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?
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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!