First Cup of Coffee – March 8, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

It’s not bad I’m going off lattes again I decided that I was disrupting the sixteen eight fasting alas and sharp viewers will notice I did not yet fix my chimes that came apart in my hands yesterday. Ah, get to that. So today is Tuesday March Eighth snowy day here in Santa Fe revving a very snowy spring which is great. That’s great. Lots of snow on the mountains which boats well for. Water reserves come summer. So yeah, it’s supposed to be snowy all week and it’s very pretty very picturesque. Good cozy day to be inside to write. Um I am delighted to report that I got writing done yesterday. Woo. I got my 3000 words I got it got them even in a reasonable amount of time. Um, 2 hours two and a half hours basically get my 2000 words 3041 um, 3 hours and a three and a half hours total elapse time ah put a relief. So um, yeah I apparently just needed the rest. So yeah. Um, you know cross fingers knock on wood. But um, it flowed reasonably well yesterday. So hopefully I can get keep getting back into the groove the groove as it were.

I am a little sleepy this morning though. Well but I’m still on my first cup of coffee. So um, so yeah, yesterday was productive that way. Um, and then it kind of got away from me. But whatever, somebody asked me 1 of the many emails I sent out on Sunday and reply to people 1 person asked me how inbox 0 had gone and I said inbox 0 achieved the problem with inbox 0 is that it does not last and. When I looked on yesterday afternoon I was like back up to 46 emails fortunately, a whole lot of them were people see seeing me on things and so I did not need to um, did not need to worry about them other than to file them. I file all my emails so yesterday um I did stop into a couple of the chats and checked in with people and stuff and so hi lizette and Stephanie. Asked me a question about because I shared some of my progress counts spreadsheets which you guys know are scary. Um, and I shared my gamp charts that I used to plan releases I used to use the gant charts I didn’t have a lot of time to explain because I did need to run out but i. Used to use the gantt charts to plan more of my drafting and revising I used to have them all plotted out on that. Um, for for those who don’t know a Gantt chart is basically it’s one those ones with the horizontal bars and it just shows you. Timelines of stuff now it shows where things are overlapping so when I first started making gantt charts I did make them for like drafting revising overlapping stuff of I used to have in. And want to say a more intense schedule but that’s probably not true. Um, it was a different kind of intensity look of the little wayward curl sticking up there because I had a lot of traad books going on at the same time. And I was for a little while there I was working with 3 different publishers and so stuff would come in from them that was you know they all like would want their one week turnaround or two month turnaround or you know what have you and so I would have to.

Stop working on what I was doing and switch over to the thing that had the most pressing deadline. Whatever just come in the nice thing about doing largely self publishing at this point and right now I’m out of contract and. But agent’s trying to fix that but you know I kind of like know she’s like I know you want to be back under your contract I’m like do I though know that I really do um there. There’s good and bad. There are things that are great about tried publishing. Getting a whole trunk of money up front is good having a team working with you is good, um, having other people worry about stuff like covers and the back cover copy and all of that stuff. That’s good. Um, but I definitely ah have a much more even paced life when I am primarily self- publishing because I I decide what I’m working on at any given time. They don’t have to be pulled into anybody else’s timeline or schedule. So anyway and I do use gantt charts to plan out releases to get a sense of how regularly my book releases are coming out and I have instead gone to mapping out. By day. Um I only showed you guys this really small part of my spreadsheets because I have this enormous excel workbook in which I plot out pretty much my entire life and what I’m doing at any given time. But this is not what you asked me what they asked me was and I wrote down your questions so I would know is how do you deal with having multiple series at once and the concern was is that. If they start a second series and they’re already feeling overwhelmed which is a thing and scared that they’ll enjoy another one so much more that they’ll forget about the other and then never finish any of the series. So how do you do all of this. Because I do show on my spreadsheet that I showed them a piece of all of the different series and books that I have working on and I have them in different groupings right? So um, you know like.

