Friday, February 11, 2011

Something Wicked welcomes Leigh Michaels



Hi all! Today, we'd like to welcome Leigh Michaels. She's written nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published by Harlequin. She's here today to tell us about her latest - and to give you a chance to win a copy!
Thank you to this glorious group of wicked ladies for the invitation to guest-blog on Something Wicked – it’s lovely to be here.
Though my new book, The Mistress’ House, isn’t paranormal, it does involve a house which has an odd effect on the people who live there. They start off expecting – wanting – to have love affairs, but they end up falling in love.
“It’s this house,” says one of the heroes when for the third time a perfectly-reasonable sexual fling turns more serious and the lovers end up married. “It makes people do strange things. They begin acting different – irrational, even – the very moment they take up residence.”
The idea of house-as-character occurred to me after I’d already started writing the book, when I came flat up against the logistics of getting my Regency lords and ladies together in a private enough spot to actually do the deed. It wasn’t so difficult for the gentlemen, of course, but how did a lady of quality escape her family and friends? She couldn’t invite her lover home with her unless she lived entirely on her own – rare, at that time. She couldn’t just dash out to an inn without doing some fancy explaining. I suppose she could borrow a friend’s house, but leaving herself open to gossip and blackmail wouldn’t have been wise.
So what’s the point of being a wealthy earl if you can’t buy privacy for a love affair? If there was a convenient little house just reserved for that purpose…
The Mistress’ House is located at Number 5 Upper Seymour Street, in London, and the time is 1815, smack in the middle of the Regency period. There really was a house on the site at that time; it appears on old maps, complete with the outline of the house and the garden. Though there aren’t any photos or drawings in existence, the house would have been largely as I describe it – the end unit of a row of connected houses, right next to Berkeley Mews. (It’s now the site of the Hyatt Regency Hotel – an amusing coincidence, no?)
Would you like to win a copy of The Mistress' House? "Yes, yes!" you say? Then leave a comment for Leigh and we'll do a drawing on Monday!

10 comments:

SandyG265 said...

I like that you used the house as a character.

sgiden at verizon.net

Angie Fox said...

It's neat how the house was really there, too. I really like that element of realism. And the twist that the house helps couples who want love affairs gain a little something extra. Great concept! I can't wait to read it.

Leigh Michaels said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Angie -- and thanks for stopping by, Sandy.

What I think is really neat is how stories develop in unexpected directions -- like the house almost becoming a character when it wasn't even a part of my original idea.

For you writers out there, what has surprised you about your characters or story?

Reina said...

Congrats on your new release. My characters always surprise me (with some secret), it's too bad they usually do so after the first draft! But better sometime than not at all. :)

Angie Fox said...

Yes, why is that, Reina? I'd like for my characters to plan a little better as well.

Leigh Michaels said...

Yeah, one of my heroines kept a secret from me until I was almost finished writing the book. The funny thing was, I didn't know she had gobs of money, but when I went back in the second draft to insert hints, they were already there.... they just didn't mean what I thought they did when I wrote them!

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Leigh. How do we get an invitation to the Mistress House?

Leigh Michaels said...

You could send a letter to Lady Hawthorne at #5 Upper Seymour Street, London, and ask if the house is available just now. Let me know if you hear back from her! :-)

Angie Fox said...

Hey, good point. I like how you think, Jane.

mariska said...

yes..yes..yes..i want that book :)

uniquas at ymail dot com