GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Jeffe Kennedy (The Talon of the Hawk (The Twelve Kingdoms #3) + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Interview: Jeffe Kennedy (The Talon of the Hawk (The Twelve Kingdoms #3) + giveaway

Sharon: Hello Jeffe and welcome to I Smell Sheep. Katie and I recently met you at Coastal Magic 2015. You were always dressed so beautifully! But we got to ask about the hat…does size matter? *cue music* “You like big hats and you cannot lie…”
Jeffe: LOL! Size TOTALLY matters – as in, the bigger, the better! Seriously, I do wear big hats because I started wearing them primarily to protect my skin. I’m a very fair Scots/Irish girl living in New Mexico. I’ve also lost two friends to melanoma. I like a broad brim to maximize that sun protection. Not so sexy, but there we are. And thank you for the compliment!

Sharon: The third book in your successful series The Twelve Kingdoms releases this month. Can you tell us a little about the series?
JeffeSure! Right now we have at least five books planned in the series. It began with THE MARK OF THE TALA, continued with THE TEARS OF THE ROSE and winds up the initial trilogy with THE TALON OF THE HAWK, out May 26. These three books are the stories of the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last, daughters of the High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. The first book is about the middle princess, Andi, and her discovery that she’s betrothed to the king of an enemy kingdom they’d believed to be mythological, the land of the Tala. This overall tale of the three sisters is about finding the truth behind lies and coming to grasp with what love and power are really about.

Sharon: Books 1-3 are about each of the sisters, but I see there are two more books in the series coming next year. Who/What will they be about?
JeffeYes, THE PAGES OF THE MIND will be next and it’s Dafne’s story, for those who are familiar with the series so far. For those who aren’t, Dafne Mailloux was a surprise character for me. She’s a librarian at Castle Ordnung who walked onto the page and helped my middle princess, Andi, with the information she needed. She goes on to help each of the sisters in their journeys. With the way TALON ends, a whole new raft of problems crops up and Dafne goes on an information-gathering quest, as is her forte. She’ll have two companions going with her – Jepp, who we meet in TALON, one of Princess Ursula’s elite fighting force of Hawks, and Zynda, a Tala cousin. Jepp’s book will be the fifth, THE EDGE OF THE BLADE.

Sharon: Tell us a “first” from your life… (first kiss, first pet, first rejection…)
JeffeI have two first kisses, which is probably cheating, but I define them really differently. When I was around five and in summer day camp, we played a kissing game. Each day the winners were crowned King and Queen (I have zero recollection of the rules), and everyone had to chip in to buy them a Dolly Madison pie, which they would share. I was reigning Queen that entire summer. After that, I settled into a more reserved lifestyle and made sweet sixteen and never been kissed. My first real kiss happened just weeks after that birthday and seriously rocked my world.

Sharon: This is the year of the sheep. How have sheep shaped or changed your life?
JeffeSo, this is a true story. I graduated from summer day camp to going to Girl Scout camp in the mountains, many years later. (Alas, no kissing games.) Because I was in the horsewoman program, I was in and around the stables a lot. We fed, groomed and saddled up the horses in the mornings, helped the younger girls with lessons, then did long rides and games in the afternoons. Near the stables was also a shed with this one, lone sheep. I have no idea why it was there, but it hadn’t been shorn, though it was midsummer. It seemed so miserably hot that several of us took it in our heads to shear it ourselves. Let me tell you – shearing a sheep is flipping HARD WORK! Also, the wool is really oily, dirty and it has BUGS in it. We were all filthy by the time we finished, but the sheep capered about quite happily, so we felt rewarded for our good deed. Ever since, however, I have had a healthy respect for those who take care of sheep.
Sharon: Sounds like you guys changed that sheep’s life for the better too! Aw, let’s take a moment to reflect on all the sheep in our lives…

