Monday, May 28, 2012

Welcome Guest Author Kaylea Cross! #PNR

Welcome guest author
Kaylea Cross
to the blog today!
See below for her giveaway! 
Welcome, Kaylea!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Thanks so much for having me here today! I’m Kaylea Cross, and I write both military romantic suspense and steamy paranormals. I also write erotic romance as Callie Croix, my lesser-known naughty persona. (I’m just getting comfortable with her, so I don’t let her out to “play” much.)

Awesome! Okay, now, tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Darkest Caress just came out from Carina Press. It’s the first of a paranormal romance trilogy, and rather than vamps or shifters, it features a magical race known as the Empowered, whom I created based on Lithuanian folklore after a trip there. Who’d have ever thought I would wind up in Lithuania, right? I think it’s neat that a book came out of that experience.

I love that! Which character is your favorite and why?

Oh, that’s easy, and I hope you’ll see why when you read Darkest Caress. It’s Vaughn. He’s a Reaper, and his story will be the third book. He’s been through hell and endured suffering I don’t even want to imagine going through. I can’t wait to write his story, since I’ve got it all mapped out.

Sounds so intriguing! Can’t wait! As the author, what surprised you about this story?

That I wrote it at all. I’m known for my military romances, so this was quite a departure from the norm for me. I’d thought about trying my hand at a paranormal just for something different, and during that trip to the Baltics, it all came together in my head. The story refused to be ignored and it was kind of nice to switch gears from writing military romance for so long.

That’s an awesome experience for a writer! Go you! Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?

I sure hope so! I have plans at least for the next two books. Not sure about any more than that though.

I love a series! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

The world building and coming up with an otherworldly conflict I could sustain over a three book arc. That’s something I’ve never done before, so I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. Luckily Carina Press thought I did okay!

Such a challenge! Can’t wait to see how you worked it all out! What are you working on right now?

I’m finishing up the second book of my Bagram Special Ops trilogy. Once that’s done, I’m going to start the third and maybe play around with the second Empowered book. I’ll just see how things go.

So many books, so little time… I totally get that! What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

Out of Her League is the first book I ever wrote, and I was lucky enough to find a home for it. Although there are plenty of things I wish I could go back and change to improve plot and characterization now. It’s all a learning process though, isn’t it? I think my writing has improved a lot since that first book.

Yes, it totally is, and I think we always see things in our published books we wish we could change! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

Easiest are openings and endings, love scenes (oh yeah) and dialogue. The action and transition scenes tend to be tougher for me for some reason. I’m good to go as long as something exciting is going on. It’s when the pace begins to lag that I get stuck.

Uh huh. Love scenes, and thus Callie! *winks* Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

I sure have. Tidbits of my experiences or people I know have made at least cameo appearances in my books. I’ll never tell them who’s who, though. I once took up belly dance classes as research for Bryn’s character in Cover of Darkness. That was fun. And Out of Her League featured a National level fastpitch player, which I was (though I was a pitcher, not a catcher like Christa).

Hey! This is cool! I was a softball pitcher too! I only played through high schook, though… That’s awesome that you went so far with it! Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

Well, if you’ve read any of my work then you know I love our men and women in uniform. They’re so much braver than I could ever be, and they sacrifice so much on our behalf. We tend to forget that they don’t get to pick and choose which conflicts they fight in. When the President sends them, they go. Period, and regardless of their political beliefs.

So I would say a recurring message in my books is that we owe our servicemen and women respect and admiration. I also stress that the enemies they fight have their own beliefs they feel just as strongly about. War is ugly and complicated and we can’t forget that either.

I love that. Truly admirable! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I’m a total pacifist wimp! I admire the military and I love studying about the various Spec Ops branches (because I’m a nerd, but that’s another story), but I think the reason I admire them so much is that I could never do what they do.

LOL! Which romance book or series do you wish you had written?

Linda Howard’s earlier books (All the Queen’s Men, Cry No More), the early Black Dagger Brotherhood series (right up to V’s book). I love the storylines, the characters and the world building.

