Monday, May 11, 2009

Guest Post & Giveaway with Kendra Leigh Castle

We have Kendra Leigh Castle here today for a guest post and a giveaway of a copy of Wild Highland Magic. (see below for details)

A Chat with Kendra Leigh Castle

You could say that a romance writer's world revolves in no small part around the pursuit of the perfect kiss. I love to watch that first kiss in movies, when all of the chemistry between the characters has flared to a point where words fail and there's no expression left but the physical. Ideally, that simple meeting of lips will express so much feeling that even the viewer can feel the world tilt on its axis, just a little. Of course, there are also times when that kiss is the moment you discover there is exactly ZERO chemistry between the male and female leads. It can be bitterly disappointing, especially when there's a great story being built around it. And the same goes in a book...granted, it's all on the writer to paint the picture, but the way the kiss is described can sometimes mean the difference between becoming completely engrossed and putting the whole thing down indefinitely.

No pressure on us writers, right? Actors and actresses have it easy, comparatively.

Anyway, there may not be such a thing as an absolutely perfect kiss (then again, maybe there is! I am a romantic, after all), but I spend a lot of time on the kisses of my heroes and heroines, especially that first one. So today, I thought I’d share the first kiss of the hero and heroine from my new release, Wild Highland Magic. Catriona MacInnes is a werewolf spending her first night in the Scottish Highlands with the ancestral pack she only just learned existed. Bastian an Morgaine is a secretive and powerful otherworlder, a friend of the MacInneses, dealing with some deadly problems of his own while staying in a secluded cottage on the grounds of the estate. At their first chance encounter, sparks flew, and Bastian hightailed it away from the alluring she-wolf before she could crack his amazing self-control any further. But Catriona is as stubborn a MacInnes as they all are, and when a late night run in wolf form leads her to the icy, brooding stranger, there’s no way she’s backing off…

* * *
He raised his eyes to the indifferent night sky, saying a silent prayer for patience. “I can’t have this conversation if you’re not going to get dressed.”

Cat stopped short, and he heard the laughter in her voice when she replied. “Well, I can’t have this conversation if I shift back into a wolf. But if you’ve got a fig leaf handy we can compromise.”
He had to look directly at her then, and her glowing golden eyes were dancing with mischief. Despite himself, Bastian felt his heart stumble in his chest; there wasn’t an inch of her that wasn’t perfect, her long lean form draped in nothing but moonlight. Her breasts were high and made just to fit a man’s hand, her legs long and shapely beneath the slight flare of her hips. He didn’t want to notice. He shouldn’t want to notice. But how the hell could he not notice?

By the Goddess, he thought, breathing deeply and catching an enticing whiff of her scent, all night-blooming flowers and magic, she’s beautiful. And every second he spent in her presence was making it more and more likely that he was going to do something incredibly stupid. He needed to get the hell out of here.

Just as soon as he could figure out how to make his legs work again. Right now they felt cemented to this very spot.

“Hey, wait,” Cat said in the low, musical voice that he was sure he’d hear in his sleep tonight, barely suppressing a giggle and apparently oblivious to the intoxicating effect she was having on him. “I have another idea.”

She obviously had no intention of letting him be. So on a wave of mounting sexual frustration, Bastian gave in. If nothing else, it almost guaranteed she’d run off and leave him in peace.

“So do I,” he said. And in one fluid motion, he grabbed her long, slim waist, pulled her to him, and crushed his mouth against hers in a kiss meant to send her running far, far away from the pervert in the woods.

Too late, Bastian realized he hadn’t factored in what Cat’s naked body pressed against him would do to him. Or to her, for that matter.

She tasted like moonlight, strong and pure, ripe with possibility and magic. And she’d been waiting for him to make the move. It was the last coherent thought that Bastian had before Cat opened her mouth for him, her hot little tongue teasing out the need that had been lurking beneath the surface ever since he’d first seen her. And as for need, Cat’s soft and broken sigh indicated she had plenty of her own. He could feel it, thrumming beneath her skin like an electrical current. Everything in Bastian rose and responded to it before he could shut it down; he was caught helplessly in her thrall as she fitted herself to him, every seductive curve fitted precisely against him.

