Interview with Laura Kaye + Giveaway

Filed in featured , Giveaways , Interview , Laura Kaye , The Coffee Lover , The Latin Lover Posted on June 27, 2012 @ 7:00 am 29 comments

Today, we are really excited to welcome back to Book Lovers one of the friendliest authors ever: Laura Kaye, who stops by BLI today in celebration of her latest novel Her Forbidden Hero. In her latest book, Laura tells the story of Alyssa and Marco, childhood friends turned lovers, and let me tell you one thing: you’re in for a big treat with Marco! At least both Stella and myself fell head over hills with him 😉 (Stella chimes in: Oh yes, we most definitely did! *nods enthusiastically*)

But I think we should let Laura do the talking and tell us everything about Her Forbidden Hero! Don’t forget to check at the end of the post for the details of our giveaway 🙂

Stella: Hi Laura, we are happy to have you back at Book Lovers Inc! Can you tell us a bit about what has happened since you were here last time here in October 2011 when you were promoting the release of Just Gotta Say? Any great news?

Laura: Hi Stella! And thanks for having me back again! Oh, my, so much has happened! My Hearts of the Anemoi series based on Greek mythology released in November with North of Need, and the second book, West of Want releases on July 10! And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, West of Want will be my first book with national bookstore distribution! So amazing! Also, my Vampire Warrior Kings series released in February starting with In the Service of the King and continuing a few weeks ago with a second book, Seduced by the Vampire King. And both of these series will continue into 2013! Finally, look for the follow-on book to my May release, Her Forbidden Hero, in late summer/early fall. It’s been an incredible year for me!

Stella: Wow you really had an eventful year, bravo! 😛 Your latest novel Her Forbidden Hero was released last month by Entangled Publishing in their new Indulgence line, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of Her Forbidden Hero?

Laura: I’d love to! I think readers can expect to find relatable, sympathetic characters who feel like you could know them in real life, and an intensely heartfelt and deeply emotional friends-to-lovers story. I just adored writing Marco and Alyssa, and I hope that comes through! Here’s the blurb:

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…

Stella: Can you please give our readers a short profile introduction of the hero and heroine of Her Forbidden Hero?


Name: Marco Vieri
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 215 pounds of pure muscle
Eye Color: Bright blue
Hair Color: Dark brown
Occupation: Bartender, prior Army Special Forces
Distinctive Physical Characteristics: Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, Marco has a heavily scared left forearm, a bullet wound scar through his left shoulder, and a knife wound scar under his right pec
Special Skill: Knows more ways to kill a person than he’d ever tell you. Plays the guitar, though not as well as he used to. Sings.
Best Kept Secret: That he feels directionless, worthless, responsible for three men’s deaths, and he’s in love with his best friend and Special Forces teammate’s sister, Alyssa

Name: Alyssa Scott
Height: 5’4”
Weight: 125 pounds
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Dark brown
Occupation: Recent college graduate, waitress, wants to work up to event coordinator at Whiskey’s Music Roadhouse
Special Skill: Knows Marco better than he knows himself. Plays the guitar, well.
Best Kept Secret: That she needs more help than she’d ever admit. And that she’s been in love with her older brother’s best friend her entire life.

Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read Her Forbidden Hero?

Laura: First, because Marco will make you ache with the desire to see him find his happiness. Second, because Her Forbidden Hero plays on the awesome tropes of her brother’s best friend and friends-to-lovers, two of my favorites! And third, because the story is filled with so much sexual tension you will be dying to see them finally get together! How’s that? *grins*

Stella: Can you summarize Her Forbidden Hero for us Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?

Laura: A tortured alpha hero & former Special Forces soldier struggles to resist his best friend’s/teammate’s little sister in #HerForbiddenHero

Stella: Music plays kind of an important role in Her Forbidden Hero, what song would you say characterizes Alyssa and Marco’s relationship? Or which song would play at their wedding? 😉

Laura: Music is so important to this story. In fact, it was the first story I ever wrote listening to music. Moreover, for most of the book, I listened to one song, over and over and over (500+ times according to my iTunes play counter!). That’s never happened to me before, but it just was their song! It was “Your Love is a Song” by Switchfoot.

