Friday, 18 November 2011

Interview with Laura Kaye + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome to the blog versatile author Laura Kaye, who is here today to tell you all about her latest release, the first novel in her new paranormal romance series (Hearts of the Anemoi): North of Need, which is the perfect holiday read! So curl up with some hot cocoa and read on to discover the exciting and unique world Laura has created.

Stella: Hi Laura, welcome to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Laura: I would love to! And thanks for having me here! I write paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance and have had four books release in 2011—the most recent in a contemporary fantasy romance called North of Need. I’m also a wife, mom of two young girls (5 and 7), college history professor, and total vampire addict!

Stella: Your latest novel North of Need is the first book in a new series, can you tell readers about the Hearts of the Anemoi series?

Laura: The Hearts of the Anemoi series features four contemporary fantasy romance stories involving the Anemoi, directional wind gods the Greeks associated with the seasons. Each book will feature one of the gods finding his true love, and earlier gods in the series will continue to appear in later books—as a reader, I always love when that happens.

Stella: Me too! :-D 
North of Need is the perfect holiday read to get one in the winter spirit. Can you tell readers what can they expect of it?

Laura: I’m gonna steal what Paperback Dolls said about the book: “Baby, it’s cold outside, but this book is hot!” Still in love with that! Readers can expect a very heartfelt book, maybe my most sympathetic heroine ever, an adorably playful, sexy hero, and a romance so hot it just might melt all that snow!

Stella: Owen is a snow god, could you tell readers what this means in the universe of the Hearts of the Anemoi series? What does it entail, what are his strengths and weaknesses?

Laura: Owen is the adopted son and destined successor of the Supreme God of the North Wind and Winter, Boreas. He can make snow, change its chemical composition, control the wind, shift into elemental form, and has a few other tricks up his divine sleeves! Given the season which he dominates, you can probably guess that heat is not his friend—and that’s true, and it forms an important conflict within the book, all the more fun because it’s caused by another god.

Stella: Owen loves ice cream (his enthusiasm for it was so adorable!), now that he had time to sample a lot of different flavours, what is his favourite?

Laura: LOL! Owen DOES like ice cream—and let me say that makes an appearance in Book 2, also! His still has a real fondness for peach ice cream, and totally thinks cookies and cream is a twofer. He’s pretty fond of Dairy Queen Snickers blizzards, too. Honestly, from what he tells me, he hasn’t yet found an ice cream flavor he doesn’t like…

Stella: Owen is a climate elemental, a snow god. A highly unique and unexplored paranormal creature, how did you get the idea to have a snow god hero? What inspired you?

Laura: When I first started this book, I thought it was just a sweet bit of Christmas magic where a snowman came to life to help a widow through her grief. Except when I tried to write it that way, Owen would NOT cooperate. Then he told me why—he was a snow god, and the snow man was just the way he manifested, and that unleashed two days of researching different cultures’ traditions about winter gods—and a lot of cultures have them. When I found the Greek Mythology of the Anemoi, I knew I had not only Owen’s story, but a whole world. For the whole series, there are incredible stories in the mythology I will be using for character and conflict development—and I’m so excited about it!

Stella: Can't wait to read about them Laura! What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule? When will we be able to read the following books in the Hearts of the Anemoi series? And can you tell us whose stories it will be?

Laura: Here are the forthcoming books in the Hearts of the Anemoi series:

Spring 2012—West of Want features Zephyros Martius, Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring

Summer 2012—South of Surrender features Chrysander Notos, Supreme God of the South Wind and Summer

Fall 2012—East of Ecstasy features Devlin Eston, son of the Supreme God of the East Wind and Harbinger of Misfortune

I’ve also got a mini-series of dark vampire novellas coming out in 2012 from Harlequin Nocturne: In the Service of the King releases Feb. 1 and To Save a King releases May 1. And they are freaking hot!

Stella: You write paranormal, fantasy, contemporary and erotic romance novels. What attracted you to these genres? Do you prefer either?

Laura: As a reader and a writer, I’ve always been attracted to paranormal fiction first and foremost. The first story I wrote and sold was a vampire romance called Forever Freed. I don’t set out to write particular genres. Instead, a story idea comes to me and tells me the character, the conflict, the genre. I really enjoy paranormal and contemporary, and everything I write tends to be erotic, even when it’s not mainly so.

Stella: What was the most challenging about North of Need? Any part of the story which gave you more thought than the others?

Laura: Honestly, no. North of Need flew out of me in 3.5 weeks. It was like a freight train that wouldn’t be stopped. I just knew Owen and Megan so well; it was like they were real people. My characters often feel that way to me.

Stella: Can you share with us one of your own holiday traditions or a favourite holiday memory? (Or a special family Christmas recipe? Lol)

Laura: I’ve started a new tradition with my kids—I buy them a special ornament every year, and when they get married, I will give them their ornaments as a wedding gift to start their new family’s tree. I’ve always collected ornaments to mark trips, special occasions, places I wanted to remember, etc., and I’d love to pass that on to my girls.

Stella: What a wonderful idea and wedding gift! Thank you for the lovely interview Laura! :-)

Laura: Thank you so much for hosting me!

The North of Need Book Launch Blog Tour runs through November 20. A giveaway everyday!

North of Need by Laura Kaye
Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves...

Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she's recreated the very thing she'll never have.

Called to life by Megan's tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.

Megan is drawn to Owen's mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration--before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow's grief and learn to trust love again, or she'll lose Owen forever.

About Laura Kaye:

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Thanks to Entangled Publishing a lucky winner will win an ebook copy of North of Need!

All you need to do is:

1) tell us, in your opinion what would be a snow god's coolest power?
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 25 November 2011!

Good Luck!

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