Monday, 21 June 2010

Guest Author: Leah Braemel with Texas Tangle

Welcome Leah, and thanks for stopping in to tell us a little more about your upcoming Carina Press release, Texas Tangle.

I love the name, it conjures up all sorts of things :)

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an overdrawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.
Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

Releases 28 June and available for pre-order from Carina Press

And now, over to Leah and a few tasty questions I've made her sweat over *evil grin*

The making of Texas Tangle: what inspired this story? Any rituals while writing?

I did take a trip – though it wasn’t to an island, it was fairly exotic to someone not used to prickly pears and roadrunners. Back in 2007 I visited one of my critique partners’ in Texas. She breeds Arabian horses so I got an inside look at everything from the personalities of her horses (and her pet donkey Gandalf) to the daily chores required to care for a farm all done in the “damned Texas heat.” She took me horseback riding; she participates in endurance races of 50 to 100 miles a weekend, but I settled for a ride around her back forty. I soaked up the experience, including listening to the speech patterns and noticing the differences between Texans and Canadians. How could I not be inspired in that setting?

While there was lots of hair pulling, I’m not quite needing a wig yet thankfully. Texas Tangle was originally supposed to be a novella, but the three characters, heroine Nikki, and the two heroes, Dillon and Brett, just wouldn’t shut up (talking to me or arguing with each other) which had me cursing them out quite a few times. Before I knew it—oh all right, it took a few months—Texas Tangle had far surpassed novella length and grown to a full length novel.
The character in your book that you love to hate? If you had to pick just one (the worst) and invite her to tea or him to the pub for a drink, what's the one question you're dying to ask?

Ooh, character that I love to hate – the ones (yes, that’s plural) that I love to hate never actually appear in the book, they’re all off stage. First off there’s Phil, Nikki’s deadbeat brother who has taken everything she owned, including the money from her bank account and sold it for anything he could get. Then there are her parents who are more concerned about Phil than her. But since you say “the worst” I’m thinking the one I’d have to sit down with would be Phil. I’d have to ask him “Did you not think about what you were doing to your sister? Are you going to pay her back, or at least apologize for what you did to her?” Oh, dear, I guess that’s two questions isn’t it? Oh, and did I mention I’d deliver both of them with a swat up the back of his head? Maybe with a baseball bat. I’d also possibly introduce my knee to his not-so-manly parts.

And how would he/her answer?

“She owes me.” He’d probably expect me to pay for his beer too. He’s got a big entitlement issue going. (Unfortunately, I’ve met some Phils in this world who just don’t “get it” and think everyone else should pay their way.)

Why are you so excited about Carina Press?

Because they’re part of Harlequin, which is a huge name in the romance publishing industry. To be associated with them is thrilling. I get to work with some amazingly talented and very driven people who want Carina to be the best. They’ve been totally professional and their editors (both Angela and Rhonda Stapleton, as well as the editor who did the line edits) pushed me hard; I know Texas Tangle is much stronger for it. Being part of the launch is exciting because Carina Press is drawing the attention of people who may not have seen my name or read my writing before. It’s also nerve-wracking because Carina Press is drawing the attention of people who may not have seen my name or read my writing before and who will be judging Carina based partly (or maybe in some cases wholly) upon Texas Tangle’s merits.

If your editor told you that, while she absolutely loves your work, your next book had to be in another genre… which one would you choose?

If you mean not romance, then I guess I’d be writing..hmmm...historical fiction. I’ve been puddling around with a story idea set in early 1800s Upper Canada. Trouble is I keep getting told that American publishers aren’t interested in locations outside of the US, and since my storyline would be during a time in Canada where the United States were the enemy...well, I’m guessing I’d be limited to submitting it to Canadian publishers.

If I could stay within the romance genre, just something other than contemporary western, well, I’ve got a contemporary non-western going with Samhain...I guess you want me to go further afield than that—as in not contemporary--don’t you? All right I guess I’d say I’d choose historical romance too.

What's next? Next book in sequel or in the same genre or something totally new?

I’m working on the next in a series I’ve got going with Samhain at the moment, but I’m outlining a couple stories to follow up on Texas Tangle. I’ve got a novella outlined that is the story of Dillon’s great-grandparents—in Texas Tangle there’s a scene where Dillon’s grandmother relates how her grandparents were in a permanent threesome. And I’ve got a couple other ideas for following Dillon’s brothers, but that’ll take some more planning. Not to mention, I still have to sell Carina on them.

Thanks for inviting me, Claire. Your interview was great and got me thinking -- especially that "character you hate" question.
You can read the entire first chapter online or pre-order Texas Tangle here.

If you want to know more about Leah's books, you can visit her website or her blog
You can also follow Leah on her Facebook Page or on Twitter


  1. Welcome Leah, it's great to have you here

  2. I know I said it above, but thanks for inviting me Claire. One day I'll stop into the Berkshires and have a non-cyber cuppa with you.

  3. Oooh! Texans! I LOVE Texans (I used to read JT Edson and his Captain Dusty Fog books when I was a kid!) And that cover has me sweating so I'm sure the book will too. I'm hoping Nikki will break all the rules!! :)

    I love the way Carina is offering so many different romances - my tastes are eclectic and to have all this temptation at the click of a button is quite mind blowing! :)

    Good luck with your story and your new projects, Leah!

  4. Great interview. I was wondering about the inspration for this story, now I know;) I loved this story and cant wait to read more of you books. as a matter of fact, I bought two yesterday and hoping to get to them later this week.

    Have a great day to you both!

  5. Hi, Judy. I love reading westerns too--and there's something about the southern manners that exists even today. Like calling a woman "miss *insert name here*" I had that happen a lot when I was visiting. It was so cute.

    Hi, Laurie - I've figured people were tired of hearing about the inspiration for Texas Tangle. I guess that's just me because I've been writing so many blog posts on that topic. (You can check out my blog at for other guest spots I've done, most of my guest blog spots are about Texas if you're interested.)

  6. I love those horses, Leah!
    Love the blog, Claire :)

  7. Claire, that character you hate question is fantastic. I agree with Leah--weasels who think the world "owes" them are yuk.

  8. I tried my hand at westerns before and it wasn't pretty. I will leave that to Leah. I just wanna ride a cowboy or two.

  9. Inez - I've bought t-shirt while I was down there that said "Save a horse, ride a cowboy" Sure was a mighty fine looking cowboy. (I only get to wear it when Gizmo Guy gets to wear the one I brought back for him--though his says ride a cowgirl :p )

    Hi, Toni -- Sue's horses are beautiful. See you tomorrow ;)

    Jenny - that was the first time I'd seen a question like that - it was fabulous.