Special Guest Jessica Lauryn

Thanks so much for having me back, Jenn!  I’d like to share a bit about my latest
release, Dangerous Proposition, and talk about one of my favorite elements in
romance novels—danger.
A huge fan of Romantic Suspense, I love to test the
waters by adding lots of danger to my stories. 
Danger adds suspense by virtue of its very nature.  And what better way to bring a reluctant hero
and heroine together than by throwing them into a situation where both are
fearing for their lives?
Even more so than in my other titles, I really
wanted to play up the element of danger in Dangerous Proposition.  My initial goal was to create a story in
which the hero and heroine would end up held captive together in a room, believing
it would be their last night, and act on their burning attraction
accordingly.  Consequently, I had to
create a dangerous world for heroine Julia Dyson and hero Colin Westwood, one
in which there were many unanswered questions, deep hidden feelings, and an
attraction that is burning so hot, it’s literally about to go up in flames!
Dangerous Proposition opens with Julia and her best
friend Abigail walking into Julia’s father’s office.  Tucker Dyson has been abducted and the only
clue left behind is a man’s name in his caller history, Julia’s teenage crush
Colin Westwood.  Colin, who is extremely
attracted to Julia upon meeting her, says that he is her father’s superior in
the FBI and agrees to bring Julia to New York with him while he searches for
Tucker.  What Colin does not reveal is
the world of secrets he’s actually keeping. 
Let the danger begin!
Danger, when used best in Romantic Suspense, elicits
fear, which can spur a looming attraction between a hero and heroine.  As I’m writing this post, I’m reading Trust
Me by Brenda Novak.  In Novak’s story,
heroine Skye Kellerman is being terrorized by the man who tried to rape her
years ago.  Hero detective David Willis
is forced to let go of the burdens holding him back in order to come to Skye’s
aid.  A terrifying situation leads to the
two falling into each other’s arms and giving into their helpless attraction
for one another, something which occurs much more quickly given this added element
of suspense.  In fact it doesn’t just occur
quickly—the danger element can heat-up that first love scene, making it
downright scorching!

Even the smallest element of danger can cause a
reluctant hero to bring out his best side—his protective one.  A hero’s unconscious need to protect is
heightened exponentially when there’s danger, especially if the heroine he’s
attracted to is at the crux of it. 
Danger has the potential to take a shy, reluctant, arrogant or otherwise
oblivious man and turn him into what we all love—a hero!  What a powerful element indeed! 

Teaser Tuesday & GIVEAWAY!!

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with author Jessica Lauryn.
One lucky commentor will receive an ebook copy of one of her novels-WINNER’s CHOICE! 
Enjoy & Comment
In the course of one disastrous evening, diamond smuggling kingpin Colin Westwood learns that his best recruit is missing in action, and that the man has been keeping a secret for years—he has a twenty six year old daughter. Determined to protect his identity, Colin vows to find the young woman, and keep her silent at any cost. Intrigued to learn that she is actually the attractive woman he kissed, he makes Julia an offer. Come to New York City with him to search for her missing father…as his mistress.
When Julia Dyson learns her father has been abducted, she believes his hidden profession may be to blame.  But when she discovers a man’s name in her Dad’s caller history, a man suspected of shady business activity and also her teenage crush, she decides to take matters into her own hands.  She confronts her father’s presumed abductor, resulting in an unforgettable kiss, and his offer of a dangerous proposition indeed.
Though becoming Colin’s mistress could very well be her undoing, Julia must choose—give in to her desires, or protect her already-broken heart…

