Guest Blog: Stacey Kennedy
Big thanks to Lucy Felthouse for letting me share her space today. I thought today we could chat about secondary characters. You know, usually in a story the heroine and hero are the most important people in the book. Obvious, right? But what happens when you enjoy the secondary characters just as much?
I must admit that I experience this all the time when I’m writing. It’s usually so bad that I end up writing a spin-off series because I get so connected to the characters that I just have to tell their stories. It never starts out that way. I don’t ever start a series with the idea of writing a spin-off series, but I become so invested in the characters and have grown to love them that leaving them out feels wrong. I want to know more about them, get their history, and watch them develop in their own stories.
Now in my own writing that’s good and all, but it’s just a huge frustration in other series where the authors don’t do this. I can honestly admit that some of my most beloved series that I enjoy to read don’t have spin-off books and I’m always left wondering what happened to those secondary characters that came into the lives of my heroines and then left.
While it makes me grumble and I want to poke the author telling her she needs to write the books, I can understand why. Sometimes secondary characters can be great, but there’s just not enough story there for them to have the own novel. But I’m not ashamed at all to say that it makes me pout! I hate not knowing what happens to everyone that was involved in a story, even if they had a really small role.
Luckily for me, there are a couple series like Katie MacAlister’s dragon series and Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books where spin-offs happen. I’m entirely grateful because I have to find out more about the characters they write about and would possibly throw a fit if I didn’t. I think it’s actually brought me even closer to the series, the characters, and the world because I’m seeing it from so many different perspectives. And this is exactly why those two series top my favorites list! I love learning more about those secondary characters who I adore!
I’d love to hear what books you’ve read that you enjoy the secondary characters as much as the main characters, and if the author has done a spin-off series?
In thanks for stopping by and chatting today, I’m offering up one ebook from my backlist (international). Leave your email address with your comment to be entered. Don’t forget to come find me on Facebook and Twitter. I love to chat!!
Ghosts harass and annoy Tess Jennings to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice.
Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her.
Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer…
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER
Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
An icy wisp of air swept in behind me, causing my heel to twist as I stumbled. To the other pedestrians striding along the downtown Memphis street, the sensation would be brushed off as a cold breeze.
They were wrong. A spirit lingered here.
“Can you hear me?”
From the intrigue rolling in his voice, he hadn’t expected me to acknowledge him. Shit! I’d already given myself away. A mistake I’d rectify.
Without hesitation, I righted my stance and strode forward with purpose, forcing myself to remain deaf to the voice. If I ignored ghosts long enough, they moved on and searched out someone else who held the same irritating ability, whom I had yet to meet.
Much to my annoyance, the ghost stayed right on my heels and his presence remained strong behind me. The cold air at my back remained a contrast to the warm morning air in front of me. Every hair on my neck stood up and goose bumps pimpled a trail along my skin. If only I could rub them away, but I didn’t dare. Ignoring him would make him go away.
“You can hear me, can’t you?” the ghost asked again.
Spirits were typically harmless, but annoying. I’m dead, what’s going on, why am I a ghost—yada, yada, yada. I quickened my steps and made my way down Peabody Place in hopes he’d leave me alone.
He sounded desperate, which meant a big headache for me. If I hadn’t worn my damn slingbacks, I would’ve tried to run and hide. But the three-inch Manolos and the tight, tailored gray skirt restrained my movements.
I passed Miss Polly’s Soul Food Café, and the delicious aroma of bacon and eggs drifted along the air. My empty stomach complained. My only thought after I woke had been caffeine. Now I wished I’d grabbed a muffin with my latté at Starbucks. With ten minutes to get to my desk, I couldn’t worry about such things.
My boss, Event Manager Dylan Cobb, would hand me my ass if I stepped into the office a minute late. Sadly, there’d never been a day I didn’t cater to his every need.
I approached Beale Street and sighed in relief, relishing the warmth surrounding me. Not only from the sun above—the spirit’s cold presence at my back had vanished. Pleased my dodge of him had worked, I took a sip of my energy in a cup and smiled. Coffee’s fantastic, the ghost is gone—life is good.
Another block passed under my heels before I reached the historical red-brick building. Randall Marketing, written in black block letters, decorated the striped green-and-white awning.
I opened the door to the office and strode in, greeted by a bubbly voice. “Good morning, Tess.”
“Give me a moment here.” Doris shuffled paperwork around her desk, her auburn curls bouncing on her shoulders. The receptionist had always been messy, yet somehow organized. “There were a few messages on the voicemail for you.” She raised her head and held out the pink slips of paper. “A lovely day today, is it not?”
“Sure is.” So I lied. The ghost hadn’t kicked off my day on a high note. Not as if I’d tell her about my interaction with spirits. My ability to converse with spirits remained on a need-to-know basis, and as far as it concerned me, no one needed to know. I grabbed the messages from her hand. “Did your weekend treat you good?”
