Guest Author: Donna Lea Simpson!

March 30, 2009

Hey Everyone! Please help me in giving a warm welcome to Sourcebooks Casablanca Author, Donna Lea Simpson!


How do you feel about mystery mingled with your romance?


I’ve always found romance blended with mystery makes for a fun read. Who didn’t root for Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane to finally just get together, already? And who can resist Emerson’s passion for Peabody in Elizabeth Peters’ Egyptian series?

Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark, the first book in my new Lady Anne series, is first and foremost a romance novel! But the mystery element in ‘Howl’ is important, because it keeps the hero and heroine together long enough that the passionate attraction mingled with annoyance they feel toward one another has a chance to grow into something more romantic.


I think for those of us who read mysteries hoping for a romance sub-plot, that is part of the attraction. We want the hero and heroine to investigate together, sparking off each other, flirting, bantering, and maybe sneaking in a kiss or two long the way. What I have done with ‘Howl’ is kind of the opposite; I’ve taken a historical romance—emphasis on the ‘romance’—and built in a little mystery to give the hero and heroine a conflict to work through, something to keep them busy while they’re falling in love!


How far can a writer take that blending of genres? Well, that’s the delicate part, because a mystery is often complicated and requires lots of laying of clues and tracking them down, figuring out what is going on behind the scenes. But I am writing romance, after all, and the vital part of the plot was for the reader to feel that a relationship was building between Anne and Lord Darkefell, even if they were often at odds and trying to solve the murder. The trick, I’ve found, is to keep the characters together though the novel, and keep in mind that the romance is most important. I was blessed, in that I was given a little time to develop the romantic part of their relationship, so though there is a strong attraction between the two in ‘Howl’, it is still building. I think this will be more evident to readers as the series builds to a crescendo!


I hope you all enjoy the mystery and the romance!




Here’s a little about the book:


Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark – April 1st 2009 – Sourcebooks Casablanca


England, 1786

Lady Anne, a smart, stubborn, and skeptical spinster, travels north to Yorkshire at the request of a newly married friend to try to figure out what is going on.  A wolf—or werewolf—is roaming the countryside near Darkefell Castle, terrorizing the populace and harassing the sheep herds.  The hour she arrives in Yorkshire she stumbles across a body, and her outraged sensibility demands she discover who committed such a foul deed.


With a bewildering love/hate relationship developing between her and the master of Darkefell Castle, the Marquess of Darkefell—he happens to also be her friend’s new brother-in-law—Anne investigates, digging into the family history.  Confused by the marquess’s passionate pursuit of her and skeptical of the claims of a werewolf on the loose, Lady Anne manages to triumph, uncovering the reality of a very human murderer, a bitter enemy of the family, just in time to keep from becoming his next victim.


Alarmed by her growing passion for the imperious Marquess of Darkefell, Anne flees after successfully unmasking the killer.  But Darkefell, as stubborn as Anne and twice as imposing, follows her.  Their courtship, unconventional but fiery, continues through Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (Sourcebooks Casablanca – August 2009) and Lady Anne and the Gypsy Curse (Sourcebooks Casablanca – November 2009), as Lord Darkefell  attempts to bully… or rather persuade her to marry him, and she tries desperately to concentrate on debunking ghosts, and discrediting gypsy curses.


I will be very interested in readers’ opinion… do you like romance in your mystery, and mystery in your romance?


Visit me at http://www.donnaleasimpson.com for more information on the Lady Anne series!


Definately check out Donna’s website you can read about all of the other books she’s written plus, there’s a special section just for the Lady Anne Series… you can even read characters bios! 😀

If you’d like to PURCHASE Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark click on one of the links below:

Sourcebooks, Inc.


Barnes & Noble


Also, keep an eye out for my book review of, Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark, which will be coming up very soon along with a few other books I’ve reviewed! 🙂

Okay Everyone! Donna has agreed to stop in today to answer questions and comments! Be sure to answer her question as well and give a wave and say Hi! 🙂


       Dani ~ aka The Romance Book Addict



  1. This book sounds wonderful! I’ll definitely be checking it out. Thanks for the insight.

  2. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer questions. I can not wait to read this book! The cover is just great and I love series!! I love romance novels but when you add a little something else into them it makes them even better. Books that keep me guessing the whole way through are my favorites. I was just wondering who is your favorite author read? Thanks again Nicole

  3. This sounds like a great book to give me a mystery fix. I haven’t read one in a while but still love them. A romance with a bit of mystery. Love the idea.

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