Friday, 10 February 2012

For the Love of a Secondary Character by Laura Kaye + Giveaway

Button made by the very talented Susi! Thank you!!

Today I have the pleasure of ceding the blog to Laura Kaye a very versatile author. Laura pens contemporary as well as paranormal romances, erotica stories, fantasy novels, and she is here today to celebrate the release of her latest book In the Service of the King which is the 1st book in her new series. She chose to introduce to us one of her favourite secondary characters, who besides being totally handsome and charming is a loyal and trustworthy friend. Please give a warm welcome to Laura and Liam!


For the Love of a Secondary Character
by Laura Kaye

Thanks so much to Stella for hosting me here today! I’m celebrating the release of my dark paranormal romance, In the Service of the King, the first in my new Vampire Warrior Kings series. The series primarily focuses on the romantic conflict and relationship between Kael MacQuillan, warrior king of the vampires, and Shayla McKinnon, a Proffered, or a human woman trained to serve the warrior elite. Except…this post isn’t about either of them!

Every once in a while, I write a story, and absolutely fall in love with a secondary character. That happened in In the Service of the King, and the character in question was Kael’s oldest friend, most trusted advisor, and right-hand warrior, Liam.

First of all, it totally doesn’t hurt that Chris Hemsworth provided my mental image of Liam. Not the Thor Chris [though it’s totally worth reminding ourselves what he looked like there], but more the darker-haired Snow White and the Huntsmen Chris, who is also verra verra nice. *winks*

The first introduction to Liam comes right at the beginning of the book, when he's assisting the king in preparing for a ritual feeding the king hates but requires. Liam is not in the least intimidated by Kael's foul mood:

Liam opened the door and stood back, bowing his head of shoulder-length brown hair—braided at the left in the way of the warrior, and allowed the king to enter ahead of him. “After you, my lord.”

Kael stepped into the oval room and huffed. “Would you cut the ‘my lord’ crap already?” He rolled his neck again. As a room, it wasn’t particularly remarkable—it was bare except for a small altar at one end and hooks for his robes and a few ceremonial implements at the other. But it was so loaded with everyone’s expectations that the air felt thick as he drew it down his throat.

Liam grinned before schooling his expression. “As you wish, my lord.”

Kael growled and rolled his eyes, knowing even as he’d uttered the words Liam wouldn’t heed them. Fat lot of good being king was sometimes. But Liam was too steeped in the traditions of their people. He often treated Kael just as one of the warriors—which only a handful of the warriors were comfortable doing—but not on the Night of the Proffering. Tonight, to Liam, he was Kael the Fair, Warrior King of the Vampires, Chieftain of Clan MacQuillan.

Moreover, it's Liam's willingness to stand up to his king and tell him when he's wrong that gives Kael a very important second chance. Sensing something was wrong in the feeding chamber, Liam and several of the other warriors descend to protect their king, only to find him alone and the human Proffered gone:

“My lord, how may I be of service?” came Liam’s voice after a while.

“You can leave.”

“I cannot.”

Kael flashed in front of him. “You can very well fucking leave.” His fangs elongated as he lashed out.

“I will not!” Liam stepped forward, apparently refusing to be cowed. “You really want to do this?”

They hadn’t come to blows in ages, but it had happened before. The king bored his gaze into Liam’s, but finally stepped back.

Liam eased his stance. “Where is she?”

“Gone,” Kael said as he looked down at the ground. His shoulders sagged as some of the fight went out of him. Everything just felt so…wrong.

“Did you—?”

Kael rolled his eyes at Liam. There was no way he didn’t smell that goblet of blood.

“What do you think?”

“And, why—?”

“Christ, what are you? The Inquisition?” He drilled his angry stare into his brother in arms. Guilt flooded him. Minutes passed. “I hurt her.”

Liam frowned. “What happened, Kael?”

The thought of recounting all the ways in which he’d failed her exhausted him. “It doesn’t matter.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it.” Liam sheathed the silver dagger and holstered his weapon.

“I’ve known you my whole life. You would never hurt a female. Not intentionally.”

“What do you want from me, Liam?”

“I want to know why you sent her away. Why her lifeblood sits there wasting. Why you are more distressed than I can remember seeing you in aeons.” He held out his arms.

I also love how earnest and gregarious Liam is, and he totally wins over the heroine and puts her at ease, making me adore Liam all the more. But perhaps my favorite scene with him is this one:

Footsteps approached from the stone corridor behind him. Kael braced against the thick ledge, expecting the worst. Deserving it.

“My lord?”

Tension drained from Kael’s shoulders. Liam’s voice told him the news was good. He breathed in the cleansing sea air and turned to his brother. “Thank you, old friend. She is well?”

Liam grinned. “She’s great.”

Kael’s gaze cut to Liam’s. “You spoke with her?” Liam nodded. “And what did you speak of?”

“Just introductions, really. Oh, and she wants to be able to ask you some questions.”

Kael hitched an eyebrow. “Does she now? About what, exactly?”

The warrior scratched his chin. “Didn’t say.”

“And you didn’t think to ask?” Kael’s layered robes caught the wind and danced around his legs.

He shook his head and shrugged. “Figured it didn’t really matter.”

Kael nodded and ran a hand through the unbraided side of his hair. “Fair point.” He stepped toward the entryway and Liam moved to the side, allowing the king first passage. Liam secured the stone-faced door, constructed in such a way it was indistinguishable from the rest of the rock wall on the outside. “So, did she, uh, say anything about me, or, uh…” Kael pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Did she say anything about you?” He chuckled. “No, but I could pass her a note in study hall if you like.”

Kael’s fist connected with Liam’s bicep before he’d really thought to do it. Damn, that little release of tension felt good.

Liam grabbed his arm and spit out an old Gaelic curse. His glare was indulgent, bordering on a smug smile. “Feel better, my lord?”

Kael clapped him on the back. “Much. Let’s return to the chamber, shall we?”

I just couldn't celebrate this new book without introducing you to Liam, and I hope you'll love him as much as I do. Thanks for reading!

Laura Kaye


GIVEAWAY!
To celebrate her new release, Laura is giving away one e-copy of In the Service of the King at each stop on her New Release Tour, 1/30 – 2/15! In addition, all commenters from across the tour will be entered to win a prize bag filled with swag and various vampire items, perfect for the vampire lover! RULES: Must leave e-mail address & if from U.S. in comment. Ebook prizes open to international; prize bag to U.S. only.

In the Service of the King

Book 1 in the Vampire Warrior Kings Series

Kael, Warrior King of the Vampires, loathes the Night of the Proffering. He needs the blood of either his mate or a human virgin to maintain his strength, but hasn't enjoyed the ritual since he lost his mate centuries ago. Kael doesn't want a new companion, yet his resolve is tested when he lays eyes on his new offering, Shayla McKinnon. He is drawn to Shayla's beauty and poise...and the submission she offers. She is eager to give him anything he wishes, including her innocence, to please him. Will Kael give in to their overwhelming desire--even if it means risking Shayla's life?

About Laura Kaye

Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of a half-dozen books. Hearts in Darkness is a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Laura has generously offered an ebook copy of her latest novel In the Service of the King to a lucky commentator!

To be entered all you have to do is:

1. fill out the main form so I have your contact info (just once, if you have already filled it out for a previous giveaway that's enough)

2. leave a comment and tell us: Who is your favourite secondary character? Either in a book or movie/TV series? 

3. If you want to be entered in the Grand Prize drawing also leave in your comment whether you are a US resident (Grand Prize is only open to US residents).

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 March 2012.


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