Sarah Grimm visits


As promised, I bring you The Wild Rose Press author, Sarah Grimm! She’s going to tell us about her newest release, After Midnight. (I think I have to read this!)

One thing of which I am certain:  romance readers love a tortured hero – the lost soul, so damaged by the million different things life has thrown at him he grows defeated, feels adrift and unworthy. A hero they can immediately empathize with or cheer for as he travels that long, difficult road toward his happily-ever-after. But what about tortured heroines? As a reader, do you feel the same intense, immediate attachment to the female counter-part?

 As a writer, I love creating tortured characters – especially tortured heroes. When a new story comes to mind, I usually hear the hero’s voice first – his hopes and dreams, his conflict. So, imagine my surprise the first time I heard the voice of a heroine calling out to me. A heroine who suffered so much pain in her youth she is lost; alone and lonely. A heroine whose entire life played through my head like a movie—one that brought tears to my eyes more than once. As a woman who hates to cry, loathes it actually, I couldn’t leave Izzy’s story untold. She needed her happily-ever-after. She’d earned it!

 Putting Isabeau Montgomery on the page was not an easy task. On more than one occasion I wanted to reach out and hug her, assure her that everything would work out. In the end, she would be happy sexy singer Noah Clark walked through the door of her bar and turned her world upside down. But since hugging is a no-no in Izzy’s world, I had to let her figure this out on her own.


Noah shoved his hands in his pockets and gave her the time she asked for. He felt helpless, and he didn’t like it one damn bit. The urge to envelop her in his arms was powerful. Isabeau didn’t like him to touch her, and if she didn’t like him to touch her, she definitely wouldn’t want him to hold her.

Minutes passed before she whispered, “I never saw him coming.”

“Neither did I,” he replied tightly. He should have kept an eye on Tommy. He knew the guy was angry and drunk—a bad combination under any circumstance. “How bad did he hurt you?”

Her eyes opened. The fingers on her upper arm stilled. “It’s nothing.”

“No? Then you won’t mind if I have a look.” He closed the space between them, and stared down at her, his chest tight. “Let me see your arm, Isabeau.”

She dropped her hand, exposing an angry red ring left by a man holding her with great force. At the back of her arm, he could clearly make out the mark of each individual finger. He swore under his breath. “You’re going to have a bruise.”

“I’ve had worse.”

She wouldn’t look at him. He found that as unsettling as her admission. “You’ve had worse.” He had no idea what to think. “You mean from a fall or an accident of some kind?”

Slowly her eyes rose to meet his. In them was something he didn’t want to see. Alarm clanged in his skull. Sweat gathered at his lower back. His body tightened like a bow. “What are you saying?”

She dragged the heel of her palm across her forehead. “Nothing.”

“Nothing?” A hard knot settled in his gut. “Who are we talking about? A friend? A lover?”

“It’s not what you think.”

“What is it?”

Her eyes held his, pale and full of things he couldn’t name. Turning away, she started across the room.

 “Tell me what it is. Explain this to me.”

 She went still for a beat, then turned back. “Let go of me, Noah.”

 “Let…” He followed her gaze down to where his hand grasped her elbow. When had he reached for her? “Isa.”

 Her skin was cold. Shivers wracked her body. He eased her closer to his warmth.

 “Please let me go.”

 Because she looked like she was about to come apart at the seams, he released her elbow. “I would never hurt you.”



Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar…

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal–one that doesn’t include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?


Group Blog:

Thanks for sharing some of your writing process, and that great excerpt, Sarah. I’m happy you were able to make it here today!

And don’t forget you can pick up your very own copy of After Midnight on September 30th…OH! That’s tomorrow! And… for one random lucky commenter– a free copy right here! Woot!


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 09/29/2011, in music, The Wild Rose Press, Welcome and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Loretta – Do you have plans to dust off ‘the book under the bed’? I hope you do.

    You’re so right about all the women walking among us and hiding how their lives truly are. Sad, but true.

    Thanks for visiting!


  2. Sarah and Calisa,

    Great blog:) I loved your tortured female character, Sarah. I think it really adds so much depth to the piece:) There are thousands women walking among us who hide what their lives have really been. I also have novel (which I refer to as “the book under the bed”) with a tortured heroine in it. So, all this felt right at home to me:)…The story sounds very intriguing Sarah, and will definitely have to go on my TBR list!:)


  3. At our last writers’ retreat, we had CHOCOLATE WINE! Best of both worlds!


  4. We’re writers. If wine doesn’t go with chicken it absolutely goes with CHOCOLATE!


  5. I love all this conversation! *pushes the chicken wings to Sarah*


  6. I don’t think I’ve come across too many tortured heroines but I wouldn’t be adverse to reading about them, especially Isabeau. The excerpt you included left me wanting to know more about her. I love tortured heroes though. The more moody and broody they are, the more I like them. Of course I wouldn’t want to live one of them though. :o)


  7. I’m waiting for this book to show up on TWRP site and then I’m going to snap it up! It seems I’m awake earlier than the rest of you (the perks of being the other side of the world) when they release. Yippee!! Nah, nah, nah, nah na! ; )


    • I already know how it ends…Nah, nah….Yeah, doesn’t work as well as yours. does it? 🙂 I hope you enjoy After Midnight, LaVerne. let me know what you think, will you?


  8. Congrats on the book Sarah! I can’t wait for this one. I love a tortured character, male or female. I tend to write tortured heroes, I don’t think I’ve ever done a heroine, but I love reading them!