I have in my court in someone else’s court in the pipeline which needs doing on submission planned tabled potential. Um, there may not be a lot of difference between planned and potential. But. I also have one that’s interstitial. Oh I know what that was and that’s kind of gone away I think I’m I’m not doing the interstitial stuff. It was like that was like projects I was trying to work on like intermittently between other projects and that did not work for me I’m I’ll tell you what. I don’t know if it counts as a secret is this a bug or a feature. We don’t know. Um I I work on 1 thing at a time I and I do really well at that. That’s why I think it kind of counts as a feature. Ah 1 thing about me is that I’m good at concentrating and i. Do best if I concentrate on 1 thing and just work on that 1 thing and keep the whole book in my mind and that’s one way when people ask me how I’m able to write books as quickly as I do I think that’s 1 reason because I just work on that I don’t piddle around. Like I used to have this friend who used to like watch movies while she was writing and stuff and I was like how can you do that I can’t even listen to music while I’m writing I want it silent but that’s because for me bug or feature i. Don’t like any kind of destruction I want to immerse fully in that one book. So I would say that’s one trick to balancing multiple series is that whichever book you are working on you just think about that book. You don’t think about anything else you don’t think about the other series. So I did do this layering last year of releasing the bonds of magic books and the errors of magic books unrelated except that they’re both of magic that was a mistake. Um. Um, the only one who ever mentions it though I should probably stop mentioning you so I would release one book and then work on the next and I I interwove those 2 series the releases for them. Um, and I feel like it worked pretty well. I used to I think part of this is because I started out doing it this way because as I mentioned I was working for like 3 different publishers at the same time I was writing contemporary erotic romance and epic fantasy romance at the same time.

And 1 thing I discovered was that switching between the 2 worked really well is kind of a palette cleanser for my brain. So I would finish a big epic fantasy romance and then I would write an erotic contemporary romance which yes felt very different to write. And and I think I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this for me the contemporary romances the erotic romances always felt much easier to write part of that’s because I like writing sex scenes. Um. I think they’re also in some way simpler now arguably I’m not as good at this because those books have never sold as well. So it could be that I like am not putting the effort into them that I could be I always wonder that’s like oh maybe I should be writing them differently that they you know that they feel easy. Maybe I’m not working hard enough to be I’ve written one in a long time. So now. It’s hard to say so um I just thought of something hold on. Okay, sorry about that I am going to. Try to get rights for reversion on some of those old books and I was just thinking about something I needed to remember to do along those lines. Yeah I was gonna start talking about that. But I won’t because I’m gonna stay on topic for Lisa to and Stephanie. See how devoted I am so multiple series. Um, so I think that’s one way to look at it and I think even still even though both bonds and bonds of magic and errors of magic are epic fantasy romances. There’s. Enough difference between the world that it does work in a way to finish one obviously take my breather since I clearly needed a little bit of time to decompress and refill the well and then start in on the. Book in another series because it’s it does work. Well so one thing Deronda Jones and I talk about a whole lot is that we we have this this dream I dreamed a dream of. Writing an entire series like a trilogy probably we wouldn’t try to do more than a trilogy to write all 3 books at once one after the other um, revise them all at once be able to go back and tweak book one to match. Whatever.

Book 3 ends up being and not have that the breakup of time in there. The main reason we don’t do that. Actually the only reason we don’t do that is money because you really have to be swimming pretty well. A good income to take that long off between releases right? Whether it’s for your traditional publisher or self-p publishing but that’s the that’s the ideal is to be able to do it that way and then I wonder. Would we really like it. We’ve never gotten to do that. So maybe it wouldn’t work so now focusing back on on the question scared that you’ll enjoy one so much more than you’ll forget about the other this is a thing it really is um. And I think it’s inevitable also regardless of enjoying one more than the other like I really enjoy the airs of magic books I have a lot of fun writing them It’s it’s fun getting back into writing this one I’m also glad it’s the last one because this series hasn’t sold as well. As bonds of magic by like like 20% of sales for errors of magic compared to bonds of magic I mean it’s it’s remarkable the difference and that was something that. Megan Sienna Deutsche and I were talking about because I did ask her I’m like is did I do something weird on these books. Another friend of mine told me that she thought maybe the titles weren’t right and she’s not someone who self-publishes and she doesn’t know a lot about bookmark and she only tre publishes and then it’s more on the artistic. Literature is hard and she’s like well maybe the titles don’t convey enough tension because it implies the two are equal so like right now I’m writing the storm princess on the Raven King you know she’s like maybe it needs to imply more conflict I’m like I don’t think that’s it. But I’m got a second opinion for Megan. And she had some good suggestions for just how I can set up the you know marketing the complete series there. There is a very distinct arc and errors of magic that is set up from the very beginning daddy is um, it’s not going to be. Finished being told until the end and there are readers who will wait until they know that’s going to end because they know we do this you guys they know that we start a series and then we get bored and we go running after the new shiny plot bunny which is a mixed metaphor but who cares and that we may not finish it.

