On Shutting My Mouth for a Day

Yesterday, June 2, 2020, many of us observed Blackout Tuesday to show respect for the Black Lives Matter protests. This followed on a weekend of protests, particularly in the US, over police brutality and the resultant deaths of black people in police custody. The peaceful protests were deliberated escalated by white nationalist groups hoping for violence, and culminated on Monday afternoon with Trump ordering tear gas and bullets to disperse a peaceful crowd demonstrating in front of the White House so he could appear to part the crowd like Moses and pose in front of a church with a Bible.

I was supposed to have a book event at Mysterious Galaxy on Monday evening – one already moved from an in-store event due to the COVID-19 pandemic to an online party via Zoom – and I’d been wondering about how I could pull off a fun and engaging event when the store coordinator reached out to me via Facebook. We agreed that it wouldn’t be right to have a book celebration under those circumstances, so we put out a statement to that effect. And we rescheduled for Thursday, June 11. I hope you’ll all still attend!

It was easy to reschedule. I was happy to step back on talking up my book for the evening as we wrestled more important matters. And I felt strong emotions the following morning when I changed my social media profiles, banners and top posts to black squares. I didn’t post a podcast interview I had planned. I also took down all of the ads I could think of. That was me, shutting up for a while.

And no, I didn’t use any hashtags, or even any words, because I was shutting up for a while.

A few hours into the blackout day, people began sending around cautions that the blackout posts were flooding the hashtags needed to convey information, and many people hastily pulled those off. Much later in the day, an author friend tagged me on Facebook telling me I shouldn’t be doing it at all because the world needed my voice (and those of the other people she tagged). I explained that’s why I hadn’t used the hashtags. I refrained from saying that the world could do without white voices for 24 hours.

That was the point: to step back, shut up, and allow black voices to be heard.

That’s why I didn’t use any hashtags to begin with, because I didn’t need to make this about me. I saw so many white authors using this crisis to elevate their brand and visibility. Seriously? Can’t we just STOP for 24 hours?

Anyway, I’m clearly back to yammering about Me and My Book. But I also hope to be aware of allowing others to speak. Right now, listening and letting others speak is the best thing we can do.

Early Signed Copies of THE FIERY CROWN!

Some updates today on the release of THE FIERY CROWN! The book is still releasing May 26 – so hooray!! – though my in-person events are all canceled due to COVID-19. The good news is, they’re still happening online! AND, you can still get early paper copies – signed by me! – from my local Independent bookstore, George R.R. Martin’s Beastly Books. The event scheduled for May 17 is still happening online. The fabulous Melinda Snodgrass will be interviewing me, I’ll read a bit from the book (any votes for a section I should read??), and it will all be posted on You Tube! The books are on their way to be entered in the inventory. Meanwhile, you can email beastlybooks418@gmail.com to reserve a signed copy. This is a great way to support both this fantastic local indie bookstore (the only genre-friendly one in Santa Fe) and this book. ♥

You can find other virtual events for me here. And here is a current list! (Mind the time zones.)

May 18 at 6pm ET, I’ll be doing a Facebook Live event with the Buchanan County Public Library. You can find their page here. 

May 21, I’ll be on Facebook all day at The Romance of Reading.

May 27, I’ll be at the r/fantasy Reddit doing an Ask Me Anything! Please drop by and I’ll do my best by the AMA 🙂

June 1 at 7pm PT, the Mysterious Galaxy event will occur via Zoom! You can also preorder copies of the book from them, another wonderful SFF Indie Bookstore.

June 13 at 4pm MT, I should be live and in person (cross your fingers!) at Page 1 Books, another wonderful local Indie Bookstore.  I’m doing a double signing there with S.M. Stirling, as his original event for the release of SHADOWS OF ANNIHILATION got canceled last month. I’m delighted to share the day with local author buddy Steve Stirling. It should be big fun! Real live people! (in masks 🙂 )

Questions? Requests? Drop me a line!


“A timeless tale of love and survival amidst a lush backdrop teeming with greed and deceit.”–New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones

A desperate alliance. . A struggle for survival. And a marriage of convenience with an epic twist of fate. . .


Queen Euthalia has reigned over her island kingdom of Calanthe with determination, grace, and her magical, undying orchid ring. After she defied an empire to wed Conrí, the former Crown Prince of Oriel—a man of disgraced origins with vengeance in his heart—Lia expected the wizard’s prophecy to come true: Claim the hand that wears the ring and the empire falls. But Lia’s dangerous bid to save her realm doesn’t lead to immediate victory. Instead, destiny hurls her and Conrí towards a future neither could predict…


Con has never healed after the death of his family and destruction of his kingdom—he’s been carefully plotting his revenge against his greatest enemy, Emperor Anure, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. When Lia’s spies gather intelligence suggesting that Anure is planning an attack against Calanthe, Con faces an agonizing choice: Can he sacrifice Lia and all she holds dear to destroy the empire? Or does his true loyalty exist in the arms of his beguiling, passionate wife—’til death do they part?

The Forgotten Empire series is:

“Captivating…engrossing.” —Romance Reviews Today

“Sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss!”—Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicle

“Action-packed…sexy…highly recommend.”—Harlequin Junkie (Top Pick)


“Kennedy’s world building is attentive and luxurious in this middle volume of a trilogy. The enjoyable supporting cast is fleshed out, and the couple is given opportunities to exchange confidences even in the midst of grave crisis. Readers looking for a well-balanced blend of romance and fantasy with a gradually building relationship and ever-increasing stakes should give the series a try.” – Booklist

“Now this is how you write a five star book and I absolutely loved everything about it.(…) Fabulous characters, magic, action, betrayal and truly vile deeds not to mention snark and passion all go to make this a fabulous second instalment to what I’m guessing might be a trilogy.” – Marta Cox on Goodreads

“What a fantastic follow up to The Orchid Throne and a great second book in the Forgotten Empires series! The ending of Orchid Throne left a need to know more, and The Fiery Crown came through for me in a fantastic way! I love the pacing and how we jump into the action, keeping me engaged and totally into the plot! Action and adventure never seem to stop with sparks flying between Lia and Con, the implications of their actions, and the response of the Emporer and Calanthe.” – Tara on Goodreads

“Well, well, well….. that was absolutely possibly the best read of the year! That was so unexpectedly amazing. The first book was great, but hot damn this blew it out of the park. Same amazingly written characters but the author took this story to a whole new level of WOW. The twists and unexpected turns will have you glued to these pages until the last sentence and wondering how it can possibly just end ….” – Celeste on Goodreads