Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recommended Reading...



There is only one good thing about taking a medical leave, and that is I have time to catch up on my reading. When I’m writing and in the middle of a book, it’s more difficult to leave my world, and enter someone else’s. So today I’m giving a list of the books I’ve read over the past few months, books that have helped me forget the pain…and the frustration of not being able to work. The good thing about being a writer is, I can call it all research!

Since I knew I had a blog post coming up, I thought I’d share some of the fabulous books I’ve read recently. I have good days and bad, so when I have the good, I can post an entry for a later date. Unfortunately, I never know if on that date, I’m gonna be having a day where I’m feeling well enough to respond to any remarks, so if I’ve missed you at any time, my apologies, and I hope that when my issues are resolved I can get back to being more reliable regarding comments.

Romance novels aren’t just romances anymore. Ask any avid reader, and they’ll tell you that romances now span the genres from Science Fiction to Mystery to pretty much every subgenre in between. Usually the novels are half romance and half the other genre, so readers have a wonderful assortment of stories to choose from. Of course, there are still what I think of as the ‘classic’ romance story, where the plot is minimal and the story primarily centers around the relationship between the hero and heroine. And I, of course, love them all, cause I never, ever, met a book that I didn’t like or learn from in some way.

 So here’s the outstanding assortment of books I was grateful to have read:

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
A paranormal romance, very dark and quite scary. I had a difficult time putting this one down. The concept, plot and characters were just so exceptional.

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper
The tattoo on the back of the cover model is a clue to this time-travel romance. But there’s magic involved, so deftly woven into the world that it’s wonderfully believable. I loved how those in the past knew about other possible futures, so it made the heroine’s entry into the historical world, and her connection with the hero, such a fast-paced love story.


Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
I’ve reader several of her Mercedes series, but have to say, I adore this series the most (Masques was the first book, best read in order). The relationship between the heroine and Wolf is one where you know they are the only two people in the world meant for each other. And talk about a tortured hero…. It’s the skill of a great writer that makes you fall in love with him despite (or maybe because of?) his horrid past.

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
Although I have been looking forward to reading this conclusion to the Earth’s Children series, the length of this book made me hesitate to get started on it for fear I wouldn’t be able to put it down. There was a lot of cave-visiting, and it made me wonder if it was based on real-life research on the part of the author. It was a joy to read more about one of my most favorite-fictional-characters-of-all-time again, Ayla.

Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
I can’t express how much fun this book was! Savor it for a time when you’re feeling blue and need an escape to make you feel good. This is a historical, where both the hero and heroine have been spies and are then retired, giving them a chance to know and appreciate each other. Then they are both sent on a mission to find a murderer, and whoever wins gets to be a spy again. Clever and so charming, this book was a real treat and another must-read.

Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle
What I consider a ‘classic’ romance, this was a page-turner. It’s not often I read a book where the heroine is even more of a risk-taker than the hero, and this was refreshing…although the heroine is lucky she didn’t get into more trouble than she did.

Quatrain by Sharon Shinn
One of my favorite fantasy authors, this is a collection of four short stories, in several of her worlds, including the “Summers at Castle Auburn” world, which is the very first book of hers I read, and still my favorite. These short stories are just as fabulous as her books…she always leaves you wanting more, no matter the length.

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens
Another classic historical romance, with a Scottish laird and a feisty English heiress, this is the kind of book that has you laughing with joy and cheering at the end. It appears to be one of a long line of family connected books, with three closely connected books, this being the third kidnapping by the same laird, so needless to say, I’m going to have to hunt down the rest of these books.

All these books are written by masters of the craft, and I hope you get a chance to read them. Although I enjoyed all the adventures, I’m looking forward to being able to write my own once again.

Magically Yours,
Kathryne

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interview with a Were-Wolf, by @kathrynekennedy #fantasy #books #romance


