Thursday, July 5, 2012

READ, HOT & BOOM with Laura Kaye (Guest Post/Giveaway)

I can't think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day and our READ, HOT & BOOM event than with one of my favorite authors, Laura Kaye, and her recent release of her sexy new contemporary romance, Her Forbidden Hero

What July 4th Means to Me

Happy 4th of July everyone! If you’re among my American friends, I hope you had some fun summer times celebrating with friends and family! In honor of the day and RbtWBC’s July 4th event, I thought I’d share a fun summery excerpt from my new book Her Forbidden Hero and what the day means to me:

Fireworks. I can’t think of the 4th of July without thinking of the thrill of fireworks exploding in the air, the cracks and booms catching you by surprise even though you know they’re coming, the anticipation of what color and shape will come next. I’ve loved fireworks for as long as I can remember, and even now I feel a certain fondness toward them I associate especially with the 4th.

Picnics and Barbeques. Growing up, my family always packed up a huge picnic and went to a state park about a half hour from our house. It had a beach on a huge lake, paddle boats, picnic tables, and playgrounds. It was one of my favorite outings of the year.

The Bravery of Heroes Past. As some of you might know, I’m an American historian and my particular area of expertise is colonial America. Something really spectacular happened 236 years ago when fifty-six men put their lives and property on the line by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence and thereby committing treason against the biggest, most powerful Empire in the world. No rational observer at the time, including George Washington, appointed in 1775 as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, gave the Americans much of a chance at defeating the largest and most powerful military in the world, so what the delegates to the Continental Congress did by signing the Declaration was one of the most notable acts of bravery, courage, and conviction in the entire history of the world. We often forget just how high the stakes were because the Americans prevailed, but had they not, the men we call “Founding Fathers” would’ve lost their reputations, fortunes and lives and might’ve been labeled by the victors’ history as traitors and terrorists.

Philosophical and Political Revolution. Can you stand a little more of my history geek coming out??? When was the last time you actually read the masterful words of the Declaration of Independence?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….

A committee of five men worked to draft the Declaration, though most of the actual verbiage was the work of Thomas Jefferson, without question THE VOICE of the American Revolution. The Declaration was the heir of new and dangerous Enlightenment philosophy, embodying new-fangled ideas such as that certain natural laws existed that superseded government power. That governments only exist at the will and with the consent of those they govern. That all men are created equal and inherently possess the rights to their lives, their freedom, and their happiness, and that governments should act to secure those rights. These are the founding ideals of the modern era, and went on to inspire dozens of other political revolutions around the world. We often take these ideas for granted, but it’s worth remembering just how revolutionary, just how powerful, they truly are.

The Bravery of Heroes Present. If the 4th makes me think of the risks and sacrifices American heroes made several centuries ago, it can’t help but make me think of the risks and sacrifices many American men and women continue to make to defend and protect our country and what it stands for. Working for the Department of Defense (Navy) as I do, the military is not just some abstract institution, but a collection of real men and women who dedicate their lives to doing for and protecting others—and that’s the quintessential definition of a hero in my mind.

I had to steal this pic from Laura's FB page.
She got to watch the fireworks from the White House lawn!
The Beginning of Laura Kaye. On July 4th, 2008, I head a head injury that turned out to be more serious than I realized when it occurred. After four weeks of migraine headaches (during which time I was introduced to the Twilight books – I devoured all four of them in less than a week), I was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome, which is a series of cognitive problems that often lasts 3-6 months and includes changes to personality, appetite, sleep patterns, etc. Fresh off the high of Twilight and with the knowledge that Stephenie Meyer was a mom who had never written before, when my headaches subsided, I was filled with the urge to create, and in particular, to try my hand at writing a novel. By the last week of October 2008, I had finished a 450-page draft of what became my vampire romance, Forever Freed, and Laura Kaye was born. Today, I couldn’t live without my writing, so it was truly a silver lining.

Now, to make up for going a little serious on you, let me lighten and heat things up a bit with a fun summery excerpt from Her Forbidden Hero, my new contemporary romance that features a military hero who I think truly portrays the kinds of sacrifices soldiers make for their country:

“I’m not going to test it. I’m just going in,” she said, looking less certain than she sounded.