So 1 thing that happened to me is sorcess moons. My six book series which I am is going into audio now and I am putting new covers on I have a new cover felon and swo and I’m waiting on the rest. Should probably start rereleasing these soon but I don’t have all the new covers and I’ve been going back and forth should I like just start releasing book one and then release the books as I get the covers or should I wait till I have all 6 feel free to weigh in. So. What happened with sorceers Moons was I originally thought it was gonna be a trilogy. It wasn’t I always do this. My series are longer than I think they’ll be I also this was the first series that I selfpublished from the very beginning and so I didn’t entirely. Plan out what I was doing I didn’t have I wasn’t working with a tread editor who was sort of guiding my steps on it I didn’t have a contract where I had like book 1 2 3 so that you know that I I ran wild with that freedom. So I ended up writing the first 4 books and then. A traditional publishing contract got in the way I got I sold 2 3 book deals at the same time rebel base and st martins and I ended up putting off writing those books 5 and 6 for a fucking year. You guys an entire year. Before I got back to writing book five and it was a problem and I confess freely that if I did not have a lot of readers saying when are you finishing this series I probably would not have so. That is a consideration. Um, if you don’t have the readers clamoring for you to finish the series then you might not do it. Another example cautionary tale as these contemporary romances that I wrote missed connections. Really love those books last dance with the prince since last christmas and it’s about 5 girls living together after college young women. And yeah I totally planned on books four and five in that series and those books if not sold well and. Every once a while somebody will ask me now. It’s been long enough that like nobody asks me anymore. But every once while someone would ask me saying are you gonna write books 4 and 5 in this and I only recently earn out these are self- publishled too I only recently earned out my investment on those books.

So at least now I’m making money on this series. Ah not much but so I’ve like 0 incentive to finish it and I don’t sell well in contemporary romance. So I don’t know well ever finish it. Maybe not so the reader pressure helps. It was really really hard for me to go back and finish books 5 and 6 of sorceress moons not only getting my head back in the world but I had written so many books in that interim that I had changed as a writer and so how I approached the story. And how I thought about it characterization world building everything I’d I kind of moved past what I was doing in that series. So I would say be very wary of taking a long break between books in a series because. The odds that you will not come back to It are very high. Yeah and so Stephanie said what if I can’t make my brain behave and I mean some of that’s the writing habit some of that’s being ritualized and I think that having my schedules and my charts and so forth. Make a difference there because like I’ve known that storm princess and the Raven King was coming next for a long time I had that set up with my cover artist. The covers already. Um, put on the show notes today because I haven’t shared that widely yet because I got the cover right? as gray magic was coming out and it was It’s hard to promo a couple of things at once and I’m trying to get better at staggering my my promo. So. I don’t know does that answer the question gals. Um I think really having a schedule. That’s why I love excel you know I’ve got my dates figured I know releases. Um, it’s not something you can control but having people. Really wanting that next book makes a difference I would say with series keep them short. You know plan short series to begin with until you know you can commit to longer ones ah like with bonds of magic I was really planning to do 3 but then that world is so big that by the time I was writing book two and people were loving it so much that I realized I needed to expand that and keep it going and and I’m loving it so much so all right? So those are thoughts ask me more questions. Sorry i.

