12 December 2016

Uh wow

So I haven't written anything since August. That's crazy.

Fairly certain the depressive episodes that have colored the last few months have something to do with it.

But I'm not here to discuss depression (today).

And although Batman Arkham Knight has owned me the last several weeks, I'm not here to talk about that, either. I'll post a review later this week that will be a love letter to Jason Todd and what I would love to see from another installment.

Today, we're going to talk about a special breed of imposter syndrome.

A couple years ago I wrote a book approximately 10 people have read about a romance author who hasn't had a relationship in a long ass time. Claire is probably the closest to me I've actually put in a book (though she's not me and there's a difference) because I, too, am a romance author who hasn't had a relationship in a long ass time because of lasting emotional trauma that's gonna require more therapy than I have time for to deal with. And like Claire, I kinda wonder if that fact makes me less of a romance writer. I'm actually quite jaded where 99.999% of romance-related things are involved. I'm a mega-shipper of Olicity and I enjoy a good HEA, though I think happily for now is far more realistic.

So with my books, and even romantic subplots, I tend to err more on the side of realism (btw, I had to add "err" to my phone's dictionary just now, but it knows words that don't actually exist). And I realize that Jaded Romantic isn't a huge sub-genre of the community. But I'm here. And I write what I want to read. Stories that are emotionally messy. People whose worst enemies are most definitely themselves. In fact, I'm working on a project that involves a severely depressed/suicidal heroine because mentally ill people are under-represented. I know this, for I am a mentally ill person and have yet to read anything where the heroine makes me go HOLY SHIT THAT'S ME. It's why I always liked science fiction--those are some fucked up people, but it's ok because they're doing science. In fact, one of the saddest love stories for me is Mr. Fries and Nora, his wife, who (depending on the retcon) suffers from Huntington's chorea, and her husband has cryogenically frozen her to buy time until he can find a cure. Again, not really here or there.

Ok, back to this whole imposter thing. I'd love some feedback on this, btw. But my question is, does a romance author need to be in a relationship to write romance effectively? And more than that, would you as a reader feel a little gipped if you read a book and the author was someone like me with a partner and kids effectively missing from the bio? Do you think I'm just stuck too far in my head? Let me know below.

07 August 2016

So...about this Harley and Joker thing....

****Fair warning: Spoilers ahoy.****

After my two recent viewings of Suicide Squad and too much time hanging out on Twitter, I developed emotions. Suicide Squad in general gave me emotions. That whole thing with Deadshot and his daughter? ALLLLLLLL THE FEELS. And yes, I know the movie is problematic in so many ways. Adam Beach deserved a whole lot better; the Native community as a whole deserves a whole lot better. Slipknot deserved to be more than a throwaway character. But I digress.

As a Batman fan from a very young age, I actually remember the episode where Harley debuted. Originally, she was a throwaway character herself from a Joker dream sequence, but the writers decided to keep her, gave her a backstory, turned her into the character we all know and love. Before I go any further: Dear Margot Robbie, you KILLT IT.


There are plenty of people who view the movie as romanticizing Harley and Joker's relationship, but I disagree. A lot, actually. As someone who dated a man with sociopathic tendencies, I probably have a starkly different view, thanks to Robbie's very nuanced portrayal of Harley Quinn.

New 52 origin aside, Harleen Quinzel's transformation into Joker's girlfriend, as she's repeatedly called, isn't a complete transformation. Her time away from Joker has put her into a sort of identity crisis, where bits and pieces of her old life creep through to the surface. There's a lot of uncertainty in her face, where she isn't sure she wants to go back to Joker now that she has something akin to friends in Deadshot and Diablo, and eventually Croc.

One of the most telling parts of the movie is just after the ACE Chemicals flashback: Deadshot startles her and she pulls her gun on him. That kind of reaction does not happen after a happy memory, guys. Regardless of the tense situation, it's the first time up to that point she's truly shown fear. And then, the absolutely brokenhearted way in which she asks Deadshot if he's ever been in love.... She's looking for reassurance, and when she doesn't get it, she calls him a "textbook sociopath."

You see, she already knows Joker doesn't love her.

She knows he's incapable of loving her or anything else.

But here's the problem, and the thing sociopaths are experts at: Harley has no idea who she is away from him.

The Puddin collar (because it is), the jacket, hell, her entire color scheme--all facilitated by Joker. He's created her, given her the identity of Harley Quinn. Even her mannerisms are patterned after his. He's so entrenched in her that the separation has to be jarring for her, which explains why she's desperate to get back to him, because getting back to him means getting back to herself, because what is she without him? She gave up her family (she has a mom and brother, plus a dad who's a career criminal); her occupation, which is grueling YEARS of school plus a continuation of classes after you earn your degree--I actually wanted to go into criminal psychology, too; and her entire identity to be what he made her. Trust me when I say it's really, really difficult to get back to yourself after a relationship with a sociopath. And it's much easier to fill a role than rebuild when you've given everything and gotten nothing in return.

