Saturday, March 16, 2013

Author Kendra Leigh Castle Visits

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Kendra Leigh Castle to Thoughts in Progress today. Kendra has recently released the fourth installment in her Dark Dynasties series, Immortal Craving.

Kendra had been scheduled to visit in February but due to unforeseeable circumstances was unable to. I’m delighted that she stopped by today and has answered some questions about her series and her writing. 

Thanks to Kendra and Jennifer at Forever, I have 2 copies of Immortal Craving to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines. Here’s a synopsis of Immortal Craving:
    Wild, uncontrollable, and powerful, the lion-shifting Rakshasa were hunted down by vicious rival vampires who feared their dark, magical abilities. Somehow one survived, and now, after centuries of hiding, Tasmin Singh reemerges as fierce and fearless as ever at the door of the Lilim queen, seeking answers . . . and sanctuary.
    The human best friend to a vampire queen, Bay Harper traded her quiet, comfortable life for a world filled with immortal assassins, warring werewolves . . . and this hauntingly sexy shifter. Only Bay's gentle touch can subdue Tasmin's inner demons, even as he brings out a passion and sensuality she never imagined she could feel.
    But when a bloody struggle threatens to tear them apart, can Bay risk everything on her faith in him-or will his dark side be stronger than even their all-consuming desire?

If you’re new to this wickedly sexy paranormal series, here’s a brief description of it before Kendra answers questions.

The Dark Dynasties ….. Blood is power. Desire is destiny.
    Welcome to the world of night, where an entire civilization lives and breathes just out of sight of our own. For thousands of years, the great vampire dynasties have ruled the lesser bloodlines with an iron fist, taking what they want, when they want it, and feuding amongst themselves over petty intrigues and imagined slights.  In the roving vampire courts of the powerful, your mark, a physical manifestation of the bloodline you were sired into, is your destiny. Lowblood or highblood, nothing can change a vampire’s place in this arcane society. But change is coming to those who have dominion over the dark….and as new dynasties rise and ancient powers fall, only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same again.

The other books in the series include: Dark Awakening (July 2011), Midnight Reckoning (Jan 2012), and Shadow Rising (Aug 2012).

Mason - What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What made it so special?

The first book I remember reading on my own and loving was the enormous collection of Disney stories. I still have it, though it's pretty beat. I was three, and completely thrilled that I could read it myself. Fantasy, fairy tales, talking was all right up my alley. Some things don't change! The first romance I remember reading and loving was A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. This was during the time travel romance heyday back in the 80s, and the whole concept just really captured my imagination. That was my "gateway book," I guess you could call it. I was hooked.

Mason - How did you come to write paranormal romance?

I never really considered writing anything else, honestly. I've always loved magic and fairy tales, and as I got older, vampires and werewolves and various sorts of hot men who go bump in the night. I write what I love!

Mason - Of your books, do you have a favorite or at least a favorite character and why?

Oh, I can't pick a favorite book...they're all different, and I love them all in different ways. It's the same with characters, though some are more fun to write than others. Damien Tremaine, the hero of Shadow Rising, is definitely dear to my heart! His dialoguecover still makes me laugh, and considering how many times I have to go through a book before publication, that's quite a feat. But I love a mouthy rogue who's only barely redeemable, and he is certainly that. Lyra was probably the heroine I had the most fun writing of the series...she also made me laugh a lot, and I love how confident she is. And mouthy. I think there's a theme here...

Mason - What inspired you to write the Dark Dynasties series?

That was really a combination of a specific request and inspiration! I had an editor (oddly enough, not the one who bought the series) ask if I would try my hand at a vampire romance. I only wanted to do it if I could come up with a unique angle, which is difficult considering how many vampire books are out there. But I kept thinking that a vampire society should be some sort of cross between medieval aristocracy and, say, the mob. With tattoos. It all really gelled, though, when I was pretending I might actually work out one night and instead ended up watching a History Channel documentary on Cleopatra's doomed sister, Arsinöe. I thought, "What if she wasn't actually killed? What if a god or goddess stepped in at the last minute and made her a vampire instead, and she ruled a...a DYNASTY?" That's how the Dark Dynasties were born.

Mason - Have you ever had anything strange or unusual occur at a book signing, author’s event or such?

The only unusual thing that happens at those is that I get dressed up, unfortunately! My lack of sweat pants is bizarre, but not all that interesting.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Plenty, I'm happy to say! I have another Harlequin Nocturne coming out March 5th, The Wolf's Surrender. It's a standalone werewolf book, and was a lot of fun to write. Then in April, The Demon's Song comes out from Entangled. It's the first in my Hearts of the Fallen series, and spins off of a book I wrote a couple of years ago that came out through Harlequin, Renegade Angel. It's a series about a bunch of snarky, sexy fallen angels. This is the stuff I live for! There will probably be six books in that series...the second one will come out this summer. I'd also like to finish off the Dark Dynasties series with one more book, and hope to get that done this year. So I have a lot on my plate, which is just how I like it.

Kendra, thanks for stopping by and answering these questions for me. I especially like the way the Dark Dynasties series came about. ‘What ifs’ can turn into some amazing results.

Kendra was born and raised in the far and frozen reaches of Northern New York, where there was plenty of time to cultivate her love of reading thanks to the six-month-long winters. Sneaking off with selections from her mother’s vast collection of romance novels came naturally and fairly early, and a lifelong love of the Happily Ever After was born. After graduating from SUNY Oswego (where it also snowed a lot) with a teaching degree, Kendra ran off with a handsome young Navy fighter pilot and has somehow accumulated three children, three dogs, and one enormous cat during their many moves.

While stationed in a remote corner of the Nevada desert, Kendra penned her first romance, and a career often spent working in fuzzy slippers and pajamas was born. Her work has garnered both critical praise and award nominations, but the best part has been connecting with readers who share her love of dark romance (not to mention heroes with sharp, pointed teeth). 

Kendra currently lives in Maryland, and can usually be found curled up with her laptop and yet another cup of coffee working on her next book. She loves to hear from her readers, and can be contacted via email or her Facebook page. For more on Kendra and her writing, visit her website.

Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Immortal Craving.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Immortal Craving is 8 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, March 23.

Thanks so much for visiting today. Do you remember the first book you read and fell in love with? Was it a paranormal, romance, mystery or combination of several genres?


  1. Kendra, thanks again for guest blogging and sharing this look at your writing. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Kendra.

    Kendra - I think it's really interesting that your interest in romances started with books you read as a child. And that you took such a creative and innovative approach to creating your own romance series is even more fascinating. I admire people who create complete worlds as you did and I wish you success.

  3. It was a romance by Kathleen Woodiwiss I do believe about pirates.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.