Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wacky Wednesday: A Visit With Jess Michaels, author of TAKEN BY THE DUKE, book 1 of The Pleasure Wars

On June 10, 2013, I shared my review of TAKEN BY THE DUKE by Jess Michaels with you. Now available, I hope you’ll certainly consider reading it even if you're not a usual reader of erotic romance. You will be pleasantly surprised with how strong the story is even though it’s an erotic historical romance. Feel free to click on the title above to read my review of this first book in the new series, The Pleasure Wars by Jess Michaels. Hurry back!

Joining me today is the lovely and talented author of TAKEN BY THE DUKE as well as many other wonderful reads, Jess Michaels. I’m so excited about this new series – The Pleasure Wars – and can’t wait to read the next one.  Jess Michaels began writing full-time in 1999 after being encouraged by her husband to follow her dream. In 2003, she sold her first novella to Red Sage Press, an erotic historical romance about an Egyptian tomb and a very sexy curse. Since then she has published (or has contracted to publish by the end of 2013) 37 novels and novellas under three different pen names with several major publishers, small presses and via self-publishing. Her erotic historical romances have been national bestsellers and won awards from booksellers and readers.

Please join me in welcoming Jess Michaels, author of TAKEN BY THE DUKE, to Unwrapping Romance …

Amy:  Welcome Jess, it's an absolute delight to have you with us today, and I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet. 

Jess:  Well, I write erotic historical romance set in the Regency period. I've written for Red Sage, Avon, and now Samhain, as well as some self-published projects. I'm married to my best friend and high school sweetheart. He does book marketing for a living so... I pay him in hugs. We live in Tucson with our two cats. I love reading, I'm a fan of UFC and cycling, I need to hike more and I love my two nephews like crazy. It's a really charmed life. 

Amy:  With a husband who’s willing to accept payment in hugs, you do have a charmed life and obviously, a romantic one - great environment to inspire you. So TAKEN BY THE DUKE is the first book in your new series, The Pleasure Wars. Would you like to share a bit of what the series has in store for us? 

Jess:  Sure! The Pleasure Wars is a series about two families who have been in a war for decades, one that heats up when the son of one family tries to run away with the daughter and they're involved in a terrible accident when her brother makes chase.  When she is killed, it sends the families on a pounding warpath toward each other. Only the one thing none of them expects is love. 

Amy:  Love conquers all – love it, that’s exactly what we look for in our romance reading, right folks?!
Jess, I envy your ability to write erotic romance. I don't think I'm brave enough to get that sexual in words. I'm curious about what inspired you to write such juicy romances.  Do you have a preference in your own personal reading? 

Jess:  I've always loved sexy romances so it was definitely a great fit. For me, the trick is to make sure that the sexy scenes are a real, strong part of the story. Otherwise, readers don't connect. 

Amy:  I think that’s exactly what I enjoy so much about your romances, I do connect with the characters, and the sexiness plays into that. So what do you enjoy most about writing erotic romance and what do you find the most difficult about writing erotic romance? 

Jess: I guess I don't sub-categorize it down to erotic or not erotic romance. I love writing romance because it's such an uplifting genre. I get great notes from readers who loved books and maybe the story brightened their day a little. That's a good thing every time. The most difficult is really more about publishing. I control so little of what happens when a story releases, and that is hard. 

Amy:  Always knowing there’s a happily-ever-after coming does make even the most heartrending story a bright spot in our days, I think, and it’s why we love the genre. I know TAKEN BY THE DUKE left me believing in the healing power of love.

Speaking of which, TAKEN BY THE DUKE is a wonderful story built around a kind of Romeo and Juliet style feud between two families but goes far beyond - in my opinion. There is a lot of emotion in this story, which is one of the reasons I loved it. What inspired you to pull so many different fractured emotions together?

Jess: I think Christian and Ava's story just naturally has so much emotional punch, it was easy to find a lot of it. Here he is, a man scarred emotionally and physically and looking to lash out at anyone to make it better. And she's her very own casualty of war, but she's still strong and empathetic and willing to fight for what she wants. She uses her kidnapping as a mission of peace and I loved watching her take control and heal Christian (and herself) with love. 

