Thursday, February 2, 2012

Author Ambush with Laura Kaye


Today I have a special treat for you all.  The incredible Laura Kaye has decided to help me out and take over Book Monster for the day.  She created a really great post for ya'll to enjoy so please welcome Laura back to BMR and show her some love. 



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 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.





The Perfect Anthem for
In the Service of the King
By Laura Kaye

I want to start off with a big THANK YOU to Book Monster Reviews and Literal Addiction for dual-hosting me here today and also hosting me this evening for a chat! I’m very excited to be celebrating the release of my dark paranormal romance, In the Service of the King, the first in my Vampire Warrior Kings series with Harlequin Nocturne, and I can’t wait for y’all to tell me what you think! *grins*

                                                       Here’s the blurb:

Kael, Warrior King of the Vampires, loathes the Night of the Proffering. He needs the blood of either his mate or a human virgin to maintain his strength, but hasn't enjoyed the ritual since he lost his mate centuries ago. Kael doesn't want a new companion, yet his resolve is tested when he lays eyes on his new offering, Shayla McKinnon. He is drawn to Shayla’s beauty and poise...and the submission she offers. She is eager to give him anything he wishes, including her innocence, to please him. Will Kael give in to their overwhelming desire—even if it means risking Shayla’s life?





Music is a very important part of my writing experience. The lyrics and feel of a song can influence the characters, dialog, and atmosphere of a scene. But this book came out so fast, I didn’t have time to draw together my usual playlist. However, I’ve since found one song in particular I just adore because it so totally encompasses the feel of the hero and the romantic tension of the story itself: The Fray’s Say When. Give it a listen…





Here’s some examples of how Say When is nearly an anthem for In the Service of the King:


 
[Lyrics]
I see you there,
don't know where you come from
Unaware of a stare from someone
Don’t appear to care
that I saw you, and I want you

What’s your name?
Cause I have to know it
You let me in and begin to show it
I'm terrified
cause you’re headed straight for it,
might get it


[From In the Service of the King]
            He sucked in a breath. He would’ve been impressed with her responsiveness if he hadn’t been so completely enthralled by those eyes. Her left iris was a brilliant emerald, nearly rivaling his own in the intensity and clarity of green. Her right, however, was a bright turquoise, touched by green to be sure, but without question a deep, dazzling blue. The effect of her mismatched gaze, paired as it was with her fair, creamy skin and dark tresses, was arresting. His mouth gaped in rapture of her beauty.
            Powerless to resist, he leaned down and cupped her left cheek in his hand. He stroked his thumb across her cheekbone, his finger playing with the ends of her eyelashes. “You have been touched by magic.”
            Her breathing stuttered and her eyes grew glassy. She blinked the threatening tears away. “Thank you, Your Majesty,” she whispered. She pressed her face into his hand, just the tiniest bit.
            That one small movement seemed weighted with emotion and affection, drawing Kael into personal conversation he rarely offered the Proffered. “Am I to understand that tonight actually marks your birthday?”
            Shayla bit her lip and nodded.
            The image of her teeth buried in plump flesh made his body tighten. Her birthday, how wonderfully unusual. It happened, of course, though the Proffered’s blood was most potent any time during her twentieth year. “Well, Shayla McKinnon, I will try to make it a good one for you, yes?”
            Her smile was warm, glorious. “Thank you, Sire.”
            The way she looked at him sent ripples of electricity through his blood. His fangs elongated. Kael pressed his lips together and dropped his hand, backed away.
            Something like confusion shadowed her face before she straightened her expression and lowered her gaze once more.
            Those eyes are going to be a problem. He was drawn to them, to her. He wanted to pull her up from the floor and onto the bed, and lay her out on her side as he rested facing her. He wanted to learn about her as he stared into those magical eyes. And he never wanted to learn about any of the Proffered. He never allowed himself to imagine them as companions. He was on dangerous ground.


