Wednesday 14 September 2011

Interview and giveaway: Leigh Michaels - The Wedding Affair

Today I have Leigh Michaels over for an interview and at the end of it there is a chance to win her trilogy: The Mistress’ House, Just One Season in London and The Wedding Affair. And this time it's open to all.

Welcome to Mur-y-Castell!

Could you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?
LM: I’ve been a writer since before I could actually write – there’s poetry in my baby book that I dictated to my sister. I wrote my first romance novel at age 14, when everything I knew about love would have fit on a Post-It. I love happy endings and love stories, and I’ve had a great career as a full-time writer –writing contemporary category romances and now spicy historicals.

Could you tell us about your latest book, The Wedding Affair?
LM: The title comes from the fact that the three couples in this book are brought together by a wedding, but none of them are the ones getting married. In fact, they’re much more interested in the love affairs they’re carrying on behind the scenes than they are in the wedding!

I like how you introduce 3 different love stories in the book. How did you come up with this idea?
LM: When I started writing my first historical, The Mistress’ House, I didn’t know it was a book – I thought it was a short story, and when it turned into a novella my writing partner suggested that there might be other stories which formed a group. But when I wrote the second book (Just One Season in London) and now The Wedding Affair, I intertwined the three stories so they’re all happening at once. I like to push myself a bit with each book – doing something I haven’t done before. So writing three stories at the same time, winding them together in one book, and using four to six points of view, is an exciting challenge.

What is the best thing about writing regency romance stories?
LM: Definitely the social rules of the time. Because of the restrictions on what a well-born lady was supposed to do, and the few opportunities that were open to her, she was sometimes forced to make difficult choices. In The Wedding Affair, Olivia, Lady Reyne, has no real options – she can’t work at any of the jobs open to a lady of quality because she has a small child. She can’t even take in a boarder to make the budget easier to manage, because her cottage is too small. Her options are so restricted that a short term affair, leading to a nice payoff, starts to look very inviting.

If you had been born in that era, what do you think you would have been?
LM: I’d have been trying to knock down the rules. Maybe I’d have been a writer, maybe a teacher – but definitely I’d have been trying to make life easier for the next generation of young women!

Could you tell me about the other books you have written… I know there are a lot!
LM: I wrote 80 sweet traditional romances for Harlequin Romance and Harlequin Presents, and I’m also the author of On Writing Romance, published by Writers’ Digest Books, which has helped a lot of people write and publish their own romance novels. And I write other non-fiction such as local history books and books for writers. I keep myself busy. :-)

Are you writing on some new and interesting at the moment?
LM: I’m working on a Regency-period historical which is another triple story – three heroes and three heroines, each with their own romance happening at the same time, when they’re drawn together by a special event. But I’m not far enough into it yet to talk about the story – I’m a bit superstitious about discussing work in progress, and I also find if I talk too much about a story I’m not as excited about writing it.

And last, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
LM: I see a lot of people who have talent, but fewer who have persistence. It takes both to be successful; it’s not enough to just write the book. The successful author then has to be professional enough to revise, listen to suggestions and implement them, and then gulp and send it out and wait to see what the market says. Definitely write the next book while you’re waiting to see what happens with the first one – because that next book might be the one that sells first.

Thank you for inviting me!

I have such a treat for you all today. There will be two winners. And each winner will win a set of her books; The Mistress’ House, Just One Season in London and The Wedding Affair

There will be one international winner and one US winner.

  • Open to all, worldwide
  • Ends on September 26
  • Just go ahead and enter.

And let's see what I can think of today if you want to write something more. Go ahead and ask Leigh a question or comment on the interview. Or tell me how you would have found regency life.


You’re invited to the wedding of the year!

The Duke of Somervale, whose sister’s wedding is the event of the ton, is fighting off debutantes and desperately needs help from beautiful, stubborn Olivia Reyne. But she is engrossed with problems engulfing her dearest friends and family. The last thing Olivia needs is to be embroiled with a duke whose dark gaze makes her forget herself entirely...

Discover a new side of a beloved author as Leigh Michaels draws you into the glittering, glitzy world of Regency England and an affair you’ll never forget.

About the Author 
Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels, more than a dozen non-fiction books and three regency romances from Sourcebooks Casablanca: The Mistress’ House, Just One Season in London and The Wedding Affair. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published by Harlequin. A 6 time RITA finalist, she has also received two Reviewer's Choice awards from RT Book Reviews, and was the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award. Leigh also teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers’ Workshop.  She lives in Ottumwa, Iowa.  For more information, please visit  


  1. The premise of "The Wedding Affair" sounds very interesting; I would love to read it.
    My question for Ms Michaels: How do you keep your stories fresh and new after writing 80 novels?


