Tag Archives: Kira Brady

SBHM Thoughts by Kira Brady

I have all these inappropriate (but I think fun!) comments to make, but I can’t because I just know someone will take them wrong and I’ve probably already horribly offended all sorts of people, and Ms. Brady herself. [As you see we have Kira Brady visiting with us, and she is just the cutest darn thing. Not that that’s relevant. Since I had her spot scheduled possibly two years ago, I hadn’t decided to celebrate the Heritage Months yet. However, Kira was a great sport and put her game face on.] I’m really pleased to be able to share different perspectives this month, and I think it’s important to highlight that all are important and noteworthy. 

Without further ado, Ms. Brady.

Hearts of DarknessI’ve been putting off this blog post for a long time. When Limecello first asked me to write a post and make it relevant to Black History Month, my first reaction was panic. What do I have to say about race? I grew up in Seattle, the whitest big city in America, where we go out of our way not to talk about race for fear of offending anyone. When I learned about racism as a kid, I actually got the idea that the fight for equal rights was a thing of the past. Discrimination had been righteously vanquished by my parents’ generation. The present was the golden age of peace and harmony and equality.

I know, right? TSTL.

But my friends, a rainbow of colors and origins, never talked about race. And I, naïve white girl that I am, never thought to ask. It wasn’t until many years later that one of my good friends mentioned in passing that when she was in the States, everyone thought she was Asian, and when she was in Japan, everyone thought she was white. She was dating a guy who was half Asian and half Caucasian at the time, and one day when she was hanging out with him and his siblings, she looked around and thought to herself, “Wow, everyone here is just like me.” My mind was blown. I had never realized that she ever felt a sense of not-belonging in either place. What must it feel like to always be “Other”? What must it feel like to finally be among people who are all just like you?

Hearts of ShadowThat thought stayed with me as I wrote the Deadglass Trilogy. My characters are almost all half and half something, all searching for that place where they can belong. I believe fiction has a responsibility to paint a world that could be, to inspire us to imagine the world as it should be. So I populated my alternate Seattle with a rainbow cast, just like I’d like to read more of and see more of. The conflict stems from differences between species – Thunderbird and Dragon and human – not color of skin. I suppose most PNR/UF deals with racism at that level: discrimination against shifters, hatred of vampires, etc. and the two love interests overcome their cultural hatred of the “Other” to find true love and a place they can belong. Even in my reading, I’m drawn to this concept of people living between two worlds.

Kayla is half black and Hart is Kivati, one of my pseudo-Native American shifters. Grace is half Korean and Leif is Drekar. Lucia is…well, you’ll see.

Kira Brady is the author the Deadglass Trilogy for Kensignton Zebra. A native Seattleitte, she always waits at crosswalks and knows how to riot with exceeding politeness. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before returning home to her rain-drenched city, where she roots for the Seahawks with her football-loving husband and two small babes. Publishers Weekly called Hearts of Chaos (March 2014): “beautifully rendered prose and multidimensional characters who capture readers’ hearts.” More info can be found at kirabrady.com.

*N.B. – The series prequel, Hearts of Fire is free for kindle right now! I even linked it for you 😀

Guest: Kira Brady

Hi Everyone – I know I’m behind and I know I desperately need to announce winners. [Um … anyone wanna take over that task?] But – today we have Kira Brady visiting with us! Yay! [Sorry for not more enthusiasm and intro – I’m kinda tapped out. Kira is adorable and pretty awesome though.]

Some like it wet.

In Seattle, we joke that Alaskans have forty words for snow, but we have forty words for rain. Read the weather forecast and you just might believe it: cloudy with rain, mostly cloudy with showers, rain tapering to showers, clouds limiting sun with frequent showers, periods of rain showers, heavy rain, light rain with afternoon sunbreaks. What’s a “sunbreak” you ask? It’s that brief moment of glory when the clouds part and a shaft of glimmering, golden sunlight spills through to light our world. Seattleittes live in hope of those sunbreaks. Day after gloomy day, we wait in perpetual faith that we will get that one moment of zen. And when it hits, illuminating the surrounding mountains, shimmering off the water, and casting the world in lighter shade of pale, it makes all the time spent in the gloom worth it.

August, alone, is a month of sunbreaks. It’s like a hot love affair after a long, lonely drought. We have sunny day after sunny day. For the other eleven rainy months, all we have is hope. We live in faith that August will come, just as we know that somewhere behind that thick wall of clouds, the sun still shines.

Seattle weather is a great romance: It starts off in the doldrums; the heroine and hero are in a Bad Place. They meet. Things go from bad to worse. There are sparks (sunbreaks!). May or June tease with the possibility that they might carry summer on their winds, but the clouds and the bad guys close in. Toward the end of July, it seems like all hope is lost for our hero and heroine. They start to believe they’ve been transported to Ray Bradbury’s Venus, where the sun is only seen for two hours once every five years. This is not that year.

