AOTW- Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye

About the Author:

Laura grew up around a large extended family who believed in and regularly told stories about their own personal encounters with the supernatural. Family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with the supernatural and the world of fantasy. Laura was an avid reader and writer from childhood — at fourteen, she handwrote a 50-notebook-page paranormal take on The Secret Garden; at sixteen, her time travel historical short story, Peter Save the Tsar, won an award from the county Board of Education. As an adult, new dreams and pursuits overshadowed these earlier interests in fiction writing, and it was years before the storyteller in her soul demanded to be heard. Since awakening, Laura’s inner muse has insisted on making up for lost time by whispering ideas for new stories and new characters into her ear faster than she can write them — but she wouldn’t have it any other way! A published non-fiction author, Laura’s "real" work as an historian and training as an archaeologist help her create vivid and accurate portrayals of other times and places. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers (VP), the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FF&P) chapter of the RWA, the ChickLit chapter of the RWA, the Women's Fiction chapter of the RWA, and is a frequent participant in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa.

Interview with Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye is author of Hearts in Darkness, an EPIC eBook Award finalist for Best Novella (2012) and Forever Freed, a dual finalist in the Golden Leaf Contest in the Best Paranormal and Best First Book categories (2011), and also the author of Just Gotta Say and North of Need, the first book in her Hearts of the Anemoi series.

Holly: Hello, Laura. Would you tell us a bit about yourself?

Laura Kaye: I’d be glad to! But, first, let me say a big thank you for hosting me at your place! I write paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance and have four books releasing in 2011—one of which just released on September (Just Gotta Say)! I’m also a wife, mom of two young girls, historian, and Marylander.

Holly: You are not only an author but also a historian and trained as an archaeologist. How did you first get into both lines of work? What attracted you to them?

Laura Kaye: I was surrounded by history as a kid. I grew up in Western Maryland, not far from the Antietam Battlefield, where a famous battle in the American Civil War occurred in September of 1862 and lived in a nineteenth century house where we found evidence that a hidden room in the attic was likely a stop on the Underground Railroad. Plus, my family was interested in history, and we would visit historic sites on vacations, etc. All of these helped shape my interest in the past. I majored in history in college and took my first archaeology class there. Deciding to go to graduate school in history was therefore an easy decision. And I was lucky to end up at a college (William and Mary) that offered paid apprenticeships in a number of areas, including historical archaeology. I worked for a number of years as a field technician, excavating colonial sites in and around Williamsburg and Jamestown.

Holly: At what age did you start writing?

Laura Kaye: I wrote fiction as a teenager. I can still see the notebook in my mind’s eye in which I handwrote a paranormal retelling of the classic story, The Secret Garden, and I won a Board of Education award for a time-travel history I wrote called Peter Save the Tsar, about a modern kid’s effort to save the Romanov family before the Russian Revolution. (You can see my interest in history there!)

Holly: In your bio you mention that you didn’t write for some time; why was that?

Laura Kaye: Well, I was always a writer—history as a discipline is based on writing about the past. So I’ve written numerous articles and two books in historical topics. And that pursuit took up most of my time. I returned to fiction writing a little over three years ago. Weird story: I had a head injury in the summer of 2008 and, after I recovered, I was overcome with the desire to write fiction. About three months after I started, I’d completed my first draft of the book that became Forever Freed, the first book I wrote and first I sold.

Holly: Also, I have to ask you say, you say you grew up in a large extended family with much lore about the paranormal. Do you recall which story struck your interest the most? Or was it just the paranormal in general?

Laura Kaye: There were so many stories about supernatural things in my family. If families can have a culture, ours included a belief in the existence of the supernatural. I believe I’ve seen at least two ghosts in person, and that my mom (who died 6 years ago) sometimes visits me, but the most story personal to me is this: My grandmother married into a very Italian family, and her mother-in-law didn’t like her. When my grandmother was pregnant with my Mom, she believes her mother-in-law put an evil-eye curse on her, which terrified my grandmother because she believed her whole pregnancy something was wrong with the baby. In her eighth month, my grandmother said an angel appeared to her in the middle of the night to reassure her the baby would be okay, which calmed my grandmother considerably. But, though it never really disabled my mother, she was born with four fingers on her right hand and no right elbow joint. Definitely weird!

Holly: Do you think any authors inspired you as a writer that made you want people to one day read your novels?

