August 10, 2017

Author Guest Post + Excerpt: The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer

The Third Kiss summary:

Love curses don’t exist. At least that’s what Jonas, master of the meaningless hookup, tells himself when a letter warns him he’s an Eros Guardian cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. His levelheaded longtime friend Cora figures it’s a revenge prank by an ex. The way Jonas stamps each girlfriend with a weeklong use-by date, it serves him right.

But when an impulsive kiss between the two friends reveals potential for more, Cora becomes the target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. And suddenly the curse becomes dangerously real.

Breaking the curse means Jonas’s biggest challenge yet. Failure guarantees Cora’s death. But success may cost him his own life…and the loss of his carefully guarded heart to the one girl far too sensible to fall for him. 

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There’s a saying every writer has heard that gives the advice “Write what you know. Sensible, right? Because it’s difficult to write what you don’t know. For example, I have little knowledge of high altitude climbing, or lion taming, so I’ve never been compelled to write about either of these topics in any great detail 

I also know zilch, nichts, nada about martial arts, but what do I do? I go and write a full length novel involving numerous Tae Kwon Do fight scenes! Cue hours of watching martial arts videos, visiting Tae Kwon Do classes, and talking to people who actually know what they’re talking about. The fight scenes in my paranormal YA romance The Third Kiss were definitely the hardest to write, but they’re also some of the most satisfying scenes for me as a reader.  

Here’s an outdoor sparring scene between the hero, Jonas, and his friend and neighbor, Cora, as they train in preparation for an inevitable encounter with some nasty demons. It may have been tricky to write, but the emotional push and pull between Jonas and Cora gives me a buzz every time I read it. I hope you enjoy reading it, too!
 “Will you come at me already!” The longer we danced around each other, the more pissed off she became. 
I flexed my fingers. “I don’t want to hurt you.”  
That did it. Her face turned venomous. “You think the Groth Maar will extend me that courtesy?”  
She was right. Protecting her here wasn’t helping her any. I should be pushing her to the limit, making sure she was equipped to deal with any situation. But here we were, her doing the pushing and me rubbing my sore ass.  
I inhaled, steadied my breathing. Then spun, aimed a hook kick at her torso. She blocked, winced as she took the full brunt of my heel on her forearm. I came at her again, low kick this time. She sidestepped, blocked. For a moment or two I had the advantage, forcing her back. A second later my ribs screamed as her foot connected so hard my spleen rattled. Before I had time to counter, she’d swiped both feet out from under me, and I lay squinting up into the sun’s glare, my ass flat on the grass. Again. Somewhere in the distance a kookaburra laughed. 
Leo leaned over the deck railing, shaking his head at me. “Dude, this is getting embarrassing.” 
I closed my eyes against the pressing blue of the sky, lifted my hand, and flipped him off. In my head, I counted to ten, breathed in the earthy smell of grass and dry dirt, waiting for the dull ache in my rib cage to subside. 
She was good. She’d always been good. But never so good she could flatten me. Impressive what one extra year of sustained training could do. My wounded ego warred with a sense of pride in her ability. 
“Get up, Jonas.” Cora shoved at my leg with her foot. “That was an improvement, but you can do better.” “Give me a second.” Pushing my wounded ego aside, I heaved off the ground. On the deck, Leo and Beth both smirked. Idiots. “Don’t you two have something better to do?” 
“Nah.” Beth grinned, that unnerving I’m-your-twin look in place. “This is much more entertaining.” I scowled at her, then returned my attention to Cora. She stood on the other side of the lawn. Legs shoulder width apart, arms up at the ready, weight even over her centerline, she was primed for another round. 
I needed to break that iron focus of hers, unbalance her somehow. I grabbed the hem of my T-shirt and hiked up the cotton to wipe the sting of sweat from my eyes. Think dammit, where is the chink in her dobok? There’s got to be— I stopped mid thought; Cora’s gaze had strayed to my exposed stomach. 
Hello, advantage! 
Dirty pool, I know. But desperate times called for…more exposure. With Beavis and Butthead laughing at me from the deck, I’d take my upper hand any which way at the moment. I had enough grass stains tarnishing my reputation. 
One swift move and my T-shirt was off. Cora’s eyes widened. I tried to keep the smug smile from my face—really, I did—but I’d had so little to smile about all morning. I stopped smiling the moment her eyes collapsed into thin slits. When her hands reached for the black belt holding her dobok together, I questioned the wisdom of my strategy. 
Immobile, I stared as Cora untied the knot at her waist, shrugged out of her uniform, and…oh shit! White pants low on lean hips, stomach muscles corded below the hem of a workout crop top that showed just enough cleavage to make my mouth dry up, and a look on her face that said “bring it on.” 
I was a dead man.
Kat Colmer is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author who writes coming-of-age stories with humor and heart. The recipient of several writing awards, she has won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, as well as the Romance Writers of America On the Far Side contest for her debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance. 

Kat has a Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship and loves working with teens and young adults. When not writing, teaching, or reading the latest in YA fiction, Kat spends time with her husband and two children. 

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