Monday, May 05, 2008

Guest - Kendra Leigh Castle

This week we've invited author Kendra Leigh Castle to visit Star-Crossed. I had the opportunity to read and review her new book, CALL OF THE HIGHLAND MOON (hope you'll read the review posted today :D) and gave it a recommended rating.

Kendra Leigh Castle, a Northern New York native, started out stealing her mother's novels and finally progressed to writing her own. She now lives in California with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets. Visit her at www.kendraleighcastle.com.

In the haunting Scottish Highlands, one werewolf destined to be his clan's next Alpha decides to chance fate and run away to Upstate New York. Running into trouble and wounded in his wolf form, he never expects to find his soul mate so far from home. Can their love survive against impossible odds? Only the full moon will tell...

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My taste in romance has always run to the paranormal, spanning everything from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (“I have crossed oceans of time to find you”) to The Princess Bride (“As you wish!”). So when I set out to write my debut novel, Call of the Highland Moon, my goal was to write a story that blended classic creatures of the night some of the magic and humor I’m drawn to. The only question, really, was what sort of creature my hero would be. Werewolf? Vampire? Flesh-eating zombie? Um, okay, maybe not that last one. Though I did once write a love scene while trying to ignore the fact that my husband was watching City of the Dead with the volume up really high. Anyway, fortunately for me, the choice was taken out of my hands when my hero showed up of his own accord in my somewhat overheated imagination. And even luckier, he bore a strong resemblance to some choice pictures of Gerard Butler, minus his shirt, that I may or may not have admired a few (hundred) times.

Shapeshifters have always fascinated me. I’m certainly not one to turn my nose up at vampires…they have their own dark, elegant appeal, to which I’ve never been immune. But the guy impatiently tapping his foot and looking at his watch in my mind’s eye was definitely not a vampire. What he was was a big, muscular, slightly shaggy Scotsman with a slashing scar across one eye, a man who carried himself with raw power and animal grace. A man who kept looking at me like, “Aren’t you going to get going on this sometime in the next millennium?” The sexy Scot, of course, turned out to be Gideon MacInnes, future Alpha of the MacInnes Pack. And as any writer will tell you, once a hero arrives and starts with the glaring and foot tapping, he tends not to leave until you’ve given him his story. As much fun as Gideon was to look at, the dirty looks finally wore me down, and I got to work.

The plot of Call of the Highland Moon, in the end, was all thanks to Gideon. Well, his last name, specifically. The MacInneses have a wonderful history, as all the Scottish clans do. This particular history, though, involves the Western Highlands, a remote coastal region that worked perfectly for the location of my pack’s estate. It also involves the Stone of Destiny, which was something I couldn’t resist investigating, and which turned out to be the center of the MacInnes Pack’s existence…and the gateway to a past they can’t possibly imagine. I added my own fantasy twist to a legendary relic, and the MacInnes Wolves, Guardians of the Stone, were born. Right on time, Carly Silver showed up with a romance novel in one hand and a takeout menu in the other, pointing at Gideon and all but begging to be his heroine, and the rest of the story of how Gideon and she find their happily ever after against seemingly insurmountable odds is, should you choose to open the book and accompany them on their journey, yours to enjoy.

Thanks to Lynda for inviting me to be a guest here today! I’ll be in to chat and answer questions, so please leave me a comment. Tomorrow I’ll randomly choose one commenter to receive a signed copy of Call of the Highland Moon, so if you like free stuff (this is me, raising my hand), I hope you say hello. Thanks for stopping by!

Kendra

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11 comments:

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hey Kendra,
Just stopping by to say hi and to recommend your book to anyone who likes the idea of waking up with a big, sexy, naked man in her bed! Whoa!
Cheryl

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for the recommendation:-) And for an idea of what might be nice to wake up to, everyone, check out Friday's post on the blog I participate in with the other Sourcebooks paranormal authors, www.wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com. I found a very nice picture featuring some very tight pants!

Marie Force said...

Hi Kendra,
Great post. Looking forward to reading the book, especially after Cheryl's recommendation!!
Marie

Jennifer Y. said...

Hello!

Wonderful post! Lately I have been going through a shapeshifter reading phase (I seem to go through reading moods) and am loving it.

Your book sounds so good and loved reading how you came up with the plot. I will have to look for it.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi, Marie and Jennifer! Thanks:-) And I know what you mean about reading moods, Jennifer...I bounce from Regencies to sexy paranormals to medievals, depending. Julie Garwood's historicals are still my "comfort food" for books! Glad you're in a shapeshifter phase these days:-)

Jennifer Y. said...

Julie Garwood's historicals are still my "comfort food" for books!

Same here!!! She was the first romance author I remember reading.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Kendra, nothing like those sexy wolf men! Especially in Scotland. Couldn't resist and wrote a wolfie shifter novella of my own recently.
Wishing you big success!

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Savanna! Thanks so much for the good wishes! Good luck with your novella, too:-) And yeah, there's nothing like a guy with strong animal instincts!

Jennifer, that's awesome:-) I think I've read all of 'em at least ten times...my favorites are The Bride and The Prize, though they're all fantastic. What are your faves?

Jennifer Y. said...

I have so many Garwood faves...Saving Grace, Ransom, The Gift, Prince Charming (love this one and wish she'd write a follow-up for the little boy), The Wedding, etc. I could go on and on. One of my fave characters though was Cole Claybourne...I enjoyed his story, but I think I have fantasized about him so much before it came out that I was kind of expecting more...LOL.

Hmm...I don't think I read The Prize.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Morning, everyone! Looks like Jennifer Y. has won a signed copy of Call of the Highland Moon! Jennifer, email me at kendraleighcastle@yahoo.com with your address and I'll get that to you asap:-) Thanks to everyone who commented!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Congrats Jennifer Y! You'll love the book :D