Message From The Author

Author's Message

Exploring the power of the Dark Side with

Christine Feehan

by Tara Gelsomino

Could any stock of heroes be more alpha than Christine Feehans tortured Carpathian race of soulless men, roaming the world as loners seeking their true lifemates, resisting the the base evil of their natures?

Paranormal romance fans certainly dont think so. Since her debut novel, Dark Prince, was released in August 1999, Christines name has flowed freely from the lips of enthusiastic readers, thanks to the darkly romantic world she has created featuring a race of men on the verge of turning into vampires.

They have no soul, they feel nothing, but these men are resisting the bloodlust, the only way they can feel, and holding out against turning into vampires. I thought to myself, why would these men choose that life, why wouldnt they just give in, and I thought well it has to be for love. Christine explains, noting that each Carpathian man must search out his lifemate (and there can be only one), because the womans goodness and light balances their dark nature and restores their soul at last.

Ironically enough, for Christine, her Carpathian series restored her own soul, in a way. A writer all her life, Christine spent her youth scribbling stories and plays for her 13(!) siblings to read, and writing a stream of contemporary romances as an adult for an audience of family and friends. I never had a lack of story ideas or any kind of writers block until a couple years ago when a personal tragedy befell our family. And it
was the scariest feeling in the world, because I just couldnt write anything. I thought if I tried something completely different, maybe that would help get the juices flowing.

It did, and it wasnt long before friends and family began calling Christine in the middle of the night, after eagerly devouring her latest work, demanding to know what would happen to the characters next. Knowing she had something special on her hands, they convinced Christine, a martial
arts instructor of 20 years (she has a third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do) whod never dreamed of being published, that she must share these stories with the world.

Still, Christine wasnt prepared for the overwhelming public reception her books received. After her debut, new Carpathian romancesDark Desire, Dark Gold and Dark Magicwere released every four months, to much fanfare and anticipation among romance readers. I was absolutely shocked when Dark Magic made the USA Today Extended Bestseller list. Patti Berg called me to congratulate me and I didnt believe her!

For the fifth novel in the series, DARK CHALLENGE, released this month, Christine was struck with some particularly divine inspiration. I was at an outdoor concert listening to singer Chris Isaak, and suddenly I could actually see the notes, silver and gold, in my head. Since her Carpathian heroes lose the ability to see color after a few centuries on earth, she knew such a sight would be a cue to a hero that hed met his lifemate. Thus her next hero and heroine, Julian, a brooding, lonely hunter, and Dasari, an 800-year-old troubadour with the voice of an angel, were born.

This story is different in a couple important ways. This relationship is more of an equal partnership for one thing, as Dasari is an ancient Carpathian with her own powers, whereas many of my other heroines have been young, human psychics, which the Carpathian can also mate with. Another thing thats important, is that in other books, I never really showed any family situations. Most of the men have family, but theyre usually on their own looking for a lifemate. In DARK CHALLENGE, Dasari is part of this band with her brother and another man and woman. So I also have two females interacting for the first time in the series.

The idea of creating a whole mythology and universe might be daunting to some authors, but Christine enjoys the challenge. In her series, the Carpathian race is going extinct, thus the men must find their lifemates not only to save their souls but to save their breed from dying out. Her men can shape shift into anything from animals to the mist, and they
also share a mind touch, a telepathic connection, with their lifemates. But Christine admits that as much as she enjoys bringing her characters to life on paper, she doesnt believe that vampires actually exist in our universe. I certainly wouldnt want to meet one, if they do, she laughs.

Though DARK CHALLENGE is only the fifth book released in the series, Christine currently has 17 completed or in the draft stages (including those published) and she plans to continue the series indefinitely. As long as I have really good stories, and Im not just telling the same one over and over, and people are enjoying it, Ill keep writing.

Readers can write to Christine at PO Box 792 Cobb, CA 95426 or visit her website at www.christinefeehan.com.

Excerpt from DARK CHALLENGE

The band began to play the opening to the first song. Then he heard the womans voice. Haunting, mystical notes that hung in the air like silver and gold shimmering with fire. He actually saw the notes, saw the silver and gold dancing in front of his eyes. Julian stopped dead in his tracks, shock ripping through him. He stared at the hallway. The tattered, faded wallpaper was edged with red. It had been well over eight hundred years since Julian had seen anything in color. It was the fate of Carpathian males beyond their youth to lose all sense of color, to lose their emotions, to struggle in gray bleakness against their predatory natures, unless a lifemate appeared to balance their darkness with her goodness and light. Only then would color and emotionpowerful emotionbe restored to them, and surely one such as Julian would never be blessed with a mate.
Yet his heart jumped in his chest.

He felt excitement. Hope. Emotion. Real emotion. Colors were so vivid that they nearly blinded him. The sound of her voice played through his body, touched him in places he had long forgotten. His body tightened; need slammed into him. Julian stood frozen to the spot. The colors, the emotions, the physical lust rising so sharply could only mean one thing. The singer possessing that voice had to be his lifemate.


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