Hi Everyone! Here’s a peek at an up-and-coming author who definitely has writing chops – and you can be in on the beginning of her wonderful “Diamond…” series!
…and you saw her first, don’t forget.
J. L. is a landlocked beach bum, living in a small, rural town near Nashville, Tennessee; where she was born and raised. She loves taking road trips just as long as that road winds up taking her to the beach. As a lefty, her earliest memories are of trying art in some form or other. She settled on writing and was hooked from an early age. Yet, it doesn’t come easy. As a child, J.L. spoke, as well as wrote backwards. Her mind is like a mirror, writing from right to left. Turning letters backwards as well. She’s been told it’s some form of dyslexia, but she takes it as just another aspect of who she is. She’s a voracious reader of most fiction with murder, mystery, and suspense among her favorites. She also loves literary works like, Victorian literature; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. J.L. prefers noir films, like the Thin Man series, Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca; and her all-time favorite; Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 version of Rebecca. J. L. can be found most days writing, proofing manuscripts, and writing book reviews. When she’s not working she’s spending time with her family.
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You can find J.L.’s wonderful books at:
A little about J.L’s ‘BadGirls’ and an excerpt from her first book in the series:
I grew up reading a lot. Mysteries were my favorite. I’ve been reading those since I was eight. Then a few years later I began reading romance. My parents romance novels. By the age of eleven I knew I wanted to be a writer. Of course, life gets in the way but then that just makes my novels richer because I’ve gained experience.
The formula of romance novels always puzzled me. Not just the fact there was no sex in romance novels only hints at it. But let me tell you, women like Kathleen Woodiwiss did a great job at hinting. I was hooked.
When I began writing in earnest, I knew I wanted to do three things in some of my romance/mystery novels. 1. Write series novels. 2. Make the heroines’ moral compass blurred, questionable, and sometimes downright bad. 3. And, finally, I wanted to add detailed love scenes.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against good girls who are kind, caring, giving. Let’s face it. If I acted the way my characters in Diamond’s Girls Series did, I’d be in prison. But that’s the beauty of fiction.
Also, explicit love scenes need to be written for a purpose. I’ve read novels that have little story around sex. I can watch porn if I want sex with no story. However, the reason I write erotica is because it is a natural progression between lovers within the love.
Think about the romance novel premise. Romance novels have been around for centuries. In fact, our modern day romance novels derive from the late English Victorian period with authors Like Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Dickens. Look at Scarlett O’Hara, who was considered a lady during her time. She didn’t have sex with Rhett after Bonnie was born, and when she did, it because she pushed her husband too far. And her flaws; the woman was greedy, stole her sister’s beau so she could feed her family. But her traits were acceptable to society.
So I planned a story where the heroine was a thief. I wanted to show that not every heroine has to be young, a virgin or virginal, and a good girl. I wanted to show that bad girls can have just as much fun, and find love as good girls do.
By the time we meet Peyton Gilbrad, she’s out of the business, but she still attracts that criminal element in her life. I realized, I’m happy to say, that the women I surrounded Peyton with would need stories of their own. So I developed a series, called Diamond’s Girls.
I wanted the women in these stories to live on the fringe of society. Of course, for my heroines to be accepted I knew there had to be a valid reason for their behavior. Let’s face it, we still haven’t come that far where women can do all the things a man can and still be respected, accepted, and not frowned upon.
So I bent to society’s whims and made their childhood so bad that turning to a life of crime to get out of their situation would make them acceptable heroines. I’m happy with the results.
Peyton Gilbrad from book 1, titled: Diamonds Aren’t Forever, intentionally became a criminal at seventeen. She wanted a life beyond being homeless. She knew the foster system failed her and her sisters. We then fast forward thirteen years later and she’s now out of the business. But that kind of life has consequences. The story, originally planned as a former thief turned novelist who falls in love with two men became a mystery as well adding the fact someone wants revenge for a heist.
Shelbie Gilbrad, book 2 (currently working on) titled: Sometimes Diamonds Lose their Luster will continue the mystery. Shelbie is a sensual woman who enjoys the attention of men, but more importantly liked being a criminal a little too much. She loved the thrill of it. A slip up has come back to haunt her in the form of Dagan Caulfield. Dagan believes Shelbie stole his late wife’s diamond necklace. Dagan finds her to exact revenge, and make her and her gang steal back the necklace, a priceless six carat green tear drop diamond with hints of red imbedded in the middle named the Dragon’s Tear.