 
That second stanza embodies this scene so well. Kael, seeing Shayla, surprised and even bewildered by his reaction to her. He feels threatened by it, by her, because he can’t afford to imagine any outcome where he could have her. Here’s another example:
 

[Lyrics]
Turn around and you're walkin toward me
I'm breakin down
and you're breathin slowly
Say the word and I will be your man,
your man, say when



[From In the Service of the King]
           
Almost in slow motion, Shayla sank to her knees in front of the chair and assumed the waiting position in every manner except one: rather than rest her hands palm up on her thighs, she reached with her left hand and grasped the goblet, then cupped it in between both hands and held it above her head, up to him. “If it pleases you, Your Highness.”
            Kael’s heartbeat stuttered, then took off at a sprint. Her initiative was daring and so damn sexy his groin tightened in anticipation. He unthinkingly added courageousness to her growing résumé. And fuck if the dramatic gaping of her robe wasn’t the most decadent thing he’d ever seen. The top of the silk opened in a plunging V that revealed the rounded, heaving flesh of her breasts. But it was the bottom of the robe that exposed previously hidden territory. As she’d slid to the ground, her knees had pulled the hem back, and her open-kneed pose gave him a direct view of the dark triangle of hair between her strong, shapely thighs.
            The thirst-quenching promise of her dark offering proved an overwhelming aphrodisiac that spoke to parts of his soul he thought long dormant. Blood pounded through his head. His fangs throbbed. His body tightened.
            “Aw, hell,” he muttered as his instincts took over and cast his thinking consciousness into a dark corner. He stalked up to her and pulled the goblet from her hand, then placed it back on the stand. His hands threaded under her arms and, with little effort, pulled her to her feet.
            Holding her lovely face, he pressed his mouth to hers.


 
Ah, man, that moment of giving in to what you want, even at your brain tells you not to do it, that you’ll regret it, that it goes against everything you told yourself. But Kael just can’t help himself. Kissing her might not make sense. It might be a terrible idea. But none of that matters, because Shayla affects him too much.


 
[Lyrics]
Later on if it turns to chaos,
hurricane comin’ all around us
See the crack, pull it back from the window,
you stay low, say when


[From In the Service of the King]
            Kael’s expression visibly chilled in the moments after she met his gaze. He shook her lightly and pushed her away from his body. “Stand.”
            Shayla stumbled one step then caught herself, but her mind was still flying just enough she couldn’t fully make sense of his actions. “Sire?”
            “No.” He shook his head and wiped at his mouth. His fists clenched.
            Shayla’s stomach plummeted into her pelvis. Her equilibrium faltered and she stumbled another step as the room seemed to bend and twist.
            The king stalked to the door in the back corner through which she had entered and hammered two swift blows with his fist against the wooden surface. “Retrieve the Proffered.”
            “What? No!” Shayla didn’t know whether to be pissed at the king’s mixed signals or mortified at his apparent displeasure in kissing her. But what she didn’t want to know was his rejection. Not when he was her best hope for quenching the vengeful fire burning in her gut. But, more than that, the girlish dream that she could find a connection with someone as magnificent and mysterious and powerful as Kael the Fair didn’t seem so childish anymore. Not after what she’d experienced tonight. She might be inexperienced, but she knew what she felt, and she hadn’t imagined it. Some sort of primal, magnetic pull existed between them. She felt it in her bones, in her blood. Her heart squeezed and thrummed in recognition of the odd, compelling sensation.
            She had to make him believe in it, too. She resumed her submissive standing pose and lowered her head. “I will do better, Your Highness, please.”
            “Leave.” He paced from the back door toward the ornate one through which he had entered.
            Her whole body trembled at the impossible direction of their conversation. “No. Please. We can still—”
            “Go. Now!” His words roared and echoed through the stone chamber.
            Shayla jumped. Her tears flowed unbidden and she turned to retreat. Her first shaky step knocked her into the stand on which the goblet of her own blood still sat. The cup bobbled threateningly, a splash of crimson spilling out and staining a line of dark red against the bright white of her robe, before she caught and righted it. The sight of the crimson stain brought a whimper from her tightening throat and set her into a flat out run to the door.


