Posted by Sarah Andre
Today is release day for Lark Brennan’s second book in The Durand Chronicles. This is a series based on the psychic skills of the powerful Durand family and their war against the evil faction in the world; the Dissemblers, who thrive on creating chaos and death. IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is Adrien’s story, the most powerful member of the Durand family. What’s compelling in this fast-paced adventure/thriller is the inner demons he faces and the critical decisions he’s forced to make for the family’s survival. It’s a riveting read, and I’m pleased to welcome Lark back to KaT today!
Tell us where did you got the idea for IRRESISTIBLY YOURS?
On a rainy January day in Paris, my husband and I were strolling down the rue du Bac when a window display of framed insect specimens caught his eye.
We went into the charming little garden shop, browsed for a few minutes, and were about to leave when the woman behind the counter told us we absolutely must go upstairs.
We weren’t expecting much, but it was raining and cold outside so we climbed the worn stairs and emerged among Deyrolle’s incredible collection of taxidermy animals—featuring every species from elephants and giraffes to donkeys, wolves, rabbits, and even mice–all posed as though they are having a jolly time in the elegant townhouse. Then and there I fell in love with the place and every creature in it.
I joked to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the man who owned Deyrolle could bring the animals to life when no one was around?” That imaginary man later became Adrien Durand, and IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is his story.
It was important that Adrien Durand’s ability to animate the taxidermy animals of the Maison d’Ermonie have a plausible and serious purpose that makes him uniquely qualified to be head of the family. The last thing I wanted was to write a Night at the Museum Meets Doctor Dolittle comedy.
Instead, the entire structure of the psychic world evolved around what the ‘animals’ are and the enormous stakes the family has in protecting them. Although the paranormal elements are an integral part of the world, the story includes suspense, international intrigue, a bit of pseudo-science and, of course, a love story.
Tell us a little about Adrien and Tate.
One of the most powerful telepaths in the world, Adrien loved being a covert agent in the Durands’ war against their ancient enemies and hates being trapped in Paris running the family’s worldwide business empire. The one thing he treasures is his ability to connect with the beings who inhabit Maison d’Ermonie’s taxidermy animals—until Tate shows up and his world is turned upside down.
Tate is an animal telepath and empath from Indiana who has hidden her abilities in order to protect herself. The joy in her life comes from volunteering in animal rescue organizations where she can help animals with her unique abilities. When she meets Adrien, for the first time she doesn’t need to hide who she is–which makes it far too easy to fall hopelessly in love with him.
Are The Durand Chronicles a continuous story or does each book stand alone?
The books can definitely stand alone although I think they’re more fun to read in order. Each is a complete romantic suspense with a different Durand cousin as the hero or heroine. There’s an over-arching story that threads through the series but it’s very easy to pick up at any point. Some of the characters from Book 1 appear in Book 2 and readers are introduced to new family members–all navigating tricky family dynamics.
The Durand Chronicles have been called a mash-up of suspense, romance, adventure, and paranormal. How would you describe the stories?
You forgot science fiction. 🙂 I call them romantic suspense with a psychic element. The series takes place in the present in the Real World but unbeknownst to the general population, some people have genetic-based psychic abilities. The Durands are among the most powerful of those psychics.
Each book has a fast-paced suspense plot. For two centuries the Durands have been waging a covert war with a faction of psychics bent on controlling non-psychics by creating chaos, destruction and terrorism, and that conflict is always in the background. In IRRESISTIBLY YOURS, a new, unsuspected enemy sets out to destroy Adrien and his entire family using both psychic and legal manipulation—and manages to throw suspicion on Tate and divide the family in the process.
Could you give us a short excerpt based on your visit to Deyrolle, so the readers can see the charming humor the animals bring to the story? (Readers: There really IS a horse to greet you as you reach the top of the stairs!)
Tate’s smile wilted as Adrien led her through the gallery of stuffed animals to reception. He was sorry to disappoint her but the sooner she was gone, the better. What had passed between them when he touched her was out of his control, and nothing in this place could ever be out of his control. That was who he was and what he was.
“Thank you,” she said. You and this enchanted place are what I’ll remember of Paris.
He’d read her thoughts and his instincts went on high alert. She sensed too much. “Would you like to have lunch?” he asked.
“I wish I could. I’m due at the convention center at one.”
“Tomorrow, perhaps? Here at twelve thirty?”
Her eyes lit up and he was rewarded with a lovely smile.
“I’d like that.” She stroked the horse’s neck on her way down the stairs. “It was nice meeting you, Maurice. Au revoir, Mr. Durand.”
His reply lodged in his throat. “Bye,” he managed as she disappeared down the stairs.
When the door below closed he whirled on the horse. “Maurice? How the hell did she know your name?”
The horse’s ear twitched. A good guess?
“I don’t think so.” He turned so he could address the room. “What’s going on here?”
Louis, a huge African lion, replied. Don’t you like her?
“I don’t even know her. And anyone showing up here with empathic abilities that strong is suspect. What if she’s a Dissembler?”
She isn’t, Maurice replied. She’s completely untrained and unguarded. You know that. You were in her head the entire time she was here.
“Forget it. I’m not looking for a woman.” Especially an empath.
The llama replied, Tate is different. She felt us. She likes us.
“That is not good. Even if she isn’t a spy, someone sent her here.”
Victor appeared in the doorway. “So who was the empath?”
“Some American tourist,” Adrien snapped.
“What’s your problem?”
He’s taking her to lunch tomorrow, a cheetah confided.
Victor grinned. “Really?”
Adrien groaned. “You’re on my side. Humans stick together.”
“She looked pretty hot to me—in a wholesome sort of way.”
“Drop it. What do you have for me?”
Victor handed him a business card. “His camera crew is due at two o’clock to plan the video shoot. In the ballroom.”
Which was in chaos. Adrien chuckled. “Then let’s go put it in order.”
They entered the ballroom and Victor leaned against the wall, awaiting directions.
Adrien crossed to the center. He stood among the stuffed animals and breathed deeply, focusing on tapping into the power of the Source below. The energy swirled and pulsed until the air crackled. Soon the power surged through him, growing, pounding, expanding until it filled his body and mind with light. Slowly he lifted his arms.
The energy flowed from the Source through him to the Guardians, pure spirits who had taken possession of the stuffed bodies over the past three centuries.
The animals began to move.
Thank you so much for sharing the incredible story-behind-the-story. Because I’ve been on this particular book’s journey with you from the first time you handed out pages in a critique group, I made a point of visiting Deyrolle a few years ago, and it was as magical as you described! The most remarkable part of wandering through rooms of vibrant, astonishingly alive-looking animals in the most darling poses was thinking: “Lark nailed it!”
On behalf of my eleven-year critique partner, I’d like to gift 5 digital copies of IRRESISTIBLY YOURS to 5 lucky commenters!
QUESTION: What quirky way does your pet communicate with you? (Can be an animal from your past.)
Winner will be announced on Friday, June 25th!
– Author Bio, Social media & Buy Links
Lark Brennan’s love of reading, writing and travel — including a few years spent sailing and diving in the Virgin Islands –has led to a string of colorful jobs and a well-worn passport. Her travels have also inspired her romance series, The Durand Chronicles, which takes place in some of her favorite destinations—Paris, British Virgin Islands, New Orleans and Scotland. Lark dreams of one day moving to Paris, and in the meantime lives in Texas with her brilliant husband and two adorable canine “children.”
You can find Lark Brennan at: www.larkbrennan.com