Laura Kaye | Writing an Amputee Hero
November 25, 2014
I'm so excited to be here at Fresh Fiction on release day to celebrate my new
TO COME BY.
This book is part of a super sexy and suspenseful series about the surviving
members of an Army Special Forces unit investigating the suspicious
circumstances that got them dishonorably discharged from the military. HARD TO COME
BY is about
amputee hero and team techie Derek "Marz" DiMarzio, who finds himself falling
for the sister of one of their known enemies.
I have loved Marz from the first moment he walked onto the page in book one, HARD AS IT
GETS. In addition to being drop-dead sexy, he's upbeat, outgoing, and always
ready with a joke to uplift everyone's spirits. Marz is also selfless and
giving, depriving himself of sleep to do all the research the team needs for
their investigation. And, of course, that selflessness was never demonstrated
more than when he saved his best friend's life on the field of battle and ended
up with a below-the-knee amputation. Here's what Marz's thinks about that:
Not that Marz would undo how it'd all gone down. Because him losing his leg
meant that Beckett, Marz's best friend in the world and the closest thing he'd
ever had to a brother, got to remain a biped. Marz hadn't hesitated for a moment
to knock Beckett clear of the explosion. Better to take the hit himself than let
a buddy get hurt. And seeing the guy get around with little more than a limp
made Marz's sacrifice more than worth it. One thing Marz had always admired
about the SpecOps community wasn't just that you could count on someone having
your back, it was knowing you had theirs. No matter what.
When I sat down to write this book, I was very concerned about handling Marz's
amputation and prosthetic limbs right. For this character, his amputation is
part of who he is, but he doesn't allow it to define him. However, he finds he
has to overcome others defining him by his prosthesis, which was also
something I found tricky to handle. I didn't want to skim over the injury, nor
the reality of living with it, which meant I needed to do some research. And
that led me to a woman whose online screen name is AmputeeOT.
She also has a below-the-knee amputation, and has done a host of YouTube videos
answering all kinds of basic questions about life with a prosthesis. She
apparently became famous after building a prosthetic foot out of Legos! Now, her
fame extends from the wonderful, inspiring, and demystifying work she's done
about living life with a prosthesis. Her videos address topics like showering
and bathing for people with prosthetic limbs, cleaning your prosthetic limb,
climbing stairs with a prosthetic leg limb, driving with a prosthetic leg limb,
and what things in life are difficult for an amputee. It was from this woman
that I learned about the difficulty of putting on pants with a prosthesis, about
mirror therapy (where you use a mirror to trick your brain into believing the
missing limb is still there, thereby lessening phantom pain), and about the
benefits of vacuum-system limbs, like the one I gave Marz in HARD TO COME
BY. In fact,
in particular not only showed me how to describe how Marz put on and took
off his limb, but the last 90 seconds of the video—in which the woman drags
around a male friend wearing a vacuum-system limb, inspired part of the first
chapter of my book, wherein team leader Nick Rixey drags Marz around by his leg
to prove the prosthesis can't be knocked off.
In the end, I found that writing an amputee hero made him sexier, more
sympathetic, and more compelling. And the heroine did, too. There was never
anything less about Marz for wearing a prosthesis. Emilie respected and admired
Marz's sacrifice. When they become intimate in the book, she doesn't shy away
from asking him what will and won't work for him. The first time she sees him
naked, she doesn't hesitate to look and touch that part of him, and it means a
lot to him that she addresses his reality head on. One of the messages of this
book is that we all have scars—some more obvious than others—but we
to let them define us. And it makes Marz one of my favorite heroes I've ever
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite book with an amputee
character? Or would HARD TO
COME BY be your first one? What are your thoughts?
GIVEAWAY: One $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card!
Thanks for reading!
HARD TO COME
(Hard Ink #3, 11/25/14)
Caught between desire and loyalty...
Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces
team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to
restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to
want the beautiful woman he found there.
When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn
between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man
he's become. Derek's easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up,
igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn't
As the team's investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and
Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives
are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away...
Buy at Amazon
UK | B&N
to Come By on Goodreads
Pre-order or purchase before December 2, and get awesome bonus
And don't miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:
HARD AS IT
HARD AS YOU
HOLD ON TO
Praise for HARD TO COME
"Rough sex and explosive fights power Kaye's third Hard Ink novel, a thrilling
adventure that feels more like an action movie with a romantic subplot than a
typical contemporary romance. New readers will head straight for Kaye's backlist
after powering through this installment." ~Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"TOP PICK! If you're looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion,
then Kaye has just the book and the series for you." ~RT Book Reviews
About Laura Kaye
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic
suspense. 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.
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47 comments posted.
Re: Laura Kaye | Writing an Amputee Hero
Marz is the first character that I have run across in my reading with an amputation - at least written as the hero. I have not read his story, but in reading the others I love that he is not written as weak or less than the others because of it. I can't wait to get inside his head!
(Lisa Van Houten 12:53pm November 25, 2014)
I think the first would be Orry from John Jakes North and
South, more recent is Damien from Kallypso Master's Rescue
Me series. I can't wait to learn more about MArz
(Lm Williams 1:27pm November 25, 2014)
I enjoys Jeffrey Dervers's The Bone Collector which is a
handicap character. I remembered reading fan fiction
involving Ironside (played by Raymond Burr) However many
years ago, i read the book The Best Year of Our Lives, which
they made the classic movie from. But this is the first time
i been intrigued with a amputee hero
(Bennet Pomerantz 1:28pm November 25, 2014)
Marz will be my first and I love him in the rest of the
series nice to see him as such a strong hero
(Lorrie Zielinski 1:41pm November 25, 2014)
Hard to Come by I think would be my first book that had
an Amputee hero in it. I love that you show people into
this amazing and hard world of limb loss. My dad lost his
leg in 2009 (above the knee) and I know the struggles he
went through with pain and trying to function normal
again. On a funny note we called his stub BOB. :)
(Robin Bromiley 5:00pm November 25, 2014)
Hard to Come By, is a first for me. I have seen the movie ,The Best Year of Our Lives , a great film. :-)
(Deb Pelletier 6:21pm November 25, 2014)
There's a book on my TBR pile "Wyoming Fierce" by a favorite author, Diana
Palmer, where the lead, Cane Kirk had lost his arm in a war. I have read other
books where the leads have a disability, but none come to mind right now.
(Sue Ahn 7:09pm November 25, 2014)
This would be my first!
(Diane Pollock 7:25pm November 25, 2014)
I know I have read one or two characters before that were amputees, but the names of the books are not coming to mind...
(Colleen Conklin 7:56pm November 25, 2014)
hard to come by might be my first one.
(Kent Cook 8:01pm November 25, 2014)
First book with an amputee hero for me.
(Mary Chin 10:20pm November 25, 2014)
Justine Davis wrote two. In Left at the Altar, the hero had lost one leg below the knee, I think. Then she wrote Morning Side of Dawn and the hero was a double amputee. Both books were published in the 90's. Both excellent books.
(Eve Gaddy 11:21pm November 25, 2014)
I read Justine Davis's books, Left at the Altar and Morning Side of Dawn when they came out in the 90s. I've read them both multiple times.
(Robin Greene 12:57pm November 26, 2014)
Hard To Come By would be the first book that I read that
has an amputee. I just attended your release party today
for this book and I can't wait to read about Marz!! He is
super hot!! Also, I look forward to reading all of your
books. I can't believe I haven't discovered them before.
I have definitely been missing out.
(Rachael Brown 1:32am November 26, 2014)
Hard to Come By would be the first book I read that has an
amputee main character.
(G. Bisbjerg 2:29am November 26, 2014)
Who can resist a wounded warrior? Their bravery and loyalty to each other
(Leann Griffiths 5:21am November 26, 2014)
:) can not wait !
(Katarzyna Keen 6:16am November 26, 2014)
I think I have read one before, but I don't remember it
very much. I love Marz, though!
(Karin Anderson 6:49am November 26, 2014)
I think it's my first one.
Love can come to anyone, no matter their perceived imperfections.
(Elaine Seymour 7:51am November 26, 2014)
This would be my first book about an amputee, but although
my reasoning may be a bit off the wall, I look at it this
way. Everyone has something about themselves that they're
self-conscious about, or hate about themselves, and don't
really feel comfortable having another person looking at
them. Even though it isn't the same thing by a long shot,
if that person is that vulnerable, a relationship such as
this could work, because both people could work on each
others' vulnerabilities. I understand that a person losing
a limb or part of a limb is by far not the same thing, but
some people are THAT insecure about themselves, and both of
them could work together to make their relationship work.
Your book sounds amazing, and I'm looking forward to reading
it. I admire the amount of research you did to make your
book authentic!! Congratulations!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:11am November 26, 2014)
this is my first one for but it sounds like a great book.
(Jennifer Beck 10:52am November 26, 2014)
This would be my first book and I look forward to reading it! Thanks so much for the chance and Happy Thanksgiving!
(Bonnie Capuano 12:13pm November 26, 2014)
I loved Cam in Shoulda Been A Cowboy by Lorelei James.
(Lisa Guertin 12:42pm November 26, 2014)
Hard to come by will be my first and i like the excerpt.
(Toni Whitmire 2:28pm November 26, 2014)
The only book I remember reading which had an amputee hero was an older one, Wild Swan by Celeste deBlasis. Since the primary character was his wife, and the time was the Napoleonic Wars, the concerns about amputation might have been much the same as now, but the treatment and the adjustments were definitely at a different level.
(Cathy Burkhead 3:47pm November 26, 2014)
This would be the first book to read with an amputee character. I think I would find it moving.
(Lin Berda 7:03pm November 26, 2014)
This is definitely the first book I've read about an amputee and I'm so glad you did it. I adore how
you handle each of these traumatized guys and considering they were special forces you took their
stories and made them believable. You have a gift and I for one appreciate it. Thank you and have a
(Lenna Hendershott 7:53pm November 26, 2014)
I've never read a romance novel where the hero was an amputee before.
I've really liked the Hard Ink series so far, and Marz's character in particular
adds an extra something, so I'm really looking forward to reading his story.
(Debbie Burdeen 8:51pm November 26, 2014)
Hard to Come By would be the first read
(Susan Jang 9:13pm November 26, 2014)
I believe this would be my first one, altho I'm not totally
sure! It does sound very interesting tho, and moving as
(Sandy Haber 9:37pm November 26, 2014)
Donna Alward wrote HER LONE COWBOY with a former military man who had lost his right arm.
RaeAnne Thayne wrote DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT that had a heroine who was former military and had lost a leg.
These were both good books, but I plan to start reading Marz tonight and I can't wait! I love your Hard Ink series, Laura!
(Marcy Shuler 9:42pm November 26, 2014)
Sounds quite interesting...I don't think this would be my first
amputee hero but maybe my first in romance novel.
(Glenda Hefty 11:21pm November 26, 2014)
This would be my first amputee book and sounds like a great
(Janea Carrell 12:02pm November 27, 2014)
Apart from a book I recently read where the hero lost an arm
at the end of the book this will be the first.
(Jen Barnard 2:15am November 27, 2014)
I have read a couple of books w/amputee heroes, but I have been
anticipating this book since Marz was introduced. It is next on my list!
(Jordan Grubich 12:03pm November 27, 2014)
I am really impressed by your research, and by what you
reveal of its fruits-- and I look forward to reading the
I know I've read some novels with amputee heroes, but I
don't really think of books in lists, nor of amputation
as a category-- offhand the title that comes to mind is
Gene Stratton Porter's _Freckles_. A very vintage-
(Mary Ann Dimand 12:09pm November 27, 2014)
This would be my first one.
(Ron Frampton 12:18pm November 27, 2014)
Sounds like a compelling story, thank you for sharing and thank you for doing research to help us understand more about the challenges and accomplishments of those who deal with this issue.
(E Felder 3:09pm November 27, 2014)
Many years ago, we had a family at church where the husband
had one leg amputated close to his hip due to a sewer accident
when he was 18. I had never seen anyone so graceful in my
life. Prosthetics were a problem and gave him sores, so he
normally just used a cane. OK, so what could he do? He could
dance with his wife, he could play baseball, he could carry
their brand new baby up and down the stairs. And when he and
some co-workers had been mugged on a trip to Mexico, he saved
the day and rescued the other guys with his fierce use of his
cane. Glad to see guys with disabilities get a fair shot at
(Marcia Berbeza 3:31pm November 27, 2014)
Three of my friends had a leg amputated and they went on to lead good lives. I've often wondered what types of challenges they faced before accepting the loss. I've read at least one book with an amputate as the hero and the effect it had on his life, but strangely, I can't remember the title of the book. My excuse is it's been a number of years since I read it. Hard to Come By sounds like my type of book --- romance and lots of exciting action. The hero being an amputate adds another element to the story.
(Anna Speed 3:49pm November 27, 2014)
This would be my first!
(Lisa Kendall 9:44pm November 27, 2014)
This would be my first story about an amputee. I've heard
really good things about this series. I so have to start
(Kim Matlock 9:53pm November 27, 2014)
Hard To Come By would be my 1st one and I think it would be interesting. We have so many wounded warriors that a story about this would be great !!
(Susan King 10:14pm November 27, 2014)
Yes,this would be my first book about an amputee, but winning would be interesting.
(Gladys Paradowski 11:47pm November 27, 2014)
I've loved all of your "Hard..." books and will read them in
the future. I also loved "Hearts of Darkness". Can't wait to
read this next one in the series!
(Becci Brooks 12:13pm November 30, 2014)
This is the first thanks for the chance to win I would so love
to get this book I just got the other hard books thanks
(Angela Thomas 1:14am December 4, 2014)
How do we turn one of your books with an amputee lead into a movie script (screenplay)?
Al Pike, CP(E)
CEO Amputees In Hollywood LLC
(Al Pike 7:33pm December 19, 2014)
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