  9. Sarah, congratulations on the new book. I love a tortured heroine with a secret past trying to build a stable present, only to find one obstacle after another, especially when the obstacle comes from a handsome hero digging into her past. Great premise.
    Best Regards,
    Mona Risk

    (Mona had problems getting in to comment for some reason so she asked me to post this for you Sarah.)


  10. Wow! I love what I’ve read so far. Great job, Sarah! You had me from, ‘Noah shoved his hands in his pockets…’ And your cover is smokin’!

    Calisa, as usual, you did not disappoint! 🙂


  11. I’m with you, Lynne. 🙂 But then, I like torturing all my characters. *rubs hands evilly* Looking forward now to see what you put this poor girl through, Sarah! Good luck with it.


  12. I don’t want to sound sick or anything, but when the heroine is tortured, I love how it makes the hero feel. I’m fascinated by how the hero catches on that something far worse than he could ever imagine has happened to the woman he is attracted to. How that makes him angry and protective, and above all, how it changes his actions toward the heroine – how he must build her trust one slow step at a time. I love watching the process, and finally, I cheer when they h/h find their way to each other for the HEA.
    Kudos to you for tackling such a tough character, Sarah!


    • Thanks Lynne! Isabeau was a tough character. I’m with you on watching what the hero goes through. And boy do I put Noah through the mill. 🙂


  13. Alison Henderson

    AFTER MIDNIGHT sounds absolutely fantastic, Sarah! I love to read about tortured characters but agree they can be difficult to write. The hero of my latest release definitely qualifies as tortured, but I’ve never done that to one of my heroines. Can’t wait to read this book and see how you handled it.


    • Alison – I hope you do read it. Really hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      I’m absolutely cruel to my characters. In one of my upcoming interviews I was asked which character of mine I would like to be for a day and my reply was NONE. I’m too mean to them. 😉


  14. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. Calisa, you definitely need to read After Midnight. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy and WOW! It knocked my socks off. Sarah is brilliant. And the CHARACTERS! Ugh! I can’t remember a time when I read something this beautiful. Love Izzy, LOVE Noah, love the chemistry and the “feel” of the book. I could go on and on, but I have to go clean my house. Because Sarah Grimm is coming to visit ME on Monday! I’m nervous to be in the presence of such a great writer!!


    • Nervous. You crack me up. Seriously, you’re hysterical. Don’t clean just because of me. I don’t pay attention to such things. Honestly. Go read a good book. Write. Anything but clean. Bah! I hate cleaning!


    • AJ, Of course you got an ARC! Sarah is coming to visit and you need something to dish on besides my wolves! 😀 I am turning greener by the second. Not pretty. 😦

      I think a tortured heroine is what I write most. Odd, I never considered tearing the hero to bits as much as I do the heroine. Something to think about.


  15. Hi Christine! I do love reading of tortured heroes, I really do! You’ve got a great point that it helps us fall for the hero when he has to work so hard to get the heroine to open up. Noah definitely has his work cut out for him!


  16. I LOVE THIS SCENE!!!!! But I think I’ve told you this before. And I love Noah (again, you know this). But I’ve never really thought about tortured heroines in this way! Great job, Sarah, for giving izzy the perfect man for her! 🙂


    • It would help if I could remember to reply to the person instead of posting a new post, wouldn’t it? Well, I remembered this time. 🙂

      Ames! I know you love this scene. Yup, also know how much you love Noah, and I’m with you on that one! He’s so sexy!

      Thanks for visiting with me – you always make my smile brighter. Mwah! ❤ ❤


  17. Hi Sarah, Congrats on your release and good luck trying to work…lol.

    Your book sounds wonderful! Both characters appear strong, in their own way and it sounds like it’ll be a powerful read. There’s nothing like a tortured hero, but nothing quite like a tortured heroine that the hero works hard to get to open it. It only helps us fall for the hero just a little bit harder. 🙂


  18. Wow, powerful glimpse into what proves to be a daunting tale. I think we identify with the conflicted soul because inside we all feel fragile and vulnerable, even if on the outside, we appear strong and self assured. We all have hidden fears. Its easier to write the broken hero because we instinctively nurture the male (who wouldn’t want to cuddle and comfort the hurting heartthrob), but holding our heroine’s hand through a difficult conflict is torturous. Maybe its because we’re wired as women to be emotionally stronger and not let our heartbreak show, so her internal conflict hits those little bruised areas of our heart and stirs up those buried feelings. We understand her on a deeper level. Although, give me a hero who cries, and my heart turns to mush every time! Thanks Sarah and Calisa for sharing.


    • Joelene- You are so right! I agree with what you said 100%. We do instinctively nurture the males and hide our own pain deep inside of us. At least, most of the women I know do. So it makes sense that we, as writers, would instinctively shy away from writing the tortured heroine – it’s just too painful. And it WAS painful to write about Isabeau. As for a hero who cries – I’ve got one of those, too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in and visiting!


  19. Great excerpt! Good luck with your release.


  20. Thanks so much, Beth! it’s definitely an exciting time. At least after today I have four days off. Monday I’m off work so I can go visit AJ Nuest! I can’t wait!


  21. Sarah, I also love the tortured heros but heroines too sometimes. After Midnight sounds super good. I’m very excited for you.


  22. Calisa- Thank you for allowing me to visit with you today. I’m so excited about tomorrow’s release date, I can’t think straight! And I’m a bookkeeper in my day job! Somehow I don’t think the bossman is going to be too happy if I can’t pull my mind back together.

    Readers – make sure to leave me a comment or a question. I’ll be in and out all day checking in while attempting to work. Every comment enters you to win a copy of After Midnight! 🙂


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