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Showing posts by: Jeffe Kennedy click to see Jeffe Kennedy's profile
Jul 27 2017 1:00pm

The Language of Praise and How We Talk About the Books We Love

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We all love to gush over the books we love, right?

We have our squeeing, our fangirl meltdowns, our all-caps commentary, fights over book boyfriends, and all of that love to express.

But actual reviews are hard to write, yes? I know I have a really hard time explaining why I loved a book. I have mad respect for reviewers and book bloggers who find ways to express exactly what about a book made them stay up until the wee hours reading, or what exactly gave them the pleasure/pain of a solid book hangover.

Praising something we love takes a great deal of skill and concerted effort. I was thinking about this recently, after seeing a panel at a convention.

This panel was the brainchild of some passionate readers who wanted to talk about long-term relationships in fantasy series. I went because, hello! This is one of my favorite things. The slow-building romance and exploration of a relationship that deepens over time is totally my crack. An author who does it well gives me a series I can look forward to, along with a love story that doesn’t end with the “I love you” moment. I want my HEA as much as any romance reader, but I want to be a part of the ongoing relationship, to find out what’s out there beyond that sunset they ride off into.

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Jun 19 2017 12:00pm

Two Different Authors, One Very Sexy Hero—The Alpha!

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Today we're thrilled to welcome not one but two authors to Heroes and Heartbreakers—Anne Calhoun (Turn Me Loose) and Jeffe Kennedy (With a Prince). It's always a great coincidence when two authors are not only friends but have books releasing on the same day. Anne and Jeffe are here to talk about their love of the alpha hero and what they loved about each other's heroes! Thanks, Anne and Jeffe!

Romance readers love a wounded hero. We love our book boyfriends to be alpha, brusque, stoic, able to beat off the bad guys with their meaty fists or arsenal of lawyers. But the very best part is discovering what’s hiding under the hero’s gruff exterior. What soft, chewy center awaits the heroine who perseveres to chew through his tough shell?

Romances are all about that most human of journeys: from identity (the surface they present to the world) to essence (their true selves, the ones they trust to almost no one). We keep our inner selves secret, and no one does this better than a romance novel hero. Whether the situation calls for a lighthearted “fake fiance for my BFF’s wedding” or a wounded soul striving for justice and honor, romance novel heroes almost always carry a deep wound and - like most guys - aren’t exactly excited to talk about their true feelings.

But finding love requires vulnerability connection. It's only through the breaking down of the hero’s walls that he's able to love. It's not saving the girl, or signing the billion dollar contract, or winning the Oscar, that makes him able to love and be loved it's those moments when he says this is what hurt me in the past and she says I see that and love you anyway. Or even better, I love you because those things happened in your past. They made you who you are today.

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May 1 2017 1:00pm

Romance and The Handmaid’s Tale Explore a Woman’s Worth

The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

Today we're thrilled to have Jeffe Kennedy (The Edge of the Blade) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Jeffe's The Edge of the Blade has an independent heroine who is introduced to a culture where women are sequestered from men and treated like property. In many ways it mirrors the society of The Handmaid's Tale. Jeffe is here to talk about the unexpected intersection between the themes in The Handmaid's Tale and the themes that are often explored in romance. Thanks, Jeffe!

The first three episodes of the new Handmaid’s Tale miniseries debuted this week on Hulu. This updated version of Margaret Atwood’s classic novel stars Elisabeth Moss, of Madmen fame. As in that show, Moss plays a woman relegated to a secondary—or even lower—role in the world because she’s a woman. In The Handmaid’s Tale, however, her situation is far darker and frightening. In fact five of the six current IMDB plot keywords are sexism, slavery, tyranny, theocracy, and dystopia. (The sixth is “based on novel.”)

The first two episodes show the near-future world as it is, post-crisis. Moss’s character, Offred—which is not her given name, now forbidden to her, but is derived from the man she belongs to, Fred, “of Fred,”—lives a cloistered existence as a “handmaid” in the household of a party leader. His wife, like so many, is infertile, and Offred is one of the few women who is proven fertile. She bore a live and healthy daughter before the party’s ascendance to power, a girl who was later taken away from her. In a ritualized ceremony, Offred lies embraced in the wife’s arms while the husband inseminates her in the traditional way. She is the bridge between them, a vessel to conceive and bear their child.

The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu

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Dec 7 2016 12:00pm

Jeffe Kennedy Excerpt: The Edge of the Blade

Jeffe Kennedy

The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders—until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge...

Jepp has been the heart of the queen’s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince’s bed.

But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader—and Jepp’s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral’s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives—and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him...

Get a sneak peek at Jeffe Kennedy's The Edge of the Blade (available December 27, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Done,” Trond pronounced, then—Danu bless him—covered Kral with a blanket. An opulent one, embroidered in metallic threads with intricate designs on the burgundy silk that matched pillows mounded behind him, all similar shades to the Hákyrling’s sails. Kral’s signature color. “Being quiet until those creatures disperse will do you good, General. If you don’t reopen the wounds, they ought to heal clean quite quickly. All right, Ambassador Rekjabrel, let’s see those hands.”

“Don’t you have an office or somewhere we can go?”

“I am a moving medic. Dasnarians have no leisure to sit in offices and be tended to.”

[Read the full The Edge of the Blade excerpt...]

May 25 2015 11:00am

The Talon of the Hawk: Exclusive Excerpt

Jeffe Kennedy

The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

Get a sneak peek at  Jeffe Kennedy's The Talon of the Hawk (available May 26, 2015) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

In the banquet hall, Uorsin sat already at the High Table—nothing unusual there, as he often arrived early, which allowed the courtiers the opportunity to circle by, share a toast, and discuss in conversation matters not suitable for either informal or formal court. However—gratingly unusual—the Dasnarian captain also sat at the table.

I made certain to give no sign that I’d taken note of it, as many sets of eyes scrutinized me to see if I would. The seating arrangement of the High Table echoed that of the throne room, with the King’s chair—the largest and heaviest—at the center. My chair had always been to his right, Salena’s long-abandoned chair to his left, with Andi’s after that and Amelia’s next to hers. When Ami married Hugh, a chair was added to her left. Now, though my seat remained empty for me, another chair had been added to the right of mine.

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