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Marketing for Romance Writers is a peer mentoring group for authors. It was founded in 2006 by Kayelle Allen.

Hero Wanted: must be dark and dangerous. Insight into writing an antihero #Pietas #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor When I started writing Bringer of Chaos, it was supposed to be a book about Pietas, king of the immortal race called the Sempervians. About a third of the way in, I realized I needed more than one volume for my dark and dangerous hero. I changed the name to Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas. Book two was Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, which came out in December last year. Currently, I’m working on Bringer of Chaos: Watch Your Six. I’ve written about 10k words so far. Pietas — who is a villain in books set in the far future — is descending into darkness.

Pietas is not a true villain. He’s a flawed hero and an antihero. He was a complex enigma when I began the first book. I know him now. My dark and dangeous hero suffers in the Chaos series. I’m not kind to my characters. I’m sure he would gladly throttle me if he could, but his story is richer and more layered because of his trials.

In Watch Your Six, he’s decided that his mortal friend, Six, must not be allowed to die. Pietas believes he can impart his own immortality to this “ghost” — a human warrior who has been resurrected with immortal blood. He refuses to part with this man he has come to trust, depend upon, and even love. He has never had a friend who treats him like he’s just another man. Though he doesn’t know how to deal with that at times, he loves their camaraderie. Anytime he interacts with Six, there is a thread of humor. Sometimes, it’s almost a rope!

In the part below, from my work in progress (subject to final editing), Pietas and Six have had a serious falling out over the imparted immortality. Six does not want it — Pietas refuses to accept that decision. Their disagreement has led to blows that both regret and Pietas, always the gentleman, has apologized.

“You’re only sorry I haven’t given in yet, but apology accepted.” Six offered his hand.

Pietas took it.

The mortal clasped his forearm. “Warrior to warrior, Pi.”

“Aye, my friend.” He could not say more without his voice breaking. How much longer would he have with this man at his side? This brother who reached him in ways no friend ever had? How would he ever survive on this world without Six? Pietas gave himself a moment, squeezed his friend’s arm. “Always. More than brothers. I should not have hit you.”

“Actually, you missed me completely.”

He jerked Six closer. “Rub it in, why don’t you?”

Deadpan, the man stood stock still, but then burst into a smile. “I just did.” He nudged Pietas with a shoulder. “Doesn’t mean this is over, Ultra.”

“I never thought it was.” He released his friend. “Ghost, I am sorry.”

“The minute you said the words, I knew you didn’t mean them.”

“Yet you punched me anyway.” He rubbed the tender spot on his chest. “That was a lucky hit.”

“Yeah, lucky. Here and on Enderium Six.” Six tossed up a dangerous hunting knife and caught it. “Where you surrendered.”

Stop saying that.”

“What? ‘Where you surrendered?’ You prefer ‘Where you were defeated’ instead?”

He narrowed his eyes in warning. “You caught me off guard. Both times.”

“The mighty Pietas, War Leader of the Ultras, Chancellor of the High Council. Caught off guard by a dead human.” He held up two fingers. “Twice. Wow.”

“Ghost!” Pietas tightened his fists. “Did you not hear me say I want you to live forever? Don’t make me kill you.”

Hero Wanted: must be dark and dangerous #Pietas #SciFi #SpaceOpera Click To Tweet

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Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover a current WIP or previously published books by new-to-you authors.

The Scale of Nik Perfection @nitsvetov #Cosplay #SciFi #MFRWhooks

A Scale of Perfection

After the cosplay and photo shoot with Nik Nitsvetov as Pietas on September 1, I had almost 500 images to examine. His wonderful photographer, Julia (@by_cosphoto) did not take even one bad picture. There is literally not one single image I could set aside and say "close, but not quite." I realized right away I needed a Scale of Nik Perfection.

Nik and Julia make an unbelievable team. Each has a combination of incredible skill plus incredible talent. Put them together and the world of cosplay doesn't stand a chance.

Neither does my heart.

I have loved images of Nik since the first time I saw him. He took my breath away -- literally. I stopped breathing and just sat there, mesmerized, staring at the screen the moment I laid eyes on him.

It took a long time to figure out what his name was. Not long after, Nik began using Instagram. I follow him there and on Twitter. I also follow his Twitter fan page.