So no, I don't think the movie romanticizes Harley and Joker's relationship. I think it's actually one of the more honest portrayals we've seen. And if they'd kept in the deleted scenes of the physical abuse Harley suffered from him, the honesty would've been brutal.

22 July 2016

New Release Alert: Submissive on the Run - Tara Quan

The Story Behind the Book
Sometimes, supporting characters take on a life of their own. After selflessly aiding in the affairs of others, they sulk in the back of an author’s brain, broadcasting their past, present, and future until surrender is nigh. Thus was the case with Kim Tran, the intrepid dungeon monitor from Submissive on Display. Unbeknownst to the heroine of the first book, Kim has some unfinished business with the hero’s best friend (small world, I know). He insisted I give them a chance to sort things out, and, being a Dom, he has a knack for getting his way.
Submissive on the Run drags me back to Las Vegas’s renowned Carnivore Club, a multi-author world first penned by Kate Richards for Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand Series. This interracial BDSM romance stars a feisty sub with a strong right hook, who must contend with a spoilt rich boy determined to win her back. An ill-mannered cat and Madam Eve’s matchmaking service unite them for a night of exhibitionistic fun, which ends in a capture game and a scorching happily ever after.
To celebrate my return to BDSM romance this year, I’m giving away a $15 gift card. To enter, leave a comment here and drop your details at my website: http://www.taraquan.com/submissiveontherun 

Submissive on the Run by Tara Quan
Obscene wealth and a toxic family taught Joss Bradlee to care about no one. He moved through life in a caustic shell, fending off gold-diggers with his sharp tongue and abrasive personality. But a stubborn submissive saw past his nonchalant act, and he fell hard and fast for a girl he didn’t deserve. When she accidentally stumbled into the line of fire, he moved heaven and earth to protect her, even if it meant letting her go. Ten months later, he ensures her safety and tracks her down, finally ready to claim the one person that matters. The only problem—she wants nothing to do with him.
On the run for close to a year, Kim Tran receives a surprise call from the man who’d put her life in danger. His family hired assassins to kill her, but he’s somehow convinced they still had a chance. With their entire relationship built on a lie, she resists the instinct to sprint straight into his arms. Faced with a social divide no sane person would bridge, she cuts her losses and breaks her own heart. But the Dominant she loves has other plans, and he’s spent his entire life getting his way. Too late to run and with nowhere to hide, she faces an adversary well versed in all her weaknesses.
At the Carnivore Club, two exhibitionists meet for a battle of wills, lured by a one-night stand service, misplaced cat, and several helping hands. With the aid of handcuffs, disciplinary measures, and a capture game, a reluctant sub rediscovers the pleasures of bondage, the thrill of display, and the ecstasy of surrender.
Genre: BDSM Romance, Erotic Romance, Interracial/Multicultural

Buy Links: Amazon | ARe | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay | GoodReads

18 July 2016

The Story Behind the Book: Happy birthday, TTNY!

Hard to believe TTNY is a toddler now. Wow. Happy book birthday, Moira and Kiernan!

When I wrote this book three years ago, it was partially on a whim, and partially because I was searching for something to provide a small glimpse of hope. I'd been a little while out of that terrible relationship I mentioned a few weeks ago and struggling to find my bearings. No matter what I did, I couldn't make that relationship work, mostly because he wasn't willing. But I could write about people who could and were.

Until this point, I'd thought myself solely a SFF writer, no romance thank you very much. But recent heartbreak has a way of changing your mind on a lot of things, and honestly, how will I learn anything if I don't write? And how will I grow if I don't challenge myself? After all, everything I'd believed about love and forever was shattered.

So I started writing. Being me, I geared toward vampires because of course I did. I was the kid reading Anne Rice in high school, eating up everything about vampire mythology that I could, fascinated by these intensely beautiful, dangerous creatures. It was a natural go-to. But what about the story? The characters?

After a little soul searching (and a bit more wine) I started brainstorming and came up with Kiernan, a man who is disgustingly honorable and kind and loving and basically what I needed at the time. Moira was pretty simple. A hermit who spends all her time working? That was me before my relationship ended. And like me, Moira is blessed with a wonderful best friend who is there to care for her when no one else can or will.

