Dream Casting the Movie

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We all love dreaming that books we love will be movies someday, don’t we?

It’s funny because, when “they” finally do make a movie of that favorite book, all us faithful readers pout and sulk about all the ways it’s just RONG.

There’s just no pleasing us, is there?

Really, it’s because we have so much love. We want the movie up there, so we can see the story play out as it did in our heads while we read it. But then, it never quite looks the same.

Being a Hollywood casting director must be a fascinating job – I’m always so interested in who they choose to play characters, especially well-loved ones. I’m not sure I’d be any good at it.

I sometimes get asked how I’d cast the Covenant of Thorns movies. This is difficult for me, because I rarely associate my characters with actual human beings – or actors, for that matter. ;-) They live in my head, but I see them as themselves. So, when I recently struggled with this question, I asked my readers.

The responses were SO FUN.

There have been debates on who the guy on the covers looks most like, especially on the Rogue’s Pawn cover. I’ve heard Keanu Reeves

and Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on Game of Thrones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or Joe Manganiello, because of his role as Alcide on True Blood.

 

 

 

 

But, when I played Ask the Readers: Who Should Play Rogue??? Guess what the overwhelming answer was?

Oh yeah.

Richard Armitage.

He’s got all the high cheekbones and broody intensity of Rogue.

Gwynn was harder. After all, the stories are told from her point of view, so we don’t see her as much. My editor, Deb Nemeth, weighed in with this great description:

Gwynn needs an actress who projects intelligence, intensity/power, has great comic timing & sexy voice & can pull off steamy.

Who did she pick for that?

Emma Stone.

How much do I love that she sees the witty, self-possessed and utterly fabulous Emma Stone as Gwynn? So very, very much!

So, I know all of you have opinions. After all, you’ve been patiently waiting for this sequel for over a year!

Who would you cast as Rogue and Gwynn?

What about some of the other characters. Who should play Darling??? Add links to your comments, so we can all go look!

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Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in Facets of Passion has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up books, Platinum and Ruby, are climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency. The first book in Covenant of Thorns, Rogue’s Pawn, has won numerous awards and the highly anticipated sequel, Rogue’s Possession, releases this fall.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com,  and on Twitter and Facebook.

Bobby Prejean’s Gingerbread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

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When my editor, the amazing Deb Nemeth, sent me the final version of Ruby, she whined a little bit. With this story taking place in New Orleans, and with the hero being a passionate chef in a five-star French Quarter restaurant, there’s a lot of food. Food as seduction, in particular.

I made her really hungry.

To throw her a bone, I sent her one of my hero’s recipes. She told me I *had* to post this for everyone.

So, download a copy of Ruby here, make a batch of Bobby Prejean’s gingerbread pudding with bourbon sauce, and settle in for some serious indulgence.

 

Ingredients

2.5 c + 2 t All Purpose Flour
2.5 t ground ginger
1.25 t cinnamon
1 t salt
5 oz crystallized ginger, chopped
1.5 sticks butter
½ c light molasses
2 t baking soda
6 eggs
½ c raisins
1/3 c + 2 T bourbon
1.5 c whole milk
1.25 c sugar
¾ c + 3 T whipping cream
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Butter 13X9 pan.
Sift together 2.5 c flour, ground ginger, 1 t cinnamon, salt. In another bowl, mix crystallized ginger with 2 t flour. In another bowl, beat 1 stick of butter till fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat. In another bowl, mix molasses with 1 c of boiling water and baking soda. Stir the molasses mixture into the butter mix. Stir in flour mixture. Add 1 beaten egg and the crystallized ginger mix. Pour into pan. Bake 15 minutes, reduce to 350 and bake ~12 minutes more, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 30 minutes, turn out and cool. Can be made ahead. (As with all bread puddings, it’s better if the bread is slightly stale.)

Combine raisins and 1/3 c bourbon. Soak 30 min and drain.

Preheat oven to 375.

Put gingerbread, in 1” pieces, in bowl. Whisk milk, ¾ c sugar, ¾ c cream, 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over gingerbread. Add raisins. Transfer to 9X5X3 glass dish. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake ~30 minutes, until golden.

Melt ½ stick butter on medium heat. Whisk in ½ c sugar, 3 T whipping cream & 2 T bourbon. Add a pinch of salt. Simmer ~3 min, until thickened.

I’ve made this a few times and it’s delicious! It’s also worth it to double or triple the bourbon sauce, because it’s like gravy – there’s never too much.

