Today, I’ve invited Haley Whitehall to join me here on Tami’s Thoughts. She’s going to tell us a little about herself and her books. Haley was also kind enough to let me read her latest release, Wild and Tender Care, which, beside having a super steamy, hot cover, was a great read. First, we’re going to get into the author interview. Then my review of Wild and Tender Care. And then the important stuff: how to buy Haley’s books.
Hi Haley. Thanks for joining us here on my blog today. Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see… I have a history degree and have wanted to be an author since I was four years old. I paired my two passions by writing historical stories. I am a cat person and can see myself turning into the crazy cat lady. I am addicted to coffee and enjoy going on hikes.
If it’s any consolation, I feel like most authors are animal lovers, so you’re in good company. Tell us about the genre in which you write.
I write historical fiction and historical romance. Most of my stories are set around the Civil War era. I love the 19th century.
Is there anything specific that inspires you? How did you come up with the idea behind your most recent book?
I read a lot of history books, diaries, and journals. Most of my stories are partly inspired by some snippet of history. Wild and Tender Care was inspired by Silverheels, a dance hall girl in 1861 in the mining town of Buckskin Joe, Colorado.
Since I’ve already read this book, I can tell you that learning this tidbit of information is fascinating! I love it when authors who write historical weave reality in their stories. Tell us, how many books have you published?
Counting my short stories and children’s books I have published 14. I have several partially finished stories sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to get back to them.
That’s good news. It means you have plenty of potential to get your readers even more books. Tell us about the latest one.
Wild and Tender Care is my first historical western romance. I loved watching western movies growing up and have always wanted to write one. This isn’t your typical western story though. The hero is a half-breed doctor and the heroine is an ex-madam turned laundress. They have both been outcasts all their lives. Despite their differences, I think it is their understanding of the pain in each other’s past that makes them perfect for each other. Ida is hesitant because she knows first-hand the town’s cruelty. Can they find that their rightful place is in each other’s arms?
So romance readers of nearly every genre love to know…How steamy is it?
Wild and Tender Care is a hot historical romance so I’d give it a heat rating of 3. While it has the same heat rating as all my romances writing this one made me blush. I think it was the fact that Ida was an ex-madam and was very experienced in the bedroom.
I love that it made you blush while writing it! This is a PG-13 excerpt, but there is plenty of tension in this teaser:
He glanced up at the sun. “Colorado Territory does have pretty skies, don’t you think?”
What was this, a feeble attempt at small talk? She didn’t have the strength to keep up the charade any longer. It was much easier to be friendly. “A blue sky is a blue sky.”
He shook his head. “But this sky has horses and castles and giant flowers.”
She peered up at the clouds dotting the stretch of endless blue. Looking for shapes in the clouds had been a fun game when she was little. She pointed to a large cloud. “That one looks like a boat.”
Dr. Steere sidled up to her and followed her finger to where she was pointing. “Yes, it does.”
His masculine musk filled the air, surrounding her. A deep-seated ache migrated through her body and settled between her thighs. It had been a long time since she’d been with a man. Even though whoring had been her business, she’d learned to derive pleasure from her clients. A pleasure she’d been long denied. Dr. Steere was not like any of the usual men who had called upon her nightly services. His presence alone aroused her. She didn’t even need his touch to remind her body what to do.
Her long-suppressed need for male companionship rose to the surface. Watching him out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the corners of his lips twitching. Had he caught her looking at him?
If this was a game for him, she’d be happy to lose. Her heart raced, beating with eagerness to be with him. It would be more than sex with him. They had a deeper connection. He wanted to court her, make her his wife, and she longed for him to drop on one knee and ask her.
She could enjoy his strong, steady presence all day especially if it led to the bedroom. Damn, this was a precarious situation. He wanted her and her body wanted to be with him, but she knew the people of Big Rock better than he did. Was she ready for the storm that would follow?
While she was in charge of her own life, not the good Christians passing judgment on her, she did have to live within their community. Would it be more or less painful to live as Mrs. Steere?
Is this your favorite of all the books you’ve written?
