Today it is my pleasure to welcome back USA Today best selling author Kate Hewitt to HJ!
Hi Kate, welcome back to HJ! Who is Kate Hewitt, give us the low down 😉
Someone who loves escaping into the stories she writes–life with a busy husband and four (soon to be five) children is hectic, even chaotic, and the glamour and passion of Presents can just sweep me away!
If you had to pick one book that made the biggest impression on you in 2012… ? Why?
That’s tough! I’d have to say A Lady Awakened by Cecelia Grant. The characters (and the love scenes) were so refreshingly different and incredibly compelling.
What does the word “Romance” mean to you 🙂
Romance means more than hearts and flowers to me. A romance is a love story, which is the most powerful kind of story in the world. So it means lots of things: beauty and passion, healing and forgiveness, joy and redemption.
What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in 2013?
I’m currently working on the second in a royalty duet. After that I’ll be writing a special project for Presents which I can’t yet talk about (sorry!) and then a sheikh duet. In terms of releases, I have An Inheritance of Shame, my contribution to a Siciliy-set continuity series, out in August, and His Brand of Passion, the third Bryant Brothers book, out in July.
Let’s talk about your new release ‘In the Heat of the Spotlight’
What was your inspiration behind this story?
When I wrote Chase Bryant’s story (Beneath The Veil of Paradise) I gave him two brothers. I had a semi-throwaway line, where Chase says his brother Luke is a workaholic and his brother Aaron thinks life is a game of Monopoly where he has all the money. I wasn’t intending to write their stories, but those words gripped me and I decided to figure out just who Luke and Aaron both were–and why.
If you had to pick your favorite scene from ‘In the Heat of the Spotlight’…
Probably when Luke and Aurelie start to fall in love, in a rainforest in the Philippines.
Who would play Luke Bryant and Aurelie Schmidt in the movie version of your book? And why?
Luke is quiet and hardworking, and was always overlooked as a child, yet he is definitely Alpha! So he needs an actor who has those qualities… I’m not great with current movie stars, but maybe someone can think of one? Aurelie is fragile-looking, petite and blonde, yet with an inner core of strength. Suggestions? 🙂
Giveaway: Kate will be giving away 2 copies of In the Heat of the Spotlight.
To Enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q:In this book Aurelie is an ex-pop star intent on making her own kind of comeback. Do you like reading about heroes and heroines who are celebrities (or, in this case, a former celebrity)? Why or why not?
An excerpt from ‘In the Heat of the Spotlight’
Aurelie led Luke into the music room at the front of the house, her heart thudding, her skin turning clammy. She felt dizzy with nerves, and silently she prayed that she wouldn’t pass out. The last thing she needed was Luke Bryant to think she’d OD’ed again.
She paused in front of the piano, half-regretting her suggestion already. No, not even half; totally. Why was she opening herself up to this? She didn’t need money. She didn’t need to sing in public again. She didn’t need any of this.
But she wanted it. She actually wanted to share something that was important to her, share it with this man never mind the public, even as it scared her near witless.
There was something about the way he said her name, so quietly, so gently, that made her ache deep inside. She swallowed, her face turned away from him. ‘It sounds better with guitar.’
She reached for her acoustic guitar, the one her grandmother had bought her just before she’d died. Don’t forget who you really are, Aurie. Don’t let them turn your head. And she had let them. She’d forgotten completely. Her fingers curled around the neck of the guitar and unable to look at Luke–afraid to see the expression on his face–she bent her head and busied herself with tuning the instrument. Needlessly, since she’d played it that afternoon.
After a few taut minutes she knew she couldn’t wait any longer. Yet she was terrified to play the song, terrified to have Luke reject it. Her. He’d let her down easily, because no matter what he said she knew he did feel sorry for her. But it would still hurt.
‘So has this song got some kind of long silent intro or what?’
She let out a little huff of laughter, glad he’d jolted her out of her ridiculous stage fright. ‘Patience.’ And taking a deep breath, she began. The first few melancholy chords seemed to flow through her, out into the room. And then she began to sing, not one of the belt-it-out numbers of her pop star days, but something low and intimate and tender. ‘Winter came so early, it caught me by surprise. I stand alone till the cold wind blows the tears into my eyes.’ She hesitated for a tiny second, trying to gauge Luke’s reaction, but the song seemed to take up all the space. ‘I turn my face into the wind and listen to the sound. Never give your heart away. It will only bring you down.’ And then she forgot about Luke, and just sang. The song took over everything.
Yet when the last chord died away and the room seemed to bristle with silence, she felt her heart thud again and she couldn’t look at him. Staring down at her guitar she idly picked a few strings. ‘It’s kind of a downer of a song, isn’t it,’ she said with an unsteady little laugh. ‘Probably not the best number to open a store with.’
‘That doesn’t matter.’ She couldn’t tell a thing from his tone, and she still couldn’t look at him. ‘Of course, if you had another one, maybe a bit more hopeful, you could sing that one too.’
Something leapt inside her, a mongrel beast of hope and fear. A dangerous animal. She looked up, saw him gazing at her steadily yet without any expression she could define. ‘I could?’
‘So…’ She swallowed. ‘What did you think? Of the song?’
‘I thought,’ Luke said quietly, with obvious and utter sincerity, ‘it was amazing.’