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Lauren Hawkeye

Interview: Lauren Hawkeye & the Authors of UNRAVELED

Interview: Lauren Hawkeye & the Authors of UNRAVELED

This past spring, I enjoyed offering a DA interview on Brenda Novak’s annual auction to benefit diabetes research. Lauren Hawkeye (who also writes as Lauren Jameson) submitted the winning bid (thank you!), and I’m happy to host her here today with Unraveled, a box set released this week. Joining Lauren are Julia Kent, Opal Carew, and Sara Fawkes, three more of the eight authors featured in Unraveled.  Let’s begin with a peek at the stories… 

Unraveled

 

Three Little Words, by Lauren Hawkeye

First Line:  “She was back.”

 The first kiss happens: In the doorway to the heroine’s apartment.

 

Complete Abandon, by Julia Kent

First Line: “Should have named her Renesmee.”

The first kiss happens: On Josie’s front porch swing.

 

Taken By Storm, by Opal Carew

First Line: “Oh, no, no. NO.  Don’t do this to me!”  Jessica groaned, stomping on the gas pedal in vain.

The first kiss happens: Beside Storm’s motorcycle on the side of the road.

 

 Anything He Wants: Atonement, by Sara Fawkes

First line : “So you’re not going to tell me where we’re going?”

The first kiss happens: Inside a BDSM house party.

 

Tell readers a little about your story, and how it relates to the “Unraveled” theme: 

LAUREN HAWKEYE:  Two years ago serious law student Malachi Hunter broke wild child

Adele Cavanaugh’s heart.  When Mal is thrown back into her life… and she meets Dorian

Marshall, a bad boy with a soft spot for her.  Adele doesn’t know how to choose just one

when they both help to ease her pain. Sometimes life makes us think we’re about to snap,

like a rope that’s down to the single remaining ply, but if we can thread in the support of

those who love us, we can knit the rope back together again.

JULIA KENT: Sometimes when your life begins to unravel, the ends get tied up in the most lovely of ways.

OPAL CAREW: When Storm bursts into Jessica’s safe little world, everything she thought she knew about herself and her cautious approach to life comes unraveled.

SARA FAWKES:  Jeremiah and Lucy have been through the flames and have the scars to show, but can their love survive the real world?

 

What’s the story behind this collection? What brought you together? 

LAUREN HAWKEYE: It all started with a simple question… I asked my RWA chapter mate Vivi Anna about a group she used to do anthologies with, called the “Allure Authors,” which included Sylvia Day, Lisa Renee Jones and Cathryn Fox. The idea grew from there. Sara Fawkes is a good friend of mine. Sara and Cathryn and I were in an Avon anthology together earlier this year, and Cathryn and Vivi knew one another. Daire, Sarah, Vivi and I are chapter mates. Opal and Sara have the same editor at St. Martin’s, and I had spoken with Opal about a Canadian anthology earlier this year. It all just clicked.

 

I recently suggested to a friend of mine that she and her blogging group do a box set, and she said they’d considered it but found the logistics discouraging. What were the toughest obstacles for the Unraveled group, and how did you deal with them?

LAUREN HAWKEYE: As with any project, trying to make everyone 100% happy is very difficult. However, this group of ladies has been wonderful to work with. Maybe we’re all masochistic, but I don’t think any of us found anything about this project too overwhelming.

 

And what are the fun parts? 

LAUREN HAWKEYE: Everyone has different strengths, and it’s neat to watch us all find our roles in such a big project. Sara has a lot of information about self-publishing. Julia is a marketing whiz. Opal is the numbers girl. Cathryn and Sarah are wonderfully organized and detail oriented. Vivi is an ideas person, and Daire is great at making it all look pretty.

 

Authors, let’s say a new-for-you reader adores your story in Unraveled. What would you suggest she reads next?

LAUREN HAWKEYE: I would try Breathe or Surrender to Temptation, which are both written as Lauren Jameson.

JULIA KENT: Her Billionaires, the boxed set.

