Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Guest post by Laura Kaye + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome back to the blog Laura Kaye, who is on a worldwide blog tour celebrating the release of the second book in her Hearts of the Anemoi paranormal romance series: West of Want! Laura stops by to introduce to you its hero: Zeph, god of the West wind! So take a seat and a bonbon and read on to see what a delicious and irresistible man/god he is! (and you could also win some great prizes ;-)

The Magic of West of Want
by Laura Kaye

I’m thrilled to be back at Ex Libris to celebrate the final day of my blog tour for West of Want, the second book in my Greek-mythology-inspired Hearts of the Anemoi series.

One of the great things about basing a story on Greek Mythology is the incredible array of supernatural powers the Greek characters possessed. Medusa could turn someone to stone with just a look. Poseidon could create tsunamis and earthquakes. Zeus could shoot thunderbolts. The Fates could determine the beginning, middle, and end of someone’s life.

My Hearts of the Anemoi series is based around the Anemoi, wind gods the Greeks associated with the seasons and weather. All four of the Cardinal Anemoi, that is, the gods of the North, South, East and West, could control the wind, weather, and other aspects of their respective seasons, they all had the power to exist in human, animal, and elemental forms, and they could all move between the Realm of the Gods and the human world. But the hero of West of Want is the strongest of the four and has additional powers. His control over the life and renewal of spring gives him healing powers, too.

West of Want tells the story of Zephyros Martius, Supreme God of the West Wind and Guardian of Spring. Zephyros’s presence in the human realm is a manifestation of his divine magical powers, which play a central role in his characterization and the book’s plot. What follows are some excerpts that show Zeph’s powers at work:

If it has to do with the wind and the weather, Zeph can do it. Here’s a small example:

A life force was fading.

The sensation tugged at Zephyros’s consciousness, embattled as it was as he raged over the sea. Caught up in his own thoughts, his own pain, his own loss, he writhed and tossed, howled and lashed out. The wind and rain—nature’s very energy—were his to control, even when he was out of control. But, still, the wrongness of the sensation tugged at him, demanded redress. In his elemental form, he felt the call of life and birth and renewal most strongly. He could ignore it no longer.

He forced himself to embrace the calm that had once been the truest manifestation of his nature. Around him, the clouds dispersed, the rains thinned, the winds settled to a bluster. The sea, black and roiling a moment ago, eased into the early spring chop typical of the bay.

And here’s a glimpse of Zeph’s healing abilities in action:

In the morning, he’d do a full healing and settle his debt with the woman. Until then, he could give her something. Enough to get her through the night peacefully. He held his right palm up before him. The healing energy manifested in a diffuse ball and Zeph released it, sending a part of himself to surround and cover her in a blanket of soft, ambient light. The tight dip of her eyebrows eased, relaxed. Unfamiliar satisfaction snaked through his chest in a ribbon of warmth.

And here’s a peek at Zeph using those life-giving abilities on nature:

Zeph crossed his arms over his chest and sagged against the window frame. It had been a long time since he’d last used his power to heal, and he’d nearly forgotten the draining effect of it. He focused on a rosebush near the window and directed a burst of energy at it. The bush greened and budded. Brilliant pink petals unfurled into full blooms. There. One last small, good thing, for Ella.

In trying to make sense of the revelation that Zeph is a god, the heroine, Ella Raines, offers a humorous interpretation of his powers that raises Zeph’s ire:

He took a deep breath and looked her in the eye. “I am Zephyros Martius, Supreme God of the West Wind, Guardian of Spring, and one of the four Cardinal Anemoi.”

Ella blinked. She opened and closed her mouth. Then her dark eyes went wide. “A god? An Anemoi?” She slapped her hand to her forehead and rubbed.

Zeph watched her, wary, waiting. His gut twisted and tensed.

“The freaking Internet was right. Holy shit, Wikipedia was right.” She started pacing the short length of hall between where he blocked the stairs and the office door. “A god. A god. I can’t believe it. Well”—she chuckled, a slightly hysterical sound—“I can believe it. I mean, come on, light comes out of your hands, and you healed me, and you poofed in here.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “Poofed? I don’t poof.”

She stopped, as if just noticing him again. “Well, what do you call it?”

Even with all this magic and power behind him, I love those moments when such an incredibly powerful being like Zeph is softened and overwhelmed by the human with whom he’ll ultimately fall in love. Here’s Zeph experiencing an early taste of that:

He was ancient. He was immortal. He was a god. Yet this slip of a mortal woman pulled the ground out from under him over and over again. And she didn’t even know he was there.

Or maybe she did?

Every time he convinced himself to go, she said or did something that intrigued him. Or, worse, concerned him, and he’d find himself negotiating for just a little more time. Her pleased reaction to his flowers, her lie to the doctor and nurses, her pain at seeing her own reflection, at having that young doctor poke and prod her ruined shoulder. He couldn’t leave.

In truth, he didn’t want to.

So, that’s a bit of an introduction to the magic of West of Want. Did you have a favorite line from among the excerpts?

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Stella for hosting me!
Laura Kaye

Book #2 in the Hearts of the Anemoi series

"Laura Kaye's captivating writing and vibrant world-building will have readers hooked on the gods of the Anemoi. WEST OF WANT is steamy, spellbinding, and a must-read for all romance fantasy fans." ~Elisabeth Naughton, author of the Eternal Guardians series

Betrayal is all he's ever known, but in her, he'll find a love strong enough to be trusted...

When Marcella Raines' twin brother dies, she honors his request to be buried at sea, never expecting the violent storm that swamps her boat. Though she's gravely injured--and still emotionally damaged from her recent divorce--Ella fights to survive.

Zephyros Martius is the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, but being the strongest Anemoi hasn't protected him from betrayal and loss. Worse, he's sure his brother Eurus is behind it. When Zeph's heartbreak whips up a storm that shipwrecks a human, his guilt forces him to save her.

Ella is drawn to the vulnerability Zeph hides beneath his otherworldly masculinity and ancient blue eyes. And her honesty, empathy, and unique, calming influence leave Zeph wanting...everything. When Eurus threatens Ella, she and Zeph struggle to let go of the past, defend their future, and embrace what they most want--a love that can be trusted.

Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with all things paranormal. A published non-fiction author, Laura’s work as an historian and training as an archaeologist help her create vivid and accurate portrayals of other times and places. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Laura has generously offered a West of Want prize pack: one lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of West of Want and a swag set!


All you need to do is leave a comment answering Laura's question: Did you have a favorite line from among the excerpts?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 24 August 2012!

Good Luck!

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