Leila Lacey is a romance author living in Michigan. Her unique, yet titillating, genre blurs the lines between romance, interracial love and erotica. Now in her late 30’s, Leila has been passionate about writing since age 10. She can often be found traveling the world, enjoying water sports, listening to jazz music or volunteering at Vista Maria, a local youth program for young women. Leila, above all else, loves her friends and family. It is with their support that she is able to create magical scenes of true human intimacy on every page. Follow Leila Lacey on her endeavor to be America’s next New York Time’s Bestselling Author!
Shelby Beasley and Logan Chandler have known each other for more than 20 years; after all Shelby’s best friend Lance is Logan’s twin brother. After years of misunderstandings Shelby and Logan have discovered that they have a hot, heavy and explosive, attraction to each other. The only problem, Shelby is the oldest daughter of one of the richest families in Georgia and Logan is a poor ex-con from the other side of the tracks that hates rich people. Shelby has never known a life of need but never really acclimated to being one of the “elite”. She is an educated woman that wants it all, what woman doesn’t, right? Logan and his family have suffered from being a part of the lower middle class. Looked down on by the wealthy people of Shelbyville, Georgia simply because of his so called social status. He has developed a disdain for the wealthy. Can Logan and Shelby find lasting love together, or will Logan’s demons push Shelby away from him?
“Logan, this is Ivy Meade, Shelby’s biological mother,” Lance said. “Ms. Meade, this is my brother, Logan.” Logan was so worried about Shelby that it took him a minute to register what Lance had just said about this woman’s hand that he was shaking.
“Please to... Wait WHAT?” Logan said looking back at Lance like he had lost his mind.
“It a long story, and a pretty disgusting one, if you ask me, so you may want to wait on the explanation of what this fiasco is until we find out what is going on with Shelby.”
Still standing with his mouth open, Logan looked around the room at all of these always perfect people and for the first time in his life saw a kink in the amour.
“Agreed,” Logan said looking at his brother and mouthing ‘what the fuck?’ Just as he was trying to understand the collection of people that were and weren’t gathered at the hospital, a doctor and nurse walked into the room.
“Are you the family for Shelby Beasley?” the older portly doctor said. Logan recognized him from his shop last week. He had brought in his antique car for repairs. Logan marveled that he would not have guessed that this man was a doctor standing in his garage. Guess you can’t judge a book by its cover. Logan had never gotten that saying until now.
“Yes, Doctor! How is my daughter?” Sarah Beasley said standing and coming to stand directly in from of him. That, in itself, was weird to Logan. Sarah Beasley was here and wringing her hands in anxiety and Jackson Beasley was nowhere to be seen.
Taking a deep breath, the doctor said, “Would you like to sit down?”
“NO, NO! I don’t want to sit down. Tell me what is going on with my daughter,” Sarah yelled at the doctor.
“Well, she has an extensive list of injuries. Her spleen is ruptured, her liver is lacerated and she has eight broken ribs, and her right leg and arm are broken. Now, Shelby has a rare blood type and she had lost so much blood, we will need to do a blood transfusion. Is there anyone here with Rh negative or O blood type?” the doctor said. The woman that had been introduced to Logan as Ivy, raised her hand and said, “I do.”
Shocked, the doctor said, “Well, that is rare. Are you related to Shelby?” the doctor asked looking around the room.
“Yes! She is her biological mother” Cassidy said to the doctor.
“Ok, I can see this is complicated. Ok, Miss, if you will go with my nurse we can start collecting some blood from you.” The doctor paused to look down at the tablet that he had in his hand. “Unfortunately, the baby did not make it,” the doctor said. He did not realize he had just dropped a bomb on everyone.
“Wait WHAT?” Logan said to the doctor grabbing his arm. “What did you just say?” he finished.
Looking around at the people in the room, the doctor said, “Yes, you all didn’t know? Shelby was 12 weeks pregnant.”
“WHAT?” came all the voices in the room like a choir “PREGNANT?”
The inspiration of the Legacy Series actually came from a personal place for me. My grandmother used to speak of the legacy of our family to us as her grandchildren a great deal. As I am the mother of an eighteen year old young man, I have started to look at the legacy of MY family which, let me tell you, is a book in itself.... WOW! I used to know a woman that was a TRUE Southern Belle from the crown of her head to the tip of her toes. She was as sweet as peach pie, I tell you. But if you messed with her, her husband or her kids, you would be less afraid of Hurricane Katrina. So in thinking about a series of books that I wanted to write about a family legacy, her “Southern Charm” came to mind and the rest, I guess you could say, is history.