I can’t read the words in that book without hearing this song and vice versa.

Anna: Do you plan on telling the story of some of the secondary characters from Her Forbidden Hero in the future? Brady maybe? I’m dying to get to know him better!

Laura: Hi Anna! *grins* Yes! I’m writing Brady’s story right now! It is tentatively set for a September release! And I’m having so much fun writing him!

Anna: I read in your acknowledgments that Marco’s character just came to your mind and demanded for his story to be told. I was wondering if Alyssa came along with him as well to help him overcome his fears…

Laura: Definitely. The very first thing I saw about this book was an image of a badly damaged man sitting in the near dark struggling to play the guitar—that was Marco, of course. The very first image I had of Alyssa was her sitting in the shadows listening to him, her heart both full of love for him and breaking because she could see and hear and feel his pain. They were a package from the beginning. And I knew immediately they had grown up together and that he had protected her, even when they were kids.

Stella: …or did you maybe ponder what kind of heroine would be best for Marco?

Laura: I never had any doubt about who either of these characters were. Partly, that was because they both came to me almost nine months before I could sit and write the story. So by the time I typed “Chapter 1” and began, I knew them and their story so well that it just flowed out. I had the whole thing written in four weeks.

Anna: Marco is an incredibly well built character. Alyssa too, but Marco just touched my heart with his past. So, I was wondering if he was inspired by someone that you know who got back from war traumatized both physically and emotionally.

Laura: No one that I know. However, I did a lot of research into wounded veterans—I watched and read dozens of interviews, and I based Marco on a wounded Navy SEAL I read about. I could also identify with some of Marco’s struggles since I had a head injury myself almost four years ago. My consequences weren’t as pronounced as his were, but I knew what it felt like, and I put a lot of that into him.

Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?

Laura: The release of West of Want on July 10! I’m going to need to take a box of Kleenex into Barnes & Noble with me the first time I go to see it on the shelf! LOL Plus look for Brady’s story at the end of the summer and at least three more of these sexy contemporary stories – because I just signed a contract to write more! Very exciting! More details to follow on what they’ll be about! *grins*

Stella and Anna: Wow, our heartfelt congratulations Laura, you couldn’t have made us happier, so many great stories to look forward to, yay! 😀

About the Book

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 the Author

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.

Buy Laura’s Books

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How to win? Listen to the Switchfoot song above and tell Laura what you think!

How does it make you feel? What do you think of the lyrics? OR if you prefer, tell Laura if you enjoy stories about and with music in them and why!

What can you win? Authentic guitar pick jewelry – a necklace, pair of earrings and keychain – one for each of three winners! Laura will even sign the backs of the picks if the winner desires!
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).

This giveaway is open to all!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, July 14th, 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!!!!


About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • sRy_ June 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

    when I hear a song about a story, I let go of the feelings that are distilled from it, makes me feel almost a protagonist of the novel. And the voice is also important, if you pass security, passion, etc. I close my eyes and imagine..

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

      That’s really cool, sRy! Thanks for kicking off the comments!

  • Joya Fields June 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Wow, cool song! I’ve never heard it before, but I like it. 500 times? Holy moly, no wonder you always know your characters so well. Can’t wait for July 10th and release of West of Want!! Congrats on all your success. 🙂

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

      LOL it was a weird experience for me, too, Joya! But it worked! And thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Diane June 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

    No I don’t listen to music much; when I sit down to read it’s with quiet peaceful. A cup of tea and a good book, that’s it!

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

      I’m the same way with reading, Diane! Definitely! 🙂

  • Sandra Dailey June 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    The perfect song for Marco. You can hear the pain, angst and need in his voice as he sings to Alyssa. You can see his struggle to draw each cord from the guitar for her. I love it!

