It’s about karma, baby

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all gotten that age-old question: “Why do you read romance? It’s all the same, isn’t it? Boy meets girl, blah, blah, blah …”  (Okay, so maybe the question hasn’t been phrased exactly like that, but you get the picture.

 

My usual answer is that I love knowing that no matter what two people have gone through during the course of a story (whether it be a book, movie, or otherwise), that they’re assured of getting their happily ever after at the end. That’s the promise of a romance novel, after all. But the other day, as I was driving to a booksigning with a very good friend, we got to chatting and I found myself answering the question in a slightly different way: I read romances because I want to believe that there’s an inherent fairness to life. I want to be able to trust that good things will happen to good people (and vice versa), and that if two flawed-yet-basically-good people endure seemingly unendurable trials, that they’ll be rewarded at the end with unimaginable good fortune.

 

That’s not a romance, you might be saying, that’s a fairy tale!  And it’s unfortunately true that in real life, it’s not absolute that the bad guys always get theirs in the end and the good guys always pair off, kiss, and ride into the sunset. But that’s where we circle back to the answer: That’s why I read (and write) romance!

 

The Keepers series (Nightkeepers, Dawnkeepers and my newest release, Skykeepers) is about a group of modern men and women who learn they must band together, find their destined mates, and learn to use their mage-powers in order to fight the rise of terrible Mayan demons intent on ravaging the earth on December 21, 2012 (the end-time foretold by the Mayan calendar).

 

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From the back cover: Ancient prophecy holds that 12/21/2012 will bring a global cataclysm. Mankind’s only hope lies with the Nightkeepers, modern magic-wielding warriors who must find their destined mates and fulfill the legends to defeat the rise of terrible Mayan demons.

 

Sky KeepersIn Skykeepers, Michael Stone is a man with a dark secret that has skewed his magical abilities dangerously toward the underworld. Seeking redemption, he sets out on a perilous mission to save the daughter of Ambrose Ledbetter, a renowned Mayanist who died before he could reveal the location of a hidden library. The Nightkeepers must find the library before their enemies gain access to its valuable cache of spells and prophecies.

 

Sasha Ledbetter grew up hearing heroic tales of an ancient group of powerful magi who were destined to save the world from destruction. She never expected that her bedtime stories would come to life in the form of Nightkeeper Michael Stone, or that she’d hold the key to the warrior’s survival. As Sasha and Michael join forces to prevent the imminent battle, sparks of attraction ignite between them, and they’re forced to confront the unexpected passion that brings them together … and also tears them apart.

 

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The magi (like the Maya before them) believe in the doctrine of balance, which roughly translates to “good and evil must, over the long run, equalize.” And in a very real sense, the hero and heroine (Michael and Sasha) balance each other out, with her being called on to level off the darkness in his dark, tortured soul. But at the same time they’re caught up in the larger events of the unfolding end-time war, and the interlocking prophecies governing the last three and a half years before the zero date of December 21, 2012.

 

Which brings me to the small, silly part of this post, which is to remind myself (and perhaps you) that although life isn’t fair in the larger sense, we can find everyday fairness if we look hard enough. My favorite recent experience along those lines? Sitting stuck in traffic while three cars whip by, doing forty or so in the breakdown lane … and then when traffic started moving once again, seeing those same cars pulled over on the shoulder while a ticked-off looking officer wrote up tickets.

 

So to close, I’d like to offer a link to a short excerpt of Skykeepers, in which Michael does the right thing, even though all along he thinks he’s the wrong man to do it … which is part of what makes him a hero!  Excerpt: http://www.jessicaandersen.com/extras/skykeepers-exerpt/

 

28 Responses to It’s about karma, baby

  1. Jessica Andersen

    Oh, and I forgot my good karma story … a writing friend and her family had been having a tough time of it, with lost jobs, medical problems, and the like. They’re salt of the earth folk, a firefighter and his family, and they deserved better … until the day he hit a scratch ticket for a million bucks! That, my friends, is what I want to have happen more often- good things for good people 🙂

    Anyone else have a karma story, good or bad? [Let’s keep it light, if possible!]

  2. Paula R.

    Hey Doc Jess, how are you? Great blog topic for the day. When I was younger, I used to believe that everyone had to have the full HEA, marriage, house, baby and pet, but as I got older, I realized that there are different HEAs. Everyone won’t necessarily get the full package, let’s say, but they will get something. I am not as jaded as I was then. I love this series, because the romance aspect of it is so much more realistic to me.

    I know what you mean about people zooming by in the breakdown lane and getting caught. I also love when they speed up pass you in the “slow” lane, and then I drive by them a few minutes and they realize they really didn’t get any where.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  3. Penelope

    Hi Jess! When people ask me why I am addicted to romance novels, I tell them, “There are not that many things in life that are a sure thing, baby. A guaranteed HEA is the best!” I am a firm believer in what goes around, comes around. I love your story about the lottery winners! Wow! Best of luck with Skykeepers.
    Penelope

  4. C J Parker

    I think one of the best HEA memories on TV was the way Cheers ended with Malone alone in Cheers, hugging the bar and saying, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Yes, Diane walked out to go on with her life, but Malone was happy with his life the way it was and Diane was happy with her dreams. Maybe not a romance, but still a HEA.

