Enticed - Kathleen Dante

I really can’t claim responsibility for the genesis of Enticed. Sure, the seeds were all there—an article I’d read about a blind painter, a cat I’d met on a wine-tasting jaunt in Oregon . . . and Dillon, who’d first appeared in Entangled—but I hadn’t put them together.

You see, it’s all my crit partner’s fault. Yup, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. =)

It started a day or so after I finished Entangled, my first novel. I was at loose ends, wondering what to do next and toying with the nebulous idea of committing sequel, with Dillon as the hero. When I mentioned it to my crit partner, she immediately responded with “I hope you make him work for it” or maybe she used “crawl”; after two years, I don’t quite remember the exact phrasing and the original e-mail has since vanished from the archives. Anyway, she wrote something to that effect.

Those words electrified my imagination. I hadn’t had a plot in mind, but once I read those words, my muse began throwing ideas at me.

Here’s a cool, black ops agent who’s dedicated to his job. What if he’s forced to take a vacation? What if he’s intrigued by a woman who’s seems blind to his appeal—literally? (That blind painter I’d read about immediately came to mind. Reliance on the remaining senses, particularly touch, held promise for an erotic romance, which is the kind I prefer to write.) But why would she resist such a great guy? As a corollary to that, how to introduce tension from his black ops background when she’s a not-so-worldly-wise artist? Since the first book was set in a magical world, the answer that popped up was: What if she’s clairvoyant and picks up on secret info?

The above was more than enough for a first scene, but my muse wasn’t done yet. She had to ask: Wouldn’t it be cool if she had a cat to run interference? O.o! (Apparently, the hind brain wanted to see if it could develop a pet into a major character.) Since I hadn’t sold a book yet at the time and didn’t have any idea who my audience was, I figured, why not?

That’s how Enticed came to be. Sometimes you need a catalyst to pull everything together and transform the grist of a writer’s mill into a story. Without it, you just have several disparate ideas that don’t hang together. That’s why I can’t take responsibility for the genesis of Enticed; if it hadn’t been for my crit partner’s timely comment, who knows what might have happened?

Kathleen Dante


Date bait has been the subject of hot debate lately in the online dating world. It’s also Lucy Ladelle’s latest chosen profession in my newest comedic women’s fiction novel, The Quest for the Holy Veil. Lucy’s been hired by a matchmaking service to act as a perfect date to lure men into signing up for this high-priced service. But on her first official date, she’s caught "on tape" by a new reality TV show that has set up a sting operation to expose this questionable practice. Unfortunately, the one drop-dead, hunk of he-man that Lucy lusts after turns out to be producer of the dang show ("I don’t care how gorgeous Lance Booker is! The guy’s evil! No matter how much I want him."). Talk about your love-hate relationship.

Lucy has her reasons for getting herself into this mess. Despite this, she must take steps to clean up her act if she’s to ever to make it to the Broadway stage. She also finds herself embarking on new adventures and working for a larger-than-life woman only known as Queendah. All the while, Lucy must deal with her mixed-up feelings for Lance-the-Safari Guy who insists on ‘tracking" her like an animal for the TV show. ("Must he ‘track’ me all the time? He can’t just call 411? And tacking a "love note" to my front door with a blow dart is the last straw!")

Despite all this, one thing’s for sure. Lucy must learn the lesson that you’ve got to let go of past regrets before you can move onto your future success.

The release date for The Quest for the Holy Veil is March 6. Feel free to visit my web site at www.kimberlyllewellyn.com.


Blood Moon

You might say that my inspiration was multi-faceted, when I wrote my February 27th Dorchester Love Spell release, BLOOD MOON. I grew up in a home where both parents had wonderful libraries. My father’s bookshelves were filled with Zane Grey novels and wonderful mysteries. My mother’s shelves were filled with romance. She loved two things when it came to books and movies: romance fiction, which ranged from the confessions magazines to the works of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and Daphne du Maurier to name but a few, and classic horror—anything spooky—with werewolves and zombies and vampires heading the list. I had access to both my parents’ libraries at a very young age, and while I loved the Zane Grey westerns, I knew one day I would have to write romantic tales. They captured my heart…but so did the dark, mysterious allure of the vampire.
In those days, “Horror” (which is what werewolf and vampire tales were called back then), and tales of “Romance” were two entirely different genre. It wasn’t until much later, after the Gothic craze, that the Paranormal Romance was born. My mother, who has passed away, particularly loved the vampire flicks, so in the back of my mind there has always been a nagging prod to write a book she would have loved.
So you might say my mother was my inspiration to write BLOOD MOON.
Her favorite was the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula, and we would watch it every time it aired on TV. This was the purist form of vampire fiction brought to life on the screen—one that all who write chilling vampire tales begin with and one vampire purists demand.
So, you might say the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula was my inspiration.
My favorite vampire image was the sensuality that Frank Langella brought to the role. In my opinion, his was the most sensuous adaptation, paving the way for Paranormal Romance as we know it today, closely followed by Bram Stoker’s version. All at once it wasn’t simply “horror” any more. It was hot and sexy and dangerously romantic.

