Thursday, July 25, 2013

J.M. Stewart - What to Read Thursday!

What will you be reading next?  Do you need a recommendation?

Welcome to What to Read Thursday!

"What to Read Thursday" is posted every other Thursday (for previous posts, click here.) The focus of these Thursdays is on romance novels. Sub-genres of romance are welcome, but Happily-Ever-Afters (or Happy-For-Now) endings are mandatory! :-)  The authors are given approximately twelve questions, from which they choose five to answer.

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This week, I'm thrilled to welcome J.M. Stewart to my blog!  I first met J.M. through the now defunct Six Sentence Sunday blog hop, where she posted wonderful excerpts from her books.  Today, she is talking about her latest release, Her Knight in Black Leather--how sexy is that title?--and I can't wait to learn all about it!  You'll be happy you stopped by--her blurb and excerpt are...well...tantalizing!

Okay, let's get this party started!

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What was your inspiration for this story?
Love this sexy cover! *swoon*

Believe it or not, Her Knight in Black Leather began as the sequel to The Playboy's Baby. The hero, Michael Brant, originally started as Logan James. But I got to the end of the story and it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel complete somehow. So, I went in and I started fleshing him out, but again, I got to the end and it still didn’t feel right. So, on an odd hunch, I changed his name. That’s when he really came to life.

So, really, the inspiration was Logan, who is Dillon’s big brother in The Playboy’s Baby. He wasn’t all that well fleshed out in TPB, which I think is half the problem. But I started out with the vague knowledge that Michael had a past that haunted him, something dark. The rest just…ended up on the page.

Lorraine: I love that he just kept nagging you until you listened!  Isn't it amazing how important a name is?  I have a heroine who I thought was named Vivian, but who came to convince me her name was actually Chloe.  LOL

Where / when did you set your story and why?
When I changed the setting of this story, I decided to base it on a small seaside town our family visited one summer a few years ago. Tired of the endless clouds we get in Seattle, we hopped in our RV one day and headed for the beach, hoping to find some sun. We made camp at an RV park in Astoria, Oregon. The beach was about a half hour’s drive, but you could see the ocean from the center of town. Driving through that town as we searched for the RV park, I fell in love with the place. I remembering thinking to myself, “Someday, I’m going to set a book here.” So, when I needed a new setting, I knew exactly where I wanted to set it.

By the way, when Her Knight first came out, I wrote an article on the setting for Crimson’s editor blog. If you’d like read it and see a couple of pictures, it’s here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/featured/the-beach-the-american-northwest-and-the-setting-for-her-knight-in-black-leather/

Lorraine: Oh!  That sounds wonderful!  We keep talking about doing a trip along the Oregon coast! I've just purchased your book and when I read it, that might just seal the deal!  ;)  We are heading north in our RV this year, but maybe next year...

What was the last romance novel you added to your “keeper” pile or list?
Saving Gideon, by Amy Lillard. It’s an Amish romance. I see Amy in my romance groups a lot. She was at one time a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and her taglines about Amish romance always drew me. I’ve always found different cultures fascinating and when I looked up the book on Amazon, I was hooked. It’s a keeper for me, mostly because it has all the elements I love in a book—realistic characters that draw me in and make me love them. It’s a sweet romance, so no sex, and the entire book revolves around the developing romance.

The hero, Gideon, is my kind of hero—he’s soft around the edges, a really good man with a good heart, and I fell in love with him along with the heroine. He’s a wounded hero, and his story really tugged on my heartstrings. In the end, Amy made me cry. She broke my heart, got me invested in her characters, in their lives. I haven’t started the next book yet, but I plan to.

Lorraine: I haven't read an Amish romance yet, but, like you, I've been drawn to some taglines... I'll have to check this one out! 

What’s next?  Do you have another story on your desk you’d like to tease us with?
Oh geez, I have so many projects up in the air right now, so, I’ll just tell you about the next two. I just signed a two book contract with Berkley’s digital first line, Intermix. They’re re-printing a previously published book. My first book, actually. I’ve revised it and it’s about to re-edited. Along with the sequel (which has never been published). So, if anybody read my debut novel, Staking His Claim, it’s gotten (well, getting) a new title and being reprinted, along with the sequel.

