July Author Spotlight — M.J. Kaestli

The fireworks are over, unless you live in my neighborhood which seems to think two weeks before and two weeks after the 4th of July is primetime for fireworks until all hours of the night.

So why should we stop the fireworks? And this time, I don’t mean the ones that go BOOM and frighten my tiny puppy.

These fireworks come from a seemingly endless pool of fiery romance. So let’s meet the source of this fun, steamy romance that’s better than a roman candle backfiring and hitting your neighbor’s leaf pile…

M.J. Kaestli writes Young Adult (YA) Dystopian Romance. She writes strong female leads who don’t know they were born to conquer the world.

*******
Hi, M.J.! Thanks for joining us. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself, not just the writer in you, but who you are.

I’ve created and shared stories since I could speak and written them since I could
hold a pen. I publish under M. J. Kaestli and I’m primarily writing YA Dystopian
(currently 5 out of 7 books in series).

On top of writing, I’m also a book reviewer. I post weekly book recommendations
on my website, YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook. If you enjoy YA,
Dystopian, and Urban Fantasy, then come check out my reviews!

I live in Vancouver Canada and I love and go for nature walks along the sea wall
or in the forested areas. I hope to someday soon add a dog to those walks and my
home. I will admit, I often walk in the off-leash section of the park just so I can pet
all the dogs. It’s time I get my own…

What genre do you prefer to write and why?

My first love is Dystopian and I have since I was a kid. I think the reason is
because my dad was a survivalist. Any and every illness, turn in the economy,
governmental change, and new technology were all viewed as potential culprits for
bringing the end. How life as we knew it would soon end was weekday
conversation at the dinner table in my house.

I used to have regular nightmares as a kid and often daytime anxiety as well. I
thought way too much about how or if I would survive our looming destruction.
When I discovered Dystopian books at first it was a comfort because it represented
the reality I lived in and always ended well.

I know it sounds like I should hate Dystopian, but I think it safely explores
elements of humanity that really opens the mind to what surrounds you. I don’t
write out of fear of the future but more out of wanting to see the world on a wider
spectrum, to consider what I’ve never considered.

Do you write under a pseudonym? What made you decide to do so/or not? What
inspired your pseudo?

Yes, M. J. Kaestli is a pen name. There were a few reasons why I wanted to
publish under a pen name but I’d say the most prevalent is because I want to write
so many different genres. I’m a fan of grouping genres together under one
umbrella to protect the reader and ensure they continue to get what they want
without confusion.

I knew I wanted this pen name to feature strong female leads so I drew inspiration
from the strong women in my life. The M is for Michelle which is my real first
name. The J is for Jean which was my mothers name. And Kaestli was the maiden
name of my great-grandmother. I never got to meet her but was inspired by stories
of her as a child. She seemed to have more spunk and attitude than what was
deemed appropriate in her day.

Do you have a small or large circle of author friends? How do they help you
become a better writer?

My circle of non-writer friends has become rather thin. Most of my friends both
locally and online are fellow writers.

I’m heavily involved with my local Nanowrimo community. We formed our own
group outside of the annual writing challenge and host weekly write-ins. I think
writers need to be constantly surrounded by other writers, even just to have people
who make you feel normal.

As writers, we sacrifice so much of our personal time and money in pursuit of a
dream most think isn’t realistic. It’s too easy to give into self-doubt, insecurity, or
doing something easier with our time. We need each other for emotional support.
There is also a huge perk to get an extra set of eyes on your work or to have
someone to bounce ideas off of. Collaboration helps to keep the words flowing,

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or do you prefer writing series?

I’m incapable of writing short stories or stand alone novels. If the idea isn’t
multiple books with complex plots then I can’t get excited enough about it to get
through the writing process.

The State Series has overlapping timelines with multiple character points of view.
It has taken me longer to finish than I would have liked so moving forward, I plan
to work more in worlds with multiple series while releasing the timeline and main
character. I hope this speeds up my process while holding the integrity of what I
love in the finer details.

Do you base characters off people you know If so, do you let them know before
they read the novel?

Everyone and everything I’ve experienced in my life has an impact on my writing.
Modeling characters after real people isn’t something I do with intent, but can
happen organically. And yes, if I become aware of it (which usually takes time for
me to see it) I will tell them.

My main character Freya in The State Series was just a character to me until I
finished writing the first 3 books. While editing, I realized that Freya in so many
ways was my mom. She passed before I finished writing Compliant and so I never
got the chance to tell her.

What does success as a writer look like to you?

This is a hard question as there are multiple levels of success. Naturally, I want to
earn enough money that I don’t have to do anything else to live. I want to focus
full-time on writing and have the money to hire out all the background work I can
so that I can write even more.

But there are other kinds of success than money. I think my biggest moment as an
author was receiving feedback from one of the first people who read Compliant.
She read it in less than 24 hours and reported she was a “bad mom” because she
couldn’t put it down. To me, knowing I’ve touched someone’s life is success.

I feel that the world is made a better place through reading and storytelling. It’s an
honor when I can help connect people with stories that impact them, both as an
author and reviewer.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice or strictly as a business?

It’s definitely both and more. I feel like when I started taking my writing seriously
was when my life really began and I discovered who I am. It’s spiritual,
therapeutic, entertainment, social, all the things.

It’s also a business because if you want to share your stories with the world, you
have to spend money to get them out there. Publishing is expensive. And if I want
my stories to touch lives (which I do) I have to pay money to market them. There
has to be a balance of both income and spending. Plus, the more income I receive,
the more backend work I can hire out, and the more books I can write.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Of course! I love to read my reviews because it helps me to figure out what the
readers liked about my books so I can try to give them more.

