Welcome!

Hi. I’m speculative fiction author Kristen Brand. If you like fantasy or sci-fi, then you’re in the right place. Read one of my ebooks, and chances are you’ll find A) fire-forged friends, B) fights scenes and stuff exploding, and C) kissing. I’m a huge nerd, which is pretty obvious in my writing, and my blog will give you recommendations and ramblings about novels, comics, short stories, and more.

Check out my Books page for a full list of my novels. Or start reading my free superhero serial, Fight Crime! (A Love Story), online right now.

Looking for the free prequel to Poison and Honey? Click here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Read the first chapter of The Cruelest Curse

The Cruelest Curse hits shelves on November 30th! This is the conclusion to the Dark and Otherworldly series (Start at the beginning with Poison and Honey if you haven’t already), and the story is ending with a bang. Expect tons of sword fights, at least one steamy scene, and one very cruel curse as the title promises.

Want a preview? Check out the first chapter below.

The Cruelest Curse Cover

Chapter 1

Dredarion nearly stepped on the first dead sprite. She lay atop fallen leaves, body no taller than his finger, her delicate arms and legs limp. She’d lost her glow, and one of her butterfly-like wings was bent. She must have choked on the smoke and fallen.

They came across more of them, tiny corpses strewn across grass and tree roots, their colorful wings waving in the breeze and giving the illusion of life. Dredarion and the others stepped carefully. The smoke grew stronger the farther through the forest they trekked. It conspired with the leaves overhead to blot out the sun, so thick between the trees that it obscured everything more than ten feet away. His eyes stung, but that was nothing compared to the cold lump of dread that had settled in his gut. When he coughed, the sound seemed to carry through the entire forest.

Salvador raised a hand for them to stop, and both Dredarion and Leigh obeyed. Dredarion scanned the trees for a threat, but it seemed Salvador was just being cautious. They must nearly be upon the village—or what was left of it, judging by the ash floating in the air.

Continue reading Read the first chapter of The Cruelest Curse

Get FREE Dark and Otherworldly Virtual Swag

As I’m writing this, I’ve got the final edits for The Cruelest Curse back from my proofreader and will be finalizing the manuscript for upload soon. This is a big deal, since it means the trilogy is coming to an end (at least for now) and I want to celebrate. So as a thank-you to all the readers who made the series possible, here’s some virtual swag!

Right click and save to download, and feel free to use them wherever you want.

Phone backgrounds

Here’s the title drop from Poison and Honey.

Phone background for the urban fantasy novel Poison and Honey. Quote says "His lips were like poison and honey; she knew he'd destroy her, but she couldn't resist the sweet taste."
Continue reading Get FREE Dark and Otherworldly Virtual Swag

New Superhero Fiction (Sep and Oct 2020)

Who needs a distraction right now? Well, superheroes to the rescue. Here are a few cool-sounding superhero novels that I’ve come across online. As usual, I haven’t read all of them personally (yet), so check out the reviews and previews before purchasing.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Cute Mutants Vol 2: Young, Gifted & Queer

by SJ Whitby

Cover of superhero novel Cute Mutants Vol 2: Young, Gifted & Queer

“I spent my life dreaming of being invited to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Turns out irl it has the vibe of a Dark Kermit gif. I just want to stay in the closet kissing my hot girlfriend.”

Despite the chaos and me being a dumpster fire, things turned out okay last time. We beat the villain, and I’m part of a superteam. I have cool friends, and somehow (don’t jinx it, Dylan), I even got the girl. Not just any girl—the icy badass who’s secretly soft-hearted. Things should be great, right?

Continue reading New Superhero Fiction (Sep and Oct 2020)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 5)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, Bea and the ghost searched a graveyard but found no trace of the ghost’s husband’s soul. Then they followed a trail of sinister magic to the cellar of an old house.

The Memory of Ghosts Cover

Chapter 5

The cellar must have been put to normal use throughout most of the year. Shelves on one side held canned food and bottles, and the other had old gardening tools and stacked boxes. Everything in the center of the room had been cleared away, however, to make way for an altar covered in black cloth. A woman lay upon it, bound by coarse rope, the light from dozens of candles reflecting off her tear-stained face.

Symbols on the cement floor looked ominously like they’d been painted in blood, and at the head of the altar on a small pedestal squatted a grotesque statue. It was a hideous, goat-like creature carved from gleaming black stone. A group of six men stood around the altar in a circle, all dressed in black robes like warlocks from an old story. They chanted in low tones until the one directly across from the stairs broke off with a shout, seeing Bea.

All the men turned. “You!” one of them cried, and it was the brute from the library. I barely paid him any mind, though, because of the man who’d first seen Bea. His hood had fallen, and I recognized his face.

Father.

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 5)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 4)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, Bea and the ghost found the name of the cemetery where the ghost’s husband was buried. Then two mysterious men attacked Bea but were scared off by the ghost.

The Memory of Ghosts Cover

Chapter 4

When Bea parked her van in front of the graveyard, I felt colder than ever. I had no body to produce heat, no clothing to shield me. My soul was naked and exposed to the chill, and I dreaded going any closer.

Bea climbed slowly down from vehicle, wincing from her injuries. She raised her keys to lock the door but paused when she realized I wasn’t following.

“Hey,” she said. “It’s gonna be okay.”

“What if we don’t find him?” I whispered.

“Then we’ll try something else. I’m not giving up anytime soon.”

Hesitantly, I followed her.

