Where are you from? I was born in France. My family and I moved to Chicago during my early childhood years. Been there since.
Tell us a bit about Seeking Hope. I should first tell you that getting to where Jess and I are now has been a journey. I admit it. I did my share of arranging for our paths to cross, but, in the end, our love for each other prevailed. I knew all along what I wanted, and what I wanted was her.
Now that we’re together, I want something I’m not sure Jess will ever be ready for. I’ve hinted about it with her, but she’s not reacting positively—at all. She’s still working though letting go and leaving her past in the past. But in light of recent events, I need to push my desires aside. What I need now is to keep her safe and find the prick who has threatened to kill her.
What did you think the first time you saw Jessica Winters? It would be inappropriate to discuss my thoughts on the first time I “saw” her, but the summer evening when her softball team played mine, I can tell you about that—the way she walked into the batter’s box, the way the gold flecks in her eyes lit up the sky, the way she knocked in the winning run, sending the softball flying right past me. The softness of her skin as she shook my hand at the end of the game rocked me as if a million volts of electricity were barreling throughout my body, zapping me alive.
Well, gee. And your second thought? I wanted more.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Long before Jess and I had made physical contact, I’d had the pleasure of reading her master’s thesis, which, by the way, was a bit too much for her advisor to digest and the reason for it coming to my attention. The subject area was right up my alley. And after absorbing her findings and combing through the mounds of data she had collected, I knew I wanted her in my life, at the office, in my arms, and in my bed. Forever.
But after our face-to-face contact, where she didn’t exactly see me eye-to-eye, I was angry. Angry that I couldn’t make her mine. Not at the time. No, I had to be patient, give her time to heal. She’d gone through a lot—a nasty divorce, a miscarriage, the death of her mother. She was fragile, barely existing under the dark clouds of depression. Truth be told, I’d been secretly in love with her for years.
You obviously know Jess well; what do you like the most about her? She’s a natural caregiver. She’s someone who thinks first of others, last of herself. She’s warm, affectionate, quirky, and intelligent. She can’t cook to save her life. It’s okay. I keep her fed, and in more ways than one.
How would you describe her? Anxious but determined. Beautiful inside and out. She isn’t out to impress anyone. I’m proud she’s come so far, tackling her anger and her fears like a true champion, learning to smile again. I adore her smile. Yeah, I love her smile the most.
You are special, Matt. How would she describe you? Loyal. She’d say she knew from the first day she looked at me, that moment she walked into my sister’s room in the ICU, seeing the man in a business suit at her new patient’s bedside—with his messy hair, his heated and sultry stare, his…sexual comments—that I was not going anywhere. At least, not anywhere without her.
What made you choose psychiatry/sex therapy as a career? With my mother being a psychiatrist and my father a surgeon, when my sister and I weren’t being toted around by our au pair, we were either sitting in on a lecture at the university or engaged in whatever happening was going on at the hospital. It wasn’t until my first human sexuality class during my undergraduate years, and then subsequent involvement with research in the field, that I knew what I wanted to do.
What is your biggest fear? It can be an all-encompassing, traumatizing, and paralyzing experience, especially when the woman you love—the same woman who stops my heart with her smile, restarts it with her touch—has a death threat out on her. But believe me, I will protect her at all costs. Even if that means I have to keep a secret.
Wow. How do you relax? Relax? Unless she’s in my arms and our doors are locked, I have no time for rest. The Chicago Police are working the case, but they don’t have the emotional attachment to her that I have. And I won’t rest until this sick individual behind the boxes is rotting behind bars.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? My wife. Are there others?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? From the great Albert Einstein: A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new. The advice I take from that? Open yourself to new experiences, new opportunities. It’s not the mistake itself but what you learn from the mistake that counts. In other words, fear not the mistake; fear never having done anything that would lead to never making one. As Jess is learning, fear isn’t always a bad thing.
What is bad is that my time is up. I do, however, want to thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure. I know I can speak for Mrs. Maurer when I say we wish you all good health, abundant happiness, and much love.
Thanks, Matt. This has been a real treat for us. Now we'd like to talk to JM.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Having published my first two novels in 2015, I’m newly published, so I can’t exactly say a particular book or movie has impacted my career as a writer. What I can say is that I love that bubbly feeling I get at the end of a movie or book when the characters have fought like hell for their happily-ever-after and finally get it.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Seeking Hope is the final installment in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy and is a love story that explores themes of depression, anxiety, and trust with the intrigue of true love, sex, and marriage. In an effort to gain better psychological health, Jess fights to climb out from under the dark clouds that have taken control of her life. I’m not sure one particular event in my life impacted this story; there are most likely many. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, experienced significant loss, and fought to reach a goal where the odds were stacked against me. Like Jess, I still fight. I think that getting knocked down and getting back up is partially what life’s all about.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I am self-published and proud of it. Not that I wouldn’t take notice of a traditional publication offer, but it’s not something I’ve been at all focused on. I like to write. I work hard to produce quality stories, and I listen carefully to my editor’s suggestions. My focus is on my writing and getting to where I want to be, not the speed at which I get there, or through which portal I get there.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on a Christmas story, which may or may not be ready for 2016. I’m too much of a perfectionist to release anything before I’m ready, and life gets rather busy in and out of my household.
What's up next for you? Before I get to that, I want to thank you for having us. It’s been a pleasure. As for what’s up next…Food! Like Jess, cooking doesn’t rank high on my list of fun things to do.
But I’d love to know what you’re cooking so tell me your favorite recipe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come hang with me on social media.
JM brought along a blurb from Seeking Hope, Emerging From Darkness Book 3
I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.
Inevitably, they broke me.
I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.
Matthew Moi was different.
His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.
Falling in love with him came easy.
Marrying him—a dream come true.
Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.
As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.
Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.
Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.
Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.
Note from the author: Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope.
Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy today! Seeking Love (Book 1) is currently FREE!
and is available at:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HQU6B22
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seeking-Hope-Emerging-Darkness-Book-ebook/dp/B01HQU6B22?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeking-hope-jm-maurer/1123600085?ean=2940152945317
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-seekinghopeemergingfromdarknessbook3-2052848-149.html