Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest Author Diane Jewkes

My special guest author today is Diane Jewkes, and she is here to share a little about herself and  her book, The Heart You Own.


Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen. 
First, thank you so much for inviting me! Hi, I’m Diane R Jewkes, and this is the question I dread most! I really don’t like talking about myself. It makes me squirmy (even in my ‘day’ job for reviews – I have this problem). <deep breath> Here goes: I grew up in southern New Mexico surrounded by three sisters, one brother, lots of horses, dogs, cats and other animals. I went to college at the University of Arizona (go ‘Cats!) and New Mexico State University (summer school) and completed my degree in journalism with a minor in history (hint) in three years. Why was I in a hurry? No idea. If I had to do it again I’d do college on the 5 year plan. I worked on a small town (population less than 10,000) newspaper and covered three murders in under 8 months! I moved back to my hometown, met my future hubby, got married, had my children (one girl, one boy) and we were transferred to Denver. We live outside Denver in the foothills (8400ft elevation) where I work from home. My children are grown and I have three wonderful grandchildren and three doofy dogs.

Why did you decide to write historical/western? What is the appeal? 
I have always loved history, primarily British history, so that was a natural for me to write. The western came in partly because of where I grew up and partly after I visited my husband’s great-uncle and his family on their ranch in central New Mexico where The Heart You Own is set.

 How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that? Tons of research! I love research and that can be a problem since I can get lost in it. Once upon a time I went to libraries for research, but with the advent of the internet, research has become easier. I still love libraries and going to where my story is set, if possible, I feel is important.

 Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just plow through them? 
I do not plan or plot. I have a general idea of a general outline of a germ of a story and then I go for it and see where the characters take me.

 Can you tell us a little about your current work, The Heart You Hold (working title) ? 
This is Alec’s story. He is the sidekick to my hero, Hawke Pryce, in The Heart You Own.

 What sets your heroine Kara Jonston apart from all the other women in your hero’s Hawke Pryce life? Why is she perfect for him? 
Everything about her is different from the women he grew up with. He grew up in the world of wealth and privilege in England where women had very strict rules of behavior. She grew up with greater freedoms. She has very strong opinions and a strong work ethic. Though she has also grown up with money, she has a drive to contribute to the world she knows. While she understands that well-bred women are supposed to behave a certain way, she cannot accept it. Her since of self and belief in independence makes her the perfect mate for Hawke because she challenges his beliefs and makes him take a deeper look at who he is as a man.

 Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it? 
All the time. I try to unblock by walking away from my writing for a while. Usually that makes me relax and my brain kicks back in.

 Can you give us a little background on your hero Hawke Pryce that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? 
There isn’t too much about him that isn’t in the story. He’s a very straight-forward kind of man. What inspired you to create this character? I wanted a man who was so strong in his beliefs that he felt he was always right to come to an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I wanted him to show growth in being able to see where his stringent beliefs may have caused pain for someone else and for him to be man enough to recognize it and try to make it right.

 What else do you have in store for your readers? 
In addition to my current WIP following Alec McCairn, I have another story set in New Mexico in the 1890’s based on a little known piece of history, and I have a para-normal involving a forensic anthropologist and a ghost.

Here is the blurb for The Heart You Own:
Why would an English lord want to have part ownership in a New Mexico cattle ranch? And why did it have to be her father’s ranch?
Kara Jonston has grown up thinking she will someday inherit the family ranch. She has worked the ranch as hard as any man. Ask any of the cowboys. Finding out her father sold half ownership in the ranch—and to a soft Englishman, no less—without even talking to her hurts her pride and stirs her anger. To make matters worse, this outsider is coming to inspect his investment, and her father expects her to be nice.
Although she promises her father to give his new partner a chance, she vows she will never accept him as her partner on her ranch.
Hawke Pryce, Lord Stoneham, is not English, he is Scottish. He is not soft, and he is not coming to the New Mexico Territory just to inspect his latest investment. He’s hunting a man.
Sparks fly—but will they turn into lasting love for two people determined to hang on to their hearts?

