Welcome!

Hi. I’m speculative fiction author Kristen Brand. If you like the sci-fi or fantasy genres, then you’re in the right place. My novels all have fast-paced action, witty banter, and at least a hint of romance. I’m a huge nerd, which is pretty obvious in my writing, and here you’ll find ramblings about books, 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.

Thanks for stopping by!

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.

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11 Indie Book Covers that are Knocking it out of the Park

Book covers are works of art. They’re also marketing tools. Being in complete control of your book cover can be a huge advantage of self-publishing. It’s also harder than you’d think.

We authors (and by “we” I mostly mean “me” 😅) aren’t always savvy marketers, and designing a book cover that sells in a particular genre is a completely different skill from writing said book. And the cover of an author’s dreams isn’t always within one’s budget. With that in mind, I love it when authors overcome these challenges and get that perfect eye-catching cover that makes me drool over their book.

Here are 10 covers by self-published authors and author-run small presses that knock my socks off. Some I’ve read, and some I haven’t yet, but you can bet the covers played a big role in putting them on my to-read list.

*This post contains affiliate links.

No Man Can Tame by Miranda Honfleur

No Man Can Tame Cover

This is one of the books on this list that I’ve read, and I’m happy to report that the story lives up to that gorgeous cover. I like so many things about it from the clothing to the flowers and moon in the background. It sort of depicts the first meeting of these two characters but also seems pretty symbolic. Overall, it’s just a beautiful cover for a beautiful story. Continue reading 11 Indie Book Covers that are Knocking it out of the Park

New Superhero Fiction (Jul and Aug 2020)

It’s finally September, which you may be aware is Self-Published Fantasy Month! Definitely check out the website and #SelfPublishedFantasyMonth hashtag on social media to find some great new indie reads.

The vast majority of the superhero novels I feature on these roundups are by indie authors, and I plan to do some proper Self-Published Fantasy Month posts in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Now, here are some cool-looking superhero books that came out in July and August. As usual, I haven’t read all these novels personally, so please look at the samples and reviews before purchasing. And happy reading!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Haunted Heroine (Heroine Complex Book 4)

by Sarah Kuhn

Haunted Heroine Cover

The fourth book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series follows Evie Tanaka, Aveda Jupiter, and Bea Tanaka as they combat a new supernatural threat.

Everything in Evie Tanaka’s life is finally perfect. As a badass superheroine, she defends San Francisco from demon invasion on the regular. Her relationships with superhero partner Aveda Jupiter, little sister Bea, and hot, half-demon husband Nate have never been stronger. Maybe it’s possible for a grad school dropout turned put-upon personal assistant turned superhero to have it all?

Just when she thinks life can’t get any better, Evie learns she’s pregnant. Everyone around her is overjoyed…but Evie has major doubts about whether she’s cut out for motherhood. Before she can dwell on her dilemma, a local women’s college reports a string of mysterious “hauntings,” and Evie and Aveda are called in to investigate, going undercover as grad students during the creepiest time of the year: Halloween. Continue reading New Superhero Fiction (Jul and Aug 2020)

Fae Friday

I’ve been meaning to hop on the #FaeFriday tag for a while. Hosted by Caffeinated Fae, it’s got bookish prompts inspired by fairies every Friday. This week’s prompt is:

Did you know that in certain lore, a fairy is born from the first laugh of a child? That is why this curious wannabe fae wants to know: What is a book that made you genuinely laugh?

This prompt spoke to me, because I think we could all use a good laugh right now. Things are…pretty depressing at the moment. This isn’t a current events post, but I also don’t feel right updating this week without acknowledging what’s happening, so I’m going to link to the statement on the Black Lives Matter website, which is full of resources and ways to help.

Now, my pick for a book that made me laugh is:

Going Postal CoverBlurb

Convicted con man and forger Moist von Lipwig is given a choice: Face the hangman’s noose, or get Ankh Morpork’s ancient Post Office up and running efficiently!

It was a tough decision . . . Continue reading Fae Friday

Read the First Chapter of Sting of Thorns

We are less than a month away from the September 15th release of Sting of Thorns, my urban fantasy novella about fey curses, conflicted loyalties, and magic swords. Check out the first chapter below!

Sting of Thorns Cover

Chapter 1

Dredarion Rath reached the stairs to the dungeons and paused. He felt feverish, sweating under his armor, though the halls of the palace were crisp and cool. He inhaled slowly and started down the steps—not because he was ready but because he couldn’t allow any of his people to see their prince hesitate.

The ceiling was so low that he nearly had to duck. The stone steps were timeworn, the gray brick walls chipped and water stained. The graceful opulence that infused every inch of the palace was absent down there. The light fixtures were the only similarity: metallic lanterns imprisoning tiny glowing sprites, though these were in a sorry state. Their feeble, greenish light barely penetrated the dirty glass, and they shrank from him as he stalked past.

At the bottom of the stairs awaited a damp, chilly chamber that turned his sweaty skin cold and clammy. The stench of piss and feces lingered amid the mildewy air, though the cells lining the right wall were empty save one prisoner:

Leigh Morgan, the woman Dredarion had once thought he might love. Continue reading Read the First Chapter of Sting of Thorns

5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

“If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be?”

