Friend and fellow erotic historical author Jess Michaels is here today to talk about her newest release, The Other Duke, and a bit about herself as well.
- Tell us a little bit about your new release.
My release is The Other Duke, an erotic historical romance about a man, Rafe Flynn, who unexpectedly inherits a title and a fiancée, Serafina McPhee, from his rotten cousin. Whether they can work out their relationship with a passel of secrets and dangers between them remains to be seen.
- What was your inspiration for this story?
I actually loved the idea of the title The Other Duke and then I started wondering who he would be and what would make him the other duke! And entire family came out of that and it’s a new series called The Notorious Flynns. The second book, The Scoundrel’s Lover will be out in March and the third will be in the spring (May or early June, depending on my ability to finish).
- I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?
I spend a good deal of time on the names, but really I just want them to be attractive, not too similar to each other (No Mandy and Randy) and somewhat period appropriate. I have always liked Raphael for a guy and Serafina is just such a pretty name.
- What was your process for writing this book? Is this different or the same as other books you’ve written?
I do a character sheet first, followed by a synopsis and then scene “sketches”, which is really just a scene by scene plotting I do. Then I start writing. I write between 12-20 pages a day depending on my schedule for the week and I try to take two days off for a weekend for writing so I don’t burn out. This is pretty much my usual schedule. I find that I stick to a method until it starts not to work and then I’ll look for a new method. Otherwise I frustrate myself.
- Do you have plans for a sequel to this book?
The book is the first in a series. The second book will feature the sister of the hero from this book and the third book will be for the hero’s brother. I don’t really do sequels. As a romance author, I’m not sure they’re fair to readers (at least, I don’t like books with the kind of ending that requires a sequel).
- Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?
Oh, hard to say. I kind of forget character names from other books even ones I like. From my own books, I’d say Grace from A Measure of Deceit was one of my favorites. And I just finished the next book in this series, The Scoundrel’s Lover, and Marcus from that book is still hanging about in my heart at present. LOL
- Who was the first romance author and book you read?
The first one I remember is Julia Quinn’s How to Marry a Marquis. But there was one I read in 9th grade and I have no idea who wrote it or the name. There was a scene in the carriage where the heroine had been slipped an aphrodisiac and the hero, um, helped her. It stuck with me. I came to romance late because my Mom didn’t read it until I started writing it.
- Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?
You know, I’d have to say me. I definitely have help and I have writers who I admire, but at the end of the day I make myself sit in my chair and write 6 or more books a year. Writing is a solitary job in a lot of ways, so I have to depend on me to make it work. Which is why I’m working harder at giving myself credit and being kinder to myself, take better care of myself.
- If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
Do I get to wish for infinite wishes? No, that’s cheating right? I would probably wish for some kind of financial security, like wining $10,000,000 or something. That way I would still be able to do what I love, but I wouldn’t have to stress over it as much. We could always travel where we wanted and provide security for our future in every way.
- What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
I’m not really much of a daredevil, actually. But we love to travel. We went to China in 2008 (and drank snake wine) and we’re going to Paris this summer where I’m sure we’ll have lots of adventures. I’d like to do Japan next year or maybe Australia. But we’ll see. We may do a tour of some of the states we haven’t seen in the US instead.
Now, Lightning Round:
- What is your favorite amusement park ride?
I had a really good time on the Little Mermaid ride in California Adventure with my nephew last year.
- Tea or coffee?
Neither. I would prefer diet coke, but I just got off that, so water.
- French manicure or color (and if color, what color)?
Color and I love OPI’s “Fly”!
- Beach or mountains?
We live near the mountains and I love it. I love to visit the beach. I would live there but beach property is pricy (maybe if I win that money).
- Chocolate or vanilla?
- Boxers, briefs or commando?
I’m a girl. Do they make boxers for us? Oh, you mean for guys. Boxer briefs. LOL I like the straddle the line.
- Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color)
- Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?
I like indoor skydiving (it’s my new thing) and I just learned to snorkel, which I’d like to do more of.
- Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?
London. I think Hawaii is just okay and I can do Vegas any time I want pretty easily
- What’s the one thing you would never do?
I don’t speak badly about my husband. Ever.
Thanks so much for the fantastic insights, Jess! And now for a bit more about The Other Duke.
She proposes an arrangement: she will agree to the marriage and provide Rafe with his heir and spare. Once she has done her duty, he will let her go. Rafe is intrigued both by her beauty and by her utter disgust with the idea of being his bride. Women normally fall at his feet, not cringe away from him. However, since their arranged marriage is not something he can escape, he agrees to her terms.
But when he finds out on their wedding night the truth about her torture at the hands of his predecessor, he finds himself driven not just to fulfill his bargain with his new bride, but to introduce her to desire. While they move closer together, surrendering to wicked pleasures, dangerous emotions may violate every agreement they’ve made.
Serafina forced herself not to flinch as she entered the room with its richly paneled walls and tall bookcases filled with tomes Cyril had never touched in his life.
Come to think of it, Serafina hated this chamber as much as the parlor.
A man stood at the fire and, as her father shut the door, he turned. Serafina caught her breath.
She had never met Raphael Flynn, the new Duke of Hartholm and the cousin of her late fiancé. He wasn’t titled and moved on the outside fringes of the Upper Ten Thousand.
What had been said about him were murmurings of a reputation that seemed to both irritate and intrigue those in her circles. He was rich but no stranger to scandal and repeated behavior that thwarted Society’s many rules.
Even Cyril had hardly spoken of his cousin in the past except to malign him, which softened her to the man considerably.
And then there were the rumors of his intensely handsome good looks. Now that she stared at him, leaning on the mantel with a haphazard nonchalance that didn’t reflect the importance of the moment, she couldn’t deny that he was utterly beautiful. An Adonis. There was no other way to describe him.
Barnes and Noble (will not be available until release date)