Posts in category JC Daniels

Reader Q on abuse in books

So I had recently somebody ask me why I had abuse in my books, specifically Kit’s books…was I having fun torturing her?

This comes up a lot, so I’m just going to blog about it and when I get asked, I’ll direct people here.

Do I torture my characters or write about abuse because it’s fun?


I’m not a plotter.  I don’t set out with a plan in mind lets see how much hell I can put these characters through.

Now when I’m writing romance, I do work at finding realistic ways to keep them apart, because if you’re not doing that, you don’t have a romance.  You just have a HEA.  There has to be a conflict, internal and external, or there’s just no story and what’s the point.

But yes, I do have a habit of writing about people who have gone or are going through abuse.  And no, I don’t do it because I think it’s okay.

Abuse appalls me.

Sexual abuse appalls me.

It pisses me off.  I regularly donate to RAINN and I’ve mentioned the organization in at least one, if not more, of my books.

Bullying appalls me.  I’ve the one who will approach kids and teenagers when I see them picking on somebody else and interfere.  Have I gotten yelled about this?  Yes. Do I care? No.

Domestic abuse appalls me.  There’s been more than one time when my husband was almost positive either he, me, both of us would end in either in jail, or the hospital because I’d see something happening that I didn’t like and I’d shoot my mouth off and the guy involved wouldn’t like it.  When I go out of town on a trip, he tells me to stay safe and behave, and more often than not, I suspect it’s because he knows how I am with my mouth.

I had to leave my day job in nursing, in the end, because of burn out and part of that involved a boy who’d been abused by his father. It was breaking me inside.

I grew up seeing more than a few people I knew in life be abused and I know people even now in those situations.

Trust me…abuse isn’t okay in my book.  And if it’s okay in anybody’s book, they had a deep problem that is probably unfixable.

But abuse is out there.  Much of society turns a blind eye.  I don’t.

One reasons I’ve written the FBI Psychic books, particularly THE MISSING was because like most moms, I have fears of bad things happening to my kids. No, nothing ever has.  But I put my fears down on paper..I make them more manageable and I twist the bad things I see in society into a way that makes to where the bad guy is the one who goes down.  We don’t see in that in real life often. THE DEPARTED had a scene that was inspired by a real life bullying of a high school girl by some boys during her senior prom. I changed the set-up, I changed the outcome, I changed the methods of the madness, but I left the way one of the parents responded as it played out because the parent of one boy tried to act like …hey, it was no accident…her death was a tragic accident.  My character-well, one of them, didn’t die, but the abhorrence of what they tried to do is still there.

My romantic suspense that recently came out was set in Madison Indiana and yes, it is completely fictional, although some things I’d seen in the media – other years – did play a part in some of the things I wrote about, particularly about how people will turn a blind eye to some of the most disgusting evil in society.  Somebody made a comment along the lines of I can’t see this happening anywhere.  I hoped it never does, but the fact is, child abuse happens.  It happens daily.  It’s happening in your town.  Possibly on your street, or by people you know.  Pretending otherwise doesn’t change it.

I’ve always written about some of the harsh facts of life in my romantic suspense stories and yes, in the urban fantasy stories.  Evil happens and sometimes, there is no justice for it.  When I write about it, I can find justice…I can make it happen.  I always thought this was the main reason I did it…to make sense of things that have no sense in my head.

But I’ve realized it goes deeper than that and it took attending ConFusion and speaking on one of the panels to understand just what it was.  One of the panelist, I believe it was Christian Klaver, made a comment.

Horror is the most moral of genres

That sounds like a strange statement, doesn’t it?

Horror is about hacking people up, the woman running naked into the field…

Or is it?

See what WhatCulture says about it?

After watching Carrie, I bet you will never pick on the underdog or weakling in your life again for fear that you will go up in a blazing inferno or be killed by flying kitchen implements.


The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue tells us to avoid messing around with nature lest we unleash a wave of flesh hungry undead zombies. 

Sure…they are graphic moral messages, but those messages still exist.

Now, I don’t write horror, although yes, some things are rather horrific. I don’t think I try intentionally to write a moral message.

I don’t turn my back on the ugly things that exist in society, but what I do try to do is this…the people in the books I write are often broken.  And by the time I’m done with them, they are stronger–they come into my head as broken and they have a story.