    My HEA? I was engaged when I was 19 years old and my fiance died of cancer. I was two weeks away from marrying my second fiance when he was killed in a hunting accident. I’d decided then, I’d always be a bridesmaid, never a bride. Two years later I met the man who promised not to die on me. That was 30 years ago.

  5. susan leech

    Hi Jess..I have to add my 2 cents worth and tell you I love reading your books and the latest one here sure looks yummy. I haven’t read any of your lately but have on my to read list. Keep up your good work and I will keep getting something to read. ha ha Love the cover. susan L.

  6. Valerie

    I enjoyed reading your blogpost Jessica. I certainly believe in looking for those good times and that karma. I believe you should go through life in a positive manner and try to see the good in things. Often when things go wrong, there is usually a reason. Something to learn. Sometimes to just stop and reassess things. You never know when that moment of kindness comes back to you many-fold.

    I have your books on my wishlist and hopefully will be getting them really soon.

    Valerie

  7. Crystal B.

    Hi Jessica. I love your series. I just bought Skykeepers and I am going to read it this weekend. 🙂

  8. catslady

    I have to say I read Nightkeepers and loved it and can’t wait to get Dawnkeepers and Skykeepers 🙂

  9. Pamela Keener

    Great blog post Jessica! Your Keepers series is on my TB purchased list. I really love that you included the Mayan angle in your storyline. I also loved the entrance to your website. It is awesome!!

    I am a firm believer in karma. It may seem like the bad guys never get theirs but I believe if you wait and see in the long term we all get our just rewards. I feel it is better to be kind and caring than putting on this why me personae we should really ask why not me?

    Take care
    Love & Hugs
    Pam Keener in PA

  10. Pamk

    we had a discussion about something similiar at work one day and my boss was saying that eventually doing something bad always comes back to bite you in the butt but it sure seems sometimes that it doesn’t come around fast enought. Usually people like those you mention in the breakdown lane never get a ticket. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer so I can write them a ticket. Another of my pet peeves is people parking in handicap spaces that don’t have a tag or placard. If it was me i’d be afraid god would give me a reason to park there.

  11. Billie Jo

    HEY Jessica!!!

    I hope all is well with you.

    LOL on your example. Sometimes justice does prevail and even more fun when you got to go by the cars and chuckle 🙂

    I can’t wait to dive into SkyKeepers.

    Billie Jo

  12. Pamela Keener

    PamK
    Oh parking illegally in a handicapped parking space is one of my pet peeves. As a retired police officer I remember one midnighter early in my career when we came up to this service plaza and there was a young girl running out to her car which was illegaly parked in a HP space. My rough and tough partner, he was 6 foot something and very brawny, asked her if she was handicapped she said no I just had to go to the bathroom really bad well his answer to her was do you wanna be handicapped? I about died. That was said in the late 70’s and in this politically correct world that comment today could have gotten him in a heap of trouble. At the time I bet he had at least 15-20 years on the job. I loved him to death and he was my biggest supporter in a job that didn’t take kindly to women on the job in those days.
    Okay I’m done w/my flashback LOL
    Take care,
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam Keener in PA

  13. Jessica Andersen

    Hey Paula! (waves) I love your take on the ‘real’ HEA, as I often struggle with those questions- am I happy enough? (most of the time) Would I be happier in a different situation? (probably not) What would I/we need to do to make ‘ever after’ a little happier?

    Oops, right. I said we were going to keep this light, right? Forget I said that- lol.

    Penelope- Amen to that!

    C J- What an elegantly touching story– I’m sorry for what you went through, but am so pleased you got your HEA. And now I’ve got the theme to Cheers going through my head!

    Hi Susan! Thanks for your kind words, and do check out Skykeepers if you get a chance! If you’ve enjoyed the others, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed 🙂

    Valerie- I’m with you on the positive outlook, though we all know it can get hard sometimes. The good stuff just seems to take longer to come back around, yanno? Or maybe it’s that we (I) remember the bad stuff more clearly? I’m not sure.

    Crystal- Thanks so much for picking up Skykeepers! I hope you love Michael and Sasha 🙂

    catslady- (I still love your name!) Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed Nightkeepers! I hope you enjoy the others 🙂

    Pamela- Thanks for the website props! It’s big and loud (kind of like the books, really…), which I like 🙂

    pamk- See, that’s what I’m saying… sometimes it seems to take a really, really long time for bad karma to come back to roost…

    Billie Jo- Hey! Thanks for having me back here at RJ 🙂 I hope you love SkyK… it was a hard book to write (Michael wasn’t an easy guy to get to know– you’ll understand once you’ve really met him), but totally worth the effort, imho and fwiw!

