Today on the blog, I have author, Kory Steed! Read about his second installment struggles and victories in the Lightning Series below! Paired with Lightning Wines ‘Ceace & Desist.’
Thank you, Cara, for inviting me to your blog. I appreciate the opportunity to share my second novel, Lightning’s Hidden Menace, published by Evernight Publishing, with your readers. At 65+K words it’s the second installment in my Lightning Series. The story picks up right where we left Jason and Aaron in From Lightning to Love, on the helipad just outside Jason’s secluded, mountain estate. Having given up his dreams of a future with Aaron, Jason is stunned that after nearly three month of separation, Aaron suddenly appears to him when he climbs out of the cargo hold of a delivery helicopter.
I wanted to connect these two flawed and damaged men with readers because they were able to find hope, happiness, and ultimately, love in each other at a time when their lives were at their bleakest. Jason suffered from PTSD for eleven years following two tours in Iraq as an army medic, and Aaron lost his life-partner in a horrific plane explosion. The first book has done very well, and I’m optimistic for this one. Since its release, the first week in September, it has begun to pick up steam, and I received a wonderfully positive review, in which the critic really understood and appreciated what I had hoped to convey. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the gift of a review. When someone takes the time offer you their thoughts, they’re giving you a little bit of themselves.
As I approached the end of the first draft, I realized it was getting very large, so I went back in and began to cut out scenes because my publisher’s maximum word limit is 100K. Unfortunately, I didn’t accomplished what I had hoped to because by the time I’d completed the final chapter, it was up to 105K. I knew that if I remove any more, the story would become choppy so I sought the advice of my author-colleagues, and several suggested that I divide it into two.
After considering the manuscript for several days, I realized it contained two climatic turning points, so I made the split after the first. This, however, created a new dilemma because it left the word count of one a bit light and the other, a bit heavy. Because I had saved all my earlier scene cuts, I was able to add them back in, but I also identified scenes where I had held back as I tried to keep it below the dreaded 100K mark. I fleshed out many of them and in particular, I significantly fleshed out the sex scenes which made them more dynamic and intense. In the end, I wound up with two separate manuscripts that were each over 65K.
At the end of September, I submitted the third book in the series, and I’m excited to share that it has just been accepted for publication. I’m also super excited about the first book in a new spin-off series I’ve just completed. One of its main characters first appeared in Lightning’s Hidden Menace as a summer fling for Jason and the other is an old high-school classmate of Aaron’s. I’ll be submitting it soon.
Again, thank you so much for allowing me to visit with you today.
Jason cannot believe that Aaron, the man whose life he saved and who helped him break free from PTSD, has suddenly returned to him. Healed, whole, and ready to renew their growing love, they begin to plan a future together. With their first night of torrid lovemaking, they dream of many more, but fate is against them.
A dark nemesis from Jason’s past reappears with lethal intent, driven by a grudge from having been disgraced by a military tribunal. The fallout for Jason and Aaron is far-reaching and heart-wrenching and tears into the fabric of the life they have so carefully begun to weave.
When hatred strikes in a barrage of gunfire, they are left fighting for their lives. Their only focus is to take back what has been ripped away from them; their only hope, that the strength of their love will be enough.