    BTW – International entry :)

  2. Oh I love the cover of The Wedding Affair - do you have any say in how the covers turn out?

    baychriz at gmail dot com
    (another international entry)

  3. You always ask such interesting questions. I must say I agree with Leigh about being the one pushing the limits if I lived back then. I tend to rebel against the rules now and they are nothing compared to the restrictions of the regency era. Thanks for making the giveaway international!


  4. Wow, 80 novels and still going. That is quite impressive.


    US Entry.

  5. I read The Mistress' House and really enjoyed the book. I'm not a romance fan, and I'm usually shocked to find a romance book I enjoy.

  6. I love happy endings, too.

    I don't think I would have fit in well during the Regency. Just too many rules, not enough opportunities. Or would I have been content, not thinking of any other possibilities?

    Thanks for entering me.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

  7. Oh, great questions here!

    There are two things that keep each book fresh and exciting for me. First, the characters are different each time, so they’ll do different things and take alternate routes to get what they want – so even though the end point of the romance (the happy ending or wedding) is similar, every book is unique because the people in it are not like any others. Secondly, I try with each book to do something new and different – like putting three stories in a book, using multiple points of view, or taking a “You can’t do that” rule and turning it on its head. I think writers either keep trying new things or they slide downhill.

    I did have quite a lot of say in the cover designs of these books. Generally authors are asked for input, perhaps to suggest scenes or fill out forms about the characters, but the final result is up to the artist and the art director. I was fortunate to be able to have much more involvement in designing the covers.

    I’m always delighted when someone who doesn’t typically read romances picks up one of my books and enjoys it. Romance gets a bad rap – undeservedly so, and often from people who haven’t read any. A while back the husband of a friend was bored one Saturday and read one of my books – and I’m pleased to say that he enjoyed the experience and said he’d learned a lot about romance novels – adding that he’d been surprised to find that they have a plot...

    Thank you for inviting me – I’ll be stopping back often, so keep the questions coming!

  8. Ooo 3 love stories in one? Love that:) The Regency period is fascinating, I can't imagine having to live with all of their rules outlining what a woman can and can't do. I would have gone crazy. Thanks so much for this giveaway!

  9. Thanks for the interview Leigh :)

    I do wonder, the bride and groom, are they truly happy? Cos Simon's sister just seemed so...not nice ;)

  10. This sounds like a fun read!

  11. I had never been a fan of HR until I got a few very good recommendations and now I'm really enjoying them.
    Great interview and thanks for the giveaway.


  12. Oh that is exactly why I like regency romances. It is how they manage with all the societal rules to get their heart's desire. Plus, I love the idea of 3 romances in one book!

    Great giveaway!

  13. What a great advice for aspiring writers. I can't imagine myself living in that era. I'm too adventuress, and I would have rejected tons of marriage proposals. I really want to love with passion to the one who's going to be my husband. I have another question! I want to know with Wich of your books do you identify the most and why? Thanks! I'm looking forward for your answer ;)


  14. Wow! Writing within the structure of the social rule of the time definitely sounds like a challenge, but a fun one. :)

  15. The Wedding Affair does sound like a nice romance. I do like stories set in the Regency period.
    Great interview! The authors advice to writers is wise.

  16. I love reading about the Regency, but I don't think I'd have wanted to live during that time. I like my modern conveniences too much and I couldn't live with all the restrictions, especially for women.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  17. I love reading about the Regency era but I would not like living in it. I like being an independent woman and having the freedom to do what I like. I like the Regency romances because they are so romantic and glamorous.


    U.S. entry

  18. Great interview and the Regency time period has a lock on my heart!

  19. I have to agree, ladies – I love writing about the Regency period and reading about it, but I wouldn’t do well living in those conditions. No showers? No shampoo and conditioner? No central heating? No concierge level at hotels? :)

    Blodeuedd – Let’s just say that Simon’s sister Daphne (the bride whose wedding brings about the three romances in The Wedding Affair) will never be the heroine of her own book. :-) But I’d like to think that her new husband has enough humor and kindness and fondness for her that he’ll help her to grow up and become a whole lot nicer person.

    Karen, I loved writing Harlequin Romance – and now I’m having just as much fun writing Regency-period historicals.

    Oh, it’s hard to say which book I identify with most because I love all of them in different ways. It’s rather like deciding which is the favorite child – it’s often the one who’s causing least trouble at that moment!

  20. I'd love to be entered. This sounds so very good.


  21. I liked Blodeuedd's review on The Wedding Affair yesterday and now I get a chance to win it.

    Great interview and thank you for the giveaway.

    ~ Monique @ AsianCocoa's Secret Garden

    asiancocoa94 at aol dot com


    Great interview.

    I think I would have Regency life stifling. Too many social rules & the corsets - forget about it.


