Today’s blog post comes from my client Jeffe Kennedy, whose new book THE TALON OF THE HAWK is available today in stores everywhere!

The Talon of the Hawk, the third in my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy, comes out today. Which is a little unreal. I’ve known about this date since late 2012 and it seemed SO far in the future then—and the beginning of this path feels like yesterday.

I remember so clearly the RWA National Convention that summer of 2012. My first Fantasy Romance book, Rogue’s Pawn, had just been published by Carina Press. Back then, Fuse Literary was also in seed form. Laurie McLean at Larsen-Pomada was mentoring Pam Howell at the time. Pam read Rogue’s Pawn and asked if we could meet at the convention.

This is an amazing way to do the acquiring-an-agent thing and part of why I encourage aspiring writers to consider publishing with digital presses. Their overhead is lower, so they’re willing to take more risks with emerging genres. Going this route gets the books out there so that people like agents are more likely to pick them up. This was such a win for me, after years of querying and pitching. When people asked me if I was pitching at that RWA of 2012, I joked that, no, I was *taking* pitches.

So it was with great excitement that I met Laurie and Pam for breakfast. We took our food outside and sat at a little patio table in the Anaheim sunshine. We talked about my books, both published and unpublished, and Laurie told me, “We’d like to make you the Queen of Fantasy Romance.”

What a thing to hear!

It also took me aback because at that time, I didn’t really conceptualize Fantasy Romance as a genre. But Laurie, with her long experience and forward-thinking smarts, saw it coming. It’s nearly three years later, Pam has moved on, Laurie created Fuse Literary and the fabulous Connor Goldsmith is taking my career to the next level. And I’ve just returned from the RT Booklovers Convention, where I received a gorgeous SHINY trophy for the first book in this trilogy, The Mark of the Tala, and where the second book, The Tears of the Rose, was nominated along with three others for Best Fantasy Romance of the year—the first time RT Book Reviews gave awards in this genre. It seemed everyone there was talking about the genre and I sold out of early copies of The Talon of the Hawk in less than an hour.

Connor has sold two more books in the series for me and we’ve developed an exciting New Project, too. His knowledge of the fantasy genres and enthusiasm for my work has meant a great deal. I’m so grateful for the team at Fuse, who’ve made me feel like part of a family that truly cares about igniting my career.

I’m just waiting for my tiara, Laurie!