Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances

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The James Gang


May James Gang Interview

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My May interviewee is author Sheri Humphreys!

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?

Honestly, Marcia, I have no idea. Captain James Merrick in my soon-to-be-released historical romance, The Unseducible Earl, is the hero’s brother. I wanted the men to use nicknames with each other and while thinking of themselves. I knew the hero was Rob and his brother was Jamie. Naturally Jamie was a shortening of James, and Rob of Robert. Only Robert never felt right. Finally, after I’d finished the book, I changed Robert/Rob to Robben/Robb. It was such a relief to finally, after all that time, get it right.

Jamie is a major secondary character, with his own storyline and romance. He’s a veteran of the Crimea War and when the novel begins, he’s dying. The heroine, a nurse who worked with Florence Nightingale in the British military hospital in Turkey, is instrumental in saving Jamie. I’m finishing edits on The Unseducible Earl now, and the novel should release in late May. It will be the first book of my series, “The Nightingales.”

With two novels in the series completed and awaiting release, my publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, asked if I’d write a holiday novella. After giving it some thought, I decided to give Jamie and Rosemary their own book. By The Light Of A Christmas Moon released December 2016, and I loved spending more time with Jamie. While technically the novella is a spin-off, it released prior to The Unseducible Earl and easily stands alone.

2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?

I write historical romance (the Victorian era), set during or just after the Crimea War, 1856-1857.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

By The Light Of A Christmas Moon is a Christmas novella. The summary:

Captain James Merrick and Rosemary Forestal have known each other for many years. Living on neighboring Hampshire estates, they’ve desired each other for almost as long. And yet, they are not married. They are not even engaged.

First, there was the war. It took so much from so many, and it left James sick and alone, longing for Rosemary like a distant and winter-bright moon even after his return. But at Windsor Castle, at the unveiling of Rosemary’s portrait of The Princess Royal, a holiday quest will begin to reclaim her hand. Fortune favors the bold, and a new suitor has appeared—an exotic prince from Rosemary’s past—but James has one thing in his favor: a painting long ago delivered to him in the Crimea, and all that it stands for. A love that will end all darkness.

4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?

I’m a retired Emergency nurse, and there’s a part of my nursing self in all my books. “The Nightingales” series is about different Victorian nurses who worked under Florence Nightingale during the Crimea War. I liken the novels to Grey’s Anatomy meets Victorian England.

The hero of my stand-alone debut novel, A Hero To Hold, is disabled. I wanted to present a character whose disability is dealt with matter-of-factly. It’s part of him but doesn’t define him. It’s something he deals with, but it’s not a huge part of the story. He’s a complete, complex person—who happens to have a disability and, oh yeah, he’s in a wheelchair. I wanted every woman reader to fall in love with David Scott and find him utterly sexy and desirable and forget he couldn’t stand or walk. I realized I’d achieved my goal when I wrote a scene that had David stalking across the room. I’d forgotten he couldn’t walk!

A Hero To Hold buy links:
Barnes & Noble
Boroughs Publishing Group

5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

I love them all, but David Scott and Charlotte Haliday of A Hero To Hold have an extra little piece of my heart. They’re both incredibly strong and have successfully overcome huge challenges and personal pain to go forward with their lives. Only they’ve both given up on love.

6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?

I love to read. I’ve written on and off since I was a kid, and being an author was a lifelong dream. So having my novels accepted by a publisher (and published) was a very satisfying accomplishment for me. One that resonates to the center of my heart. It changed how I view myself.

7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?

Kirkus Reviews gave A Hero To Hold a Kirkus Star, made it a book of the month, and named it a Best Book of 2016! And A Hero To Hold and The Unseducible Earl were Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalists.

8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?

Numerous ways, but primarily via conventional advertising and social media.

9. What is your next project?

Two more books in “The Nightingales” series. My currently untitled work-in-progress will follow The Seduction Of Cameron Mackay (release date not yet available).

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?

My life motto: ~ It never hurts to ask. All they can do is say, “no.” And they usually say “yes.” ~ I tell myself this every time I’m a bit nervous about asking/trying for something I want, when I imagine the person I’m asking will roll their eyes and think I’m a PIA. **

** Note from Marcia: PIA means Pain in the Ass for those who might not know the acronym. ;-)

Sheri’s Links:

Twitter: @Sheri_Humphreys

Thank you, Sheri! Stop by next month, when my interviewee will be author Kara James!

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