Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Win Free Books during Kathryne Kennedy's Blog Tour!

To celebrate the re-release of Beneath the Thirteen Moons in mass market paperback in December, I am touring the internet all month long. Stop by any or all of the following blogs, leave a comment, and you will be entered to win a copy of the book (USA & Canada only). I'll be posting where I'm at on my blog each day, so bookmark me to keep updated. :}


12/1 Launch Party!
Casablanca Authors http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/

12/2 Interview!
Queen of Happy Endings http://alainereading.blogspot.com/

12/6 Interview!
The Book Faery http://tbfreviews.net/

12/8 Opposites Attract in BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS
Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/pages.php?id=blog

12/9 Q & A with Kathryne
Author Suzanne Johnson http://suzanne-johnson.blogspot.com/

12/10 Interview!
Much Cheaper Than Therapy www.muchcheaperthantherapy.blogspot.com

12/13 Interview!
Star-Crossed Romance http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com

Where I answer the question of how I come up with such imaginative worlds.
Bookalicious http://bookalicio.us/

12/15 Recipe for Building the World of Sea Forest
Erin Quinn’s Blog http://quinnessentials.blogspot.com/

12/16 Interview!
Martha’s Bookshelf http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/

12/20 Top 10 Reasons Why Readers Will Fall in Love with Korl, the Hero in BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS
Where I list the top ten reasons I hope readers will fall in love with my hero.
Readaholic http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/

12/27 The Inspiration for BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS
Where I answer the questions: What was your inspiration for this novel? Are you excited to see it in print again?
A Moment with Mystee http://amomentwithmystee.blogspot.com/

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing some brand new reviews for BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS...

which is releasing December 1st!

"Desperate to save her people, but stung by the Healer's rebuff that cost the life of her child and lifemate, Mahri Zin travels dangerous routes of the Sea Forest to kidnap a Healer. Hoping for an apprentice whose knowledge of how to use the Power given through zabbaroot can supplement her own wild Master-level skills, Mahri gets more than she bargained for. Instead of a lowly apprentice, she ends up kidnapping the Crown Prince, an arrogantly beautiful man with enemies of his own. In order to save those she loves, Mahri has to decide whether her root-induced dreams are true and how much belief she places on the conspiracies of the Natives.

Prince Korl may be temporarily captured by the fierce water- rat, but the combination of his arrogance and her unwillingness to give of herself may doom their entire world, Royals, water-rats, Natives and all of the subterranean flora and fauna within.

BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is a fast-paced, elegantly written romance that reads almost like the best of fairy tales: the characters stay true to their original characterizations even as they learn and grow throughout the novel."

"Anyone who enjoyed Avatar or liked the concept of it will surely enjoy this latest amazing adventure by the talented Ms. Kennedy.

I think the author's version is more along the lines of what would happen generations later to humans who settled a planet and forgot their origins. Over time they evolved into something new and magical but something cathartic needed to happen to set the metamorphosis in motion and in this story, that event is love between a man and a woman.

Mahri is the heroine who has trust issues. Not because of something diabolical that scarred her. It was based on her own experience of lost love and the complications of class structure among the society she lived in. She has good solid values of loyalty, duty, love of family but her drive and determination come from her refusal to fail. She's compelled to do the unthinkable in order to save those that she loves from a dreaded sickness and time is running out. The author did a good job of making me care for those that Mahri loves including the woman herself. I got a clear sense of her fears, her yearnings and her tentative hope. I understood her skittishness when something really positive and beautiful came into her life and her obstinate refusal to admit that it meant as much to her as it really did.

That something positive and beautiful is Korl, the hero. He doesn't exactly come into her life, she kidnaps him. I enjoyed watching this proud man, who was secluded from the realities of the people who live beyond the scope of his kingdom, come to grips with all that he saw and Mahri opened his eyes to a much bigger world than he realized. Because he is so sure of himself and his position in life is why I felt he was freer to recognize and verbalize his love for Mahri. Korl's character is full of strength, passion, and the will to fight for what he wants and what he believes to be right. His sense of what is right is challenged by Mahri in every step of his journey with her. The part in the boat with the cats was incredibly powerful. At that moment I understood just how strong a man Korl is, and how much more Mahri needed to grow within herself before she could accept the gift that he had already given her.

