Kinley Baker, author of the Shadowed Love series, lists (in no particular order) 5 books that have inspired her writing.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Do I have to choose just one book? I love the whole series. I hope it’s not cheating the Top Five institution. These books definitely forced me to expand my imagination. I read the first one at age eleven, and I grew up with Harry and his friends. I will never forget Hogwarts. I’m still upset I never received my acceptance letter. I watch these movies for comfort because these characters are my BFFs.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: I love this series. It was my first paranormal young adult novel, and it really inspired me to seek more, which eventually led me to paranormal romance for adults, which is what I love more than anything in the whole world. Plus, I love the movies.
The Villa by Nora Roberts: This was one of my first romances. I read it as a young teen. The emotion and intensity grabbed me from beginning to end and made me want to write that effectively. And this is really when I realized I need my happily-ever-afters. I’ll never forget Ty. He’s the first hero I fell in love with. Then later in life I realized I married him. LOL.
The Giver by Lois Lowry: This book taught me that the world is socially constructed. We believe things are the way they are because we’re told to. But really, a bunch of people in the past decided certain things were a good idea and they trended mainstream. I love writing fantasy because I can mess with the way worlds are built. Call me a rebel.
Really anything by Larissa Ione: But to be fair since I already picked a series, I will choose a specific title. Lethal Rider was one of my favorites. She writes dark and sexy and proves that there’s good and bad in everyone. Just when you think there’s no possible way someone could be a hero or heroine, Ms. Ione reveals exactly why they deserve their happily ever after. Her characters are so broken and awesome. Her worlds are intricate. Her stakes are always rising impossibly higher through her series. Her writing is amazing. I’m currently re-reading everything she’s ever written because I love her books. I also might have met her at an RWA book signing. She was so nice and didn’t even mind my fan girl babbling. That might have something to do with how inspiring I find her work.
About Kinley’s Books
About Freed (Shadowed Love #.5)
After mortal invaders slay a Shadow Shifter woman, Queen Ella knows there is more blood on the horizon. As the most powerful Sensitive in the village, Ella has always known she’s destined to save the kingdom. But her task seems impossible. She must move the Well of Souls to a new realm to save her people or risk failing the Ancestor gods.
The woman King Falon loves will never love him back, despite a binding marriage built on regal decorum. Falon’s first duty is to his people, and he only wants to provide the Shadow Shifters with a safe future. He must assert his power to gain the respect of the warriors.
Harder still, King Falon must accept the salvation of his people lies with his own Queen Ella, a woman who speaks madness… a woman he’s always loved, but hardly knows.
Genre: Fantasy romance
The Mortal Realm, 657
King Falon looked up at the darkening sky, and a heavy burden settled inside his chest. Where were their Ancestor gods?
From his castle balcony, he stared over the hills of his homeland in Northern Britain, the place the Shadow Shifters had always called home. Their history and their hearts were embedded in these lands.
The mortals had always been a danger, but his people had escaped their persecution. That was no longer the case. The martyrs wanted to annihilate the Shadow Shifters, a race who thrived in the darkness, who thrived in the shadows, who thrived in the night.
Holy believers were coming for them, without any understanding of what they attempted to fight. The Shadow Shifter village had remained protected on these hills, with their Ancestor gods watching over them. Now, their existence was threatened.
“It isn’t your fault.” The sound of Pavel’s voice came from behind him.
Falon couldn’t bear to face his oldest friend and advisor. “Then whose is it?”
“We knew we couldn’t stay hidden here forever.”
“Why must they attack during my reign? Why must this fall to me?” He sighed. “For centuries, peace existed for our people.”
New to the throne, newly wed, newly orphaned. Too many firsts weighed on his shoulders. He didn’t know how to handle the burden.
Pavel seemed to read his mind. “The Ancestors would never give you this challenge if they didn’t believe you capable of discovering a way to provide for our people.”
His friend had so much faith in bodiless apparitions. As the Spirit Teacher, perhaps Pavel had to have faith. But Falon struggled. He’d always struggled.
