Book Preview & Giveaway: Laura Kaye explores Hard To Hold On To’s inter-racial romance and its reflection on reality
Please help me welcome the fabulous Laura Kaye back to GraveTells!
I’m super excited to celebrate the release of Hard to Hold On To and to be a part of the birthday celebration here! My new book is part of a series about the surviving members of an Army Special Forces unit trying to regain their stolen honor after being discharged from the military under suspicious circumstances. This story is about a strong, brave, and very troubled veteran and the woman he recently saved. The hero, Edward “Easy” Cantrell, is African-American, and the heroine, Jenna Dean, is white. And though this is, in part, an interracial romance, I didn’t necessarily set out to write one.
[quote]Easy’s character made realistic sense. As did the other racially or ethnically diverse characters in the story. [/quote]
Instead, what I set out to write was a series with a realistic cast of characters—and that, to me, meant a diverse cast of characters. First, take the city in which the series is set: Baltimore, Maryland. The city is 64% African-American (2010 census). Second, take the occupation which all of my heroes shared: enlisted in the military—about 17% of the U.S. military and 21.5% of the Army (the highest of any of the branches) is black. So Easy’s character made realistic sense. As did the other racially or ethnically diverse characters in the story. To name a few:
- P.I. friend and ally Miguel Olivero
- Charlie’s landlord Walter Jackson and his son Louis, the director of the city’s gang task force
- Gang leader Jimmy Church, who is based on a real Baltimore drug lord from the 1980s
- Confessions manager Howie, who helps Crystal with information about her sister
- Paramedic Eric Rodriguez, who helps in Charlie’s field operation
- Becca’s friend and colleague Janeese
- Church gang member Manny Garza
- Hard to Come By heroine Emilie Garza
That wasn’t the only diversity I wove into the series. There’s Jeremy Rixey, who’s described as very openly and happily bisexual, and who pretty much flirts with everyone. And Charlie Merritt, whose homosexuality was a major point of contention between him and his dead father—the team’s former commander.
[quote]That wasn’t the only diversity I wove into the series. There’s Jeremy Rixey, who’s described as very openly and happily bisexual, and who pretty much flirts with everyone. [/quote]
There’s no doubt that Hard to Hold On To is an interracial romance—and I’m very proud of that fact (not to mention proud of its prominence on the cover). In my previous career as an historian of early America, issues of race and class in U.S. history were among some of my primary teaching and research interests, so I built my former career studying and researching issues of race. But, even more than that, Hard to Hold On To is part of a series that I hope reflects the world we actually live in.
Thanks for reading!
Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.
As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.
You can enter to win two different ways with today’s post from Laura Kaye!
- Leave a comment or question on this post for Laura about Hard To Hold On To or her Hard Ink series, then fill out the prize widget on this page below. Up for grabs is one set of the following signed paperbacks: Hard As It Gets (#1), Hard As You Can (#2), Hard to Hold On To (#2.5). Open to world-wide shipping.
- Pin, share, tweet, and comment on this post as part of DVK’s August 2014 Prizepalooza celebration. More info below!
About the author
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly twenty 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.
PIN & SHARE THIS POST FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY IN THE AUGUST 2014 DVK PRIZEPALOOZA!
You could win one of these….! Click the prize photo below to go to the contest page to enter.
ENTER TO WIN THE HARD INK SERIES BELOW!
Did you know Laura is donating all of her proceeds of the sales from the first two weeks to a national non-profit that helps wounded veterans?
How awesome is this?! Don’t want to wait to win it? Follow the buy links above to snag it now and contribute to the cause!