Laura Kaye: There are definitely authors who have inspired me or influenced me—for example, Anne Rice and Stephen King have influenced my love for and writing of paranormal fiction. And J.R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon have taught me a lot of what I know about writing male point of view. But there wasn’t really a specific writer who inspired me to want to write. That desire came from stories taking shape within me that demanded to be told.

Holly: Your contemporary novella, Hearts in Darkness, that was just published in April this year is your first published work. Heart in Darkness has already finaled in the EPIC eBook Award for Best Novella! (2012). Was this your first non-paranormal work you have written or just the first you wanted to publish?

Laura Kaye: Hearts in Darkness was the first non-paranormal story I wrote and published.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about Hearts in Darkness, which is from what I hear quite an erotic novella, and also share where you got the idea for the plot and your two characters from?

Laura Kaye: First, I have to share the tagline:

Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator.

Love! *grins*

Hearts in Darkness is a contemporary romance, but the story is very sensual and full of sexual tension, all of which is heightened by the fact the characters can’t see one another because they’re trapped in the complete darkness of an elevator. I had an image pop into my head of two people trapped in a pitch-black space, and one was claustrophobic, and from that the story was born. I knew immediately it was the man who was claustrophobic, but that he physically looked anything but weak and scared. And I loved that contradiction.

Holly: The next novel you published, in May, was Forever Freed, which is a dual finalist in the Golden Leaf Contest for Best Paranormal and Best First Novel (2011). Can you tell us a little about the plot, Olivia, her mother Samantha and Lucien?

Laura Kaye: Forever Freed was the first novel I wrote and the first I sold, despite the fact it came out a month after Hearts in Darkness. I therefore feel particularly fondly about this story and these characters. The tagline is:

Love can heal a broken heart, even one that no longer beats.

Aw, totally gets me every time! The story is about a reclusive, empathic vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her young daughter, then must fight his ancient grief, bloodlust, lie by omission, and an old vampire rival who threatens everything he holds dear.

Lucien Demarco is, hands down, the character that most talks to me. He has more stories he wants told from his world, and there is a drafted prequel and a planned sequel to Forever Freed as a result. His loneliness and longing just appeal to a very deep part of me and make him a incredibly sympathetic and appealing character. I adore little Ollie too, in part because I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that children have a special ability to perceive supernatural events in our world.

Holly: Just Gotta Say is a short story you published in September. This is listed under erotic on your blog and is also a contemporary novel? Can you tell us a little bit about it and maybe a steamy excerpt? :)

Laura Kaye: I would love to! Just Gotta Say is my most recent release, and it is a contemporary erotic romance featuring a ménage a quatres (er, foursome!!!). It’s a friends-to-lovers story where four long-time best friends and roommates give in to a certain fantasy one of them has long kept secret.

The set-up: Callie’s most secret fantasy was just unexpectedly revealed to her three male roommates…

The invitation he laid out for her—the invitation to be with them, to act out this fantasy for real with them—was completely outside anything she imagined possible.

She sat for a long moment, still mostly curled into herself. Her gaze lit on the rough bobbing of Jack’s Adam’s apple as he swallowed. His apparent case of nerves eased hers. A little. Soft, sandy-colored strands brushed against her forehead. Her nose filled with the scent of him, all night air and masculinity.

Callie took a deep breath, her body remembering her unfulfilled arousal even as her brain struggled to keep up. “What are you saying, Jack?” she whispered, buying herself time to think and needing him to spell it out.

One hand stroked her back while the other combed her hair off the side of her face. “I’m saying”—he nibbled at her ear, but this time his lips lingered, his warm exhalation caressing her skin—“that the three of us want to bring that fantasy to life for you. If you want.”

Every nerve ending tingled with the promise of what he offered. Her heart rose from where it had plummeted into her gut and now hammered against her chest. Images of the three of them kissing her, fucking her, swamped her brain. Blood roared through her ears. “Are you teasing me?”

“Look at me,” he said, sliding his large hand under her cheek.

The commanding press of his skin on hers skittered electrical charges down her neck to her breasts. Her nipples hardened. She acquiesced and sat up just enough to face one of her three dearest friends.

“We want to do this for you.” He quirked the sexiest of crooked smiles and shrugged with one shoulder. “You know we’d be good together.”

She didn’t know whether his “we” meant her and him or the four of them. An encouraging voice in her mind said both interpretations were true.

He cupped her neck, his grasp comforting and reassuring, and brushed his lips against her right cheekbone. Her right eye. Her forehead. Tilting his head to the other side, he repeated the action against her left eye, the apple of her left cheek. She gasped when his last kiss fell on that tender, hollow spot just below her ear.