The most negative review I’ve received was someone hated my main character
(and wrote paragraphs about how much and why) but then closed with saying they
would still recommend my books because the story’s so good.
I laughed, shrugged, and thought they must have really loved my story because
they really hated Freya. I want people to feel something when they read my books.
Even hating my character is better in my mind than writing one that’s forgettable.
You have to take the good with the bad because someone else told me Freya was a
real person to them. We each have our own tastes. My books aren’t for everyone
and I accept that as I don’t like every book I read that others love.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Monica Hughes became my favorite author in elementary school when my teacher
read our class Space Trap. It was the first Sci Fi book I was exposed to and that’s
when I discovered I love to read.

I later found Invitation to the Game at my library, the first Dystopian novel I read.
I was forever changed. I checked all her books out multiple times and they had a
huge impact on shaping my young mind into the person I’ve become.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

The moment I understood what an author was as a child. I used to talk people into
corners telling them my stories before I could write. Once I realized why I had no
friends, I started to quietly write my stories down. At the time, I didn’t know it was
a possible answer to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Ideas have always come easy, it’s the writing that was hard. As I’m also dyslexic, I
struggled to get through the writing process as I was continually challenged with
spelling, grammar and the use of language. That kept me blocked until I realized
one day that 40 was just around the corner (I was 36.5).

I set out a very clear goal to write every day because I had to finish at least 1 novel
before 40 and self-publish it. I was about 6 months late on publishing Compliant,
but I had written about 6 books by 40 and published the first 3 in series by the end
of that year.

I still struggle with sentence structure, grammar, spelling, all those things that
received the red pen strike from my English teachers. But, I learned that the only
thing that really matters is I tell my stories to the best of my ability. Between
editors and all the software’s available, I have no longer allow my limitations to
hold me back.

Thanks so much for joining us, M.J.

If you want to learn more about M.J., her books, and what she has coming up in the future, you can find her at the below links.

Her website & blog: https://www.mjkaestli.com/

Purchase link for her latest book: http://mybook.to/Compliant

Amazon.com: Compliant: A Young Adult Dystopian Romance (The State ...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H8Z34QX?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjkaestli/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjkaestli/

Book Review YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Zxh5Fz7FQuEQ0-D-uy61w?view_as=subscriber

Until next time, dear readers! Stay safe, Stay cool!
KC

June Author Spotlight – KATE JONES

June Author Spotlight — KATE JONES!!!!

Every month I like to expand our reading horizons by introducing my readers to new, or new-to-you, authors and their intriguing, amazing books. Whether they write romance, fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers of any kind, cozy mysteries…doesn’t matter. We all need new avenues of literature to pursue. For example, even with a TBR pile the size of the Grand Canyon, I sometimes yearn to go outside my usual genre box and play in the other genres’ sand boxes. So whether your main subject aligns with the featured author or not, you can be assured I will only bring you the best of the best across all genres.

With all that said…please let me introduce the lovely, the wonderful, the amazing.fantasy author..
KATE JONES!!!!

You can find her latest book, Shadows of Darkness, at http://geni.us/PnBoK

  1. First things first, please give us a brief introduction to yourself, not just the writer but “you.”

I’m a 57 year old mum and grandma (gulp – where have the years gone lol) and from the UK, although originally born in Singapore. My home county is North Yorkshire (with rolling hills, sheep, lots of pheasants and not a lot else,) but I now live in South Lincolnshire (with not a hill to be seen, very few sheep and lots of arable fields). The only thing that could have dragged me away from my beloved Yorkshire was…love (isn’t it always).  I own two cats – one ginger ninja called Olaf (yes, as in Frozen) and his slightly better behaved brother, Sheldon (as in Big Bang Theory). Those names alone should give you a feel for the range of programmes/films I watch on the few occasions I can be dragged away from my laptop. I also have two horses (one big dressage mare and a teeny tiny shetland who is her companion and is Houdini reincarnated).

I have retired from the 9-5 (that was the deal if I was going to leave Yorkshire) and can now focus on my writing.

  1. What genre do you prefer to write and why?

Fantasy – I’ve always read as a means of escaping from the humdrum reality of life and fantasy is the furthest you can get from normal as it comes (unless you are a character in my series – just saying lol)

3. Do you have a small or large circle of author friends? How do they help you become a better writer?

Small – I am coached/mentored by a USA/NYT best-selling author who has been instrumental in how I am developing and improving as a writer. I have a brilliant editor who is also an author; a UK based author who helps with questions that I feel are too dumb to post anywhere on social media, and I am currently looking for an author buddy/critique partner in the UK who writes in the same genre and is at about the same stage of their writing career as me. And I have an awesome friend who is an eagle-eyed beta reader and my biggest fan.

4. If you’ve already published, how did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

First book as an author in my own right was so bad that I signed up to work with an author coach, totally re-wrote it, started to learn how to write books that keep readers dying for more; had a professional cover done and employed a professional editor. Basically – decided to do it properly and not just treat it as a hobby.

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Author coach/mentor, professional editor and cover designer.

6. Who are your favorite authors and how did they influence you as a writer?

If I’m honest, I don’t really have favourites – I either like an author or I don’t. Many I read in the past and enjoyed (eg Melanie Rawns) now feel a little dated so I guess my tastes move with the times a little. I must add that, now I understand the ‘theory’ of how to write a ‘page turner of a book’ I do tend to analyse the way a book is a written and ask myself questions around what I enjoy, why, how has the author written a particular page or chapter that has kept me wanting to read more and I guess all that learning has to influence how I write to some extent.

7. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Into the Happy Glade by Trevor Dudley-Smith. It was very much a precursor to Watership Down in its concept and is now out of print and impossible to get hold of a copy at a reasonable price. It was the first book my father bought for me as it was one he had read and enjoyed as a child as well.

8. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/logo/avatar/spirit animal?

A unicorn with rainbow wings and sparkly fairy dust farts (I did say I was a fantasy writer!!!!)

9. Do you base characters off people you know If so, do you let them know before they read the novel?

Not really – although I did give one of my nastier characters the name of one of my “why the hell did you ever go there” ex boyfriends and then killed him off in a particularly violent and nasty ending. I have to say, it felt very good….

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None although I have a couple of outline plots for books that are a totally different genre. Not sure if they will ever be written but if they are, I will do so under a pen name.

11. What does success as a writer look like to you?

My partner will stop saying “Are you ever going to make any money from this writing lark?”  and will boast to his friends that I earn way more than he does so he can become a kept man to make up for all these years of my being a kept woman.

12. What have you found to be the best way to market your books? What tricks of the trade can you share?

If I’m honest, this is the part of my craft as a writer that I am still learning but, from what I can see so far, having a big following of avid reader fans is by far and away the easiest way of making sales as you go forward in your writing career.

13. What kind of research do you do? Do you research before and/or during the writing process?

Google is my best friend and I use it before and during my writing process from everything to “what is the word to describe xxx” to “images of xxx” and a tonne of other stuff as I go along. Latest search was around names of types of armour.

14. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice or strictly as a business?

For me it’s almost an addiction. Before I started to write my books, I used to journal daily and that was very much a spiritual practice. But my goal is to become a successful published author so I have to treat elements of my writing as a business if I am going to avoid chucking lots of money down the drain. I have to spend my money where it’s going to give me the most benefit so, for example, professional editing and cover design are a non-negotiable – they have to happen.

15. Do you write any non-fiction?

Not really although my first foray into published writing was as an author in a non-fiction anthology called “Success Unlimited.”

16, What is your target audience and what made you choose that audience?

Young Adults from about age 14 (although my books are very adult readable as well). I wanted to be able to use writing as a means of teaching teenagers all these life lessons that I wish I could have taught my own children when they were teenagers but I hadn’t learned most of them myself at that time in their lives. The subconscious mind learns best through stories, so what better way of teaching than via an epic adventure that has a deeper meaning than “once upon a time and then they all lived happily ever after.”

17. How do you select the names of your characters?

Some just felt right for the characters, some are names from my past that I liked and others are researched. All of my books in this series have a link to mythology or beliefs from around the world, so I research that in detail and bring some of the names into my stories so that people who study those particular beliefs etc will go “aha, I see where this is coming from”. So, for example, Elohim and Moloch in Book 1 are from Hebrew (Elohim is another name for God and Moloch is often used for the devil). I have names from Roman, Japanese, Aborigine, Greek mythology (to name a few) in upcoming books and I am also trying to link fictional characters from our world to my fantasy world as well. In Book 2 I have a chapter with Captain Nemo and the Nautilus in but neither are the same as in the Jules Verne book. Nemo is a drunkard and the Nautilus really is a nautilus!!

18. What is the most difficult part of your writing process? How do you overcome that difficulty?

Writer’s doubt and imposter syndrome. I talk to my best friend who says that, if she loves my writing I have to be pretty damn good because she’s the world’s biggest critic when it comes to books (and yes, I love her to pieces but she would very quickly tell me if she thought anything I’ve written is rubbish)

19. If you could personally meet one of your characters, who would it be and why?

My MC Charley – she has been in my life for so long that she’s like a daughter to me.

20. Which character from your book(s) would be the most likely to be a writer?

None of them so far – they are all far too busy saving their world from Moloch but I do have a minor character who has a very small but super important role in the whole plot and she could be a writer (now there’s a thought for a sequel!!!)

21. What one thing would you want readers to take away from your stories? A lesson? Sense of peace? Thrill of adventure? Anything?

If you believe in yourself you can do anything you set your mind to; magic really does exist (the majority of us just don’t see it as magic, that’s all); relationships are tough and good friends are the best allies you can have in life.

22. Is there anything else you’d like to relay to the readers?

I think I’ve probably said enough already but my main message to anyone who wants to write is to just get out there and do it. Don’t write for money – write from the heart; learn your craft; develop a thick skin and invest as much as you possibly can in terms of money and time if you want to make a living from writing. It can be hard, lonely and frustrating but the rewards at the end when you finally hold a copy of your own work in your hand and can say “I did that”, are worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. And when all else fails – I recommend chocolate and donuts, puppy smooches, baby laughs, video chats with friends, and sunshine as things that will make you smile and feel better.

*****
You can easily stalk (I mean follow) Kate Jones at the following social media sites:

Website – www.katejonesauthor.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/KateJonesAuthor
Instagram – https://instagram.com/KateJonesAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/@KateJon30610544

*****

Until next time, friends! Enjoy your summer, pick up some more books to read, and fall into a far away world of fantasy!

Luv & virtual hugs!
KC Freeman

Location! Location! Location!

How many times did I hear that when we were looking to buy a house? But that’s not what we’re talking about today.

When it comes to my writing I’m a stickler for authenticity. Writing fiction gives me a lot of leeway, especially writing fantasy fiction. I can create whole new worlds! It’s fun and exciting. But when it comes to writing real places into my stories…I want it to be spot-on accurate so if the reader finds themselves in that particular location they will recognize it from my stories.

Let’s take Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series. For a good chunk of my adult life I lived in Northern Virginia (metro DC). Book 1 includes locations that I am quite familiar with, including the “fictional” bed & breakfast that serves as the main location. Why? Because it was the setting for my own wedding back in 2000.

Therefore, when I wrote those scenes I was confident in my descriptions. If you drove up the winding driveway to a magnificent manor straight out of the pre-Civil War period, perched on top of a high hill, with dark green shingles and a rugged stone entranceway…you’d know you were in “Gaelic Haven”. Although the inn is now permanently closed (and went by another name – Killahevlin when it was in operation), you’d know this was the location of Kelly and Matthew’s wedding, and more importantly…where Greylyn and Kael first kissed (under the gazebo overlooking the koi pond in the back yard) — which happens to be exactly where my hubby and I said our “I Dos”.

