Teaser Tuesday

Rekindled Prophecy takes place at a quaint Irish bed & breakfast in rural Virginia. The above pictures are of the B&B that inspired the setting. There’s the main manor house, the Carriage House, and the beautiful and lush backdrop of the Shenandoah Mountains. As described in the book, there is a rectangular koi pond with the loudest bullfrogs and yes, the innkeeper did provide earplugs in each room for that very reason. Sadly, the property now sits vacant (at least the last time I checked with the realtor. If anyone is looking to purchase a B&B, send me a message and I’ll give you more details and can hopefully send you to the right realtor.

Here’s a couple tidbits describing the inn to help your imagination conjure out this pristine and peaceful setting. Surely no danger could possible lurk a place so beautiful…or could it?

 

A frog splashed across the lily pads on the surface of the koi pond, just a few yards away. Glancing up at the main house, a large antebellum manor of brick, rock, and a metallic green roof, a jolt went through Greylyn’s body as she was overcome by a vision…

Droplets of rain fell. A cloudy haze blurred the gazebo where a small group huddled underneath. Soft piano music played, but was cut off suddenly. The sound of a door banged like thunder clap. Glancing over at the manor, an image of a figure in white looked out a second-story window. her mouth opened wide in a silent scream.

*****

During her visit ten years ago, Maureen had explained that the pub had been designed as a scaled down replica of her favorite bar back in Dublin — The Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. It was even older than Greylyn. She had frequented the actual establishment in the early days of her resurrection with her friend and mentor, Jasper Moreau. It’s miniature replica brought a smile to her face. “Those were the good old days,” she whispered to the empty room.

*****

Lots more happens in and round the inn, but Greylyn also pays two visits to nearby Washington DC and battles demon armies to save an apartment building of innocent psychics. But we’ll discuss the DC visits another time.

Teaser Tuesday

Just a snippet of Rekindled Prophecy to whet your appetite for more Greylyn and Kael.

Wrapped up in her thoughts, she failed to sense him moving closer until his face was a mere centimeter away from her own. His hand tenderly cupped her face as he lightly rubbed his thumb over her cheekbone to her ear then back down to linger at the edge of her mouth.

The caress sent a flood of pleasurable sensations throughout her body, like a gentle waterfall cascading over her. Incapable of moving away and no longer able to think about anything else, she found herself welcoming his touch. They were eye to eye, nose to nose. She would simply have to lean forward the slightest bit, and their lips would meet. Full, sensual lips, slightly parted, served as an invisible force that tugged her forward.

 

greylyn and kael pic

 

Who is Greylyn?

greylyn pic

For the last few weeks you’ve been reading about Rekindled Prophecy – Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, Book 1. You’ve been introduced to her guardian angel counterpart and mentor, Jasper Moreau. And you’ve witnessed her in action saving a co-ed with self esteem issues from a nefarious soul stealer in a country western bar.

But who exactly is Greylyn?

Greylyn was born over 450 years in the Irish countryside. She wishes she could tell you more about her human life, but since rising from the grave as a guardian angel she doesn’t remember anything from that time. Her first memory is waking up, underground, with the pungent odor of earth and fear infiltrating her senses.

The above image is “Alice in the Looking Glass” — a statue in England, which will have more relevance once we get to book three in the series. For our purposes here, it appears as if a young woman is reaching out from the grave.

Once Greylyn dug herself out of her grave, she met someone who would have a profound effect on her “afterlife” — yes, the handsome and strong guardian angel, Jasper. But don’t let their closeness fool you. Our beautiful guardian, Greylyn, has a penchant for the bad boys.

Enter dark guardian, Kael O’Shea. We’ll discuss Kael in more detail later. I just didn’t want you to misconstrue the situation with Jasper. Not that he hasn’t tried over the centuries to win her heart, body, and soul. It’s just the chemistry between Greylyn and Kael is off-the-charts hot and undeniable, even though she vehemently denies it.

Jasper taught Greylyn everything she knows about being a guardian angel, including how to fight. Sometimes they battle the bad guys together, and sometimes apart. There just aren’t enough guardian angels to go around, so they are kept plenty busy.

