09 January 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW, BOOK LOOK, & GIVEAWAY: KM Fawcett discusses Fearless, book 2 in her Survival Race series


Fab Fantasy Fiction extends a warm welcome to author KM Fawcett on the occasion of the publication of FEARLESS, the second book in her Survival Race series.

Join author KM Fawcett (KM) and Fab Fantasy Fiction's editor Emsy Van Wyck (EVW) for a wide-ranging discussion about KM's series, inspirations, martial arts, the modern writer's life, and more!

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KM welcome to Fab Fantasy Fiction today and congratulations on the release of the second book in your Survival Race series, FEARLESS. Would you like some caffeinated hot chocolate or a cup of tea? I have some chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven too…

Thank you, Emsy, for having me on the blog today! Ooh, I’d love a nice cup of tea, but I’ll have to pass on the yummy cookies. Had too many of those over the holidays! ;)


(EVW) First of all, may I say that CAPTIVE, the first book in your Survival Race series, totally swept me away to a new world. The world of Hyborea, was, frankly, quite scary to me. But I LOVED it. Loved your somewhat reluctant hero and your kick-ass, take-no-prisoners heroine. Could you share with us what inspired you to create Hyborea?
(KM) Thank you! I’m thrilled you loved Captive and the new world of Hyborea!! One day I was watching the rescue of mistreated horses on Animal Planet. It was heart-wrenching to see those beautiful animals neglected and starved so thin their rib cages showed. How would the owner have felt if he were penned up and abused like that? This got me thinking. What if humans were pets, and someone--aliens perhaps--bred us and gambled on us for sport like we do in horseracing, dog racing, and cockfights? What if they wanted to be entertained by watching alpha gladiators fight to the death? I have no idea what happened in the rest of the episode. I was daydreaming about my new world.

(EVW) I realized one reason I fell under the spell of your books is that they reminded me in the best of all possible ways of the first paranormal romance I ever read, Jacqueline Susann's YARGO. (I have a feeling that this may not have been on many people's book shelves.) After reading YARGO, I dreamed for several nights of an alien sweeping me away . . . (I think I was a precocious ten or twelve.) Who have you found is the inspiration for your very HOT heroes?
(KM) Is my husband reading this? If so, the inspiration for my very hot heroes is him. You can skip to the next question now, Scott. No need to read any further.

Is he gone? Okay, then…I LOVE an alpha hero. Give me a hot, tortured alpha hero and I’m there! One of my favorite tortured heroes is Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. My goal was to create extraordinary heroes, like Jamie, with whom I could fall in love no matter how damaged they were. I find it inspiring to see that a beaten down man can overcome anything with the love and support of the right woman. Without Addy to tame him, Max would’ve succumbed to his inner beast (Captive). And without Myia to heal his spirit, Kedric’s need for revenge might have destroyed everyone he tried to protect (Fearless).

(EVW) As I mentioned before your heroines are kick-ass and I guess we all should expect that as you are pretty special. Not only are you a writer, but you're also the co-owner with your husband of a Karate Dojo in New Jersey (Tenchi Isshinryu Karate Dojo) and you hold the rank Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in both Isshinryu Karate and in Ryukonkai (Okinawan weapons). How do you merge managing this with your writing time? Could you explain a bit more about your martial arts background?
(KW) Sometimes it gets difficult balancing everything, as there are only so many hours in a day. But the workouts force me to step away from the computer and burn off those holiday cookies and eggnog. It’s also a good way to spend time with my husband. Sparring is great marital therapy. ;) And bonus…everything I learn in the dojo is useful when writing an action packed series like the Survival Race. I’m so proud to have received emails from readers commenting on how my fight scenes felt realistic. Perhaps I should credit my husband. He obliges me when I tell him, “Punch me. I have to see if something works for the book.”

