Feb 25, 2012

{Author Guest Post + Giveaway} Jaye Frances of The Kure

Thank you, Kristen, for hosting me on Seeing Night Book Reviews today. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about The Kure, and to let your readers know about my “Resolve To Read” promotion going on right now through Amazon.

A few weeks ago, I was being introduced to some new folks who had just moved into our neighborhood. As the conversation came around to what we did for a living, I mentioned my writing and my new book, The Kure. The woman expressed an interest and asked me to sum up the story line in a single sentence. It came to me out of the blue: “Oh, the things we do for love.”

I started to add an explanation about the paranormal influence, but she stopped me with a wagging finger. “No, no. Remember,” she said, “only a single sentence.” She walked away with a big grin, leaving me wondering if I’d sold a book or not.

But the more I thought about it, I decided the description was probably the most accurate I’d ever come up with. Because it was all there—trying to find reasonable solutions to impossible situations, risking life and limb to save someone you care about, and protecting the pure and innocent with the best of intentions. And with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

For example, John Tyler, our hunky, good looking protagonist, learns that misery is best shared with a large dose of honesty when his new love interest, Sarah Sheridan, demands that he reveal the physical condition he has kept hidden from her. Talk about a reality check . . .

In the following excerpt, the main characters, John and Sarah, are on their way to the village doctor to begin John’s treatment—a brutal and potentially damaging leeching. Sarah has agreed to accompany John, even though she is convinced they should use a healing spell she discovered in an ancient and demonic manuscript called the Kure—a remedy that John has forbidden her to use.

Trying to stay upright on the seat had become a punishing ordeal. John grimaced as he straightened his right leg, hoping a new position would lessen the pain. Although he was thankful the damage to his wagon wasn’t serious, its track and balance had been compromised, increasing the vibration. His small velvet pillow could no longer insulate him from the jarring shock of the road’s unrelenting assault on the wagon’s iron-rimmed wheels. Forced to keep the horse to a walking gait, it would take over an hour to make the trip into the village.

As he turned onto a particularly wide portion of the road, the mare’s pace quickened from habit. John began inching back on the reins, pulling them taut.

Feeling the horse strain against the restricted tether, Sarah leaned in and placed her hand over his. “If you want, we could stop for a few minutes. It doesn’t matter if we arrive late. If the doctor insists on keeping you, I’ll stay and take you home in the morning. I can have one of the shopkeepers’ boys deliver a message to my father, to let him know I’ll be staying in town overnight.”

“We’ll see.” As much as her offer meant to him, he couldn’t allow her to stay, regardless of the reason. There were a few in the village who always took zealous delight in denouncing the moral infractions of others, and would readily misinterpret Sarah’s act of kindness. “I don’t want your father worrying about you,” he added.

“He’ll understand. He once told me something I’ve never forgotten. Sometimes you have to choose with your heart.”

The right front wheel bounced over a small rock, sending a jarring tremor through the wagon’s frame. Sarah ignored it, but John twisted in the seat as he tried to control the burning spasm.

Sarah brought a hand to his shoulder. “It’s getting worse, isn’t it?”

John tried to deny it, but could only grit his teeth.

“It would be awful to go through a leeching you don’t need, especially if there’s another way,” Sarah continued. “It would mean a lot to me if you would just let me finish reading the rest of the page to you. That’s all I’m asking. And then you can decide.”

John spoke slowly, timing his words between the piercing spasms that reached from his stomach to his knees. “I’ve already decided. And I can’t—”

“Please John,” Sarah interrupted. “I know you’re trying to protect me, but the old book can’t hurt us if we both know about the danger, if we promise to take care of each other.”

John hesitated, trying to separate his discomfort from his building irritation with Sarah’s insistence. “If I put off the leeching any longer, the poison could take over, and there would be no way to stop it. I have to do something now. You can’t imagine how bad it is.”

Sarah fell quiet, her silence indicating her difficulty in understanding his predicament. Finally, she said, Youre right, I cant. She turned on the seat, facing him. “Stop the wagon,” she commanded.

John obediently pulled the horse up short. “Why? What’s wrong?”

“I want you to show me.”

His eyes grew wide in disbelief. “What?”

“I’ll never understand what you’re going through unless you show me. I need to see it.”

John began to shake his head. “No. Absolutely not. It wouldn’t be proper. Absolutely not,” he repeated.

Without warning, Sarah swung her legs over the side, and in one smooth motion, dropped to the ground. “I’m not a child,” she scolded. “And we’ve long since passed the point of treating each other as polite company. So when you’re ready to show me, I’ll get back on. But not until then.”

“Sarah!” John was frantic. He felt like a young boy, about to be punished for something he didn’t do.

“Not until,” she repeated. “I know you won’t leave me here, so you might as well get it over with.”

There was no point in arguing. Regardless of how many excuses he used, they would all be inadequate for Sarah. John looked down at her, expecting her expression to be firm with impatient defiance. But he saw only compassion in her eyes, and it helped soften the determination in her voice.

“Get back on.” He watched with resigned detachment as she boosted herself back up to the seat.

He stood slowly, widening his stance to improve his balance. Turning from side to side, he checked the adjacent fields, and then took a quick glance at the road behind. He had to be sure. Anyone who might see, even from a distance, could easily misconstrue what he was about to do.

Unfastening his belt, he carefully shifted his pants. He hesitated, his breathing short and forced. Then, with his gaze locked on the blue-green horizon, he gently pushed his trousers down over his hips and let them drop.

High above, hundreds of songbirds chirped and warbled, each call sharp and clear. In the background, John heard the rush of tumbling whitewater, even though the creek was over a mile away.

Feeling the joints in his fingers begin to ache, he realized his hands were clenched into rock-hard fists, ready to strike out at the humiliation silently growing within him.

Author and Book Links: 
Amazon | Kindle | B&N

Synopsis of The Kure: Goodreads
For a limited time, read “The Kure” for only $.99 (kindle version)
One of my resolutions for 2012 is to read more new authors – especially those whose books normally fall outside my favorite genres. As I began to search reviewer’s blogs for some ideas, I realized how many more people were reading books of all kinds, primarily due to increased availability and choice of low-cost ebooks for the kindle and nook. I often saw comments from readers who had decided to read a particular author’s work because it was ninety-nine cents, or in some cases, free. Realizing a lower price would motivate more people to read The Kure, I decided to temporarily lower the price. I’m calling it “Resolve To Read”, and it’s going on right now. The kindle version of The Kure can be purchased for ninety-nine cents on Amazon. So if you were planning on buying a kindle version anyway, why not take advantage of the “Resolve To Read” promotion and save two bucks?

1 Kindle eBook of The Kure
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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