Friday, March 14, 2014

A Chat with Leanne Davis || NOTORIOUS || Book Review

Luke Tyler wants peace from the grief that has ruled his life in the three years since his wife's death. Instead he is forced to share a house with Kelly Reeves as they care for their shared nephew. He dislikes everything about Kelly until he begins to glimpse the true woman hiding beneath the notorious reputation that Kelly has carefully created.
 Kelly thought her trip to the small town of Seaclusion, Washington, would be nothing but a forgettable two-week vacation. Then she accidentally witnesses Luke's staggering grief and suddenly reevaluates what is truly important. Soon, Luke becomes the only person she trusts past the facade she has cultivated.
Kelly believes their love can conquer all, but Luke isn't convinced. Kelly is forced back to her life of fame and fortune, making Luke question which is riskier...letting her walk away or running after her?

Available on Amazon Kindle.

Hi Leanne, please tell us about yourself and your writing.

I write Contemporary and New Adult romances that usually have a realistic/emotional, sometimes dark tone to them. I have been writing for over a decade but only began publishing in the last year. At the time of writing this I have 7 books released, and 5 more to be released by the end of the year. 

I’ve contracted 4 books with The Wild Rose Press (my Seaclusion Series). And I’ve indie published my Sister Series, and Zenith Trilogy. And I have the first book in my newest series I’ll be publishing later this year.

What does your writing space look like?

My office is usually neat and pretty barren. I can’t work unless it’s organized…it’s actually strange I even like to write, as I’m completely not the “creative” type of personality outside of writing. Clutter keeps me from being able to concentrate.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for over twenty years. I wrote poetry and short stories starting at the age of 13 (which were terrible) and began to seriously write novels after I graduated college. 

When my kids were young, I learned to use every spare moment I could sneak away from the rest of my life, to write. Since that time was so precious to me, I didn’t want to use the time for anything other than writing. So for many, many years I didn’t pursue or even think about publishing. 

What inspired your current book? 

My current book was actually inspired off several different research articles I came across while researching information for the first novel in the same series. I came across a lot of information about veterans and amputees…and I soon decided to tackle that theme as the third book in the Sister Series. The main hero is a long-time soldier and has a catastrophic injury that destroys his life as he once knew it. The book is about how he learns to not only live with what has happened to him, but to build a brand new, and different life.

Please tell us about your current work in progress.

My current WIP is The Best Friend, which is the 3rd installment to my Amazon best selling Sister Series. The main characters in this book were secondary in the first two installments, and so, they are now getting “their” story.

How do you come up with your book titles?

My titles usually are revealed to me as I’m planning a book. They tend to me based on a running theme through my series or the name of the place I’m writing about.

I also tend to use pretty simple and non-flowery titles. For example, Poison, Notorious, Secrets, & Seclusion are all the names in the Seaclusion Seires.

Do you write with music going in the background? What are some of your favorite types/bands?

I always write to music. When I’m editing I turn it way down, but when I’m actually writing, it’s crazy loud, yet the weird part is, I don’t even really “hear” the music. I’ll look up after an hour or more and be shocked how far down my playlist I’ve gone, and yet, I don’t recall any of the songs! But I can’t write to quiet. If anyone is home, I have to use my ear buds.

If anyone peeked at my playlist they’d think I was crazy. I listen to every kind of music, from country, to oldies, to pop, to soft rock, to hip hop and rap. And I have favorite songs in all the genres.

What is your favorite book genre? Who are your favorite authors?

I am really partial to new adult right now. They are new for me. Several of my own titles fit into this category, and yet they were written before I realized there even was such a category. I find a lot of the books in there are indie released and can be really different storylines than the more traditional releases. They can be quite edgy and emotional, or funny and surprising.

Quick quiz:

  • Favorite food? Spaghetti
  • Favorite color? Green
  • Favorite animal? Horses
  • Biggest pet peeve? Being late
  • Dream car? Don’t have one.