I found a great deal of healing through the two of them. Kiernan's love and devotion to Moira has lasted from her childhood and continues to last through her self doubt and fear. And Moira finds her spirit and gets to choose the path she wants to take--to be with Kiernan--even if he's not 100% on board at first. It gave me the hope that one of these days, I'd be able to find someone to accept the flaws and the fears and the anxiety that I deal with and love me with the fullness I need.

These two will always have a lasting place in my heart. I hope you'll at least give them a place in your e-reader ;)

Vampire Kiernan Shaw has never forgotten the night twenty years ago when he’d been forced to stand by while another vampire killed a six-year-old girl’s parents in front of her. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades watching over her, protecting her and hoping for an opportunity to make amends one day.

Ever since surviving the vampire attack that killed her parents, Moira Curran has dealt with the resulting nightmares and abandonment issues the only way she could—by throwing herself into her biochemistry career, preferring a life of a hermit in her lab to facing the reality of her lonely life.

Madame Eve brings them back together for one fateful night. An immediate bond of sizzling chemistry and respect forms, but can it heal her fears and his guilt?

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance Ebooks

05 July 2016

Cover Reveal: Deadly Slumber - Kerrianne Combs

I am so happy to tell you that Deadly Slumber, the NEW first book in the Demon Tales Series will be released in October. (Deadly Slumber is a re-release of Sleeping Beauty, and the Damned Demon. After this book the Demon Tales will be ALL NEW stories, never read before.)

The Demon Tales have had a shake up, a rejig and been given a whole new, shiny look!
I did this because I felt they needed a polish, and I believe a new era, needs a new look!

My writing has grown and evolved since I first wrote Beauty and the Beast 7 years ago, and I wanted to breathe some fresh air into their stories. So, while you may not see all characters you once read about yet - you will, but they will have fresh books! (All coming soon)

Thank you for waiting so patiently for the Demons to return. I will be eternally grateful to all who read the original series. I hope you enjoy my changes.

If you are a new reader, Hi! ;-)
My Demon Tales are sexy, dark and twisted versions of recognizable fairy tales. They are full of action, intrigue and HOT SEXY males. My females are strong and forceful – not meek and defenseless. And I hope you learn to love them as much as I do. 
I hope you enjoy Deadly Slumber.

Much love.
Kerrianne Coombes x0x0

Selma is wasting away, starved of light, love and happiness. Locked in a human insane asylum, cursed. When she awakens the nightmares truly begin. She has given up all hope of escaping, until a dark stranger, with frightening eyes, secrets her away in the night.

Alone, bitter and determined, Rhand searches for what was taken from him. Ruthless beyond measure, nothing and no one will get in the way of fulfilling his promise to his people. The Fey who lost it all… Until his search leads him to Selma.

Dark Magic, demonic lands and evil inhabit the world where he takes her, but nothing compares to the power of the love between the mercenary and his Sleeping Beauty.

01 July 2016

Cover Reveal and Excerpt (NSFW): Surprising Myself - Lea Bronson

Thank you for hosting my first audio release, the erotica anthology SURPRISING MYSELF!

What is your secret fantasy? That one thing you dream of doing but have never had the chance to fulfill in real life… Thirteen writers present sexy, steamy stories of women getting the chance to live out their personal fantasies. What’s yours? Whether it’s several lovers at the same time for a pulse-pounding ménage scene or the allure of getting caught in public, these stories will set your mind ablaze. From voyeurism in a sex club to swinging, cuckolding to cosplay, SURPRISING MYSELF brings you stories from thirteen hot new writers to watch out for and just might make you think about fulfilling your own wildest fantasy.

Lorna, a young American reporter, travels to a port town in France to cover a yacht race. She hopes she’ll be able to experience her wildest fantasy on the beach – sex in public. Due to getting on the wrong train, she has an argument with the controller, who she finds both immensely sexy and annoyingly arrogant.

When he brings her to the engine, pretending to restrain her but instead getting intimate with her, she sees the opportunity to live out her fantasy…


If lucky, I might even meet a handsome Frenchman with whom to spend Saturday night. I’m single, have been for the past few months, and at twenty-three, the lack of sex for such a long time is driving me half-nuts. An interlude with a local hotness on one of the warm beaches of Sables sounds like an irresistible idea. Yes, a beach, or any other public place. The eBook I’m reading features a heroine getting the f*** of her life in an open park at night against a tree in full view of passersby. I want that kind of excitement, too. The three boyfriends I’ve had in the past few years were good in bed but not daring enough. I yearn for someone to do something crazy and a little forbidden with me, in public visibility. Surely, that hint of dangerousness, the possibility of being caught by the authorities, should increase the sexual experience—and our orgasms—tenfold.

