While this book is a stand alone, we got the pleasure of meeting one of its main characters in A tragic Wreck (book 2 of Beautiful Mess series) Cam. This is his story along with Jolene's and if you have read the other you probably have been dying to know what happened to the sexy surfer.
Title: Heart of Light
Author: T.K. Leigh
Release Date: August 25, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
RECOMMENDED FOR AGES EIGHTEEN AND UP DUE TO EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, STRONG LANGUAGE, AND GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed… Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped. Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free. Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again. And trust again. But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is? Heart of Light is a captivating story of love, strength, and survival.
I got the great pleasure of getting to do an interview with T.k. Leigh for the tour.
So here it is ya'll
- What was the process like getting your book to become a reality? Getting an agent, signing with a publisher if you have one, etc…
I'm an indie author, so I never sent query letters or sought out an agent. I simply had a story I wanted to tell and decided to publish. I would have been happy if 10 people bought my book. It wasn't until my first book, A Beautiful Mess, achieved a modicum of success that I signed with an agent, who sought me out. When I first published, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't even know what a street team was. I still feel somewhat lost navigating this indie world, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Do you have an author you completely fan girl over? If so who?
Not really. I guess if there's any that I would, it would be Hunter S. Thompson, but sadly, he's no longer with us.
- Out of all your characters who were your favorite to write? Who was also the hardest to write?
I loved writing Jolene from "Heart of Light". It was refreshing to be able to write such a strong, independent woman. The hardest character for me to write was Jack, from my Beautiful Mess series. For those that have read the series, you know why.
- What was your favorite scene to write in Heart of Light?
It's hard to pick a favorite scene, but I'd have to say the end of the book. I had no idea how it was going to end, but I knew I was on the last chapter, as I had already wrapped everything up. I wrote the last line, wondering to myself where I was going to go from there, and I looked at what I had just written and knew that nothing else needed to be said. It brought the book and Jolene and Cam's relationship full circle.
- Where did your inspiration to write Heart of Light come from?
I actually wanted to paint the issue of human trafficking in a more realistic light than it has been in many dark romance novels that are out there. I know the forbidden is always intriguing, but having worked in the legal field, I wanted people to open up their eyes to the fact that this is a growing problem not just in third world countries, but in our own back yard. Many readers have contacting me, thanking me for writing this book as they had no idea something as horrific and brutal as human trafficking was happening here in the US. So that was my inspiration.
- Ok, so I know you have a couple new books you’re working on right now. Is there anything fun you can or would be willing to share from one of those new books?
Actually, yes. In Heart of Light, Cam is the main character. He tells Jolene a story about his sister, Marley. My next book is Heart of Marley and is a prequel of sorts to Heart of Light, but it is a stand alone. It begins with the story that Cam told in Heart of Light and progresses through his senior year of high school...
******** So I'll share Cam's first kiss. ;-) ********
She kept her gaze glued to mine and nodded. Her lips parted slightly and her sweet breath caressed my skin. Nothing I had ever experienced in my life felt as warm and inviting as having Brianna’s body pressed against mine.
“Cam…” she exhaled.
“Bri…” I replied, my voice soft as my eyes roamed her angelic face from her big brown eyes, to her small button-like nose, and finally settled on her full, pouty lips, wondering what they tasted like.
“What are you waiting for?”
My eyes grew wide in shock, confusion, and probably lust, too. “What do you mean?”
She titled her head toward me, her lips just a breath away from my neck. “Kiss me, Cam. I know you want to. Or, at least, I think you want to. Do you want to?” she asked, her face flashing red in embarrassment.
“Of course. Do you want to, though? I mean, I don’t want you to want to kiss me just because you think I want to kiss you. If you don’t, I’m okay with not kissing you. Well, I’m not okay. It’ll suck to not kiss you when I’ve been thinking about it since freshman year, but you don’t have to want to kiss me if you don’t want to.”
She ran her fingers through my hair and my heart beat increased dramatically. “I want you to kiss me,” she said, a wide grin on her face. “And I plan on kissing you back.” The most adorable scowl crossed her face. “I’m not so sure there should be this much discussion before a first kiss, Cam. It takes the spontaneity out of it a bit, don’t you think?”
“Can I get a do-over?” I asked.
She nodded her head, smiling excitedly. “Help me up and then you can catch me again.”
“Okay,” I said, raising her body. “I just hope I can still salvage our first kiss.” I winked at her.
“I have faith that you can, Cameron,” her sweet voice assured me. “Are you ready to catch me?”
I met her eyes. “I’ll always catch you when you fall.”
She swooned in a dramatic manner, falling into my arms. My eyes roamed to her lips as she moistened them with her tongue. Lowering my head toward hers, I kept my hand firmly planted on the small of her back, holding her in place. I brushed my lips against hers and she moved against me in perfect synchronicity. Sliding my tongue against her lips, she opened her mouth in response. Our tongues met and I couldn’t remember ever feeling so aroused.
I ran my hand down the contours of her frame, holding on to her hip and bringing her body further into mine. I felt her shiver and her breathing increased as my tongue continued to caress hers. Pulling back, I knew I needed to stop before I could no longer hide my need for her.
