featuring guest mystery authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Friday, December 9, 2011

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY -- GUEST AUTHOR LAURA KAYE

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated Hearts of Darkness and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance Forever Freed. North of Need, a contemporary fantasy romance, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Read more about Laura and her books at her website.

Laura is offering a free e-book of
North of Need to one of our readers who posts a comment this week. Don’t forget to include your email address in your comment or check back on Sunday to learn if you’ve won. -- AP
  
Craftiness Runs in the Family

Thanks to Anastasia for hosting me here at Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers! I’m celebrating the recent release of my contemporary fantasy romance, North of Need, a book filled with sweet holiday magic, hot paranormal romance, and unique world building based on Greek mythology! Given all the fun crafts y’all talk about here, I thought I’d share a craft that I’ve been involved with… 

The women in my family have always been into crafts. My mom crocheted afghans and painted pottery from the time I was old enough to remember. Growing up, we had a family tradition on Thanksgiving: the men went to go watch football, and the women gathered around the kitchen table to make an annual craft: ornaments, flower arrangements, gingerbread houses, and jewelry among them.

When I got to my senior year of college and was way ahead on my required credits, I had a semester of coursework to take just for fun. So, I chose an English class on banned books, a historical archaeology class, an extra history class (I was a history major)…and an art class making stained glass windows.

Despite the cuts on my fingers and burning myself with the solder gun, I loved stained glass window making. My first window was huge. I called it Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. And I flew through learning the craft of making a stained-glass window and finishing that window in about eight weeks. I was so far ahead, I finished a second 18”-diameter circular window in the last four weeks of the semester.

And then I took all my tools home and taught my mom how to do it. She loved it so much, she went out and bought tools of her own. Together, we made tons of pieces, and that following Christmas, everyone received pieces of stained glass as a gift! (Some of the below Christmas village pieces are hers, and some mine) About that same time, my aunt got into painting old furniture. Shortly thereafter, the two of them actually started selling their furniture and stained glass at craft shows, and quite a few weekends were spent hawking the family wares in community centers, parks, and at festivals.

I haven’t made a window in quite a long time, but I think of those week nights and weekend days around my mom’s kitchen table making stained glass with fondness. When she died a few years back, I inherited all the pieces she’d made as well as her tools and a box full of glass—it’s all just waiting for me to return to it. Maybe I’ll wait till my seven year old’s a bit older—I can tell already, she’s got the family craft gene in her. And maybe it’ll bring the two of us together the way it did me and my mom…

So, tell me: Has crafting brought you closer with a friend or family member?

Thank you so much for hosting me! As a thank you for your readers, I’m offering this free holiday cookbook released by one of my publishers and featuring two recipes from me! Now, it doesn’t include North of Need heroine Megan’s snow cone recipe in it, but that one’s easy: big cup, spoon, then alternating layers of snow, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and strawberry Gatorade. Try it! Eees goooood!

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

Thanks for joining us today, Laura. Readers, post a comment if you'd like the chance to win a copy of North of Need, and don't forget to click on the link above for your free holiday cookbook. -- AP

27 comments:

Liz said...

Not an entry. Just a comment that your Italian scene is stunning.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Gorgeous work! Congratulations on the new release. It looks wonderful. Can't wait to read it.

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks souch for hosting me here! And thanks so much to Liz and Caridad for kicking off the comments!

Victoria said...

You did an excellent job. I really love the Italian scene.
vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am captivated with the Italian scene. My favorite. best wishes and much success.

Laura Kaye said...

Aw, thanks for the kind words everyone! That was a labor of love for sure!

alainala said...

ohhh those are awesome! i love the fruit!!
i have to say, most of my hobbies drive my parents and friends nuts.. but ive lately taken up clay sculpture making.. and i LOVE it!! been making all sorts of cute little things.. a frog the size of my hand.. i love showing them off!
alainala At hotmail DOT ca

cathwitacee said...

My brother and I took a much shorter stained glass course and we absolutely loved it. I need to take a longer class to learn windows and dig out the tools and glass also.

KhelseyJackson said...

Those are beautiful! I don't have a favorite I love them all
khelseyrjackson@gmail.com

Katherine said...

Your window is beautiful. My mom taught me how to knit and crochet when I was a young girl. I returned the favor by teaching her to do counted cross stitch. We still enjoy exchanging patterns.

Sharon said...

Not an entry...have already read this fantastic story...but just wanted to recognize what a multi-talented girl you are!

bluesun1218 said...

wow, those are so beautiful Laura! I wish I knew how to do stained glass, that sounds like a lot of fun.
bluesun1218@yahoo.com

Laura Kaye said...

I'm really enjoying reading your comments everyone! Thank you all for the kind words! I'm enjoying hearing about your crafts too! I really do like making stuff...if only there was more time!

Casea Major said...

Those are gorgeous! I love them. I crochet sometimes (when I'm not writing.)

magolla said...

I don't need another cookbook, but you sure did inspire me to think about making stained glass. I crochet afghans, cook, make candy, etc, etc, but that looks like fun!

Laura Kaye said...

I admire you guys who can do the crocheting...I never had much luck with that one! :)

Thanks for all the comments!

Joanne Stewart said...

Couldn't resist stopping in for a peek. I'm glad I did. Those are gorgeous! You have a definite talent. The book cover's not bad either. ;) Congrats on the release.

Sophia Rose said...

I think what struck me about this post was the family get togethers to make things. I like crafts, but it is only when we are sitting down together as the girls of my family that I really care to do them. We all work on what medium we prefer.

Must try that simple snowcone recipe love the idea of cold chocolate and strawberry flavoring. Sounds yum! Your book sounds yum too. (-;

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
sophiarose1816@gmail.com

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Love the stained glass and the book looks pretty darn hot, too!

staceyjoynetzel at gmail dot com

Laura Kaye said...

Yay, you guys, loving your comments! And, Sophia Rose, I completely agree--that's part of what made it so fun and special!

Patti P said...

You are very talented. How wonderful to be able to express yourself in many ways.

Laura Kaye said...

Thank you Patti, what a sweet thing to say! :)

Louise Behiel said...

what a lovely tradition for thanksgiving. when my children were small we made crafts for gifts for their aunts and uncles - got them involved and provided something meaningful.

LRHunter said...

Wow--those little grapes must have been hard to do. How did you get the glass into little circles? Beautiful pieces, all of them.

We do a lot of crafts around here. Sewing, making and decorating boxes, jewelry-making, and naturally, Fimo. I enjoy silk ribbon embroidery, so I love your header!

So nice to meet both of you. All of you!

Laura Kaye said...

@LRHunter--Once you cut a piece of glass close to its shape, there are tools to further shape and sand the edges into curves, which the cutter can't make. Yes, the grapes were time-consuming for sure!

Thanks everyone for commenting! And thanks for hosting me here!

Island Buzzy said...

Thanks for my book..received it this past Thursday, excited to start!

Aloha, Connie

Laura Kaye said...

Hope you enjoy, Connie!