Marco walked ahead of her, entering the water at a steady pace. Good God. It was ball-shriveling cold. He turned and smiled at Alyssa. “It’s actually pretty warm. Come on in. You’ll like it.” He kept the grin plastered on his face, the blazing sun his only saving grace.

“Really?” she asked.

Marco waved her in.

Alyssa darted into the water, up to her knees, then her thighs. Her mouth and eyes went wide and she screamed. “You are such a liar, Marco Vieri!”

Marco fought and lost the battle against his grin.

“Holy crap. It’s like ice. You suck!” She scooped her hands into the water and a shower of frigid water hit his front. Marco bit out a curse. Alyssa wore a satisfied smile and braced her hands on her hips.

He launched himself in her direction. She squealed and turned for the shore, but Marco was faster and easily caught her around the waist.

She gasped as he dragged her backward into deeper water, almost to the rope line. “Let me go,” she said, laughing.

“Nope. You wanted the lake. I’m making sure you get the lake.”

“It’s too cold. Come on, Marco.” She squirmed and pulled at his arms, giggles spilling out of her.

And damn if she wasn’t rubbing all up against him as she fought. Good thing the water was too frickin’ freezing for regular body function. But Marco’s brain still operated enough to know just how good her body felt in his arms, pressed so tightly against his.

Suddenly the temperature of the water stopped mattering. Marco hardened slowly but surely. By the time they were up to her chest in the water, he was erect, and the sudden catch in her breath made it clear she felt it, too.

She moaned low in her throat. Under his arms, her breaths came faster, shallower. She reclined her head on his shoulder and whispered, “Let me turn around.”

Marco swallowed, his throat suddenly dry. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

She pressed back against him, dragging a groan from his chest. “Feels like it would be a very good idea. Please. Marco?”

A war erupted between his brain and his body. “Jesus, Aly.” He bent his head, trying to think, and his lips found the stretch of skin where her neck sloped into her shoulder. He kissed her, once, twice, his tongue snaking out to taste the crisp lake water from her skin.

Alyssa inhaled and tilted her head to the side, inviting his exploration.

He couldn’t resist. He licked and kissed up her neck until he reached the soft indentation beneath her ear. He sucked at her there until she was panting in his arms.

She reached back and grasped the material at his hip, using the leverage to pull them together. Marco let out a harsh breath at the sudden friction between his front and her rear. His grip slipped, one arm sliding up to rest under her breasts as he slid the other down to hold her low
across the abdomen.

“Touch me,” she whispered.

Oh, God, he had to. He spun them in the water so that they were facing away from shore, out over the broad expanse of the mountain lake. “Aly,” he breathed.

“Please, Marco.” She gripped his hip and brought him firmly against her again.

He gave in, thrusting forward as she pulled, pressing the hard length of his dick against the indent of her soft ass. He cupped her breast and sucked her earlobe into his mouth as the warm weight of her flesh filled his hand.

“Oh,” she said, a soft, plaintive exhalation. She turned her face to his.

Goddamn if the desire shining from her eyes and shaping her lips wasn’t the sexiest thing he’d ever seen. He could read what she wanted in her gaze, but he wasn’t going to make her ask. Not when he wanted the same thing so badly.

One hand cradling her jaw, Marco lowered his mouth to hers. Their lips met softly, tentatively. Soft presses turned into nibbles as they pursued each other again and again. She turned in the circle of his arms, and this time he let her. She wrapped her whole body around him—arms
around his neck, legs around his waist.

And Marco was gone.

GIVEAWAY!: One commenter who leaves their email address will win a signed print book of Her Forbidden Hero AND a T-shirt from the fictional Whiskey’s Music Roadhouse from the book! What to comment? Share what July 4th means to you OR tell us a favorite line from the excerpt! Open to international! Good luck!

About Her Forbidden Hero:
You always want what you can't have...
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 Laura Kaye:
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.


  1. Great post! And I'm sorry you were injured but a happy outcome was definitely you finding the author inside yourself.
    July 4th to me means freedom, plain and simple. Its the day America declared herself and threw a banner of pride and honor like cloaks over the shoulder of everyone in this country.
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Lady Vampire! And I like your thoughts there! Thanks for kicking off the comments!

