Who is Lea Bronsen?
Lea lives in Europe together with her husband and three children. She’s an avid reader of intense cop thrillers, the same way she loves intense sports, music and rides. She was the typical pupil who devoured books and begged the school librarian for more – and she wrote adventure, mystery and action-packed stories from an early age.
Take a few minutes to get to know Lea.
What inspired you to become an author? After decades of reading different genres, a few years ago I finally found the one that “spoke” to me: cop thrillers. The authors’ words were able to make me sweat, shiver from tension and look under my bed before going to sleep. And I thought if I my own words can provoke the same reactions to other people…
Is your novel part of a series? Can you tell me a little about the world you’ve created? Yes, I’m working on a second book that will be even grittier, dirtier and angrier. In a modern-day city, I’ve created a slightly caricatured para-society of crime, but in both worlds, the characters’ souls are real. And as in real life, none is unsoiled, even the seemingly clean ones.
Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it? The theme – redemption through affection – does not only apply to fiction as we like to think, but the real world as we know it. I wanted to show that even the worst of the worst could be saved if given the chance and a reason to change.
What do you think reader will enjoy most about your novel? Its honesty. What you get is unfiltered, whether the scene is sick, violent, or tender, funny, sad, even steamy. I don’t want a chapter ending with “…and they went to bed” and the next starting with “The sex was awesome, and he felt much better”. No, you get my three main characters’ deepest thoughts, feelings, desires and reactions exactly the way I see them.
Did you use a critique partner or group to help with revisions and editing? I’ve had the novel critiqued on the writing site Scribophile where fellow writers told me the difference between storytelling and writing, and I’ve been invited to join the Coffee Talk Writers, a group of terrific authors and wonderful personalities who have given me great support and advice.
What makes your novel unique? Why should I buy it? I wish someone would tell me! At the moment, I’m much too biased to see what is special about it.
What was the hardest part about writing this novel? In order to be able to show a character’s development, an author has to dive into the depth of his psyche and hear him, understand him, feel him. When, as in my case, it’s a tortured mind, you leave a piece of yourself behind in the process.
What piece of advice would you give a new author? You have a great idea but people criticize your writing skills? Learn the craft. You’re ready to publish but can’t find anyone to represent you? Get the book out on your own. Your sales are slow? Join a group of authors, request reviews, use the social media to spread the word. More than anything: be humble, believe in your story and never give up!
If you had a time machine, what time period would you travel to? I would visit the Native American tribes on the great Mid-western plains before the massacres.
Describe yourself in three words. I found only two: tenacious and cheeky *smile*
Short summary of the book:
Tomor—a gang leader accustomed to a hard life on the outskirts of society—is a shrewd, ruthless bastard with a price on his head. He lives a lonely life, and that suits him just fine…until the day a traitor in his ranks betrays him to the police. After a shoot out that nearly kills him, Tomor is saved by a young woman who hides him from the cops. Though he should be more concerned with the traitor who set him up, he can’t get the gorgeous girl out of his head—or shake the feeling she can fill the emptiness that has become a way of life.
Luz has survived her boring, lonely existence thanks to her two best friends: photography and alcohol. But her world shifts on the night a breathless man approaches her, asking for help. From his wild hair to his stony expression, he reeks of trouble. And he sends a shiver up her spine—one that makes her burn with excitement for the first time in her life.
After a lifetime of lonely hell, Tomor and Luz might just be able to save each other…if Tomor’s past doesn’t kill them first.
A short excerpt:
“Listen.” Luz nodded her chin toward the forest. “I was going for a walk. Do you want to come? It would be good to wind down a bit.”
“Hmm. Just lemme have a smoke first.”
Exhausted from the day’s ordeals, Tomor stepped down from his bike with slow, heavy moves, locked it, pocketed the key and fished a pack of cigarettes from his leather jacket.
She came closer and nodded to the pack. “Can I have one?”
He stared into her eyes and could not believe their amazing intensity. The whole girl sparkled with life, and he had to shake himself to be able to say something coherent.
“Didn’t know you smoked.”
