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Monday, October 13, 2014

Romantic Inspiration with Jessica Lauryn...

Thanks very much for having me, Jennifer!  I’ve been writing romance for about 9 years now, and I believe that my desire to do so stems not only from a love of writing, but also in a major way from a love of romance.  In a world of fast food and reality TV shows, we come to believe that all things should come to us quickly, even instantly.  Though, whether we should or should not feel this way, romance, in my humble opinion, is one thing that should never be rushed.  Two people meeting for the first time may be instantly attracted to one another, but it takes time to get to know one another, develop feelings, and ultimately fall in love.  That is why I’m so grateful for the stories I read in romance novels.  In the world of fiction, heroes and heroines meet under a multitude of unique circumstances, and we get to see their stories unfold naturally—the first conversation, the first touch, the first kiss.  These stories are so inspiring, and they are bursting with inspiration, inspiration which has been felt by an author and channeled to inspire a great romantic story.
    Romantic inspiration can come from anywhere.  That sounds a bit vague, but for the sake of argument I will say that there are two  types of places from which romantic inspiration can be drawn—real life, and fictitious.  Fiction is anything which is derived from an author’s imagination—novels, fictional television, movies.  Real life is anything pertaining to real people and actual events.  Truth be told, I seem to find more romantic inspiration from fiction that I do real-life these days.  But perhaps if enough of us read romantic fiction and take its message to heart, things will begin to turn around for the better.  We could all use a little more romance in our lives.  Romance novels can certainly inspire that.
A few years back, I attended a New Jersey Romance Writer’s Put Your Heart In A Book Conference for which Sharon Sala was the keynote speaker.  I don’t remember every word of what Ms. Sala said, but what I do remember was feeling a surge of romantic inspiration during her speech.  “It’s up to us who are called to write romance,” Sala said, “to bring that gift to the table and share it with the rest of the world, and do it we will!”  These were not Ms. Sala’s exact words, but this is the message which I took away from her speech, a message which gives me strength as a romance-writer and fuels my inspiration as I set out to deliver stories of what I consider to be the greatest genre of all—romance!
As much as I love books (and love them I do!!!) I also find I get a great deal of romantic inspiration from TV and movies.  Though I love to use my imagination as I’m reading and writing to envision a set of characters and settings, I also love watching actors play out stories.  We all recognize romance when we see it in movies, like in Titanic, when Rose meets Jack at the head of the ship and they kiss for the first time, or in The Notebook, when Allie and Noah are out on the lake in Noah’s boat, it starts to rain and the two begin to laugh uncontrollably.  Allie rekindles her sense of freedom and passion in this moment, and she and Noah realize that their love has never died.  It’s seeing moments like this that give me a pick-me-up when I’m feeling down because I’m in need of some romantic inspiration.  They remind me that romance does exist, that it’s in fact one of the greatest phenomenon in the world—the world that never sleeps, and wants everything that it can have instantly—even love.

Love is not instant.  And thank goodness for that because if it was, our romance novels would end on page 4!  Just as stories unweave in real life so do they in fiction, with that initial look, first meeting, the first time a hero and heroine make love, moment they believe all is lost, and finally the happily ever after, with a lot of conflict, friction, and passion thrown in between.   Love is a rich and complex process which tells a story in and of itself, because it must!  I’m personally grateful that there are bounds of romantic fictional available, and in a day and age where the publishing industry is evolving, there is more of it available than ever.  Romantic inspiration has the power to spill from our books into our lives, and vice versa.  I plan to soak up as much of it as I can!  
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Dangerous Secret Blurb:

Abigail MacKenzie has been trying to put her father’s tragic death behind her.  Set on becoming a teacher, Abigail wants nothing more than to forge a new, happy life.  But when a handsome stranger produces a random clue about her father’s shooting, hopes of finding her father’s killer come flooding back to the surface.  Abigail is determined to get justice for her Dad, even if it means learning the dangerous secret of a man with a will of steel and eyes that cut straight through the wall around her heart.
After making a reckless mistake and a mysterious discovery that cost him his job, medical student Ryan Newberry is happy to accept any position he can get.  But when he realizes that one of the employees who’ll be working under him at the Washington Valley Hotel is Abigail MacKenzie, the sweet, pretty girl he met weeks before, he fears the past might be in danger of repeating itself.  As one discovery leads to another, Ryan quickly realizes that he is sitting on a network of criminal activity.  In spite of the risks, he must keep Abigail safe from the surrounding threats.  He only hopes that his desires for his new front desk associate won’t lead both of them down a path of danger from which he won’t be able to protect them.

