Interview with Leah Braemel...and a chance to win Texas Tangle!

Today my guest is Leah Braemel, the terrific author of Texas Tangle, which released this week from Carina Press. I've been salivating to read this one ever since I saw that delicious cover - seriously, does it get any better than that? Leah agreed to answer a few of my burning questions, and I'm also at her blog today, discussing how to keep the spark alive in your romance - Ex Appeal's Ty and Jenny definitely could've used some tips, until they figured things out for themselves. ;)

After you read Leah's interview, leave a question or comment to be in the running for a PDF copy of Texas Tangle! It's that easy. Winner will be picked by random drawing. Contest closes July 1st at 10 pm EST.

And if you need more fun...I'd love it if you stopped by Leah's blog to offer your own tips on keeping the romance in your relationship!

1)    Tell us about Texas Tangle. What inspired the story?  

Back in 2007, I’d only just decided to get serious about my writing and joined the Romance Writers of American.  My critique partners who both live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area convinced me to register for the RWA National conference that was being held in Dallas that year.  One of my critique partners breeds Arabian BLUE horses and after the conference she invited me out to her place where she took me riding and even introduced me to her dad who taught me how to shoot a variety of guns including an old fashioned Colt 45. I’m a writer, so I’m constantly playing what-if and I started toying with the idea of writing a contemporary western. Of course, that idea had to be pushed aside while I worked on a couple other ideas I had (Private Property—which is based on my other critique partner’s area, which was followed by its sequel Personal Protection.) But finally the characters of Texas Tangle decided they’d had enough of sitting in the closet fighting off the dust bunnies so I pulled it out and started working on it. Originally it was supposed to be a novella, but as I was writing Dillon’s best friend Brett walked in to help investigate Nikki’s break-in. Turned out Brett and Nikki had a history…yup, the plans for the novella quickly flew out the window.

2) Carina Press, the all e-print of Harlequin, is just launching this month. Why did you think your story would be a good fit there?

Carina press is the digital-first line of Harlequin. Harlequin. I have to admit I was worried that submitting a story about a polyamorous romance to them, again, this was Harlequin and I’d never seen them actually publish a ménage. But Angela James repeatedly posted on the Carina blog and on Twitter that yes, they were looking for erotic romance including ménages. Since I got the offer, the people at Carina have been great to work with—the editing has been detailed and thorough, and I’m really pleased with how Texas Tangle has come out.

3) Texas Tangle is a menage story (yum!) You've written menages before. Why does that particular setup appeal to you as a writer?

I think ménages with two men pleasuring one woman is a fantasy that many women have. And it’s so much fun to write. With Private Property, I took the concept that the boyfriend who suggested it got cold feet part way through which caused some wonderful internal conflict for him.  With Texas Tangle, the conflict is that the two guys are expecting the woman to choose between them. So I guess it’s the conflict they can create that appeals to me.

4) If I was going to try one story of Leah Braemel's, which would you suggest? I know La Nora's answer would be whichever is on sale now but sometimes an author's "baby" is their first release. Which is it for you?

OMG, I asked this of some of my guest bloggers last year and they said it was like asking to choose which of their children they preferred. Now I know what how they feel.  I love Private Property, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Personal Protection and its hero Sam. And now Texas Tangle is right up there—I love Dillon because you just can’t get him down, he sees the positive side in everything, while Brett is the dark and tortured hero I also love. I know, I know, you’re saying “so which one?”  I think I have to borrow La Nora’s response on this one – Texas Tangle.

5) Any advice for someone trying to break into the writing business?

Wow, I could write several pages of advice on this one.  I think the best advice I can give is also the simplest. Write.  I’ve met a lot of people who tell me they’re writers and they’d love to get published, but when I talk to them about their projects, they usually tell me they’ve never actually finished a manuscript.  If your goal is to be published, unless you’re writing non-fiction, you have to have something finished—and polished—to hand to an editor or an agent. They can’t publish a half-finished book. So finish it. Even if you write 250 words a day, a couple paragraphs, by the end of a year, you’ll have written over 90,000 words. So put your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard and finish that story.

6) What are you working on now?

I’ve got a couple projects I’m working on, but mainly I’m trying to finish up the next in the Hauberk series for Samhain.  This one is Chad’s story and it’s been kicking my behind. It’s a reunited love story, about a couple who have let life drive them apart and have to find their way back together again. I’m finally done the first draft and am editing it, so I’m hopeful for it.  Of course, it still depends upon my editor liking it.

If you want to know more about Leah, you follow her on Twitter, or join her Facebook fanpage.  You can read more excerpts of Texas Tangle, and her other erotic romances, Private Property and Personal Protection, on her website or on her blog.

Now for the really good stuff...

Texas Tangle Excerpt:

They worked in a companionable silence, though she’d never been so aware of having another person in the barn with her. When she reached for a bag of grain, Dillon took it from her as if it were no heavier than a bag of sugar. “I got it.”

His stomach muscles taut, he carried it to the spot between Bashir’s and Witness’s stall doors before dropping it. He bent over to rip it open, his jeans pulling tight over his ass. Paying so much attention to the delectable sight instead of where she was walking, Nikki stumbled over an empty bucket she’d left on the ground.

“Whoa, watch out there.” Dillon grabbed her, his arm whipping around her waist.

She landed against him with an oomph, aware of how his thigh muscle pressed against hers, his arms banded around her waist, his muscular chest mashed into her breasts. She could have blamed the heat flooding her on the sultry August evening, but she had no explanation for the electricity arcing between them.

His breath whispered out of him, a soft caress over her cheek. The brim of his cowboy hat brushed the top of her head as he closed the distance between them, skimming his lips over hers.

Holy crap, he was kissing her. In real life, not in one of her fantasies.

She tilted her head, her hands clutching his arms half afraid he might disappear if she let go. While beneath her hand, his heart pounded in a steady beat, her own pulse spiked as fast as a hummingbird’s.

The tip of his tongue brushed the seam of her mouth; she parted her lips, allowing him entrance. He didn't plunder, but he didn't let her escape either. A hint of burnt coffee and spicy male teased her taste buds. Her breath hitched when he shifted positions, pressing the hard length of his erection into the cradle of her hips. Savoring the taste of him, her mind swirled into fantasies of getting naked with him, his hot flesh sliding over her, into her.

One of his hands slid under her tee and splayed over the small of her back. A shiver zigzagged along her spine, following the path of his calloused fingers and palm as they rasped her skin. She made a tiny whimper as she ground against him, urging him on. Taking the sound as encouragement, he deepened the kiss, took more from her. Demanded more. She gave everything he asked of her, but took equally from him. Her body pulsed with need by the time he finally ended the kiss, the stiff stubble of his beard abrading her cheek as he withdrew.

Interested in your very own copy of Texas Tangle? Just leave a comment and you're in the running! Thanks so much for being here today, Leah. Congratulations on your latest release!


Lynne Roberts said...

Great interview Cari and Leah!

I have to admit, I loved the cover the first time I saw it.

Congratulations, Leah! I can't wait to read this one!

Leah Braemel said...

Thanks for having me, Cari. It's been a while since I sent you the answers -- on the "what's next" question, I'm on the final draft of Chad's story, and I've got a couple outlines for follow ups to Texas Tangle: a sequel following Dillon, Griffin's brother, that'll take place shortly after Texas Tangle ends. The second otuline is for a prequel (that'll hopefully stay as a novella this time) that tells the story of Dillon's great grandparents -- the ones who originally had a permanent polyamorous romance.

If I can finish and sell Chad's story that is, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Wow what an interview!

Thanks for sharing with us. I love your work.

Wishing you many sales.

Oh and I also love the cover.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great interview, I enjoyed reading it and that excerpt too. Oh, a menage, my favourite kind of story....yummy!!!!

Wish you lots of sales Leah.

in Germany

Sparklybearsy said...

TEAM DILLET! Because im a greedy wench and refuse to choose between Brett and Dillon! hehe

I cant say how much i HEART Texas Tangle. I'm never looking at hot tubs the say way again! =)

Wonderful interview Cari and Leah!

Cathy M said...

Hi Leah,

Loved the interview and the excerpt for Texas Tangle,love menage stories and can't wait to read this one.

Big fan of the Hauberk series, so totally thrilled that Chad's story is coming up next.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

KJ Reed said...

I love love LOVE the cover. It's awesome. Sounds like a great book!

Mary (BookHounds) said...

No need to enter me -- I just posted this on win a book!

Helen Hardt said...

Great to meet you, Leah!

Shelley Munro said...

Picking between your babies is difficult, isn't it? I have your book already, leah, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Leah Braemel said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for dropping by today and taking the time to comment. To everyone who commented about the cover, it is wonderful, isn't it? Angela Waters did a fantastic design.

Sparklybearsy - I am definitely going to have to get a couple of Team Dillet shirts made up.

Good luck everyone! (Oh, and don't forget to drop by my blog to enter the contest for Cari's books.

Cari Quinn said...

Leah, thanks so much for stopping by today. Texas Tangle's definitely at the top of my TBR. Best of luck to everyone commenting, because I know the winner will love it!

Armenia said...

Very nice interview, ladies.

Leah, its amazing the amount of research you did for Texas Tangle. I mean, between the horse riding, shootin' guns, and even researching smexy love scenes in barns (I love that one!), I'm thrilled Dillon, Nikki and Brett finally got their story.

Christina Phillips said...

Congratulations on the release of Texas Tangle, Leah!

Cecile said...

OH wow, what a fantastic interview ladies!!! Yes, I am definitely interested in this one! Please count me in!!!!!!

elaing8 said...

Great interview.
I admit covers play a part in me wanting a book and this one definitely pulled me in.
Love the excerpt,I can't wait to read the rest.