Today it is my pleasure to welcome back USA Today best selling Harlequin Presents author Maisey Yates to HJ!
Maisey thanks for stopping by on your release day….now to answer some Q’s 🙂
5 Random facts about you?
- I sing
- I married my boss/best friend
- I used to play the trumpet
- I’m a Lord of the Rings Geek (I own an elven cloak!)
- I have pretty severe arachnophobia.
What would you say are the defining characteristic of your Novels?
I think the central theme of most of my books is that everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.
What is your favorite trope to read, one you will never get tired of?
Marriage of Convenience and Friends to lovers.
If you were a heroine in a book, your character would be – The girl next door, the damsel in distress, Kick-butt take charge heroine or the aloof ice queen and why?
I think I’m kind of the girl next door. Awkward, chatty a bit of a geek. 😉
What are you currently reading?
I’m happily reading an ARC of Black Knight, White Queen by Jackie Ashenden, which comes out in July with Samhain publishing.
If you had to summarize Heir to a Desert Legacy for the readers here …
A theoretical physicist heroine is surrogate for the royal family of Attar. When the sheikh and sheikha are killed, the heroine is left holding the baby (literally) who is now heir to the throne. The only problem is, now she’s not sure she wants to give the baby up. And that means tangling with his very formidable uncle…
Please tell us about the characters in your book
Sayid al Kadar was never meant to rule. He’s a man of action, not diplomacy. When his brother is killed he thinks he’s in line to rule, until he finds out there was a surrogate carrying the heir. Chloe agreed to be surrogate for her half-sister, but Chloe doesn’t aspire to motherhood or marriage. She’s in graduate school and completely married to the idea of becoming a teacher. But her feelings for the baby she carried in her womb are complicated and giving him up isn’t as easy as she imagined.
What scene did you have most fun writing? why?
“I am going to give you something” He gripped the end of the silk scarf that covered her hair, and slid it off, running his fingertips over the smooth fabric.
“What?” she asked, her voice a choked whisper.
He wounded the silk around his hands, drawing it tight between them. “Control.”
“But you…you said yourself, you need it.”
“I have never once willingly given it. But tonight, I give it to you.” He let the scarf fall away from his left hand. “We can’t spend the night in separate rooms,” he said. “After tonight it won’t matter. The royal couple never share a room full time. But tonight, you know we have to.”
She nodded. She didn’t trust herself to speak. She didn’t want to. She wanted to hear what he would say, see what he would do. She was captivated, incapable of resisting.
He walked over to the the closet and opened the doors. Her clothes were in there, along with some more traditional Attari garments that had been provided for her. He slid a red scarf off of its hook, wrapping it around his hand.
“Nothing will happen tonight that you do not desire. The power is yours.” He placed both scarves at the foot of the bed, spread them out, then turned to her and tugged his shirt over his head. “My word to you. My promise. This is what I want, Chloe.”
Her heart nearly stopped at the sight of his body. He was broad and muscular, dark chest hair scattered over his pecs and down washboard abs. She’d never seen a man that looked like him. When the science department had a pool party, the physiques usually ran from slim to doughy, with the color typically best described as fish-belly.
Not Sayid. He was hard, bronzed, utter masculine perfection. And she had no idea what to do with all that man.
“I don’t…why did you take your shirt off?”
“Because, if you want to do it later, it will be difficult.” He sat down on the edge of the bed and picked the scarves up, holding them out to her. She took a step forward and took them from him, running her thumb along the silken fabric.
He looked at her, his dark eyes intense. “I want you to tie my hands.”
Who would who cast in the role of hero and Heroine if your book was optioned for a movie?
David Gandy and Emma Stone.
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013?
Right now I’m working on the 3rd book in my Call of Duty series. It is Xander Drakos’s book, which I know some of you are really looking forward to!! As for other releases…ready for this? May – Heir to a Dark Inheritance (Harlequin Presents) June – Animal Magnetism Anthology, Unbuttoned (A Silver Creek novella) and His Pregnant Princess a Presents short, July – The Couple Who Fooled the World (Harlequin Presents) August- Unexpected (A Silver Creek Romance) September – His Ring is Not Enough (Harlequin Presents) December – A Hunger For the Forbidden & The Highest Price to Pay (2 -in-1 Presents)
Where can readers get in touch with you?
On twitter (@maiseyyates) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Giveaway: Heir to a Dark Inheritance (e-copy).
To enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q: Chloe is a scientific heroine, very intellectual and academic. I usually write artists or businesswomen, so someone who was passionate about learning, about science, was really different for me. What kinds of heroines would you like to see more of?
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“Chloe James?” he asked.
“What?” Her response was muffled by the heavy door between them.
“I am Sheikh Sayid al Kadar, Regent of Attar.”
“Regent, you say? Interesting. Attar. Nice country I hear. In Northern Africa right near…”
“I am aware of the geography of my country, as are you, in ways that go beyond textbook knowledge. You and I both know this.”
There was a sharp spike in the crying, the volume rising, the tone growing more shrill. Loud in the contained environment. Louder behind the apartment door, he imagined.
