Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Storm Kissed Wedding

posted by Nancy
Jessica Andersen joins us today the release of Storm Kissed, the sixth book in her wonderful, hot Nightkeepers paranormal romance series. For those of you who're new to the Lair, Jessica's debut Harlequin Intrigue was an RT Top Pick. Her Intrigues have made category bestseller lists and have been nominated for the RITA Award. Welcome back, Jessica!

Ahoy, Banditas! I'm thrilled to be visiting here today to talk about STORM KISSED, which hits shelves today—I couldn't think of any other group I'd rather hang with for the launch of Dez and Reese's story. In fact, this is one of only two blogs I'm doing for this book—I've kept the appearances trimmed way back because I'm otherwise deep in revisions and other chaos ... and it's that other chaos I'd like to talk about today.

But first, the blurb:

Dark forces stand poised to crush mankind beneath a vicious rule of terror and blood sacrifice. Our only hope rests with a group living in secret among us: modern magic wielders called the Nightkeepers.

Dez is no angel. The former gang leader spent years in jail and alienated the love of his life, Reese Montana. Now he has a second chance to join forces with the Nightkeepers and master the Triad magic. Even better, Reese is back—taken on as the Nightkeepers’ sexy bounty hunter. But this time the stakes are even higher for Dez and Reese.

The sexual electricity between them is still alive, but when Dez goes rogue on a hunt for a powerful artifact, Reese can’t help wondering if he’s been playing her again all this time … What will become of the Nightkeepers with a potential traitor on the run?

Dez and Reese's book has some of my favorite storylines in it—the bad boy magic-wielding hero who comes back from the dead a changed man; the bounty-hunting heroine he once betrayed, who now kicks butt on her own terms; and stakes that are getting higher by the day as we get closer and closer to the 2012 end date predicted by the Mayan calendar.

Not only that, but STORM KISSED contains the first wedding in the Nightkeepers’ series. So I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on fictional weddings.

Personally, I like weddings that are true to the characters and maybe even continue to advance their story. Oddly, one of my favorite fictional weddings happened off-screen (unless I missed a story, which I don't think I did): Eve and Roarke. For me the important part for these characters was the lead-up to the wedding, and the two of them working through their fears and getting the pieces in place. The ceremony was icing, and while I can imagine its fabulousness (it would have to be fabulous, of course ... this is Roarke we're talking about), I didn't feel like I needed to be there.

Another fictional wedding that stands out for me, albeit a TV/movie one was Carrie and Big from Sex and the City. Now, disclaimer time, I've only seen probably twenty episodes plus the first movie, so I'm far from an expert. But I appreciated how we saw the way a wedding can take on a life of its own, until it turns into something very different from how the bride and/or groom envisioned ... and I liked how in the end it was down to the two of them, their peeps, and a courtroom ceremony.

I'm not going to talk about what happens in STORM KISSED—hello, spoilers—but I hope you'll check out Dez and Reese's story, which includes a wedding that I think is exactly right for the characters involved.

Now, though, I'd like to hear what you guys think about fictional weddings. Love them? Hate them? Have a favorite you'd like to give a shout-out to, or something you wish authors would avoid? Let's hear it!

One random poster will be selected to receive a signed copy of STORM KISSED. So let's talk!

For more about Jessica and her books, check out her website.


flchen1 said...

Who can resist a wedding? :) Mostly I really enjoy them, fictional or otherwise. I just finished re-reading Shelly Laurenston's Miss Congeniality, and the description of the wedding always makes me laugh, as the heroine's personality so clearly shines through in what happens as they walk down the aisle and through the ceremony itself :) Congrats on Storm Kissed, Jessica! It sounds like a very exciting story!

donnas said...

Congrats on the release!! Looking forward to reading it.

I do like to read weddings. If they fit the story and characters. I loved the lead up too and all the resulting issues that have come though the Eve and Roarke relationship. I also really liked Nora Roberts Bride Quartet. Everyone of the weddings they planned was just a magical event.

Landra said...

Jessica Congrats on the release! I like fictional weddings. In some stories the wedding itself is the prelude to the book and can be the big game changer.

I think weddings usually give something magical to the book and especially if readers are dying for the hero and heroine to hook up in the all-time bond, then being present for the wedding gives us some closure.

Unfortunately I can't think of examples. It's after midnight and the brain juice is running low. Needless to say I love them weddings.

barb said...

