I would love to give away an ebook copy of Inevitably a Duchess to a random commenter on the day of my post.
Thank you for being guest on Historical Heartbeats. Tell us about yourself, and how you became interested in writing.
In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring. Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found. And Jessie has been writing ever since.
Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.
Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and a very opinionated Basset Hound. For more, visit jessieclever.com.
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release.
My latest release is A Countess Most Daring, the fourth novel in my Spy Series. One reviewer has commented, “This is the best one yet in The Spy Series (and yes, I liked the other ones too!).” That’s nice to hear when you’re on book four of a series!
What inspired this story?
This is the fourth book in my Spy Series, and largely came about because of a very good friend of mine. I had a character in the series who was very good at acting because of her role as a spy for the British War Office, and my friend is also an actress with some unique obstacles. My friend is six feet tall. It really inhibits the parts she can play, and she has always told me how nice it would be to dance with someone as tall as she was. And I said, I think I just discovered the heroine of A Countess Most Daring!
What is the story behind the story?
The story behind the story here is all about forgiveness of oneself. The hero and heroine both struggle with self-made obstacles in their life and can only overcome them once they realize it is only themselves standing in their way. Sometimes this is the hardest obstacle of all.
Why do you write romance?
Isn’t romance the greatest challenge two humans will ever see in their lifetime? You think it’s all over once you get someone to walk down the aisle with you, but that’s only the beginning. I want to write about something so complex and enduring.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Disney World! I love how it always makes me feel like a kid no matter how I get!
Which element of story creation is your favorite?
The laying of plot over a historical setting. I love the challenge of taking a historical place, time period or event and crafting a plot that not only works with it but really amplifies its essence.
What inspires you? What motivates you?
My greatest inspiration is strong women, particularly my grandmother, my mother, and Katharine Hepburn, in that order. My grandmother and mother both struggled in their lives, but within that struggle, created something amazing and beautiful that would last forever in their children and grandchildren. And Katharine Hepburn because why not?
Please tell us about your other books.
As I mentioned before, A Countess Most Daring is the fourth book to be released in this series. The others include Son of a Duke, For Love of an Earl and Inevitably a Duchess.
The Spy Series is about a family of titled spies during the Napoleonic Wars. From the patriarch, Richard Black, the Duke of Lofton, to the unsuspecting housekeeper, Miss Eleanora Quinton, who inadvertently gets swept up into the spy ring when her son is kidnapped by traitors, to the delightfully wicked relationship between the son and heir, Alec Black, the Earl of Stryden, and his in-name-only-wife, Sarah Black, you’ll never really know what to expect from these characters. But you can always suspect espionage, intrigue, danger, and most importantly, love.
Excerpt from A Countess Most Daring
Spies Kate Cavanaugh and Matthew Thatcher have just escaped a prison in Naples and are looking for a way out of the city and away from their pursuers.
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.
Buy links for A Countess Most Daring:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1cqSx13
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/N6EWpu