Book 2 of the series has a number of familiar locations too — a club in downtown DC that I frequented TOO much as a young twenty-something; the National Cathedral; etc. But there were also places I have never been – for instance (while trying not to give out too much information since the book isn’t released yet): Mount Kailash. Never been there. Probably never will as my bucket list does not include climbing incredibly tall mountains in blizzard conditions. Also, I have a fear of heights so no mountain climbing in my future. But I wanted it to be authentically described so I researched sherpa villages in the Tibetan mountains. Since I’ve never been to one myself, if you have and you read the second book of the series and find discrepancies…please contact me so I can fix it.

For Book 3 (currently under major revisions because I decided to break it out into two books) I drafted the story which takes place almost entirely in Ireland. My lifelong desire is to visit Ireland and the more I research for the book, the more I want to go.

Quick fun story connecting Book 1 and Book 3 – no spoilers, I promise. The inn in Book 1 (real name was Killahevlin). When I recently put in a search online for Killahevlin, I was brought to Killyhevlin – an actual inn in Ireland AND it happens to be EXACTLY the place (county, town, on the same lake) as where our heroine, Greylyn, originally rose from the grave and presumably lived her human life. Coincidence? I knew nothing of the actual Irish inn until this point and now my future vacation plans include staying at Killyhevlin.

Now, where was I? Oh yes! Book 3 locations. I got amazingly lucky to find someone over social media who lived twenty years in the same town that takes up the beginning of the book (not Killyhevlin, someplace else). When I initially wrote the scene it came off more “Coney Island” than what it really was. My informant was able to correct all my nonsense so now the scene is more authentic and that makes me happy. Thank you, Laurine! You’re an angel!

I may write fantasy, but my stories still need to hold their own truth. And part of that lies with LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!


BUT WAIT! There’s more!

You love fantasy fiction, right?
Then you must check out the latest from Katherine Gilbert!
Cursed in White

*****

A lost girl desperate for safety, a wary boy with uncertain loyalties, and comrades who seem more like enemies–can they work together to avoid a paranormal disaster?

When Evan Brendan is forced to chase an escaped gryphon to an island occupied primarily by clueless tourists, a famous lighthouse, and the occasional giant teddy bear left on a motorcycle, he discovers a scared runaway teenager with lightning powers she can’t control. Despite her objections and his better judgment, he takes his father’s advice and recruits her for The Will, the secret organization he’s reluctantly been part of since birth. But what terrible secrets from her past might he be bringing into his well-ordered world?

Suddenly finding herself in a parallel dimension in a mansion complete with a cryptic gryphon, a silent revenant, a disturbing, too-pretty boy who smells like cinnamon, and his quirky feline familiar, Carrie Summerland has to learn to cope with her little-understood powers. But after a nightmarish initiation into this highly-dubious supernatural organization, can she trust these seeming new friends–or her own emotions?

Amid the haunted landscape of Jekyll Island, Georgia, where ancient oak trees drip with Spanish moss and hide the island’s dark past, Evan and Carrie must discover the secrets that The Will and Evan’s father are hiding and dig into the truths of Carrie’s past. With the help of the parkour-loving and occasionally pirate-garbed vampires of Savannah, Georgia, and hindered, helped, or confused by Evan’s past inamorati (a gamine tree nymph and a much-too-flirty succubus), they must find the source of a growing vampire madness and stop whoever is using it to try to take over the world.

On a Katherine Gilbert wackiness scale of 1-to-10 sarcastic talking cats*, this one is a 7.

*Warning: Not all stories contain talking cats. Wackiness may take other forms.

The More in Heaven and Earth series is all set in the same magical universe filled with angels, witches, werewolves, demons, vampires, ghosts, and many other supernatural creatures. They can be read in any order or as stand-alones and will introduce you to a variety of fascinating characters, as they take you to various parts of this unusual earth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08521TP88/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

For more from Katherine Gilbert, you can find her at the below sites:
Website: http://katherinegilbertauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/
Amazon author’s page: http://amazon.com/author/katherinegilbert
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katherine-gilbert
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18141907.Katherine_Gilbert
AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/profile/katherinegilbert/
Love Romance Reads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/katherinegilbert.html

************
Until next time…Virtual hugs to all!
KC

Endings are Hard

Probably one of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Chuck (aka God) on the tv series Supernatural, which coincidentally is ending soon. I’m too heartbroken to discuss Supernatural ending, but ENDINGs in particular catch authors between a rock and a hard place.

Chuck (aka God) from Supernatural says it best:

“Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There’s always gonna be holes. And since it’s the ending, it’s all supposed to add up to something. I’m telling you, they’re a raging pain in the ass.”

This is true not just with tv shows and movies, but books…especially series. You (as a reader) commit your time, your energy, your imagination, your heart and soul to a story and then the author either leaves you hanging with a cliffhanger only your imagination can fill in, or tries too hard to wrap it all up in a nice HEA (Happily Ever After) bow, or leaves you unsatisfied in some way that perhaps even you don’t understand. You just know that you are not happy now that it (the story) has ended. Sometimes, it really is just the fact that something you love has come to an end that there’s a huge hole in your heart. Regardless of the why, ENDINGS SUCK!

This discussion all started with a Facebook dialog on another author’s page and it really has me mulling things over hard, especially as I’m currently editing Book 3 of my own series (which was supposed to end with Book 3, but even I – the author – am not satisfied with the ending so I’m busting this baby out to at least 2 more books after #3 ~ much to the chagrin of the other stories swirling around in my noggin desperate to get out). Whereas the conversation on FB was particular to tv series, this also applies to book series.

Most tv series, and book series, have disappointing endings. For one, if you’re a fan of a show/book series, you’re already sad it’s ending. But why are we so emotionally connected to how the series ends?

For example, when Supernatural ends here in a few weeks…unless Sam and Dean are showing up on my own front porch then I will be disappointed because the characters and story have become part of my life. Watching the show has been my “escape” for years. Now what am I supposed to do? Find another show? *Gasp!* The horror of the thought!

