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Interview & Giveaways (US/Int): Laura Kaye talks happy endings and hard choices in East of Ecstasy, the final story in her Hearts of the Anemoi paranormal romance series


Posted April 20, 2014 by

GT: Hi Laura! Welcome back to GraveTells! I think this might be the first time you’ve visited us without a character or two in tow.

LK: Hello! And thanks for having me here! I totally think you’re right *looks around nervously for characters*


GT: What a crazy rush these past few years have been! North of Need, the beginning of the Hearts of the Anemoi series, is what really put ‘Laura Kaye’ on the map for me; our team loved it so much it was chosen as our 2011 Book of the Year! Since then, I know a lot has happened for you personally and professionally. Tell us a little about your journey from Owen til now and how your experiences have influenced the path of the Hearts of the Anemoi series.

LK: Wow. You’re so right, the past few years have been a total and amazing whirlwind. I went from writing one series to writing four (each in a different romantic subgenre!), and the Hearts of the Anemoi is the first one I’ve ever finished entirely. From the beginning, I knew a lot about what would happen throughout the entire series. I always knew certain characters would die, for example, and that other characters had particular wounds that would shape their story. I always knew East of Ecstasy (the last book that just released) would be about Devlin, which made it totally fun for me when, after the third book released, readers were debating whether East would be about Devlin or his father, Eurus. So a lot in this series was pretty well set before my writing career really took off. I just really wanted to give the series–and the readers who have been so loyal to it–a good send-off with this last book.


GT: You’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions with where to take the overarching storyline in this series, particularly in book #3, South of Surrender. How difficult is it for you to make those hard choices and are you ever tempted to try for a ‘happy ever after’ for everyone?

LK: (I’m going to try to keep this answer spoiler-free for anyone who hasn’t yet read the earlier books!) This series has had some very difficult scenes to write. I mean, scenes that made me sob until my shirt sleeves were soaked kinda difficult. But I always knew those moments were coming. I knew the character that died in South of Surrender would do so from the beginning. Did I want him to have a happy ending? 100% yes. Would the warfare plot that runs through this series have been realistic if there were no casualties or sacrifices? I don’t think so, especially given the yin-yang balance idea that runs through Greek mythology. You don’t get things without giving something in return. Frankly, South of Surrender would’ve been significantly less emotionally impactful without that character’s death, and without what his death means for another major character in the series.


GT: East of Ecstasy departs from the pattern set by the previous the books, in that Devlin is a brand new Cardinal Anemoi and his motivations and loyalties have at times been unclear. What challenges did you face while writing him and pointing the reader in the right direction to support the emotional arc of the story?

LK: Actually, I’ve always thought of East and Devlin’s character in particular as following in the footsteps of Owen Winters’s character, who starred in the first book without being the actual Cardinal Anemoi of his season. One of the biggest challenges in writing Devlin was that, since his father had isolated him from the rest of his Anemoi family, he didn’t have a lot of first-hand knowledge of events that had happened. So the entire book couldn’t be in his point of view, which is why we get scenes from Owen’s perspective. Although, as a fun matter of trivia, one of the gods of the North had a point of view in each book in the series (this wasn’t a coincidence… *grins*). Plus, for the first time in East, I was writing about someone who was not only an Anemoi outsider but also critical of the Anemoi, so it was interesting to flip everything I knew around and look at it from the opposite perspective. Probably the single biggest challenge of the book was keeping the Anemoi Zephyros, who has a very good reason to hate Devlin and the East, likeable given how hard he rode Devlin throughout the first half of the book.


GT: What does Devlin look like? I bet you have a heartthrob muse for him! What are his most defining physical and personality characteristics?

LK: Here’s how heroine Annalise Fallston describes him:


Like the compulsion that forced her to paint these images, Anna couldn’t help but return his stare and memorize his masculine features. The sharp angles of his face, the harsh set of his mouth, the dark shadows around his even darker eyes. Black eyes. Blades of black hair hung low over his forehead and just touched the hooded shirt he wore under his short, scuffed leather jacket. He’d crossed his arms over his chest, and the position caused his biceps to bunch up under the worn leather. In fact, everything about him appeared worn—the coat, the threadbare jeans, the scuffed boots. None of it struck her as the kind of shabby chic you could buy in some upscale store for a small fortune, either. The whole effect was rough. Dangerous. Deprived.

Deprived? What a strange way of describing him. But as Anna’s gaze swept over him again, the thought stuck. For his height, he seemed thin, with his lean hips, clad in old black jeans, a trim waist, and pronounced cheekbones. Her fingers twitched around the nearly forgotten paintbrush. What would it feel like to cup that harsh face in her hand?


GT: Psst – check out Laura’s Facebook page for inspirational photos of Devlin!


