While we here in the sunny (chilly) south are getting ready to sit down with our families for the annual Thanksgiving holiday, I just wanted to take a moment out here to say…Thank you to all my friends in the world, my local friends, my cyber friends around the world, my beta readers, editors, and proofreaders, and those who keep my muses on track, my talented friends who help out with great cover art and advice, and everyone who help me get my words out to the world and especially to you–my reader-friends–for all you do! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to a new author who I’ve met. Jessica Kong is a paranormal author specializing in Science fiction settings. Her latest book, A SEACAT’S LOVE was recently released and is already pulling in praise. I asked Jessica to come speak with my readers today and she graciously took time out of her crazy-busy holiday schedule to do so.
For readers who’ve never met you can you tell us a little about yourself, so my readers can get to know you?
Jessica Kong: My name is Jessica Kong. My writing career began with the publication of the first two books in the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten and A Forgotten Kitten. The themes and story lines of my books are based on my real-life experience in an interracial marriage. I also incorporate experiences my triplets went through growing up, like being treated as outsiders by kids who weren’t minorities or multiracial, or, now that they’re older, being labeled or avoided. My books have a message about not judging others before you get to know them. Also, by making the differences between races more exaggerated, I emphasize how, when you look past the tiny factor of race, we all share the same basic needs, desires, and cultures.
Care to tell us a little about your novel A Seacat’s Love?
Jessica: A Seacat’s Love is a science-fiction action-romance about a grieving government spy and a humanoid feline scientist who meet in the corridors of a secret laboratory during an attempted escape. The first book in the Oceanan Trilogy, it’s an exciting action-adventure with themes of friendship, honor, and trust as well as doing what’s right, not being too quick to judge—and intergalactic love.
Rick McCall is a spy who can’t forgive himself for making the bad choice that led to the death of his wife and unborn daughter. Leonora is a brilliant scientist and high-ranking Seacat Warrior from the planet Oceana who is captured by the human army, imprisoned, and secretly subjected to experiments by government agents. All it takes is one look into her pale blue eyes, when Leonora collides with him during her attempt at freedom, for Rick’s heart to stir and his life to change its course.
When he discovers that Leonora’s claims about the government experimentation are true, Rick sees that he must help her and her colleague, Tigif, escape the planet, at great risk to his life and career. As they try to retrieve the aliens’ ship while avoiding a massive government dragnet, Tigif’s treachery turns out to be more than an obstacle to the growing relationship between these two people of different worlds, and his advances on Leonora become more and more forceful.
Combining the imagination of science fiction, the steamy passion of a romance, the thrills of an action-adventure, and the all-too-human conflict of a drama, A Seacat’s Love will appeal to a wide audience of readers. And fans of the Sea-anan Saga will be thrilled to find out how the parents of the multiracial protagonists they’ve met in books one and two come together.
What inspired the story of A Seacat’s Love?
Jessica: Shortly after my triplets were born, I sat in front of my computer hoping to escape into a world that I had complete control of. As I played my video game, I thought of a scene from a black and white romance movie that I once saw. It was a couple laying on the beach in an intimate embrace as the incoming waves washed over them. While I continued to play, I also recalled my favorite books and movies. Even though the stories were great, there was always something I wished the characters had done differently. This led me to ask the ‘what if’ question. What if the man on the beach was a secret agent and the woman he held in his arms was an alien from another world that he was protecting from his government? What if this alien humanoid evolved from felines? My mind began showing me a storyline heading in a different direction than the movie’s. I found it interesting and fun, so I turned off my computer game and opened up a word document and started typing. My new ‘escape from a chaotic world’ was created.
As I wrote about this blossoming romance, the couple became more real to me. Their story continued to unravel in my head. It began to include family members, best friends, traveling into space, even a timeline. As my triplets grew, I wrote storyline after storyline from that one beach scene, eventually writing my first book ever, “A Seacat’s Love”, a science fiction romance of how that human spy and alien feline met.
You’ve self-published several titles, what made you jump into self-publishing and have you been pleased with the results? Does it live up to your expectation?
Jessica: In the beginning, my plan was to go the traditional route. However, I read how more and more authors were leaving the publishing houses and going solo. The higher royalties and total control over book content was definitely a plus for me, and the reason I decided to go at it alone. For the most part, being self-published is great. The only downside for me is the time I have to spend self-promoting. Time spent on promoting is time away from writing. Then again, if you don’t promote, you don’t sell.
I hear that! Is there anything you haven’t yet achieved in your career—or any specific thing you haven’t written about yet—that you dream of doing some day?
Jessica: I have yet to reach the top bestseller list, have yet to receive 100 reviews, have yet to win any awards. :) I say I have a lot of growing, learning, and improving to do.
What’s on tap next for you? Any new manuscripts in the works, currently?
Jessica: At the present, I am working on the third installment to the Sea-anan Saga called, “A Kitten’s Tale”. :) This is the story about Mathew McCall, Areo’s twin brother. I will show how he is reunited with his childhood friend and relative, Sev, the king of the purebloods. I will also show how he meets Serena, the woman that stirs up deeply suppressed feelings of hatred and betrayal in Mathew towards the race that had tossed his family to the curb like garbage. Their relationship has its ups and downs during their trip to the Sea-anan Empire on board a White Star. I plan to publish this book before next year’s end.
Sounds like you are going to be busy in 2015. Where can people find out more about you and your works?
Jessica: All my books are on sale at the following locations.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jessica-a-kong
In the first book of the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten, readers meet John McCall. The second book, A Forgotten Kitten, features Areo McCall. Both of these intriguing protagonists are children of an intergalactic marriage. Now, fans of the saga will be thrilled to learn the story of how their parents get together.
A Seacat’s Love takes readers back in time to planet Earth, where Rick McCall is committed to living the lonely life of a government spy after losing his wife and unborn daughter due to his own arrogance and poor decisions.
Leonora, one of the top scientists on the planet of Oceana and a high-ranking Seacat Warrior, is a humanoid feline who has come to Earth to study human evolution and find similarities between earthlings and oceanans. But her expedition’s camp is stormed by the human army.
Rick and Leonora first encounter each other at a secret military lab during the cat woman’s attempt to escape her captors. When she collides with Rick in a corridor, Leonora begs for his help, claiming that the government has been experimenting on her, and one look into the frightened feline’s pale-blue eyes is enough to stir the hardened spy’s heart. For Leonora, the spark ignites in her chest after Rick dares to defy his government and his own commanding officer to aid her and her colleague Tigif. She recognizes the nobility in this selfless act of helping strangers—aliens from another world, no less!
Now committed to helping Leonora and Tigif remain safely out of the clutches of a wrongful government and find a way back to their home planet, Rick faces many difficult choices—but he doesn’t want to repeat the past and make another devastatingly wrong decision. His relationship with Leonora grows in fits and starts, constantly undermined by Tigif’s devious plots, and Leonora is threatened by Tigif’s increasingly forceful advances. As they avoid a massive government dragnet, fight off dangerous feline fevers, and try to retrieve the aliens’ ship, heated emotions of jealousy, distrust, and resentment that arise in the confusion put their very lives in jeopardy.
Author Jessica Kong seamlessly blends multiple themes into her Sea-anan Saga and Oceanan Trilogy books, including loyalty, racism, family, and love. In A Seacat’s Love, the theme of multiracial relationships is particularly prominent, where the difference in race between the two protagonists is exaggerated to galactic proportions. As in all of the volumes in the series, this book shows how fundamentally similar we all really are when it comes to our basic needs, desires, and even cultures.
But readers don’t have to be fans of the saga to enjoy A Seacat’s Love. The novel stands on its own as an exciting and exotic science-fiction action-romance. Though it is an adult-content book, it is written in simple language that is easy to read—and even easier to get caught up in. Its cross appeal to science-fiction enthusiasts, romance lovers, action-adventure fans, and anyone who enjoys exploring human nature through the lens of creative imagination makes it attractive to a wide audience.
Thank you for being with us, Jessica! And best wishes on your series, and for your forthcoming books. We will be looking forward to them! Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Jessica Kong, see her website at:
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/AreoMc
And you can find all her works at the above links. We hope you enjoyed this conversation, have a lovely day, and as ever, keep reading!
by Mia Hoddell
Genre: YA Romance
Release date: November 14th 2014
She wants the leading role in everything but her own life.
vision had tunnelled with the waves of vertigo that hit her body, allowing only the dark colour into her eye line. With the strength of a gale force wind, it pounded on her chest, causing her to stumble back as its icy hold sent a shiver along her spine. The break from seeing the ground wasn’t enough, though. She
couldn’t go far enough to feel safe. If she moved more than one step in any direction she would fall.
the thought of jumping rather than the actual distance. Not only did she feel faint, but also sick. Kayleigh didn’t even know how those two actions could combine, but she let out a nervous giggle and hoped another type of blackness would capture her mind before she made a complete fool of herself. It probably made her sound insane, but she couldn’t stop the sound.
fall. It had seemed logical and easy on the climb up, but now she suddenly felt as if she was standing on top of a building, rather than a few metres in the air. Her heart was pounding in her chest; the rhythm frantic as she urged herself to peer over the edge once more. Palms slick with sweat, her fingers
slipping over each other, she twitched nervously as she strained her neck to catch a glimpse of the floor.
to the crazy image she had going on.
out, Kayleigh. You can do this,” she chanted ritually under her breath before she inhaled sharply. Slowly counting, she exhaled with a deep sigh when she reached twenty. Her whole body relaxed with the action and Kayleigh closed her eyes, trying to find a sense of peace and stillness. Unfortunately, all it did was make her knees weaker. Reopening her eyes, Kayleigh kept her head up and her chin parallel with the floor. If she didn’t look down, what she was about to do couldn’t scare her … at least that’s what she told herself.
As an addendum to my last post, I have a new release! Entitled “Sing A Mournful Melody” it’s a piece I have been sitting on for quite a while. Thanks to my mentor, Patty G. Henderson, it finally sees the light of day. :) Set in 1900, it is a short historical Gothic fantasy–with vampires. :) Yes, yes, I know, but I couldn’t resist. My heroine (Maribelle) needed someone extraordinary to…well, you’ll have to read it yourself to see what she needs him for.
Cover art: Continue reading
I wish they’d make a “Are you sure you want to publish this?” button. Sorry for the link-less last email that went out, folks. That was a premature release reveal.
Hey, so I intended to do this this year, but waffled a bit. I just finished a 55,000 word novel in a little over the last month (no, I’m not kidding and more on that within the next few months, as ever, depending on editing and rewrites), add to that the entire manuscript and rewrites that led to the release of Changeling’s Crown in June, plus short stories you may or may not have seen yet, and I’ve pretty much exceeded the 100,000 word mark by November 1st. So I wasn’t sure I was up for another 50k so soon. Between that and a family crisis, I don’t know how much more energy I have for writing hard between now and the end of the year (again, why did they pick a holiday-laden month for this festa? Oh well…). Caitlin, though, has had her say and I’ve been working hard-ish on the fourth installment of the series, (tentatively, [for the last three months so probably writ in stone] entitled Mourning Dove Locket.) I’m still working out where MDL falls in Caitlin’s year, but I know it falls after DRAWING DOWN THE SHADES, (of course) and the plot and where we’re going so it shouldn’t be too hard, except that I’ve got all this other going on. :( I don’t know if I’ll finish it by the end of November, but at least I’ll have something more done on it than the whole last year.
Is 50,000 words in a month a good idea? Well, if you can’t do it any other way, maybe so. I have done it three times: the first time topped out at 90,000 words of a mess that, five years later, I still can’t fix. The second time, it went pretty well, though 50k did not serve to finish the book and it still remains unfinished and unpublished. The third time, (this last time) I once again did it on my own and since I have not had time to revise and edit it, we shall see. But I will say I feel much better about it than I did the results of the first two attempts. Time will tell. My hope for MDL is just that I get enough of a manuscript finished that I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere with it. So, Antique Magic fans, stay tuned, the next installment is a-coming. :) And to those in Nano, this year, good luck and keep writing!