Today I’m interviewing Jesse Lane…well actually, I’m interviewing Crystal Leo, one half of Jesse Lane (she writes with her sister-in-law – talk about marrying into the RIGHT family!). Anyway, read on to find out what Jesse’s perfect getaway cars would be, if she’s Team Camden or Javier, and learn more about her romantic suspense series, Special Ops which sounds right up my alley!
KH: Hello Jesse! Welcome! So, what made you pick up Sins & Needles/On Every Street?
JL: A recommendation from a friend. And boy, was I EVER glad I picked up Sins & Needles. A couple of chapters in and I was hooked. Which led me to sitting on pins and needles (pun intended) for months until I could get On Every Street. And by the time I was done with On Every Street I was practically screaming at my Nook because I NEED Shooting Scars. Like, right now. I need it. Give me the book and nobody gets hurt! *grabby hands*
KH: Do you think Ellie Watt is a ruthless heroine or just misunderstood?
JL: Ellie Watt’s character complexity is a beautiful thing. Is she a villain or is she a woman who’s just trying to survive in a world she was raised in? I think she’s a little bit of both, but to its extreme advantages. She’s got tons of street smarts. But her life experiences have led her to a half-life where she’s caught in between being a master of being someone who’s totally knowledgeable in her cons or aliases but completely naive in the aspects of being a real person. My hope is that by the end of Ellie’s journey she’s pieced together all of her that’s REAL and set aside the characteristics of her past alias to become the person she was always meant to be. Someone who’s tough, a survivor, but also with the new ability to experience life by letting others in and not looking for her next mark.
KH: Team Camden or Team Javier?
JO: Team Camden – TOTALLY and UTTERLY Team Camden! I could have dealt with a lot of Javier’s psychotic tendencies, but when he cheated I was D.O.N.E. Completely done.
KH: And I don’t blame you! Cheating is a no-no. Speaking of, favorite sex scene from On Every Street? Sins & Needles?
JO: Whew. Is it hot in here? Or is it just me? A few of those scenes from the book had me running for a cold shower. I loved that the scenes were raw and emotional. Even if it was downright wild monkey sex, it was that way because Ellie and her man couldn’t wait another half-second to get naked and inside each other. What woman doesn’t want some of that? Since I’m Team Camden, I would have to say that my favorite sex scene was probably after the car chase, in Jose, when Cam tells Ellie how he really feels about her. It’s gritty, clothes ripping, bare your soul and feel this all the way down to your toes sex. I’d like some of that please! Pretty please?
Although I’m NOT Team Javier (*sniffs in disdain*) I will have to admit, the man knew his way around a woman’s body. Too bad he just couldn’t keep it to ONE WOMAN’S BODY. *shakes fist* Damn you Javier! I. LOVED. YOU. How could you do that to me? Whoops. I meant Ellie loved you. How could you do that to HER (or me – either way)?
KH: Do you have any tattoos and if so, where?
JL: I have six tattoos. Half of those I had before I was 18. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because, at that time in my life, I needed those experiences. A bad thing because of teen-aged spontaneity I now plan to have one of those removed (and it’s a fairly large one on my lower back). My others are on my chest, thigh, upper back, hip and an almost half sleeve on my arm. There are definitely more tattoos in my future! Will I be covered from head to toes in tattoos? No. Will I hopefully have a considerable amount of ink that can still be covered up by jeans and t-shirts? Well, if I have my way, absolutely.
KH: Do you think any of the characters are redeemable? Do you believe in second chances?
JL: For those who get to experience second chances in life, they’re a beautiful thing. I’ve had my own shot at a second chance, and am happy to say that I chose the right path. Did I redeem myself while on my journey? I personally believe that’s for higher powers to decide. But I do believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that most people or the events they come out of in life are redeemable. Are there exceptions for my personal beliefs in redemption? YES. Murder. Abuse. My personal pet peeve of CHEATING. Bad Javier! Bad! No redemption for you from me! I’m leaving you and running away with Cam! Errrr… I mean Ellie’s going to run away with Cam. Yeah, Ellie.
KH: If you had a getaway car, what car would it be?
JL: Toss-up between the new Dodge Challengers of a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Shelby GT350CR. And I don’t care what my husband and father say. I DO NOT have a lead foot! Maybe a lead big toe, but not the whole freakin’ foot!
KH: NICE choices…and you sound like you drive like I do. So, you write with your sister-in-law. What was your favorite book to write and what was hers?
JL: Melissa’s favorite book to write was our paranormal romance novel, Big Bad Bite. She loves the idea of writing a world where anything can happen and possibilities are limitless. She may have also loved the fact that there was snarkiness all the way around and the heroine was ready to pop a cap in the ass of anyone who would dare disturb her cup of coffee.
I absolutely loved all of those things about Big Bad Bite too, but my favorite was probably our contemporary romance Secret Maneuvers. Being a military brat, I loved the “band of brothers” kind of concept behind the team. The men are hardened warriors with scars in both the physical and emotional sense. Some of them are carrying around so much baggage, that once you get to know them you’ll wonder how the hell they truly function in life. But no matter what is going on, they have their brother’s back. The Ex Ops Team, their missions and the men they serve with on it mean the world to them. Throw in some seriously dramatic relationship issues in there and I always feel like I’m writing a daytime soap opera!
KH: Tell me more about your romantic series, Ex-Ops
JL: The Ex Ops Series is a contemporary romance series featuring an elite Special Ops team secretly run by the Department of Defense and the CIA. The team is comprised of the best of the best from all branches of the military and one former CIA operative. Each book features a different team member, a mission, and the additional FUBAR that is their love life.
The first book in the series was Secret Maneuvers which showcased a second chance romance between two former high school sweethearts fifteen years after they lost touch with one another. They inadvertently run into each other again when Annabelle is told by her supervisor at the ATF that she will be utilizing the Ex Ops Team to help her and her partner track down some black market weapons dealers who are trying to make a major sell to the ruthless Rivera Cartel in Mexico. When she sees Bobby again for the first time, she wants nothing more than to walk away and pretend it’s never happened. Bobby on the other hand has no intentions of letting the love of his life get away from him again.
Their story is an emotional roller coaster complete with a huge secret and betrayal from Annabelle, as well as her belief that she can’t get over Bobby breaking her heart all those years ago. Throw in some over protective friends, nosy team members, blood, bullets and a rescue and you have a story that will hopefully keep readers flipping pages long into the wee hours of the night. At least it kept me writing until the wee hours that is. LOL.
KH: Sounds fantastic. I CRAVE these kinds of books. Thank you for talking with me, Crystal (aka Jesse Lane)!
Jessie Lane is the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo. The two sisters-in-law share a passionate love of naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters. (They’re kind of megalomaniacs – but don’t tell them that we said that.)
Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance, and was released in January 2013. Their third book, Secret Maneuvers, was released in June 2013, and is the start of a new adult contemporary romance series (Ex Ops Series). They are now working on their next two novels, Walk On The Striped Side (Big Bad Bite Series #2) and The Frozen Star (YA Star Series #2).
With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world their crazy stories, heroes and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!