Excerpt:
Feeling as though he were on the brink of an explosion, Colin said, “Did that guy—I mean—Dylan Rossler didn’t…you and he didn’t—”
“Of course not!  Holy crap, Westwood.  What kind of girl do you think I am?”
“One who clearly has a death wish,” Colin muttered under his breath.
“Me?” Julia exclaimed.  “I went over there to save your ass.  Not the other way around.”
“Which you were obviously doing a phenomenal job with while you were locked inside that bedroom.”
Her chin squared.  “You may have been the one to kick the door down, but I would have gotten out of that room with or without your help.”
“If you really believe that Julia, then you really are naïve.  Do you realize what Dylan Rossler would have done if I hadn’t gotten there when I did?  Allow me to clue you in since you’re obviously not aware.  Because it’s the same thing every other red-blooded bastard at that party wanted to do to you!”
“You mean—” she bit her lip, “that he—”
“Was planning on having sex with you?  Of course, Julia, of course those guys thought you were sexy, of course Dylan Rossler wanted to have sex with you!  I’m not blind.  I can see what’s right in front of me.  Any man at that party who didn’t want you was either gay or in a drunken coma!”
Her blue eyes narrowed and Colin bit his tongue.  He hadn’t intended to say all that out loud.  Hadn’t intended to say any of it, in fact.  But he was glad it had happened because he was done holding back. 
There was something between him and Julia.  A need that ran deep, and had been building since that night in his bed.  Sometimes it seemed as if it had been longer, particularly at moments such as this when he wanted nothing more than to toss her onto the bed, rip off that damned cocktail dress she was wearing and sample every last inch of her skin. 
He’d wanted to keep his desires to himself, wanted to keep things simple between them.  The complications they were risking were great, and God knew he hated the idea that he was taking advantage of Julia when her father was missing.  But right now, he couldn’t seem to think about those things.  And after everything they’d been through tonight, he was no longer sure that holding back was going to be possible. 
“Does ‘every other red-blooded bastard’ include you?” Julia asked, blinking her blue eyes furiously.    
Colin took a staggered breath.  Narrowing his gaze, he approached her with two hastened steps.  “If you didn’t want me to behave like a red-blooded bastard, Julia,” he whispered, “then, you shouldn’t have worn this dress.”   
Her eyes opened wide and he swooped in, capturing her lips with his.  Tasting the sweetness of her mouth, his last bit of willpower escaped him.  He kissed Julia with everything he had been holding back, running his fingertips through her hair, drawing her against him as though he could somehow claim her as his own.
As he dipped his tongue into her mouth, Julia released a squeal; one he couldn’t quite tell was in protest, or desire.  Wanting to believe more than anything that it was the latter, Colin drew back.  He’d waited so long to have her; he needed to know that she was hungering for him as much as he was her.
“I’m going too fast,” he said, sounding much more out of breath than he had expected himself to.  “If you don’t want this, or if you’re not sure—”
“I’m sure,” she said, cutting him off with a smile that melted his insides.  “I want this too, Colin.  I have for a long time.”
“You mean since the night you snuck into my bed?”  Recalling with vivid clarity the way her warm silhouette had felt, becoming hard at the thought of it, he said, “Because I’ve never been able to stop thinking about that night.” 
Julia’s porcelain face grew crimson.  A sexy grin formed on her silken lips.  “Neither have I,” she said.  “But actually, that wasn’t the first time I saw you.”
 “It wasn’t?”  He raised a thoughtful brow.
“No,” she said, glittering eyelids turning downwards.  Taking a deep breath, she said, “When I was sixteen, I worked as a maid at the Westwood Inn.  When I was finishing up for the day, I used to come by the lobby.  I’d see you sign for your father’s money, and…I’d watch you.  Unable to take my eyes away.” 
Colin’s irises widened three sizes.  Desmond was right—Julia had once worked at one of his father’s hotels.  But the wildcard, the very intriguing wildcard was that she’d had a crush on him at the time.  A teenage crush she had apparently been carrying around a good portion of her life.  Though he knew there hadn’t been much about him that would have impressed a woman in his early twenties, the fact that Julia thought there was gave him an immense amount of satisfaction and pride. 
How such an attractive woman had been so closely in his vicinity and he hadn’t noticed her was beyond him.  If Julia had been half as beautiful as she was now, he would have remembered her for sure.
And then, it hit him.  The young woman who’d knocked the supply cart down the lobby staircase.  That was why he felt as if he’d seen her before.  Julia Dyson was certainly true to form, at least in terms of the bold incidents she seemed to be responsible for causing.  He remembered that day well, as he had spent most of the afternoon explaining to his father that he had witnessed the incident personally, that the wheel of the supply cart had locked, making the incident no one’s fault and the maid should not be fired.  
“Some of my finer moments, I’m sure,” he said, offering a debonair smile. 
Julia gave him a thorough once-over.  “Oh, I don’t know.  You looked pretty fine to me.”
Ignited by her suggestive words, Colin gleamed.  Taking Julia’s hands in his, he pressed a kiss to her knuckles.  He slipped an arm around her waist, drawing her close.  “And what do you think of me now, Julia?”
She hid her eyes.  Not about to let her get shy on him now, he slid his cheek against hers.  He planted a kiss against her delicate earlobe, tickling it with the tip of his tongue. 
Good God.  She tasted like vanilla and jasmine, and he found himself wanting to sample her as though she were a piece of candied pie.  Exploring her soft skin, Colin re-acquainted himself with her scent, the evidence of which had been the only reminder of her presence that had been left behind on his pillowcase.  
“I…I think you’re incredible,” Julia said, words coming on a breath.
Fire ignited within him.  For two agonizing months, he had wanted her.  Wanted to hold her, to feel her body against his.  He was going to undress and savor every inch of her perfect figure.  And then he was going to explore every last one of her secret treasures—the peaks of her breasts, the crevices of her thighs. 
Julia Dyson was the most infuriating woman he had ever known.  She was also the most beguiling.  Now that he knew she wanted him too, there was nothing keeping him from experiencing everything she had to offer.
“Then, let me know show you how incredible I can be.”  

LINKS:

Q&A Interview with Jessica Lauryn

Q&A Interview with author Jessica Lauryn

Enjoy & Comment!!

