Message From The Author

Kendra Leigh Castle

Book Title: SHADOW RISING
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Author's Message

In every book I've written so far, I end up with "that character"—the one, non-hero guy who likes to steal scenes and who I kind of sort of want to run away with even though the book isn't about him. Except, of course, he wants it to be. This causes writerly tension, the occasional long night of doing little more than growling at my laptop screen, and inevitably, a manuscript all about the guy who insisted upon chewing the scenery in previous installments. My new release, Shadow Rising, is such a book. Fortunately, Damien Tremaine is fictional, or he and I would have gone the rounds more than once about his behavior up to this point.

Shadow Rising is the third book in the Dark Dynasties series, tales focused on the intrigue among the various vampire dynasties that rule the night. Damien featured in the very first book, Dark Awakening. Since he was an assassin hired to kill the heroine, I'd originally planned to kill him off. Damien, however, had other plans. Once he started talking, I had that familiar sensation, somewhere between elation and resignation. It was a "here we go again" kind of feeling. Damien was, simply put, way too entertaining to destroy, even though he was completely amoral and had a body count I don't even like to speculate about. And so, as I wrote on, I was unsurprised to see Damien get involved in the big ending of that book in a way that portended his sticking around.

Damien turned up again in the second book, Midnight Reckoning, still skulking around assassinating people, stealing things, and offering snarky commentary on his fellow vampires. I was thrilled to see him. I'd missed him. I wanted him to stick around so I could enjoy his awful, amusing self, but of course, it wasn't his book. Distracted, I started to wonder what sort of story might work for him, and what kind of woman could possibly handle him. When he strolled offstage, I let him go with equal parts sadness and irritation. I'm bad enough at focusing without trying to create happily-ever-afters for secondary characters in stories that don't belong to them.

Which brings us to now. Shadow Rising is all Damien's, and I have to say, I had more fun writing him than I'd even imagined I would! Not only did he finally have free rein to hog the limelight, but I got to create the perfect heroine for him—a beautiful, innocent vampiress who nonetheless knows how to swing a sword and isn't afraid to use it. Not even on him. And, much as I love him, I can't say he didn't deserve all of what he got...the death threats and the happy ending!

Happy reading, and I hope you all enjoy Damien's story as much as I did. He might have given me fits from time to time, but I found him to be well worth the wait.   

Sincerely,

- Kendra Leigh Castle


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