  3. Wow! I don't think I could come up with one thing I liked about that expert! That was.. Wow :)

    4th of July means a lot to me. It's a great time for family to come together, enjoy great food, and watch a beautiful sky show :) I love it! :)

    ClrHot5 @ aol . com :))

  4. It is true that there is a silver lining. 4th of July means to me that because of our brave men and women we have the freedom to read what we want. Also the freedom to achieve whatever dreams we may dream. I tear up around the 4th because I know how lucky I am to be an American.( *Cue* Lee Greenwood...couldn't resist,sorry)

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  5. That's my favorite scene in the book. Living in Florida, many past romances started in the surf. That's where young people here make that first physical contact. The Gulf of Mexico was the location of several first kisses for me.

    The 4th of July. I'm prior military and come from a military family. To me the 4th reminds me of my duty, commitment and love for my country. The biggest sacrifice I ever made to my country though, was sending my son into service. My greatest joy was his return.

  6. As the fireworks were going on last night, they reminded me of how happy I am to be a citizen of the US. The political fighting, culture wars, etc, are driving me crazy, but I truly believe that we all love this country and want the best for it.

  7. Holy crap that excerpt was HOT! My favorite line from the excerpt is, "Good God. It was ball-shriveling cold." It totally made me snort, which lead to giggles until the excerpt went from innocent to scorching hot. Thank you!

  8. Wow, I am so happy that you recovered from the injury. It is amazing how good can come out of something so traumatic.
    You have given us yet another "nice" excerpt - thanks ;).

    The 4th of July always gets me thinking how very fortunate I am to live in this country. I look around and can't believe how blessed I am.


  9. Is anyone else distracted by Crystal's changing pictures over there on the right??? LOL

    Thanks for all the comments, guys! I"m really enjoying what the day meant to you and what you most enjoyed about the excerpt! Woot! :)

    1. She ALWAYS posts great man candy!!


  10. Couldn't make it by yesterday with my own family celebration but this is an amazing post Laura!

    I was actually talking to my husband on our way home last night about how I cannot imagine having to hear the explosive sounds constantly. How thankful I am for our brave soldiers who protect us in the midst of desert heat and dangerous explosives so that I don't have to.

    It's so frustrating when the rest of the world dogs our nation. We're certainly not perfect but we have freedoms I wouldn't trade for wealth or fame or any other thing. Thanks to a group of guys who sat down and demanded them! That's what the 4th is very much about for me. :)

  11. Great interview :) Loved the excerpt and am thrilled to read it!!

    The 4th is kick back and relax with family/friends day :) and we did!!

    GL to you!

  12. Great post! What the 4th means to me is freedom, it reminds me that we are free because regular people held to their belief that there was a better way to govern its people and then were willing to die for those beliefs.
    Thanks for the chance, Carin

  13. The 4th means family, friends and fun to me. I love it. It's one of my favorite holidays!
    This book is on my tbr list I can't wait until I buy it. Thanks so much for the awesome excerpt. YUMMY!

  14. July 4th I thank about are military Past Present and future and what they and their families gave for us to be free to enjoy our lifes and time with family and friends.
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  15. What July 4th means to me is a time to celebrate our freedom and to celebrate and honor the men and women who died fighting for our country and the men and women who continue to sacrifice and fight for our freedom every day.

  16. Hi Laura! That excerpt was steamy! I think the "Ball-shriveling cold" line was laugh out loud funny. But I couldn't choose a favorite part. Great choice for an excerpt...I'm sold :)

    I love going to watch Fireworks on the 4th of July at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. They have a big show that's lasts 45 minutes. So much fun!!

    Thanks for the giveaway! See you on the 14th in Towson :)

    -Selena Mc
    redzsm (at) yahoo (dot) com

  17. Even though The 4th of July is hotter than blazes here, it's still one of my favorite holidays. It's a time for the family to get together for a big BBQ and remember the family members who served in the military. We have a lot of fun.

  18. I've always been interested in the Colonial & Revolutionary period. I live in an area of NJ where there is a lot of places that commemorate that period. I always enjoy watching the musical '1776' which is a fun way to remember the signing of the Declaration.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  19. Oh wow!!! I could quote the whole excerpt but i'm sure you don't want that. I love the struggle the hero has when he is trying deny himself what he most desires...mmm and then the kiss!!! And Marco was gone. Ahh...the surrender! That's what I look for in an great read...the struggle and the sweetest surrender! Perfect!!!