Here, then, is a sneak peak at the black moment of In the Service of the King, a moment that forces the king to take a good look at himself, bringing to mind the lyric right before the “chaos, hurricane” line: “We're separate, two ghosts in one mirror, no nearer.”


I could go on and on with this song, which has completely taken over my brain these past few days. I haven’t been this impacted by a piece of music since Linkin Park’s Numb, Easier to Run, and In the End crawled under my skin while writing my very first book, another vampire romance called Forever Freed.

I’ll leave you with one last parting lyric:

(Chorus)
And my own two hands
will comfort you tonight, tonight
Say when
And my own two arms
will carry you tonight, tonight



 Rest assured, In the Service of the King delivers a happy ending, and delivers it hard. But you’ll have to read the story to see just how wonderfully theses lines fit. *winks*

How does music inspire you?

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye



********************************************

GIVEAWAY!
To celebrate her new release, Laura is giving away one e-copy of In the Service of the King at each stop on her New Release Tour, 1/30 – 2/15! In addition, all commenters from across the tour will be entered to win a prize bag filled with swag and various vampire items, perfect for the vampire lover! RULES: Must leave e-mail address & if from U.S. in comment. Ebook prizes open to international; prize bag to U.S. only.

TO ENTER:
Make sure you are a member of the Book Monster Blog (by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page), and then post a comment on the interview with your email address. 
*Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!


32 comments:

Victoria said...

All of these excerpts have me dying to read this. Thank you Laura for sharing.
vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

bluesun1218 said...

I can't wait to read this book! I'm fairly new to Laura's books but so far they have been amazing! Thanks for a chance to win a copy :)
bluesun1218@yahoo.com

Kassandra said...

I am such a sucker for excerpts >.<

Thanks for the giveaway!

sionedkla@gmail.com

Laura Kaye said...

Woohoo! Thanks so much for hosting me Book Monster! And thanks Victoria, bluesun1218 and Kassandra for kicking off the comments!

kandj7299 said...

This sounds like a great story. I hope to win a copy!! Thanks for having this giveaway!!

kandj7299 at Verizon dot net

Katrina W said...

The cover is just gorgus !!! congrads on your new release Laura !! Music inspires me to do many things.. housework when Im ont in the mood, puts me in the mood when I am not and just create that differnt atmosphere and also brring back memories !! lol..

Loved the excerpt !! thats for the post !!

kat

kittee_cat@bigpond.com

Joanne said...

Gosh, what great excerpts. I can't wait to read this book! I can't get enough of Kael! Thanks for the blog tour. Congrats on the new release.

e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

Laura Kaye said...

@kandj7299 - you're welcome!

@Katrina - Thanks so much!

@Joanne - yay! Glad you're liking the excerpts! They were fun to pick!

Thanks for all the comments everyone! I'm enjoying reading them!

AND, HEY, DON'T FORGET TONIGHT'S CHAT! 8-9PM EST AT LITERAL ADDICTION!

Audra said...

I love the excerpts and the covers are Beautiful
audie(at)wickerness(dot)com

Laurie said...

Can't wait to read this! Sounds so good. Thanks for the giveway.
lfacchini (at) tampabay (dot)rr(dot)com

Unknown said...

Laura, I swear I mean this in all seriousness - you are the only author I have ever read that makes me wish my husband had fangs that throbbed for me, sheesh! That's just HAWT! Gawd, lol.

Gena Robertson
robertsongena@hotmail.com

Sophia Rose said...

Wow! I just had a surreal moment. Somehow when I hit play for the music and began reading the lyrics and excerpts, it was all synchronized.

I can see how the song and your story ended up intertwined for you. Looking forward to reading the book and getting past that sticky barrier the king has erected.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
sophiarose1816@gmail.com

Linda said...

The excerpts are making me drool! It's cruel to tease us so :p
Can't wait to read the book! I've a few of Laura's books & there are just so good.

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

Beautiful Disaster said...