OPAL CAREW: His to Possess (Taken By Storm is the prequel)

SARA FAWKES: “Anything He Wants: Dominated by the Billionaire”

 

And just for fun: Something’s unraveling. Your inclination is to… a) Fix it.  b) Get rid of it.  c) Let it do what it will.  d) Give it a pull because you just can’t resist.

LAUREN HAWKEYE: b) get rid of it—I’m a serial purger

 JULIA KENT:  a) Fix it

OPAL CAREW: d) Give it a pull because you just can’t resist.

SARA FAWKES: D. I’d give it a tug before fixing it. ;)

 

Buy Unraveled at APPLE, AMAZON, or B&N.

Find the authors online: 

www.laurenhawkeye.com

www.laurenjameson.com

jkentauthor.blogspot.com

www.OpalCarew.com

http://www.sara-fawkes.com

REVIEW:  My Wicked Gladiators by Lauren Hawkeye

REVIEW: My Wicked Gladiators by Lauren Hawkeye

Dear Ms. Hawkeye:

Initially I wondered whether I should have sent this book to Jayne. She’s not much of a fan of the menage, but she does love the period. The best thing about the book is not the sex or the period but the almost gothic like atmosphere of the story. It is told entirely from Alba’s point of view, an often dreamy not quite of this world point of view.

My Wicked Gladiators Lauren HawkeyeAlba is a member of the wealthy merchant class in Rome whose husband, Lucius, owns a gladiator school. The time period of the book must be circa 73 BCE as there are references to Spartacus in the novel. Alba lives a life of wealth and leisure but is dissatisfied, although she chastises herself for feeling such. Her husband no longer visits her regularly, primarily because she was barren. But he did not mistreat her nor did he ban her from taking her pleasure elsewhere. Alba is portrayed as rich and lonely, but naive and almost innocent. The latter characterization was inconsistent with her lifestyle and another unfortunate pass at representing a certain hierarchy of women based on their sexual morality.

Alba, despite having had both female and male lovers, self castigates for having feelings of lust for the gladiators that fight for her husband. “What kind of domina was I, imagining myself seducing a slave?” Alba asks herself. Not a page later, she recounts that her maidservant Drusilla and her had enjoyed a dalliance when they were younger but now only engaged in that act for the benefit of her husband.

When Lucius decrees that Alba must have a child in order to satisfy a wealthy patron who believes that men with large families make the best business partners, Lucius requests that Alba have sex with another man.  A doctor determines that the barrenness must be Lucius’ fault and he accepts this, deciding that Alba will be impregnated by their slaves.  How convenient for Alba it is two of the gladiators after whom she lusts!

Despite all the time we spend in Alba’s head, she doesn’t come off as a deep character nor one with any maturity.  She is taken aback, for example, by the overt lasciviousness a wealthy widow displays toward Alba’s gladiators.  She allows a manservant to take a position of power and almost dominance in her household.  It seems as if Alba simply floats through life, being dressed by her servant, bathed by her servant, being serviced by her gladiators.  At some point, she does show a spark of interest in the widow’s freedom but rarely tries to exert power in her own home despite being educated enough to read the business books kept by Lucius.

When I reflect back on the book, I think of Alba constantly trembling, her desires and life choices always a hairsbreadth from being taken from her.  Whether we were to take from this that women were seriously repressed and under the thumb of their husbands in Ancient Rome or whether that was simply Alba’s personality, I wasn’t sure.

The sex scenes were hot from time to time, but I also felt that there was a certain checklist quality to them.  Masked sex, anal sex, a little BDSM play, menage.  In part because we were only in Alba’s head, the love scenes often seemed sterile and detached.

We also get little insight into the gladiator lifestyle.  We know only that they serve at the whim of their owners and that they could win or buy freedom. Some were slaves and others took up the position of gladiator for lack of any other possible avenue.  The biggest question remains unanswered.  Why do the two top gladiators at Alba’s school desire her, particularly when the two have feelings for each other.

The story was written around the time of the Spartacus revolt and references regarding Spartacus were made but the exploration of this important political event was superficial, almost hesitant.  There were elements I liked – the ominous gothic feel and the setting of Ancient Rome.  I felt that the story didn’t live up to the promise. C

Best regards,

Jane

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