First off, thanks so much for joining us here at The Bookaholic today!
Thank you for having us Pixie!
Can you tell us about your novel, The Burning Star?
The Burning Star is a story about an awkward seventeen year old girl named Kay diagnosed with terminal cancer. After months of tests and being told that treatments won’t help, Kay has given up all hope when the doctors tell her that it’s only a matter of time before she dies. Her mother Carlie however refuses to give up. So Carlie moves them just outside of Asheville, NC so that they can look into experimental treatments. However before they even get to go see the doctor Kay stumbles into someone in the woods that will change the course of her fate forever. Ryan.
Ryan tells her things that are unbelievable. Stuff you find in horror stories and fairy tales. Things that can’t possibly exist and it makes her think that Ryan is a first class trip to crazyville. But when Ryan proves to her that what he’s telling her about is very real, can all of it possibly help her find a way to save herself before it’s too late? And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds a cure, the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.
Surprisingly, Jessie Lane is actually a two author team. What is it like writing a book with a co-author?
Melissa: Actually it’s quite amusing for the two of us; and maybe for our husbands too. I love working with Crystal, it’s effortless and we get along great. She’s my partner is crime or in this case writing. When she starts to stress out about something or just needs a kick in the butt to help her get back on track I’m there for her even though I’m all the way across the country. And she gives me the time I need to focus and ideas to keep our creative process flowing. We balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Crystal: What she said. (Cause she’s practically psychic and always says what I’m thinking before I can say it. Sometimes it SCARY but I love her because she’s not just my partner in crime, she’s my sister-in-law too.)
Do you ever think about publishing your own projects in the future alongside your current ones?
Melissa: At the moment I am writing a novel with my brother Matthew Leo, other than that we will see what the future holds. But so far writing with Crystal is a blast. We understand each other and while it may be stressful it’s still worth it. I get to work with one of my closest friends which is awesome because she just so happens to be married to my brother.
Crystal: At this time I would say no. I have so many projects that I have started with Melissa that I’d just like to see those come to light before I think about doing anything else.
Biggest pet peeves?
Melissa: Snoring. Oh wait does that count? Haha, actually I don’t really have a pet peeve, well maybe except for someone being fake.
Crystal decides to plead the fifth in the event that someone she knows realizes she has written her pet peeve about them and decides to make her pay…
Crystal: *waves hand about like excited school girl in the classroom* Oooo. Oooo – ME FIRST!
I have tons of authors that I love and adore! My first would have to be Karen Marie Moning. Her world building is unreal and I love her characters. Her lead female character in the Fever series, MacKayla ‘Mac’ Lane is the inspiration behind the ‘Lane’ in Jessie Lane. Another author would be Shelly Laurenston because she writes hands down some of the best comedy moments in her romance novels. Other authors I can’t get enough of are Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jaci Burton, Maya Banks, Lora Leigh, Melissa Marr, Charlaine Harris, Kristen Ashley, Jill Shalvis-
*Melissa slaps her hand over Crystal’s rambling mouth while Crystal looks at her sheepishly*
Melissa: She’d go on forever if we let her. Anyways - Man that’s hard for me to choose. I read pretty much everything, so I would have to say all time fave is Anne Rice, but at the moment it’s Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series. It is something I can read over and over again and always find something I missed. Cynthia Eden is great author as well.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
We have two other series that we are working on simultaneously. Both are adult romance series but on different end of the spectrums. Our Ex Ops series is contemporary romance and starts off with the first novel called Secret Maneuvers. It is about a group of ex-military or ex-government agents that work together on a black ops team that it is secretly run by the CIA and there very crazy love lives that they deal with in addition to their missions. The second series is a paranormal romance titled the Big Bad Bit series. The first book is also titled Big Bad Bite and you can expect to see all kinds of fun supernatural beings and their very mixed up love lives while living in the shadows of an unknowing society that is oblivious to the dangers around them We hope to have one out by the end of summer beginning of fall and the other the beginning of winter.
If you couldn’t write, what would you be doing?
Melissa: Photography for me, Crystal maybe anything crafty she has a knack for all of it.
Crystal: (SCARY psychic again…) I think my next dream job to pursue would be something with book cover designs. I think it’s fun.
What’s your current ringtone?
Melissa: Well it depends on who is calling. Friends its Fallen Angels by Black Veil Brides, the hubby gets Linkin Park’s What I’ve Done (I’m a transformer movie freak and so is my beautiful niece). When Crystal calls she gets Juliet Simms version of Roxanne but when she texts me its Sponge Bob’s goobey goober song.