GT: East of Ecstasy is the fourth book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series. Each book has focused on a deity from one of the four Cardinal directions. Quick math tells me this one must be the series finale, which makes me a little sad! Can we expect to see more of this story universe or is it time to say goodbye?

LK: For now, I’m saying it’s time to say good-bye. I’ve loved writing this series, but I have several other series going at the same time, and there really is a natural ending point at the end of East of Ecstasy. It’s super hard to think I’ll never write about Owen again, though!


GT: If Devlin could give the GraveTells readers a message from the (meaning his, obviously *wink*) heart, what would it be?

LK: I know exactly what he’d say: never let anyone tell you you’re not good, you’re not beautiful, or you’re not worthy of love.


GT: Is there anything else you want to tell us? State secrets? Upcoming projects? Your most guilty pleasure book boyfriend? And Zsadist doesn’t count, because we all know about him! *wink*

LK: LOL! Hmm…upcoming projects: look for my super sexy Brazen novella Dare to Resist on May 12 (about childhood frenemies who get stranded together in a remote motel in the desert). Plus look for more Heroes novels and Hard Ink books in 2014. Most guilt pleasure book boyfriend – just one??? I really liked Jared from Penelope Douglas’s Bully and Until You. And Zsadist always counts!!!


GT: Hah, fair enough! Thanks so much for being our guest here on GraveTells today! It’s always such a pleasure to have you visit. Give Chrysander a kiss for me!

LK: I’m always psyched to come hang out here! Thanks so much to GraveTells for always being such amazing supporters of this series!


East of Ecstasy (Hearts of the Anemoi #4) by Laura KayeThe final chapter in the award-winning and bestselling Hearts of the Anemoi series…

She’s the only one who can give him the strength to save them all…

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.

Read our review of East of Ecstasy here!
Buy at Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

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!
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

GraveTells 2012 Readers Choice Awards
GraveTells 2012 Readers Choice Awards

About the author

Author Photo - Laura KayeLaura 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.

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Giveaways (US/Int)

Tour-wide, Laura is giving away a set of four signed books (each book in the Heart of Anemoi Series) and swag in a basket. Leave a comment or question on this post for Laura then fill out the prize widget below to enter.

grand prize 2 EoE grand prize EoE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Laura is also giving away a tote bag and swag just for you awesome GraveTells readers! To enter, assuming you’ve already left a comment for the giveaway above, just fill out the prize widget below. Good luck!

blog prize EoE

Follow the tour

EOE BT Banner

April 21 – GraveTells (Author Interview)
April 22 – Hesperia Loves Books (Review)
April 23 – Smut Book Junkies (Excerpt)
April 24 – Nose Stuck in a Book (Review)
April 25 – Book Lovin’ Mamas (Playlist)
April 28 – Reading Between the Wines (Guest Post)
April 29 – Novel Broads (Review)
April 30 – Crystal’s Random Thoughts (Review)
May 1 – Read-Love-Blog (Review)
May 2 – Cocktails & Books (Review)


Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.


    Mary Preston

    This would be amazing thank you.

    Lori Meehan

    The books look really good and what fabulous gifts.
    Laura I saw on FB when you met JR Ward Tracey and Sandy then you posted pictures. I loved it it made me cry just seeing how excited you were. I was so happy for you n

    Susan W.

    I love reading about how emotional authors get when writing their stories! They’re creating/telling amazing stories I can’t wait to read. And Zsadist definitely counts! 😉

    Karin Anderson

    Thank you so much for the interview/giveaway! I love hearing from authors. Plus, I am absolutely in love with this series. 😉

    Wendy Roberts

    Thanks for the great giveaway Laura! And congrats and good luck on your release week!

    Carolyn J

    Laura Kaye is an awesome writer and i love all her books


    Hi Laura,
    Do you have any inspirations when writing your books? I haven’t read them but from what i hear they are awesome

    Thank you


    Love the series!


    This is a really fabulous interview!! I’ve not read any of this series, but seeing Laura’s thoughts on it really made me realize I’ve been a fool for not getting on board earlier. Congratulations, ladies, on a great interview!

    Janie McGaugh

    I enjoyed the interview (yes, Zsadist always counts!), and I really want to read this series!

    Jennifer Carver

    I can’t wait to start reading this series!!! 🙂


    The book sounds great but then again Laura Kaye is great! Thank you for the info and the giveaways.


    Very much enjoyed reading the interview. I love this series. Laura, can not wait to see you in a few weeks at RT!!!!

    Toni Harris

    Laura I love your books. Thank you for all your hard work

    Michelle Ahrens

    Congratulations on the book release!!! Can’t wait to read!

    Michelle Ahrens

    Great Interview also!!!


