The Winter King (The Kings, Book 8) Available Now


“If you believe anything I tell you, believe this. You are my queen, therefore, you are my world. You are the most important piece on the chessboard. Everything I do from here on out will be about you. I will eat, sleep, and drink you. I will breathe you. And I will stop breathing without you… If you go, the game is lost.”

Far beyond the easy reaches of the mortal world lies a kingdom of ice and snow. Its glacier mountains reach the horizons of eons, and its cold, hard oceans paint the vastness of its world. It is terribly harsh, and terribly beautiful, and there is only one man capable of ruling from its frozen throne. He has ruled there alone for more than a thousand years.
But the Thirteen Kings are finding their fated queens, and though he’d all but lost hope he would count himself amongst their lucky numbers, the moment she walks into view, his frozen heart and soul are rekindled with by a fire that will melt through anything, even him.

Persephone Glacia Nix – “Poppy” – is a human warlock who has forced herself to fit in with the mortals around her, despite her inherent differences, despite her secret longings, and regardless of the very different way in which she sees the world. Her empathetic nature makes life better for others, but difficult for her. She’s come to accept this as the curse that accompanies the gift of understanding. However, when Kristopher Scaul approaches her on a dark street in a dark city on a cold night and introduces her to a world she at last feels “at home” in, Poppy must finally decide whether to continue faking it in the mortal world – or take her place on a second frozen throne, in the lonely but beautiful Kingdom of Winter.

The Winter King is the eighth anticipated novel in the Big Bad Wolf spinoff series, The Kings, by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Heather Killough-Walden.
Now available at eBook sellers everywhere.

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For the Love of One Mile

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I begin to think on love and all it encompasses. And I am inspired to share with you a personal story of love – and the lesson that gave it birth.

For the Love of One Mile
By Heather Killough-Walden

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.” – Simone De Beauvoir

Once, around forty years ago, my father was traveling across country in search of work, and weary from the road. Several hours and several hundred miles into one particular travel day, he noticed a small dark blob on the side of the road far up ahead. As he drove on, the blob drew nearer and became more distinct. Finally, within a quarter of a mile or so, my father could see clearly what it was. It was the figure of a man. But he was not walking. The man’s legs were missing from mid-thigh down. His method of movement was a slow and arduous trek forward by vastly shortened crutches and upon make-shift “shoes” he’d made for his stumps by cutting pads out of old tires.
Swing, shuffle. Swing, shuffle. Slowly, he inched his way along the side of the highway.
The man was long-haired and greasy, and around his neck he wore a sign.

To this day, my father tells the story of that moment. The moment he saw the man on the side of the road and read that sign. And more importantly, the moment directly after, in which my father kept on driving. Twenty years have passed since the event that lasted seconds, but also didn’t. Still moved by the strength of the memory, my father eventually penned a short and poignant poem:

Upon the open road one day,
I saw a man along my way,
He had no legs, his task to ease,
The sign he wore read, “One mile please.”

You see, that day for some inexplicable reason that had haunted him for more than two decades, my father passed up the man with no legs. It wasn’t like him to do so. My father was the kind of man who gave openly, without prejudice, without forethought, even without much at all to give in the first place. He’d been a poor man most of his life, and maybe that was part of the reason he chose to share what he had when he had it. Empathy. That was my father.

The man with no legs was an anomaly and an enigma. “Why didn’t I stop?” my father wondered. Oh… if only he’d stopped and helped!

One day, he chose to share this story with me. He showed me his poem, which was typewriter engraved on a weathered piece of paper, complete with the indentations typewriters make when their letters stick. It was old. He’d had it a while. The incident truly troubled him.

I read the poem and listened to the story. I sat on the edge of that bed and gazed at the profile of the man who had been my hero, my idol, my friend for the entirety of my existence. I realized in that moment that this gentle man with the blue eyes that cried during sad movies and the smile that came easy and the voice that did impressions and told jokes – this man who helped people up and talked people down – came to be the man he is for a reason. Cause and effect. That was life.

