29 March 2009

Book Party: Michelle Styles

Unusual Historicals is delighted to welcome regular contributor Michelle Styles back to talk about her latest Mills & Boon historical, IMPOVERISHED MISS, CONVENIENT WIFE.


His unexpected bride...

Wealthy landowner Simon Clare shuns Northumbrian society. With his son gravely ill, the last thing Simon needs is an interfering woman assuming command of his household and nursing young Robert--no matter how sensuous her figure, or how tempting her luscious lips.

Phoebe Benedict knows what it is to struggle, and finds herself drawn to the badly scarred recluse. Despite his tough exterior, she knows that Simon is a father who yearns for his son to recover--and a man who misses the tender embrace of a woman...

Welcome back Michelle and what is this book about?

This book is the second part of my Regency duo and is set in 1814 Northumberland. It is the story of Simon Clare whom readers might have met in A Question of Impropriety. The book can be read as a stand alone, but the two books are linked. Basically the only way I could get Simon Clare to be silent in A Question of Impropriety was to promise him his own story!

Thus far the reaction has been positive. Pearl from Realms on Our Bookshelves gave Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife 4 stars and wrote:
Michelle Styles writes Regency romance as it is meant to be: moving, fitting the time-period in historical details, plotlines and emotional conflict. I was enthralled by her writing style that reads easily but is far from boring. A style that's supported by a solid historical background sending you back to the time she writes about and her descriptions are complementary rather than disrupting and further adding to the genuine sympathy provoked by the characters and their story.
You have a reputation for writing Unusual Historical, so why are you writing a Regency?

It is set in the Northeast of England and features a self-made man as the hero, dealing with the development of the locomotive. So in many ways, it is not a typical Regency. I like stories that take place in a wide variety of settings. I have always been interested in the Industrial Revolution and why Great Britain became such a leader. Thus, I jumped at the chance to explore the world further.

Rather than concentrating on the ton, I have been able to explore society in the Northeast. At that time, the Northeast of England was one of the more vibrant places where fortunes were made and lost. Also there seems to be this notion that somehow industrialisation only happens after Queen Victoria takes the throne. Industrialisation and the rise of consumerism, plus the pressures from the Peninsula War, are what drove the Regency and why it was such a time of change.

Will there be any more Vikings?

Yes, the third Viking will come out in the US in December 09. It has not been titled yet and I do not have a UK release date. This is Ivar's story and deals with the border between Norway and Sweden.

Do you know if any more of your Romans will be released in the US?

My editors and I have discussed this. The remaining Romans (A Noble Captive and Sold and Seduced) will be going in the Direct Programme. So they will be available in e-book format and through e-harlequin, rather than going into North American retail. This is for a variety of technical reasons, but my editors are keen to get the books out into the North American marketplace. I think this will be happening in early 2010.

What is next for you?

I have just signed a four book contract and am working on the third book. This is a linked book to my 1837 governess book. Then I am doing a trilogy which is going to be set in late Regency/early Victorian times.

Oh, I am taking part in the Hexham Literary Festival on 2 May 2009 and the Middlesborough Library "Girls Night In" on 25 June. At both venues, I am giving a talk on the challenges and pleasures of writing romance in the 21st century.

It sounds like you are going to be busy!

I hope so. I enjoy writing and creating my worlds. I only hope that readers enjoy my writing as well!


Thank you for being here, Michelle and best of luck for the future.

Michelle is giving away a copy of Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife to one lucky poster. So please leave a comment. Michelle would like to know what you think about e-books and are you starting to buy more of your books as e-books?