Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Karen Whiddon to HJ!
Hi Karen, Welcome back to HJ!
If you gave the characters from this book an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?
I’m not sure they’d be happy with me. My hero Lucas Gideon would want me to cut to the chase so he could have his mate. And Blythe would just order me to heal her daughter Hailey.
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013 into 2014?
I just turned in (today, in fact) the sequeal to The Lost Wolf’s Destiny. It’s titled The Wolf Siren, and features Kane McGraw and his soon-to-be-mate, whose name I can’t reveal without causing a spoiler! It’s scheduled for February 2014.
This month of course, The Lost Wolf’s Destiny (Harlequin Nocturne). I also have an On-line read this month for Harlequin Romantic Suspense called The Cowboy’s Missing Daughter. And next month, my Harlequin Romantic Suspense Texas Lies, Lovers’ Secrets is out.
Let’s talk about your newest release: The Lost Wolf’s Destiny
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here
This book is part of my “Pack” series. One of the characters from Touch of the Wolf, Samantha Warren, makes a brief appearance (along with her husband)
Shapeshifter Blythe Daphne is desperate to save her five year old daughter’s life. So desperate that, when everything else has failed, she turns to a prominent Faith Healer(the hero’s father– Jacob Gideon) and his church, Sanctuary. Can Lucas Kenyon save the mother and daughter from a man he knows is evil personified?
When Lucas Kenyon sees the news report on television about his estranged father Jacob Gideon welcoming a Shapeshifter and her child into his fold with promises to heal them, he knows they are actually in grave danger. Because Jacob believes Shapeshifters are demons straight from hell, and has vowed he will “cure” them, no matter what the cost. After years of abuse, Lucas witnessed his twin sister’s death at the hands of the man he called father. He escaped, changed his name, and gradually built a life for himself. But the guilt that he wasn’t able to save his sister never left him. So when he realizes Jacob has found more victims, he knows he must save them, before they are tortured and killed.
Please tell us about the characters in your book?
Lucas is a broken wolf. He narrowly escaped his father’s compound Sanctuary with his life fifteen years ago, at the same time he lost his twin sister. While he shape-shifts when he must, he avoids all things wolf, including the Pack – the worldwide organization of Shape-Shifters.
Blythe Daphne is desperate. Her five year old daughter Hailey is dying. She’s tried everything to save her, and when a famous faith healer offers to do exactly that, she decides to trust him. Of course, she comes to regret that choice.
Was it love at first sight for your characters? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?
Maybe for Lucas – he first sees Blythe on television and knows only that he has to save her from the madman who is hsi father. Blythe is definately attracted to him, but because she has so much else going on with her daughter, she doesn’t recognize it at first.
If your characters could go back in time and change one thing what would it be? Why?
Lucas would go back to when he was fifteen and save his twin sister.
Blythe would go back and refuse to have anything to do with Jacob Gideon and his church of Sancturary.
Both for obvious reasons.
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
There were too many to list, I had fun writing so many. But below is one of my favorites:
Back at the motel, she jumped off the bike and rushed the door, waiting impatiently for him to produce the room key.
“What the hell was that?” She rounded on him a split second after he closed and locked the door. “How can the place be empty? They were there, I swear to you.”
“I believe you.”
“Then where are they? Where did they take my little girl?”
Guilt, that familiar emotion. Fresh and strong and raw. His gaze locked with Blythe’s, he pushed it away.
“I don’t know,” he told her, swearing silently that this time, he wouldn’t fail a little girl in danger.
Narrow-eyed, she glared at him. “You know, I can’t help but wonder if you’re in it with your father. You’re the one who suggested we wait till dark. And waiting gave Jacob time to escape.”
Though he supposed he couldn’t blame her for her thoughts, that didn’t stop her accusation from hurting. “I can assure you that I’m not working with that monster.”
Without breaking his gaze, she circled around him, her nostrils flaring as though her wolf was trying to break free and take measure of his scent.
He let her. What else could he do? Either she trusted him or she didn’t. Her choice. He was here trying to help.
Finally she stopped. “I believe you,” she said. “I don’t know why, but I do.”
He dipped his chin in acknowledgment. “Thank you.”
Barely contained panic lurked behind the anger sparking in her eyes. “There’s got to be an explanation.”
“I’m sure there is.” He kept his voice even. “There’s no way they evacuated all those people out of Sanctuary in one day.”
“All those people? How many are there?”
He crossed his arms. “I’m not sure. It’s been a long time since I was last inside those walls. I’d guess he has at least one hundred followers. Maybe more.”
“Then where did they go?’ she cried. “Wherever it is, they took my Hailey with them.”
Since he didn’t have an answer, he didn’t respond.
She began to pace. He stood still, arms crossed, while she flung herself from one end of the room to the other. She looked wild, restless, and her heightened color highlighted her exotic beauty. Even as he couldn’t help but admire her lithe, curvy body and high-cheekboned face, he knew she was dangerously close to losing all control.
He couldn’t let that happen. A panic stricken woman – or man – made bad decisions. Right now the last thing they needed to do was draw attention to themselves.
“Listen to me.” Grabbing her arm, he spun her to face him. “Breathe. Deeply. You’ve got to get yourself under control.”
