April Windmire is the answer to Matt Seever’s prayers. But racial prejudice in the old South threatens to keep them apart. Haley Whitehall brings you another passionate tale in Midnight Kiss, Book 3 of her historical romance series Moonlight Romance. Sometimes love is black and white.
Unjustly accused of stealing, nanny April Windmire is turned out on the streets without pay. With no place to go and no friends, she stows away on a Mississippi River steamboat. Her hopes to hide through the journey to St. Louis are dashed when a handsome white officer finds her. But instead of turning her in, he takes her to his private quarters where she fights her growing attraction to a man she cannot have.
Matt Seever’s wife died four year ago, leaving him alone with two small mulatto children. But his job as an officer on the Queen Bee isn’t family friendly. He knows he needs a new wife, but no southern white woman will marry him. When April lands in his lap, his prayers are answered. Or are they? April’s not the trusting type and racial prejudice runs deep in post-Civil War Missouri. Just when Matt convinces April he loves her, his new family becomes a target and there’s no backing down from this fight.
Together, April and Matt must brave heinous race prejudice crimes to find an enduring love.
Hi. Welcome to All I Want and More. We’re glad to have you here.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks for the warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. I write historical fiction and romance set in the 19th century U.S. Often my historical romances are interracial. I like to write the stories of the underclass since it adds added tension. Everyone deserves a happy ending whether they are a soldier or a chambermaid. The Civil War is my favorite time period.
In this book, who was your favorite character to write and why?
Matt was my favorite character. I first wrote him in Midnight Heat the second book in the Moonlight Romance series so I already knew him quite well. I was eager to tell his story. He is a good man who has been through a lot in his life, and he deserved to find love again after the death of his first wife.
What 3 words would you use to describe your main characters?
Matt: warm-hearted, trusting, protective
April: hard-working, gentle, cautious
Can you tell us a little bit about this book? Maybe a little snippet?
Midnight Kiss is the third book in the Moonlight Romance series. It is set in St. Louis, Missouri in 1869. April stows away on the Queen Bee and Matt catches her. He realizes she is desperate he lets her share his room.
Desperate for a woman in his life to help take care of his two mulatto children April is the answer to Matt’s prayers. But racial prejudice in the old South threatens to keep them apart.
“What are you doing in my room?” she asked, steel coating her words.
He exhaled loudly and lit the lamp on the table. In the soft light she found the same white man who had showed her to the room.
He eyed her with an appraising gaze. It donned on her she was standing in the middle of the room in nothing, but her nightgown. Oh Lord, the lamplight so close to her made the thin material see-through. She dove under the covers, but he’d already gotten an eyeful.
Mr. Seever rubbed his neck, his skin turning red. He cleared his throat. “Actually, miss, you are in my room.”
“You wouldn’t be safe on the main deck even if I paid your passage. A good-looking woman like yourself would be asking for trouble.”
She put a hand on her chest. Each thump of her heart echoed through her body. He’d given a compliment cloaked in lust. The man had seen her nearly naked. The more she thought about it the faster her pulse sped.
Mr. Seever looked like he wanted to help her, but didn’t know what to do.
Leave. Just leave. The words screamed in her head but did not reach her mouth. His speech and logic finally sunk into her tired brain. This was his room—he had every right to be here. She was the stowaway.
“I won’t hurt you, ma’am,” he said, his posture slightly bowed.
Humph. Having a man imagining her naked was bad enough.
“Ma’am, can I get you something? A glass of water?”
She didn’t respond.
He must have taken her silence as agreement. He moved to the washstand and picked up a porcelain pitcher, filling her a glass of water. “Here. Please try to relax. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Actually she’d startled him. Well, they both gave each other quite a scare. She sipped the water, the whole time giving him a pointed stare.
He didn’t seem too taken aback by her unfriendly exterior.
“If you don’t mind, ma’am, I’d like to get some more sleep. I have to work again in a few hours.”
“I’m staying on the floor if that’s worrying you.” He lay on his makeshift pallet of clothes. It didn’t look very comfortable, but she wasn’t about to invite him to sleep next to her.
“How many days does it take to get to St. Louis, sir?”
“If we’re going to be rooming together you can at least call me, Mr. Seever,” he said, an undertone of laughter to his voice. “From here it will take about a week.”
She’d spend seven days in this man’s room?
She pushed herself up, resting on her elbows, and peered down at him. Equal parts rugged and refined, he embodied her version of handsome. She wanted to run her fingers through his already tousled sandy brown hair. His lips were sunburned. She could soothe them with kisses.
White men had never stirred such feelings before. Her instant attraction unsettled her stomach. A fantasy. Yes, it was just a fantasy because she had been alone too long, and he’d treated her kindly. She reached over to the lamp and blew out the light. She did not need to see his features any more. Still, in the darkness her forbidden thoughts remained.
How do you go about picking character names? Do you have to get them just right and make sure they fit with the characters personality?
I read through a lot of historical diaries and other papers such as military records and tax records looking for names. I have to make sure the names I choose are historical and fit my character’s background. I also want to make sure I haven’t used the name before in a previous book. I have to choose the name before I start writing the character. I have found that the name ends up fitting the character’s personality. I guess it is the same way when naming children, right?
We’re cover hussies..What was your first impression of this cover?
My first impression was that the cover artist had managed to capture both Matt and April perfectly. I love the gentle yet passionate love conveyed by the models.
What does writing mean to you?
I’m living my dream right now by getting a chance to write full time. I know this saying has been around for some time but it fits me well. I don’t write to live, I live to write. Honestly it keeps me sane. I have so many stories and characters in my head I have to write them down.
What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they’ve felt transported back in time and learned that love is timeless as is the struggles people endure. I feel the themes and lessons in my historicals are relevant today.
If you had a technology free day, what would you do?
I actually make myself take a technology free day from time to time. Free of distractions, it gives me a chance to recharge my creative batteries. I go deep into my writer’s cave. If I am taking a day off I might spend the day outdoors hiking, enjoying the beach or go antiquing.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing River Posy an erotic interracial novella set on a riverboat in the antebellum south. I am also outlining Midnight Seduction book 4 of the Moonlight Romance series.
Sexiest feature on a man? Eyes
Boxers, Briefs or Commando? Briefs
What is on your night stand/dresser? Hairbrush, retainer, a historical romance paperback, a steampunk paperback and my Kindle
Hairy chests or smooth? Light dusting of hair
Cowboy or businessman? Cowboy
Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos
Secret talent? I’m a Shakespearian actress
What’s your guilty pleasure? Chocolate and Cheetos
Celebrity crush? The country music singer Dierks Bentley
Night owl or early bird? Night owl. It takes me a long time to get moving in the morning.
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
Pinterest or Instagram? Pinterest
ebooks or paperbacks? Ebooks only because I can’t fit more paperbacks onto my bookshelves.
Is there anything else you like to add?
I have a new interracial historical romance coming out June 30th from Liquid Silver Books Wild and Tender Care. It is my first western. The story of a half-breed doctor and a former shady lady. Two outcasts find a place to belong … in each other’s arms.
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
Haley’s Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/