And then like a thunderbolt from the heavens, August comes roaring in. Hot, raging sun all day long. Our hero and heroine remember what it is to be too warm. They realize perhaps they might survive the rainy season if they team up. Together, they might occupy themselves inside, away from the damp, warming each other up and watching in hope of that rare, perfect moment: sunbreak.

Seattle in the Deadglass Trilogy is its own character: wet, insidious, and seductive. I had a great time writing about it, in part because I do love the city, rain and all. While I love my sunbreaks, August finds me running for the shade. What’s your favorite time of year? Do you like the sound of rain on a hot tin roof? Or do you prefer the caress of sun day in and day out?

 Bio: A native Seattleitte, Kira spent her childhood hiking the rainy forests of the Pacific Northwest and drying out by the fire with a good book and a mug of something hot. She graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her real life Prince Charming and promptly dragged him back to sunless Seattle. She fell in love with historic, haunted cities in graduate school. Now she writes about the twisted cities of her imagination, where wraiths and shape-shifters stalk the night and love redeems even the darkest heart. When not writing, she can be found drinking inordinately large mugs of Assam tea, knitting wool socks, and raising a wee heroine-in-training.
Kira is giving away either a print, kindle, or nook copy of Hearts of Darkness to one lucky commenter who answers her question. Ready? Go!

Review: Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady

Liz’s Review

Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady
Paranormal romance released by Kensington Publishing on August 7, 2012

In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war–and an irresistible passion. . .

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies. . .and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

As an avid sci-fi/paranormal fan, I knew when I began reading Hearts of Darkness that I was in for a wild ride.  Set in present-day Seattle, the story opens from first hero Hart’s POV and then heroine Kayla’s POV.  Werewolf Hart has only one thing on his mind and that’s finding the key to the Gate so he can get out from under his blood-debt to his boss.  The only thing on Kayla’s mind?  Identifying her murdered sister’s body.

Kayla Friday is a unique character in a book filled with incredibly unique characters.  On the surface, she is simply a human woman filled with grief and determined to find out who killed her sister and why.  Underneath that, we find that she is a strong-willed, compassionate woman who trusts too easily.  When she is first given a glimpse into the supernatural world all around her, she is struck with disbelief.  She powers through that disbelief, knowing that the secret to her sister Desi’s demise came at the hands of someone in this newly revealed world that is invisible to humans.  Hart tells her to run as far and as fast as possible, but true to her character, Kayla stays, desperate to know what happened to her sister.  She’s attacked, drugged, taken against her will, and betrayed, but still she finds the strength to keep going.

Hart is a werewolf.  There are several groups of shifters, including the new-to-me Thunderbirds (think human-sized black birds).  An outcast, Hart has a chip on his shoulder the size of California and is only doing what he has to do to free his soul.  Blood-bound to Norgard, a dragon shifter and all-around bad-guy, Hart must complete tasks in order to free his soul and escape.  Complex on a hundred different levels, Hart is a mercenary that thought he needed no one but himself.  A classic look-out-for-number-one sort of man, he finds himself surprised at Kayla’s ability to trust in him and just how much he likes her faith.  Hart was a sexy, likeable, frustrating character.  At times I wanted to both hug him and strangle him.

At war in this world are the Kevarti and the Drekar.  The Drekar have vowed to help humanity, the Kevarti just want to rule the world.  Shifters abound, both in the furry and feathered form, and in the dragon form as well.  In the world that Kira created, the humans are unbelievably obtuse to everything supernatural that is happening around them, explaining away things they don’t understand.  I really, really enjoyed the world because she turned everyday things into supernatural occurrences.  The need for gaslights?  It’s because the aether (which is a supernatural thing) causes the lights to go out.  Cars won’t start?  Ghosts.  It was clever and added a touch of realism to a completely unrealistic world, which is just exactly what a paranormal book needs to be plausible.

I love mythology.  As a teen I devoured books about ancient Greece and the gods and goddesses.  Hearts of Darkness treads heavily in the world of ancient beings, and in some ways it bogged the book down for me.  So many names and histories and words that needed explanations.  It felt at times that I should be taking notes so I would remember the players’ names and connections.  Ancient history lessons abound as Kayla is let into the world by slow degrees, learning about curses, other realms, possessions, ghosts and what happened to her sister, Desi.  And in a world where even the good guys do bad things, it was hard to know just whose side who was on.

I’ll be blunt:   the book is complicated.  But it’s also wonderfully written, engaging, and sexy.  This isn’t a book you can flip through casually, because it’s enchanting and complex and worth every minute that you’ll spend devouring it.  As a lover of all things paranormal, I felt right at home in Seattle with Kayla and Hart as they tried to reconcile their growing attraction and face an uncertain future where life hangs in the balance.  I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.

Grade:  A-

You can read an excerpt here or buy a copy here.