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The Holy Dark Goodreads Giveaway

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Enter to win a free signed paperback copy of The Holy Dark. Deadline is April 24, 2015. Don’t miss your chance!

The Holy Dark Release Date

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April 24, 2015. Mark your calendars, my darlings. The Holy Dark is comin’ atcha.

Join the Facebook launch party for a chance to win a free copy and other prizes, or enter to win a paperback copy on Goodreads. Pre-order will be available soon, so stay tuned!

Additionally, Advanced Reader Copies are available by emailing me at theblackparadeseries@gmail.com. Keep in mind: do not ask for a copy unless you fully intend to leave a review. If you do not review it after receiving a copy, you will not receive ARCs from my other books in the future.

See you soon, adventurous readers!

Headcanon Exercise #1

I just happened past a Tumblr post with a list of headcanons that piqued my interest. If you’re not aware, a headcanon is basically an idea you have about certain characters that isn’t directly seen in the canon of a work of fiction. It’s usually used in the context of television shows, anime, movies, and such, but it happens with original fiction as well. I thought this would be a fun way for you guys to get to know more about the characters of The Black Parade, so here we go.

JORDAN

TBP Jordan Boxing gloves

  • can they use chopsticks: Yes.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: She reads “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville because it is unbelievably boring and it always makes her nod off before she can finish. However, if she’s up because of a nightmare, then she pours herself some whiskey and it calms her down enough to sleep.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Lindt chocolate.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Hair first (once a week), shoulders, arms, torso, legs, and feet.
  • what’s their coffee order: two creams, three sugars.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Kindle App, Words with Friends, and Tip Calculator (for any of her customers who can’t multiply).
  • how do they act around children: Jordan loves kids, thanks to spending a lot of time with Lauren’s daughter, Lily. She’s completely at ease around them.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: Jordan loves terrible scary movies because she likes to riff them and talk about plotholes.

 

MICHAEL

The Black Parade Michael crop

 

  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, but not that well.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: He’ll write songs or play his guitar until he starts getting drowsy.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Knick knacks like laser pointers, Swiss Army knives, or any little things that might be useful on a mission.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Armpits, arms, chest, legs, feet, and hair last since it doesn’t take long to wash. He also shaves in the shower.
  • what’s their coffee order: He can drink it black, but he prefers a little cream.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Banking apps, Adobe Acrobat, Kindle App, iTunes, Excel, Flashlight, Navigator app, and Skype.
  • how do they act around children: He’s fine if there are other people around, but he gets anxious if he has to babysit alone because it’s a big responsibility and his life is pretty dangerous. He worries about putting them in harm’s way.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: It’s a guilty pleasure, but he’ll leave on MTV or VH1 if it’s early morning when they play 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s jams.

 

GABRIEL

The Black Parade Gabriel crop

  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, since he schmoozes with wealthy people a lot. Better than Jordan and Michael at using them, in fact.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: Goes over financial reports from his company.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Cologne, nice watches, lint roller, breath mints, and candy.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Gabriel is very particular about his hair, so he probably washes it first and conditions it, then moves from head to toe.
  • what’s their coffee order: Lots of cream and sugar. He doesn’t actually like coffee that much. He prefers tea whenever possible.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Pretty much anything your average multi-millionaire businessman would need. When he can’t be around a laptop, he uses his phone.
  • how do they act around children: He adores them. Can’t get enough. He always tries to bring Lily a toy or trinket if he visits.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: C-Span.

 

BELIAL

The Black Parade Belial crop

  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, proficiently.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: He’ll go to a bar and find himself a date.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Condoms. Because he can never have too many.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Like Gabriel, he is very particular about how he takes care of his hair. He also goes from feet to head in washing order.
  • what’s their coffee order: Cappuccino or espresso. He doesn’t like plain coffee much.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Anything that helps him keep up with his scores and scores of floozies, but also financial matters. He also loathes any form of social media and won’t indulge in it no matter what his company says.
  • how do they act around children: Hates them all.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: He’s a fan of trashy reality shows. He’s also a closet fan of True Blood and Game of Thrones, so he’ll put on the DVDs if he gets bored enough.