I believe that the lessons we learn the deepest are the ones we learn from our mistakes.
“Dad,” I said, “what if you had stopped and helped that man? What if you’d taken him wherever he wanted to go?”
My dad said nothing, knowing by now that his story teller daughter was leading up to something.
“You would have felt good about yourself, no doubt,” I continued. “You would have dusted off your hands and patted yourself on the back and moved on. In time, you probably would have forgotten all about it.”
He blinked, pondering this.
“But the fact that you didn’t stop, just this once – the fact that you kept going – has stayed with you in a way nothing else could. It was a mistake you made, and if I know my father and the good in him, it was a mistake you learned from. Think of all of the men and women you’ve helped since that moment. Think of the ways you’ve tried to make amends. Would you have done so had you stopped to help that pivotal first time?”

I believe that sometimes, when it’s necessary, our stories decide to write themselves. My father was meant to be a good man, with LOVE to give. But in order for this to happen, maybe, just maybe, he had to go one day without it. Light shines brightest in the darkness. And perhaps love is born in the moments we miss it most.

I speak now, twenty years after that conversation with my father, from a position of perspective. Perspective, as you know, is gained through experience. My own “man with no legs” moment was to come for me soon – at a time when I’d forgotten my own words, and the lesson at their core.

My family and I were in Seattle for a convention that was research for one of my books. It was admittedly cold that day down by the water, especially for August. Not that there isn’t always a cold breeze blowing at the waterfront. I loved it. My nose was red, my lips needed lip balm, the sky was that indistinct gray that is impossible to set apart from the concrete, the water, the everything, and I was walking on cloud nine. I was somewhere new! I was next to the ocean! I was living a dream, even if it was a small dream, just to leave behind the hot, flat dust plain that was the home I normally occupied. We had plans, even. We were headed to some nifty little town across the way, where tourists shopped at expensive boutiques and ate eclectic and equally expensive food, and I was with my family. The three of us together, going somewhere, doing something – I had it made.

In this smug satisfaction with my current situation, I purchased a bag of chips and a cola and took a seat beside my daughter on a metal bench while my husband disappeared to buy ferry tickets. The boat would come in fifteen minutes. We had a little time to kill. So, I laughed at a few eleven-year-old jokes, swung my booted feet back and forth, and tore open my bag of chips.

My daughter continued to ramble in that wonderful way children do that goes away far too soon. I half-listened, in that way adults unfortunately never stop doing, as I watched the people around me in the ferry building. Near the entrance, a figure in dark entered, hunched and thin. At once, she reminded me of someone, but I didn’t know who. Not yet.

“Markiplier, yadayada… Five Nights at Freddy’s yadayada…” my daughter continued, and my head tilted slightly, my gaze narrowing with detached curiosity as the woman moved further into the building. She had dark skin and short hair, was dressed in an oversized black sweatshirt, very baggy and stained jeans, and sneakers that didn’t look dirty, but looked old nonetheless. Even from a distance, it was easy to conclude she was homeless. I’ll never be able to pinpoint what it is in a homeless countenance that instantly marks them as such, but there it was in this woman. She wasn’t just a thin woman in oversized clothes – she was without a home, and for some reason, this was clear.

I watched her from that distance, and it wouldn’t be until later, at a moment that will remain with me forever, that I would realize it was not only at a physical distance from which I watched her, but an emotional one as well. She was homeless. I was not. We had separate lives. My mild interest simply wondered about hers in that moment: What would she do? Who would she ask for money? Would she come my way? It was curiosity and nothing more. I was safe in my life.

