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Lisa Kessler | Using real history in a Paranormal World

October 25, 2012

Lisa KesslerNIGHT THIEFHi everyone –

I’m excited to be back on the Fresh Fiction Blog! 🙂

Since NIGHT WALKER, the first book in my Night Series, was published, I have received many emails from readers asking if the historical flashbacks in the novel were accurate.  I’m always happy to answer that they are.

As a writer, it’s challenging and fun to blend true history into my paranormal worlds.  It makes the characters and the conflict feel more real, like they could actually have happened.

My latest addition to the Night Series, NIGHT THIEF, is a prequel and it takes place in 1840 in Paris.

Here’s the blurb:

After the fall of the Mayan civilization, Kane, an immortal Night Walker, has taken refuge in France for over 800 years. The modern world holds little interest for him until the night he meets the Golden Thief and is robbed of much more than his pocket watch.

Marguerite Rousseau is living a double life. By day she is the assistant to an eccentric French artist, Antoine Berjon, and by night she dons elegant evening gowns to woo French dignitaries before lifting their wallets.

Sparks ignite when Kane captures the thief, but Marguerite harbors a dark secret that could ruin them both.

The book opens during the National Funeral for Napoleon when his body was returned to France.  It’s during that huge public celebration that Kane witnesses a woman pick-pocket a wealthy man.

Rita is living a dual life, struggling to escape the eccentric artist she serves. All of the art, the opera, and the opening scene of Napoleon’s funeral are historically accurate.  I hope by weaving in real facts, it helps to sink the reader into the paranormal elements until it seems possible that Mayan immortal Night Walkers might have dwelled among us for centuries…

Excerpt:  This scene takes place after Marguerite has stolen Kane’s pocket watch and he tracks her… (1840 – Paris)

She wore her golden hair up in a loose knot, with stray curls falling down her neck and framing her large round eyes and high cheekbones. Nothing about her was subtle or forgettable like a thief should be.

When he took the watch from her hand, he noticed a flush of color rising from beneath the velvet choker on her neck. Enticing. “You are a flamboyant thief.”

He never saw the slap coming.

“How dare you!” Her hands balled into fists at her sides.

Kane smiled and reached for her hand, drawing her soft fingers to his lips. Her struggles were nothing against his inhuman strength. Pressing a cool kiss to her knuckles, he stared into her eyes.

“Forgive me for being so rude,” he murmured. “You are the most lovely, delicate, and beautiful thief I have ever seen.”

This time, he caught her other wrist before her slap made contact with his cheek. Her bright blue eyes widened. “Let me go.”

“Not yet.” He tipped his head slightly. “I have a confession to make.”


He released her. “I have been watching you, waiting to make your acquaintance. I wore my watch tonight hoping you might take it from me.”

A crease marred her brow. “Why?”

“Because you intrigue me. I have never met a thief quite like you.”

Her eyes searched his, and for a moment, he thought she might apologize for taking his property.

“I did not steal your watch.” She set her chin. “I found it.”

Marguerite placed the watch in his palm, and she closed his fingers around it. Glancing at his hand, she frowned.

“Your skin is cold.” She released him. “Are you sick?”

He shook his head. “I am well.”

She went back to the table and gathered her other treasures. “It is good fortune that our paths crossed again so that I could return your watch. Sadly, I will still need to find the other owners.”

“We could give the items you found to the police.”

“No!” She snatched up the satchel and hid it behind her skirt. He watched her clear her throat and her composure returned with her charm. “I could not trust another person with these valuables. Tomorrow, I will go back and inquire with the host to see which guests might be missing their belongings. It is the only way to ease my mind and know they will be returned to their rightful owners.”

“How thoughtful of you. With Le Voleur D’or stalking the streets of Paris, they probably fear their belongings are lost forever.”

Her back straightened and her lips pressed together as if she were a royal princess. It was all he could do not to kiss her. What was wrong with him? He should be angered, or in the least, willing to turn her over to the police.

His shoulders tensed at the thought of an officer touching her.

She cleared her throat. “What do you know of Le Voleur D’or?”

He stepped in closer to her and kept his voice low. “I have been told she has golden hair and her beauty is so blinding that no one notices her pluck their wallets from their pockets. I also understand that she charms her victims until they no longer care that she has lightened their coin purses.”

He tipped his head down. The scent of her hair and the sound of her heartbeat enticed him. Kane ached to taste her. Such an unusual woman. He bit back his desire and whispered near her ear. “Is my description far from the truth?”

She met his gaze. The candlelight flickered in the clear sea-blue of her eyes. “Perhaps you were not charmed enough, Monsieur Bordeaux.”

“In my rush to find you, I was nearly run down by a coach.”

She glanced down at the watch in his hand, then met his gaze again. “You do cherish that watch.”

He bent closer to her, until his lips nearly brushed hers. “It was not the watch that I was after.”

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!  How do you feel about paranormals that weave in real historical events?

One commenter will win an eBook copy of NIGHT THIEF!

Thanks for coming by!


Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, NIGHT WALKER, won a San Diego Book Award for best Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror, and also won the Romance Through the Ages Best Paranormal and Best First Book categories.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

Lisa lives in southern California with her husband and two amazing kids.

You can learn more about Lisa and her books at

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