Be on typing all this out but it was much easier to talk it out. So um, hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday and a fabulous Wednesday too because I will be back to talk to you all on Thursday morning take care bye bye.

THE FATE OF THE TALA Not Yet – But Close!

This is the time of year when kitties display their cunning in knowing when and where the rising sun will hit – and their wisdom in knowing to be ready for it. Also: tongue baths and sunbaths go together. Jackson, cat guru, at your service.

So, today is January 15, 2020. But no, it is not the release day for THE FATE OF THE TALA.

For those who don’t follow the podcast, I can officially announce that THE FATE OF THE TALA is done, done, done!! It came out at just shy of 109K and is in the hands of my fantastic editor, Rebecca Cremonese. I told her not to bitch at me about how long it is; she said not to bitch at her about how long it takes. So we’ll see. As soon as I get her edits, I should be able to turn that around and get it formatted within a couple of days. I’m hoping to get it uploaded and on sale the last week of January.

And wow: that book was a difficult write. Some books go slower than others, and that one was determined to unspool at its own pace. With a Prince

It’s not just me, either, because I’ve switched over to moving some other projects forward and those are speeding right along. One thing I’ve noticed – in trying to figure out why my overall wordcount production has dropped – is that some genres also write faster for me

than others. I could see from my handy charts that 2014 and 2015 were my highest wordcount years. I went to writing full time at the end of 2015, so this was NOT the trend I expected. What I’ve realized, however – and what the chart doesn’t show – is that I also moved to writing a LOT more fantasy, and much denser fantasy, and pretty much stopped writing any erotic/contemporary. The closest I came was writing books two and three of the Missed Connections series, WITH A PRINCE and SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS, in 2017 – and, notably, 2017 was my third-highest wordcount year. It’s anecdotal data, but the correlation is enough to satisfy me.

I’d forgotten that I used to alternate writing Fantasy stories with Erotic/Contemporary ones. And that worked for me. Many of you know I hadn’t finished the last two books I’d planned for the Missed Connections series because they just weren’t selling as well as the Fantasies. But, heck, even books that don’t sell amazingly well are better than books I haven’t written! Besides which, some of my other erotic stuff – PETALS & THORNS, the Falling Under series, and the Facets of Passion books – have all continued to sell steadily. Clearly writing those has served to keep my words flowing all around.

Also, the Missed Connections books have very nearly earned out my investment – I’m only about $500 in the hole on the three books so far – so those of you waiting for Julie and Ice’s stories may yet be in luck! Also, I think I’ll write more short erotic stuff, if only as a palate cleanser. Dark Wizard, anyone? You know I’ve been stewing over that one for a long time.

For the sharp-eyed among you who noticed that 2019 was the lowest wordcount year since I began tracking (*sigh*), I attribute that mainly to taking off most of July and all of August from writing – the longest break I’ve taken in ten years! Also, everything I did write was Fantasy, one project worked up an entirely new world in a new-to-me genre, and one was the very slow moving THE FATE OF THE TALA. So it goes.

Now, off to write something erotic… ~rubs hands together in glee~

1 With a Prince E-Book Cover

Are You Looking for a Thanksgiving Romance?

1 With a Prince E-Book Cover

Looking for a Thanksgiving romance? My contemporary romances aren’t as well known as the fantasy stuff, but I have such a soft spot for this series about a group of college friends sharing a house in Chicago after graduation. WITH A PRINCE has awkward parental meetings, a friends Thanksgiving complete with a major fight and hash-tagging. Oh, and ice-skating, hot chocolate, and hotter sexytimes. 

The guy on the train is just Marcia’s type. A face like an angel, a scent like raw honey, treats her like he has a white horse and suit of armor stowed in his messenger bag. Perfect.

Too perfect. No guy like that would be interested in prim, awkward Marcia, notorious goody-goody and a twentysomething still clutching her v-card. She’s been following rules her whole life—but somewhere, the game changed. And left her behind.

