Friday, May 23, 2014

NA Romantic Fantasy - The Mark of the Tala - Author Jeffe Kennedy Interview & #Giveaway!

What can be better than an author you love writing a new series? When that series happens to be in a new genre for said author and you completely fall in love with it! Want to know who just accomplished that? Welcome our guest today, Jeffe Kennedy!

Jeffe: Thanks Lexi! I’m so thrilled at how excited people are for this series. I really love it, too.

Lexi: Jeffe, your books are well known to be scorchingly hot. Some are erotic, some have a little paranormal thrown in to spice things up, but they all have instant chemical reactions. A trade mark of yours if you will. So when I began The Mark of the Tala and realized that it had a New Adult vibe I wondered if I would see the mark of your talented chemical reactions. I was so not disappointed! Was it different writing the bedroom scenes between Andromeda and Rayfe?

Jeffe:  I didn’t know I had a trademark! But, yes, I do believe in instant chemistry. When I wrote The Mark of the Tala (a couple of years ago), NA wasn’t really a “thing” yet. I *was* trying to write YA, kinda sorta. See, one of my critique partners (CP) wrote YA and she thought I could do a YA voice. Several agents had said as much, too, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. My CP said all I had to do was “close the curtains.” Just get the characters to the bedroom scene, she said, then close the curtains. I did just fine until I hit a certain scene *ahem* and ended up messaging my CP later: DRAMATIC FAILURE TO CLOSE THE CURTAINS.

The thing was, I couldn’t not write those scenes between Andi and Rayfe. I *had* to have them in there. Yes, they were fun to write – Rayfe is pretty smoking, I think – but those scenes also felt crucial to me to show the changes in their relationship and their growing intimacy. 

Lexi: Andi (Andromeda) and Rayfe’s story has a NA feel but it truly doesn’t matter what label you give it because the story is exciting and moving. Andi has been raised with certain prejudices only to meet a strange man, Rayfe, who turns her whole life about. Not to mention he shows her what she is capable of. No spoilers here sorry dear readers. Did you set out to write a NA series? Or did the fantasy thing just take over and thus you created The Mark of the Tala?

Jeffe:  Oops – I answered some of this above. So, no, I did not set out to write NA. In fact, I rarely set out to write any particular genre. My effort to kinda sorta make this YA initially came after I already had the characters and basic story in mind. I always knew it would be fantasy-ish, because I had such a strong idea about my three princesses and the fairytale tropes involved. And Kensington calls it Fantasy, plain and simple.

Lexi: This is new for you as well, working with Kensington books. Is it everything you dreamed it would be? Long lengthy time frames, deadlines, and far reaching future release dates? Kidding, but it is different than your previous book releases.

Jeffe:  It’s very different working with a traditional publisher instead of my digital ones (primarily Carina Press now). The time frame IS longer – though not nearly as much as some writers experience. The deadline thing doesn’t feel any different, and far-reaching future release dates are the same. Surprising to me, I do find it different to have a trade paperback release. Some of it might be the genre, too, but I find that this book is being taken more seriously. Kensington is really doing a great deal to promote it and it was very fun to have (absolutely gorgeous!) paper copies to give away at RT. I’m loving working with Kensington!

Lexi: I for one am very glad that Kensington saw the potential in this series. You have started us out with Andi’s story and next you will tell of her two sisters. Three very different siblings and I have a feeling three very different stories to tell. Do you have a favorite yet?

Jeffe:  Right, The Tears of the Rose is next – the story of Amelia, the
youngest and most beautiful princess – and then the eldest princess, the Heir, Ursula’s book, The Talon of the Hawk. They are all very different! And it’s hard to pick a favorite because I love them all. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Tears was not easy to write because Amelia is not a very likable person to begin with. She’s pretty selfish and spoiled, very wrapped up in her own troubles. But I love the way she grows and changes. I particularly love her hero. (A major tease there, I know.) That one is mostly done, except for final edits. Right now I’m writing Talon so I’m really in Ursula’s head. I’ve discovered many surprising things about her that I didn’t expect. She’s my favorite at the moment, mostly because I’m living her life. And it hasn’t been an easy one. I’m all full of feels for her.

Lexi: At least we only have to wait until December 2014 for The Tears of the Rose! You went and set the bar pretty high with Rayfe. Do you think the hero of book two can compete with the King?

Jeffe:   Hee. I keep anticipating your questions! The hero of Tears is a totally different kind of guy than Rayfe. So, I think there’s no competition because he stands on his own. That said, one of my CPs just loves loves loves this guy. He’s really perfect for Amelia, in many ways, which is what’s most important. 

Lexi: Congratulations on your exciting release Jeffe! And thanks for stopping by to talk about it! Come back for book two, we will see if we can wine some spoilers out of you!

Jeffe: I’m always willing to give spoilers, if you *really* want them!

Lexi: And that is why we love Jeffe Kennedy! Another reason to love her...she is offering up a *signed* copy of The Mark of the Tala for one of our US/Canada readers, and one digital copy for our International readers! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave Jeffe a comment. Do you love a little fantasy mixed in with your NA? Have you read her erotic books and can't wait to see her new release?

Title: The Mark of the Tala

Series: The Twelve Kingdoms #1

Author: Jeffe Kennedy

Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Published: May 27th 2014 by Kensington

ISBN13: 9780758294432
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Queen Of The UnknownThe tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.
Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.
In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.
For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .


Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. 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 essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns;  the contemporary BDSM novellas of theFacets of Passion, and an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

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:, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter@jeffekennedy. She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. While I've not yet read any of Jeffe Kennedy's other work, I will seek it out now that I'm aware of it! I definitely dig the concept of blending fantasy with NA -- and totally relate to Andi's enjoying the company of her horse more than court.

  2. Thanks Katherine - I hope you like it!

  3. love fantasy mixed in and no i have not read her books yet

  4. I have not read this author's other work, but would LOVE too! I do like to read erotica and NA :)

  5. Thanks Leslie and Rachael - so pleased the book sounds good to you! :-)

  6. I haven't read much NA. I have not read any of her books yet.

  7. NA is still really new to me so I'm glad to find a non-contemp one!

  8. I love fantasy mixed in.
    I have not read anything else by this author yet.
    Thanks for the chance to win!


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