What a way to end the year, and what a past few weeks it's been. Sorry I've been absent and have fallen behind on Man Candy Monday, but along with the holidays came the distinct and very terrifying lice outbreak in my house. *shudders* Got to love daycare and public schools where children can bring how anything. I've already promised my kid's two things this year -- baths in Purell, and heads being shaved.
So now that that's out of the way, I'd like to welcome a very dear friend who I met online through Pamela Clare's facebook group, I-Team, which is a romantic suspense series that is top-notch and driven by action and a close-not investigation team made primarily up of women. When the very sexy men enter the picture and danger calls ... the story only gets better.
Well through that group, Jenn LeBlanc is constant person who drives laughs from us, keeps us updated with the dealings going on in her and Pamela's lives, and someone many look up to -- myself included. I had a chance to sit down and talk with her recently, take a look below at what advice she gives, how she has been able to achieve success, and what else she reveals.
D.C: Tell us a little about your current release.
Jenn: The Rake and The Recluse is a six part, illustrated serial novel.
D.C: What inspired this story?
Jenn: It was inspired by a dream, a saw a woman running, through a forest, and had to know why. She was terrified, slipped and fell. Scrambled her way up and continued. She wore a Victorian gown, and the first line of the book echoed in my head when I woke up. She ran as if the devil himself were on her.
D.C: What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
Jenn: I have a couple released scheduled for this year. I’m currently working on another Victorian historical, the heroine has Aspergers, with a side of OCD. She’s interesting. The hero, Ender, has his own dark history. It’s been a difficult story to write, but I’m looking forward to it.
D.C: What are your writing goals for this year?
Jenn: I’m a pantser. My goal is simply to write :)
D.C. LOL, a pantser? Should I even ask? How do you come up with ideas?
Jenn: I have no idea!! I see something, or dream something or something as simple as the way someone moves will inspire me.
D.C: I do the same thing. Often a simple idea can draw an entire novel from me. Tell us, Jenn, can you share with us “the call” story?
Jenn: Haha, well, I did receive the call, but then turned down the offer. Which made me incessantly ill for awhile. It just wasn’t the right move for this book. So it is self published and doing extremely well. I made the right decision with this one. We’ll see about the next.
D.C: I can understand all too well about making the right choice. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Jenn: The quiet and the excitement. It’s very solitary work until you are celebrating and then the whole world is a friend.
D.C: Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or...?
Jenn: One word at a time. I research as I move along depending on where the story takes me.
D.C: I must admit I'm a bit anal about my research, and sometimes the walls of my office are covered in papers. What is the best thing about being an author?
Jenn: The readers.
D.C: Very true, that's the point for most of us, I believe. What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
Jenn: I wouldn’t change a thing. Not knowing the industry and perhaps being a bit naîve about the way publishing works ended up being in my favor because I stormed the market on my own, in ways nobody else had thought of. I came from a completely different perspective, now I’m a bit jaded by the industry knowledge I have acquired.
D.C: Ugh, I understand all too well about being naive as a new author in this huge industry. All I wanted to do was write, and then I learned the entire process and for a few months there, was honestly overwhelmed. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
Jenn: Roxleigh is my first hero and will always have a special place in my heart, but Perry really steals the show. I adore him.
D.C: What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
Jenn: Oh goodness. I believe the scene that means the most to me starts with the words “I concede.” It is a turning point in Perry’s life, and a very poignant scene. I am still impressed that I wrote it.
D.C: Where is your favorite place in the world?
Jenn: I absolutely love the Pacific Coast Highway and The Gulf Coast Highway. I love to return and drive them, shoot them, enjoy the beach, the water and the company. Whomever it might be.
D.C: Sounds beautiful! Mind telling us what you are reading right now?
Jenn: I just finished A GENTLEMAN UNDONE by Cecilia Grant and started DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison. She’s a good friend of mine and while I don’t usually read paranormal I’m truly enjoying this one!!
D.C: I read Gentleman Undone, too and loved it! Do you have any good news you’d like to share?
Jenn: I’m currently working on getting THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE in audio format. Possibly with the heroes voiced by the man who plays them in the book, Derek Hutchins.
D.C: Congrats! Okay, last question before we ask for that great except. Tell us a few of your favorite things...
Jenn: These are few of my favorite things:
1. light and form
Please continue reading for a short excerpt from Jenn's release:
Her heart stopped as the words drifted across her shoulder, and she turned slowly toward him, her side coming to rest against his solid chest. He should have moved to give her room. It would have been the proper thing to do. He didn’t. He did what a rake would do: he crowded her infinitely more by flexing the muscles that caged her to the window. “You...what?”
“I concede, I yield, I will do as you wish.” His voice was so low she felt it in the breath that sang across her ear, through the vibration of the words where she was drawn up against him.
She felt his breath quicken then, the tempo with which his chest expanded and released picking up. She glanced around the berth, as if there would be witnesses to this. As if he were not so experienced that he knew the precise location of each of his men without looking, not to mention every other passenger, porter, conductor, and engineer. Rather quickly, she realized the reason she could feel his breath come and go so easily was because hers was completely still. She huffed it out, then tried to convince her lungs to take in more air—she needed it desperately. She heard the choking sound come from her throat as she watched his eyes widen, and his lips parted when she finally took a breath. She could not take her eyes from them.
“Unless?” She felt as though she might simply faint.
“Unless you have changed your mind?”
He sounded almost hopeful, but a line marred his perfect expression just between his brows. She fought her nerves, which at the moment were clearly working against her. Say something, anything. Nod, smile, acquiesce. Somehow. Move! Her head jerked.
“You have, then? Changed your mind, I mean?”
“No!” Thank goodness for that sound. “No, I have not. I haven’t changed my mind. Thank you.”
His lips caught up in a slow grin. They were silent. She turned to the window, quick jerky movements that were forced from her by will. The sway of the train on the tracks and the sound of the distant engine were all that filled the empty space.
“When?” she asked. There was almost no sound and she cleared her throat. But didn’t turn to look at him.
She felt the shift in his muscles, his breath hotter and impossibly closer, his mouth descending to her neck. She melted then and he caught her, but her muscles stiffened, fought his capture. He released her to the seat then followed her down.
“I’m sorry, I— I don’t appear to have complete control at the moment.”
He knew he had to progress slowly. To make sure she wouldn’t become frightened. After all, it was only the simple things that had set her off thus far. This—any part of this—could terrify her and send her into a panic. He reined in his fervor and kissed along her jaw, but she jerked away, so he slowly moved his hand around her back to steady her. Her entire body tensed at the pressure, and when his other hand went to her knee she kicked him—solidly.
“I’m sorry,” she said, a blush spreading from the top of her forehead down her face like a closing curtain.
He set her away from him and stood, looking down at her. This wasn’t going to work. He paced the length of the berth, trying to think of a way that she would be able to accept his kisses without fear. When he reached the door, he swiftly locked it then turned.
Every time he touched her, she shook or shuddered, jerked away or lashed out. He could not take her if she feared him. He would not be able to bring himself to that. He stopped in front of her. “Stand.”
“Undress me,” he said quietly.
She looked up at him with a confused expression, and he closed his eyes against the pain and fear he saw in her eyes. He shook his head and looked down at her, taking her hand gently where it grasped her traveling cloak and bringing it to the buttons of his waistcoat.
“If this is what you want…undress me,” he said. He left her hand there and dropped his, watching, waiting. She tightened her fingers on the top button and twisted slowly, the button popping free.
About Jenn LeBlanc: Colorado. Canon. Curls. CJs. Chuck Norris.Born and raised in a household of other people’s children in this beautiful state —very nearly with a camera in hand— she never left. She started her own family, got used to the curls, went to college, built a CJ, started a business, and totally beat the daylights out of Chuck Norris, all with a camera in hand.
Spending her days in parenting chat rooms she got highly adept with one-handed typing and she can still type just about as fast with one hand as she can with two. It’s a great talent to have when engrossed in a scene and in need of a hit of caffeine. Once she finished her first novel she quickly realized: She was born a photographer.
From the realization that someone ELSE would be shooting the cover of HER book her control-freak took over. What started as an easy cover shoot ballooned into this completely new kind of media, designed specifically for digital book readers.
She lives and thrives off chaos and the constant flow of the creative process. She wears shorts and flip-flops year-round —much to the chagrin of her friends and family— and she is currently working on the illustrations for her second novel. Her first serial novel THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is doing its own Chuck Norris impersonation with the time travel charts on Amazon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook sharing eye candy (NSFW) and being a total rock star.
Author Site: http://jennleblanc.com
Illustrated Romance: http://illustratedromance.com