printed copy

The Edge of the Blade: The Uncharted Realms #2

Jeffe Kennedy

ISBN 9781496704269
Publish Date 12/27/2016
Format Trade Paperback
Categories Fantasy, Kensington

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 . . .

Praise for The Mark of the Tala

“Magnificent…a richly detailed fantasy world.” —RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars, Top Pick

“Well written and swooningly romantic.” —Library Journal, starred review

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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