After a few moments, I turned away from her and focused more attention on my daughter. Several minutes passed, and I’d completely forgotten about the thin homeless woman.
“Excuse me.”
Until she was standing directly in front of me.
I looked up, and my daughter fell silent. We made eye contact, and I felt irritation. She’d interrupted me, and it was just as I’d suspected – she was going to ask me for money. I prepared to fish a dollar out of my purse.
“Do you have any change?” she asked.
On auto pilot, I began searching in my bag for that dollar. I found it, produced it, and held it out to her. She looked at it and smiled slightly, but then she hesitated, glanced over her shoulder, and asked, “Would you by any chance have five dollars?”
My immediate, knee-jerk reaction was one of indignant surprise, which became evident to all when my eyebrows hit the ceiling. “Excuse me?” I demanded haughtily. A dollar wasn’t good enough for her?
She blinked and took a step back, as if my words had actually slapped her. Shame enshrouded her figure like an aura. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “It’s just that I was hoping to buy a sandwich.” She gestured to the Subway sandwich shop that was behind her, against the wall. That was what she’d glanced at a moment earlier.
But as I was processing this, she grew agitated. Clearly afraid I would withdraw even the dollar I offered, she said, “Never mind, it’s okay. I’ll take the dollar. Thank you so much.”
She gently but hastily took it from my hand and stepped away. I noticed her ears. There was a hole in one that was slightly stretched out, as if she’d worn earrings for years. But when she turned completely around, I could see that the other earlobe was torn in two, as if the earring in that ear had been yanked clean through the lobe years ago, ripping it in half forever.
She moved off, her eyes endlessly searching as people entered and exited the ferry building. I, however, did not move at all. I was frozen to the spot on the bench, at once completely and utterly overwhelmed with two horrible realizations.
The first realization was that the person she’d reminded me of was my mother. And because we are products of our parents, the person she’d reminded me of… was me.
The second realization was that I had actually just done what I had just done. What in the name of the Cosmos had just happened with me? Who the hell had I become?

“Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”
— Iris Murdoch

A simple twist of fate had brought the homeless woman to the ferry building that afternoon, thin and scarred. As I sat there frozen, I thought of my mother and her life, her children, her accomplishments and sufferings, her feelings, her hopes and thoughts – her humanity and the soul that was within her body. And I realized that all life had to do was roll the dice just so, and my mother could be in a ferry building herself, asking for five dollars… Worse yet, it could be my daughter.
And I realized the woman with the scarred ear WAS someone’s daughter. She was someone’s little girl.
My father’s face flashed before my eyes, as did the man with no legs, “one mile please,” the whole of my life, my heart, my hopes, my pains, my fears, the goddamned world.

I swallowed hard. Something settled in my gut that I couldn’t quite name. In the periphery of my mind, my husband had returned to the bench. He was trying to talk to me, to get my attention. But I was as focused as I had ever been, my eyes locked on the woman and all she represented for me in that moment. Ten more seconds of petrified epiphany held me immobile before I finally broke free and rose from the bench. Each step I took toward her stripped another layer of falsity from my person. I moved heavily on, shedding my former self as I drew ever closer.
And then I was there, right behind her, and my hand was on her shoulder.
She turned, her eyes huge, uncertainty warring with lightning-fast thinking on her features. I tried to speak quickly, before I lost the ability to talk at all. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “Let me buy you a sandwich. Please. Anything you want, it’s on me.” Before she could pull away, I took her elbow and gently entwined it with mine.
The next few seconds are admittedly a bit of a blur to me. My heart was pounding so fast, my deep, deep insides fundamentally changing. We walked back to the Subway station, and she began ordering her sandwich, placing layer upon layer of meat on the bread. For some reason, I thought of her heart, of her blood pressure, her cholesterol. I found myself worrying for things I had no business worrying for, but it didn’t stop me from saying, “Please get some veggies on there too. Just a few, at least.” And she did. Maybe she was afraid I would withdraw my offer. I don’t know. I could barely think straight.
The man behind the counter checked us out, and I told him it was all on me. We took her drink and her sandwich and her bag of chips to a nearby table, where she shakily sat down. I scooped from my purse what I had left of my money and gave the lot to her. Again, I said, “I’m sorry. I hope you enjoy your lunch,” before I left her in peace and returned to my family.

