Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Laura Breck: Available from www.RedRosePublishing.com, Secret Vegas Lives is a contemporary romance/mystery. My heroine, Valerie Kane, is mistaken for a blackmailer by sexy Italian crime writer Antonio Daniato. She swears she's not involved, but he threatens to expose her unless she reveals her accomplice. When she bares her soul to prove her innocence, Antonio is fascinated, but shaken by the intensity of his desire for her.
Surrendering to temptation, Valerie risks her reputation to let Antonio into her life. But she uncovers evidence that he's staging the blackmail scenes as research for his next book. When she confronts him, it's his turn to convince her of his innocence.
Their outrageous sexual attraction keeps them in each other's arms, but mutual distrust prevents them from admitting deeper emotions. When the true blackmailer threatens to reveal Antonio's double life, Antonio yields to guilt and lets Valerie go. But Valerie discovers his secret, and will fight for Antonio against an addiction whose hold on him may be stronger than their love.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Laura Breck: I've been writing since the `80s, but I've just become serious about it in the last few years. I lived in Las Vegas for three years, love the unique culture, and challenges of Sin City.
One of the primary goals of my writing is to give readers a world into which they can escape the stress of life. And a fun read for lounging on the beach or cuddling up with a blanket and a cup of tea. ~Smart Women ~Sexy Men ~Seductive Romance.
Another goal is to make a difference in the world. That is why each of my books will sponsor a community program, and a percentage of my proceeds will be donated to that organization.
I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my family, and although I work a full-time job as a financial analyst for a professional sports team, I write every evening and weekend.
I hope to be a full-time writer one day soon, and I take classes in every aspect of writing, marketing, and publishing. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America, Midwest Fiction Writers, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, and Elements of RWA.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
Here's an excerpt:
Valerie stared at the lapel of Antonio's tuxedo jacket. "I'd hoped you wouldn't do anything rash."
"You give me too much credit, princess. I'm not ethical like you."
She looked into his eyes, disappointment knotting her stomach. "You would have caused a scene here tonight?"
"If not here, then somewhere. Yes, I would have."
She blinked, fighting back tears. How could someone be so cruel? He would have ruined her reputation on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. She hadn't misjudged him. He was a bastard.
He snapped, "Don't look at me that way."
"What way?" Her throat closed, tears were imminent.
His voice dropped low, sensual. "As though your sexy blue eyes can see right into my soul."
Uncertainty gripped her, the room closed in. "Imagine how surprised I am to find you have no soul."
"Ouch." He flinched. "You've got claws, princess." His smile flashed evil.
She wanted to wipe it off his face--with her lips. She choked on the desire, zinged with energy, amazingly alive. Like she hadn't felt in days, like she never felt with her boyfriend Troy. Guilt, fear, passion, anger. The conflicting emotions warred with her sanity, and panic swamped her.
"I can't do this, Antonio..." Her voice cracked and she gasped for breath.
She broke away from him and ran. The opposite direction from where Troy's big, safe arms would protect her. In the empty lobby, she veered toward an exit, then changed direction and darted around a corner where a couch sat hidden in a dark alcove between two potted palms.
She sat and began the steady breathing technique and pressed the reflexology spot on her wrist which together should hold off anxiety. Then gave up and dropped her head into her hands and broke down crying.
"Cara mia, no." He sat next to her, his warm arm wrapped around her shoulders, comforting. He stuffed his handkerchief in her fingers. "You know I'm not worth crying about."
She sat bolt upright and glared at him, allowing her anger to emerge, effectively preventing the panic attack from overtaking her.
"You arrogant bastard."
"That's one of my best features."
"I'm not crying because of your cruelty, I'm crying because of mine! I never act this way. Something about you brings it out in me." She tried to shrug off his arm, but he wouldn't budge.
"Should we analyze it? We've got a couch right here," he wiggled his eyebrows at her.
"You are not funny!" She dabbed at her eyes with his handkerchief. She must be a mess. Her makeup running, her eyes red, and her nose sniffly.
He laughed. "You're sexy when you're mad."
"Don't. Don't try to laugh this off. This is the cure I need to get you out of my system."
His face sobered. Quietly he said, "How can I be in your system when I've never held you." He tightened his arm around her, with the fingers of his other hand he caressed her jaw. "And I've never tasted..." His lips pressed hot against her neck, his tongue teased her skin.
"Wait," she murmured breathlessly.
He continued his assault. "And we've never really kissed," he whispered, nipping her ear with his teeth. The bite sent waves of passionate chills down her body.
Oh, God, what was she doing? They were in the middle of Caesar's Palace and she'd arrived with another man.
"No." She straightened her arms and pushed him away, looked into his beautiful brown eyes and almost lost her willpower again.
"Yes. It's going to happen." He smiled his charismatic, irresistible smile, "Runny mascara and all."
She broke free and stood, catching her breath. How was he able to make her lose control? Her knees shook with excitement and her libido commanded her to fling herself onto his lap and let him kiss her senseless.
"Antonio." He sat there patiently waiting for her, so handsome it made her ache to touch him. His smile was too confident, as though he knew there wasn't a woman capable of resisting him.
She took a step toward him...
Just as Troy came around the corner.
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?
Laura Breck: The second book in the series, Scandalous L.A. Desires, is contracted with Red Rose Publishing and will be released in 2010. It follows the romance of Antonio's brother, Dante, whom we meet in Secret Vegas Lives.
Lindsey Beauden earned her reputation as a conservative philanthropist and upstanding member of Los Angeles society. Artist Dante Daniato earned his reputation as one of LA's most charming and eligible bachelors. Opposites attract, and when they meet at a gala fundraiser at the Getty Museum, the red-hot chemistry is immediate and intense. But an anonymous letter alerts Lindsey to the scandalous life Dante leads. When the board of her family foundation condemns his notoriety and withholds funding from the inner city art program he's involved in, she cannot risk linking her name to his. She dissuades him despite the desire that shimmers through her at his every touch.
Intrigued, Dante finds her rejection a challenge and pursues her, intent on seduction. When he unexpectedly falls for the selfless beauty, she surrenders to him, and their hunger for sensual pleasures awakens the beast in him, and the vixen in her. But a sexy publicity stunt humiliates Lindsey and implicates Dante, and their perfect world is torn apart. Lindsey will not believe Dante when he swears his innocence, and he leaves the country, angry and distraught. When she uncovers the truth, she must follow him to Italy to beg his forgiveness, but has her distrust destroyed his love for her?
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
Laura Breck: When my husband and I decided to go to Italy for our next big anniversary, we started learning Italian. The language is so beautiful, I wanted to capture the seductive feel of the words on my tongue. I chose an Italian man as my hero, and let him whisper romantically to my heroine, and from there, love scenes seem to write themselves.
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?
Laura Breck: I write a sensual romance with a touch of mystery. I am in a truly wonderful, loving, long-term relationship, and I share my domestic happiness through my characters, who emotionally commit to each other before they begin a physical connection. My goal is to let readers know that love, in monogamous relationships, can be fun and spicy!
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Laura Breck: My work in progress is a romance about a woman from Seattle who inherits her sister's life; her Miami house, her lucrative company, and her sexy, Cuban partner, Sixto Doria. Bree relies on Sixto for guidance, but Sixto needs to keep her from discovering their business' carnal, semi-legal activity, and he buries critical information in the management company.
Every moment together is intense and seductive, and they lose themselves to desire, and find themselves in love. But she stumbles onto the business plan--Sixto's been lying to her. And Sixto learns Bree helped his sister commit an unpardonable sin. Could their transgressions be too grievous to forgive?
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Laura Breck: I blog every Wednesday at RosesOfProse.blogspot.com, and I have two great contests on my website right now, LauraBreck.com. I'd love to have you stop by and comment on my blog, and read the first chapters of my books on my website.
Tammie King of NOR: What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Laura Breck: The best advice I ever received was to begin marketing myself before I sold a book. Learning to blog, to create and maintain my own website, to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and to make video trailers takes a lot of time. The more you can get set up before you get that call, the less panic you'll experience.
The worst advice - has to be someone telling me to use contest entries instead of critique partners to get feedback on my writing. I think both are excellent sources, but when you find a critique group or critique partner, you've got people who get to know you, get to know your writing, and can be with you throughout your career.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Laura Breck: I'm an outliner. I use the 'dream technique' (my own invention!) of outlining. I start by coming up with a basic idea for a book, and type the basic idea. In bed at night, I read it, and concentrate on it as I fall asleep. In the morning, as soon as I wake, I fire up my laptop and write down my ideas.
Sometimes it's a quick plot point, sometimes it's a detailed scene, complete with dialogue and point of view changes. I do the same thing when I'm writing the book. Read a few completed pages, and dream about them overnight
Thank you for this opportunity!