Welcome author Leah Braemel...and GIVEAWAY!
All you have to do to be entered is sign up to be a follower of the blog if you're not already and leave a comment. Easy peasy, right? Check out Deliberate Deceptions' gorgeous cover, blurb and excerpt and my interview with Leah then go forth and comment. Contest will run until Saturday 5/21 and the winner will be announced early next week.
1) If you had to write a blurb summing up your body of work so far, what would it be?
A blurb? How about three words. Passionate. Provocative. Decadent.
I write steamy romance while trying not to focus on tab A fitting into slot B or even about the "s/he so hot" initial meeting feelings of lust. I like delvign into the emotions as the couple--or threesomes--learn more about each other. I like watching my characters get into each other's heads and have them affect the other's emotions, get under their skin and discover the secrets even their best friends don't know--that's where I think passion kicks in. Trust has to be there, especially if you bring in the provocative menages--whether they're for one night, like in Private Property, or for the rest of their lives like in Texas Tangle.
2) Tell us about the Hauberk Protection series and your latest Samhain release, Deliberate Deceptions. You always write very sexy books, but these are romantic suspense, as well, aren't they?
Technically Samhain does not list the Hauberk series in the romantic suspense category. True, Hauberk does feature some kick-ass bodyguards and guns, and there are stalkers and bad guys but my stories tend to focus more on the romance with the external plot happening on the periphery. I like twisting the standard tropes and playing "what if." That was how I first got the idea for Private Property--at the time all the menages I'd read were "oh this is great, happy happy joy joy fun fun fun" but I wanted to explore what might happen if one of the participants realized "whoops, this was a really bad idea. WTF was I thinking?"
In Personal Protection, the owner of Hauberk Protection, Sam Watson must accept bodyguards because he's being stalked. I left little hints from the very first page as to who the stalker is, figuring everyone would figure it out and shake their head at Sam for not seeing what was so obvious to everyone else. It was really interesting when I saw the divided reaction to the final revelation at the end from readers -- some who said "Wow, I never saw that coming", others who said "I figured it out pretty early" to a few who absolutely hated it because they wanted a "Speed" type ending or the type of ending other romantic suspenses delivered, while I gave them...well, I don't want to give away the ending to those who haven't read it and may be in the "I never saw it coming" camp.
I'm really glad Deliberate Deceptions is not being put in the romantic suspense category too because it's not about being hunted by a killer so much as the characters having to face the past and the mistakes they'd made, no matter what the reasoning was when they made their decisions.
3) What's up next for you? What are you working on now?
I'm in the obsessively-clicking-refresh on my email ever since I learned my editor is reading my latest submission -- the next in the Hauberk series, tentatively entitled Hidden Heat which picks up right on the heels of Deliberate Deceptions. While I'm trying not to freak out about whether she gives it her thumbs up or down, I'm writing a trio of novellas about a bride playing matchmaker for her bridesmaids. They're fun to write because they're much lighter than Deliberate Deceptions or Hidden Heat. Part of the fun is taking a scene from one novella and rewriting it from a different character's point of view which can change the whole mood of the scene.
I'm also preparing for a lot of trips in the coming months. I'll be at Lori Foster's Reader and Author Get Together in West Chester Ohio on June 3-5, and then I'll only have a couple weeks before I jet off to New York for the Romance Writers of America national conference. In September, I'm heading down to North Carolina to be part of a Writers' Police Academy where I'll get hands-on interactive experience in using weapons from real-life police, EMT and firemen, along with lectures on forensics, etc. I imagine the "romantic suspense" part of my stories will start ramping up after that. ;)
A little lying and misdirection in the name of love is never wrong. Right?
Chad Miller once had the perfect life—a beautiful baby daughter, a loving wife, a promising career with the FBI. Within a year, he’d lost everything. Making Hauberk Protection a success salvaged his career, but he’s never managed to get over the one fateful decision that spelled the end of his marriage. And the death of his child.
For eight years, grief and guilt have haunted Lauren Miller’s climb up the ranks of the Light Brigade, a secret international hostage rescue team. Now she’s the target of a vengeful ex-Brigade operative who’ll stop at nothing to take her down. Even if it means taking out everyone she cares about. Including Chad. Getting him to accept her as his bodyguard? It’ll take some fast talking—and faster hands.
Trapped in a remote safe house with Lauren is the last place Chad ever wanted to be. He may finally have the chance to get some answers about why she ran, but with his hard-won defenses crumbling, he’s having trouble remembering the questions. In the heat of their rekindled passion, Lauren struggles to keep her professional focus…and keep the secrets that could break his heart all over again.
He hauled her to her feet, sliding one arm beneath her knee. He kissed her—there was nothing gentle about it. It was hard, demanding. The way she loved. His tongue thrust into her mouth, claiming every inch of her. He broke it off, moving instead to the side of her neck, finding the spot that had her sucking in her breath. She dropped her own mouth to the tender spot where his neck met his shoulder, nipping with her teeth, sucking, leaving her own mark on him, somewhere that would be hidden by his collar. Somewhere no one else would see, but she’d know it was there.
The smooth head of his cock slid between her folds. It brushed over her clit, and withdrew, teasing her until her toes curled against the floor and she couldn’t take it anymore. She slipped a hand between them and guided his cock to her entrance.
With a ferocity he’d never shown before, he thrust deep then stayed motionless until his body vibrated with the need to continue. “Do you want this?”
She tilted her hips, closing her eyes at the delicious friction of him filling her. She loved it when he let his aggressive side loose, commanding. Powerful. God, she’d missed this. Missed him. “I want you. I’ve only ever wanted you, Chad.”
His whole body stiffened, the only warning before he withdrew from her. “Bullshit. You divorced me, remember?”
With a cry, she reached out to catch him when he lifted his pants and refastened his fly. He snatched up her shirt and threw it at her. “You even changed your goddamned name back to Patrick as soon as the divorce went through.”
She straightened her shoulders. He deserved the truth. “I couldn’t stay with you—”
“You were very clear about that. You couldn’t be associated with me. What woman wants a man who is more concerned with his sister’s life than his wife’s career?”
Is that what he thought? Had she really given him that impression? No, more likely Thalia had. “That’s not why I left.”
“Maybe that wasn’t the final straw that drove you out, but it was a big part of it, wasn’t it? You never understood why I went against orders, did you?”
“I understood. I still don’t agree with your decision to send people in undercover, though I understood why you did it.” She deliberately didn’t name Sam. “But that’s not why I went to England.”
“It doesn’t matter anymore. Our marriage is over. You got what you wanted. You don’t get what you want this time.” He released her and opened the door between their rooms. He stopped on the threshold and spoke over his shoulder. “I’ll make sure you’re protected from this Harris asshole. But once he’s neutralized? I don’t want to see you again.”
Once the door closed behind him, Lauren walked up to it, pressed her forehead against the cool panel and whispered, “I’m not going let you walk away until you’ve listened to me. Until you believe I left you because I loved you. Not because I didn’t.”
Want to read more? You can here: http://leahbraemel.com/deliberate-deceptions/
Samhain | Amazon Kindle |Barnes and Noble
Leah's website: http://LeahBraemel.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leah-Braemel/95697551732