Like fires? Me too. I’m happy to welcome Haley Whitehall to the blog to day and she’s brought along her tinder box. Let’s see what happens!
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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.
And now, let’s get to know Matt Seever a little better. Isn’t he handsome? Yeah, he rocks! Here he is:
I like being on the water. It is relaxing and being that close to nature, at the mercy of the waves, is almost a religious experience.
2. Do you see a lot of runaways on the boat? If so, what kinds?
Before the War Between the States we caught a few runaway slaves stowing away on the boat or even finding a way to buy passage. I’ve heard of some escaped convicts making it to Canada by steamer but that wasn’t on the Queen Bee. Occasionally there is a stowaway who can’t afford passage.
3. What made you decide to hide April? Was it a conscious decision?
Before the war I helped slaves escape a few times. I’m no stranger to helping a colored person in need. I saw the fear and desperation in April’s eyes and knew I needed to keep her safe.
4. You don’t just need a wife, you need a nanny and a housekeeper and a cook as well. In today’s dollars that would cost you a pretty penny! What’s the salary like for an officer of the Queen Bee?
Don’t you know it isn’t polite to ask a man’s salary? Let’s just say it isn’t enough. My older brother says I don’t amount to much, but I’m doing what I can to provide for my family.
5. Right away you seem to like April’s cooking style. What’s your favorite dish that she makes for you?
I love April’s cooking. It is so much tastier than my own! I think my son and daughter would agree we me that flapjacks are our favorite dish.
6. What’s the hardest thing for you about being in an interracial relationship? Past or present one.
That’s a difficult question. The relationship itself is easy. I don’t think it should be a crime to want to marry someone of a different race. I guess the hardest thing is enduring the hatred directed toward you for not following what society deems proper.
7. After the war, some people don’t want to let go of their long-held prejudices. How does that impact you the most? Your children?
Some days I wonder why we even fought the war. In many ways things have improved for the black population and in other ways they have stayed the same. As the father of two mulatto children I find myself straddling the color line all the time. My children do not understand why people make derogatory comments or glare at them and I feel helpless to shield them from this hatred.
8. You and your brother don’t see eye to eye on many issues, but what’s something you two have in common?
Ah, yes, my brother and I often butt heads. I guess that’s what brothers are supposed to do. We both love and honor our mama. What she says goes. We are also proud to call St. Louis home.
9. How did the fire affect your future plans? Was there a part of you that hoped to go back to work on the Queen Bee?
I much prefer working on the Queen Bee to sitting in an office pushing papers, but I promised my children to be with them more and I can’t raise a family on a steamboat. In a way the fire helped me start my life fresh. The new house is mine and April’s. She decorated the new house however she wanted. She is no longer competing with the memory of my first wife.
10. If you could travel anywhere by boat with April and the children, where would you go?
It would be a long voyage but I’d like to see California some day. Perhaps there would be less race prejudice there than in the South. I don’t have any notions of hunting for gold though. I’d just like to see the West.
And now here’s an excerpt from Midnight Kiss, out now from Liquid Silver Books!
Matt approached April slowly, wondering if she was going to avoid him. She didn’t. He reached out and gently wrapped his hands around both of her arms, keeping space between them.
“Ever since I met you I’ve felt like you were trying to find fault with me.”
She didn’t respond, her lips curled in.
“I know I’m not perfect. No man is, but why are you always thinking the worst?”
“I don’t know,” she said in a shaky voice.
That was a damn lie, but he did not call her on it. She hadn’t told him a single thing about her past other than a bit about her previous jobs. Not one word about her personal life. Something had caused her to be this suspicious.
The tension between them was too strong to ignore. Even holding her at a distance stirred feelings inside him.
“Stop trying to push me away, April. It isn’t going to work. I live here. You live here. It is only natural…” He pulled her toward him until her chest was pressed against his. “…we have feelings for each other.”
Without giving her time to react he pressed his lips against hers. Fire blazed where they touched. Blood rushed to his cock and he feared she’d feel it pressed against her.
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and 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. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.
Where to find Haley Whitehall:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/
Midnight Caller –Moonlight Romance Book 1
Midnight Heat – Moonlight Romance Book 2
Soldier in Her Lap
Love, Valentine Style