Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jeanie Johnson and Jayha Leigh interview


Thanks so much for agreeing to get interviewed by me.

How long have you been writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
(Jeanie) I’ve been writing for a long time but it’s always just been meanderings, it wasn’t until my late teens that I started to structure my writing into something understandable.

(Jayha) Since the US makes education compulsory, I’ve been writing since way back. It started off with ‘what I did over summer vacation’ papers and progressed to book reports, then onto history papers and before you know it I was doing thesis papers for professors. I always wanted to do something that gave me unbridled power but right now I don’t have the juice to be like an evil dictator so along with Jeanie we get to create worlds where we can run thingsJ

Who is your target audience?

(Jeanie) I’m unsure if I have one individually, together I think Momma and I are targeting the women out there in the world who have lived/survived/worked it out and those who don’t have a voice, we want to give them one, heck we want to shout out loud for them.

(Jayha) Yeah, what she said…but I’d like to add that we are our target audience being that we write books that first and foremost WE want to read. Until we’re happy with a book it doesn’t go out.

Often a writer’s first book is the toughest to write. Was this true for you? If so, what helped you get through it? If it wasn’t the first, which one was the most difficult to write? The easiest?

(Jeanie) Together our first book involved a whole lot of phone calls and emails – actually so did our last book, we just communicate a whole lot and we keep tempting each other’s reader by sending each other snippets/excerpts of what we’ve written that day, it keeps us on our toes and its entertaining as all get out and to be quite honest I don’t think it could ever be hard to work with Momma. I don’t think it was the most difficult, but with Carolina In The Storming – it was a juggernaut to conceive then to transfer from ideas to the page it was never meant to be easy because for us it was important that we truly realized the characters and the story they wanted us to share, we think we did that and that is once again all down to communication.

(Jayha) what she said…and let me just add these two points. First, we didn’t ever intend to write together. In fact, after getting rejected by EVERYBODY and their momma for Wild, Wild Mess: Atlanta, I was convinced that I was through trying my hand at writing and Jeanie was convinced that no one would want to read her prose (silly, beautiful child). And I honestly don’t recall how we ended up writing that first book…but I’m glad that we did.

When we finished HOT LIKE FIRE: the Taming and Liberation of Mariana, we figured it was a one-time deal. We never intended it to grow into a series or for the series to spawn other series, but alas it did. When we finally realized that we needed a joint website and such, we tried to be all corporate and organized and even purchased a dry erase calendar (both Jeanie and Dréa have dry-erase board fetish) where we scheduled release dates and such. After one month we realized that that was so not for us because we had to write the story that was beating at us, that sung to us, that captured our hearts. The muse has no freaking respect at all for schedules and we (and our moderators and readers) have learned to accept that. Second, before Mr. Me got us a deal with the cable company, our phone calls were running in excess of a thousand dollars per month being that we like to talk stories out.

Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

(Jeanie) Routine is a FOUR letter word for Momma and myself, many different hours of the day could be inspiring for Momma and myself, unfortunately the MUSE is also a four letter word (literally as well! LOL) so whenever he/she decides to inspire us we just have to roll with it.

(Jayha) routine…muse…why are y’all cussing so early in the morning? Smile.

Is there any plot/setting/character that you’re dying to write but haven’t yet?

(Jeanie) Oh Marie-Rochelle, if Momma and I have fifteen hands EACH and numerous PC’s and keyboards we still wouldn’t be able to keep up with the idea’s that we have within us. So in short, YES, YES and YES! J

(Jayha) Yeah, what she said. Y’all just have no idea how many stories are in the works...we just hope y’all jump on the ride with us and ride this baby to the end.

Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?
(Jeanie and Jayha) Every single book someone reads is going to help a fledgling writer to write – every book will have something you love, something you hate, something you want to expand upon this can only exercise one’s imagination.

Decide if you want to write because it’s a passion burning within you or if you want to write for money. If you decide you want to write for money well, there are a whole set of regulations that come with that. If you decide you want to write because you’re your passion, know what YOU want to write. Know what you’re NOT willing to compromise on. Van Gogh didn’t sell one freaking painting during his lifetime but he kept painting and though I don’t care for his technique, I have a whole new respect for the man. It takes passion to create art especially when it doesn’t reward you financially.

What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

(Jeanie and Jayha) We have so many series that we’re really trying to work through because we know and love every single one of our characters and we want them to have the day in the light. Right now we’re working on three different stories (that haven’t been mentioned by us just yet) as well as our individual stories/series.