They’re not scheduled to be out for a while yet, though. We haven’t started editing yet, but they’re tentatively scheduled to release in September and December (respectively) of 2014. But…these are set in the state of Washington, around where I live actually, and the books revolve around a family. Book 1 is Kyle and Ceci’s book. It’s a best-friends romance. Kyle and Ceci grew up together. She was literally the girl next door. Kyle’s in love with her, but he’s keeping a secret from her that jeopardizes their lifelong friendship.

Book 2 is Kyle’s baby sister, Becca. Hers is a second-chances story. She and the hero Jackson have just finalized their divorce when Becca’s rental house burns down, forcing her to stay with Jackson, for the sake of their six year old daughter. Jackson sees it as the opportunity to do what he should have done all along—make his wife fall in love with him all over again and convince her to give him a second chance. And he’s only got a month to do it. ;)

The heroine of the second book is unique for me. She’s my first kick-ass heroine (if you’ll excuse my language). Literally. Becca is a 4th degree black belt and owns her own dojo. It was quite a fun book to write. Becca’s feisty and Jackson is just the man to flip it back at her.

Anyway, we haven’t even started the editing yet, but I’ll be updating my website with news (titles, blurbs, covers, etc) as soon as I get any!

Lorraine: You are busy!  :) Congratulations on your upcoming books!  I love your premises!  I can't wait until they are released!

Earth, Air, Water, Fire or Metal?
Water. I am most definitely a water element girl. Completely emotional. Put me on the beach beside the ocean and I’m completely at home. Call me strange, but some day, when I’m old and gray, I want to live in an RV on the beach. I think that would just be heaven.

Lorraine: That sounds perfect.  It isn't the ocean, but I drive over a lake every day, and it is certainly one of the best things about my commute!  Just looking at it for that short stretch is a peaceful interlude each day.

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The lovely J.M. Stewart!
ABOUT J.M. STEWART:
J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.



WHERE TO FIND J.M. STEWART:
Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook /Pinterest

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BOOK BLURB

Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come home this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here. 

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

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BUY LINKS FOR Her Knight in Black Leather
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

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EXCERPT (5-15 Sentences):

“Forgive me.” As he bent down to her eye level, his eyes burned into hers, a hidden meaning in the dark depths she couldn’t quite grasp. She couldn’t concentrate much past the fact his face was now a scant inch from hers. His soft, warm breath fanned her lips, and her gaze zeroed in on the mouth that had sent delicious sensations thrumming through her body barely a minute ago.

Before she could ponder what on earth he meant or come up with a proper response, he took their charade a step further.

He kissed her.

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Have you ever fallen in love with a place after just driving through?  Are you drawn to the water too? 

4 comments:

Joanne Stewart said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lorraine! You asked some great questions! Driving over a lake every day...I bet that's gorgeous. I could live under the cover of the trees, too, around a lake.

patonlorraine said...

I loved hearing about your new book - so thanks for visiting my blog to talk about it!

As for the lake on my route - it is pretty small, but it is still lovely. :)

maeclair.net said...

Hi, Ladies! Joanne, it was fun to learn how HER KNIGHT IN BLACK LEATHER (love that title) got its start. I have this on my Kindle and it's definitely on my TBR list. Congrats on your ongoing successes too. You're on fire! :)

As for falling in love with a place from driving through, I've done that several times. So many quaint seaside villages, a few tucked in the mountains, and Sedona, Arizona. I also love the water!

Great interview, you two!

Joanne Stewart said...

Hi Mae! thanks for the congrats. I keep telling my husband that when we're old and gray and the kids have all moved out, I want to hop in an RV and tour the country. Course, by the time we can afford to do that, we'll be too old to drive ourselves, but... lol

Thanks for stopping by, Mae!