Greylyn takes her job seriously and rarely enjoys any R&R for herself. She’s learned not to get too close to the humans she is meant to save, but she has a huge heart. Whenever she fails a mission, it hits her hard. That fear of failure propels her forward, but doesn’t fill the emptiness in her heart and soul. A few people have been fortunate enough to make it into her inner circle, including a snarky Australian former rugby player turned college professor with an affinity for the paranormal; an Irish innkeeper; and the subject of Greylyn’s mission in Rekindled Prophecy — a young bride with a secret and a supernatural price on her head.

Here’s a glimpse into Greylyn’s meeting with the bride, Kelly:

Kelly’s voice was soft and sweet, with just the faintest Southern belle tinge. There was something that bothered Greylyn from the moment she’d walked in the room. A glimmer of gray hung over her like a cloud. Despite the smile, this woman sensed something was wrong too. When they shook hands, waves of energy spiked from Greylyn’s hand all the way to her neck. Not painful, but more like the warmth of a cashmere blanket. Familiar, but foreign.

Greylyn’s mind flashed back to the vision of the woman in white silently screaming in the window. Although the vision had been blurred, there was no doubt that Kelly had been the woman. For a split second, another image emerged. Glazed hazel green eyes, but the face was blurred. Again the vision morphed to pitch darkness surrounding the woman in front of her, like acrid smoke billowing off a bonfire. But instead of the smoke floating away from the source, it encircled her.

But that still doesn’t answer “Who is Greylyn?” Our heroine drives a 1968 British racing green Camaro, loves hair-band heavy metal music, and sports a Celtic dagger when going into battle. Her drink of choice is called a “Godfather” — half scotch/half amaretto over ice. She’s petite (under 5’2″) with long raven hair and a spattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks. Her eyes are like emeralds…unless she’s upset or angry (her eyes turn as blue as the Mediterranean Sea). Her friends call them “mood eyes” (like a mood ring which changes color with your mood).

 

I don’t want to give away too much about our lovely heroine. I prefer you read about her for yourself when Rekindled Prophecy comes out in November 2019. Until then, I’ll keep posting tidbits here and there to keep you intrigued.

Have a safe & fun Mardi Gras!

Excerpt from Rekindled Prophecy

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Early on in Rekindled Prophecy, Greylyn saunters into a country western bar in West Memphis, Arkansas. A young co-ed, Jenna, with self-esteem problems has invited danger into her life in the form of sexy soul-stealer, Devon. While Greylyn searches for the missing Jenna, she encounters another young woman who will deeply impact her life a few years later when the guardian angel is pulled to a quaint Irish inn in the Shenandoah Valley.

Music plays a huge role in my writing as a soundtrack plays in the background of my head and the story unfolds. For this scene, I needed upbeat country western music. Who better to listen to than…Kenny Chesney.

Now for a taste of Rekindled Prophecy…

Shivers spread up her spine. Her charge was in danger.

Damn it! Where the hell is she?

Greylyn climbed up on the edge of the stage for a better view. She spotted one of Jenna’s friends, a strawberry blonde in leather pants and a V-neck top that plunged too far down when she bent over. The woman was sitting on the lap of a young cowboy with his hand sliding up and down her legs. Greylyn pushed past the throngs of dancers. Without waiting to introduce herself, she yanked the woman off her paramour.

“Where did Jenna go?” Starry, vacant jade eyes stared back at her. The girl was blitzed! With the gray tinge around her aura, Greylyn suspected she was quite literally drowning her sorrows. Placing the pads of her thumbs on the woman’s eyelids, she whispered a quick spell in Latin – Ostendo mihi Jenna. The last image of her friend played back in Greylyn’s mind – Jenna holding hands with Devon as he led her down a long, dim corridor towards the back bar area.

“Thanks.” She released the girl, but something stopped her from running out the back. A vision blinded her to all else.  The thumping of the music stilled. All else around her ceased to exist.

The same woman, except dressed in ivory chiffon, stared out a high window. Although slightly obscured by a drizzling mist, she saw terror radiating from the woman’s wide green eyes. A single tear slid down her pale, freckled cheek. Fear seized Greylyn’s own heart and squeezed to near bursting. Then…

The rowdy bar came back into full focus. Shaking off the vision, Greylyn placed a reassuring hand on the woman’s shoulders. “I believe I’ll be seeing you again sooner or later.” Glossy eyes stared blankly back.

 

A Little Slice of Heaven

book cover model 7 jasper

Usually an author introduces her/his readers to the main character first, but after some particularly interesting responses to my Facebook posting of a supporting character, I thought I’d break the mold and introduce the incredibly sexy guardian angel, Jasper, first.