Enjoy!
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 fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in Facets of Passion has placed first in multiple romance contests.
Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency. A fourth series, The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves in 2014. A spin-off story from this series, Negotiation, appears in the Thunder on the Battlefield anthology.
An avid user of social media, Jeffe engages daily with thousands of fans on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. She frequently guests on publishers’ Twitter-feeds and reviewers’ blogs.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

The Most Fun Research Ever

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When my editor, the fabulous and insightful Deb Nemeth, emailed to tell me the good news that Carina was excited to be publishing Platinum, she also mentioned a few “little fixes.” Most were very easy, but one sent me for a whirl.

I’d set the story in Charleston, S.C., a lovely, historic city by sea, and she wanted more ambience. More details, more specifics of how it feels to be there.

Now, Deb is always right. (She claims that she isn’t, but she is.) And I knew what was bothering her. I’d been to Charleston, but it was years and years ago. My memories had gone stale. When I mentioned this to my friends, they all said “Great excuse for weekend trip to Charleston!”

Yeah, right.

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is *not* close to South Carolina. So, instead, I did what I do best – I fretted. I looked up stuff online. I played with maps and photos, but none of it felt write. I tried to revise, but I just couldn’t FEEL it.  So I fretted some more.

Finally, my husband got tired of listening to the fretting and said, “Why don’t you just go already?”

I gave him my same lines about time and money and he just shook his head at me and said, “You have to do what you have to do.”

So I went.

I managed to tack a weekend by myself in Charleston onto a day job trip – and it was amazing. Everything fell into place.

An art gallery owner referred me to a friend who lives above her gallery – and that became Althea’s apartment. I found her neighborhood and a shop that could be her neighbor.

 

 

 
The side paths and courtyards, the stately old mansions by the sea all reminded me.

 

 


 

 

 

 

I saw the window boxes of flowers.

 

 


Had dinner where Althea and Abby meet up, under the old magnolia tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 
And found the house that could belong to Brandon’s mother out on Sullivan’s Island.

All in all, it was money and time well spent. I hope I managed to work in just a bit of how this city looks, sounds, tastes, smells and feels. Althea and Steel’s story is very much about the landscape and the different faces of the culture that shaped them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Platinum
Althea Grant is doing fine. Sure, her Charleston gallery is suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere. But she’s happy enough. When rugged metal sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual-and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes. Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr that can be used for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the coolly polite lady into modeling for him is the second. As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all-it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?

You can buy Platinum on the Carina Press Website, on Amazon (including an Audible version!) and on Barnes & Noble.

About Jeffe
Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. A BDSM novella, Petals and Thorns, came out in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, erotic shorts in the Blood Currency series—Feeding the Vampire and Hunting the Siren—have come out from Ellora’s Cave. Carina Press is publishing the Facet of Desire series, which includes Sapphire, Platinum and soon, Ruby. Her fantasy romance novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, came out in July, 2012, and will soon be followed by two more. An e-serial—an erotic modernization of The Phantom of the Opera—will release from Kensington Press soon, followed by a new three-book adult fantasy series.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for a professional acupuncturist.
Find her on Facebook and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website.

Rogue’s Pawn – How An Ugly Duckling Became a Swan

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I know every author gets excited about release day. And release day for each book is special, each in its own way.

But this is huge for me.

Seeing Rogue’s Pawn enter the world of readers is an emotional moment for me, the end of a long and often painful journey. You’ve all heard these kinds of stories – how long it took to write, even longer to sell. You always hope for the happy ending.

This is mine.

See, I first had an idea for this story back in 1995. Maybe it was before that, but I’ve found notes and fragments of scenes that date back to that year. I wrote them on my ancient Apple computer wedged into the corner of the bedroom. I had pitiful writing habits, little understanding of craft and no idea how to write a novel. I finally – and proudly – finished a draft nearly twelve years later, in 2007. In between that time, I’d gotten proficient at writing essays, had published them in big magazines like Redbook, and published an essay collection with a university press – but I’d never forgotten this haunting idea. So, I’d drag out the novel yet again. I learned to write long.

I took my newly minted novel and started shopping it. I sent it to Stephenie Meyer’s agent with high hopes that I had another Twilight on my hands.

Yeah – I hear you all groaning for me.

I actually did amazingly well with the agents for right off the bat – they liked my concept and my credentials – but they all came back saying that it needed work and that it was too different.

So I worked on it. I did two major overhauls and countless minor revisions. I kept sending it out. Some agents read it twice. Though they stopped saying that it needed work, they all told me they had no idea how to market it. It wasn’t sword and sorcery fantasy. It wasn’t paranormal romance. It wasn’t urban fantasy. Nobody was sure what it was – just what it wasn’t.

This story I’d worked on for so long, that I loved so much – was just too weird to sell.

Fortunately I had the benefit of good friends. Early readers told me what they loved and to keep going. Contest judges told me it was a hard sell, but that I’d do it some day. Catherine Asaro, a pioneer in science fiction from a more feminine point of view, told me I’d written a nearly classic fantasy, but from a very female perspective. She said selling it would be like wading through waist-deep snow.

