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:~: Monday, August 03, 2009 :~:

Freebie Day #20 - Guest Author Kris Kennedy!

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elisabeth naughton
Today I'm thrilled to welcome debut author and 2008 Golden Heart winner, Kris Kennedy!

Psychotherapist, wife, mother, and romance writer, Kris Kennedy succumbed to the power of writing about love and has never looked back. Her debut romance, a hot, sweeping medieval, came out May 2009 from Kensington, THE CONQUEROR, and garnered strong reviews from sites such as All About Romance (B+ “an impressive debut”), DearAuthor (a Recommended Read for May), and BookBinge (“stunning tale of betrayal and redemption”). Check out her website at, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter to get exclusive excerpts in advance of her next release, another sexy, even faster-paced medieval: THE IRISH WARRIOR!


After seventeen years of a civil war, things are about to change.

Reluctant hero Griffyn ‘Pagan’ Sauvage is single-minded in pursuit of his mission: overthrow England. He has vowed to reclaim his beloved home, lost seventeen years ago in a coup of the English crown, and wreak his vengeance upon the man who stole it, John de l’Ami. He veers from his quest only once, to rescue a brave and beautiful woman from a midnight abduction.

Guinevere de l’Ami, countess of Everoot since her father died two weeks ago, is equally committed to only one thing: redemption. One fateful night changes everything. A midnight rescue on the king’s highway results in a single night of unforgettable passion, making them risk everything for the despair-defying connection neither ever hoped to find.

Their explosive reunion, a year later, follows betrayal and a bloody invasion. Now cold vows of revenge, the lure of buried treasure, and the deadly enemy closing in threaten a love that could unite a realm, or bring it crashing to the ground.

With her debut release, Kris Kennedy has given us a stunning tale of betrayal and redemption. … On the surface this would seem to be just another historical romance novel, but hidden in it’s depths are real treasures.”
--Book Binge 4.5/5 stars

If you’ve been looking for a strong Medieval romance, The Conqueror is an impressive debut, indeed.”
--All About Romance, B+

Welcome, Kris, to the blog!!! We're so glad to have you with us.


The Potency of Reunion Stories
by Kris Kennedy

What is it about a reunion story? Both of Elisabeth’s first two books have reunion themes in them, as does my debut release in May, THE CONQUEROR.

Why is this a recurring theme in the romance genre? What's the hook, the thing that grabs readers over and over again? I mean, aside from the obvious: getting to say your best lines, the ones you always think of later. ;-)

As a first stop, I checked a few dictionaries. Hey! Writer here. I think dictionaries are fun.

At first, the pickings for ‘Reunion” were incredibly uninteresting. As in, barely able to keep my eyes open. “The act of being united again.” Got it. But then I got to things like ‘Rapprochement,” meaning a restoration of harmony. That’s better! What with ‘harmony,’ though? What’s that about?

I found concepts like affinity and compatibility. A meeting of the minds. (I wondered, how about the hearts?) But I think the thesaurus option I liked best was ‘attunement.’

We’re attuned when we are in union. We flex for each other. We sense the other, and shift in response. It’s not compromise so much as dancing, or a musical arrangement. We move for and with each other, and we becomes something we could never be alone.

In a romance, this attunement comes only after a suitably angst-y period wherein the hero & heroine can’t stand each other (but usually have really entertaining arguments.) It need not necessarily be a long stretch of time, just a suitably emotionally-packed period of darkness, discord, and incompatiblity. Inflexibility. Disbelief or mistrust of the other. And oneself.

In fact, I suspect this is what makes the reunion story so compelling—the ability to reach such heights after such lows. A reunion story draw us into both the dark and the light. Heroes doubt and betray not only the heroine, but themselves when they make choices that refute or ignore the connection, the attunement.

Now, all good romance—good fiction--does that anyhow, right? We get Black Moments, dark nights of the soul, errors and mishaps and plain bad decisions made for the worst of reasons. Our lowest, most frightened selves.

But in a reunion story, we get to try again. With the same person. We get a second chance.

And how often does that happen?, I thought wistfully.

Then I looked out the window and saw my husband. And I realized that sometimes, we get that chance every single day.

Reunion stories remind us there’s hope. Hello. Wake up. Try again. He’s right there.

Sometimes we need that reminder.

So, I’m off to get attuned with my husband, and maybe have some new heights today. And tonight. ;-)

How about you? Ever been given a second chance? Why did it matter? And how did it go?

One lucky commenter with their second chance story will win a signed copy of my debut medieval romance, THE CONQUEROR. I also have a First Chapter book to give away to a second commenter. So, let’s hear ‘em!

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Blogger Jane said...

Congrats on your debut release. No reunion for me, but it did happen to my cousin and her boyfriend. I was skeptical that they would make it work the second time around because I would think the problems they had would still exist. They're married now, but the old issues still occasionally cause friction.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Emmanuelle said...

Hi Kris !!
I love medieval romances and I'm very happy you decided to write one. THere are not many authors who chose this period and that's too bad I think. Among my favorite mediaval authors are Julie Garwood, Paula Quinn and Johanna Lindsey. I read very good reviews for The Conqueror and I'm very much looking forward reading it. Plus it's a reunion book and I'm a succker for those.
Congrats !!

