Okay, here’s the dry official version:
Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of two sons, Leah Braemel is the only woman in a houseful of men—even their dog and cat are male. After a conversation with her eldest son about how he needed to follow his dreams, Leah decided to follow her own advice and make her dreams of getting published come true. She was thrilled when she was offered a contract for her first sizzling romance, Private Property, in 2009.
Since then the reviewers have awarded her books numerous Top Pick and Recommended Reads designations. The reviewers at The Romance Reviews nominated Tangled Past, as “Best Erotic Menage and More of 2011” and The Romance Studio nominated Private Property for a CAPA award for “Best Erotic Romance,” Deliberate Deceptions as “Best Contemporary Romance of 2011”, Hidden Heat as “Best Romantic Suspense of 2012”, and Leah herself has been nominated in the “Best Erotic Romance Author” and “Favorite Author.”
But who am I really? I’m a former nurse, former computer instructor, mom to two sons, wife to my college-sweetheart for the last four decades (OMG has it really been that long? That can’t be right. I’m feel like I’m still 26. Okay, well, my body doesn’t feel 26 anymore, but my mind does. When it remembers what day it is.)
I’ve always written stories, either in my head or on paper. Yeah, yeah, what author doesn’t say that. But I’d never really shown anyone since I was a kid.(Long story, don’t ask.) It wasn’t until I was in my mid-40s before I even showed my work to my family. And then I met Becky Sue online in a reading group. Sue was already on her own writing journey, so when I finally admitted to her that I liked to write too, she encouraged me to get serious about my writing. To aim to be published. Sue nudged me. Harassed me. Slapped me up the back of the head. And got me taking writing seriously. I joined online critique groups, and a local writing circle. When and editor AND an agent both asked me for more of my work, I must admit I freaked out, and not in a good way. I actually walked away from writing for a year. Until yet another editor contacted me suggesting I submit to one of her publishing house’s lines. At that point I was standing in the family room, reciting the email to my husband, when my eldest son who was in college, said “well, mom, you’ve always told me to follow my dreams. I’d say it’s time for you to put your money where your mouth is.”
Okay, so he wasn’t a babe, so it wasn’t technically fulfilling the old adage, but I realized if I expected him to take my advice I needed to actually follow it too. And after a very quick eighteen months, and a trip to a major authors’ conference in Dallas, several meetings with agents and editors, as well as finally getting to meet and go horseback riding with Sue, I got a contract for PRIVATE PROPERTY.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since. (If you know me, you’d know I despise roller coasters — it’s that fear of heights of mine.) I got great reviews, and some not so great reviews (because hey we all have different tastes, right?) And some of my books have sold really well. Others, well, not so much. But I’ve had an editor and tons of friends who have more faith in me than I have in myself. (I’m working on it. Seriously.) But I’m too stubborn to give up. Even if it takes me a year (or three) to finish a manuscript.