I’m delighted to be a part of Forever’s Paranormal Blog Tour featuring authors Kendra Leigh Castle and Kristen Callihan.
Kendra Leigh Castle is the paranormal romance author of: CALL OF THE HIGHLAND MOON (Sourcebooks, May/2008), DARK HIGHLAND FIRE (Sourcebooks, October/2008), WILD HIGHLAND MAGIC (Sourcebooks, May/2009), and in 2011 she made her Forever debut with DARK AWAKENING. Her current release is MIDNIGHT RECKONING.
Forever Romance introduces debut author Kristen Callihan and the upcoming release of her dark, atmospheric paranormal romance, FIRELIGHT.
Thanks to both ladies and the good folks at Grand Central Publishing, I have 3 sets of books (one MIDNIGHT RECKONING and one FIRELIGHT) to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines.
Kendra and Kristen have answered a few questions about their writing.
Mason - What kind of research did you do for the book?
Kendra - Fortunately, there wasn’t much research to do for MIDNIGHT RECKONING. I had to do a fair amount for the first book, DARK AWAKENING, because I was building the world, so it was nice to have it already established this time around…I could just jump in! That’s the lovely thing about writing fictional creatures. I get to invent a lot of details.
Kristen - All sorts. Some mundane (yet fascinating to me), such as researching Victorian London and its culture, finding maps of The British Museum, to many hours looking up types of carriages, Victorian slang, and proper forms of address for peers. And then there were some subjects that had me wondering what an outsider would think if they happened to see my Google searches. Those would be lovely topics such as: what is the best type of knife to slice open a human throat, how to stitch up a knife wound, 19th using century medicine, demons, immortality curses, and pyrokinetics. Erm, those were also a bit more fun to write.
Mason - What was the best/worst thing about writing?
Kendra - The best and worst things about writing this book were the same as they are for all of my books. Worst thing: By the time I was finished, I had been through a lot of late nights and several bouts of writer’s block, and I was exhausted. I spent a week fairly zombie-fied before I felt normal again. Best thing: Holding the completed story in my hands, thumbing through the pages, and falling in love with the characters I’d created all over again.
Kristen - The absolute best thing about writing is getting sucked into a world of your own creation. When you’re really writing, it’s a natural high, much akin to that giddy, heady feeling of falling in love. It’s what brings me back every time. The worst for me is revisions. This is when everything feels like it’s falling apart, the plot makes no sense, your editor and/or agent is telling you all the things that don’t work, and the characters are sitting there staring at you as if to say, “hurry up and figure it all out, will you?” But getting it right during revisions has its own sort of thrill, so it really isn’t too terrible.
Mason - How would you encourage someone who’s never read your genre to give it a try?
Kendra - I usually just tell people that the stories I write, at their heart, are fairy tales for grown-ups. If they’ve ever loved a fairy tale, then it would be well worth it for them to try a paranormal romance.
Kristen - An excellent question! :) There is a persistent stereotype that romance is fluffy, sappy, thinly-veiled porn for women. When you combine that with paranormal, you get a lot of eye rolling. Some people like to label it as lowbrow entertainment. Of course, like most notions that spring from ignorance, the solution is to try out something before condemning it. Romance isn’t what most people think it is. Romance writers are penning stories with depth, wonderful character development, and kick-ass plots.
My other standard reaction to anyone who says that they do not want to read a paranormal or a romance is to point out that they probably already have. Many classic literature involves paranormal themes and love stories. Even Shakespeare uses all sorts of ghosts, witches, and sprits in his works. And why not? Love, adventure, and the mysteries of the unknown are highly attractive themes. After all, to paraphrase Shakespeare, there are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamt of in our philosophy.
Kendra and Kristen, thank you both for guest blogging. I enjoyed learning more about your writing and especially your take on encouraging others to read your genre.
A bit of background on Kendra. She now lives in Maryland with her husband, their three children, two high-maintenance Pekingese, and one enormous Siberian cat.
For more information on her and her writing, visit her website at http://kendraleighcastle.com/.
Meanwhile, Kristen is a child of the 80's, which means she's worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A life-long daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance.
Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington D.C. area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog-the fish can fend for themselves. For more on Kristen and her writing, visit her website at http://www.kristencallihan.com/
Here’s a description of MIDNIGHT RECKONING: In the world that lives by moonlight, vampires aren't the only creatures who create dynasties. The second paranormal romance in the Kendra Leigh Castle's Dark Dynasties series takes readers into a wild world where werewolves--and passion--reign, to share a story of forbidden love.
Wild and passionate by nature, Lyra Black is not just any werewolf. She's the future leader of the powerful pack of the Thorn-if she can stay alive long enough to inherit the title. One of the Cait Sith bloodline of vampire cat-shifters, Jaden Harrison has no interest in the wars plaguing the world of night. But when he rescues Lyra from a violent attack, they're both captured by an insatiable desire that threatens to overwhelm them and bind them together for eternity . . . just as ancient enemies prepare to strike. And when they do, the Thorn and the Cait Sith-and Lyra and Jaden's love-may never recover from the deadly blow . . .
Here’s a description of FIRELIGHT: Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
Now the giveaway guidelines. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your subject line should read, “Win Paranormal Romance.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. In addition, please be advised winners are subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, you will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail. (Winners here have always be great about letting me know if they have already won the book somewhere else so another winner can be selected. However, this announcement is something that has to be passed along from the publisher). And, just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at one of the 3 sets of from the Paranormal Romance Tour (MIDNIGHT RECKONING (ISBN: 978160941838) and FIRELIGHT (ISBN: 9781455508594) will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Do you look to see what genre a book is first or read the synopsis? Thanks so much for stopping by.