Friday, September 30, 2011


I have Sarah Grimm and you don't! Neener, neener, NEE-NER! Can you tell I'm excited? That's because I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of After Midnight, and I CANNOT tell you how great this book is. YOU'VE GOTTA READ IT! And in case you think I'm a little biased because Sarah and I are friends (that's right people, go ahead and bask in your jealousy) keep reading, because I'm not the only one who feels this way about her incredible story.

Without further ado, I give you the talented, AWARD WINNING, Sarah Grimm...

I thought long and hard about today’s post. In all honesty, blog topics have never been my strong suit. Then I went about cleaning out my email inbox, choosing which messages to keep and which to delete, when I spotted a few that made me smile. I mean SMILE – as in corners of my mouth darn near touched my ears.

Yeah, like that.

Why? I’m glad you asked. As an author, I have favorite parts of my stories, scenes that are important to me because I felt I ‘got it just right’ or because I had an emotional response to the scene as I was writing it.  Then, once book is completed, I send it out into the world and prepare for readers to either love or hate it.

What happens to a man when
He spills his heart on a page and
He watches words flow away then
His feelings lie on the page alone
There waiting

Sorry. Lost myself in song for a minute. But that’s a totally different blog….

Back to my cheeky grin. Go ahead, scroll up and check out that smile again, I’ll wait. Done? Great!

A few weeks ago I began sending After Midnight out for review. While I was at it, I also gave away a few eARC copies on Twitter, my blog and to a few friends. And those emails?  Well, they were some of the very first reader reactions:

“Holy SHIT!”

Sorry. I had to throw that one in as it makes me laugh hysterically every time I read it. The reader went on to say:

“Oh my GGGGOOOODDD! I'm loving this book, Sarah. I love the conflict you set up here. With Izzy and the piano...and now no matter what he does, Noah screwed up!”

Hmmm, I wonder if I can give you a look at what this reader was referring to without giving too much away…

His need to touch her, to comfort was so overwhelming, he reached for her, only to have her jerk away. She turned to face him after shifting out of his reach. Her eyes were shadowed. Overflowing with pain.

His stomach clutched. “Why did you do it? Why play if you knew how this was going to affect you?”

“It’s what you wanted,” she replied simply. “You’ve made that pretty clear right from the beginning.”

He opened his mouth, but with nothing to say in his defense, closed it again. There was no denying the truth of her words. He hadn’t kept his desire for her to play again a secret. It had been his goal from the beginning. At least until he realized what he was asking of her. By then, it was too late.

Another email said:

The first chapter grabs you and doesn’t let go…


Just finished After Midnight. Wow. I gave Not Without Risk a 5. If I could, I’d give After Midnight a 5 plus, plus, plus.

*insert another large grin here*

These are the type of comments every author longs to receive. Seriously, we really do spill our hearts onto the page, just like 3 Doors Down sings. Receiving positive feedback just makes it all worthwhile. Sure, I understand I can’t please everybody – there’s just no way – but when I hear back from the people who are pleased with something I’ve written = nirvana.
I’ve been having a tough week (long story, doesn’t matter) and I was having trouble concentrating today. I knew I should be writing, but I just couldn’t focus. So I sat down and opened After Midnight. Well, it’s after midnight and I’m finished. I couldn’t stop! It’s wonderful! Once I started reading I had to finish it! I can’t wait until Dom’s story.

This one has multiple points to smile about, but one that mirrored the previous email:

This story really touched me. I will anxiously be awaiting the next installment. You’ve got me totally hooked on the characters and I CAN’T WAIT to find out what happens with Dominic.

I admit, I experienced a strong connection with Dominic when I wrote him. Strong enough I decided he needed his own book and happily-ever-after, which I am currently writing.  So now, because readers seem to have connected with him as much as me, and because it’s one of AJ’s favorite scenes from After Midnight - she’s been so damn good to me how could I refuse – I leave you today with a look at Dominic.

The instant Dominic strolled through the double doors, Isabeau felt a strange sense of déjà vu. He smiled in greeting as he eased onto his stool, but for the second day in a row, the usual glint was missing from his eyes.

“What’s the matter?” she asked, automatically wiping a cloth across the bar before placing a napkin before him.

He sighed while he spun the napkin with his fingers. “I could use a beer right about now, Isabeau.”

“Sure.” She turned to the cooler, retrieved a bottle and removed its cap. Hands unsteady, she settled the bottle atop the napkin. “I thought you would look a little happier than yesterday. Noah’s doing better, isn’t he?”

