My two favorite words--well, maybe not favorites, but in the top ten? I get a little melancholy when I have a new release coming up, which is why I don't put out five books a year. I've learned since I first wrote The Point of it All that you have to let the baby go. It was hard that first time. It was mine, and I was very sensitive, the way a mother is with her kid. Over the years and a handful of books later, I'm getting better.
I published this latest with a new publisher, which means I've had to learn a new way, get comfortable with new people. The folks and Stormy Night Publishing are terrific, and I am very pleased with what we've come up with together. Korey Mae Johnson does a book cover like no other, and as I told her husband, James, I've never in my life said yes so fast to the first presentation to me of a cover. I hope you agree.
My latest, Stubborn Pride, was written as a love letter to the southern writers I have admired over the years: Pat Conroy, Dorothy Allison, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor. I love their voices, and the texture they give to their beautiful, flawed characters.
“We spent our formative years marveling at the lovely woman who recited the dreams of egrets and herons, who could summon moons, banish suns to the west, then recall a brand new sun the following morning from far beyond the breakers of the Atlantic. Science was of no interest to Lila Wingo, but nature was a passion. ~ from The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
I tried to inject that kind of beauty, that texture, into heroine Ainsley Vaughn. I love Ainsley's spirit, and the way she carries herself despite the prickly relationship she has with her mother. I love where Ainsley comes from, a steamy, restless place steeped in history most don't like to talk about. Still, Ainsley carries the pride of her southern heritage on slender shoulders weighed down by a fierce drive to succeed, and a deep need to be understood and loved. Like most of us , I suppose.
Two-thirds of the story takes place in Los Angeles, where Ainsley is an Emmy-winning costume designer for a popular soap opera, and where the hero lives and works. After the show wins several awards, including one for the talented young Ainsley Vaughn, the cast celebrates out on the town, and when Ainsley and the star of the show get into an accident, and it turns out the star is inebriated, Ainsley tells the police she was driving, in order to save the star's reputation. That is when the formidable Rhys R. Merrick, esq., is called upon to sort out the mess.
He knows Ainsley was not driving that car, and he wants to know why she would take responsibility for something she had no fault in. As Rhys digs deeper, he finds an innocent girl underneath the talent and southern sass he finds so irresistible.
I loved writing Rhys. He's one of those alpha males who does not apologize for who he is, and he seems to be deaf to all the chatter about how a man--a modern man--should be. He is what he is: a talented lawyer, and a man who sees something in Ainsley worth getting to know. Not only is he deeply attracted to her physically, but he finds himself needing to nurture and protect her as much as Ainsley needs the very same. Rhys's past has hardened him. He is a single father, forced to take over the care and raising of his son, Adrian, since birth. He is particular about who he brings around, and he surrounds himself with loving, powerful women who love and care for both of these very alone, and lonely men. He keeps his people close and his walls high.
I loved playing with the character of Adrian, too. I have two boys of my own, and they are a marvel. Adrian is an amalgam of all the smart, intuitive 5 year olds I've known in my life, including my own, who are now 17 and 24. There is no limit to Adrian's love of people and the joy he feels, and that is due to the wonderful father he has in Rhys.
Geneva Blunt Abernathy, who is Ainsley's formidable grandmother, might be my favorite character of any I have written. She has lived a life most would envy and few could rival. She was Ainsley's savior during her childhood, and the scenes between the two of them, especially when they are caught eavesdropping on a familiar (in the TTWD genre) scene between Ainsley's mother and father, are among my favorites in the book.
The final thing, and the reason why fans pick up my books, is that Rhys sees nothing wrong with spanking some sense into Ainsley when he feels she needs it. As always, I struggle between too much in this area, and not enough. I can't have him whaling on her every other page; there's more to Rhys's story--and Ainsley's--than that. Still, their chemistry is wonderful, even when she is over his lap. Best kind of chemistry, in my opinion.
I hope you enjoy Stubborn Pride, and please feel free to email me with chat, questions, comments, and anything else. I love keeping in touch.
Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
SITES I DIG
A FADED ROMANTIC
ALTA HENSLEY, ROMANCE AUTHOR
ART OF AUTHORITY
BASIA ROSE, AUTHOR
BLACK VELVET SEDUCTIONS
BOTTOMS UP BOOK REVIEWS
CARA BRISTOL, AUTHOR
CDD FOR LIFE/PATTY DEVLIN
CELESTE JONES, AUTHOR
THE DISCIPLINED FEMINIST
EMMA K. GARDNER, AUTHOR
FREDDY AND EDDY - A WEBSITE OF ALL COUPLES
THE HAND OF LOVE
HEART AND SOUL
THE IMPROVED CHAUVINIST
KARLA DOYLE, AUTHOR
KOREY MAE JOHNSON, AUTHOR
LAZY DAY PUBLISHING
MY BOTTOM SMARTS
RENEE ROSE, AUTHOR
SADEY QUINN, AUTHOR
SARADORA'S SPANKING FICTION
SUE LYNDON, AUTHOR
TROLLOP WITH A LAPTOP