Welcome guest author
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.
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 SO MUCH FOR BEING MY GUEST!
Thank you, for having me!
Alright, everyone, please leave Kaylea some new release love! And thanks for reading!
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 random.org. Good luck!