Monday, June 2, 2014

Guest post by Jeffe Kennedy, author of The Mark of the Tala with a review

  The Mark of the Tala

The Twelve Kingdoms Trilogy

Book One

Jeffe Kennedy

Release Date May 27

Available on Amazon

Book Description:

Queen Of The Unknown

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

Upcoming books in the trilogy are The Tears of the Rose and The Talon of the Hawk.

About the Author:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in the Facets of Passion series, has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up, Platinum, is climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency.

She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

Jeffe was nice enough to do a guest post for us! :-)

I saw a tweet today, from Book Expo America via @USATodayBooks, that Jason Segel said books are a "collaboration between the words of the author and the imagination of the reader."

I retweeted it, because I loved that so much. Then I looked up who the hell Jason Segel is, because he follows 96 people, is followed by over 2 million and has no Twitter profile. Turns out he’s that actor guy. Who knew? (Clearly not me, which tells you something.) Why he’s talking about books, I’m not sure, but it’s still a brilliant observation.

Yesterday, an interviewer asked me some conversations on Goodreads about this book, The Mark of the Tala. I hadn’t read the conversations, because I believe strongly that readers should be able to talk freely about a book without the author helicopter-mothering her story. I was a reader first and I *love* to talk books. I’m also possessive about my experience with a book. To the point that I sometimes don’t care how the author thinks a character’s name should be pronounced if I had it different in my head to begin with.

That’s the collaboration aspect: my reader’s imagination brings the other half to the table.

So, when this interviewer asked me how I felt about some readers saying they thought there were questionable consent issues in the story (e.g., is the heroine forced to have sex?), I was a bit taken aback. It had never occurred to me as the author that someone would read it that way. But then, I’d been in the heroine’s head all along and I thought I *knew* how she felt about it. In my mind, she did not feel forced.

However, that’s just my side of the collaboration.

If readers bring a different imaginative experience to the book, that’s absolutely legitimate. And, in truth, I’d much rather we have conversations about consent, sex and power than not discuss the subject at all. For far too many years, women had no recourse to have these discussions, or to assert themselves. Thus, this post is my longer answer to that question, since it’s on my mind this morning.

How do I feel about the issue? I don’t think Andi felt forced. I think she made a difficult decision that took a great deal of strength of character. She committed fully to a marriage that would stop a war and sex with her husband was part of that. She held herself to a bargain made to save her people. To me that’s what a great ruler and human being does, whether or not that person is female.

How do I feel about the discussions? I say rock on. I’m only half of this collaboration and these are important things to talk about.

More, I love that people are reading in the first place!

My Thoughts:

I had mixed feelings about this book. There were parts that I really liked, parts that were okay, and one or two that I didn't care for.

The book started out more or less like a typical YA fantasy book. Then it seemed more geared for adults. There was some romance and steam, mystery, fantasy, and action.

There were three princesses. They could not have been more different. Our heroine was my favorite except for her choice of beau. Something happened and I found it hard to believe and accept the out come. If this sounds vague, it is because I'm trying not to give spoilers. 

The second half of the book was better paced than the first part.  The first half seemed to drag a little. It took awhile for the heroine to decide on a course of action and make something happen.

This book was just okay for me. It was a decent read, had lots of potential but just didn't make me see stars. I may read the next book in the series but I'm not positive.

I received a paperback copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. If you like fantasy books and princesses, you should try this one! While it wasn't the best that I've ever read, I did enjoy it.

Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. It is a great chance to win a book you'd like to have! The link can be found at the top of the page.


  1. I've seen some reviews posted around of this one and I'm intrigued by it so I'll add it to my list. Maybe not one I'll get right away though. I love the guest post and yes I've found sometimes we readers completely see things differently.

    1. I agree. I think that's part of what makes book buddies, reviews, and book clubs successful. If everyone seen it the same way, there wood be no need for discussion.

    2. Totally. It makes it lots more fun when you have people you can debate and just discuss everything with. :)

    3. and we get so happy when we discover people seeing the story/feeling the book like us

  2. oh it has been recommended to me a lot so it was already on my list. i do think the readers add some additional value to a book with the way they see it, imagine can be surprising for both side i imagine

    in this example, i don't think i would have though she was forced if it's part of a marriage she accepted, she is keeping her word and that's part of the contract... i will perhaps not love at all the fact she has to make that choice and sacrifice her dreams and happiness( that could happen later, we saw some arranged marriage turn into love after all in reallity as well)
    i really need to see this one but if the main HEA ( please tell me there is one) is in the last of the trilogy i will perhaps have to wait until the last release to start reading^^

    1. I hope it does! You know how much I like my HEAs.

    2. ^^ we have little emotionnal heart and need our HEA dosis^^;;

  3. Thanks for hosting me here, Brenda! As for the HEA - I don't want to give anything away, but I'm a total HEA girl. :-)

    1. I am happy to have you here. :-) It is good to know that you like HEAs too.

      While I appreciate you not wanting to give anything away, you have given me hope for the ending I want so thank you. I will probably keep reading now. :-)

    2. Thanks for stopping by! We're all big HEA girls here. :)

    3. definitively feeling better now about starting teh series^^
      don't disappoint us please