After all this time, I am still plagued by my initial actions that day. As plagued as my father was by his. The both of us, confused about what we’d done and why, and wanting nothing more than the forgiveness of those we forgot to love. But knowing what I do now, I believe that what I told my father was true. I am a better person for having made that mistake. My true love was indeed born in that moment when I was missing it most.

“Piglet: ‘How do you spell love?’ Winnie the Pooh: ‘You don’t spell it…you feel it.’”
— A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

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From the shadows….

“What are you doing down here?” a voice asked. It was a deep, slightly accented voice that Hollywood would have used on animated bad guys; it had that lilt to it that hinted at wickedness, and the timbre was the kind that wrapped around, then found a way inside you.
She swallowed hard, but her throat was dry, and she ended up choking a little. She coughed, and when she did, her hair shifted before her eyes. She hurriedly batted it away, not wanting to lose sight of the figure in front of her.
But he’d already moved.
He was less than a breath away now, towering over her like a massive, solid shadow. She inhaled sharply and stepped back, but found herself bumping into the wall. There was nowhere to retreat to. She considered her magic again, but something about the figure felt sweltering. Not hot, just smothering. It was as if her magic had a hand over its mouth and a band around its chest. It couldn’t breathe. It was being suffocated.
“What are you looking for, little fae?” the voice asked. His words were so close, they almost whispered across her skin. He was hovering over her, leaning in, and fresh, hard shivers rushed up Violet’s spine. “It’s dangerous down here,” he said. “But you’re figuring that out now, aren’t you?”

- The Shadow King, by Heather Killough-Walden

AVAILABLE NOW
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-King-Kings-Book-ebook/dp/B018LC4FOU/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1448654013&sr=8-15&keywords=the+shadow+king
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shadow-king-heather-killough-walden/1123033267?ean=2940157785086

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THE SHADOW KING

Coming “Black Friday,” November 27th…

Beyond the Twixt, just past the Unlit Forest lies a realm so dark and so dangerous, it has been cut off from the mortal world for thousands of years. Those who venture into it are two-dimensional, without form, and all too often never return. They are the shadows – seven billion strong.
One man rules over this vast and treacherous world. Keeran Pitch has resided as sovereign over the Shadow Realm for millennia. But the tremendous responsibility he has been tasked with is a lonely one, especially for someone with secrets as dark and treacherous as his.

Violet Kellen is one of two Tuath unseelie fae to have studied the art of dark magic to become a warlock, and now she must use those skills to save the other one – her sister. Deep in the heart of the Shadow Realm waits the Dark, a place so forbidden and unreachable, she has been able to learn very little about her dangerous destination. But she attempts the rescue anyway. And when she does, she is thrust into a world she didn’t count on – and into the arms of a dark savior who creates in her a fierce and merciless desire nearly as powerful as his own.

The Shadow King is the seventh book in the best selling 13-book series, The Kings, spin-off of the NYT and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance series, The Big Bad Wolf, by Heather Killough-Walden.

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THE SHEPHERD OF APATHY

I was lamenting time, and its cruelty, as I spoke with my husband about how much longer it takes now to get the kink of gray hair out of my mane. His response was a nonchalant shrug and a peppy, “Just think of how much time you’ll save once you stop caring!”

His words struck me like a bullet of carelessness and lodged deep between two ribs. To say they were uncomfortable would have been a gross understatement.
And I believe I’ve figured out why.

I think that I could handle everything else about growing old – the constant alarms for medication, the deterioration of my body parts and the terrible expense they accrue, the pain – if it weren’t for the loss of my looks.

What would society say to a man who had once been a genius, who loved solving the riddles of the universe, who took great pleasure in it, and whose existence was tied to the map of molecules beneath his skull – but who was now losing his mind and mourned the loss of his ability to think, the loss of that experienced pleasure in having defeated a mental problem with the workings of his beautiful brain?