So, you might say that these two versions were my inspiration.

Then, there was Saberhagen’s take on the vampire legend—enough of the old to satisfy the purists, but with a twist. Some vampires could now be abroad in daylight, and some no longer were repelled by sacred objects, mirrors, garlic and the like. These concepts gave we who write such tales much more leeway in crafting out stories. Acceptance was good. Suspension of disbelief was eased a bit because these changes humanized the vampire a little for us, and we turned a major page in the process of crafting them.

So, you might say Saberhagen was my inspiration.

It wasn’t so much what he wrote, but the courage and the talent it took to take the most thrilling legend of all time and put his own stamp on it to make it his triumph and our legacy.

THAT was my inspiration—and a little bit of all the above. I wanted to write the book that would have delighted my mother. I wanted the pure essence of the original Dracula, but I wanted a different image than the billowing caped Lugosi adaptation. I wanted a different plot. I also wanted something so fresh and new it would delight both the vampire purists and the new kids on the block, as well. So I put all the ingredients in the pot, stirred it, and BLOOD MOON was born—a vampire tale with a fresh new twist.

If you’re looking for a cape-swirling vampire of Lugosi’s stamp, you won’t find him here. As gruesome as my villain Sebastian Valentin is, he is a slave to fashion, dressing in the clothes of the day, though they fit him poorly. Once a man of the cloth himself, limited to clerical attire before he was corrupted, he now delights in the elegancy of Regency costumes, when he isn’t taking other forms.

My hero and heroine, Jon and Cassandra, are everyday people, a young couple about to be married and begin their life together. Jon, the second son of an earl, has taken Holy Orders, and plans to settle with his bride on the living provided him in his home parish in Cumberland, when he and Cassandra are bitten by the four-hundred-year-old vampire.

Having no idea what is happening to them or what to expect sets them on a desperate journey to find help in the Vampire’s homeland, a remote village in the Romanian Carpathians. There they meet the enigmatic centuries old Gypsy vampire/vampire hunter, Milosh. Handsome still after four hundred years, Milosh tries to save them from Sebastian, and from each other, when the madness of the blood and the passions of the heart collide, and the secret ritual of the BLOOD MOON that could free them, or kill them all, becomes their last hope.

But it doesn’t end there. My inspiration for BLOOD MOON spawned two others. THE BROTHERHOOD, the second in the BLOOD MOON series, will be released in September, followed by THE RAVENING in March of 2008. More are planned.

A little tip…keep your eye on Milosh, he appears in all three books as a central character. His romance is the subject of book three, THE RAVENING, where you will see a hero like no other. All three books are dark, sensual and riveting, like nothing you’ve seen before. I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Dawn Thompson


Sophie Jordan on TOO WICKED TO TAME

Several things inspired my writing of TOO WICKED TO TAME. For one thing, I was determined to write a story about Portia, a secondary character in my debut novel, ONCE UPON A WEDDING NIGHT. I just needed to come up with a story that “fit” the precocious, young girl from ONCE UPON WEDDING NIGHT. She had a lot of things going for her that marked her as a “star” leading lady – she’s a bluestocking, outspoken and independent with goals of her own that have nothing to do with marriage. Only seventeen in ONCE UPON A WEDDING NIGHT, I had to give her a few years to grow up, but at twenty-two, she meets her match in TOO WICKED TO TAME.

Other influences on TOO WICKED TO TAME include the works of the Bronte sisters. Gotta love those sweeping love stories full of such dark, raging emotions! Ah, the sweet agony! Call me a Bronte girl, because I’m definitely the kind of writer that prefers making readers cry rather than laugh.

The Bronte sisters wrote novels set in Yorkshire. The wild Yorkshire moors of JANE EYRE and WUTHERING HEIGHTS whisper to my romantic soul to this day. Can there be any better backdrop for a tumultuous love story? I had a great deal of fun researching Yorkshire and hope I managed to convey some of that exotic setting in TOO WICKED TO TAME.

JANE EYRE is my favorite work of the Bronte sisters. And I think readers might see some of it echoed in TOO WICKED TO TAME. Yes, there’s a curse of madness and a dark, brooding hero … and my heroine, like Jane Eyre, is no traditional beauty. She definitely invades both the hero’s desolate Yorkshire estate as well as his peace of mind with her arrival.

Feel free to check out my website for more information on TOO WICKED TO TAME, my newest release … especially if you want to get swept away!