About the Author 

I live in the rainy area of Western, Washington, and spend as much time as I can getting away from the rain by traveling to destinations all across the state where my family and I do tons of camping, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Many of the locations we camp become the basis for my books. Most of my settings are fictional but are based on real places.
I earned my business degree from Western Washington University. I worked for several years in the construction management field before turning to writing and being home with my kids.

I love to hear from readers! Please contact me at:
Or through one of my sites:

Review of NOTORIOUS by Melissa Snark

The Cover:  Gorgeous! I love it!

The Story:

NOTORIOUS is a contemporary romance novel that explores the themes of deep seated emotional pain and loss as well as forgiveness and second chances. The hero and heroine are both damaged individuals but through love they manage to find redemption and a second chance at happiness together. The writing is solid, the story well edited and almost all of the conflict stems from internal sources. (No explosions or bullets flying here folks.)

Leanne Davis explores (and challenges) stereotypes extensively. How someone may look to others versus how they really are. Why people behave in a particular way even when it results in others judging them in an unfavorable light. Her characters are complex and interesting, and she doesn't sacrifice integrity for the sake of making them always likeable. There were moments in the story when I didn't really care for the way certain characters behaved, but those flaws go a long way toward imbuing the reader with a sense of empathy.

NOTORIOUS is the second book in the Seaclusion Series. I have actually read but not reviewed POISON, the first novel. While there is much to be gained by reading POISON in terms of understanding the relationship dynamics of the primary and secondary characters, it is not necessary to do so. NOTORIOUS works perfectly well as a standalone novel. I very much preferred the positive tone of this novel and how Luke and Kelly work together to heal each others wounds.  I also enjoyed seeing familiar faces return as secondary characters. In particular, I really like Tim, who is Kelly's nephew, a really sweet boy who possesses unusual insight into human nature.

I enjoyed the charisma between the hero and heroine, especially once they started to get over their misconceptions about each other. Love scenes hovered somewhere in the sensual range. The author delivers a satisfying HEA-ending.

NOTORIOUS is a great choice for readers who like contemporary romance that features mature adults with complex personalities who suffered from past hurts. This is a feeling story, not an action story.

I downloaded NOTORIOUS during an Amazon free day and the author requested a review.

“You’re not that guy in those pictures anymore, are you?” Kelly asked. “It’s all an act to make everyone leave you the hell alone.”
“If you’re so sure about this, why don’t you leave me the hell alone.”
“Because it’s no way to live.”
Luke blew out a long breath. “Look, I get it. You’d probably buy my family from me to have a family. You and Cassie grew up so isolated that you can’t understand how anyone wouldn’t relish having a large close family. But for this, nothing helps. I can’t make anyone really understand what this is like. There is nothing they can do for me. The pain it would cause them isn’t worth the little benefits I’d get. There’s nothing you or anyone else can do for me.”
“I can sit here with you.”
He cocked his head and frowned. “Why? What do you think that will do?”
“Maybe give you twenty minutes where you don’t feel as if you’ve fallen to the dark side of the moon and no one’s noticed.”
His mouth flattened. He stared long and hard at her before he turned towards the water.
She waited. And waited.
Finally he said, “All right, you can sit here with me.”
She nodded in satisfaction and looked at him from the corners of her eyes. “I am sorry.”
“You’re not sorry, so quit saying you are.”
She smiled at Luke’s profile as he glared out at the ocean waves. Something big had shifted between.


  1. Hi Leanne,
    Welcome! I'm thrilled to have you join me today. I very much enjoyed Notorious and I love your cover. I find that I'm like you as a writer because I also listen to music that I may or may not hear. Even when the house is empty, I like background noise.

  2. Thank you for having me on your blog today, Melissa. I so appreciate the chance to talk a little about Notorious (and bad writing habits!), and too, thank you for such a lovely review!

  3. Leanne, I enjoyed Notorious very much. Seaclusion sounds like my kind of town! Best wishes with your books - I hope you continue to do well!

  4. Ashantay...thank you!! Always makes my day to hear someone enjoyed one of my books...or my made up town :) There will be 2 more in the series over the next few months. Again thank you for the appreciate it!