What is the worst
thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you
learn from it?
The worst thing I’ve written…hehe. For the sake of time,
let’s narrow this down to just one piece—the original version of Dangerous
Proposal. Originally titled “Loveless Moon,” and later “Moonlight Path,”
Dangerous Proposal was the first piece I wrote with the intention of getting
published. It was also the one that gave me the most grief.
In the original draft of DP, I opened with Lena making her
escape to North Conway, and being lured into
the woods by the witch we later come to know as Seraphina Madera. Doesn’t sound
so bad, considering this wound up becoming a great flashback later in the
story. But I was having a very, very difficult time figuring out what should be
the starting point. And I knew something was off when I started reading other
romance novels by published authors on a regular basis. (No, I wasn’t doing it
before then!) Once I started to read romance regularly, I got a much better
feel for the order in which events should be taking place.
Why did you start
writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I’ve always been writing in some form or another, ever since
I was a kid. As a child, I would use dolls to act out the stories I made up. They
“resided” in a fictitious place called “Dolltown,” similar to Genoa City
on the Young and the Restless. Only, my characters never had sex. At least not
then they didn’t…;)
Fast forward to college. With the opportunity to (finally!)
choose some electives, I enrolled in creative writing in drama, and poetry. I
didn’t get the chance to take a fiction course and I regret that to this day. But
with the little bit of a background I gained from these courses and the
knowledge I acquired with practice, I decided to join my peers in a critique
group after graduation. With the choice to be writing whatever I wanted, I
gravitated toward romance like a magnet and it wasn’t long after that I decided
I wanted to get published and wasn’t stopping until I got there.
Do you read other
author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or
something different?
I do as much reading as I can when I write, though writing
is always my first priority. As far as genre goes, I will read any type of
romance, not only the one I’m writing in. This way, I feel I have a chance to
soak in the best of all worlds, inspiring me to write the best book I can.  
What is the most
difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches,
editing..etc.
Prior to being published, queries were the most difficult
part for me. It all came down to a single piece of paper—a four paragraph
letter that was going to determine the fate of my entire 350 page manuscript. In
time, I learned that great writing shines through…even from the bottom of the
slush pile!
Nowadays, it’s editing that seems to have my head in a spin.
Particularly when I’m going at a piece I wrote years ago, where there is an
especially large amount of “telling” at play. It may seem easier to start the
entire piece over from scratch, going at it with a new pair of hands and eyes. But
easier isn’t always better. Remember that in moments of frustration—we all have
them, and they do eventually pass! 😉
Do you write in more
than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
As of yet, I’ve written only romantic suspense, but you’ll
notice that I have a tendency to let a taste of sub-genre slip between the
pages. My stories are not so much about occasional bloodshed as they about the
romance, and consequently I sometimes classify them as “contemporary romance”
versus “romantic suspense.” I don’t write historical, but I’ve been told my
stories have a historical feel as well.
As for me, speaking as both a reader and a writer, I don’t
really have a sub-genre preference, so long as the romance between hero and
heroine takes center stage, and the hero’s web of seduction heats up the pages
for hours to come 😉
Author Bio: At two years old, Jessica became a devoted fan of both
listening to and reciting the books her parents would read to her at night.
When she was a little older (about four), she sought a greater challenge in her
life, and began making up stories of her own, acting them out with her dolls.
“When the dolls got “boyfriends,” she says, “I knew I was getting too old for
dolls!”
As a romance novelist and a reader alike, Jessica is most
intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble
enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances
are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point
of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.
Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn,
domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the
combination frequently in her stories.
When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to as
much80’s music as possible, watching the same re-runs of Smallville over and
over, shopping for exceptionally unique cameos, and taking long walks in nature
where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central
New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain
National Forest in New Hampshire.
Find her online: 

Website: www.jessicalauryn.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/romancebyjessicalauryn Linked In:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jessica-lauryn/2a/9ba/761  Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JessicaLauryn_ Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081732.Jessica_Lauryn Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117124426880360830802#117124426880360830802/posts

Blurb from Dangerous Ally:

For five lonely years, diamond smuggling kingpin Lucas Ramone has hidden himself from the world. With a father who has baited him all his life, made a game of trying to trip him up at every turn, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to protect what is rightfully his. What he isn’t prepared for is Lilah Benson…

Upon accepting a job in the home of her sister’s maniacal ex-fiancé, reporter Lilah Benson believes she has finally found the perfect way to make her mark on the world. Exposing the criminal endeavors of Lucas Ramone won’t soon be forgotten. But as she comes to know the man who was supposed to be her adversary, Lilah is tempted by a passion far stronger than the desire to see her name in print…


Power and control are tools of survival, critical in a world of thievery and deception. Lilah, an innocent in a land of criminals, may be the one person capable of bringing Lucas to his knees. But Lucas will stop at nothing to keep his empire secure.


He will have it all: His Fortune, His Legacy, and Lilah Benson in his bed…