Today we are interviewing Paranormal Romance Writer Jessica Lauryn. She is giving away an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL.
Alexis: Hi Jessica, thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. Can you start by telling us why you decided to write romance?
Jessica: Hi Alexis! I’m so excited to be here today. I’ve always loved romance, ever since I was a little girl. My mother was partially to blame—she got me hooked on Days of Our Lives when I was six years old. I loved watching romances, and also loved the action and thrills that went along with it. Of course, it wasn’t until I was much older when I finally decided to put pen to paper. But there was always a love of romance, as well as a big imagination, hard at work within me.
Alexis: I can relate to that :-) What is your latest release, DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, about?
Jessica: DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, which is the second edition to The Pinnacles of Power series, takes place a few years prior to my debut release, DANGEROUS ALLY. Though the stories can be read separately, and still make sense, readers of DANGEROUS ALLY will be excited to know that in DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, heroine Lilah Benson’s older sister Lena takes center stage. As we know from DA, Lena Benson was once engaged to Lucas Ramone, (one-time-psychopath and reformed hero in DA.) In DP, we learn why Lena ran from Lucas, only to wind up in the arms of small town doctor and dark-haired devil Alec Westwood.
Because, of course, there is a bit more to it than that, here is a quick blurb about the story:
For ten agonizing years, Alec Westwood has been keeping a secret from the world. At nineteen, he nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assigned task with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the underground organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined…
On the run from her psychotic fiancé, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life, even if that means befriending a witch, and practicing the craft of the devil. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood, the man she believes her fiancé hired to track her down, and the handsome stranger she kissed in a tavern, Lena vows to take matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots this time, even if that means resisting the man responsible for giving her the most intimate kiss of her life, a man who’s eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense…
Alexis: Oh, this sounds fascinating. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Jessica: Though a great deal of this story came straight out of my head, there was also a large part that was lightly based off of reality. Like Lena’s, my own family has been vacationing to New Hampshire for years. I love the environment—the rivers, the lakes, the mountains—and I have often dreamed of running away to my home away from home, just as my heroine does. I also worked briefly at a day care center, and I was inspired by both the experiences I had there and the people I met.
Alexis: Ah, New Hampshire is my old stomping grounds. There is a lot of fodder for stories in that beautiful state. What are your favorite character traits of Lena and Alec?
Jessica: Alec is such a clown! I’m really not entirely sure of where he came from, as I have never met anyone quite like him. But I have read DANGEROUS PROPOSAL about a hundred thousand times, and Alec’s constant feuding with his older brother Colin still makes me laugh. As a hero, Alec encompasses just the right mix of sarcasm and charm. Let’s just say I get what Lena sees in the guy ;)
And Lena…I’d have to say my favorite characteristic about her is her unshakeable class. On the run from a mad-man, she’s dressed to the nines in a skirt and fancy blouse, and as Alec reminds the audience many times, she is never without one. Her refusal to exhibit anything but 100% grace is challenged continuously by Alec’s cocky persona. Put ‘em together, and you’ve got fireworks!
Alexis: I can see the bursts in the sky already :-) Now, this book is a part of The Pinnacles of Power series. Can you tell us a bit about how all the books will fit together and how many you foresee completing?
Jessica: Originally, the Pinnacles of Power Series was going to consist of one book: DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, then titled Moonlight Path. One particularly inspiring afternoon on the treadmill, I realized there were many great characters in this story, several of which were deserving of their own story.
My plan is to make The Pinnacles of Power a five book Series. Each of the stories will stand on its own, as well as play a part in the saga of Project Gemstone, the diamond smuggling operation that the majority of my heroes become obsessed with being a part of.
Book 1 (still to be released) is set in North Conway, New Hampshire, and it will introduce Project Gemstone for the first time. The book is set a few years prior to DANGEROUS PROPOSAL. Ryan Newberry (best friend of Alec Westwood) takes center stage as hero, and Abigail (best friend of Julia Dyson) is his heroine.
Book 2, DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, (currently available), follows.
Book 3 (still to be released) will explore the secret life of Alec Westwood’s vainglorious but devastatingly handsome older brother Colin. In this action-packed story, Colin’s role as chief executive officer of Project Gemstone causes a valuable employee to go missing. But little does Colin know that his employee’s daughter is none other than Julia Dyson, one of the nosiest and most infuriating women in town. And when Julia starts sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, trouble is sure to follow.
Book 4, DANGEROUS ALLY, (currently available), follows.
