Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interview (and GIVEAWAY) with Leigh Michaels, author of The Mistress' House

I recently read and enjoyed a new regency romance by Leigh Michaels, The Mistress' House (see my review here). I am honored today to have Leigh Michaels on my blog for an interview to answer all of my questions about the novel. Readers of this blog know that I always love a good regency romance novel!

LAG: I enjoyed the unique narrative structure of The Mistress' House. What inspired you to tell the tale of not just one couple, but several couples that get together because of a house?

LM: I hate to admit it, but this was almost an accident. When I started writing Anne and Thorne’s story, I really believed it was a short story. Then it turned into a novella, and I didn’t know quite what direction to take it until my critique partner happened to say, “Perhaps there are other stories.” That prompted me to think about what might happen to that delightful house after my first heroine didn’t need it anymore…

LAG: The Mistress' House is set during one of my favorite time periods, Regency England. Have you set any of your previous novels during this time period or was this something new for you

LM: I have always loved the Regency period and I’ve wanted to write a book set there. But my contemporary series romances kept me busy, so The Mistress’ House is the first book I’ve finished which is set in a historical period.

LAG: I see in the acknowledgments that you did a research trip in London for this novel. Do you have any exciting stories to share? Did any actual houses in London inspire The Mistress' House?
LM: I was fortunate to spend seven weeks in London a few years ago, house-sitting a flat in Maida Vale, and my husband and I walked all over London. There was a house at Number 5, Upper Seymour Street in the 1810s – the footprint and garden outline show up on old maps. Since there are no photos or drawings, I imagined the house – but it lay alongside Berkeley Mews as described in the book. It’s now the site of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and I walked by it regularly during our stay.

LAG: You are a prolific romance author. What are some of the favorite books that you have written? What is next for you?

LM: I’ve written 80 contemporary romances, and I’m now in the process of re-editing many of them for release as e-books. I’d have to say my favorites depend more on the writing process than the story – the books which went together smoothly are much higher on my fondness scale than the ones I struggled with and rewrote! – but I’m pleased to find as I re-read them now that many of the stories are still favorites.

Next up for me is another Regency. In Just One Season in London, each member of the Ryecroft family – Viscount Ryecroft, his lovely sister Sophie, and their mother – tries to provide for the others… whatever it takes! Then in November Sourcebooks will release The Wedding Affair, where a group of guests gathered at a grand country estate for a society wedding have anything but marriage on their minds. (LAG - These sound great! I can't wait to read them!)

LAG: What books/authors are on your shelf?
LM: I read a lot of general fiction and non-fiction. Right now, I’m reading Amanda Quick’s The Third Circle, a Sue Grafton mystery, Donald Harstad’s Iowa-based police procedurals, and Robert Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife. Yes, all at the same time.

Three beautifully intertwined love stories…

The rules are made to be broken…
When the handsome, rakish Earl of Hawthorne buys the charming house across the back garden from his town home, he never expects the lovely lady he installs there to ensnare him completely…

After Lady Keighley marries the earl, it seems a shame to leave the house empty, so she offers it to her childhood friend Felicity Mercer, who discovers that the earl’s gorgeous cousin is precisely the man she’s been waiting for…

and again…
Finally, feisty Georgiana Baxter moves into the house to escape an arranged marriage, and encounters the earl’s friend Major Julian Hampton late one night in the back garden. The handsome soldier is more than willing to give her the lessons she asks for…

There is plenty of gossip, scandal, and torrid speculations surrounding the “mistress’ house”, but behind closed doors, passions blaze…

Leigh Michaels is the author of 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. A 6 time RITA finalist, she has also received two Reviewer's Choice awards from Romantic Times, and was the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award. She is the author of On Writing Romance, published by Writers Digest Books. Leigh also teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Ottumwa, Iowa. For more information, please visit

Giveaway Details
Danielle of Sourcebooks has been kind enough to offer two copies of The Mistress' House by Leigh Michaels for a giveaway.If you would like to win a copy of The Mistress' House, please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the novel or this interview.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents(Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday February 18th.

Good luck!


  1. I really like the idea that the house almost sounds like a character itself in the book. I would love to read this book.

  2. I really think it's great that she started writing this book pretty much through accident...definitely interesting!


    I'll make sure to post it to twitter!

  3. I'm a big fan of regency romances, and the setting for this novel, using a house almost as a character, sounds esp. intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Debbie, KimberlySue, and Linda -- Thank you for stopping by!

    Yes, the house does become almost a character in the story -- in fact, the third time that a love affair becomes a Love Affair, one of the gentlemen says, "It's this house! It makes people do strange things as soon as they take up residence -- or take up with the resident!"

    I loved winding the continuing characters -- the house, Perkins (the Earl of Hawthorne's man of business) and Lady Stone (the elderly gossip) through all the stories. In fact, Lady Stone reappears in the two books coming later this year...

    All my best,

  5. Sounds like a good romantic read.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  6. The author has written almost 100 books and I haven't read any of them yet... I better change that. =)
    tiredwkids at live dot com

  7. Shannon, always happy to have a new reader! :)

  8. Hi There!
    I'd love to enter this contest. The thing that stands out the most to me is that she has written over 100 books. I've read several, but I had no idea there were so many I haven't read :)

    sugarbeatbc AT gmail DOT com

  9. I like historical romances with interconnected stories like this and also love discovering authors like Leigh who are new to me!


  10. Please enter me! I want to readt this because I like that the story involves several couples, not just the main one.

    I blogged here,
    niteofblu at gmail dot com