Wednesday, September 9, 2015

*Author Spotlight* Brandi Kennedy

Brandi Kennedy

Title: Courageous
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: August 20, 2015
Pages: 42


When Allie Jensen opens the door to let the new bodyguard in, the last face she expects to see is that of her high school crush, the boy who broke her heart. She tries to play it off, but the past is heavy on her mind. So when danger intrudes on her quiet little haven, will Allie be courageous enough to leave the past behind her?

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Kingsley Series

The Kingsley Series is a series of stand-alone contemporary romance novels, each connected to the next by the bond of family. Each book in this series follows the personal journey of one of the Kingsley couples -- however, each story is continued and updated in the following book. These books can be read in any order, but are best enjoyed in order of publication. This series contains mild sexual content.

Title: Fat Chance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 13, 2013
Pages: 288


In Fat Chance, you'll meet Cass Keaton, who struggles with the concepts of confidence and self-love. She's had a rough life, and her ability to see her own worth is damaged by the tests of time, the trials of being orphaned, and her harsh memories of bullying and rejection. Finally on the brink of doing the unthinkable, Cass seeks the help of a therapist, and this one choice changes her life in ways she wouldn't even have dared to dream.

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Title: Prescription For Love
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 23, 2013
Pages: 294


In Prescription For Love, you'll have the chance to attend the very first Kingsley wedding. You'll also meet Cameron Kingsley, a jaded but very successful wedding planner who doesn't believe in forever. She has experienced the very worst of the dating world, and she's seen more marriages fall apart than she'd care to admit. But with a little encouragement from her family, the right kind of pressure from a certain sexy therapist, and the courage of an unbreakable spirit, Cameron just might be willing to try one more time ...

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Title: Wrestling Harmony
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 15, 2013
Pages: 304


In Wrestling Harmony, you'll get to know the youngest girl in the Kingsley family. Harmony's biggest dream is now behind her, unaccomplished and out of reach. There's no going back though, and she has no choice but to move on. Some choice encounters with a prickly local athlete get her all hot and bothered, but she's not ready to risk her heart. But on her quest for a new career, she finds a connection she hadn't had the courage to wish for, and a new path that she can walk confidently. Armed with a fresh new perspective, Harmony begins to plan an entirely new future she never even knew was possible.

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Title: More Than Friends
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: Coming Soon
Pages: TBA


In More Than Friends, Michael Kingsley is nursing a still-broken heart. He's the first and only member of his family to ever be divorced, and the failure of his marriage has caused significant damage to his confidence as a man. Still, life goes on. He goes to work, he pays his bills, and he sometimes spends his nights with women he doesn't love. He drinks more than he ought to, and he turns to his best friend for support. But when his mother is hospitalized with an illness-related injury, it's that same best friend who steps up in a whole new way. Now Michael's seeing Renee in a different light. Will she be the one who can finally heal his heart and help him move on?

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The Freedom Series

The Freedom Series is a series of women's fiction romance novels. The series begins with Christine Matthews's journey from victim of domestic violence to victorious conqueror of circumstances. Later in the series, we will get to know other strong and resilient characters, each one fighting for freedom, each one desperate to escape prisons of their own making. As some stories continue from one book to the next, these books are best enjoyed in order of publication. Some books in this series contain strong or violent situations and graphic sexual scenes, which may be triggers for past victims of rape and/or domestic violence.

Title: Fighting for Freedom
Genre: Romance/Women's Fiction
Published: August 9, 2013
Pages: 241


In Fighting For Freedom: "He'd finally done it. He'd beaten me to death. For years, I'd been taking it, accepting the beatings, silently believing the worthlessness he saw in me. I'd obeyed his rules, I'd catered to his whims. I finally woke up in a hospital bed. Bruised, broken, in shock. That was the moment. In that moment, I knew that I had to get out. I loved my husband. I missed him. But I needed more than he would ever offer. I deserved more than I'd been given, more than flying fists and fragile tempers. I deserved to wear what I chose. I deserved to go where I wanted. I deserved goodnight kisses. I deserved gentle touches. I deserved to feel loved, and not possessed." WARNING: Although it is meant to be a story of hope and physical empowerment, this book is focused on the topic of domestic violence and abuse, and it does contain scenes of extreme violence as well as some very strong language. It is NOT suitable for young readers.