Jasper — oh, he’s a hottie! A perfect spoil to the dark guardian, Kael (who we will discuss in much greater detail later).

Jasper is a guardian angel. He has been roaming the Earth helping humans battle their own inner demons and the more nefarious real ones for centuries. We know Jasper has been a guardian for much longer than our heroine, Greylyn (approximately 450 years for her).

He’s French royalty. He and Greylyn even visit revolutionary France to stop Robespierre from slaughtering innocents by the infamous guillotine, discovering too late that the dark guardian, Kael, is pulling the French leader’s strings.

But who really is Jasper Moreau? Although working on the side of good, he gives off a distinct bad boy aura. He’s a stylish dresser, with a flare for black boots and even a leather jacket if the situation calls for it. He will ride in to the rescue in a rented luxury sports car or straddling a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He drinks champagne as if it were water, but never overindulges because he wants…needs to remain in control.

His temper is ferocious and quick to flare. Just ask Kael who has been on the receiving end of his anger too many times to count. But Jasper’s heart is huge, but he keeps it guarded for reasons he does not confide even to his best friend for centuries, Greylyn.

Below is an excerpt from the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, shown as a flashback of when Greylyn first met Jasper. Enjoy!

Hunched over, her body shuddering in the final throes of dry-heaving, a faint chuckle broke through the silent night.

She turned her face towards the sound. Everything was a blur. Blinking, grains of dirt caked onto her lashes fell away. More blinking, her eyes brought into focus the gloom of an icy moonless and starless night. Then finally she was able to make out the silhouette of a tall figure lounging against the side of a large oak tree.

“Well, it’s about time you made it out. I’ve been waiting all night. A few more moments and I would have left without you,” the shadowed man said in a foreign accent she didn’t recognize. With a subtle bow, he added, “Jasper Moreau at your service, Milady.” He separated from the tree and strolled leisurely over to where she lay on the damp ground. His boots shone with garish gold buckles, as if he were walking into a palace, not standing in the middle of a dirt field.

Get up and run!

The energy that had propelled her from the grave had vanished. She could barely lift her head to gaze up at him. The muscles in her neck twitched with the effort. Her mind ordered her legs to jump up and run, but nothing happened. A new wave of panic rocked her body.

She pushed herself up on trembling arms. “If you knew I was trapped under the ground, why did you not help me?”

“Sorry, Milady,” he said with a slight touch of sarcasm. “I could not assist you. There are no headstones or markers in this quaint little boneyard and there appear to be several fresh grave sites. I simply could not find you in time. I do hope you will accept my sincerest apology.” Something in the smoothness of his voice or his nonthreatening stance gave her a sense of calmness – that she had no need to fear this man. Still, how could she be certain? 

A tingling sensation washed over her body, as energy flooded back into her limbs. First, she wiggled her toes, then shook out her legs that moments earlier had refused to move. Pulling her legs towards her body, she took a long look around. She sat on the edge of a small graveyard between a sheep pasture and a thick forest. In the distance, silhouettes of buildings stood out, with one taller than the rest with a pointed steeple. Even the cloud-filled night sky seemed bright and welcoming.

A sliver of moonlight peeked out between the dense cloud cover for just a moment, offering enough illumination that she could make out the visage of the stranger. Her vision wavered in and out until finally coming to a crystal clear focus.

Strikingly tall with broad shoulders, his clothing was fancy. Frilly white shirt with a dark velvet overcoat. Long jet-black hair pulled into a ponytail with a satin ribbon. Every detail screamed he didn’t belong here.

When he reached over to help her up from the ground, a sweet musky scent infiltrated her senses producing a vision of a deep evergreen forest. Most notable were his startling blue eyes set against deep olive skin. They glowed in the darkness with such intensity as if he peered into her soul. She found herself on her feet without any recollection of standing. When she looked down at his hand on her arm, he released her. The tranquility abruptly ended.

“Madam, I realize you may be distressed about your predicament. Allow me to reassure you that you are now indeed safe. You will never need to fear the grave again.”

How dare he act so nonchalant about this situation? And say such nonsensical things! She rounded on him, her voice rising. “How is that precisely? Someone buried me alive! You did nothing about it. How can you stand there and smugly say that you could not help me?”

His eyes narrowed and a nerve ticked just under his left eye. The look, more than the silence, unnerved her.

