Title: Dark & Stormy
Author: J Mercer
Genre: Adult, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Faryn Miller wants to build a new life in a small town. It’s her last chance to figure out, of all the roles she’s played in her thirty-some years, which one truly fits. Her aim at simplicity sounds like the perfect medicine until she meets Kai Allen, who’s spent his life doing everything the hard way and never bending for anyone. Lucky for Kai, Faryn has no preconceived notions about what he’s done and who he is, unlike the rest of town.
When cryptic messages start sneaking their way into Faryn’s apartment, then blatant threats, the two of them compile a long list of who could be stalking her. Unable to keep his frustration and rage hidden any longer, Kai explodes on everyone in his path, and Faryn can’t help but wonder if the storm is closer than she thinks.
What readers are saying:
“Complex characters give way to a brilliantly written story… Incredible writing from a first time author.”
“Great small town setting with an awesome cast of characters. J Mercer masterfully takes you on a journey full of twists and reveals that are woven so skillfully into the story you’ll want to read it again and again.”
“J Mercer combines her gift for poignantly haunting characters with a plot that is intriguingly complicated.”
“I couldn’t put this book down! When I reached the last page, I sat, breathless, stunned.”
“This book had me hanging on page by page. With thought provoking character development and surprises at every turn.”
When I started writing, I was exclusively reading crime and suspense novels— Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Carl Hiassen—and watching CSI, Without a Trace, etcetera. I couldn’t get enough of them (interestingly enough, once I had kids, I veered a hard left away from watching and reading crime). Though there are no police officers or FBI agents in Dark & Stormy, they’re definitely what influenced me to write suspense. Also, I’ve always been intrigued by the mind, and how it can control us—how we can twist our motivations to fit what we are aiming to do, in most situations, so playing around with that in questionable characters was a lot of fun.
When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
There’s nothing I really dread, but writing the first draft is probably my favorite. All the brainstorming comes together, and the characters tug you in directions you maybe didn’t anticipate. That’s when I feel most creative, and it’s usually the most exciting time, aside from maybe a revision where you finally figure something out—something you’ve been having problems with, or something that makes a plot or character that much better/deeper.
When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
So many! I like to say I can be drawn in by any great story, big or small (anything from short, simple, and sweet, to grand, complicated, and gritty). That being said, the most interesting books to me have been fantasy. Not all fantasy, but world-building at its finest is most amazing to experience. There’s not much better or more interesting than a new world that draws you in so completely. Laini Taylor is one of the best at this, and I still remember the moments she blew my mind in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.
If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
My first choice would be Laini Taylor, for the aforementioned reasons. Or Maggie Stiefvater, who I also find to be amazingly talented and creative. Carl Hiassen would probably be a blast to write with too, as the humor in his stories knows no bounds.
Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
Both! I wrote in junior high, pretty full length novels via notebook and pencil, but by the time I was picking majors in college I’d long since dropped writing. When I was home on maternity leave with my second daughter, in those fuzzy early days, I picked it back up again and haven’t stopped since.
Thanks so much for having me! Happy reading!
J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband—though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases. Find her on Facebook @jmercerbooks or online.