“What do you want, Callie? Whatever you want, we want. Always.”

Holly: North of Need is the first book in your new series, Hearts of the Anemoi, set to come out November 1st this year. This is about a snow god and a woman whose tears called him to life. Can you tell us about your inspiration for this novel?

Laura Kaye: I love snow men. And I actually collect snow men figurines that I put out at Christmas time. This story first came to mind when I saw in my head an image of a woman building a snow family and then crying against the snow man, which brings him to life. From that moment, the rest of the story just totally fleshed itself out, including the fact that the hero wasn’t just a snow man, but an ancient, powerful Greek snow god called to life. I am so excited about this series. I’m writing book two right now, and it’s so freaking good! *grins*

Holly: You also have three more books set to come out in your Hearts of the Anemoi series next year: West of Want coming in March 2012, South of Surrender coming in July 2012, and East of Ecstasy coming in November 2012. I know you can not tell us any about the plot, but could you possibly tell us if they are going to be about characters we meet in North of Need or are these to be characters we will not meet until their books?

Laura Kaye: None of the characters from the other three books are in North of Need, but some of them are mentioned and introduced. One of them, Zephyros, the hero of West of Want (Book 2), inadvertently causes the external conflict in North of Need (Book 1). Already introduced characters will make an appearance in the new books, and all of them will be in East of Ecstasy (Book 4) as they are forced to join together to fight a major big bad!

Holly: What genres do you have the hardest time in? Do you ever think you might try for a YA novel?

Laura Kaye: I haven’t had a hard time with any of the genres I’ve written in, though there are some genres I don’t think I’ll write because they either appeal to me less or seem a bit intimidating in terms of the kinds of knowledge and/or research you’d need to do. Historical romance, for example, is probably too much like my day job as an historian. Science fiction and steampunk also require a lot more research than I want to do. I do have a few YA story ideas, though I worry I’d have too hard of a time restraining my natural sensual/erotic voice to be able to do it. But I’m not ruling it out! *winks*

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Laura Kaye: Just thank you thank you thank you for joining in with me on this great adventure of reading and writing books!

Holly: Thank you so much for being on my blog, Laura!

Books by Laura Kaye 
Hearts in Darkness
Forever Freed
Just Gotta Say

Coming Soon
North of Need (Hearts of the Anemoi Series, #1)—Expected Publication Date: November 1st 2011
West of Want (Hearts of the Anemoi Series, #2)—Expected Publication Date: 2012
South of Surrender (Hearts of the Anemoi Series, #3)—Expected Publication Date: 2012
East of Ecstasy (Hearts of the Anemoi Series, #4)—Expected Publication Date: 2012
In the Service of the King (The Vampire Kings Series #1)—Expected Publication Date: February 2012
To Save a King (The Vampire Kings Series #2) )—Expected Publication Date: 2012

  • Hearts in Darkness, an EPIC eBook Award finalist for Best Novella (2012)
  • Forever Freed, a dual finalist in the Golden Leaf Contest in the Best Paranormal and Best First Book categories (2011
Find Laura Kaye at:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Laura Kaye has offered to give away to two people; their choice of one of her currently available eBook titles (Hearts in Darkness, Forever Freed, or Just Gotta Say).

Book Description:

"Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?"

Book Description:

"A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.

I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.
But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation-talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man within me. They lure me instead.
Ah, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can..."

Book Description:

"Callie Davis stumbles upon two of her three male roommates in a surprising, molten-hot midnight tryst and discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. Desire to play with them grips her, and she can’t stop fantasizing about having multiple men, particularly her three long-time best friends.

Callie is thrilled when a guys’ night out gives her the perfect opportunity to recreate her fantasy, with the help of a threesome porn video and a bag of sex toys. That is, until Lucas, Jack and Noah return early and catch her in the act. More than anything, the guys want to make her fantasy come true. But Callie has a secret, and she can’t help wondering if being with all three men will risk the future she’s always wanted with one of them.

As three strong sets of hands caress and undress her, Callie surrenders to desire, because sometimes you just gotta say...yes."

Giveaway Details
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada & Internationally.
  • Giveaway will run from October 17rd 2011 - October 31th 2011
  • Giveaway winner(s) will be chosen randomly and announced on November 1st 2011
  • The winner(s) will have 48 hours to contact back before another winner(s) will be chosen.
  • One entry per-person please!
  • If you enter, you are acknowledging that you read and accept the giveaway/contest policy.
  • Giveaway is provided by the author.
To Enter

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