Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jackdaw (A Charm of Magpies Linked Story): KJ Charles ~ Guestpost & Giveaway


Title ~ Jackdaw

Author ~ KJ Charles

Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing

Published ~ 17th February 2015

Genre ~ MM Romance, Paranormal, Historical

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If you stop running, you fall.

Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser’s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.

Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can’t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah’s chaotic existence all over again, and they’re running together—from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them.

Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?

This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series.

Warning: Contains a policeman who should know better, a thief who may never learn, Victorian morals, heated encounters, and a very annoyed Stephen Day.

Today we’re welcoming KJ Charles back to sinfully to celebrate the upcoming release of Jackdaw, a much anticipated book we know everyone has been waiting for. Only one day to go! Hero or Villain… Exactly which one is Jonah Pastern?…KJ tells us how this charming antagonist actually became the protagonist in his own story.

KJ is also generously gifting an ebook copy of Jackdaw  to one lucky reader. just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. 



Villain to Hero: Jackdaw by KJ Charles

You’ll often read the writing tip that ‘nobody is a villain in his own story’, or words to that effect. The author has have to understand what motivates the antagonists, what they’re trying to achieve, why they get in the hero’s way. This is excellent advice. It clarifies plotting and makes stories richer and truer when the villain isn’t a cardboard cut-out.

It also gave me a new book.

In Flight of Magpies, book 3 of my Charm of Magpies trilogy, our heroes Crane and Stephen are up against a criminal gang of four practitioners, led by their old enemy Lady Bruton. Two of them have very specific grudges against our heroes, one is a psychopath, and the last one…well...

“Look at it from my point of view. Ideally, you get me out from under Lady Bruton’s hold. I’m trying to help you do that. But if I help you and she finds out—no. So the next best outcome for me would be that she kills you and your bit of stuff, and is so happy about it that she lets me go.” He gave a flashing smile. “The lot of you can kill each other with my blessing, as long as I get away.”

That’s Jonah Pastern: magician, rogue, thief, and completely uninterested in whether our heroes live or die. Really. Doesn’t. Care. He’s been forced into participation in the plot by Lady Bruton, all he wants is to get out alive, and he’s not concerned how he achieves that.

It’s irrelevant to the plot of the book what hold Lady Bruton has over him. What’s plot-crucial is that it makes him a wild card—neither a committed antagonist nor a likely ally, but a man who will act in his own interests and unpredictably.

So I had to know enough about Jonah to make that plausible. It didn’t have to be much. He’s amoral, he’s reactive rather than a planner—oh, and he can walk on air. Here's what the law enforcers have to say about him:

“Reckless, slippery…rather charming, if you like the type. And rather good, too. It took us months to pin him down, working with the local police force. We finally caught him after he robbed the Tring Museum. I left him, in irons and in a closed carriage with a police constable guarding him, for twenty minutes. My mistake.”

“He killed the officer?” Macready asked.

Miss Nodder gave a crack of laughter. “Ha, no. I suspect the poor fool wishes he had. Pastern—well, to speak frankly, he seduced the man. He picked the constable’s pocket and unlocked the cuffs while the benighted idiot’s attention was, er, elsewhere.” She raised a meaningful brow. “Then he was straight out of the carriage and into the sky, and that was the last we saw of him.”

That’s about all we learn about Jonah in Flight of Magpies—that and, later, the fact that he was trying to protect someone. That was his background motivation, the thing I knew but the reader didn't have to. I didn’t have anything else in mind for the character when I wrote those things. I was too busy writing Stephen and Crane.

But. One of my pre-flight checks on a MS is to look at the antagonists—are they well motivated, in character, doing their own thing for their own reasons rather than as plot functions? And as I read over Jonah, something occurred to me.

The person that Jonah was being blackmailed for, the person he did all this to protect…what if that person was the police constable he left behind?

Boom. I had a new book.

Jackdaw is the story of windwalking thief Jonah Pastern and his unfortunate, abandoned policeman. I hadn’t intended to write a spin-off, but the story was so compelling that I had to drop another project just to get it done. It also gave me the bonus of a different perspective on Crane and Stephen, my trilogy heroes.

Because, after all, Jonah is the villain in their story—it was only fair that they should return the favour in his…



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Connect with KJ

1979632_1491063337783490_1664928398_nKJ Charles is a commissioning editor by profession and a writer by inclination. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there.





KJ is gifting one lucky reader an ebook copy of Jackdaw. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is such a great series, love it! Can't wait to read this one.

  2. I read the Magpie Lord and loved it. I need to pick up book two.

  3. Such an awesome series. Looking forward to reading this one!

  4. I love everything about this series and all the accompanying short stories. Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  5. I love this series... and KJ Charles' writing. I'm so looking forward to reading Jackdaw!

  6. I heard so many great things about this series and K Charles writing! I will probably bump The Magpie Lord to the top of my TBR list ;-) Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Love the series can't wait to read this addition.

  8. I'm always excited to read the next book KJ Charles puts out!

  9. This sounds like an absolutely awesome twist to the Magpie world. :D

  10. Thanks for the great post! Charm of Magpies is one of my favorite series and I am looking forward to reading Jonah's (and his abandoned policeman's) story.

  11. Thanks for the giveaway. I have not read anything by this author, so I am looking forward to it.

  12. I'm sooooo looking forward to reading Jackdaw :)Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  13. Congratulations on the new release! Looking forward to starting this series!

  14. Looking forward to more from KJ, and seeing Stephen as 'the baddie'!

  15. I loved Jonah in Flight of Magpies and am so looking forward to this!

  16. So happy to see the series continue!


  17. I'm a fan of the series and so interested in reading about Jonah's story.

  18. Love the Magpie Lord series!! would love to read this too

  19. Love the series! Thank you for the giveaway!

  20. hmm it sounds very interesting very exciting

  21. It sounds so interesting. I haven't read the series yet but I've heard a lot of great things. I just bought the first book yesterday since it's on sale over at ARe.

  22. KJ Charles is such an enormous talent. If you haven't read her yet, you have to check out her work!

    Thanks for the giveaway, and I hope the release goes well.

    kshugrue at gmail dot com

  23. I have some catching up to do as I have not read any of the Charm of the Magpies series. I would start with the first in this series but this book has me wanting to play catch up. I know that I have done something that I know is not good for me but I do it anyway. So I can see Ben is coming from.

  24. Looking forward to start this series soon. Thanks for sharing and much success!
    taina1959 @

  25. This is a new author to me and I think this sounds like a good book.