******** end ********
- So you have a background in the law field, what made you decide to become a writer as well as work in law?
I'm lucky that I now get to write full time. I'm not so sure it was any one thing that led me to pursue this. I always say they don't really teach you the law in law school. They teach you how to write. They expect you to learn the law once you're out in the field practicing. I worked in the legal field for a while, but I never went to law school to be a lawyer. I just wanted an advanced degree. I am a member of the California State Bar, but once I moved out to California, I started producing. I was working on a pretty boring project one day while the hubs was out of town, baby-sitting tape decks, essentially, and a story popped in my head, so I decided to write it down. And Mr. Burnham was born. I couldn't be happier with the direction that this life has taken me. I'm able to do something I truly love to do, and I get to go to signings and meet my amazing readers. I'm truly blessed.
- Star Wars or Star Trek?
I've never seen Star Trek (which is funny because the hubs used to work on that show) so I'll abstain from answering. ;-)
- If you could pick a book boyfriend from any book who would you choose?
Jay Gatsby was my first book boyfriend so I'll stick with him.
- So I know music plays a huge part in your writing process, why is this, and what have been some of the most influential songs so far? I know I personally have a very close relationship to music and it has helped me express many things in my life so I completely understand the connection to music and writing.
I grew up around music. There's something so emotional about matching words to melody. Music can convey feelings in a way that words alone can't. So I try to draw on the emotions I feel from certain songs and relay those into the books themselves. I get inspiration from story lines from songs, too. In fact, the inspiration for the characters Olivia and Alexander came from the song "Beneath Your Beautiful." The story of "Heart of Light" was somewhat inspired by Sara Bareilles "Once Upon Another Time" - well, at least the feeling behind that song helped me come up with the character Jolene. When I have a playlist for each of my books, and it's really a huge inspiration to be able to listen to certain songs and develop a story based on these emotions.
- Do you travel at all to help with getting a setting right in your books?
So far, all of the locations in my books have been places I've been to. I do have a lot more books planned and the settings are places I have yet to go so I do plan to head to these places to get a feel for them. One book will be set in Costa Rica. Work, work, work. ;-)
- Ok last question, if you had a chance to rewrite anything in the series would you? And what would it be?
No. I wouldn't rewrite anything. After I finish the rough draft of all my manuscripts, I step back and let the story simmer for at least a month. So that gives me time to reflect on what I've written and time to decide whether I want the story to go in a different direction. I'm thrilled with the way everything in my books has turned out.
Thank you to the lovely T.K. Leigh for the interview. I hope you all enjoyed her answers as much as I did :)
I will also have my review of Heart of Light Posted for ya'll tomorrow. I was going to originally post it now, but with so much already on this post I figured I would break it into 2 and give you something to look forward to tomorrow
Excerpt:“Why don’t you like being touched?” he asked quietly in a bold move. Jolene stopped dead in her tracks, glaring at him. “I just don’t, alright?” she hissed, her voice raised. “And it’s none of your fucking business why I act the way I do. I see what you’re trying to do, Doctor.” She spun around and stormed back toward the house, wanting to get far away from his prying, yet consoling, eyes. “What, Jolene? What am I doing? I just want to get to know you. I want to spend time with you, and I need to know why certain things set you off so that I don’t do them!” He ran along the shore, catching up to her, stopping short when he almost reached out and grabbed her arm to force her to talk to him. Feeling him approach behind her, she reeled around. The expression on her face was fierce. “You’ve been a therapist for far too long. You need to get it out of your head that you can help me.” The ocean wind whipped her hair in front of her face and her voice rose in anger. “You can’t! No one can! So just stop! Stop taking an interest in me! Stop with the whole nice guy act because, based on my experience, that’s all it is!” she cried through her tears, her voice becoming barely audible. “A fucking act.” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply before opening them, the pain of what she had experienced the past decade of her life visible in the look of unease on her face. She took a step closer, her eyes remaining glued to Cam’s. “You show up on my doorstep acting like my savior when the world has gone to shit. You tell me how you’ll look after me and protect me. And you know what those are?” She could see the hurt that her words were causing him, but she didn’t care. “Lies, Cam,” she said quietly. “Just lies. You say you’ll help me and watch over me, but you’ll turn. I can’t… I can’t go through that again. Please. I beg you. Just stay away from me.” She spun around and began walking briskly away from him. “You don’t have to do this, Jolene!” he shouted, running to catch up with her. “You don’t have to choose fear.” “Yes, I do,” she insisted, turning to face him once more. “It’s the only way that he won’t…” “You can choose me instead,” he interrupted. Her breath caught at his unexpected reply. “Cam, I…” She trailed off, hiding her tear-filled eyes. “Don’t let your fear control you, Jolene,” he implored, his voice soft. He brought his body close to hers. “Please, choose me, not fear.”
Here are some links so you can check out her Beautiful Mess series. Where we first get to meet Cam ;)
$100 Amazon Gift Card, (10) Signed Paperback of Heart of Light