Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Let me start by thanking you for having me here! I write paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance and had four books release in 2011. I’m also a wife, mom of two young girls, college history professor, and complete vampire addict! *grins* My latest book, NORTH OF NEED, is a contemporary fantasy romance. Paranormal stories have always been my first interest as both a reader and a writer, and the thing that most draws me to romance is the fantasy aspect of a great love story. So those are some of the things that drew me to write a story based on Greek mythology.
What is it about the paranormal, in particular Greek gods, that fascinates you so much?
I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology. It’s really the soap opera of the ancient world, full of illicit affairs, political intrigue, backstabbing, and secret babies! As a lover of the paranormal, Greek mythology intrigues me because it is totally full of cool monsters with awesome powers. And, because there are so many versions of some of the stories, it’s easy as an author to put your own spin on the mythology as I’m doing with the Anemoi, wind gods the Greeks associated with the seasons.
Please tell us about your latest release.
I’d love to! NORTH OF NEED tells the story of the snow god Owen, who is the adopted son and destined successor of the Supreme God of the North Wind and Winter, Boreas. Owen falls in love with Megan, a grieving widow spending Christmas alone in her family cabin. Here’s the blurb:
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.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Heroes are always my favorite to read and to write. In this book, I absolutely loved writing Owen. I loved how everything was a new experience for him. He was playful and enthusiastic and appreciative, all inside an incredibly powerful, hot, masculine package. And what Megan meant to him…that was just great to write. I have to say, I also developed a real love for Boreas. I didn’t realize just how big of a role he would end up playing in the story, so he was a real pleasant surprise to write.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
I have a lot of favorite scenes in this book. I adore the igloo scene. I love the ski resorts scene. But, even so, my absolute favorite is the book’s Black Moment. All I can say without giving it away is that Owen comes face to face with his greatest weakness. As I wrote it, the angst and pain and sadness of the scene totally gripped me, and I hope it will do the same to the readers, too.
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
I researched a number of fun topics while writing this book. In addition to reading up on my Greek mythology, I researched a number of cultural traditions’ beliefs about the deities of winter and weather. I also did research on how to build a good snowman, how to build an igloo, and how to ski.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
Based on Greek mythology, the world of the Hearts of the Anemoi series posits the existence of the Greek gods in the modern world. Sometimes they interact with people in the human realm, and sometimes they remain among their own kind in the Realm of the Gods. If you know anything about Greek gods, you know that almost ever natural event on earth had a god supposed responsible for it. So, in the series, all things wind, weather and season related are the purview of the four Anemoi gods. And, while the series focuses on these particular gods, other mythological figures you’ll recognize will appear from time to time.
Do you write in different genres?
I do! In 2011, I’ve published books in paranormal romance (FOREVER FREED, vampires), contemporary romance (HEARTS IN DARKNESS), erotic romance (JUST GOTTA SAY), and fantasy romance (NORTH OF NEED). In 2012, I’ll have two more vampire stories, and the final three Anemoi books releasing. I also have a completed women’s fiction novel I hope to start querying soon. I enjoy the varying challenges different romantic subgenres raise, and I think writing in more than one has strengthened my writing in them all.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself a writer. As a teenager, when I wasn’t reading, I wrote stories. But as I went off to college, I became immersed in the academic discipline that would shape my professional life as an adult—history. Really, just another form of storytelling. It wasn’t until three years ago that I started writing romantic fiction for publication. And my first manuscript I wrote was also the first I sold, FOREVER FREED.
What was the last amazing book you read?
My absolute favorite books are J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I adore the characterizations, love the voice of the stories, and think they’re hot as hell. I’ve just reread up through Vishous’s book for maybe the fourth or fifth time, so that definitely counts as the last amazing gook I read. Among the brothers, Zsadist is my fave, and I’ll warn you in advance I’m a wee bit territorial about him, so back off. Haha. No, really, stay away from him. *grins* *Pointed stare*
What can readers expect next from you?
I have two books releasing in the first several months of 2012. The first book in my Vampire Warrior Kings series, IN THE SERVICE OF THE KING, releases February 1. And the second book in the Anemoi series, WEST OF WANT, will release in the spring. I have a lot of other things in the works that I can’t share just yet, but there are great things on the horizon! *grins*
Where can readers find you on the web?
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
I sure would! Here’s a bit that showcases one of Owen’s talents…
Owen’s flaring eyes stole Megan’s breath. Already, the air around them sizzled. Something was happening.
Did she trust him?
“Yes,” she heard herself say. Her answer was instinctual. She didn’t need to think about it to know.
His heated, brilliant smile eased the nervous energy rushing through her veins. This day with him at Wisp had been unequivocally the best she’d had in two years. She had loved every minute of it.
Her body felt awake and powerful. Her heart, full and warm. She was alive. He’d brought her back to life.
“I want to share myself with you, Megan. I want to share everything,” he whispered, his voice nearly that same reverent intonation as when he’d murmured those foreign words against her heart.
“Yes,” she said again.
“It’s going to feel odd to you, like a tingling weightlessness. But it won’t hurt and I’ll bring you back the very instant you desire. If you want to say something to me, just think it. And I promise I won’t let you go.” He bent down and scooped a handful of snow, packed it into a loose ball.
Owen’s words did little to staunch the anxious excitement bubbling up inside her. Every nerve and muscle on edge, she could barely stand still. But she yearned to know what he wanted to show her. Something told her she was about to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “You lead, I’ll follow,” she said, echoing his earlier words.
The flare behind his eyes intensified. He dropped the snow into her bare palm. “Here, eat this, please.”
Megan brought the snow to her mouth with a shaking hand. The way he dragged his tongue back and forth against his bottom lip made what they were doing feel like foreplay. As soon as she’d closed her lips around the last bite, his mouth was on her, kissing, probing. Then, he pulled back, laced his hands around her neck and leaned his forehead against hers.
“Megan Snow, I love you.”
Megan gasped at his declaration. Her brain scrambled, tried to figure out how to respond.
Before she could, she ceased to be corporeal.
Owen! she screamed in her mind.
I’m here angel, and I’ve got you. Just feel. Take it all in.
I’m scared. Though she was no more than consciousness adrift, she would’ve sworn she felt his lips and hands caress her. The impossible sensation squelched the fear, left only a mystical thrill in its place.
I would never let anything happen to you, Megan. On my honor. On my life.
I believe you. What’s happening? The world glided under her, around her, like she was a bird soaring on the ebbs and flows of air currents.
We are the wind.
WANT TO WIN NORTH OF NEED?
The North of Need Book Launch Blog Tour runs through November 20.
Today I am giving away
1st Prize an ebook copy of North of Need
2nd prize: A complete set of trading cards for all four of Laura's books open to US & Canadian residents.
Please follow Laura's social sites for extra entries
1 bonus entry for each follow