Our Reviews

Most Recent Posts First - Previous Reviews are listed under the Blog Archive on the right hand side.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER: Susan Krinard

Okay, I admit it. I'm a drama queen.

Anyone who's read my books knows that I am not a subtle, delicate writer. I love drama. I love big, windswept tales of passion and adventure. My characters are unabashedly larger-than-life, and so are my stories.

That's why, when a new Publisher's Weekly review of my forthcoming book, Lord of Legends, called my story “overwrought,” I really wasn't surprised.

That's right. I'm as overwrought as a New Mexico sunset, a raging Pacific Ocean, a Texas thunderstorm. As melodramatic as one of those humongous historical epics Hollywood doesn't make any more. As unapologetically romantic as The Prisoner of Zenda, King Solomon's Mines, or The Mask of Zorro. I love duels to the death, hair-raising escapes, operatic sacrifices, and eternal love.

In short, I'm an old-fashioned storyteller.

So, this is a warning to any reader who prefers a quieter, more refined type of story. I don't believe in false advertising. If you don't care for swashbuckling characters, intricate plots, “overwrought” sacrifices and explosively dramatic finales, I'm not for you.

And that's okay! Where would we be without a good range of different types of writers and stories? I happen to love Jane Austen as much as Jane Eyre, and would be lost without them. Not everyone is a drama queen, nor should they be. I'm thrilled that we can all find what we want, that reading can bring such joy to our lives.

Well … now that you've been warned , may I tell you a little about Lord of Legends?
I've always loved writing paranormal stories, of course. Way back in the early 90's, when werewolf protagonists were almost unheard-of in romance and those few that existed were “cursed,” I wrote my first romance novel, Prince of Wolves. Luc Gevaudan was not cursed … he controlled his own Change, wasn't affected by silver bullets, and was very happy to be what he was. Little was I to know that fifteen years later werewolves (the non-cursed kind) would be all the rage.

Meanwhile, I've been plugging along with my paranormal romances for over fifteen years, continuing with my werewolves series and adding vampires, time-travel, ghosts, reincarnation and witches into the mix. And I'm always looking for something a little different, a little new … which is why I took a chance on setting my three werewolf/vampire novels in the 1920's.
That trilogy didn't go over as well as I'd hoped … seems that once again I'm ahead of the curve. I'm willing to bet in less than five years the 20's will be all the rage, too.

But back to Lord of Legends …
I decided a few years ago that I'd like to explore some of the “faerie” myths of the British Isles. After a bit of research, I created my “Fane” … the Fair Folk of Celtic legend, also known as the Sidhe (pronounced “shee”.) Though most faerie lore shrinks the Fair Folk to a diminutive size, I decided to go back to the old Irish legends that paint the Sidhe as resembling humans in stature. I placed my Fane in the Land of the Young, Tir-na-Nog, a plane where life is eternal and beauty commonplace.

Like most Faerie folk, the Fane were not always kind to mortals. In fact, my Fane tended toward selfishness, arrogance, and disdain for humankind. There were exceptions, of course: my hero Hern in The Forest Lord, for one. And their half-human children, like Donal in Lord of the Beasts, were often torn between the magical Fane world and troubled earth, between immortality and love.

Since I've always adored shapeshifters, I considered how I could fit them into my Fane world. I wanted to do something different. So I came up with the idea of a shape-shifting unicorn: the King of the Unicorns, Arion, who is exiled from Tir-na-Nog and forced to take human form.
Arion begins by despising the human world to which he's been condemned, a helpless prisoner of the mortal lord who longs to hunt him as the rarest of game. But his arrogant heart is slowly awakened by the woman who saves him, Mariah Marron, the new but untouched bride of the Earl of Donnington. He'll have to decide if he can sacrifice his true nature—even his very life—for the sake of the woman he's coming to love, or abandon her to her own imprisonment. And Mariah will have to make the same choice between captivity and her love for the man she calls Ash.

It's a dramatic story. It's larger-than-life. It doesn't come with a warning label, but if it did, it would say:

Caution: Raging Romance Ahead!


Lori said...

"Overwroght" I say Bring it On!!! That's exactly what this paranormal fan loves! I look forward to reading your latest.

Sarah S said...

Well, I have been a longtime fan...one of those from the "early years" and have always appreciated your writing style. The passion and depth you put into your books are obvious and the reason why I enjoy reading them so much....

So, keep doing whatever it is you are doing because it's working for THIS reader.

Glo said...

The more a story grabs you with emotion, the better I say. Do you have a preference as to which paranormals you like to write about, like werewolves, vampires, or ghosts? I like all of them myself. Thank you for the wonderful blog. I'll be adding Lord of Legends to my buy list.


Sue Krinard said...

Thanks to Lori, Sarah S, and Glo for your kind comments! Let me tell you, that review was a shock when I first read it, and then I thought ... Hey! I like dramatic! I love it in books and movies! Why shouldn't I wear that review as a badge of honor!

Glo, I actually enjoy shapeshifters the most, anything to do with animals, really. But I also have come to enjoy vampires since I've started writing them! Really, I love larger-than-life heroes are dangerously inhuman. One of my absolute favorite fictional movie characters is Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. He is the pinnacle of what I love in dangerous heroes!

Sarah S said...

Ok, I'm back. I was honored to receive Lord of Legends for review on our site. I just finished it and wanted to comment here.

I truly don't know how you do it.... each book of yours is consistently very well done. Whether it is your Kinsman series, Roaring Twenty series, were's, or the Fane, I have yet to read one of your books that I have not liked.

For this one, Arion/Ash and Mariah are both such interesting characters as are all the secondary ones. I guess this one is loosely tied to the two other Fane books?

I truly loved this one (you should be getting a copy of my review Ms. Krinard is a few days). I have to admit, I would have liked to have seen some more interaction of our lead characters. They seem to spend a lot of time apart. But other than that, the tale you weave here is absorbing.

Also, quickly, what is with the cover? I assume that you had no choice? While it is a compelling picture, if that is Ash on the cover, then I have a completely different picture of our hero.


I wish you all the best luck with this release, it was a lot of fun reading it.