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  September 2009

  Dear Readers,

     I never imagined, when I wrote the first Shadow Dweller title in 1995, that I would still be talking about this series. Well, to be honest, I wasn't sure it would ever see the sight of day.

     In September of 1994, a co-worker decided to start an online magazine. Way back then in the dark ages of the internet, there were only a few magazines out there and this concept was still cutting edge. I can't remember the focus of the magazine but the title was to be, Obelisk. Imagine that, a man coming up with a name whose definition is 'an upright 4-sided usually monolithic pillar that gradually tapers as it rises and terminates in a pyramid.'

     Can you say, phallic? :) 

One With The Hunger, LTDBooks cover 2001

    I started writing romance novellas in seventh grade and twenty-odd years later romance was still my focus. Craig, in looking for content, asked if I could write a short story that was dark, sexy and primarily for a male readership. I was doubtful about my ability but I also realized that he was handing me a great opportunity to stretch my wings.

   The rest of September was spent writing what was to become, One With The Hunger. I laugh now because in its original version I killed the heroine at the end. Poor Shai (pronounced shy) - dead before her journey had really begun.

    The story was finished and....the magazine simply never came to fruition. Unsure of what to do with a dark, deadly and super-sexy short story, I simply posted it on my website and went on with my life. Even though I'd been writing romances for years, I'd never submitted anything for publication. It never occurred to me that someone would want to pay for something I'd written so there it sat for quite a long time. Looking back, I could've kicked myself for doing this but it all worked out well in the end.

    Sometime between 1996 and 1998, I decided to expand the short story. So I'd been working on it off and on for at least a year when one of the owners of Dreams Unlimited emailed me. They wanted me to submit the story to them. I'd never heard of electronic publishing but I figured, what the heck? (Don't ever do this yourself, always do your research before submitting your work to any publisher!)

     I sent off the manuscript and a month later, voila - they wanted to buy it. So I did some edits and gave it a romance-esque ending.

     One With The Hunger hit the virtual shelves in June of 1998 and get a load of this cover. BWAH! Thank god that covers have come a long way since then. And what's with the furry pink dress? Not to mention the fact that her arm is at least five feet long with multiple joints. Lying on her back doing a Nazi salute - very pretty. :)

One With The Hunger, Dreams Unlimited Cover 1998

    Once the first book was published, the readers bombarded me with requests for a sequel. Seeing that I hadn't planned for a second book, I had to do some fast plotting to come up with an idea and Retribution was born.

    I can't remember where the original idea came from but the scene with Jennifer in the catacombs...that was inspired by a tv show about the catacombs in France. Watching the show I couldn't help thinking about what it would be like to be a hundred feet underground and have your only source of light go out.

    Yeah, spooky stuff.

     It was before the release of the second book that I held a series naming contest on my website. The winner, Shadow Dwellers, was submitted by fellow author, Patricia White. She is the Godmother of the series and I give her Big Kudos for coming up the name.

     Retribution was released in early 1999.

     Shameless, the third book in the series, is set in Colorado. At the time I wrote this title I was spending a great deal of time in Boulder and the Vail valley region. The Brewhouse, the coffee house/bar where the book opens, is an actual place in Boulder though I used another name. The house where Erihn stays belongs to a friend in real life. I was so in love with the house and the view I had to use it.

    Shameless was released in the spring of 2000.

     Redemption is the fourth book in the series and the last one to be released by Dreams Unlimited in late 2000. Shortly after this book was released the company was sold to LTDBooks, a Canadian electronic publisher. Luckily for me they picked up the series and thus began Incarnation 2.

      The first and one of the most exciting aspects of the sale was I got new covers! Sweet, no more computer generated Nazi chicks! For more info on the covers, scroll down to the bottom.


     The first four titles were re-released in the late spring of 2001.

     Number five was Sins of the Flesh and it was released in the fall of 2001. The entire idea of the book was sparked by my friend, Jeff. One day he walked up to me and said, 'Is that a crucifix in your pocket or are you happy to see me?' I then began thinking about what kind of a woman would dare to say that to an elder Vampire and Sunni was born.

     Set in New Orleans, one of the characters is based on a real person. Mambo Cecille was born (vaguely) in the image of a Voodoo priestess from Bayou Blue, LA. The real 'Cecille' was a big help with my voodoo, voodun and Louisiana research.

    Number six, the final Shadow Dwellers title published, is Temptation. It was released in late spring 2002. The Chat Noir, the bar/restaurant where most of the book takes place, was a real establishment in New Orleans. Unfortunately it closed after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    In 2001, the first six books were put into print (covers below). In 2002, LTDBooks ceased publication and the Shadow Dwellers were homeless once again.

     In the fall of 2003, the books were re-released in their third incarnation from Ellora's Cave. The first six ebooks were released in the fall of 2003 and two of the titles were changed. Shameless became Tempt Not The Cat and Redemption became Atonement.

     The first two titles were released in trade paperback, entitled Shadow Dwellers, in January 2007. (Cover on the Home Page) Syneca is the cover artist for these books and as you can see, she's a genius! My favorite is Tempt Not The Cat, love her eyes, but they are all simply stunning.

     In April 2009, the rights to the last four titles of the series reverted back to me. The first two books, One With The Hunger and Retribution are still available from their website.

     So here we are at the fouth (and hopefully final!) incarnation of this series. Tempt Not the Cat (book 3) and Reckoning (book 4 - was Atonement) have been contracted by Samhain Publishing. Tempt Not the Cat will be released October 31, 2009 and Reckoning will be released December 3, 2009. Both of these titles have been revised to stand independently of the first two titles. In TNTC, about forty new pages have been added.

      I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about the background of the series as I had fun picking through these memories. :)

     Ciao ~ J.C.

About the LTDBooks Covers

     For the LTDBooks covers, the photos they used are mine. For One With The Hunger (above) that is a photo I took in New York in the early nineties.

     For Retribution, that photo isn't mine but a friend who lives in Ireland took it at a local fairy ring. The lightning was added digitally. 

     Shameless, the background photo is of Vail Valley. I took this one in 1996 on a mountain overlooking the valley at a place the locals call The Knob.

     Redemption, the background is another photo of the valley I'd taken at sunrise and the gravestone is in a cemetery about five minutes from my house. The flowers were growing along the road in my town and they looked enough like heather so we fudged it.

     Sins of the Flesh - the model is my friend, Debbie. She was so thrilled that she framed a copy and gave it to her husband for their anniversary.

    Temptation - the model is my friend Brett and he's a cop in my hometown.


Ellora's Cave Covers





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