THE DRAGON’S DAUGHTER AND THE WINTER MAGE Now Available!

     

Invisible Loner

Gendra—partblood daughter of an elite mossback soldier and the only shapeshifter to achieve the coveted dragon form—is anything but interesting. She’s actually plain and awkward and … invisible. Every guy she meets either looks right through her or—worse—thinks of her as just a friend. Fortunately Gen is far too practical to wallow in self pity. Much.

A Search for True Love

But as Gen accompanies her oldest friends on a quest for Her Majesty High Queen Ursula, she can’t help feeling bitter about her lonely fate as, two by two, they pair off with each other. As usual, everyone but odd-woman-out Gen seems to be finding the happiness in true love that has always eluded her. And Gen’s pathetic attempts to come out of her shell have only met with social disaster.

Dragon’s Daughter

Still, with magic rifts plaguing the Thirteen Kingdoms and a strange intelligence stalking them from an alter-realm, Gen has plenty to deal with—especially when she’s cut off from the group, isolated and facing a lethal danger. It just figures that Gen is on her own, once again. But with no one coming to save her, she has only herself to rely upon.

And, perhaps, the help of a mysterious, stranded magician…

     

Scraping Under Those Deadlines

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is whatever is on our minds. Which is always dangerous to ask. We’re all busy people, so I’m going to bet we all have about 10,000 things on our minds, all bumping and jostling for priority. Come on over to learn about how I’m living dangerously!

Cover Reveal! THE DRAGON’S DAUGHTER AND THE WINTER MAGE

I’m super excited to share the stunningly gorgeous cover for THE DRAGON’S DAUGHTER AND THE WINTER MAGE, Book #3 in my Heirs of Magic series, releasing September 24!

 

Book Three in the adult Fantasy Romance adventure series from award-winning, bestselling author Jeffe Kennedy. Follows the prequel novella, The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon, in the Under a Winter Sky romantic fantasy holiday anthology—now available as a standalone—and Book One of Heirs of Magic, The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince, and Book Two of Heirs of Magic, The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue.

Invisible Loner

Gendra—partblood daughter of an elite mossback soldier and the only shapeshifter to achieve the coveted dragon form—is anything but interesting. She’s actually plain and awkward and … invisible. Every guy she meets either looks right through her or—worse—thinks of her as just a friend. Fortunately Gen is far too practical to wallow in self pity. Much.

A Search for True Love

But as Gen accompanies her oldest friends on a quest for Her Majesty High Queen Ursula, she can’t help feeling bitter about her lonely fate as, two by two, they pair off with each other. As usual, everyone but odd-woman-out Gen seems to be finding the happiness in true love that has always eluded her. And Gen’s pathetic attempts to come out of her shell have only met with social disaster.

Dragon’s Daughter

Still, with magic rifts plaguing the Thirteen Kingdoms and a strange intelligence stalking them from an alter-realm, Gen has plenty to deal with—especially when she’s cut off from the group, isolated and facing a lethal danger. It just figures that Gen is on her own, once again. But with no one coming to save her, she has only herself to rely upon.

And, perhaps, the help of a mysterious, stranded magician…

 

Ready to see it?

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Updates on My Release Schedule!

BRIGHT FAMILIAR releases on Friday!! I’m super excited not only because I got the book done in time – whew! – and not only because I have over 1,000 preorders on Amazon for this book and still climbing – a personal record! – but because early reader-reviewers are saying such wonderful things about it. My heart and cup runneth over, for sure. You all are amazing in your love for this series. If you haven’t preordered yet and want to, you still can 🙂

Some of you have been asking about my release schedule for both this series and Heirs of Magic. The obsessive fans alert among you have noticed that my release date for THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING has drifted into 2022. And GREY MAGIC, sequel to BRIGHT FAMILIAR , is coming out at the end of December. The reason for the release date drift is that I’m wedging in a novella for another midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology! Everyone is still figuring out if they can fit it into their writing schedules, so I won’t tell you the participants yet. But as soon as I know, you’ll be hearing about it! Worse comes to worst, we pull the plug on the anthology and all of these release dates move up.
Here is my current plan (italics indicate tentative dates):

 

THE DRAGON’S DAUGHTER AND THE WINTER MAGE (Heirs of Magic 3) 9/13/2021

holiday novella 11/15/2021
GREY MAGIC (Bonds of Magic 3) 12/20/2021
THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING
(Heirs of Magic 4) 2/22/2022

Finally, in case you missed it, THE LONG NIGHT OF THE CRYSTALLINE MOON, the prequel story to Heirs of Magic, previously only available in the UNDER A WINTER SKY anthology, is now available as a standalone.

