Sign Your Name…

One of the hardest aspects of writing The Sins Trilogy was settling on a genre. I had a story to tell and wasn’t very concerned with where it belonged until it was too late. Many fiction writers self-identify according to genre, and so write to fit that mold. On the other hand, I had issues I wanted to treat…difficult ones that haven’t been sufficiently explored in reality.

Issues like sexual abuse and mental illness in both civilian and military settings; power and the fallibility of the human element behind security intelligence; governance, democracy and responsibility; crime, punishment and the hypocrisy of enforcement. Just to name a few.

Heavy reading for a romance?

Definitely! There are no unicorns dropping rainbows in these books.

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For that reason, the series is many things to different people.

The Romantic will despair that the love story is darkly disturbing; there is nothing ideal about Todd and Amy or the things they do. The Romantic will find Traditionalists good company when discussing this series.The latter will be confused by a romance that is too dark; a suspense that is so inextricably tied to the love of two people that the story crumbles without it; and characters that are all so flawed that none of them can be considered heroic.

To the Dramatic, it is a tragedy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula ilk. After all, bad has never looked better than it does on Amy Koehler and Todd Birch.

But to the Realist, it might have been inspired by actual events. The story is infused with possibilities, elevating it from contemporary fiction to ‘Inspired’.

There have been many questions, most of which I hope will be answered with the release of The Wages of Sin: The Sins Trilogy Book 3 on March 15, 2015 on Amazon and iTunes. 

A few familiar faces from The Sins of Our Father: The Sins Trilogy Book 1, take the stage in Book 3.

We meet Amy’s family. I make no excuses for her choices, but at least the reader begins to understand how she could have arrived at those decisions.

Don Blitzner and his mysterious designs are revealed.

Major Edward Cummings appears in the flesh, and despite the odds, is humanized.

And the Afanasenkos have a lot to say.

Some readers of Book 1 will be pleased to learn that The Sexual Encounter — which they argued deserved to be considered an independent character — become less explicit in rest of the series. There is a very good reason for that. The Sexual Encounter in Book 1 was not gratuitous; it served a deliberate purpose. It offered a glimpse into Amy’s psyche. Some readers may have even walked away from The Sins of the Flesh: The Sins Trilogy Book 2 with ideas about her condition. Book 3 lays all doubts to rest.

The Sexual Encounter also struck at the heart of the relationship between Amy and Todd. Of course, each character has his/her own reason for pursuing the relationship, but what makes it work is their chemistry. That is as undeniable as it is uncontrollable… or trust that both parties would have overcome their weakness somewhere along Book 2.

Todd said it best: “There was something between us from the first time we met. You cannot deny that, Amy. And you can’t manufacture it either. …I can’t change how I feel… [I] couldn’t stop loving you although I’ve tried.”

Heartless as they might seem, neither Todd nor Amy is tossing around paper hearts.

paper hearts

Should you complete the series and continue to be plagued by doubts, questions or concerns…

Ask away! You never know. You might even be the inspiration behind a short.

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Book Trailer for The Sins of Our Father

The trailer for The Sins series is now available. We would love to hear what you think!

Editorial Reviews of The Sins of Our Father

Over the past few months, we’ve partnered with Inkspand to source editorial reviews for The Sins of Our Father. We rely on the honest opinion of everyday people, some of them professionals in the literary world, while others simply love to read. Their very frank input helped us to craft a quality product and we loved hearing from them.

Apparently, the feeling as mutual!

Dana Thomas gave The Sins of Our Father five stars and wrote:

The book drew me in and kept me reading well past my bedtime because I just couldn’t put it down. It was very much a real world struggle where it’s not always entirely clear who the bad guys are. Told from a different perspective, the heros could easily become the villains of the tale. It’s a dark book for a romance and a confusing one that led me to a lot of thinking and introspection. I loved every minute of it.

This is a very action oriented romance with a main character who is ruthlessly pragmatic about pretty much everything, including love. Amy Koehler is going after the people responsible for her parents deaths and she isn’t above using every bit of training she has, including killing, to make her revenge happen. She’s a hard character with a very jaded world view and is hard to identify with at first but she grows on you with time and starts to feel very real. In the prologue section, one of the other characters characterizes the main character as, “Selfish Amy who had no thought for anyone but herself” and that colored my view of the character until I got to know her a bit better. Give her a chance and remember that each person sees people as they see them, not necessarily as they actually are. That applies to several characters, including Amy’s love interest.

Kudos to the author for excellent technical editing not often seen in independently published books. I’m looking forward to reading the continuation of the story in book 2.