Stay tuned! I might do a few more, if it’s not too dorky.

Cover Reveal: The Holy Dark

You’ve been patient and now it’s finally here.

Cover design by Gunjan Kumar and Chris Cold.

Cover design by Gunjan Kumar and Chris Cold.

Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.

Jordan’s demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch’s plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race.

The Holy Dark will hit shelves April 24, 2015. You can get in paperback right now, pre-order it on the Kindle, add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf, like my Facebook page, or sign up with the mailing list to find out more about the series. While you wait, there are two excerpts available to read. Please spread the word!

Kyoko

Christmas Sale 2014

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Happy holidays! In the spirit of Christmas, She Who Fights Monsters is free to download via Amazon all day long! Please grab yourself a copy or share it with a friend or loved one. My gift to you, dear readers.

The Paranormal 13 Box Set

Ain’t she a beaut?

So you like The Black Parade. Would you like to read other books in the paranormal genre?

FOR FREE?

Of course you do.

Then boogie on over here and pick up a free copy of The Paranormal 13: tales of werewolves, vampires, ghosts, demons, mermaids, Norse gods, and much more! It’s a collaboration of 13 authors and 14 novels for your reading pleasure. Here are the novel titles and authors:

Darkangel by Christine Pope
Twin Souls by K.A. Poe
The Girl by Lola St Vil
Rest for the Wicked by Cate Dean
Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva
Wolves by C. Gockel
The Witch Hunter by Nicole R Taylor
Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent by Kristy Tate
Nolander by Becca Mills
The Medium by C.J. Archer
Dream Student by J.J. DiBendetto
Deception by Stacy Claflin
The Black Parade by Kyoko M
The Thought Readers by Dima Zales

Just in time for Halloween, too! Don’t forget to also add the box set on Goodreads and give it a review when you’re done with them all.

And while we’re discussing Halloween, check out my review of Guillermo del Toro’s new animated film, The Book of Life. It was fantastic, and what’s more, it’s fantastically diverse. 99% of the cast is people of color. You can’t beat that.

In honor of the macabre holiday, check back here on Monday for the Most Hateable Movie Villains in the last 20 years. It’ll be tons of fun.

Kyo out.

The Holy Dark Excerpt

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Are you excited for the final installment to the Black Parade series? You should be! If not, here’s another sneak peek of what’s to come.

Read The Holy Dark Chapter 1.

CHAPTER TWO

JORDAN

Hospitals gave me the creeps. All of them, no exceptions. Part of the reason was an inherent childhood fear thanks to the psychiatric hospital that had abducted my mother when I was five years old. The other part was thanks to two archdemons who kidnapped me and tried to kill me two years ago inside a hospital. Still, I ignored the tiny voice inside me that screamed for me to get the hell out and continued my way through the hallway of the Outpatient medical center. Every time a doctor passed by, I flinched and tried not to look at their bright white lab coats. It was ridiculous. I had killed bloodthirsty monsters from another plane of existence and saved the world twice yet a stupid piece of clothing made me want to run and hide.

I reached the room in less than a minute; mostly because I had been walking so fast to the average person it looked like running. My hand froze on the doorknob. I stood there, breathing heavily, remembering the last thing Lauren said to me a year ago. She’d hung up on me, her voice icy as she told me goodbye. Was she still angry? How badly was she hurt? What could I even do about it? What was I doing here, truly?

I took a deep breath. You’re just checking on her, Amador. Man up and do it.

I opened the door. The room was freezing cold. I had to resist the urge to button up my duster to shut out the chill. There were a couple of other patients dozing in their beds. I walked past them, searching for her. She was in the last bed to my right.  My chest constricted as I saw her for the first time in almost a year.