Back to the issue at hand, I had a chance to have Julia touch up some of the images. Why do you need to "touch up" perfection? Because while Nik's chiseled body is gorgeous, he has tattoos, which my character Pietas does not. Though they were covered with makeup, they still showed through. Personally, I love them. They are works of art, but I have to be true to my character.

So how do you pick when your choices are perfect and perfect? There was no scale of good or not good that worked so my friend Lisa and I came up with our own. Here is how we classified the images using the numbers 1-10.

The Scale of Nik Perfection

1 Oh, Wow

2 Oh my God

3 Amazing

4 Gorgeous

5 Incredible

6 Perfect (English to Russian translation)

7 Holy Cow, he's perfect

8 Take a breath + speechless + Perfect. PER-fect.

9 Stop breathing + speechless + Oh. My. God. Perfect.

10 Stop breathing + speechless + Holy Freaking Mother of God. Perfect.

I want to add here that working with Nik was a real treat. He is a gentleman. He treats his fans with respect and he is -- when he's not in character -- a playful imp who mugs for the camera and loves to have fun. He should be an actor. He is able to transform himself at will and that is a joy to watch.

Look at the image of him as Pietas in today's post. Imagine having Pietas - a gorgeous holy cow perfect person - live in your imagination. Now realize that he won't stop bugging you to write his story until you do it. Is it any wonder I talk about Pietas almost 24/7? I'm just lucky my husband knows how much I love this character and the story and isn't the jealous type. He's a true writer's spouse and I adore him for it.

You know the odd thing about this photo shoot / cosplay was that watching Nik become Pietas helped me understand my character better. I watched him put on the façade of Pietas and realized that even Pietas puts on the façade of Pietas. He wears a face the public can see, but inside, in the privacy of his heart, my immortal king is not who he claims to be.

Pietas has been the villain in several stories, but after I began writing his origin, I realized he is not a villain at all.

Who is he? Stay tuned to find out. No, instead--go read the books. They do a much better job of revealing the truth. And on the Scale of Nik Perfection, pardon me for saying so, but the books are a solid 10.

Nik Nitsvetov

Nik Nitsvetov (above, as Pietas) is a photographer and award-winning cosplayer. A gamer and anime fan, he often cosplays characters from popular series. He lives in Russia and is a strong supporter of Russian Cosplay. His personal photography ranges from cosplay to portraits and often includes animals and nature. You will find him online through various social media. (Photo credit for Pietas @by_cosphoto)

Lights Out by Kayelle Allen

Writing a fight scene with multiple fighters #Pietas #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks He can save mankind. After he does one important thing. Die.
Join the Ghost Corps, they said. You'll live forever, they said. You'll save mankind, they said. They didn't say that to do it, first he had to die.
When Tornahdo signs on the dotted line, he puts his life into the steady hands of the mighty Ghost Corps. Three grisly deaths and three agonizing resurrections later, he's assigned duty on the space station Enderium Six.
He's facing his most dangerous mission yet, the very reason the corps exists.
Do they expect him to win? Fat chance. Tornahdo and his team are already dead and this mission is codenamed "Lights Out." No, there's more to this than he can see.
To discover the truth, he must face an unbeatable, unkillable enemy, and this time--somehow--find a way to keep himself alive...
Lights Out is in the Science Fiction/Space Opera anthology The Expanding Universe Vol 4, edited by Craig Martelle out Sept 17, 2018

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

I’m sharing giveaways that I developed with my son Jamin, who’s a graphic designer. Do you like to color? You are in luck. Together, Jamin and I created coloring books for my various books and characters. You can download seven of them for free right on this website and color it yourself.

The first, Unstoppable Heroes and Heroines, features characters found in almost every one of my books. The Antonello Brothers has characters found in At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only.

Peril — the Immortal’s Game is a unique coloring book. It has characters but also a maze and multi-sided dice to color.

Pietas — the Bringer of Chaos has over a dozen dragons. Pietas dreams about dragons and their symbolism appears in his stories. In a future book, he will bond with one. Do you like flowers and butterflies? There are two coloring books that showcase those.

