Before we get too far--I want to make sure you know that Sheri is giving away an ebook copy of A HERO TO HOLD. So keep reading!
MEET SHERI HUMPHREYS
After a satisfying career as an Emergency Room nurse, Sheri Humphreys closed the book on her diverse nursing experiences and followed a lifelong love for writing and historical romance to a new vocation as a writer. She lives with a Jack Russell mix rescue, Lucy, in a small town on the central California coast.
Let's find out more about A HERO TO HOLD.
THE STORY BLURB
Viscountess Charlotte Haliday has lost her illusions. Scandal took her position in Society and the husband she thought she loved, and his mysterious murder followed shortly thereafter. But now is the time to return to London, time to find whatever small portion of happiness remains to her.
Nan: I've only just gotten past the alcove scene and already love the characters!
READ A LITTLE
David’s heart lurched as the viscountess collapsed. “Chetney!” he barked. His secretary jumped, dropped the envelope he held, caught Viscountess Haliday and laid her down on the small, upholstered divan. David watched, never more aware of his inability to stand and capture the lady himself. Even after nearly two years, he wasn’t fully accustomed to others acting in his stead.
“Get some water,” David instructed as he wheeled himself to the divan.
She seemed unnaturally pale. He removed her hatpin and hat and brushed wavy dark hair from her forehead. Her cold, clammy skin worried him. He’d seen bleeding men shiver, seen their teeth chatter, and associated such pale, cold skin with serious infirmity. He glanced at her narrow waist, wondered if he should loosen her corset. To do so would necessitate removing her bodice, and he certainly didn’t want to do that.
Her eyelids fluttered and relief eased his tenseness. They lifted, revealing her incredible violet eyes. In the days since the ball, he’d convinced himself he must have imagined their color, since he’d never seen anything like them. But they were just as beautiful as he recalled. They were also a bit hazy and unfocused.
He tugged off one of her gloves and found her skin dry, though it remained cool. He held her hand and rubbed his thumb across her palm. “Lady Haliday?”
As if following the sound of his voice, her head turned toward him.
“Ma’am? Are you all right?”
Her chest rose; her fingers wrapped around his thumb. “I feel so silly,” she murmured. “I didn’t eat today. My stomach was just too jumpy.” She blinked and gradually her expression sharpened. Her gaze rose to his face, fell to his wheelchair, and returned to his features.
She’s too shocked to hide her feelings, he thought, and clamped his teeth together. Her fingers grew lax and released his thumb. She sat up, swinging her feet down in the same motion.
“You’ve been injured?” she asked.
He hadn’t been in his chair at the ball. Slowly, he shook his head. “It happened two years ago. I’m unable to stand or walk.”
He caught a glimpse of stark pain before her gaze dropped. Her fingers, trembling, pressed against her mouth. Silently, he swore. He’d yet to sicken a female with his useless legs, but Lady Haliday appeared to be the exception. He remembered the hunger of her mouth on his. This woman had populated more than one of his dreams since then.
“Chetney,” he yelled. Where in hell was the man?
Chetney hurried in, a glass in one hand and what looked to be brandy in the other. They exchanged looks.
“I don’t know where you got it, but it’s not a bad idea. See if you can locate a biscuit or two also, would you?” The brandy should get her blood flowing and warm her up. David took the glass from Chetney and offered it to the viscountess.
“Drink a little of this. It should make you feel a bit stronger.”
She took the glass and obligingly swallowed a sip. “I’m sorry to cause such bother.” Her eyes lifted and the compassion he saw in their purple depths almost knocked him over. She took another drink—a larger one this time—and coughed.
Anger gripped him and he rolled his chair back, putting a couple of feet between them. The first woman who’d breached his defenses, and she pitied him. How dare she—how dare she pity him? “What are you doing here?”
Nan: Nice way to force them together!
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A LIGHTING ROUND OF Q&A WITH SHERI HUMPHREYS
NAN: How often do you get lost in a story?
SHERI: I’m a voracious reader. I’m single and retired, which leaves me with lots of time to indulge. I usually read romance, although I sometimes read nonfiction and general fiction. I keep track of my reads and want-to-reads on Goodreads. In 2015, per Goodreads, I read 179 books. That doesn’t include all the books I re-read, so the number must have been closer to 200.
I usually read in the living room on my easy chair, legs on the ottoman, dog Lucy cuddled beside me. Here I am (still) in my pajamas, Lucy dozing beside me. Note all furniture is Lucy-protected. During the day I’ve got a laptop. At night I switch to my Kindle. :D
Check out the view from my easy chair. I look right out my ceiling-to-floor windows at a magnificent oak tree that must be over a hundred years old. I call it my zen tree. Everyone who sees it is amazed and awed. Last year I had some special lighting installed, so I can enjoy the tree at night, too.
Nan: Love this tree!
NAN: What was the first story you remember writing?
SHERI: I started writing poetry in first grade. By fifth grade I was trying to write novels. These examples survived. Even then I was writing historicals! You can see I was into self-publishing. LOL
Nan: Can you say hybrid author?
SHERI: The first? Maybe The Little Princess (Sara Crewe). When I dug into the cedar chest to retrieve my early writing efforts for you, I found these two beauties. Like many girls of my era, I read the Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames series.
Nan: Ahhh The Little Princess. Love it.
NAN: What’s next on your reading list?
SHERI: : I have 350 books on my Goodreads “to-read” list! But ones I’ve purchased and are near the top: The Empty Throne, Bernard Cornwell; What We Find, Robyn Carr; Into the Whirlwind, Elizabeth Camden; The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins); The American Earl, Joan Wolf. I’m also planning on a re-read of Anything for You by Kristan Higgins. (I’ve actually been thinking about doing a marathon re-read of ALL Kristan’s books!) Book I just finished: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna Wylde.
Nan: I re-read books and series ALL THE TIME!
NAN: How do you come up with ideas for your books?
SHERI: I worked for thirty-seven years as a nurse, twenty-five of those in the Emergency Department. And there’s always something of that part of me in every story.
In my upcoming Nightingale Series, all the heroines are former Florence Nightingale nurses, who worked in the British military hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War. There are numerous patient stories in each book.
A Hero to Hold isn’t about a nurse, but the patient advocate part of me is alive and well in the story. Because the hero is disabled. I wanted to portray a disabled man as capable, sexy, attractive, wonderful. I wanted the reader to forget he was disabled and find him thoroughly desirable. To regard him exactly the same as they would any able-bodied man. The day I wrote, “David strode to the door,” I knew I’d succeeded. I’d forgotten David couldn’t walk! There’s also a medical crisis in the book—I just can’t keep them out!
Nan: I love the premise of the next series!
NAN: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
SHERI: Story-telling. Definitely. It’s funny you asked, because I recently gave this some thought. Have you ever read a beautifully written story, full of gorgeous prose, that was…well…boring? And have you ever read a story that had almost terse writing that you raced through and loved? I have. I think my first example is a book by a writer who is not much of a story-teller. And the second writer is a story-teller who doesn’t add much description or anything unnecessary to the story.
I think I’m more of a story-teller. But I spend lots of time futzing with the writing. I want my books to be yummy—brimming with wonderful prose, emotion, and story.
FIND SHERI :
Blogs: Sheri’s Blog
The Unseducible Earl, first book of the Nightingale Series, should be available from Boroughs Publishing Group, Fall 2016. Two more will follow in short order: By the Light of a Christmas Moon and The Seduction of Cameron MacKay.
SHERI WANTS TO KNOW:
What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend? One lucky commenter will win an eCopy of A HERO TO HOLD.