Ginger Lego also gave The Sins of Our Father five stars and wrote:

The story switches between third person viewpoint, mostly focused on the Anne character and a first person viewpoint. Some people may dislike the switching but the transitions were well done and the dual viewpoint really helps us be involved and understand all angles. The first person viewpoint character of this story, Amy Koehler, isn’t easy to identify with but she is fascinating, intriguing to me. Her actions aren’t things I can always picture doing, her choices occasionally outside of the norm, but they’re always internally consistent to herself. She’s a real person with her own issues and problems and past. She sometimes seems hard and cold but sometimes she has to be that way just to survive and do what she needs to do; Reminds me a lot of Anita Blake that way, though this story lacks the supernatural elements. I love that she’s a strong and highly trained character, able to pursue her revenge with everything in her. She doesn’t want to
be distracted by romance.

The story flows smoothly and the author is an excellent writer. I was really drawn in from the beginning and it held my attention amazingly well. I felt emotionally invested in the characters and outcome, like they were real people that I know.

Unlike many indy books I’ve read, this seems to have had some good quality technical editing done and as a reader, I really appreciate that. There were very few mistakes remaining and even major authors with professional editors sometimes release things with a few minor typos or issues.

I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Find out what all the fuss is about and read more reviews. Get your copy of The Sins of Our Father by Kate A. Knight in the iBookstore, on Amazon for Kindle and the App Store, on Nook and Google Bookstore. No e-reader? No problem! Get the Android or Blackberry app in the Android Marketplace or Blackberry World, respectively.

And join the discussion on http://Goodreads.com Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 11.58.32 AM

Sexy Bad!

Acknowledging the physical relationship between characters in a novel is a balancing act. Many hard-core romance readers look forward to that physical bond between characters, but not too much, not too hot and not too soon.

For others, the absence of a blow-by-blow account is worthwhile if the story is independently enthralling and the characters perfectly developed to satisfy the emotional need for a physical connection. After all there is so much more to romance than sex!

Not only can gratuitous use of sex in a novel ruin a good thing, it also has the potential to embarrass both the audience and the author. Have you ever wondered why many authors of erotica use pseudonyms?

In a contemporary romance novel how much is too much?

We asked Kate A. Knight, author of The Sins of Our Father, how she felt about sex in her work.
“In a sense it’s embarrassing because people are reading what’s going on in your mind. It’s bad enough when it’s a stranger, but when you bring family into the picture – or God forbid your priest! – it can be mortifying experience. On the other hand, I think of writing as an art form that not only expresses my creativity, but also creates a tableau others can appreciate for its reality and relevance. And in that sense, the use of sex in The Sins was necessary.”

According to the author, the use of sex in The Sins is therefore part creative expression and part realism. Amy Koehler, the protagonist, has a borderline personality disorder that manifests in anti-social tendencies, promiscuity, compulsive behaviors and even substance abuse. She is not a heroine in the traditional sense – even for roman noir, and Amy’s deviant behaviors create a dilemma for the reader: they sympathize with her because of her past but hesitate to love her.

This is deliberates on the part of the author. Kate has created a character that is severely misunderstood. Amy’s almost hyper-sexuality is central to the novel for several reasons:
1. It is the trait most easily understood by the audience. In society, judgment is easily reached about an individual’s sexuality – whether justly or not. Kate takes that and ups the ante by further blurring the lines in The Sins. Amy regards her body as another tool to be applied according to the task – much like her mind. But if used in the context of her job where she saves lives, can we really disapprove?

2. It is one of the most obvious behavior patterns for someone like Amy Koehler and  underscores a more significant underlying condition. Kate A. Knight challenges the audience to scratch at the surface of Amy’s sexual deviance and decide whether she’s worthy of empathy and love.

3. It creates an indelible bond between the lead characters as they address each other’s needs. Amy’s sexual appetites are unique, which requires significant adjustment from Todd Birch. He in turn has issues relating to trust and fidelity that Amy must reconcile with her own condition. It’s a case of a dealer and an addict coming together to kick old habits and using their knowledge of the score as a basis for change!

This goes against the grain of most contemporary pieces, where not only is the foundation of an indelible relationship attributed to a noble sentiment, such a friendship; but either one character tries to fix the imperfect half of the equation, or two individuals with common issues (albeit to different degrees) try to right their mutual imbalance.

Include Amy’s search for the people responsible for the death of her parents, as well as her cover (an Intelligence Analyst on the hunt for organized criminals) and you will agree that it is a lot to take on in a single novel. This is why the Amy Kohler story stretches across three full-length volumes: The Sins of Our Father, The Sins of the Flesh, and The Wages of Sin.

It is a story about grief, healing and forgiveness, but which blurs the lines between justice and revenge. It’s also sexy but that’s just so the audience can appreciate the clinical side of love.

Look for The Sins of Our Father on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook coming summer 2013.

A Few Well-Placed Strokes

Over the past few weeks we’ve been editing The Sins of Our Father. It seemed only natural that our description of the novel benefit from a few well-placed strokes as well.  Compare this to one to our past blurbs and tell us what you think!

Amy Koehler was raised by the best in the intelligence community to be a better version of her father – an American hero, killed in his prime. He devoted his life and sacrificed his family for his country. Then his country betrayed him and his sins became hers.