(EVW) Myia as the village's shaman is able to heal wounded spirits in FEARLESS and is sent on a mission by her father to help the Highland leader (who is also a Hyborean gladiator) heal his soul. I was totally drawn into your description of her healing powers and wondered what, if any, spiritual traditions may have influenced you?
(KM) When I started plotting book 2, I wanted to explore the idea of science vs spirit. My research on shamanism yielded so many different cultures and philosophies that I decided to pick out what I liked best. Asian thought and philosophy from my martial arts studies also worked it’s way in there (ex. yin-yang. Balance. Heaven, Earth, and Man living in harmony). The sci-fi element allowed me to explore spirituality without being preachy about religion. And it was so much fun to explore Kedric and Myia’s beliefs on what the aurora tropicos (lights in the sky) truly are; Protecting Spirits or electromagnetic fields? Is Myia’s spiritual healing powers otherworldly or due to being a genetically altered telepath?

(EVW) What's next for Hyborea after FEARLESS?
(KM) I am working on The Survival Race book 3 now. I’m very excited writing this hero and heroine! And super excited that we get to learn more about the Hyborean rulers.

(EVW) For your readers who'd like to begin their own journey into martial arts, do you have any suggestions for them of what to look for?
(KM) My advice is to think about WHY you want to learn a martial art (for self-defense? fitness? discipline?) and WHAT you want to learn, (punches & kicks? grappling? throws? weapons?) Then find a style that fits your needs. Observe a class or two and make sure that you like the teacher, the atmosphere, and the philosophy of the school.

(EVW) Who are some of your favorite authors that have influenced you and your work?
(KM) Jude Devereux. A knight in Shining Armor was the first romance novel I ever read and I was hooked! And Diana Gabaldon. I don’t know her personally (though I did have the pleasure of meeting her at an RWA conference), but I’d read some advice she’d given that basically said if you want to be a writer, sit down and start writing. So I did. :)

(EVW) What is a "normal" day like for you as a wife, mom, writer, and dojo owner?
(KM) Normal? What’s that? Seriously, I don’t know how to answer this question because every day is a different story. I just try to do the best I can to juggle it all. It’s not pretty.

(EVW) Nowadays authors have to wear so many hats, not only write the books, but also help market them through social media. How can your readers help you out beyond posting reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc.? Do you have a Street Team they can join? Suggestions?
(KM) Honestly, I’m still learning about all this. Word of mouth is key. Tell your friends about a book you liked. They are more apt to try a new author if a friend suggests it. Rate and review books. The more ratings/ reviews a book gets, the better its chance of being discovered. I’m not sure how those complex Amazon algorithms work (does anyone?) but the more rates and reviews, the more likely your favorite books will be recommended in those, “If you liked X, then you might like Y” deals. Be sure to like the author’s Amazon author page. Spread the word through your social media. Follow the author on his/her social media. Ask your local bookstore if they carry your favorite author’s books.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a street team or a newsletter. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about but haven’t begun to juggle yet. Readers can find me on Twitter, FB, Goodreads, and my Amazon author page.

(EVW) Could you share one of your New Year's resolutions with us?
(KM) Write 2 more books in 2014!

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Thanks so much for sitting down with me, KM. 
Now we're going to offer readers a chance to enter this fabulous GIVEAWAY! 


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Excerpt from FEARLESS by KM Fawcett


Angry red streaks snaked through his aura. “What manner of trickery is this?”

“Get off of me, barbarian.”

Name-calling? Really? Had her father taught her nothing?

“Barbarian? That’s funny coming from a savage.”

She gasped. “Savage? You’re the one on top of me.”

“As I recall, I wouldn’t be on top of you if I hadn’t needed to protect myself from your tricks.”

“I am a spiritual healer. I only wanted to repair your soul. You must release my people.”

“They’re free to go at any time. They choose to stay.”

His weight was crushing her, making breathing difficult, but she refused to let him see her discomfort. If she could calm herself enough, her spirit could reenter his, and she could try healing him again. This might be the only chance she got before he…What would he do to her?

She didn’t sense anything evil, vile, or malicious. Murder wasn’t present in his aura. The only thing she perceived was arousal. Typical male. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.

There were three occasions when a person’s spirit was the most vulnerable: during sleep, during illness, and during sex—so she’d been told.

“You’ve invaded our peaceful village and took our people against their will. Forgive me for not believing you.” Her words were angrier than she wanted them to be. What happened to her shamanic training?

“Seems we have a lot in common, you and I.”

“We have nothing in common, barbarian.”

“Did you not invade my body against my will?”

“To heal your spirit.”

“So you say, savage.”

Would he stop calling her that? She was not a fierce, violent person. She was tranquil and at peace with the universe, dammit.

Well, at least she strove for peace.

“However,” he continued, “you needn’t concern yourself. My spirit requires no healing.”

“So say you. But our spirits have met, and yours told me it hid a deep wound. Let me back in. Let me into your body to heal you.”

His smirk surprised her. What could he possibly find so humorous?

“If anyone enters another’s body, it will be me.” His warm lips pressed against hers. As if to prove his point, his tongue coaxed hers to open for him.

She’d been kissed before, but not from a man so dangerous and commanding, or so good at it.

Well, she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to do what she came here for, especially since nothing in his aura indicated malicious intent. His spirit simply sought to demonstrate his male dominance in a kiss. Nothing more. Ha. He’d learn who the dominant one was when she connected with his spirit again.

She opened her mouth and kissed him back. His pause indicated surprise. He’d obviously expected her to resist. When she didn’t let up, his jaw relaxed and his kiss deepened. She couldn’t deny the freedom her soul felt.

But she’d come to heal his heart, and as much as she would like to give in to the pleasure she was receiving, she needed to heal him first.

Again retreating to that tranquil place in her mind, her spirit gathered energy and flowed from her body into his. Her spirit didn’t get further than the impenetrable stone wall before it was thrown from his body again.

His lips were off hers, the weight of his body disappeared. The influx of warm night air came as a relief.

“Savage,” he boomed. “Stay out of my body.”

“If you enter my body, barbarian, rest assured I will enter yours.”
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FEARLESS by K.M. Fawcett
January 7, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99; 978-1-4555-2819-6

Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader's heart and stop a brewing war. Myia's mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.

Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman's touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can't seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia's love.

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
Bookish

About the Author

K.M. Fawcett was a born romantic. At six years old, she would beg her parents to take her a restaurant with "soft music and candles" where she could drink Shirley Temples and twirl on the dance floor. As she grew, her desire to be whisked into a romantic adventure by a knight in shining armor also grew to the point of annoying her friends and family. When she received Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor, she fell head over heals in love...with the romance genre.

K.M. now writes sci-fi & paranormal romances and enjoys stories with action, adventure, and kick-butt heroes and heroines. She and her husband own Tenchi Isshinryu Karate Dojo in NJ where they teach Isshinryu karate, Ryukonkai (Okinawan weapons), and self-defense.

When not writing, training, or blogging at Attacking The Page, she is driving her children to drum practice and ballet classes. Please visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website at www.kmfawcett.com.

Social Media:
Website
Facebook
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Goodreads
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EXTRAS

Discover more about the Aurora Borealis:




Aurora Borealis in Finland 


Aurora Borealis in Alaska (with dog sled team)

What causes the Aurora Borealis?


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Add KM Fawcett's SURVIVAL RACE series 
to your library now 
"Fawcett delivers a suspenseful and captivating science fiction romance. A must read for all, but especially for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES." 
- Caridad Pineiro, NY Times & USA Today bestselling author 

 
Captive (The Survival Race Book 1)
$3.79 Kindle edition 

AN IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY
The last thing Addy Dawson remembers is a blazing inferno and freezing river water overtaking her lungs. When she awakens, Addy finds herself on a strange, alien planet, trapped in a cell with no doors, no windows-- and to her horror-- a naked warrior who claims to be her mate.
AN UNDENIABLE PASSION
An alpha gladiator, Max is forced to breed and produce the finest specimens for the Survival Race, a deadly blood sport created by the alien rulers of Hyborea. To rebel means torture-or worse-yet Max refuses to become the animal his captors want him to be. But their jailors will not be denied, and soon Addy and Max find themselves unwilling players in this cruel game. Pushed to the limit, they will risk everything for the chance at a life free from captivity. And though fate brought them together as adversaries, Max and Addy will discover that when they're together, there's nothing in the universe that can stop them.

 
Fearless (The Survival Race Book 2)
$3.79 Kindle edition
TWO SOULS
Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader's heart and stop a brewing war. Myia's mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.
ONE DESIRE
Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman's touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can't seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia's love.