“Noah’s fine,” he replied, then took a long swallow of beer.

She breathed a sigh of relief and filled two more orders. It was only two o’clock, and already they were at half capacity. She got the feeling it was going to be a long, busy night, and she didn’t need the extra strain that worrying about Noah would bring. While she waited for Dominic to say more, she did a quick survey of the patrons, making certain that no one appeared to need anything.

Assured that she could take the time to talk, she glanced at Clint. He nodded at her, his signal that he would watch things, then went back to his own conversation with a customer.

She took up her customary position directly across from Dominic. “Spit it out, Dom, you’re beginning to worry me.”

“We need your help.”

She couldn’t begin to imagine what he was talking about. “What kind of help?”

His intense blue eyes locked onto her as he took another drink. Apprehension filled her. “Help with the demo.”

“How could I possibly help with the demo?”

As he turned his head, she followed his gaze to the opposite side of the bar where two businessmen stood talking, ties loosened, shirtsleeves rolled up. They’d been here for thirty minutes and both were on their second beer. But she knew it wasn’t the men Dom was focused on. It was the upright piano against the wall at their back.

The tight clenching of her stomach was automatic and instinctive. “No,” she said softly, adamantly.

As he reached for her hand where it rested atop the bar, she snatched it away and straightened. He didn’t need to know that she was shaking. That her stomach had soured and bile was already working its way up the back of her throat.

“We need you, Isabeau. Without you, our chance of getting this contract…it won’t happen.”

“That’s a bit dramatic, don’t you think?” This couldn’t be happening. Even more painful for her to consider, it couldn’t be a coincidence. “Did Noah put you up to this?”

“He said you’d think that.”

“He was right.” Her heart crawled into her throat. The knot in her stomach tightened. “You go back there and tell him his ruse won’t work. Try again.”

Dominic’s eyes held hers, but he didn’t move. Didn’t slide off the stool and out the door now that she’d figured out the game, and called an end to it.

A customer walked up to the bar to place an order, providing her with the perfect distraction. She leaned in to catch the man’s order.

Dom still didn’t move.

Pulled down a pitcher and started to fill it.


Was it possible he was telling the truth?

Momentarily distracted, she turned her attention back to Dominic. She noted his body language, the lack of spark in his eyes and the thin set of his mouth. The dread inside her built.

The pitcher overflowed, causing beer to flood the drip tray beneath it and spill down the front of her jeans. She cursed under her breath and grabbed for the cloth at her right. Eyes burning, she swiped at the mess, but only succeeded in making it worse.

“Let me do it.”

Clint’s voice, directly beside her, caused her to startle. She looked at his hand outstretched before him then the concern in his eyes. He’d obviously picked up on the fact that she was upset.

“Go get cleaned up,” he said, taking the cloth from her. “Take a break.”

She needed a break.

Turning, she headed for the kitchen and the staircase to the apartment. On her way, she stopped alongside Dominic. She dragged in a jagged breath. “It is a ruse, isn’t it?”

“It’s not a ruse,” he replied softly. “We need you.”


Sometimes the moment that changes everything comes After Midnight

Thirteen years—that's how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother's life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar...

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal--one that doesn't include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won't be easy, but he can't get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

Sarah Grimm is an award winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two sons and three miniature schnauzers. Between mom's taxi service, parts runs, and answering the phone for the family marine repair business, Sarah can be found curled in her favorite chair, crafting her next novel.
Find Sarah here:


Sarah Grimm said...

OK, I'm laughing again. Why? You have to ask? Seriously, I sent you that pic of me as a joke. I should have known instead of asking for the real bio pic, you'd use it. What am I going to do with you? (besides give you a HUGE hug when we meet up on Monday)

Lynn Chantale said...

Excellent Post. Somehow I have more books to purchase than my budget will allow. Hmm? Do the kids really need to eat? :-)

Sarah Grimm said...

LOL, I know how you feel! Am thinking the 16yo doesn't really need new shoes. Books are better, right?

AJ Nuest said...

I told you last night I LOVE that picture. And when I saw it (based on how I started this post), I thought it was the perfect thing! I'm so glad you're here with me today, sweetie! Sorry I'm late to the party!!

Sarah Grimm said...

OH, I thought you were talking about the pic of Noah on my blog. My bad. There was so much talking of Noah last night, you know? But today, today it's Dominic.

AJ Nuest said...