“Um, I’m busy,” Chloe said. “You’ve woken up the baby now and I have to get him back to sleep so…”
“That is what I’m here about, Chloe. The baby.”
“He’s cranky right now. But I’ll see if I can fit you into his diary.”
“Ms. James,” he said, aiming for civility. He could push the door in with relative ease, but he doubted that was the right way to go for this. He didn’t usually care. But not causing an international incident was a high priority to him at the moment, and he imagined breaking in and simply taking the child might create one. “If you will let me in we can discuss the circumstances of the situation we find ourselves in.”
“What do you want with him?”
“Exactly what my brother wanted with him. A legal agreement has been signed, and you should know exactly what it says, as yours was one of the signatures. I have it in my possession. Either I go through the court system, or we discuss it now.”
He didn’t want to involve the courts of either the United States or Attar. He wanted this to go smoothly, silently, to not make a ripple until he and his advisers were able to devise a story about how the child had survived, and why the child had been kept from the public in the weeks since the sheikh had died.
Before he did any of that, he had to find out just what the situation was. If the papers had that had been drawn up were reflective of the truth, or if there had been more to his brother’s relationship with Chloe James than was documented anywhere.
That could complicate things. Could prevent him from taking the child with him. And that was not acceptable.
The door opened a crack, a chain keeping it from swinging open all the way, and one wide blue eye, fringed with long dark lashes, peered at him through the opening. “ID?”
He released a frustrated sigh and reached into the inside of his coat, pulling out his wallet and producing his passport, showing it to the eye that was staring at him with distrust. “Satisfied?”
“Not in the least.” The door shut and he heard the jingle of the chain, then it opened. “Come in.”
He stepped into the room, the cramped feeling of it squeezing down on him. Bookshelves lined the walls, pushing them in, heightening the feeling of tightness. There was a laptop on the coffee table, more books in a stack to the right of it and a whiteboard on a stand in the corner with another stack of books placed next to it. There was a logic to the placement of everything, and yet the lack of space gave it all a feeling of barely organized chaos. Nothing like the military precision with which he ordered his life.
He let his eyes fall to Chloe next. She was small, her hair a deep, unusual shade of red, her skin pale and freckled. Her breasts were generous, her waist a bit thick. She looked very much like a woman who had just given birth, and who had spent the weeks since in a state of sleep deprivation.
She shifted and her hair caught the light, a shock of red-gold burning bright beneath the lamp. If the child was hers genetically, there would be some sign, of that he was certain. She was very unlike his olive skinned brother and his beautiful, dark-haired bride.
“You realize that you have no security to speak of here,” he said. The crying had ceased, everything in the tiny apartment calm now. “If I had wanted to force my way in, I could have done so. And anyone seeking to harm the child could have done so, as well. You do him no favors by keeping him here.”
“I didn’t have anywhere else to take him,” she said.
“And where is the child now?”
“Aden?” she responded, a chill in her tone. “You don’t need to see him now, do you?”
“I would like to,” he said.
“Why?” She edged around the front of the sofa, as if she meant to block his way. Laughable. She was so petite, and he was a highly trained soldier who could remove a man twice his size without feeling any sort of exertion. He could break her easily if he had a mind to, and she just stood there, a small, flame-haired tigress.
“He is my nephew. My blood,” he said.
“I…I didn’t think you would feel any connection to him.”
“Why not?” It was true that his was not a heart connection, not the sort of family connection she might mean. His was a blood bond, a sworn oath to protect the ruler of his country with his very life if it came to it. It was a connection that he felt in his veins, one he couldn’t change or deny. Only death could break it. And in that scenario, the death had better be his own.
She blinked rapidly. “You’ve never been…close to the family. I mean, Rashid said…”
“Ah. Rashid.” Her use of his brother’s first name was telling. And not in a good way. In a way that might complicate things. If she was the mother of the child, the biological mother, it would be much more difficult to use the legal documents against her. Difficult, though, no impossible.
And failing that, he would simply create an international incident and bring the child back with him. By force if necessary.
“Yes, Rashid. Why did you say it like that?”
“I’m trying to ascertain the nature of your relationship with my brother.”
She crossed her arms beneath her breasts. “Well, I gave birth to his child.”
A cold, calm sort of fury washed through him, the ice in his veins chilling the rage as it ran through him. If his brother had done anything to compromise the future of the country…
But his brother was dead. There would no consequence for Rashid, no matter the circumstances. He was finished now, with this life. And Sayid was left to ensure than Attar did not crumble. That life went on, as smoothly as possible, for the millions of people who called the desert nation home.
“And you drew up this agreement,” he produced a folded stack of papers from the inside of his coat, “so that if anyone caught onto the fact that it wasn’t Tamara who gave birth to Aden, they would believe it had been a part of the plan from the beginning?”
“Wait…what?” She curled her lip, one rounded hip cocked to the side.
“You conspired to invent the story about the surrogacy to cover up the relationship that you had with…”
She held both hands up, palms out. “Hey! No. Oh…no. I gave birth to his child, as a surrogate.”