Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guest Author Post: Laura Kaye on Greek Mythology and Her Latest Release- North of Need *Contest*

One of the great things about basing a story on Greek Mythology is the incredible array of supernatural powers the Greek gods possessed. Medusa could turn someone to stone with just a look. Zeus could shoot thunderbolts. The Fates could determine the beginning, middle, and end of someone’s life. And, as for the Anemoi around whom the world of NORTH OF NEED and the Hearts of the Anemoi series is built, they can control much about the wind, the weather, and the seasons—but not everything.

NORTH OF NEED tells the story of Owen, a long-exiled snow god who is the adopted son and destined successor of Boreas, Supreme God of the North Wind and Winter, one of the four Cardinal Anemoi. Owen’s presence in the human realm is made possible by magic, which plays a big role in his characterization and powers. Let’s just say that the combination of tears and snow played a major role in his ability to appear in the world. *grins*

If it has to do with the wind, Owen can do it. Here’s a small example:

A gust of wind shoved through the door, pushed Megan’s curls forward to dance around her face. She shivered, wrapped her arms around herself.

Owen’s gaze flicked over her shoulder. The door closed with a gentle click. Megan’s pulse quickened again. She didn’t need to ask if he’d done it. The raised hair on the back of her neck told her all she needed to know.

When Owen finally reveals himself, he shares a small glimpse into his power and magic:

“I was already here. Since the Solstice. The veil between our worlds is thinnest then.”

“The twenty-second? But…you didn’t show up until Christmas.”

“I needed to lay some groundwork. Give this time to work.” He flicked his finger back and forth between them. “The snowstorm,” he offered in explanation.

“That was you?”

“Snow god, remember?”

She sagged into the sofa back. “Right.” She released a shaky breath. “So, what does it mean to be a snow god, exactly?”

“I’m one of winter’s guardians on earth. In my world, they call us the Anemoi, the masters of wind, the guardians of seasons. Humans call us by many names. Makers of the White. Defenders of the North Wind. Bringers of Winter—”

As a writer, one of the things I enjoy about using Greek Mythology is showing how these incredibly powerful beings can be softened and overwhelmed by the power of love. Here’s Owen sharing some of his powers but also experiencing a bit of a revelation:

Owen had never felt such power. He’d changed the seasons. Controlled the North Wind. Halted avalanches to save those who lived in mountains’ shadows. None of those compared with being personally responsible for another’s happiness, another’s ecstasy. He’d never had a greater purpose. Never felt as if his existence had more meaning.

But, if Achilles taught us anything, it’s that you can be both incredibly powerful and have a weakness, and the same is true for Owen. As a winter god, and as a god straddling the line between human and god forms, he’s particularly sensitive to temperature—especially high heat. This is an increasing problem for Owen throughout the book, due to the interference of his “uncle” Zephyros, the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, but Owen most notably reveals his weakness to Megan in this scene:

When the tub was halfway full, she shed her robe and stepped in.

Behind her, Owen groaned.

She wiggled her bare bottom at him before sinking down into the steaming water. When she looked up, his eyes flared again. She smiled. “Well, come on.”

He frowned, winced.

“You’re going to join me, aren’t you?”

He knelt down next to the tub and rested his arms on the edge. “I can’t.”

She scooted closer, the water carrying her weight to where he was. “Why?” Then it hit her. “It’s too warm for you.”

He nodded. “Yes, for now. It’s cold showers for me.” He winked.

His attempt to be playful touched her, but didn’t alleviate her concerns. “What would happen if you got in?”

“Really want to know?”


Owen reached out toward the warm stream still flooding into the tub from the faucet. Megan’s heart took off at a gallop, fear for him prickled her scalp. He stuck the four fingers of his right hand into the water.

They disappeared. Simply melted into the water.