You know, I've been thinking about this a lot, and as much as I hate to admit it, Amie's right. She can have Noah. I'm more the Dominic type anyway. RAWR!

Calisa Rhose said...

I am so green with envy! First because you have Sarah (but I had her first neener-neener!) and second because you've read the book already and I can't sit and read for at least another week! (Psst- Sarah- you GOTTA let me read Dom's story BEFORE AJ or no one will ever hear the end from her!)

I can't wait to read After Midnight! Love the *grin* and you were an absolute doll as a baby- no wonder you're such a lovely woman today. Have fun Monday and you guys give each other a hug for me.

Amy said...

No way Fozay! I get Dominic first. Then the rest of you peons can have what's left when I'm done! mawahwahwahwah!!!

Amy said...

Uh...did I just post that? What I meant to say was Sarah dear, I would be most pleased to read Dominic's story in the event that you deem me worthy of such a grand honor. (smiles stiffly and a little too brightly). Thank you.

AJ Nuest said...

Now hold on just a DAMN second! You get Noah AND Dominic?? No way. Nope. Not happenin. Sarah, we're discussing this at length on Monday. I think we're about to have our first Smut War!!

Lilly Gayle said...

Hey AJ and Sarah!
Great post. I was on Twitter last night for Sarah's release day party. I learned a few tweet tips, which I greatly needed since I'm tweetle-dumb when it comes to Tweeting. But the best part of last night was what I found in my email box this morning. A FREE, yes FREE e-copy of After Midnight. Those excerpts last night had me salivating to read this. I can't wait. I also won a gift certificate to TWRP--and ya'll know my favorite authors write for TWRP! Now, I just need to figure out which of the fabulous new TWRP releases to buy!
Thanks Sarah! And congrats!

Beth Trissel said...

I really enjoyed this post Sarah, and AJ. Loved the pics, and your new release sounds super.

Amy said...

Dear, AJ--
Bring it.
I ain't scared of you.

Amy said...

I mean, I will happily match wits with you any day over the hand of Dominic. I'm greedy, I know, but being nice never won a war--SMUT or otherwise! LOL

Alyson Reuben said...

Great post, AJ and Sarah!

I NEED to read After Midnight. Have wanted to ever since you were at my blog, Sarah. The premise intrigues me — especially since your characters are steeped in the music industry. And I LOVE the excerpt! Beautiful cover, too!

Sarah Grimm said...

OK, you all are having WAY too much fun without me. Figures you'd all jump on the net the minute I log off to go buy oil for hubs.

Calisa, my friend, what neither AJ or Ames is telling you (because they're too busy fighting) is they've BOTH read chapters 1-5 of Dominic's story. I'm sure AJ will Neener-Neener everyone as soon as she and Amie arguing. LOL

Sarah Grimm said...

Yay, Lilly won! *grin* And the Twitter Party was so fun!

Sarah Grimm said...

Beth- Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It's been more difficult than I though coming up with enough topics to keep this tour going. :-)

Sarah Grimm said...

Ames - Your mean is showing. I'm so PROUD of you! :-)

Sarah Grimm said...

Alyson - I want to know what you think when you read about Isabeau and Noah, okay?

So glad you love the excerpt. That one was AJs pick! She's NUTSO about Dominic!

Sarah Grimm said...

AJ, sweets, you know I wouldn't be so cruel as to not share Dominic with you. He's been talking to me like crazy lately, so I'll be slaving away on his story real soon. I'll make sure and toss out the chapters to you and Amy and you can fight over... Kidding. You'll each get to read, I promise. But only because I loves ya both so much.

Well, that and the fact that you love Dom and Noah as much as I do. :-)

AJ Nuest said...'re congratulating Amie on being MEAN TO ME? I'm quickly starting to realize I'm way too nice. Way. Too. Nice. the time and place...

Sarah Grimm said...

I'm congratulating Amy on being mean - not necessarily to you. :-) She's too nice. Way too nice. You know she is.

LaVerne Clark said...

Just had to let you know I'm reading After Midnight as we speak - and LOVING it! Wow - just, WOW! It's making me itch to write characters with half as much angst and sexual tension. Phew! I'll report back to you Sarah when I've read the lot - but it might be a while since you haven't finished Dominic's story. I might have to read it another couple of times...sigh....

Sarah Grimm said...

Yay! LaVerne is loving Isabeau & Noah! Man, that makes me smile. I just love, love, LOVE hearing that someone is enjoying a story so near and dear to me. Thanks, LaVerne, I needed to hear that tonight!