Red Pencil Thursday Volunteer is Now Published!

I’m thrilled to share that one of our RPT volunteers has crossed over from aspiring to published! Please welcome Kinley Baker back to Read, Write, Love along with her debut title RUINED!

Shadows, Scheming and Slippers

Ruined by Kinley Baker

Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.

Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.

But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.

Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.


A love of scandal in the Court inspired Ruined. But more so, three words. Ruined is a wicked tale of Shadows, Scheming and Slippers. I use these words to describe the story because these three things turned vague inspiration into a thriving realm. Shadows: because the Shadow Shifter people use the shadows of their Ancestor gods to shift at high speeds through the darkness. Scheming: because who doesn’t have a motive and a devious plan in this story? Slippers: because I’m awfully fond of the whole fantasy robe concept (ultimate coziness). I’ve always wondered why women should be forced to wear heels when soft satin shoes are so much more comfortable.

I always knew I’d write romance since about a year after I graduated college. I found out quickly that love transcends genre and that the realm of romance was expanding, changing, and becoming a possibility for freedom. When I wrote this trilogy, I was thinking soap opera meets the Old World, meets a little magic.

I intended to write a love story. I ended up writing a realm full of romance, heartbreak and darkness. But the story is always about the characters. Jessa, a Healer, one healing away from sacrificing her life to save a patient, and Vale, a rebel ruler newly crowned, fall into a bond deeper than tradition. Their affair is frowned upon and their union is forbidden because of the Shadow Shifters’ tragic history. Vale must decide between his legacy and their love.

Sometimes a realm starts with a concept as simple as slippers, and ends with something as basic as a man who wants a woman he can’t have. Inspiration is sometimes confusing. But sometimes it’s the simple things that come together and create something entirely one’s own and its own brand of magic. What do shadows, scheming, slippers, a king, a healer, love, a devious Court, power-hungry villains, lightning and self-sacrifice have in common? Ruined.

Whether your creative hobby is writing, photography, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, or other, what’s the simplest thing that ever inspired you? For me, it was robes and slippers and their influence on the Realm of Shadows in Ruined. I just wanted everyone to wear robes. Then the story turned into so much more.

BIO: Kinley Baker read her first romance novel at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at


“You.” Fury burned hot under Jessa’s skin as she glared at Vale. “Who do you think you are, demanding I come live in this castle? You can’t just order your guards to enter a woman’s home and pack up her things.”

“Well, I did.” Vale came around the desk and propped one hip against it, more of a threatening than casual movement. “Someone tried to kill me. It makes sense that I have my Healer close by.”

She released a pent-up breath. “Why couldn’t you have explained that instead of mandating?” Silly. Her imagination had run away with her. The king needed his Healer. But the realization he didn’t want her made her angrier.

“Because I didn’t want to give you the option of saying no.”

She most definitely would have said no.

“If you would have explained your reasoning, I would have complied. Your safety and health come first, even if I—”

“Even if you what?”

“Loathe you.” She bunched her fingers into two fists, seriously tempted to hit him. For all the nonexistent pain it would inflict upon him.

“Do you?” His tone deadened with calm. “Because I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“That’s normal.” She brushed off the claim. “I saved your life.”

He moved in a blur. A true Shadow Shifter. One second he stood near his desk, the next he had her in his arms, one locked around her waist and one hand tangled in her hair. Their lips almost brushed.

“I can’t stop thinking about you.” His murmur played down her spine, leaving a tingling trail. His scent invaded her. His voice embraced her like bare skin against satin sheets.
Her heart beat fast, her pulse jumped.

She disliked him, but didn’t want him to let her go.

“Have you been thinking about me?” His soft tone feathered over her flesh.

“Only how much I dislike you.” Lust pulsed in her belly.

He pulled her head back gently by her hair, so they looked straight into each other’s eyes. Their bodies pressed tightly together. “Liar.”


Love that excerpt, Kinley! Thanks so much for dropping by to share RUINED with us! You can claim your copy right here.

Oh! Be sure to join me on the Improper Blog Tour at Brava Authors today. Of course, there’s a giveaway. Hope to see you there!

25 thoughts on “Red Pencil Thursday Volunteer is Now Published!

  1. Christine Carmichael says:

    Loved the excerpt and congratulations, how fabulous is this?

    Mia certainly helped me ‘see’ glitches in my work and it has – I hope – improved. I’ve used her advice and other comments from commentors to tune my current ms.

    Gosh, I’m doing a happy dance for you and for Mia. Woo Hoo!


    1. Mia says:

      I can’t take any credit, Christine, but I’m very proud of Kinley! She’s worked hard for this.

  2. You must stop by on Thursdays to come and see how your grasp of prose changes as your career surges forward–also to inspire those coming along behind you. Wonderful excerpt–best of luck with your launch!

    1. Kinley Baker says:

      Great suggestion, Grace! I do stop by on Thursdays, but I’ll have to make an effort to comment.

  3. Ashlyn Chase says:

    That’s wonderful, Kinley! What an inspiring story. Congratulations!

    1. Kinley Baker says:

      Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about Ruined, Ashlyn!

  4. Traci Bell says:

    Love the excerpt, Kinley!

    1. Kinley Baker says:

      Thanks, Traci! Hope you like the story as much.

  5. Kinley Baker says:

    Thanks for reading about what inspired Ruined, Sarah! Ballet flats are what Jessa wears in the very beginning of Ruined :-) They don’t call them ballet slippers, but that’s what they are.

  6. I love the excerpt! I also agree about the slippers versus heels. Give me a pair of ballet flats ANY day. lol I’m so happy that Ruined is published. I love seeing what inspired authors. :-D

  7. Kinley Baker says:

    I’m glad Red Pencil Thursday helped both of us, Saranna! Thanks for learning a little about Ruined.

  8. Yay! That’s fantastic! Woot!

    I know Red Pencil helped me put a better polish on a few things.

  9. Kinley Baker says:

    I’m thrilled you like the premise and the excerpt, Dani! Thank you for the support. A few years ago slipper shoes went into style. That was a good year :-)

  10. Kinley Baker says:

    Agreed, Pat! I was so excited when flat shoes went back in style. So many more options to choose from now. But to me, nothing beats a pair of slippers.

  11. Dani Harper says:

    Congratulations to you Kinley! Very excited for you. Ruin sounds like a winner – love the premise, and that excerpt is FABULOUS! BTW, my feet are in total agreement with the slipper thing….

  12. Kinley Baker says:

    Thanks Barbara! I’m glad you liked the excerpt!

  13. Kinley Baker says:

    Thank you, Nancy! I agree. I had such a great Red Pencil experience. I’ll always be thankful to Mia and the opportunity to learn. It inspired me to find critique partners and learn more about craft.

  14. Pat Lee says:

    I totally agree with the slippers versus heels thing. It must have been a man who invented the stilhetto. Congratulations Kinley, your world in Ruined sounds divine.

  15. Kinley Baker says:

    Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Mia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt :-)

  16. Yaay, Kinley.
    Congratulations on your book. Much success on this–and all the ones to follow.

  17. Deb says:

    Wow, this is exciting news! Congrats to you, Kinley!

  18. Barbara Britton says:

    Congratulations, Kinley! I loved your excerpt. Thanks for sharing your story concepts with us, too.

  19. Nancy says:

    Congratulations on your achievement. What a fantastic feeling! Much congratulations to you, may you have many sales in your future. Thanks also to Mia for allowing others to learn and work together helping each other achieve. What a great support system this is.

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