Enjoy GR Fischen

Congratulations on the release Jessica, sounds very interesting.... I love weddings especially after all the ups and downs they go through... I love a HEA

Sheree said...

Congrats on the rooster, Fedora!

Congrats on the new release, Jessica! I love the cover!

Reading about weddings is fun. For most of the weddings I've been to the bride forgets the whole thing due to stress. Poor gals.

marybelle said...

I love fictional weddings because it's often a case of Murphy's Law & that makes for fun reading. All the things I did NOT want to happen on my big day, way back when.

Laurie G said...

I agree with the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts. Loved all the details behind the scenes necessary to make their weddings perfect: photos,flowers,food and planning.
All very different brides with very distinct tastes.

Helen said...

Well done Fedora have fun with him I am sure he will be warmer over there we have had a really cold snap come thru here and I don't remember it being so cold LOL

I have the first couple of this series on the TBR pile and I am determined to start them soon I love the sound of them and I will be able to read them one after the other YAY.

As for weddings I love them and one of my favourites is from Julia Quinn's On The Way to The Wedding.

Congrats on the release Jessica and thanks Nancy for inviting Jessica along again today

Have Fun

Maureen said...

What's not to like about a wedding? I like them to be quick, though, in the story, not a long drawn out affair. Congratulations on the new book!

Jessica Andersen said...

Morning, all!

Fedora--congrats on the GR. I haven't read Laurenston ... should I start with Miss Congeniality or is there a prior one to begin with?

Donnas-Ah, the bride quartet is a really fun one (or four)! I love how the setup gives room for some bridezillas and family misbehavior of other characters, too :)

Landra-Ooh, good point that it can also be the wedding that is the starting point for the romance. Outlander, anyone?

barb-I'm with you on loving the HEA, though I'll admit that sometimes when an author doesn't quite sell me on the characters having overcome their challenges by wedding time, I sit there and think 'well, that won't last ...' The wedding isn't an antidote to conflict ... but it can be nice icing on the HEA cake, I think!

Sheree- Love the avatar! Thanks for the props on the cover--isn't he yummy??? *drools*

marybelle- LOL- ah yes, 'anything that can go wrong ...' :)

Laurie G-The bride quartet really made those details fun, didn't it?

Helen--Thanks for the congrats and the welcome! I love Julia Quinn, but haven't read that one. Will have to check it out!

Maureen-Agreed ... if the wedding isn't a crucial part of the plot, it definitely shouldn't overshadow!

Anna Sugden said...

YAYYYY!! Jess is in the Lair!! Can't wait to see you in person in a few weeks!!

So excited about this release - I've been waiting eagerly for it since Blood Spirits!

I love unusual weddings in fiction - it's such a blast to read about the different ways people do things. Since our weddings over here are so restricted, the only fun comes from the receptions.

Also love runaway brides *g* and things that go wrong. Probably makes me a sad person, but I think they're a great theme.

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on the rooster.

Is the heroine of Storm Kissed funny? Tell us a bit about the book.

I'm sure Storm Kissed will be exciting. All the Nightkeepers books are.

Nancy said...

Donnas, I enjoyed the Bride quartet, too. And I love Eve and Roarke.

Nancy said...

Landra, my brain goes blank sometimes when I'm asked to list things. Pop back in and let us know if you think of one.

I love weddings, to, though they don't seem to happen on-page all that often. I wonder if that's because authors fear seeming repetitive.

Nancy said...

Hi, Barb--A wedding does seem like the big payoff after all the trials and tribulations, doesn't it? I read and love several genres, but only romance can be depended on for HEA, with no downers for the good guys, every single time. So there are days when only romance will do.

Nancy said...

Sheree, I reached a point a few days before our wedding when I decided I didn't care if there was no food, if the dress fell prey to some unexpected disaster, if the attendants showed up in jeans. Or if I had to walk down the aisle in jeans and a t-shirt, as long as I walked back up the aisle married to this guy.

It was a wonderfully liberating decision,I look back on the day now and know I filtered it at the time through a euphoric haze.

But I've known some of the stressed-out brides you describe. I've even stood up with a couple of them, and I used to have the dresses to prove it (far fewer than 27, though *g*).

Nancy said...

Marybelle, Murphy's Law and weddings? Ain't it the truth?

