Jeffe Kennedy
Fantasy. Power. Passion

#MeToo

Posted Feb 18 2018 in , , , , , ,

This week at the SFF Seven is a topic of our choice – whatever is on our minds. So, I’ve decided to tell a story I haven’t publicly told before. There’s been a lot of conversation in publishing this last month about sexual harassment in the industry, largely springing from this article in the School Library Journal and the followup survey by Anne Ursu. This is my #MeToo story. 

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Preorder live for THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN!

Posted Feb 14 2018 in ,

I shared this cover for THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN in the newsletter, but now I’m posting it widely. Ash is the first of my heroes to get a cover – fitting, huh? – and it was interesting to work with the artist on how he should look. Giving an actual face to the image in my head isn’t easy, and even worse knowing all you Ash-lovers would have strong opinions! On the last pass I realized that she’d made his eyes kind of gray/blue and the final change I asked for was to make them Ash’s distinctive, uncanny apple-green. She pointed out that no one would see his eyes as they’re so small on the cover, and I was all, OH NO, YOU DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE – THEY ARE GOING TO ZOOM IN.
 
Right?
 
C’mon. You know you did.
 
Anyway, for those who’ve been out of the loop, THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN is a novella that takes place in the Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms timeline kind of concurrent with THE PAGES OF THE MIND and THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, but just before THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE. It is a romantic continuation, however, of Ash and Amy’s affair way back in THE TEARS OF THE ROSE – and told from Ash’s point of view. 
 
Are you all going to start asking for more from the heroes? It could maybe happen.
 
Right now you can still get this novella in AMID THE WINTER SNOW, where you’ll also get amazing midwinter novellas from Grace Draven, Thea Harrison and Elizabeth Hunter. But on March 12, that anthology will disappear forever and this will go on sale as a standalone. 

A new power is at work in the Twelve Kingdoms, unbalancing the fragile peace. For the High Queen and her sisters, it might mean a new alliance—or the end of the love of a lifetime…

As a howling blizzard batters the mountain keep of Windroven, Ami, Queen of Avonlidgh, and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Their passion saved them from despair, but Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. He’s been bracing himself for the end since their liaison began. When it finally comes, the shattering of his heart is almost a relief.

With a man haunted by nightmares and silent as stone, Ami knows only that Ash’s wounds are his own to hide or reveal. She can’t command trust. But just as they are moving apart, a vicious attack confines them together, snowbound and isolated with an ancient force awakening within Windroven itself. If they truly mean to break their bond, Ami and Ash must first burn through a midwinter that will test every instinct—and bring temptation all too near…

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Backlist Valentine: PETALS & THORNS

Posted Feb 11 2018 in , , , , , , , ,

This week we’re giving a valentine to the books of years’ past and sharing a title from our backlists. A little love for those publications that might even predate the creation of this blog!

For mine, I’m sharing my first standalone fiction publication. It was my first sale as a novelist, even though it’s technically a novella at 81 pages, and I originally published it with Loose ID. (Now sadly going out of business.) It’s an erotic fantasy – a BDSM Beauty and the Beast – and is still one of my best-selling titles ever. Also, I originally published it under the pseudonym “Jennifer Paris,” the one time I used that name. When I got the rights back and self-published the book (also my first venture into self-publishing), I did it under my own name. A bit of history there.

In exchange for her father’s life, Amarantha agrees to marry the dreadful Beast and be his wife for seven days. Though the Beast cannot take Amarantha’s virginity unless she begs him to, he can and does take her in every other way. From the moment they are alone together, the Beast relentlessly strips Amarantha of all her resistance. 

 If Amarantha can resist her cloaked and terrifying husband, she gains his entire fortune and will be allowed to return to her family and a normal life. But the Beast seduces her at every turn, exposing, binding, tormenting, and pleasuring Amarantha until she no longer knows her own deepest desires. Increasingly desperate to break the curse that chains his humanity, the Beast drives Amarantha past every boundary. But her desire for a normal life may jeopardize the love that will save them both.

 

 

As an interesting aside, here’s this article on how Facebook is “flattening” content and reducing the ability of creators to share quality stuff. I’m trying to share it widely in places that AREN’T Facebook. 

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Why You Haven’t Written the Novel That’s in You

Posted Feb 4 2018 in , , , , ,

Another photo of the lunar eclipse as the full moon set over Santa Fe. 

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “Why do you think people DON’T write?” Come on over for my take. Warning: brutal truth, but there is hope!

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Wrestling POV – How Do You Choose?

Posted Jan 31 2018 in , , , , , , , ,

I woke up this morning and got some photos of the full moon setting during a lunar eclipse, the second full moon this month, and during the supermoon cycle. That makes it a super blue blood moon, which is a mouthful. Because our bedroom window looks west, we were able to lie there when we woke up around 5:40am, and watch the shadow cross the moon until totality. I live in a magical place.

Yesterday I started on a draft of THE ARROWS OF THE HEART, the next book in The Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms saga. For those familiar with the series, this will be Zyr and Karyn’s book. And, for those who get my newsletter – if you don’t, and want to, sign up is here – you know I did a survey on whose point-of-view (POV) to tell it from. Because, clearly, I’ve been wrestling with this issue for a long time. 

These results were fascinating and unexpected – especially that so many readers were good with alternating first person. But they also didn’t give me a definitive answer. All you people who trust me to just tell a good story! I love you, I really do. BUT YOU ARE NOT HELPING.

See, normally, POV is not a question for me. The traditional advice – and I think it’s good advice – is to take the POV of the character with the most at stake in a scene. This works much better with alternating POVs, however, when there’s freedom to choose a POV based on stakes. And which gives weight to alternating first person POVs.

In this series, however, I’ve always done a single First Person POV. I think there’s something to be said for sticking to a single form. Like, Shakespeare wouldn’t start writing plays in rhyming verse instead of blank verse. Not that I’m Shakespeare! But I do believe in creating coherency in a series, for a common feel. In addition, each novel in this series has been from the heroine’s POV. I’ve always felt that’s important, as it seems so much fantasy dwells on the male gaze. (Some of the novellas have been in the hero’s POV, or even in third person alternating, but I see those as subsidiary to the main arc.)

Still, this hasn’t been a no-brainer on this book. It should obviously be from Karyn’s POV – but I keep thinking about Zyr’s POV and hearing his voice in my head. Many of you – and writer friends I whined to who likely aren’t reading this – said to just go with it! Write it the way you want to!

So, I *did*! I started yesterday and wrote a page or two in his POV and…

………………it’s all wrong. 

It’s something, and I’ll keep it, at least for a while, but I think this is a case of pushing through the wall. (I talked about that at a panel recently, nicely summarized by Shannon Moreau here.)

You know what decided me? I started thinking about the cover and working on that with the fantastically talented Ravven, and I only see the heroine on the cover. That says a great deal.

So: opinions from those of you who haven’t weighed in yet?

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