Dangerous Secret Excerpt:

Abigail’s heart pounded as she stared at the metal object lying in the middle of the blanket. As many suspicions as she had about Ryan, she’d never really believed he was the killer. Aside from the fact that it would devastate her, it didn’t make sense for him to have murdered anyone. Her father’s shooter had left him for dead. Ryan had lost his mind because he’d thought she’d broken her arm.
She looked into Ryan’s eyes—eyes that were looking directly at hers. As bad as his having a gun looked, as bad as everything she’d surmised about him seemed, something inside her was telling her to believe in his innocence. She was sure she ought to be committed for even thinking that way. But she just couldn’t believe that this guy she’d come to know and even care about could be a killer.
Could she?
“Shouldn’t you be calling the cops?” Ryan asked.
“I—”Abigail hesitated. Hardly believing her own naiveté, because she was certain that she was being very naïve, she said, “I’m not calling the cops. I don’t know why, but I believe you. At least, I can’t be sure enough that you did anything criminal without more definitive proof.”
The warmth in his eyes shot straight to her aching core. “Thank you.”
Abigail smiled briefly. As though it were someone else saying the words, she went on, “I like you, Ryan. I’m sure you know that I do, but”—emotion spilled into her voice—“I can’t do this anymore. It’s dangerous, and…” She took a centering breath. “Just because I might believe in you, doesn’t mean that you believe in me. So once I walk out that door, I don’t think that we should be alone like this again.”
Ryan nodded. Walking toward her, he wrapped his arms tenaciously around her body. His warm mouth coming against her ear, he said, “That doesn’t mean we can’t be together tonight.”
A sensation of candescence spread through Abigail’s body. After months of fighting, she was sure Ryan had been doing everything he could to push her away. But here he was, standing beside her in a dark room, making her weak with the very sound of his words. A man she’d just discovered with a loaded gun—she was about to trust him with everything she had.
She trembled as Ryan inched closer. He took her hands and laid them against the center of his chest, just where they’d been before they pulled apart. She didn’t know what he intended, only knew that she wanted whatever it was like a desire she didn’t dared to dream.
Weary of the look in his eye, which indicated he wanted more than just to hold her, she said, “I don’t know, Ryan. After everything that’s happened, all the doubts and suspicion I’ve been carrying, and now this.” Looking from the gun on the bed to his twinkling blue gaze, she said, “I’m just not sure.”
He tightened his grip on her hands. “I know you’re not sure if you can trust me. I’ve never given you any reason to trust me. But if you knew how much I want you, how much I’ve wanted you since the beginning, Abigail…” He shook his head. “One night. That’s all I’m asking for. Just give me this one night. And I’ll make all of your dreams come true.”
Warmth shimmied over Abigail’s skin like melted butter. He was serious, and the look in his eyes confirmed that he meant what he was saying. Until just five minutes ago, she’d thought Ryan Newberry couldn’t stand her, that his only agenda where she was concerned was keeping her out of his hair. But the way he was looking at her, passion burning like wildfire in his eyes, all common sense seemed to escape her.
She perched on her toes as Ryan leaned in. Her eyes fell closed as his warms lips surrounded hers.

Author Bio:

On a train ride to her internship in the fashion industry, Jessica cracked open her first romance novel. That hot August morning, she fell head-over-heels for the genre, and has been writing it ever since.
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 much 80’s music as possible, keeping current with the storylines on Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, shopping for the latest fashions and the prettiest of antiques, 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.

Author Links:


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Thank you for joining us today, Jessica. This series has been amazing so far and I'm looking forward to this one. 

Happy Sales!

Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

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