Thursday, July 5, 2012

Interview with Kaylea Cross

Today I'm happy to have author Kaylea Cross with me. I love her romantic suspense novels and her latest paranormal romantic suspense, Darkest Caress. She's a super sweet lady and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to know her a bit better.

***As a special treat, Kaylea will be offering one lucky commenter a copy of her latest book, Darkest Caress. Please be sure to enter your email so you can be entered to win.***

I’ve read your biography and you seem like a very interesting lady. Can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?

See, my friends and family just think I’m quirky! I’m a Canadian that somehow fell in love with the American Civil war and then Special Ops military stuff. I also am a total homebody that loves to putter around the house, bake lots of treats, and have tea parties in my garden. On top of that I love belly dance and was a formerly nationally carded softball pitcher. So yeah, quirky kind of fits!

I knew it! You are an interesting lady! So how long have you been writing and what inspires you to write?

Gosh, I’ve been writing since I was about four or five, but my first novel I wrote while I was pregnant with my first child. I get inspired by an extremely overactive imagination, and things I see on the news/documentaries, etc.

Ha, do you think your imagination could give mine a pep talk? :) How exactly did you get into Special Ops themed novels?

I can’t remember how it all started. Being a history nut, I’ve always been fascinated by all things military. I think I started reading up on SEALs and Delta operators first, then branched out to other units.

As a published author, is there anything you would have done differently or changed throughout your writing career?

I would love to go back and change things in my first book (Out of Her League)! Things that seemed like such a good idea at the time now seem so weak to me I want to cringe. Lol.

Aww, I suppose that is a part of the writing experience though. I’m sure there are a lot of authors that have the same exact thoughts about their first novel as well. So when you first learned you were going to be published, what was the first thing you did?

I called my mom! She was thrilled for me.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done in the name of research for your books?

I am terrified of flying, yet I braved a half dozen helicopter flights with an Army pilot and a flight instructor so I could really get the “feel” of it, and asked them about a million questions. I’m sure they were thrilled (ha!). I also have interviewed several crews at air shows in the past few years. I always stand there and blush when faced with a wall of good looking servicemen dressed in flight suits.

Hmm, you think I could tag along next time? Ha! Speaking of good looking servicemen, is there one particular character from your books that is your most favorite? I’m personally stuck on Rhys. Just saying.

Oh, hands down that would be Luke Hutchinson. He’s just so alpha and sexy, multi-talented and brave, with a heart of gold underneath all that testosterone and badass exterior. *shiver*

What do the plans hold for your writing? Are you currently working on anything?

I’m currently working on my last Bagram Special Ops book, and hope to have that wrapped up by Christmas time.

Can you give us a favorite excerpt of yours from one of your novels? And explain why it’s one of your favorites? 

It’s from Luke’s book, when he goes in to confront the traitor in the hotel room in Beirut. I had goose bumps all over me when I wrote this! The bible reference is what did it. Come on, using the book of Luke and finding the perfect quote to match the story? Oh yeah. This bit is from the villain’s point of view: 

“They could be waiting for him outside that door,
he thought, glancing at the flimsy deadbolt and
chain. He stared at the brushed nickel knob, mind
racing with wild thoughts. What if they’d sent a hit
team after him? The next person at his door could be
waiting with a silenced pistol in their hand, ready to
pull the trigger.
His gun. He had to get his gun. He’d left it in the
drawer of the night table.
Naked, he flung open the bathroom door and
raced into the bedroom. His eyes fastened on the
table and the little drawer inside it. He tore over and
ripped the thing open. And stopped dead.
The gun was gone. But the hotel bible lay there.
Open to the book of Luke.
His skin prickled and crawled. No. Nonono...
A passage was underlined. Chapter 11, Verse
23, and he couldn’t stop himself from reading it. The
words swam before his eyes.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and
whoever does not gather with me scatters.
His mouth went dry. Oh my God...
Luke was coming for him.
“Looking for this?” a deep voice drawled.
“Shit!” he cried, whirling around with a hand
over his thudding heart.
Luke’s penetrating black gaze seared his naked
skin as he lifted the loaded SIG Sauer and aimed it
at Miller’s head.
Miller stumbled back against the night table,
knocking the reading lamp over with a crash.
“Jesus,” he gasped, dizzy from the flood of
adrenaline roaring through his bloodstream. He
couldn’t hear anything but the rush of blood in his
Never taking his eyes off him, Luke tossed him a
hotel robe. Miller caught it and threw it on to cover
himself, his movements jerky and uncoordinated.
“This is all a misunderstanding—”
“Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”
He did, throat constricting as he swallowed. Oh
Christ, what was Luke going to do to him?
The door flew open and two huge guys strode in,
the twin hit men he’d met in Kabul last time he’d
seen Luke. They were dressed in jeans and black
leather jackets that no doubt concealed a holster or
two. Their shoulders were so wide they blocked out
the light coming in from the hall and their eyes were
concealed beneath wraparound shades. Miller locked
his knees to keep them from shaking, his gaze
swinging between the two assassin-types and Luke.
The sheer intensity of the dark stare coming back at
him shriveled his insides. He was a walking dead
Luke lowered his weapon and took a menacing
step toward him. “Jamie’s waiting downstairs for us.
You coming quietly, or do the boys and I get to make
this interesting?””

