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