  14. Jessica Andersen

    Pamela K- LOLOL! I can totally picture that- thanks for the laugh, and for helping keep us safer!

  15. Cherie J

    Hi Jessica,

    I have to say that I so need my HEA’s. The romance books I read are my escape from daily life so I need that HEA to keep me going. Thanks for guestblogging. I am looking forward to reading Skykeepers.

  16. Lexee

    I totally believe in Karma and always has. The cover for that book looks really good.

  17. MarthaE

    I like HEA endings! Not sure about “karma” but I think some things are meant to be! I like the sound of this series where the men and women have to work together. Yeah for team work! And I would think it fitting for those cars to get tickets! It would annoy me if they got away with it! LOL Thanks for sharing today!

  18. Jessica Andersen

    Cherie- I’m sooo with you on the romances being an escape from (the often unfair vagaries of) daily life! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Skykeepers!

    Lexee- Thanks for the kind words on the cover! The Signet art department has really taken the Mayan theme and run with it. For this one, I said “Michael is the darkest, most sensual heroes of the three we’ve done so far” and they ran with it!!

    Martha- Yes, this series is very much about men and women working together. It really annoys me when I feel like a hero becomes weaker when he pairs off with the heroine (i.e. if she’s needy, or he needs to spend lots of his time protecting her). I far prefer HEAs where the hero and heroine are *stronger* together than apart. That’s a big theme in the Keepers books, where for the most part, the magi don’t achieve their full potential until they find and win their destined mates, at which point they get an added level of mage-powers that come from their union (and the sharing of a small blood sacrifice).

    And yes, that’s another topic I could talk about all day – LOL!

    Happy Friday evening, folks! Have a great weekend! (I’ll still be hanging out, so that’s not a goodbye per se, just a shout-out because it’s Friday night!)

  19. Paula R.

    Can’t forget what you said…lol…I know exactly what you mean. I often ask myself those questions too…hahahahaha…I love the fact that the couples don’t really reach their full potential until they are “one” unit, let’s say. It makes you realize things aren’t as easy as they seem to be in books…love this world you created. You merge two of my favorite things,history and romance. I especially love to learn about Mayans; I teach a segment on them when I teach my Spanish students. I should have been an archeologist or anthropologist or something. Your website is banging too, and I loved the vid on Youtube. I hear you did that by yourself. You go girl!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  20. Leslie Jane Fahrney

    Love the post. I like HEA, and love the Good Karma idea.

    And I love what you said about the Hero and Heroine being stronger together. I hate whiny heroines, prefer the strong Heroines, and the Heros strong enough to let the Heroine do her thing, and not feel the need to have to protect her every second. I end up wanting to slap the hero, does he just need someone to make him feel more masculine? Not that he can’t protect her some, but let her feel her own power. And she can let him feel his own power.

  21. Cheryl McInnis

    Hey Jessica! Can’t wait to read Skykeepers…the books keep getting better and better~

    I’m a huge believer in Karma, I won’t even kill bugs in the house because I don’t want to take any chances, lol. I do think that everything we put out into the world comes back at us, whether it’s good or bad~

  22. RobynL

    The romance books I read are for an escape from daily life. For a time one can forget and live through someone else in a different place and often times different time. I agree that an HEA doesn’t always include 2 people; one person can have a HEA alone.

  23. Rebecca J. Vickery

    Hi Jessica,
    Love your work. Skykeepers sounds like another winner. Loved the HEA stories about the ticketed lane hoppers and especially the lottery winner. Great blogging.

  24. Debby

    I love this topic. These books sound great!!

  25. Karen H in NC

    Hi Jessica,

    I must be living with my head in the sand because I’ve never read your work. Good thing blogs like this one acquaints me with new-to-me authors and I can add their works to my ever growing TBR pile….make that heap…really big HEAP! LOL

  26. Chris Mead

    Hi Jessica,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post! Your books sound great and I have put them on my listof to buy books! 😉 I am a firm believer in karma and I have seen it in my own life. All of the nice and helpful things that I have done for others always comes back to me, somtimes ten fold!

    Best Wishes,

    Chris Mead

  27. Mary Campbell

    I just orderes all 3 of your Keeper series books from B&N. I can’t wait for them to get here so I can start reading them.

    Hugs,
    Mary

  28. Pam S

    Hi Jessica,

    I really enjoyed your post.. and the added karma story :)!. I don’t have one offhand of me personally to share that comes to mind. However, I did have a friend whose ex cheater her out insurance cancelation money. She had kept an insurance policy on him and when they divorced she wanted to just cancel and cash in. The problem was that, even though she’d been the one to take out and pay for the policy, the insurance was in his name so they mailed the check to him. He kept the money and used it to get a new car. Within the month the car was totalled (no one was hurt).

    On a side note, I can’t wait to get started reading your Keepers series, looks awesome :)!

    Best-
    Pam S

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