02 May 2010

Guest Author: Michelle Styles

This week on Unusual Historicals, long-time contributor Michelle Styles is joining us today to discuss her latest releases. We're calling it...a feast of books!

Okay, Michelle, why a feast of books?

Because of the dark arts of scheduling, I have ended up with several books out. A NOBLE CAPTIVE, the second book I wrote for Harlequin, was an April Direct and ebook release in the US. COMPROMISING MISS MILTON is a May 2010 UK paperback release. And AN IMPULSIVE DEBUTANTE is a June 2010 Direct and e-book release for Harlequin Historical, which means it will be out at e-harlequin in May. In addition, Mills & Boon Australia is releasing a 3-in-1 book of THE VIKING'S CAPTIVE PRINCESS, COMPROMISING MISS MILTON, and A QUESTION OF IMPROPRIETY in May.

That's a lot of books!

Yes, and I didn't want to clog UH Sundays up. As you can see, Mills & Boon helpfully now provide the first chapter of their offerings, so you can read the first chapter of both COMPROMISING MISS MILTON, and AN IMPULSIVE DEBUTANTE, which out in the UK back in September 2008.

Can you tell us a bit more about the books?

A NOBLE CAPTIVE was written after I turned GLADIATOR'S HONOUR in and thought--okay, what did happen to Valens? And what if he had been a more mature person when he was first captured and what if he had fall for a woman who had captured him? I had a lot of fun writing the book as I had visited various islands in the Mediterranean. The blurb reads:
Roman soldier
Strong, proud, honourable--Marcus Livius Tullio embodied the values of Rome. Captured on the high seas and brought to the Temple of Kybele, he was drawn towards the woman who gave him refuge.

Pagan priestess
Fierce, beautiful, determined--Helena despised all that Rome stood for. In sheltering Tullio, she had to subdue her awareness of him – or she might confess all! The soldier's strength and nobility tempted her to lean on him, but she knew that to succumb would be to betray her people...
COMPROMISING MISS MILTON is my latest book and is set in 1837 Gilsland Cumberland. It is the book in my governess duo. The blurb reads:
Marrying the Governess!

Buttoned-up governess Daisy Milton buries dreams of marriage and family life in order to support her sister and orphaned niece. But maddeningly attractive Adam, Viscount Ravensworth, is one distraction that shakes Daisy's safe, stable existence.

Now ghosts from Adam's past in India threaten Daisy's future. Just what will it take to convince a tightly laced miss to forgo society's strict code of conduct...and come undone in the arms of a reformed rake?

AN IMPULSIVE DEBUTANTE is the linked book to A CHRISTMAS WEDDING WAGER. I adored writing it as I was able to take a minor character, Lottie Charlton, and give her a happy ending after she went through a few trials and tribulations. The blurb reads:
A kiss, a carriage ride, a hasty wedding!

Carlotta Charlton can't wait for her first season--until her impulsive behaviour lands her right in the lap of notorious rake Tristan, Lord Thorngrafton!

Tristan is cynically convinced that she's a fortune-hunter. But he can't keep away from her. Several heated kisses lead to scandal and, one outraged mama later, they're on their way to Gretna Green.

Catching his breath on the carriage ride to the border, Tristan decides it's time that Lottie learns her lesson. If she wants to play with fire, he'll notch up his seduction and set her ablaze
What is next for you?

Good question. Because I enjoy it, I am writing more in the Victorian and Regency eras but with slightly unusual settings than I am writing in earlier eras. I am going to see my editor on 10 May to discuss which book she wants me to write. I am hoping to get the go ahead to write Dagmar and Thrand's story but it all depends on what my editors want. I also just came back from a research trip to the Sinai and so I am quite keen to write those stories. The Sinai was wonderful--I visited St Catherine's which has some of the oldest icons in the world and is built over the place where Moses reputably encountered the burning bush, and rode camels in the desert with the Bedouin. I was also very aware of the recent history of that troubled land.

How much input do your editors have about what you write?

We always discuss the time periods. There are scheduling considerations and they do help me to sort what best meets their needs. But I have the freedom to write the stories I want to write.

Are you still writing Roman set books?

I have written a Roman Undone but it remains to be seen if it meets their needs. I have never tried writing short before. I may go back to Rome but I do like writing in a variety of time periods.

What is great about the time period is that there are new authors who are starting to be published. Carla Capshaw's debut is up for a Rita, and Christina Philips's first with Berkeley is out in September. Stephanie Draven also has a book on Cleopatra's Daughter coming out soon. So the market for Roman set books is growing. Hooray!

Thank you, Michelle, for being here today!


Michelle is giving away to one lucky poster signed copies of all three books: A NOBLE CAPTIVE, COMPROMISING MISS MILTON, and AN IMPULSIVE DEBUTANTE. She suggests answering the question: why do you like Unusual Historicals? We'll draw one lucky winner at random next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!