I became acquainted with author J.M. Stewart through Six Sentence Sunday (turned WeWriWa-slash-Sunday-Snippets) and I just love her voice. If you want to check out some awesome short excerpts from today’s featured book, click here to go to her blog for the latest entries … but NOT YET! We have awesome interview wordage, so let’s get to it!
Welcome, Joanne! HER NIGHT IN BLACK LEATHER has such a yummy premise—it’s sexy and FULL of plot! Can you introduce readers to your characters and the conflict drawing them together?
Thanks for having me! The story is set in a small (fictional) town on the Oregon Coast. Cat Edwards is a shy, quiet, bookworm type who’s used to hiding in the shadows and playing the part of the wallflower. She’s been dragged to the local pub on a Friday night by her best friend in an effort to get over a broken heart. She longs to be someone else for the night. Not used to being in places like that, Cat is out of her element. She gets in over her head when a drunk won’t take no for an answer. She’s “rescued” by dark mysterious stranger wearing a black leather jacket and mischievous grin that proves exactly what she needs.
Michael Brant has come home to settle his debts. Haunted by a past he can’t change, he’s come to make things right. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress with bright green eyes. Cat’s temptation 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.
They find freedom in each other, but the next morning, the town erupts with news of Michael’s return. Pictures of them keep ending up in the paper and with every set that appears, Cat’s safety is threatened. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Michael is desperate to keep history from repeating itself, and offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. But the lie spirals out of control as they find themselves caught up in the charade.
I absolutely love how many layers your plot holds, and the intrigue … wow! How did you merge the elements of romance and danger? Is one stronger than the other, or is there a good mix throughout?
This one’s not quite a suspense. More a romance with suspense elements, so the romance is definitely stronger than the danger. How did I merge them? I have to laugh. I don’t plot very well. It’s the bane of my existence. lol I had a lot of help with this one. This one had a few rewrites, between my critique partners and my agent and a set of requested revisions (which, ultimately got turned down), that all helped solidify the plot.
I’m guessing with all *that* work, the release must have been incredible. (Which is not supposed to sound like a sex thing, but it sort of does anyway, lol.) What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of Her Knight in Black Leather?
My inspiration for Michael is my husband. He’s very much a rebel, was a rebellious teen. Some of Michael’s responses in the book (like the excerpt below) make me laugh, because they’re so familiar to me. Yup. I married a reformed bad boy. 😉
Hopefully he didn’t reform *too* much, LOL! Let’s have some fun with Her Knight in Black Leather. What’s the first sentence?
“Baby, you must be exhausted.”
I can’t help wondering if that’s a pickup line. *grin* What’s your favorite line in the book?
The rebel in him flared to life like an old, familiar friend.
OMG, that’s positively fantastic! Such great characterization in so few words. How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!
These come a few sentences after the line in the previous question:
Before he could stop himself, he cupped her face in his palms and seized her mouth. He allowed himself a moment to revel in the sweetness of her lips, the way they melted beneath his own as her body leaned ever so subtly into his, then released her.
“Let ’em object to that indiscretion.”
WOW. I found myself leaning in for that one, and the last line made me swoon. Which scene of Her Knight in Black Leather was most difficult for you to write? Why?
The fight scene with the bad guy at the end. I don’t do action sequences like that very well and it required several re-writes to get it to sound right. Those of you who write actual suspense have my utmost respect. The level of detail you need to write one is amazing and I don’t do it well.
LOL! I struggle with that myself. *sighs and lols* Which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?
Oh geez. Any scene that involves being close to Michael. 😉 Okay, seriously? The opening scene, where Michael comes to Cat’s rescue in the pub. I would love to see Michael from Cat’s POV at that moment, when she sees him for the first time.
You’re doing a great job of selling your book. I SO want to read that scene now, lol! What inspired the title of Her Knight in Black Leather?
I stink at coming up with titles. Some people seem to have a knack for them and I don’t have it. So I was sitting there thinking about what the core of the story was about when that phrase, “Knight in shining armor” popped into my head. It fits what Michael is for Cat, so I took the phrase and twisted it around. Michael doesn’t wear armor, but he does wear a black leather jacket.
I think it’s absolutely perfect! And before we take a closer look at that utter dose of perfection, can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m currently working on an older woman/younger man story. A widowed Air Force wife gets set up on a blind date by her best friend with a co-worker. A guy who happens to be a local celebrity. He’s a chef, he’s rich and gorgeous…and ten years younger. I’m still figuring out the plot. In fact, it’s currently doing my head in. lol
My agent and I are also currently getting a small two book series ready to start sending to publishers. The series is entitled Taking Chances, and it revolves around a small family. The first book was previously published by The Wild Rose Press. I revised and re-edited the book and gave it a new title, to play off the second book. The second book involves the sister of the hero from the first.
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 back 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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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.
Joanne, I have to say the book looks awesome. I’m so glad you stopped by to share it with us! Readers, thanks for being here. If you have a moment, check out those short excerpts on Joanne’s blog. You’re going to love them!