Now, I’m grinning here because I know this moment amused my awesome host, KatieBabs, as it had her worrying about Owen’s, er, peen when it was in, er, another warm, wet environment. *grins* But Owen’s temporary corporeal form means his body is the same temperature as Megan’s, even if it doesn’t respond the same to the environment they share. Plus, the temperature of the human body is nowhere near as extreme as what the average hot water heater produces, so rest assured, there are no melting peens in this story! After all, how could you have a happy ending with a melting peen? That would be a downright tragedy! Especially with one as magnificent and Greek-goddish as Owen’s!!! LOL

So, that’s a bit of an introduction to the magic of NORTH OF NEED. Do you have a favorite power among the Greek gods?

Laura Kaye

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

About North of Need:

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:

A 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.


Laura has an ebook copy of North of Need to give away. In order for your chance to win, leave a comment here for Laura by Tuesday, 11/8 for your chance to win. This contest is open internationally!


Laura Kaye said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, KT!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

I've never read anything about snow gods before :) Please count me in!
Thank you for this giveaway!
impy80 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds very interesting, and I would love to read it.

Laura Kaye said...

@kara-karina--Awesome! Enjoy meeting Owen!

@anon--glad it sounds interesting! Thanks!

Katrina W said...

Snow gods !! hmm now that sounds cool !! ** grins ** Ive had this in my need to read pile since release day and thought Id try my luck in following the blogs. !! Have read one of Laura's books and loved it and I really need to read the rest !! Thanks for the wonderful givewaway !! Certainly sounds like my kinda story :)

Rebe said...

I laughed so hard at the "melting peen" comment. Too funny!

I'm always a little mixed up about Greek-Roman-Nordic pantheons, so I'm not sure which power I would choose, but I think I'd like to be the huntress!


Eva's Flowers said...

Great excerpt! I would love to meet Owen *g*


Sarah said...

This sounds like a great book. I love mythology, but never read anything on the more obscure gods. I would love to add this to my e-collection!

Lil said...

I admit that I haven't read much with mythology but your story sounds like something wonderful. Had to laugh at the concern for disappearing body parts when enveloped in heat.

Laura Kaye said...

:D Thanks for all the great comments, guys! Thrilled so many of you are either into mythology or willing to give it a try! LOL Lil--made me laugh!

elaing8 said...

I really want to read this one.Thanks for another chance to win it

Linda said...

Hot damn but this sounds like one cool book (puns intended). Nice concept for the plot. Sure could do with a god of my own :P

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Laura! Congrats on your new release ... you cover is very hot for a snow god! Ancient Hawaii offers a wide range of gods, goddesses, and superpowers ... check it out and have a Mai Tai, too!

Laura Kaye said...

Linda--Yay! That's an awesome comment!

Kim--I saw some of those cool myths from Hawaii when I was doing my research--now there's a cool premise for a book--gods in paradise! :)

Thanks for all the great comments!

Audra said...

Snow Gods are new to me - I would love to read this book

Nancy said...

Sounds like a fantastic, heart-wrenching plot. LOVE the cover. I would LOVE to read your story.

Victoria said...

This book sounds so good. I would love to win.

Laura Kaye said...

@Audra--Glad it sounds interesting!

@Nancy--Yay! I think it really is! I hope you agree! ;)

@Victoria--Woot! Good luck!

donnas said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Missie1 said...

I love anything that has to do with the Greek Gods :D I'd love to have & read this one.

Kate A said...

Never read a book with a snow god in it before. Count me in!


JenM said...

It never occurred to me to wonder what would happen to a snow god on the heat, but I guess that makes perfect sense. I guess that means he'd always have to love in a cold climate. That would knock him right off my hero list (but I'd still love to read the story anyway).
Jen at delux dot com

Maegan Morin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maegan Morin said...

Greek Gods... Romance... Yah looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!!

megnate at telus dot net

Vanessa N. said...

Love the cover and the blurb sounds so cool. The snow god character is awesome. Thanks for the chance.

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone! Good luck!

Jess said...

I've been hooked on Laura's writing ever since "Hearts in Darkness". It is one of my favorite books ever. I'd love to win North of Need. Thanks for the giveaway!


Laura Kaye said...

Aw, Jess! What a wonderful thing to say! Thank you! :) And good luck!

KB/KT Grant said...

We have a winner! It's Rebe! Rebe, either email me or I will email you.