This couldn’t possibly get worse.

“Milady, you were not buried alive,” he said. “You were very much dead.”

 

1st book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series

Rekindled Prophecy – First book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series to be released November 2019

Woo Hoo! I’m happy dancing now!

I am so excited to announce that Zimbell House Publishing has picked up Rekindled Prophecy, the first installment of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.

We are set to release close to the holiday 2019 so please be on the lookout for updates by following this page, or my Facebook page KCFreemanAuthor (https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/) or KC Freeman (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015282787131).

I’ll be posting more soon about the upcoming release, as well as snippets of the first book (and perhaps some teasers for the followup books).

However, while preparing to publish I will also continue my editing duties. If anyone needs an editor, please send me a private message via Facebook or leave a comment here and I will contact you.

For those interested in what Rekindled Prophecy is all about…here’s a teaser —

Rekindled Prophecy is a paranormal/urban fantasy romance novel with strong undertones of sex appeal. It is the first in a three-part series titled Greylyn the Guardian Angel Series and follows Greylyn on a worldwide quest with the enigmatic Kael by her side.

Inspiration

Inspiration. Where does it come from? Every writer, actually every person, has their own answer to that question. Some seek new avenues of inspiration when their usual wells run dry. As an author, I am asked all the time, what inspires my writing? What is my muse?

Well, that answer is more complicated than you’d imagine.

For example, the story of Greylyn came about years ago when I was a teenager. Not to date myself, but this was pre-Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although I describe my main character from my urban fantasy series as a cross between Buffy, Highlander, and Highway to Heaven, the character and the story predates most of them.

Sometimes simply daydreaming sparks my muse and a story jumps into my head and doesn’t let go. This started the saga of Greylyn the Guardian Angel, but it doesn’t end there. Many hiccups and bumps and expressways were built between the light bulb idea 

and the finished product.

Sometimes dreams are the genesis for a new story, or aspect of a story that needed fluffing out. I’ll admit, I’ve had some crazy dreams, woke up with a clear idea for a fantastic new story, and then it vanishes in a poof. 

Sooooooooooo frustrating!

When I’m lucky, a thread remains wedged in my brain and eventually worms its way out so at least I have a morsel to build upon. There’s a shadow creature in Greylyn the Guardian Angel Book 1. That monster was indeed conjured up by a nightmare so vivid the image survived to be forever embedded onto paper.

People, places, things, and events serve as inspiration more often than not. For example, I was married at a beautiful Irish bed & breakfast in rural Virginia which now serves as the setting for my first urban fantasy book. Every detail from the koi pond to the gazebo to the tiny Irish pub…all real. Names and other aspects have been changed though. I tried to track down the owner to request permission to use the real name of the inn, etc. Alas, the property went under foreclosure and a seller has yet to purchase it, so there’s no one to ask so…you can guess, but for fictional purposes, the book is set at Tipperary.

A funny side note: If you’ve read The Bowman’s Inn Autumn/Winter 2017 anthology, and the first story in the book by “yours truly”, there’s a cute meet where the female main character (FMC) stabs the male main character (MMC) in the hand with darts. Unintentionally, of course. The MMC later jokingly accuses the FMC of poisoning him with a love potion with the darts.  TRUE STORY! Yes, I accidentally stabbed my now husband in the hand with darts when we first met – just not at the Bowman’s Inn. To this day, he accuses me of poisoning the darts. (Right hand raised to Heaven…I did not.)

In another short story to be included in a different anthology, coming out the end of April 2018, includes another nugget of authenticity. The bar where the FMC meets the MMC in Old Town Alexandria is real. Not where I met my husband (see above), but as a young 20-something professional in the DC metro area, I spent my fair share of time in bars in Old Town, and lots of other bars/pubs/taverns/dance clubs in the DC area. More time than I care to admit. There are other nuggets of reality in the story, but let’s leave something for you to guess what is real and what is fiction. I’ll post here when that anthology is close to being released, so PLEASE check it out.