I’m not going to fight the stories that God gives me. Humans are capable of remarkable things.  Some of the people that I’ve known who have lived through abuse are now free of it…and they chose to escape it.  It wasn’t easy, but they left it behind.  They fought free of it…some ran from it. But they escaped it.

Others, sadly, didn’t get away.  Or haven’t. They are still trapped in that ugly cycle. People turn a blind eye or think, Why don’t they just leave…if it was just that easy, they would.

But many of the stories that come to me are about broken people and during the course of the book, my job is to take that person (or persons) and make them stronger, to help them find the bits and pieces and put them back together.  And find a happy ever after, hopefully, justice or closure for whatever was done.

This is what I have a voice for.

I’ve lost track of how many emails I’ve gotten from survivors of abuse, be it domestic, sexual or emotional–there’s one in particular that I can remember reading her email even now and I cried as I read it.  It’s been years since I received that email and I still remember her name–that’s not just unusual, it’s unheard of for me.  She wrote of how she’d read FRAGILE…how she’d cried…and then she thanked me, because she felt like it had helped her take a step toward healing after her own abuse.  She felt that book had given her a voice.

Has Kit from the Colbana books been through hell?  Yes.  Am I trying to break her? No.  What people didn’t see is that she was already broken, even in book one.  She used her sword as a crutch, put all her value in it.  Others saw that she had more worth than that.  Why did things have to happen the way they did? Well, if Kit was around to ask, you’d have to ask her, because I didn’t plan that.  I can tell you that Kit probalby won’t have an answer, though.  Bad shit happens, period.  That’s the truth in fiction as well as in reality.  Kit was never going to be a character where life was smooth-sailing for her.

But I don’t plan these stories…they play out for me and I write them down.  They come into my head,  almost like a silent movie reel and I’m just the narrator.  I couldn’t have changed that ending if I tried–the only thing I could have done was written it…and not published it.

Nobody has to like how the book turned out and nobody has to like the book either.  But I didn’t write the book just to abuse my character.

I don’t carry these themes in all of my books.  My contemporaries are lighter, they’re fun and easy and sexy.  But the RS books and the UF books take a hard, sometimes brutal look at things.

I don’t write about abuse in my books because I think it’s okay.

I write about survivors.


Saturday stuff…

J.C. Daniels type of stuff…

Amazon & BN still have the Kit books discounted to 1.99.  It won’t last much longer, I don’t think and Broken Blade is only discounted on Amazon.  The other sites already have them back to regular price, so grab it while you can if you’re interested.

Blade Song  Amazon | BN

Night Blade Amazon | BN

Broken Blade Amazon


I’ve had people asking again why they can’t find the Kit books in print in stores.  You’re not going to, unless you find an indie who just really likes them…and if you do, please let me know where this bookstore is so I can adore them.  But your local bookseller, be it chain or indie, should be able to order it.

If you prefer to order online, or don’t know where a local is, here are the links to find them.  FYI, if you don’t live in the US, Book Depository is wonderful option.

Secrets & Shadows news!

Deeper than Need is up on Net Galley.  I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s there.  If you’re a reviewer, get the request in fast.  FYI, I have no say in who gets approved.

Long for Me comes out Tuesday.

This is one of my favorites bits in the book…


Please. Don’t make me beg—

Those words hovered on the tip of her tongue, but then, words and thought lost all meaning as the hand he’d tangled in her hair moved, bringing her in closer to him.

Hunger, anticipation, vied inside her and she rose up onto her toes to meet his kiss.

But he didn’t kiss her.

His lips feathered across her cheekbone, brushed down her jawline to her neck.  She whimpered as he tugged her head to the side, exposing her neck, but before she could even think about complaining, he pressed a hot, open-mouthed kiss to her neck.

At the same time, his other hand pulled her skirt up.

She gasped as cool air kissed her flesh.

His hand, rough and warm, palmed her flesh and he muttered, “Damn.  Here I was getting all worked up and you had to go and decide to wear panties.”

It surprised a laugh out of her.

“I always wear panties when I’m wearing a dress.  And how do you know that I tend . . .”

She lifted her head to meet his eyes and the words stuck in her throat.  His eyes, those dark gray eyes, burned hot.  “I’ve got a fascination with how your ass fills out a pair of jeans, Tink.  I can tell you how many times you’ve worn panties every day this past week.”