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Amy M said...

Congratulations on your release! No reunion story for me. I cannot even think of anyone off hte top of my head that was one.

Amy M

5:03 AM  
Blogger Blodeuedd said...

Ohh looks good. Mmm yummy cover!

Second chances, well nothing big. Just a competition were I did badly, but they knew I could do better so I got another chance and did better. It was elementary school so that says it

7:21 AM  
Blogger alba said...

My second chance was at Life. Its been 9 years since I found the small lump on my right Breast I was so lucky that it was found early still have both 1 smaller than the other but my life is more important than a pair of evenly matched boobs.
I guess now that I think about my relationship with my Husband we did get a second chance too he is my rock I love him dearly...
Check your Boobies every month........

7:27 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Hey girls! So good to see you.

Jane~ Cool! I hope your cousin and her b/f are able to sustain love despite the old issues resurfacing every so often. 'Issues' have a way of doing that, don't they? :-) A lot of times, the problem isn't that we having the same ongoing problems with our spouses, it's how we handle them.

Thanks for saying hi!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Hi Emmanuelle~
Yay! So glad you love medievals! :-) So, tell me, why are you a sucker for reunion stories? What is it that grabs you?

8:31 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Amy M~
Oh, I'm just the same as you! I can hardly come up with my name is it's spur of the moment. :-)

How about any great reunion stories you've read? Any that you love?

8:32 AM  
Blogger bridget3420 said...

I have given second chances and most of the time it was just a waste. If things didn't work out the first time, there's a reason it didn't work.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

And you know, that might be one of the reasons we love a 2nd chance story so much--b/c it feels so long ago since we had one. I think that's a terrific story, how you got a 2nd chance to do your best in a competition in elementary school.

I mean, really, isn't that what we should want from each other, they're very best? I'm up for giving people a 2nd chance to do it.

And yeah, the cover is kinda nice, huh? ;-)

Thanks for saying Hi!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Oh, girl, that's the *best* 2nd chance story: you get your whole life again. And your husband gets his 2nd chance, with you.

I'll repeat your caution: Do a breast self-exam every month (I always forget, so thank-you for the reminder.) Who knows, this might prompt someone to do it, and give *her* second chance?

Thanks, Alba, for saying hi!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Bridget 3420~

There's definitely a time for letting go and moving on. Sometimes knowing it's time can be hard. As a therapist, I've see a lot of pain come from people clinging to a relationship or an idea that is over and done.

On the other hand . . . if something/someone resurfaces in our lives, maybe that's 'for a reason' too? :-)

Gotta be able to tell the difference between wanting something to be, and having it *actually* be.

Thanks for stopping by!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Emmanuelle said...

Kris, what really grabs me in reunion stories ??? I think it's the fact that everything isn't right or perfect with H/H. They have some issues to overcome and their HEA isn't an easy one to get. I love to see H/H bikering and fighting (ok I admit not too hard and not too long). Plus I love the fact that they really know each other, they have a past, shared memories... it's cool. Makes me really want them to be together EVENTUALLY.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Kris! I think what you wrote is all very true. And the person that gave me a second chance was my best friend. It was a misunderstanding, but still, even knowing that, it was so bad I don't think I would have even blamed her if she DID stay mad at me. But she didn't. Because honestly, she just knew me better than that. And sometimes, I'll think back to all the people I gave second chances to, that I really didn't believe in at the time, and be so glad I did. Because if I didn't I wouldn't have them in my life right now.

Alright, now I'm just running my mouth lol. I'll stop now.

Thanks for stopping by! And your book sounds really good, definitely one I'd like to read! :)

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Luckily we get small second chances all the time - can't get it always right the first time around. No reunions for me or anyone I can think of right now.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Mari said...

The best reunion story is in a book I read by Sylvia Day, The Stranger I married.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Oh, yes, that 'shared history' thing is very potent, in fiction and real life.

Part of what's so compelling in a reunion story is that these people have often seen each other at their very, very worst, and are still willing to give it a try. And then each of them does a little better than before. That's good stuff.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Oh, that's a wonderful story. I loved when you said, "she [your friend] just knew me better than that."

It's true we *can* get walked over by people if we keep believing they'll act different NEXT TIME, but I think there's also a place for believing in each other.

And there's a big difference between a 2nd chance and, say, a 30th chance. LOL Sounds like your friend was willing to let you be a better person, and you took her up on it.

Great story. Thanks for sharing. :-)

12:47 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

You're so right. Each day we wake up, there's a chance to do something different, to be a better person than we were the day before.

Thanks for coming by!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Thanks for the suggestion of a great reunion story!

12:49 PM  
Blogger Refhater said...

Congrats on your release!

I don't personally have a "reunion" story, but my aunt has a nice one.

Sandy got pregnant at 16 and was forced to give the baby up for adoption and break up with her boyfriend.(My grandparents are super strict and it was the mid 60's.)