They would mourn along with him, no doubt. They would lament the problems he could no longer solve. They would cluck their tongues and shake their heads at how unfair it was that time could take his love, this thing that he depended so much upon, away from him.
“Callously,” they would say. “Callously, time has done this. We hate time.”

Now imagine that time worked differently in our universe. Imagine it worked differently upon the body, causing the mind to go first, long before the skin sagged and hair turned gray. Imagine that tending to the molecules above the skull – the outer appearance of the physical form – was the attention that mattered more. Because it lasted longer. Because it was the “long run.” Imagine it was the thing that stuck with you through the better years of your life. Imagine that feeding the mind rather than the skin above it was a fleeting endeavor: Why bother? It won’t last. Pay attention to what does.

Imagine that genius now. The one we spoke of earlier – the man who cared so much about the inner working diagram of his brain, about the magnificent construction of his mind. Would society still lament his loss? Would empathy be shown? Or would they roll their eyes, and with a peppy shrug, say, “Everyone loses their minds. It happens to the best of us. Pay less attention to what’s inside and more to what really matters – your looks.”

For you see, it is time, and time alone, that determines what we as a whole judge to be important. But what is fleeting to some is crucial to others. What is meaningless to the masses is everything to the one.

The brightest candles burn out the quickest. The most beautiful stars in the night sky are the “stars” that are falling. And we, as time’s ignorant sheep, have no right to decide what is meaningful at all.

- Heather Killough-Walden
(aka, The Shallow)

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Now Available!

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The Lost Angels: SAMAEL

In the fevered mind of Samuel Lambent, a storm brews. At its dark heart is a need unlike any other, the kind that ravishes the soul and lays waste to both kindness and sanity. And that storm is mirrored in the skies over Chicago.
The Culmination is approaching.
For Samuel Lambent is actually Samael – the Fallen One. He’s been dreaming of her, craving her, side-lined by an intense obsession that has all but consumed him. And now that he has actually seen Angel, the long lost fifth and final archess, he will stop short of absolutely nothing to obtain her, going so far as to break fundamental covenants… and make the ultimate sacrifice.

Angel watches the skies above with an anxious eye. She knows what the tempest means. The Fallen One has found her. His impossible influence and power stretch across vast miles, and his eyes call to her. Within their tumultuous gray is something her heart understands, no matter how it may not wish to.
There is a promise in Samael’s gaze. And it is that promise that keeps her running.
For if he claims her. If she gives in… the Culmination will ensue.
Life on Earth as she knows it will come to an end.
Angel will have surrendered everything.

All for the fierce and unforgivable love of the Fallen One.

Samael is the nail-biting, gut-clenching, heart-wrenching, long-awaited fifth and final installment in the highly acclaimed The Lost Angels series, by NYT and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author, Heather Killough-Walden.
Coming August 29th, 2015.

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The Big Bad Wolf Series – IN PRINT!

Coming this July, beginning with book one, The Heat, is the New York Times bestselling, sizzling-hot paranormal romance series, The Big Bad Wolf – NOW IN PRINT!

The Heat:

Lily St. Claire is a southern girl, born and raised, and she has a soft spot in her heart for Baton Rouge. But when she returns after being out of town for a few years, she finds that things have changed. Katrina rearranged the city’s face, there are more people, the streets are meaner, and most importantly, the boy she had a crush on her entire childhood is all grown up. In a big, bad way.

Daniel Kane is the youngest police chief Baton Rouge has ever known. Standing well over two meters high, with a hard body, jet black hair that needs a cut, eyes like blue slate, and a quick mind, not much gets past him. But what could hold more sway than a handsome, young, competent chief of police? A handsome, young, competent chief of police who also happens to be a werewolf. And not just any werewolf, but an alpha.

