Thursday, September 20, 2012

When Empires Fall - Katie Jennings


FREE eBook Promotion and Birthday Bash Blog Tour!

In celebration of her quarter-life crisis, Katie Jennings is running a one day only FREE eBook Promo for her latest release, When Empires Fall! Click the cover image below to download the FREE eBook from Amazon, or click HERE!



What people are saying about When Empires Fall

“A modern day epic in the tradition of Gone With The Wind… Infused with deception, lust, murder and romance, Jennings creates a magnificent family saga not to be missed.” -J.L. Firestone, author
“Exhilarating and fresh… Jennings masterfully weaves an intricate web of deception and lies…When Empires Fall is not as much a story about the rich as it is a story about human character.” -Cristian Mihai, author/blogger
“Wow! This word doesn’t even capture the writing ability of Jennings…gifted with character development to rival the New York Times best-sellers…Jennings tantalizes her readers at every chapter and scene break. Her characters are addictive.” -Bestselling Author Carolyn Arnold

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall…
In America, kings are not born, they are made.  Men with ambition build their own empires and it is their heirs who carry the torch of tradition, generation by generation. 
The Vasser Hotel Empire rose out of the ashes of an Industrial era, cementing itself in the very heart of America’s greatest city, New York.  Through the drive and courage of one man, a legacy was born that would last more than a hundred years.
That is, until word got out that one of their own was murdered. 
Sixty years of lies will come crashing down in flames of treachery and blood, and the truth will send shockwaves through an entire nation.  Now the newest generation of Vasser heirs will have to deal with the consequences, or else allow their legacy to burn to the ground.
But dark secrets are buried deep within the family itself, and everyone has an agenda.  Love of family and forbidden passion will set off sparks in a powder keg ready to annihilate the empire, but it may also be the only thing keeping them whole.
When reputation is everything, it will take all they’ve got to save themselves from their own undoing..
Book Trailer…


But Wait…There’s More!

Also in celebration of both her birthday and the FREE promotion, Katie is unveiling the book cover and teaser trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to When Empires Fall
Here is
Rise of the Notorious
Coming Spring 2013

Finish, good lady; the bright day is done, and we are for the dark.
When their empire fell, darkness descended upon the Vasser Hotel family and shrouded them in chaos.  It was a darkness layered in violent sins and staggering deception, made only more potent by a haunting truth.  Murder, it seemed, was a burden they couldn’t escape.
With a scandal plaguing the family’s reputation, the Vasser heirs must rise to the occasion and utilize a killer’s advice to turn bad publicity into good, and tradition into innovation.
If only it was that easy.
In an elaborate game of hidden motives and sinister agendas, more dirty truths from the past will resurface, truths that could bring about victory or bloodshed.  But how will the Vasser siblings react when the real threat to their family not only has power and control on the mind, but assassination as well?  What will they do when it becomes clear that someone out there wants them destroyed, no matter the price?
The Vassers may have fallen from grace, but now they will rise as notorious.


About Katie Jennings…


Nothing can compare to the exhilaration of discovering, at last, a mode of release for the imagination. Mine came, after years of struggling to visualize my creativity, in the form of written word. I found myself with my nose constantly in a book, absorbing the life of the characters and the beauty of the setting. It was intoxicating, to say the least, and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to give writing a shot, and take the thousands of characters and storylines in my head and put them down on paper, and form them into something real and compelling.
In truth, I'm just a girl from a small town north of Los Angeles, with an imagination for days and thank goodness a keyboard at my fingertips. And even though my husband thinks I'm a nerd and my mom is undoubtedly my biggest fan, at the end of the day I'm loving life and enjoying giving breath to the characters living in my heart, and sharing with others all the creativity I can harness.
I believe in true love, and I've always believed in happy endings. And that is just the beginning of the story.

Connect with Katie…





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to End a Relationship with a Kiwi

I loved visiting my grandparents when I was growing up, but we could only go for a weekend every few months since they lived four hours away. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I realized I didn't have to wait for my parents to go visit. Since I was working, I could buy a train ticket and my grandparents would pick me up at the station.

My grandparents loved these visits as did my grandmother's sister. She and my grandmother decided that since I was visiting more often, they might set me up with one of the nice young men at church there. They picked an older man who had his own house and had a good job in the oil fields. He was quite a catch in their eyes. He seemed nice enough, so we started seeing each other when we could, trying the long distance relationship thing. After a month or so, I had come down with my parents for a visit because they wanted to meet him.

