Thursday, April 7
Meet Stacey Kennedy!
Tell us a little something about yourself.
My novels are lighthearted fantasy, heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again.
The journey as a writer all began when I was a teen and wrote poetry, which still to this day I pull out to have a good laugh. Later on, I tried a couple of times to put a book together with no such luck. Couldn’t ever get past the first few chapters. But once I was exposed to the paranormal world, ideas came quickly.
At first, it was a way to keep my brain alive since being a stay at home mom can be a little let’s say―numbing. It was an escape from screaming kids, dirty diapers and plain old mom duty. It started as a hobby, but as the stories progressed it became a passion. Now, I indulge at naptime, especially the juicy bits! Every mom needs a good thrill!
I read on your website that besides being an author, you're also a Mom. How do you juggle the two?
Sigh. It’s tough, isn’t it? My rule is this–kids come first. When I’m writing I tend to get zoned in and ignore my kiddies. Which is exactly why I don’t write anything during the summer months they are off. I only write when my daughter is in school, and my son is in preschool–which is 3 days a week. If we have some movie time, I might do a little editing, or catch up on emails, but I never write. Because I’d end up putting on movie after movie to keep writing! Not good!
Luckily, I have a fantastic hubby. So, if a story is really nagging at me and I want to write it, he’ll do something fun with the kids on the weekend to give me some extra time. Yes, he rocks!!
In September, both my kiddies go off to school full time, and I have to admit I’m excited to have so much to write, but I’ll miss them! I’ve enjoyed the 5 years I’ve had being a stay at home mom!
Is there anything you know now as a writer that you'd wish you'd known when you first started?
The list could go on forever. I suppose the biggest thing I wish I knew when I first started writing was how wonderful joining the RWA is. I’m part of the Toronto RWA, the FF&P, and also the Passionate Ink Chapters. How I wished I had this great group around me when I first started out. All the questions I had, all the unknowns could have been answered easily. It’s a great support system and a good way to find out about workshops, contests—just about everything a new writer needs to know.
Have you always enjoyed paranormals, or do you write other genres as well?
I only read urban fantasy/paranormal romance and erotic romance, so it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I would write in these genres. I love powerful werewolves and sexy vampires. I’m writing my first contemporary romance that’s been a blast so far, but venturing out into any other genre I can’t see happening. Sticking to what I love and know has worked out great for me so far. I think I’d embarrass myself if I tried to write a sci-fi or historical. I’ll leave those to the experts!
I noticed your books are part of a series. Did you plan it that way?
Yes, I planned it that way. I love how you can let characters grow in a way that you just can’t get in a Stand Alone story. But most of all, I write series because my books are focused around a woman coming into herself. Owning who and what she is. That acceptance I feel just can’t be found in only one novel. It takes a series of events for the character to discover all there is to know about herself and love who she is.
I do write single titles, but they’re my erotic romances that don’t have that full circle type of feel. All heat—and lots of it.
In writing a series, you have to keep up with previous rules set in the first story. Do you find this hard to do?
To be honest, I love once I have the first novel finished. It’s always the hardest for me because of all the world building. Once that story is fleshed out, the others are easy to write. Somehow I manage to remember everything and usually don’t have trouble keeping to the rules.
Are you a plotter or panster?
I’m a panster all the way. I have no schedule, no plan, no plotting. I just sit down with my laptop and write, open to wherever the story wants to take me. Sometimes this creates difficult edits afterwards as I try and weave it all together to make sure everything makes sense, but I just can’t work any other way.
What's the hardest part of writing for you?
Without a doubt, the hardest part for me is the first three chapters. I LOATHE the beginning of a story. It’s by far my biggest struggle, but luckily it’s gotten easier. Doesn’t mean I don’t still hate writing them. We don’t play nice.
Tell us about the book you'd like to feature here today.
One of my latest releases is WHISPERS OF EVIL ~ The Watchers Book Two. It’s published with Cobblestone Press and is a HOT, paranormal erotic romance. Here’s a little about it:
Nayeli has been locked away, hidden from the world in a mental institution, all due to the whispers of evil which have corrupted her mind. Unbeknownst to her, the voices that have plagued her are a gift given to only one kind―Watchers.
