Saturday, December 6, 2008
An Interview with Keena Kincaid and A Contest!
Please welcome Keena Kincaid to my blog today!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Keena: I had a great childhood. I grew up on a farm slightly to the left of nowhere, and spent many afternoons playing "pretend" in the backfield or nearby woods. There was the perfect tree that the druids worshiped, Robin Hood's camp with a log bridge over the “creek” and a lilac bush with branches that formed an arch, making a perfect hideaway. Those days were the fuel for the imagination.
Alisha: I can certainly see why such a childhood would insprire a young writer's mind! Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Keena: Anam Cara is first and foremost a story of atonement and grace. Bran and Liza are bound by love, separated by betrayal, and trapped on the wheel of time by vow to atone for a crime many would consider beyond redemption.
My hero, Branwyn ap Owen (Bran), suffers a fate of his own making. His hell is to live again and again until he fulfills his vow to right an ancient wrong. He has loved one woman over a thousand years and multiple lives, but no matter how hard he tries to make things right between them, he fails. Worse, he always remembers his past lives and failures. He is, as you would suppose, standoffish and slow to make friends, but he is also as determined as a river to get it right this time.
Liza, my heroine, remembers nothing of the past or the vow trapping her in Bran’s repetitive cycle. Yet she is as fiercely independent as any of her earlier incarnations and almost OCD about keeping a clean house. She defies the conventions of 1161 society to live on her terms as a brewer and innkeeper. When she meets Bran, her instant attraction to him unnerves her. She instinctively knows the wandering bard will forever change the life she loves if she lets him get too close.
Here’s an excerpt:
Bran frowned at the bite in her voice. “I do no’ ken yer anger with me, Liza. No’ even the Scots are this combative. Do I remind ye of yer husband or a lover who ill-used ye?”
“I have had no lover but him.”
“Perhaps that ‘tis the problem. Ye want what ye can no’ have.”
She made a sound between disgust and laughter. “Oh, I am quite certain I can have it if I but ask.”
“Aye, ye could.”
She stared at the river.
Her name on his tongue pulled her agitation into a sharp-pointed need. She ached.
“I can no’ offer ye the morrow. Even if I ne’er leave Carlisle, this moment is all that is mine to give.”
She made the mistake of looking at him. He claimed her attention, kept it. Heat sparked between them. Nervousness swarmed like excited bees in her stomach. Wulfric had never made her tingle with expectation, and Aelric for all his sweetness never caused her body to knot like a Celtic brooch. Bran did both just by breathing.
Alisha: Good lordy! I'm sipping the wine, posting this just before I go to bed and now I'm fanning myself. How will I ever sleep! This sounds scrumptious, Keena! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Keena: Ooh… good question. OK, they’d be:
1.) The ability to time-travel. I love doing primary research, and I can’t think of a better way to research my medieval historicals than being there;
2.) Enough money to live on without worry so I could write and travel (through time and otherwise) without scheduling both around the day job; and
3.) To make even one person’s life better. Even if it’s only by giving them a smile on a bad day. I want my being here to make a difference.
Alisha: All fabulous wishes! I particularly love #1! Now why haven't I wished for that before? If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Keena: I should warn you, this is something that changes by the day. Today I would go to Paris. I’m in the mood to wander the left bank and the antique stores along the Rue Voltaire (not that I can afford anything in those shops).
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Keena: I would love to meet my maternal grandmother. She died when my mother was 17 (long before I was born). Toward the end of her life, my great-aunt would mistake me for her sister, and then reminisce about events and people from when she and my grandmother were young women in the Roaring 20s. It always sounded fun to me.
Alisha: Reading that gave me goosebumps. Wow. If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Keena: Assuming this island was a tropical resort with all the amenities (just no other people) I think I’d pull together my group of friends from high school. We haven’t all been in the same place at the same time since graduation, and it would be fun to catch up. They would be: Traci, Judy, Heather, Barb, MaryLynn and Penny.
Alisha: Aren't best girlfriends the best? *Wink, wink, Michele* What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Keena: There’s a phrase in Anam Cara that I love. It doesn’t make me tingle, but from the moment I wrote it, it made me smile because it perfectly fits my heroine. It is: “Of all the things Liza would miss when dead, being gawked at by strangers wasn’t one of them.”
Alisha: Now that is a GREAT phrase. Says so much. If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Keena: I would sleep late, and then go to the spa for a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. The day would end curled up in the brain-sucking chair reading a good romance.
Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Keena: I would kiss the boy. My junior year in college, I finally went on a date with a man I’d known since we were 16. We were friends, first, but there was always that tension. After the date, we said goodbye with a hug. He was halfway down the steps, when I called him back, but my courage failed me and I didn’t kiss him like I wanted. Now I doubt if it would have changed my life in any real way—and it’s possible I wasn’t meant to kiss him—but I’ve always regretted my lack of courage in that moment.
Alisha: Oh Keena! That is so bitter sweet! What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Keena: This is one of those questions that make me wish I kept a journal. I’m sure there are a dozen contenders for “the sexiest thing” title, but at the moment I cannot remember any of them. The mind really is the second thing to go…
Alisha: LOL...I hear you! I'm losing it in my old age. Thanks for being my guest of honor today, Keena!
CONTEST: Leave a comment for Keena and you'll be entered into a drawing for an ebook of ANAM CARA as a prize. Good Luck!
Meet Keena Kincaid
Keena grew up on a farm slightly left of Nowhere, Ohio, where she made pets out of pigs, cows and a half-broke pony named Star. She learned to read by picking words out of an old history book of short stories about children: The Grecian slave boy. The girl from Pompeii. The English knight’s squire.
The stories stuck. She studied history in college and medieval history in graduate school. After honing her writing skills as a journalist, she switched to PR and fiction writing.
She inherited the family’s nomadic gene and has lived in Ohio, Indiana, New York, Missouri and North Carolina, with short stays in places from Colorado to the UK.
When not working or writing, Keena regales her niece and nephews with stories of quick-thinking ladies, mathematically challenged knights, and ill-mannered dragons that chew with their mouths open.
ANAM CARA by Keena Kincaid
Back of book blurb:
Branwyn ap Owen knows it’s appointed for men “once to die, then the judgment” but his hell is to live again and again until he rights an ancient wrong. Unlike other such souls caught on a karmic wheel, he remembers the past, and he always remembers her.
Liza knows nothing of the vow trapping her in Bran’s judgment, yet when he walks into her inn, she knows he could destroy the life she has carefully built over the years if she lets him get too close. Trouble is, Bran can’t take a hint, no matter how blunt she is.
Determined to repair the damage of his first betrayal, Bran uses the knowledge of a thousand years to woo Liza. Yet just as he begins to regain her heart, a fresh betrayal threatens their last hope for love.
“Keena Kincaid has written a masterful historical/paranormal romance in her debut novel,
ANAM CARA …” Katherine, Dark Angel Reviews
Buy it from: The Wild Rose Press, Fictionwise, Amazon