Hello, everyone, and many thanks to the lovely Terra for inviting me over today! I’m Kendra Leigh Castle, mother of three, Navy wife, and paranormal romance writer extraordinaire. Okay, maybe “extraordinaire” is pushing it a little (as I look down at my pink kittycat pajamas with the coffee stain on the pants), though as long as I have my caffeine in the morning and the toddler naps long enough for me to get a shower, I do all right. But I’m no goddess. Which is exactly why I wrote the heroine of my upcoming October release, Dark Highland Fire, the way I did…I wanted to tag along with an actual goddess for a little while. Well, demi-goddess, to be exact. What resulted was an adventure with one of my very favorite characters to date, Rowan an Morgaine. And did I mention she’s a flamethrowing sorceress who also drinks blood? Yeah, maybe I should explain. But first, a little background.
Dark Highland Fire is actually the sequel to my debut novel, Call of the Highland Moon, which was released this past May. Both involve men from the Clan MacInnes, a powerful pack of Highland werewolves who guard the legendary Stone of Destiny, which turns out to be a gateway to the mysterious otherworld of the Drakkyn. At the end of Gideon’s story, the Pack has only encountered one type of Drakkyn, a tribe of power-hungry dragon-shifters they’d rather not meet again. But in Dark Highland Fire, the Stone brings Gideon’s brother Gabriel trouble of an entirely different sort…and the most infuriatingly beautiful, frighteningly powerful woman he’s ever encountered.
And that’s where Rowan comes in. I love all of my characters dearly, but the moment she showed up and demanded to be written I knew she would be in a league of her own. She comes from the all-female Drakkyn tribe of the Dyadd Morgaine, descended directly from a goddess, and is the daughter chosen to be the next to rule by her mother, the Dyana Elara. Her looks, with her red hair and jade green eyes, match her abilities, which are all to do with fire. And her legendary beauty has drawn the attention of the dragon heir, which leads to a terrible attack and narrow escape, a stint as a stripper in a seedy joint in Reno (she finds it more boring than embarrassing), and finally, being dumped by her world-jumping brother (yes, brother…he’s a different story!) into the reluctant arms of Gabriel MacInnes. Rowan is none too happy about the idea that she needs protecting, and isn’t afraid to use both her power and her sharp tongue to let everyone know. But beneath the bluster, Rowan has a noble, loving heart. And her reaction to Gabriel scares her, in some ways, more than the dragon who is determined to have her at any cost.
I loved making Rowan a powerful, feminine force of nature. She’s an amazing dancer. She loves wearing dresses and has a weakness for shoes. But she must also, like the rest of her tribe, occasionally bite the necks of the willing to keep her power alive, and she’s been known to set things on fire when she gets angry with nothing but a flick of her fingers. Falling for a werewolf in another realm is the last thing she wants to do, but resisting Gabriel...well, I'd have a hard time with it, anyway. Even demi-goddesses have their weaknesses. Mine happen to be vanilla lattes and fighter pilots (well, one particular fighter pilot, and ten years later, he's still as yummy as any of my heroes!):-) Every one of Rowan's scenes was so much fun to write, and I really hope that everyone who reads Dark Highland Fire gets just as much enjoyment out of reading them. There’s an excerpt posted on my website, http://www.kendraleighcastle.com, so please come check it out if you’re interested!
So what are your favorite weaknesses, my fellow goddesses? I’ll be randomly choosing two commenters to receive copies of Call of the Highland Moon, so comment away! Thanks for stopping by, thanks again, Terra, and I hope everyone who reads it will enjoy Dark Highland Fire!