05 October 2008

Guest Blogger: Kim Lenox

Just in time for Halloween, we're welcoming Kim Lenox as she discusses her Signet release NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, a spooky tale set in 1888s London.

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Arches, Lord Black, returns to England at the behest of Queen Victoria to immerse himself in the dark, hellish streets of London's East End. Among the immortal Shadow Guard, he is the most prolific and cunning of the Reclaimers. He revels in the hunt of his current prey: an ill-mannered, reluctant soul reviled in the daily newspapers as Jack the Ripper. Archer has only one weakness...one distraction...the young woman he spared from death two years before.

Elena Whitney has never wanted for anything--not since coming under the protection of her mysterious and absent guardian, Lord Black, who has gifted her with everything a young woman of quality could ever hope for, including an enviable address, an unlimited income and entrée into the drawing rooms of high society. But now, after nearly two years of indifference, he believes he can sweep into her life and rid himself of her by marrying her off. If he knew anything about her--anything at all--he'd know she had greater aspirations than that.
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It's October! Fall leaves. Cooler weather. Pumpkins.

Halloween.

Do you like to be scared? Just a little?

I've always enjoyed "spooky". Midnight? Abandoned buildings? Fog? I'm there. At least as an observer through movies, television shows and books.

My memories of childhood include watching Scooby Doo with my brother. We'd get up early Saturday morning, and watch from underneath an afghan my mom had crocheted--that way we could watch the scary story unfold from the safety of a "blanket", but the loops in the yarn were big enough that we could see through. I also enjoyed watching Night Gallery. Remember that show? You'd get to view a spooky piece of art in the gallery, and then be thrown into the actual story it represented. The stories were always so macabre--and the actresses had such great 70's era hair.

My fascination with spooky continued into my teenage years. I gobbled down books like Lois Duncan's SUMMER OF FEAR and DOWN A DARK HALL, and later, the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker, along with contemporary novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice.

It was only natural that when I undertook writing projects of my own, that they would combine my love of all things darkly evocative with my other great passion: history.

My October release, NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, is set in 1888 Victorian London. My hero, Archer, Lord Black, is an immortal hunter. He hunts mortals whose souls have deteriorated to such a degree that they approach a dangerous and powerful supernatural state. He has returned to England at the behest of Queen Victoria, and is tasked with the elimination of an exceedingly evil soul: Jack the Ripper.

What do you know about Jack the Ripper? Perhaps you know that he murdered--in truly horrible fashion--at least five East End prostitutes. Perhaps you know that he may have written letters to the authorities, taunting them with his crimes. That's about all I knew about Jack when I first considered writing him as my villain. When I started to research the killings further--to read the witness statements, the inquest reports, and view the photographs, I found that neither he nor the murders made sense. There are more than thirty named suspects, and none of them fit the bill, at least in my mind. Jack the Ripper's identity, and his motivation, remain a mystery.

And so, in NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, I created my own alternate theory. I hope you'll join Archer and his ward, Elena Whitney, in their dangerous and passionate adventure. You'll encounter a number of historical figures along the way, like Queen Victoria and Bram Stoker--and you'll get your spooky quota in for the month of October!

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You can read an excerpt of NIGHT FALLS DARKLY here.

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If you're interested in entering for a chance to win a copy of NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, leave a comment or question for Kim. Or you can answer for us: What do you enjoy most about the Halloween season? And do you enjoy historicals blended with a little paranormal?

Good luck! A winner will be drawn next Sunday.

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