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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest Post + Giveaway: The Kure by Jaye Frances

Thank you, Kelsey, for inviting me to visit with your readers today. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about The Kure and to give your readers a little insight into the background of the book.

First and foremost, The Kure is a love story, and yes, it fits nicely into the popular genre of paranormal romance—typically full of passionate vampires, confused werewolves, and wary but curious women who eventually opt for a little sack time with the irresistible undead.

The Kure was originally intended as a short story, to be included in a collection of similar genre tales, but the main characters—John and Sarah—wouldn’t leave me alone. And after several nights of their constant badgering about new characters, evolving relationships and a surprising supernatural twist, they convinced me that there was a lot more story to tell.

Because The Kure would be the first book in the series, I wanted to create a solid foundation for the sequels. I also wanted to tell a story with more conventional origins, with a setting and characters based on some degree of historical accuracy—in other words, a story that could have actually happened. This meant establishing a historical basis for the origin of some of the more evil and sinister characters who, while of minor importance in the first book, will return as major influences in book two—The Karetakers. I found that touchstone in the significant undercurrent of mysticism practiced in the South during the mid-nineteenth century. From the subtleties of foot and horse soldiers carrying a talisman into battle to southern officers consulting with supposed warlocks and seventh sons before making tactical decisions, the practice of witchcraft and a belief in the supernatural was more than a myth.

That glimpse into the mindset of an alternative minority – the same group of people who would have believed in demonic-based healing—provided a fertile backdrop to discretely introduce the influence of druidic red magic, a theme that will have an expanded impact on the characters and their actions in the next installment of the story.

Here is a brief synopsis

The story takes place in 1860’s Kentucky, when John Tyler, a young man in his early twenties, discovers he has contracted a ghastly affliction affecting a most sensitive part of his body. When the village doctor offers the conventional, and potentially disfiguring, treatment as the only cure, John tenaciously convinces the doctor to reveal an alternative remedy—a forbidden ritual contained within an ancient manuscript called the Kure.

Although initially rejecting the vile and unholy rite, John realizes, too late, that the ritual is more than a faded promise scrawled on a page of crumbling paper. And as cure quickly becomes curse, the unholy text unleashes a dark power that drives him to consider the unthinkable—a depraved and wicked act requiring the corruption of an innocent soul.

Ultimately, John must choose between his desperate need to arrest the plague that is destroying his body, and the virtue of the woman he loves, knowing the wrong decision could cost him his life.

Here’s a short excerpt

Although still covered with a layer of dust, John could see the book’s blood-red binding was ornately stamped with strange markings, the front cover finely tooled with a border of scrolls and flourishes. In the very center, a single word served as its title:

While the main part of the cover appeared to be bound with the familiar cowhide common to the rest of the doctor’s library, the outer trim was thinner and nearly transparent. John wondered if the material had been taken not from an animal, but from a different kind of donor.

The doctor scooted his chair back and sat, his full attention seemingly captured by the elaborately detailed cover. “Are you sure, John?” Harwell asked without looking up. “Are you absolutely sure you want to know this?”

He could hear it in the doctor’s voice—a final chance to turn back, to reconsider his decision to ignore the possible penalties of both law and Church. John answered without hesitation. “Yes. Please.”

Lucius Harwell raised his glazed eyes. “Come over here and lay your hand on the book.”

It seemed like a strange request. John could only assume the doctor wanted him to make some kind of symbolic gesture, acknowledging that his demand to learn from the forbidden script had made him a willing accomplice in breaking the sacred bond of secrecy.

As he placed his palm on the leather—if that’s what it was—John took a closer look at the extravagant design now framing his hand. What he had originally assumed to be symbols were actually bizarre and grotesque figures—creatures clearly not human. Some were portrayed in agony and suffering, while others were shown coupled with naked female forms.


I’d like to conclude by sharing a few details about myself. I was born in the Midwest and grew up surrounded by traditional values and conservative attitudes (which I quickly discarded). I’ll readily admit that my life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent, and I invite visitors to my website with a friendly caveat: “Be forewarned, my life has not followed the traditional path of homemaker, wife, and mother.” When I’m not consumed by my writing, I enjoy cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which wind up on my website. I live on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing my home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes.



As a giveaway, Jaye has graciously offered one (1) Kindle version of The KURE to one of my readers! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


SacredmOOn said...

This book and new series sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the guest post and giveaway! DeAnna Schultz

Kelley said...

Kelsey I like your books selections. This sounds very good! Thank you for the chance to win and read.
kelleynutrition at gmail dot com

Stephanie Atwood said...

The book sounds great! I tried the easy entry but couldnt' enter my name and e-mail.

Stephanie Atwood