Please welcome Laura Kaye, author of ‘North of Need’ to the PJV. Today is release day for ‘North of Need’ and your chance to read an exclusive excerpt from the book along with a chance to win some (said in high-pitch voice) Fabulous snowflake jewelry and a copy of the ‘North of Need’ along with her romance trading cards.

Five Reasons I Love Greek Mythology

By Laura Kaye

Before I begin, let me thank Parajunkee for hosting me on my release day! She is a great blogger, a wonderful purveyor of all things odd and supernatural, and an awesome web designer to boot!

My new book is a contemporary fantasy romance called NORTH OF NEED and it’s the first in a four-book series called the Hearts of the Anemoi. The Anemoi were directional wind gods (north/south/east/west) that the Greeks associated with the seasons. This first book is about Owen Winters (ancient name Eoghan) who is a snow god in the employ of the Supreme God of the North Wind, Boreas. This is the first time I’ve based characters and a world around Greek mythology, and I’m so glad for the experience. Here’s why I’m really enjoying writing about Greek mythology:

Seriously cool monsters. Paranormal fiction is the genre I most enjoy as a reader, and it’s what I grew up reading. I cut my teeth on Stephen King and Anne Rice, so you see what I mean. So, if you love all things paranormal, Greek mythology is right up your dark and creepy alley. For example, there were the Harpies—birds with the upper bodies of women. They snatched people to inflict vengeance. The Gorgons were sorta similar—winged females with jagged claws and snakes for hair. Medusa was the most famous of them. There was also Cerberus, the giant three-headed hell hound who guarded the gates of Hades. Or, if you prefer a little man in your monster, there were Minotaurs (body of a man, head of a bull) and Centaurs (upper body of a man, lower body of a horse). The list literally goes on and on and on.

Baby daddy drama. Greek mythology is like the soap operas of the ancient world. Political backstabbing? Check! Illicit affairs? Check! Baby daddy drama? Check again! You can’t swing a stick around Greek mythology and fail to hit a story about somebody sleeping with someone they shouldn’t have and the goddess having an illegitimate child that the wife turns into a sea-monster out of revenge. I mean, come on, Zeus was said to have fathered at least 22 children! That guy got around, people!

Bad-ass goddesses. I enjoy strong heroines, women able to stand up for themselves and overcome big obstacles. And Greek mythology is filled with powerful, take-no-prisoners females. Take Artemis, for example, the Goddess of the Hunt and the Protector of Young Women. I know she gets a bad wrap in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters series, but her mythology is actually pretty cool. Or take Bia, the personification of force and power. That’s bad ass. Then there were the three Furies, whose purpose was to torment sinners. Bad. Ass. And Nemesis? She was the right hand of Zeus, and the Goddess of Righteous Anger. Come on. Say it with me: Bad ass!

Cool powers. Supernatural powers are one of the things that draw me to paranormal fiction. And the Greek gods had them in spades. Medusa might’ve been one mean lady, but she could turn you to stone just by you looking at her. That’s some serious power. The three Fates determined when life began, when it ended, and what happened in between. Hebe could make people young again. Zeus could hurl thunderbolts. I mean, these guys and gals put the super in supernatural!

Heroes to love. I’m a complete sucker for heroes. I love to read ‘em. I love to write ‘em. And Greek mythology has heroes in spades. There’s Achilles, the strongest and most fearless warrior who fought in the Trojan War. There was Perseus, who killed the Gorgon Medusa and later saved the princess Andromeda from a sea monster by holding up Medusa’s severed head, which turned the monster to stone. Then there was Theseus, who defeated the Minotaur and his horrible mind-bending labyrinth, relieved the city of Athens from having to sacrifice 14 people a year for the beast to eat alive, and saved the princess Ariadne on top of it all. And, different mythology, but Thor anyone? Just pause for a moment and imagine Chris Hemsworth in that shirtless scene. No. Another moment. Aah. Yeah, you get it. Oh! And that Theseus story? That’s being released as a Hollywood film called The Immortals on 11/11/11. You know I’ll be there!

So, do you have a favorite Greek god, goddess, or mythological story? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

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WANT TO WIN NORTH OF NEED? The North of Need Book Launch Blog Tour runs October 25 – November 20. A giveaway everyday!

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:
Laura Kaye authorA multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

ROMANTIC EXCERPT OF NORTH OF NEED BY LAURA KAYE

The men in her life wanted her to be happy, wanted her to let go of the pain. Wanted her to embrace life. To live.

John couldn’t. But she could.

Owen’s mouth dropped open when she dragged her exploring fingers across the deep red of his bottom lip. So soft.

For now, she’d start with what she knew. “I do want you, Owen. And I need you.” She swallowed. “So much.”

A deep sound of satisfaction rumbled low in his throat and ricocheted down her body. Those soft lips found hers, already open, waiting for his touch. With his kiss, he possessed her. His scent—winter spice and male—filled her senses. His body covered her. She could live on the cool, sweet taste of his tongue. And, God, his little moans and grunts reverberated right down to the wet heat between her legs.

He trailed open-mouthed kisses over her cheek to her ear, sucked her lobe between his lips and flicked it with his tongue. She gasped as goose bumps erupted everywhere and she offered her neck to his exploration.

“I want you, Megan. Be mine. Gods.”

He licked and sucked down her neck. She shivered and grabbed onto the firmness of his sculpted biceps. He nipped at the tendon where neck met shoulder. A moan exploded from her, loud and wanton, but couldn’t be helped. She threaded her fingers into his silky black hair and held him to her. “Again,” she rasped. He teased her with his teeth, then his tongue and lips. “God, Owen.”

She chuckled even as she whimpered at the spine-tingling nips and bites.

“What’s so funny?” His warm breath caressed her bare skin.

“Sorry, it’s just…” She covered her mouth with her hand, humor-induced tears now gathering at the corners of her eyes.

He pulled her hand away. “Never hide your smile from me.”

He pressed kisses to her knuckles, then pinned her wrist beside her shoulder.

She finally reined in her amusement. “I’m sorry. It’s just, I said, ‘God, Owen,’ and then”—the chuckles threatened again—“it hit me that, you know, you really are a god, and all.”

A playful smirk framed Owen’s face. “Are you amused by my godhood?”

She nodded. He thrust his hips into hers, rocking the ridge of his impressive erection against her right where she craved him. Her lips dropped open as she sucked in a breath.

His mismatched eyes blazed. “Still amused?”

She nodded and pressed up against him. Wrapped one leg around his waist and dug her heel into his firm ass. He grunted and ground down on her, just as she hoped he would. Then his mouth crushed against hers again, their tongue intertwining. He drew away with little kisses on the corner of her lips. “I like you amused. Smiling. Laughing. I want to make you feel that way.”

His words wrapped around her heart, mending, binding. She cupped his cheek in her palm. “Sweet, sweet man.” She took a deep breath and a leap of faith. “Make love to me.”

“Gods, yes.” In a flash, he’d pushed up from the couch, lifted her in his arms, and crossed the room.

Butterflies took flight in her stomach. His humor, his gentle kindness, his raw sexuality, his masculine beauty—he appealed to every part of her mind and body. And, maybe, just maybe, her heart.

The Giveaway

  • Winner #1 wins a copy of North of Need by Laura Kaye along with a copy of the trading cards
  • Winner #2 wins gorgeous Swarovski jewelry set, seen below.
  • Enter by commenting and filling out the rafflecopter widget
  • Giveaway is for US & Can residents only
  • Giveaway ends Nov 20th