What does your family think of your writing? Do they read it?

(Jeanie) Our family is slightly bewildered by what we do. I think one of cousins mentioned Danielle Steele back when I first started writing…I don’t talk to that cousin anymore…lol! J

(Jayha) My family is just amazed that I’m not rotting away in foreign prison somewhere…smile.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

(Jeanie and Jayha) Is there ever a time when a writer isn’t working? But seriously, we sit around and plot world domination.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

(Jeanie) I’m the spoiled baby and my Momma and sister’s are the ones that spoil me.

(Jayha) What do you mean by this word ‘spoiling’? I don’t recall spoiling you … at all. So a bit about me…I’m a full-time grad student, I work full-time (third shift) and I’m a full time sh*t starter whose been known on occasion to stagger into work…ON TIME.

What makes a great book to you? Is Happily Ever After an important aspect for you?

(Jeanie) Characters that I can identify with, a storyline that keeps me guessing, hilarity, hot love all wrapped up with a man who loves his woman like every woman needs/wants – COMPLETELY!

Jayha interrupts this question for a soapbox moment.
Although we write books that we hope anyone could get into and enjoy, we know that our biggest audience consists of women of color. Women of color tend to suffer the ills of society disproportionately (rape, poverty, ill health, single parenthood, etc) so the female readers that come to our stories have enough shit in their lives and we want to make our books a refuge of sorts.

Just my opinion but what women DON’T need is to read about more shitty fucking males who do the female wrong and more long-suffering females that allow themselves to enable the male to act like an azzhole or allow themselves to be treated like doormats. Too many women already have the cheating spouse, the deadbeat dad, the boyfriend who beats them, the boss who harasses them because they know that jobs are scarce, money issues, family issues, and a whole host of –isms. Every one of our books will have a HEA because women so desperately need that and women of color and poor white women especially need it.

Just as if you only show a child uneducated, poor role models they often will grow up to think that being uneducated and poor is normative. Too many women have grown up thinking that being treated like shit, being overlooked, being alone is normative and we don’t want that. We want women of all kinds, all sizes, all shades, all backgrounds to realize that they deserve a HEA. And yes, life is hard, no guarantees but for just a little while, in our books life can be a little bit easier, a little bit sweeter.

Do you have any indulgent behaviors? Favorite comfort foods? Favorite bath or body products?

(Jeanie) Coca Cola
(Jayha) sweet iced tea, dessert

(Jeanie) Victoria’s Secret Love Spell
(Jayha) a whole host of Carol’s daughter products

Do you have a favorite music you love to listen to? Least favorite?
(Jeanie) Everything – from Classical Music to Death Metal and everything in between, I’m a weirdo

(Jayha) I’m also a weirdo but I primarily listen to the NFL channel on my satellite radio…I rarely listen to music which is why I don’t know the titles of anything. Still, a few of my all-time fav songs are Pavarotti’s rendition of Nessun Dorma, This Woman’s Work sung by Maxwell, and of course the MNF Jingle and the Tarheel (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) fight song

You find yourself stranded on a desert island; what things could you not live without?

(Jeanie) Coca Cola, internet connection and my Momma

(Jayha) What Jeanie said except replace the Coca-Cola with sweet iced tea or citrus cooler Gatorade being that I don’t drink soda…also a bridge to another island that had an airport, an ER and a standing army you know, because I have enemies…Also selected members of my family.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Buy Now: Loving True in ebook and print