Read more

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play



Bladed Magic…

My blog was broke when this was ready, so I posted about it on the JC blog, but…in case ya missed it…


Smashwords | iBooks | ARe | Amazon | Kobo | BN | Indie Ebooks

The book

A Colbana Files Prequel

The events of this short story take place between A STROKE OF DUMB LUCK and BLADE SONG.  It can be read as a stand-alone.

For the first time in her life, Kit Colbana’s life was going just fine.  She had a nice, easy job.  She’d managed to escape the not-so-loving attentions of a family who’d rather see her dead than look at her.  She had a roof over her head and she didn’t have to fight for every little thing she had.

Then she finds herself tangled up with a green-eyed witch by the name of Justin.  He’s looking for somebody and for some bizarre reason, he seems to think she can help.  All she has to do is say no, and she can go back to her safe little existence.  That’s exactly what she needs to do and she knows it.

Too bad she’s not very good at following her own advice.

“So, who wants to talk and who wants to die?”

The voice coming from the alley behind TJ’s was cheerful, just a little too cheerful, considering the grim message in his words. It was a little scary, though, because that cheer was not false. Whoever he was, he was all too excited about the thought of making somebody talk, then bleed, then die.

In that order.

I could smell the blood in the air and it wasn’t shapeshifter blood. I knew that smell all too well, but that was just because I worked in a bar where blood was spilled. A lot. Shapeshifters liked to fight, after all, and those fights led to bloodshed. Lucky me, I got to clean it up.

Go inside. That was the voice of common sense.

I was done working. Nothing for me to do, really. I never did anything, other than work. Well, other than lock myself in my room and read. Or lock myself in the little gym TJ had let me set up and work out. I could do either one of those and pretend the rest of the world didn’t exist.

This one night, I’d felt an odd little pull, something that had tugged me out of the bar. Go back inside, I told myself.

Something sizzled in the air and I felt it dance across my skin.

Then there was a yell, followed by a grunt and a series of thuds.

It was getting really hard to pretend this wasn’t happening. If I went back inside and acted like I hadn’t noticed anything, I’d have a hard time facing myself in the morning.

My inability to mind my own business will be the death of me.  Here lies Kit Colbana, killed by her own curiosity. That will be my epitaph. Still, I couldn’t stay there, shifting from one foot to the other while I listened to somebody getting the hell beaten out of them.

Keeping to the shadows, I moved down the maze of twisting, narrow little paths and paused when I reached the junction up ahead. It was there. Just ahead and to the right. The smell of blood was stronger and I could hear somebody laughing. It was the man I’d heard earlier—

“Oh, come on, you can do better than that…”

His voice sounded thick now. Not quite so eager to make something talk, then bleed, then die.

Of course, he was the one talking, in a voice that was thick and wet. He was bleeding, too. I could see that when I peered around the corner. There he was, caught between two wolves—shapeshifters—while a third drew back a hand and slammed it into his gut.

He crumpled around the fist.

“Who are you working for?” A new voice now, somebody big and mean. He drove another fist into the man’s gut as he spoke. I raked him with a look, sized him up. A werewolf.

The entire tableau was surreal. There were three weres, the one doing the pummeling, while the other two held a brown-haired man immobile.

“One more time, you little fuck.” The were smashed a giant fist into the man’s face and I winced as blood splattered out in an arcing spray. “Who are you working for?”

There was no answer, just a nasal sort of groan.

The werewolf in front of him fisted a hand in the man’s hair and jerked his head up, leaning in to snarl at the man. He looked…human. I didn’t feel that weird kind of energy I sensed around all shifters, which meant if this kept up, he’d be dead.

Nervous, I glanced behind me. Could I get back to the bar and Goliath?

I didn’t know.

Sliding a hand inside my vest, I touched one of the silver knives.

“Come on, witch. You aren’t down here asking about night just because you want to.” The wolf reached up, caught the man’s face, started to squeeze.

Horrified, I bit my lip to keep from making a sound. I couldn’t look away as I watched those fingers dig in. I knew how strong shifters were. They could crush bone, stone, metal.

The man groaned hoarsely.

Shit. I can’t watch this. I had to do something—had to help.

Abruptly, it was like the fight drained out of him.

