1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Jennifer Leeland and I’m a recovering book addict. Oh wait! That would imply I’ve given UP books. Um, no. I started writing for publication in 2005 NOT because I thought I could “do it better” but because I longed to tell stories that gave me the same escape that all those other authors had given me. Plus, I do whatever the little voices tell me…..
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Believe it or not, I love camping. I have two boys and a redneck husband who love the outdoors. We live in the most beautiful part of California (in my humble opinion) and it would be a shame not to enjoy it. Some of my best inspirations have come from those times I’ve spent out in the woods.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Well, first I have to call the board meeting in my head to order since all my characters like to argue with each other about who is more important. Then, I have to get them to agree on who’s next….wait…doesn’t everyone do that? No? *sigh* Just me then. My routine is pretty simple. I wake up at 4am when everyone is still sleeping and write the next scene. Sometimes, my characters give me trouble, but they usually get their way so it’s all good.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Well, there’s this fairy that visits once every three months? And she taps me with her wand and says “I bless you with this complicated angsty plot that you will begin in the wrong place and whine about for the next 60 days. Blessed be, you poor author.”
Right? No? Okay, okay. A lot of my ideas come from a million different things. “Wolf of Arundale Hall” began from one character’s voice who came to me while I was driving to work fuming about something that frustrated me. Well, the same sort of thing frustrated Elizabeth and she and I decided to write her story. (Yes, sometimes the process seems like insanity.). “Dark Past” came from (of all things) the movie “Back To Bataan” starring John Wayne. Bud had already given me a few scarce pieces about his past, but the movie made Julianna finally open up. After all, she understands the concept of pretending to collaborate with the enemy for a greater purpose.
Still, I wish there was an idea fairy and then I could pay tribute for my ideas instead of hoping for lightning to strike. LOL!
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Such a tough question to answer! At the moment, I think my favorite is “Marked For Surrender”. It was a Christmas book and explored the loneliness that can come during that time of year. Mistress Andia is very much alone and it’s that immediate sense of belonging that she feels with Zevon and Christophe that creates the whole plot of the story. Everyone wants to feel connected, but during the holidays, I think that need is even more intense. The dynamic between the three of them is so interesting that I still love that book.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I have frequent wardrobe malfunctions. I’m not sure why, but my clothes don’t like to cooperate with me. Not too long ago, I had a really bad one at work that could have had far reaching consequences. I am NOT a small woman in the boob department and just after my lunch hour, my bra gave up and died. Seriously, the strap exploded like a really bad firework display. I was stuck at my desk when it happened and just as I was about to escape to the bathroom with a handy dandy stapler, a local politician walked in to fill out paperwork, discuss his campaign and generally make contact. With one of my girls hanging listlessly, I had to help the poor man who was struggling to keep his gaze focused on my face and not my lopsided chest region. I’ve never been able to look him in the eye since.
Feel free to laugh. I did after he left.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
Many of my stories are set in the future so they’re not based on real life experiences. But when I write contemporary erotic romance, I try and “research” for the story. LOL! No really, I do try out a lot of the toys I discuss before I feature them. Much of the Dominant/submissive psychology is based on some of my own experience, but the details of Lifestyle practices come from interviews, information and research that I get from others.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
Any of the names I may call my muse might not be appropriate for your blog! LOL!
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
Well, let’s see. I write Contemporary BDSM romance, Paranormal Historical BDSM romance, Erotic Science Fiction romance….I can’t think of a genre I haven’t ventured into. I have this really great fantasy paranormal that I always wanted to work out, but so far it’s stayed pretty quiet. I have a ton of books to write in the genres I’m in already, so I think I’ll have to wait.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Joey W. Hill, Melissa Blue, Kate Pearce, Christine D’Abo, T. Sue Versteeg, Morgan Hawke, Sidney Bristol…shoot there’s so many I couldn’t name them all.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
I love Elizabeth Arundale from “Wolf of Arundale Hall”. She’s no push over and she’s more brave than she believes. I love how she handles Joshua. And he’s a handful alright. I adore Mark Conners from my upcoming release “Declaration To Submit” (working title). He is a Dominant and yet, I found him to be just the right amount of caring to melt my heart. He has a tougher time with Nell.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
I think I told you when I asked to do this interview that I’m promotional dysfunctional. LOL! For me, the writing, the editing, the waiting, that’s all part of the excitement of creating. Rejections and reviews add experience to my writing repertoire. Promotion is asking me to do something I have a tough time doing: Pimping my books. I’m not sure why that’s a challenge for me, but I struggle with it. In Real Life, I REALLY have a hard time talking about my books. One of my friends rolls her eyes at parties and says “Jennifer writes hot, steamy books, but she won’t tell you about them because apparently they’re a secret!” LOL!
