Howdy, Delighted Readers!
We are tickled to have author, Jenya Keefe, visiting today for the first time to share a little about herself and a lot about her books- particularly the latest, The Monster and the Musician.
Thank you so much for dropping by Delighted Reader. Always fun to have a guest at our blog.
Read any good books lately that you can recommend? Or any big anticipation reads for the last part of the year?
If you’re interested in queer romantic suspense, I heartily recommend Bitter Legacy and its sequels by Dal Maclean. They’re great.
I’m wildly excited for the third installment of Alexis Hall’s Arden St. Ives trilogy, How To Belong With A Billionaire. I am a giant Alexis Hall fan and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for soooooo long.
Oh man, I need to get my butt in gear. I read and loved the first Arden St. Ives and need keep going now that the whole trilogy is nearly out.
I’m also looking forward to the sequel to The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards. It’s called The Hanged Man (it’s an urban fantasy set in a tarot-based world) and the first book was terrific. The publisher has delayed its release a couple times, so I’m on pins and needles waiting for that.
Ooo… yeah, might have to give this one a looksee, too.
Now, I was told that you are still in your rookie writing season with two books published this year. That is exciting. Congratulations!
What was your reaction to having your books published?
I still sort of can’t believe it. It didn’t seem real at all until I saw reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads start to roll in. I’m trying not to be one of those authors that stalks reviews, but it’s hard to not visit them once in a while to say, Look! Evidence that actual humans are reading my books!
Have you always wanted to be a published author?
I decided I wanted to be a published author when I was about eight, and received high praise for my story “The Leprechaun Who Wasn’t Green.” I pretty much gave up on the dream of making a living writing once I got to college, and embarked upon a more practical career (which I like, fortunately – no regrets). I always wrote stories for my own pleasure, though, including several book-length projects. A couple years ago I queried agents and publishers about Relationship Material – not very seriously, just to see what the response would be. And now, here we are.
I saw that your latest release, The Monster and the Musician, is a fantasy romance. Does my imagination run amok or are there tantalizing fairytale overtones to it?
Yes, it’s a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This is one of my favorite stories and it’s been re-told a lot. My favorite version is Beauty by Robin McKinley.
Are you a dark fairytale lover or do you lean more toward Happily Ever After ones?
Oh, both. I like tons of angst (I joke that my main characters frequently cry in the shower). But I have to have a happy ending.
How did the story come about?
A long time ago I read a science-fiction Beauty and the Beast retelling, in which the beast was an alien. I loved the concept but didn’t care for the execution, so I wrote my own. In my first draft, Oberon was an alien envoy from another planet. My editor at Riptide suggested reworking it as a fantasy, for a couple reasons. One, she said that fantasies tend to sell better than science-fiction. And two, the alien was … a little snakelike? Maybe a fae would be more attractive? She was quite tactful about it, but she might have had a point.
Now, I’m a fan of squiggly aliens sometimes, but, yeah, the tentacle or serpentine lovers are few and far between. Haha!
What is something that can’t be found in the story that would be fun or interesting to know about Angel? About Oberon?
Here’s a detail that never made it into the final draft of The Musician and the Monster. When Ángel is getting ready to confront the bad guys, he happens to be wearing something a little feminine: a pink shirt, maybe, or one with flowers. His conservative father says, “Are you going to wear that?” And Ángel, who had been planning to change the shirt, gets angry and says “YES!” and marches off. So in that climactic confrontation, please picture Ángel wearing a pink shirt with flowers.
I spotted that your first book, Relationship Material, is a contemporary romance. And, of course, The Monster and the Musician is fantasy. Do you think you’ll be dabbling in any other genres in the future?
I definitely want to write more fantasy, and I’d like to try science-fiction again, too. I am a great fan of the romantic mystery – that’s my current project. But I’ve discovered that marrying romance and mystery is super-hard, so I’m a little stuck.
And, just before we let you get back to writing and life, what’s next from the pen of Jenya Keefe?
Well, right now I’m taking a break! But I’ve got hopes for that half-written romantic mystery, so keep an eye out for that…
So glad you could drop by, Jenya! Wish you and the Monster and the Musician well. I’ll be watching for that romantic mystery.
Monday, September 30
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Friday, October 4
About the Book
Hatred is a spell only true love can break.
Ángel Cruz is a dedicated session musician, until loyalty to his estranged family forces him to work for Oberon: the feared and hated envoy from the Otherworld. Overnight, Ángel is taken from his life, his friends, his work, and trapped in a hideous mansion in the middle of nowhere, under constant surveillance, and with only the frightening fae for company.
Oberon’s poor understanding of humans combined with Ángel’s resentment and loneliness threaten to cause real harm to the pair. Then a long winter together in the mansion unites them in their love of music. Slowly, Ángel’s anger thaws, and he begins to realize that Oberon feels alone too.
Gradually, these two souls from different worlds form a connection like none other. But hate and prejudice are powerful things, and it’ll take all the magic of their love to stop the wider world from forcing them apart.
About the Author
Jenya Keefe was born in the South. She has an advanced degree in European history, and has spent much of her life working the kinds of jobs a history degree qualifies you for: gift shop employee, lumber grader, classifieds clerk, hot glass artist. She currently lives in the Seattle area, where she works at a library. She has always written stories.
To celebrate this release, Jenya is giving away a $15 gift card to Powell’s City of Books! Powell’s is an independent bookseller located in Portland, but those not in Portland can still shop online. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 4, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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