Please help me welcome Jeffe Kennedy to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s here today celebrating her newest release, The Edge of the Blade (The Uncharted Realms #2, Kensington Publishing, December 27, 2016). If you haven’t picked up her amazing fantasy romance books, I strongly urge you to right away!
Hi Jen and everyone!
It’s always a treat to visit one of my favorite blogs and I particularly enjoy popping in to answer Jen’s questions. Today, as I’m talking about the just released THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, she asked me how my heroine Jepp, became a leading lady.
Amusingly enough, in the same way she became a spy – totally by accident.
When secondary characters emerge in my stories – which is usually by walking onto the page and starting to yak about something – I rarely ever think of them as becoming eventual heroes of their own stories. Indeed, some characters come and go, their lives glancing off the major players and then continuing off on their own paths again. Sometimes I think a new minor character might end up with a significant role, but they… just don’t. Other times a character might hang around in the periphery for a number of books, and then suddenly step forward.
Jepp did the latter. I mean, she’s always been an amusing character to me, what with her mouth and her attitude. But it wasn’t until the final throes of THE TALON OF THE HAWK that I realized she might have her own tale in the future. In fact, my editor saw it before I did, stepping in to save Jepp from certain death at Uorsin’s hand at the very last moment.
When I went to think about next books in the series, I knew that the librarian, Dafne, would have to be the heroine of the next story. Not only because so many readers wrote to me *asking* for her to be next. The story thread led naturally in that direction.
Also, in an interesting, unplanned turn – where the initial trilogy was all about the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last – the next phase in the story of this world and era fell to the non-royals. Dafne and Jepp both are basically support staff to the princesses. They don’t expect to rule anything. Really they don’t expect much in the way of adventuring at all.
Heroic tales are not for the likes of them.
However, as happens in all our lives, there come to be times when we have to step up and answer the call. We might not ask for it, but if there’s no one else to do the job, then it falls to us. Jepp might have been happy being one of Ursula’s Hawks, being an excellent fighter and scout – and indulging herself in sampling the many pleasures life has to offer – but when Dafne is sidelined and Jepp has to take up her mission as a spy to Dasnaria, she does.
Not without a little bitching about it, but she does it. In her own particular style, too. 😉
A HAWK’S PLEDGE
“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 . . .
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.
Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.
Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms, with The Pages of the Mind in May 2016 and The Edge of the Blade in December 2016.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.