Amy: I couldn’t have expressed that better from the reader’s point of view. My dears, sincerely, whether you normally read erotic romance or not, this story will capture your heart. You’ll find yourself cheering for Ava. And if you’re like me, you’ll be in tears a few times. Do read it. I promise you’ll love it. 

Jess, you write both historical and contemporary, do you ever see yourself delving into any other genres?  

Jess:  As Jess, I've really only done a couple of contemporary books and I don't see myself doing any other genres. Right now, I'm focused entirely on erotic historical and my writing schedule and contracts for the next couple of years reflect that. Basically, if you like my Jess Michaels books, there are a LOT of books on the horizon, so sign up for my newsletter

Amy:  I know I’m all in for a LOT more of your erotic historicals. I love them – the Mistress Matchmaker series was one of my favorites, but it might get surpassed by The Pleasure Wars series. 

Well, it’s time for my last question for you and my personal favorite. If you could be ANY character in ANY book, who would it be and why? 

Jess:  I think I'd be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. Actually, I might be Diana so I could be FRIENDS with Anne. :) She's still my favorite character from my childhood and I would love to hang with her. 

Amy:  That’s a great answer and one I never considered before. Being friends with a favorite character would be a wonderful adventure. 

Jess, thank you so very much for joining us today, it was truly a delight having you with us.  Thank you also for sharing some wonderful insight into TAKEN BY THE DUKE with us. Congratulations on your new series. I’m already a big fan, but I hope everyone reads TAKEN BY THE DUKE and becomes as addicted as I am. 

Jess: Thanks you so much for having me!  

Amy:  Jess is offering up a paperback version of AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE, book one in her Mistress Matchmaker series to one lucky commenter. In addition, because I love this new book so much, I’m offering up a digital copy of TAKEN BY THE DUKE to one lucky commenter as well. So folks, you have two opportunities to win today. I'll leave it to Jess for the question you’ll need to answer to enter. Jess? 

Jess:  I'd love to ask your readers,

WHICH HISTORICAL TIME PERIOD IS YOUR FAVORITE? 

Amy:  Great question. I’ve got far too many to pick just one so it’s a good thing I can’t enter our contest. If you'd like to learn more about Jess and her books, please feel free to visit her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and at Goodreads.

Please read the Giveaway Rules carefully since you’ve got two chances to win and follow them exactly or you’ll be left out.  

GIVEAWAY PRIZES: 

PRIZE ONE:  One Print Copy of INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE, book one in THE MISTRESS MATCHMAKER series by Jess Michaels to one lucky commenter – US & Canada entries only. 

Blurb for INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE:

An innocent lady’s education could be a gentleman’s wicked seduction.

Lysandra Keates is running out of options. Her father is dead, her mother is ill, and her efforts to find respectable employment have ended in failure. With her small savings bleeding away, she swallows her pride—and her terror—and turns to Vivien Manning, an infamous courtesan, to match her with a wealthy protector.

For years, Viscount Andrew Callis has lived a monastic existence at his country estate, hardening his body against the snobbish, lazy young man he once was, hardening his heart against grief over the deaths of his wife and infant son. When Vivien asks him to spend one month training a young woman in the ways of a mistress, his mind resists…but his body responds with an ache he thought long dead.

As Andrew begins his gentle tutelage, he finds himself falling under the spell of Lysandra’s innocent charms. And as they give in to the powerful hunger, the last thing Andrew ever expected, or wanted, forms between them. An emotional connection that could carry them well past the training period—if only Andrew can open his heart to the possibility of love.


PRIZE TWO:  One Digital Copy of TAKEN BY THE DUKE, book one in The Pleasure Wars series by Jess Michaels to one lucky commenter -  open to all entries, International included. 