“I spent the entire weekend knee-deep in my garden.” Her cocoa-colored eyes lit up. “My best year ever, I’m hoping. You’ll have to come out and have a look-see.”
“I’d love to.” Doris treasured her gardens, so I tried to appear interested, even though my green thumb looked black.
Her smile brightened, but when the phone rang, she waved a goodbye and answered the call. “It’s another beautiful day here at Randall Marketing, how may I direct your call?”
Leaving her behind, I strode down the hall toward my office and sipped my coffee. The warmth slid down my throat and provided an immediate rush to my energy levels. At the third door on the right, I entered my bleak workspace with its pale-blue walls, closed the door behind me and approached the desk. I dropped down into the black leather chair and flipped through the messages. None were urgent enough to worry about now.
I powered up my computer, but a knock at the door had me glancing up. Before I got a word out, the door swished open and I cringed, fully aware of the looming trouble.
Caley, the officer manager and my best friend since the age of four, looked like a typical Barbie. Perfect skin, long flowing blonde hair and a body men drooled over. I might have been jealous of her perfection since I couldn’t pull off her looks even with a makeover—so maybe a little envious—but her appearance had always been a front. She was the devil in disguise.
She scowled, shutting the door behind her with a slam. “Do you mind explaining where you were all weekend?”
“At home.” I batted my lashes. “Why? Did you try to call me?”
She pointed her finger, narrowing her eyes at me. “Don’t you try that shit on me. I called you all weekend and your phone went straight to voicemail.”
“Hmm…” I pretended to ponder. “The battery must have died.” She had enough gall to just come over, but the little hint had been a subtle way of telling Caley to leave me alone.
“Liar.” She plopped down in the seat across from my desk. “Where were you? I wanted to go out.”
“Nowhere. Honestly, I vegged on the couch.”
Caley snorted. “You lead such an exciting life.”
My mouth parted to offer a snappy retort, but a cold wisp of air brushed across my skin, causing my lips to snap shut. Damn! I thought I’d got rid of him.
“Hello.” Caley snapped her fingers in front of my face. “Leave the aliens behind and return to Mother Earth.”
I blinked, trying to force my attention back to her, yet failing. The ghost knelt right beside Caley—not kneeling, of course; more like floating, since ghosts were never able to obtain physical contact with the world around them—and my focus held strong on him, unable to stop myself from ogling. He stared intently, with one crystal-blue eye, while the other was a chocolate color. His strong jaw, the muscles clenching along his cheeks, all spoke of power. But as he ran his hand through his untidy sandy-colored hair, his expression showed playfulness. His black tank top left his arms exposed and muscles upon muscles layered those arms.
“Anyways,” she said, dragging my gaze back to her. “I had to go out with Susanne because you left me high and dry.”
I laughed. Caley’s horny, twenty-year-old stepsister had the body that men chased after. “You did have the option to stay home, you know.”
Her eyes widened. “On a Saturday night?”
“Yeah, you know, get some popcorn, watch a movie and relax.”
She frowned. “If you don’t stop your grandma behavior, your va-jay-jay is going to shrivel up and die.”
The ghost chuckled.
His smooth laugh hit me like a cup of warm cocoa, causing my insides to melt. Nothing amused me. First off, Caley had been so wrong—maybe a little right—but I’d never admit to her accuracy aloud. Second, reacting in such a heated way to a ghost definitely didn’t hit my to-do list today.
“Excuse me.” I spoke not only to Caley, but also to the irritating ghost. “My va-jay-jay is just fine.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear you’ve still got some spunk.” She stood and placed her hands on her hips. “Because we’ve got a double date tonight.”
“A what?” Dear God!
She grinned from ear to ear. “Yes, my dearest Grammy, we’re going out.”
“Two guys I met on Saturday night. You’re coming with me, either willingly or unwillingly, so suck up your hesitations, babe, because saying no isn’t an option.”
“But it’s a Monday night.” Not saying a date didn’t sound like fun. A month had passed since my last attempt at dating—which failed miserably—but a man Caley chose while drunk? No thanks. My sex life might have been as dead as the sexy ghost in front of me, but I’d still search for a way out. “I have to work tomorrow.”
She wagged her finger in classic Caley fashion. “You’re a grandma.”
Most times, I respected her persistent personality. She never backed down, always dreamed big and went for the gold, but her grit hadn’t been all rays of sunshine. Her determination made her annoyingly tenacious. I had to agree or she’d never give up, and getting her out of my office sounded all too good. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”
“Oh, stop looking so pissy. We’ll have fun. Promise. I’ll come to your place at eight.” She opened the door, glanced over her shoulder and winked. “Leave the granny panties at home.”
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.
Be sure to drop her a line at www.staceykennedy.com, she loves to hear from her readers.