Thursday, 21 June 2012

Interview with Laura Kaye + Giveaway

I am happy today to welcome back to Ex Libris fantabulous author Laura Kaye whose latest release Her Forbidden Hero I immensely loved (especially its heartbreakingly tortured and honourable hero *sighs*), so it was my great pleasure that I got to interview Laura and ask her all my most burning questions, read on and if you haven't read Her Forbidden Hero yet, don't wait another minute!!


Stella: Hi Laura, welcome to Ex Libris! :-) Your latest novel, Her Forbidden Hero a contemporary romance was released by Entangled Publishing in their new Indulgence imprint on May 15, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of Her Forbidden Hero?

Laura: I’d love to, Stella! And thanks for hosting me! Her Forbidden Hero plays on the themes of friends-to-lovers, brother’s best friend, and military hero/protector. I think readers can expect a heartfelt, emotional story with characters they’ll find sympathetic and relatable, and who feel like they really could know them in real life— at least I hope they’ll agree! *grins* Here’s the blurb:

She's always been off-limits...

Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.

...but now she's all grown up.

When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection--not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she's determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...

Stella: Can you please invite the main characters of Her Forbidden Hero and have Alyssa and Marco introduce each other? (I’m curious to see what they would say about the other)

Alyssa
Laura: Sure! Guys, please meet Alyssa Scott and Marco Vieri:

Alyssa: Uh, hey! So, I’m supposed to introduce Marco? *grins up at him* Let’s see…he’s a total smart ass, stubborn—

Marco: What kind of introduction is this?

Alyssa: *laughs* Oh, fine. Everyone, this is Marco, who is and always has been the love of my life. And my personal hero. And he’s also my brother’s best friend. *looks at Marco* Better?

Marco: *quirks a grin at her* Much. And this is Alyssa, who is way too damn good for me, but loves me anyway. She’s my biggest cheerleader, and always has been. And I’d do anything for her. And soon she’ll be my wife.

Stella: Awww... *Stella swipes the dreamy grin off her face* Ok, let's get back to interviewing you Laura and let the lovebirds have a moment. I bet everyone asks you this, but I must know the answer: will you write Brady’s story (Alyssa’s big brother and Marco’s best friend) as well?

Laura: YES YES YES! Everyone IS asking, and I’m so glad people want more Brady! I’m writing his story right now, and it’s tentatively set for a September release! Woot!

Stella: Yay!! :-D Her Forbidden Hero is full of great secondary characters, which one was a favourite of yours either because he/she is a great character or because it was quite challenging writing them?

Laura: I really enjoyed writing the secondary characters in this book. They were so lively to me. I guess I’d have to say my absolute favorite was Alyssa’s brother Brady, who will get his own book! But I also really loved Alyssa’s friend Eric, who was just a down-to-earth good guy.

Marco
Stella: If Her Forbidden Hero was made into a movie, who would you like to play Alyssa and Marco?

Laura: Marco would totally be played by Italian actor Giulio Berruti. THIS PICTURE *IS* Marco in my head. Zomg Olivia Wilde would make a really good Alyssa.

Stella: Marco was an exceptional character (and what a yummy eye candy *winks*). One of those who stay with the reader long after the story is over. His struggles against his inner demons and his difficulty to accept how war and his accident have changed him were heartbreaking. Writing these emotionally taxing scenes couldn’t have been easy. Did you research what men and women who came back from war went through or did you know anyone personally whose way of coping inspired you? Once again hats off to you, thanks to your heartfelt and honest confession of Marco’s innermost thoughts and doubts my heart went out to him.

Laura: First of all, thank you for loving him! I just adored writing Marco and he feels so oddly real to me that I’m really protective of him! LOL I did a lot of research for this book. I watched hours of YouTube videos shot by U.S. forces in Afghanistan – videos taken of patrols and firefights with insurgents, after-action interviews, documentaries, etc. I also read a lot of interviews with wounded veterans, and in fact based Marco’s injuries on a wounded Navy SEAL I read about. I also looked into what kinds of injuries could result in a medical discharge, and read a lot about traumatic brain injuries and apraxia, since the consequences of Marco’s injury were more pronounced than my own. And, of course, having experienced my own head injury gave me insight there.