Winter Magic in Summer – THE LONG NIGHT OF THE CRYSTALLINE MOON

At the SFF Seven this week, we’re recommending our frothiest books for a light summer read. Well, if you’re one of those who likes to celebrate the midwinter holidays in the heat of summer, I’ve got one for you!

Just out today, I give you THE LONG NIGHT OF THE CRYSTALLINE MOON.

A Taste of Cake: Snippet from THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE

     

THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE is out now! You can get it from my website store or at the above retailers. Thanks to all who are reading and loving it!

One of my favorite review quotes so far?

“Have you ever looked at a piece of cake and wanted to just gobble it up ? Well that’s exactly my feelings when it comes to the boisterous, oh so confident Jakral ! He might be fully human and younger than Stella but he knows what he wants and always pays attention.” – Marta Cox on Amazon

Jak is totally cake. He was super fun to write, too. Jen Twimom has a snippet from one of my favorite scenes over at That’s What I’m Talking About. What’s funny is that what ensues in the carriage was a total surprise to me. Jak shocked me as much as he did Stella. If you’ve read, you know what I mean. I almost tried to soften it or even take it out, but I decided that Jak is just not a character to be easily muted.

Here’s a snippet from another scene I love, where Jak is attempting to teach Stella some self-defense.

***

He didn’t care how much it pissed her off: She was going to learn to wield those blades or… He didn’t know what, but something. He wasn’t afraid of going to the alter-realm, but he was gut-wateringly terrified of coming back to find her gone. Or worse.

In a rare temper, Stella flung open the door of a room on the second level. An unmade bed took up most of the small space, her minimal baggage on a low table nearby. With her back firmly to him, she rummaged in her bags, searching for her blades. Jak leaned against the wall, arms folded, watching her, keeping his body loose and relaxed—but fighting his own mounting temper as she took forever to find the fucking things.

At last—minutes later, during which a toddler could’ve skinned and gutted her—she exclaimed in relief and turned to show him the daggers. Her triumphant smile faded at whatever she saw in his face. Probably good that his expression got the point across, as the next step would be throttling her.

“Put them on,” he instructed softly, not trusting himself not to shout at her again.

She sighed in exasperation. “Is it really necessary to—”

“Yes,” he bit out. “See how the pretty daggers sit in sheaths on that lovely belt? You buckle the belt around your gorgeous hips, and then you wear them. All. The. Time.”

Her eyes darkened, thunderclouds gathering. “There is no need to be sarcastic with me.”

“Isn’t there? Then, pray tell, what will get through your thick skull?”

The sense of a pending storm thickened. “Don’t you speak to me that way, Jakral Konyngrr.”

He rolled his eyes, making his disdain clear. “I’ll speak to you any way I like. Not as if you can do anything about it.”

Lightning flashed in her eyes. “You forget that I have offensive magics. Powerful ones.”

“Useless ones,” he sneered, goading her further.

“How dare you!” Her streaming dark hair stirred as if in an unseen wind.

Though the hairs stood up on the back of his neck, he didn’t move, considered yawning in her face, but even he didn’t have the balls to push her that far. Instead he lifted a shoulder and let it fall. “I dare because I’m a better fighter than you are. Not because you’re female, but because you’re defenseless. That’s why you need protecting. So, quit whining about everyone being overprotective and accept that you need a big strong man to—”

With an incoherent screech, she dropped the knife belt and hurled a ball of blue lightning at him. As it flew toward him, he pulled a dagger, threw it, and ducked. The lightning grazed his shoulder with a light tingle—he hadn’t even needed to evade that tickle—and his blade shaved off a long lock of Stella’s hair before thudding into the wall behind her.

Stella gaped at him. Without speaking, she dropped her gaze to the severed lock of hair lying like a snake at her feet. “I…” She lifted her eyes to his, shock clear in them. “You… you threw a knife at me.”

“You threw lightning at me,” he pointed out.

“Because you provoked me!”

“Yes, I did. Worked pretty well, except that was the most pitiful lightning I’ve ever seen. If that’s the best you can do, then—”

“It isn’t,” she snapped.

“Why not?” When she didn’t reply, he pushed away from the wall. “Because you pulled your punch.”

Unhappily, she watched him pick up the lock of hair. Coiling it into a tight circle, he stuck it in his pocket. A nice keepsake. “All the magic in the world does you no good if you won’t use it,” he said.

“I can use it.”

“I know you can. I also know you won’t.”

Pressing her lips together in something just shy of a mulish pout, she glared at him. “Are you saying you wish I had hurt you?”

He tugged the shortened lock of hair. “I can take it.”

She didn’t smile. “You’re not immortal, Jak.”

“And yet I survived a brush with death, thanks to you.” He grinned jauntily at her, unbothered that she didn’t return it. “Let’s try that again, but this time, try harder.”