Then years later she ran into her old boyfriend. They got married and ended up finding their son that they had put up for adoption all those years before. They found a location where the baby had been sent to and searched school yearbooks until they found him. (He looks just like his dad.)

1:22 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

Hi Kris!

Great post! I've not a reunion of any kind in my life.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Genene Valleau said...

"But in a reunion story, we get to try again...And I realized that sometimes, we get that chance every single day."

I really like this quote, Kris. Congratulations on your debut novel! I hope it sells really well.

Yep, I like reunion stories and have written them. :)

3:08 PM  
Blogger SiNn said...

yesss i was given a second chance with the love of my life and now we are engaged and going to be married next year dreams and love are possible just have to want it and work towards keeping it no one ever told me things would be easy but they did tell me that someday id find the one person who would make everything in my life make sence

3:32 PM  
Blogger SiNn said...

oh yeah congrats on ur novle i cant wiat to read it i got so excited to tell about my second chance i forgot before i hit enter

3:32 PM  
Blogger Emmanuelle said...

Very happy for you SiNn !!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

You know, I think that happened a lot more than we realize in the 60's. I hope everything continues to go well for your aunt and her husband, and for their child. Thanks for sharing their story! And thanks for the congrats on my debut release. :-)

6:48 PM  
Blogger Alexa said...

I've been given second chance, but they normally don't work out.


6:51 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

I'm so glad you liked the line! I truly was struck by the fact the sometimes the things we pine for are right under our noses. ;-) Thank-you for the congrats, and best on all *your* stories too!

Very glad to see you here! Thanks for saying hi. :-)

6:54 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

LOL-Love your enthusiasm, and major congrats on your upcoming wedding.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

I'm sorry to hear 2nd chances haven't turned out for you yet. But you know what I was struck by from your comment? You had people willing to give you a 2nd chance. That's pretty cool too. You must have some good people in your life, who believe in you.

Hope your next 2nd chance works out in wonderful ways you could never have expected. :-)

6:59 PM  
Blogger Kainani said...

I've been given a second chance. My husband and I remarried. Our 1st marriage together was for 2.5 years. We divorced for a short period and we have been happily remarried for 10 years now and have 2 wonderful boys. We have a 16 year history all together. It took him awhile to remarry me. LOL. It's all good.

Kris I can't wait to read your new book. If I don't win, I'm adding it to my to read list.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Mitzi said...

No reunion for me, but a couple that I've known for years got a divorce and then 3 years later got remarried, but it didn't work the second time either. That makes me think of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton...Hehehe. I'd love to win this book.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Nope, no second chance romances for me, lol. Probably better off w/out that happening!!
But I LOVE mideval romances...I miss that there don't seem to be as many as there used to be. Love me some Johanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught, Jude, I could go ON!!
Good luck, and can't wait to read The Conqueror!!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Sharon M said...

I don't have a 2nd chance or reunion story either but I love reading others' stories whether they are true or in fiction.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

That's a terrific story! Sometimes, when we have such bad rough times, we learn some important lessons that make the 2nd time soooo much better. :-) A great story to tell your kids one day.

Thanks for saying hi & sharing your story. I'm so happy the book sounds good! You can pop over to my website to see excerpts if you want, & if you'd like me to sign you up for my newsletter, just let me know.

And congrats on your strong, 2nd chance marriage. :-)

8:11 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Now that sounds like Kainani's story, only with a not-so-romantic ending. :-)

I actually know a few people like that too, they keep going back for more of the same. I think the *hope* that things will be different often clouds people's ability to see that it's *not* any different at all. And that's not romantic at all.

In fiction, of course, we can make sure their emotional 'sight' is 20/20. :-)

8:17 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

LOL--I know what you mean. There are some opportunities I'm glad only came once. ;-)

Another medieval-loving gal. Hurray! If you pick up The Conqueror, I hope you love it.

The next book is an Irish medieval, due out June, just in time for beach reads next summer. ;-) Let me know if you'd like me to sign you up for the newsletter, okay?

8:22 AM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Sharon M~
Thanks for saying hi!! It's really fun to read them, isn't it?

To all~
If anyone would like to receive my newsletter, come on by the site ( or send me an email and I can sign you up. (

I send it only infrequently to let people know publishing information, & sometimes include exclusive excerpts or info on other releases I think you might be interested in.

I've had such a blast here, ladies. Thanks for the warm welcome.

And thanks and kudos to Elisabeth on another strong, well-received book! You go, girl!

8:28 AM  
Blogger LORETTA CANTON said...


Congrats. I want to read this book. I do not have a second chhance but sign me up for the newsletter.

lorettaC ,

3:54 PM  
Blogger Llehn said...

No second chances for me but it turned out great. He turned out to be a toad!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Kris Kennedy said...

Got ya signed up! :-)

LOL. So that's one of those times when it's good NOT to have a 2nd chance. Or at least to have turned it down. :-) Thanks for saying hi!

7:53 PM  
Blogger I Heart Book Gossip said...

Giving a second chance is hard because I don't feel the trust in that person anymore and I wouldn't ever even if I give that person another chance into my life.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

2:48 PM  

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