THE EDGE OF THE BLADE on Net Galley! (and Other News)

I got this a while back and saved it for you all. Fabulous reader Julie Fine texted it to me upon receipt of an ARC of THE EDGE OF THE BLADE. I think she was pleased. 🙂

I’ve been getting bits here and there about EDGE, which releases in a month on December 27, so I’ll start sharing them. The most important bit of info, it’s on Net Galley now

Booklist gave it a lovely review:

Kennedy (Pages of the Mind, 2016) continues the Uncharted Realms series with Jepp, a member of the queen’s guard more comfortable on a mission than in society, being named as an ambassador. Luckily, Jepp has Prince Kral, once her lover, to help her along. Jepp’s view of how women are to behave clashes with the norms of the Dasnaria hierarchy. She chafes under Dasnarian restrictions until she is summarily banished from court. She just wants to sleep with whomever she wants, whenever she wants. And she wants Kral—again. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Despite her ejection and reluctance to embrace her new role, Jepp ultimately takes to it in her own way, earning respect from the royal family. Fantasy adventure, snarky dialogue, and hot sex help Jepp find her way back to her beloved queen for her next assignment. Readers new to Kennedy’s series will do well to read it from the beginning, though this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
— Ilene Lefkowitz

Exact Warm UnholyIn other news, if you hadn’t heard, two novellas originally only available in collections are now out as stand-alone buys! EXACT WARM UNHOLY, which originally appeared in THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology, is a contemporary erotic romance, with characters unrelated to any of my other series. Kristen Ashley really liked it, saying on her Goodreads blog

And I was again stunned. Stunned by the originality of the concept of this story. Stunned by the emotions it made me experience in such a short expanse of time. Stunned by the beauty of the romance in it that ran parallel to the overwhelming sadness throughout. 

The other, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN, is a novella set in the world of The Twelve Kingdoms, involving most of the main characters from the initial trilogy and setting up the story that starts up in The Uncharted Realms

Dafne holding the crown of the Thirteen Kingdoms with the stained glass window behind her

Also, a bit of exciting news I think I haven’t yet mentioned elsewhere, I’ll be bundling the first three Sorcerous Moons books into a print volume, using the fabulous cover for THE TIDES OF BÁRA. Will have a release date on that soon! Maybe a good holiday gift! *nods* *flutters lashes*new-landing9

Why I Hate Han & Leia’s Backstory

A woman's torso, naked but for a wrap of crimson velvetToday is the release day of THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL! Very cool to see the excitement out there about it. Also, working with this group of amazing, high-caliber and professional authors has been one of the highlights of my career so far. You ladies rock!

So, I’ve been stewing on this post since I saw Star Wars: the Force Awakens. OBVIOUSLY this post will contain spoilers. You all have had six months to see the movie, so I figure any spoilerage is on you at this point *and* you’ve been warned. It does affect your experience of the movie. After all, my own mother spoiled it for me as I talked to her on the drive down to Albuquerque to see the movie with a friend – after I’d avoided spoilers for WEEKS! 

Alas.

(Also, I seem to have gotten quite worked up writing this post, so the F-bombs are flying. Be warned.)

Anyway, The Force Awakens (TFA) opens many years after The Return of the Jedi finishes. Luke has disappeared to parts unknown, Han and Leia consummated their love affair long enough to birth and raise (for an unspecified period of time) their son, Kylo Ren. He’s an emo dude who ran off at some point to take up Darth Vader’s megalomaniacal legacy. Because of some vague disagreement over their bad boy son, Han and Leia broke up and have lived apart for *years*. She’s been key in the ongoing rebellion leadership (which is super-cool; more of this, please; yes yes yes) and Han went off to … I dunno. Scavenge around the galaxy with Chewie? That part wasn’t terribly clear to me.)

I should caveat here that I am decidedly NOT a follower of the Star Wars overall canon. I’ve never read any of the books written around the franchise, or anything else. I’ve seen all the movies, but that’s it. I’m aware that people write about and discuss all kinds of story threads not in the movies, but I don’t know anything about them. 

ANYWAY… this seriously stuck in my craw. Yes, it’s a great moment when the movie’s central heroine and hero run into Han and Chewie, and it’s a lovely moment of reunion when Han and Leia see each other again, but is it worth this backstory of their long separation?

No.

No no no.

And you know why this annoys me so greatly?

Two reasons: because it’s facile storytelling and because it transmits SFF’s contempt for romance.

Allow me to unpack a little. 

Why have Han and Leia be long-separated at the beginning of the movie? To add conflict. I can’t think of another reason. (Enlighten me if you have one.) To me this reads as screenwriting shorthand: separate the lovers so that you can have the tension of their old differences and the simmer of sexual tension renewed. Because Hollywood thinks you can’t have an established love affair AND sexual tension. 