Originally, my main character, Greylyn, had long, flowing auburn hair. However, I felt an overwhelming urge to change her appearance after going to see a classic movie at the theater. Happens to be one of my favorite movies, my favorite actress of all time, and my favorite fictional character of all time. May seem a bit controversial in this day and time, but Scarlett O’Hara is a kick-ass heroine. She’s tiny though. Petite in frame with delicate features, but fierce green eyes which captivate the audience and showcase every single emotion the character is feeling even when she’s saying the exact opposite. Now Greylyn isn’t completely based on Scarlett. For one, Greylyn would never fall for the “Ashley” type. She’s an unapologetic “Rhett” girl all the way. Also, Greylyn uses much more than her feminine wiles to get what she wants. And what she wants is usually for someone else’s benefit, not her own. But for purposes of physical characteristics…jet black raven hair and emerald eyes, petite, and stubborn to a fault…all attributes from Scarlett. (For those that are nitpicky…Vivien Leigh had blue eyes, but the Scarlett from the book had green eyes.)

Of course, sadly Vivien Leigh isn’t around anymore to play Greylyn in the movie adaptation of my book (okay, an author can dream of her book being made into a movie right? even if the chance is less than 1%). However, lately I came across a lovely young actress who I think would be perfect.

Victoria Konefal. If my dream of bringing Greylyn to the small screen or silver screen ever comes to fruition, this young woman is my pick for Greylyn.

But where was I? Of yes, inspiration.

Other sources of inspiration…music! Absolutely my favorite source of inspiration. Actually, music is exactly what inspired me to write this article.

I should’ve grown up to be a video producer because just about any song I hear, my head imagines a mini-movie telling a story…not the flashy-flashy image blips of most music videos, but real stories. Alas, I am not a music video producer.

At least once a year, my husband takes me to a concert. One year it was the Motley Crue reunion tour, but that doesn’t count for purposes of this discussion. This year, actually this past Sunday, we went to see Celtic Woman.

Sadly, I didn’t get a trip to Ireland for this concert, but I certainly felt like I was there. But that’s not where the initial inspiration started for Greylyn’s background and for location settings for the story. That was years before when I fell in love with Celtic music after listening to a Loreena McKennitt as it played in some store I no longer remember the name of.

The music speaks to me so strongly. I’ve tried explaining this phenomenon to my husband. A deep ache, like homesickness comes over me. Unbidden tears spring to my eyes and I am transported to a place I have never been, but to which I am connected. There is no logical reason for the emotions elicited by the music. It just IS.

***Upon checking a family tree for my paternal grandmother (don’t have family trees so thoroughly completed for the rest of my family), I discovered the lines traced back to a relative in 1566 (that was the absolute earliest found) in…Ireland. Finding this information, I changed the initial prologue for Book 1 of Greylyn the Guardian Angel to start the saga in 1566 in the county noted for my ancestor.***

Back to the music… The concert Sunday evoked images in my head of where my heroine grew up, the exact spot of her resurrection from her human death, the place where she met/fell in love with (he who shall remain nameless so NO SPOILERS), and where she will eventually return in the third installment of the series. As Celtic Woman sings, my mind’s eye envisions the setting, the scenery, the chill from the breeze coming off the lough, all of it. And the concert recalled for me that I had my best scene writings while listening to this music, or shortly after. Celtic music was my inspiration! The entire soundtrack for the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series could be Celtic music.

This is just one song selection that speaks “Greylyn” to me.

 

There’s a scene in Book 3 (no spoilers, I promise) that was written completely in synch with Loreena McKennitt’s “The Highwayman”.

Except…there’s always an exception, right? For fight scenes, songs such as Motley Crue’s “Primal Scream” are much more fitting. When I write battle scenes, gotta have the heavy metal on full blast.

After all that Celtic music blathering on above, I bet you weren’t expecting that one.

Regardless, inspiration can come from anywhere. If you’re a writer and having a writer’s block or just can’t quite get a hold on a story nudging around in your brain…try music. That’s my #1 go-to for story inspiration. However, also, just look around you. People you pass in the street can serve as a minor character. That cranky lady at the pharmacy can be the crotchety old lady giving your protagonist grief over something simple, but she’s also a helpmate in disguise but the hero/heroine doesn’t figure that out until it’s too late. And my best advice, place a journal and pen on your nightstand.

9 times out of 10 when you have a crazy dream that the instant you wake you know it’d make a great story…it vanishes never to be seen again after more than a couple minutes of being awake.

The world is a big, bright, beautiful place full of inspiration for those eager enough to seek it out.

Go forth, my readers! Dream. Dream Big! And WRITE ABOUT IT! Experience life and WRITE ABOUT IT!

Or…Do both!

Go be your own inspiration.

Ciao til next time!