Friday, November 8, 2013

Juniper Grove Presents...Secrets Kept by J.L. MBewe

Title:  Secrets Kept
Author:  J.L. Mbewe
Published:  October 15th, 2013 by AltWit Press
Word Count: 100,000
Genre:  Fantasy
With a curse, she will build an army.

With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.

But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.

Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.

Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.

About the Author:
Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete.

She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don't seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things. While living life balanced between reality and dreams, she is creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.

Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, is coming this fall, and in the meantime be on the lookout for a few short stories set in the World of Nälu.

Interview between Keira Kroft and J. L. Mbewe

Welcome to Keira’s Corner, where there is always chocolate, and lots and lots of coffee.

You had me at chocolate! Oh, and coffee too! Thank you for having me!

Keira: You have a story out through AltWit Press entitled Secrets Kept. What is that about?

A story about a young woman who discovers her father is the secret keeper of a corrupted dagger. The murder of her father sends her world into chaos, and she must join forces with a half-elf widower to find her mother and free the plains people from a curse before the sorceress unleashes an ancient evil.

Keira: What made you choose that title?

Originally, I had called it Sorceress’s Curse, but the publisher said it had to go. We brainstormed and came up with Secrets Kept, which I think is fitting. Even though the sorceress’s curse is important to the story, the focus is on Ayianna, her secrets, and whether or not, she will she keep them.

Keira: What is your preferred genre to write in?


Keira: Are you with an Indy publisher, a traditional house or self- published?


Keira: Please tell us about any future projects that you are planning.

First, I’ve got book two and three in this trilogy to finish up. After that, I’ve got 21+ projects in various stages. From complete rough drafts to outlines. Two of which are trilogies set in the same world as Secrets Kept, but I’m not sure what I will tackle next.

Keira: Are you currently running any contests? What are they?

Yes, thanks for asking! To celebrate the release of Secrets Kept, we are having a costume contest where the grand prize winner will walk away with a loaded Kindle Fire, an Excalibur letter opener, chocolate, swag, and of course, signed copies of Secrets Kept and a companion novella, The Tales of Nälu: Volume One.  

Keira: How many books have you written?

One published. Although, I have five published short stories.

Keira: Do you work at a job outside the home or is this your only career?

I’m hoping this will be my only career. Ha! But yes, I am a stay-at-home mom for the time being while I pursue this writing thing.

Keira: We have a special place for unpublished writers in our hearts, here at Keira’s Corner. So what advice would you give to an unpublished writer?

I don’t have anything to add what’s already been said. Just: read, read, read and write, write, write. Keep seeking, keep practicing, learning. Read what you can on writing, on social media, marketing, and then find your own rhythm, your journey, your voice. Last year I did a series of blog posts called Yo Ho a Writer’s Life for Me. Learning the mechanics of writing builds a good foundation, but it’s also about balancing it with the art of writing. So as Elizabeth Swan said, "Hang the code, and hang the rules. They're more like guidelines anyways." But we have to first know the rules.

Keira: What do you wear, to write?

Whatever I have on that day. But I have jokingly thought about wearing my pirate hat to help differentiate between all the other hats I have to wear. That said, it would probably have more to do with procrastination. 

Keira: Is writing your only talent?

I can draw, sort of. But I think writing is my strongest talent.

Keira: Where in the Hell do you find time to write?

I take stock of life, what needs to get done, the kids’ needs, writing needs, etc, and then I carve out a time to write and guard it as well as I can. Right now, my “writing time” is during quiet time and right after I put the kids down to bed. And I don’t watch TV.

Keira: Why are you a writer?

Because I can’t sing. Ha! I have such a deep, burning desire to express and connect with others on the adventures we find in books.

Keira: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

J. K. Rowling or Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Keira: How many hours a day do you dedicate to writing?

Five hours, which includes blogging, research, etc.

Keira: Do you use a particular writing method?

Still too early to tell. But basing it off the times I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, I research as much as I can about the subject matter, develop map, an idea of the setting, and select main people/place names.  After I come up with a rough outline, I dive in.

Keira: What time of day, do you write best?

Evening. But I’ve discovered I do well during nap/quiet time too, when I’m not getting interrupted.

Keira: Do you use one or more pen names?

Just my initials. I really wanted to have a pen name, but I ran the risk of choosing a corny name. Ha!

Keira: Please share a particular detail about one of characters, please.

My protagonist, Ayianna, wanted to be a stargazer, a profession among the elves where they can observe the sky and read what might be written in the stars.

Let’s get personal…

Keira: Are you married?

Keira: Do you have children?
          Yes. A five year old boy and an almost three year old girl.

Keira: Are you a reader?
          Yes! Reader first, writer second. I never want to lose my love of reading. I’d rather quit writing instead.

Keira: What is your favorite favorite animal?
          I LOVE horses.

Keira: What are you reading?
          Currently I’m reading Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard and an advanced reader copy of Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Excerpt from Secrets Kept by J.L. Mbewe:
Leaves rustled, and the bush’s slender limbs shuddered. Shadows veiled the intruder; the light of the lantern unable to penetrate the layers of dry leaves and stems. Ayianna peered closer, and a dark mass burst out of the bush toward her face. She flung her arms up. The milk pail slammed into her head, and its warm contents splashed down her face, neck, and clothes. The lantern rocked on its hinge, the flame flashing and flickering wildly. The intruder screeched and a rush of wings brushed against her skin.
Ayianna lowered her arms. A large bird ruffled its dark feathers and made to settle its wings, but one hung at an odd angle. Its round, ebony eyes ogled her.

Could it be?

“Fero?” she asked. “Is brother home already?” She glanced around, but her eyes failed her in the half-light. Her wet clothes clung to her skin, and the breeze grew colder. She shivered and glared at the bird. “Brother or not, look what you made me do? Now, I’ve got no milk, and I’m all wet.”
Fero jerked his wayward wing back and hissed.

“Are you hurt?” Ayianna lifted the lantern, and its glow poured over the falcon, revealing dark stains on his ribbed underbelly. She reached out to touch him, but he gnashed his curved beak at her. The branch shifted, and the bird thrashed about trying to regain his perch, but then he broke free and soared haphazardly into the red-tinged sky.

Atop the bush, a strip of cloth fluttered where Fero had sat. She tore it free. The fabric was damp, soiled, and stunk of decay. It stained her fingertips red. Blood?

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed Print Copy & swag.

Giveaway is US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keira Kroft


  1. Good morning J.L. :)

    Thank you so much for joining us today. By the way best swag ever!

    I am like you, a reader first. Which genre is your favorite to read?

  2. Great interview and the book looks awesome! Added to my reading list!

  3. Thanks Keira! And thanks for being part of the tour! My favorite genre to read is fantasy hands down. :-) Although, I do enjoy reading from a variety of genres.

    Thanks Lyn & Marie!