Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wicked Indiscretions

It's here: Book Five in the Wicked Affairs series. Release day is February 18th!

Marriage is fraught with emotion and I love writing about this bond. This is Book Five in the Wicked Affairs series and in it, we meet David and Juliana Abernathy. David is the strong, silent type and a reluctant marquess, titled after his brother died. He is married to the beautiful Juliana (sister to Clarissa Dunnaway from Wicked Desires and sister to Audrina Paquin that you met in Wicked Secrets) Juliana is vivacious and chatty, the perfect foil to David's seriousness. And his dogs love her.

They are madly in love and welcome their first child - only he dies in his infancy. David and Juliana are heartbroken and grief destroys their loving relationship.

Grief is a dark, debilitating emotion and has many facets, affecting one physically, socially and spiritually. It tears David and Juliana apart. This might be the most moving story I've written.

So here's the blurb:

David and Juliana Abernathy’s marriage is unique in the ton—they have real love. That is, until the loss of their only child shatters their short-lived happiness. Despair and anger drives David into the arms of countless paramours and Juliana into the arms of a notorious Italian Lothario.

When David realizes what he has lost, he arrives in Italy with one goal and snatches his wife from the bed of her lover, intending to bring her home. Could their situation be worse?

They are no longer the innocent, loving fools of their first year of marriage and they demonstrate that each night they are alone together. Beneath the hurt and betrayal, they can hide their love but their passion burns hotter than ever.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Trouble With Scots - Release Day January 20th

I love this story.

And I lie yet again. I love every story.

Let's see, here is the order for why it's so great to write and publish.

First, there is the idea and the wonder whether you can pull it off. It works in your head. Will it translate on paper?

Next is the title. You've played around with a couple of options. You've tinkered. You've asked your friends. And then it hits you.

But you have to have a cover to go with that title. Yes, a Scot. Of course, a castle. When you get your perfect cover, you hope the story is worthy of the cover. It's that good!

Your story is dragging. Oh, what to do? Barrel through it? Or stop and work on something else for a bit? Then you get over the hump and it is so wonderful to write THE END.

Then off to your editor while you set up your pre-order at Amazon and B&N and everywhere else people might buy. And then at Goodreads, hoping you'll see your fans and some new readers click the I WANNA READ button.

And when my editor gives a thumbs up. A WOW! But you can't breathe easy yet.

The book still has to sell. Yes, RELEASE DAY! Ta Da! On January 20th!

Here it is The Trouble With Scots, Book Three in the Body of Knowledge series. Check out the Body of Knowledge page to see all about the other books in the series.


Here's a blurb:

Normally his visions were through his eyes. This one as if he looked on outside himself at the events unfolding.

Eadan fought to keep the vision alive. For once he did not want the vision to end.

One thing stood out besides the beautiful, laughing woman. He was wearing his clan blue-and-black kilt and a white linen shirt covered by his black jacket and waistcoat with silver buttons and buckles. His sporran was about his waist. The clothes were distinctive because they were the clothes he wore now, including the new broach he had just purchased in London.

When the carriage came to a stop, Eadan glanced out the window. A flash of lightning pierced the sky but it was a storm without rain—the kind one expects to produce a deluge but expends itself in the drama of threatening thunder and perilous streaks of blue-white light.

The inn yard was busy. Several carriages filled the space as the inn filled for the night, all worried about the hazard of road travel when the ground beneath the wheels would be unsteady. The noise was deafening and would have been crippling if his headache had remained.

But a certain excitement stirred in his heart and in his loins, for it couldn’t be denied the visionary miss had held his interest for far too long and without relief. He could almost believe she was a ghost, a figment of his imagination, except his visions were specific. He had watched her mature into a woman—a disturbing, uncomfortable result at times.

He strolled through the courtyard, entered the inn and made arrangements for a room. Glancing about, he was supremely disappointed to see there wasn't a single woman in the main hall, only several boisterous men well into their cups.

His valet, a proper stiff who made sure Eadan was turned out appropriately when he was on English soil, also made sure his luggage was carried in. Eadan requested a room at the back of the inn where, he hoped, the cacophony would be minimized.

“Would you like me to arrange supper in a private room, my lord?”

“Have the food sent up, Mr. Terry. I believe I will turn in after.”

“An early start in the morning?”

“Ten should be soon enough.”

“Headache, sir?”

“Remnants. Nothing a good meal and good sleep won’t cure. If ye could arrange for a bath also.”

“As you wish.” Mr. Terry gathered Eadan’s belongings and headed to the assigned room.
Eadan worked a coin from his pocket and tapped it on the wooden counter.

“My lord.” The chubby woman working at the inn rubbed her hands on a dirty apron, glancing only at the coin she was about to earn.

“Is there a woman here, about so high?” He held his hand to his shoulder. “Auburn hair.”

“Her name, my lord?”

He cleared his throat. “I dinna ken. She smiles—”

Eadan realized how ridiculous he sounded. The only thing more ridiculous would have been to tell the mistress of the establishment he had only seen the auburn-haired woman in a vision. “Never ye mind.” He tapped the coin one last time before placing it on the counter.

Eurydice. Where are you, Eurydice?

The trouble was no one else seemed to know where she was either. Or who. Was he going to have to go to Hell to find her?

He strolled to the main dining hall and glanced about the dimly lit room. A few of the inhabitants stared back, examining him over their pewter mugs of ale. Their shuttered looks reminded him he was more at home in Scotland. Then again, perhaps he ought not wear his kilt while on English soil. Even if it wasn't illegal.

Another burst of thunder sounded and another party of travelers stumbled into the inn.

The throaty laughter of women caused Eadan to turn toward the commotion.

His chest constricted painfully, nearly stopping his breath.

She used both hands to throw back the hood of her swirling cape and laughed again. “My goodness, we've only just made it in time.”

Her smile was brighter than a thousand suns and her dark eyes sparkled with mischief. He knew from a hundred visions her eyes were green.

Eadan stared, the realization heady and warming. His heart thumped with a steady beat and he heaved a sigh as if he’d been relieved of a great weight. And then he understood why he had never met the striking beauty. She was a Colonist. An American.

“Good evening, your ladyship,” the innkeeper’s wife said.

“Three rooms, my good madam,” she said.

“Of course. Right away, mum. Oh, and mum, there was a gentleman looking for you earlier.”

“For me? Goodness, I can’t imagine why.”

Her laughter filled the lighted foyer and she tossed a glance in his direction. Her smiled faded at the sight of him. The edge of her brows creased inward and her eyes closed slightly, taking his measure.
Visions of her had been consistent—always the laughing, sensual creature who came to him willingly.

There was a palpable tension between them now. Aye, she knew.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

She doesn't believe in curses...until after the ball

Was the rapid beating of her heart a mere symptom of disloyalty? Or a greater excitement? The ball, her scandalous dress—the mysterious and desirable man before her?

So why hadn’t she determinedly said no? The idea should have been dismissed with an arrogant wave of her hand and a haughty lift of her brow.

The skin at his neck was tanned but not overly so, as if he might spend time out of doors. His hands were roughened but not unpleasantly. His cologne, what she could smell, was light, fresh and not overbearing. Underneath the costume and faux accent, he was a gentleman in language and manner but he was not a dandy. His behavior was that of a cautious rake, subtly testing her will and resistance to determine if she had either. Was he playing a part too?

With little willful intent, just a natural curiosity to know who this man was, she stroked her finger over the skin of his neck. Contemplation of his question was a surprise. What was she worth? And was she really considering such a shocking—outrageous—proposal?

“I know a private place,” he said, assuming her lack of response was acquiescence. Maybe it was.

Was sin only about circumstance, she wondered? Here, at this ball, dancing with a stranger, he presented an unthinkable opportunity. What a strange word to describe something so inherently wrong. And something so foolishly dangerous.