Book 5, (still to be released), which may or may not fall into the category Paranormal Romance, reintroduces two old friends, whose feelings for one another never died. Jack Madera (half brother of Lucas Ramone and antagonist in DANGEROUS PROPOSAL) goes off in search of his long lost father, only to come face to face with the girl who got away, one time-coworker Corrine Johnson. This book will conclude The Pinnacles of Power Series, as well as the saga of Project Gemstone.
Alexis: Wow, you have quite a series there. So what can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
Jessica: Since I think writing in order is so overrated…(Just kidding—I simply write where the muse takes me!), I am currently hard at work on the third edition to the Pinnacles of Power Series, Book 3, which I hope to call Dangerous Proposition. As I mentioned earlier, Colin Westwood (operating solely as CEO of Project Gemstone in light of former partner Lucas Ramone’s death), learns that his right arm, Tucker Dyson, has gone missing. Julia, Tucker’s daughter, who doesn’t know whether her father is alive or dead, goes off in search of the man responsible, only to find herself tumbling into the bed of Colin Westwood himself!
Alexis: All of these books sound very entertaining. I wish you a lot of luck with the series. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.
Jessica: Thank you, Alexis! The pleasure is all mine!!
Alexis: For a chance to win an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, be sure to leave a comment for Jessica. If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS (under the Blog Hop)
For more information on Jessica's books, go to http://www.jessicalauryn.com/
Alexis: Check out this excerpt from DANGEROUS PROPOSAL.
She ought to go. She certainly wanted to. But the idea of walking alone in the woods with the man she’d been warned to stay away from seemed most unimaginable.
Lena looked at Alec. He was smiling softly, no longer criticizing. His eyes were full of intent. They suggested one thing. Come with me. And your desires will be fulfilled.
Anticipation consumed her. She reached for his hand. Excitement melted into warmth. Warmth became security. They began to walk together along the moonlit path.
She felt…safe. As if for the first time since she’d left Westchester, everything was going to be all right. No one could hurt her. Not when she was with Alec. Her skin tingled with warmth as he brushed his thumb across the surface of her hand.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“I thought we were taking risks tonight,” he said with a grin. “You want to be surprised, don’t you?”
Her cheeks were flushing. She was grateful for the darkness that masked her anxious demeanor.
He smiled. “Don’t worry. I think you’re going to like this.”
She imagined she would, considering how much she had enjoyed everything he’d done so far. A part of her was still afraid, but a larger part wanted very much to know where he was taking her. Alec stroked her knuckles as they walked. The feeling was intoxicating, like sweet, dark chocolate. The longer he did it, the more it seemed this simple touch was no longer enough.
She was drawn from her thoughts as Alec stopped beside a bench. He took a red-and-blue-checkered picnic blanket and slung it over his shoulder.
“Is that yours?”
He shrugged. “I just thought you might want something to sit on. Some of us tend to”—he cleared his throat—“dress up a little more than others.”
Lena laughed. With his hand around hers, she was almost appreciating his wit. “I guess some of us do.”
He leaned in, his warm breath coming against her ear. “I didn’t say I didn’t like it.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “It’s just past those trees. No peeking. I want you to be surprised.
“I promise I won’t peek.” She smiled and shut her eyes. A shiver shot up her spine when she realized he was kissing her cheek.
Lena took an uneasy breath as she walked forward, unable to see what was in front of her. Keeping her arms at her sides, Alec moved her in slow steps. She was taking quite a risk, allowing him to lead her along like this. He could do anything he wanted to her with her eyes closed like this. Oddly enough, the idea was more exciting than it was frightening.
Guiding her by the shoulders, he walked forward a few more paces. Then he stopped. “All right,” he said. “Open your eyes.
Lena did as she was told, looking out at the biggest, most beautiful lake she’d ever seen. It was vast in size, extending out as far as the trees that surrounded it. Moonlight shined against an uneven surface. Dark ripples glittered beneath a starlit sky.
She turned, looking up into two eyes as blue as the water. “It’s beautiful, Dr. Westwood.”
“Say my name, Lena,” he commanded softly. “I love the way it sounds when you say it.
Lena bit her lip. Once she did this, there was no going back. It would break the unspoken barrier between them. But how could she deny him anything when he was looking at her the way he was?
She suddenly became aware of Alec’s arousal pressing against her back. Her pulse quickened. He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, tightening his hold on her.
She took a deep breath. “The lake is beautiful, Alec.”
Alexis: Don't forget, for a chance to win an e-copy of DANGEROUS PROPOSAL, leave a comment for Jessica.