I’m getting better after all these years, but it’s not my default to promote. That’s why these interviews are so fun!
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
There’s lots of trite sayings I could throw out there, but I think the most important thing I have to remember for me is just don’t quit. I love the saying “The only difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful writer is that one of them gave up.” There are a lot of obstacles in a writer’s way. The trick is to keep trying, keep writing, get to know other writers so that when discouragement happens (and it will) there are others who can lift you up.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Trying to eat through the straps of my straight jacket? LOL! No. I’d probably be doing all the things I do now, but with less satisfaction. I love to write.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
As much as I love camping (and I do) I think I’d love to go to a cabin with aaaaalll the amenities (room service, flush toilets, maid service, BDSM toys in the cupboards…..oh wait…nevermind….just a fantasy of mine). I would like to have unlimited cheesecake and whiskey. LOL!
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
“Dark Past” by Jennifer Leeland
Once, Julianna had hoped for a wonderful life married to the man genetically compatible and the love of her life. But betrayal, civil war and death intervened and she was forced to let the man she loved go to save the people on Teran Four. Ten years is a long time and now, she is the dictator’s lover and the Voice of Davida, a genetically enhanced tool of the reigning powers.
He’d escaped the brutal prison of Teran Four, but Bud Masterson is back to find family he’d thought was dead, murdered by the dictator who destroyed his life. It’a a trap and Bud finds himself at the mercy of the woman he’d once loved who betrayed him.
But nothing on Teran Four is what it seems and Julianna and Bud will discover that everything they know about their past and their future is an illusion. To save their people, and possible humanity itself, Julianna and Bud will have to find the truth that lies in their dark past.
She chewed on her lip, then took a deep breath. No sense in telling him anything other than the truth. “Davida wants a child. He’s forced me to see a different doctor, one I can’t pay off. This doctor will know the truth—that I’m on birth control.”
Bud’s lids drooped and his face was unreadable. “So?”
“So he’ll kill me, you fool. And I have to find out where the vials are. I haven’t been fucking that monster for three years to fail now because I’m squeamish about having his child.”
“And of course you’re sure my sperm will work.”
“We’re genetically compatible. I’m made to have—” Her voice broke. “To have your child.” She couldn’t cry. Not now. Even ten years later, the pain seemed fresh. Her baby. Her little child, deformed and dying the minute Davida wanted him dead. With Bud here, the pain she’d been so adept at hiding rose to the surface despite her best efforts.
Bud snorted. “You could choose a thousand other donors.”
She shook her head. “No. You’re the safest choice.” The only choice. If she was totally honest with herself, she knew she wanted Bud’s child, as if somehow it would heal the grief over the one she’d lost. Foolish.
“Why would I let you, of all people, have my child?” His voice was filled with contempt. “You never told me about our first child. Why would I let you have another shot?”
“I tried to tell you,” she protested. “But you—”
He didn’t let her finish. “Everyone has told me that you’re part of the rebellion. You’ve fooled them. But not me. I know what I know.”
“What do you know?” she snapped. “You blamed me without a trial, without evidence. You assumed that what they told you was the truth? I wanted to tell you about our baby. But you were so busy hating me, you never gave me the chance.” She twisted her lips. “Oh I’m sure you would have dragged me off Teran Four if you’d known I was pregnant. That’s all I’m good for, right? How are you any different than him?” It was the wrong thing to say. She realized it the minute the words left her mouth.
No one else might see that Bud had snapped, that he was immersed in rage, but she knew. The hard angles of his cheeks, the way his neck corded, revealed he was about to lose it. She actually made a bolt for the door and he grabbed her arm, slamming her back against the wall.
“Maybe I’m not, Julianna,” he said harshly.