Also I think Hollywood believes that long-term relationships can’t last happily, which is part of their contempt for romance. In most movies with romance, the focus is entirely on the establishment of the early relationship – as with Han and Leia in Episodes IV-VI – and rarely on a long-term relationship. When a movie IS about later in the relationship, it’s nearly always about trouble. Conflict, doncha know. 

So, I suspect the screenwriters didn’t give much thought to the possibility of having Han and Leia having been together all those intervening years. They just tossed out that, oh no! They separated acrimoniously because their son was a shit head. Because this does in so many marriages, right? 

That annoyed me, too. Han and Leia are both strong-minded people who’ve endured great losses in their lives and emerged scarred but victorious. And we’re to believe they could not preserve their great passion for each other, that their love and loyalty that survived the worst pressures simply crumbled because they couldn’t agree on their grown son doing stupid, disappointing things?

Talk about undercutting two truly great characters. Which brings me around to the contempt for romance.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it occurred to anyone working on the movie how this change in trajectory affects our long-held feelings for Han and Leia. All these many years since Return of the Jedi, I’ve had them in my heart living Happily Ever After. Sure, fighting the Empire and various scourges of civilization, but TOGETHER. Side by side. Heroic partners in life. Enjoying at least that much joy, which is the WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF TRIUMPHING OVER AN EVIL EMPIRE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

*deep breath*

Did I mention this annoyed me?

Basically this movie told us that there is no happiness. Even Han and Leia don’t get to have it.

Worst of all, Han dies, so they’ll never be together again. Even though they reconcile (and it IS a lovely scene), there’s not even a kiss. He dies. Leia soldiers bravely on, alone. (She’s an older woman now, so she wouldn’t be interested in having sex again anyway.)

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled to pieces that it looks like Carrie Fisher will be back to play Leia in perhaps an even greater role as a general in the rebellion in the next movies. (Which I wonder if the movie folks had planned on before they saw the *overwhelming* “Fuck-Yeah, General Leia” response.) However, I Am Not Pleased that she seems to be relegated to crone status. 

But, hey, it’s SFF action/adventure and who cares about mushy stuff beyond the occasional dirty-hands, smexy kiss?

Oh yeah. We do. 

And you know what? We can have both. Let’s get out there and write those damn stories. 

Best Fantasy Romance of 2015!

tumblr_o43ln6XpAO1un3364o3_500
Harlan's Dossier

 

So much happening all at once!

~dances around in the downpour~ 

the talon of the hawkScreenshot 2016-03-16 09.41.56First of all, yesterday I *FINALLY* got to share that THE TALON OF THE HAWK won Best Fantasy Romance of 2015 in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards!!! I’ve known for about seven weeks, but was allowed to share the great good news only with family and friends. One of the first people I told was sister nominee Grace Draven, whose amazing book RADIANCE I thought was sure to win. I have to tell you – I think she was more excited than I was! With competition like C.S. Pacat, Sharon Shinn and Robin Owens, the odds were scary! I’m really just beyond thrilled. The outpouring of love and congratulations has floored me. 

Which leads to the next thing: In a serendipitous coincidence, the hero of TALON, everyone’s favorite mercenary Harlan is in Kensington’s Ultimate Hero Showdown today. You can vote here as often as you like, until 11:59 PM (EDT). 

Also, SF Signal did a really terrific interview with me – excellent questions – and you can read that here. 

Cc4oKSVUUAAarUjFinally, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I’ve been participating in a Lucky in Love giveaway with four of my sister writers in the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA) chapter here in New Mexico. Today you can enter to win a digital copy of the highly anticipated upcoming erotic anthology, THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL.

Be one of the first to read it! Enter here to win one of three copies and to enter the grand prize giveaway of a brand new, loaded Kindle Voyager!

A woman’s pleasure is a dangerous thing. A primal appetite that, once awakened, can never be sated. A secret that gives power to those who know it. A magic that, once unleashed, can never be contained.

Some say the clitoris is the devil’s doorbell, set to summon him forth at the merest touch…

It’s time to ring the bell.

Here are seven tales of sexual empowerment and erotic defiance, featuring the hottest storytellers of erotic fiction.

Anne Calhoun
Christine d’Abo
Delphine Dryden
Megan Hart
Jeffe Kennedy
Megan Mulry
M. O’Keefe

Whew! That’s a lot of dancing!

Forbidden Romance and Fictional Bar Names!