“That girl–” He couldn’t finish. Seeing the mutilated body of one of his people had made bile rise to his throat. His people had looked to him for answers, and he’d nearly crumbled in front of them.
“You did your duty per our traditions and honored her family.”
Falon had done his duty, but the young girl’s face. He’d never forget it.
“When do you think they’ll come?”
Pavel sighed. “After their savagery, it could be this night, it could be a fortnight. I do not have the answers.”
“We must prepare the Warriors.” To stop his people from being destroyed.
“Then you’ll fight?”
“What other choice do I have?” He glared at his friend, freeing his frustration.
“None that you see.”
“I don’t have time for riddles.”
Pavel smiled. “You never did.”
“I’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect our lands and the Well of Souls. We can’t afford to allow the mortals access to our sacred power source.”
“I trust you’ll do what you must.”
His friend might have too much faith. Falon studied their lands for another long moment, watching the sun fall into the lure of the mountains.
“Of course I will.” But when he glanced back again, Pavel was gone. He had a way of disappearing.
Falon knew he couldn’t dwell on the events of the past week. A young girl was gone, killed by bloodthirsty strangers, but the rest of his people remained. He could not allow her tragic death to befall the whole.
He strode through his private chambers to an adjoining room, deciding not to use the shadows to shift so he could take a deep breath and collect himself. After passing through the doorway, he came to an abrupt halt.
His breath caught at the sight before him. A woman of supreme elegance stood in the last flickers of light, staring out at the disappearing sun from her balcony.
Heavy, thick robes lined her luscious form. Beautiful velvet in a rich blue color fit snugly to her curves. A crown of entwined flowers sat proud atop her head. Her delicate profile showed her true regal magnificence.
Light hair curled down long and brushed against the fabric of her dress. She stood, ethereal, like an Ancestor goddess in his midst. Perfect. Untouchable. Supposedly his.
She didn’t turn to look at him, although he knew she always knew when he entered the room. This was a woman of ultimate power, the strongest Sensitive in the kingdom. And one of only a few in the village who seemed to glow with magic.
So soft. So kind. So distant.
She was his wife. His queen.
And so far out of reach. He wanted her with a desperation that made him ache. But he often thought his wanting of her would be the death of him. He couldn’t allow it to be the death of his kingdom.
“We’re expected for the evening meal.” His tone was rigid.
Her stance remained the same, as if she couldn’t hear him.
“Ella,” he said.
She didn’t move.
Ella made him question himself in a way no one ever had. As a royal and now a king, he wasn’t used to scrutiny. No one seemed able to read his shortcomings as easily as his wife.
His patience frayed. Defiance was not a battle he needed to wage this day. Especially against the one woman who was supposed to stand by him always. Newly married and he’d already learned. The wife he’d married for love would never love him back. And she’d never be on his side.
War. Ella’s blood boiled with the truth. The scent of blood drifted on the horizon. As the sun faded behind the mountains, her people’s safety faded with it. She felt this truth as surely as she felt her nails curling into her palms.
Loss. The wind swirled with it. Inevitable sacrifices lingered in their future, but she couldn’t define what they risked. Everything inside her yearned to place the pieces into a discernible pattern, something she could give to the king to use. But for the first time in her life, answers eluded her.
Were the Ancestors punishing her? She stared into the angry gray clouds and questioned. Something she’d rarely had to do. As a Sensitive, she’d always known the truth. Not now. Everything was changing, evolving, yielding, one day into the next, a whirlwind she couldn’t stop.
Despair. She could feel the pain in the air, like a blade suspended in time, destined to kill through the ages, destined to harm. A tear slid down her cheek. She was supposed to save her people. She’d always known it. But how?
About Denied (Shadowed Love #2)
When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most–including each other.
Genre: Fantasy romance
About Ruined (Shadowed Love #1)
Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.
Genre: Fantasy romance
About the Author
She lives with her husband, Benjamin, and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. Ruined, Denied, and Freed are all available now from Crescent Moon Press.
Look for a new paranormal romance series in 2013. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances.