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Flash Sale!

Hey kids!  Preempting today’s weekly wrap-up  (and not because I was mostly a slug this week. No, it’s not why.  Truly. Hey, stop with the skeptical frowns…)

No really, it’s because I have…

A very temporary flash sale for you!

CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR, the bestselling anthology I did with 3 writer friends, is on sale right now for 99c.  If you haven’t got the antho yet, today’s the day!Captured by a Celtic Warrior by Kris Kennedy

Let me break down the perhaps hidden tropes in the anthology, to help convince you need it NOW.

There are warriors.

There are Celts. Three Scotsman and an Irishman. But wait, there’s more!

There are abductions.

There is an abundance of sexytimes. Let me repeat: abundance.

Things are said like:

“Lass, you do not want what I have.” As if to prove it, he overturned his hand and dragged a calloused thumb roughly across her bottom lip.

All the breath came out of her in a hot rush. “Oh.”

It was a gasp of arousal, of desire and pent-up wanting, as far as she could retrieve the recollection from the dusty cabinet of her mind. It made her want to weep for the lost memory of it.

He watched her with dark, unreadable eyes, then slid his thumb back again, a little harder, rolling her lip down the slightest bit.

She tipped her head back and let her mouth part under the rough caress.

“That is a mistake,” he ground out. “You do not realize….”  He shook his head once. “How much I want you.”

She stepped to him, pressed her breasts up against him. His thighs were hard against the front of hers, the hilts of his weapons bumped against her hips and belly, and dark, dangerous desire burned in his eyes. She wanted all of it. All of him.

“Show me.”  She slid her arms around his neck. “For I have been dying to be wanted the way you do.”

And woo-boy, does he show her. Wanna see??  Go get it! 

Amazon | iBooks | BN/Nook | Kobo

Have fun out there!

 

 

Weekly Wrap-up: November 4th

#FallBackInTime

This weekend, authors & readers are celebrating their love of historical romance by posting selfies of us reading historical romances on social media!  My #FallBack pix are usually ‘doggies’ and ‘Legoies’ more than selfies, but I think we’re all secretly dying to see dogs and toys reading historical romance anyhow.

Find me on Twitter (@KrisKennedy) and Facebook (@KrisKennedyBooks).  Post your own and @ me, and I’ll RT and cheer you on!

Started NaNo 

“NaNo” is short for National Novel Writing Month, where writers from around the globe get together virtually and kick some wordly ass (In case it wasn’t clear, I made the word ‘wordly’ up). The generic Nano goal is 50K words by the end of November.

My goal: rough-finish two contemporaries for the Bella Love name.  Current progress: about 6K

Getting Cover Made

Getting a cover made for the single title release of The King’s Outlaw.  This will be the ‘director’s cut’ extended edition, with some extra scenes that had to be cut from the novella version that appeared in the anthology, Captured by a Celtic Warrior. 

Finalizing Print Version of CLAIMING HER

Completed the text formatting for Claiming Her. Or I should say my buddy Amy Atwell & her company Author EMS  did (and ooohh, it’s so pretty, with the Renegades & Outlaws logo appearing as part of the chapter breaks!)  

Waiting now on the print cover to get done, then I order proofs and see how it looks in hard copy, holding it in my hand.  Once I approve those, it will be ready for purchase, hopefully by Christmas!

Upcoming Giveaway

Joined up with Madeline Martin, writer of Scottish historical romance, in an upcoming giveaway to reward readers and hopefully introduce you to some new historical romance authors. 

“Thankful for Historical Romance Readers” giveaway  will place in a couple weeks. Stay tuned for more info!

Confession: I'm Addicted To Research

I’m addicted to research.  There, I admit it. 

I spend way too much money on research books, and way too much time reading them.  While Oxford University Press should just go ahead and open up a corporate account for me, my husband remains tolerant but unamused. Especially when half the books are for research on a book I’m not even writing. Yet. 

Partly, this is because an author has to know way more about the topics used in her books than she’ll ever actually put on the page, because after all, it’s a story, not a non-fiction treatise.  

This, of course, is my excuse.

It’s the way I permit myself to descend into the rabbit hole of Totally Unnecessary Research.  You can picture me leaping down a large hole, looking over my shoulder, smiling and waving, calling, “I’ll be just a minute!”

I’m never just a minute.  Go on and leave without me.

When I’m at work on the contemporaries, I find myself digging deep into crazy biotech, when I’ve already decided my tech-y secondary character will not be doing BIOtech, just straight coding, computer tech.

