New Release Alert for Shannon Kent

One of my favorite authors has a new release. It’s only 99 cents right now, so you need to hop on over to Amazon to grab it. From the first pages, this book has my attention.

FROM FAKE RELATIONSHIP TO TRUE LOVE

A broken engagement drives Susanna Kelly back to her hometown of Sweetheart, Texas and the arms of its quirky, lovable citizens. But her peaceful return to her roots is shattered when heart-shaped notes with sinister messages start appearing. The support of Daniel Sheppard, Asian American bestselling author and her childhood friend, gives her a much needed ally amidst the turmoil. He offers to play the role of her boyfriend to discourage the stalker, but Susanna resists. Pretending to be a couple? And with Daniel of all people? Who would buy it?

The note writer’s mind games force her to reconsider. Susanna accepts Daniel’s crazy plan, but her heart acts up whenever she’s near her decoy valentine. Comfortable, uncomplicated Daniel has turned into a full-grown man who makes her senses spin. As she tries to sort out her feelings, the make-believe romance has the opposite effect intended. Harmless notes turn into life-threatening accidents, and Daniel and Susanna must find out who’s behind the chaos before they can decide if their temporary relationship is a heaven-sent gift meant to last forever.


My Review

From the first page, I was drawn in. This book has it all: romance, mystery, suspense, sweet kisses and romance.

Susanna is the perpetual nice girl that gets taken advantage of. She is also valued by her neighbors. She made for a great female lead.

Daniel is her perfect counter balance and the leading man of the story. He’s a successful writer who has returned home. He’s loved Susanna for a very long time.

We also have an assortment of supporting characters, which I won’t get into so that I don’t risk spoiling the mystery, other than to say: Go, Lindy! Woof! Woof!

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the all American feel with a touch of K-drama. This book blended it together. I loved that it was a melting pot.

I was left with one question after reading this though: Can you really go outside barefoot and feel warmth in winter in Texas? If I went outside barefoot in my neck of the woods, I’d be dealing with potential frost bite!

Grab you copy today! And don’t forget to come back and let me know what you thought.

You can also find other books by Shannon Kent by going here: For the Love of Korea

writing Eun Na and the Phantom, Part 1

euncoverwebWhen writing Eun Na and the Phantom I discovered things about Korean history. (This happens to be one of the things I love about writing—the digging into research. I’m quite happy to read and research things.)

I was plotting out my NaNoWriMo 2014 project at the time, and I ran across a Korean folktale titled, The Logger’s Daughter and the Phantom. Something about it intrigued me, even though I did not like the ending. I wasn’t sure what route I wanted to take when I started. But the idea of the logger’s daughter marrying a man who had a secret like that stuck with me.

They say when you get married, you are looking through rose colored glasses. I’d rather say you are looking with the optimism of affection. Of course you don’t know the person as well as you will after being married a few years, or even a decade. But it’s during those years together that a beautiful relationship—and family—happens.

I’m not saying that the logger’s daughter made her decision to marry the phantom out of affection for him. No, it was out of filial devotion. Her place was to do as her parents, especially her father, wished for her. So when he asks her if she’ll consent to marry the rich young man to pay their debt, of course she says yes. She doesn’t really have a choice.   And of course she’s unhappy with the arrangement.  Who would be happy to discover they married a phantom who lives in a tunnel in a mountain?

I think the folktale itself has several possible meanings. Perhaps part of the folktale was a cautionary tale about making sure you really knew who you wed your daughter off to.  Another might be that if you do your filial duty to your parents, despite being unhappy you will be rewarded, as the daughter does eventually return home with riches.

The question I had though was, what if the daughter loved the phantom?   And that took me far away from the original story. I threw in some dragons, gave a healthy dose of what I had learned about Korea during the Joseon era, created some of my own legends and stirred it up nice and good. Of course I had to pay tribute to the original folktale. (I have the white dog, and white roosters. )

One of the things I loved learning about the most though was traditional Korean weddings. I’ll save that though for another post.