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Jenn LeBlanc | An Illustrated Romance


Hi everyone! Thank you for joining me today for my guest blog!

I am so excited to be here on Fresh Fiction to talk about my work. My debut novel THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is a bit different from the usual romance. I know everyone like to think that about their book, and I like to believe there is something very different about my story, but I am talking about something else all together.

THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is an illustrated novel. There are over one hundred photographs embedded within the story. The idea came with the advent of digital readers. I wanted to embrace new media and as a professional photographer I believed the obvious way to enhance my novel for digital media was to illustrate it.

A bit about my hero. Gideon is the Duke of Roxleigh, he lives in the far north of England in 1880, and would happily stay there far from society and the pains of London living, but as one of the most powerful peers of the realm his duty calls. He is determined to satisfy the Queen by finding an acceptable wife and doing all the things a Queen requires of a Duke. Beyond his duty to the Crown, Gideon carries a heavy personal burden. He did not have the happiest of childhoods, regardless of his elevated position. But he was raised with power, grace and propriety and he soldiers on every single day.

Gideon's life is ordered, set, staid. That is about to change when he nearly kills a girl. Terrified that his lack of attention nearly caused the death of an innocent, he brings her into his home to be cared for until her family can be notified. The problem is she can't speak, and nobody has any idea who she is. As the mystery unfolds Gideon finds himself indescribably drawn to his charge which is not part of his duty. As hard as he fights his attraction, she seems to draw him out until his passion boils over and he quits the estate in favor of London. Something that shocks even him. But he needs advice and there is only one person who can give it to him.

The images included are meant to drive, enliven and enhance the words. Here are some examples:

These are screenshots from the iBooks version. The images are beautiful on the Sony reader, Nook, Kindle, and computer as well.

These are a few more of the images used in the full digital novel:

Of course we can't forget our feisty heroine Francine Larrabee. (She would have to be feisty to tame such an ornery Duke.)

This is the most popular image from the book:

And this is my favorite, because I believe it tells the love story so simply:

For updates on my work in progress, the follow up to The Rake And The Recluse, you can subscribe to my blog. All news goes there first, and as we are starting the casting for the next book there are quite often pictures of the models I am working with or looking to hire. You can also follow the casting work on my tumblr blog, or on Twitter with the hashtag #castingPerry.

Thank you so much for joining me and if you read my book PLEASE track me down somewhere and let me know what you think! I LOVE LOVE to hear from readers.

Because THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is a FULLY ILLUSTRATED novel, it is meant to be read as an eBook. It is available on Amazon,Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and on iBooks from your iThingy and is ONLY $2.99!

Let us know what you think about the illustrated romance and one person will win an e-copy of THE RAKE AND RECLUSIVE, open to all




48 comments posted.

Re: Jenn LeBlanc | An Illustrated Romance

Oh my! Well now, this could be very nice. :-) I would love to see it!
(Lisa Hutson 6:09am September 18, 2011)

I never read illustrated romance, so I looking forward to read The Rake and The Recluse. For me,illustration help to imagining the character and make me understand the story easier. I know everyone have their own image what character look alike, but it will be more interesting to see how author portrayed the character in pictures/photos, because they know their character well..
(Renanda P 7:44am September 18, 2011)

Would love to see your book - love the premise. It would be interesting to see the AUTHORS thoughts.
(Beth Elder 8:02am September 18, 2011)

What a great idea! Sounds really good, and the story sounds good too!
(Barbara Hanson 8:27am September 18, 2011)

The illustrations add to the book...liking the thought of winning this book!
(Diane Brixius 9:00am September 18, 2011)

This is new to me. I am looking forward to "seeing" it.
(Kathleen Bianchi 9:13am September 18, 2011)

this is definitely new... interesting... Looking forward to seeing it!
(May Pau 9:57am September 18, 2011)

Very interesting idea for a romance novel adding photos... Can't wait to read/see the book... Congrats on the stroke of Genius Jenn
(Gina Matheis 11:06am September 18, 2011)

I would love to see your book. The pictures make it look cool.
(Janice Reyes 11:32am September 18, 2011)

Wow, the Rake and the Recluse looks like a fantastic book and I would love to win it and see the great pictures too. I love to enter and win great contests like this one from
Thank You very much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 11:41am September 18, 2011)

Sounds like a great book. The pictures make it more interesting.
(Wilma Frana 12:18pm September 18, 2011)

Interesting concept--would love to see & read!
(Nancy Ludvik 12:18pm September 18, 2011)

I wish you much luck on your new book and I will look for it!!! Sounds like a great idea to include graphics, wow, great! But please don't enter me in contest, I am not an e reader, love my paperbacks or solid thank you!!
(Joanne Bozik 12:31pm September 18, 2011)

The images definitely do drive, enliven and enhance the words, I love it!!! What a great idea
(Shirley Younger 12:34pm September 18, 2011)

I have never come across an illustrated romance before but think the photographs are beautiful.
(G. Bisbjerg 1:01pm September 18, 2011)

