Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Post with Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye
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Books by Laura Kaye
· North of Need (2011)
· Hearts in Darkness (2011)
· Forever Freed (2011)
More books by Laura Kaye...

I’m very excited to be here at Missy's Reads & Reviews today! Thanks for hosting me!

I’m often asked what influenced my writing of my new contemporary fantasy romance, North of Need. In college I was fascinated with all things Russian, and though I was a history major, I minored in Russian and Russian Studies. My Russian professor used fairy tales, meant for Russian kids, as one tool to teach us the language. And the one that has stuck with me over all these years was the Russian fairy tale of the Snow Maiden.

There are many versions of the fairy tale, of course, as so often happens with ancient stories, but the general story line is about a magical or immortal being, a child of weather elements named Snegurochka, who yearns for mortal companionship and who makes the dreams of lonely mortals come true with her presence. Here’s a link that tells a version of the fairy tale.

When the idea for my hero Owen came to mind, so too did this fairy tale. I’d already assembled much of his characterization as a snow god, as the son of the Supreme God of the North Wind and Winter, as yearning for love and warmth and partnership, so when I reread the Snow Maiden tale, I was struck by the similarities between their stories. Totally unintentional, but I love how this story has stuck with me all these many years and made its way in part into North of Need.

Another thing I adore about Russian fairy tales is how well illustrated the published versions of them are—I gathered a variety of visual interpretations of the snow maiden here.. Russian folk art is simply stunning—picture the vivid colors of St. Basil’s Cathedral (the cathedral in Red Square with the pointed domes) put to paper and you’ll understand what I mean.

I am such a huge fan of fairy tales in general. I love all the modern retellings of them, too. So, tell me, which fairy tale is your favorite?

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

About North of Need
GraveTells Book of the Year for 2011
GraveTells Gold Heart Award Winner
SHBR’s Sizzling Read of the Year for 2011

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.

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.


Beautiful Disaster said...

Hi Laura, I learn something new about you all the time ;o) I love history too! I took Latin in high school because of the mythology which fascinated me and still does. I later took art history in college which was another realm but interesting in it's own respect. Your book, North of Need was great and I can't wait for the next one! I know you'll keep em coming. Lori

Victoria said...

Hi Laura - It's so interesting how you came to write Owens story. Do you speak Russian too? Strange question I know but my middle son took 5 years of Russian so I've heard it around the house quite a bit. When I was a teenager I learned that my grandfather (I never met him)escaped from Russia in a potato sack right before WWI. So I guess my kid has it in his blood ;).

Laura Kaye said...

@Beautiful Disaster - I loved my art history classes! Awesome we have that in common!

@Victoria - I took 2.5 years of college Russian, and enjoyed it until a crazy jealous professor who would interrupt it the second you made a mistake turned me off. I know some Russian, and I can read the alphabet and sound out words even if I don't know what they mean. But I remain fascinated with all things Russian. In fact, the story I'll be finishing today is set in Moscow!

Thanks for the great comments and questions!

Netherland said...

NORTH OF NEED (HEARTS OF ANEMOI) by Laura Kaye is an exciting fantasy romance set in the Appalachian Mountains. It is the first in a new series Hearts of Anemoi. It is the story of Megan Snow,a young widow of two years and Owen Winters,immortial,one of the four Greek Anemoi,and a snowman. It has Christmas magic,snowman,death of a husband,grief, global warming,environmental issues,romance,love,hot sex,second chances,the four Greek Anemoi(Wind Gods),snow,ice,wind(especially the North Wind),and a bit of magic. This is a faced paced story where Frosty the Snowman meets the widow Megan Snow.It is a fun,but serious story that is heartfelt and full of life's unexpected twists and turns,such as an unexpected pregnancy and a chance at second love.A must read for any paranormal,fantasy,romance, readers who enjoy a fast story that will have you turning pages from the beginning to the end. "North of Need" is a wonderful fantasy Christmas story where if "you only believe" anything can happen.

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