So when she meets Damien, with his rumbling motorbike, gleaming piercings, and wicked imagination, she doesn’t care that he’s the exact opposite of “her type.” Her type would never dare her into such shocking, fiendishly inventive adventures—and she can’t wait to say yes.

Yes to whiskey in the middle of a workday. Yes to letting her hands roam over his body from the back of his bike. Yes to a fling full of wild abandon and absolutely no long-term potential. Except Damien’s not just the straightforward bad boy she imagined. And as they burn through Chicago’s nights, Marcia can’t shake the fear that this happiness is just another fairy tale…

You can get it here

Or think ahead to Christmas reading and get the three book set, which includes the sequel, SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS!






Santa arrived just in time! The third Missed Connections book, SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS, made it out for Christmas!

(We could even call it a Christmas Miracle!)

Anyway, it’s out and available for… did I mention CHRISTMAS??

Hey, there’s a menorah joke in it, too. 

Buy the Book

A little excerpt for you all!

With renewed determination, I wove through the crush looking for Brad. The whole point of bringing him was so I wouldn’t have to stand around alone. I’d brought him to be my arm candy. Men did it all the time, so I refused to feel bad about wanting the same. I craned my neck, looking for him. There he was, taking a group pic with some guys using the telescoping selfie-stick he kept in his jacket pocket like a ballpoint pen. The pocket-protector of the modern era—that fashion statement telegraphed social media aficionado. The guys held up their signature cocktails, identical smiles of white and even teeth, the flash strobing from flattering shadows to glaring bright reveal.

“Amy.” Jon Ahearn appeared in front of me, a serious smile on his stubbly face. And not stubbly in a hip statement way, but in an “I forgot to shave” way. Or maybe an “I didn’t bother to buy new razor blades” way. He, for one, had barely changed since our teens. I’d know him anywhere, though we only ever saw each other anymore at this party.

“Jon. Merry Christmas.” I gave him a light hug with lots of air in it, trying to look past him unobtrusively. They were trying another pose.

“How’ve you been?” Jon asked. “I mean,” he added, “you look fantastic. But then, you always do.”

“Thanks.” I gave up keeping an eye on Brad and focused a smile on Jon. I would not be like our ruder classmates, forever scanning for someone more important to talk to. Jon had been a scholarship student, too, only he’d been defiantly uncaring about it, wearing whatever and refusing to play any of the polite games. He was at Wildwood, he’d once told me, to get into MIT, and that was all he cared about. He’d done it, too, then went for graduate school at University of Chicago. “How’s grad school?” I asked politely. Then jumped as my phone chimed with notifications. I sipped more from my drink.

“A gauntlet from hell,” Jon confided, adding a rueful grimace. “Which is exactly how they intend it to be. Semester ended today, so I at least have teaching over with, except for the grading. I’m hoping to get some substantial work done on my dissertation over the break.”

“Hmm,” I said. He’d told me at a previous reunion party what he was working on. Last year or the one before. He worked on an intersection of math, physics, and engineering, something esoteric enough that I’d retained little of it. Perpetual motion and entropy… Nope. Wasn’t in my head, so I shouldn’t try or I’d butcher it. “That will be good.”

“How’s your job—ready for world domination yet?”

I smiled. “World domination through silk and cashmere, anyway, but yeah—working at Exposition Way is amazing and Adelina is even looking at my designs.”

“She’s smart then, because you’re really talented.”

“Thanks.” We gazed at each other and I was thinking up something else to ask when my phone chimed again. At least I didn’t jump that time.

“Do you need to get that?” Jon pointed his chin at my clutch, hanging from its silver chain against my hip. “Your phone.”

“No.” I should have silenced the damn thing. Flicking open the purse catch, I reached in and flipped the side switch to mute. “It’s just tags—Instagram, Facebook. You know.”

“Tags. Yeah. No.” He shook his head and I had to laugh.

“You’re still not doing social media? I can’t believe you’ve escaped its clutches entirely.”

“The secret is never looking at the stuff.” Then he tilted his head slightly and added a significant lift to his dark brows. “I never heard from you.”