~lights candle under photo of sheep family~
Sharon: Do you hoard collect anything?
JeffeI confess I’m a hoarder collector from way back. When I was little, I collected unicorns and pictures of waterfalls. And books. Then I moved into collecting masks and more books. For a long time, I collected glass animals (including unicorns) and had several display cases for them. I also collected books. I eventually got rid of all the waterfall posters and the glass animals have broken over time, so I only have a few left. I’ve culled the book collection, but I have some still from childhood, and even from my parents’ and grandparents’ youth. I still collect masks and have them hanging all over the house.
Sharon: Do you have a favorite mask, one that means the most to you?
JeffeOooh, that would be a difficult pick. I have quite a few masks packed away – as I seem to have a whole bunch of them now – so the ones that are out are all special in some way. I have one that I bought from the Cirque du Soleil store immediately after seeing O, that reminds me of the delicious feeling of that show. That one is by my desk, along with a Venetian style cat mask that’s black on black. Both of those feed me creatively. But my most favorite might be the one that started it all, that my mother brought me from New Orleans when I was a little girl. It’s ceramic, with shades of pink and yellow in flower petals that rain over the face.

Sharon: Not only do you like big hats…you like big cats too! Can you introduce us to your Maine Coons? (would love pics of the cats if you have them)
JeffeYes! My Maine coon cats are Jackson (the black and white tuxedo) and Isabel (the blue smoke). They are so smart and such great companions.
Sharon: They are beautiful! Can you tell me about the mirror-holding monkeys in the background? <G>
JeffeHa! I love which stuff people pick out in the backgrounds. I bought that mirror in an antique store in Richmond, Virginia as a Christmas present for my mother. She was collecting mirrors at the time, for her New Orleans condo. I thought it was perfect for the carnival feel of New Orleans. (We have a theme here.) That was pre-Katrina. When she moved back to Denver, she brought that mirror with her. Then, when she consolidated to living in one house – now in Tucson – I “inherited” a bunch of her stuff. That was one of the things.

Sharon: What is one of nature’s most awe inspiring moments/creation for you?
JeffeI’m kind of a nature girl, so there are many. I live outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, in this house with an incredible view. We get pretty much from sunrise to sunset and the skies are freaking amazing. My desk as a view down this long open basin to the distant mountains. I take tons of pictures. Here’s one of a solstice sunrise that’s one of my favorites.
Sharon: Wow, I can honestly say I’ve never witnessed a sunrise or sunset like that before.
JeffeClearly you need to visit New Mexico!

You heard her...pile into the bus cause we're heading to NM!

Rapid Fire

Sharon: Fae King or Vampire King?
JeffeFae King

Sharon: Warriors or Royalty?
JeffeRoyal warriors!

Sharon: Where’s the produce section or Where’s the candy isle?
Sharon: See, I knew I liked you from the beginning. *grabs Jeffe’s hand and runs toward M&M World*

Sharon: Morticia or Elvia?
JeffeMorticia, of course.

Sharon: Leather or Lace?

Sharon: Ping pong or Pool?
JeffePool, with cabana boys and margaritas :D
Sharon: snort, I see what you did there…I like the way you think.
Jeffe~flutters lashes~

Sharon: violin or guitar?
Sharon: Do you play? For some reason I picture you as a harpist, and that makes me think of harpies…which I don’t picture you as…
JeffeHeh, I’ve no doubt been CALLED a harpy... But yes, I do play. Kinda. I have an Irish harp (also called a lever harp) and I took lessons for a few years. I am, however, quite terrible at it. I keep thinking I should sell my harp as I never play these days (see: terrible at it), but I’m fond of it.

Paperback, 352 pages
May 26th 2015 by Kensington

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead.

About the Author:
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with awriting career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of theFacets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today - love all the pics!

  2. My sister has read both The Mark of the Tala and The Tears of the Rose and recently gave me a print copy of both books telling me that I "needed to read" them..Thanks for the spotlight, interview and giveaway

    1. I love your sister, Maria! Tell her thanks from me!! :-)

  3. Harpie! Love the humor!
    This is a wonderful series! The covers are amazing, the titles are clever, and the writing is brilliant! I have been wondering which character gets the last book. I didn't guess Jepp, but am happy she gets more story time. Best wishes on the new release! :)

    1. LOL - thanks, Dawn! Who did you guess, if not Jepp? (and it might not be the very last. we'll see!)