Griffin, her Seeker, is about to break this cage of imprisonment woven around her and give her a new chance at life. But when a demon leaves the confines of Hell to create havoc in Louisiana, will his love for Nayeli free her wounded heart, or will she succumb to the whispers which threaten to steal her soul?
*WARNING: Explicit sex between a timid Watcher and a gorgeous Seeker, and a ceremony that will certainly raise eyebrows!
Buy Link - http://www.staceykennedy.com/books/erotic-romances/the-watchers-series/whispers-of-evil/
How do we reach you?
Don’t be shy, I love to chat!!
Website - www.staceykennedy.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100000956942180
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3473046.Stacey_Kennedy
Twitter - http://twitter.com/Stacey_Kennedy
Authors always tell aspiring writers to "just write and keep on writing." Is there anything you'd like to add to that?
My best advice is find a critique partner. Before you submit your work to a publisher or agent having a fresh set of eyes review it is a must. You’d be surprised at the mistakes you haven’t caught, plot holes that exist and grammar issues you’ve missed. If you don’t have one, get one!!!
Do you have an excerpt you'd like to share with us?
The cold damp air set into Griffin’s bones, or maybe it was the decrepit brown brick building that caused chills to sink into his soul. On the outside, the building needed a complete renovation due to the paint peeling off the posts at the entrance, the foggy glass on the door― withered from time―and the rusted steel bars on the windows. But it wasn’t the building that held his intrigue; it was what lived inside.
“Tell me again what you’re planning on doing?” Paxtyn asked, tucked in behind a large bush.
Griffin steadied the nerves that shook him and glanced at her. The newest Watcher was indeed a powerful woman and had proven herself with regards to her abilities to converse with the dead. Her assistance led to the banishment of Balan, a Prince of Hell, that he suspected, as did they all, had been sent to Earth as a punishment. The fighting had been intense, but all four of his brothers, who now included the new Seeker, Tate, remained standing.
Paxtyn’s personality matched her spitfire looks, though the curly strawberry blonde locks that cradled her face were almost too soft of a shade for her. Dynamic red would have suited her more. Nonetheless, the woman was simply beautiful with turquoise eyes and feminine features. Knox, his brother, counted himself a very lucky man to have her as his Watcher.
Griffin hoped for the same blessing.
When Paxtyn suggested she come along, Griffin didn’t deny her. Now, he rethought that choice. “As I have told you a hundred times now, I plan on going in there and getting my Watcher.”
Paxtyn looked back to the building, then met Griffin’s eyes again. Confusion filled her face. “And just how are you going to do that? Go knock on the door?”
Knox laughed next to her.
Griffin shot him a look to shut it. Of course, his brother, not blood related, but bonded from a long friendship, continued on as if hadn’t seen the look. His grey eyes beamed with his usual confidence. Griffin scowled, earning a wink from his brother before looking back to the building. “I’m not quite sure what to do. It looks as though security will be tight.”
“You fight demons and you’re worrying about what security might lay behind the door of a mental hospital?” Paxtyn chortled.
Griffin ignored her sassy remark and studied the building. The only way in was through the front door. He suspected, if he pulled hard enough on the bars caging the windows, his enhanced strength would remove them. However, it would be loud. His hope was to get in, rescue his Watcher, and run.
Knox let out a long impatient sigh and ran a hand over his short mocha hair. “Griffin, just knock the damn door down and find her.”
It wasn’t the ideal situation. He didn’t want to frighten her by just barging in, snatching her up and running away with her. But, what choice did he have? He stood, decided he was making the right choice. “Are you waiting here?” he asked Paxtyn.
“No,” she replied.
“Yes,” Knox retorted.
Griffin smiled. The two were at a constant tug-of-war about who should be in control of their relationship. It amused him. The Knox he knew wouldn’t stand for a woman ordering him about, but this small woman seemed to stop him in his tracks. He wondered if such would be the case with him.
He’d had women―lots of women. He took them to bed, but cared for none. Not truly anyway. His interest resided in what sat between their legs, nothing more than that. He wondered at times what love was like, felt like, and wondered now if he’d be a man capable of such an emotion. He doubted it. But he hoped to be proven wrong.