Quite the transition, there. I searched my mind. Had I promised to call him or something? People ask me for job leads sometimes—fashion is all about who you know—but that wouldn’t be Jon. Besides, we didn’t have any contact outside of these semi-awkward annual reunions. Jon was part of a past I didn’t like to think about, and I’d thought he, if not delighted about that, at least had not objected.

He watched me flailing, not giving any more hints, a kind of benign resignation settling over his expression. Jon wasn’t unhandsome, once you got past the scruffiness, with curly black hair that tended toward unruly—especially as he never bothered to get a good haircut—and dark brown eyes, intense with intelligence. I felt a bit like a lab rat that failed to escape the maze. No cheese for you, I thought to myself grimly, and awarded myself a healthy swallow of the cocktail.

“You don’t remember,” he said. Not accusing, but stating a fact. He shook his head a little, as annoyed with himself as I’d been about my phone. Then he met my gaze again and, to my surprise—and you know I don’t like surprises—I saw anger in them. Jon was pissed at me and I had no idea why.

“So, what is it?” he asked in a measured tone that didn’t fool me. “Do you have some special pit in your head where you toss everything that has to do with me?”


Need those buy links again? 

(ho ho ho!)


And all of you have a wonderful holiday season, whatever and however you celebrate!

1 With a Prince E-Book Cover

More Missed Connections! Cover Reveal and Deets

Coming in two weeks!!! The next Missed Connections book: WITH A PRINCE. 

It’s out on May 30. Yes, that’s sooner than I’d originally predicted, but enough of you loved LAST DANCE and said sparkly things to me about wanting Marcia’s book, that I caved and went ahead and wrote. 

Really, you made me excited about the story, too. And the timing worked out. Win all around!!!

You can preorder the book here. Or – and this is NEW – read through Kindle Unlimited. Yes, I’m putting WITH A PRINCE, LAST DANCE, and EXACT WARM UNHOLY (all the indie contemporary erotic romance books) on Kindle Unlimited. Tell your KU-loving friends! 

A challenge for you all: I need to name the coffee and pastry shop referred to in this book, which will undoubtedly crop up in later books. The reference comes up in a conversation between Charley, Marcia, and Amy, as follows:

“Finish the story, Marcia, or I’ll sit on you. Prince Charming plops himself next to you, sees that you’re romanticizing the stalkery post and…”

“And nothing! What was the plan? He’d walk me from my L stop, and, oh, then we’d stop at some cute little bar and—”

“No, that pastry shop you love,” Amy inserted.

“Oh yeah.” Charley nodded. “Marcia would fall for the guy who says ‘let’s stop at [name], have a cupcake and an espresso and talk.’”

So, what should we call it? Comment here or on social media with ideas and the winner gets a prize! Free book of her choice and a listing in the Acknowledgements. Hey, let’s “sweeten” the deal! The person who suggests the name I choose gets a cupcake from me! I’ll go for local delivery, if possible. If you’re international… we’ll work something out. 

Give me your Little Shoppe of Pastries ideas!

Also, this is what WITH A PRINCE is about:

The guy on the train is just Marcia’s type. A face like an angel, a scent like raw honey, treats her like he has a white horse and suit of armor stowed in his messenger bag. Perfect.

Too perfect. No guy like that would be interested in prim, awkward Marcia, notorious goody-goody and a twenty-something still clutching her v-card. She’s been following rules her whole life—but somewhere, the game changed. And left her behind.

So when she meets Damien, with his rumbling motorbike, gleaming piercings, and wicked imagination, she doesn’t care that he’s the exact opposite of “her type.” Her type would never dare her into such shocking, fiendishly inventive adventures—and she can’t wait to say yes.

Yes to whiskey in the middle of a workday. Yes to letting her hands roam over his body from the back of his bike. Yes to a fling full of wild abandon and absolutely no long-term potential. Except Damien’s not just the straightforward bad boy she imagined. And as they burn through Chicago’s nights, Marcia can’t shake the fear that this happiness is just another fairy tale…

 Just leaving this preorder link here again… 😉