Couldn’t agree more on the BDB, and which of them, too! Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Luke Hutchinson, without a doubt. He’s probably unlike most romance heroes you’ve read about. He’s over fifty, a former SEAL that’s now a contractor for the CIA, and he’s seen and done terrible things, both in the line of duty and in his personal life. His book, Absolution, is the final book in my first romantic suspense series, and it just won the 2012 EPIC Award for best romantic suspense. I’m very proud of that book, and the characters in it.

Congratulations on the EPIC Award! That’s awesome! Okay, now, just for fun:

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Dark! So, so dark you only need a little bit to satisfy you. Bernard Callebaut’s bittersweet chocolate is my absolute favorite, even though I realize that makes me a chocolate snob.

Salty or sweet? Sweet, for sure. I love baking, especially chocolate treats. Cakes, chocolate chip cookies, mousse, lava cakes, pudding cakes… Yum.

Bed or kitchen table? Bed most of the time, but the kitchen table to keep things interesting ;).

Beach or mountains? Beach. A warm, tropical scented beach with a hammock so I can curl up with my Kindle.

Give or receive? Mostly give, but I love to receive cuddles, hugs, chocolate and Starbucks. Hubby will often bring one home for me at night if he’s out doing something. That’s one of the ways he shows me the love.
Two-hundred-year-old Daegan Blackwell is one of the last remaining Empowered, an ancient magical race. Daegan's duty is to lead and protect his remaining Brethren in the coming war foretold by prophecy. The last thing he expects is to meet the one woman who will either save or destroy him—his destined mate.

Fiercely independent Realtor Olivia Farrell believes darkly handsome Daegan is simply a prospective client. Until she's attacked by a man with a strange aura—and Daegan fights him off, taking away her pain with just his touch. At first, Olivia refuses to believe she's part of a magical race, yet mounting evidence and her powerful chemistry with Daegan are too strong to deny.

But as Daegan's partner, Olivia becomes a target in the battle between good and evil that threatens her life, as well as the very existence of the Empowered. And the only one who can save her is the man claiming to be her destiny...
Where can we find you on the web?


Thank you, for having me!
Kaylea is offering an ebook of Darkest Caress to one commenter who leaves their email. Open to international. Contest will run through midnight EST on Friday, June 1. Winner will be picked by Good luck!
Alright, everyone, please leave Kaylea some new release love! And thanks for reading!



Rashda Khan said...

Hey Laura & Kaylea!*waving* I guess I'll jump start the comments :)

Loved this back to back interview with your two personas...very entertaining & you managed to sound different!

I really admire the way you explore new of luck my friend!


SdyLion said...

What an interesting body of work and a great interview. I will be checking you out, especially the PNR trilogy. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Victoria said...

I've never read anything on Lithuanian lore so I'd really be interested in checking your work out. My mother swears that my father lied about our heritage and I'm not really Ukrainian but Lithuanian ;). So you really have gotten my attention. Thank you.


Kaylea Cross said...

Rashda, hey, woman! Thanks for coming by to see me :) Did I manage to sound different? Must be because of my split-personality disorder, lol.

SdyLion, thank you. I thought the Empowered series was kind of a different twist on PNR.

Victoria, my trip over there was so cool! I learned so many things and the coastal part of Lithuania where I came up with the idea for this series was in Nida. Utterly magical. I swear my skin tingled with it!

C. Moss said...

Hi Kaylea!
Great interview and your book Darkest Caress sounds awesome. :)
C.R. Moss

Jlhmass said...

Sounds like a great book. I definitely have to read.

April Alvey said...

Just Wanted To Say Hey Laura & Kaylea. I Cant Wait To Read This Book I Have It On My Wish List.

Harlie Reader said...

Congratulations on the release of Darkest Caress. I was there at the EPIC awards when they called your name. :)


Mel Bourn said...

Congrats! I will be adding this to my summer TBR for sure. I like the interview and how it sounds so different. Great job!
bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks for all the awesome comments for Kaylea everyone!

