Monday, November 18, 2013

J. Kathleen Cheney

Today, I'm conquering Createspace while I catch up on my blog stuff.  Monday's author mingle spotlight is on J. Kathleen Cheney.  I'm really looking forward to meeing her.  I think I'm looking forward to picking brains of the other authors almost, if  not more, than meeting the readers in the area.  Okay, that's a lie. I really want to meet Michelle, and anybody else that's planning to attend.  But I really want to pick Kathleen's brain on creating a fantasy world in fiction.  That just sounds fun.


For two years, Oriana Paredes has been a spy among the social elite of the Golden City, 

reporting back to her people, the sereia, sea folk banned from the city’s shores....

 When her employer and only confidante decides to elope, Oriana agrees to accompany her 

to Paris. But before they can depart, the two women are abducted and left to drown. Trapped 

beneath the waves, Oriana’s heritage allows her to survive while she is forced to watch her only 

friend die.

 Vowing vengeance, Oriana crosses paths with Duilio Ferreira—a police consultant who has 

been investigating the disappearance of a string of servants from the city’s wealthiest homes. 

Duilio also has a secret: He is a seer and his gifts have led him to Oriana.

 Bound by their secrets, not trusting each other completely yet having no choice but to work 

together, Oriana and Duilio must expose a twisted plot of magic so dark that it could cause the 

very fabric of history to come undone....


     Humming with the sound of moving water, the pipes on the second floor told Duilio his mother's new companion had drawn a bath, which served his purposes well.  He had questions that needed answering, and catching her in her bath would give him the leverage he needed.  She wouldn't be able to deny who she was.
It might be improper, but it was expedient.  He could apologize later.
     But he had to smooth his butler's injured consequence first.  "This has nothing to do with you, Cardenas.  I merely suspect she would prefer to hold both copies."
     Cardenas wasn't happy about surrendering one of his precious keys.  "And if I should need to get in there, to inspect the maids' work, sir?"
     "It's only for a short time, Cardenas," Duilio said soothingly.  "I'll give it two weeks.  If she's comfortable with the arrangement by then, I'll ask her to return the key to you."
     "As you wish, Mr. Ferreira."  Cardenas frowned as he worked the brass key off his ring.
     Duilio couldn't blame him.  It wasn't the loss of a key that bothered the man, but the implied loss of control.  Cardenas didn't want to give up the ability to check on the other servants in the household, particularly not after the incident with the footman who'd robbed them.  Fortunately, the butler wasn't the sort to abuse his power.  Duilio slipped the key inside his coat pocket where it clinked against the master copy he already held.  "Thank you, Cardenas."
     The perturbed butler took his leave and headed down the stairs to the first floor.
     Duilio chewed on his lower lip.  Am I actually going to do this?  He took a deep breath and knocked on the bedroom door.  When he got no response, he listened carefully and then let himself in.
     It was Alessio's old room--too masculine for a lady's companion, perhaps, but there hadn't been time to make changes.  It had a private bath, as did none of the other empty rooms; if he was right about her, she would appreciate that.
     Duilio strode across the rug and pressed one ear against the door to the bathing room, but didn't hear any movement within.  He unlocked the bathroom door, and once inside, gazed down into the oversized porcelain tub.
     Miss Paredes lay under the surface of the water, her eyes closed.  The jangling of the keys must have been muffled by the liquid, because she apparently hadn't heard him enter.
     Duilio stared down at her, mesmerized.  A flush of heat surged through is body.  She was…stunning.
He'd admired her figure before, but unclothed she was as spectacular as he'd imagined.  Her breasts with their mauve-tipped nipples were rounded but not overlarge.  Her waist didn't owe its trimness to corsetry, and her hips flared down to nicely curved thighs.  His hands practically itched to touch her.  He'd never been attracted to small delicate females.  Oriana Paredes was the sort of woman he preferred, tall and strong and able to keep up with him in…
     Oh, Good Lord!  What was he thinking?  She was employed in his household.  He turned partially away from her, mentally clamping down on his desire.
     He was grateful she seemed unaware of his presence, that she hadn't opened her eyes to catch him gaping at her like a schoolboy in a whorehouse.  He must be flushed all the way to his hairline.  He peeked at her again out of the corner of one eye, firmly reminding himself he was purportedly a gentleman.
      Her hair spread about her head, the reddish tinge transmuted to a burgundy glow.  Her skin looked different in the water as well, the paleness of her face become an opal-like iridescence.  Below her breasts, her skin changed to a shimmering silver, a perfect imitation of scales running all the way down to her toes, the reason sailors claimed sereia had fish tails.
     Her hands moved slowly through the water, no longer obscured by an old woman's mitts.  Translucent webbing showed between her fingers, pearly skin stretching between them up to the last knuckle, so thin he might be able to see through it in the light.
     The expression on her face reminded him of paintings of the saints enraptured in the presence of God.            She was singing to herself, the notes muted by the water.  On each side of her neck, pink-edged gills vibrated with the sound.
     But that song could entrap him if she raised her head above the surface.  It was said men would throw themselves into the sea on hearing it.  And while he wouldn't mind staring at that silver-gilded body for the rest of the afternoon, the last thing he needed was to be enslaved to her, so he discreetly tapped on the side of the tub with one booted foot.
     Still underwater, her dark eyes opened wide.
     Miss Paredes sat up in a rush, setting the water sloshing about.  She scooted back against the side of the tub and pressed her hands over her neck to hide her gills.  That forced her breasts together, unfortunately obscuring his view of them at the same time.  "I locked the door," she said, her shaky voice betraying alarm.  "How did you get in here?"
     Duilio spotted a towel on the table near the vanity stand and retrieved it.  He was not going to blush.  "I have the keys, of course."
     Selkies rarely showed any discomfiture over nudity.  That French book he'd once read suggested the sereia shared that view, if he recalled correctly.  Her choice of covering her gills--rather than anything else--reinforced the notion.  Even so, it would be ungentlemanly to stare at her bared body, no matter how lovely.       He held out the towel, resolutely reminding himself to keep his eyes on her face.
     "What are you doing in here?"  She rose from the water, giving him a glimpse of golden stippling along the outside of her thighs.  He couldn't see her dorsal stripe from that angle, supposedly one of a sereia's best features.  She snatched the towel from his hand and wrapped it about her body, keeping her back turned away from him the whole time.  Then she fixed him with a hard gaze, raising her brows to prompt an answer to her question.
     Duilio leaned back against the vanity stand and crossed one ankle over the other, trying to present a nonchalant façade.  "I suspected you were a sereia," he said in a mild tone. "I needed to be sure."
     "You could have asked," she said with asperity.
     Her teeth barely showed when she spoke.  Even though they looked like a human's teeth, he'd heard they were razor sharp.  He had the feeling she was considering biting him, so he kept his distance.  "You would have lied."
     She twisted her dripping hair into a knot with one webbed hand.  The movement gave him a better view of a yellowish discoloration encircling her forearms and wrists, faded bruises that might have come from being bound.  "It is unacceptable to take advantage of someone in your employ, sir," she said primly.
     He felt his cheeks burn again, but tried to ignore it.  "I haven't taken advantage of you," he said, "nor do I have any intention of doing so.  But we need to talk, and we can speak privately here without being interrupted."
     "And I expected that I could bathe privately here, sir," she snapped.  "Without being interrupted."