Buy links

Amazon // iBooks // B&N // Kobo  

The Selkie Trilogy

The Selkie Trilogy is a series of sequential romantic fantasy novels. Each book in this series follows the last, with each new book continuing the story from the last. These books are best enjoyed in order of publication, and this series contains mild/moderate sexual content.

Title: Selkie
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Published: November 23, 2013
Pages: 330


Annie Jacobs's marriage fell apart, leaving her heart and her trust broken. Even her friends couldn't ease the pain of betrayal and eventually, Annie packed up her life and moved on. In peaceful Bar Harbor, Maine, Annie is finally able to find solace. She makes new friends, she finds a new routine, and she begins to pick up the shattered pieces of her confidence. Just when Annie thinks she's found contentment once again, a series of chance disasters threatens her new life -- and nearly ends her life entirely. When the man who saves her turns out to be something more than Annie ever would have expected, her life is thrust once again into turmoil. A near-death experience takes Annie into an entirely new world, one she would never have believed existed. It seems like death has its sights set on Annie for sure this time, and a war is closing in. Even immortality may not be enough to save her now.

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Amazon // iBooks // B&N // Kobo 

About Brandi Kennedy

Brandi Kennedy is an American writer who is finally living her childhood career dream as the author of the Kingsley Series, the Selkie Trilogy, and the Freedom Series.

As a child, books were her world – and through adulthood, that love of words has never changed.  A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.

Connect with Brandi

Facebook // Twitter // Website // Instagram 


What inspired you to become an author?
I’m not sure really. I love books, but maybe even more than I love books, I love that I can make art with the English language. I can tell a story that touches someone, or takes them somewhere, and that’s beautiful to me. Mostly though, I write because I can’t not write. I’ve been writing for fun since I was a kid … what better job is there than that?

I assume all authors also love to read, so what book inspired your love of reading?
My love of reading? I’m sure it was one of the old classics, like A Little Princess, or maybe Black Beauty. Maybe it was Tom Sawyer. But in school, I vividly remember loving stories like Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Indian in the Cupboard. I loved Bridge to Terabithia – that one actually still makes me cry. But the seed of my love of romance (which is what I write now), was planted almost entirely by Johanna Lindsey and her Mallory family series. After that, it’s Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks, Diana Gabaldon, and of course J K Rowling.

How old were you when you wrote your first story?
Probably younger than ten. I remember writing poems and stories on notebook paper and showing them off proudly. By middle school, I was writing on an old PC, and I was saving on floppy disks labeled with little stickers. I’m 31 now, and though the technology had changed a lot, I still love words as much as I ever did.

Who are some of your favorite authors now?
Diana Gabaldon, for sure. I’ve read her Outlander Series over and over for the last six years, and I’ve loved them every single time. I laugh, I cry, but more importantly, because of the characters and everything that they endure as they grow, I grow too. I also am still madly in love with the Harry Potter series, and how cleverly J K Rowling blended all of her subthemes with the upfront matter of the story. I could only ever hope to be as talented as either of them when I “grow up.”

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a bit of both, I think. I usually have a general idea of who my characters are, and I know the main points of the story, how things are meant to begin and where I want them to go. But do I have detailed outlines of every chapter and character and scene? No. I like to think of it as them telling me the story, not the other way around. I just type it (or write it) as they tell it.

Are your characters based on people you know?
I guess they are sometimes, but that’s not always intentional. I’ve written whole books before and then as I read them later, I’d realize that I’d named a character after someone, or fashioned them after someone – but I have done it on purpose though, too. In Selkie, there’s a young woman who worked in the bookstore Annie liked to shop in, and she was modeled to look like what I imagined my oldest daughter would look like at that age. In Prescription For Love, Christina Dawn’s country speak was partly a nod to Tennessee, where I live, and partly a nod to my cousin (who is basically my right hand), who really does talk like that. There are a few other instances, too.