Does that question give anyone else anxiety? Like sure, it would be nice to visit Middle Earth, but I don’t want to get murdered by bands of roving orcs. The Star Wars universe? Noooo, thank you. Did you see that new Death Star? It can blow up multiple planets at once. And don’t even get me started on the dangers of living in a superhero universe.

At first glance, an urban fantasy world might seem like a much better option to call home than an epic fantasy one. You can have modern conveniences like the internet and indoor plumbing while also enjoying the wonders of magic. But personally, I feel like the modern world is dangerous enough without throwing in supernatural threats. I love reading urban fantasy, but if I lived in the world of one of those novels… I would die. I would die so hard.

You probably would too. Let’s talk about how! Continue reading 5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

Find the Others…before they find you.

Looking for an urban fantasy short story with lots of action and a bit of creepiness? Finished reading Poison and Honey and want more of the characters and world? You’ll probably enjoy Strange Hunt.

Just make sure you read Part 1 first, or else you’ll probably be pretty lost.

Strange Hunt CoverSal’s magic compass took them down a back road, bringing them to a dilapidated house. Woods covered most of the large property, and a sign at the end of the dirt driveway warned about trespassing and how the building was condemned. It was legible thanks to a nearby streetlamp, but as they crept down the driveway, the trees blocked the light, and the thin sliver of moon shrouded in clouds overhead was no help.

Leigh couldn’t see exactly how rundown the house was, but she was glad it was abandoned. If a family had still lived there, the Others would have taken them all. Continue reading Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

4 More Sensational Superhero Short Stories

We’re not getting our usual selection of superhero blockbusters in theaters this summer for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to be deprived of good superhero stories. One way to get them is by supporting your local comic book shop, and another is by searching the internet.

Or you can let me search the internet for you and collect a bunch of free-to-read superhero short stories into one nice list. 😉

Sojourner: Forsaken by Will Casel Brown

It is my hope and expectation that Sojourner: Forsaken will eventually grow too long to be considered a “short story,” but I’ll keep it on this list forever anyway because I love it.

The story follows Sojourner, an alien sent to Earth to study superhumans, but who crash-lands and ends up getting involved with the resistance. The main villain is the Enforcer, a costumed superhuman who is definitely not a hero and whom I just hate SO MUCH. Much of the action involves fighting him or escaping from him, and it’s wild how much adventure is packed into the current four chapters. Continue reading 4 More Sensational Superhero Short Stories

Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Did you finish reading Poison and Honey already? You may have noticed the afterward where I promised a free prequel short story on my website.

Strange Hunt is a look at how Leigh and her team fought the Others before going to Otherworld. It’ll give you a bit more insight into the world and characters of the series–plus a fun story about friendship and monster-hunting. Read and enjoy!

Strange Hunt Cover

The cue ball struck the five-ball with a crack, sending it rolling into the corner pocket. Leigh Morgan straightened up, pushing back her long hair. Not a bad shot, considering she was only half paying attention to the game.

“Nice.” Garrett strolled around the pool table, surveying his options. “Too bad I’m about to win. You want to play darts next? You’re good at that, right?”

“No.”

He looked up from the table, his face scrunching. “But you have a dart board in your apartment. I’ve seen it.”

“That’s not for darts.”

His head tilted.

“It’s for knives,” she said. “Why would I practice throwing darts? They’re not gonna hurt the Others.” Continue reading Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Poison and Honey is out now!

The wait is over. Poison and Honey is available wherever ebooks are sold! Buy it now and fill your ereader with:

  • beautiful but deadly fae creatures
  • enemies to lovers romance
  • a heroine determined to bring down a kingdom.

It feels like I’ve been waiting been waiting for release day forever, and I’m thrilled you all can finally read this one. I think it’s a great book, obviously, but don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what reviewers have had to say:

Poison and Honey is a fabulous start to an exciting new fantasy series. I love the fascinating world and plot-line as well as the deftly-crafted, dynamic characters, and I can’t wait to read more of Leigh and Dredarion’s story!

One Book More Reviews

An alluring prince, a feisty human, and an intriguing world-building filled with discoveries (yet) to make. Do you have what it takes to survive explore the Dark and Otherworldy?

Darkest Sins Blog

If you like escapist fantasy fiction, I hope you’ll check it out!


Poison and Honey CoverKeep your head down. Watch out for dark magic. And whatever you do, stay away from the sly, handsome prince.

Leigh Morgan has known that magic exists ever since an unearthly monster abducted her sister. It’s why she’s in Otherworld now, posing as a servant in its dark, decadent palace. She’s gathering intelligence and working with a small band of allies to bring down the Others and free their human captives. Her mission depends on blending in, so the last thing she wants is to attract the attention of a cunning prince.

Dredarion Rath wants one thing: to disgrace his older brother and prove himself the worthier heir to the throne. And out of all the servants in the palace, he chooses Leigh to help him. Just her luck.

Now Leigh has to keep her work a secret from a bewitching man who sees right through her–and who’s not nearly as cold and inhuman as he seems. She can’t screw this up, or the humans forced into servitude will never go home. But juggling two conspiracies at once, it’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down, and the man she’s falling for has her executed for her betrayal…

Poison and Honey is an urban fantasy novella with a strong romantic subplot, perfect for fans of determined heroines, palace intrigue, and the fae. Download it today and venture into Otherworld—if you dare.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple Books

Or choose from other retailers here.

Thank you for your support, and happy reading!

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