06 March 2011

Guest Author: Michelle Styles

This week on Unusual Historicals, we're welcoming the return of long-time contributor Michelle Styles as she celebrates the release of her latest Mills & Boon romance, BREAKING THE GOVERNESS'S RULES, an early Victorian set in the North East of England. Here's the blurb:

'How delightful to meet you again, Miss Louisa Sibson.'

Jonathon, Lord Chesterholm's eyes bored holes into Louisa Sibsons back. The former fiancée he's thought dead is very much alive. Louisa has rebuilt her life, after being dishonourably dismissed from her post as governess for allowing Jonathon to seduce her. Now Louisa lives by a rulebook of morals and virtue. The devastating Lord Chesterholm will not ruin her again! But Jonathon will get to the bottom of Louisa's disappearance--and he'll enjoy breaking a few of her rules along the way!

So what is this one about, Michelle?

This is the story of Louisa Sibson and Jonathon Fanshaw, Lord Chesterholm and their second chance. Louisa is a former governess who was dishonourably dismissed from her post after Jonathon seduced. She thought they would marry but he disappeared. Louisa has completely rebuilt her life and is determined that this time history will not repeat itself.

Four years before, Jonathon suffered a terrible carriage accident and thought he killed Louisa. However she is very much alive and he is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This book is linked to COMPROMISING MISS MILTON. How so? Is this a sequel or a stand alone?

It is a standalone story and takes place a few weeks after the end of COMPROMISING MISS MILTON. When I was writing COMPROMISING MISS MILTON, Daisy had a friend who had to leave England because of her past. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered about that past. So in the end I had to write it. It is a stand alone book, but several characters notably the Blandishes from COMPROMISING MISS MILTON make a reappearance. Nella Blandish was such a great character that I was really delighted to explore her personality some more. Daisy and Adam come back during the epilogue.

You are on record for using myths and fairy tales as part of your inspiration. Did you use any here?

This is the one where I used the Psyche and Eros/Cupid myth. Not the more common first half of the myth that many people recognise as Beauty and the Beast, but the second half when Psyche has to battle Venus, the mother-in-law from Hades and prove that she is indeed worthy to become a goddess. In doing so, she manages reawaken Eros's interest and both Psyche and Eros have a growth arc. The second half is sometimes referred to as East of the Sun, West of the Moon as that is the fairy tale which grew out of the myth as it were.

It is one of the few myths where Eros appears as a grown man, rather than a cheeky cherub.

I had wanted to use the myth for a long time as it is one of my favourites. Then when I had to do revisions on the story, it suddenly all fell into place that I had used that myth subconsciously.

Do you know when this will be out in the US?

No I don't. It will be coming there--probably a month after they release COMPROMISING MISS MILTON. It will be out in April in Australia and New Zealand as part of a Three-in-One offering along with Diane Gaston and Ann Lethbridge's recent UK releases. Anyone who would like to get a copy can order from the Book Depository. The Book Depository does not charge shipping.

What's coming up for you?

Well I have had a busy few months with releases (last month saw the release of my short novella "THE PERFECT CONCUBINE" in the US and the release of the book I co-wrote with Kate Allen, THE LADY SOLDIER, as an ebook with new UK imprint Embrace Books. This is set continue in July with the UK release of TO MARRY A MATCHMAKER. I am busy writing my next one and really looking forward to attending the RWA National Conference at the end of June in New York City.


Thank you Michelle for visiting today! Remember to leave a comment to be put in the draw for a signed copy of BREAKING THE GOVERNESS'S RULES. Michelle suggests telling her: What do you think of second chance romances? The winner will be drawn next Sunday at random. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!

You can learn more about Michelle's books by visiting her website


Stacie said...

Hello Michelle!

I love second chance stories. The couple couldn't be together for whatever reason but now they are willing to take a risk and finally be together. I like that the hero & heroine are usually wiser, maybe more humble and determined to make it work. Great post!

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Maria said...

Good Morning Michelle....I am sort of on the fence with 2nd chance romances...part of the reason is that it really depends on why the relationship didn't work out the first time...and it also depends on whether or not the author has them work through the reasons that caused the relationship to fail the first time too...if done correctly...this is one of my favorite subgenres!

Thanks for the contest


Margay said...

I enjoy second chance romances. I don't know about anyone else, but I have at least one love from my past that I wouldn't mind getting a second chance with.


Dalila G. said...

Good morning ladies!

Michelle, your book sounds pretty interesting. Jonathon and Louisa sound like they're going to have quite an adventure together.

I would love to get a copy!

I totally believe in second chances, you seem to grow from previous actions.... good or bad, happy or sad.
I believe life is full of second chances, you just have to grab on to them.

Have an awesome day ladies!

Delightful post!

DNodrog3 aol com

Dalila G. said...

Ooops....messed up my email address somehow, sorry!
Should be..

LilMissMolly said...

I really enjoy second chance stories as Persuasion is one of my favorite stories of all time. Plus, my own life is one too!
lvsgund at gmail.com

JenM said...

I'm a fan of second chance romances, but only if the author shows that one or both members of the couple have changed. After all, there's a reason they split in the first place, so if neither of them change, it's hard to believe in their HEA.

jen at delux dot com

Danielle Gorman said...

I love second chance stories. They are my absolute favorite. I love when the characters see eachother and there are sparks between them. I can't wait to read this book. Definitely going on my wishlist.


chey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chey said...

Your book sounds fantastic!
I like second chance romances. It's nice to see things work out the second time around.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Virginia said...

I love second chances. I think everyone just about deserves a second chance even in real life and also is stories.


librarypat said...

I like second chance stories. People are separated for many reasons, often having nothing to do with how suited they are suited for each other. They already have a history and relationship so not as much time needs to be spent on developing that. The focus will be on why the were separated and how to get them back together. It gives the opportunity to use a few story lines that I like.
Often neither is responsible for the separation. Another advantage is the maturity that each has achieved in the intervening years. It makes them different people in some ways.

Everyone deserves a second chance.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Mariee said...

I like second chance romances. I like that there's already an attraction between the characters and I think everyone deserves a happy ending.

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

ChrisS said...

Hi Michelle. I believe everyone deserves a second chance.... especially in romance. I like to think there is a HEA out there for each of us.. we just have to find it.

Danielle Gorman said...

Second chance stories are my absolute favorite. I gobble them up. This book definitely looks good and will be going on my TBR pile.


tarenn98 said...

I love your books.What a gret guest post.

tarenn98 said...

I love second chance romances.This sounds like an interesting story.I love your books.Have this one on my TBR list.