“Why?’ Her eyes spit fire at him. “My daughter is missing. They’ve all disappeared. They’ve taken her who knows where.”
“Listen to me,” he began.
“No. You listen to me.” Her voice had begun to rise. She was seconds away from full-fledged hysteria. If the other guests at the motel heard a woman screaming and hollering, they’d alert the local police, who if they recognized Blythe, might report to Jacob Gideon.
So he did the only thing he could think of to distract her. He kissed her, crushing her against him.
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
The most difficult was the scene where Lucas goes in to rescue Blythe, who has been recaptured. It took several attempts before I got it right.
Eying a semi-lucid Blythe, Lucas’s first thought was guilt. Reminding himself that he hadn’t failed her, at least not yet, he kept his face impassive to mask his concern. What had they done to her? One of her arms sported a huge bandage and she gave every appearance of being drugged.
Every instinct screamed at him to move forward and yank her out of the room into his arms, pulling her close and shielding her with his body as he rounded on the female doctor and demanded answers.
Of course, he could not commit public suicide for both of them, so he stood stock still and looked down, allowing his senses to absorb every sight, smell, emotion–looking for Hailey, and trying to get a feel for Blythe’s well-being.
Meanwhile, a slow rage built inside of him. Mingled with his guilt was a fury he had to suppress.
His wolf had other ideas. The beast snapped his powerful teeth, attempting to surge forth and force the change from human to wolf. Lucas pushed his other self back down into the dark recesses of his psyche. There would be time later. Now, he had to play nice until the right opportunity came along.
It had better be soon, he thought, clenching his jaw so hard his teeth ached.
“It’s time for more tests,” the doctor whose name he hadn’t gotten announced.
Swaying on her feet, Blythe nodded.
“I need some assistance here,” the doctor barked. “Each of you take one of her arms and help me get her to the lab.”
Immediately, Lucas and his co-worker, a grim faced man named Stan, moved to flank Blythe. She didn’t resist as they each took her by the arm and half carried, half forced her toward the doorway.
If not for the startled glint of recognition that had flashed into her green eyes, Lucas would have wondered if she’d even recognized him.
Down the hallway they went, toward an elevator. The doctor pressed the button, tapping her toe soundlessly on the carpeted floor as they waited.
Finally, a soft ping sounded and the doors glided open. Moving in unison, Lucas and Stan lifted Blythe into the elevator. The doors closed as the doctor punched a button marked with only an ‘L’.
And then they began to move. Down. Past the ground floor and still they kept going. Which made no sense, as Lucas knew from personal experience that Sanctuary did not have a finished basement. All that had been on the lowest level were two large, unfinished rooms, with concrete floors and walls. Back then, the basement had been a dark, dreary place, and where Jacob had often sent Lucas and Lilly.
Apparently now the basement was used for much, much more. At least that explained where everyone in Sanctuary disappeared to.
After what seemed like an eternity, the elevator glided to a stop. As the doors again opened, Lucas struggled with another wave of guilt as he tried not to appear too curious or concerned. Given the way he’d spent the last fifteen years, acting like he didn’t give a damn should have been second nature to him. It terrified him that it wasn’t.
Gripping Blythe’s arm as lightly as he dared and hoping he wasn’t accidentally hurting her, he stepped out. He followed the Doctor. Together, he and Stan herded Blythe down the hall. She glided along without looking left or right, her expression blank and unfocused. She’d definitely been drugged.
As they neared a door marked Laboratory, he realized this was a facet of his plan that he hadn’t completely thought through. How in the hell could he simply stand by and pretend not to care while they tortured Blythe?
How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?
Lucas was going about his ordinary life., running his tile business in Seattle.
Blythe was talking to doctors, trying desperately to find one who could help her daughter.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?
Hugh Jackman as Lucas Gideon.
Ana Kendrick as Blythe.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Print copy of The Wolf Prince + The Wolf Princess
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What is your favorite aspect of reading a book about Shape-shifters? Is it the times they’re human, battling their need to become wolf? Or when they change? Or what? I’m really curious (and it might help me write my next Pack story. 🙂
A desperate mother. A scarred man. A powerful bond
The moment he saw Blythe Daphne on the television news, Lucas Kenyon knew three things: she was a shapeshifter, like him. She was the most desirable creature he had ever seen. And she was in terrible danger.
Now, the wolf in Lucas is driving him to save Blythe and her young daughter from a man he knows is evil personified. A man who believes all shapeshifters are demons straight from hell. But Lucas knows he must never reveal the secret that threatens to tear him apart—not even to the one woman who could heal him.
Karen Whiddon spun fanciful tales for her younger brothers as early as the age of eleven. Growing up in the Catskill Mountains of New York, then the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, she found enough magic in the rugged peaks to keep her imagination fueled for years.
Now making her home in North Texas, she shares her life with her hero-like husband and three doting dogs. Formerly she wrote five books for Kensington Precious Gems and five for Dorchester Lovespell. Currently she writes for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. As of this writing, she is working on her 38th published book.
You can email Karen at KWhiddon1@aol.com or write her at P.O. Box 820807, Ft. Worth, TX 76182.