Stella: What inspired Her Forbidden Hero? Any specific event/person/song/moment? How did the story start to take shape in your imagination?

Laura: I’m glad you asked this question, because music played a huge role in inspiring this story. The song Hammers & Strings by Jack’s Mannequin is what put Marco in my head. So many of the lyrics are just him.


The very first thing I saw about this story was the image of a very damaged man sitting in the near dark and struggling to play the guitar. There were several other songs that inspired the story, too, but that was the one that kicked it all off. I also knew right away that part of Marco’s injuries would entail a head injury (traumatic brain injury, or TBI). I had a TBI almost four years ago and that’s one way a part of myself is in the book.

Stella: Oh, sorry to heart that but glad to see you are better now. Music plays quite a focal point in the story, both Alyssa and Marco play on the guitar and sing a song to the other. Can you reveal which two songs you were thinking of when you wrote those two crucial scenes?

Laura: Yes, so true! Man, I love the two scenes you’re talking about! The first song is The Beatles’ In My Life. Here’s an acoustic version I adore and is close to what I hear Alyssa playing:


I’m going to take the fifth on the second song, as I don’t want to spoil that second scene for anyone who hasn’t yet read the book! Mwuhaha
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia about Her Forbidden Hero, a behind the scenes secret? (It can be about the writing process, about a deleted scene, or a character who started out completely different than the one they ended up being in the finished version)

Laura: Well, the fact that I had a brain injury is one. But a less downer one (LOL) would be that Whiskey’s manager, Pete, was initially named Chuck. Right down to the very last proofread, his name was Chuck. And in my head now, he’s still Chuck. Why’d we change it? Because Alyssa wears Chucks. And on the last read-through, my editor suddenly felt Chuck the manager and Chucks the sneakers was one Chuck too many! True story!

Stella: You write contemporary (Hearts in Darkness, Her Forbidden Hero), paranormal (Vampire Warrior Kings series), fantasy (The Hearts of the Anemoi series) and erotic romance (Just Gotta Say) and I have to ask if one of these genres is closer to your heart than the others? Which one is your first love? The one you prefer to write/read? Or if you can’t pick one, what is it about these specific genres that you like?

Laura: My first love as a reader has always been all things paranormal, so it wasn’t surprising that I started with a paranormal novel (my vampire romance, Forever Freed). And I think paranormal still wins out by a hair as my favorite. I have to say, though, I thoroughly enjoy writing contemporary romance. It would be hard for me to give either one up.

Stella: Now for those who have gobbled up Her Forbidden Hero and want more, can you tell us what else we can look forward to from you, what is next on your schedule?

Laura: I’d love to, because there’s so much going on! Like I said, I’m writing the follow-up to Her Forbidden Hero, and people can expect that late summer/early fall. I’m also in the middle of two series right now. I just released the second in the Vampire Warrior Kings series (called Seduced by the Vampire King), and there will be at least two more books in that. And I’m about to release the second of 4-5 books in my mythology-based Hearts of the Anemoi series. West of Want releases July 10 and will be my first book that will appear on bookstore shelves nationwide! I’m ecstatic about that. I might need to bring tissue for the first time I see it in a store!

Thanks so much for chatting with me! I’d love to hear from readers which genre they prefer to read, why, and a favorite recent book they’ve read!

Oh, and a GIVEAWAY! There will be two winners, for details just scroll down, good luck!



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.

Her Forbidden Hero by Laura Kaye

She's always been off-limits...

Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.

...but now she's all grown up.

When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection—not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she’s determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...



GIVEAWAY RULES:


One commenter will win an ebook copy of Her Forbidden Hero and one will win this authentic guitar pick keychain. Laura will sign the back of the pick if winner desires.


Open worldwide and ends on 29 June 2012!

Good luck!

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