Guest Author Jana DeLeon AND a Halloween Mystery

Guest Author Jana DeLeon AND a Halloween Mystery

So today I’m going to interview guest author Jana DeLeon from the GCC, and I’m just going to preface that with a declaration: Jana’s idea for her main character is fantastic! I love the situation she is in, too.

But before I put Jana on the hot seat, I have to talk a little bit about me, because look what I have been doing!


Aren’t you so proud? Now’s your chance to ask leading questions like you would with your kids when you’re trying to figure out what in the world that drawing they just gave you is supposed to represent.

For each guess, I will give you another hint in the comments. Unless you guess right the first comment, in which case, I shall thumb my nose at Sébastien who completely failed to recognize what they were supposed to be.

I guess I am just UNLUCKY that way, the same way I am UNLUCKY in my efforts to take one single photo out of a hundred that is not blurry.

Maybe MALLORY DEVEREAUX is in the area, jinxing me. Because I hear she is so UNLUCKY that is what she does.

In fact….

Her luck’s so bad it’s a crime.

Everyone in Royal Flush, Louisiana, knows Mallory Devereaux is a walking disaster. At least now she’s found a way to take advantage of her chronic bad luck: by “cooling” cards on her uncle’s casino boat. As long as the crooks invited to his special poker tournament don’t win their money back, she’ll get a cut of the profit.

But Mal isn’t the only one working some major mojo. There’s a dark-eyed dealer sending her looks steamier than the bayou in August. Turns out he’s an undercover agent named Jake Randoll, and for a Yank, he’s pretty darn smart. Smart enough to enlist her help to catch a money launderer. As they race to untangle a web of decades-old lies and secrets amid a gathering of criminals, Mallory can’t help hoping her luck’s about to change….


How’s that for a blurb? Don’t you love it? The reviewers loved it, too, look what they said:
“With original, smart and comedic writing, DeLeon delivers a three-dimensional hero and heroine, a community of offbeat secondary characters, a complex and intriguing plot with a hint of the paranormal and a fascinating peek into the world of casino poker.” – Romantic Times Book Reviews 4 ½ Stars!

“The setting for this novel is differently refreshing, and anyone with an affinity for casinos and card playing will enjoy the game references. Readers of Ms. DeLeon’s UNLUCKY will consider themselves very lucky to have stumbled upon such an entertaining read.” – FreshFiction

“Grab a box of Kleenexes for the laughter, sit back and enjoy. Absolutely one of the best romantic suspense novels I have ever read.” – Romance Reader at Heart

Jana DeLeon hails from the bayous herself and she and her brother used to spend hours combing them in a flat-bottomed aluminum boat, but she survived the gators and lived to tell Mallory’s tale.

Here are my hard-hitting questions with Jana:

Laura: If you could change one thing that you have done in your writing/publishing history, what would it be? Or, another way of thinking about this, if you could warn unpublished authors away from any one error, what would it be?

Jana DeLeon: I would have concentrated earlier on writing for multiple publishers and/or in multiple genres. Diversification is a VERY smart thing to think about in this business. Security in the publishing industry is as fictional a concept as the books we write.

Laura: Don’t you know it! I actually know an author who has had multiple NYT bestsellers and still had several of her next books turned down. So, when you get demoralized about that and need to take a break from writing, clear your head, and get the creative juices flowing again, whether for half an hour in the day or for longer periods, what do you do?

Jana: If I need a short break to get the juices flowing, but plan on continuing to write, then I take a walk around the block with my Sheltie. If I need more/longer stimuli, I go shopping or see a movie. A road trip is great if I have the time. Basically, the more things I can expose myself to that are outside of my norm, then the more likely I am to expand my creative thinking ability.

Laura: Yes! Let’s hear it for travel. I always say, Go one place new every week, even if it means a new block in your neighborhood you’ve never wandered down before. Speaking of travel, I draw very strongly on my own experiences for my writing, sometimes in large ways (a memoir!), sometimes in ways that are very subtle. What is an experience of yours that fed into this book?

Jana: My husband and I got married in Vegas in 2000. Before we left, I studied and studied blackjack combinations, determined to beat the house. Unfortunately, I have absolutely, positively NO LUCK. In fact, my luck is so bad that when I sit down at a table, not only don’t I win, everyone else starts losing too. So I came up with Mallory Devereaux, the unluckiest woman in the world, who needs to make some money fast and decides to do it by “cooling” cards at a poker tournament of criminals.

Laura: Maybe you were too Lucky in Love? I mean, a honeymoon has to be quite the worst time to try to play cards if that old saw holds true. Myself, I have NO LUCK with photographs, see the above, but I believe Mallory’s lack of luck might quite possibly be the coolest talent for a heroine I’ve seen in a while. I can’t wait to read UNLUCKY! Thanks for coming on, Jana.

Okay, over to you, Dear Readers! How LUCKY can your guesses be? Also, what are you going to be for Halloween?

  • Broomsticks !!!!

    October 30, 2007 at 10:24 am
  • Sorry that as me, Clarice

    October 30, 2007 at 10:25 am
  • They look like crystallized ginger on pretzel sticks, with chocolate blobs. Or are we supposed to guess what they’re supposed to represent? ‘Cause in that case I have no idea. Clarice’s answer sounds good!

    October 30, 2007 at 12:02 pm
  • Yep witches brooms! Hello Sebastien 🙂

    October 30, 2007 at 1:17 pm
  • Ooh, good broomstick guess! I’m like Amy, I picked out the ingredients, but not what it is. Unless it’s some cross between something from the Dark Crystal and a light saber . . . with chocolate. (Can you tell my husband has been talking to much sci-fi since he’s back from a trip with his friends?)

    Sounds like a fun book!

    October 30, 2007 at 4:40 pm
  • Crystallized orange peel, not ginger! And what do you mean–chocolate blobs? That chocolate came out of a pastry bag, carefully squeezed on, I’ll have you know. Thursday I’ll show you what I did with the actual chocolate BLOBS, maybe.

    Okay, I see this game was MUCH TOO EASY. And I had all these clues lined up to offer. Sébastien is in trouble now for not recognizing them right away.

    Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy your chocolate, and indulge in a few Mwahahahahaas! Always good to get a few wicked witch laughs off your chest once in a while.

    October 30, 2007 at 6:59 pm
  • P.S. Anybody dressing up?

    October 30, 2007 at 7:00 pm
  • I plan to wear a crown. But then, I do that sometimes anyway. I am the Queen in my household, you know. I’m just hoping my kids are well enough to go trick-or-treating. Not looking so good for the younger one. 🙁

    October 30, 2007 at 9:09 pm
  • these look delicious:) no costume here, sadly. a few years ago I dressed up as Martha, wearing her post-prison poncho and carrying a basket full of good things (i.e. chocolate:). That was a fun costume! what about you?!? did mia and sebastien dress up?!?

    October 31, 2007 at 9:12 pm
  • these look delicious:) no costume here, sadly. a few years ago I dressed up as Martha, wearing her post-prison poncho and carrying a basket full of good things (i.e. chocolate:). That was a fun costume! what about you?!? did mia and sebastien dress up?!?

    October 31, 2007 at 9:12 pm
  • You know the Italians actually have a saying that is basically, “Lucky at games/cards, unlucky in love.” And I believe it, as I have ZERO luck at anything involving games. Book looks awesome!

    November 6, 2007 at 11:11 am
  • Hey, I looked for this blog on Msn and wanted to state just superb read. We would need to trust this, thanks again!

    December 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

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