The Five W’s with Diane Jewkes and The Heart You Own

I get lots of guests here at HolleyBlog who write contemporaries (’cause, hey, that’s what I write) but every now and then some brave historian puts up her hand to volunteer for a bit of torture fun. Diane Jewkes (another Coloradan, but don’t worry–we’re not going to run out of us!) braved and defeated the procrastination monster to finish her first historical romance The Heart You Own. It was released in June as part of the Crimson Romance launch and already has given at least one person a case of The Vapors.

Without further yip-yap, here are the Five W’s.

WHO are your main characters?

My heroine is Kara Jonston. She is the only child of a former Civil War officer and powerful New Mexico rancher. She has grown up with an unusual amount of freedom and responsibility for a woman of her time. She learned at an early age the ins and outs of cattle ranching, and loves every bit of it. She believes she will always stay at the ranch and one day run it on her own.
The Heart You Own by Diane R. Jewkes
As The Heart You Own opens she has only recently returned from finishing school back East. She is surprised to find out her father has sold part ownership to our hero, Hawke Pryce, Lord Stoneham.

Hawke is the heir to a large Scottish fortune. He is highly educated, militarily trained and a shrewd investor. He is also firm in his belief that his perceptions of the world around him are correct. He has come to New Mexico to look over his new investment, but primarily he is there to hunt down a man. This man has hurt someone he loves, and Hawke is going to make him pay.

WHAT tropes do you utilize in the story?

The story of The Heart You Own, at first seems to be a case of ‘opposites attract’, but as you get further into the story it is one of two people realizing that their perceptions of themselves and their worlds have been wrong, and what they have been missing is found in the other.

WHEN is the story set and how long does it take to resolve?

The Heart You Own is set in 1895. The total time of the story is about one and a half months.

WHERE is the story set and why’d you choose that setting?

The story is in the New Mexico Territory in what is now central New Mexico. I grew up in New Mexico, and when I started writing I knew it would be in New Mexico, but I wasn’t sure exactly where. A few years after I met and married my husband we went to visit his great-aunt and uncle in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

As his great-uncle Bill continued telling us stories about growing up in White Oaks, New Mexico in the late 1890’s and going to college and fighting in WWI, my story began to flesh out.

I continued to research the area and found a rich history that continued in Lincoln County long after the Lincoln County Wars and the legend of Billy the Kid (who great-uncle Bill’s mother knew).

WHY did you write this story?

I’ve always loved history and romance. I had started other stories, but these characters would not leave me alone until I told their story.

HOW is this story different than the last one you wrote?

This is the first fiction piece I’ve ever written.

About 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-a k 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?

From The Heart You Own

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 the same.” 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.

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