming and gracious and what cowgirl can ask for more. Ellie since you posted the last post you win the arc for Wild Sweet Love. You and Sherry were both winners so please email me at indigo@beverlyjenkins.net. Again, I had loads of fun and hope you all will invite me back. Be blessed. Beverly Jenkins

  35. “You might be a redneck if you attend your wedding shirtless.”

    Sherry, this is hilarious, thanks for sharing Dr. High!

    Sorry for not poking my head in earlier today. Pam and I were at a retreat all weekend. Speaking for me: I’m pooped.

    Great blog, Beverly. Thanks for being our guest!

  36. You write my kind of books. I just love historical. It just doesn’t seem like there is that many historical authors any more, I miss that. It seems like books are leaning more toward erotic, or paranormal. I don’t like those as well. So bring on the historicals and I will buy them.

  37. Hi Beverly! Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols. Your books sound fantastic!! I’ll be heading over to B&N online to use up the last of my gift cards 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining us this weekend! As a reader, I’m still trying to catch up on my reading base, and that’s just another reason why I love Wildflower Junction–it makes my author searching so much easier 😉

    Congratulations on a wonderful career!

  38. Hey there Stacey. Thanks for the kid words. I think you’ll really enjoy my books. One of the critics said I write for grown-ups, which I thought was a great comment. Hope you enjoy my work. B

  39. well ladies, since my editor is expecting my next book in a timely fashion, I need to mosey off and get to work. The posts have dwindled which lets me know you all have stuff to do, too. So thanks again for the invite. You’ve been great. See you all at National in July. B

  40. Hello Ms. Jenkins,
    I have recently been told about your books and have just finished reading Night Song, Belle and the Beau and Josephine and the Soldier. I love each book and I am wondering why the books aren’t more easier to get.

    As of right now readers are scrambling all over the net to find these books and the prices are getting pretty high. I was wondering if your publisher would consider reprinting your earlier books so that they would be more accessible for readers like myself and young people.

    I have acquired twelve of your books so far and I’m in the process of reading Vivid now. Your writing is wonderful and I’m eating up the history that’s included.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and
    I will keep my eyes open for your newly published books.

    G. Johnson (wandaa84@hotmail.com)

  41. Dear Ms Jenkins. I am having some trouble connecting the dots. I want to see the bloodlines through your characters. Are the Julys and the LeVeqs related. Did they all descend from the folks in Captured. Did Sable ever return to Africa. Is Tamar, the mother of the July’s related to Sable’s Ancestry. Please help me to connect the Dots. Is Adam Corley, Jewel’s father the same Adam who married JoJo. Is Jojo jewel’s mother. OK so I am asking a lot of questions. I know they are characters in a book, but I am just curious if there is a family history or family through your novels. If there is please let me know.

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