Wednesday, February 5, 2014

[Blog Tour]: Guest Post w/ K.F. Breene + Giveaway!


A wine country native, K.F. Breene moved to San Francisco for college just shy of a decade ago to pursue a lifelong interest in film. As she settled into the vibrant city, it quickly became apparent that, while she thought making and editing films was great fun, she lacked cinematic genius. For that reason, her career path quickly changed direction. Her next goal was a strange childhood interest, conjured at the dining room table while filling out a form. For some reason, her young self wanted to be an accountant. Thinking on it now, she often wonders how she had any friends. Regardless, it was the direction she finally took.

While she could wrangle numbers with the best of 'em, and even though she wore the crown as the most outspoken, belligerent accountant in the world, her mind got as stuffy as her daily routine. It was here that she dusted off her creative hat and began writing. Now she makes movies in her head, not worried about lighting, shutter speed or editing equipment. Turns out, a computer is much easier to manage than a crowd of actors. She should know, she was an actor at one time.

Where to Find K.F:

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My Take on Critique Groups

I wish I’d known the value of critical readers when I first decided to throw my stuff out for public consumption. In all honesty, I never thought anyone would read my books. I wrote them as an escape from the daily grind with no thought of publishing.

When it came to the idea of e-publishing, I kind of figured…why not? I self-edited (terrible idea) and uploaded my stuff.

Then came the reviews. Oh man. I was not expecting the harshness that some people throw into a review. And while some reviews are just people that will never like the things I write, some had legitimate points.  Points a good beta reader (critical reader) would’ve highlighted.

The thing is, when you write something, you have a certain idea about it. You have a certain feeling. A character might do something you think is mundane, because you meant it to be mundane. But the problem is, as is often the case with the written word, and causes no end of problems with work emails, how you meant it might not have been how it comes across. Your brain glossing over a certain detail doesn’t mean someone else’s will.

This goes double for me.

I’m a bold, sarcastic gal that rarely goes about my day without joking. I poke fun at everyone, especially myself. Things I say are light and playful, always best when taken with a grain of salt. When you get to know me, you get a sense of that. My brash, bold words are like a cartoon character, animated and dry.

People that aren’t warned of the crazy that is me might get intimidated. My friends warn new acquaintances of my personality—kind of like foreshadowing. But readers can be struck unaware. Some things I write need to be toned down, and since I don’t know which thing, that’s why I have my beta readers.

Working with beta readers has turned out to be one of my favorite things about this process. I genuinely care about what they have to say. Any suggestion made, no matter how small, registers. I’m grateful for it. I can’t express that enough.

Often, I’ll discuss elements of the book with my betas, like a nonchalant book club. I’ll get their input on how to make it better, or discuss other key elements. I’ll ask for titles, or what they think would fix certain problems. I’m not sensitive—not at all—so I don’t need soft words or beating around the bush, which frees them up to be completely honest, worrying about the book rather than my feelings.

To me, my beta readers are gold, and extremely fun to work with. For them, they seem to like the fact that they get to be part of the process. Their help and suggestions influence the book—it’s a fun experience. I think an author is crazy not to use beta readers. Not only that, but they’re missing out on a neat working relationship.

~K.F. Breene

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Into the Darkness by K.F. Breene
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 22, 2014)
Series: Darkness, 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy

I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.

Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.

No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived. 

I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity. 

I just had to know.

“She was fated to live.”
“Then why must you save her?”
“Often Fate is struck down by dumb luck.”

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Into the Darkness by K.F. Breene

As I met his black eyes, his puzzled expression deepened. “You’re human…”

“We established that, yes. What I want to know is, if I am human, what does that make you? And why do I notice you when others usually don’t?”

His head cocked to the side. His easy balance, his lethal edge; he was like a blade resting on billowing silk. “Very few humans are able to withstand our pheromones. Fewer still to break a Kolma once it has been placed. You’ve not been trained, that’s obvious, so how is this possible when you’re definitely human? Do you possess the blood of another species?”

I could barely think past the pounding ache of my body, begging to touch him. I needed to get a grip! He was revealing some very interesting factoids that I needed to jot down in my mental notebook.

His nostrils flared. “Charles was right; your arousal is a unique scent. Like a spicy, warm drink on a mid-winter’s night. It rises above other smells, entrancing the mind.”

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for stopping by today, K.F.! What a great guest post. I've been lucky enough to beta read a few times, and I understand. I've seen some authors, unfortunately, who think that beta readers are not necessary. *shakes head* Much like a good editor, betas are also very important!

So, what do you think of Into the Darkness -- does it sound like something you'd like to read? If so, grab copy NOW -- it's FREE! :D


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


kfbreene said...

Thanks for having me. FYI- the book is now FREE for a limited time. Pick up a copy :)

momjane said...

I really enjoyed your comments. It is a shame that people can not give helpful reviews of your work without being critical. This book sounds really interesting.

kfbreene said...

I'm getting used to it. I have a great collection of supportive and hilarious fans that are ever ready to make fun of me when I start to take things too seriously! They make all of this so much fun!!

Patrick Siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about your book. Thanks for sharing it.

marypreston said...

The bio had me interested. One would hope that critique groups would always be honest, but helpful & supportive too.

Jenn Oldaker said...

:( Honestly... people should just stick to the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say...." I've never attempted to write... I LOVE reading but KNOW I suck at attempting to write anything lol! However it takes a certain vision like you said and even if someone else doesn't see the vision there is no reason to have an open roast on their hard work either!

elaing8 said...

This sounds like an interesting book.