I had the same thoughts/feelings when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the off-shoot series, Angel, ended. Buffy wrapped up in a cute bow with dozens or more slayers now out in the world to protect us all from vamps and other hellish nightmares. What’s not to love about that? With Angel, it was a fantastic smashup, action-packed cliffhanger with the main character (the incredibly hot David Boreanaz) saying, “I kind of want to slay the dragon. Let’s get to work!” and then fade to black. OMG! What a kickass ending, right? Then why was I left with a huge black abyss in my soul?

Let’s take this to books. I just finished a series by one of my favorite authors. Gobbled up each and every book. Got to the end…good guys won! FMC (female main character) and MMC (male main character) live happily ever after! Supporting characters also live happily ever after! Awesome, right? I should be thrilled, right? NOPE! It was all wrapped up too neatly in a bow. Why on earth would I be disappointed when everyone except the bad guys got a wonderful HEA?

Even historical fiction based on real-life persons, I know how it’s going to end, but I’m still like “WTF? Cleopatra DIES! Octavian Caesar wins?!” Ugh!

Endings suck. They just do. Because part of our hearts and souls are connected to the story. It has fueled our imagination for years possibly. So when the inevitable happens…the ending…we are left with a piece of ourselves missing/torn/bruised.

No ending, no matter how HEA (happily ever after) given to us by tv producers or authors, will ever fill that hole, soothe that ache, or mend that jagged rip in our souls. So despite the best intentions of the creators, we will always remain disappointed to some extent.

As I keep writing my own series, dear readers, I am trying to keep you all in mind as I continue creating to get the the inevitable ending. But the truth is, the story must end how the creator sees it in his/her own imagination. Sometimes even we don’t like our own ending, but that’s just where the story leads. I’ve tried to write stories with different endings, different circumstances that didn’t fit with the story banging around in my head, and to be honest…that was always a huge mistake and I always went back and changed things to authentically sync with the story in my own head. The characters wouldn’t have it any other way.

So please don’t lash out at the authors, the tv show creators and producers and screen writers when the book or show or movie ends and leaves you upset or let down.

Image result for endings suckTruly, we are not out here in the universe trying to find ways to piss off the fans. No matter what ending is written, it’s never going to be enough to fill that gaping hole in our hearts because it simply is …THE END!

As Supernatural’s Chuck said several seasons ago,

“No doubt, endings are hard, but then again, nothing ever really ends, does it?”

Maybe that’s why endings are so difficult, either we can’t accept that it is “the end” or perhaps nothing ever really ends. Our imaginations make the story live on.

Image result for nothing ever ends

 

Paperback Release TOMORROW 2/18/2020 for Rekindled Prophecy

book cover FB promo

Rekindled Prophecy is the first book in my fantasy/paranormal series, Greylyn the Guardian Angel. It came out in hardcover and ebook last November 2019 and will release in paperback format tomorrow, 2/18/2020!

I am so excited about the paperback release for many reasons:

  1. Hardcover books are sometimes too bulky to carry around in your purse, even if you use a drawstring athletic bag as a purse like me. (***Note to self: Buy a real purse one day!***)
  2. A LOT of people (and I do mean A LOT) prefer a physical book over ebooks despite the digital version being much more portable. There are a number of reasons for this preference. Some love the paper smell of books. Some have not transitioned to ebooks and never will (my own mom for one).
  3. An author can’t sign an ebook.
  4. Book shelves don’t get stacked with ebooks. You need hardcover or paperbacks for that. So if you love seeing your bookshelves nearly toppling over with books, ebooks will not do the trick. you need hardcover and paperback.
  5. Paperback books are generally cheaper than the hardcovers. So if you buy books in bulk to add to your TBR pile, paperback is the more economical option.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my Kindle too. It’s the easiest to transport. Since I do most of my reading sitting at swim meets, wrestling tournaments, and in the car rider line at my daughter’s school, throwing the Kindle in the drawstring bag I utilize for a purse is the fastest, most convenient option.

Also, I LOVE hard cover books! I keep the book cover jackets on them too and line them up on my bookshelves with adoration and love! I have a full collection of hardcover Stephen King and Anne Rice books. When I was a struggling twenty-something, I switched to paperbacks and I proudly display them too on my shelves. (***Side note: All books have been stowed away in boxes while we renovate my office, including built-in book cases! Secretly I believe my hubby wants to keep the books in the boxes as he fails to see the necessity in keeping all my books, and keeping them all displayed for me to lovingly gaze it while I daydream when I should be writing or editing, but he will NOT win this one!)

So if you a bookaholic like myself, and you prefer physical books over the ebooks, and you love fantasy/paranormal with a steaming shot of romance thrown in, please check out Rekindled Prophecy starting tomorrow (it’s available for pre-order now, too).

***

BOOK BLURB:

Guardian angel, Greylyn saves innocent humans from their own inner demons or the more nefarious real ones. She’s overdue for some rest and relaxation, but upon finding her archenemy already entrenched at an authentic Irish bed and breakfast, she knows her vacation is over before it ever starts.

Enemies for over four centuries, Greylyn has fought the dark guardian, Kael; and fought her desire for him. This time, however, she must work with the dashing dark guardian to protect innocent lives. It’s a deadly gamble. One she has no choice but to take.

But the situation is far more treacherous than she realizes as a notorious fallen archangel holds the lives of a mother and her unborn child over Greylyn’s head to force her to consummate a dormant, but deadly prophecy. One so deadly that Heaven didn’t even write it down.

Rekindled Prophecy: Greylyn the Guardian Angel is a fantasy/paranormal novel with strong undertones of romance and sex appeal between two enemies – one working for Heaven, the other working for Hell.

 

https://books2read.com/u/bzoaBE

***

Teaser:

Greylyn gulped in air. She wasn’t dead, not yet. Renewed energy pulsated through her body and gave her strength to push herself up on shaky arms. She stared, turning to look at each man as they circled each other. Both men with deadly intent etched on their faces. In between getting hit, and throwing jabs of his own, the stranger muttered, “Had to be you! It just had to be you!” One final uppercut to Jasper’s jaw, and the guardian angel fell back.

