Friday, December 05, 2008

The Secret She Keeps - Jennifer Leeland

Please welcome my special guest today, Jennifer Leeland, who writes for the Scarlet line at The Wild Rose Press. Jennifer's most recent Scarlet release is The Secret She Keeps

Over to you, Jennifer!

Can you tell us a little about your book ?

"The Secrets She Keeps" is the second book in a series set in a small town on the California coast that began with "The Mask She Wears". I actually wrote most of it before "Mask" and the heroine, Tessa, was very clear in my mind. Zac was a little more difficult. Here's the blurb:

Tessa Aden has it all...a great job, good friends, and a fantastic boyfriend. She just has one problem, she's never had an orgasm during sex. When Zac misinterprets an Instant Message from a friend as a complaint about his technique in the bedroom, she'd rather let him walk away than admit her dark desires.

Fearing she wouldn't understand his dominant nature, Zac Shandler gave up the BDSM lifestyle to be a part of Tessa's vanilla life. Yet he seems to be losing her anyway. Will Zac put his heart on the line to claim Tessa's love and finally force her to reveal the secret she keeps?

How did the idea for the plot come about?

I was discussing a topic on my favorite forum, Romance Divas, about orgasms. If you get enough women together honestly talking about this subject, it's amazing what information is revealed. Several woman admitted to never having an orgasm. Then, Tessa spoke up and said, "So what? Neither have I." and the story went from there. One of the things about Tessa is she didn't talk about sex at all, which I think is more common than we think. Even in this day and age where sex is bandied about like cereal commercials, honest discussion about intimacy is completely lost. Tessa has to learn this lesson and Zac helps her open up.

I love sale stories (ok I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?

The Wild Rose Press was my first actual contract. When they first opened their doors, they had a contest and I entered. "Garden of Sin" was my first contract. I remember I called Crystal Jordan with shaking hands and had to read the thing over the phone. I didn't even know what was normal in a contract! But there was nothing to worry about and I signed it. After that things went pretty fast. I contracted two more erotic short stories and wrote like a fiend. Diana Carlile, my editor at The Scarlet Rose line is awesome and helped me every step of the way.

We are all about the love here, so please share your fave books, movies, TV shows or current fantasy squeeze (it's all in the line of research!)

Mmmm. I have so many. When I'm completely uninspired romantically, I watch "Pride and Prejudice" with Colin Firth. It always gives me that wonderful feeling. When I was writing "The Mask She Wears" and "The Secrets She Keeps", it was music that kept that mood going and I gathered a soundtrack that included Streams Of Passion, After Forever, Evanescence and Garbage. To recharge, I really like to read Joey W. Hill, a fabulous erotic author.

What are you working on now?

I have another series with a different publisher and I'm writing the third in that series. I've started the book that comes after "The Secret She Keeps" which is David Peters' story (finally). The next one may come as a surprise. I also have another pen name, Jennifer McKenzie, who has a series set in Alaska and I'm writing the third in THAT series. I try and keep pretty busy with the writing and the ideas come fast and furious.

How can readers keep up with your writing and books?

The best place is my blog "The Redneck Romance Writer" and my website


Anonymous said...

Great interview Christina & Jen!

I remember some of those "O" threads on RomanceDivas. What a sexy twist you've taken on it. It's great to have a peek into a writer's process from brainstorming to completion. Now to read the book and complete the journey. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview, ladies!

We do have the best conversations on Romance Divas...lots of sparks for the imagination.

Nina Pierce said...

I love this book. Jen's books (in both her personnas) are sexy reads. Her writing output is amazing. (I am not green! Na unh ... okay maybe a little envious ... but green? LOL!)

Anonymous said...

Romance Divas has been one of the BEST places for me. I couldn't make it without Divas.
And Nina, thank you hon. (High praise from the NEW EC author!!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for interviewing me Christina. Your questions made me think about where the ideas came from for this book.

Crystal Jordan said...

Women talking about orgasms is always a dangerous thing, isn't it? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I don't know Crystal. I enjoy it!!!
*big grin*

Catherine Bybee said...

Nice interview ladies. Best of luck on all your books Jen.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,
I read The Secret She Keeps just last week. I really enjoyed it. Very hot. :) I had no idea it was part of a series. I'll have to go look for the other one. And I'm glad to hear David will be getting a story--I was very curious about him.

Congrats on your success!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Catherine! I do love this story.
And Rebecca, I'm so glad you liked the book. David's story is in with my editor and will hopefully be out next spring.

Cari Quinn said...

Fabulous interview, Christina and Jennifer! The Secret She Keeps definitely sounds like a story I need to check out! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cari!!!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Jen!

I remember that conversation at Divas. Very enlightening it was. ;)
I'm going to have to check out your book with a story like that behind it.

Sara Hantz said...

Fab interview. Congrats both of you!

Christina Phillips said...

Jennifer, you're very welcome! and I think I'm missing out on something here... how do I join Romance Divas? LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

I commented the other day, but apparently it is not there. I loved The Secret she Keeps, it was fantastic. :)