One of my favorite things about this series is the grandmother, Queenie. Her words, mannerisms and place within her family is my maternal grandmother, with creative license of course. I was very close to her. She one of my favorite people in the world, still is to be honest with you, and she has been deceased for a number of years. So if I can say I have had any “hurdles” in writing this series, it is when it comes to writing Queenie. I always get that little hitch in my chest and longing to sit and talk with her and hear her thoughts on my writing, the genre I have chosen, the sex in my books and just my life on a day to day basis. I have been so amazed and honored at how many people like my stories and get what I am trying to deliver. I have always loved that my maternal aunt was the first person to introduce me to the genre of romance. I used to go and visit my grandmother each summer and I remember spending hour after hour reading her Harlequin Romance books. After a few years, she would take me to the library every couple of weeks to get my own so I would relinquish her books. Ahh, those summers are some of my best memories. I do remember thinking the one element that I wanted in some of those stories is some type of humor. I love to laugh and to make people laugh and in my opinion a lot of romance books are passionate and serious but they don’t have any humor. We all love to laugh, and we all like a little tasteless humor every now and then. Or is that just me and my dirty crazy mind? Anyway, the other thing that was missing in my opinion was the “real” conversation. What I mean by that is, while we ALL do not swear all the time but we do swear every now and then. What woman has not slung an F bomb when she was mad at her man? I would like to meet her so she can help me with my F bombs, because if I was on TV and I was mad at my man, there would be a whole lot of beeps. Anyway, I wanted the conversations between girlfriends and significant others to be real. I wanted to feel like I could hear or see this conversation between these people. Now since I have been published, I get a lot of comments that people do not like that I have made “professional” people into Ghetto birds, which I think is interesting because we, as a society, put such exaltation on “positions” like, “Ok, I am a doctor and so now I never talk dirty with my girlfriends and we never say crazy things to each other and call each other out or I am a CEO, so I don’t get mad and want to slap the hell out of a person that crosses me.” Our profession does not negate what we are; PEOPLE that have tempers, and dirty minds, and curse and swear when we are amongst our friends and loved ones. So that critique confuses me, but I take all my reviews good and bad and try to incorporate what the reader wants to see into future works. I do not change things totally to what each person wants because, let’s face it, sometimes those that are afraid to do or can’t do are the first ones to critique your work BUT, I am not perfect and I am new to this. I also believe we can always learn from triumph and mistakes. I will say to my critiques on the books that I have written about race; what you read is a reality of our society. There are racist people in every race. Acting like it does not happen is irrational in my opinion and what I write is from a perspective of healing certain race relations NOT glorifying them. I am bringing a light to the ignorance, anger and hate. On the topic of interracial relationships and race relations; I am not now, nor have I ever been, a racist person. Do I know people that are racist? Yes. Do I try to encourage them to be better? Yes. Do I stop befriending them because of their struggle and demons? No. It is not my place to judge any man or woman.
Lastly to those that have read my books and given good and bad critiques, thank you so much. Honestly from the depth of my soul, thank you. I am living my dream, I am writing and I am entertaining and making people happy. I cannot be happier in this journey so, thank you. Even to those that don’t like me or my work; you have to admit, I got to you. Maybe not the way I would have hoped but, hey, we cannot win them all… right?
Has your perspective on the writing process changed since you became published?
Absolutely; one thing I have found is that I can get into writing. I can be writing 2 to 3 books at a time. I will get so wrapped in my books or research of the book that I want to write and I will forget that I need to cook dinner, or that I have not spoken to my family and friends other than a ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ in days. So I have definitely gotten a great respect for writers that are writing amazing books or CRAP books and still juggle a family, career, friends and hygiene!
Do you work best on a deadline, or do you need freedom from time constraints?
No constraints. I have not really been under a publisher’s deadline. I am an indie author, so any deadlines that I have are created by me. Believe me I can be harder on myself than any publisher could. I had to stop doing that because I was stressing myself the hell out.
Is there a word or phrase you catch yourself overusing?