Your comment reminded me of Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. Not exactly disastrous in the sense you mean, but those poor grooms!

Nancy said...

Laurie, one thing I enjoyed about the Bride quartet was the fantasy wedding aspect. Those brides had more money to play with than we did, though our wedding day was lovely, despite my fretting beforehand.

Jessica Andersen said...

Hey Anna! Hugs and see you soon! Soooo much to report. And lol on your love of wedding mayhem. Then again, I'm partial to the apocalypse .... ;-)

Morning, Nancy! Thanks so much for having me here today. It's always so much fun to visit with the Banditas!

I'm not sure I would call Reese funny, per se--most of the comic relief in this book comes from secondary characters (Rabbit is always pretty reliable on that front, though his is more a comedy of errors). Reese, though, has a dry wit that I like very much.

One of my favorite chuckle moments, which was totally unplanned and just sort of appeared on the page, is when the hero, Dez, sits down to meditate, which is part of his 'learn to be a better man' routine. Problem is, he's so stirred up by the heroine and the danger that's around them, that all he's totally distracted and keeps thinking about all these other things, including the crack in the ceiling plaster and the fact that now he needs to pee.

For me, the scene is totally Dez--he's big and badass, with this kind of down-to-earth quality that I really like.

Nancy said...

Helen, a cold snap?! You lucky! It's in the 90s and muggy here. And likely to stay that way until September.

I like reading series in order, too. I can just sit and devour them. I've been reading along in the Nightkeepers, but once the last book comes out, I plan to re-read them in order.

Nancy said...

Maureen, I think most readers must like the weddings short and sweet. So do I, unless the wedding has a subtext for the story.

Nancy said...

Anna, weddings where things can go wrong have great potential, don't they?

How are weddings restricted over there?

Nancy said...

I have to run an errand with the boy in a bit, but I'll be coming home with Storm Kissed and our own Susan Sey's Money Shot, and Christie Kelley's One Night Scandal, all out now.

Jessica, I have your latest Intrigue, Bear Claw Conspiracy, on the iPad and am looking forward to it.

Anna Sugden said...

Jess - we'll definitely catch up for a drink!

Nancy - you can only get married in certain places in England. Church or a building with a special civil licence. Obviously other religious buildings too, but for some I think you need a civil registration too.

You cannot get married outside, it has to be in a room in a permanent building. And the room itself has to be specific in that it can't be religious or have a bar in it and so on. It must also be a public building, not a private home.

Cassondra said...

Jessica, I love this series, and this sounds fabulous.

I do like to have weddings in the book. Not always of course, but when it fits, I love to read them.

Congrats on this release, and I like this cover a lot, btw.

Jenn3128 said...

I love fictional weddings, one that stands out for me was (oh & of course it just lept from my brain)...Susan Elizabeth Phillips...Sugar Beth, Ain't She Sweet? Yes, that's it, where she wore a black dress. Loved that whole scene.

Jessica Andersen said...

Anna- Wow, that's a lot of constraints ... but I bet the after-parties make up for that ;-)

Cassondra- Thanks for the shout-out and for being a fan of the Keepers!

Jenn- Ooh, SEP is fabulous, isn't she? And a very classy lady. For some reason, though, the scene that's sticking in my head right now is the funeral one, with the mini poodle (?) peeing on the casket ... Eep!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Jessica. Congrats on the release of Storm Kissed. I love this series. I love weddings. It always makes a story so much better when a couple gets married.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I agree that weddings don't always fit, but it's great when they do.

I recently read Mary Jo Putney's reissued The Bargain, which was new to me. The wedding takes place in the hero's hospital room, and he's expected to die of wounds received at Waterloo. It's very poignant.

Nancy said...

Jessica wrote: I'm not sure I would call Reese funny, per se--most of the comic relief in this book comes from secondary characters (Rabbit is always pretty reliable on that front, though his is more a comedy of errors). Reese, though, has a dry wit that I like very much.

I like dry humor. Rabbit was not a character I especially liked at first, but he has really grown on me. I like the way he has matured.

Nancy said...

Anna, those are serious restrictions on weddings. No beaches in Devon, huh?

Do you know why that is--was there some concern about bogus ceremonies?

Nancy said...

Jenn3128, I haven't read Ain't She Sweet, though I have many other SEP novels. I'll have to check that out!

Nancy said...

