Fire of the Frost
Authors: Darynda Jones, Amanda Bouchet, Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy
Release Date: December 22, 2021
Genre: A midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology
Snippet from Familiar Winter Magic by Jeffe Kennedy:
Iliana shuddered at the thought. She couldn’t bear the prospect of the Betrothal Trials for herself. She didn’t have Nic’s spine, her sheer determination to triumph despite being relegated to the life of a familiar. Iliana didn’t think she could bear to be sequestered for as long as a year, visited by a different wizard suitor each month until one impregnated her and won the right to make her his bonded familiar. Iliana wasn’t exactly surprised Nic had chosen that route. Her MP scores were brilliantly high, so she’d have an exceptional field of High House wizards vying for her. No one so impressive would try for Iliana.
And that was if she could bear for anyone to touch her but Han. She couldn’t even imagine it, since her heart had belonged to him for years.
Naturally she’d never told Han how she felt. He didn’t need more pressure. Given everything he was dealing with, Han didn’t need his best friend pining after him in hopeless and unrequited love. It wasn’t as if he could force himself to unlocking the mysterious faculty that allowed a wizard to access the magic a familiar could only accumulate. The Convocation had a long history of experimentation on familiars, attempting to force that ability. It had resulted in a lot of dead or insane familiars. Fortunately, Convocation law protected them now. It would be lovely to think the Convocation protected familiars out of recognition of their basic rights as human beings, but the Convocation set policies for one reason only: profit. Familiars were far too valuable to be squandered.
Regardless, even as a moderately talented familiar, Iliana was destined for a life of service—to an individual wizard or to the Convocation in some capacity. While it was a lovely fantasy to imagine Han as a wizard, who would then choose her for his familiar, it was only that, a fantasy. Han wouldn’t have much more say in choosing his familiar than Iliana would in choosing her wizard. And, even if his family did let him choose, and if the Convocation approved Iliana as a match, Han might not choose her at all, an even more potentially heartbreaking outcome.
So she’d never acted on her feelings for him, had never asked him if he thought of her as more than a friend. That kiss on her cheek… it still tingled, but her skin couldn’t determine if that had been a kiss of friendly affection or more.
And it didn’t bear contemplating, especially since she had class to attend.
About the Book:
A midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology…
From Darynda Jones, a standalone novella set in a world where vampyres are hunted for sport. The only thing standing between them and total annihilation is Winter, a warrior bred to save them from extinction. Forbidden to fall in love, Winter cares only about her oaths… until she meets the devilish prince of the underworld.
Amanda Bouchet transports The Kingmaker Chronicles to modern-day New York City. An exiled warrior finds himself in the Big Apple just before the holidays. On a vital mission for Athena, he meets an imperiled French teacher from Connecticut, and soon they’re knee-deep in inexplicable phenomena.
Grace Draven brings a novella-length expansion of a stand-alone short story in which a cursed mage-king from a frozen kingdom is obligated to marry a woman of high-ranking nobility but meets his soulmate in a lowly scribe.
From Jeffe Kennedy comes a standalone novella in the Dark Wizard world, where an ancient holiday is resurrected and clandestine lovers find the courage to pursue forbidden joy.
About the Author:
About Jeffe Kennedy
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has won the prestigious RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America (RWA), has been a finalist twice, been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
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. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, was nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and was a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The final novel in the series, The Fate of the Tala, released in February 2020, along with a short novel epilogue, The Lost Princess Returns. A high fantasy trilogy, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world began releasing from Rebel Base books in 2018. The novella, The Dragons of Summer, first appearing in the Seasons of Sorcery anthology, finaled for the 2019 RITA Award.
Kennedy also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, The Forests of Dru, Oria’s Enchantment, and Lonen’s Reign. And she released a contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince and Since Last Christmas.
In September 2019, St. Martins Press released The Orchid Throne, the first book in a new romantic fantasy series, The Forgotten Empires. The sequel, The Fiery Crown, followed in May 2020, and culminated in The Promised Queen in May 2021.
Most recently, Kennedy has released two new series. The epic fantasy romances in the Heirs of Magic series include The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon, The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince, The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue, and the upcoming The Dragon’s Daughter and the Winter Mage (September 2021), and The Storm Princess and the Raven King (February 2022). The Bonds of Magic series are dark fantasy romances and include, so far, Dark Wizard, Bright Familiar, and Grey Magic (December 2021)
Kennedy’s other 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.
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 Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.