Book Title: A Duke’s Wicked Kiss
Author: Kathleen Bittner Roth
Release Date: 8/26/14
Genre: Historical Romance
Author Website: http://kathleenbittnerroth.
Author Blog: http://kathleenbittnerroth.
Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.
The duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it’s too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.
With Suri’s vengeful Indian family calling for her death and insurgents intent on mutiny tearing their world apart, can their love rise above the scandal of the marriage they both desperately want?
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THE BIRTH OF A STORY
Recently, I read a contemporary western romance where the hero, a Native American law-enforcement officer, sits quietly in front of a campfire, staring into dancing flames until a vision forms. He does this just as his grandfather had taught him, and just as his forefathers had done before him. The hero knows that if he remains very still, and empties his mind of all thought, the clues he’d missed during his investigation of a murder would surface in the form of a vision.
Whatever you want to call the man’s method of seeking clues he’d missed, he was practicing a form of meditation. I know because I have my own way of meditating, one that I have taught others for years.
Like the hero in the author’s story who draws forth information from within, I write stories in much the same manner. I write by the seat of my pants, I don’t plot. Oh, I do a heck of a lot of research after I get my “vision” but it’s the act of stilling my body, quieting my mind, and emptying it of all thought, that allows a kind of movie to start rolling around in my head. Whether it’s the next chapter or an entire story pouring out of me, soon my fingers fly across the keyboard.
At times, I might sit down at my desk with the seed of an idea germinating, while at other times, I haven’t a clue what I am about to write. What I do know, is that all I need do is sit quietly, wait patiently, and the story will reveal itself. Stephen King, in his wonderful book On Writing, wrote that he does not plot his books. He prefers sitting at a desk in a room void of anything that might distract him. The walls bare, he stares at them until creativity engages. This, too, is a form of meditation—disengaging the thinking part of the brain and allowing a stream of creativity to freely flow.
The particular method that works for me could in part be because of my many years of practicing meditation, but even as a small child, I used to get quiet at night, and suddenly, stories would roll around in my head. I would often lull my siblings to sleep with those fanciful tales.
Now, once a story starts developing in my head, I simply place my fingers on the keyboard and let the characters write the book. Whatever I write becomes a rough draft. Perhaps a very rough draft, but the story is there nonetheless. It may be a draft of a single chapter or of several. Or an entire book. Afterward, I painstakingly go back, do my research, and flesh out the story.
I love the research. Writing historical romance means a ton of careful investigation in order to bring the time and setting to life. When I wrote A Duke’s Wicked Kiss, which is set for the most part in India during the sepoy uprising against the British East India Company (and also a bit in England), I had to immerse myself in the Indian culture. I even spent time in an Indian clothing store trying on both men's and women’s clothing to get the feel of them. I am now in love with the beautiful sari.
If you haven’t tried getting very quiet and still, emptying your mind of all thought, and then patiently wait for what it is you seek, you might want to give it a go. Creativity and insight will flow of its own accord. Whatever those of us are doing to capture our “visions,” be it my particular form of meditation, Stephen King contemplating a blank wall, or the hero in a western romance staring into flames licking a night sky, it works.
A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist.
Kathleen Bittner Roth creates passionate stories featuring characters faced with difficult choices, and who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota.
You can find Kathleen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
pages/Kathleen-Bittner-Roth- Historical-Romance-Writer/; Twitter: @K_BittnerRoth; among the authors at www.dashingduchesss.com, and www.ghfirebirds.com, or by visiting her website at: www.kathleenbittnerroth.com