Publisher: CaribbeanReads Publishing
Date of Publication: July 25, 2015
Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 85,900
When Kyle agrees to be the best man at his best friend’s destination wedding in Dominica, he has one thing on his mind: partying. But all that changes when a powerful hurri¬cane strikes the island and he finds himself trapped in a vil¬lage and falling hard and fast for the indigenous beauty queen, Alia Graneau.
Alia Graneau has goals that do not include men, least of all an immature, irresponsible American party-animal like Kyle. But the hurricane devastates more than her beautiful island; it wreaks havoc on her heart when she falls under Kyle’s spell and is forced to choose between her ambition, her love for her country and her love for Kyle Robinson.
Can their love, born in a hurricane, survive the ravages of real life?
Kyle and Alia gazed into each other’s eyes, smiling. Alia drew her eyes away and gazed up at the moon. The emotion she was experiencing was making her a little uncomfortable. Yes, it was gratitude, but there was something else underlying it. It was attraction, desire, and a kind of closeness she did not want to feel at this time.
Kyle’s voice was soothing when he spoke. “I looked at your well-groomed nails and hair and thought you were one of those ultra-feminine women who concentrated more on their appearance than on anything of substance. I was totally wrong.”
Alia smiled and looked down at the moist ground.
He continued. “You are strong, determined and have a heart of gold. I never expected you to do all the things you did today. The way you got down and dirty and helped with the cleanup, the way you climbed through that tiny chimney. And then you put your own life in danger to save Teshawn’s life. I’ve gained a whole new perspective and a lot of respect for you.”
Alia kept her head down. She twirled a pebble between her fingers, her discomfort escalating. Her mind raced as she tried to make sense of all the emotions churning within her.
Kyle placed his finger under Alia’s chin and lifted her face. He gazed into her dark brown tapered eyes and was captivated by her beauty. Her long hair flowed gently around her face. Her exotic eyes held a dreamy, sultry expression. Kyle stared at her, lost in her gaze, enthralled by her clear flawless skin, her high cheekbones, and those deliciously full sensuous lips. He whispered, “Alia, you are beautiful, on the outside and the inside.”
Alia felt her heart flutter, beating like a drum in her ears. She could hardly breathe as she gazed into his large light-brown eyes. She saw passion, desire, and felt herself slipping, falling into his romantic trap.
Kyle touched her hair tentatively. It was soft and silky. The attraction for Alia was so strong it took his breath away. Slowly he lowered his face toward hers, his eyes never leaving hers. He saw in them longing, desire, and a vulnerability that was totally uncharacteristic of the super-composed Alia. His heart raced as his lips inched closer and closer.
Alia closed her eyes. Her mind was in turmoil. A day ago she had hated Kyle Robinson. Now here they were, on the verge of doing something she had never done before. She was confused, feeling things she should not be feeling. Not for Kyle, not for anyone at that point in her life. She felt helpless. Her mind
Hurricane of the Heart by Jewel Amethyst
was telling her not to do this, but her body was ignoring it. His hand in her hair, the other on her chin lifting it for his kiss felt so right.
Suddenly a moment of clarity ensued. This man would do anything and say anything to have a good time. What happens after the kiss? Sex? And then he would be gone from her life just as quickly as he had come.
Alia jumped up from the rock, leaving Kyle seated, a strange expression on his face. “This can’t happen,” she said before dashing off to the house.
“Alia, wait!” Kyle called to her departing back as he stood up from the rock. He had no idea whether to chase after her or let her be. No woman had ever run away from him like that before. Kyle looked at Alia as she crossed the fence and headed for the house. “Man!” he exclaimed, kicking the rock he had been sitting on. He had come so close.
So close to what? A kiss? A one night stand? An ephemeral tryst? Kyle looked longingly at her disappearing back and realized one night with Alia would never be enough. She was the type of woman who would keep him wanting more.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an author. When I was a child, I told my mother that I wanted to be an author. She gave me a story about an author who was poor and destitute and had to beg while he tried to peddle his books. So I decided I would be scientist or a doctor instead. I went to school, became a scientist and now I’ve decided to go back to my first love and become a writer.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
That’s a tough question because I think there is a difference between being a writer and being an author. In the back of my mind, I always was a writer, whether it was writing short stories and poems just for my own entertainment or attempting to publish. But I didn’t consider myself to be an author until about 2011. I had two books already published. My job as a research scientist had recently ended and I was at a meeting with a few professionals. We had to introduce ourselves and give a little background about our professions. I felt intimidated because I no longer knew how to define myself professionally. I introduced myself as a stay at home mom. The organizer for the meeting, a well accomplished scientist and bestselling author added to my introduction, “and published author.” That was the first time I thought of myself as an author.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
My first book still is not published J. My second book is. In 2003 while on maternity leave I wrote my first book. I tried but could not get it published. Rather than being discouraged, I wrote another. I completed my second book in 2007, I think. I went through another set of rejections before it was accepted by Dorchester Publishing and Published in 2009. That was “A Marriage of Convenience” now published by Montlake Romance an imprint of Amazon. You can do the calculations.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I am currently an adjunct professor of Biology. It just means I teach Biology to college students, but I do so part-time.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is Hurricane of the Heart, and it is set in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Dominica.
Summary: Alia and Kyle’s lives collide when a hurricane destroys Dominica. Can love born in disaster survive the ravages of life?
