I would like to welcome Kendra Leigh Castle to the blog today! She's the author of the amazing Dark Dynasties series, among others. I will try to save my gushing over Immortal Craving for my review which will be up soon... but it's so hard. I'll let Kendra take the reins from here and tell you a little more about this hot shape-shifting vampire.
When I started thinking about who I wanted for a hero in the fourth Dark Dynasties book, Immortal Craving, I knew I wanted to do something a little different. The heroes of the first three books are all Cait Sith, a bloodline of cat-shifting vampires who, up until recently, were the pariahs of the world of night. They’re gorgeous, they turn into big black cats, and they purr…I mean, yum. Still, much as I love them, I wanted to introduce a completely new guy, with a completely new bloodline. So I thought about it, and before long, who should come prowling out of the ether but Tasmin Singh.
Tasmin is a Rakshasa, a dynasty of powerful lion-shifters that was wiped from the earth in a genocidal campaign by the Ptolemy…which will surprise no one who has read the previous books. When he awakens in a small, manmade cave deep in the Gir Forest in India, he soon discovers not only that it isn’t the 1500s anymore, but that he is the only one of his kind still alive. This would be a lot for one person to deal with regardless, but Tasmin has the added problem of blackouts that he awakens from covered in blood…and the occasional unfamiliar, malevolent voice whispering in his head. He’s what you might call “troubled.” Or just plain “trouble.” Still, he is compelled to seek out the Queen of the Lilim, Lily MacGillivray, who is the one person he thinks may be able to help him with both his past and, he hopes, his future. And that, of course, is where he meets his destiny in the form of one stubborn, kind-hearted human named Bay Harper. Oh, and her enormous slobbery dog, Grimm.
I loved writing Tasmin. It was really kind of freeing to be able to create a guy who didn’t have the particular sort of baggage that all Cait Sith carry. I got to create new baggage just for him! Tasmin came from an amazing dynasty. They were day-walkers, mind-benders, illusionists, creatures of fierce strength and beauty and magic. And they’re gone, something Tasmin is still struggling with. He is a man out of time, and alone in ways that none of my other characters have been. Before he was put in that cave, he had pride brothers who were his family. He had a life, hopes and dreams. When we meet him in Immortal Craving, he’s really starting from scratch. He’s got no idea how to relate to these other dynasties, who he never would have bothered with before. To the younger vampires he’s a frightening novelty, and to the older ones, a potential threat. He presents himself as proud and aloof and, often enough, rude—and what choice does he have? In the world of night, showing a highblood vampire your weakness is death. But underneath it all, what Tasmin really needs (though he would never admit it) is to be able to connect to someone again. When he does, we start to catch glimpses of the man he was before he had everything taken away. Tasmin is incredibly loyal, surprisingly sweet, and capable of the kind of love that will last lifetimes. He takes nothing for granted, because he knows better than most how everything can change in a heartbeat. And as a bonus, while he may not purr like the Cait Sith do (lions don’t purr, a fact I was sorry to discover), he has one hell of a roar.
I hope you enjoyed this peek at Tasmin! He’s a golden-eyed warrior with a lot of heart… and his arrival in the world of the Dynasties won’t just change Bay Harper’s life. For the vampires, it changes everything.
Thanks so much to Underworld Love Addiction for having me back to celebrate the release of Immortal Craving! If you’ve got any questions about the series, the characters, or anything vampire related, ask away in the comments…I’m here all day :)
For more about Kendra Leigh Castle and her books, visit her website at http://kendraleighcastle.com.