Interview with Sir Nicodemus Wulfson from ENCHANTING THE BEAST


 Author:  “Hello, Sir Nicodemus.”
Nico turns around in the pond he’s been swimming in. The sunshine filtering through the forest canopy makes the drops of water that cling to his muscular torso glitter like diamonds. “Who the hell are you?” he says in a gentle growl at being caught unaware. 
Author:  “No one terribly important.  I’m just the one who created you.”
Nico tosses his damp hair away from his eyes, the blond strands within the brown refusing to cooperate, falling back over his forehead.  You think so? How do you know that I don’t exist in some alternate universe and I created you to tell my story?”
Author, frowning:  “Very clever, but that’s beside the point.  I came here to interview you for my readers.”
Nico shoos away a water sprite. “Ah, I see.  Then I am happy to oblige, madam.”
He emerges from the pond, and Author realizes he’s naked as the day he was born and turns her back.  Hears the rustle of clothing, takes a peek, and is half-relieved to see that he’s pulled his trousers on. 
Author:  “Um, can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?”
Nico shrugs, muscles rippling beneath smooth skin. “I’m a were-wolf, I live in a castle that my brother swears is haunted, and I have a sister-in-law who tries my patience.  Is that sufficient?”
Author, smiling:  “No, not quite.  Tell me about Philomena.”
Nico:  “The ghost-hunter?”  His dark brown eyes glaze a bit, the golden specks in them glinting with something akin to hunger.
Author shivers.
Nico:  “She really can talk with ghosts, you know.  Amazing woman.  Her companion is a were-snake and she has a spirit-guide named Tup.”
Author:  “I understand she’s a bit older than you.”
Nico:  “That doesn’t signify.”  He scowls.  “Although she uses it as an excuse to keep me at arm’s length.  Not that it will work, mind you.  I bloody well get what I want.”
Author:  “I have no doubt.”  Takes a step back from the predatory gaze in his eyes, then scolds herself for being foolish.  Despite his look, the man wouldn’t harm her.  “But you’ll have to deal with some issues before that can happen, won’t you, Nico?”
The shadow of his were-self surrounds Nico.  Know about that, eh?”  Picks up his white linen shirt from the mossy bank and shrugs into it.  “What am I saying, of course you do.”
Author:  “But my readers don’t know yet.  Can you enlighten them?”
Nico cocks his head, more hair tumbling over his eyes, as if he’s trying to hide behind that shaggy screen. “So what do you want me to say?  That I fear my very nature?  That I enjoy it when my wolf hunts, when he devours our kill?”  He paces the mossy bank like a caged beast, the movement parting his unbuttoned shirt and revealing the hard ridges of his belly, the sculpted contours of his muscular chest.  “That doesn’t mean I killed my fiancĂ©e, damn it.  I would never murder anyone.”
Author, soothingly:  “Of course you wouldn’t, Nico.  But you need to prove it.”
Nico:  “I can.” Fists his hands.  “I will.”
Author:  “Maybe Phil can help you.”
Nico stills, his handsome face calms. “Yes, she believes in me.  But I’ll solve my own problems.”
Author, smiling indulgently:  “We shall see, Nico.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Which Dress did Fantasy Author @kathrynekennedy Choose?

A while back I posted photos of four dresses I could choose to wear to an upcoming wedding, and had people vote on them. I was asked to post which dress I finally wore, and I'm sorry to say it wasn't any one of the original four I had chosen! (Here's the original post: http://kathrynekennedy.blogspot.com/2014/03/fantasy-author-kathrynekennedy-needs.html )All except the black one was out of stock (and beware as well when a site says the dress is 'returnable', when they actually mean 'exchangeable'. Learn from my mistake!) I did manage to order the black one, but it was enormous. The entire bodice flopped down. So, measurements don't help a lot when ordering a dress either! The sizes vary from one designer to another, and don't be sad...ALL the dresses run small, so you'll be ordering much larger than your regular size. Anyway, I did manage to get a dress in time, as I went through another ten or so choices that were all out of stock (or couldn't be ordered in time for my wear-date. So another tip, order early. I started six months out, figuring that would be plenty of time. Silly me.) Anyway, it's with a sigh of relief that I'm sharing the photos of the dress I finally chose. I went from fairy princess to a goddess sort of look, and I'm happy to also report that I had many compliments on the dress. And that it was a lovely wedding. Since the dress was so 'flowy' my husband made me sit in the swing to take this photo, and I think he chose well.

And of course, I have to share one of the bride and groom, as that is the most beautiful, important dress!

Thank you for all your help, everyone!
My Magical Best,
Kathryne


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet Were-Snake Sarah in ENCHANTING THE BEAST #historical, #paranormal, #romance, By @Kathryne Kennedy



A letter from Sarah Pluckett, companion to the infamous ghost-hunter Lady Philomena Radcliff, dated August 2, 1861:


Dearest Mama:

We have arrived at Grimspell castle without too many misadventures, which as you know is the usual case when my mistress travels.  Despite having to walk from the village of Trollersby and a stickman attaching itself to my lady’s skirts, we arrived to find the baronet, Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, frolicking with his hounds.  My protective instincts could not be denied, and I found myself shifting to my were-form to protect my mistress from the beasts, although in hindsight, it proved to be quite unnecessary. 

Sir Nico appears to be a gentleman, despite his predatory nature, and much to my surprise, dearest Mama, he does not abhor my were-shape.  Indeed, his entire staff consists of shape-shifters, which is quite unusual, and despite their instincts to fear my snake-form, I feel more accepted here than I have ever felt before.

I do not want you to worry, but I must confess that Grimspell castle is a queer, haunted place, and the members of Sir Nico’s family are perhaps a touch…eccentric.  But as you know, this is exactly why the baronet hired my mistress and I have the most absolute confidence that she will ferret out the mystery behind this family and their ghostly visitations.