Her mouth opened to scream for him to leave Jasper alone, but no words came out. He turned to her, his face bloodied, but with a sad smile. “Until next time, love.” Seconds later, he vanished down the alleyway.

Suddenly able to move again, Greylyn jumped up and ran over to Jasper. “Who the hell was that?”

“Oh, I’m fine, by the way.” With the indignant look he flashed her, she knew Jasper was far from being fine. Physically, yes, he was alright. But his icy-blue eyes spoke volumes of fury she could not under-stand.

“I’m so sorry …” She checked him for injuries, hands roved over his body. His clothes were spatter-ed with blood. Other than his pride, and a black eye that would fade in an hour or two, he was in perfect shape.

Greylyn knew she looked a mess. Hell, she should be dead. Instead, the blood had already dried and the sizzle of her bones mending underneath her skin comforted her.

I’m not going to die. At least not tonight.

Jasper cupped her chin. “Yes, I know. It’s my fault. It was too soon to send you out on your own like that. I realized my mistake and came to find you, in case you needed assistance.” A nerve twitched in his jaw. “And, I find I was correct. You certainly needed help.”

“Oh, no! Edward? Did he escape? I came out here looking for him, but these guys,” she waved her hand toward the corpses littering the alley, “were after him and …”

“Yes, yes. I get it. You ran into the bad guys and as a bonus, you got a bloody dark guardian your first time on your own.”

“A what?”

“A dark guardian. The exact opposite of us, darling. You are just lucky I came along when I did. That one would’ve carved you up like a porterhouse steak.” He pushed himself off the ground. At his full height of well over six feet tall, he towered above her.

“Does this dark guardian have a name?” She didn’t know why it mattered that she find out his name.

Jasper narrowed his eyes at her in obvious disapproval. “That one in particular is Kael,” Jasper spat. “Truly nasty piece of work. Avoid him at all costs. Hopefully, you will never have to see that creature again.”

He turned toward her and grabbed her by the upper arms, leaning forward so they were nose to nose. An aroma of whiskey and tobacco wafted into her face. “Greylyn, promise me that you will stay away from Kael. If he ever crosses your path, either annihilate him completely with your dagger through his heart and then rip it out of his body while it’s still beating; or run. Just run.”

******

A quick note before I sign off, if you live in (or in driving distance from) Charleston, SC, I will be at the Penned Charleston book signing event on 2/29/2020. Please come by and say “Hi!” I’ll have paperbacks of Rekindled Prophecy to sell and to sign, along with some book swag.

And if you live in Charlotte, NC (or nearby, or within driving distance), please come out to the Queen City Book Fair on 5/23/2020 to see me and many other fabulous authors. I’ll have more paperbacks to sign, and hope to have a pre-order link set up soon.

Queen City Book Fair flyer

I’ll send out updates for future book signings and events as I schedule them.

Thanks and I hope everyone has a beautiful week!

 

Love always,

KC

A Belated “Teaser Tuesday”

Teaser+Tuesday+2

Folks, the holidays have me so scatter-brained, I didn’t realize the day, thus “Teaser Tuesday” will have to be a bit late. We need a good name for Wednesday teasers… any suggestions?

How about:

Wowza Wednesday!

We’ll table that discussion and get down to business since I still have holiday shopping and wrapping…and don’t even mention holiday baking to me yet because I just can’t even right now!

So, a teaser? A teaser? What shall I tease this week from the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series? Should I stick with Book 1, Rekindled Prophecy, which by the way would make a perfect gift for the fantasy/paranormal fiction fan in your life?

 

Or should I leap forward and give you lovelies a taste of Book 2, Revelations? Maybe skip way ahead to Book 3, working title, Remembrance? Or way, way ahead to Book 4 (yes, I finally decided that Book 4 is definitely in order, there is no way I can fit all this story into just 3 books), working title, Redemption?

For the sake of not wanting to spill the beans too soon on future books, we’ll stick with Rekindled Prophecy for today. Although, with the working titles of the other books, I am considering renaming the first book to just Rekindled. Any opinions on the subject, please shoot me a comment here or direct message me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/

Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite villains — Olivier.

Olivier is a fallen archangel. It’s rumored he whispered evil tidings into Lucifer’s ear which led to his Fall. Quite honestly, it’s anyone’s guess who is the worst of the worst — Lucifer or Olivier.

Olivier wants the prophecy fulfilled, even though he’s not completely sure of what it entails. He knows enough to be dangerous. Apparently, he’s the ONLY ONE who wants this. Heaven is against it. Hell will do anything to stop it. So what will our heroine do with angels and demons fighting to keep this prophecy from reaching fruition?

How did I come up with Olivier? Well, the name is from one of my favorite actors of all time. Laurence Olivier. Actually…Sir Laurence Olivier. He was knighted by the Queen of England. Cool, huh?

But this Olivier, while debonair looking and always stylishly dressed in designer suits and power ties, is nothing like the actor who played Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice nor Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.

No, this Olivier is more Thor-looking with Loki’s sharp wit and designs for destruction.

So let me peel back the curtain a tad, and let you discover Olivier for yourselves.

***

“Well, my boy,” said the larger man in a Dolce & Gabbana suit while he slapped the other man on the shoulder. They had watched the petite guardian pick herself up and sprint away from the bloody carnage behind the bar. They had the best vantage point for the battle, hidden in the shadows atop a crumbling service station a couple blocks away. “You’ve done a fine job of keeping track of our girl over the years. I’ll admit that I’m thrilled you defied my brother so long ago and chose not to kill her. Not many can get away with such disobedience. But this gamble has really paid off.”

Smiling, Kael replied, “Always glad to be of service to you, sir.” Teaming up with one of the most notorious tyrants of Hell had been dangerous, but he wouldn’t change a thing.

