Interview with Maddison Michaels, debut author of THE DEVILISH DUKE

The Devilish Duke

Historical Romantic Suspense

26th February 2018, Entangled Publishing

Minerva Spencer: Today I’m chatting with Maddison Michaels about her new Victorian novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE. Welcome, Maddison! Would you please give my readers a brief description of what the book is about?

Devlin Markham, the notorious “Devil Duke” of Huntington, needs a woman. And not just any woman. If he can’t woo one of the most eccentric bluestockings of the Ton within the month, he can kiss his hard-earned fortune goodbye. But he’s always thought love a wasted emotion and marriage an inconvenience at best. And oddly enough, Lady Sophie Wolcott seems unmoved by his charm…

When Sophie learns her beloved orphanage is in imminent danger, she will do anything to save it. Even marry a ruthless rake who takes what he wants in business and pleasure. A man who’s everything she’s always feared most—but whom she reluctantly begins yearning for.

Then Sophie becomes the target of a killer lurking from the dark shadows of Devlin’s past. And they find not only their lives in jeopardy but their very hearts.

This sounds like fun, Maddison! How about a teaser from your book.

“Hadn’t you heard? I am the Devil Duke, my very existence is blasphemous. Now run along or I will show you just how much of a devil I can be.”


Minerva Spencer: Where did you get the idea for your book?

Maddison Michaels: I think the characters first came to me – and I was watching Julian McMahon in Charmed and I liked the idea of a rake being reformed.


MS: What’s the story behind the title?

Originally the working title was The Rake’s Rules – but then I changed it to The Devil Duke, and then my Publisher changed it to The Devilish Duke.


MS: No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.

Sophie literally falls at the feet of the Devil Duke from the branch of a tree…


MS: Tell us about your favourite character.

I love both Devlin and Sophie… they’re very special to me and I imagine that as the first hero and heroine of my first novel, they always will be.


MS: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do? 

LOL! Ok well it would be with the hero Devlin, and I would be researching if the descriptions in my book regarding the action scenes, worked…


MS: Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?

Like I mentioned, the inspiration for Devlin was Julian McMahon from Charmed, but apart from that, they sprang from my own imagination.


MS: How long did you take to write this book? (You can share about the timeline from drafting to publication)

It was done in spurts – and because the partial earned me a spot in the RWA Australia 5 day mentor program, I had to finish it quick smart. So I actually wrote about 30,000 words in a weekend to finish it off (of course it needed lots and lots of editing, lol).

MS: What kind of research did you do for this book?

I have a heap of research books (really what writer doesn’t), which I made good use of.

MS: What did you remove from this book during the editing process?

A few scenes from the villains pov were removed, and a couple were shortened.

MS: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a plotter – if I don’t have a detailed outline I flounder, but when I know where I’m headed (much like a map) the writing flows easily.

MS: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?

I love the plotting – coming up with the twists and turns, is just so much fun. Plus I get to know my characters really well.

MS: What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?

Editing… because it’s editing…


MS: Can you share your writing routine? 

When I’m writing a novel, I spend about an hour per night writing, and then on the weekend I try to have a nice block of 6-8 hours writing.


MS: Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?

Yes, when I don’t have an outline, lol. So when I’m blocked, it’s usually because I haven’t fleshed out the scene beforehand. To overcome this, I just go back and plot the scene out in more detail.


MS: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Just keep going.

 

MS: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have a fair few unfinished ones – in my earlier days when I didn’t plot out the novel, I would write all steam ahead, until I hit around 15,000 to 20,000 words, then I wouldn’t know where to go, and I’d just stop. Thankfully, I’ve worked out what works now for me.


MS: Do you have any writing quirks?

I make up a playlist/soundtrack for my novel, before I even start plotting it out. Then when plotting I listen to the music, and then when I write, it gets me straight back into that headspace. Oh and I also burn some lovely aromatherapy oils while I write too.

 

MS: Tell us about yourself.

I’m a police prosecutor by day and writer by night! I am married to my wonderful husband and have a beautiful (yet rather headstrong) 6 year old daughter.

MS: How did you get into writing?

I caught the writing bug when I was eleven and entered a writing competition. It’s just something that is a part of me.

MS: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Hang out with my family. Read. Go for walks or bike rides.

MS: Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?

Nope, not yet anyway.

MS: Share something about you most people probably don’t know.

I hate sharks – probably because I watched JAWS when I was 4 years old…

MS: Which book influenced you the most?

All of Amanda Quick’s novels and Julie Garwood’s – my two fav historical romance writers.

MS: What are you working on right now?

A new three book Victorian series – with some really strong and unusual heroines.

 

Thank you for joining us, Maddison! You can order your copy of Maddison’s new book from the links below. Happy reading!

Book Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079LF6NTV

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079LF6NTV

Amazon Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079LF6NTV

Amazon Can: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B079LF6NTV

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-devilish-duke/id1344891465?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-devilish-duke-4

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Maddison_Michaels_The_Devilish_Duke?id=k35KDwAAQBAJ

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devilish-duke-maddison-michaels/1127921821?ean=9781640633438

Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was only 14-years-old, Maddison Michaels is a prolific reader and writer of romantic suspense and historical fiction. She gets her daily dose of suspense from working as a Police officer, prosecuting real life villains in the Local Courts of Sydney, Australia.
A member of the Romance Writers of America and Australia, Maddison is as passionate about her writing as she is about her other two loves; her family and her cups of tea. Maddison’s debut novel ‘the Devil Duke’ is due for publication with Entangled Publishing in February 2018, and her second novel ‘The Fiancé Fiasco’ is due for publication with Entangled Publishing in October 2018.

You can find Maddison online at www.maddisonmichaels.com.au

Website: http://maddisonmichaels.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaddisonMichaelsAuthor/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mmichaelsauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maddisonmichaelsauthor/
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17367583.Maddison_Michaels

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/Maddison-Michaels/e/B079LXRLQ7

Interview with author Elena Mikalsen: Wrapped in the Stars

Today I’m chatting with author Elena Mikalsen about her debut novel, Wrapped in the Stars. First, a little about Elena’s debut, women’s fiction which will be published by Wild Rose Press February 19, 2018.

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Struggling with guilt over her sister’s death and the stress of her medical residency, Maya Radelis runs away to Scotland. A robin seems to lead her to an antique shop, where she finds a century-old engagement ring. Curious about the ring, she follows the slim paper trail, wondering if it is only coincidence that her dreams reveal the story of a Swiss woman physician who wore the ring during World War I. In Paris she meets fellow New Yorker David Fischer, a lawyer with family in Switzerland as well as America. He helps Maya follow the memories stored in the ring as they lead her around Europe. The attraction between David and Maya grows, and when they discover a connection between the ring and David’s family, they learn, bit by bit, more about the ring’s earlier owner. Will Maya’s own life have the same tragedy of lost love?

Below is a little teaser from the book:

He took her hand gently and led her away from the window and onto the crowded ballroom floor. Her heart was beating wildly. It had been years since she attempted to dance at a ball. She had always been terrible at dancing and swore she’d never do it again. She hadn’t had to, either, since going to the university. Why did she agree to dance now? What was she thinking?

The music started. She felt his hand slide gently around her waist. Suddenly, she was flying on the dance floor, despite her clumsy feet and her terrible, heavy dress.

“You deceived me. You’re a great dancer,” Edward whispered in her ear, his mustache tickling her and his breath warming her neck.


Minerva Spencer: Let’s talk about where you got the idea for Wrapped in the Stars?

Elena Mikalsen:  I got the idea when I was in Edinburgh with my family. I stood in front of the antique shop (the picture of the exact shop is below). It was dark, cold, and misty. My feet very terribly achy from a day of walking on cobblestones. My husband said, “Do you want to go warm up in this store? The jewelry here looks like something you’d like to buy.” It was a tempting idea, as cold as we all were.

And then I shuddered as a thought occurred to me. What if I buy an antique jewelry item and it has memories of its owner attached to it? What if those memories then attach to me and change my life? I looked at my perfect family and shook my head. I didn’t want someone else’s memories. I was happy with mine, no matter how achy my feet were.

But this idea of memories transferring from people to objects wouldn’t leave me alone. And this book was born just a month after

MS: What’s the story behind the title?

EM: I came up with the idea based on the song I listened to often as I wrote Maya’s character. The song is by Ed Sheeran and it’s “All of the Stars.” Stars represent destiny and fate and this novel is about destiny and fate. The stories of men and women in this story are neatly wrapped around together with fate.

MS: No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.

EM: The story features Lenin, the famous Russian Revolutionary, who happened to plan the Russian Revolution as he resided in Bern at the time that my characters lived and fell in love there.

MS: Tell us about your favourite character.

EM: I love both of my women, even though they are very different from each other. Maya is a modern physician, who grew up after losing most of her family. Even though she is a modern woman, she struggles to be strong and stand up to others and know what she wants. However, she finds her voice and strength in the end, she just needed some time. Rebecca is a woman from Edwardian times, surrounded by protective family members, yet she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it and is the finest physicians and advocate for women in Bern.

MS: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

EM: I would spend a day with Rebecca in her clinic for women, helping her treat underprivileged women and children.

