Please welcome author Jessie Clever to the blog today for an interview and excerpt of her new book, A COUNTESS MOST DARING.
Was there anything particularly challenging about writing A COUNTESS MOST DARING?
The history was the most challenging part about writing A Countess Most Daring. The story takes place at a delicate time during the Napoleonic Wars when Napoleon escapes from exile in Elba. The story hinges on the interesting relationship between Napoleon, his brother-in-law who was left to rule the Kingdom of Naples where this story takes place and the questionable agreement with Austria for this arrangement to continue. I did more homework for this book than I ever did in history class during school.
If your heroine had a theme song what would it be?
Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar. Kate Cavanaugh has a way of not taking things lightly.
What character gave you the toughest time to write in the book?
Kate, the heroine, was impossible. I felt like my mom must have felt when I was a teenager. No matter what I tried to make her do she wanted to do something else!
What do you like best about being a writer?
I get to make stuff up. I always strive to give my reader the unexpected. There’s nothing better than that.
If you get writer’s block, what do you do to snap yourself out of it?
Living room dance party. I put on my iPod, some good headphones, and rock out. Lady Josephine, my Basset hound, thinks I’m crazy, but it works.
What’s one thing that’s always on your desk?
There are two things that are always on my writing desk: a plastic statue of Goofy and a stone armadillo. Goofy reminds me not to take myself too seriously, and the armadillo was given to me for luck by a friend in literature before I went on a hunt. There’s nothing better than a lucky armadillo.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I’m afraid of stairs. For all the strong women that I write, I have some amazingly silly phobias. Stairs being the worse.
If you could have a dinner party with six people, dead or alive, real or fictional, who would you invite and why?
I really just have four people that I would invite: my grandparents, maternal and paternal. There is so much about them that I never knew I never knew until it was too late.
What’s next for you?
Book Four in the Spy Series, To Save a Viscount! I promised myself I would take a break after this book, but sometimes the story just will not wait.
Sunlight struck him full in the face as he emerged from the grated door of their prison and into the bustling streets of a port city on the Mediterranean Sea. As soon as his feet hit the cobblestone, he dodged to the left, tucking Kate behind him as a cart laden with crates of olives passed just in front of the toes of his boots.
Kate pressed against his back, her heart beating a tattoo into the muscles there. He felt a corresponding ripple in other parts of his body and swallowed to focus on the task at hand. They needed to get away from the prison and the authorities that had brought them there. They needed to find a place to hide until they could regain their composure and perhaps find some suitable clothes for Kate, even if she did make a fetching bar wench.
“Get in the cart.”
Thatcher looked quickly to his right at the cart that had just passed them as if the voice had come from the olives themselves. But knowing that could not be right, he looked up to the bench. A small, squat man, thick through the middle and thin at the limbs hovered like a forgotten presence on the worn bench of the rickety cart. Surely, it was him who had spoken the words, for in the bustle around them, no other person was close enough to utter such words with such clarity for Thatcher to hear.
And the man had spoken in English.
Thatcher turned long enough to scoop Kate into his arms, and together, he launched them into the back of the cart, landing precariously between the rows of olive crates. The cart lurched forward before his body settled onto the boards of the cart, and Kate’s unbelievable warmth came to rest against the full length of his body. He let out a rush of air that had nothing to do with escape and possible pursuit. It was a rush of pure male lust that exited his lungs and with it, his last hope of keeping his hands off of the woman who now lay sprawled across his body.
She struggled against him, likely trying to gain purchase and find a space for herself where there was none in the cart. Thatcher stilled her with his hands a little too far down on her hips, the tattered skirts of her costume having ridden up to her knees, trapping her legs between his. Her head came up, and he stared into hazel eyes, murky with a mystery he could not wait to solve.
“Better relax, my friend. I think we’re going for a ride,” he said, letting his hands slip just a little more down her hips.
And that was when he saw it. The flash of responding desire in those hazel depths that brought a corresponding flicker from his own awareness.
She wanted him.
She may not know that she wanted him, but there, pressed against each other between crates of olives in a cart that was likely to collapse before safely rescuing them away from their captors, driven by a man they did not know and could possibly have nefarious connections, Matthew Thatcher knew that a lusty bar wench wanted him. And not just any lusty bar wench.
Katharine Cavanaugh, the Countess of Stirling.
And for the first time in days, he smiled.
A Countess Most Daring is available now at the following outlets:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1cqSx13
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/N6EWpu