CrystalGB, thanks for stopping by. I love weddings, too. I would read an epilogue that was only the wedding, but those don't seem to be very common.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Jess. Congrats on the new book release.

I love a good wedding scene. Funny that was today's topic since I just watched the trailer for Part 1 of Breaking Dawn, which includes Bella and Edward's wedding.

Minna said...

I like reading about weddings. Nora Roberts Bride Quartet is my favorite, too.

Nancy said...

Trish, I'm so out of the Twilight scene. Is Breaking Dawn a forthcoming film, since you're watching the trailer?

Nancy said...

Minna, I like the Bride quartet, too.

For those of you who like those, do you have a favorite?

jo robertson said...

Hi, Jessica, welcome back to the Lair. Love your Nightkeepers series and can't wait to "see" this wedding.

I loved how J.D. Robb handled the wedding in her In Death series, and how we get gradual pieces of information about it in the later books.

I don't mind reading about the actual wedding, especially if it's part of the storyline (thinking Jane Eyre's interrupted wedding scene -- very powerful), but if it's schmaltzy, forget about it. It's too easy to make a wedding scene corny!

Di R said...

Jessica~I'm so excited about Storm Kissed. I LOVE this series.

I tried to get my husband to elope and he wanted a wedding. I told him okay, but once the planning was started we were going through with it. About a month before our wedding he was begging me to elope. LOL! I love that man.

Can't wait for my copy to be delivered (I preordered it.)


Danielle Gorman said...

I too like weddings but as long as it's a natural progression in the story that I am reading. I don't want to read about a wedding just for the sake of there being a wedding. Sometimes it isn't always right for that moment in a book.

I can't wait to read this book. I love this series.

Joan said...

Welcome Jessica! I just came tripping back from Borders with my copy of Storm Kissed and can't WAIT to dive into it!

Nancy said...

Jo, I liked the way Nora told us more about Eve and Roarke's wedding in later books than in the one that led up to it.

I'd forgotten poor Jane Eyre's unfortunate interruption. I think Alverstoke's secretary interrupted the off-page wedding of Endymion Dauntry and Charis Merriville, but the description of that was more humorous.

Nancy said...

Di, I love these books, too. Anna Sugden helped put me in touch with Jessica a couple of years ago so we could have her here on the blog. We always enjoy her visits.

Nancy said...

Hi, Joanie--I can't wait to read it, either!

catslady said...

What woman doesn't love a wedding!! The descriptions, the angst, the excitement, the joy. So many possibilities.

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady--possibilities, indeed. Weddings really seem to ramp up people's emotions.

Jessica Andersen said...

Nancy--Sounds like an excellent book buying trip! Thanks for picking up this one and the Bear Claw book :)

Cassondra (and others)--I agree that a wedding needs to be organic to the story. That's one reason I haven't done one in a Nightkeeper book before: it just didn't feel right for the story and characters. I think this one works, though!

Crystal-Thanks for the shout out, and I hope you love the new book (with wedding)!

Trish-- Hey! (waves) Ahh, kismet is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Minna--I'm a Nora fan, too. She's totally my comfort read, and the bride quartet (and a Lisa Kleypas binge) nudged me through some funks. Thank you, ladies!

Jo--Hi back, and it's great to be here! Thanks for keeping an eye out for the books! And yes, that's a fun part of the In Death books for me--that sometimes later books will fill in stuff that I wondered about...

DiR-LOLOL on the elopement. Thanks for the preorder and I hope you love the story!

Danielle--Thanks for being a Keepers reader! I agree wholeheartedly that the wedding shouldn't be in a story unless it's intrinsic.

Joan--Hey! Thanks for the Borders trip, and I'm excited to hear that you found it on day one!

catslady--The stress, the tears, the family drama ... Oh, that's right. We're talking about fictional weddings here! LOL :)

Anna Sugden said...

Nancy - nope - no beaches in Devon! LOL

No idea what the background is. It was only recently - and I'm talking in the last 10-15 years, certainly it changed between my first and second marriage - that it was church or Registry Office and nothing else.

Jess - oh yes - we do know how to party ;)

Barbara E. said...

Fictional weddings are always enjoyable, especially if there are hilarious incidents, etc. I'll give a shout out to Gini Koch's Alien in the Family, which is all about trying to plan a wedding and actually have the wedding with lots of family and friends, amidst fighting evil aliens, etc.

