Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Evolution of a Book


Hi, everyone! I want to thank Lynn for having here at her blog today. I’m excited to talk about my latest release, One Knight Only.

Here’s the blurb for the book:
A snarky Faery princess, a Scottish knight with a gambling problem, and a murderous earl all add up to one thing: Trouble. Maggie’s medieval education never prepared her for life in the Middle Ages!
Do-gooder Maggie Chase throws her thesis out the window when she wakes up in the arms of a hot Scottish knight. When she realizes she’s somehow ended up back in time, she embraces the persona of Lady Margaret. But she may be in over her head when she realizes she has to keep the sexy knight alive during a jousting tournament in order to get back to her own time.
Sir Finian “Finn” McCullough is a gambling man and owes a very large debt to an evil earl who is after his family estate. When the beautiful and outgoing Maggie arrives in his bed, he can’t remember tupping her the night before and thinks she’s a spy for one of his neighboring clans. He intends to find her kinsman and return her safely but he can’t resist her charms, her smart mouth or her sex appeal. Instead he keeps her close, taking her with him to an important jousting tournament—one he has to win or lose his castle forever.
This book was actually very different when I first started writing it way back in 2005 before I was published. My heroine’s name was Grace, she had brother named Lars, Elyne was nothing more than a handmaiden, and the hero was Sir Drake. The evil Earl of Litonshire was still evil, though, in that draft. *grin* Originally, the story was going to be a straight historical. But I had a problem – my heroine tended to sound modern. And I had problems with the historical set up. It just didn’t work. So I stopped writing. I moved on to some other projects that landed me a couple of contracts with Samhain and then Cobblestone Press. But I never forgot about this book. It had always been in the back of my mind.
I fiddled with it in 2008. I rewrote the beginning. My heroine became Maggie Grace from present day, the hero became a hot Scottish knight, Finian “Finn” McCullough and Elyne became a snotty faery princess. 
And then I got sidetracked with finishing some other projects. I didn’t get back to it again until late 2010/early 2011. I read through the beginning and decided it was pretty darn good. I tweaked the first chapter (which was originally a prologue). And read the first 90 pages I’d written. Yeah, 90 pages. You’d think I could finish something getting that far into it. I liked the way it was going, though. My heroine had gone back in time to the Middle Ages, waking up in bed with Sir Finian. Who wouldn’t want to wake up next to a Scottish knight? 
The story remained mostly the same. It still had the historical elements I wanted, which was a setting during a jousting tournament. Sir Drake became a minor character, I added another a fae character, Sir Derron, plus some other minor characters. But that evil earl remained the same. ;) 
I pushed myself to finish the story by late January, got it out to critique partners and then had a final draft ready for submitting by March. Then I waited. And waited. And waited for responses from my submissions that were out. It was ultimately rejected and then my friend suggested I send it to her editor at Ellora’s Cave. I figured it couldn’t hurt and submitted. I had a contract within a week. So it was really exciting to sign that contract, do the edits and get it back to the editor. 
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did writing it.
One Knight Only is available from Ellora’s Cave Blush line and released September 29.
Michelle Miles writes contemporary, fantasy and paranormal romance. She believes in knights in shining armor and HEAs. For more information about her and her books, visit her website at http://www.michellemiles.net where you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter, The Monthly Grind. You can also follower her at Twitter, @MichelleMiles, and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MichelleMilesRomance.