Amalia Gilbrad, book 3 titled: Diamond is a Girl’s Best Friend is Diamond Malloy and Amalia’s story. Diamond is the head of this little gang. Amalia is computer specialist, and was the technical expert of the team. I know they’re story will center around the past, why Shelbie was at a place where she could be mistaken as the culprit, and then segue into the present with them trying to find the diamond.
Book 4, no title as of yet, is Arabella Gilbrad’s sotry. Arabella is my mystery woman. She hated being a thief, now she lives quietly and privately, spending as much time away from her family and former gang as she does with them. She’s not ashamed of them, but can’t get past the stigma of having to steal to survive. She’s not without her own demons. She was too good at stealing, too good at playing the bad girl (biker chick, drinking and partying hard after a heist) so she’s turned to the quiet life. She’s a bar owner/chef. Book 4 ties up the mystery of the series. Arabella’s mystery man, maybe I’ll do a call for names when I get closer to this book, actually is a thief/insurance fraud agent who steals back high price stolen jewels. They team up to get the Dragon’s Tear back.
Diamonds Aren’t Forever teaser:
Peyton Gilbrad can finally put her fears to rest. She has security that she didn’t have as a child living in foster homes and on the streets of Atlanta, Ga. She has money, albeit much of it from her past as a jewel thief. Now, she’s a bestselling author fueled by her imagination and her past. A past she has worked hard to keep a secret and walk away from.
Sebastian and Thierry Boudreaux know all about Peyton Gilbrad’s past. Her ex-husband is touting she has diamonds worth millions. The brothers are sent to collect Steven Hawking’s gambling debts. Their plan, get in, get the money Hawking owed, and take a few extra diamonds to fund their own business, allowing them to leave their life as Number collectors for their family’s casino. But no plan ever comes off without a hitch. Like falling for Peyton Gilbrad.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Sebastian and Thierry set off a chain of events that dregs up Peyton’s past, bringing trouble to all of Diamond’s girls. Sebastian and Thierry reluctantly team up with Diamond Malloy, notorious jewel thief, to rid Peyton of her problem. But are they all too late to realize diamonds are always forever?
Excerpt of Chapter 1
Peyton fell unceremoniously onto the leather sofa. She let out a muffled oomph around the gag in her mouth. Bound at her wrists and ankles, she struggled to sit only to sink further into the buttery soft cushions.
The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on her. How had she become the cliché she wrote about; a woman antagonizing her attacker only to wind up tied up like a Christmas present.
Peyton had written hundreds of scenes like the one she was in right now. Worse even. And the heroines always came out without a scrape.
Fiction vs. reality here, Peyton. Her arms bound behind her ached, her chafed wrists and ankles concurred.
Shaking off the momentary jaunt into irrational thinking, she knew the only way to get out of this was to keep a level head. However if her actions of the last hour were a good indicator of things to come, Peyton had a sneaky suspicion that wasn’t going to happen.
Her mind raced back to seeing the man, towering above her now, sitting in the back of the limo. All rational thought had fled.
Was he at the party? Not that it mattered if he was a fan but maybe Shelbie or Arabella had seen him and his brother and knew their identities.
She’d spent the evening with friends and members of Passion Press, celebrating her latest novel, His Dark Desires. Cash was tossed around like it grew on trees for their latest #1 bestselling author, Peyton Gilbrad.
And why not? This was her fourth novel, the last three still selling nicely. And although she was thrilled the novel was still on New York Times bestseller list, steady at number 9, and had been for the last five months, she focused more on the results.
She was free. They were free. Their past could no longer hurt them.
Sated, pleasantly tipsy, the party winding down, she got into the back of the limo, her cream silk pants whispering over sumptuous leather where she came face to face with tall, dark, and brooding.
At first she thought it was a trick of the light. But no, even then she intuitively knew his scowl was a normal part of his demeanor. Looking up at him now confirmed her earlier suspicions.
She couldn’t stop the giggle behind the gag, thinking, if it had been raining on this hot, humid October night the line, ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ would’ve been appropriate. But even that tired cliché was a bit much.
Unless she applied it to the man’s countenance.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t handsome. In fact, quite the opposite if one liked dark, moody men. And who would’ve thought she did. Her body shivered deliciously as his denim blue eyes roamed leisurely over her then and now.
Girl you’re losing it.
During the ride home, she had taken in his shoulder length black hair, roman nose, full lips. Sensual is how she’d have described them in her novels. Blue eyes with thick lashes that any woman would sell her soul to have, and his slightly dimpled chin were a contrast to his personality.
