First Cup of Coffee – March 31, 2022

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

Very good today is Thursday March thirty first and of the first quarter of 2022 I tell you you guys but whip him by is it just me. None of you have told me if it’s just me so um, yeah, 3 beds down on 2022. Let’s see here so we have exciting news today um today is the release day for I have to check it to make sure we get my details correct Fierce Hearts: subtitle a 2022 charity anthology of romantic, fantasy and fantasy romance. Like right on brand right? Ah for Ukraine so this is a fundraiser put together by the gals at romantic fantasy shelf of Miranda Honfleur and Jessica Fry put a huge amount of work into this and all proceeds go to. Um, sure the details are somewhere I know that they’re being very responsible but it’s going to relief efforts for ukrainian refugees and war victims and it does include a story by me. Um. What it is is the preface and first 2 chapters of the storm princess and the Raven King yes it is a special sneak preview of that novel my work in progress. Um, consistent listeners may recall hear me mention a week or two ago that I’d gone back to revise those first couple chapters just to make sure that it um flowed correctly. Um there may be changes. By the end but that’s now I feel fairly locked in this is a big departure for me because you guys know I don’t like to really share stuff before it’s like done done done but um, important cause and. I didn’t really have anything else to give them. You know like they wanted something about 5000 words and reader I do not write things letter only 5000 words which is ironic because I started out writing short and now I don’t so I even considered giving them like.

And old thing I was looking back over stuff I just didn’t have anything that would work so that was what they suggested this work in progress. It’s a couple of chapters basically of ah Salena and Rhyian. With each other There’s a lot of that in this book some of you have mentioned I did mention that I have the preorder links up I recommited um, longtime listeners know that I did have a preorder up I pushed it out twice I couldn’t push it again. Um. And I went ahead and canceled the preorder. So now. Thank you all for preordering again. The preorders are stacking up and I so appreciate that from all of you I announced that the other day that the preorder links were up and a couple people commented that I have been. Teasing you with this romance for a very long time and it’s true I’ve enjoyed the teas I have been accused more than once of being a tease but I feel like in the very best possible way. So so yeah, it’s um. I wanted to play with this kind of thing like if somebody does in a so okay, let me back up. It’s too much allow me to sum up. Um, yeah.

Ah, and now I’m gonna lose my trainoffs start. Okay because I started on The Princess Bride.

Okay, so I’ve always been someone who doesn’t believe in second chance romance which you guys this is actually a second chance romance is and that it’s like my least favorite trope I don’t like it in books I don’t like it real life. Um. I’m a believer that whatever went wrong in the relationship. The first time to blow it up. The first time is gonna happen again unless somebody really truly changes and so that has been the theme of Salena and Rhyian’s relationship that Ryan did something unforgivable because he was being a little shit and it comes from his fears and his personality flaws. But he broke Salena’s heart and we know this from the prequel novella the long night of the crystalline moon. And throughout the ensuing 3 books or the first 3 books of the series of Heirs of Magic they going back and forth fighting a lot and he wants to get back together and Salena does too really, but she’s. Trying to be smart because she knows he that people don’t change and that Ryan hasn’t changed I’m gonna have to fix these names. But. For that transcript. So that’s what I wanted to play with was how do you show a character really changing and and I wanted this to take a long time because I feel like a great flaw. Of many romances, especially like romcoms movies. Ah, they don’t give the characters time to really truly change change takes time it can happen in a moment or it takes a whole lot of time. And usually when it happens at a moment. It’s as it’s as the result of a whole long time of maturing and reflecting and so that’s what I wanted to show was Rhyian getting his shit together as it were. And so it’s been interesting to write this book. Especially since it’s the culminating book in the fantasy arc as well. So I’m having to resolve all of that at the same time It’s an interesting challenge. The reason why all 4 of these books have.

What’s the word I’m blinking on the word I want to say prequel and that’s not it but prologue Jesus I mean I just said it a few minutes ago right? The reason that these books have prologues here I’m breaking my own rules again. Maybe this is life as a creative. We’re forever breaking our own rules I normally don’t like proposals proposals. What is my problem this morning like a little bit of prologues I don’t normally like prologues. Because I feel like if it’s backstory then you need to fold it into the story if it’s actually the beginning of the story then it should be chapter. One. The orchid throne has a prologue. Because my editor asked for it I don’t love it. I’ve talked about this a lot on here I know many of you do like them I know a lot of readers. Skip them which is interesting. So the reason that I put a prologue on book one um The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince. Was because the way I’d done the prequel novel villa. It’s segue straight into the events of book one and in book one all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of characters and my lovely writer friend Darynda Jones. Freaked the fuck out when she read it and she said there’s way too many characters way too fast and your readers are going to hate you and it’s too confusing. She said I got confused and I had read the prequel novella so it. It was a um, it was a welcome. Freaking but it was also late in the game she is like oh you know what? if you start it like she wanted me to like start it a couple months later or something like that she is struggling with a revision right now where her editor is asking her to change the opening. She’s like I’m not changing my opening so I should remind her of this very thing that she suggested I change my opening I couldn’t it was too late I was like you know sliding under the wire to get this published anyway I thought she was probably right I considered like postponing publication and. You know all of this I was freaking the fuck out but then I talked to a couple other people and and I think including her and we came up with the idea of doing a prologue that would introduce the 2 main characters.