For now, I’ll have to do with checking out the cute Maghrebian controller while waiting for him to examine my ticket. Row after row, he walks the narrow aisle toward me, distributing polite smiles to the passengers and answering questions. Tall and broad-shouldered, he has the looks and build of a soccer player. A black tribal tattoo appears below the short sleeve of his purple shirt and travels down his sun-kissed, muscular forearm. Beneath his gray cap, he sports a short buzz cut, and two or three days’ worth of black beard stubble covers his cheeks and chin, just enough to make him…oh, God, immensely sexy. With full lips, a strong nose, and black olive-shaped eyes, he’s a gem of North Africa, an exotic, roughly polished jewel. He would definitely fit in my f***-on-the-beach fantasy.

Preview the book on Amazon
Add the book to Goodreads
See pictures on Pinterest


I like my reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strive to give my own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with my debut novel Wild Hearted, I divide my writing time between psychological thriller, suspense romance, and erotic contemporary romance.

I love to hear from my readers! Write to leabronsen@yahoo.com or meet me on:

31 May 2016

Wherein I'm a little too honest

***Possible trigger warning***

This post is going to be the hardest I've ever written. Maybe no one will read it, maybe someone will and they'll find strength in it. Whatever happens, this post is an explanation. Of a lot of things.

It's not a post that requires back pats or shoulder squeezes. None of that "I'm so sorry you went through this" or "I'm proud of you for overcoming." That isn't the point. In fact, I may turn off comments just to discourage it.

I'm not writing this post for me. Not entirely. Sure, I want it off my chest, out of my system, away from my heart and my soul. In that much, the post is for me.

More, I want it to be for people who've undergone similar circumstances, who may be going through them now. I want it to be for the ones like this lady, who've battled depression through a genre I've grown to love over the years.

So, let's get the hard part over with.

I was abused.

I. Was. Abused.

I was abused.

Like ripping off a bandaid, right?

Except not so much.

The hardest part of it all is admitting it, not just to people in general, but to myself. I've balked every time I thought about it because deep down he's a good person or it didn't seem that bad or I thought I was smarter than that. God, I was supposed to be smarter than that (yay, defeatist thinking). Hell, I balked trying to write this post because it wasn't that bad (except it was and I have the anxiety and panic attacks to prove it), but in my effort to banish fears from my life--the only New Years Resolution I've ever made and tried to keep--I'm pressing on.

The thing, though, the reason it doesn't ring as abuse is because he never hit me. Oh, I was scared of him sometimes, sure. He had a temper, and it took nothing to set him off. He was judgmental, isolated me from friends and family, blamed me for the problems in our relationship, withheld affection (at one point he went for six months without so much as kissing me). Never met my friends in the 4 years we were together, though I met a few of his, and always accused me of having dated my male friends. Made zero effort to be with me, truly. And yet, whenever he broke up with me (typically happened once a year), he would call and beg me back. And I'd go, because I loved him, and surely being with him wasn't as bad as being alone. But it was so much worse.

It wasn't until our fourth, and last, breakup that I started dallying in romance. I had ideas that were more romance-skewed, but I'm a spec fic girl. I love fantasy, science fiction, anything that brings a little magic to the world, but I shied away from the romance books because while boys didn't have cooties, those surely did. But poor broken little me, the one who watched her hopes and dreams shatter when her ex told her she was only good for sex and hanging out and cheapened what she'd struggled for almost half a decade to build, the one who cried herself to sleep, the one who'd lost so many friends and almost lost her family because of a selfish psychopath who couldn't see past his own suffering to realize he'd been hurting someone he claimed to love... That girl needed romance. That girl needed some hope. And that girl needed to take some damn control.

When I found out about Decadent Publishing's 1Night Stand series, I decided to take a leap. After all, I had multiple friends writing not just in romance, but for that line, and I devoured them. Thankfully, they're pretty short reads, some that I enjoyed far more than I ever expected, and I said to myself, why not?

So I started writing This Time Next Year, because if I love one thing, it's over-dramatic vampire romances (thanks, Anne Rice). And then I wrote what I had been missing for so long: A man willing to do anything for the woman he loves; a woman fighting to make her own decisions about love and life, one who fights against her own insecurities and the very world around her to be with the man she loves. Moira and Kiernan were a jumping off point for me, where I could explore what love is and means and the differences in kinds of love and the crazy situations humans get themselves into. (Complete Me was written during the same time period about a different person, who was honestly almost a carbon copy of my ex.)

I started writing romance to give characters the happy endings I thought I'd lost. And I keep writing romance to give readers the happy endings they deserve.

And along the way, I found my happy ending, too.
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