Why Coloring is Good for You

Anxiety and stress is controlled by the amygdala, a center of the brain that deals with motivation and emotion. The act of creating with color calms this portion of the brain. This part of the brain also controls the “fight or flight” response. Intense focus on a simple activity, like coloring, can calm the body and brain.

When people get together to color, the activity relieves stress, improves mood, promotes socialization, and provides an outlet for self-expression. In seniors, it can also improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

How odd that an activity once considered just a means to keep kids busy has become such a valued commodity in the mental health community. Coloring exercises both sides of the brain, because it uses logic as well as creativity. That adds value in terms of cognitive health and can assist with problem-solving.

But one big reason is because it’s fun to do! How long has it been since you sat down and colored? What’s stopping you? If it’s that you don’t have anything to color, I’ve got a fix for that. I offer seven free coloring books. Click, download, and print.

Color It Yourself

You can pick up inexpensive boxes of crayons and take yourself back to your childhood. I have several sets of colored pencils and pens. My favorite type is gel because the colors are so rich and bright. The Eparon gel pen set has 40 unique colors and they’re only $6.99. If you have Amazon Prime you can get them without shipping fees. There are 4 standard coloring pens, 6 neon, 5 mixed pastels, 5 solid pastels, 10 glitter, and 10 metallic. They are acid-free, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. My advice is to get this set in addition to another. You’ll see suggestions for other types on my coloring book download page.

Want to know when more free coloring books are added? Join one of my reader groups and you’ll have first dibs on new ones. You’ll be first to know when my next book is released, plus you’ll get access to exclusive content limited to members.

Thank you for stopping by. Do you like coloring? What is your favorite thing to color?

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Charon's Blade and Watch Your Six #SpaceOpera #SciFi #MFRWhooksThere were surprises as I started putting together Bringer of Chaos: Watch Your Six. This is the final book of the Bringer of Chaos trilogy, so tying up loose ends is important. I went to great lengths to ensure everything was covered, right down to creating weapons like Charon’s Blade (shown here).

As I wrote, I got to thinking, what would humans need ghosts for with all the Ultras in exile? How many ghosts had there been? Would the Ultras who’d been captured be released? How many Ultras were there? What were the powers they imparted to the various ghosts? Why didn’t Six get much of those powers?

The biggest surprise to me was discovering Pietas’s real agenda for humans. I’d always known he wanted to destroy them, but why would he after coming to respect and love Six? And if he wanted to kill them, why hadn’t he already done it? After all, he holds the title Destroyer of Worlds. He could do it. What’s stopping him?

I wrote a spinoff short story about Ghost Corps. Lights Out will release in mid September inside The Expanding Universe Vol 4, edited by Craig Martelle. The anthology will feature multiple authors, all with stories in the sci fi and space opera genres. It’s going to be a real treat for fans of the genre.

Charon’s Blade

I hired an artist to create images of the Ghost Corps weapons. They were designed to kill Ultras, so they’re formidable (and nasty). Livius designs scifi weapons as art. I found him on DeviantArt.com. Having the images and the technical aspects of these helps me create the people who wield them.

What kind of person would carry a weapon called Charon’s Blade designed to stab and then inject the victim with poison? Why such an extreme weapon?

Considering it was designed to wound creatures who come back from the dead, it’s at least a little bit understandable. Even so, Charon was the mythical guide to the underworld in ancient mythology. This knife has quite a legacy just in its name.

I know the answers to all these questions and have the basics of the journey plotted. But as I write, this story reveals more and more. I plan many more books featuring Pietas, his family and fellow immortals.

To see all the art, join one of my reader groups. You’ll get four free books and news about books coming soon. I’ll be sharing a member-only first peek at the art, plus other inside secrets about the Ghost Corps.
Sci Fi, Space Opera and Fantasy ONLY
Sci Fi, Space Opera and Fantasy PLUS Romance
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Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Heroes Using Weapons: writing a story with guns #Pietas #SciFi #MFRWhooks In today’s society with arguments for and against gun control, is it smart to write a story in which weapons play a large part? What if heroes using weapons is the wrong thing to write about?

I’m working on a short story that might never see the light of day. The hero keeps hiding his motives from me, which makes it difficult to write about him. But if it does manage to burst into being, Lights Out will have a lot to do with weapons, guns, soldiers, and war. It’s the tale of a soldier who dies and is brought back to fight again.