From a review by Kirkus,  "An ambitious debut from Cheney: part fantasy, part romance, part police procedural and part love letter to [Portugal] in the early 1900s."


J. Kathleen Cheney is a former teacher and has taught mathematics ranging from 7th grade 

to Calculus, with a brief stint as a Gifted and Talented Specialist. Her short fiction has been 

published in Jim Baen's Universe, Writers of the Future, and Fantasy Magazine, among others, 

and her novella "Iron Shoes" was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist. Her novel, "The Golden City" 

will come out from Penguin, November 5, 2013. 

Her website can be found at



Twitter: @jkcheney



The Golden City is available at:


Barnes & Noble:



Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

date of release: December 2, 2013

know I will never get over her. Watching her walk away with him ripped my heart
out and left it bleeding on the floor. But I can’t hide anymore. I have to face
my life without her.

Brad has been in love with Lisa for
as long as he can remember. One night years ago they took each other’s
virginity but while it was the best night of Brad’s life, for Lisa it was a way
to forget about Bobby. Or was it?

re-emerges right when Lisa needs him most. Only Brad knows everything about her
and when Lisa’s insecurities come to the surface the shoulder Lisa needs is
Brad’s. Now Brad has to decide if he has it in him to trust his heart.

I walk through the door into the crowded house, looks like the gangs all here and then some.  I look around and see all my friends but the person who sees me first is her mom, “Brad! So good to see you,” she hugs me, “Lisa will be so glad you’re here. She’s missed you.”

I don’t know what to say to that. I know that Lisa loves me like a brother but I want so much more with her, “I’ve missed her too.” It’s the truth, staying away has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I even took the boat over to Fire Island for a couple of weeks hiding out at my sister’s summer house. She was not happy about that until I started to fix the outside shower. Now she tells me I can use it anytime I want as long as I fix something each time I’m there. Her husband can’t fix shit, damn Ivy League pretty boy.

I turn back toward the party and suddenly Lisa is in my arms kissing my cheek and holding me tight, “Don’t do that again,” she tells me. “I missed you too much.” She is running her hands over my shoulders and through my hair and if I don’t get her off me soon she will know exactly how much I missed her.

I release her and put my hand in the pocket of my jacket, “Happy Birthday Lisa,” I pull out her gift and hand it to her. She smiles up at me but keeps her hand on my arm like she doesn’t want to let me go. Maybe she does feel more than friendship towards me.  I look into her eyes and hope she can’t see how much I want her.

She looks down at the box in her hand then back up to me, “Do you want me to open this now?”

I want to see her reaction but I don’t want an audience, “No later, after the party.”

“Does that mean you will stay ‘til everyone leaves?” her smile widens.

“If you want me to,” I can’t say no to her, I never could.

Then he comes up behind her pulling her back to him and extending his hand to me, “Brad, good to see you.”

I know he is staking his claim but he doesn’t have to remind me that Lisa is not mine. I have known that for a long time, “Bobby,” I can’t bring myself to say more than his name. I really want to yell at him to get his hands off of her but he has every right to touch her. She is his.

There's still time to read book one of the series:

Watch for it on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple!

live in Northern New Jersey. I am a wife and mother of two girls. 

I have been an avid reader my whole life, I
cannot remember a Sunday afternoon that did not include my parents reading. We
had a huge bookshelf in our den with a diverse set of authors like Ayn Rand,
Stephen King, Mario Puzo & Danielle Steele. 

I have always had ideas and characters running
around my head but it took a few good friends to push me to start putting them
down on paper. 

I hope you enjoy my musings. Please feel free to
contact me I would love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone, too! I don't get to come down to Dallas often enough, so I don't get to hang out with other authors very often...