Pat Cochran said...

Love weddings in books, films, and
real life! When the daughters were
small, we kept a variety of hats in
a closet just for weddings. Whenever
there was a wedding on the soaps we
watched, they would run to the closet
for the hats. We would all sit in the
living room, wearing our hats, as we
"attended" the ceremony! LOL! We still
love us some weddings! In fact, DD1 is
a vocalist who, YES, specializes in

Pat Cochran

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jessica! Welcome back to the lair! Nancy, thank you for bringing Jessica to us.

Congratulations on another fabulous release--I love it when the hero and heroine have a lot of shared history and the baggage to go with that. I suppose I like a wedding if it furthers the story in some way but I don't need to see it if nothing happens except for the bride and groom getting hitched (and maybe all the series characters coming back for a reunion).

I know there is this idea in fiction that if the couple are genuinely in love this is somehow manifested in an unfussy wedding. I don't subscribe to that at all! Bring on the bling, I say! But I agree, the Carrie and Big wedding was just right in the end.

Having said that, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL is still one of my favourite movies, even though he ended up with the wrong gal.

Nancy said...

Barbara E wrote: I'll give a shout out to Gini Koch's Alien in the Family, which is all about trying to plan a wedding and actually have the wedding with lots of family and friends, amidst fighting evil aliens, etc.

I have the first book but haven't read it yet. The series looks great.

Nancy said...

Christine wrote: I like a wedding if it furthers the story in some way but I don't need to see it if nothing happens except for the bride and groom getting hitched (and maybe all the series characters coming back for a reunion).

I think a lot of people must fedl this way since there are so few weddings wrapping up books. I like to see the series characters coming back in the leadup to the wedding. Or I would. I'm having trouble thinking of a wedding that featured other characters in the preparations, though I know there must've been.

Louisa Cornell said...

Fedora! He's BAAAACK! But I know you are up to the challenge!

I have really enjoyed this series, Jessica! Can't wait to read the latest.

I love a good wedding in a novel, especially one that doesn't go according to plan or is extremely representative of the participants.

I read a historical romance YEARS ago in which the hero and heroine fight and love through the entire novel. She ends up pregnant and runs away. By the time he catches up with her and they reconcile she is in labor. They have a wedding in the middle of the delivery of the baby and I remember it was sweet and funny and a riot. Wish I could remember the name of the novel!

Nancy said...

Louisa, that book does sound great. If you think of the name, please pop back in and post it!

Jessica Andersen said...

Barbara--I'm picturing 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' goes Area 51? Must check it out!

Pat-- What a great memory for your kids! I love that :)

Christine- Thanks for the welcome! I hear you on the 'simple isn't necessarily better' (or doesn't necessarily represent a truer love)... my favorite big, over the top wedding (aside from Big Fat Greek Wedding, mentioned above) is the one in Sound of Music. I'd never have a mile-long train, but I totally get why she does!

Louisa--I'm blanking on the title, but I remember the story you're talking about. I believe I was going through my extended 'birth and weddings aren't my thing' phase, but that one worked for me regardless- lol.

Nancy-- Thanks as always for having me here and keeping things on track! I'll stick around for a few more hours, but have really appreciated the opportunity to hang here with the Banditas for release day :)

LilMissMolly said...

This book sounds so good! I'm not a huge paranormal fan as my tastes tend to run in the historical fiction vein, but every now and then I'll pick one up if it sounds interesting. And, this one intrigues me.

Nancy said...

Jessica, we always enjoy having you! I'll check back again before I call it a night.

Jessica Andersen said...

LilMillMolly- Hi, and thanks for posting! This one is definitely a contemporarly, but built with lots of ancient mythology and archaeological references. If you liked Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, you might enjoy the Nightkeeper books.

To Nancy and the rest of the Banditas: THANK YOU for having me here today. Be well, and happy reading!!!

Na said...

I enjoy fictional weddings, provided they go with the flow and direction of the story. It has to feel natural and not contrived or placed for the sake of an ending.

One thing I noticed often is that weddings are frequently placed in epilogue, but usually only a few sentences is dedicated to this event. A blurb, really. I would like it a lot more if weddings (if they are used) had more presence; is given more worth.

Now what I do love is when babies are introduced. Those cute, chubby-cheeked cherubs; love creations. Irresistible!