Demons, Superheroes, and Ghosts: An Author Update

Being a writer is weird. It’s April, and I haven’t put out any new books yet this year, which makes me feel unproductive. But I’ve been working so hard!

So I figured I’d post an author update to prove to myself that I’ve accomplished things.

First off, let’s talk about The Shadow Journals. This is my new urban fantasy project that I mentioned in my post of goals for 2021, and I’m happy to report that I’ve finished the first draft of four novella-length stories in the series.

The fifth story is turning out to be way longer than the others. I’m considering bundling the first four stories into one volume and putting it out for free as a reader magnet. Then the rest of the books would be novel-length.

Maybe. I’m still thinking it over.

Continue reading Demons, Superheroes, and Ghosts: An Author Update

Fae Friday: Favorite Female Characters

#FaeFriday is a set of weekly blog prompts hosted by Caffeinated Fae.

This week’s topic is “What are some of your favorite female characters?” Talking about awesome female characters is my jam, so I had to jump on board.

This is going to be one of those lists that should rightfully be about fifty characters long, but I’ll probably get tired of writing at around five or so and wrap it up. 😅

Cassandra Cain from DC Comics

Batgirl
Best Batgirl costume ever, Y/N?

I’ve talked about Cass a couple times on the blog before. She’s not only my favorite Batgirl but also one of my favorite characters.

Raised by her father to be the perfect assassin, Cass chooses to be a hero instead, and her journey is all about learning how to live in the real world and make friendships after a lifetime of only fighting. She’s awesome because she’s an adorable sweetheart who’s amazed by everyday things that we take for granted, but when the time comes to fight crime and save the day, she’s a total badass.

Seriously. She’s arguably better at hand-to-hand combat than Batman.

Continue reading Fae Friday: Favorite Female Characters

Dark and Otherworldly Mood Boards

I love book aesthetics so much. I’ve posted a lot of them for the Dark and Otherworldly series on Twitter and Pinterest, but unless you’re stalking me on those platforms, chances are you’ve missed out on seeing at least some of them. So here’s a handy roundup!

Poison and Honey book cover aesthetic

This one was basically an exercise in finding images with colors that complimented the book cover while still having something to do with the story.

I had a lot of fun with the colors in this one too. It basically represents Leigh’s goal to completely decimate Otherworld in Book 1 of the series.

Continue reading Dark and Otherworldly Mood Boards

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while and saw this one over at One Book More. It seemed like a good chance to examine my TBR pile, which–like the universe–is large and always expanding.

A Book That a Certain Friend is Always Telling You to Read

Rosemary and Rue

Well, NeriSiren does mention the October Daye series a lot… 😛 I can’t blame this one solely on another person, though, because I’ve known about the series for years and have always meant to get around to it. I just haven’t yet.

A Book That’s Been on Your TBR Forever and Yet You Still Haven’t Read It

No Man of Woman Born Cover

I first mentioned No Man of Woman Born on this blog back in September. This post is a good reminder to myself that I haven’t purchased it yet and need to get on that.

Continue reading I Should Have Read That Book Tag

Opinion: Why the Fae are the most Versatile Creatures in Urban Fantasy

If you told me that I could only read or write about one supernatural creature for the rest of my life, I would choose the fae. This isn’t me trying to trash talk werewolves or demons or anything. It’s just that the fae can fill their role just as well. They’re like the jack of all trades of urban fantasy.

Let’s take vampires. They’re alluring, dangerous creatures who drain their victims of blood. Kind of like the Leanan-Sidhe, a beautiful but deadly fae who inspires poets and artists but drains their life in the process.

Or do you like werewolves and shifters? Let me introduce the púca, a fairy who can transform into a horse, cat, hare, and other animals.

Continue reading Opinion: Why the Fae are the most Versatile Creatures in Urban Fantasy

How I Outline a Novel

Warning: this post contains spoilers for The Cruelest Curse, the third book in my Dark and Otherworldly urban fantasy series. If you haven’t read it yet, skip this post and come back later.

Plotters versus Pantsers. It’s the eternal writer debate. Like Kirk versus Picard or Batman versus Superman. The question is this:

Is it better to plot out a novel before writing or discover the story as you go?

I’m definitely a plotter. If I don’t outline a novel before I start, I get stuck and don’t finish. (Looking at you, NaNoWriMos of the past.) But my outlines aren’t set in stone, and as I learn more about the characters and story while writing, I tend to take some detours.

Continue reading How I Outline a Novel

The Cruelest Curse is out now!

Are you ready to go back to Otherworld one last time? Because the final book in the Dark and Otherworldly series is here! I’m so excited to share the conclusion of Leigh and Dredarion’s story with you.

A fabulous ending to a favorite series, and I’m already looking forward to rereading it!

One Book More Reviews

A thrilling conclusion to a trilogy that really captivated me.

Darkest Sins Blog
The Cruelest Curse Cover

Magic, warfare, and romance collide in this action-packed conclusion to a spellbinding urban fantasy series.

Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded their most legendary weapon in battle. But the demonic forces invading Otherworld now are worse than anything she’s ever fought: powerful, cruel, and cannibalistic.

Leigh would return to the human world and leave the arrogant Others to rot except for one reason: Prince Dredarion Rath, the sly, sorcerous man who stole her heart. She’ll fight at his side to save his people even if it means joining forces with her former enemies. But when the worst happens and Leigh ends up cut off from Dredarion, injured and imprisoned, she’ll have to find a way to save the kingdom and the prince alone…or die trying.

Read the final installment in the Dark and Otherworldly series and get swept away in forbidden romance, epic battles, and deadly magic. The Cruelest Curse is a romantic fantasy novel that fans of the genre won’t want to miss. Buy now and return to Otherworld for one last adventure.

(While I try to give short refreshers of the events of previous books, you really need to read the first two novellas to understand this one, so if you’re a new reader, I recommend you start with Poison and Honey.)

It’s hard to believe this series is over. Thank you all for coming on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy the final installment.

Kristen's signature

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

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)