An occasion to sin, that’s what this was.


An occasion to do something delightfully wicked, scandalous in magnitude and unforgivable if discovered.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sneak Peak: Jess Michaels' latest release, The Other Duke

The Other Duke by Jess Michaels
Book 1, The Notorious Flynns

Available January 13th!


Blurb:
For years Serafina McPhee has been engaged to marry the heir to the Duke of Hartholm and for almost as long, she has been struggling to find a way out of that engagement. When he suddenly dies, she does not mourn but thrills at the idea that she will be free. Unfortunately, best laid plans go awry when the next in line for the title, her intended’s cousin, Raphael “Rafe” Flynn is forced to take over the engagement. But Serafina knows Rafe’s reputation as a libertine and wants nothing to do with him, either, even if he is devastatingly handsome.

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.

Short Excerpt:

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble (will not be available until release date)


WANTON CHRISTMAS WISHES (Anthology) November 18
A MEASURE OF DECEIT (Ladies Book of Pleasures 3) December 9
THE OTHER DUKE (The Notorious Flynns 1) January 13, 2015
Join Jess's newsletter! Monthly drawing for a Kindle or $75 Gift Certificate!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sneak Peak: The Trouble With Scots

I love this story. Because I have a great love of historical novels, sometimes it is difficult to think outside the world of Regency ballrooms, ton marriages, corsets and Hyde Park. Maybe that's why this series is so much fun. The Body of Knowledge series, TTWS will be the third novel, are all historical novels but with a proto-science edge.

The novels all feature members of a secret group, The Society for the Advancement of Science. Each member has a special talent. All of them struggle with their abilities in a world obsessed by etiquette and propriety.

In The Trouble With Scots, the leader of the Society, Eadan MacMurrough has visions of the future. The troublings as he calls them are most an annoyance, sometimes his visions save lives and sometimes they are debilitating, especially when he has visions of his future. For ten years, he has had visions of a laughing beauty who is to be his wife.


Pre-Order Here

So here is a blurb:



Eadan fought to keep the vision alive. For once he did not want the vision to end.

One thing stood out besides the beautiful, laughing woman. He was wearing his clan blue-and-black kilt and a white linen shirt covered by his black jacket and waistcoat with silver buttons and buckles. His sporran was about his waist. The clothes were distinctive because they were the clothes he wore now, including the new broach he had just purchased in London.
When the carriage came to a stop, Eadan glanced out the window. A flash of lightning pierced the sky but it was a storm without rain—the kind one expects to produce a deluge but expends itself in the drama of threatening thunder and perilous streaks of blue-white light.

The inn yard was busy. Several carriages filled the space as the inn filled for the night, all worried about the hazard of road travel when the ground beneath the wheels would be unsteady. The noise was deafening and would have been crippling if his headache had remained.

But a certain excitement stirred in his heart and in his loins, for it couldn't be denied the visionary miss had held his interest for far too long and without relief. He could almost believe she was a ghost, a figment of his imagination, except his visions were specific. He had watched her mature into a woman—a disturbing, uncomfortable result at times.

He strolled through the courtyard, entered the inn and made arrangements for a room. Glancing about, he was supremely disappointed to see there wasn't a single woman in the main hall, only several boisterous men well into their cups.

His valet, a proper stiff who made sure Eadan was turned out appropriately when he was on English soil, also made sure his luggage was carried in. Eadan requested a room at the back of the inn where, he hoped, the cacophony would be minimized.

“Would you like me to arrange supper in a private room, my lord?”

“Have the food sent up, Mr. Terry. I believe I will turn in after.”

“An early start in the morning?”

“Ten should be soon enough.”

“Headache, sir?”

“Remnants. Nothing a good meal and good sleep won’t cure. If ye could arrange for a bath also.”

“As you wish.” Mr. Terry gathered Eadan’s belongings and headed to the assigned room.

Eadan worked a coin from his pocket and tapped it on the wooden counter.

“My lord.” The chubby woman working at the inn rubbed her hands on a dirty apron, glancing only at the coin she was about to earn.

“Is there a woman here, about so high?” He held his hand to his shoulder. “Auburn hair.”

“Her name, my lord?”

He cleared his throat. “I dinna ken. She smiles—”

Eadan realized how ridiculous he sounded. The only thing more ridiculous would have been to tell the mistress of the establishment he had only seen the auburn-haired woman in a vision. “Never ye mind.” He tapped the coin one last time before placing it on the counter.

Eurydice. Where are you, Eurydice?

The trouble was no one else seemed to know where she was either. Or who. Was he going to have to go to Hell to find her?

He strolled to the main dining hall and glanced about the dimly lit room. A few of the inhabitants stared back, examining him over their pewter mugs of ale. Their shuttered looks reminded him he was more at home in Scotland. Then again, perhaps he ought not wear his kilt while on English soil. 

Even if it wasn’t illegal.

Another burst of thunder sounded and another party of travelers stumbled into the inn.

The throaty laughter of women caused Eadan to turn toward the commotion.

His chest constricted painfully, nearly stopping his breath.

She used both hands to throw back the hood of her swirling cape and laughed again. “My goodness, we’ve only just made it in time.”

Her smile was brighter than a thousand suns and her dark eyes sparkled with mischief. He knew from a hundred visions her eyes were green.

Eadan stared, the realization heady and warming. His heart thumped with a steady beat and he heaved a sigh as if he’d been relieved of a great weight. And then he understood why he had never met the striking beauty. She was a Colonist. An American.

“Good evening, your ladyship,” the innkeeper’s wife said.

“Three rooms, my good madam,” she said.

“Of course. Right away, mum. Oh, and mum, there was a gentleman looking for you earlier.”

“For me? Goodness, I can’t imagine why.”

Her laughter filled the lighted foyer and she tossed a glance in his direction. Her smiled faded at the sight of him. The edge of her brows creased inward and her eyes closed slightly, taking his measure.
Visions of her had been consistent—always the laughing, sensual creature who came to him willingly.


There was a palpable tension between them now. Aye, she knew.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Out With The Old; In With The New

Happy New Year 2015

I'm always interested in taking stock at the end of the year. Have I accomplished what I had hoped? Did I set the bar too low or did I overreach?

My single overarching goal is to be able to support myself with writing income only. I can tell you I am a long way from that. But can I accomplish this? Someday. The publishing market continues to be wildly unpredictable. Should I sell exclusively on Amazon to participate in Kindle Unlimited? Should I find an agent? Should I hope for a contract with a New York publisher? And how do I expand my reader base? Honestly I'd rather have devoted readers than a NY contract.

All of these things are background noise to my larger vision. I want to write great books that my readers enjoy.

So for 2015 what I hope to accomplish is:

1) Publish the next two books in the Wicked Affairs series. The next two books are written and I am writing three more. I don't know when or how I will end this series. I just enjoy this world and the characters in it.

2) I am working on a two-part Dickens-like novel. The heroine is a sassy, boyish, desirable hoyden. I love her and I've never written such a character before. This book is in four parts - two parts per novel and they are very long. The first book is 95,000 words and I'm about 10,000 into Book Two.

3) I am going to look for a second publisher. While I'll continue to do some self-pubbed work, I want to try to expand my reader base through an additional respectable publisher, perhaps Samhain, Carina or another digital house. The profit isn't as great but I would like to tap into more readers.

4) I've been debating the start up of a street team. What do you think? How are the teams you are on working? Do you enjoy it or is it a burden?

5) I have several series going. Eek! I'm going to try to get a story in each series out this year. I'll be wrapping up the contemporary series Far From Home.

6) And who knows? I may even write some paranormal or young adult under a pen name. Should be an interesting year. Hope you'll come along.