Misdeeds by Kathryn Kelly-Review, Interview and Giveaway with the Author
Death Dwellers MC Novella 2.5
by Kathryn Kelly
Genre: contemporary, erotica, motorcycle club, violence
Release Date: June 5, 2014
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 5, 2014
John “Johnnie” Donovan is determined to make his relationship work with Kendall Miller, the attorney he met during his cousin’s birthday party. Before he can move on with his future, however, he still has loose ends to tie up from the past in the person of a rival MC’s president who is also Kendall’s ex-boyfriend. As Johnnie tries to balance his club life and personal life, another tragedy forces him to make a choice between the two. Will Johnnie be able to live with the choices he makes?
Kendall Miller is trying to pick up the pieces of her life in the wake of her ex-boyfriend’s assault. She’s ready to move on with her life and the man of her dreams, the sexy VP of the Death Dwellers MC. She demands his complete attention and isn’t willing to share her man with all the baggage of the MC. She doesn’t want to be an afterthought to him nor does she want to live her life in the midst of the clubhouse, especially with the competition taking place between Kendall and the club president’s wife. Then, catastrophe strikes and Kendall’s life is once again altered. Can she and Johnnie have a future together or has their love been doomed from the beginning?
5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
If you’ve read my first combined review of the Death Dweller series, then you already know that this is a series NOT for the easily offended. For those that haven’t, I have to in good conscience state this straight up. This series is easily the most UN-PG series I have come across. There is strong descriptive violence, language, harsh situations, rape and heart ache. BUT, if you can handle all that .. there is an amazing group of bikers that you will fall in love with despite their rough edges, and old ladies that will make you laugh and tick you off all at the same time. This series take you THERE .. you know that icky but yummy place .. YA THAT!
We left smexy Johnnie “John Boy” Donovan one hot mess and happily for now with his recently proclaimed old lady Kendall Miller in the previous novel. Misdeeds by Kathryn Kelly is a continuation of their story and how they are trying to make it work. Revenge against Kendall’s ex “enemy club” boyfriend is still a priority for Johnnie and the Death Dwellers and our boys are going full on with mass destruction. In the midst of all that, Johnnie is trying to balance his relationship with Kendall (shining at moments and bombing at others), participate in club business, deal with family revelations and heal from a gunshot injury. In the meantime, Kendall is stirring the pot with Megan (the prez old lady), being selfish, manipulative .. of the list goes on! It’s a wonder that a man like Johnnie can stick with her. Revenge is served up indeed, and collateral damage is received, but I think we will see Johnnie and Kendall make it through. They grew together and separately in this book, leaving me hopeful for their future.
So much more happens here but I really wanted to focus the remainder of this review on Kathryn Kelly’s talent to make me LOVE HATE (yup you read that right) a heroine. Honestly, I really dislike Kendall. I think she is selfish, mean spirited and very immature. The things she said and did in this book made my blood boil .. but here is the thing… Kathryn Kelly also gave me moments of wanting to root for her and wishing she’d redeem herself. At times I felt like a ping pong ball, hating, liking, loving … UH I have never felt this strongly about ANY heroine I have ever read. She is a whole bag of damaged and I sympathized with her, but man I actually screamed at my ereader for her to smarten the you know what up. LOL
As an emotional reader, this series has hit my every button. I adore these bad ass bikers and their messed up seriously deviant and degenerate ways. We have been set up nicely for further stories and I am so excited for my next encounter with them! Again, an extremely raw read with lots to offend a reader, but man I love the shock and offensive experience because I get to experience something so intense and pure … as Christopher “Outlaw” would say. “It ain’t nothing but a thing!”
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Rachel T.
TRC: Hi Kathryn and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations of the success of your Death Dwellers MC series.
Kathryn: Thank you. It’s been quite a ride!
TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Please tell us something about yourself?
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Kathryn: I’m a born and bred New Orleans girl and a diehard Saints fan. Most of my family no longer lives in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. I was pretty aimless while I was in college because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was supposed to focus on acquiring the tools for a “real” job. I say I like to have firm plans but I usually enjoy myself more with spur of the moment activities. I will taste almost any type of food at least once, except squid ink soup, puffer fish or any type of insects. I’ve thought about going to one of the gourmet insect tastings where there’s stuff like sauteed grubs, fried crickets, etc., but I haven’t been able to convince myself I’ll be able to eat anything, so that’ll be $150 wasted. I’m a very private person, so I keep my personal life separate. I love the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, and Saints games.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
Kathryn: My mother has been the biggest influence on my writing career by always encouraging me to go after my dreams no matter how big or how small.
TRC: When not writing, what do you do to relax?
Kathryn: I read and I also watch the ID channel.
TRC: MISDEEDS is the fourth instalment and June 2014 release in your contemporary erotic motorcycle club series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Kathryn: Misdeeds continues the story of John “Johnnie” Donovan and Kendall Miller as they attempt to make a go of a relationship that didn’t start off on the best terms. Kendall is trying to cope with situations in every aspect of her life. The deaths of her mother and her sister. Her assault and self-image issues. The lost pocket of time she had while she was drugged and held prisoner. The loss of her career, which she felt was the only good thing about herself and she’d worked hard to achieve. Her impending motherhood and her feelings for Johnnie who seems so detached from her most of the time. After going through so much—and being rejected by her mother most of her life—she doesn’t trust anyone’s overtures of kindness or friendship. Because of this toxic combination, she makes decisions that will lead to some dire consequences.
Meanwhile, Johnnie is dealing with a lot himself and finds himself pitted against Christopher because Kendall and Megan can’t get along.
TRC: Like most MC series, your storylines are graphically and sexually violent. What do you say to the reader of romance who is reticent or reluctant to read your series?
Kathryn: That’s a tough one to answer because it depends on the reason(s) for their reticence. There’s no denying the violence in my books, but, at the core is the romance between the hero and heroine. They are gritty, raw, and, at times, dark, but there’s also an underlying message within each book.
TRC: MISBEHAVIOR is your September 2014 release. Will you please tell us something about the premise?
Kathryn: Misbehavior is Zoann and Val’s story and it starts two months after Misdeeds ended. The two of them have a lot to overcome, especially Zoann’s mistrust and Val isn’t the most patient or the most communicative one of the brothers. He sees how she treats everyone except bikers and he wants that from her, too. He’s going to realize how helpless and powerless she felt during her attack and will have to allow her some control in the relationship, which won’t be easy for a man like him. She trusted him enough once before to try for a relationship. Now, the stakes are higher because Val knows this is a make or break time for them. Will he be able to give her the lead in their relationship? Will she trust him just once more or will she walk away from him for good? Then, there’s the whole Christopher angle and the fact she feels he turned his back on her when she needed him most.
TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?
Kathryn: Before I answer that, I have to say when I released Misled, I hadn’t planned on writing anymore books about the MC. Christopher wouldn’t be denied so I had to write him and once I finished his story, I was really sad to write THE END. It was fun and exhilarating to know I could write an entire novel all by myself. Before I hit publish, though…I changed my mind several times. When I convinced myself to just do it that last time, I knew it was a ‘now or never’ moment. I’d been requesting reviews for two weeks, but when it came time to actually publish it, I was almost trembling. I wanted someone to see in Christopher what Meggie and I saw in him. When I began receiving requests to continue the series, it was such an easy decision because I was already so vested in the characters.
Now, in response to the original question, I have eight definite releases planned: Misled (#1), Misappropriate (#1.5), Misunderstood (#2), Misdeeds (#2.5), Misbehavior (#3), Misguided (#4), Misconduct (#5) and Misfit, which will be another novella either between books 3 and 4 or 4 and 5. Mistrust is questionable, since it would be about Dinah, and I’m not sure where her character is going.
Click HERE for our reviews of Misled, Misappropriate and Misunderstood
TRC: Have you considered a spinoff concentrating on a rival MC club?
Kathryn: I’ve thought about doing a spinoff with the American Scorpions MC, which was Cee Cee’s club. However, I’m also getting ideas for a series about Ophelia’s band members. Ophelia is Christopher’s sister who will end up in a relationship with Stretch and Cash. So we’ll see.
TRC: Are any of the characters or the premise based in reality or a combination of reality and fiction?
Kathryn: The characters are a combination of reality and fiction.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular series?
Kathryn: I do most of my research on the MC lifestyle via non-fiction articles, books, and documentaries. We all have something we respond to, so the emotions I (try) to write in the books come easier than the situations concerning the MC brothers. I’m always concerned about how much of what I write will readers believe? Is Christopher bold enough to stake out someone’s house in broad daylight holding an assault weapon? Well, yes, and I’m sure readers familiar with the series know that? Will they be able to suspend disbelief about actually reading about him doing it? Suppose readers are familiar with the story of a real MC member who did something similar? Did I portray the scene accurately (but still fictitiously, if that makes sense) to those people who know about the real-life event and did I write it with believability for the readers who aren’t aware. I have to add the similarities between real life and my characters are purely coincidental because I research for accuracy with club rules (and make some up of my own), and the biker lifestyle.
TRC: What are your thoughts on writing a series and ending an instalment with a major cliff hanger?
Kathryn: I enjoy reading a series because the characters become like family to me. If there’s a long time between releases, I dislike books with cliffhangers. It is being used too often nowadays and it becomes frustrating to have to wait for answers to major plot lines in book after book. It’s one thing to have the option of reading previous books in a series to get all the backstory. It’s another thing to HAVE to read upcoming books to get to the HEA (or HFN sometimes) in a couple’s story.