When he came over, Papa said that he wanted to go to a local field and "glean" kiwis. It had taken me all morning to get ready, and I had no intention of spending the afternoon clod hopping around in a field getting all dirty for left over kiwis. My mother informed me otherwise using my first and middle name to let me know that I would indeed be gleaning kiwis with Papa whether I liked it or not. New boyfriend decided to play peacekeeper and volunteered to go along. The three of us piled into my grandfather's pickup and headed to the kiwi field. Papa was very crippled with arthritis by this time in his life, so new boyfriend and I helped him through the soft dirt to a fence post he could hold on to. I took my bag and went ahead picking up kiwis and muttering to myself leaving Papa and NB to fend for themselves.

Papa loved to play tricks on people and decided to have a little fun. He secretly talked NB into throwing a kiwi at me. Now we hadn't been dating that long, so Papa knew two things NB didn't. First, I played women's softball and could throw like a man. Second, I had a bad temper (like my mother and grandmother).

When I felt a sting in the middle of my back and saw the kiwi on the ground, I spun around to see NB playfully throwing a kiwi in the air with a victorious grin on his face. Papa stood nearby looking innocent. My eyes narrowed, and I threw the kiwi I was holding with all my strength. Now, I want to interject here in my defense. A kiwi is not a softball and doesn't necessarily go where you aim it. As luck would have it, NB got hit in the crotch with a 100 mile an hour kiwi. He double over in the dirt coughing and groaning.

Papa, of course, was laughing so hard I thought we were going to have to carry him out of the field. He decided we had enough kiwis, and I had to help both of them back to the truck. The only sound on that trip home was Papa's non-stop laughter. He kept wiping his eyes with his handkerchief.  Oddly enough, the relationship with NB didn't last. Go figure.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - The Prisoner

Welcome to my first Flash Fiction Friday! For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I entertain myself by making up stories when I'm bored. I see movie-type scenes in my head, and I write down what I see. The problem is, I only write down the scenes that pertain to my books, or whatever I think may lead to longer stories. There are a lot of scenes in my head that never go anywhere. They are just individual snapshots. I used to think that every scene in my head would eventually lead to something bigger. Then I started reading some flash fiction pieces, and it occurred to me that maybe a single scene is the only part of a particular story that I am going to get. Maybe that is the story. So now, instead of wasting those scenes, I will start writing them down and sharing them when they come to me. Maybe they will lead to something more; maybe not.

One of the rules of flash fiction is that the story has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I'm not really known for following rules when it comes to writing, so my stories may not be wrapped up so neat and tidy. It's more like flash fiction my way. Hope you enjoy it :)

The Prisoner

The door slammed behind her. Even though she was ready for it, it always made her jump. Her arms jerked, sloshing some of the water out of the bucket. The splash caused the man to move his head in her direction. She held her breath. The dirty rags that covered his eyes prevented him from seeing her, but somehow he kept his head pointed in her direction as she moved. She swallowed hard and started towards him.

Moving closer, she stifled the cry that clawed its way up her throat. He must have put up a fight. That always made them mad. It's only this bad when they're angry. He didn't cooperate and that meant scars. She sighed looking at his naked body chained to the wall. His muscles tense. He didn't trust her. He didn't trust anyone right now, and she couldn't blame him. Setting her bucket down, she tried to keep her mind focused on the task ahead. The chains rattled to life as he lunged towards her, causing her to scream before she could stop herself. She fought to stay silent and to keep her balance on the blood soaked cement. He froze.

"You're a woman?" he asked, his voice a ragged whisper. She dared not speak. They might hear, and she didn't want to make them mad. Bad things happened when they got angry. No talk, just work. She dipped her rag in the bucket and picked up the small bar of soap, silently lathering it up.

"Answer me!" he rasped louder. She jumped up, cupping her hand over his swollen mouth and whispering into his ear, "Shhhhh." Turning his head towards her voice, he pressed his cheek against hers. The prisoner moved his head up and down, scratching her with his stubble, but she didn't pull away. A slow smile spread across his face, causing the cut on his lower lip to open and bleed again.

"What's your name?" he asked quietly.

"Don't talk," she whispered.

She took the soapy rag and got down on her knees. He jerked when she touched his foot, making the chains rattle. Lightly touching the back of his calf, she tenderly kneaded the hard muscle until she felt him relax. Then wiping the blood off his legs with the rag, she dumped a little water out of the bucket to rinse them, so she could keep the rest of the water clean. Slowly working her way up both of his legs, she made sure to clean any wounds along the way, taking care not to press too hard on damaged flesh.