Not surprisingly, he was dressed all in black. Black jeans, jacket, and t-shirt stretched tight across his muscled chest and sinewy arms. And he had the word thug written all over him.
Peyton was well acquainted with men like him. Men that protected their bosses and illegal livelihood without qualms. Men she’d thought were out of her life. Well, at least in the background.
After one glance, she knew most women would have been cowering in their seat, begging for their lives, but not her. She wasn’t that type of woman.
Getting a good look at him now, she was certain she’d never seen this man when they lived and worked in Atlanta, and certainly not here in McDonough where she now lived. She’d walked away from a life of crime two years ago. And with a face and body like his, she would definitely have remembered him.
Trying to control the shiver of lust shooting up her spine, thoughts of him having his wicked way with her while she was tied flashed in her head, like a neon sign.
Stop it. I have more important things to worry about. Like finding out who he is without him learning about Diamond and my sisters.
But with his looks it was so hard not to fantasize.
And, girl what’s up with your body? His touch had had an immediate and electrifying effect. Coherent thought wasn’t possible, and her body knew four years without sex just wasn’t healthy.
If touching him in the limo hadn’t been evident enough to send her into sensory overload; him, slinging her over his shoulder, like a four pound sack of sugar, carrying her into the house was.
Her mind raced frantically back to the scene in the limo. Her first thought was Shelbie, her best friend, had set up a tête á tête. Hey, it was a mistake any woman would make.
Especially when his strong fingers wound around her neck, his touch, surprisingly gentle pushed her back into the seat, following her demanding she stop talking and hand over the merchandise. The heat of his gaze and touch were like a branding iron on her skin, making it turn to molten chocolate.
Sue me, she thought. She used a lot of food imagery in her novels.
“Merchandise?” She managed to nervously squeak out. Her eyes glued to that mouth, hers watering. She’d had to debate, lengthily, that kissing him was a bad idea.
When she’d first glanced into those blue eyes, reminding her of a deep pool, she immediately thought to thank Shelbie on her choice. Shelbie knew Peyton was a sucker for black haired, blue eyed men.
“You know.” His bass voice seeped into her body like aged scotch.
Embarrassed over the fluttering in her womb and the first throb of need pulsating in her pussy in ages, Peyton squeezed her legs together, praying he didn’t notice, and quickly squawked, “no.”
“No?” the side of his mouth twitched, with his voice, in amusement. The pressure of his fingers, the friction of his thumb sliding up and down her neck should have been intimidating. But that hint of a smile made her melt.
Licking dry lips, she said, “Tell Shelbie thanks, but I’m not ready,”
Shelbie knew all of Peyton’s fantasies. Heck anyone who read her novels knew them. Every sex scene, well the majority of them, was something Peyton wanted to try. Being held captive, ravished by a man was something she had threatened to fulfill ever since Steven, her husband, now ex, had run off with a twenty three year old.
Shrugging off the man’s hand like she would a persistent fan, Peyton had tried desperately to dismiss her thrumming, needy body and naughty thoughts. Pressing a button, lowering the privacy window, she looked directly at him, getting lost in his blue eyes making it difficult to speak.
She had wet her dry lips, hoping that would hel, only to notice how his eyes followed the movement of her tongue. If she’d been able to breathe, she’d have sucked in a much needed breath.
Thank goodness he was just as much affected as she was. His pupils had dilated, and the look he gave her was something akin to a starving man eating a big juicy steak.
It was all she could do to croak out, “I can drop you off at your place if you like. Where do you live?” Uncertainty had filled her in the ensuing silence. His lips twitched, and his blue eyes darkened further; as did his mood; as if that was possible.
“Quit stalling. You know what I want then my brother and I will be on our way.” He tilted his head towards the driver.
Annoyed that he continued his game, his words didn’t register in Peyton’s over imaginative brain. “Look, no matter what you think, a three way isn’t on my mind tonight. I’m tired, my feet hurt from standing in four inch heels, and I just want a glass of wine, a hot bath and sleep for the next twenty four hours.” Hoping her stern voice and displeased glare got him out of her car, but the smile he flashed, that had been threatening all through her tirade, was suddenly full blown laughter.
Startled by the sudden about face or if she’d been writing a scene; staggered that he was drop dead gorgeous when he laughed, Peyton’s eyes locked onto his then flicked towards the man driving as his laughter joined his brothers. In that moment two things happened, something shifted inside her, and between them. And, she realized they weren’t here to show her a good time. She was a prisoner of not one, but two men. And she liked that thought.
You can find J.L.’s wonderful books at: