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Notice: Temporary Price Change for The Black Parade

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If any new readers are curious about why The Black Parade is no longer free on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords, I’ve temporarily put it back as $2.99 for a reason. As I mentioned before, The Black Parade is part of the Secret Worlds boxed set along with 20 other urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors. It will be 21 novels for only .99 cents, and one of the conditions set by the author who organized the set is that my book cannot be free for the duration of the boxed set’s release. That means from May 1st to August 31st, it will be $2.99 on all platforms. Once the summer sale ends, it will go right back to being free for all.

However, I do still offer review copies for free and the book can be gotten for free if you sign up for the mailing list. Please support the boxed set because it’s a fantastic deal and full of phenomenal stories.

 

Vote in Cover Wars!

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That’s right, ladies and gents! The Black Parade was accepted into The Masquerade Crew’s monthly Cover Wars contest. Please be a darling, stop in, and vote for it as many times as you can. It would be wonderful to win Cover Wars right before The Holy Dark is released in a few weeks. Thanks in advance, lovely readers!

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

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  • 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.

New Year’s Resolutions 2015

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For the record, I almost never make New Year’s Resolutions. I think it’s a bit of a tired practice and pretty much are only done by people who don’t intend to see them through in the first place. However, I was delighted to see that I actually managed to reach the goals I set for myself last year, which were the following:

  1. Make a name for myself as a self published author.
  2. Get my cat Tyger back from my brother’s place (he was staying there after I had to move again.) He’s adorable and evil, just look at him:

    Pictured: the demon of famine and pestilence.

    Pictured: the demon of famine and pestilence.

  3. Read more than five novels.
  4. Finish the last novel in the Black Parade series.

So I feel kind of confident about making some new goals for 2015 (and praying to God or Satan or Cthulhu that I catch a frickin’ break in the employment department finally) so here they are:

  1. Reread and write reviews for The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  2. Finish writing and publish my upcoming YA high fantasy novel
  3. Publish The Holy Dark as well as a box set for The Black Parade series
  4. Sell 500 paid copies of my books
  5. Try to get to 500 Facebook likes
  6. Read at least ten novels

See? Sounds kind of doable. Nothing unreasonable up there. Fingers crossed for me, my darlings!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope things are going well for you so far and I look forward to spending even more time with you in 2015. Stay tuned for upcoming release dates for The Holy Dark. Don’t forget you can still read excerpts for the book at the end of She Who Fights Monsters or on my blog.

Year in Review: 2014

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Whew. It’s been some year, hasn’t it?

My friends and I had our annual end-of-the-year chat last night via Skype and one of them asked me how I felt about 2014 as a whole. I told him 2014 seems to be a year of extremes. It seems as if every good thing that’s happened has been counteracted by something horrible. I met my favorite author, Jim Butcher, but I had to quit my day job. I got a new car, but I also got a car payment. I’ve sold a lot of books, but I’m still unemployed. I bought some awesome new outfits, but I also gained a few pounds so now I’ve started the grueling process of exercising. It’s been a give-and-take from day one this year.

I think the most important thing about 2014 is the amount of knowledge I’ve now crammed into my head in just twelve months’ time. The things I know about writing, editing, marketing, and publishing would have served me extremely well this time last year, but there’s nothing to be done about it now.

I estimate I had only sold about 45-50 copies of The Black Parade in December of 2013 and now we’ve got 7,500 copies circulating on readers’ shelves. This year, I was able to launch The Deadly Seven, my short story collection, as well as the sequel to my first novel, She Who Fights Monsters. BookTrackr estimates I’ve got 5,600 copies of The Deadly Seven and She Who Fights Monsters out there. I also was lucky enough to be included in the Paranormal 13 box set with 13 other insanely talented authors. The set is free across all platforms, and last time I checked, we were well over 100,000 sales, so there are also a lot of people who will (hopefully) eventually see my work as they read through the set.

I consider my greatest accomplishment of the year to be simply getting my name out there. Yes, I am still a small fry, but I’ve actually met a handful of successful authors and I’ve gotten a couple of fans, which is incredibly humbling.  Last year, I was pretty much lying in a puddle of my own pity depressed about not selling, and now I understand that there is more to selling novels than throwing your work out there and expecting to be recognized. Readers have too many choices out. It doesn’t mean that my books are masterpieces or total garbage. It just means they haven’t found me yet. 2014 has proven that there is indeed a market for my particular type of storytelling, and nothing is more encouraging than knowing someone hears my voice and likes it.

I think it’s important for young upcoming authors to know that they aren’t alone and that the percentage of authors who are instant successes is far smaller than you think. Sadly, the mass media perpetuates the myth that there are millions of them and you’re a big fat loser for not selling, but that’s not true. There are some who hit the jackpot, but most authors take years to generate a following and start actually making money. It’s discouraging to know, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible if it just takes a long time.

I would say the lesson I’ve learned for 2014 is that you can only go up from rock bottom. My life still isn’t where I’d like it to be, especially since I just turned 26 (aka the age where you’re supposed to have your shit together, according to society), but this year has proven that I can meet my goals if I just keep my eyes fixed on the horizon and keep swimming. Dry land’s out there somewhere. There’s nothing left to do but sink or swim.

I hope 2014 has been good to you, dear readers. We’ve suffered some serious losses, but the important thing is we dust ourselves off and keep going. May 2015 be a better year to us all.

Happy New Year from yours truly,

Kyoko

In Which Orlando Jones Broke Kyoko M

So this afternoon, Orlando Jones, actor/comedian extraordinaire, was asking for book recommendations. Being me, I of course jokingly tweeted: “Maybe next you can read my FREE urban fantasy novel starring a black woman [link] #NOSHAMEINMYGAME.”

Then I giggled at my own silliness and wandered off to draw for an hour.

I came back to discover the following:

ORLANDO JONES BOUGHT MY BOOK WTF

Orlando Jones bought The Black Parade.

Guys, I was totally kidding but he really went and got my book.

I made a sound only dogs could hear.

I told my mother and she and I proceeded to run around my bedroom screaming “Oh my GOD!” like a couple of insane people.

I just felt the need to document this life-altering moment. I’m still convinced I’m in the Twilight Zone and the twist ending hasn’t happened yet. One of my favorite actors bought my novel. Yep. This is definitely the best thing ever.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here in the corner in the fetal position breathing into paper bags.

Oh, and go follow him on Twitter because he is HILARIOUS and he live-tweets Sleepy Hollow when it airs Mondays at 9:00pm.

 

 

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.