Construction industrialist Hayward Campbell walked across the porch of his newly remolded home and squinted in the bright morning sunlight. It was July, and up in the mountains it meant scorching sun and cool breezes. He let his robe hang open, enjoying the breeze across his naked chest, and the slight flapping of his green silk boxers against him. He sighed and stepped on the dew covered grass, the soft green grass felt good to his bare feet as he sauntered along.
He was in no hurry, the peace fullness of his cabin was the thing he needed, and hopefully in time, it could help to mend his battered heart. Nothing could ever fix the damage that she had done. But if what everyone said was true, maybe he could learn to live with it.
Hayward slowed his gait. Unconsciously he caught the edge of his robe and pulled it together. Someone had moved in the house next door because the For Sale sign was gone. He felt a burst of anger at the intruder; this was his peace of heaven. Who would dare invade his paradise?
How could he not notice someone was moving in next door? Was he so locked away inside this house that not once did the sound of a moving truck echo through his ears? Just how long had the For Sale been missing from the yard? A month? A week? He really couldn’t remember the last time he saw the tan sign next door. His real estate broker had tried to make the owner an offer for him, but the guy never would accept any of his offers.
He had lost count how many females had rented the house only to leave after two months of living there. Rural Montana wasn’t a place most women want to live in the first place, so he still didn’t until why so many moved in next door.
There weren’t any clothing stores or restaurant for miles and he loved that. The unfortunate women who had moved next door found out rather quickly and moved rather quickly.
The further away he was from the fast paced speed of the city the calmer his life was. That kind of life had cost him something precious and he wasn’t about to be pulled back into the lifestyle again for anyone, no what how much his family wanted it.
His brother called him last week and tried to coach him into coming back for a little visit, but he turned him down instantly. Now, he loved his brother however it was past time Clinton stopped trying to heal his wounds. His like the pain the memories caused him, it made him realize how being focused only on money shattered his life.
Rubbing the side of his eyes with the back of his hand, he blinked some of the sleep from his dark blue eyes and wondered about his new neighbor. Would it be another woman this time? The last females who had lived there within six months of each other thought he might need a little ‘extra’ neighborly hospitality, but he shot their ideas rather quickly. He didn’t move out here to find a warm body to his bed doing the winter months.
Hayward couldn’t want to find out who was the next person was that decided to take on the chance of living in that huge house next door. It didn’t matter if it was a family, a man, or a woman. As long as they left his to his own devices he would be the best neighbor that anyone could ask for. He was about to turn and go back into the house the sound of a speeding car coming down the street caught his attention.
A firecracker red Mustang pulled up into the driveway next door and the roaring engine became a soft purr before it was shut off. Well, his question was about to be answered in a few seconds. Please don’t let it be another lonely female looking for a man, because he wasn’t about to fit into the role ever again in his life.
The car door swung open then as he watched, a pair of well-toned cocoa legs appeared, followed by a nicely firm bottom encased in blue jean shorts. She got out of the car, stretched, took in a long full breath, and his blood warmed at the sight. He would swear a plain white t-shirt never looked so good.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Blindsided....New book from Marie Rochelle..Sept. 11th

If you can not do the time do not do the Crime!

Las Vegas Detective Lindow Woods assigned to the Narcotics Division, takes his job very seriously. He believes if you do the crime you should do the time. So, he gets pissed off when she, his ideal woman strolls into the courtroom. He didn’t want to be attracted to her, but he can’t help it. She was everything he wanted in a woman: beautiful, intelligent and damn hot. He had never been blindsided by a woman until now.

Spunky attorney Daria Jacobs has never backed down from any case. She loves to win and agrees to take on her cousin’s case in Las Vegas to help him out of a crime he wasn’t guilty of. Yet, she wasn’t prepared for fireworks that happen when she meets Detective Woods.

Who will be policing who? The detective or the attorney?


Lindow looked down at the finger touching his chest and he knew that he shouldn’t do what he was thinking, but he needed to ease the stress they were both feeling. Wrapping an arm around Daria’s wrist, he tugged her to him and then slipped his free into position while his mouth captured hers.
“Daria, do you know how much I want you?” He breathed against her lips. “I have dreamt about this kiss for such a long time.”
Using his tongue he made long sweeping, swirling motions inside Daria’s mouth trying to draw the response he wanted from her. His mind raced with several different emotions from her taste to pleasure and lastly satisfaction. He knew she would taste as good as she looked.
Wanting more he eased her closer to his throbbing body hoping to alleviate some of the ache. Lindow was perfectly content to go on kissing her forever unlike Daria who was starting to fight the deeper emotions between them. He wanted to work his charm on her but she wasn’t having it.
Tearing her mouth away Daria shoved him away from her, “What are you doing?” she murmured pressing the tips of her fingers to her mouth. “We aren’t supposed to be kissing.”
Buy Now @

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fan Favorite for September....Caught

Ryan Lerner is constantly being approached by gorgeous woman because of his job. However, none of them have drawn his attention like the spunky and petite mocha-skinned Ajana Bennett that is begging him to help her clear her name. He always thought he didn’t want a woman’s company for more than a quick night of sex, but that all goes out the window when Ajana ends up sneaking her way into his well-protected heart.
Yet, will her secret make him change his mind or will he do everything in his power to prove her innocence and make her his woman.

Buy now