And here’s an excerpt. The hero and heroine have met before this scene, but this is where they get their first real look at each other.

Kara stepped back as he reached the door and Hawke got his first good look at what she was wearing. Stopping midstride, he let his eyes roam from her head to her toes. A part of his brain once again noted how delicate she seemed. The rest of his brain and his body, however, focused on the sight of her long legs wrapped in snug denim trousers and the man‟s shirt tucked into the waist.
Thankful he was still behind the stall door, so she was unaware of the physical evidence of his reaction to her, he murmured, “You certainly add a new dimension to men‟s clothing.He fought the desire firing through his veins.
 “I don‟t think I‟ll ever look at denim thesame.” His eyes traveled up her body and he smiled slowly.
Her face went up in flame.
“You insufferable, arrogant ass! Just who do you think you are, talking to me like I‟m some . . . some—” The horses began tossing their heads nervously as her voice got louder. “You might talk to people like that back where you come from. But mister,” she continued, almost shouting, her hands gripping the top of the stall door, her knuckles white, “not here—not to me. And to think, I was about to reconsider my opinion of you.
“Silly me.”
He saw the fury sparking in those incredible blue eyes. She was standing so close he could feel the heat radiating from her body. She backed up a few steps. “I thought maybe a man whose horse liked him couldn‟t be all bad, but you know what?” her voice softened. “I was wrong.”
With a thump, Titan pinned Hawke against the stall, making him gasp out an “oomph.”
“Get off me, you bloody coward.” He pushed against the jittery horse pinning him against the wall. “She likes you, you‟ve got no worries, it‟s my hide she wants to nail to the barn door.”
Hawke watched Kara stomp into the other stall and begin grooming her horse. The animated brushstrokes reminded him of the first night on the balcony.
Better make amends, laddie.

Diane's links are:
The Heart You Own, - Crimson Romance Books

The Heart You Own is available at all ebook retailers, but here are some of the links:


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog Peggy!

  2. Diane is a gifted writer and really brings life to her words. Highly recommend diving into her enchanting and gripping first work. Thank you for interviewing her.

  3. Hi, Diane! So happy to see your interview here. I'm curious - you mentioned that you face writer's block often, something that all authors face in their writing career. Has there ever been a particular scene or chapter that you've written that was the direct result of your fighting writer's block that you're particularly proud of? You know, the one scene you look back on and say, "yep, I nailed that one."

    1. Hi Terri,
      Great question. There were some scenes between Kara and Hawke that came about because I felt like I had written myself into a corner. I had to step away, sometimes for a very long time, put it out of my mind. Then when I least expected it the answer came to me. I firmly believe in not staring at a blank page. I will go for a walk in the woods, clear my mind and relax.
      Thank you!

  4. Lovely interview, Diane. I grew up in Flagstaff - and I love New Mexico and the Old West - so I'm looking forward to reading your novel.

    1. Thank you Deborah. I graduated from University of Arizona but never made it as far north as Flagstaff.

  5. First, Peggy, your site is lovely. And I like your book covers, too. Diane- the more I hear about your book, the more I feel the itch to work on a Western I outlined a while back. What a rich context for romance! And you shouldn't feel uncomfortable talking about yourself. You did a great job! And, three murders in eight months! Wow! Were they connected at all? No wonder you moved!

    1. Thank you. I think Westerns are underrated and their is a lot of rich history that hasn't been touched.
      The three murders were not connected. It was an interesting little town in the middle of the desert. Peyton Place!

  6. Diane, I love the cover. Very beautiful. And your story sounds wonderful. I love historicals with a twist. The Heart You Own will definitely be on my to read list.

    1. Thank you Ashlyn. I hope you enjoy the story.
      I've lived with Kara and Hawke for many, many years and I am thrilled to finally be able to share their story with others.

  7. Peggy,
    Once again thank you so very much for letting me have space on this beautiful site to talk about The Heart You Own.

    Diane R Jewkes