“There. That’s what I thought.” The wolf backed up and now, all I could see was his back. “Give me the name, boy. You don’t want me telling TJ you been running around behind her back and fucking her over, do you? Selling drugs to kids, skimming her profits?”


“Did you hear that?” One of the other wolves looked up, eyes narrowing.

Oh. Shit.

I’d bumped something on the ground. It wouldn’t have been loud enough for anybody human to hear.

But we weren’t dealing with humans. The NH—non-human—population had sharper senses and I had all but shouted my presence.

“Sounds like…”

I gripped the knife and shot a look once more toward TJ’s. If I ran, they’d catch me. If I called for Goliath, he’d hear me, but probably not in time.

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

I should have gone to my room and finished my damn book.

A shadow stretched out along the ground in front of me—so close.

Instinct moved me and I lunged out, threw the knife.

I hadn’t taken out a target since the night in the sewers, but I never once doubted my aim.

I am aneira

The words echoed in the back of my mind. I’d heard them, so often, in the years before I’d run away. Time seemed to slow.

My aim is true.

And it was. The blade flew, straight and true and so very fast. So fast the shifter didn’t even have time to avoid it. The silver buried itself in the shifter’s heart. Without waiting to see what happened, I lunged at him and as he hit the ground, I wrenched the knife around, twisting it. The scent of smoke filled the air. I didn’t waste another second. I came up and dove forward in a somersault. I landed in a crouch as I faced the other two shapeshifters.

The man pinned to the wall looked at me with greener than green eyes. To my surprise, he grinned. “It’s about fucking time.”


Bladed Magic (A Kit Colbana Novella)… I need reviews…


A Colbana Files Prequel

The events of this short story take place between A STROKE OF DUMB LUCK and BLADE SONG.  It can be read as a stand-alone.

For the first time in her life, Kit Colbana’s life was going just fine.  She had a nice, easy job.  She’d managed to escape the not-so-loving attentions of a family who’d rather see her dead than look at her.  She had a roof over her head and she didn’t have to fight for every little thing she had.

Then she finds herself tangled up with a green-eyed witch by the name of Justin.  He’s looking for somebody and for some bizarre reason, he seems to think she can help.  All she has to do is say no, and she can go back to her safe little existence.  That’s exactly what she needs to do and she knows it.

Too bad she’s not very good at following her own advice.


As you can probably tell by the blurb, this isn’t book 4.  This is a prequel, set between A Stroke of Dumb Luck and Blade Song.  It’s the story of how Kit & Justin met and how she ended up doing what she does.  It’s also a novella.

This book isn’t out yet.  It will be.  I’m  putting it up on Amazon and all the other sites, probably in March.

I would like some blogger help spreading the word.

In exchange, I’m willing to offer a limited number of ARCs…how many depends on the interest.  I’m willing to give away quite a few…20 or more doesn’t faze me, but at some point, I will have to cap it.

If you’re willing to post about the book on your blog now…or in the next week-ish, to let people know the book is coming, and then post a review to your blog when it releases in March, please leave a link to your blog in comments below.

Keep in mind, posting below, posting about the book doesn’t guarantee you’ll get an ARC (the book will be provided in PDF form, just so ya know).  While I doubt it’s going to happen, if for some odd reason, I had 200 people willing to post, for the sake of my sanity and the constraints on my time, I can’t sent out that many ARCs.

If you don’t have a blog, but are a regular on GR or Booklikes and are willing to post about the book, you can request… just leave a link to your profile in the comments.

And while I know some aren’t fond of it, being willing to post a review to Amazon &/or BN is very helpful, so if you’re willing to do so, please let me know.  The more reviews you have on those sites, the more ‘visible’ your books can be in searches…something in the algorithms from what I’ve heard.  This is what I’ve been told, and I can definitely see it happening. The reviews ~positive or negative ~ are very helpful to authors, so…well… I want them. ;)


Please note, this isn’t a contest.  I’ll do a random giveaway sort of thing closer to.  Thank you!



Damon’s Valentine

Word of warning… technically, this piece is out of time.  If I followed the story’s timeline, we’d be roughly in April.  But, well, just work with it.  I wanted him to give her a Valentine.  It sounded fun.

Also, this is just for fun–I wrote it in about fifteen minutes and read it through, but I didn’t send it to beta readers or anything so there probably are typos.  That’s fine. Pretty please, don’t feel the need to point them out.  Again, this was just for fun.


