Purple Hearts by Jessica Lane (#paranormal #interracialromance)
Please give a big welcome to Jessica Lane, whose debut novel is titled Purple Hearts. It’s a paranormal interracial romance novel, and she’s here to tell us all about it.
Tell us about yourself.
Well, I’m 21 years old and from a tiny town in East Texas. I have a huge family that includes four brothers and sisters. I suffer from middle child syndrome (ya know “look at me! Look at me!” syndrome). I love God, and give him all the glory for blessing me to be able to live my dreams. When I’m not writing, I’m practicing guitar, sketching, improving my photography skills, shopping, reading, or watching horror movies. I’m currently earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism.
What adjectives would your close friends use to describe you?
The most used adjective would probably have to be unpredictable! I am completely random at times, and change my mind like the East Texas weather. I’ll wake up one morning and decide that I’m going to be a scientist (even though science was probably my second worst subject in school) and abandon that dream by 3 in the afternoon because it interferes with the pottery class I signed up for the day before. One day I’ll dress like a hippie, the next a cowgirl. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m going to do next.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was about eight. I actually did pretty well on my school’s UIL creative writing team. I used to write everything from movie scripts, to short stories, to songs as a kid. I just always had a pen and spiral with me. I didn’t start seriously considering “going pro” until I was sixteen.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I always loved storytelling, but I had/have other loves too (music, fashion, photography, etc.). It was so hard for me to pick just one focus, so I decided not to. I simply chose to do everything that I loved, and just let my passions occupy different areas of my life. Some will be careers and some will not. When I was sixteen, I decided that I really liked this writing thing, and decided that it would be one of those passions that I would work my butt off to turn into a career. I immediately started working on a fantasy novel about mythical creatures that I may release someday in the distant future.
What is your greatest accomplishment as an author so far?
Just releasing this first book, Purple Hearts, is a huge accomplishment for me. I never thought that I’d have the confidence to put myself out there like this. It’s scary, but it’s awesome and oh so exciting! Even if I only sell the copy that I purchase myself, I’ll still be so proud of myself for having the courage to do this.
What does the area where you write look like?
I literally write everywhere! I still always have a pen and spiral with me. It’s not uncommon for me to write whole chapters in class (I’m bad, I know). I’ll even tap out a few words in the “notes” section on my phone in the grocery store checkout line every now and then. When inspiration strikes me, I’ve learned to be prepared.
Why should readers consider buying your books?
I think I bring a little something different to the Interracial Romance genre. I try to make my characters more human–if that makes any sense…you know, considering most of them are supernatural or paranormal creatures. I intentionally make them flawed or broken in some way, and life doesn’t always work out exactly as they want it to. I also think that I can bring a somewhat teen friendly aspect to the genre. I’d categorize my books as sweet love stories with a twist…or three.
What inspired you to write your latest release?
Nothing really inspired me to write Purple Hearts. It came to life pretty organically. I usually just have these characters in my head and they bug me until I put their stories down on paper. Sometimes I’ll have a dream about a story idea. Other times I might see a couple walking down the street and make up a story in my head about how I think they might have met. It’s different every time, and that’s what makes it so much fun!
Which heroine from your books do you most closely identify with and why?
I identify most with Karina in Purple Hearts. I think I subconsciously projected a lot of my own experiences and personality traits onto her. She’s just the kind of girl I think we all wish we were back in high school, because she could care less if the popular kids like her clothes or if she gets asked to prom. She’s just strong and fearlessly Karina.
What can readers expect from you next?
Right now I’m working on a series (The Callaway Wolves Series) about a family of werewolves (two brothers, one sister) who are fighting to protect their secret while in search of their mates. Tate’s the moody loner with a dark past, Carson’s the rich, charismatic businessman and Freddy’s the wild child with a soft side that she rarely shows. The central themes are family, love and second chances, but I had to throw some danger in there too. I couldn’t make a series about a family of werewolves too mushy, could I? The first book, Route Refuge, is Tate’s story, and will be released later this year.
Here’s a short synopsis.
A mad dash through the woods, a hasty offer and an ancient covenant of love brought them together. Will a relentless evil from Fawn’s past tear them apart? Tate Callaway doesn’t do attachments, but how long can he resist the pull he feels toward the skittish woman in the passenger seat? Fawn Matthews has learned to trust no one, but how can she not trust the man who rescued her from almost certain death? She ran out in front of his truck like the devil was after her, what will happen when he catches up?