She struggled, jamming her heel into his instep. “Let me go,” she said in a low tone.
“No.” He gripped her wrists with his hands and held them above her head and moved closer.
Emotion overwhelmed Julianna. For years she’d cherished the memory of their time together, yet there was part of her that wanted this rough treatment. She yearned to belong to him in her soul and he was going to shatter it—shatter her. “Please, Brad, I’m begging you.” The words tumbled free and involuntary tears squeezed out from her eyes.
“I’m not Brad anymore, Julianna.” He pressed against her. “I’m Bud Masterson, criminal, mercenary, sexual Dominant. I like it when you beg.”
“Please don’t destroy what I have left. All I have is the memory of what we had,” she whispered.
He laughed harshly. “Sweet love on fragrant roses? I don’t think so, my dear. I’ve had ten years to think about this moment and I’m going to enjoy it. My way.” He smiled, but it was a predatory grin, devoid of any emotion but lust. “Besides, you need my sperm. Maybe I’ll give it to you.”
She shook her head frantically, denying silently what he planned. Her heart tore into pieces. It shouldn’t be this way. Why had she come here? She knew he hated her and if he had the chance, he would tear her apart. Wasn’t it his right? It was her fault Davida had come after his family. If she’d been stronger, she wouldn’t have bowed to pressure and let Davida think she would be with him. But she’d been weak, terrified of opposing him, and Bud’s family had paid the price. Davida saw Bud and his family as a threat, but it was the dictator’s obsession with her that caused their destruction and the death of their child.
What difference did it make if Bud bruised her, hurt her in some travesty of what they’d once had? She deserved it. Every single pain, every strike.
And she couldn’t deny the arousal that swamped her at the thought. It was part of her now, this desire for pain with pleasure. That Bud had become the kind of man she longed for had to be fate. How much more potent would her release be if her heart and her body were in concert? He was the only man she had ever loved and now he was a Dominant who wanted to give her everything she needed.
Her lips trembled, but she opened her eyes and met his angry gaze. As she took a deep, shuddering breath, she relaxed and stopped struggling. “All right,” she said quietly.
His eyes darkened, a sign of his reaction to her capitulation. “I see some things haven’t changed. You’re still no fighter.”
She lashed out, her knee almost reaching her intended goal to incapacitate him, but he twisted away and she slammed into his hipbone. When she glared at him he only continued to watch her. “You don’t know me.”
There was a stillness to him that made her stop trying to get away. Finally, he leaned closer. “Maybe you’re right. I don’t. That won’t change my mind.” His nostrils flared. “I don’t hurt women unless they want me to, but you want me to, don’t you, Julianna? You’ll enjoy it when I make you pay.”
“I haven’t paid enough?” she asked harshly. “I watched our son die, not you. I stayed to fight, not you. You can’t fuck that away.” Now that she’d gone this far, she wasn’t going to back down. “But by all means, try. Try to obliterate it with your dick.”
His lips twisted in a parody of a smile. “You knew where I was. You could have found me, told me the truth. If it is the truth.”
She gritted her teeth. “You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass.” Everything in her wanted to walk away, stop this. But she couldn’t prevent her body’s reaction to his as he pressed her against the wall, his warmth seeping into her skin. After years of Davida’s harsh treatment, she longed for this, for something based in unadulterated lust.
“Maybe not,” he said, all trace of humor gone from his face. “But I know you’re aroused, that you want me.” His gaze shifted to her throat where her pulse pounded wildly. “Call it tit for tat,” he said casually. “You get your sperm and I get my revenge.”
Revenge. She closed her eyes and the hurt washed through her. Once, he’d loved her, touched her as if she was the most precious thing in the world. That was gone. Had she really thought this idea of being pregnant by him through? Was there some sick part of her that wanted an excuse, any excuse, to be here in his power? The shameful truth was she wanted him, would always want him.
When she opened her eyes and met his implacable stare, she took a deep breath. “I have no choice, do I?”
It could have been her imagination, but he seemed to wince, though the expression passed quickly, replaced by a stern, dark look. “You always have a choice. Go ahead and lie to yourself.” He shifted his hips and she had to bite her lip to silence a groan. He felt so good, so right.
“What do you want from me?” she whispered.
“What I always want from a woman. Submission.”
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