ONE KNIGHT ONLY – Excerpt

By Michelle Miles 

“This is a dream,” she said aloud.
It had to be, right? It wasn’t real. Because it was the only explanation her tired mind would accept. Maggie slid to the edge of the bed, her bare feet hitting the cold floor and sending a shiver up her spine. Glancing down, she wore the underwear she had changed into last night—her lacy black bra and matching panties. But where were the rest of her clothes? Her suitcase? How in the hell did she get in this bed?
Staring into the fire, she mentally retraced her steps. The car breaking down, walking in the rain, getting soaked to the bone. And then the castle on the hilltop that was there and then wasn’t there. Yes, the castle. She glanced around. Was she still in that castle now? This one was fully furnished, it seemed. Whereas the one she ended up at last night was empty. And cold. And dark.
Maybe someone found her sleeping on the floor? She’d been so tired she didn’t notice when that someone had lifted her and brought her back to a warm bed. And any minute now that someone would bring her a steaming mug of coffee.
A groan behind her made her spin around, grabbing the linen and holding it to her bosom. On the bed, a dark-haired man she had never seen before rolled onto his back. He was shirtless, showing off every ripple of muscle and fantastic pectorals, the likes of which she had never seen in her life. Smooth, hairless skin with tremendous biceps and a narrow waist disappearing into the bedding that made her imagination run away with hot fantasies.
“Ooohhhh,” she breathed.
Who was this man? More importantly, where the bloody hell was she?
A soft snore escaped him and Maggie couldn’t stop staring at that beautiful chest rising and falling with every breath. His long dark hair spilled around him. And his face…
“Wow.”
The word slipped out before she could stop it. His chiseled face hosted a strong square chin with a tiny indention in the center covered with a day’s growth of beard, a perfect nose, pronounced cheekbones, dark eyebrows. She propped a knee on the mattress, scooting closer to lean over him for a better look, amazed at how powerful his face appeared. Fierce. A man not to be trifled with. A man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to get it.
Maggie cocked her head to the side, enjoying her view, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. For a moment, she had forgotten the fact she was in a strange place. Her long, auburn locks cascaded over her shoulder and brushed against him. The baby-fine strands must have tickled his skin, for his eyes popped open and stared back at her.
Gorgeous silvery eyes met hers and she blinked and pulled back.
But he was faster than she. He grasped her by her upper arms and dragged her to him, placing her on his lap as his large, powerful hands gripped her hips. Maggie was completely aware of all of him now. A hot fantasy splashed through her mind as she shifted on top of him. What was under the linen was apparent between her legs. Every last inch of him. Her hands landed on his chest, her senses delighting in the warm, soft skin beneath her palms.
His gaze lingered on her face a moment before gliding down, pausing on her lace-covered breasts and then continuing his downward jaunt. He fingered the waistband of her panties, running the pad of his forefinger over first one hipbone then her abdomen and back again.
The small movement sent white-hot heat shooting through her, awaking parts of her that weren’t used to being on alert so early in the morning. Especially without a cup of coffee.
His hands moved up her sides then, desire evident in those depthless silver eyes…and the appendage on which she happened to be sitting.
“Now, lass, you best be telling me who you are and why you’re in my bed. Not that I mind, but I canna recall tupping you last eve and I always remember bonnie lasses I tup.”
His deep-timbre brogue purred the words and sent a delicious rumble right through her. She resisted the urge to shudder. She loved sex-with-stranger dreams and this one was starting off with a bang.
The only thing she did know was that she was in a strange place with a very sexy man beneath her hands, straddling his lap with nothing but a breath of linen and cotton between them. It wouldn’t take much for her to remove that material and get exactly what she was feeling.
But she wasn’t the kind of girl to have sex with a stranger, was she?
I could be.
Besides, this was just a dream. She would wake up any minute in the cold, deserted castle all alone. And then she would be faced with the problem of how to get herself back to civilization. In the meantime, she could do anything she wanted in her dream. Couldn’t she?
“I certainly don’t mind being in your bed,” she told him. He really was quite delicious. She ran her hands along the smooth skin of his chest and leaned toward him.
He grasped her wrists in iron fists and pushed her back. “You are the one trespassing.”
How in the world could he have the nerve to look angry at her? Maggie wrenched her wrists free and sat up, crossing her arms over her chest. She could play that game too. She was good at it. Sitting on his lap, she thought, gave her a position of being in control. She glared down at him, though even she had to admit it was hard to glare at a man that looked as good as he did.
“Maybe you should tell me who you are, then?” she demanded.
The burly man gripped her hips and flipped her onto her back in one swift movement. Suddenly her position of control and power was removed as he hovered over her, pinning her against the mattress. His brawny weight pressed into her. With one hand on his shoulder, Maggie tried to push him away but he quickly captured her wrist in his big hand and held her arm above her head, thereby removing any chance she could wiggle free.
“You best not play games with me, lassie.”

4 comments:

wlynnchantale said...

Hi Michelle. First off welcome, enjoy the buffet prepared by Chef. He loves showing off his culinary skills. Then there's the open bar with my personal fave of hot chocolate.

I am so with you on taking apart a manuscript and it morphs into something totally different. Doing that right now. lol. One Knight Only is on my list and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Congratulations and here's to many sales!

Michelle Miles said...

Thanks for having me here today! I love hot chocolate ;) YUM!

It was a fun book to write. I forgot about all the "rules" and just wrote what I wanted and had a blast doing it. I think that's what it's all about - loving what you do.

I hope you enjoy reading ONE NIGHT ONLY! :)

Bailey Stewart said...

Another great excerpt!! I'm so glad you went back to this book and finished it ..

Michelle Miles said...

LOL Bailey - I'm so glad you love it the way you do! :)