Karina Morris is your typical teenager…you know aside from the fact that, unbeknownst to her, she’s a witch. She’s also in love with her childhood friend, Joshua Brock, though he hasn’t the slightest inkling of her feelings for him. Josh returns from the Army with secrets of his own that threaten to put everything and everyone important to him in jeopardy. When all these secrets spill out, and skeletons begin to rattle in everyone’s closets, the tiny town of Hardstone, Texas will never be the same.
“How was the party?” Will asked from his spot on the couch.
“It was okay; not really my scene though.” Will’s stomach chose that moment to growl.
“Dad, have you eaten today?” He just looked at me sheepishly. “Dad, why didn’t you call? I could’ve come home earlier,” I chastised.
“I didn’t want to ruin your time with Lacey, Kari. You should be able to have a good time with your friend without worrying about taking care of an old man. You should spend more time with people your own age.”
I knew Will sometimes felt guilty about relying on me so much, but I didn’t mind. He was the one parent who’d actually stuck around to raise me. The least I could do was make sure the man didn’t starve to death.
“You know I don’t mind, Dad,” was all I said as I walked into the kitchen. Unsurprisingly, I found the fridge nearly empty. “Headed to the store,” I called over my shoulder as I stepped out into the misty drizzle. I put the hood of Lacey’s sweatshirt over my head and began the long walk to Hardstone’s only grocery store.
It didn’t take long for the rain to pick up. It was October, after all. I tried to quicken my pace, but it was no use. I was soaked in seconds. Great—what else could go wrong?
“Kari, is that you?” Oh no, not him.
I slowly turned my head in the direction of the voice that had called my name, and sure enough, there he was: Joshua Brock in his black pickup truck. I probably looked like a drowned cat, but I didn’t care how I looked to him anymore. Why should I? I gave him a dirty look and resumed walking. He faltered for only a moment before he continued to drive beside me at a slow pace.
“Wait! Karina, do you need a ride?”
I stopped in my tracks. “I don’t need anything from you, Joshua Brock. Why don’t you go find your little girlfriend and see if she needs you, ’cause I sure as hell don’t!”
He just stared at me in confusion. “Kari, what the hell are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb! I’m talking about the girl you ditched me for last night at your party. You remember her, right? She was about yay high with boobs out to here and legs up to here,” I said sarcastically.
Then, Josh did something I didn’t expect; he laughed at me.
“What’s so funny?”
“I’m sorry, Kari. I didn’t mean to laugh. It’s just that…I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen her, but I still can’t believe you didn’t recognize Jenny.”
My anger evaporated. “Jenny? As in your twin, Jenny?”
“The very same. She drove down from Baylor yesterday morning for the party. It’s her last year there. Anyway, she’s got a test early on Monday so she drove back this morning. I wasn’t ditching you, Kari. Me and Jenny talked for a few, and when I brought her in to see you, you were gone. She’ll be back for Thanksgiving, though, so maybe you two will be able to spend some time together.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. Feeling monumentally stupid, I offered Josh a sheepish smile.
“Karina, you know I wouldn’t ditch you for some random chick. Now get your overreacting ass in the truck,” he teased.
I blushed and climbed into the passenger seat. Josh threw his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. I rested my head on his shoulder and enjoyed the warmth his body provided.
“Wait till I tell my sister you were checking out her tits,” he snickered.
“Shut up, Josh.”
Cute excerpt! Tell readers about your contest.
Have it your way outtake contest!
2 lucky readers will receive a custom outtake written just for them featuring any combination of characters they choose from Purple Hearts! All you have to do to be entered in the contest is
1. sign up for my mailing list, which you can find on the home page of my website (http://www.jessicalaneworld.com/index.html).
2. send an email to jlaneworld(at)yahoo(.)com with the 1st sentence of the Purple Hearts epilogue in the subject box.
If you have any questions, you may contact me at the email address provided.
The winners will be announced on my website under the “News” tab on Sept. 3rd! Good luck!
Where can readers find you online?
my website- http://www.jessicalaneworld.com/
contact me- jlaneworld(at)yahoo(.)com
Thank you for being my special guest, Jessica! Best wishes to you as you start your writing journey. Readers, you know the drill. Leave your comments or questions for Jessica below.