Author Jane Kindred on Romance, Orgies, & The Devil's Garden

Based on what Jane is about to blog about, I feel a little bad saying I'm currently one of those friends at the RWA "orgy", but alas, that's where I am. Though I promise I am not scantily clad and I'm profusely cursing the stupid heels I had to buy.

So without further ado, here is Jane...


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When All Your Romance Writing Friends are off Having an Orgy Without You

Perhaps they’re not having an orgy, exactly, but it’s what I prefer to think. I mean, if everyone’s going to have fun without me, at the very least I should be allowed to imagine them all doing terrible, wonderful things to one another. After all, they’re not here to defend themselves, and I’m forced to live vicariously.

This week (if you’ve been here under this rock with me and didn’t know) is the annual Romance Writers of America Conference in New York City, where hordes of high-heel wearing, half-dressed women descend upon Manhattan. (I’m only guessing based on the tweets I’ve been seeing for months with pictures of shoes and dresses. Like I said, I get to make up what’s going on there, since none of them are here to defend themselves.) I understand there’s even a big, girl-filled dance floor at the infamous Harlequin party. Probably nothing like the all-girl dances I’ve been to, but what the heck, I’ll just imagine it is. What happens at the RWA Harlequin Black and White Ball stays at the RWA Harlequin Black and White Ball.

Right, um, where was I?

Oh, yes, so here I am slaving away at blog posts and novel revisions while everyone else is off having fun. So why am I not at RWA? Well, for one thing, it’s bloody expensive. For another, I’m not exactly a romance writer. My debut novella The Devil’s Garden is just out from Carina Press. Uh, yes, that’s Harlequin’s digital imprint. But I’m not a romance writer. I swear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just that I feel compelled to explain when people hear I’m being published by Harlequin. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed when they pick up my novella expecting a typical romance hero and heroine with an HEA. (That’s Happily Ever After, for those of you who, like me, have been living here under this acronym-deficient rock.)

There is a touch of a romance thread in the novella, and an HEA of sorts, and even a tiny bit of very soft-heat erotica, but The Devil’s Garden is a traditional fantasy. And there is nothing typical about my hero and heroine. Or is it heroine and heroine? Or hero and hero? Well, it all depends. It’s neither and both. If I explain, I’ll have to give away spoilers.

What I can tell you is that the main character, temple courtesan Ume Sky, is also on occasion street urchin Cillian Rede. (That’s Cillian with a hard “C”, as in Cillian Murphy.)

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Damn, look at those eyes. Can he be my B.O.W? (That’s Boyfriend of the Week for those of you who just fell into Roni’s blog out of the back of a turnip truck with me. Which reminds me, what is it with turnips being maligned, anyway? Well, there’s a Google search for that.) Are you getting the impression that I’m easily distracted? No comment. It’s been a long week. Plus, all my friends are off bumping and grinding in high heels and slutty dresses in the Manhattan heat without me.

At any rate, despite my illegitimacy as a romance writer, I grew up on gothic romances by Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis A. Whitney. Not exactly the steamy stuff, but it left me with a love of intrigue mixed with mysterious, hot-headed gentlemen in fabulous coats and gutsy, conflicted heroines in gorgeous dresses. And I think you’ll find quite a bit of that seeped into The Devil’s Garden.

In The Devil’s Garden, appearances can be deceiving…

Ume Sky enjoys her place of honor as temple courtesan for the reigning Meer of In’La—until an assignation with a client ends in violence. Her elite status stripped away, Ume is forced to return to a life on the streets as Cillian Rede, the boy she used to be.

Cillian finds temporary harbor with dockhand Cree Sylva, where fear keeps him from revealing his former identity, but as the two become lovers, Cillian learns Cree is not without secrets.

When Cillian has the opportunity to regain his position through a liaison with the Meer himself, he is torn between his feelings for Cree and his need to live as Ume. But there’s even more at stake when Ume finds herself entangled in a plot to rid the Delta of divine rule…

The Devil’s Garden is available now from Carina Press.

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Jane Kindred began writing fantasy at age 12 in the wayback of a Plymouth Fury—which, as far as she recalls, never killed anyone…who didn’t have it coming. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. Although she was repeatedly urged to learn a marketable skill, she received a B.A. in Creative Writing anyway from the University of Arizona.

She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.

You can find Jane on Twitter: @JaneKindred
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