Blurb for TAKEN BY THE DUKE: 

An eye for an eye, a sin for a sin…

Amid all the lies and scandals that fuel Society’s gossip mill, one truth has stood out: House Rothcastle and House Windbury have always hated each other.

Lady Ava Windbury prays the feud will someday end, to no avail. One dreadful night, her brother accidentally causes the death of Christian Rothcastle’s sister, a tragedy that leaves both men maimed.

Consumed by grief, Christian makes a grim decision. He will kidnap Lady Ava so that her family will feel the pain of loss as keenly as he feels the loss of his own sister. But once he has Ava in his clutches, desire takes unexpected hold. Even more surprising, she willingly surrenders to his every sexual whim—after haggling over the terms of giving up her virginity.

Too late, he realizes she is using her body for peace, not war. But just as their affair of revenges turns into an affair of the heart, the past rears its ugly head to take matters into its own hands…
 


Product Warnings: This book contains scenes of erotic seduction, sexual revenge and the healing power of love.

GIVEAWAY RULES: 

***This Giveaway is OPEN TO THOSE AS STATED WITH THE PRIZE. (void where prohibited)  

***Please note whether you are eligible for the prize. US & Canada are eligible for both prizes and if you have a preference you may state that. International entries are eligible only for the digital copy. 

***Please be sure to state in your comment whether you are US, Canada, or International. Thank you.

***For VALID ENTRY, commenter must leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. Remember the Magic Formula for Entry: 
 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR VISITING!

***This Giveaway will run until 11:30PM EST, Friday, July 5, 2013 at which time two lucky valid entries will be chosen by randomizer to each win a prize. One lucky comment will be chosen to win the print copy of INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE and one lucky comment will be chosen to win a digital copy of TAKEN BY THE DUKE. The winners will be notified by email, and announced in a special Saturday post. If the winners don’t respond by end of day Thursday, July 11, 2013, a new winner, or two, will be chosen by the same process.

Good Luck Everyone and Happy Reading! 
 

TAKEN BY THE DUKE, book one in The Pleasure War series by Jess Michaels, Samhain Publishing, available now in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks 

INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE, book one in The Mistress Matchmaker series by Jess Michaels, Samhain Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and Kobobooks
***click on links for purchasing information or covers below.

                                                          

9 comments:

bn100 said...

These sound interesting. Please enter me for both. Prefer print book

US
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

kipha said...

OMG!!! Taken By the Duke sounds Divine! I just read a small excerpt of it on another blog and it was fab!
As for which Historical time period I love...it'll have to be Regency! Most of my authors or books come from this period and so it's my all time favorite.

US
kp_kazamei(at)yahoo(dot)com

Elizabeth H. said...

I'm not a big historical romance fan but these books sound so good!!! Thanks for the interview and for the chance to win!! The covers are gorgeous also!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Amy Valentini said...

I think Jess's historicals might surprise you! Careful, you might just end up as hooked as me. : )

Thanks for coming by and good luck!
Happy 4th of July!

Anonymous said...

I have read many Jenna Petersen and a few Jess Michaels. I have enjoyed them all.
April
Aprilfunshowers @ gmail.com

Linda said...

Love the sound of the story! I'd love a digital copy of the book please.

I'm an international reader.
Thanks!

thumbelinda03 at yahoo dot com

Sandy Xiong said...

I had read both books on my nook and I love them. I had actually read all of Jess Michaels historical romance books and love them. I would love to have An Introduction to Pleasure though because that was the first book I read from her and I do want it in print.
Thanks for the giveaway :)

Sandy Xiong said...

Sorry for double posting but I forgot to post my email address
paaj_xyooj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amy Valentini said...

No problem Sandy, got your entry. I assume you're US or Canada though, if you want the print. So glad you enjoy Jess's books, I do too. I want everyone to sample them so there'll be more members of the Jess Michaels addicts. : )

Free with DHC Purchase While Supplies Last!

FREE Spring Clutch with purchase of 4 makeup products from DHCcare.com. While supplies last! Shop Now.; ;