Bad idea, warned some semi-coherent voice in the back of his mind. But for the love of the Goddess, it had been so long since he’d allowed himself to feel need like this.

* * *

Thanks so much to Darque Reviews for having me over today, and to all of you for stopping by! I’ll be here to chat all day! My question for you is: what’s your favorite movie kiss? I’ve got two…Sandra Bullock/Aidan Quinn in Practical Magic, and Bradd Pitt/Claire Forlani in Meet Joe Black.

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

It was a pleasure to have you here...thanks so much!

Sourcebooks has a copy of Wild Highland Magic to give away to one lucky winner! Just answer Ms. Castle's question to be entered. This contest is open to readers in the US and Canada only, and the winner will be announced on May 18th.

You can read my review of Wild Highland Magic:

Kimberly Swan,


Chris said...

How sad is it that I can't think of a favorite movie kiss?! It could be because I rarely watch movies or TV.

I agree about how a kiss (and other cozy actions) is described as being critical for a book! There are definitely authors I won't read because their descriptions of kissing and such just do not ring true or work for me.

Unknown said...

Hi Kendra!

I'm a Practical Magic type of girl myself! Then there's the kiss in Never Been Kissed and that upside down smooch in Spiderman. But my absolute favorite kiss is the one from Lady and Tramp where their lips meet accidentally over a plate and a spaghetti noodle .. *sigh*.. true love.

Dottie :)

azteclady said...

Oh those are good choices indeed!

However, my favorite is Julia Ormond and Richard Gere in First Knight, when Lancelot is saying goodbye and Gwynevère is 'repaying' her debt, and then Sean Connery's character discovers them... *shivers*


Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Morning, everyone!

Chris, no worries...there are a lot of great kisses in cinema, but don't ask me to come up with a bunch off the top of my head, LOL! And yes, for me as a reader, the intimacy always has to be believeable.

Hi Dottie! Oh, I love that first smooch in Practical Magic between Sandra Bullock and Aiden's so powerful and HUNGRY, you know?? You've been waiting and waiting, and it's so worth it when it happens. Good choice! And aww, the Lady and the Tramp kiss is adorable:-)

Hi azteclady! Ooh, I'd forgotten about that one. Very nice. I loved that movie!

D Q said...

I kinda liked Edwards and Bellas in Twilight.

Unknown said...

My favorite is Noah and Ali in The Notebook when it's raining.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi, Deedles and Bridget! Good ones:-)

Jo said...

Don't enter me for the contest! I'm from the UK - I just wanted to chime in.

Kendra, your book sounds awesome! I really want to check it out!
Fave movie kiss... it would have to be Allie and Noah's kiss in The Notebook. Not the first kiss, but the first after being apart for so long. And also Edward and Bella's kiss in Twilight is pretty hot.

Anonymous said...

Han Solo and Princess Leia in Empire Strikes Back - I was in the second grade the first time I saw that movie and that kiss made a huge impression.

tina werner said...

my favourite movie kiss has got to be from the notebook when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams kiss in the rain.... ooooh!

The Brunette Librarian said...

Hmm...My favorite movie kiss? I am a fan of "You've got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. At the end, when they finally realize who eachother is and they kiss with Brinkley the dog running around...Melts my insides every single time!!

Plus Tom Hanks is kind of a hottie, so it doesn't hurt. :)


Kara said...

I like the first kiss in Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts! and then, of course there is the Titanic kiss.

I think those are my two favs. I haven't seen The Notebook kiss - I refuse to watch the movie because I loved the book so much.

Anonymous said...

I think my fave movie kiss is from Dirty dancing Baby and johnny. I love that movie. Edward and bellas kiss was pretty hot also.


Pissenlit said...

Anne and Gilbert's kiss on the bridge in the made-for-tv movie, Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. *happy sigh* However, if we're only talking about big screen movies then, I'd probably go with Buttercup and Wesley's kiss at the end of The Princess Bride. :)

Marie Force said...

Wonderful tease, Kendra! What a great kiss! My favorite movie kiss has to be when Julia finally kisses Richard--on the mouth--in Pretty Woman, a sign from her that their arrangement had become something much more.

diva donna said...

