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Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson

Like most writers, I learned to read early and fell in love with books. The passion was strong enough that I would literally absorb it, as if the plots and characters seeped through my skin and down to my bones. The world just seemed so much bigger in the pages of a book, and sometimes the characters in them were more vivid even than any of the folks I knew. I’m really not sure when I figured out that someone wrote the books I loved to read, and that maybe, just maybe, I could be one of those people, but by the time I was about 12, I knew. The only life that really made sense was one that included writing.

In a sense I tumbled into writing historical novels. I’ve always loved reading classics like Pride and Prejudice, as well as Sir Walter Scott and lesser known authors like Maria Edgeworth. Then I discovered Regency romances by authors like Mary Balogh and Jo Beverley. So when I first started writing, it was natural to try my hand at traditional Regency romances, but then I advanced to longer historical paranormals, and now I’m really breaking new ground with the Lady Anne Series with Sourcebooks Casablanca. The Lady Anne books blend all my loves: mystery, hints of the paranormal and historical romance!

I’m an odd duck as a romance author and reader because I usually need something else in a novel to keep my attention. I like a mystery at the base of it, but the mystery doesn’t necessarily have to be who murdered who. It can be why is the hero holding back from the heroine? I’m also fascinated by the paranormal—I’m always looking to debunk ghost sightings or werewolves, but I’m intrigued by the idea that such things exist. Lady Anne Addison came from that part of me that is captivated by such supernatural things, and yet skeptical.

Consider for a moment: what would a rational person do when confronted with the vision of a werewolf standing in front of them snarling? What would you do? I’m torn... I’d probably be scared senseless, but I might laugh out loud, too. Lady Anne initially responds to a friend’s plea for help solve the mystery of a horrifying werewolf that is wandering the countryside threatening young women. But meeting the moody Marquess of Darkefell, Lady Anne begins to wonder, what is he hiding? And when he kisses her repeatedly, her skeptical mind insists he’s just trying to distract her from something, but what?

Of course, that doesn’t stop her from thoroughly enjoying the kisses of a very handsome gentleman! She may doubt his intentions, but she can’t fault his skill. I’m having so much fin writing this book, Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark, and the two that follow – Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (August 2009) and Lady Anne and the Gypsy Curse, (November 2009) and I hope readers enjoy my particular blend of paranormal and mystery with a heavy dollop of romance!


Mary Margret said...

I'm half-way through Lady Ann and the Howl in the Dark--and loving it!

It's well-written and thoroughly engaging.

Danielle Jackson said...

My favorite part about the character of Lady Anne was how she questioned everything--but in a good way! Some character (and people) who do that can be so contrived and annoying, but I found Lady Anne's skepticism very intriguing!