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Book Preview & Giveaway: Laura Kaye explores Hard To Hold On To’s inter-racial romance and its reflection on reality
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Book Preview & Giveaway: Laura Kaye explores Hard To Hold On To’s inter-racial romance and its reflection on reality

by davincikittieAugust 29, 2014

Hard Ink Banner

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:
[starlist]

  • 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

[/starlist]
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!
Laura

Hard To Hold On To (Hard Ink #2.5) by Laura KayeEdward “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.

Find Hard To Hold On To online at GoodReads | Amazon (digital | paperback) | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Other Books in the Hard Ink Series:
Hard As It Gets
Hard As You Can
Hard to Come By (11/25/14)
Hard to Be Good (3/10/15)
Untitled (7/28/15)

Giveaways

You can enter to win two different ways with today’s post from Laura Kaye!

  1. 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.
  2. Pin, share, tweet, and comment on this post as part of DVK’s August 2014 Prizepalooza celebration. More info below!

About the author

Author Photo - Laura KayeLaura 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

 

GraveTells 2013 Author of the Year: Rebecca Zanetti GraveTells 2012 Author of the Year: Felicity Heaton

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.

DVK PrizePalooza - prizes

Click here for details on the event!

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?

donation 1

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!

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About The Author
davincikittie
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. 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.
62 Comments
  • August 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I love that you are helping wounded veterans. I love to support K9s for Warriors where they train shelter dogs to be service dogs to veterans with PTSD. Save two lives at one time.

    This looks like a great book that has been added to my TBR list.

  • Jenna O
    August 30, 2014 at 4:34 am

    The cover of this book looks amazing! Can´t wait to read this one 😛

  • Toni Whitmire
    August 30, 2014 at 5:25 am

    I just think what you are doing is wonderful and I just love the excerpt

  • paris l
    August 30, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Hi Laura, I love the series and the characters.

    I am still surprised that society looks at bi-racial relationships and children the way they do. I am a bi-racial child of the 50’s ( my father was black and my mother white). it seems like all my life I was force to pick a side to be on, and hide the fact that I was bi-racial.

    Thank you you for incorporating it into your book and placing so little emphasis on it. I hope the current generations will view bi-racial hook ups as just another relationship, and move on to more important thing to solve.

    I am still surprised that society looks at bi-racial relationships and children the way they do. I am a bi-racial child of the 50’s ( my father was black and my mother white). it seems like all my life I was force to pick a side to be on, and hide the fact that I was bi-racial.

    Thank you you for incorporating it into your book and placing so little emphasis on it. I hope the current generations will view bi-racial hook ups as just another relationship, and move on to more important thing to solve.

    life is too short and there are so many more important things for us to resolve then who our partners are in life, what color they are, or what sex they are.

  • erinf1
    August 30, 2014 at 7:24 am

    this looks and sounds awesome 🙂 thank you so much for sharing!

  • August 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Amazing giveaway. Congratulations Laura on the release and success of the Hard Ink Series.

  • Andi M.
    August 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I love that you are giving proceeds to wounded veterans. The whole series is just incredible!

  • August 30, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I loved this book! I think it is great that you are depicting characters who are experiencing real problems in the aftermath of military service, and also that not all those problems are physical or outwardly visible.

  • Amy
    August 30, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I LOVE this series and I love that you are helping out wounded veterans. My dad is a Vietnam Vet and he has told me about his struggle with depression and alcohol abuse because of it. Luckily he was able to beat both. Thank you for supporting our Vets!

  • Adri
    August 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I absolutely loved this story and what Laura Kaye is doing for Wounded Warriors.

  • Mayra Statham
    August 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I love this series!!! My question is will we hear more about easy w Jenna? Maybe another novella? Will Jeremy have a story? Will there maybe be an mc spin off series w the ravens?

    • August 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      As with the earlier couples, Easy and Jenna will continue to appear in the later stories and you will find out more about them! 🙂 Jeremy’s book is called HARD TO BE GOOD and will release on March 10, 2015. More to come on the Ravens! 😉

  • Pam
    August 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I loved this book, just as I love the whole series… Do you have a whole plan for the series or does each book come to you while your finishing your current WIP? I want justice for these guys as bad as they do. 🙂

    • August 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Good question, Pam! This series has definitely taken some plotting out from the beginning so I would know what parts of the overall suspense arc were revealed when and how to set them up in earlier books. I only really plot the big stuff, though, so there are always lots of fun surprises along the way!

  • Raonaid Luckwell
    August 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    That is a wonderful way to help wounded veterans! And I absolutely adore this series. I remember taking a chance via the place I review for… and viola falling totally in love with it. Jeremy is still the fav. LOL

  • Marcia
    August 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I love this series. I would like to know what did Jeremy save the girl who works in his shop from, I am forgetting her name right now? I am very curious about that.

    • August 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Marcia – Her name is Jess and you will be finding out more about her because she will be getting a bonus novella that will be part of the 1001 Dark Nights multi-author series – check it out if you’re not familiar with it (www.1001DarkNights.com).

  • barb Kiser
    August 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I love Laura’s books. And she us an inspiration to all for her wounded warriors contributions.

  • August 30, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I loved reading Hard to Hold On To! It was an amazing and heartfelt story. I really need to read the others in the series!

  • Deborah C. Adams
    August 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

    You’re an awesome lady to supports those in need…Bless you….