What a wonderful concept. I look forward to reading it on my Kindle.
(G S Moch 1:20pm September 18, 2011)

I love the idea of reading an illustrated e-book. It will
certainly enhance the reading experience with a visual aid to
what the author had in mind with the characters.
(Ilona Fenton 1:30pm September 18, 2011)

This definately sounds like a wonderful chance to stand out and raise the bar. Cheers! for being so creative and courageous.
I can't wait to read it.
(Patti Paonessa 1:53pm September 18, 2011)

I've read about adding a soundtrack to an ebook, but this is the first I have read about an illustrated ebook. Definitely interested in checking it out!
(Mary Chin 2:31pm September 18, 2011)

What an original idea to keep up with the
technology today. Love the pictures, they seem
more like portraits and art than crossing a line
or cheesy. Great job!
(Carla Carlson 3:06pm September 18, 2011)

Hello page 227 <3

Ms. LeBlanc, you are a pioneer. But a sexy writing,
photographing type of pioneer. No frumpy clothes. :)

Unless you're giving away that man, please don't enter me
for the giveaway.
(Kati Rodriguez 3:11pm September 18, 2011)

What a cool idea except for in a Kindle pics don't show up very well so it would be better in a paperback format.
(Vicki Hancock 3:14pm September 18, 2011)

I love your mix of photography & writing!! I've never read a graphic novel, but you piqued my interest & I'm heading down to the bookstore!
(Cate Sparks 3:16pm September 18, 2011)

Just when I thought ebooks couldn't get any better. The storyline alone gave enough interest in buying this book,..the photos are an extra incentive.
(Margaret Murray-Evans 3:23pm September 18, 2011)

Well you do let the imagination run wild and those pics are artful entertaining.
(Alyson Widen 3:37pm September 18, 2011)

Your photo illustrated graphic novel is fabulous!.....double impact!.....reminds slightly of photonovellas, but so very much more artful than the visually overly busy photonovellas! You will enjoy MUCH success with this format! Congratulations!
(Carla Schuller 3:52pm September 18, 2011)

I've never seen an illustrated novel. This makes it unique.
(Anna Speed 4:51pm September 18, 2011)

I don't think I've ever read an illustrated novel, adult book, anyway. I think it will be exciting, and make the story more meaningful.
(Lisa Kendall 5:47pm September 18, 2011)

It will certainly be most interesting to see how this new venture progresses. I would love to see and read yours.
(Marjorie Carmony 7:33pm September 18, 2011)

I can't wait to see this book! It certainly blends the two genres and I can see it as a new way to write. What an idea!
(Renee Brown 7:37pm September 18, 2011)

The book certainly looks interesting.
(Carolyn Baker 7:55pm September 18, 2011)

There is no way I can comment on this book without experiencing it. I think I
would like to read the story without the pictures and then read it again with the
pictures in order see if this premise works.
(Sandra Spilecki 8:36pm September 18, 2011)

I have seen this book at other sites. I am really looking forward to reading it! And, I love the photos.
(Jennifer Beyer 9:09pm September 18, 2011)

i have never seen a book like this and i would love too
(Jennifer Beck 9:16pm September 18, 2011)

Illustrated romance ,it works for me,bring it on.
(Deb Pelletier 9:47pm September 18, 2011)

Love the pics, yummy!
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 10:32pm September 18, 2011)

Lisa I hope you get a chance to see it, and be sure to some find me and tell me what you think, I
love to talk with readers (about the good and the bad)

Renanda thank you for your comment, it's true that when we read books we easily fill in the
blanks of what our characters looks like based on the descriptions given, I hope my Roxleigh can
live up to yours. :)

Beth thank you, I hope you enjoy it. I find it interesting to read scenes now with the illustrations
because some of them changed once I actually saw them come to life in my studio.

Thank you Barbara!

Thank you Diane! Good luck in the giveaway!

That's great Kathleen! I hope you like it!

Thank you May!! I'm so glad you find it new and interesting, I hope you like it!

Wow Gina! Thank you, I'm blushing a little now. :)

Thank you Janice, good luck in the giveaway!

Thanks Cece! Good luck in the giveaway!

Thank you Wilma, I think they do make the book that much more interesting.

Good luck in the giveaway Nancy! Thank you!.

I hear you Joanne! I know this concept is completely new and it is meant for readers only just
because to print a novel with illustrations is so expensive. The book is available as a trade
paperback from Amazon, but because of the cost, it is $21.95 and does not have nearly as many
images as the ebook does. Of course it does not sell very well because it is so expensive, but I
did want there to at least be a way to get it out there for readers who are diehard fans of

Thank you Shirley! You will have to let me know what you think if you read it!

Thank you so much G. that means a lot to me. :)

Yay! G S I hope you love it!

That's great Ilona, I am so glad to hear you like the concept.

Thank you Patti!! I love to raise the bar and try new things, so this is just one more way to make
that happen.