Another beautiful part of the journey while Mahri was fighting her attraction and growing love for Korl was her revelations. As much as she fought her feelings, she had emotional urges to share things with him that she'd shown no one before, even her first husband. Ms. Kennedy wowed me with the scope of her imagination. The visual pictures her words painted in my mind would have rivaled the movie Avatar if it were brought to the big screen. The creatures she has created to populate the planet include those in the air, on the ground and in the ocean. The world building alone blows my mind because the author paid attention to the littlest detail. Even Mahri's furry companion, Jaja was a delight. I liked how he'd whack either Mahri or Korl when they were being too dense about something or needed to pay attention. The critter didn't need to use words to get his point across. Not only that but the author has a surprise up her sleeve for readers as the story unfolds in which Jaja plays an integral role. It's not too often I read a book where a strong secondary character isn't even human. I liked the freshness of it.

The conflict, as you can well imagine, is primarily internal. But there are definitely external dangers and they plague both of them on and off throughout the story. The zabba root is the substance that makes good things and bad things happen and I found the concept fascinating. There's a revelation about that little herb that has powerful repercussions and actually plays into the plot throughout the book.

Watching the romance develop between Korl and Mahri was both entertaining and painful. The sensual buildup was seductive and the physical moments between the two characters were fraught with emotional tension. So much healing had to take place before their bonding was solid and unbreakable. Korl's eventual realization that to keep her he had to let her go was another touching moment that endeared his character to me all the more. For me, Ms. Kennedy didn't miss any of my emotional hot buttons to push. She found them all with the telling of this story. Not only that, but the last things that Korl says in the book just had me melting into a puddle of romantic happiness. What a hero. :::sigh:::

Beneath the Thirteen Moons is a wonderful epic of a romance taking place on a fantastical world with a hero and heroine sure to find a place in a reader's heart. Ms. Kennedy has another winner on her hands and her talent for words brings to life characters you can believe in and is what makes the happily ever after so powerful. This book is a must read for all sci-fi romance fans who seek quality writing full of heart, adventure and a world that will astound a reader with its vivid imagery. I hope Ms. Kennedy plans to visit with Korl and Mahri again someday because all that creative energy that went into the making of this book shouldn't be a one shot deal. It's too amazing and rich and I really want to learn more about the indigenous people of the planet. This book was total entertainment and I don't want it to end. I give this tale a big and loud five books."

Author note: I wrote Beneath the Thirteen Moons way back in 2002. When I watched the movie Avatar, I had to wonder if the creator had been inspired by my book. :}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A sneak peek at the cover for THE LADY OF THE STORM

I just had to share the preliminary cover for book 2 in THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE LADY OF THE STORM.

If you recall from book 1, THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER, Lady Cassandra and Thomas rescued a young girl named Cecily. This is her story, along with Giles Beaumont, a man twice cursed, once with a blood-hungry sword, and later...well, I'd like to keep that a surprise. Cecily is the elven half-breed daughter of Breden, the elven lord of Dewhame with the power of sea & sky, and she inherited those magical powers, although it will take her some time to come to terms with her abilities. But this is part of the reason I adore this cover, which captures the lightning she can command, the sparkles of magic, the ethereal feel of the images that capture the style of the story inside.

I only had a few recommendations: I'd love to see a pointed elven ear poking through Cecily's hair, Giles's hair must be the elven white, and I'm not sure about the color of my name, I think it captures attention but jars a bit. What do you think?

Anyhoo, I hope they don't change the cover too much, cause I really love it! And I hope you will love the story inside as well!

And I should note: the book doesn't release until August 2011...but I'm hard at work on book 3, LOVING THE LORD OF ILLUSION, so you won't have to wait as long for the next story. :}

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am blessed--or cursed--with a vivid imagination!

I was blessed with an over-active imagination. (or cursed, depending on your point of view! My poor husband…if he’s late 10 minutes, I’ve got him in a car crash, laying on a street somewhere bleeding from several wounds…you get the idea).

Thank heavens I had my writing to turn my imagination to.

I always start out with something that inspires my imagination, whether it's a character or a new world. I start creating the world, which is always such fun, and then once I start writing, all the details just start to flow through. A lot of it comes from my characters. For example, in my Georgian Fantasy romance series (THE ELVEN LORDS, book one, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER), I had two secondary characters pop up in the book, and I gave each of them an extraordinary magical ability. And then later on, those abilities actually affected the plot. It wasn’t planned, it just happened through the story and characters. Now the hero’s abilities, that of fire magic, was planned from the beginning, as were the heroine’s ability to perform death dances.

So my imagination starts with a plan, then keeps growing from there, sometimes with what seems like little actual control from me.