First off, I'm reading the book so don't enter me in the contest. Also I must commend you for that first life altering kiss in your book between Cat and Bastian. OMG!!!!
Let's see My most memorable favorite kisses in movies and T.V. are as follows: 'Phantom of the Opera" between the Phantom (Gerry B.) and Christine (Emma R.) and The last Kiss at end of the "Titanic", Leo and Kate. The movie "Notebook" Noah and Allie. Spiderman's upside down kiss was great.
And juicy one was in T.V's Lost
between Sawyer and Kate.
HOT HOT!!! That's naming a few of the recent movies. Classic kisses too many to namelike Rhett and Scarlett.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Wow, I stepped out for a few and missed everything, LOL!

Okay, there are a lot of awesome kisses here, and some I'd forgotten (this is not a huge surprise, since I'm a walking brain cramp a lot of the time). LOTS of votes for that kiss from The Notebook! I do love the Han/Leia kiss, that's a great one, and the awesome Buttercup/Westley smooch. Rachie G, I agree, Tom Hanks is one of my FAVORITE actors...the kiss in Castaway is so sad. And I always wished we'd gotten to see a kiss in Sleepless in Seattle, because I LOVE that movie.

I see a couple of Pretty Woman "on the mouth kiss" votes too (Hi Marie!!)...God I love that movie! And the Titanic kiss...well, actually, the entire foreplay-right-up-to-the-car-lovin' bit was pretty insanely awesome. I don't know why I keep watching that movie. The boat always sinks!:-)

delitealex, I was just thinking about Dirty Dancing the other day, though more in the "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" kind of way, LOL...but the sexual tension in that movie was so well done, and the kiss...yeah, it was a good one! Pissenlit, I think I've only seen that sequel once, and OMG loved it when Anne and Gilbert got together!! And Donna, I just wish that kiss had not happened when he was LETTING HER GO, argh! But it was amazing. Just as any kiss involving Sawyer on Lost would be

Cybercliper said...

I love all things paranormal. Were, vampires, demons...but movies seem to always portray them as the bad guys.

That's why I loved the kissing scene between Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Scott Speedman (Michael) from Underworld-Evolution. A beautiful vampire and a werewolf/vampire hybrid…~ sighs~ what’s not to love…

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Cybercliper! Actually, that is one of my MAIN issues with paranormal movies...they almost always make the vamps and weres the bad guys! The filmmakers should get a clue from Twilight, hopefully, and start making sexier paranormals. I hope!! Somehow I haven't seen the second Underworld yet (I keep meaning to), but I loved the first one!

Kimberly Swan said...

Hey all...thanks for stopping by and commenting! A big thank you for Kendra sharing her time with us!

I've missed a lot of the movies mentioned (that'll teach me to watch horrors most of the time!). Although I did see Titanic, and I'm still laughing over Kendra's comment on not knowing why she keeps watching it because the boat always sinks! lol

I did think of a sizzling kiss....True Blood when Sam kisses Sookie up against his truck. What really made the kiss was knowing how he feels about her and how long he's had those feelings.

Lyoness2009 said...

From the movie "Sex and the city" when Carrie and Mr. Big get back together at the end....WONDERFUL! Not a first kiss, but boy, it's awesome!! :D

lyoness2009 AT

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Kimberly! Thanks SO much for having me here today, this has been great! We're a bunch of movie kiss junkies, looks like. Glad I made you laugh...I do still enjoy that movie (and, I am ashamed to admit, the ever-popular Demise of Propeller Guy contained within it), but don't ask me to deal with the Celine song. The beating chest song. *shudder*

Hey, Lyoness! You're right, the ultimate reunion of Carrie and Big definitely belongs on the list!

Anonymous said...

Wow, there's a lot of great ones on here! Mine will pale in comparison lol.

I'm just going to with a kiss in a movie I saw recently. I watched Stardust, and I like the kiss between Una and Dunstan in the beginning. But that's just because I have a thing for Ben Barnes. *grin*

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Nightdweller, that is one of my absolute favorite of all time movies...and yes, a GREAT kiss! Ben Barnes looked so different in Prince Caspian, kinda threw me off for a minute, but I figured it out, LOL:-)

Sissa said...

