Special Guest Kendra Leigh Castle…

Today I am thrilled to welcome back author Kendra Leigh Castle!


Kendra’s latest is the fabulous Wild Highland Magic…


Layout 1Here’s a blurb:

As soon as she laid eyes on him, her animal instincts took over.


For generations, the MacInnes werewolves have been guarding the portal between Earth and the Drakkyn realm. Bastian and his sister came through the portal from Drakkyn, seeking sanctuary in the beautiful Scottish Highlands and relief from the curse that haunts him. Solitary and despairing, Bastian must find a way to break the curse or it will kill him.


A family squabble 25 years ago drove a rift between the MacInnes alpha and his brother, and Catrionna MacInnes has never met her MacInnes relatives nor had any guidance in how to be a werewolf. When her father brings his family to Scotland seeking reconciliation, Cat lays eyes on Bastian, and her most basic animal instincts kick in. Bastian tries to resist Cat – no good can come of their attraction – but she won’t take no for an answer. She knows that all she wants – what she must have – is to mark him as her own.


And now here’s Kendra…


Dreaming Up the Drakkyn


Thanks so much to the amazing Jennifer for having me back to blog!  It’s always great to come over and play J  Today she asked me to talk about my world-building, and I’m happy to oblige.  My new book, Wild Highland Magic, is the third and final book in my MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, and the otherworld of Coracin that I introduced way back in Call of the Highland Moon has grown and developed in ways I never imagined at the beginning.


So you may be asking, what on Earth is a Coracin and a Drakkyn?  Well, Coracin, to start, is a “where.”  When I began this series, I decided to use the famous Stone of Destiny, a Scottish relic upon which the earliest kings were crowned and whose origins have been mythologized, as the gateway into another world.  The Stone is guarded by a pack of Highland shapeshifters, the MacInneses, who were charged to guard it by Saint Columba hundreds of years ago.  That particular use of the Stone has been lost in the sands of time when we first meet the pack, though, and the discovery of the magical doorway to Coracin is a major piece of the story of Gideon MacInnes and Carly Silver, Call of the Highland Moon.


So that was the original building block, the idea of Coracin (from the Latin coracinus, which means “raven black”) as a dark otherworld that used the Stone of Destiny as a gateway.  How did I come up with that?  Umm…that would be a mystery for the ages.  I stumbled across a Scottish history webpage, a few random synapses fired, and Bam! Pow! Zap!  There you have it.  Magic J  Building Coracin, however, was another matter entirely.


First off, I never realized that I was going to have to take notes to remind myself of things like names of people, places, geography…but after a dozen or so times digging through my book for info I had forgotten, I figured it out.  I suppose I was heavily influenced by Tolkien in that I wanted my otherworld to have distinct races with varying magical ability, along with some people, more like Earth people, who have none.  That was how I came up with the Orinn, who are the non-magical peoples of Coracin and who go about their lives much like medieval humans (except, it must be said, not as dirty or smelly, because ew).  Then there are the tribes of the Drakkyn, each descended from a god or goddess who long ago walked that land and who have since vanished back into what they call the Higher Kingdoms.  These tribes are incredibly diverse, some revered, some feared.  One, of course, had been the ancestors of the MacInnes pack, who fled through the Stone to Earth after being enslaved by the power-hungry dragons.  The others, I created to suit my tastes in fantastic beings.  There are the shapeshifting dragons, dark and warlike, who aren’t necessarily evil but aren’t the good guys either.  It sort of depends on which of the noble families, or houses, is in power.  There are the daemon, foul and light-fearing, but incredibly powerful, who live in the wasted sands of the Blighted Kingdom and eat the flesh of their victims.  And there are the Dyadd Morgaine, a nomadic tribe of blood-drinking sorceresses who neither marry nor recognize the fathers of their children (and who, up until the birth of Bastian an Morgaine, did not give birth to boys).  That particular tribe is a favorite of mine, full of elemental female power and a sense of sisterhood I think most women will appreciate.  The heroine of Dark Highland Fire, Rowan, is the leader, the Dyana, of the Dyadd.  I was thinking, when I made them, of a bunch of legendarily beautiful gypsy witches, and I definitely think I got there! 


There are other tribes in Coracin as well, but these are the largest and most powerful of them.  One other, the ice mages called the Athin, had been very influential, but was wiped from the face of the world by a terrible daemon curse.  Legend has it that these mages, who lived in a frozen and isolated kingdom far in the North, had such incredible abilities as world-jumping, flipping from realm to realm at will.  But none of them are left to say.  Well…actually, one is. 


So this is Coracin, my dark kingdom, which has vast forests and frozen plains, jagged mountains, endless oceans, and foreboding deserts.  Each of the Drakkyn tribes has a home in one of them, and in many ways they match their surroundings, full of corresponding elemental power.  I don’t think it’s quite as awe-inspiring as, say, Middle Earth, but it is a place I’m proud of creating, a world that pulses with dark and sensual magic, and one I’d like to visit.  I hope, if my descriptions have caught your eye, that you’ll want to visit as well. 


My new release is called Wild Highland Magic, and is the third in a trilogy that entwines the Drakkyn tribes with the now-Earthly MacInnes pack of werewolves.  What happens when a beautiful, untrained werewolf on vacation in Scotland meets the cursed last son of the Athin?  Well…it involves a couple of meddling half-witch sisters, a sexy but ornery dragon, and an entire pack of protective werewolves.  Sound interesting?  It was quite a ride for me!  Hope you’ll check it out.


I’ll be here to chat all day, so please pop in and say hello!  And as added incentive to keep me company, I’m giving away a copy of Wild Highland Magic to one lucky commenter…just check back in the comments section tomorrow where I’ll announce the winner.  So tell me: what’s the best fantasy world you’ve visited?  Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!




Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, as well as the upcoming series The Fallen, coming from Harlequin Nocturne.  She lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets, and loves to be visited online at www.kendraleighcastle.com


Thanks Kendra!


Readers, be sure to check out Kendra’s fabulous books and her website to learn more.


And as she mentioned, leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Wild Highland Magic.  She’ll announce the winner in the comments section so be sure to check back tomorrow.


30 Responses to Special Guest Kendra Leigh Castle…

  1. Leah Haas says:

    I find her characters are well developed and interesting. I love that the woman are kick butt kinda ladies and I found that I couldn’t put the books down. Thanks for keeping it interesting Kendra!

  2. Thanks, Leah! I’m so glad you enjoyed the books. I can’t write passive women…just doesn’t work! Thanks for coming over:-)

  3. Donna Fournier says:

    This is a amazing story told by a amazing author.
    I believe her woman are tough because they have a kick butt creator. And this world of hers is fabulous and very interesting. I want to be there.
    Her men are so Hunky and believable. I wanted to go to Scotland to find a MacInnes and say please BITE ME.

  4. Roberta Harwell says:

    Hello Kendra,

    I’m not familiar with your work. However, I loved the descriptions of your worlds. They sound fascinating. I guess I need to add you to my author buy list. Have a great day.

  5. Hey, Donna! Aww, that’s sweet:-) Wish it were a real place…we could take a trip!

    Hi Roberta! Thanks, I’m glad to have caught your interest:-) You have a great day too!

  6. Kara says:

    I don’t read a lot of books with fantasy worlds in them – so I would have to say that my favorite fantasy would be the world that you created. I love this series…it drew me in and wouldn’t let me go – LOL. I am so excited about the third book being released.

  7. Penney says:

    Hi Kendra your book sounds great I love your Call of the Highland Moon I’m looking forward to this new one. I love books with fantasy in them.

  8. Hi Kara…wow, what a huge compliment! I’m excited to have you read the new one:-)

    Penney, thanks! So glad you loved COTHM…I had a great time writing that one:-)

  9. Crystal B. says:

    Hi. Kendra. Wild Highland Magic sounds good. I loved Call of the Highland Moon.

  10. Crystal B. says:

    Hi Kendra. Wild Highland Magic sounds good. I loved Call of the Highland Moon.

  11. Lori V. says:

    Kendra,thank you for sharing the origins of your characters. I’ve so enjoyed the series so far and can’t wait for the new one!

  12. Karen Wright says:

    Hi Kendra. I absolutely love your books. I love reading everything about the Highlands and I love escaping into different worlds for awhile after a difficult day of reality. You pull me in and I can’t seem to put your book down once I start reading. I’m always looking forward to the next one. Thanks soooo much!!!!!

  13. Crystal, Lori and Karen, all I can say is THANK YOU! These are wonderful things to hear! Thank you for picking up my books. I have found that my readers are completely awesome:-)

  14. Teresa W says:

    Enjoyed the interview and looking forward to the release!

  15. Emma says:

    Hi Kendra Wild Highland Magic sounds wonderful.Great interview.

  16. Hi Emma! Thanks! I think this was actually the first interview where I was asked to talk about my world-building specifically, and it was a lot of fun.

  17. Becky Ward says:

    I enjoyed reading about what your Coracin and a Drakkyn was. Wild Highland Magic sounds like a really good book. I have added this to my list to get.

  18. Quilt Lady says:

    Great interview! Wild Highland Magic sounds like a fantastic read and I would love to read it. Kendra you would be a new author to me because I have never read your books. So many authors and so little time and i want to try them all. I love reading new authors to me.

  19. Elora says:

    OH Awesome !! i can’t wait to get the third book their great…but first i have to get the second one…LOL..can’t find many book where i live ….Well i have to say that i love your books and the fantasy worlds that they show …So id have to say that your fantasy world , Sherrilyn Kenyon’s and , Christine Feehan’s would have to be the one’s i love the best …their ar many more but i wouldn’t have the space to write them ….But i love them all so it’s hard to chose ..LOL….Well anyway i hope you have a great day/night !! ~smile~ -Elora-

  20. Hi Becky! Thanks for adding me to your list!

    Quilt Lady, LOL, I feel your pain! My TBR pile is just ridiculous at this point, but I keep growing it anyway.

    Elora, hi! Okay, being mentioned in the same breath with Sherrilyn and Christine is such a HUGE compliment!:-) Glad you like my fantasy world…I grew up reading stuff like Lord of the Rings, and it’s so much fun to be able to create and share worlds of my own. Have a great night!

  21. Liza says:

    Kendra, your books sound wonderful. Looks like I have a few more books to add to my TBB list.

  22. Amy S. says:

    Wild Highland Magic sounds great!

  23. Hi, Liza and Amy! Thanks, and nice to meet you:-)

  24. Lynda says:

    Hi Kendra, I haven’t read you yet but I do have you in my database shopping list. I loved hearing about background info on books. They sound wonderful!

  25. Thanks, Lynda! I love being put on people’s shopping lists:-) Glad you enjoyed the background on my fantasy world!

  26. Morning, everyone! Aaaand now for the drawing…
    *rummaging in hat*
    The winner of the free copy of Wild Highland Magic is
    Please write me at kendraleighcastle@yahoo.com with your address so I can send you your prize! Thank you so much, everyone, for coming over to hang out with me! Since tommorrow is the official release day, I’ll be at Yankee Romance Reviewers (http://www.yankeeromancereviewers.blogspot.com) giving away TWO signed copies of the book, and I’d love to see you:-)

    Thanks so much for having me back, Jennifer, I always love it here!

  27. Hmm…my winner comment is still awaiting moderation, but maybe this will work…Elora, you’re the winner! Please write me at kendraleighcastle@yahoo.com with your info! Thanks for participation, everyone, this was fun!

  28. I meant “your participation.” *sigh* Really, I do know how to write:-)

  29. Caffey says:

    Hi Kendra!!! I’m so sorry I missed you yesterday! I wasn’t feeling well late so I didn’t get to be here! But excited about your release. Congrats to Elora.

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