Crystal: *looks at Melissa like she’s nuts!* You gave me Spongebob?! Juliet Simms is cool but Spongebob? Gah. Anyways call me old fashioned but I only have the ringtones that came programmed on what my husband is now referring to as ‘my ancient like phone’. So my hubby and call it my “twinkling”. Someone calls me and I have a twinkling sound. It may be lame to others but I like it.
Summer or Winter?
Definitely Summer for both of us.
Have you read any undiscovered gems recently that you would recommend?
Melissa: Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley.
Crystal: I saw Kristen Ashley first so she’s totally my undiscovered gem! But I’m checking out H.P. Mallery next. Although seeing as she’s gone from indie to published it’s safe to say she’s been discovered.
Where did you come up with the pseudo name Jessie Lane from?
Instead of playing rock, paper, scissors or having a wrestling smack down over what our name should be we both chose some of our favorite female fictional characters and wrote one long list. In the end we both agreed on ‘Jessie Lane’. ‘Jessie’, is Melissa’s favorite female lead character in the movie, Queen of The Damned, and ‘Lane’ after Crystal’s favorite female lead character from Karen Marie Moning’s ‘Fever Series’ with MacKayla ‘Mac’ Lane.
Thank you again for being on the blog! Loved the answers!
Jessie Lane is the writing team of Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl. The two sister-in-laws share a great love of breath-taking romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters.
When not loosing themselves in a story they remember they have real lives. Crystal lives in Kentucky with her husband and two little girls who plot daily the many ways they can drive their poor mother crazy. At the end of the day Crystal then calls Melissa and threatens to ship her two nieces to their favorite Aunt with lots of air holes punched through their box. Melissa answers Crystal’s crazed calls in Washington state where she lives with her husband and big furry baby of a Rottweiler named Yuffie and reminds her that children aren’t shippable.
This is their first novel but they are all geared up and excited to be releasing other projects soon!
The Burning Star is now available on:
For any other links and updates, please visit their site! :)
She'll have to believe the unbelievable to survive.
The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.
Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.
Can she reach her destiny before tragedy strikes?
I stood there frozen knowing that I would probably die because of this wretched creature. All of a sudden I saw the quick movement of an arm bringing down the point of the knife slicing towards the large creature’s skull. The animal’s enraged screams ripped through the woods around us. My brain tried to analyze what was happening before me I stood as still as a statue and watched as the monster started crumbling away. That’s right, I said crumbling. Like something that had been burnt from the inside out and then fell apart, it was just disintegrating into nothing. This can’t be real. I looked up from the ashes into the face of an angel. No, he’s not an angel, he’s just a guy right? He was staring at me like he had just seen me sprout a second head and I was staring at him like I was about to scream again and that’s when I fainted. At least I didn’t scream again, right?
When I opened my eyes to see his two ethereal blue eyes staring back into mine my head felt like it might split in two from a raging headache. “Are you okay?” his strong but sweet voice whispered.
But before I could stop myself from saying anything ridiculous I replied, “Are you an angel? Did I finally die and go to heaven?”
He bellowed a laugh and I blushed a shade that was more than likely lobster red. I really just didn’t say that did I? Stupid, stupid, stupid Kay. I smacked myself in the forehead and tried to hide my face. That’s a great way to make a first impression to an extremely hot guy. Let’s just faint like an air headed girl, which I am not, and then wake up asking stupid questions. And then that’s when it hit me. The past few moments of events flooded my brain again and I started to panic. “Wait, wait a minute! What was that thing and how in the world did it just, just…”
“The dog? I’m sorry to tell you I had to cut it with my knife to scare it away. It wasn’t a mortal wound though. He took off through the woods in an escape. Sorry if you’re one of those animal lovers, but I was afraid it might kill one of us.”
I shook my head to try and clear it. “No, no, no, no. That was no dog. Well I mean, it was at first, but then it became something else. It was black, and huge, and had those red eyes…” And before I finished my sentence I looked up at him to see complete shock and amazement on his face. I had never seen anyone look so bewildered. “Don’t look at me like that! I know what I saw! Now what was that thing and what happened to it at the end. It didn’t run off, I saw you kill it. And I would point to the body to prove it, but it; well it fell apart or something.”
And in just a split second the shock had disappeared from his handsome face and was replaced by something more masked and calculating. “I’m sorry. You’re quite mistaken. I didn’t kill it. I only wounded it. And it was a dog. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head or something? I’m afraid you might be having some kind of hallucinations of some kind.” Somehow, when he said it, it didn’t seem as scary or grotesque as it did when I played what I thought I saw back in my head.
Doesn't that sound great? Don't forget to add it to your TBR piles and keep a sharp eye out for this one! Oh, and what a GORGEOUS cover, too! :)