And yet…addict.  Because have you ever researched biotech, then thought of ways to twist it to nefarious purposes???  It’s insanely frightening and compelling.

A skirmish with smugglers from Finland at the Russian border, 1853, by Vasily Hudyakov

But my biggest weakness is historical research. Even when writing the contemps, I find myself on websites for medieval spice trade, or with a book sitting open beside me that discusses smuggling in 17th c.

 

These are not useful research topics for a contemporary story, not unless a character in the books happens to be studying the spice trade or the history of smuggling.  Which my hero and heroine are not. 

Although….wait a second….

This can become troublesome.  One must choose a story and proceed, not get distracted by all the other exciting stories she could be telling.

While writing CLAIMING HER, I found myself studying far more than was necessary about how

Wooden tankard found on board the 16th century carrack, Mary Rose.

alcoholic beverages were stored in the late 16th c.  I mean, really.  I needed my heroine to store whisky, and suddenly I’m learning about the history of bottling beer.

Fascinating stuff.

For instance, did you know bottled beer was already used by the late 16th century?  They even used expensive glass to do so (beer was sold in glass bottles in 1561 in Germany), although stoneware was more commonly used.  By the early 1600’s, the practice of bottling beer was well-established, and the debate was on: which is better, bottled beer or beer from a keg?

Do you have a preference?? 

(Note: in 1492, the Scottish Parliament prohibited any adulteration of beer or wine on punishment of death.  Careful out there, beer adulterers.)

Then there’s pocket watches.  Need I say more? 

Okay, I will.

Replica, German pocket watch, 1580.

Sweet, gorgeous, etched and carved pocket watches–with alarms!

By 1524, German inventor Peter Henlein used the invention of mainspring to create watches that did not require falling weights as the source of their power, and voila: portable clocks. 

They caught on quickly. Initially quite bulky and worn around the neck like a pendant, the later adoption of screws reduced their bulk, and by the third-quarter of the 1600’s, were small enough to be housed in, well…a pocket. (fyi, screws used to be made BY HAND, obviously, so individuals were doing the extremely time-consuming task of filing threads and cutting slots in the heads, so screws were of variable thread depth & quality.  The first screw factory in England, in 1776, with a patented screw-making machine, failed miserably. It’s not clear why, though, because…)

Gah!  See, it’s happening as I speak! So much for my parenthesis. One thing leads to another, to another…

Back on topic….I had a wonderful scene where the hero in CLAIMING HER (set in 1589) has a pocket watch, and it totally makes the heroine swoon. Unfortunately, I had to cut it. As it was one of the inspirations for the story, cutting it was like carving out a little part of me. But for various reasons, the pocket watch scene wasn’t going to work, so out it came.

But I kept researching the damned things. Because…addict.

Fortunately, not all is wasted. Maybe none is. Because if the historical detail is organically connected to the story, then it does more than just sit there as a prop.  It bolsters/reveals/reverses something that’s core to the characters. And so I learn something far more important that factoid A or B.  I learn about the hero & the heroine, even if the historical detail must be surgically removed. 

Writing the early versions of the pocket watch scene revealed Aodh & Katarina to me.  Katarina has been stuck out in her lonely castle beyond The Pale for many years, and did not expect this barbaric Irishman to upend her world. To be, in fact, the opposite of barbaric. To bring her etched silver and silk and news from faraway places from men he called friends. To show her maps of unknown worlds. To beam prisms of light into the dark corners of her life, and prove to her anything is possible. Anything at all. Even loving a rebellious, treasonous Irishman.

So, I guess this is why I waste my time.  Because it lights my fire.  And reveals the truths of my characters.

Which maybe doesn’t count as wasted time after all.  

Do you have interests that make you “waste your time”?

Invictus

Waiting eagerly for Michael Stokes’s INVICTUS coffee table picture book, featuring gorgeous, stunning photographs of vets wounded in Iraq & Afghanistan.  So I was super happy to get this little video clip today, updating Kickstarter supporters on its progress.

Check it out!

Good Enough To Eat

“Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time).  It is the only way of discovering what they contain.  A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.”  ~E.M. Forster

Oh, E.M., how I love you. Your insights, your storytelling, your love of characters, your wit. 

 

And yet, we’ve all read those books that are good enough to eat, right??  The ones we feel like we’re sinking down into, as if the story is silk-water. The one when we see its cover, we smile.

 

What’s one of your Good-Enough-To-Eat books?