Interview with Author Laura Kaye

I’m very happy to welcome the amazing and talented Laura Kaye for a chat. Laura has written across multiple genres, from the paranormal with Forever Freed, to contemporary with Hearts in Darkness and erotic contemporary with Just Gotta Say. She’s here today to talk about her newest book, North of Need, part of the Hearts of the Anemoiseries. Since it’s the holiday season, I also had a chance to ask Laura a bit about some of her own favorite traditions.In North of Need, widow Megan Snow has retreated to her cabin to mourn her husband over the holidays when a gorgeous, cold stranger drops on her doorstep. Anemoi snow god Owen was sent to Megan – he’s been in love with her for a long time, but now he has to convince her to let her husband go and choose him, all before the spring thaw when he’ll vanish forever. (B: I read North of Need in November and loved it – you can read my review here)

Make sure you keep reading!  Laura is giving away a set of trading cards from all of her books!

Barbara: The Anemoi are quite an eclectic collection of Gods and Goddesses. Considering you’ve got your day job as a historian, some background in archaeology and a healthy interest in the supernatural, where would you say they sprang from the most? I’m horrible with remembering names and places and I’m wondering if you’ve got a flow chart hiding in your desk.

North of NeedLaura: LOL! Great question! First, let me say thanks for hosting me here! In Greek mythology, there were four main Anemoi, each one representing one of the directional wind gods the Greeks associated with the seasons. They were: Boreas – North, Zephyros – West, Notos – South, Eurus – East. There were also “ordinal” Anemoi, the gods represents the intermediate wind positions like northwest, southeast, etc. I have to admit, I knew about North of Need’s snow god hero Owen before I knew from what pantheon he sprung. When my research led me to the Anemoi, it was a perfect fit. So, I guess engaging this mythology came most out of my interest in the supernatural, but I love the Greek mythology connection in terms of my background in history.

Barbara: You really put your characters through the wringer – Megan and Owen’s path to happiness isn’t easy. When you’re writing such powerful scenes for the characters, do you find it easier to use one POV or another? Do you have to make a conscious effort to keep pieces of yourself out of your writing in those scenes?

Laura: Let me start with the second question first—I put myself into those emotional scenes. And, I think the more an author is able to do that, the more intense, authentic, and emotional they are. If a character experiences loss, I draw on my own experience of loss to create their emotional reaction. If a character experiences great joy, the same. There are pieces of me in every story I write. In terms of POV, well, I guess it depends—I try to write each scene from the character whose POV would be most informative to the reader, from the POV of the character who has the most to lose/gain/the greatest stakes in what is happening.

Barbara: Speaking of keeping pieces of yourself out of scenes, I have to know…do you have an ice cream addiction like Owen or does someone you know? C’mon, no one could write ice cream scenes like that if they didn’t have the fever for Ben & Jerry’s.

LauraWell, my husband has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know and loves ice cream, but honestly I didn’t really have that in mind when I gave Owen his ice cream addiction. I just thought it was a totally adorable and plausible character trait for a snow god! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed a pint very small bowl of Ben & Jerry’s from time to time…

Barbara: Megan and her husband had their tradition of spending the holiday at the cabin. We’re already halfway through December so it’s a great time to ask – do you have any fun traditions for the holidays?

West of WantLauraDefinitely! Decorating the tree is full of traditions—it’s always real, we unwrap the ornaments together and tell their stories, dad puts the star on the top. We always drive through a big state park Christmas light display on Christmas Eve, and then the girls come home and open one present before bed (always pajamas, sshh!). Plus I make sugar cookies and help the girls decorate them with icing and sprinkles.

Barbara: Talking about tradition has me thinking…when I was reading North of Need, I couldn’t help but think of Frosty the Snowman, which was one of my absolute favorite shows to watch at Christmas time along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Story and oh, a dozen more. Do you have a top five list of favorite Christmas shows?

LauraOoh, fun! Let’s see:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Abominable Snowman, people!)
Miracle on 34th Street
It’s a Wonderful Life
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Sound of Music – I know this one isn’t really Christmas, but it always seems to be on then so I associate it with the holidays. Plus, My Favorite Thingsalways puts me in the mind of Christmas, even though that’s not what the song’s about!

Barbara: Tell me what’s next in the world of the Anemoi and any other projects you have on the horizon.

LauraThere are three more books in the Hearts of the Anemoi series: West of Want, South of Surrender and East of Ecstasy. I’m telling you right now West of Want is completely killer—I can’t wait for that to release in April! I also have two Harlequin Nocturne vampire novellas releasing in February and early summer. The first is called In the Service of the King and it’s so hot! *grins* And a number of other things are simmering on the back burner…

Thanks so much for hosting me here! I’d love it if commenters offered more favorite Christmas shows!