Because all of these books that female and male ming characters have been friends or or their cousins since childhood that if they’ve all grown up together. So this is all basically friends to lovers. And Salena and Rhyian are the only 2 that were actually lovers as teenagers and the rest of them were sort of nurturing these ah quiet desires for each other or as in the case of Zeph not so quiet. Desire. Zeph doesn’t do anything quiet like I just love her I’m I’m rereading that book now because I’m rereading a whole series to remind myself of everything and um I just love the way she pursues asther with such wholehearted. Passion and I know that some readers complained about it because they said well he he says no um, you know and and astors the virgin prince and. Astor says no because he feels like he has to like it’s the honorable thing to do. He doesn’t say no because he doesn’t want to he wants it? Um I know he wants it and I thought I made it clear that he wants it. But it’s been pointed out to me by a number of people that if I had gender flipped this. If it had been the female princess who was a virgin and deliberately clinging to her honor. Ah, while the seductive non-royal that she’s secretly passionate for was. Determinedly seducing her that this has been done many times and it would have been fine I had so much fun flipping that trope. Um, but and and some people love it. But not everybody loved it and I think it’s funny. That’s like Zeph. Being unmaidenly in her determined pursuit of Astar which yes Zeph is no maiden. Ah so anyway I’m getting off track here. So what I ended up doing in that prologue was going back to when Zeph and Astar are teenagers. And a little bit of flirtation play to set up that longing and relationship and so that way I got the reader to focus on the pair of them knowing that they are the main characters of this book. So.

Um, so yeah, that’s why so since I had done that with book one I’ve done it for all 4 books and each of the prologues follows that same model where it does a glimpse back to their to their youth and sets up their relationship. And with Salena and Rhyian the prologue shows that fateful incident.

Yeah, so um so yeah you can read that in the fierce hearts anthology money goes to a great cause please support that link in the show, notes, etc, etc. And my other news is that the podcast interview I did with Kingdom of Thirst is up on well on the kingdom of thirst podcast I’ll put a link to that as well. In fact, I should well all remember to do that. So go ahead and take a listen Abigail did a great job interviewing me. She says that there are echoes that she couldn’t edit out this is entirely my fault because she told me to use headphones or earbuds and I didn’t because I never use it here. And I I guess this room is a little echoey but I mean this is where I sat to do it but her what she uses her equipment. She uses for the podcast I think it’s just so much more sensitive that it really got a lot of echoes and I should have I just used the computer mind click I use this and I should have switched to my phone. And use the earbuts and so that was entirely my bad I don’t have headphones that I plug into this laptop and I should probably just get some for that kind of thing I don’t like wearing them but I do love my it could do my little ad here. These are my Bose sound sport. Earbuds. We gave a pair of these to my brother-in law for Christmas and it was his birthday yesterday and I sent him a happy birthday and then he also said I love those earbuds by the way so these are the best things they’re little wireless earbuds you loop them behind your neck. It has a. Built in mic and I have very small ears very small ear openings and they just fit in perfectly. They come with a couple of different sizes of things. So anyway, I am I need to use those from now on I’m sorry Abigail. I I I do suck I because she would she even like set me this whole tips and tricks ahead of time and and I did read it but I thought oh I don’t need to do the earbud microphone thing because I never do I even said it in that voice. So I suck I’m sorry but it’s a great interview. Abigail’s a fantastic interviewer she it was great conversation and I think you guys will enjoy it a whole bunch. So on that note I’m going to head out I’ve got writer coffee today and I will talk to you all tomorrow. No fooling.

You all take care bye-bye.

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 ūüôā

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):



holiday novella 11/15/2021
GREY MAGIC (Bonds of Magic 3) 12/20/2021
(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.


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!


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. ūüôā


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!


Last Day for Reduced Preorder Price!

Only one more day to preorder UNDER A WINTER SKY at the lower preorder price of $5.99! The price goes up for release day tomorrow. Well, really it goes up tonight, since I’ll change the price on the retail sites before I go to bed. We’re hearing terrific things about the collection so far! My favorite is the person who instantly clicked, saying “You have no idea how much I need this in my life right now.”

I think we all could use some magic in our lives right now.

Available at these Retailers


International Links


A Pre-Release Peek at UNDER A WINTER SKY!

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re sharing a snippet from a work in progress. We’re supposed to “tease” with one paragraph, but I’m going the extra multiple-paragraph mile. Since¬†UNDER A WINTER SKY¬†releases this week (you can preorder until Thursday for only $5.99, when the price goes up), I’m sharing the first chapter and a hint of the second chapter of my novella,¬†The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon. This story is a prequel to a brand new series I’m starting,¬†Heirs of Magic. Book One is¬†THE GOLDEN GRYPHON AND THE BEAR PRINCE, and will be out in January. It picks up where¬†The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon¬†leaves off.

You can preorder¬†UNDER A WINTER SKY¬†via the buttons below on follow that link to my website. I’ll also be adding the preorder for¬†THE GOLDEN GRYPHON AND THE BEAR PRINCE¬†this week.


 Come on over to the SFF Seven for Chapter One and a glimpse of Chapter Two of The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon from UNDER A WINTER SKY!