Welcome Laura Kaye to Books on the House!
We’re thrilled to welcome Laura Kaye to Books on the House! It’s her first time here, and she’s got so much going on, it makes our heads spin!
Her Forbidden Hero just came out a few weeks ago. In order to celebrate its release and climb up the charts, she’s giving away North of Need, the first in her Hearts of Anemoi series. They’re both amazing! We encourage you to go download your copy of Her Forbidden Hero now, and enter to win your copy of North of Need!
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We caught up with Laura. Here’s a fun Q & A with her!
Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?
The character, always. It’s the character—and usually the hero—who comes to me first and tells me enough to make the rest of the story, even the genre, come to light. Marco Vieri, the hero in Her Forbidden Hero, was in my head for almost nine months before I wrote his story. The very first thing that came to me about this book was the image of a sad, injured man sitting in the near dark struggling to play the guitar.
Do you have a favorite scene, passage, or piece of dialogue from your book?
Oh, this is so hard! I have four favorite scenes in Her Forbidden Hero! LOL Okay, I’ll pick one, because it’s so sweet and poignant it made me tear up when I wrote it:
Alyssa Scott deserved it all.
Marco’s gaze dragged over her still form. The sun shone off her long hair as if it had a high-gloss finish. Her skin glistened, and that purple bikini left way too little to his imagination to be good for his sanity. Jesus, she was stunning. Petite and fit, with curves where women ought to have curves. He could almost smell the sun on her skin, taste the salt of her sweat on his tongue, sense how the hot silk of her hair and the heated firmness of her hip would feel in his hands.
Without thinking, Marco stepped onto the porch and walked down into the grass. Before he knew it, he was standing over Alyssa, his body casting a long shadow over the length of hers. Warring desires rocked through him.
For now, being near her was enough—would have to be enough.
Moving to her side, he spread out the extra towel she’d brought beside her and lay down on his back. The sun was too hot against his black jeans and its shine too bright in his eyes, but this closeness, this feeling of not being alone—maybe it meant he was even weaker than he thought, but he needed it. Jesus, he was starving for it.
Movement from the towel next to him captured his attention. Marco rolled his head to the right and found himself looking into Alyssa’s big brown eyes. She held his gaze for a long moment, neither of them talking, or moving, or avoiding the scrutiny of the other.
Finally, she turned her head back up to the sun and closed her eyes. Her hand slid across the grass between them and clasped his. His throat went tight. She’d known. Dammit, she’d known just what he needed from her. He slid his long fingers between her slender ones, linking them together more tightly.
And then he closed his eyes and struggled not to voice his greatest fear.
He might be falling in love with her.
How important is a character’s name to you? Do they come easily?
Yes, names are hugely important to me. I can’t start writing the story until I have the names nailed down. Fortunately, since the characters usually come to me first, I’m pretty well familiar with the names before I start writing. If I don’t know the names, I know I’m not ready to write the story yet, because it means I don’t know the characters well enough to dive in.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Definitely! First, butt in chair, hands on keyboard! You can’t revise what you haven’t written. You can’t submit what you haven’t written. And getting to the end of a manuscript draft is hugely important for proving you can do this and finish. Second, dive into the next manuscript right away. Having multiple stories to offer gives you another manuscript to give an agent/editor if they like your voice but not the first manuscript you queried, and publishing multiple (quality) stories as fast as you can provides you with a backlist that will help build your readership and income. Third, find a critique partner or group—and not family or friends, but other writers pursuing publication and a professional writing career. Fourth, become a part of the profession, by which I mean the writing organizations relevant to your genre. Doing so will give you friends, networking opportunities, and the insider knowledge you need to be fully successful. Fifth, practice your craft. That means write a lot, read a lot in your genre, read craft books, and take writing workshops and seminars. Finally, have confidence and develop persistence—you will hear a lot of nos on the way to getting those yeses!
What’s in the works for you?
I am in the midst of celebrating two new releases, my contemporary romance Her Forbidden Hero and my paranormal romance, Seduced by the Vampire King (Vampire Warrior Kings #2). I am also gearing up to celebrate my first release in bookstores: West of Want (Hearts of the Anemoi #2) will hit bookstore shelves on July 10. Next on the writing schedule is the follow-up book to Her Forbidden Hero, in which the heroine’s brother Brady Scott will get his own story, as well as the third story in my vampire series! There’s never a dull moment! (And I wouldn’t have it any other way!)
Buy Her Forbidden Hero at Barnes & Noble | Amazon
About Her Forbidden Hero:
You always want what you can’t have…
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…
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 over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit Winner for Best Romance Novella, Forever Freed is the NJRW Golden Leaf Winner for Best Paranormal of 2011 and is a finalist for two GDRWA Booksellers’ Best Awards, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, is a finalist for a FF&P PRISM award, 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.