“Not much longer now until we can set things in motion with our little angel. I’ve waited long enough.” Without so much as a farewell, the large, hulking man vanished into whirling tunnel of air with only the sound of his laughter continuing to resonate in stifling humidity.

***

Happy Holidays! I’ll be back next week for a Christmas Eve Tuesday Teaser!

 

 

 

Let me introduce…

 

jasperactor1

JASPER MOREAU!

Who is he? Well, besides sexy and hot as hell…that’s more what he is, not who though.

Jasper is one of my absolute favorite characters to write. He’s not just eye candy, but I may stare at this inspirational photo when I need my muse to help me create his lines, his expression, and his attitude.

You see, Jasper is vital to the fantasy/paranormal story I need to tell in the “Greylyn the Guardian Angel series,” starting with Book 1 “Rekindled Prophecy”.

Rekindled Prophecy Hardcover 3d

If you’ll pay close attention to the book cover you will notice that is NOT Jasper on the cover. Must be mistake, right? How can someone THAT sexy not be on the book cover? He HAS to be the love interest, right?

Sorry…NOPE!

But don’t worry, after this series I have every intention of giving Jasper his very own story because he is absolutely fascinating.

So back to the original question…who is Jasper Moreau?

Jasper is from French royalty (many centuries ago). He’s a guardian angel with a heart of gold and a body for sin. His panty-dropping smile is legendary. A simple come hither look from his ice-blue eyes will have you in his thrall before you even have a chance to blink.

So why isn’t he the heroine’s love interest then?

No one knows exactly. It would seem to make sense that he would be, but things are a bit complicated.

What we do know about him is that he’s a guardian angel and he was the one present when our heroine, Greylyn, dug herself out of her own grave over 450 years ago in the rural fields of Ireland. He took her under his wing and talk her everything she needed to know about being a guardian angel, including who to stay clear of (dark guardians to be precise – which turns out to be much more difficult than either one of them realizes since…hmmmm…Kael is a dark guardian — much more Kael in a later posting, I promise).

Greylyn has kept things platonic between her and Jasper for centuries. Silly girl! And Jasper, being a gentlemen, respects that. After all, humans come and go but guardian angels live on and on. So he’s got all the time in the world.

So why don’t we just let Jasper introduce himself…

***

Now how to explain Jasper’s arrival and abrupt departure? She’d peeked out the window while she was on the phone. Everyone was assembled under the gazebo except for the bride and her father, the groom … and Kael. They had all seen him come inside her suite.

“Act like we’re arguing but trying to be quiet about it. I’ll explain that you’re an ex- boyfriend making a last-ditch attempt to win me back and I’ve sent you packing…again.”

Jasper’s eyebrows raised inquisitively. “Now who in their right mind is going to believe that?”

The crowd under the gazebo was oddly quiet as Greylyn walked Jasper to his car. No one even tried to feign disinterest as they put their plan into action.

Taking his cue, Jasper began to gesture wildly with a pleading look on his face. Greylyn, in turn, pretended to speak softly, but firmly, hands on her hips for effect along with an occasional dramatic hand gesture. They must have been convincing because her sensitive hearing picked up the shocked comments from the young ladies of the wedding party. The buxom blonde was more than dismayed that the hunk appeared to be leaving.

“Oh, what is wrong with that girl? He’s divine!”

Jasper even audaciously glanced over at the woman and gave her a wink. Sure enough, it gained him what his ego wanted to hear, a soft gasp as she was drawn into his orbit without him even needing to take a step closer. The woman looked as if she’d swoon any second now. One of her friends reached out to grab her by the elbow.

Yes, Jasper had yet another female under this thrall.

“Works every time,” he breathlessly whispered as they reached the car.

***

If you’d like to read more about Jasper, and the other characters in Rekindled Prophecy…

Check back each week as I introduce the rest of the cast of characters from the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, inspirations, muses, musical motivations, scene settings, and future plans for these characters.

XOXO!

KC

As a bonus, here’s some more photos of guys I used as inspiration for writing Jasper Moreau.

book cover model 7 jasper

Hope you enjoyed today’s eye candy!

Teaser Tuesday

paper bags near wall

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

It’s the day after Cyber-Monday, a four days after Black Friday (hope everyone finished their holiday shopping and everyone is giving and receiving books this year), and two weeks since the release of my debut fantasy/paranormal novel, Rekindled Prophecy (Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series).

Rekindled Prophecy Hardcover 3d

If by chance you haven’t finished your shopping, and the person(s) on your list enjoy reading fantasy/paranormal fiction, check out this little teaser from the above story. Regardless of the completion of your gift-giving list, check out this excerpt from the book.

***

Just as a small ray of early morning sun peeked between the slate-gray clouds, the shadowy outline of Gaelic Haven came into view. There were no lights on in the main house or the Carriage House. Breathing a sigh of relief, she tiptoed from the car to the Carriage House and opened the foyer door without so much as a creak.

“Didn’t realize you were such a partier, Greylyn. If I had known you wanted to party all night, I could’ve joined you.”

She froze in place. Despite the sarcasm, there was an underlying tension behind his words. The words were more clipped than usual. Greylyn didn’t know what to make of it and was too tired to care. Ignoring him, she reached for the door to her room.

The shadow at the top of the stairs pounced like a preying tiger to stand between her and the door. The little light that was available in the foyer from a small tabletop lantern reflected the gold in his eyes as they stood almost nose to nose, staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity. No matter how she tried, there was no looking away.

How could she be this tired and still be so affected by his closeness?

Without warning, his hand came up to her face, causing her to flinch. Instead of striking as she expected, his hand caressed the place just below her eye where she had been sliced earlier. His fingers softly moved over the now dried and crusted blood. Her skin warmed, as if she’d stepped too close to a bonfire.

