Friday, August 7, 2015

NEW WEBSITE FOR KAYE THORNBRUGH

That’s right—I’m moving! Well, actually, I’ve already moved.

From now on, you can find everything at my shiny new website:



I’ll see you there!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Flicker series is getting a facelift!

That’s right! Very soon, I’m going to reveal the all-new covers for Flicker, Brightly and Lights!

Why redesign the covers? Actually, a lot went into this decision. As much as I love the current covers—and as much hard work as they’ve done for me—I believe the books would be better served by a different look.

First of all, the old covers give off more of a romance vibe than an urban fantasy vibe. Because of that, some readers go in expecting a lot more romance than there is. The new covers have a much stronger fantasy vibe, and I think they’re a better reflection of what you’ll get when you read the books.

Second, with only Lee on the current covers, you get the impression that she’s the single most important character. In reality, of course, there’s an ensemble cast and multiple POV characters. The new covers reflect that much more accurately: Each cover features a different character.

Also, the new covers will feature original model photography by the very talented Christine Woeller—which means that these covers will be totally unique!

I’m about to order proof copies of the redesigned Flicker and Brightly paperbacks—and as soon as they’re in my hands, I’m going to share photos of them with you. I can’t wait for you to see them! They’re beautiful!


The cover of Lights is more of a special case: I’m going to unveil it during my reading at Sasquan in August, and after that, the cover will go live on my blog and Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Release Day: A FAERIE'S SECRET by Rachel Morgan

Fans of Rachel Morgan's Creepy Hollow series finally get to begin a new adventure today with the release of the fourth book, A Faerie's Secret!



Calla Larkenwood wants nothing more than to be a guardian, but her overprotective mother has never allowed it. When circumstances change and Calla finally gets to join a Guild, she discovers guardian trainee life isn’t all she hoped it would be. Her classmates are distant, her mentor hates her, and keeping her Griffin Ability a secret is harder than she thought. Then an initiation game goes wrong, landing Calla with a magical ability she can’t control. She needs help—and the only way she can get it is by bargaining with the guy who just discovered her biggest secret.

"This fast-paced story quickly gripped me in its clutches" 
~ CHERIE REICH, AUTHOR OF THE FATE CHALLENGES SERIES

"Calla is sassy, determined and knows what she wants. ... she was a fantastic character!" 
~ KEZ'S KORNER

"There's plot twist after plot twist after world-shattering plot twist. ... It's safe to say, this is one of the most impacting endings I have ever experienced." 
~ CASSANDRA, GOODREADS EARLY REVIEWER



FACEBOOK CELEBRATION PARTY!

Come and join the Facebook party tomorrow night, starting at 4pm EDT. There will be prizes from other authors, a "spoiler" thread where you can talk about the book with other readers if you've finished reading it by then, and LOTS of prizes from Rachel!



ABOUT RACHEL


Rachel Morgan is a South African author who spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her--after all, they didn't approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart. 
She is the author of the bestselling Creepy Hollow series, and the lighthearted contemporary romance Trouble series.


Friday, May 8, 2015

REVIEW: Rise (Paper Gods #2.5) by Amanda Sun


Rise is FREE on Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble!

Synopsis: A long, long time ago, before the world was as we know it, Izanami and Izanagi came into being. Two of the first of the ancient gods of Japan, they crafted the world from ink and their own imaginations. Izanagi wants, more than anything, to be with Izanami—but one moment of pride could tear them apart forever.

Yuki and Tanaka have been friends for as long as they can remember, but lately deeper feelings have been bubbling under the surface. How do they navigate the transition from friendship to true love without destroying the powerful bond between them?

Set a millennia apart, can these two couples, living parallel love stories, find their happily-ever-afters?

Review:

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Paper Gods series, a dark paranormal trilogy set in modern Japan. I devoured the first two novels (you can read my review of book two, Rain, here), and the prequel novella, Shadow. When I found out about Rise, I may or may not have squealed in undignified delight.

What’s better than a novella about two of my favorite characters to tide me over until the release of the final book? A free novella about two of my favorite characters!

Rise is actually two stories in one, woven together, alternating between chapters. Half the novella tells of the tragic romance of Izanagi and Izanami, as well as the origin of the ink. The other half is the modern story of Yuki and Tanaka. That’s the part I was really excited to read.

One of my favorite elements of the Paper Gods is the well-developed cast of secondary characters. Too often, secondary characters seem more like props than real people, placed strategically in the narrative to help or hinder the heroes at the appropriate moment. Best-friend characters, especially, seem to have nothing to do but lie around and wait for the protagonist to call.

In the Paper Gods series, however, I really get the sense that the secondary characters have rich inner lives. If you just turned the camera on them, you’d find that they have their own stories to tell and their own problems to navigate, even if those problems aren’t supernatural (at least, not yet). Amanda Sun takes care to include the little details that go a long way toward building a well-rounded character—like how Tanaka practices calligraphy and plays baseball, and how his favorite American TV series is Lost.

The secondary characters’ lives don’t revolve around the protagonists, Katie and Tomo; rather, their lives run parallel, connected but independent. Each character—Yuki, Tanaka, Myu, Shiori, my love and my darling Satoshi, who I desperately want to have his own short story or novella—is the protagonist of his or her own story. We just don’t see it all “on-screen.”

Except in Rise, we do! In this novella, the camera focuses on Yuki and Tanaka, and their awkward, adorable budding romance. The tension between them has been building steadily for two books now, and it was great to see all those shy glances and blushes finally come to fruition.

Their story is more than just romance, however: The modern-day chapters of Rise take place just after the end of Rain, and bridges some of the gap between Rain and the upcoming final book, Storm. For the first time, Yuki and Tanaka have a brush with the Kami. What’s more, the Kami are getting bolder, leaving menacing graffiti in public places… and adding to their body count. Something big is about to happen, I just know it—but I won’t find out just what until Storm comes out this summer.

I actually had to read Rise twice. The first time, I was so impatient to get to the parts about Yuki and Tanaka that I cheated a bit and skimmed the Izanami and Izanagi parts. (I know, I know, I’m bad! I just really love Tanaka, okay?) As soon as I was finished, though, I went back to the beginning and read the whole novella again, this time savoring the Kami chapters as much as the chapters about Yuki and Tanaka.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the Kami chapters, but I will say this: They’re dark, they’re fascinating, and they enrich the world of the Paper Gods. We finally learn about the origin of the Kami and the ink—and we even get glimpses of a few Kami who will be very, very important to Katie and Tomo’s story.

If you’re already a fan of the Paper Gods, then Rise is essential reading. On top of that, it’s free, so you’ve really got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

If you haven’t started reading the Paper Gods series yet—what are you waiting for? This is one of my favorite paranormal series of the last few years; I really can’t recommend it enough. You’ve got two months to catch up before Storm comes out on June 30, so get cracking!

Connect with author Amanda Sun online:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Song of the Sea

I recently had the opportunity to watch Song of the Sea, a fantasy film from Cartoon Saloon, an Irish animation studio. Here’s the summary:

"Based on the Irish Legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse's powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever."
I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a long time—but not as long as my sister! She’s intensely interested in selkies, and she’s a big fan of Cartoon Saloon’s last movie, The Secret of Kells. Naturally, she was thrilled when Song of the Sea was announced, and she’s followed its production closely for the last few years.
If you enjoy my books—and chances are that you do, or you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog—then I think you’ll find a lot to love about Song of the Sea. Looking at it as a writer, it’s exactly the kind of story that inspires me and gets me excited about storytelling. In particular, it got me excited about the stories I’m telling right now, because it’s a shining example of what a story in my current genre can achieve.

Yes, Song of the Sea and the Flicker series are stories in the same genre! They’re both urban fantasy. More specifically, they’re both urban faerie. I’ve never seen an urban faerie story told in this medium, and I think this movie opens up a whole realm of possibilities for other projects like this. (You know, if Flicker were ever adapted into a movie, my dream would be for it to be animated. In my head, the story has always looked like an animated movie.

Let me tell you: Song of the Sea is full of faeries—the otherworldly, folkloric kind. There are selkies, of course, but there are also members of the Daoine Sidhe (specifically stated to be such, too, which came as a pleasant surprise to me). A few other figures from Irish mythology appear, including Macha.

The movie is an interesting take on traditional selkie stories. Those tales tend to be romantic tragedies, and while Song of the Sea does touch on those elements, at its heart, this is very much a story about family. (I’m sticking to my usual advice, though: Don’t marry a selkie. Actually, it’s probably best not to marry any of the faerie folk. It never works out.)

Previous knowledge of Irish folklore and mythology isn’t necessary to enjoy the movie. But if you’re a bit of a folklore buff like me, I urge you to check it out for the references alone.

I would be remiss not to gush about the animation: Song of the Sea is an absolute visual treat, lovingly animated by hand. Animation aficionados, take heed: I promise you’ve never seen anything like it. Personally, I could stare at the backgrounds all day. If you don't believe me, check out the trailer:




Please, do yourself a favor and watch Song of the Sea. You deserve it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bad Boys and Boyfriend Material: Redefining YA Romance


I recently returned from RadCon, where I had the opportunity to speak on a number of interesting panels, with a number of interesting people. One of the weekend’s best panels was about young adult fiction—always a favorite subject of mine, especially when I get to talk shop with authors Alma Alexander, Frog Jones and Robert L. Slater. The discussion was lively, and one topic that came up has continued to bounce around in my head:

Do you write messages or themes into your books?

Actually, I do, though I’d never really talked about it in public before RadCon. While I’m not sure I would classify them as themes, exactly, I definitely write certain concepts into my books: concepts I want to celebrate, as well as concepts I want to challenge or deconstruct. The example I gave in the panel was the romance (and, in some ways, lack thereof) in the Flicker series—and I want to explore that further here.

I wrote Nasser and Filo as direct responses to some of the tropes and trends in YA fiction that have been driving me up the wall for the last few years.

(I'd like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to the absolute goldmine that is @BroodingYAHero. By some miracle, I happened across the account while formatting this blog post, and it points out everything that frustrates me about YA romance, in the funniest way possible.)



Before I wrote Flicker, I was burned out on YA heroes—specifically, I was burned out on what I call “Beautiful Jerks.” You know the kind: broody, mysterious, constantly giving mixed signals. He tends to be overprotective and controlling, sometimes to the point that the heroine is actually scared of him (though this fear often becomes confused for attraction and feelings of love). His only redeeming quality is his smoldering good looks, and that’s supposed to make up for the rest of his terrible personality.

The kind of romantic lead that interested me—genuinely sweet and respectful, from start to finish, basically the opposite of the “bad boy” type—seemed to be considered pretty boring by most people. Nobody seemed to be writing heroes like the one I wanted to read about. I had no choice but to write my own.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Try Scrivener During NaNoWriMo


National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us! To help you prepare, I want to talk about my favorite writing tool and the best ways to make it work for you this November: Scrivener, the best word processing program out there.

Anyone who has tried to write a novel using Microsoft Word knows that it’s not designed for long projects. Moving a chunk of text from one part of the document to another is a frustrating exercise in copy-and-paste. Looking at two scenes side-by-side involves a lot of clicking between windows. Referencing research materials means sorting through documents in other programs.

In general, Word is a clunky, cumbersome program that just isn’t suited for big projects like novels, or for writers who don’t work in a strictly linear fashion. Microsoft Word assumes that everyone writes in chronological order, from beginning to end; Scrivener makes no assumptions at all. It’s designed to work around you, not the other way around.

Scrivener has tons of features, and I certainly use many more than the five I detail here, but these are the ones I think will be most useful during NaNoWriMo.

Note: I’m not associated with Scrivener in any way, and I’m not getting any kickbacks or anything of the kind. I’m just in love with this program. I even wrote this blog post in Scrivener! It transformed the way I write, and I think everybody should at least give it a try and see what it can do for them.