Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and
bestselling author of more than 100 books with over two million copies of her
books in print in the
Her latest novel The
Black Midnight is a historical true crime romantic suspense novel based
on the true stories of the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper and the Midnight
Assassin, a serial killer who terrorized 1880s
When she’s not spinning
modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an
ancestor or two into her historical, true crime, and cozy mystery novels as
well. Recent historical releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s
Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They now make their home just north of
Dear Readers, I have loved every book that Kathleen has written. Each time I read a new one, I think to myself, this is her best one yet. And it is always true. The Black Midnight, true to form, is my favorite right now. It is a historical romantic suspense novel. It hits all the bases for me. Authentic historical details. A romance that can never be. A suspense story that I didn’t figure out until near the end of the book. Her characters are full-blown with both virtue and vices. They really grabbed my heart and attention and kept me reading every minute I had available each day. You don’t want to miss this one.
Welcome back, Kathleen. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I’m sure I wanted to be everything from a horse trainer to a ballerina depending on the day when I was little. However, when I was in college, I thought I would go on to law school after I graduated. Instead, marriage and family delayed my entry into the legal field for about twenty years.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Usually it takes about three weeks from start to finish to write a 65,000 word novel. The first two weeks is spent writing the first ½ of the book and the last week, the rest.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I rarely know the theme, so that’s a hard question. I start with characters and setting and let them tell me what happens. That sounds simplistic, but that’s really how it works for me most of the time.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I work full-time as a paralegal in a law office, so my writing happens on weekends and evenings during the week.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Ha! I’m not, at least with any regularity. But I try! Though I prefer a desktop, I write on a laptop so I can be flexible and spend time with my husband while I’m working on a book.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
For me, characters are what makes a book. So give an interesting character doing something out of his comfort zone, and I’m hooked.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Convincing myself that I can actually do justice to the synopsis I gave my editor! I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to second guessing my ideas. At the end of the book, once I’ve written THE END, I’m always happy with the results. But the beginning? Not so much. That’s why the first half takes 2/3 of my writing time.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
count! It’s more than 100. That’s like asking which is my favorite child! The
one I like best right now is my newest, The Black Midnight (historical
true crime/romantic suspense). But I also really like The Pirate Bride
(historical romance with pirates) and Firefly Summer (contemporary
Do you have a favorite character?
I have a few favorites. Anna Finch, the heroine of Anna Finch and the Hired Gun ranks in my top three. I also love my pirate heroine in Pirate Bride and my feisty heiress turned reluctant nanny in The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. Oh…then there’s….sigh…there are so many!
Tell us about the story.
Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of
of a second chance at catching the man who terrorized
Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before
they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From
Please give us a peek at the first page of the book.
first chapter of the book is available on preview at Amazon. May I please break
from protocol here and give you one of my favorite scenes of the book???? The
only things you need to know to understand this scene is that Kellum is a
detective from Scotland Yard and Isaiah is the Texan Pinkerton detective hero
and he’s been instructed NOT to wear cowboy boots to
Excerpt from Chapter 22 of The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo
A meeting with Queen
“You may speak freely here,” Annie told him.
“Very well, it concerns your relative, Prince Albert Victor.”
Her attention went to the prime minister who showed no reaction. Then she turned to Kellum.
“I see.” Annie folded her hands in front of her. The man she knew as Uncle Eddy, that the public called Prince Eddy, had a rather interesting reputation, to put it mildly. Still, murder was well beyond anything she would expect of him. “Go on.”
“There have been some rumors...”
He paused, obviously uncomfortable with the topic. Annie wondered if he’d drawn the short straw in the competition to see which of them would be speaking today. Or rather, which would not.
“That is it has been whispered, quietly of course and certainly not intimated in the press or amongst those who might speak publicly...”
Annie shook her head. “If you could just say it, that would be most helpful, sir. I assure you I am not the delicate sort, and I prefer a man who speaks his mind plainly and clearly.”