Heroes Using Weapons

In the Bringer of Chaos series, the sidekick of the immortal hero is a human warrior who’d been killed in action and then revived.

To accomplish the rebirth, all the blood in the soldier’s body is replaced with the blood of an immortal. When he or she comes back to life, the training and natural abilities are all still present, but so are abilities of the immortal. If they were telepathic, so is the soldier. If they possessed enhanced speed, so does the soldier. There are dozens of “gifts” and each has both a benefit and a drawback. If you can hear the thoughts of others but can’t forget them, life could get uncomfortable fast.

With my heroes using weapons it meant I needed to understand what they do. As I prepared to write this new short story as well as book three in the Chaos trilogy, I had to understand how these weapons were used. To do that, I researched weapons of today and weapon concepts of the future.

I have a military background and enlisted in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. When I write a military sci fi or romance, I’m speaking from experience. My heroes using weapons is a result of that experience.

I’m going to take shooting lessons and learn how to use weapons myself. I want to write from experience with this as well.

Rather than shy away from the topic, I thought I’d see what my readers think about stories concerning guns. Do you read them? What do you think about stories concerning them? Do you look for stories that have a moral implication or do you prefer a rock-em-sock-em robot sort of tale?

Image credit: Nano-Core (commission for KayelleAllen.com)

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

I’m writing Watch Your Six, book three in the Bringer of Chaos series. The others are the Origin of Pietas and Forged in Fire. When you have a huge story that unfolds in sections, it’s helpful to give readers a place to start. That’s usually the job of a prologue. Sometimes, it’s a foreword or another intro of some kind.

I’m considering a bit of the story’s history by listing what humans say about the immortals they created, and compare it to what humans mean.

What Humans Say

  • We fashion creatures genetically designed for toil.
  • We make them strong, vital, robust, able to work hard.What Humans Say -- What Humans Mean @KayelleAllen #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks
  • We ingrain them with abilities to make mundane jobs easier.
  • We create soldiers who recover from every injury.
  • Genslave scientists design more genslaves to enhance our way of life.
  • Renegade scientists design genslaves without proper safeguards.
  • Soulless rebels refuse to accept human authority.
  • These ingrates reject their proper name.
  • The so-called Ultras usurp mankind’s authority.
  • Surprisingly, genetic enhancements result in failure.
  • We purge ourselves of the taint of genetic enhancements.
  • We take back our birthright: Human Pure is our battle cry.
  • We discover ways to kill immortals and keep them from rising.
  • We wish we could turn back time and correct our folly.
  • We regret our lack of wisdom in creating such beings.

What Humans Mean

  • We create genslaves.
  • We permit them no rest.
  • We make sure they can never rise above their station.
  • We create savage warriors.
  • We hand over to slaves the means of creating more slaves.
  • Rebels overthrow the genetic shackles keeping them enslaved.
  • Renegades lead other genslaves to freedom.
  • The rebels call themselves Ultras: ultra smart, ultra strong, ultra powerful.
  • Ultras dominate every part of the galaxy.
  • Obviously, we can no longer control what we created.
  • We destroy anyone with non-human traits and enhanced sensory perceptions.
  • Anyone enhanced or genetically altered or “different” is the enemy.
  • We burn anything and anyone “unnatural.”
  • We don’t know how to undo what we’ve done.
  • We made a mistake…


Immortal. King. Exile. All are what humans say about Pietas. None show the depth of the man known by his peers as the Bringer of Chaos. This series is military science fiction with elements of humor, a small touch of romance, a ginormous black panther “kitty”, a telepathic weapons designer, one used-to-be-human, and the most dysfunctional family since forever.

The Bringer of Chaos series focuses on Pietas and his friendship with the human, Six. In books set in different series in the far future, Pietas is king, and he terrifies everyone. I wanted to understand why his people were so steadfastly loyal to him despite that, so I started this series to find out.

If you want a good read, check out the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group. You get four free books right away and you’ll be first to know when the new book about Pietas is released.

What humans say is not what humans mean #SciFi #SpaceOpera Click To Tweet

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

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