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

Teaser Tuesday

Welcome to a new year, a new decade! 2020 started out a bit rough for this author. I’ve basically been sick since November 2019 but have finally recovered enough to get back to writing and editing.

What does that mean for the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series? It means forward progress on Book 2. Yesterday evening, just before the college national championship football game (Geaux Tigers!), I sent off Book 2 (working title: Revelations) to the publisher. Now on to editing Book 3 which is going to a bit more strenuous since I’ve had all these lovely ideas for plots twists and expanding the series to incorporate.

With Book 2 off to the publisher, thought I’d offer up a teaser just to whet your appetites for more Greylyn and Kael. I hope you enjoy!

***

Considering how traitorous her body reacted to the dark guardian in normal circumstances, she didn’t want to imagine what being this close would do to her over the long term. Twenty-four hours? Did the vamp expect them to do this little exercise for that long? At the very least, shouldn’t they be given potty-breaks?

Her head already throbbed with tension to fight her body for control. She couldn’t allow herself a second to relax. All it would take is one moment of weakness.

Too late. His closeness was already sending ripples of goosebumps up her arms while a delicious heat crept up her cheeks. To distract herself, she scanned the garden for signs of surveillance. Anything to avoid looking at Kael. Being here with him made her more nervous than facing down the entire throng of Olivier’s minions months ago.

Absentmindedly, she pulled out a platinum chain tucked underneath her shirt and toyed with the ring dangling it – a nervous tick she’d picked up after their first encounter. The ring had been in the pocket of the drab wool dress she’d been buried in. The one and only link to a life she didn’t remember, a normal human life.

Kael reached over to touch her face, but a voice boomed over the loud speaker again. “No touching.” He withdrew his hands, holding them up in the air as a sign of surrender.

Forcing herself to lock eyes with Kael might be the hardest thing she’d done since tearing herself away from him at Gaelic Haven. She had wanted nothing more than to lose herself in his arms. That night had haunted her ever since. She’d dreamed of melting into his strong, inviting arms, caressing the stubble along his jawline…

Great balls of fire, Greylyn! Get over it! Hasn’t even been two minutes!

***

Until next time!

 

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!

The End – This Time for Real

It is with a mixture of great joy and sorrow that I typed those two precious words at the bottom of the page of Book 3 (working title: Remembrance & Revelation) of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.

THE END

Who would’ve thought I’d struggle through one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I have ever written (no spoilers here, I promise) while surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of screaming kids at an indoor trampoline facility for a birthday party? Seriously? Who does that? I can’t imagine Jane Austen penning the declaration of love scene between Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett while children ran wild around her.

Did Shakespeare create one of his great romances, comedies, or tragedies while a mob of children played Ring-Around-the-Rosy around him with his parchment and quill?

Perhaps he did.

Regardless, that was how THE END came to be for my first urban fantasy trilogy.

***Side note – PLEASE stop me if I say I’m going to write another series. Kick my a** if necessary, but do not let me do that again.

But that’s a subject for another day. Actually, I may have written about that already. Yes. Yes, I did.

https://kcfreemanauthor.com/2018/02/08/the-perils-of-writing-a-series/

So back to THE END…

Each book in the series has had it’s own temporary ending, with the allure of more adventures to follow. I hope everyone will enjoy every word of all three books, and will look upon the end of Book 3 as all you’ve ever wanted for the characters, but please understand that not all twists and turns are meant to be tied up in neat little bows. Honestly, I think it is against a writer’s nature not to leave something out there in the ether for readers to ponder long after they’ve finished reading.

My favorite explanation of this phenomenon came from Chuck in the hit television series SUPERNATURAL. I lot of my favorite quotes come from Chuck.

“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.”

Chuck

And of course, the ultimate tease…

So how should we celebrate THE END? I’d give you an excerpt of Book 3 but you have a lot of reading to do to catch up. Yes, I know that’s my own fault. Book 1 “Rekindled Prophecy” will be available soon. Getting the book cover gussied up and once I get this marketing thing figured out (insert evil laugh), we are all set!

Instead of giving you a quick look into Book 3 and the ending, how about we start off with a few nuggets from Book 1?

The long-anguished over blurb…

For over 450 years, guardian angel, Greylyn McLeod has fought to protect the souls of innocent humans from their own inner demons and the more nefarious real ones. A sexy dark guardian, Kael, has kept a close watch on her, tormenting her very heart and soul as an undeniable sexual chemistry threatens to engulf them with every encounter. Called to the rural Shenandoah Valley, she finds herself working with him to protect a young bride from a wicked fallen archangel’s game to bring about a long dormant prophecy — one so dangerous that neither Heaven nor Hell wishes it to be unleashed.