Amy must choose between loyalty and love.

As an Intelligence Analyst with the United States Government, Amy uses her natural ability and years of conditioning to track down and destroy organized criminal groups.  A loving daughter, she resumes her father’s work, secretly searching for the people responsible for the murder of her parents – even if she has to betray her country in her pursuit of justice.

She is a rising star on the trail of an international narco-trafficker when Todd Birch comes along, just in time to give her image a brand new coat of shine. She knows he is not who he claims to be, but he comes highly recommended and their attraction is undeniable.

What started as revenge quickly becomes something more.  Now Todd Birch is determined to make Amy want him as much as he needs her.  He has much to offer and is accustomed to getting his own way.  So she has secrets … in their line of work, who doesn’t?  What he doesn’t expect though is resistance – and certainly not from Amy who will have him, but only on her terms, which leave no room for weakness … or love.

The Sins of Our Father is the first of The Sins Trilogy and follows Amy Koehler as she scours the criminal underworld for a target that will eventually lead her to her parents’ killers. Finding love was never part of the plan, but the best-laid ones often go awry.

Look for The Sins of Our Father on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook this summer!

 

The sins of our father- white

City of Sin

Is it possible to fall in love with someone you don’t trust?

For Amy Koehler, it’s not only a possibility; it’s a necessity. If it’s true that you can’t help whom you love, then Amy is a firm believer in damage control. It’s only natural then that her grand romance reads more like Sin City than a Jane Austen novel.

As discussed two weeks ago, The Sins of Our Father is about balance. From the very first pages it is clear that some things and people are more valuable than others; some are worth dying for, and others are worth the killing. For Amy, finishing what her father started and finding the people responsible for her parents’ death is both. Good people died for it and some are worth killing to end it. So with such a hardened view of life, who would have thought Amy Koehler had the capacity to love?

Todd Birch quickly becomes more than just a means to an end and Amy is helpless to stop it. When discipline and good judgment fail to exorcise him, Amy relies on her practical nature to conjure reasons why she should to give in and accept the commitment Todd offers. After all, the pure, primal attraction between them can neither be faked nor denied, and they both know they could wait a lifetime and never feel the same way again.

The only catch is Todd Birch is not who he claims to be, which is an excellent reason not to trust him with her secrets.

It’s not enough that Todd jeopardizes her reason for living. When her newfound attachment is assessed as a ‘distraction’, Amy must weigh her vulnerabilities and decide who stays and who goes. Then, just when she thinks she can make the call, if necessary, and abort her first and possibly last chance for real love, Amy’s practical side begins to fail her. She sees herself losing focus like a drop of butter spread across too much bread.

Amy has many reasons why cutting her losses and moving on from Todd Birch is the right decision and only two reasons why she should risk it all on him: Amy loves her parents still, and Amy loves Todd still.

Amy loves her father, although she has struggled with some of the choices he made. And when the time comes for Amy to chose between sacrificing herself to protect the man she loves, and forcing him to hide while she alone confronts the consequences of her work, she finally understands what it means to love someone more than herself.

If only she could trust him too…

sin city

The Sins of Our Father is a full-length romantic/suspense, coming soon to iBook and Kindle. Look for it in 2013 to see what happens and then follow Amy Koehler in The Sins of the Flesh and The Wages of Sin as Amyfigures out who did it and how to do it!

The Devil Is In The Details

Finding balance isn’t easy, especially when a story has two necessary components. The first calls for a realistic portrayal of both a transnational criminal enterprise as well as the people who work to thwart it. The second is the more subtle exploration of the relationship between Amy Koehler and Todd Birch. One requires an almost scientific account of the motives and methods law enforcement and organized criminal groups use to achieve their ends, while the other demands a rousing witness to a bourgeoning romance.

In The Sins of our Father Kate A. Knight uses a combination of Amy’s innate abilities and her unique vulnerabilities to nuance the intrigue in such as way that both crime fiction aficionados and romance addicts will appreciate.

The author blames Amy’s clinical mind and emotional deficiencies as well the necessity behind which Todd hides for the off-kilter debut of a neo-classical romance. It’s an oxymoron that works, because the devil is in the details.

Striving for literary balance was a constant challenge throughout the novel. There’s a woman of action and a man of words; a submissive who dominates from the bottom; and a poignant vulnerability that disguises unparalleled ruthlessness. The heroes are far from heroic; the villains incite our sympathies; the romance is decidedly dark.

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Added to this tableau is the eventual resolution of the reasons for and persons behind the murder of Amy Koehler’s parents. It is a crucial part of the plot, because it is the impetus behind Amy’s professional and private lives. But Amy isn’t the only one with secrets. Todd Birch has his own story that belies the façade of the open, affable and charismatic diplomat.

If you’re curious about how it works – or even dubious – The Sins of Our Father is coming soon to Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook. It is the first of The Sins Trilogy, which also features The Sins of the Flesh and The Wages of Sin.