Jen: Today we’re excited to welcome Jess Michaels to Romancing the Book. Jess, will you share a short bio with us?
Jess: Jess Michaels has written 50 books under 3 names with multiple traditional publishers. She currently writes only erotic historical romance set in the Regency period and publishes independently. She lives in Tucson, AZ with her awesome husband and two little old lady cats.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Jenss: My latest release is The Scoundrel’s Lover, which came out March 10 and is available everywhere! The book is good to read as a standalone but is the second in The Notorious Flynns series. Both of my heroine Annabelle’s brothers are notorious rakes, but the marriage of one and his ascension to the title of duke has given her the unique opportunity to find a respectable life. She’s trying to do that when she starts going to an infamous club run by Marcus Rivers in an attempt to save her other brother. I loved the idea of putting poor Annabelle, who is really trying to get to respectability and giving her a sensual, not at all respectable hero to fall head over heels in love with. I love those kinds of stories, so writing them is really fun.
Suddenly there was the grip of fingers closing over her upper arm and her eyes flew open. She found herself staring up into the dark green gaze of Marcus Rivers. Unlike those around her, he wore no mask and his face was alive with emotion in that moment. He looked…angry. Very angry. She couldn’t help but think of Abbot’s words in the carriage that they would both face this man’s wrath.
“Come with me,” Rivers said.
He didn’t wait for her to agree, but merely began to guide her through the crowded hall, past more gaming tables and entangled lovers. Annabelle tried to keep her gaze firmly on the floor below her, but she saw things. She heard things.
And God help her, she felt things, including Rivers’ firm grip on her arm, which seemed to send little lightning bolts of awareness through her all the more.
He nodded to a servant as he dragged her up a short flight of stairs. Only at a shut door at the top of the landing did he release her. He fished a key from his jacket pocket and unlocked the door before he opened it and motioned her to enter.
She stepped inside and immediately began to look for her brother. But he was nowhere to be found within the dimly lit office where Rivers had taken her.
The same office where they were now entirely alone. Where he was shutting the door behind him and staring at her.
Her breath caught as she waited for him to do or say something, because she had no idea how to react when he wasn’t.
“What are you doing here, Miss Flynn?” he asked at last, his voice rough as it raked over her very senses.
She blinked a few times as she gathered her emotions. Slowly, she folded her arms and glared at him. “I assume your man Abbot told you why when he informed you of my arrival.”
Rivers’ eyes narrowed. “I haven’t spoken to Abbot.”
She drew back a fraction. “But—but you came and collected me. You called me Miss Flynn,” she said slowly. “How did you know it was me?”
He motioned to the large wall of windows behind her. “I looked down over the club and saw you standing by the door. I recognized you.”
Now Annabelle could scarcely breathe. Rivers was watching her so closely, his eyes narrow and unreadable.
“You have only met me twice.” Her voice trembled, and she hated herself for it.
He waved a hand as if to dismiss that observation. “You are changing the subject. Why are you here, Miss Flynn?”
She observed him for a moment. She’d thought he looked angry before, and that emotion was still there, but here in the dimmer light of his private chamber she saw less harshness to his face. He was really very handsome, though there was nothing soft about him. He was all angles and frowns.
“Miss Flynn,” he said.
She shook her head. “You sent for me.”
Now his full lips thinned with displeasure. “I most certainly did not. I sent for your brother. I sent for the Duke of Hartholm.”
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Jess: I’ve been writing for as long as I can recall. My mother recently sent me a copy of my first “romance” a short story about a lost kitten and a stern man who comes to collect it. It ends well. LOL So I guess I was always bound for it.
My “call” story happened in September 2004. My husband had been white water rafting halfway across the country and there had been an accident on their course, so he was about six hours late in contacting me and the place where he was rafting wouldn’t tell me anything except there had been “an incident”. I was certain he was injured or worse. By the time he called me, I probably cried for about an hour I was so relieved. He drove all night to get home to me and arrived at about 7am. We were still half-asleep and out of it when my agent called to tell me I’d just sold two historical romances to Avon/HarperCollins. I’ve actually gotten several pieces of good news when he was gone or something had happened to him, so he says this makes him nervous.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Jess: Erotic. Emotional. Irresistible.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Jess: I do. I get up about the same time each day (though that doesn’t ALWAYS happen) and I go write until my page count is done. The rest of my day is spent doing promotional activities. I also have alternating weekends. So I have one week where I work 7 days and the next I have a weekend (though my weekend is Tuesday/Wednesday). I really enjoying writing, so it’s actually fun to do it this way (most of the time).
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Jess: I write exclusively in the Regency era now with my erotic historical romances. I love the period and will stick to that. I’m not certain I’d want to write any other historical time periods. I might go back to a modern time period my Jesse Petersen name (I wrote zombie comedy and funny monsters) but we’ll see. Right now I’m only focused on historicals.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Jess: After over a decade traditionally published, I turned fully to indie publishing in January. Seeing The Other Duke (my January release) sell so many copies and have such a great response from readers isn’t just a highlight of my career, but a turning point. I am so grateful.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Jess: The third Notorious Flynns book is The Widow Wager and it will be out in May so it’s coming soon! Make sure you join my newsletter to know when all my books come out!