I'm so sad to say goodbye to Laura Kaye's Hearts of the Anemoi series but she couldn't have wrapped it up more beautifully then she did. Please give a warm welcome to Laura today joining us with her new release of EAST OF ECSTASY!
I’m super excited to be back at Reading Between the Wines today to celebrate the release of East of Ecstasy, the last book in my Greek-mythology-inspired Hearts of the Anemoi series. This blog has been a long-standing supporter of this series so I couldn’t imagine wrapping it up without dropping in one last time to talk about the Anemoi!
This last book is the story of Devlin Eston, heir to the East Wind and outcast among his own divine family. A survivor of abuse, Devlin feels unworthy of the most basic kinds of care and affection and blames himself for the harm his father did to others. He literally has nowhere to belong…until he meets heroine Annalise Fallston. Their relationship was one of the sweetest and most heart-wrenching I’ve written, because at the start they seem so different and yet they really have so many unexpected things in common.
Today, I wanted to talk about writing this series—what I learned, what it’s meant to me, and what I hope it’s meant to my readers. Of my four series, this is the first one I’ve finished, so I’ve learned a lot about writing a series, carrying plot lines across multiple books, and revisiting characters who have already achieved their happily ever after. In particular, this series taught me:
--To give each of the main character a distinctive voice/backstory/conflict – to make each of them feel different and authentic, they can’t all sound the same. Which is why Boreas was always so formal and Owen always said “Aw” and Chrysander talked with so much slang and why Devlin doesn’t talk much at all.
--To incorporate a bromance with the romance. Though the romances were always the main stories, the relationships between the men in this series were just as important to plot and character development (and just as much fun to write!). Writing a bromance into a romance allowed the reader to see the characters in a variety of situations and perspective, made them more well-rounded, and more likeable, too.
--To increase the stakes with each book. One of the ways to draw readers from one book to the next in a series is to create characters about which they want to read, and the other main way is to increase the stakes each time so it gets harder and harder to imagine how the good guys will win out in the end. That was definitely a challenge in this series, especially since part of the answer to that question involved some pretty big losses and sacrifices.
In addition to what this series taught me as a writer, it’s also meant a lot to me personally. Many of the characters in this series are dealing with grief, loss, or longing for a family and a place to belong—and those were all things that came from experiences and situations that I’ve experienced myself. And it seems like, at least sometimes, these were themes that reached out and touched readers, too, based on the messages I’ve received over the last two and a half years. Little means more to a writer than knowing they’ve touched a reader in some way.
Finally, as to what I hope the series might mean to readers: I hope readers will find hope and possibility in these stories of redemption. None of the heroes in this series felt worthy of love, and yet they all found it against the odds and at the most unexpected times and places. That’s one of the things I love about writing romance – they really are hopeful stories that tell you that, no matter how low or alone you feel, you, too, can have a happily ever after.
I gave each of the books in the series very special dedications. Dedications, in each book, that were to you:
North of Need: To everyone struggling with the loss of a loved one. May you find your Owen when your heart is ready.
West of Want: You can’t choose how or when you die, but you can choose how you live. This book is for the living.
South of Surrender: This book is for everyone struggling to surrender what they are for what they most want to become. You can do it, and you are not alone.
East of Ecstasy: You are good. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are lovable. Never doubt it for even a single second.
In each case, these were the messages I hoped readers might take away from the book, these were the themes I hoped each book shouted out until readers felt it in their hearts.
So, thanks to Reading Between the Wines and all the readers for taking this journey through the Hearts of the Anemoi with me. It’s meant the world and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Do you have a question for Laura about this series? Ask her anything!
Thanks for reading!
Title: East of Ecstasy
Series: Hearts of the Anemoi #4
Author: Laura Kaye
Format: ebook/Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 22nd 2014 by Entangled Publishing
Our Review: http://bit.ly/1lCjjbS
Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she’s been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don’t speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.
Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father’s plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he’s been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.
But Devlin’s love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever…or lost.
Catch up on the whole series with the Hearts of the Anemoi box set featuring the first three books: North of Need, West of Want, South of Surrender!
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
Tote bag and swag, open to international.
To enter, please comment on the blog post and include their email addresses.
A set of four signed books (each book in the Heart of Anemoi Series) and swag in a basket.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Hearts of Anemoi series is such a great series, and I can't wait to read East of Ecstasy. I know I'll love it!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the post and giveaways. Fingers crossed! :-)
Lindsey8907 [at] yahoo [dot] com
This is an awesome series you will not be disappointed. I loved it Laura Kaye is amazing!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Lindsey and Jacquie! <3 !!ReplyDelete
Widget cuts a little bit into the words and stuff, but awesome contest.ReplyDelete
Back to writing
Raonaid @ gmail dot com
Big Congratulations to Laura for finishing an amazing series! I loved each and every one ♥ And I got the themes & messages you wrote about in each book. They did come through to the readers :)ReplyDelete
That's awesome to hear, Selena! Thanks so much! <3ReplyDelete
The Hearts of Anemoi series is an absolutely wonderful series that I'm always recommending people read, they have so much depth emotionally and otherwise that really hit home to readers no matter how many times you read them :) it's sad to see them come to an end but it's a series that'll stick with me and know I'll enjoy reading again and again :) Thank you Laura!ReplyDelete
The more I read about this series the more I want to read this series. If I can just wait to see if I get lucky.ReplyDelete
strawberryrose (at) earthlink (dot) net
I have got to read this series!! email@example.comReplyDelete
Very beautiful post and thank you for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
artgiote at gmail dot com