Today it's my pleasure to welcome over Kinley Baker, author of DENIED SHADOWED LOVE, BOOK TWO, a Fantasy Romance.
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most--including each other.
Add DENIED as To-Read on GoodReads!
Before we learn more about these fantastic books we're going to hear directly from Kinley herself.
SKY: Thanks for joining us, Kinley!
KINLEY: Thank you for allowing me to visit today, Sky!
Romance Lurks in the Shadows
The Realm of Shadows in my Shadowed Love Trilogy came from my obsession with the shadows. The darkness hides so much on a wide spectrum.
Fear, intrigue, mystery, passion.
Things lurk where we’re afraid to travel.
I love paranormal romance and all things strange. When the idea of Shadow Shifters sparked a whole realm, I knew I had to write their stories. And they had to be romances because I’m obsessed with happy endings.
My fascination with the shadows started with the wicked witch of my bedroom at age eight. I was convinced the witch lived right outside my window. It was really a tree, but to my vivid imagination, there was no convincing me differently. It was a witch…
It’s only when we get older that we start to see the shadows hide much more than fear. In the darkness, we’re given the ability to explore parts of ourselves we might be afraid to see in the light of day.
The inherent intrigue is what drew me into a realm full of scandal, corruption, and war. The stories are tempered by love, strong family ties, and the ever vast question of loyalty.
Ruined, the first book in the trilogy, explores a forbidden relationship between Jessa, the Senior Healer, and Vale, the newly crowned King. Jessa struggles with her need to help. She can’t seem to find the limit on what she gives to others.
On the opposite side of the power struggle, Vale is attempting to gain the respect of his kingdom and his Court. He never expected to lead, and he’s forced to examine what being a strong leader truly means.
Throughout the series, it was important for the characters to have their own shadows, as well. The things they struggle with and against are never easy and there are multiple ways to view them.
With the shadows shielding us, sometimes it’s easier to hide what we don’t want to admit about ourselves. The characters in the Realm of Shadows struggle with this fundamental theme.
I still remember creating bunny ears with a flashlight against the wall at camp. Not all memories of the shadows are filled with anxiety. Some of them are fun, too.
Do you have a fun story to share about your experience with shadows when you were younger or older?
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.
Book trailer on YouTube
"Well, I did." Vale came around the desk and propped one hip against it, more of a threatening than casual movement.
"Someone tried to kill me. It makes sense that I have my Healer close by."
She released a pent-up breath. "Why couldn't you have explained that instead of mandating?" Silly. Her imagination had run away with her. The king needed his Healer. But the realization he didn't want her made her angrier.
"Because I didn't want to give you the option of saying no."
She most definitely would have said no.
"If you would have explained your reasoning, I would have complied. Your safety and health come first, even if I-"
"Even if you what?"
"Loathe you." She bunched her fingers into two fists, seriously tempted to hit him. For all the nonexistent pain it would inflict upon him.
"Do you?" His tone deadened with calm. "Because I can't stop thinking about you."
"That's normal." She brushed off the claim. "I saved your life."
He moved in a blur. A true Shadow Shifter. One second he stood near his desk, the next he had her in his arms, one locked around her waist and one hand tangled in her hair. Their lips almost brushed.
"I can't stop thinking about you." His murmur played down her spine, leaving a tingling trail. His scent invaded her. His voice embraced her like bare skin against satin sheets.
Her heart beat fast, her pulse jumped.
She disliked him, but didn't want him to let her go.
"Have you been thinking about me?" His soft tone feathered over her flesh.
"Only how much I dislike you." Lust pulsed in her belly.
He pulled her head back gently by her hair, so they looked straight into each other's eyes. Their bodies pressed tightly together. "Liar."
Check out Kinley’s new novella, Freed, set in the world of The Shadowed Love series
The woman King Falon loves will never love him back, despite a binding marriage built on regal decorum. Falon’s first duty is to his people, and he only wants to provide the Shadow Shifters with a safe future. He must assert his power to gain the respect of the warriors.
Harder still, King Falon must accept the salvation of his people lies with his own Queen Ella, a woman who speaks madness... a woman he’s always loved, but hardly knows.
The Mortal Realm, 657
King Falon looked up at the darkening sky, and a heavy burden settled inside his chest. Where were their Ancestor gods?
From his castle balcony, he stared over the hills of his homeland in Northern Britain, the place the Shadow Shifters had always called home. Their history and their hearts were embedded in these lands.
The mortals had always been a danger, but his people had escaped their persecution. That was no longer the case. The martyrs wanted to annihilate the Shadow Shifters, a race who thrived in the darkness, who thrived in the shadows, who thrived in the night.
Holy believers were coming for them, without any understanding of what they attempted to fight. The Shadow Shifter village had remained protected on these hills, with their Ancestor gods watching over them. Now, their existence was threatened.
“It isn’t your fault.” The sound of Pavel’s voice came from behind him.
Falon couldn’t bear to face his oldest friend and advisor. “Then whose is it?”
“We knew we couldn’t stay hidden here forever.”
“Why must they attack during my reign? Why must this fall to me?” He sighed. “For centuries, peace existed for our people.”
New to the throne, newly wed, newly orphaned. Too many firsts weighed on his shoulders. He didn’t know how to handle the burden.
Pavel seemed to read his mind. “The Ancestors would never give you this challenge if they didn’t believe you capable of discovering a way to provide for our people.”
His friend had so much faith in bodiless apparitions. As the Spirit Teacher, perhaps Pavel had to have faith. But Falon struggled. He’d always struggled.
“That girl--” He couldn’t finish. Seeing the mutilated body of one of his people had made bile rise to his throat. His people had looked to him for answers, and he’d nearly crumbled in front of them.
“You did your duty per our traditions and honored her family.”
Falon had done his duty, but the young girl’s face. He’d never forget it.
“When do you think they’ll come?”
Pavel sighed. “After their savagery, it could be this night, it could be a fortnight. I do not have the answers.”
“We must prepare the Warriors.” To stop his people from being destroyed.
“Then you’ll fight?”
“What other choice do I have?” He glared at his friend, freeing his frustration.
“None that you see.”
“I don’t have time for riddles.”
Pavel smiled. “You never did.”
“I’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect our lands and the Well of Souls. We can’t afford to allow the mortals access to our sacred power source.”
“I trust you’ll do what you must.”
His friend might have too much faith. Falon studied their lands for another long moment, watching the sun fall into the lure of the mountains.
“Of course I will.” But when he glanced back again, Pavel was gone. He had a way of disappearing.
Falon knew he couldn’t dwell on the events of the past week. A young girl was gone, killed by bloodthirsty strangers, but the rest of his people remained. He could not allow her tragic death to befall the whole.
He strode through his private chambers to an adjoining room, deciding not to use the shadows to shift so he could take a deep breath and collect himself. After passing through the doorway, he came to an abrupt halt.
His breath caught at the sight before him. A woman of supreme elegance stood in the last flickers of light, staring out at the disappearing sun from her balcony.
Heavy, thick robes lined her luscious form. Beautiful velvet in a rich blue color fit snugly to her curves. A crown of entwined flowers sat proud atop her head. Her delicate profile showed her true regal magnificence.
Light hair curled down long and brushed against the fabric of her dress. She stood, ethereal, like an Ancestor goddess in his midst. Perfect. Untouchable. Supposedly his.
She didn’t turn to look at him, although he knew she always knew when he entered the room. This was a woman of ultimate power, the strongest Sensitive in the kingdom. And one of only a few in the village who seemed to glow with magic.
So soft. So kind. So distant.
She was his wife. His queen.
And so far out of reach. He wanted her with a desperation that made him ache. But he often thought his wanting of her would be the death of him. He couldn’t allow it to be the death of his kingdom.
“We’re expected for the evening meal.” His tone was rigid.
Her stance remained the same, as if she couldn’t hear him.
“Ella,” he said.
She didn’t move.
Ella made him question himself in a way no one ever had. As a royal and now a king, he wasn’t used to scrutiny. No one seemed able to read his shortcomings as easily as his wife.
His patience frayed. Defiance was not a battle he needed to wage this day. Especially against the one woman who was supposed to stand by him always. Newly married and he’d already learned. The wife he’d married for love would never love him back. And she’d never be on his side.
***War. Ella’s blood boiled with the truth. The scent of blood drifted on the horizon. As the sun faded behind the mountains, her people’s safety faded with it. She felt this truth as surely as she felt her nails curling into her palms.
Loss. The wind swirled with it. Inevitable sacrifices lingered in their future, but she couldn’t define what they risked. Everything inside her yearned to place the pieces into a discernible pattern, something she could give to the king to use. But for the first time in her life, answers eluded her.
Were the Ancestors punishing her? She stared into the angry gray clouds and questioned. Something she’d rarely had to do. As a Sensitive, she’d always known the truth. Not now. Everything was changing, evolving, yielding, one day into the next, a whirlwind she couldn’t stop.
Despair. She could feel the pain in the air, like a blade suspended in time, destined to kill through the ages, destined to harm. A tear slid down her cheek. She was supposed to save her people. She’d always known it. But how?
About the Author
She lives with her husband, Benjamin, and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. Ruined, Denied, and Freed are all available now from Crescent Moon Press.
Look for a new paranormal romance series in 2013. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances.
You can find Kinley at...