Happy Friday everyone! Today I have the fabulous, amazing Laura Kaye at the site. She’s been making serious waves with her 2 recent releases, and today I’m going to pick her brain:
ME: Your first novel, Hearts in Darkness, released just last month, and in that short period of time has garnered ten 5-star reviews and won Sizzling Read of the Month at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews and Book of the Week at Long and Short Romance Reviews. Huge congrats! You’ve obviously got one smoking story! Now tell us a bit about it!
LAURA: Thank you! I’m totally thrilled at the response to this story! Hearts in Darkness is about two strangers that find acceptance and dare to find love while trapped in a pitch-black elevator for four hours. At heart, the story is about what you can find when you go beyond appearances. Makenna and Caden probably wouldn’t have given each other a chance if they’d passed on the street, but the dark frees them to take a chance. The Shakespeare quote I placed at the front of the story sums it up nicely: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
ME: Who is your hero and what is he like?
LAURA: Caden Grayson is a good guy hiding behind a rough, anti-social façade—this is why the dark is so freeing to him; he can just be the good guy. The survivor of a tragic childhood accident, Caden’s experience leads him to work in a field where he can help others, while at the same time he closes himself off personally to prevent getting hurt again. Caden is a bit socially awkward, a bit emotionally immature—both the product of cutting himself off from others, except for a small circle of long-time friends. But he’s also funny, with a quick, dry wit. He’s kind and polite. And he’s sexy as all hell. Here’s Makenna’s first impression of him:
She couldn’t stop trembling, her body unexpectedly flooded with adrenaline as she drank Caden in through her final sense.
He was…Oh my God!…so damn rugged and…masculine…and just…darkly beautiful.
The enticing angle of his jaw combined with full lips and high cheekbones and a strong brow framing intense brown eyes with impossibly long, full eyelashes. His shaved dark brown hair came to a widow’s peak in the center of his forehead. Two small silver loops embraced the left side of his bottom lip. The piercing on his right eyebrow was black metal and shaped like a barbell.
He had a face that, with a certain set of his jaw and eyes, could easily appear harsh, intimidating. But she knew he was neither.
ME: Tell us a little bit about your heroine.
LAURA: Makenna has always been a woman in a man’s world. She grew up in a house of only men—her father and three brothers, and works in a profession of all men. And it’s led her to think of herself as “just one of the guys.” She muses that it was “her college roommates [who first] introduced her to girly things like dresses and skirts and lingerie and makeup.” And she’s never minded that. Except, once she realizes that the man she’s sharing the elevator with, the one who’s proving himself so very appealing, the one she knows through conversation and touch is anything but physically plain, she begins to worry she won’t be enough for him. But she’s more than she thinks she is—and I think this is often true of women, we sometimes tend to undervalue ourselves. She’s funny and very smart and super compassionate, the very thing that allows Caden to take a chance and step outside himself.
ME: What do you think your readers will like most about your story?
LAURA: Well, the premise of the pitch-black elevator is pretty cool, I have to say. It’s not often you read a story where you get almost no setting description, because the characters can’t see anything! And that means that the dialogue and emotional reaction have to carry everything, and I think it works! But, let’s face it, the thing they’ll like the best is Caden Grayson, who you want to hug ‘til he feels better and kiss ‘til neither of you can breathe!
ME: Do you plan on writing other books in this series?
LAURA: No, probably not, although readers should stay tuned for the Hearts in Darkness free read that will soon be appearing on The Wild Rose Press site!
ME: Okay, I personally know you’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up. 😉 Do tell what’s next for you!
LAURA: Well, the biggest thing coming up next is actually happening TODAY! It’s RELEASE DAY for my debut paranormal romance, FOREVER FREED! Forever Freed is actually the first romantic fiction I wrote and sold, though Hearts in Darkness released first. Set in Detroit, it’s the story of a vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her young daughter, then struggles against his bloodlust, his ancient guilt, a lie by omission, and an old vampire rival who threaten everything he holds dear. So that’s very exciting! And, even more exciting is the fact that Forever Freed is just releasing and already has three 5-star reviews!!! (*woo-hoo; go Laura!*)
Also coming soon is the contemporary erotic romance I sold to Decadent Publishing. Just Gotta Say is a ménage a quatres featuring a young woman and her three guy best friends. Ahem. That will release later this summer. And, finally, I’ve very excited about the four-book series I sold to Entangled Publishing based on the Anemoi, directional wind gods the Greeks also associated with the seasons. The first in the series, North of Need, releases in early November of this year.
Find Laura on the interwebz:
Publisher Website: http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=800
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.
Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.
To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?
She moaned in relief when she could wrap her arms fully around his neck and hold him to her. He kept her trapped against the counter, but she reveled in the tight press because it allowed her to torment his obvious arousal with her thrusting hips and writhing abdomen.
His hands blazed a teasing trail from her breasts to the sides of her stomach to her hips, and back again. She squirmed under his touch and needed more of it. Needed it on her skin.
She withdrew her arms and found the hem of her shirt. He pulled his body off hers just enough to allow them to work together to remove it. She dropped it to the floor, relieved to feel his big hands exploring her skin with such enthusiasm.
Caden’s eyes raked over what she’d revealed to him. Makenna blushed at the intensity of his observation. “Aw, Red, you’re so very pretty.”
Makenna’s heart exploded at the affirmation his words provided. Whatever insecurity about her ordinariness she might’ve still harbored in the back of her mind disappeared completely at his exclamation.
He dropped his head to her chest and licked and nibbled and kissed all along the lacy edge of her bra. As he flicked at her covered nipple with his rigid tongue, his arms reached around behind her. Her bra fell loose into their arms and soon it joined her shirt somewhere on the floor.
Makenna’s moan was loud and needy when he cupped her breasts and alternated sucking on one nipple, then the other. Her hands flew to his head. She held him to her as she arched her back to offer him better access. His mouth was driving her insane. She’d never had someone lavish such attention to her breasts, and she’d certainly never felt so weak and wanton from it. She snaked one hand down his back and fisted his black shirt between his shoulder blades. “Off,” she demanded as she tugged at it.
He reached down, his lips still greedily devouring a nipple, and wrenched his shirt off, only dropping his mouth from her when he absolutely had to.
“Oh God,” she murmured appreciatively as her eyes surveyed his broad chest.
There was so much more to him than she’d seen in the elevator.
Oh, and here’s a Special Offer!: 5th Anniversary discount from http://thewildrosepress.com through May 31! 25% off all titles – use code 18b632d0b0 including Hearts in Darkness & Forever Freed!
We’ve got two questions for you today, folks! First, share your combined number of piercings and tattoos (come on; don’t be shy)! Second, what do you think about the idea that women tend to undervalue themselves (their appearances, strength, how interesting they are, etc.)?
Thanks for visiting, reading, and commenting!!! While you’re here, take a minute to follow Rosalie and look into her new release! (*Thanks for the pimping, Laura. *)