What are some of your writing rituals?
I don’t really have any. Sometimes I have tea, sometimes water, sometimes wine. Sometimes something stronger. Sometimes I have music if it helps me to set a mood or work a scene (or drown out background/household noise). Now and then, I’m eating popcorn or something crunchy. But always, I’m alone. I absolutely cannot write when someone is near me. If I’m in the living room, you can’t come up behind me or stand next to me. If I’m on the couch, you can’t sit with me. And if I’m writing sex, I don’t even like anyone to be in the room with me. I literally can’t write when I feel like someone’s watching me or reading over my shoulder.

How do other books influence your writing? 
They bleed into my subconscious. Sometimes when I’ve read something that touched my heart in a particular way, I have to make a conscious effort to keep it out of my own stories. I don’t want to write stories based on something someone else worked hard on. However, I do notice a particular style of dialogue I might like to imitate, or a scene idea (like a particular place a couple might go on a date) or something like that. Sometimes (like recently), I’ll read more dual-perspective books or books from the male perspective to help me feel like I’m more able to get into a man’s head as I’m writing. I do notice that particularly good writing does inspire me to do better though, and particularly bad writing causes me to write badly. So I try not to read too much bad writing – I’m not at all afraid to mark something off as DNF. However, when I do that, it’s not because the story is slow or fast, or there’s a character I don’t like. It’s only when the writing is bad or the errors are too plentiful to ignore.

How do you get motivated to sit down and write with all the real world interruptions?
Honestly? Sometimes, I don’t. There are days when my kids need everything, and they need every second of my day. There are days when I just can’t focus, so I watch tv instead or read a book someone else wrote. But when I need to write and I’m having trouble getting into the groove, there is always music. There’s a song that fits that moment I’m stuck on in a story, or a character I can’t stop thinking about. Always, even when I don’t have words, there’s a song. And often, the song gives me back the words.

Which one of your books is your favorite? 
Usually, the newest one, because the newest one best reflects my growth as a writer and a professional, and that’s how I critique myself. But each story is different. Fat Chance is my favorite because Cass is so like so many women I’ve known and respected in my life. Prescription For Love is my favorite because it shows how much potential human beings have to heal and proper in spite of adversity. Wrestling Harmony is my favorite because it’s a cozy read with a sweet story and a really charming guy. More Than Friends is my favorite (or will be, after its release on November 10th) because so many men in my life inspired the different parts Michael Kingsley. Selkie is my favorite because it was so much fun to write! Fighting For Freedom is my favorite because it’s so close to my heart. It’s a triumph over domestic violence, both inside of the story and outside of it. I lived in that world, and I think shedding light on it is the only way to make it go away. Courageous is my favorite too, though. It’s short and sweet, and it’s my first contest entry. It’s also my first winner.
I love them all. I’m not sure I’ll ever have a true favorite.

If you could have a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be and why?
A lighthouse in New England. Or maybe a little beach cabin somewhere. Or the coast of Scotland. Anywhere with an ocean view.

If your main character were an alcoholic beverage, which beverage would they be and why?
I guess that depends on the character – with six books, I have a lot to choose from, and I don’t really know that many drinks. Maybe in lieu of answering this question, I’ll make it a reader contest. *wink*

If you could live in a fictional world, which world would you choose and why?
Oh that’s a fun one – so many options! I think I’ll go with Harry Potter’s world, but only if I could be a witch and not a muggle. Magic lives there, and if I were to live there, I’d certainly want some magic. 

What’s the best way to hide a body?
I can’t tell you the answer to that. Then someone might find them.

This or That

Coke or Pepsi?     Coke.
Paperback or e-reader?     E-Reader. So many books, so little space!
Facebook or Twitter?     Facebook. I’m too wordy for Twitter.
Peeta or Gale?     I can’t choose.
Edward or Jacob?     Jacob.
Money or love?     Love.
Tattoos or bare?     Tattoos.
Hairy or smooth?     Smooth.
Call or text?     Text.
Hot or cold?     Cold.
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?     Harry Potter.
Coffee or Tea?     Both.
Halloween or Christmas?     Christmas.
McDonald’s or Burger King?     McDonald’s.
Batman or Spiderman?     Spiderman.
Oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip?     Oatmeal Raisin.

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