Indeed, Mama, my only worry is that Sir Nico--despite the disparity of their ages--is intensely attracted to Lady Philomena.  I feel it my duty to discourage the handsome young man, and I fear that I will have to rely on all of my were-senses to stay one slither ahead of him in his pursuit of my mistress.

Despite the strangeness that surrounds me (or perhaps because of it?) I find myself most content here, and have even made friends with many of the staff.  So rest assured that I am safe and well, and will protect and serve my mistress as faithfully as I ever have.

Your Loving Daughter,
Sarah

PS. I should mention that there is a footman named Cheevers, who, despite being a were-duck (do not laugh, Mama) is quite an extraordinarily charming young man. 


Read more about Sarah and her mistress in ENCHANTING THE BEAST, which earned A Top Pick rating from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, Night Owl Reviews, and Romance Reader at Heart! http://www.KathryneKennedy.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Do men choose differently than women?

The obvious answer is of course, yes. Men have different triggers that spark their interest. So I thought it would be fun to hand EVERLASTING ENCHANTMENT over to a young man and have him choose random sentences from each chapter that sparked his interest. These are definitely not sentences I would have chosen, so I found them fascinating...and am sharing them with you here today:

Quotes from EVERLASTING ENCHANTMENT

Ch. 1 Page 13: Surely her companion knew that baronets had the strength to rip them to shreds?

Ch. 2, Page 33: She studied him for a long moment, those golden eyes disconcerting in their intensity. "Your sadness is a weight I can almost feel. Perhaps that's what makes you so irresistible to women."

Ch. 3 Page 54: She glanced over at the were-vampire bat, who had returned to the wine cabinet and refreshed her glass.

Ch. 4 Page 79: He realized some of his opponents were nothing more than illusion, unable to hurt him as the greater power of Merlin's curse protected him, but since he could not tell what he faced, he must waste his strength on them.

Ch. 5 Page 89: Millicent didn't answer his question. She couldn't. No one had ever done anything like this for her before. It felt like a home. Could he even guess that she'd never had one?

Ch. 6 Page 111: He made no decisions. He followed the pattern Merlin had laid out for him. Why had it not bothered him until now?

Ch. 7 Page 121: Millicent twitched her whiskers in a grim smile and entered the tunnel, her sight quickly adjusting to the darkness.

Ch. 8 Page 144: "The duke treats his prisoners quite well."

Ch. 9 Page 160: He seemed to take for granted that he could outwit the spies, who were certainly a fearsome group of predators.

Ch. 10 Page 175: Iridescent wings twitched. "I never swoon madam. Lose my equilibrium perhaps. But never swoon."

Ch. 11 Page 207: "I would not call them warriors, Sir Knight. A motley horde perhaps, but not warriors."

Ch. 12 Page 218: "Ogres or no, we ain't goin' back," snapped Nell, yanking her skirt out of Millicent's teeth.

Ch. 13 Page 240: The door suddenly swung open and a liveried footman bowed to them, showing no surprise at welcoming a panther, sprite, and a sword-wielding knight.

Ch. 14 Page 261: Millicent shifted back to human with blood still smeared around her mouth.

Ch. 15 Page 276: She drew up the sleeve of her gown, the moonstone twinkling in the light of the wild magic dancing on the ceiling.

Ch. 16 Page 290: "Master -- it's not wise to leave behind loose magic."

Ch. 17 Page 305: Jackals, hyenas, and wolverines slinked into the light. Millicent had never felt so grateful to see her fellow creatures from the Underground.

Ch. 18 Page 315: And Gareth suddenly realized his pain wasn't all mental, that most of the blood covering his tunic might be his own.

Ch. 19 Page 336: In his time he would have composed poems about her.

Ch. 20 Page 348: The world spun. Millicent took a step, and fortunately managed to maneuver a chair beneath her when her legs collapsed.

Ch. 21 Page 358: Gareth blinked. The creature had a tail. A furry tail, with a ball of scraggly fur at the end. It stuck out of the back of his trousers through a narrow slit and waved jauntily at him.

Ch. 22 Page 366: If necessary, she would spend her entire life composing ballads to him, if it made up for the pain she had caused.


Did you note anything in common? That the male reader has focused on the action and adventure in the novel, a good deal of characterization...and just a touch of romance (which is fifty percent of the book). Fortunately, there was enough adventure to hold his interest. The parts he chose as the romance element were actually the deeper ones, the ones that delved into the souls of the characters. Neat stuff here to contemplate.:}


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kathryne Kennedy has a new website contest for a cameo pendant--Pls RT!

In celebration of the re-release of ENCHANTING THE BEAST--now in bookstores!--I'm giving away a beautiful blue cameo pendant on my website contest. Since all the books in the RELICS OF MERLIN series take place in a magical Victorian London, I found this lovely cameo as the perfect prize for my historical book lovers. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter in order to enter, and if you already are a subscriber, you're automatically entered! You can check out all the details here: http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/contest.html

Good luck!