  • Jennifer Schultheis
    August 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    This is just a great cause and you are absolutely wonderful for doing this. Of course you were wonderful before this, because your amazing writing talent…..so we’ll just say you are wonderful X2…lol

  • Missy Webb
    August 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I am SO happy to see a popular, mainstream romance series including an interracial romance! I’ve read the first 2 books of the series and I LOVE them, and can’t wait to read this one! I’m an African-American woman who LURVES lots of cream in my coffee (wink wink) and we seriously would love to see more color and diversity in more popular romance as opposed to having to search in minefields to find poorly written, amateur interracial romance. So kudos to you Mrs. Kaye and please urge your fellow author friends to do the same!!

    Missy <3

  • Jenn McElroy
    August 30, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I loved the first book in this series! I can’t wait to read the second and Hard to Hold Onto! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  • Irma Jurejevčič
    August 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I love this post and I can’t wait to read the book!

  • Jenn McElroy
    August 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

    This is such an awesome series! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  • Wendy Roberts
    August 30, 2014 at 9:56 am

    A great series Laura! Keep them coming!

  • elena k
    August 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    a great book for an amazing cause!

  • August 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

    LOVE Laura Kaye’s work.
    Whether it is Suspense or Erotica, she nails it !!
    Thank you for the feature and Giveaway !!
    <3

  • Renee Sass
    August 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Loved this story!
    Have you based any of your characters on people you know in real life?

    Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to read what happens next!

  • Kai W
    August 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

    What a great cause. Our veterans always get the negativity treatment when they return from their tour of duty. They deserve better.

  • Natasha Griffin
    August 30, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Love all the Hard Ink books!!

  • Marcy Meyer
    August 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Love this series! Who has been the most fun to write about so far?

    • August 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Oooh! This is kind of hard to say. Marz is the hero of the next book and he turned out to have an unexpectedly dirty mouth, so that was a lot of fun! LOL

  • Michelle Morales
    August 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Love your series. Great can’t wait for the next one!!!!

  • Lori Meehan
    August 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    The books sound so good and I’ve heard wonderful things about the series. I need to get to reading them.

  • August 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I love the ethnic diversity written within this series. I am also impressed by the fact you use statistical information to assist in determining the character makeup for the series. This ensures that the group will most accurately reflect the real world. I also absolutely love that you do not flinch in the equal representation of sexual diversity. Bravo Laura Kaye!!

  • AmandaS
    August 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’m a big fan of Laura Kaye’s books! And I have to say the covers are gorgeous too 🙂

  • Elisha
    August 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I love the first book. I would love it even more as a physical book. Though I have many e-books, real books are still my favorite. I love that you’re donating. You’re a good person!
    Elisha

  • Rhonda Campbell
    August 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Your an awesome writer! I’ve loved every book of your that I’ve read. I’m still waiting on my copy of hard to hold on to to come in the mail. Think maybe I should have gotten digital copy. After reading the raves not sure I can wait*sighs*

  • martha lawson
    August 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I have the first 2 books in my towering to be read pile! I will definitely be picking this one up and getting starting on them. I love military romances. I also like that you are highlighting different ethnicities!

  • Missie Jones
    August 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I just love Laura Kaye & ALL of her books. I have become a HUGE fan of hers ever since I 1st read North of Need (Hearts of the Anemoi Book 1) OMG It was soooo amazing. I have bought Every single book she has ever written & will continue to Read & buy them all as well as praise her work to the rooftops spreading the word of her great works….lol I love this series as well. I enjoy these stories of veteran soldiers & Tats 😀 Steamy, Sexy & Action packed. All right up my alley. Please continue to bless us with your work Laura. Big Hugs from a HUGE fan !!!

  • Mary Preston
    August 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    This sounds just so amazing!!

  • Juana Esparza
    August 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I can’t wait to read this book. I am def purchasing it on my next book shopping spree.

  • Amanda Sheila
    August 30, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve been a fan of Laura Kaye since for-eh-vaaaa! And yes, I have read all of her books, so now I definitely look forward to read Hard Ink series. Especially when Hearts of Anemoi series is over. I was wondering, will Miz Laura writes another paranormal series? I don’t really like paranormal romance, but with Laura Kaye’s writing, I’ll make an exception. 😀

  • Hai-Yen Huynh
    August 31, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hello, DVK and Laura! I have yet had the pleasure of reading the Hard Ink series but it is definitely on my Must-Read list. Laura is one of my favorite authors and I always look forward to reading her books, no matter the genre. In fact, I discovered Laura’s work thanks to GraveTells for which I am grateful for. I am so happy to see Laura’s success continue to soar because she is so deserving. Thank you, Laura, for writing such heartfelt stories for us to enjoy!

  • Lindsey V.
    September 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you for the post and giveaway! I’m a big fan of Laura Kaye’s books, so I’m excited to continue the Hard Ink series. 🙂

  • Danielle Meek
    September 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Such a great series! Can’t wait to read Hard To Hold On To!

  • veRONIca
    September 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I think it’s awesome that you have such a diversity of characters in your stories! It sucks that this is not more common in contemporary romances

  • September 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Congratulations to Jenn M. on winning this fab prize! And a huge thank you to all of you who came out to support our veterans, and to Ms. Kaye for being our special guest. <3

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