Guest Author & Giveaway: Kris Kennedy featuring Defiant

Thursday, April 21

While going through my shelves of books trying to downsize my keepers to a more manageable level (which hasn't worked btw) I came to a not so startling realization.  The books that I consider keepers have one thing in common.  It's not the covers, it's not necessarily an author, or even a certain type of all revolves around one thing for me...the characters, but I really should say in THE HERO.  No matter what subgenre of romance it is, a story earns a place on my keeper bookshelf because of the hero. Period.

Oftentimes I find myself trying to remember certain aspects of a story that I read and I find that usually, at least most times, the heroine is a fuzzy blur...she is almost interchangeable.  I don't remember much about most of them, a sad, but true fact.  And I sometimes forget details about the plot, but if it was a book that I loved and has earned a "keeper" status, I almost always remember the hero and what I loved about him.  I remember parts of the book as it relates to the Hero...i.e., I am a Hero reader.  The Hero in  a romance will make or break a story for me.  He can be dastardly as long as he is redeemable, a rake as long as he can commit to the woman he loves, or even commit what appears to be unforgivable sins as long as he is repentant or his reasons were justifiable in the end.  I can forgive almost anything in a Hero that I love.

Author Kris Kennedy is my guest today to share her upcoming Medieval romance, Defiant, as well as a little bit about what she thinks makes a Hero great...and keeper worthy :)  Read and enjoy!

A hero Must Always . . . .

I have an admission, first off: I stole this idea from the lovely Maggie Robinson and her Romance Bandits blog.  But I stole it because I needed it. Desperately. I love this idea, and thought I’d share it here today.

I think we can all agree we read romance for the character, for the romantic conflict between hero and heroine. Yes, we need a plot, some of us more than others. And of course we love strong world-building, so we can get lost in it, be it a fictional town U.S. town in 2011 or a medieval castle in 1153. We need tension, tough choices, sensual energy. But all this is in the service of characters we can totally, utterly fall in love with. And those often become the ‘keepers.’

Basically, heroes and heroines in Keepers have to be spectacular. They need to be remarkable—worthy of being remarked upon. So they don't need to be doing bigger-than-life things all the time, they need to be fascinating, intriguing, compelling.

Heroes, I think, have the biggest part of the load. I hear readers all the time say they didn’t so much dig the heroine, but the hero was rocking hot, so the story worked for them . I rarely hear it the other way. Sometimes, yes. But not so common.

Clearly, we love our heroes.

In my May release DEFIANT, the hero and heroine are doing both pretty remarkable things. The hero, Jamie, is a lieutenant for King John. Yes, that King John. The King John of Robin Hood legends. The King John whose paranoid, cunning and mercurial leadership prompted the barons to rise up and demand Magna Carta. And yes, the hero serves him. The reasons are complicated. The appearance of the heroine, Eva, who happens to want the very thing he wants (and steals it away) makes things even more complicated.

Poor guy. :-)

So, let's do our own little Mad Libs on those great heroes. How would you answer this fill-in-the-blank question?

Heroes should always _________ and should never _________.

My answer: A hero should always be capable of mayhem, and should never use it on the heroine.

Let’s hear yours! One commenter wins a signed copy of my new release, DEFIANT!

A warrior with questionable intentions . . .

Jamie Lost is the king's most renowned commander, a fearless lieutenant ordered to kidnap an exiled priest before rebel forces close in. The mission is simple—until he meets a mysterious thief who will steal his quarry and then his heart.

A lady of remarkable courage . . .

Beautiful Eva is also seeking Father Peter, but she intends to protect him from a secret that could cost him his life. She senses that she, too, should fear Jamie—not just for his wickedly sharp sword and dangerously muscular body, but for the powerful longing he ignites within her.

A secret that could overthrow the king.

When a band of mercenaries abducts the priest, Jamie and Eva must form a volatile alliance. As civil war unfolds around them, they embark on an epic journey that betrays the truth about their hidden identities, their unexpected loyalties, and the simmering attraction that could seal their fates forever.

Read an excerpt, and a Bonus excerpt for Musings readers

Congratulations Kris on your upcoming release of DEFIANT! I just love that title :)  The official release date is Tuesday April 26th, and having just gotten my copy in the mail, I can honestly say that the cover is worth  a trip to the store alone...add in the even better "hot, sweeping" historical romance in between, and I can understand why her medieval romances come so highly recommended.  

If you'd like to learn more about Kris Kennedy and the books she writes you can find her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

To celebrate the upcoming release of her new historical romance, the author would like to giveaway a signed copy of DEFIANT to one lucky Musings follower.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Complete the "Hero Mad Lib" sentence Kris asked readers to finish in her post AND please show her some comment love by including a comment or question for her about her book. (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on April 25th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


June M. April 21, 2011 at 12:58 AM  

Heroes should always an alpha and should never over-power his heroine.

