• Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hi Jeanne, thanks so much for hosting me today. About me… Well, I'm a wife, mother of one son, and an ex-nurse turned erotic paranormal romance author. I love reading romance as much as I do writing it. I'm a huge fan of rock music, the SyFy channel, Coca-cola, and pizza. Oh yeah, and hot guys with sharp teeth. *g*
• Do you use a pseudonym and if so, why?
Yes, I do write with a pseudonym. I felt it was important because of my family. I have a small child at home whose safety is my top priority, and when you write material with a high sexual content, it has the potential of attracting some negative or unsavory responses. I'm definitely not ashamed of my work. It's just for me; I think it's best to keep my personal life and career as separate entities.
• What genre do you write in? Why did you pick that genre?
My favorite genre to read as well as write is erotic paranormal romance. Love it! This particular genre allows me to let my imagination run wild. For me, creating the villain is the most enjoyable part. Writing his or her scenes is almost a cathartic experience. I can get inside my character's head and be just as nasty and evil as I want. LOL
• Do you have a favorite book or author?
I would have to say my all time favorite would be Karen Marie Moning. Her style and voice take my breath away. She creates and evokes powerful emotion and sexual tension between her characters.
• Do you have a specific place where you like to write? When, during the day, is your most creative time?
I'm your typical crack-of-dawn writer. Ugh. Never have been, and can't imagine I'll ever be a morning person. My best time to write is in the evening after my son is bed, and the house is quiet. I like to get my tray for my mini laptop, close the bedroom door, and climb up in the bed to write. I'm one of those writers who really has to feel tucked away in a quiet spot, so I can slip inside my character's head and tell their story.
• Do you have critique partners or beta readers? Why?
I have two wonderful critique partners and a beta reader. Their advice and insight is invaluable. Sometimes, you can be too close to your story, and as they say, you can't see the forest for the trees. I have a difficult time, as I believe most writers do, seeing my own mistakes. I've been known to read a sentence four or five times and never pick up that it's missing a word, because in my mind, I already know what the sentence is supposed to say, so I don't notice the missing "to" or "the".
• What’s your take on the future of ebooks and epublishing?
I see the ebook/epublishing market continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. As a writer and editor, I feel the "e" market hasn't even come close to reaching its full potential. Not everyone has heard of an eReader yet, but the interest and awareness is growing. The ease of reading on your iPhone or eReader is addictive, and once the majority of the population has been educated about the digital publishing industry, they'll be as hooked as I am.
• Do you have any releases scheduled for 2010?
Yes, I do. Dark Desires at Midnight, A Warriors of the Enclave novel (book two), released on March 30.
• Tell me about your latest or upcoming release?
I'd be happy to. Below is the blurb and excerpt for Dark Desires at Midnight:
Arran MacLain is a vampire on a suicide mission, driven to kill his former partner who betrayed him and the Enclave they served. But two things stand in his way: Gabrielle, the human female who holds his heart, and the past that won’t let him go. If only death was enough to cleanse his soul.
Gabrielle Steven’s sister is missing. Her hunt for clues brings her face to face with the one vampire she can’t forget. Their missions combine and thrust them into the heart of evil. Will their passion be enough to overcome the pain from their past, or will their dark desires destroy them both?
Arran rolled his Ninja into the parking lot beside Gabrielle’s car and killed the engine. She’d taken the newsflash about Markus and Marguerite pretty much like he’d expected. She’d mumbled an oath of determination right before she’d kicked him out of the car. Gabrielle wasn’t a member of the Enclave in name only. It didn’t matter that she didn’t work patrol. Gabrielle was as much a warrior as any of the males. Life hadn’t dealt her any favors. And she wasn’t one to lie down and let it bulldoze over her. She stood and fought for every inch of ground gained.
He waited for her to get out of the car, then removed his helmet.
“You didn’t need to follow me home,” she said over her shoulder, heading for the front door of her sister’s townhouse. He was surprised when she’d led him here instead of a hotel. The place must have belonged to her sister. He palmed his keys, slid off his bike, and shoved the keys in his pocket.
“I wasn’t going to let you leave alone after the info I just dumped on you,” he said as he came up behind her while she unlocked the door. “I wanted to make sure you got home safe. And I wanted to be sure you actually went home.”
“Oh my God, you can be such an ass sometimes.” Her back was to him, but Arran could almost hear her eyes roll with that statement. She was right. He was an ass. But while he was here, he would be taking care of hers.
Gabrielle flipped on the lights, and he followed her inside. The heels of her boots clicked on the hardwood floor of the foyer, echoing in the open stairwell of the two-story apartment. She couldn’t have been in town long, but the air in the place already carried her scent. He pulled in another slow, deep breath through his nostrils. His heart rate quickened.
Honeysuckle. Arran wanted to smile but repressed the grin. Ironic that such a delicate and sweet fragrance emanated from the hellcat with whom he’d just been reacquainted.
Her keys clinked as she dropped them in a bowl on a table near the staircase. Arran’s gaze devoured her provocative profile. He’d never seen her dressed like she was tonight. Living with five male vampires within the Enclave walls, she usually dressed a bit more conservatively. Not matronly, but definitely not this revealing. A short black leather skirt barely covered the lush curves of her ass, and a shirt that couldn’t have been more than a decked-out bra did its best to contain her full breasts. Shiny black leather boots wrapped her legs, highlighting the toned sweep of her calves. This couldn’t happen again. Arran slowly shook his head. He would end up killing someone if she dressed like this again.
She turned her head to the side, facing him. “I don’t need a babysitter. I’m more than capable of taking care of myself.” She shifted and faced him head-on. “You’ve been gone a long time, Arran. Things have changed. I’ve changed.”
“Maybe so. But you’re not taking on that colony alone. I can’t believe Logan let you come here without him.” Gabrielle turned her back, rearranging her purse on the table. Shit. He recognized the body language. “You didn’t tell him, did you?” Arran closed the distance between them.
“No. I didn’t need him here.” Gabrielle looked up, fierce determination written on her face. “I can handle this. Alex needed me. And I’m going to be there for her.” She shifted to face him again, leaning her hip against the table. “I’m smart enough to know if -- and when -- I need help.”
Arran closed in, crowding her personal space, wanting a reaction. Aching for it, actually. Gabrielle straightened and took one step back but stopped and lifted her chin, refusing to cower and give him the reaction he itched for. She caught on quick.
“You think you have it all handled, lass?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“You got it all under control?”
The amber color of her irises had grown near molten. He allowed a small smile to pull at the corner of his mouth, loving the way she got all hot and bothered when he pushed her.
“Yes. I do.” The words had barely left her lips when she attacked, one leg coming out to catch the back of his ankle. Caught off guard, he stumbled.
Before he could regain his balance, she had his wrist locked in her grip.
Swinging his arm up, she spun underneath, twisted, and wrenched his arm up the middle of his back, then shoved him face-first into the dank-smelling wall.
Well, damn. Not bad. “You’ve been training,” he mumbled against the Sheetrock.
“A little.” She sounded quite proud of herself. She was good. He’d give her that. But her heavy breathing told him it was all she could do to contain him, and he hadn’t even come close to tapping into his full abilities. She’d caught him by surprise, but she was human, a woman, and no match for a mature vampire. Especially in a multiple attack.
With a burst of speed, Arran pushed back, forcing Gabrielle to release him instead of falling on her rear. He whirled, catching her before she hit the floor. In less than a second, their positions reversed. Except this time, he’d pinned her back against the wall, her hands imprisoned by his, over her head.
The position pushed her full breasts up, almost spilling them from her top. Nice. He lifted his gaze, prepared for a hard glare. If her eyes were molten earlier, they were near boiling now. He couldn’t have stopped the next words that spilled from his lips if he’d tried.
“You ass!” She squirmed and bucked against him like a feral cat. Instead of gaining her freedom, though, each maneuver jammed her tighter into his hold. Her every inhale shoved her breasts into his chest. Heat radiated off her body, threatening to scramble his brain. Before he knew he’d even moved, his lips hovered over hers. What made him stop, God only knew.
Maybe it was the way she’d suddenly grown still? Or maybe it was the moment she’d parted her lips, releasing warm, peppermint-scented bursts of air that seduced his mind. So damn enticing. All he had to do was lean in one more inch, and he’d --
Fire shot up his arm. “Son of a…” Releasing her, he jumped back and flung his gaze to the offending limb. Blood.
A thin line of crimson blossomed along the outside of his bicep. She’d played him. Purposefully distracted him, so she could pull her hand free and reach for a blade that must have been hidden under her skirt and against her thigh. The little minx.
He swiveled his head back in Gabrielle’s direction. Air punched from his lungs. Christ. Blood surged to his cock. The overwhelming urge to stroke the rock-hard length at the sight of her was short-circuiting his brain. Gabrielle stood, one boot in front of the other, palming a short dagger. She was ready to fight.
He was ready to fuck.
Arran rocked from one foot to the other, searching within for the strength not to take what was his. Mentally, he shook his head. No. She’s not yours, asshole. But damn if his cock had the sense to listen.
“I know you weren’t about to kiss me, warrior. Were you?” She raised a delicate brow and tilted her head. “Because last I heard, my kiss was ‘forgettable.’”
Ouch. He’d had a feeling if he ever saw her again, that asinine comment would come back to bite him in the ass.
“Give me the blade, Gabrielle.”
“This?” She twirled the dagger, then palmed the hilt and held it up for display. “You want it?” A devious smile lit her face. With her other hand, she beckoned him with her fingers. “Come and take it.”
Bad, bad challenge, kitten. A tremor started in his gut and worked its way up, until it was a buzz inside his brain. Every cell in his body wanted to take.
A gasp of air in his ear was the only indicator that he’d grabbed her. He didn’t remember the trip. Arran lifted her feet from the floor, whirled, and gently laid her on the stairs, pressing his hips, his chest into hers. He had to get his body next to hers. Everywhere. The dagger fell from her hand, rolling and thumping its way down the steps, each tumble a hollow thud.
The loud percussions bypassed the noise inside his head and brought him to a dead halt. He lay with his hips between her legs, his groin pressed to hers. His mouth suspended above her lips. He dropped his gaze to her mouth. God, how he loved the delicate line of her lips, a perfect bow. So full and pink. Her tongue darted out and moistened the lower one. He couldn’t stifle the groan that rolled from the back of his throat.
He dragged his gaze back to her eyes. Passion mixed with doubt and fear stared back at him. “I’m sorry.” The whispered words tumbled from his heart.
She blinked, then swallowed. “Why?”
“For hurting you.”
Her eyelids shuttered, and her breath hitched. Did she believe him? Was an apology enough for what he’d done? He’d walked away, leaving her to think he’d never wanted her, when the truth was, he wanted her more than his next breath. Sorry sounded so insignificant, compared to how much damage he’d done to her heart.
“Gabrielle.” Long, dark eyelashes lifted. Beautiful, near gold eyes shimmered with unshed tears. Please don’t cry. If only he had the power to bring her tears of joy. Instead of the pain he was so damn good at. He wanted to kiss the hurt away. “Remind me.”
Her lips parted first in silence before she asked, “Of what?”
Arran released her arms and cupped her face with his palms. He caressed her lips with his gaze before lifting it back to hers. “What I walked away from.”
• What’s your next project?
I'm currently hard at work on book three of the Enclave series. I can't divulge anything about the story as of yet, since by discussing who the characters are in the next installment would sort of be a spoiler for book two. But stay tuned…
• Where can readers find you on the web?
http://www.jessicaleenovels.com/. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter http://twitter.com/jessleenovels
The link for FB can be found under the Contact tab on my website.
Thank you all so much for stopping by today, and thank you, Jeanne, for having me here. It's been a blast.