Here’s another blurb. Which do you prefer for the book cover?

Protecting humans from their own demons and the more nefarious real ones…that’s her job as a guardian angel. Greylyn knows no other life.

Just another day in the last 450 years of her existence, just another simple assignment in the lush picturesque Shenandoah Valley. Not quite.

As soon as she arrives at the quaint bed and breakfast, Greylyn senses evil and she instinctively knows what, or more like “who”, to expect – Kael, a sexy dark guardian working for Hell. He’s tormented her heart and soul for centuries as an undeniable sexual chemistry threatens to engulf her with every encounter. Expecting a battle, she’s shocked to discover he’s there for the same reason she is…to protect an innocent young bride whom Hell has marked for death. But why?

Seems Kael’s boss, a notoriously wicked fallen archangel, has plans for the young woman. Too bad, those plans involve holding her life over Greylyn’s head as collateral.

Olivier wants one thing…for Greylyn to fulfill a long dormant prophecy – one so dangerous that neither Heaven nor Hell wishes it to be unleashed.

 

Last week, I gave you the Prologue so we need something “more” this week. How about this nugget where our heroine, Greylyn, meets up with the sexy dark guardian, Kael under the gazebo at a quaint bed and breakfast in the Shenandoah Valley?

The shadow didn’t move. As she neared the gazebo, the scurrying of a squirrel up the tree behind her was enough to warn the entity of her presence. It still didn’t move. Maybe this was a dumb one. Now, wouldn’t that be lucky?  As usual, luck was not in her corner.

“Hello, Greylyn! Long time, no see. Did you miss me?” a husky male voice called.

Chills ran up her spine at the friendly greeting, and her breath caught in her throat. Not only was she discovered, but that voice belonged to the one dark guardian she never wanted to tangle with again. Kael. The menace had been showing up repeatedly ever since she began battling for good shortly after her “rebirth.” She had never in her over 400 years of being a guardian angel encountered the same evil being twice…except for this one. He took immense pleasure in subverting her efforts, and it always felt like he was toying with her.

Trying her best to sound unruffled, she countered, “Well, I would say it’s great to see you, but we both know that it’s not.” With more bravado than she felt, she stepped out of the shade of the trees into full view of her opponent.

Yes, it was definitely him, with that charming, cocky grin. She despised him for all the evil he had unleashed on the world and untold damage to humanity, but more so for the way he made her weak in the knees. With him around, Greylyn would have to be extra careful. Her head was never clear when he was near.

“Dare I ask what you are doing here aside from disturbing my vacation?” Despite her best efforts, her voice wavered.

With a soft chuckle he emerged from the shadowed corner of the gazebo. Tall, dark, and sinfully handsome. His deep cocoa-brown eyes danced wickedly, alight with gold flecks that could hypnotize even the strongest mind. She had discovered long ago that directly gazing into those seductive pools was more dangerous than teetering on the edge of a volcano. Although unsusceptible to regular demon thrall, the same did not apply to him.

He strode over to Greylyn, took and gently kissed her hand. “Come sit with me, love.”

Damn it!

His touch sent an electrical surge through her entire body. Her breath caught in her chest. Every nerve ignited.

She steeled herself for any further interaction, digging her nails into her palms so as to not reveal his influence over her.

His chestnut brown hair, with just a touch of auburn highlights, swept his forehead just above brooding, dreamy eyes.

Get it together, girl!

“Love,” he drawled with a slightly southern, cowboy twang, “we both know this is no vacation. Although I don’t see why we can’t have some fun.” The side of his mouth ticked up in one corner, showcasing his dimple.

She watched in involuntary fascination as he continued to stroke the top of her hands, “Dear, dear, Greylyn. Why don’t you save yourself the trouble? Go on a real vacation. The Shenandoah Mountains are lovely this time of year, and I know how much you enjoy hiking.”

She would almost swear she saw sparks flying off her skin from his caress.

“No thanks, Kael. Tempting, but I’d rather kick your ass back to Hell.”

 

A little bit of romantic intrigue. While the series is firmly planted in Urban Fantasy, it does have strong undertones of sex appeal, the allure of the bad boy, and romance.

Also, thought I’d leave you with a teaser photo of the epic couple.

greylyn and kael pic

Okay, so as a guardian angel, Greylyn does not technically have wings. Think of the wings as metaphorical.

After I recover from my THE END party hangover, I will be up to my neck in edits. But I promise more and more teasers to come very soon.