“Well, I’m going in there,” Griffin remarked. “Are you going to join me or argue about it out here?”
Paxtyn snorted at Knox before she walked toward the hospital. “We’re going with you.”
Knox let out a loud frustrated groan. He gave Griffin a knowing look. “Are you sure you want to go in there and get yourself one of those?” He pointed to his Watcher as she strode with purpose toward the hospital.
Griffin laughed and nodded. “Yes, my friend, I do.”
A small smile lifted the corner of Knox’s lips. “Well, then―let’s go get her.” He gave Griffin a hard slap on his back.
Of all, Knox would understand Griffin’s urgency here. He’d only found Paxtyn weeks ago. Plus, the friendship born between them made for a bond that wanted the other to find happiness―one that was only obtained from the bond with his Watcher. Griffin had seen the change in Knox, seen the peace, the happiness that now lived in his brother’s eyes. Of course, Knox made a royal mess with Paxtyn at first, because she was left confused by his intentions. Griffin would not make the same mistake.
Quickly, the two men trotted up to Paxtyn’s side as they neared the front doors. She looked back over her shoulder when she met the door. “So, what’s the plan then?”
Griffin raised his foot and kicked the door in one hard fluid movement. “There is no plan.” When the door broke free of its lock, sirens rang out loud around them as he rushed in.
An unmanned desk sat to his left. To his right, a sitting room lay empty at this time of night. Straight ahead was a cement hall with too many doors to count and a horrible stench of sterilizer.
“Do you feel her?” Knox asked, his tone hurried.
Griffin closed his eyes for moment, moving past the scent that made his stomach turn, and concentrated. Yes, he could feel her here, but she felt weak.
“Griffin!” Paxtyn shouted. “Someone will notice us here, hurry up.”
His eyes snapped open. He kept the weak feeling close to his heart and ran straight ahead. The building, previously dark, now lit up around them. Chances were Paxtyn was right, and any minute security guards would be all around them. Not that he was worried any. A good jab to their face would render them unconscious. Still, it wasn’t his intent to hurt anyone if he could help it. The walls passed by him in a blur as the feeling, the pull he could never explain beyond a yearning, yanked him forward.
Knox and Paxtyn stayed right on his heels. “Where is she?” Knox called out above the sirens.
Good question. Her essence was there, subtle, but there. Not to his left, or his right, but right above him. “Upstairs,” he yelled in return. The end of the hall approached, but a keypad to the left indicated the door was locked. He picked up speed, clenched his jaw in preparation, and a foot away, he launched himself at the door, kicking out with both feet. On contact, the door blasted free from its lock, and with the force of his hit, the window glass shattered, raining down up on him as he landed on the floor.
The pain of the glass sliced into his arms, but did not hinder him. Nothing would stop him now. Behind him, Paxtyn and Knox’s feet crunched against the broken shards. He hurried up the stairs, and his breath drew out in quick pants of urgency.
At the top of the staircase, the pull commanded him to increase his speed. He drew closer. His heart pounded in his ears. Soon, he would hold her.
Right on cue, he heard the thumps of footsteps coming down the stairs above him. Quickly, he looked back to Paxtyn. “You need to hide―now.”
Knox didn’t wait. He picked her up around the waist and opened the door next to him. “Hey, put me down,” she squeaked as he threw her in.”
Griffin steadied himself. Waited. Counted down the footsteps that barrelled toward him. By the different sounds created by their weights, three men were approaching.
Knox slammed the door closed. “Damn woman.” Then, he came up to Griffin’s side, cocking his head. “Three.”
“Three,” Griffin repeated. Suddenly three men appeared on the staircase above them with hands on their revolvers. Griffin’s knives felt like heavy weights against their sheaths resting along his black shorts. But his kind saved humans, not injured them so he needed to subdue these men. They didn’t injure them.
“Stop! Freeze!” one of the men called out.
Knox rolled his eyes and snorted.
Griffin chuckled. “We’re not moving.”
“Stop right there,” another one called out.
