j. leigh bailey’s Reckless Hope

I am very excited to have j. leigh bailey join me today. She stops by for an interview that was all kinds of fun. She talks about her writing process a bit so you definitely should check it out. Her newest book Reckless Hope is out now and I cannot wait to read it. You can read all about the book here, including an excerpt that is both sweet and a little sad. At the very bottom enter for a chance to win a copy of Nobody’s Hero (Book 1 in the series) and Reckless Hope.

Amanda C. Stone: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing j. leigh bailey, author of Reckless Hope. Hi, j. leigh, thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
j. leigh bailey: Thank you so much for having me! I’m an office drone by day in the Chicagoland area, and by night I’m the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBTQ romance. RECKLESS HOPE is the second book in my Letting Go series, and is an opposites attract story centered around two characters who have to overcome the stresses and disappointments of their past to build a happy relationship together. And, while doing this, they have to figure out who they are and, ultimately, what they want for their future.
ACS: An office drone may not be exciting but I bet you have some crazy stories you could share. Might need to save that question for another day though. What’s the best line you ever wrote?
jlb: I don’t know if it’s the best line I ever wrote, but it’s definitely my favorite line. It comes from NOBODY’S HERO, book 1 in the Letting Go series.
“You’ll watch your voice or you’ll see how deviant I can be. I’ll take my gay, Mexican ass into that room and flame so bright, the place will erupt in rainbows and glitter.”
ACS: Do you listen to music while writing?
jlb: I do listen to music when I write, mostly to muffle the sound of what’s going on around me. I work best at places like Panera Bread where I don’t have the option to be distracted (seriously, how many times can I decided NOW is the right time to clean the toilet?—or that one more episode of Orange is the New Black won’t hurt anything?). But there’s a lot going on, so I put on some music, plug in the earbuds, and I’m good to go.
ACS: What do you listen to?
jlb: I tend to listen to movie scores. Which, had you met me 10 years ago, would surprise you. I’m not a music fan, not like some people. I enjoy music, admire great lyrics, but I don’t know the names of bands or styles or anything like that. I mostly enjoy it as background. I’ve definitely never enjoyed purely instrumental music. Or so I thought. Well, when I’m writing, if there is music with lyrics playing, I tend to get distracted by the story being told in the song, rather than the story I’m trying to tell. I discovered Robert Shore, specifically the music he composed for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. It’s perfect. Enough drama and moodiness in places to fit anything I’m writing, and light and airy when it needs to be. Movie scores do double-duty for me: they block out distracting noise and conversations and keep me in the right mindset for whatever I’m working on.
ACS: That’s fabulous! However you and I might have to sit down for a little music education. Music is a huge passion of mine. All types, all time periods. Not a single type I don’t enjoy and I love to pass that love on to others. If your book were made into a movie, what actors would you like to see star?
jlb: From the very beginning I pictured Dylan O’Brien as Micah. I totally think he could pull off Micah’s routing and responsibilities-driven personality. Competent yet with a streak of vulnerability.

While I didn’t have a particular actor in mind when I created him (there was a beautiful model who inspired him), Alex Pettyfer would be a great Sebastian. He’s got the right look, especially in his less-scruffy roles, and I think he could definitely represent an adrenaline junkie playboy hiding his secret trauma.
ACS: Oh Dylan O’Brien is too beautiful for words. Alex Pettyfer is new to me. So attractive too! Love that dreamcast. What genres do you write in?
jlb: I write primarily New Adult and Young Adult gay romance. I love helping my characters figure out what they want in life, and accepting who they are.

While I don’t have any novels currently planned in any other genres, I do have a handful of short stories that have been published in various anthologies. In addition to gay YA, most of the stories are horror (or, as I like to call it, horror-lite), paranormal or erotica (and, in one case, erotic horror). I have a couple of ideas brewing for a YA fantasy, and a YA paranormal, but those ideas are still vague and unformed. They may eventually end up on the page though. Until then, I’ll stick with helping my boys find love.
ACS: I would read the HECK out of YA fantasy. Grew up on fantasy stories so I love reading LGBTQ fantasy stories. Where and when do you prefer to write?
jlb: I do my best writing at Panera Bread. It’s got a few things going for it. 1.) Free Wi-Fi. 2.)Free soda refills 3.) It’s not my home (see the distractions comment in question #1). 4.) They don’t look at you funny for spending 8 hours in their restaurant as long as you buy something. I’ve never found anywhere that works as well for me. I know a lot of people who write at Starbucks or other cafes, but I need the constant stream of Diet Pepsi. Others write well at the library, but, again, I need to constant stream of Diet Pepsi, and I don’t have to leave for meals.

On the other hand, I do my most productive writing between 8 and 10 p.m., which doesn’t work very well for me, since the Panera Bread I go to is only open until 9. I’m a quasi-night owl. I can’t stay up too late (11 p.m. is about the limit) and I absolutely cannot write in the morning before work. Evenings after work really are the best for me.
ACS: Writing in a place like Panera is so interesting. Though the endless supply of drink and ability to get something to eat are definite plusses. Thank you so much for sitting in the hot seat. Err, I mean answering questions!

What’s life without a little risk?

Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.

Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.

Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.

A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.

Book two of Letting Go

“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”

“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”

Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”

“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.

“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”

“I don’t—”

“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”


“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”

“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”

“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”

“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”

About j. leigh:
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.

She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.

Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.
Facebook Author Page:
Goodreads :

Buy Links:
amazon || barnes&noble || kobo || ibooks

Tour Stops:
24-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
25-Aug: Hearts on Fire, Havan Fellows
26-Aug: Amanda C. Stone, Divine Magazine
27-Aug: V’s Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews, BFD Book Blog
28-Aug: EE Montgomery, Bayou Book Junkie
31-Aug: Happily Ever Chapter, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat
1-Sep: MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Jessie G. Books
2-Sep: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Hearts on Fire
3-Sep: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads
4-Sep: Just Love Romance, Molly Lolly

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  1. Thank you so much for having me today! This has been such fun. 🙂

  2. Jukie Small says:

    There is just about that cover that I just love!

  3. AnnMarieF says:

    Congratulations on the new book!

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