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 4)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 3)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, the ghost began to remember more of her past, and she and Bea went to the library to research what happened to the ghost’s husband. Though they were interrupted by a creepy guy who seemed way too interested in Bea’s research, they eventually found an obituary…

Chapter 3

I couldn’t turn my gaze from those small words wedged between two other obituaries. We’d found him. The pride of accomplishment should have surged through me, but I felt vaguely sick. Was this all that remained of Nate? He deserved so much more than a snippet of text in an old newspaper.

He’d been merely twenty-eight years old according to this. Grief scraped my soul like gravel against skin, an old and familiar pain. I’d wanted to grow old with him, to raise a family. Our life together had been just beginning. It wasn’t fair. We should’ve had more time.

And had his death truly been an accident? It didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t remember…

“You okay?”

Bea’s gaze was gentle and full of concern. I couldn’t bear it.

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 3)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 2)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, our ghostly protagonist’s monotonous afterlife was interrupted when the old woman she’s haunting calls an exorcist. But instead of moving on, the ghost talks the exorcist into helping her track down the soul of her lost husband.

Chapter 2

“Here we go. Nathaniel Breen, 1847 to 1902. Banker from California. Died of tuberculosis.”

Bea was lying in a bunk in the back of her van, staring at a small device with a rectangular face that lit up and showed pictures and text. (I remembered the old woman in my house using something similar.) We’d spent the night at a campground, and the new scenery had both mesmerized and invigorated me. The only one more excited was the cat, who darted among the trees all night in exploration.

“Nate wasn’t a banker,” I said. “And he certainly wasn’t from California.”

“What was he, then?”

“A factory worker. And I don’t think he ever left Ohio.”

“Hm.” She stretched. “Well, I don’t see any other Nathaniel Breens on here.”

“You should try a library.” I sniffed. “There are still libraries around these days, aren’t there?”

“Yeah, let me look up the closest one.”

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 2)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 1)

It’s October! Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, so to celebrate, I want to share a free urban fantasy short story. I’ll be serializing The Memory of Ghosts all through October, so expect updates every Thursday this month. Check it out if you like:

  • Ghost librarians
  • Haunted Graveyards
  • Grumpy paranormal investigators
  • FRIENDSHIP

I hope it helps you get into the Halloween spirit. Happy reading!

The Memory of Ghosts Cover

*To be on the safe side, I’m adding a content warning for a brief instance of animal cruelty in this chapter.

Chapter 1

I hated the woman who lived in my house.

She’d made it as slovenly as a pigeon coop. Unwashed dishes were always piled high in the sink, attracting a swarm of flies and other crawly things. Crumbs and crumpled paper bags covered the couch, and half-empty cups grew moldy on the end tables. Soiled clothes littered the floor in the master bedroom, and the less said about the washroom, the better.

I could forgive her untidiness if she were a pleasant person, but she wasn’t. When her husband cooked dinner, she’d spend the whole meal talking about how it tasted like garbage. If her kids spoke more loudly than a whisper, she shrieked at them to shut up and do their homework. Her favorite words were “stupid,” “worthless,” and “don’t know why I put up with you.” Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 1)

Scaredy Cat Bingo and Upcoming Halloween Serial Announcement

There’s an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The angel is telling me to wait until October 1st to start Halloween season like a rational person. The devil wants all the pumpkins, spookiness, and candy NOW.

So I’m starting a little early. Just a smidge. No big deal, right?

Evil laughing gif
Right.

First off, I’m participating in Scaredy Cat Bingo, which is hosted by Cats Luv Coffee Book Reviews. It’s a reading challenge full of Halloween-themed categories, and the only catch is that you have to finish all the books in September and October for them to count. Continue reading Scaredy Cat Bingo and Upcoming Halloween Serial Announcement

Sting of Thorns is out now!

Need to escape the real world for a while? Discover a darkly beautiful realm of magic in Sting of Thorns. If you like fierce heroines, dangerous fae, and urban fantasy, this may be the ebook you’re looking for. See what reviewers are saying:

“Full of action, magic and new twists and turns that took my breath away. This sequel is not to miss!”

I Love Books and Stuff Blog

“I screamed NOOOOO at Poison and Honey’s ending and YESSSS at Sting of Thorn’s beginning.”

Whiskey & Wit Book Reviews

And here’s the blurb:

Sting of Thorns CoverVictory always has a cost.

The fight is over, and Leigh Morgan won. After spending months spying in Otherworld as a servant, she’s rescued the humans who were abducted by the Others and sent them safely home. She had to stay behind to destroy the gateway between worlds and keep them safe, but tough luck. She’s prepared to pay the price.

But she didn’t expect the curse that the queen of Otherworld lays on her: a thorny vine growing under Leigh’s skin that will kill her when it reaches her heart. The queen will lift the curse…if Leigh uses her connections in the human realm to locate a magical weapon lost hundreds of years ago.

To ensure she succeeds, the queen sends her son, Dredarion Rath, the cunning prince Leigh had to betray to save her people. With anger and hurt still fresh, they can barely stand to be in the same room together, much less cooperate on such a dangerous mission. But as Leigh’s friends risk everything to help her, she’ll have to find a way to reconcile with Dredarion before their quest gets her and everyone she cares about killed.

The Dark and Otherworldly series continues with deadlier threats, darker romance, and deeper secrets. Return to Otherworld and buy it now.

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

You can choose from a complete list of retailers here. The ebook is also available for libraries to purchase through OverDrive and other distributors, so you can ask your local library to get it for their catalogue.

Sting of Thorns is the second book in the Dark and Otherworldly series, and I recommend you read Poison and Honey first if you haven’t already. I hope you’ll check the series out.

As always, thank you for your support, and happy reading.

Kristen's signature