Monday, July 11, 2016

[Author Interview]: Jess Michaels!


Jess Michaels always likes the "good parts" when she reads romance, so it makes sense that she writes erotic books. She is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of over 50 novels and novellas. When not writing, she enjoys being a geek and trying to keep the cat from scratching the furniture. She lives in Tucson with her husband.

Find her online at, on twitter (@jessmichaelsbks) or on facebook (JessMichaelsBks)

Jess Michaels is a pseudonym for author Jesse Petersen (urban fantasy).

Where to Find Jess:

TheBookQueen: Hi Jess! Let’s start out with something simple: tell us a little bit about yourself, and what made you decide to start writing. 

Jess: Hi I’m Jess Michaels and I write erotic historical romance set in the Regency era. I’ve always loved writing and wrote stories from the time I was very little. I got into romance novels very late in life and fell in love with both writing and reading them at about the same time. It took me 5 years of writing full time before my first book came out from Avon/HarperCollins in 2005. Since then I’ve published 60 books under my Jess Michaels name and two others (Jenna Petersen and Jesse Petersen). I live in Tucson, AZ with my husband of almost 20 years, who retired 5 years ago at 35 in order to become my business manager (he makes this ship go). We have one cat who also thinks she runs everything. We’re actually just about to make a move to Northern Arizona so we’re in the midst of chaos with me writing and looking at houses and prepping to move. So excuse the wild look in my eyes.

TBQ: Moving is never, ever fun. *shudders* 

Your newest release, An Affair in Winter, comes out tomorrow (congrats!). Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it? 

J: Sure! An Affair in Winter is the first book in my new Seasons series, which will have four books (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn LOL). I know why I love it, so I hope it’s why readers will love it too. First, it’s a brand new series so if you’ve been wanting to read me but haven’t known where to start, this is a great beginning. Secondly, I love my hero and heroine. Gray is super, super sexy and really dark and he’s totally at odds with everything Rosalinde is trying to do. She’s smart and loving and embraces life to the fullest. When they meet, they have NO idea who the other is and fall into an unexpected and highly passionate night together. Then ooops! Turns out they’re destined to battle. So they have a great battle of wits alongside this very sexy connection. The book is dark and emotional and was a lot of fun to write. I just hope you guys love it as much as I do.

TBQ: "Dark and emotional" is catnip for so many readers (including myself!) so I have a feeling you have nothing to worry about. :)

What sets this series (Seasons) apart from other historicals out there?

J: The two things I hear over and over about my book are: 1. Unique heroines – I write really strong (but not strident or foolish) heroines. Often they’re widows or courtesans, women who’ve experienced a bit of life and know what they want and don’t want. 2. Erotic but with plot. I write really sexy books, but the erotic elements are integrated and important to the story. Ultimately the story is what matters most, so if you like sexy AND story, I might be your girl.

TBQ: Sexy AND story? Sign me up! :D

Back to An Affair in Winter. Why do Gray and Rosalinde belong together?

J: I think they’re very well matched. They’re both smart and care deeply about their siblings (sometimes to a fault). That’s what they have in common and why they “get” each other. But in some ways they’re opposites. Rosalinde lives her life wide open, she takes risks. Gray has shut himself off. In that way, she balances him out really well and makes him open up a bit. He is very pragmatic and helps balance her when she wants to lead with her heart and it isn’t the best decision. So they are complimentary to each other, but also balancing to each other. Plus they have heat off the charts. 

TBQ: In 5 words or less, describe Rosalinde for us. And let's not forget Gray—what's he like? 

J: Rosalinde is beautiful, highly intelligent, kind and open. Gray is protective, super sexy, protective, smart and did I mention protective?


Do you have a favorite part from An Affair in Winter?

J: My favorite part is probably the scene that launched the whole idea for the series. It’s the scene where Gray and Rosalinde meet at an inn when they are stranded by an unexpected (and historically true) snow storm. Their attraction is immediate, they share dinner and when a broken window damages Rosalinde’s room, everything comes to a head and they spend the night together. I loved taking that very modern idea of the semi-anonymous one night stand and putting it into a historical context. Then for them to find out they not only are not going to remain anonymous but that they’re at odds…well, it sets up so much fun for the rest of the book. 

TBQ: I’m sure all the writing keeps you busy, but what was the last book that you read and absolutely loved? Like “OMG, you all need to read this RIGHT NOW!” loved? 

J: I’ve been reading Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerds and Geeks novella series and I LOVE it. The books are: The Geek Tycoon, Tender is the Nerd and A Nerd to Remember. They’re fun and sexy and just great.

TBQ: Oooh. I have another one of hers -- The Nerd Who Loved Me -- on my Kindle. I'll have to bump it up my list. :)

We've all fallen for a hero (or two, or three, or....ahem).  Tell us one hero that you've fallen for—who is he and what drew you to him?

J: I think the first hero I really fell in love with was Simon in The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. He’s so great and so strong and then the heroine Daphne does something and the stutter he’s been controlling for years comes out. It’s heartbreaking and it stands out so strongly (as does how awesome and sexy he is).

TBQ: Oh, that's a classic, yes! 

What's next-- Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?

J: The book I just finished is the next book in the Seasons series, A Spring Deception, which features Rosalinde’s sister and the mysterious Aiden. He’s lying, she’s falling in love and it’s all going to come to a head. It comes out September 6. Then next week I’ll start writing One Summer of Surrender, the third book which features Gray’s brother Lucien and Elise, the woman who left him years ago. So there’s a lot on my plate right now and I’m thrilled about all of it.


Last book you reread? Anne of Green Gables. In truth, Gilbert Blythe was probably my first book boyfriend. 

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one? Spicy every time. 

Sexy, brawny highlander OR devilishly handsome English lord? Sexy, English lord.

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights? I live in Tucson at present, so pretty much I get hot or not quite as hot as my seasons. I love the dry, desert heat, but I am looking forward to other seasons when we move. 

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan? I’m into both but a great cover will lead me to the blurb more often than the other way. [Same!]

Quick—name the one food that you cannot live without! I am a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fan. From the fridge. Also Vanilla Coke Zero. [Niiice! I just got into Vanilla Coke Zero, actually.]

And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself: 
  • I’m a HUGE geek, love Star Wars, anime, Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who. 
  • I collect Pops. 
  • Oh and I make up songs and put my cat’s name into them.

TheBookQueen:Thanks so much for stopping by, Jess, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! 

Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :) 

Jess: So I love really dark, super sexy, conflicted heroes. They’re kind of my wheelhouse and I tend to write stories about the healing power of love. So what is YOUR favorite kind of hero?

Thank you all for having me today! And I hope you’ll enjoy Gray and Rosalinde’s story if you pick it up tomorrow! 

An Affair in Winter by Jess Michaels
Publisher: The Passionate Pen (July 12, 2016)
Series: Seasons, 1
Genre: Historical Romance

Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sister’s wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion.

Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother’s impending nuptials. He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother's intended. 

Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. Who will win? And who might lose it all?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Thanks for stopping by, Jess, I had a great time with this interview and I look forward to exploring your backlist. Because sexy + story = WIN. :)

Remember, Jess has a question for you all: 

So I love really dark, super sexy, conflicted heroes. They’re kind of my wheelhouse and I tend to write stories about the healing power of love. So what is YOUR favorite kind of hero?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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