Kathy Kimbray, author of “A Shifting of Stars” – Friday Favorites

For our last Friday Favorites interview, we spoke to Hanna Jameson, author of The Last!

This week we’re talking to author Kathy Kimbray, author of A Shifting of Stars. 

I reviewed this new release earlier in the week. Here’s my review.

Kathy Kimbray headshot.jpg

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Kathy, and I live with my husband in Sydney, Australia. I love to read and write, binge watch tv shows, dance, eat out, learn new things and waste hours in cafes talking to friends.

What was your inspiration for A Shifting of Stars?

It was a combination of wanting to write a fantasy series, having an idea for a plot twist that I’ve hoped to include in a book for years and wanting to assemble a cast of characters who are going through their own personal challenges.

Do you keep to a regular writing schedule?

No! I write whenever the mood strikes. I can write a lot in a few days, then all of a sudden I don’t write for a week!

In terms of your writing style, do you outline your story ahead of time, or are you more of a “pantser,” coming up with the story as you write?

I used to be a combination of the two, but now I lean more toward outlining. Once I have a solid outline in place, I write a lot quicker.

Who was the hardest character in A Shifting of Stars to write, and why?

Vogel. I knew from the beginning that he was going to be one of the more complex characters—and I knew the reasons why—but the reader is obviously looking at him through Meadow’s eyes. And Meadow is only getting bits and pieces as she is trying to work him out. So it was quite a challenge to think about Vogel’s motivations and his history and portray that in a truthful way, despite how he may come across at times. It took a lot of writing and rewriting, but I am happy with the way he turned out in the finished book!

What types of books are you drawn to?

I love to read any type of book that makes me feel something. It could be contemporary, thriller, fantasy, horror, chick lit, dystopian, literary, non-fiction… anything!

If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?

JK Rowling, George R. R. Martin, and John E. Sarno

Which classic or popular book do you hate?


I have tried so many times to read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I’ve never been able to finish it. I loved , so this had always annoyed me!

How do you keep track of the books you’ve finished and books you want to read?

I have no system. I have a few books on my bedside table, and I change these around every now and then.

What are your five favorite books, and why?


The Dead-Tossed Waves/The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan because her writing is beautiful and the plot is intense.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne because it’s laugh-out-loud funny!


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson because her words are like poetry and her characters come alive on the pages.


The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan because I’ve read it so many times. It’s a heart-wrenching book about relationships and how the past affects the present.


Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice because it’s an old favorite of mine. I love how it’s more than just a vampire book.

Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.

“There were once two sisters who shared the same room,
the same clothes,
the same thoughts at the same moment.
These two sisters did not have a mother
but they had each other.
The older sister walked ahead of the younger
so the younger one always knew where to go.
The older one took the younger to the river
where they floated on their backs
like dead men.
The older girl would say:
Dunk your head under a few inches,
then open your eyes and look up at the sun
The younger girl:
I’ll get water up my nose
The older:
C’mon, do it
and so the younger girl did it
and her whole world filled with light.”
― Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere

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A Shifting of Stars (Of Stars, #1) by Kathy Kimbray – A Review


A Shifting of Stars (Of Stars, #1) by Kathy Kimbray
Fantasy | Young Adult
Released May 28, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

I was fortunate enough to be sent a free e-ARC of A Shifting of Stars from the author, along with the opportunity to participate in her cover reveal.

A Shifting of Stars is the first book in a young adult fantasy trilogy. Our heroine in the story is Meadow Sircha, who watched her mother die from a wilting sickness as their emperor squandered the money of their kingdom instead of bringing life-saving medicine into their communities.

One night, Meadow takes a chance and shows up at the Gathering of Wordsmiths, an underground poetry/story community, and gets in front of the crowd to take a stand against the emperor and his famed gladiator fights. When she is finished, another member of the audience is inspired, and follows her onto the stage, sharing his own tale of misfortune at the hands of the empire.

Their cries for revolution are overheard by the emperor’s son, Prince Malthe, who happens to be traveling past. Meadow is arrested alongside the owner of the establishment where she spoke out, and they are taken to the city to be imprisoned.

From there, Meadow is rescued by members of the Emperor’s palace staff. Before she can get out of the castle, however, she discovers that Prince Malthe has a very dark secret. She also finds out, much to her horror, that her father has been arrested at Prince Malthe’s request.

As Meadow escapes the palace’s walls, she is aided by two boys that she recognizes from the Gathering of Wordsmiths – Vogel and Casper. They promise to help Meadow free her father, along with Meadow’s best friend, Anai. The journey is a long one, and they have to pass through the Sparselands, a forest that is generally avoided due to unknown dark magic.

I was hooked from the first chapter, as I love books that begin in desolate or dark settings. We first meet Meadow as she makes her way to the establishment where she wants to share her story, walking along streets where…

“…buildings cringe with moss. Walkways glisten with dirty puddles. Teetering balconies slouch from walls with garments strung between casements like cobwebs.”

Another aspect that is revealed about Meadow early on is that she has lost her mother, something that made me feel empathy towards her character. As I’ve written about before, my own Mother died nine years ago, and when I read about a character expressing the same feelings I’ve been dealing with all these years, it always serves to attach me to them.

“…I need to release my sorrow. To reclaim my spirit. To make things better. Since losing Mother, I’ve barely slept, never mind being able to rise with the sun. I’ve missed so many days at the market that my father has often picked up my slack, working longer than he should to bring in more coin.”

That last quote – I know that pain well. After my mother died, I missed days and days of work, I struggled to get out of bed, and it was like the whole world lost meaning to me for weeks.

I enjoyed the characters in the story, although Meadow’s love interest was predictable. While I could have done without that budding romance, the rest of the story was great.

I won’t be giving any spoilers away in this review, but I was absolutely not expecting the ending! I was shocked by it, but it was a twist that I haven’t encountered often, so it was refreshing. I can’t wait to read the next book in the trilogy!

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