  20. This year was exciting for me b/c I was in charge of 4th of July for the first time. I made all the food, I grilled the steaks, I had activities outside ready for the kids, I bought the fireworks and even lit them. I think I did a pretty good job and everyone had fun. Can't wait to read this, Laura!

  21. Nice post. Excerpt even better.

    A favorite quote:

    "Nope. You wanted the lake. I’m making sure you get the lake.”

    In answer to "distracting changes over here, NOPE"!
    Keep them coming (though it does make you wonder where she
    finds them)*lol*

  22. What a sad story. I am happy that you are okay though. They always say good comes from bad. Loved Forever Freed, my favorite book of yours. Loved the excerpt, my fav line was the last line, and then marco was gone. Have been wanting this since it came out. Love your books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. The 4th is ALWAYS a BIG family day! A huge potluck bbq, family fun and fireworks. LOVED the excerpt...favorite line..'And Marco was gone'. And, yeah...those pics ARE distracting, but oh so yummy!! ;)

    barbbattaglia @

  24. Thank you for the amazing excerpt. I love the last line given: "And Marco was gone."


  25. My favorite line in this excerpt is “Feels like it would be a very good idea. Please. Marco?”
    This is one of my favorite books.

    What a July 4th story for you! The holiday's always been about family for us. All of my uncles and my dad were in some branch of the military so we always celebrated with a big cookout.

    Um, if we don't win the shirt is there somewhere we can buy it? Please???


  26. Aw, you guys! My husband and I just got back from a Sarah McLachlan concert and I return to all these awesome comments! Really enjoying reading what the 4th means to you!

    And it appears two quotes are winning the favorite line race: Margo was gone, and ball-shriveling cold (too funny!). So glad you're enjoying!

    @Selena Mc - you're coming to my new release party??? Yay! It won't just be me then! LOL Looking forward to meeting you!

    @Chris - so glad you enjoyed Forever Freed! First books are always special books to an author! xo

    @Susan - let me see what I can arrange with the shirt!

    Thanks for all the comments everyone! Keep 'em coming! And good luck!

  27. It always amazes me how fast Laura can pump out the books...and they are all so good! This one included!

    I love the fireworks on the 4th as it makes me think of the line "and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air..." Our fireworks represent that! Due to the military throughout time, we are where we are!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  28. thanks for the great excerpt.

    my fav quote :
    "Nope. You wanted the lake. I’m making sure you get the lake.”

    the 4th mean nothing for me, because im Indonesian. but the one thing i know is the independance day of america so its mean Freedom ^^

    thanks ^^


  29. My favorite lines are when she said" Feels like it would be a very good idea. Please. Marco?" And when she whispered "Touch me." Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. Love the excerpt and the t-shirt.
    To me, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate the wonderful country that we live in and the wonderful man & women who have worked hard to serve and protect it.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  31. I loved the excerpt and I can't wait to read this book! What July 4th means to me.........My Daddy set the charges that woke the Germans up to tell them that WE were there for WWII. And my son served in Iraq three different deployments. So, I realize the sacrifices made to make us free to pursue our happiness.

  32. I like playing, and being teased by a hunk is never wrong =) so my fav line was
    “Nope. You wanted the lake. I’m making sure you get the lake.”
    Love the giveaway and the excerpt!
    best wishes, Linda
    fr_larsson at hotmail dot com

  33. I know that the 4th of July means a lot to our brothers and sisters in America just like our every time we celebrate it on June 12. Both means freedom!

    This line stuck on my mind:

    “It’s actually pretty warm. Come on in. You’ll like it.” I hope someone will tell this to me. I wouldn't be able to say no. ;>

  34. Enjoying your comments everyone! Thanks so much for taking the time! And good luck!

  35. The Fourth of July reminds me of all the freedom I enjoy each day.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  36. What the 4th of July meant to me was being able to remember those that served and in some cases gave thier lives so that we all can be here where we are now and do what we want. And to be with friends and family and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

  37. Absolutely love the Fourth Of July - My husbands birthday is July 3rd and my birthday is July 6th so the Fourth is always our holiday to spend together and celebrate our birthdays!


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