Jan 7, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with Kathy Bryson!

Kathy Bryson knew she wanted to be a writer by age 12, when she finished reading through her school and local children’s libraries. She earned a B.A. in English and a M.S. in Mass Communications and spent 20 years honing her writing skills on marketing brochures, websites, and several unfinished manuscripts. After getting another Master’s, this time in Humanities, she went into teaching and took advantage of a more flexible schedule to finish a book with all the stuff she enjoys most – from coffee to love to Shakespeare! Kathy lives in Florida where she caters to the whims of two spoiled cats and wonders what possessed her to put in 75 feet of flower beds.

Feeling Lucky
The Fayetteville Fairies

Megan O’Malley gave in to drunken temptation and pinched a cute guy’s ass at her cousin’s wedding. Who’d have thought a perfectly normal guy—okay, a bit short—was a leprechaun or that he’d have such a bad attitude about giving away his money?! Now that she’s captured him, Megan may be five million dollars richer, but she’s also got an angry leprechaun camped out on her sofa, doing his best to prevent her from becoming the business mogul of her dreams!

Fergus O’Reilly cannot figure out what he’s done to upset the Queen of the Fairies. He was working hard to rebuild his family’s honor when he took one small break to help friends play a wedding. Then some drunken lady pinched his ass, the Queen declared him caught, and now he’s broke, homeless, and hustling to stop the lovely lady with the wandering fingers from spending his money. This would be so much easier if she wasn’t cute and caring and determined to help with his so-called money addiction!


“It was Brenda’s wedding, not mine. Why would I care? I was just . . .” I stopped, wincing as I remembered a furious look on a handsome face. Oh God, I remembered the wedding now. I remembered sitting surrounded by the women I worked with, all of us laughing and carrying on, until I pinched the bandleader’s ass.

I’d noticed him first because he was so short. He played the fiddle and stood easily a head shorter than the other guy in the band, a tall, gangling fellow who played a plaid bagpipe. The bandleader was shorter than one of the women singers. The other was by far the shortest of the whole group, a tiny thing, but what you’d expect of a woman, not of a man.

I couldn’t decide if the short guy was the leader of the band or not. He stood slightly forward of the group and announced each tune into the microphone, but he also kept glancing back at the tall guy while the two women peeked at each other and tried not to laugh. My guess was the bandleader couldn’t keep up, especially as he shook his head at the end of the tune, a small rueful grin twisting his lips. He noticed me watching and turned away quickly, red-faced, but still with that same teasing little grin.

You know that electric feeling you get when you look at someone and that someone looks back at you with the same interest? I could feel that particular tingle all the way down my spine and my every sense went on high alert.
The women I sat with were yelling out song titles, everything from punk rock to hip-hop, getting sillier and gigglier with each suggestion. The champagne flowed pretty freely at our table. I’d laughed too, but mostly I’d watched the bandleader until Marilee Harper nudged me and asked, “See something you like?”

I laughed and shook my head while I considered him. The bandleader had bright red-blond hair that fell in those carefully sculpted waves you see in old Hollywood movies and a long straight nose that worked pretty well with the old Hollywood look. He reminded me of a new penny, all bright and shiny.

He was very proud though. You could see it in the way he stared down that regal nose and spoke only briefly into the microphone. He gave the impression of doing everyone, band and crowd, a tremendous favor. As my Aunt Julia would say, he needed a right smack!

‘Course thinking about smacking the guy, I checked out his ass, and oh, he had a lovely ass. He wore the same Irish peasant costume as the tall guy, but where the green hose bagged and bunched on his stick frame, it clung to the thigh muscles of the bandleader. And when he turned back to the band, you could see that his cream-colored jerkin was just a bit short, tugged up in back by a thick leather belt and a large, heavy buckle to flare out over high, tight, round cheeks. A beautiful muscle, the gluteus maximus!
I raised an eyebrow in appreciation, and Marilee laughed. The bandleader must have heard her because he glanced over and saw me staring. I blushed, I can’t help it, I so don’t have a poker face, and he grinned. Then he turned back to his band mates and said something. The tall guy also glanced at our table and laughed, but he didn’t seem really happy.
Embarrassed, I turned back to my table, but Marilee went on and on until she got so loud and ridiculous, the band took a break. Our table had been disruptive during dinner, and now we were attracting glares and hisses from the other tables.

The band milled around the stage while the bandleader started across the banquet hall. He had to wind his way through the tightly packed tables as the stage, the bride’s table, the buffet table, and the doors to the kitchens took up the entire perimeter of the room. Aunt Julia really should have sprung for the larger hall at the Elks Lodge, if not both of them. Marilee had grabbed and held onto one of the roomier center tables, so inevitably he would pass right by us.

I sat up straight at that thought. The bandleader sauntered toward us, his gaze intent, that small smile tempting me to mischief. One eyebrow quirked up at my scrutiny, and that smile spread across his face. He may have been short, but he had charm to spare, and he knew it. It wasn’t just me. As he approached our table, everyone else quieted down too. Carla Higgins leaned into me. “Go on,” she said. “It’s your birthday. You deserve a treat.”


Blog Post

I don’t really celebrate New Year’s in part because my birthday falls on the 4th. When you’re a kid, you worry about your birthday being forgotten or lumped in with Christmas. When you’re an adult, you take what you can get. By the time New Year’s comes around, everyone is either partied out or starting a diet. Somehow, celebrating over a salad is just not that festive. And then of course, there’s the whole age thing, that ever increasing number to match your growing hip measurement and the reason for the salad!

This year though, I’m pretty excited. I realized a long-held dream when I published Feeling Lucky in June 2013, and now I’ve got the sequel written! The vague ideas in the back of my mind are turning into a real series. I like to describe it as a lovely visit to the world of fairies of myth and literature – with a few twists!

For example, when Megan accidentally captures a leprechaun in Feeling Lucky, she has no idea she's walked into the middle of a long-standing feud between two powerful fairies. She's just trying to become the business mogul of her dreams, even with a cute, but angry leprechaun camped out on her sofa. He’s determined to reclaim his fortune; she’s determined to put it to good use!

In Restless Spirits, Marilee Harper is trying to recover from accidentally setting fire to her best friend's house. She takes a job renovating a bed & breakfast where faucets and lights turn themselves off and on, and old baseballs fly without help. But these aren't the worst of her worries. She's also falling hard for her boss who's then kidnapped by fairies!

Feeling Lucky is available now on Amazon as an e-book with the print version coming Spring 2014. Restless Spirits will be available as an e-book in the summer. Of all the things that could happen in 2014, I’m most excited about these. Though of course, I’m not saying no to full-time employment, regular paychecks, or lower taxes!

I’m also hard at work on the third installment of the Fayetteville Fairies. Shakespeare may have brought the long-standing feud to light in 1590-something with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the fairies’ present day shenanigans are threatening havoc in the Midwest. What’s an ordinary, little town to do when the legends we’ve all heard - the fairytales and the folklore - turn out to be living next door? At the very least, they’re making it difficult to date!

I’m thoroughly enjoying exploring all the ridiculous possibilities in folklore, literature, and real-life. I love finding the magic in the everyday. Stories that take on a life of their own are as thrilling as winning lotto tickets and a lot easier to achieve. The best part, of course, is the magic that happens between the hero and the heroine. That’s always something to celebrate!

Behind the Scenes

Name one person you feel supported you outside of family members.

So many people play a part in launching a book, it’s hard to choose just one! My publisher, Debby Gilbert of SoulMate Publishing, was very patient as I worried through the process for the first time, Romona Lockwood graciously submitted multiple cover suggestions, and Molly Herwood gave all my students a good laugh with her thorough editing! I’ve gotten help from David Frantz for bookmarks, Mary Roberts for giveaways, Chris Demmons for internet development, and Candida Martinelli for a darling book trailer. The amount of support and encouragement has just been mind-boggling!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

What makes Megan O’Malley interesting is that she acts ditzy even though she’s really very smart. Getting tipsy and silly isn’t that unusual for her, but Megan wants to be more than the role she’s created for herself. Capturing a leprechaun gives her the opportunity to reach for her ambitions and learn why she embraced her party girl persona to begin with.
Fergus is unusual because he’s a leprechaun. They’re not ‘twee beings dreamed up by the tourist board’, but actually grown men and women, a centuries old race that date back to the legendary beginnings of Ireland. Fergus feels every pressure to live up to this tradition, but it’s just his luck to run into a fun-loving distraction who’s determined to help him dance with joy.

How much research do you do?

I started off reading up on fairies and quickly got drawn into Irish mythology. I re-read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and then I spent some time reviewing non-profit development. It seems like a lot of research until you remember that most writers are also avid readers. I got sidetracked a lot!

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

I just finished Restless Spirits which will be published by SoulMate Publishing in Summer 2014. It’s the sequel to Feeling Lucky and tells the story of Megan’s good friend, Marilee Harper. She is not a happy woman when the book opens which gave me lots of opportunity to explore some of the crankier aspects of my personality. I really wanted to leave those feelings behind when I left the corporate rat race, so it wasn’t exactly a comfortable process! But I was honest. I wrote down all the silly things I said as well as all the silly situations that provoked them!

Flash Round

What is your most cherished possession?
My kitties. I’ll let them fight out which one!

What is your worst habit?
That 2nd bite of chocolate

What are you the most hopeless at?

What would you never do, no matter the price?
 Jump out of an airplane

Daily Contest: Enter to win an ebook from her backlist! Contest ends January 11th. Please leave a comment with a valid email address to enter. Don’t forget to also enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter with the code word found above!

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  1. Thanks Fantasy Promotions for the chance to share my leprechaun love story and upcoming sequel with your readers. Tis a bold chance you're taking, letting my blarney loose!

  2. Hi Kathy, Excellent post! I enjoyed reading FEELING LUCKY and look forward to reading RESTLESS SPIRITS. Happy Belated Birthday and best of luck in 2014.

    1. Thank you! It's going to be a good year for all us fantasy romantics!

  3. This is going on my list! This is why I like doing blogs. I always find a new to me author!

    1. Hi Diana, I'm glad you found me. You'll have to let me know what you think. Thanks!

  4. I can't wait to read this! Definitely on my TBR list! Thanks for being on the blog hop!


    1. How can anyone resist a review by Evil Tammy?! Tis a dream come true for a wicked leprechaun, heh-heh-heh! Glad I could be on this hop!

  5. Sounds really good and fun. Chocolate is always so hard to resist, it's my worst habit too along with candy in general.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Hi H.B. - I know I plow through a lot of sweets writing, but you get so much done on a sugar high!