What's your favorite of all the books you've written?
LOL—I can’t believe you as a writer asked that question, Leah! It’s like asking a mother to proclaim her favorite child in public. Well, for political purposes, I’ll say my upcoming release, Sweet Restraint. It’s got all the elements I love in erotic romance: raw, turbulent emotion, suspense, unapologetic sexuality and tension so thick between the hero and heroine you could slice it up and taste it.
Leah scuffs her toe in the carpet and blushes as she mumbles, "I have favorites."
Did one book give you more trouble than the others?
Hmmm…I did struggle with Sweet Restraint’s hero Shane. His decision to essentially take the woman he loves captive and to force her to give the responsibility of the truth over to him is a pretty controversial one. He fights with his actions internally, but as an expert on human behavior (he’s an FBI agent that has been trained in psychology and criminology), he senses that danger is looming over Laura. He was forced to give up on her in the past, and he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he did it again. So he sacrifices everything in order to break through Laura’s defenses, and the bedroom becomes the arena for that. So yeah, it was a challenge to create a hero that doesn’t come off as a complete jerk, to show that he’s being hard, but out of a source of great love.
In your bio, you say that you often get your best ideas while stuck in traffic playing loud music? What's playing?
Audioslave and Soundgarden are favorites. So are Radio Head and Pearl Jam. I also like older stuff—R&B, hard rock, pop. I’ve got a HUGE music library on my I-pod.
What's the best piece of advice you received about writing before you were published?
Probably to expect rejection. It’s part of the weave of the fabric of publishing. You have to think of it as notches on your bed post. Lol. The more rejections you get, the more acceptances you get. You just have to keep writing—both in the face of rejection and success.
Because you write steamy erotic romance, do you ever have readers ask if you do "that stuff"? You know, I don’t think anyone has ever been so bold as to ask me that to my face. My husband and I have an exceptionally good relationship all around. I think most people who know me wouldn’t be shocked if I had done some of ‘that stuff.’ Not that I’m saying I have--I’m neither confirming or denying.
Leah giggles and whispers, "I have been asked. Several times. But I'm not telling."
If you could go back to when you were just getting out of high school to give yourself one piece of advice, what would tell yourself?
I would tell myself to stand tall. All young people are beautiful, they just don’t know it. That’s the sad thing about it. I feel such nostalgia when I see someone in their late teens or early twenties. The world is laid out before them. I feel like saying, “Be proud. Celebrate yourself. You’re only young once.”
When you're not writing, what do you like to do just to kick back and relax?
Hang out on the deck, cook, take walks around the city with my husband, take long baths with a glass of good red wine and a book in easy reach.
What's your favorite memory from when you were a child?
Hanging out with friends and playing outside on summer nights. When summer comes, I always recall the feeling of the thick, cool grass between my fingers and how scared and excited we’d get playing hide and seek in the dark…how bummed we’d be when we heard the call of our parents to come home.
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Release Date: July 7, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
Chicago Special Agent Shane Dominic was in love with Laura Vasquez until the day she left him and married another man. Thirteen years may have passed, but Laura’s never disappeared from his fantasies, or destroyed his desire to learn the truth about why she left him. When her husband, the criminal mastermind behind an international ring of thieves, is murdered, Shane knows this is his one last, desperate chance to learn Laura’s secrets. And he’s not above using their scorching hot passion for one another and a little domination to do it.
One look at Shane, and Laura’s own memories come back to haunt her. Her feelings run deep, but she’d never divulge her secrets—a desperate vow that’s compromised when Shane stuns her by taking her as his captive to a secluded cabin. Here, she will finally belong to him, be subjected to his every torturously erotic whim, and be forced to trust him with a shocking truth she’s hidden for so long—one that will expose them to a danger closing in on the both of them.For those of you who love contests, Beth's having a Sweet Restraint contest that you can join in on.