Sasha said...

Love that a trip to Lithuania inspired you to try something new, or rather compelled you to write something new. :D

Looking forward to reading your Kaylea Cross, having already become a fan of Callie Croix.

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Oh my Darkest Caress sounds really interesting. I would love to read this book. I have always wanted to travel other countries. I want to learn their customs and see the land. Hopefully someday.

rache at thejeepdiva dot com

Michelle said...

I absolutely adore your military series!!!! I have been looking forward to reading your PNR! I think it's awesome that you were able to branch out towards something so different and to be able to love the outcome. Way to go Kayla!

booklover0226 said...

Once, again, I must be living under a rock. Kaylea is a new author for me but not for long. I look forward in reading Darkest Caress and her other works.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Filia Oktarina said...

This book was make me intrique, i want read this book. Kaylea was new author for me, and i am looking forward to reading her works.
Thanks for sharing:)

filiafantasy at gmail dot com

Vanessa N. said...

This one sounds great. I love when myth or folklore is mixed in the story.

Kaylea Cross said...

Hey, CR! Good to see you, hon.

Jlhmass, thanks for coming by :)

April thanks! Hope you like the story.

Marika, that is so cool! I was in Kauai at the time (poor me, right?) and found out about the award by chance on Twitter :)

Kaylea Cross said...

Thanks, Mel! Darkest Caress is very different than anything I've ever written before.

Sasha, thanks so much! I don't travel a whole lot because I hate flying, so it was rather amazing that I'd wind up in the Baltics.

Hi, Rachel. As I said I hate to fly, but going to new places is such an adventure. I hope you get to travel someday soon.

Kaylea Cross said...

Michelle, aw, thanks! I'm so glad you love my military stuff because there's more coming :)

Tracey, nah, you're not living under a rock, I promise. I'm still unknown to most readers.

Hi, Filia, thanks for coming by!

Hey, Vanessa. I had fun weaving the folklore into the story. Kind of neat!

Beth DeRenzis said...

Can't wait to read the book!

Amelia said...

This sounds like an absolute must-read. Great interview, too!

mylunar said...

wow great interview.. I knew your books from GR friends and all of it sound wonderful, especially "Absolution" - they praise it high. Very much looking forward to read your works. Congratz for your new books!

Amy Remus said...

Hi Kaylea - I started Absolution last night. I am looking forward to reading your other books as well. It has been great tweeting with you and it was good to get to know more about you through post. Congrats on all your success!

amy at remus dot net

Laura Kaye said...

Woot! So many great comments for Kaylea! Thanks guys!

Tasnim said...

Can't wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

tasnim-sheikh at hotmail dot com

Nina T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nina T. said...

Wow, what a great interview. It's always great to get to know the author a little bit more and this was was no exception. Darkest Caress also sounds like an amazing read. Thanks, Kaylea Cross :)

Kaylea Cross said...

Beth, hope you enjoy Daegan and the boys :P

Thanks, Amelia. It's a bit of a different spin from a lot of the PNRs out there right now.

Mylunar, thanks! Absolution has a very special place in my heart.

Thanks, Amy, you too! Oh, how I love Luke...

Hey, Tasnim, thanks for coming by!

Nina, hi, and thanks! Laura asked some neat questions :)

Kai said...

This would be my first Lithuania folklore story that I ever read. There's not too many books containing folklore from Lithuania. I know I will learn something from your book Darkest Caress. Thanks for your wonderful interview.


andieleah said...

That cover for Darkest Caress is way hot!!!! Love it! Just bought Let Me In...can't wait to read it!!!

Kaylea Cross said...

Kai, for me, too! I've never heard of a book based on Lithuanian folklore either. Hope you like it.

Thanks, andieleah, I think so too :) Hope you enjoy Let Me In, but just a reminder that it's NOT a BDSM title. Not quite sure how that label got on the book, but I don't want you to be disappointed.

Laura Kaye said...

And the winner of Kaylea's book...April Alvey!


Thanks to everyone for all the great comments for Kaylea!

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