“But I don’t want to hurt you!”

He blew out an impatient breath. “If something is trying to kill you, then it’s your enemy and deserves to be hurt.”

“You aren’t my enemy,” she pointed out.

“I’m glad to hear that, but you still need to learn to strike true. You can always heal me again.”

“True…” She gazed at him, uncertain.

“I’d rather you hurt me a little bit now than deal me a mortal wound by getting injured or killed. I couldn’t survive that.”

Her eyes widened, and he considered maybe he’d said too much. “Besides,” he added with a grin, “at this rate, you’ll have no hair left, and I’ll be untouched. I’m really not worried.” Drawing a new blade, he spun it through his fingers, picking out a new lock of hair to sever.

She growled low in her throat. “You wouldn’t.”

“I would, and I will,” he said, letting his grim resolve show. “Or maybe I’ll just aim for that sleeping gown. It won’t last long against my blades and would be a fun striptease.” He leered at her. “Finally I’ll get to see you naked—a dream come true.”

With a shocked gasp, she blushed hot. “You—” She bit down on repeating the challenge, possibly reading his utterly serious intent. Briefly, a jaguar stood where she’d been, then she reappeared in her fighting leathers, her hair tightly braided back, a smug look on her face.

“Do you think that will spare you?” he murmured, just to see her blush deepen. “I could still slice those leathers off you.”

“But you won’t,” she replied with confidence, “because you’d risk cutting me, and you would never hurt me.”

That was true. Too bad she knew it. “Moving on. What was your first mistake?”

“Pulling my punch.”

“No, that was your second mistake.” Scooping up the knife belt from the floor, he dangled it in her face. “Never, ever throw away your blades.”

“You throw your knives all the time,” she pointed out.

“Yes, but I know what I’m doing, and it’s still a calculated risk. You will do best to keep your blades in your hands.” Threading the belt through the loops on her pants, he settled it low on her hips, moving the sheaths to the optimum position. “How’s that for drawing?”

He glanced up as he asked, finding her face very close to his. The storm in her gray eyes had subsided, leaving them the clear misty color of the sea just before sunrise. “I feel the same,” she said, briefly confusing him. “When I thought they might be right, that you really were dead, I thought I might break apart into a million fragments.”

For once, no clever remark leapt to his tongue. He smoothed her hair back from her face, careful not to brush her skin. It clung like silk to his fingers, and he knew she was right—he would never jeopardize her beautiful hair, he loved it too much. The thought of slowly cutting away her clothing, however… Well, it was a good thing he was getting practiced at exercising iron control over his lust around her. Her lips parted, her kitten tongue darting out to wet them. So tempting to kiss her just then.

But time was short, and this was more important.

“We’ll just have to keep each other alive, then,” he replied. “Now, try drawing your blades.”

***

     

 

 

How to Write Shorter Works Successfully

THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE comes out April 19! This is Book Two in Heirs of Magic, and you can preorder a copy at the links below or via my website. 🙂

   

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re examining the differences between writing a short story, novella, novel, series. We’re asking each other: Do you prepare for length beforehand or edit down (or add new stuff) afterward?

So, I have Strong Opinions about this. Something that may come as a surprise to exactly none of you. Come on over for more!

 

See Me at Flights of Foundry!

I’ve been head down finishing THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE. Look for the cover reveal coming a week from today! The book releases April 19, 2021. You can preorder through my website or at the links below 🙂

   

Anyway, I glanced up from this final revision and suddenly – tomorrow! – it’s April. That means conference season commences, even if it is all online this year still. Zoom fatigue is a thing. *sigh*

Still! That means I’m available online for your panel and workshop delectation. Look for me at Flights of Foundry the weekend of April 17-18, 2021. This online speculative fiction conference is FREE! (Donations are requested.) And there will be lots of awesome people speaking. Here’s my schedule:

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, April 17

02:00 UTC

16:00 UTC

19:00 UTC

Sunday, April 18

21:00 UTC

I haven’t decided what I’m going to read yet, so if you have votes, let me know!
I’ll also be participating in the Jack Williamson Lectureship the following weekend, April 22-23, 2021, though I have no idea yet what the schedule will be.

Choose Your Own Religion

Here’s a tease of the cover of THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE, out April 19, 2021. This is Book #2 in Heirs of Magic, Book #1 being THE GOLDEN GRYPHON AND THE BEAR PRINCE, with a prequel novella, THE LONG NIGHT OF THE CRYSTALLINE MOON, in the UNDER A WINTER SKY anthology. The cover isn’t quite final, so some elements here may change, but it’s getting close! Look for a full reveal soon. 🙂

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “That Old Tyme RELIGION: Does Religion Change the Course of a Story?” Come on over for my tale.