He handed her the pack and watched slender fingers, perfect nails, take a cigarette.
“I’m sort of quitting.” She put it to her mouth with a small, playful frown.
He leaned closer to light it for her, so near he could swim inside her beautiful, lively eyes, now blue-green like the most vivid glacier—when he noticed her staring at his own nails and froze.
Shit, the blood, he’d had trouble scrubbing it off.
She searched him for a few long seconds before making a mental shake of her head, and quipped, “What a gentleman. I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“You lit it for me.”
A wide smile spread across her pretty features like sunshine, displaying white teeth behind those gorgeous lips of hers, and he loved it, wished he could make it last.
He grinned. “Say that word again, and I’m gonna start being nasty.”
“Aren’t you already?”
She intensified the playful smile and took a long drag. Closing her eyes, she held her breath before letting a long stream of smoke seep out from between her lips. Yep—once a smoker, always a smoker.
He was a sucker for that immediate effect too, and lit a cig for himself. He swallowed the harsh gas, let it torch his throat all the way to his lungs, held it down, imagined the poison roaming around in his inflated air sacks and joining the blood veins before speeding up to his brain and giving it the awaited kick. Ah! So good.
Exhaling a long chain of smoke, he grinned to himself.
“Seriously.” Luz stared at him. “Why did you follow me?”
His brain dancing from the nicotine, he couldn’t help widening the grin. “Isn’t it pretty obvious, Luz?”
In the same second he realized it was the first time he called her by her name. How weird. It sounded so definite, so final, as though sealing the idea that they were close and their relationship was a forever thing.
A fire lit her eyes and her cheeks colored. So she understood. “But, why me?”
He grinned again and could only admit the truth. “You’re the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.”
And now that I’ve laid my eyes on you, you’re mine. You belong to me.
He took a step closer, so near their chests would touch if he leaned forward. He brought his free hand to her flushed face and caressed it.
“You’re so sweet and innocent. So unlike the other girls.”
“W-what other girls?” She choked.
“Ah, my friends back home,” he replied cheerfully, reading her strained eyes.
Making a small nod, she slipped her cheek out of his palm, but he moved his hand behind her head instead and let his fingers enjoy the softness of her fluffy hair.
“How can you be so naive?”
Her eyes widened with surprise. She’d apparently believed he had a harem of lusty women—well, he did, but she didn’t need to know that.
Satisfied, he turned his head aside to take a long drag from his cigarette and exhaled the smoke away from her.
When he looked back, her eyes had darkened as if a painful thought rushed through her mind, and again she slipped away from him, shaking her head and taking a step back. “Don’t.”
His hand hung between them without purpose while he tasted the girl’s rejection, finding it unusual and very bold.
“Easy, babe. Nobody refuses me.”
Clenching his fist, he dropped the hand down, then brought the other to his mouth for a new drag of smoke.
Luz glared. “Exactly.”
“You think you own the world and can do what you want, and if they don’t agree, you’ll just take it from them. But not me. I have a choice. I can refuse.”
He chuckled. “You make it sound like you’re this special person I have to deserve or something!”
“Uh-huh.” Squinting, she dropped the cigarette to the ground and stepped on it.
He bit his lower lip. Mistake. Chest pounding, he wondered what to say to catch her back.
“Listen, I know you like me, Luz. I’ve seen it in your eyes.”
She shrugged and sent him a meaningful stare. “Even if I did, I wouldn’t want to be with you. I don’t know precisely what you do for a living, but I definitely don’t want to be a part of it. I work very hard for my money.”
His gut filled with something ugly and heavy. For the first time, he thought he would have to consider turning his life around. Maybe being with her would compensate.
“I can change,” he offered.
She eyed him. “It’s not only you. It’s everything around you. Where you live. Your men. What you do. I mean, the cops are after you, aren’t they?”
Hating where she led him, he made a barely noticeable nod.
“Well, if they catch you, how many years do you get?”
Her eyes flashed, a small contraction betraying how much she cared.
Pleased to have touched her, he smirked. “Or life. But I’d rather get the needle.”
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