Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Guest Blogger - Haley Whitehall

Romance on the Mississippi River

Haley, welcome to my blogspot, come on in and have a quiet cup of coffee while you tell us all about your new book - which by the way, I have already downloaded to kindle.

Romances in the workplace are often difficult to navigate. In my African American historical romance Midnight Heat the workplace romance takes place on the steamboat the Queen Bee. George is a roustabout, a man who loads and unloads cargo from the steamboat. After rescuing her from a burning house, he is able to get Allison a job on the Queen Bee as a chambermaid.
Both of them find it difficult to keep focused on their work, their thoughts straying to each other. The only thing that saves their jobs and likely their sanity is the difference between the deck and cabin crew. Allison as a chambermaid is allowed on the boiler deck, her work requiring to enter and clean the rooms. George, on the other hand, is not allowed on the upper deck. The main deck and the boiler deck were almost like two different worlds. The main deck with the roustabouts and deckhands was a world of raw masculinity while the parlor on the boiler deck was a world of refinement often with a piano, plush carpet, chandeliers and other finery.
In writing every romance there comes a time or times when the hero and heroine are separated. As the saying goes absence makes the heart grow fonder. In Midnight Heat this separation was a little different than most. After all, both George and Allison were on the same boat, Allison was just on the deck above. I’m sure you can imagine how that drove George crazy!


Living in St. Louis, Missouri is a nightmare for Allison. It is 1868, but for her slavery never ended. After enduring years of abuse, she reaches her breaking point. She sees a fiery death as her only escape. She did not expect to live through the night, but George came to her rescue and changed her plans. Now she has a chance to fulfill her dream of falling in love and having a normal relationship with a handsome black man. But will he accept her with her baggage and the dark secrets from her past?

At eighteen, George is ready to make his own way in the world. He leaves his brother’s farm and gets a job as a roustabout. Working on the Mississippi River gives him the freedom he craves. Going ashore one night he sees a shack along the waterfront on fire. He never expected to find a beautiful colored woman trapped inside. Protective instincts kicking in, he instantly wants to be her man and take care of her.

Will he be able to gain her trust and love or will the memories of Allison’s painful past burn their relationship to cinders before it has begun?


George stood at the railing looking up at the stars, his mouth moving. Was he making a wish? She stood still, not wanting to interrupt him. She feasted upon his tall, muscular frame. His gray trousers fit him snuggly, showing off his tight ass.

George turned around and smiled. “I was wondering if you weren’t coming back down.”

“I had more ironing than I thought. I should have told you.” Why did she say that? He wasn’t her keeper.

“Just as long as you came back, it doesn’t bother me.”

His eyes quickly swept her frame. He had seen the pine green dress Mrs. Brown had given her many times, but he acted like this was the first.

“You are beautiful, Allison.”

She laughed. She looked like a freak with only half her eyebrows. “Thank you.”

He took her hand and raised it to his lips, kissing her skin chastely. His soft lips stirred her and made her ache for more.

“I saved a good spot for us,” he said, motioning for her to follow him.

A spot for us? He freely threw around the supposition they were together—which they weren’t. Still, she didn’t protest. She wasn’t sure she wanted to be closer to him, but she knew she didn’t want to push him away. They picked their way around the maze of barrels and crates, and poor and colored passengers to an area surrounded by cotton bales.

“Some privacy,” he said, a glint in his eye.

Why did they need privacy just to sleep? She gulped air. Or did he have something else in mind?

Buy Midnight Heat:

Author Bio:

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at

Haley loves to connect with readers. You can find her here:



  1. Lovely blog post, Haley. Your except is tempting indeed. I think work place romances are great fun, but the river boat is a very different workplace to write about.

    1. Thank you, Daisy. I enjoy reading work place romances especially when they try to keep their relationship a secret.

      I have had a fascination with steamboats, and I just had to write a romance that took place on one. ;)

  2. Thank you so much for visiting Haley. I love the idea of this book and can't wait to read it.

    1. Thank you for having me, Diane. I hope you enjoy Midnight Heat. It has fire!

  3. mmm raw masculinity!

    1. Hi there, Eva. I know you have a thing for George... not sure if Allison will share.


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