OOoo Love it. Perhaps I should reevaluate my take on my favorite character of yours. :) This is a question I’m curious about. In Darkest Caress, you added the paranormal element. I thought that was a bit interesting. How did you come up with that idea? Or what made you decide to go with that element?

My crit partner is multi published with a big NY publisher and she writes paranormal romance, and sometimes romantic suspense. I hadn’t been able to snag an agent with any of my romantic suspense books, so she kept urging me to try my hand at a paranormal book. On a recent trip to the Baltic States, I fell in love with a little place in Lithuania called Nida, steeped in ancient legend and folklore. The idea for the paranormal element came from there.  

That’s pretty neat to learn Nida is an actual place. Since you are a civil war buff, I have to ask. If you had the opportunity to have a one on one conversation with one person from that era, who would you pick and why? 

That’s so hard! I think it would have to be General Lee, since he and I have the same birthday. Though our beliefs are different, I admire his character and his classiness. There are soooo many things I would ask him.

Had you the ability to change just one thing that occurred during the Civil War that could have set the war on a completely different course, what would it have been? 

Oh boy, let me think… I guess it would be turning an early Union defeat into a victory. The US would have been a very different place had the South won the war, so anything I could do to make the war shorter and help make things easier for the Union, I would.

I want to thank you for stopping by today, Kaylea. You’re such an awesome lady and writer, and I really enjoy your novels. I’m always on the lookout for your next! ***Please be sure to comment and include your email address for a chance to win an e-copy of Kaylea’s Darkest Caress***

Darkest Caress - Kaylea Cross

Blurb: 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...

My Review: Since I enjoy this author’s romantic suspense novels, it was a given that I would read Darkest Caress. I mean, come on. An author I like trying her hand at paranormal romantic suspense? I’ll take it. 

And I was not disappointed in the slightest. Once I began the book, I couldn’t put it down. This author has a way of drawing the reader into a book easily. In my opinion, Ms. Cross writes a fast-paced story with extremely appealing heroes. While they are strong, protective males equipped to kick butt, they are still sensitive and thoughtful with their ladies. Daegan, the hero, is no different. 

What I loved the most about the story was the tension and draw of the two main characters. From the start, the sexual tension is alive and kicking between these two. In addition, the secondary characters, Cade and Vaughn, were intriguing to say the least. As a lover of tortured heroes, I can’t wait for Vaughn to have his own story! 

Regardless of some readers’ lukewarm reception to Darkest Caress, I really enjoyed this book and am anxious to read more in this series. 

Please be sure to visit Kaylea at: Website 
 Available for purchase at: Amazon


  1. Sounds amazing! Congrats on the story. Love that cover.

  2. A belly dancing softball player? I like you already!! I'll have to remember to interview the crewmen at airshows or base open houses. Hehehe That's good. And your book cover is HOT! If your blurb didn't sell me, that cover sure did!

  3. Holy cow, I seriously want to read this book!

  4. Great interview, ladies, and it's a pleasure to discover you here Kaylea. Good luck with the books...and the bellydancing! I do it too. What a workout, "eh?" (from one Canuck to another).

  5. Thanks so much for stopping in, ladies! :)

  6. You have some very cool interests! The book sounds great!
    I'd love to win it!

  7. What a great interview! And what an experience to go on all those helicopter flights! I bet it brought your story to life. Melissa you asked some great questions. It was nice getting to know you Kaylea! Congrats!

  8. I am so reading this book!! Awesome interview! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. I am new to reading Kaylea, but I fell in love with Cover of Darkness. I neglected all my duties until I had finished that book! Dec had me swooning!! Haven't ever been tempted to read paranormal romance, but if Daegan is half the man Dec is, I would love to give it a try! Thanks for the strong male leads...and keep them coming! Kind regards, Heather

  10. I am new to reading Kaylea, but I fell in love with Cover of Darkness. I neglected all my duties until I had finished that book! Dec had me swooning!! Haven't ever been tempted to read paranormal romance, but if Daegan is half the man Dec is, I would love to give it a try! Thanks for the strong male leads...and keep them coming! Kind regards, Heather

  11. Casea, thanks! It's my favorite cover to date. Yum.

    Sheri, ha! Thanks :) I highly recommend interviewing our men in uniform. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. *wink*

    Brenda, thanks, and I hope you enjoy it.

  12. Rosanna, yay! Belly dance is SUCH an amazing workout. My abs have never looked as good as when I was dancing three times a week. And it's so much more fun than hitting the gym.

    DAnn, thanks! Hope you like the story.

    Mart, yes, the helicopter rides sure were "experiences" all right. (I'm still in therapy, lol)

  13. Hi, Jennifer, thanks for coming by!

    Heather, I'm so glad you loved Dec! My favorite books of that series are the 4th and 5th ones (Relentless and Absolution). Darkest Caress is very different from that series, but the heroes are similar in that they are very alpha and former military. Yum!

  14. Sounds like a great book!
    I've never ridden in a helicopter, but it sounds like fun! Belly dancing just sounds exhausting. lol

    Great interview, ladies!

  15. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

    Sheri, you're the winner! I'll contact you to see if you'd prefer the PDF or ePub format of the book.

  16. Thanks so much for being here, Kaylea! You are an awesome lady. And thank all you ladies for stopping by and commenting.

    Congrats, Sheri! I know you will love the book!