Oh yes, Mary, soundtracks on ebooks are fun. I originally wanted to package the book as an app
(Jenn LeBlanc 11:30pm September 18, 2011)

(ooops...truncated post...)

Oh yes, Mary, soundtracks on ebooks are fun. I originally wanted to package the
book as an app with a soundtrack as well, but that would have limited the
number of people who could get it much more than just being an ebook now so
I decided to leave the soundtrack off.

Thank you SO MUCH Carla, it was very important to me that the images be
tastefully done but still enticing and beautiful, so for you to see that means a

Kati, you are sweet and hilarious. Thank you so much.

Vicki the paperback format looks about the same as the Kindle screen and we
did lots of testing with the editing of the images in rode to get them right so
that they would look good on the Kindle as well as other e-Ink readers. It was
important to me to make sure the images would look good on every reader.

Cate that is so flattering! I hope you found something wonderful at your local
bookstore, but unfortunately for now my book os only available online and soon
at the Tattered Cover in Denver because I have to submit it to independent
bookstores one at a time. It is a BIG job.

Thank you Margaret I hope you enjoy it.

LOL! Alyson we love imagination, oh the possibilities!!

Thank you Carla! I certainly hope so!

That's right Anna, this is one of the first, and I say one of because there is a
possibility there is one I haven't heard of, but I haven't seen another, and the
biggest bookstore in Denver hasn't seen anything like it either, they are very
excited to carry the book because it is SO unique.

I hope it does make the story more meaningful Lisa, the readers I have spoken
with tell me that the images make the characters that much more real to them,
and they truly see them and feel for them through the images which I think id

Thank you very much Marjorie, I am looking forward to seeing all the reactions
from it, I have received a lot of positive responses.

I can't wait f
(Jenn LeBlanc 11:31pm September 18, 2011)

(and again...)

I can't wait for you to see the book Renee! I'm looking forward to hearing what
you and my other readers think about it! It's so important to me to get feedback
from actual readers.

Thank you Carolyn. :)

That's an interesting idea Sandra, most of my refers run through the book
quickly to see all the images first, then go back to read the story the second
time. :) You will have to let me know how that works if you do decide to read it!

Thank you Jennifer!! I hope you enjoy it. :)

I hope you get a chance to Jennifer! Good luck in the giveaway!

LOL! Deb OKAY!!!

Thank you Tracie! Best wishes to you!

THANK YOU EVERYOINE for stopping by today! I'm so sorry it took me so long
to get back to you, I was at a photo conference today and for whatever reason I
could not comment on the blog from my phone...But I was reading and loved
every one of the comments, You guys are fantastic and I wish you all good luck
in the giveaway!!

(Jenn LeBlanc 11:32pm September 18, 2011)

Well, it's definitely a long time since I read a picture-book. This one looks very interesting: a recluse taming a duke!? What's not to like? I'm glad it's available on e-book. I may get to read it sooner than otherwise. Best success with your book.
(Sigrun Schulz 11:59pm September 18, 2011)

How fun! I'm not an e-book reader, but additional photos can only enhance the words - assuming the models are as described. More often than I like to admit, cover models on paperbacks are not like the hero at all as described (blond vs. brunette, etc).
(Molly Wilsbacher 8:36am September 19, 2011)

Sigrun thank you I hope you get to as well!

Molly, since I had total control of the project, the casting, costuming,
sets, everything, I think my model, Derek, is as close to my hero, Gideon,
as possible. Yes he does have dark hair and so does she. It isn't easy to
find someone, I am currently casting for Perry, my next hero, and it's a
challenge. I hope you like him. I am a bit of a cover anon and also don't
like when publishers reuse imagery on other covers.

(Jenn LeBlanc 9:49am September 19, 2011)

I have not had the pleasure of reading an illustrated novel... this sounds very interesting... usually I let the author's words create an image in my head... I wonder how different it would be to have pics there already to go along with the story...
(Colleen Conklin 3:34pm September 19, 2011)

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts Colleen, if you read it come find my on
Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

(Jenn LeBlanc 7:00pm September 19, 2011)

I love romances and I am interested in the description. It left me wanting to read more. The pictures are a nice ad and I like reading books as if the happened a while ago such as the 1880's. And I love London's setting. This is on my list of what I want to read;-)
(Jeanette Huston 7:18pm September 19, 2011)

What an exciting concept! The illustrations you showed are enticing and very sensual; I am curious to see how this extra dimension to the story fits in with the imagining I do when I read. Next stop: your blog.
(Dolores Feagin 10:16am September 20, 2011)

Thank you again, everyone! I had so much fun here, and congratulations
to the winner of my ebook, I hope you enjoy it! Everyone else, the book is
only $2.99 right now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and All Romance
Ebooks. Check it out then come find me and let me know what you

Sweet dreams, Jenn
(Jenn LeBlanc 1:44am October 3, 2011)

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(Fer Jenni426 7:55am September 16, 2014)

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