His eyes strayed back to her own. The pupils enlarged, registering alarm and something else she couldn’t place. In a strained, gruff voice, he whispered through clenched teeth, “Who or what did this to you?”

It was difficult to think, much less speak or move, with Kael this close to her. His hand, still cupping her face, paralyzed her. She repeated to herself, “This is the enemy. This is the enemy,” in an effort to free herself from his hypnotic gaze.

The best she could manage was to say, “What’s the big deal? Worried that someone else might kill me before you’ve had your chance?”

She had wanted to sound sarcastic. Instead, her words came out more like a breathy whisper that ended with a pitiful squeak.

He leaned in closer, a mere inch or two from her face, his eyes locked on her own. “I don’t want to kill you, Greylyn. I would never allow anyone else to hurt you either. Haven’t you figured that out by now?”

***

If you are enticed by the above teaser, please check out the entire story. Rekindled Prophecy is available on numerous book retail sites, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, Walmart eBooks, Google Play, Abebooks, Book Depository, Alibris, Better World Books, and Indie Bound.

Here’s a link to the ebook at Amazon, but the hard cover is also available.

Also, I’m trying to build up my newsletter. If you believe you’d enjoy regular updates about the book, the series, general discussion of all things related to guardian angels, my silly rants and ravings on a myriad of topics, please check out my newsletter signup at http://www.eepurl.com/gDp4Jr

As an added enticement, I’ve joined with 9 other authors in a December Reader Appreciation/Newsletter Buildup campaign. Leann Ryans, L.P. Dillon, Becca Dawn, Nora Nolan, L.V. Lane, Krya Fox, Rowan Thalia, KC Freeman. V.T. Bonds, and Mandi Konesni have joined together to offer 24 days worth of prizes in December.

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From December 1st through the 23rd, one person on our newsletter subscriber list will be chosen each day to win a prize leading up to the grand prize drawing on the 24th. The grand prize winner will receive 15 ebooks, an audiobook, 3 paperbacks, and Amazon gift cards totaling $50.

You must sign up for all 10 newsletters to qualify to win a prize. The winner each day will be notified and announced on Facebook once their subscriptions are verified. Each author is responsible for delivery of their book and prizes to the winner.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LCoDbQsFeACRukRT_t0ZjyTQLDs7oKdXezS9HsCADgY/viewform?fbclid=IwAR25TxaSx_2wYzQgdX4-JfGXz-SgFHnb31SqsNlxJqav6Tay4_O7YVgb5BU&edit_requested=true

Happiest of holidays to everyone! Ciao for now! Come back next week for another teaser.

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

In the spirit of the holidays, and to celebrate the excitement of publishing my debut fantasy/paranormal novel, Rekindled Prophecy (Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series), I’ve arranged to gift some lucky reader with a free Kindle copy of the book. The winner will be announced Cyber-Monday (12/2/19)!

But that’s not all…

Even if you don’t win the book, a second winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. The winner of the gift card will be announced the next day (12/3/19).

How to enter the contest to win either the Kindle version of Rekindled Prophecy, or the $10 Amazon gift card?

Simple!

Follow the author (That’s me!) on social media and then let me know you’ve done so with a quick comment here on  my author webpage or by sending me a direct message to me on my author FB page @KCFreemanAuthor.

My social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KCFreeman5

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kvcfreeman5/

Newsletter (should be a link to it on my FB page as well): http://eepurl.com/gDp4Jr

It’s that simple!

Rekindled Prophecy promo with review

XOXO!

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving Teaser Tuesday

This Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for…including the publication of my debut fantasy/paranormal novel, Rekindled Prophecy (Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series) which launched exactly one week ago.

To celebrate I am offering a giveaway (please see yesterday’s post) for a free Kindle version of the book. All you have to do in order to qualify to be included in the drawing is to follow me on:

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/KCFreeman5

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kvcfreeman5/

And

Sign up for my newsletter at http://www.eepurl.com/gDp4Jr

Now you don’t have to do all the above to enter, but it does improve your odds of winning. The winner will be announced Cyber-Monday (12/2/2019). PM me on FB or leave a comment here with the simple phrase “Done”. An alternate winner will be chosen the following day for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Now to deliver on that teaser I promised in the title of this article.

***

Just as a small ray of early morning sun peeked between the slate-gray clouds, the shadowy outline of Gaelic Haven came into view. There were no lights on in the main house or the Carriage House. Breathing a sigh of relief, she tiptoed from the car to the Carriage House and opened the foyer door without so much as a creak.

“Didn’t realize you were such a partier, Greylyn. If I had known you wanted to party all night, I could’ve joined you.”

She froze in place. Despite the sarcasm, there was an underlying tension behind his words, more clipped than usual. Greylyn didn’t know what to make of it and was too tired to care. Ignoring him, she reached for the door to her room.

The shadow at the top of the stairs pounced like a preying tiger to stand between her and the door. The little light that was available in the foyer from a small tabletop lantern reflected the gold in his eyes. No matter how she tried, there was no looking away.

How could she be this exhausted and still be so affected by his closeness?

Without warning, his hand came up to her face. She flinched. Instead of striking as she expected, his hand caressed the place just below her eye where she had been sliced earlier. His fingers softly moved over the now dried and crusted blood. Her skin warmed as if she’d stepped too close to a bonfire.

His eyes strayed back to her own. The pupils enlarged, registering alarm and something else she couldn’t place. In a strained, gruff voice, he whisper-ed through clenched teeth, “Who or what did this to you?”

It was difficult to think, much less speak, with Kael this close to her. His hand, still cupping her face, paralyzed her. She repeated to herself, “This is the enemy. This is the enemy,” in an effort to free herself from his hypnotic gaze. It didn’t work.
The best she could manage was to say, “What’s the big deal? Worried that someone else might kill me before you had your chance?”

***

Hope you enjoyed the teaser and will check out Rekindled Prophecy for yourself. Don’t forget your chance to win a free Kindle version of the book!

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!