I swear – I nearly got frostbite.

And then Carina Press bought it. Bless their adventurous spirit! From my fabulous and insightful editor, Deb Nemeth, to the very savvy excutive editor Angela James, and all the Carina acquisitions team, especially the inimitable Malle Vallick – they all have the courage and vision to take on books like this. Stories that don’t fit the mold.

Rogue’s Pawn hit the reviewers a month ago.

I held my breath, afraid that readers really would find it just too weird.

And I’ve gotten comments like:

“I adored the absolute creativity and rareness this supernatural romance offers its readers; it definitely is not your average Fae story.”

“It brought a new life to both the story and character that I haven’t seen in many novels to-date.”

“…a very unique read…”

“This book really took me by surprise by how much I liked it even though it was pretty unusual and quirky.”

All of this just does my heart good. I even love the reader who didn’t like it because she thought it was too “Fifty Shades of Fae” – if only she knew how long ago this story started!

So, all of this is a long-winded way of saying thank you. Of offering my immense gratitude to everyone who believed in this book and encouraged me. And now to all you readers, for receiving my weird book with such open-hearted love for something unusual.

Blue stargazer lilies for everyone!

Or at least a copy of Rogue’s Pawn – which you can buy here on Carina.

Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, an erotic short, Feeding the Vampire, and another erotic novella, Sapphire, have hit the shelves. Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, will be published in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training.

Find her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy) and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website http://jeffekennedy.com/.

 

Better BDSM

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You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, and I’ve been watching this phenomenon with great interest.  It seems to appeal to a group of women who are perhaps new to erotica, and BDSM in particular. And boy, are they atwitter!

Now I’ve been reading erotica with BDSM elements for a long time, and I’m puzzled by all the buzz. I’m not going criticize the quality of the writing, or the fact that the book originated as fan fic (a lot has been said already on those subjects). What troubles me is how the book treats BDSM as a pathology (it’s suggested the Dominant’s inclinations stem from his abuse as a child). It seems to miss the point that BDSM can be an incredibly erotic, empowering, consensual part of a relationship. It’s something that some women enjoy and, I suspect, many fantasize about. You can be a feminist and still enjoy a little spanking, really!

One of our recent Carina Press titles treats this subject in a very healthy, sexy way: Jodie Griffin’s Forbidden Fantasies. The heroine is a married woman who can’t stop thinking about the hot new world she’s recently discovered in the pages of erotic romance novels. When she musters up the courage to share her fantasies with her husband, she’s pleasantly surprised by his reaction. This is a book that manages to be hot and sweet at the same time, and in no way offends the feminist in me.

If you’re looking for more “better BDSM” may I also suggest these titles:

A Shot in the Dark by Christine d’Abo

Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy

Touch Me by Callie Croix

Enjoy. That’s an order!

Do you read BDSM? Please share your favorite titles in the comments.

Curious? Explore Harlequin’s  “Curious Reader’s Guide to Erotic Romance”

Naughty and So Very Nice

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I confess: I’ve always harbored a secret love for naughty books.

I know, I know. We’re grown-ups now. I can own up to this in public. You all understand, don’t you?

But when I was younger, I had to be much more circumspect. Sneaky, even. I think it started around sixth grade when I found my mom’s copy of The Joy of Sex. Oh yeah, I did. After school, in the couple of hours I was trusted to be home by myself (ha!), I would slip into her bedroom, rummage through her bedside table and get out the book. I read it cover to cover. More than once. But even then, the image that electrified me was the drawing of a woman tied to the bed.

It gave me all kinds of crazy feelings. And I wondered if it was wrong to find it sexy.

As I grew older, I found other books, other stories. I discovered Anais Nin, The Story of O and Anne Rice’s Beauty series. I gobbled them, always with a delicious sense of the illicit. As a very strong and independent woman, I thought maybe I shouldn’t find this kind of naughtiness oh so very attractive.

But I am a grown-up now. I still find it fascinating, what makes a strong woman want to give in, to give up control. That’s why I wanted to write about Taylor and Kirliss. He’s attracted to her strength and her smarts. With him, she’s able to allow herself to enjoy the dark intimacy she can’t bring herself to ask for.

I’d love to give a copy of Sapphire away to a commenter. Tell me about the first naughty book you read and how you found it. I’ll never tell.

Sapphire is here!

Or, if you’re a Kindle girl, like me, you can get it from Amazon here.

Jeffe took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, <i>Petals and Thorns</i>, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training.</p> <p>Find her on Facebook (<a href=” />https://www.facebook.com/jeffe.kennedy) and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website http://jeffekennedy.com/.

Curious? Explore Harlequin’s  “Curious Reader’s Guide to Erotic Romance”