Lauren was a couple inches taller than me with straight black hair that used to make me envious. Mine had to be treated to get that perfect glossy look that fell around the shoulders, but hers was natural. She was Korean, buxom, obnoxious, and hilarious. Her nails were painted blue this time instead of pink or purple. She’d been in the hospital for several hours so they’d cleaned her up a bit, meaning she had no makeup on. She looked years younger than her age of twenty-seven.

Her right arm was in a cast and a sling, resting against her stomach. There was a bruise on her cheek as well. They said she got mugged. I hoped they caught the bastard. Hell, I hoped I caught the bastard so I could teach him some manners.

Lauren opened her eyes, sending a sharp jolt of fear and surprise through my gut. I’d hoped she wouldn’t wake up just yet. Her gaze wandered around for a few seconds, probably a result of the painkillers, before settling on me.

I offered her a weak smile. “Hey, Lauren.”

Her voice came out hoarse. “Jordan?”

“Yeah. I, uh, hopped on the first thing smoking to get here. It was shitty, by the way. The carry on alone put me back eighty bucks. Don’t ever fly with—”

“Get out.”

I managed to cap my nervous verbal diarrhea, staring at her. “What did you say?”

She raised her voice, glaring a hole through my head. “Get. Out.”

I stepped forward, imploring her. “Lauren, I know you’re mad, but please, just let me explain—”

“I’m not going to tell you again. Get out!” she shouted, scaring the guy in the bed across from us awake. I had never heard her sound like that, not to me, only to her scumbag ex-husband. Guilt gnawed through my insides. I had been right. She was still angry, and understandably so.

“Okay. I’ll go. I just…wanted to check on you,” I mumbled, turning away from the fury in those brown eyes. I shuffled out of the room and collapsed in a chair in the hallway. I squeezed my eyes shut and buried the pain inside me as deep as I could. I felt ashamed of myself. I wanted to go back home and crawl under the covers and hide. But that wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t matter if she had disowned me. I still had to make it up to her, somehow. Too bad if it ripped a new scar in my hide. I had plenty as it was.

Time dripped off the clock. I stayed where I was, mentally constructing a speech that would hopefully get me back into her good graces. Sometime during this process, a nurse tapped me on the shoulder.

I glanced up to see a pretty black woman, mid-thirties. “She’s asking for you.”

“Huh?”

“Ms. Yi. She wants to see you.”

I checked my watch. Holy hell. I’d been here four hours and didn’t realize it. I nodded too many times and stood up, wobbling on account of my legs falling asleep. I opened the door and made my way back to her bed, expecting the worst.

“Um, you called for me?”

Lauren stared me down for at least a minute. I tried my hardest not to fidget. At last, she spoke and her tone was still disapproving.

“Why are you here?”

“I had to make sure you were alright.”

“Oh, so now you care?”

I shut my eyes for a second. “Yes. I do.”

“What do you want me to say? Are you expecting me to forgive you?”

“No, not really. You’re pretty stubborn. Besides, if I were in your ridiculously high Prada heels, I’d be mad too.”

The ghost of a smirk touched her lips. I almost felt better. I wasn’t much of a friend, but I could make jokes until the end of the world. Which, come to think of it, might one day be my fault.

“Well, I didn’t call you in here to forgive you,” she said, sitting up a bit against her pillows. “I called you in here to ask you a question.”

“What?”

“Why did a man claiming to be a demon follow me home and break my arm?”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Want to be the first to see the rest of Chapter 2? Sign up for the mailing list and get the next chapter right in your Inbox. You can also add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf.

Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon! In case you missed it, the official plot reveal is here.

 

Turning the Corner on Diversity in TV

He's a 250-year-old gentleman.

He’s a 250-year-old gentleman. Aw.

With all the turmoil going on in this country, there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel, particularly for women of color.

Sleepy Hollow’s second season hit the airwaves September 22, 2014, and as I watched the premiere and read the hilariously overexcited fans’ reactions on Tumblr, I came to the realization that women of color just might be in luck in the future. While ‘Sleepy Hollow’ isn’t as popular as some other shows in similar genres, and while it isn’t particularly a very good show, it still has a solid foothold on viewers. Could we in fact be on the verge of introducing more women of color into main lead roles on network television?

