Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Author J K Beck

Author J K Beck has stopped by Michelle's Book Blog today to discuss the concept of her new Shadow Keepers series.

Here is a little info on Ms. Beck from her website:

J. K. Beck spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge in her passion for writing. Now she uses her legal background as inspiration for her paranormal romantic suspense series, The Shadow Keepers, set in and around a secret judicial system hidden within and mirroring our own.

California born, J. K. now lives and writes in Texas, where she hangs out with her husband and daughters and drinks far too much coffee.

But wait! There’s more!

J.K. Beck is the new pen name for bestselling author Julie Kenner. We always knew Julie was a little bit schizo….

And now for J K Beck's guest blog:

Going the Distance....

I've been doing a lot of guest blogging about my new series, The Shadow Keepers (book one is out now! When Blood Calls!), and the hard thing about guest blogging is not repeating yourself. Just like I want to give every reader of a series a new experience with each book, I want to give every blog-reader & host something new and unique with each post. So there I was, sitting at my desk, thinking about what to talk about. My first idea was the concept of a vampire lover turning his beloved. I mean, you know Angel wants to turn Buffy--even though he really doesn't because of the whole going bad/evil thing. But the immortality, he'd totally take that. And since Stefan can control it (more or less) in The Vampire Diaries, it's probably even harder for him to resist turning Elena, right? Because all it would require would be him teaching her to control it, and to drink squirrel blood instead of human.

I thought that would be a fun topic to explore.

But then I started spinning my thoughts out, and the topic grew and shaped, as topics often do. (As a sidenote, books do that too. You start out writing one scene, and by the time you've finished, you realize that the scene has morphed into something completely different.) I started thinking about what turning your beloved meant to a character--and it's a reflection of how far someone is willing to go to keep (or save) the person they love.

And that's a concept that's all over When Blood Calls, and because of that, I thought it would be a fun topic to address. Of course, now that I'm committed to this Going The Distance topic, I realize that I'm going to have to tread carefully lest I unearth spoilers, but I can do that. Just bear with me.

In Blood, the book opens with a murder, and we learn that our hero, Lucius, has pled guilty to that murder. A judge is dead because Luke was protecting someone. Right away, we know something about Luke. We know that he's a guy who's willing to kill. More important, though, we know his reasons--he's protecting someone else. He's made a promise to take care of someone, and he's willing to go the distance to do it, no matter what the personal consequences are to him. From my perspective, that gives him some serious Hero Material points. (If this were a pop quiz, that would be my cue to turn to the class and say, "Discuss!")

Luke, I should add, is a vampire. So whatever he does, he's living with it for a long, long time.

Others in the book "go the distance," too. Sara, the heroine, is willing to push her case all the way to the wall, but she's not going to until she truly understands the facts. And that's true even if she has to go outside her comfort zone (if she has to go the distance) to find her answers. Doyle, an investigator, goes the distance on a grudge he has against Luke. We don't know what happened, not exactly, but it colors his perception, and he's not going to drop it.

The fact is, the idea of characters pushing to that limit isn't unique to my books. You find it all over fiction, because fun stories put their characters in situations where they are tested--where the characters have to truly see how far they're willing to go. The harder it is, or the more the character has to push his comfort zone, the more edge of the seat the story is, and the faster the reader is flipping pages.

I hope you check out When Blood Calls---and I hope you flip madly through those pages to see what the characters will do next!

You can learn more about the Shadow Keepers at or follow my blog at -- (it's the same site, just different areas). You can read excerpts, learn about contests, and see my wacky book trailer! Happy reading!

When Blood CallsWhen Pleasure RulesWhen Wicked Craves

And now for the giveaway. :) Ms. Beck has generously offered one copy of the second book in the Shadow Keepers series - When Pleasure Rules - to one lucky commenter.

Giveaway is open to ALL followers of this blog. Just leave a comment with your email addy so I can contact you when you win. Using Random dot org, winner will be chosen Monday, 9-13-10.

Good Luck!



Marq said...

I can't wait to read this series!


Linda Henderson said...

I would love to read this one.

seriousreader at live dot com

Misha1989 said...

I would love to enter this contest!


Blodeuedd said...

Great guestpost. The whole vampire nature can be so interesting, and how some hold themselves back

blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

Lori Kander said...

I've started When Blood Calls and so far it's really exciting! Can't wait to read the rest of the series!

Scorpio M. said...

This is a new series for me, would love to read it. Have heard only good things. Thank you.

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

I loved When Blood Calls. Really looking forward to When Pleasure Rules.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Kelsey said...

Looks like a great series! Count me in!!


Mysteriousrose said...

This is great! I would love to read these books.
Thank you for this giveaway.


emmad said...

sigh another author to add to my watch and TBR pile. They just keep piling up.

emmad at xtra dot co dot nz

Luvdaylilies said...

I really enjoyed the guest post~it's nice to peek into an author's head=)
I would so love to read the second in the series!
Thanks so very much!
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great comments, folks! I hope you guys check out the series...and Lori, I'm so glad you're enjoying! I'd hoped to pop in earlier, but I left the house at 8 am and just walked back inside! Talk about a crazy day-- every little thing kept morphing into a bigger one. There's an idea of a novel: The Day That Kept On Growing!

JenM said...

It must be hard to keep on trying to come up with different topics to post about. Thanks for trying so hard. I can't wait to read this series.

jen at delux dot com

Martha Lawson said...

This looks like a great series, I'd love to be entered, please.

I follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Michelle and JK!

Thanks for sharing about your vampires with us, and why haven't I tried this series before? LOL Thanks for introducing to another series about my favorite paranormal, vampires! I'll be looking these up, and of course, count me in for the giveaway!

Dottie :)

justpeachy36 said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. Looks like a great series.

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I haven't read this series yet, but it sounds exciting! Thanks for making this giveaway international!!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Beverly said...

Thanks for hosting - please enter me -