Feast of Mercy
Order of the Sinistra Dei
Kathryn M. Hearst
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and
Black Butterfly Publishing
Date of Publication: October 4, 2016
Number of pages: approx. 300
Word Count: 75,000
Cover Artist: Marcela Bolivar,
Designer Shawn T. King
An ancient feud. A threat from the Vatican. Two lovers caught in the middle.
Nick never wanted to live forever, and he certainly didn’t want to join the Order of the Sinistra Dei. Unfortunately, before he’s able to get used to the idea of immortality, the High Judge from the Vatican arrives in New Orleans to investigate the strange events of Fat Tuesday. If Nick doesn’t play his cards right, his forever could be a whole lot shorter.
Marin, a relatively new immortal, is forced to serve as assistant to the High Judge while he investigates the alleged crimes of those she holds most dear. She’ll do what she has to do to protect her clutch. However, her efforts bring her closer to facing the executioner’s blade.
As their world spins out of control, Marin and Nick struggle to reconcile past hurts and hold onto their budding relationship. New enemies, new abilities, and new desires threaten to tear them apart. It isn’t long before they realize love can’t heal all.
Loving someone means you want the best for them...but what happens when what’s best isn’t you?
Feast of Mercy is the second book of the Order of the Sinistra Dei series, an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance like no other. If you like mysterious supernatural creatures, conflict-ridden romance and a lot of heat, then you’ll love this series.
Nick expected sounds from her—moans, maybe a scream or two. What he didn’t expect was for her to bolt upright and let out a blood curdling scream. Déjà-f**king-vu.
“Get out,” Marin shouted.
For a brief terrifying second, Nick thought she spoke to him, then a male voice spoke from the door.
“Marin, I require your services,” a man said from behind him.
About the Author:
Kathryn M. Hearst is a southern girl with a love of the dark and strange. She has been a storyteller her entire life, as a child, she took people watching to new heights by creating back stories of complete strangers. Besides writing, she has a passion for shoes, vintage clothing, antique British cars, music, musicians and all things musical (including theater). Kate lives in central Florida with her chocolate lab, Jolene; and two rescue pups, Jagger and Roxanne. She is a self-proclaimed nerd, raising a nerdling.
The Order of the Sinistra Dei is her first series and includes titles, Feast of the Epiphany and Feast of Mercy. Kate's novel, The Spirit Tree, won a publishing contract with Kindle Press through the Kindle Scout contest. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies.
Where are you from?
I am a rare third generation Floridian, born and raised near Orlando.
Tell us your latest news?
I recently received release dates for Feast of All Souls and Feast of the Assumption, books three and four in the Order of the Sinistra Dei series. It’s terrifying and thrilling to know the series will be completed mid-2017.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing fiction in the mid-90s, then life happened. In 2014, I made the decision to put my first career on hold and homeschool my youngest child. After spending years working long hours, raising three kids, and completing graduate school, I had way too much time on my hands.
My closest friends, who were probably tired of listening to me whine, encouraged me to finish the book I’d started years before. I dug the original manuscript out, finished it in three weeks, and have completed six novels to date.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been a technical writer and grant writer most of my professional life. I considered myself an author when I won a contract through the Kindle Scout program with The Spirit Tree. There’s something surreal about receiving an advance.
What inspired you to write your first book?
At the risk of sounding like a complete dork, I started Feast of the Epiphany while in a Vampire the Masquerade role play group—think Dungeons & Dragons with vampires.
I’ve always been intrigued with the psychology of immortality. Many humans who make it to old age suffer from dementia and other cognitive issues. What sort of illnesses or neuroses would develop over centuries? What personality types could handle such a long existence? Most vampires in fiction are type A, domineering types. Could someone with a need to control really handle that amount of change?
The Catholic elements came in on a whim. I converted to Catholicism as an adult and spent a lot of time researching the faith and lore. There are many facts and conspiracy theories surrounding the Church’s quest for power and influence throughout history. Why not use immortals to help further their cause?
Do you have a specific writing style?
Before I published my first book, I would have said no. However, my critiques and reviews describe my writing as “crisp” or “clipped.” I don’t spend a lot of time on description, instead I focus on the dialogue and character interactions.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something that tied into the Catholic lore in the book and had meaning to the story. The books in the series are named after feast days. The Feast of Mercy celebrates divine forgiveness through confession and communion. In the novel, several characters experience forgiveness by owning their mistakes.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This book is a coming of age story. The main characters, Nick and Marin, are forced into situations that stretch them to their breaking points. Their abilities to adapt, forgive, and love are tested.
How much of the book is realistic?
Feast of Mercy is an urban fantasy, with strong romantic elements. The book is set in New Orleans, one of my favorite places. I wanted the setting to be as realistic as possible, though I took major creative license with the interior of the Old Ursuline Convent. The characters are immortal, but if you take away their supernatural abilities, they’re as flawed and vulnerable as any human. In many ways, this story could have been told without the paranormal elements, but it’s so much more fun with them.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The characters are under investigation by a representative from the Vatican. I don’t know anyone who has been in such an extraordinary situation. However, we have all felt judged, thrown into situations that we aren’t prepared to handle.
The character, Nick King, is largely based on my friend Tony. The youngest of a large Italian family, he lived a charmed life as the owner of a bar in New Orleans. To the world, both men are sexy and self-confident, but internally, they’re riddled with regret and doubt. I dedicated the book to Tony, who lost his lifelong battle with mental illness. Nick is my way of keeping a tiny piece of him alive and well behind a piano in his favorite city.
What books have most influenced your life most?
This is a tough question! The book that had the biggest impact on my life is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Not a fun blog kind of answer, but it changed the way I thought about life.
The book chronicles Frankl’s experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz and describes personality traits of those whose spirits weren’t broken in the horrendous conditions. Those who had a meaningful purpose in life were far more likely to adapt to life in the concentration camp.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have a few, but Anne Rice sits at the top of my list. Her take on vampire lore as an expression of human strengths and frailties has always resonated with me. I love the idea of creating powerful creatures who suffer in meaningful ways.
What book are you reading now?
Dumbfounded by Matt Rothschild. It’s the story of a wealthy, sexually confused, Jewish boy growing up in Manhattan. The author has a way of drawing you in with humor, then sucker punching you with a tender moment. His crazy cast of characters makes it possible for the author to tackle some tough subjects honestly and openly, without coming across preachy.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m obsessed with Meg Collett. She hooked me with her End of Days series, and I’m loving her Fear University series as well. These are the kinds of books that I read when I need to unwind.
What are your current projects?
I’m putting the finishing touches on the sequel to The Spirit Tree, entitled the Twelve Spirits of Christmas. It’s a paranormal romance filled with family drama, murder, and ghosts.
I’m about halfway through Feast of All Souls, book three in the Sinistra Dei series. It features Lysander and Joliette’s love story, along with the continuing struggles of the immortals in New Orleans.
What would you like my readers to know?
I’d like to take a moment to thank anyone who has taken time from their lives to read my books. I’m constantly amazed and humbled by the messages I receive from my readers. Drop me an email, reach out on social media, I’m always happy to hear from you.
1 $50 Amazon Gift Card