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Woot! You totally get it Sandra! 🙂

  • Rhianna June 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    🙂 I can’t write without music so I LOVE to hear what melodies inspire authors! This really does suit Marco & Alyssa well. That was one of the things that drew me to Marco, because his struggle to play the guitar was a great metaphor or mirror or whatever one wants to call it. Maybe I read into it too deeply and saw something personally resounding that wasn’t intentional on Laura’s part but it made it all the more enjoyable and touching. Loved HER FORBIDDEN HERO!

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Oh, no, Rhianna – you definitely got it right. He was coming back to life through that guitar! 🙂

  • Cynthia June 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    That’s beautiful song!
    Personally, I love have some songs that just fit into the story. Is even better if the authro give us something to play along while reading because I might not pay much attention to the lyrics but the melodies help set the mood.
    And if I happen to put a song I love together with a book I love I can just say it makes my day 😀

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Yay! So glad you like it! Thanks Cynthia!

  • Jess1 June 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I really enjoyed the song and the gritty, striving quality in his voice.
    My only problem about a specific or popular song in a story is if I don’t know the song or I can’t remember the song. Also, it’s not the same as hearing the music so I don’t have the impact of the music.
    Will you be making this song clip available on your website for the reader? I think it’s fantastic that you have the music clip for us to listen to. It really adds a lot to your story. Maybe in the future, eBooks and print books will have embedded music chips so that we can hear the songs. 🙂

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Won’t that be something when it happens, Jess? In the past, I have placed all my playlists on my website, but I used and recently they changed their terms of service to no longer allow embedding off their site! 🙁 So I’m looking for a new service now. But I do have playlists for all my stories…

  • Jennifer R June 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    First off, I loved this book! It was so emotional and heartfelt. I can’t wait to read more from this world. Second I have never heard that song but it goes great with this story! Thanks for giving us your wonderful stories!

    • Laura Kaye June 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Oh, glad you think so, Jennifer! I’m writing Brady’s story now…coming soon! 😀

  • Lisa Borbeck June 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I am currently in the middle of reading “Her Forbidden Hero” and as I told Laura on FB it makes me want to do nothing but read…. speaking of that, gotta go back to it, I hear Marco calling me 🙂

    • Laura Kaye June 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

      LOL! So glad you’re enjoying it, Lisa! Woot!

  • June M. June 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Great song. I am one of those people who can’t listen to music when reading. I love music but it is too distracting when I read. Television I can block out but not music.

    • Laura Kaye June 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      I agree – I prefer quiet for reading, but with kids I have learned to tune things out if I have to! LOL

  • Filia Oktarina June 28, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I don’t very listen music, cause i like read book with a quiet. If i read, i almost unconscious about my surrounding.
    This song was beautiful, i like it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Laura Kaye June 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

      You’re so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it, Filia!

  • aurian June 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I like listening to music, but for me it is a background to my reading, and to drown out white noise. I always have Sky Radio Love Songs plaing on my computer. I know when I like a voice, but never ask me who it is, or what song, as I have not a clue. I like Sky Radio as they just play music and don’t talk, just the news every half hour. Not even commercials !
    I would love that necklace, it is gorgeous!

    • Laura Kaye June 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      I like music for those same reasons too! Will have to check out that station! 🙂 Good luck!

  • Victoria Zumbrum June 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I love the song. I love listening to music while I am reading.

  • bn100 July 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I like stories with music in them because it basically gives you a summary of the couples’ relationship.

    • Laura Kaye July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Great way of looking at it! 🙂

  • Angie July 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I really like this song! The song has kind of a sad tone, but it makes me think of Marco and where he is at in is life. He also realizes that if he doesn’t open up his eyes he will lose Alyssa and everything she makes him feel. Her love makes him feel better and helps with his memories of what happened to him. I just love the book! I have read it twice and now will listen to this song when I read it again.

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