Joanne, what is your life like away from the computer? Tell us something about your household.
My husband and I have two boys, 17 and 12, respectively. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I have been since I was pregnant with my youngest (who is now bigger than me!). Unfortunately we don’t have family nearby, so we decided we didn’t want to put our kids in daycare. I didn’t like the thought of someone else raising my kids. I mean no offense to those who do, by the way. For it was a personal choice. So, we made a sacrifice.
So my days are usually spent fending off laundry and cleaning toilets in between pecking out chapters. ;)What is the story behind your book title?
I stink at titles. What I do is try to come up with titles that sum up what the story is about. I have to admit Her Knight in Black Leather was a stroke of genius I have yet to replicate. I think an angel must have whispered it in my ear. lol Originally, when I first started this book, way back when, it had a working title of Dark and Dangerous. But that didn’t fit where the book ended up.
So, I had a Word document out one day and I was writing down every combination of titles I could think of as well as looking through titles on Amazon to get ideas, when I ran across the phrase, “Knight in Shining Armor.” Which is where the title comes from. It’s a play on that phrase. Which is exactly what the hero, Michael, is for the heroine, Cat. He comes to her rescue. And in the process, she rescues him.
"In the process, she rescues him." Oh, I love that. So, what is your writing schedule like?
I’m a die hard pantser. That means, I take an idea, a couple of characters, and I run with it. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. And I can’t write under pressure. I cringe thinking about the day I actually have a deadline for a publisher. Because I get test anxiety—the more stressed I get over something, the less likely I’m able to do it. So, I write when the mood strikes. If it doesn’t and I get stuck, then I force myself to sit down with the manuscript.
But… because I don’t work outside the home, I have all day to write. And I usually do. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to my writing. I usually write from the time the boys get off to school, around 7am, until dinner time, around 5. Some days I get a lot done. Some days I don’t. I’m determined not to worry about it until I have to. I’m determined to enjoy the process of writing my books. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Do you ever dream of writing in a different genre?
I actually have a love affair with historical romance. I adore knights and castles and the regency era of London. In fact, I didn’t actually read contemporary romance until I started writing it. But I’ve read historicals since somewhere around high school. I wish I could write historical, but unfortunately, my brain just doesn’t have the knack for the amount of historical detail needed. I’m the type of learner who needs to see something in order to truly grasp it, so, for me, in order to write a historical I’d feel proud of, I’d need to go back in time and live in the era. Which I would be perfectly okay with…so long as I didn’t have to stay there. ;)
I'm also fairly certain I don't have the voice for it. My writing voice is very contemporary.
If your new release were being made into a movie who would you cast to play your heroine and hero?
For Cat, that would be easy—Katie Holmes, when she has long hair.Michael is a bit harder. I haven’t found him yet. I need someone tall, with very dark hair and very dark eyes. They’re all too light haired, or too clean cut, too “pretty boy” and Michael’s a bit rough around the edges. So I had to go hunting in order to find this answer. Oh, the things I do for my job. *sigh* ;) I think Joe Manganiello would be very close. I see Michael with a five o’clock shadow though, as opposed to a beard. Or possibly Eric Bana.
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?
He touched her arm, hoping to ease the fear all but screaming at him from her eyes. “What happened this morning?”
Cat’s head turned as she darted a glance around her, before her gaze finally settled on him again. “I was threatened. A very angry digitized voice called me names and told me I’d pay for my indiscretions.”
Anger surged in his chest, settling in his gut like hot coals that set fire to his blood. That goddamn article. Someone dragged her into his mess. “Have you called the sheriff?”
She nodded. “Yeah, but it didn’t do me any good. He said he’d log the complaint and to let him know if I get any more, but unless I’m being threatened in person, there isn’t much he can do. The calls are coming from one of those prepaid cell phones, but the phone was registered to someone who doesn’t exist.”
“A fake name.”
She nodded and turned to stare at the ground, her whole demeanor taking on a soft vulnerability that twisted at his insides. The calls clearly frightened her, and an overpowering need to protect her surged in his gut.
The rebel in him flared to life like an old, familiar friend. Whenever someone pushed unfairly, something within him always pushed back. The way she looked now reminded him too much of the pain he heard in her voice as they stood in the gazebo during the fireworks. She was being threatened, and the intimidation worked. Anger surged in his blood. Damned if he’d sit by and allow someone to take that fire from her.
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.” He furrowed his brow, not bothering to hide the scorn in his tone. “Whoever’s got you in their sights now has me to contend with. Come on, I’ll take you home.”
J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, mother, 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 theirtwo sons. She's a hopeless romantic who believes 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.
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