Damon’s Valentine- Damon POV

“What are these?”

I looked at the flowers, feeling more than a little stupid as Kit stared at them.  Her pretty green eyes were confused.  Scowling, I shoved them into her hands.  “They’re called flowers.”

“I know that.”  She stroked a finger down the petal of one, her frown fading away.  But she didn’t smile.

I’d wanted to see her smile.

She didn’t do it enough.  Not anymore.  Not since—

Rage was a living, breathing thing in me and I had to wrap a stranglehold around it, shove into a box and smash it down.  Don’t.  If you go there, she’s gonna see.  Calm the fuck down.  “I had to go into Orlando.  There were all these cards and shit.  It’s Valentine’s Day.  I just thought…”

Now she looked up, her gaze meeting mine.

“Valentine’s Day.”  Now she smiled, but it was a weird one.  She took a step toward me.  My heart started to beat faster.  My dick twitched—it’s like a reflex.  Sometimes she just looks at me and it happens.  “You ever hear any of the real history behind it?”

“No.”  I didn’t care.  She’d smiled.  Even if it was over something weird, she’d smiled.  Lifting my hand, I rested it on the curve of her neck.  I felt the ridges hidden under the ink—poisoned flowers, a broken blade.  Stroking my thumb along the hollow of her throat, I waited.  Her faint smile widened into a dark, slightly twisted grin and I wanted to cover that wide, wicked mouth.  Taste her. Strip her.

“Valentine was some kind of priest.”

That had the fantasy I’d been spinning stalling—it didn’t fade.  It just slowed down.  “Valentine—he was a real guy?”

“Yeah.  It’s human stuff so I don’t know much about him, but they threw him in jail.  He was performing marriages or something, if I remember right.  Then they killed him.”  She lowered her head, studied the flowers.  “Trust humans to make up some sort weird holiday over a guy being jailed, then killed.”

She’d gone still, in that way she did when she started to remember.  Fuck.  I’d gone and reminded her.  Not that she needed a reminder.  She lived it.  Bore the scars.  Slowly, I reached down and took the roses.  “Maybe it’s not over him being jailed…but why.  It was for love.  He believed in it, right?”

As I put the flowers down, she looked up at me.  “Wow, Damon.  That’s almost…romantic.  Here you are, giving me flowers, spouting romantic thoughts.”

I tugged her against me.  The feel of her did bad, bad things.  Thought wanted to stop.  I wanted her naked.  Wanted bare skin under my hands.  Wanted her wet and hot as I fucked her.

I cupped her face.  “Maybe I just want you in a good mood.”  I pressed my mouth to hers.  “I probably want something.”

“What?” she asked, her voice wry, although it was going husky. “Let me guess…it involves me naked.”

“I pretty much always want you naked, baby girl.”  I brushed my mouth over hers, felt a growl building in me as she shuddered.

“Maybe we can arrange that.”  She slid her hands down my chest.  My cock jerked like she’d reached inside my pants instead.  She tipped her head, smiling at me once more. “I feel bad.  You bought me a present. I don’t have anything for you.”

“Get naked. That will work.”  I wasn’t about to tell her that all I needed was to see her smile.  Especially not when she was already reaching for the hem of her shirt.   Yeah, I wanted to see her smile…but smiling and naked was even better.



So… Bladed Magic… a Kit Colbana short story

This will be out sometime soonish.

It’s a short story, only a short story, only ever intended to be a short story (emphasizing the short bit because I often get comments about… it should be longer…all about how Kit met Justin.  It’s 65-ish pages, planning on pricing it at .99.


The blurb…


A Colbana Files Prequel

The events of this short story take place between A STROKE OF DUMB LUCK and BLADE SONG.  It can be read as a stand-alone.

For the first time in her life, Kit Colbana’s life was going just fine.  She had a nice, easy job.  She’d managed to escape the not-so-loving attentions of a family who’d rather see her dead than look at her.  She had a roof over her head and she didn’t have to fight for every little thing she had.

Then she finds herself tangled up with a green-eyed witch by the name of Justin.  He’s looking for somebody and for some bizarre reason, he seems to think she can help.  All she has to do is say no, and she can go back to her safe little existence.  That’s exactly what she needs to do and she knows it.

Too bad she’s not very good at following her own advice.

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