Kellum gave Simon a helpless look, prompting the police officer to nod. “What Lord Brixton is saying is that there is a theory that the prince could be the killer—this Jack the Ripper--that we are looking for.”
Lord Brixton. Yes, she remembered him now. Papa hadn’t particularly cared for him.
“I-I-I am not advancing that theory,” Mr. Kellum stammered. “However sordid or false, which it likely is, what I am saying is that it is something that has been spoken about, though not publicly. At least not in the newspapers. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.”
He looked around to the other advisors, and they all nodded. Then he returned his attention to Annie. “If we did not mention it,” he amended. “Our hope is that this investigation might prove that the prince is innocent of any atrocities. Were it to be found otherwise, I do not know how we would manage to tell Her Majesty.”
“So she hasn’t heard these rumors?” Annie asked. “Are you certain? I have found that the Queen is quite intelligent and generally well informed, even about rumors. Nothing gets past her, so do not underestimate her knowledge on this subject.”
“We have heard these rumors.” Granny swept into the blue room with a sea of courtiers following in her wake. “And we are much distressed.” She focused on Annie. “Thank you for the compliment, kitten. However, there must be no preferential treatment for Eddy. I want him properly investigated and I will not abide any editing of the facts.”
“Yes ma’am,” Annie said as she bowed to her grandmother.
She turned to inspect the men in the room. “Prime Minister, we did not expect to see you here.”
Lord Salisbury cleared his throat, his hands clasped behind him. “I am here on an unofficial basis, ma’am. What concerns the nation, concerns me.”
She held his gaze then nodded. “Yes, of course.”
Silence fell. After a moment, her steely gaze landed on Isaiah.
Annie held her breath. The Texan had executed a perfect bow when she entered the room and so far had followed all the rules of protocol he’d only just learned a few minutes earlier.
“I was, Your Majesty,” he told her. “Though I have recently taken up lawyering.”
“An unfortunate turn of events,” she said. “We’ll not need a lawyer here today, thus we hope you have retained some of the knowledge that you once possessed when you actually were a detective.”
Annie detected the slightest hint of a smile beneath Isaiah’s serious expression. “Yes ma’am. I believe that I have.”
Granny continued to study him. Unlike the other men in the room, Isaiah did not cower under the queen’s icy presence. Rather, he appeared ready to continue their conversation should Her Majesty wish to do so.
“What else have you retained from the time when you were a detective, young man?” Granny glanced down at his footwear and then back up at Isaiah as she waited for his response.
“I have learned that patience is a virtue.” He paused. “And that what is meant to be will be.”
One dark brow lifted. “And what cannot be?”
a little longer, ma’am,” he said in his
Annie wasn’t sure whether to gasp or laugh. She decided it best to do neither.
The room fell into silence. Even the courtiers had stopped their whispering. Every eye was on the queen and the Texan who towered over her.
Finally she spoke. “Have you made the acquaintance of William Cody, Mr. Joplin?”
“We were pleased with that performance.” Her gaze slid to the floor and then returned to his eyes. “We were gifted with footwear much like his cowboys wore. Unfortunately, the ornamentation on them has rendered the boots quite decorative and unfit for our stables.” She paused. “We would much prefer a pair like yours.”
“Ma’am, with your permission I could see that you have them,” he said. “It would be my honor.”
The queen never broke her even gaze or showed any indication of her thoughts on the matter. Then, finally she offered a very slight dip of her head. “We shall allow it. However, we must wonder at the advisability of wearing such footwear meant for the stables on our valuable carpets. Do we understand one another?”
Annie held her breath in anticipation of what the detective would say. Knowing Isaiah, it could be anything from a polite response to another of his cheeky comments.
After a moment, he nodded. “Yes, ma’am. We do.”
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
My website at http://www.kathleenybarbo.com contains all my book news and buy links, a list of all my social media contacts, and much more!
Readers, here are links to the book.Black Midnight - Christioanbook.com
comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these
instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least
the state or territory or country if outside
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: