Hey 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.
My 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.
My 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.
Then 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!