Griffin could only shake his head and let out a deep breath. He thought they should at least provide some men worth fighting. The idea of fighting this ridiculous display of three heavyset men with stomachs that insinuated they were with child and sweat beading down their foreheads from the short run, was going to embarrass him.
But still, the weapons they held in their hands were a concern. Even as an immortal, he was susceptible to death. If a bullet entered his heart, he would die just as a human would.
Knox held up his hands in surrender. Griffin followed the move. Bringing the men close was ideal.
“Get your hands up,” the third man demanded.
“They’re up,” Griffin retorted and gave a smug smile. He waited, annoyed that they were keeping him away from his Watcher, but he didn’t make his move until the men had them surrounded.
He glanced sideways at Knox, who gave a smile that said what words couldn’t. He was ready. Looking back to the guards, Griffin drew in a deep breath and levelled the one closest to him with a hard jab to head.
The man dropped like dead weight.
Quickly turning, he repeated the move to the other closest to him before the man had a chance to grab his weapon. After the bang against the man’s jaw vibrated off his arm, he dropped unconscious, and just as he went down, Knox sent the other to join him.
“I’d suspect that isn’t all of them,” Knox said, grabbing onto the door handle. “We must be quick here, Griffin.” The door flew open, and Paxtyn stood in the opening, irate.
She gave him a hard punch to the shoulder. “If you ever man-handle me like that again, I will castrate you.”
Knox frowned. “I needed to—”
Her glare deepened, her eyes narrowing. “You needed to what?”
Knox’s lips tightened into a firm thin line, then he sighed deeply and grumbled. “I apologize.”
“That’s right you do.” Her glare met Griffin’s. “You waiting for something or do you plan on going to get her?”
Griffin snapped out of it. Seeing Paxtyn render Knox into an apologetic fool for protecting her left him a little stunned. Will this be how I act once my Watcher joins me? He just couldn’t imagine it. “Right.” He began to run again. “She’s this way.”
Now focused back on the job at hand, the pull returned inside of him―the feeling strong, but the signal sent from her weak. The need to get to her captured him, but something was off. Her essence felt so tired. His feet pounded against the floor, and the stench of antiseptic filled his nose. He opened his mouth to block the disgusting smell.
Halfway down the hall, the power hit him like a blast of electricity. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked to the right. Here.
Without hesitation, he rushed into the room, and his world stopped. He couldn’t have imagined this. The scene was far more horrific than even his mind was capable of producing. Here lay his Watcher, the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen, her ebony hair pulled up in an elastic, but he suspected once let down, her hair would be long. Her thick lashes coated her closed eyes, and he wondered what color lay under her lids. Her lips―plush and pouty. Her body under the white thin nightgown was frail, pale, and made of bones. If he hadn’t seen her chest rising and falling, she’d appear dead.
“Oh my god,” Paxtyn cried out. “What have they done to her?”
Griffin couldn’t take his eyes off of his Watcher. Her hands bound to her sides were strapped to the bed as were her feet. That hair that he thought so beautiful stuck along her face as if she had been screaming, fighting against her shackles. Bruises marked her wrists and ankles, bloody from where she’d pulled to get away.
If he hadn’t sworn to take an oath to defend humans, he’d kill whoever had done this to her. His breath gasped out, snapping him back to the present. He had to get her out of this prison. Rushing forward, he unclipped the restraints on her arms and legs and swept her up in his arms.
He cradled the dead weight in his arms. Her head fell back, and her arms dangled at her sides. Griffin placed his hand around her head to hold it close to his bare chest. The feel of her near him sent a warmth to his heart he’d never known before. But what had been done to her? Why was she held in this manner? Rage consumed him.
He glanced back to Knox, and by the look on Knox’s face, Griffin assumed his eyes looked deadly. “We must go now, before I forget my vows and make those responsible pay.”
Knox nodded, and his brows drew together in displeasure. “I think I agree with you on that point.”
Without looking back, Griffin kept his Watcher tight in his arms. She may have been mistreated, may have even been forgotten, but from this day forward, he would see that she wouldn’t see another day of unhappiness. She’s mine now, and I will keep her safe.