MS: Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?

EM: Mark is a character based on my great-grandfather who came from Ukraine to study medicine in Switzerland. Maya’s grandmother is based on my grandmother.

MS: Let’s talk about how long it took to write this book? 

EM: It took me 3 years.

MS: What kind of research did you do?

EM: I studied many biographies written by women and men who studied medicine in Swiss Universities at the time Rebecca studied medicine. I also read biographies by first women physicians to learn of the struggles they had in medicine and what kind of work they chose to do. I read about WWI and Swiss history. I read Lenin’s biography as written by his wife. I read books about Ukraine during WWI, even though I grew up in the country and knew quite a bit.

MS: What did you remove from this book during the editing process?

EM: Several chapters about Maya’s life in Ukraine.

MS: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

EM: I am very organized in my writing, with many charts. But I start by just writing all my ideas down. So, I am a mix.

MS: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?

EM: When I fall in love with my characters and they start telling me their stories all the time and I can’t stop writing. I can write almost all day long at that point.

MS: What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?

EM: I work full-time and I often don’t have enough time to write.

MS: Can you share your writing routine?

EM: I write early in the morning, usually at 6 am to 8 am. I also write late at night. 8 pm and until I can’t stay awake again. I write most of my weekends.

MS: Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?

EM: I struggle to write in December, because I usually wear myself out during NaNoWriMo (The National Novel Writing Month, during which you write every single day).

MS: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

EM: Don’t let your insecurity stop you from writing. I was afraid to write for many years because I thought my grammar was poor. I didn’t know there was editing software and there were editors around.

MS: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

EM: I have 2 half-written books right now that I am working on.

MS: Do you have any writing quirks?

EM: I have to have music on when I write. It’s soundtracks that I put together for each novel I write.

Thanks for joining me, Elena and congratulations on your debut!

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Elena’s Bio:

I am a debut Women’s Fiction author. My first novel, WRAPPED IN THE STARS, will be released in February of 2018. It was short-listed for the Del Sol First Novel Prize in 2017. I am somewhat obsessive about travel, but, when I am at home, in San Antonio, I can be found browsing through bookstores or antique shops with my husband and two children.

When not writing stories, I am a Pediatric Psychologist helping children with chronic medical illness. I write books about women who have a chance to change their lives. My stories take place in the United States, in Europe, in cities, in small towns, anywhere my characters take me. I blog on issues of mental health for teens and adults. I enjoy working with the media due to my expertise in managing anxiety, stress, and parenting issues. I provide consultation to authors on writing about mental health. My nonfiction writing can be found at https://www.drelenamikalsen.com


If you’d like to learn more about Elena or her book or get your hands on a copy, you can check out one of the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elena.mikalsen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WF_writerEM

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writer.mikalsen/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elenamikalsen/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17629655.Elena_Mikalsen

The Marine’s Secret Daughter by Carrie Nichols

The Marine's Secret Daughter (Small-Town Sweethearts #1)The Marine’s Secret Daughter by Carrie Nichols

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is perfect for those times when you are in need of some authentic, uplifting, and rewarding entertainment! Nichols does a great job painting a multi-dimensional picture of small town life. I personally find a romance that centers around ordinary people (rather than billionaires and super models) a refreshing change.

I really liked both Riley and Meg while alternately wanting to grab and shake them both from time to time when they did something stubborn or stupid. I’ve never read a secret baby novel before and found myself thinking about the decision to keep such a monumental secret from the father. I have to admit that colored my perceptions about Meg and I definitely thought Riley had quite a bit to be angry about.

Nichols handles their reconciliation in a way that is both deft and fulfilling. Lots of good humor make this a very fun read!

This is a wonderfully touching and down-to-earth debut and I think Nichols has some serious chops. I’d definitely read a second book by Ms. Nichols.

View all my reviews

Yay! I’ve sold a 4th book to Kensington Zebra!

I’ve known about the sale of my 4th book, NOTORIOUS, for a while but I’ve had to wait until all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed before I could spread the good word.  My agent Jessica Alvarez just announced the deal in Publishers Weekly so now I can celebrate the good news!!

Here is the PW blurb:

Minerva Spencer’s NOTORIOUS, a Regency Era romance and Book 4 in the Outcasts series, in which one man discovers that a London Season is even more dangerous than being a sultan’s heir, to Alicia Condon at Kensington, in a nice deal, for publication in Late 2019, by Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds (World).

The four books in the series and their publication dates are:

DANGEROUS June 2018

BARBAROUS November 2018

SCANDALOUS 2019

NOTORIOUS 2019

I’ll be posting more information as it becomes available.

Cheers,

Minerva