    I know it sounds silly, but I couldn’t read the excerpt. I’ve waited forever to experience this book and I want every word to be a surprise. This is such a fabulous and unique series, they qualify as ‘Read again, and again, and again books’.

    Danniell Hampton

    Great interview. I haven’t read any of her books yet but now I am going to get them 🙂

    elena k

    laura is a fantastic writer and this series is amazing!I am excited to read the last book but a little bit sad that we won’t read about them again. maybe someday laura will write a novella so we can visit their lives again!

    vickie schultz

    Laura Kaye is my absolute favorite author! I can’t wait to read this book!

    martha lawson

    These look like such good books, I’ve got them on the wish list. I would love to win them. thanks for the chance.


    Loving all your comments, guys! Glad you enjoyed the Q&A and thanks so much for all the Anemoi love! You guys rock!


    Congrats on the release! I can’t believe it’s the final book. We need another point on the compass please 🙂


    Thanks for the great giveaway Laura this series has been on my wishlist for awhile.


    This was sooo good! It was so bittersweet having the series end. I’m so excited to see other readers’ reactions. 😀


    *sigh* Everywhere I go my comments are getting eaten today. 🙁

    So excited to see other readers’ feels on display after they read EoE. Such a great end to an amazing series!


    Beautiful interview. Congratulations on the book release and thank you for the giveaways!

    Viki S.

    Sad to see the end to the series and have to agree with Linda – let’s add another compass point :). Thank you so much for the great reads. Love the giveaway too!

    Tina Canon

    New fan of Laura’s and just ordered the entire series on my Nook. 🙂


    Although I’m sad to see this series end I’m looking forward to what you bring to us in the future Laura! We’ll always have Owen.


    It’s a nice interview


    Aw, you guys! Thanks for all the love for this series! I love these characters so much and it’s been so rewarding writing them! Hard to believe it’s over for me, too!

    Rene Mahood

    Laura ~ I absolutely love your books! You are a terrific writer.


    Great interview, I can’t believe the series its coming to and end. It’s been great!!


    Thank you for the awesome giveaway 🙂

    Cheryl Sanders

    Congrats on your release Laura! This book sounds great as does the entire series 😉 Great interview too!


    Great interview, I ♥ed it! I absolutely love Laura and her books & series, she is truly a fantastic writer! Thanks for the amazing giveaway!


    I discovered in french Her Forbidden Hero (toi, mon héros), One night with a hero (une nuit avec mon héros) and in the service of the King (la morsure de la nuit) I am totally addict.

    Thank you Laura and big kiss from Belgium 🙂


    Congratulations. Looks like a really great series. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Will any of the children from the Hearts of the Anemoi series, get their own story at a later date, like when they’ve actually grown up?

    Sophia Rose

    Interesting perspective on writing, Devlin. I didn’t give it much thought, but he would be written a bit in isolation. Wonderful series and I’ve loved each one as they came out.

    Congrats, Laura! Thank you for the giveaway opportunities.

    Brenda H

    The books sound amazing! What a wonderful giveaway!


    Love this series! I just purchased East of Ecstasy and look forward to reading it. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.


    Great interview! So fun to learn about a new author. This book series sounds FANTASTIC and I can’t wait to read it!


    You have the best covers! I just cracked open Hard As It Gets {sigh}. Happy girl over here 😀

    Tracie Runge

    Congrats on the New Release Laura your books are amazing


    I enjoyed the interview. I love love to read this series. 🙂


    Visiting from the Facebook Party.

    Great interview! I am late to the table on this series. Adding to my TBR.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed to win.


    I always love your interviews. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with your readers. I really, really want to win these books. I haven’t read this series yet, and I desperately want to do so. Congratulations on your new release.

    Vika S

    Great interview and thanks for a great giveaway! Good luck on the book!

    Raonaid Luckwell

    I feel sort of bad that I have not yet started this series yet. But I just learned of Laura earlier this year

    Kim Turner

    Love this series and a great interview. Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

    Brittany Bishop

    Great interview! Laura is an amazing writer 🙂


    Thank you for the interview.

    It is a shame no one came with you to this interview. But then it is probably difficult with them chiming in during the interview. 🙂

    Is there any character who keeps bugging you to tell his/her story but you feel it is not the right time yet to tell it? Or maybe you do not feel the character is ready because his/her story is not finished yet or really has not even started?

    Jennifer Ingman

    Congrats on finishing the series! xoxo


    Thank you so much for the interview/giveaway!

    Bella Carstairs (aka Maria Isabel too!)

    I would LOVE to read this series!!! This is awesome!!! Congrats Laura! And thank you so much for the giveaway!!! 🙂


    Nice interview. It looks really good.

    Filia Oktarina

    Congrats and good luck on your release week, Laura!
    I enjoyed the interview 🙂

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