It’s no secret that I love historical romances and I’ve always had a weakness for rugged heroes, so I’m thrilled to feature the wonderful Michelle Beattie on my blog today with an interview to celebrate her 10th book, A Sheriff’s Passion!
So glad you could join us today, Michelle!
- What is your favorite part about writing historical Marietta?
What I like about historical Marietta is that I was able to take a town that is already so beloved by readers and show a different side to it and introduce some different characters. I’m very thankful those readers have gone along with me on this ride and are enjoying this other side of Marietta.
- Why do you like writing historicals, and why does this time period appeal?
I enjoy writing historicals because it’s different than what I live every day. It allows me to “live” in a simpler time. Simpler, not easier. I’ve just always been attracted to this time period, and in the west specifically. Maybe that’s because I was born and raised in Western Canada so the location is familiar. While I love the fancy dresses and corsets of the Regency period, I have a hard time relating to that. Pioneer women couldn’t bend over and tend a garden tied into a corset. I like the freedom away from that, and all the formality. I’m not one for formality.
- Tell us about your delicious hero.
Delicious, I like that. To me Shane is the ultimate fantasy. He’s a Sheriff, so you know he’s upstanding and fair. In a time where the law could be as corrupt as the outlaws running wild, Shane has remained honest. And so, right there, that’s sexy to me. Add the low-slung gunbelt, the dark hat and grey eyes and it’s no wonder he’s captured Silver’s heart. But Shane had a tough upbringing and it’s shaped him. He wants so badly to rise above the smear his dad put on their last name that he’ll do anything to avoid being painted in the same light. Even if that means fighting the love he has for the saloon owner.
- If you were a character in Marietta, what would you do? Where would you live? What kind of life would you have, and do you think you’d enjoy it?
Oh, that’s an excellent question. So here’s the thing, assuming you mean in the time frame I write in, I would love to do what Silver or Jillian (the heroine in A Rancher’s Surrender) do but I don’t have a head for business nor can I stand blood, so I couldn’t be a vet. I suppose I’d end up being a rancher’s wife though hopefully I’d get to spend more time with the horses than stuck in a vegetable garden, which I hate. Ideally, I’d have a small ranch with a house in the hills overlooking the Yellowstone River, but within a few hours ride from town so I didn’t feel isolated and could still spend time with friends.
- What makes this book special to you? And did you have a favorite scene, or passage? Can you share a snippet with us?
Besides the fact that A Sheriff’s Passion is my 10th published book, it’s special to me because from the time I wrote A Rancher’s Surrender I’ve had my eye on Shane and Silver. The conflict between them is just so perfect. The straight-laced sheriff and the bold saloon owner, there’s just so much fun in that. Some of my favorite parts of this book are toward the end and the climax but I don’t want to give any of that away so here’s a little snippet from the earlier on. Here they are walking back toward Marietta and discussing Shane’s brother, who recently arrived in town and is showing interest in Silver.
Since Shane had walked out after kissing her, they’d never talked about what happened. In fact they’d each gone out of their way to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. It worked for the most part though their teasing felt less natural than it had before. Today they’d taken a large step toward rebuilding their friendship and easy camaraderie. Silver would be wise to let it be. But she wasn’t about to let Shane get away with interfering in her personal life. Especially when he didn’t want her in his.
She stepped out of his touch. “I’m not blind. I can see the type of man he is but whatever I choose or don’t choose to do with Mitch will be between him and me. Only him and me.”
His gaze narrowed. “What is it you’re planning to do with him?”
Fury began to simmer in her veins. Who did the man think he was? Did he really think he could kiss her breathless, walk away as though it hadn’t mattered, and then presume to interfere in her life? If he did, he was about to find out differently.
“Whatever I decide, Shane, is no business of yours and if you value our friendship, you’ll stay out of it.” She straightened her shoulders. “I’m a grown woman. I can make my own decisions and I’m strong enough to live with the consequences.”
She hadn’t meant her action to draw attention to her breasts but it did. His eyes locked onto them. She saw his Adam’s apple bob in his tanned throat. His chest rose and fell with quick breaths. Desire, hot and thick swept over her, filling her breasts and pebbling the nipples into rigid peaks. Even through her chemise and blouse, there was no masking her need.
His hands clenched at his sides. His lips parted and, through them, she heard his rapid breaths. Seeing his desire, knowing it matched hers, increased her fury. If he wasn’t so blasted stubborn, if he’d only see what he could have, what they could have…
Finally he dragged his gaze to hers. The passion she saw snapped the last of the grip she’d held on her temper.
Shoving him aside, she said, “You had your chance, Shane McCall. You could have had everything but you chose to walk away.”
Shane looked completely poleaxed. She took the opportunity while she’d shocked him speechless to push the flowers at him and march away. But she hadn’t gone more than a few steps before Shane grasped her elbow and spun her around.
Molten grey eyes met hers. “What do you mean ‘everything’?”
- Why is the heroine a good fit for your hero? What do you like about her?
Silver is perfect for Shane because she’s never let what anyone thinks of her stop her from reaching for her goals. In that, she’s Shane complete opposite. He puts his reputation before everything but with her he’s happier than he’s ever been so she forces him to see his reputation can’t give him love. There are so many things I love about Silver. She’s hard working, driven, and confident. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and can stand toe to toe with a man. I tend to be more like Shane myself, always worrying about what folks think, what they’re saying about me. I love that Silver doesn’t give a damn.
- What do you read when you’re not writing? And have you read something recently you’d recommend?
I typically read contemporary, and I prefer westerns. I wish historical westerns would make a comeback as that’s what I started reading and what gave me the passion to write. I recently read a new to me author Amy Andrews and her book Some Girls Don’t. It was hot and steamy with a lot of emotion and it took place in Australia, I country I love with people I adore so it was a really enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
- What’s next? Can we look for more Montana Born historicals from Michelle Beattie?
Yes! In A Sheriff’s Passion you’ll meet Shane’s brother, Mitch. I’m currently writing his story and after that I will wrap up the series with Shane’s other brother, Logan.
Historical Romance fans, don’t miss out on Michelle’s 10th book! I’m so excited for her and to help celebrate, I’m doing a giveway of A Book Girl’s Guide to Marietta, Michelle’s 1st book in the Frontier Montana series, A Rancher’s Surrender–winner’s choice of print or ebook–a Starbucks drink card, and some fun Tule/MB swag! For a chance to win, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered!