Archive for May 7th, 2009



Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe has hidden in his castle ever since returning from the Colonies, scarred inside and out. But when a mysterious beauty arrives at his door, the passions he’s kept suppressed for years begin to awaken.


Running from past mistakes has taken legendary beauty Helen Fitzwilliam from the luxury of the ton to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . and a job as a housekeeper. Yet Helen is determined to start a new life and she won’t let dust-or a beast of a man-scare her away.


Beneath Helen’s beautiful façade, Alistair finds a courageous and sensual woman. A woman who doesn’t back away from his surliness-or his scars. But just as he begins to believe in true love, Helen’s secret past threatens to tear them apart. Now both Beast and Beauty must fight for the one thing neither believed they could ever find-a happy ever after.

So my latest book, To Beguile a Beast is out and it features not one but two canine characters. What’s up with that? Well, the short answer is I just like dogs so it’s easy to put them into my books. The longer answer is that dogs (and other animal characters) can be a way for the writer to highlight a human character’s personality. How a person reacts to their dog—are they cuddly, domineering, impatient?—can show a great deal about them as a human being.

For instance, in To Beguile a Beast, my hero is Sir Alistair Munroe. Sir Alistair was terribly scarred when he was captured and tortured during the French and Indian War. As a result of that trauma—and because little children scream when they see his face on the street—he’s hidden himself away in an old castle in Scotland. Sir Alistair is gruff, rude, and surly (he’s the “beast” of the title.) At the beginning of the book readers don’t know much more than that about Sir Alistair and they might write him off as a jerk. But wait a minute: Sir Alistair has one constant companion—his Scottish Deerhound, Lady Grey. Here’s a portion of a scene in which Sir Alistair helps Lady Grey up to his tower study:

Alistair sighed and climbed back down the stairs to Lady Grey. “Come on, lass.” He bent and gently scooped her against his chest. He could feel her heartbeat under his hands and the trembling in her legs. She was heavy but Alistair held the big dog in his arms as he ascended the tower stairs. Once in the tower, he knelt and set her in her favorite place on the rug before the fire.

“Nothing to be ashamed of,” he whispered as he stroked her ears. “You’re a brave lass, you are, and if you need a bit of help up the stairs, well, I’m glad to oblige.”

How Sir Alistair responds to Lady Grey is his saving grace as a character. He may be rough and hard in the way he treats other people, but he loves his dog. How can a reader—and the heroine—not respond to such a hero?

I hope you enjoy both Alistair’s and Lady Grey’s story in To Beguile a Beast!



******Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of TO BEGUILE A BEAST. Good Luck! 🙂

Read Full Post »