So if you are blessed, or cursed, with an active imagination, try your hand at writing. You might be amazed at what develops.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Black Jaguar" by Vijaya Schartz - New Release

Kahuel of Yalta, nicknamed Black Jaguar like his emerald-eyes feline, volunteered to sail away on his brother’s Galleon to get away from it all, redeem his roguish past, and prove his worth as a blood prince. When a typhoon hits, and he realizes the powerful Mutant who commandeered the expedition has ulterior motives, his world is turned upside down.
Talina of the Chosen has never seen a foreigner, until destiny brings to her shores a group of baffling strangers who cannot read minds… among them a prince, and the Lost Daughter of the prophecy. She knows her fate is about to change, but the Star People protecting her clan view the outsiders as a threat to their crucial experiment.
Can Black Jaguar, with his few warriors and felines, simple weapons and Human ingenuity, save Talina and her people from a horrible fate? Can he prevail upon a highly advanced enemy, against impossible odds?
Black Jaguar
Book Two – Chronicles of Kassouk
by Vijaya Schartz
from Desert Breeze Publishing

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER is nominated for RT award

I recently found out that The Fire Lord's Lover is nominated for Best Historical Romance of 2010 in the Historical Fantasy category of RT Book Reviews magazine. The nomination itself is truly an honor, as they have chosen only seven books in my category out of hundreds. This is the second time I've been nominated (Enchanting the Beast made it last year) so cross your fingers for me for a win this time. :} (Although I have to tell you, I'm up against Shana Abe, who is one of my favorite authors--so I really need some luck!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What lies beneath the surface of a story...

I blame my high school advanced English teacher for making me reach deeper into the themes of my novels.

In class, we read a charming story about a group of rabbits forced from their home. I totally believed in each of the furry characters, and although it’s been some time since I read it, I still remember the struggles and trials the little rabbits had to face. I thought it was a charming fantasy story meant more for older children rather than adults.

And then my English teacher made us look at Watership Down from an entirely different perspective. She pointed out the comparisons of the rabbits’ characters with tyrants from history; with politics and heroics and freedom and struggle from slavery.

All from little rabbits seeking a new home.

Ever since then, I could never look at a book in quite the same way. My childhood story of Alice in Wonderland became a graphic look at the inherent perils of a monarchy and how ultimate power can often corrupt.

I will admit that I still read stories just for the pure enjoyment of them. It is my escapism, and although I appreciate and uncover many themes as I read, it’s not something that overly concerns me.

Except with my own writing.

My primary goal is to provide a story that transports readers from their own life for a time, which allows them to enjoy an adventure and a romance that excites them and satisfies them in some way, and ultimately, makes them happy and hopeful when they close the book. I write to entertain. I do not profess to be a literary novelist by any means.

But drat that perspective I was taught.

I wrote a fun series about an England where the titled gain their power from degrees of magic, and underneath lies the question of whether one man has the right to feel superior to another because of a genetic line of sorcery…or an accident of birth. I wrote a hero who can shape-shift into a lion but who possesses no other powers of magic and is treated with disdain by society because of…his lack of magic? Or the beast that he becomes? Don’t all men have a beastly nature they fight against every day? A heroine has her magic stolen from her. How many children have their rights stolen from those who are supposed to protect them? And another heroine whose nature is split into two, the bad part of her loosed as a separate being. What would we accomplish if we discarded the morals that bind us? What damage would we cause?

And in my December release, BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS, magical power is given to those who can ingest a drug that taps into undiscovered areas of the mind. It includes a monarchy where the drug is pronounced illegal so they can supposedly protect the citizenry--but ultimately control the power. And even worse, knowledge is made available to only certain members of society. Because knowledge is power.

And in the first book of my new series, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, I explore the degradation of slavery, where THE ELVEN LORDS consider humans as little more than animals. Fantasy? Historically, certain members of our society have been called the same because of their religious beliefs or the color of their skin. And in the first book, I created a hero who is forced to bury that which makes him human in order to survive. During Hitler’s reign, how many people were forced to do the same? And how many people, like my heroine, fought to find and uncover the inherent goodness in people?

Throughout all of my books there is one abiding (major) theme. That true love can not only bring out the best in people but also allow remarkable acts of bravery. And ultimately has the power to save the world.

I hope readers enjoy my books for what they are: compelling escapes into new worlds, sexy fun with characters to fall in love with, and new adventures to experience. But for those of you who were taught to look at novels with a different perspective: welcome to my secret world.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Party-Fun with my fellow writers!

Kayla Janz's annual Halloween party, with a few of my friends: (L-R) Kayce Lassiter, Yours Truly, Tina Lavon, Tia Dani & Carol Webb. We are all members of the Valley of the Sun Romance Writers and you can find out more about everyone's writing here: http://www.valleyofthesunrw.com/vosauthors.htm
Hope you had a fun Halloween!