Hi Kendra,

Well I have to say my Favorite on screen kiss has to Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara... Gone With the Wind. My second would be Jerry and Holly's first kiss in Ireland the movie P.S. I Love You.


Valorie said...

I am going to have to say... hm... probably Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet Goldmine.


tetewa said...

I also have two favorites, Ryan and Rachael from The Notebook and Leonardo and Kate from Titanic!

Kytaira said...

I really don't watch romantic movies. Just comedies. Makes it really hard to come up with a kiss. I asked my husband for one. He came up with Hans Solo and Princess Lea. Then of course he said it was even better when Princess Lea told Hans she loved him and he said * I know *. I have to admit, that was memorable!

I'd rather read about great kisses than watch them!

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Sissa! I know I need to see PS I Love You. I know this, but I keep putting it off, because I also know I'll bawl. I'm awful about crying at movies. That's why I've cast a wary eye upon Marley and Me, as everyone says it will make me cry until I throw up. That sounds...unpleasant.

Hi Valorie! I started to watch that one day when it was on and it was really good...thanks for reminding me I need to hunt it up again. LOVE Ewan MacGregor, though not a huge fan of JRM. His hotness really varies for me, LOL! Cool choice.

Hi tetewa! More Leo/Kate love! She's just awesome. I'll watch Kate Winslet in just about anything.

Hi Kytaira! LOL, yeah, I love comedies too, but I suppose that the girl-girl-guy kiss at the end of Dodgeball probably isn't on anyone's Most Romantic list, LOL! I love that movie. I just love Han Solo, period:-)

EJ said...

please enter me in the giveaway..
Favorite movie kiss is Noah and Ali in The Notebook handsdown. Second would be Jack and Rose from Titanic.
thank you

CrystalGB said...

My favorite movie kiss is from The Notebook when they are kissing in the rain.

The Scarf Princess said...

My favorite movie kiss is one that many people mention....Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling from The Notebook. All that hot passion in the cold rain is totally swoon worthy.

CherylS22 said...

The upside down kiss in "Spiderman" was memorable!

Please count me in - Thanks!

chey said...

My favorite movie kiss in Lady and the Tramp!

Booklover1335 said...

yeah, I know it's been said many times b4, but The Notebook gets my vote. All of their history, the emotion, and the setting in the rain...hands down is the winner!

Cinnamon said...

The Notebook with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams or Underworld: Rise of the Lycans with Michael Sheen and Rhona Mitra. Definitely!

Niecie said...

My favorite movie kiss is when Edward and Bella kissed in Twilight.
Please enter me in the contest

Gaby317 said...

This is a tough one - the first kiss that comes to mind is in American President with Annette Benning and Michael Douglas, at the end of the movie when she comes back to see him in the White House and they're making up.

pls count me in!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

Kainani said...

Chimming in a few days late here but I say ditto to Cinnamon for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans with Michael Sheen and Rhona Mitra. Talk about classic Romeo and Juliet. Only difference here is it's between a werewolf and vampire.

annalisa said...

One of my favorite movie kisses was the upside down kiss between Spiderman and MaryJane. Also liked the Titanic kiss. :)

CatCrazy7 said...

Fushould mention Practical Magic as that would be my first thought. There was nothing quite like Sandra and Adain's love story in that movie!

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

windycindy said...

Hi, My memory holds "The Big Easy" kiss between Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid as my favorite movie kiss!
Please enter my name in this delightful book giveaway drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi

Pamela S said...

Well THAT excerpt has me fanning myself!!! And my hubby is asleep already!

My favorite kiss (or love scene anyway) is from "Say Anything". It's a movie with John Cusack and he actually trembles he is so overcome with emotion. I remember thinking I wanted someone to tremble for me!!

Carolyn H said...

Hey Kendra,
Well trying to think of a kiss in a movie. I think its the one inThe Princess Diaries that is good at the end. Edwards and Bella is good in Twilight. But I dont watch too much TV or movies. But I am still a sucker Walt Disney films.