This book sounds great. I love historical romances and I have not read many that I know of that were set primarily in Ireland (or really anywhere other than Scotland or England or the US)

GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Jane April 21, 2011 at 1:10 AM  

Congrats on the upcoming release, Kris. Heroes should always fight fair and should never do anything that goes against his better judgment.

GFC follower

librarypat April 21, 2011 at 1:26 AM  

Medieval romances are a favorite. I think it is because of the uncertainty of the times and the precarious nature of life everyone had. There was so much beyond one's control.

Heroes should always be honorable and should never betray that honor, even if it might appear they are doing so.

I am a GFC Follower, librarypat.

Maureen April 21, 2011 at 7:12 AM  

Heroes should always be fascinated by the heroine and never belittle her unless he is willing to grovel for forgiveness.

Defiant looks like an exciting story with a lot of adventure.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

lindalou April 21, 2011 at 7:24 AM  

Heroes should always have a heart and should never be dishonorable even if it appears that they are being so.

I love medieval romances... and am looking forward to this book! Thanks for the give-a-way!

Linda T., USA

Tore April 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM  

Heroes should be alpha male. They should be tough strong and in control. Very protective and willing to do whatever is necessary to protect the ones they love. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

Artemis April 21, 2011 at 9:12 AM  

Heroes should always have a wee bit of a dark side and should never give up without a fight.

I do like that Jamie works for THAT King John. I have to agree that it's the heroes that make a book a keeper for me. And they're always an alpha.

Congratulations on your upcoming release. Oh yeah, the cover is most yummy!

Old GFC Follwer

Soft Fuzzy Sweater April 21, 2011 at 9:20 AM  

Heroes should always _be handsome_ and should never _know it__.

there's nothing worse than a conceited, self loving hero!

I have followed your blog since the stone age!


Bethie April 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM  

Heroes should always _be tough and should never ___Mean______.

Good luck with the book! Its sounds so good. Can't wait to read it.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

gamistress66 April 21, 2011 at 10:14 AM  

Heroes should always know when not to be a gentleman & should never forget his lady. :)

Congrats on the upcoming book. It sounds great, now just to figure out how to fit on the TBR pile without the pile toppling over on me ;) Love to read midievals and am glad you're writing them (enjoyed your 1st 2 books so am sure will enjoy this one too).

gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

Robin K April 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM  

Looks like a fantastic book! Great cover.

Heroes should always laugh and should never smell. *giggles*

I am a follower.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Kris Kennedy April 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM  

You are coming up with some good (and silly ) lines! Thanks for playing along. Keep 'em coming.

Barbara E. April 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

Heroes should always be loyal and courageous and should never hurt those weaker than them.

Jamie sounds like a wonderful hero, I can't wait to read about him and Eva.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com
GFC follower

LilMissMolly April 21, 2011 at 10:42 PM  

Hi Kris!
Loved your first two books. The Conqueror and the Irish Warrior were two books that I read last summer and just couldn't put them down. Keep 'em coming!

Heroes should always respect their women and should never trust men who are jealous of them.
lvsgund at
GFC follower

Carol L. April 22, 2011 at 4:20 AM  

I loved The Conqueror and the Irish Warrior. I'm now looking forward to reading Defiant. I love your covers Kris.
Heroes should always be Honorable and never lose their sense of humor.GFC follower under Lucky47.
Carol L

Mariee April 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

Heroes should always be brave with a little bit of a bad boy streak, and should never be unfaithful.


GFC follower.
marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

Kris Kennedy April 24, 2011 at 12:51 AM  

So sorry--it must have seemed I simply disappeared. I did come back and comment, but they
must not have 'taken.'

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about the cover and book.

Artemis~ Glad you like that the hero in DEFIANT serves King John. it was really fun, having him do something so traditionally despised, and making him heroic nonetheless. Gotta love a tortured hero. :-)

Lil Miss Molly & Carol L~ I'm so happy that you both loved the first two books. Thank-you so much for telling me so. Lil Miss, can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear the first 2 books were un-set-down-able! :)

I want to say thank-you to everyone for coming by and playing along. I hope you had fun, and I hope, if you haven't yet read any of the books, you thoroughly enjoy them when you do.

To those who have been reading and loving, a big thank-you!

CrystalGB April 25, 2011 at 2:40 PM  

Heroes should always be strong protectors and should never be unfaithful to their their mate.
Defiant sounds good. I like the cover.
I am a GFC follower.

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