Hi Laura,
Great post :) I cannot wait to read this ebook. I hope they will release it in PB as well. The excerpts are awesome and definitely have my attention ;) Interesting how you found the song that goes so great with it! Music inspires me too. I love a variety of music!
Thanks,
Lori
lorih824@yahoo.com

Laura Kaye said...

@Audra--glad you liked! :)

@Laurie--you're welcome!

@Gena--ROFL! And, sigh, I totally understand! ;)

@Sophia Rose--yay! Thanks for getting it! :D

@Linda--well, ya know, you don't have to wait... ;)

@Lori--I'm hoping it gets picked for an anthology, which is possible! I'll keep y'all posted! Thanks much!

Enjoying all your comments, guys!

Bonnie said...

Hi Laura,
I'm a fellow FF&P and I absolutely love your cover and after reading your excerpts and the review I really, really, really want to read your book.
I'll be at the chat tonight.
Bonn1511(at)aol(dot)com

Michelle Harlan said...

Hi Laura!
I read North of Need last month and LOVED it!! Now, I can't wait to read your new vampire series! I enjoyed the "peek" into the book via music! The Fray is one of my favorite groups! Now I know what to listen to while I read In The Service of the King. :)
I'm not "musically inclined", but I love music. In fact, I started journals for my kids where I keep track of songs that apply to special times in our lives. I list the Artist/Song Title/Album & print off the lyrics. Then I write a quick entry about why the song was "important" at the time. At the end of the year, I make a cd that includes all of the songs from that year's journal. As the kids get older, it's become a fun family project.
Thanks again for the look at your upcoming book. I'm looking forward to reading it!
harlan_michelle@yahoo.com
GFC follower & live in the U.S.

Nicole said...

The book sounds good! The excerpts were just enough o grab my attention. That was great to read....need more. Lol!
Thanks for the giveaway.
nnobles5@aol.com

June M. said...

I am very eager to read this story from Laura. It sounds like a great paranormal romance. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy!
June
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

ML said...

I've been following the blog tour and Laura's book looks amazing. I love the excerpts. I love Kael. I love Shayla and I haven't even read the book but I sure would like to.

mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com
US

Laura Kaye said...

@Yay Bonnie! Thank you! And nice chatting with you!

@Michelle - So glad you enjoyed North of Need! Thanks for commenting! :)

@Nicole - Woot! So glad to hear!

@June & ML - thanks for following along with the tour! Glad you're enjoying what you're seeing!

Thanks so much everyone!

Amy said...

Thank you for the excerpts and song lyrics! I really liked the excerpts and would really love to read the whole book. The king does sound really sexy and powerful.

angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Laura Kaye said...

Yay Amy! Woot!

Rebe said...

This sounds great! Congratulations on so many recent new releases!

rwschwarz11ATgmailDOTcom

SdyLion said...

You are one of my favorite authors and I am so excited about the latest release. It is really great to see someone from the same area of the world. Thank you for sharing about your inspirations. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Tanya1224 said...

wow...I'm just now seeing this post. I must have missed it. I'd love a chance to win this book. I'll never get tired of vampires...throw a king in there and it's even better =) Thanks
Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com
US

Anne R said...

This book sounds awesome, I cant wait to read it. I hope you have a fun and successful blog tour for this book!
Thanks for the giveaway!

areeths at new dot rr dot com

Laura Kaye said...

@Rebe - thanks!

@SdyLion - aw, that's so wonderful to hear! Thanks for commenting!

@Tanya - yay, glad you found it! And LOL, I never get tired of vampires either! :)

@Anne - thanks so much!

Really enjoying reading all your comments, guys! Thanks!

Sharon said...

I love an alpha male. And this story definitely has one! thanks!
sstogner1 at gmail dot com

Julianne said...

I enjoyed reading about the song and how it fits in with the book. That is so cool. I can't wait to read In Service of the King.
I'm in the US
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

Michelle Bledsoe said...

Oh may am I almost to late to the party or what....LOL
Laura, I have so enjoyed Forever Freed and North of Need. You have become one of my favorite authors. Thank you so much for hours of wonderful reading.
koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

Laura Kaye said...

Aw, Michelle, thank you so much! :)