12573673_1031344770255657_394058623659722734_nFirst off, big congrats today to bestie and all-around lovely person and Zen influence on my life, Anne Calhoun, on the release of THE SEAL’S SECRET LOVER today! This novella kicks off a super sexy romantic suspense series of three novellas and three novels. I’ve been in on the brainstorming and these are unique storylines with Anne’s trademark high-stakes emotional angst. Here’s the blurb for this one: 

Logistics director Rose Powell agreed to chaperone her grandmother on a guided tour of Roman ruins on one condition: her brother Jack would come with her. But when Jack backs out, his best friend and fellow SEAL Keenan Parker takes his place. Without a working cell phone, Rose’s orderly world drifts into dreamy days and hot, secret nights in Keenan’s bed. Keenan left the Navy but never made it any farther than Istanbul, much less to a viable future. Until he does, he’ll show Rose things she didn’t know about herself. Can he give his heart and his future to the woman he promised his best friend he’d never touch?

See what I mean? Go snag it now!

A woman's torso, naked but for a wrap of crimson velvetIn other news, last week I finished drafting my story for the upcoming DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology. In the course of writing, I discovered I needed to name the bar that the heroine frequents. So, I posted this to Facebook:

Okay folks, I need to name a bar. Contemporary U.S. Something in the name should evoke heaven, hell, angels, demons, the devil. Anything along those lines. And… go!

I got over 150 suggestions, counting duplicates!

Of course, I couldn’t use all the names and there were so many great ones, I thought I’d share them here. Feel free to use! In fact, please DO, because it took me *way* too long to sort these…

A Dimensional portal

Ace of Spades

Afterlife

Angel’s Roost

Apocalypse.

Armageddon

Asylum

Baal’s Asylum

Bedlam

Beyond Good and Evil

Bitchbox,

Black Star

Bob’s Road Kill Grill – “You kill ’em, we grill ’em!”

Brimstone’s.

Broken Halo

Carrie Nation’s Delight

Cemetery Gates

Chains

Cherubz.

Church

Club Beyond, . 

Communion

Constantine’s Smoke

Crooked Halo

Dam Site Inn

Dante

Dante’s

Dante’s Circle

Dante’s Fire

Dastardly Spirits

Devil’s Backbone

Devil’s Dew

DewDropInn

Diluted Atheist

Duality

Elohim’s Den

Elysia

Elysian Fields

Elysium

End of days

Exodus

Fallen Saints

Firewater Shack

Flaming Wings

Forbidden Fruit

Gargoyle.

Genesis

Gethsemane

Hades

Hades by Nigh

Handbasket,

Heaven & Hell

Helen Back

Hell Raisers.

Hell with the Lid Off

Hell’s Half Acre

Hell’s Kitchen,

Hellvard

Hemingway’s Delight

Holy Spirit

Horn & Clove

Horns ‘n Halos

I Like It Like That

Inferno

Judgement Day,

Last supper steakhouse

Limbo

Lividicus

Lost Soul Watering Hole,

Lost Souls

Lucifer

Lucifer’s Pub

Lucifer’s Taphouse

Mephistopheles Mezzanine

Nailed Spirits

Nexus

Old Scratch’s

Pagan Spirits

Paradise Lost

Pearly’s gate

Pentagrams

Perdition

Preach,

Purgatory

Rahab’s Roadhouse

Reality Rehab

Revelations

River Styx

Sacrificial Blood

Saints & Sinners

Sam’s Fight Tavern

Satanic Bites.

Satan’s Tavern,

Seraphic

Sinnerville,

Soul and Sacrifice

Soul-stealers bar and grille.

Spirits.

Stone Club Baby Head

Streetcleaner

Styx and Stones

Tavern in the Circle

The Abyss

The Altar

The Chamber,

The Crossroads

The Crypt

The Devil’s Fork

The Devil’s living room.

The Devil’s Waterhole

The Emerald Cross

The Fallen

The Hourglass

The Inferno

The Last Judgement

The Morningstar

The Nailed Redeemer

The Ninth Circle

The Office

the Redeemed Soul

The Rogue Angel

The Serpent’s Tavern

The Seventh Circle

The Stygian Crypt

The Tarnished Halo

The Third Ring

The Trilogy,

The Y’all Come Back Saloon

Tomb

Underworld.

Unknown Redemption

Unrepentant Spirits

Vodun’s Delight

Wings

Wish

 

 

Care to Ring THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL?

A woman's torso, naked but for a wrap of crimson velvetI know I’m sure going to!

I’m just thrilled about this project – what I think will be a fantastic intersection of theme and authors I love. Check out the cover for THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL!

A woman’s pleasure is a dangerous thing. A primal appetite that, once awakened, can never be sated. A secret that gives power to those who know it. A magic that, once unleashed, can never be contained.

Some say the clitoris is the devil’s doorbell, set to summon him forth at the merest touch…

It’s time to ring the bell.

Here are seven tales of sexual empowerment and erotic defiance, featuring the hottest storytellers of erotic fiction.

Anne Calhoun
Christine d’Abo
Delphine Dryden
Megan Hart
Jeffe Kennedy
Megan Mulry
M. O’Keefe

Coming April 26, 2016