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18 March 2011

Welcome special guest: author Kaylea Cross

Today we have romantic suspense author, Kaylea Cross, visiting. She’s an award winning author of edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Kaylea loves Special Ops non-fiction, romance novels, gardening, belly dance, dark chocolate and the Boston Red Sox. Let’s welcome her as she tells us about her passion for writing and her release Cover of Darkness.
I had a chance to read Kaylea's story Cover of Darkness and found it to be an entertaining read, full of action, sexual tension and uber sexy military men. Yum! ;)

So, Kaylea, what inspired you to become a writer?
I had some great teachers in elementary school that fired my imagination and fueled the desire to put my words down on paper.  I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember.
When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
I wrote part of one in my early teens, and then for some reason when I was pregnant with my first child I decided I had to write my first book. I blame it on the pregnancy hormones :)
How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
Um…one? Don’t hate me! I had to rewrite the book twice to get it ready for submission, so if you look at it that way, it was kind of like my third book.
What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
I write romantic suspense and now some erotic romance (thanks to my editor, who turned me to the dark side – look for my pen name Callie Croix and my first erotic romance release coming soon) and paranormal romance.
I mostly write romantic suspense featuring military heroes because to me they’re people to be admired and respected. That’s my favorite genre to write in, but it’s a lot of work when you take into account the research I do for each book. It’s important to me to put as much realism into the story as I can, and I hope my readers will learn something every time they read a book of mine.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
Worst would have to be demanding a certain daily word count from myself. I can’t work that way, it scares my muse to death. The best advice I’ve received is to allow myself to write crap in the first draft. Crap can be fixed; blank page…not so much.
How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
Acceptance is awesome. I love acceptance. Rejection? It sucks the big one. My skin’s slightly thicker than it was when I first ventured into the world of writing, but it would sure be handy to add a bit more armor so the negative things bounce right off me. I’m working on it.
Which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine in Cover of Darkness? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?
Cover of Darkness features a yummy Navy SEAL lieutenant named Declan, so I’d love to see someone like The Rock (yum), Ben Afleck, or Gerard Butler (he can’t use his gorgeous accent though).  For Bryn’s character, I could see someone like Angelina Jolie.
Is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? What sparked the idea for the story/series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
Cover of Darkness is the second in a series of five, and it was born from my love of Special Ops nonfiction and belly dance. The book order is: Out of Her League;Cover of Darkness; No Turning Back; Relentless; Absolution

Now for some fun info…
Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
I’m actually a dog person whose husband won’t let her have one (because of a certain Golden Retriever from hell that we used to own), so I make do with a cat. He’s nice enough, but it’s not the same as having a dog and I miss it.
Would you/have you own(ed) a snake or some other exotic pet?
I’ve owned two pot-bellied pigs once. That was interesting. Did you know you can put them into a trance and make them tip over by scratching for a minute or two over their chests, right between their front legs? It’s true. Try it next time you’re at a petting zoo.
Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
I like the sun if it’s not too hot (like say, down in Las Vegas) or humid, but since I live in Vancouver I’m pretty comfortable in the rain. I love hearing it coming down on the roof, and it’s a good thing I think it’s so cozy because we get a lot of it.
About her book and series…
Absolution, the 5th and final book of the series, is my latest release. But today I want to talk about Cover of Darkness.
Blurb: Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.
With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.
I did some really cool research for this one, including taking up belly dance and going up for my first ever helicopter ride so I could pretend I was a SPECOPS soldier just for a few minutes. I watched documentaries about the war in Iraq and recent political tensions in the Middle East, as well as terror groups in the area. Then I read about a half dozen Navy SEAL memoirs and non-fiction books, including Lone Survivor, which I highly recommend.
So far Cover of Darkness has won the 2010 Heart of Excellence Award, placed 3rd in the 2010 Laurel Wreath Award, and finaled in the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards.
Purchasing info:  —  Publisher link:  — Kindle:

Find Kaylea here:
Giveaway! 1 digital copy of Cover of Darkness (though if she has any paperbacks left she can send one of those if the winner prefers) – or - entrant may choose a digital copy of one of her other books if they prefer. Please leave a comment telling Kaylea what you love about Special Ops heroes in romantic suspense or something interesting you’ve learned about Special Ops soldiers. Contest will run for 1 week from blog appearance, and winner will be chosen via drawing by C.R. Moss. Please leave your email with your comment or email with your email, this way Kaylea can contact the winner about sending the book.


Lynne Roberts said...

Hi Kaylea,

Your books sound great!

Sometimes you hit it out of the ballpark on the first swing. Congratulations!

By the way, I love the name Bryn. I considered it for one of my daughters.

Kaylea Cross said...

Hey, Lynne, thanks for coming by :)

Yup, I got lucky and hit a dinger on my first try. Ironic, since I never was a great hitter.

I love the name Bryn too! I've got two boys, but hubby hated all the names I liked so we had to find some sort of compromise. Now I use all the rejected names for my heroes :)

LaVerne Clark said...

Hi Kaylea,

Snap! I do that too with the names my hubby rejected! : ) At least we get to keep them in some form.

About the special ops men - I love how they come across as so tough and capable, and it takes a special woman to get under their skin to reveal the hidden depths and passion. I always know I'm in for a good read when they star in a book.

Kaylea Cross said...

Hey, LaVerne! I do so love my heroes... Good thing my hubby's cool with that :)

Chele Blades said...

great alpha male heroes. which most special ops males are

would not mind reading this one!!

Kaylea Cross said...

Hi, Chele. Thanks for coming by! Yeah, SPECOPS heroes are yummy :)

Sarah Grimm said...

Great interview! Your books sound fantastic!


Kaylea Cross said...

Thanks, Sarah. If you read them I hope you like them :)

Kaylea Cross said...

Hi gang, it's me again :)

Just stopping in to announce that Chele is the winner of Cover of Darkness. Congrats and check your in-box!

Chele Blades said...

Thank you, got my copy!!! just downloaded to my kindle....can not wait!!