I’m not going to give it all the credit, but I do think ‘Scandal’ might have been the spark that started what could be a fire for more diversity in television. Olivia Pope (played by the gorgeous and whip-smart Kerry Washington) started out getting the black community frothing at the mouth for more political thrills and sexual intrigue, but then as the seasons progressed, we began to see more than just black people watching. ‘Scandal’ is one of the highest rated shows on ABC, which previously had been a very lukewarm channel with little to no exceptional shows aside from ‘Castle’ (but then again, I am biased). Then it was syndicated with BET (big surprise there) and has been consistently putting butts in chairs Thursday nights. While the idea of sex scandals in politics is nothing new, it was the first time in quite a while that America was seeing an intelligent, driven, mostly independent black woman in a main role of leadership. Sure, we’ve had plenty of black women on network TV in the past few years, but they’ve always been in supporting roles, never the lead unless it was some trashy reality show involving housewives.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Scandal’ are nothing alike, and that is what makes a bit excited if this is indeed a trend. We have two completely different characters in two completely different genres that are growing in popularity and are sticking around. Further proof of the potential trend is Viola Davis’ upcoming lawyer-thriller, ‘How to Get Away with Murder.’ Again, not busting open anything we’ve never seen before, but Viola Davis is one hell of an actress and she’s more than welcome on our plasma screens.

Nerdy black girls like me are also nothing new. We’ve been around forever, but this is the first time in my lifetime, as far as I know, that we have popular shows on popular networks with intelligent black female protagonists. This could be big. This could be the break we’ve been needing, as the past few years have seen more black ghetto baby mamas and divas in reality TV than you can shake a curling iron at. While some would say it’s just harmless entertainment—after all, the term is reality show, which is still scripted in some parts—I have always been frustrated with the lack of women of color in television that are portrayed as more than just those two stereotypes. I’ve been dying for women like the female cast of ‘Living Single’ or Nichelle Nichols or Phylicia Rashad to take the reins and show people that black women are just as interesting and worthwhile as their white counterparts, and that women of color in general need more spotlight.

It’s not just about one particular skin color, either. I am dying for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ to come back for season two, not because of Agent Coulson (though God-knows I love that unassuming adorable man), but because of seeing Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) back in action. I truly hope that we as a country continue to hunger for things we haven’t seen and push the old broken mainstays aside to make room for creativity. I would love for this generation of young girls to be able to write school papers on great women of color in fiction instead of just watching ‘Frozen’ a thousand times and mistaking that for “strong female characters.”

Here’s hoping.

-Kyoko

The Deadly Seven is FREE!

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Our lovely short story collection turns four months old this week! Can you believe it? They grow up so fast! *sobs*

In celebration, it’s free on Amazon all day long, just in case you’re new to my series or you didn’t get a chance to grab it the last time it was free. Plus, if you share this Facebook post with anyone, you’ll get an advanced preview of the upcoming sequel novel, The Holy Dark.

We’re coming into the later part of the year, so stay tuned. I’ll be announcing the plot synopsis for The Holy Dark soon, and then it’s on to a cover reveal, excerpts, blog tours, and all the other fun stuff as we approach spring 2015.

Finally, did you know that joining the mailing list or referring someone to it means you get any one of my books for FREE? Consider joining today, or send me an email with the name of the person you referred and claim your free e-book.

See you soon, readers!

-Kyoko

She Who Fights Monsters Turns a Month Old!

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They grow up so fast. *sniff*

Oh, look at our girl. Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she looooooovelyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Ahem. Anyhow, in celebration of my second novel being out for a month, I’ve set it to be free on Amazon all day long. If you haven’t gotten yourself a copy, grab it here and spread the word. You can also get an advanced preview of The Holy Dark, Book #3 in the series, by sharing the following Facebook post.

Additionally, The Black Parade went permanently free today. Yes, you read that right. It’s free from now until the end of time. I would appreciate it greatly if you would spread the word.

Have a wonderful day, and stay tuned for more news on the series!