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The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark Of The Tala #1

Jeffe Kennedy

ISBN 9780758294449
Publish Date 5/27/2014
Format ePub
Categories Fantasy/Para

RT Awards Nominee
Seal of Excellence Book of the Year

Queen Of The Unknown

The 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. . .

About Jeffe Kennedy:

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 the Facets of Passion series, has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up, Platinum, is 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.  She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy. 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 or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

Master of the Opera Blog by Jeffe Kennedy

When my agent asked me in the late summer of 2012 if I’d be interested in pitching an idea for an erotic serial novel, I knew immediately what it should be.

I have long had a thing for the Phantom of the Opera.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version came out while I was in college. I grew up in Denver and went to undergraduate in St. Louis. Those last couple of years, I made the endless drive across Kansas and Missouri multiple times by myself while listening to the original London cast score of Phantom…over and over.

I may get a little obsessive from time to time like this, and one boyfriend from that era even cited it as a reason to break up with me.

At any rate, I memorized that soundtrack and I worked up in my head how I would choreograph a waltz scene to the song The Music of the Night. It pained me I am neither a singer nor a choreographer—with little talent in either direction—so my vision would be unlikely to come true. Still, I obtained a copy of Gaston Leroux’s book and read everything else about the original legends that circulated for decades, at least before Leroux set them down.

This is an old and deeply compelling tale.

Let’s face it; the relationship between Christine and the Phantom, Erik, is fraught with all the sexual tension and forbidden lure of a doomed love affair. It begged to be explored more deeply. It’s a profoundly erotic story and deserved to be treated as such.

And then I got my chance.

An almost magical serendipity then occurred. My agent’s suggestion for an erotic serial coincided with my idea for a Phantom retelling, so I worked the idea into that format. Then I discovered that Gaston Leroux’s original novel had also been serialized. In fact, according to Peter Haining’s foreword in my 1985 edition, the novel was not well received until it was serialized in the newspapers in France, England and America.

Clearly some dark and mysterious forces were at work.

With the advent of eReaders and more pervasive digital publishing, serialization is seeing a comeback much in the same way inexpensive and easy availability of newspapers created the market for serialization back at the turn of the century. Many people had no access to novels, but they could read the latest chapter of Dickens in the weekly paper.

I remember reading about serialized stories in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a girl and I thought then how cool it would be to anticipate the next piece of the story, to savor the delicious suspense of having to wait for my questions to be answered.

I mean, I’m as impatient a reader as the next person. If I’m really into a story, I’ll gobble it down as fast as possible.

And then it’s over and I’m sad.

A tale like the Phantom’s lends itself well to this kind of slow, suspenseful retelling. The serialization forces us to slow down, to savor and to wonder. To ponder the clues and imagine how it all might end.

I’ll give you a hint: it’s delicious.


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