I like this story, but it is not my favorite. My favorite historical romance is actually the first I’ve written Midnight Caller. It made me fall in love with the genre and also showed me how much fun interracial romance can be when it is set in the 19th century. I like the added tension that comes with the taboo factor.
Do you have a favorite excerpt of Wild and Tender Care that you want to share here?
It is hard to choose a favorite. Dr. Steere is an alpha male and had to get the fiery redheaded Ida to see that they could have a happy future together. This excerpt always makes me smile.
He sucked in his lips. She hadn’t said she didn’t have feelings for him. That was a good sign. By the way she looked at him he could tell she was interested. He just had to persuade her somehow that they could be together in Big Rock.
“I see, Miss Page. Well, I will be by tomorrow to check on you.”
“Check on me? Now listen here, Dr. Steere, I didn’t get shot. I didn’t even break a bone. There is no reason for you to check on my sprained ankle.”
Fire burned in her eyes. He didn’t respond, merely headed for the door.
She liked him, wanted him. Usually it was the boy who showed he loved the girl by antagonizing her. Miss Page was flustered because she loved him. He’d bet all his money on it. Of course, he longed for her to say those words. Hopefully in time she could.
Stuck in the chair with her foot emerged in the bucket of water Miss Page couldn’t run after and chastise him. However, her glare scorched his back. “Did you hear me, Dr. Steere?”
He turned around and grinned. “Yes, I heard you, Miss Page. I’m just doing my job. All my life I’ve had to work extra hard for the things I’ve wanted.” And I want you.
His piercing lust elicited a tiny shiver from Miss Page. His gaze having the effect he wanted gave him silent encouragement. Oh yes, she wanted him. “It was hard getting into medical school as a half-breed. I wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
I remember that part of the book, and I loved it too! Thanks for sharing! Now, let’s get to the stalking part. Website, social media, that sort of stuff. If fans want to know, how do they?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/
Now, before we get into my review of Wild and Tender Care, ask my blog readers a question, which they can answer in the comments below.
If you had a time machine which time period would you visit and why?
Oh, I like it! Thank you, Haley, for joining us today. Before I show our readers how to purchase your books, I want to give them my review of Wild and Tender Care. Read on, dear readers…..
I think it’s important to note that westerns are not a genre I read often. I don’t really have a reason for this, and to be honest, now that I’ve read Wild and Tender Care, I suspect I will seek out western romance on a more frequent basis. I love the picture of the time period that Haley painted behind the characters.
One reason I was excited about reading one of Haley’s books is because (as she noted in her interview), she’s written a lot, so I figured if I liked it, I’d have plenty more from which to choose. You see, I am one of those readers who tends to fall in love with a particular author and read everything else they’ve written.
I’ll definitely read more from Haley Whitehall.
Wild and Tender Care is a novella, so it’s a quick read. Perfect for lounging at the beach or curled up on the couch on a rainy day. Most readers, I suspect, will be able to devour it in one day.
I wasn’t disappointed in this book. It was a fun read. Dr. Steere is not at all the strong, angry heroes we see in so many of today’s books. He is a sweet, gentle man who is determined to be a successful doctor and find himself a wife, despite the bigotry he feels in the new town he calls home. He is exactly the sort of man I would love for my daughter to marry.
The heroine, Ida Page, made me proud every time I read from her point of view. She is strong and also determined to make her way in the world, despite her very real insecurities as a result of her past. One thing I liked in particular about this book was that the author did not drag out the hero and heroine’s insecurities to the point where I was annoyed with them. This so often happens in books, unfortunately, and it was refreshing when each one overcame those insecurities long before I reached the point of annoyance. Kudos to Haley for that!
Even if western romance is not your typical genre, I would recommend this book if you enjoy sweet romance, if you enjoy a strong heroine and a warm, loving hero (who happens to be exceedingly good looking to boot). I think you’d thoroughly enjoy it.
Oh yes, and I forgot to mention: FOUR STARS!
Now, finally, here’s how YOU can purchase this (or any other book from Haley Whitehall) book:
Wild and Tender Care
Buy links for Midnight Caller
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today! Come back soon. There’s a new post every Monday, and occasionally on days in between.