Yet, all that power doesn’t seem to mean a damn thing when it comes to claiming the one thing he wants more than anything on Earth – the girl who, as far as he is concerned, was meant for him: Lily St. Claire. Not only is Lily head-strong, independent, and more than a little capable of slipping through his tightly gripped fingers, it turns out, Daniel’s not the only one who’s ready to claim her as his mate. And as bad luck would have it for Chief Kane, his competition is also an alpha werewolf.

And a notorious cold-blooded killer.

The Heat is the first book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Big Bad Wolf series by Heather Killough-Walden. Dig in and see why this series continues to receive world-wide acclaim, capturing the hearts and minds of thousands of paranormal romance fans around the globe. Also look for The Kings series, the bestselling paranormal romance spin-off series to the Big Bad Wolf.

NOW IN PRINT through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Heather-Killough-Walden/dp/1511813377/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437510974&sr=1-5&keywords=the+heat+heather+killough-walden

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Vampires, Devils, Blood – The Ultimate Love

Queen of Abaddon is the long awaited, third and final installment in the romantic fantasy Chosen Soul series by New York Times bestselling author, Heather Killough-Walden. Within its pages, the hunt is on, a war is waged, and the ultimate sacrifice is made – for a love that defies the gods, changes the rules, and turns back time.
At long last, it will be a cold day in Hell.

Amazon US site:

http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Abaddon-Chosen-Soul-Book-ebook/dp/B00VCR5CYE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1427648362&sr=8-2&keywords=queen+of+abaddon

Amazon UK site:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Queen-Abaddon-Chosen-Soul-Book-ebook/dp/B00VCR5CYE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427647040&sr=8-1&keywords=queen+of+Abaddon

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The Unseelie King is Here!

Darkness is the prettiest color….
The Unseelie King, book six in the acclaimed paranormal romance series, The Kings, is now available at eBook sellers everywhere!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unseelie-King-Kings-Book-ebook/dp/B00R5YJWBW/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418969303&sr=1-2&keywords=the+unseelie+king

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-unseelie-king-heather-killough-walden/1120818725?ean=2940150227187

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/495276

For thousands of years, two realms of unspeakable magic and mystery have existed in peace side by side. One is a land of light, of kindness, of dreams, and of color. The other is rendered in the gray lines of wickedness and seeped in the unbearable beauty of all that is forbidden. The first is ruled by the Seelie King. The other is ruled by Caliban… The Unholy.

Minerva Trystaine has always been the quiet twin, bullied by reality’s fierceness into a life of solitary sensitivity. What she witnesses, she feels. Living in a world that breeds one misfortune after another, she has had no choice but to sequester herself from outgoing life and any hope it might have otherwise offered her. She hides in her music, her hopes and dreams silent but for the harmony she gives them upon rare occasion, allowing them to be heard in perfect pitch by the rest of the world.

But when Minerva’s sister, Selene, is forced into a fantastical realm of supernatural magic and mystery and taken as queen of the seelie kingdom, the twins are reunited with a world they can scarcely remember – but could never forget. They are Wishers. Born of furious magic and fueled by the need for justice, Wishers are the most feared magic users in the fae realms. For this reason, they were all but annihilated thousands of years ago. Minerva and her sister are the last of a slaughtered breed.

Just as Selene accepts her place on the seelie throne, Minerva struggles to come to grips with her changed world. But as she faces off with her lost-and-found identity, and with the unbelievable power swimming through her veins, she realizes she must also contend with the fact that Wishers are no more safe in this day and age than they were millennia ago. Someone wants her dead.

And the one man she should probably fear most, the one fae lord more dangerous than any other, the notorious and cruel Leanan King – just happens to be the only man in all the realms who can protect her.

The Unseelie King is the sixth book in Heather Killough-Walden’s acclaimed paranormal romance series, The Kings. Within its pages, a dark lord finds long lost hope in a beautiful, powerful soul, a lost spirit finds faith in tempting and forbidden magic, and a fierce and willful love finds the unbelievable strength to do what must be done to survive against overwhelming odds.

Available now – the night of the Dark Moon, December 22, 2014.
(Releasing internationally in all eBook formats)

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