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
My earlier books are published by Amazon (Montlake Romance). My current Publisher is CaribbeanReads Publishing a wonderful publisher who treats authors really well.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It varies. I have what I consider to be a harem of WIP. I may get an idea, begin writing it, and when other things demand my attention, I pause sometimes indefinitely, sometimes for a few months to years. I started writing my latest published novel “Hurricane of the Heart”, in 2011. I had to do a bit of research for it because the protagonist is Kalinago or Carib, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, and there is not very much in the literature about their culture and lifestyles today. That took a while. I had the first draft completed by 2012. Others I’ve done in three or four months.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Like I said, I have a harem of WIPs. I’m currently working on another romance based on a character who was introduced in Hurricane of the Heart. So you may see that soon. I’m also working on a series of children’s science adventure novels, meant for middle grade readers. That is in collaboration with my twelve year old daughter. We published the first one last year (2014), and we’re working on the others in the series.
What genre would you place your books into?
Most of my books are multicultural romance novels.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’m a romantic at heart and I love a happy ending. But the real reason I decided to write romance is because most of the romance I read didn’t feature people who looked like me. Most novels I read featured tall, blond or brunette, super slim, uber beautiful, extremely rich female characters. And if they females didn’t come from money, their love interest would be excessively wealthy and roguish. I felt that it didn’t reflect the experience of most ordinary folk. My lead character in A Marriage of Convenience is short, overweight and dead broke. Yet she finds love with a gorgeous Ghanaian professional. In Hurricane of the Heart, the lead character, Alia, is a very beautiful indigenous Caribbean woman who has lived a life of poverty but is pulling herself out of it through education and participating in beauty pageants. Both my hero and Heroine in my novella in the Holiday Brides anthology are high school teachers. Most of my characters are regular working class people, beautiful more on the inside than the outside, because I feel people identify with them.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Hmmm…This is like asking me if I have a favorite child. I really like Alia Graneau from Hurricane of the Heart. I like her tenacity, her strength and her spirit, even in the face of a natural disaster of monumental proportions. I also like her love interest, Kyle Robinson. I love his playfulness and the way he matured toward the end—and yes, he is sexy. But then I also have a massive crush on Kwabena Opoku, the hero of A Marriage of Convenience. I like his calm level headed attitude and his humility. Not to mention he’s sexy as hell. I really can’t choose.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I recall my first book was a story written on loose leaf, cut up and stapled that I gave to my sister for her birthday. I think I was seven or eight at that time. In high school I wrote my first romance, very much like the sweet dreams romance. That was never published. It was also written on loose leaf. I can’t single out one person who inspired me to write though I enjoy the support of friends and family, but the many stories playing around in my head is part of my inspiration.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Not really. I’m just as comfortable writing while at one of my kids soccer practice as I am writing in my bed or on the throne. I do a lot of writing and editing in my head before I even touch the computer.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
No. In fact it’s only when someone brings it to my attention that I read a review.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Half the time, I only have a working title when I begin the publication process. I am horrible at choosing titles. I even have a hard time choosing names for my kids. In fact, I’ve been known to leave the hospital without naming my babies (well that only happened once, the other time we found the name just before we left).
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Strange enough I find my characters are easier to name than the book title. As the character pops into my head so do the names. Sometimes, I hear names on television, or I see a student’s name that I like and I build a character around them. Since most of my settings are real places, the names of places are predetermined.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
The names tend to come to me before I build the character. The place is generally decided based on the plot.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
My characters tend to come to me and I write based on the characters and their interactions. Just recently I had to do an interview with a character in Hurricane of the Heart and I chose Alia. In interviewing the character I realized lots of nuances in her personality that I didn’t realize while writing the novel. Now I think I will do an interview with my main characters before I begin to write my stories. It may help in character development.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I don’t think there is an overarching moral in my books, however they do contain tidbits of positive messages. There are certain themes that run throughout. One of them is “happiness should be in spite of not because of,” and another is “beauty is internal, not external,” and no matter who you are, you can find love. They are morals but the entire books aren’t built on one single moral.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I love paperbacks. They’re portable, I love the smell of the paper and it feels like I’m reading a real book. Ebooks are portable but don’t feel like real books.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I don’t have a favorite book. I have favorite books. One of my favorite is The Color Purple and I read it more than once because it resonates with me. The characters are rich and strong and you can’t help falling in love with them. Another favorite is Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and it resonates with me because I thought it was a book ahead of its time. And then there’s James Patterson’s, “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.” It was a very different kind of romance. And finally I just love Rebecca Skloot’s creative non-fiction, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I worked for years with those HeLa cells and many others doing cancer research and had no idea of the life of the person from whom they came. And I just love the way the story is told.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
If you asked me that question 20 years ago I would have said no because they don’t keep the integrity of the books. But recently there have been many book-to-movie transfers that really kept the integrity of the book. One of my favorites is “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham. The movie was actually better than the book.
Your favorite food is?
Stewed saltfish with dumplings and a side of fried plantains (I’m from the Caribbean). Now my favorite dessert is pineapple upside down cake.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I don’t have a favorite group or singer but I used to like Air Supply a whole lot. I still swoon when I hear their songs.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
Jewel Amethyst is the author of two mass market romance novels, Marriage of Convenience and From SKB with Love one of three stories in the Holiday Brides’ romance anthology. Hurricane of the Heart is her second full-length romance novel. Jewel was born and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and currently resides in Maryland with her family.