Misunderstood ends on a cliffhanger. It completely drained me and I was actually falling into a depression researching human trafficking and suicide and the effects of drugs and alcohol on a developing fetus. I got to a point where I had to stop. See, I suffer with major depression and insomnia and the story just kicked my butt really good. I’d pushed the deadline back because I saw I needed more time to tie up all the loose ends. But the day I wrote the last chapter to Misunderstood, I didn’t realize Spoon hadn’t been taken care of. Yes, I said it. My major cliffhanger was completely unintended. A few days after Misunderstood came out someone called me and told me about a review pointing out a warning to readers that it ended on a cliffhanger. I had to go back and reread the last scene and I was like…well, I can’t put what I said but it was laced with epitaphs. I’d already discussed the possibility of Misdeeds because of the HFN Misdeeds ended on and how unhappy it made readers. As a reader, I know how it feels to be unhappy and disappointed with an ending and completely annoyed with a cliffhanger. I decided to rectify it, sooner rather than later. Now, I have to write like mad to catch up to where I want to be with Misbehavior.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Kathryn: The characters definitely direct the writing. I’ll give you Kendall as an example. Every time I attempted to steer her in a way I thought she should go, her character veered in another direction and reminded me the setbacks she suffered within Misunderstood and Misdeeds happened in a very short period of time. She, as the character, wasn’t ready to go in the direction I thought she should. I rewrote several scenes in the book and directed her character the way I thought she needed to go. The scenes never worked out. Kendall wasn’t an easy character to deal with and she was even harder to write.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Kathryn: I think writers must be willing to take risks with their characters and their storylines. Don’t water your writing down to have sympathetic characters because you think it’s the right thing to do. Characters should make readers either sympathize with them, understand them even if their actions and decisions aren’t the best, or detest them, plain and simple. Writers fail in pulling readers into the storyline along with their characters by not knowing their characters and telling us what’s going rather than showing us. A well-rounded character draws readers in because motivations are understood in every situation he or she may be in. If we don’t make a reader feel, see, hear, taste and experience a character’s world, then we’ve failed at our job.
TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?
Kathryn: Writer’s Block is indeed a very real phenomenon and hits me when I’m under the most pressure. I try to keep writing. Sometimes, your best writing comes on your worst days. I didn’t have much writer’s block with Misled, but every book since, I’ve experienced it. It’s frustrating and it’s frightening. My uppermost thought is suppose ideas never return. Was this book just a one-time thing? Well, now (knock on wood), four times. It isn’t a good feeling and I haven’t gotten used to it. I’ve learned to step back for a day or two and, then, force myself back to it. Even if I have to throw away everything I write at the end of the door.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Kathryn: Crystal Cuffley, who edits my books and designs the covers, my mother, a couple of beta reads, one of the writers I’m friends with, and a couple friends. Most of the time, I bounce the ideas around after I’ve already started or completed the first draft, the exception being Misdeeds. I bounced ideas around beforehand. The final copy is nothing near to any of the discussions.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
Kathryn: In writing: writing a big historical, hitting a bestseller list at least once, and connecting with more readers
Personally: losing about 30 more pounds and getting a clean bill of health. I can’t think of anything else other than saving up for another vehicle before the one I have leaves me stranded.
TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
Kathryn: I don’t think many people know I have children, but I’m paranoid so I keep them off the radar most of the time.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Kathryn: I’m currently working on Val’s and Zoann’s story, Misbehavior.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Kathryn: Every reader is important to me. I definitely want to pull in new readers, but I don’t want to ignore the readers I already have. No writer will ever satisfy every reader every time. Unintentional cliffhangers are within my power to rectify, though.
Favorite Food –French fries
Favorite Dessert –Molten chocolate cake
Favorite TV Show –Scandal
Last Movie You Saw –Maleficent
Favorite Song – Can’t name any in particular
Dark or Milk Chocolate –Milk Chocolate
Secret Celebrity Crush –Let’s say secret celebrity crushes. Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Kellan Lutz, and Johnny Depp. One of my newest celebrity crushes is Travis Lee Ferguson.
Last Vacation Destination –Vacation? What’s that? LOL. My next vacation destinations (hopefully) are Vegas, Dallas, NYC, Puerto Rico, and Paris. ←Not necessarily in that order. Oh, yeah, and Disneyworld.
Pet Peeve –I can’t think of any right now! If I think of any, I’ll post it in the comment section.
TRC: Thank you Kathryn for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and we wish you all the best.
Kathryn: Thank you and thank you for the interview. I enjoyed answering your questions.
Kathryn Kelly is offering an ebook set of Misled, Misappropriate, Misunderstood and Misdeeds to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe. You MUST be over 18 years of age to qualify.
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7. Giveaway runs from June 17 to June 21, 2014