  23. OK the question I have pertains to the book writing process. What is your favorite part of writing a book?
    You can't say when it is finished - that is cheating!! Just curious whether it is creating the storyline, creating the characters, changing your original direction, or the moment you realize your random thoughts are turning out to be some amazing creation, etc. I guess it could be different with each book, but I just wonder what aspect is the most rewarding for. you. :)

    I'm really surprised to hear that authors may not have a lot to say when it comes to book covers. The covers are often what attracts me to give a book a chance. I would think the cover would be a great way to let some of the author's personality be displayed.

    I really want to thank Leigh and Smexybooks for taking the time to do this. It is really difficult to decide whether a book is a good fit based on the little detail available at the on-line book retailers. I don't have enough time to research every book I would potentially be interested in so these sessions HELP SO MUCH!! Once I learn more about the author as well as the book, I feel more confident as to whether I should invest the time and money. Thanks!!


  24. I love reading books about the Regency era. Please count me in for the giveaway. Thanks :)


  25. Thanks Leigh :)
    Aye Daphne was Daphne ;) But I am glad to hear that her new husband will help her grow up

  26. I like regency but not necessarily my question to the author is: have you ever been tempted to change the genre?

  27. Thanks for the giveaway. I love happy endings and I love reading romance novels. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  28. I think it would have been a hard life for a woman in the Regency period. All the social customs would drive me bananas!

    I do love the empire-waist gowns and all the dancing, though!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  29. Count me in! I can't think of a single question that hasn't been asked already, so I'll just say I love your books, Leigh, and I would be ecstatic if I won this giveaway!! Thanks so much for the terrific interview and giveaway:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  30. Thanks for the interview Leigh. Three stories in one book sounds intriguing, but is one of them more the main couple, or has each couple their own spotlight moments?

    International entry.
    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

  31. Fantastic review and giveaway opportunity! Sign me up. :-) I love Leigh's reasons behind wrighting books from this time period, they are the same reasons I love reading them! I also would have been pushing the limits, I'm just too outgoing to stand on the side lines and act proper. :-P Her next work sounds like another one that will be entertaining with 3 heros and 3 heroine! :-D

    paperbackdaydreamer (dot) gmail (dot) com

  32. I wouldn't want to live during Regency but I like the era. And I like the idea of 3 stories in one book.

    80 novels? That's something!


  33. 80 romances, wow! As someone else already asked, I'm curious how you manage to come up with original content for your stories.

    This sounds like a really fun romance and I'd love to be entered to win the book.


  34. I love reading about the regency era, but I don't think I would have fit in too well living during those times. Way too many things that a woman could not do. Thanks for the interview. It has been fun following along on your blog tour.


  35. Oh you enjoyed this book just the other day. :) Sounds like a great series. And wonderful interview. :) Thank you!

  36. I imagine I would be somekind of teacher or governess too - like my dearest Jane Eyre, and then maybe I could find myself a Mr Rochester B-)

    Thank you so much for the chance to win these books ladies! :)

    *International entry*
    jen7waters at gmail dot com

  37. You wrote your first romance novel at age 14? Suu..Weet! :D
    thebookish96(at) (INTL)

  38. i'd definitely be missing all our conveniences if living Regency!
    gowns are a dream, yes, but maids needed to care for them =))
    love your tips for writers needing persistence and the timeline ... thx!
    and thanks Blodeuedd for this interview! have missed the austenesque sociables!
    HaPpy Weekend ~ look fwd to these & thanks MUCH for sharing 2 sets!!

  39. Retwitted your giveaway at:!/cherrymischivus/status/114972165534789632

    Goodluck to everybody entering! :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    (not an entry)

  40. Thanks for the interview and contest! I have a question for Leigh: who are some of your favorite authors to read?

    natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com

    Good luck to everyone!

    P.S. International entry

  41. Thank you so much everyone for stopping by! :D

  42. i would probably be an absolute outsider in that era - i am just too much of a feminist :P my parents would have problems marrying me off XD

    by the way, i am an international reader.

  43. Leigh Michaels books sound really good, and thank you for the giveaway (I'm international). I think I would have hated regency life, despite the awesome clothing, and customs. I'm really attatched to modern appliances (not to mention plumbling and food) and kind of like that women have rights now.


  44. Great Interview!

    U.S. Entry

  45. Thanks for the interview and giveaway !!!
    The Wedding Affair sounds interesting.


  46. Aurian
    I felt the focus was mostly on one couple...ok not mostly it was more that they got 50% and then the two others got 45 and 45. Which does not make 100 but you get the point ;)

  47. I appreciated a lot last question. Her answer tell us something that everyone thinks to know, but a very few people are able to practice it.

    kairiokayasu at hotmail dot com

    International entry :P

    thank you for hosting this giveaway =)



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