~Laura

*****

About North of Need – picked by Paperback Dolls as THE romance for holiday gift-giving!:

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:

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.

Bonus Romantic Excerpt from North of Need
  **Rating**Steamy**
*****

The men in her life wanted her to be happy, wanted her to let go of the pain. Wanted her to embrace life. To live.

John couldn’t. But she could.

Owen’s mouth dropped open when she dragged her exploring fingers across the deep red of his bottom lip. So soft.

For now, she’d start with what she knew. “I do want you, Owen. And I need you.” She swallowed. “So much.”

A deep sound of satisfaction rumbled low in his throat and ricocheted down her body. Those soft lips found hers, already open, waiting for his touch. With his kiss, he possessed her. His scent—winter spice and male—filled her senses. His body covered her. She could live on the cool, sweet taste of his tongue. And, God, his little moans and grunts reverberated right down to the wet heat between her legs.

He trailed open-mouthed kisses over her cheek to her ear, sucked her lobe between his lips and flicked it with his tongue. She gasped as goose bumps erupted everywhere and she offered her neck to his exploration.

“I want you, Megan. Be mine. Gods.”

He licked and sucked down her neck. She shivered and grabbed onto the firmness of his sculpted biceps. He nipped at the tendon where neck met shoulder. A moan exploded from her, loud and wanton, but couldn’t be helped. She threaded her fingers into his silky black hair and held him to her. “Again,” she rasped. He teased her with his teeth, then his tongue and lips. “God, Owen.”

She chuckled even as she whimpered at the spine-tingling nips and bites.

“What’s so funny?” His warm breath caressed her bare skin.

“Sorry, it’s just…” She covered her mouth with her hand, humor-induced tears now gathering at the corners of her eyes.

He pulled her hand away. “Never hide your smile from me.”

He pressed kisses to her knuckles, then pinned her wrist beside her shoulder.

She finally reined in her amusement. “I’m sorry. It’s just, I said, ‘God, Owen,’ and then”—the chuckles threatened again—“it hit me that, you know, you really are a god, and all.”

A playful smirk framed Owen’s face. “Are you amused by my godhood?”

She nodded. He thrust his hips into hers, rocking the ridge of his impressive erection against her right where she craved him. Her lips dropped open as she sucked in a breath.

His mismatched eyes blazed. “Still amused?”

She nodded and pressed up against him. Wrapped one leg around his waist and dug her heel into his firm ass. He grunted and ground down on her, just as she hoped he would. Then his mouth crushed against hers again, their tongue intertwining. He drew away with little kisses on the corner of her lips. “I like you amused. Smiling. Laughing. I want to make you feel that way.”

His words wrapped around her heart, mending, binding. She cupped his cheek in her palm. “Sweet, sweet man.” She took a deep breath and a leap of faith. “Make love to me.”

“Gods, yes.” In a flash, he’d pushed up from the couch, lifted her in his arms, and crossed the room.

Butterflies took flight in her stomach. His humor, his gentle kindness, his raw sexuality, his masculine beauty—he appealed to every part of her mind and body. And, maybe, just maybe, her heart.

*****

Many thanks to Laura for stopping by!  We’d love to hear from our readers too – do you have any favorite holiday shows that you just have to see every year or that you remember watching all the time when you were a kid?

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Comments

  1. Great interview! Loved reading it! Megan @ Storybook Love Affairhttp://storybookloveaffair.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, Barbara!

  3. Thank you, Megan! I'm so glad you stopped by. :)It's my pleasure, Laura – especially after our near-disaster yesterday with Blogger. lol

  4. Well, I need a cold shower now!

  5. I'm a total nerd for even admitting this, but I really love all the hokey ABC Family movies that are Christmas themed. I have no taste, apparently. 😉

  6. This is one of the best interviews I've read. Barbara – you ask great questions!

  7. Owen is a sexy beast, isn't he, Michelle? 🙂 I was fanning myself for most of the story.Well Cait, since there are about 100 of the ABC Family movies some of them have to be good, right? lol They all look like they'd make me cry so I'm afraid of them. I cry too much reading books, I don't think I can handle crying during television. Just tell me you don't watch the Susan Lucci version of Scrooge or I'll have to rethink our relationship here…

  8. Aw Victoria, you are so nice! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  9. Aw, I'm really enjoying reading all these comments! Glad you enjoyed the interview–Barbara asked fun questions!

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