She wouldn't cry. She couldn't. This was just another day, and she was going to do what was necessary to survive. Rinsing the rag again, she paused before starting on his torso. This was going to be harder; seemed like they took great delight in bruising his organs. After that initial jerk of his foot, he had stayed completely still, but he sucked in a audible breath when she washed the left side of his ribs. Squeezing her eyes shut, she felt the tears she buried deep inside fighting their way out. She cursed their captors and tried to focus on the day she would be free of this hell hole.

Another rinse of the well-worn rag, and she started on his face. The swelling pushed against the tattered material around his eyes. Still, he was handsome under the blood and bruising. His body and will were still strong . . . for now. She hung her head, knowing that, over time, they would break him. They always did, turning strong men into shells of their former selves. Once they got what they wanted from him, he would be tossed into a hole and forgotten. If he were lucky, he would die, but most weren't that lucky.

Something about him pulled at her heart. She blinked away the tears and set the rag aside. Picking up the bucket, she used the rest of the clean water to rinse him. He leaned towards her, straining against the chains.

"Thank you," he smiled. She tried not to smile back. No one had ever thanked her before. She cast a fearful glance over her shoulder at the door. Feelings were not something she could afford here. She picked up the small portion of food they had given her to feed him.

"You're welcome," she whispered quickly. "Now eat."

"No," he said.

"You have to eat." She looked nervously at the door again.

"Darlin', I'm not going to cooperate with them, or help them keep me alive any longer than I have to."

"I'm trying to help you," she desperately pleaded . Not eating would make them angry.

"If you want to help, take off this blindfold, so I can see you," he grinned.

"Listen to me. You have to survive. Do whatever you have to do to stay alive." She grabbed the sides of his face.

"Why?" he asked. "So they can torture me longer? No thank you."

She checked the door again before moving closer to him. "What if I told you I had a plan?" she whispered in his ear.

He stayed silent for a long time; so long she started to think she had made a mistake. He finally turned towards her.

"How do I know you aren't working with them to get information from me? Pretending to be an ally to get me to confide in you? A woman would be the perfect choice."

She walked quietly towards the cell door, peering out the small window - all clear. Moving back towards him, she pressed her body against his. He tensed as she leaned in and kissed him softly.

"You're just going to have to trust me," she sighed against his swollen lips. "I'm going to get us out of here. I swear. Now eat."

She grabbed the bowl and scooped up a spoonful of the rotten mush. When she held it up, he hesitated briefly before opening his mouth. Dumping the gruel in, she watched him chew painfully and swallow. He sighed and opened his mouth for more. Smiling, she refilled the spoon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Horny Goat Weed

Since I’ve been going to the gym with the kids, I decided to start taking better care of myself including focusing on my nutrition. I read an article that said that even when people live in sunny areas, they can still have a vitamin D deficiency. I live in California, so I never really worried about that. However, I am glow in the dark white, so I wear sunscreen which blocks the much needed vitamin D from getting into my skin. They also suggested that digestive enzymes might help with the breakdown and absorption of minerals. Enzyme and calcium production decrease with age, so off I went to the local drug store.

I got to Rite Aid and headed straight for the vitamin section. I didn’t get a cart because I was only going to grab a few bottles. I was surprised to see the items I wanted were on sale – 2 for 1! That never happens to me (should have been my first clue). I was able to find the calcium and vitamin D, but I couldn’t find the enzymes. I decided to look for them on the bottom shelf where they keep all the weird stuff. Then a bright red bottle caught my eye.

Horny Goat Weed! Nature’s Aphrodisiac! I couldn't stop laughing because nothing says sexy and hot like a horny goat. Of course I got out my camera and took this picture sending it off to Facebook with some smart remark.

After adding in the calcium and the 2 for 1 deals, I wound up having more than I intended to carry. I decided to ask for help to find the enzymes and happened to see a small hand held basket. I happily dumped my armload of supplements inside and was able to find the enzymes.

I headed up to the checkout counter with my haul and set the basket down. The girl pulled out the calcium, then the vitamin D, then the Horny Goat Weed…WHAT??!! Yeah, in all the commotion of trying to find the enzymes, I had dumped the bottle of Horny Goat Weed in my basket instead of putting it back on the shelf.

My eyes bugged out, and I got so freaked out I totally beat boxed the poor girl. “Ba…ah…uh…cha…but….” I finally pulled it together enough to tell her that I had taken a pic for Facebook as a joke.

“So you don’t want it?”


I haven’t been that red since I got sunburned in Mexico. I couldn’t even look her in the eye. I grabbed my bag and ran out to my car because I’m smooth like that. I almost insisted on showing her the Facebook post. Good thing I didn’t because it never uploaded. Of course.

So now you know. If you need Horny Goat Weed, it’s on the bottom shelf at Rite Aid.