Yes, Laughing hysterically! I have recently realized that my friends and I laugh so much when we are talking to each other and spending time together that I have transferred that into my books.
How do you know you’ve written a good book?
HA! I know I have written a good book when I am writing it and I say (excuse the language) ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ I find that when I am writing I will have a plan and while I am mid-paragraph, I will change my mind on where I want to go with the story and go off the top of my head and surprise the HELL out myself! Ha Ha!
How do you keep your characters and stories organized?
I have a character excel spreadsheet. I will think of a name I want to use in the future or hear a name I want to use and I put it in that spreadsheet. Then once I have a story line, I will go into the spreadsheet and pick the names of the characters for the story line. Once I use the names in a story, I put the name of the book next to the name.
Are you a Swooper (write first, edit later,) a Basher (edit each sentence as you go,) or both?
I am a Swooper a TERRIBLE Swooper! Ha Ha! I hate editing, hate hate hate. Did I say hate? Ha Ha. I will go through the entire book sometimes 250 pages and go through and do a spell check. Then I have a friend that I have read it for me, tell me all the errors and I change them, then I send it to the editor.
What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?
Ice tea, potato chips and music. Oh and my Boston terrier, Ruby. She is my love-bug and for some reason, she has always been protective of me. I got her when she was five months old. She will sit in her doggie bed and sleep while I write and if she is outside or with my kids while I am writing, it feels like something is off.
What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
Conversation scenes; so for me, that is, I like a lot of conversation rather than description. When I write, I think ‘how do I think this topic and this conversation will go between these two personalities of these characters? How do I think this conversation would go?’ Then I just go. I LOVE it! I will find myself laughing out loud or even crying. When you can touch yourself… in my humble dirty opinion… you have talent. Ha Ha.
How do you feel about the term “Mommy Porn”?
What the what now? Ok, I do not get why when you become a mother you are expected to not be kinking and freaky. Then you get the husbands that are like, ‘well, once the kids came, you stopped wanting to swing from the chandelier with me.’ That’s because when she had that baby, she became a “mom” and so can no longer be a big old freak! Mommy Porn to me is societies’ way of saying, ’you can’t like to have your ass spanked with your arms tied above your head with a silk scarf.’ Yes, I said it! Ha Ha!
I think it is crap. I am a mommy, so I will never allow sexual photos or videos to be taken of me because lets’ face it, you really can’t control that; other than that… what I do in the bedroom does not affect the mother that I am. They entirely are two separate entities.
I also think that women prefer to use their imagination more than men. NOT ALL but most and with dirty books you can do that. You can picture yourself with this delicious man that has been described. But with “daddy porn” THERE IT IS… who-ha and ding-a-ling, no imagination necessary! Ha Ha
Do you prefer to write 1st or 3rd Person POV? Why?
I actually like 3rd person POV because in my POV, it’s easier to write the emotions and thoughts of both main characters.
What do you feel are the most important aspects to a good romance?
Passion, communication, and a description of what both parties are feeling for each other.
Are you always in the driver’s seat? Or do your characters drag you along for the ride?
No, I am not always in the driver’s seat. My characters’ personalities tell me what they want to say and do and there are times when I am like, ‘HEY I am the writer here. SHHH!’ Ha Ha. Wait, does that mean I have multiple personalities? Ha Ha.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
EDITING, and FORMATTING! Ha ha
What is your most cherished possession?
My father’s flag from his military burial, and some handkerchiefs that my grandmother handmade for me.
How do you feel about being the center of attention?
I am a little uncomfortable with it. People can be so mean and hateful and I can be really sensitive sometimes. So being in the spot light is scary to me sometimes.
What makes you blush?
A sexy man telling me I am sexy. Naked people!
What is your worst habit?
Finger nail biting and swearing
Do you have any irrational fears or phobias?
Spiders, bugs, and lightening
What are you the most hopeless at?
Staying angry at people that hurt or violate me. I will forgive and let them right back into my life leaving room for me to be hurt again.
Movie: Calamity Jane, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Star Wars Trilogy, Friday
Band: Boyz II Men
Song: Your Home is in my Heart
Quote: "If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities." — Maya Angelou
TV Show: Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS LA, Rizzoli and Isle and The Closer
Guilty Indulgence: Stilettos
Time of Day: Sunrise