Tuesday, June 03, 2008

About Michelle Styles and her Favorite Research Books

"Although I was born and raised near San Francisco, California, USA, I have lived in Britain since 1988 when I married.

"The deal was if he passed his Bar exams, I would quit my job in insurance, and go to Northumberland, see how I liked it for a year and then we would decide where our future together would be. We spent our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies discussing how and why if he were an examiner, my husband would surely have failed. He flew back to the UK and arrived the morning the results were printed in The Times. The first time through, he missed his name but then saw it -- the examiners had not followed his fears, but had passed with him with a high mark. My hand trembled as I hung up the phone. It had come to pass. I was about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

"I gave my notice to my manager who was sorry to lose me, made arrangements for furniture to be sent across the Atlantic and started reading Catherine Cookson novels to get a flavour of the area. For although I spent my junior year of college at Lancaster University, I had not bothered to travel to the North East.

"After reading about ten novels and Catherine Cookson’s autobiography, I thought -- oh no what have I done here and rapidly checked with my manager I could return to my job if things did not work out. I need not have worried. Northumberland is beautiful, truly a forgotten corner of the British Isles with green fields, stone buildings and a landscape littered with castles, and Roman remains. I fell in love with the North East, and in particular with the Tyne Valley. So after, all this time, with three children, two dogs, two cats, and assort of chickens and ducks, I believe we are settled."

A Viking raid
They claimed they came in peace, but soon Lindisfarne was aflame. Annis of Birdoswald fled in fear, but she could not escape the Norse warriors.

An honorable captor
One man protected her—Haakon Haroldson. The dark, arrogant Viking swept Annis back to his homeland, taking her away from all she held dear.

A new life—as his mistress!
Now Annis must choose between the lowly work that befits a captive, or a life of sinful pleasure in the Viking's arms!

Michelle Recommends:
Making a Meal of It -- two thousand years of English Cookery English Heristage
Consuming passions -- Judith Flanders
The Victorian House -- Juidth Flanders
Behind the Scenes Domestic Arrangements in Historic House by Christina Hardyment
Decency & Disorder --The Age of Cant -- Ben Wilson
Life in London by Pierre Egan
The Industrial Revolutionaires -- Gavin Weightman
Dancing into Battle --A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo -- Nick Foulkes

For Vikings:
Women in the Viking Age -- Judith Jesch
Queen Emma and the Vikings -- Harriet OBrien
TheVikings Magnus Magnusson
The Vikings Else Rosedahl
In Search of the Dark Ages Micheal Wood

For Rome:
Rubicon --Tom Holland
In the Name of Rome: The Men who won the Roman Empire -- Adrian Goldsworthy
Roman Cookery --MarkGrant
Cambridge Illustrated History:Roman World

Michelle will give away one copy of a reader's choice from her books to one person who posts a comment today! She's a sweetheart, isn't she?


  1. Sounds like you have lived quite an adventure so far.

  2. Hi Michelle. I admire your courage. I would have been scared witless to move to another country. Northumberland sounds lovely.

  3. Michelle I love your books and look forward to the new ones.
    All the best

  4. Oh, I'm looking forward to reading TAKEN BY THE VIKING!

  5. Hi Michelle! (that's my very best friend's name as well!!) I too admire your courage! It took a good bit of nerve for me to move to AL to SC (I have NO family here)!! LOL

    I cant imagine moving like you did!

    Your new book sounds like alot of fun to read!!!!

  6. Hi Michelle, What an adventurous person you are! I love trying new things, perferably with my best friend or my husband.
    Looking forward to reading about your Viking.

  7. What an adventuresome and courageous
    person you are! There is absolutely
    no way I could have done something
    like moving to another country!

    Pat Cochran

  8. Oh, Michelle, what a great post. I am a true Anglophile, I almost envy you LOL. Best wishes always...your books sound awesome.


  9. Well, I'm surely glad Cheryl "introduced" us. Just been checking out your titles and am getting ready to place an order. Hope your new one is a best seller!

  10. Oh gosh, it is so lovely to see everyone here.

    Yes, it was a bit of an adventure coming here. I think sometimes, you don't think about things and just assume that everything will be okay.

  11. Hi Michelle. Your book TAKEN BY THE VIKING soumd wonderful.

  12. Don't I have the coolest friends? Michelle is a "Hussy", which is what we Harlequin Historical authors call each other. She's a fireball when it comes to promoting us and our books, and an all around nice person to boot!

  13. How very exciting. I got to live in Mississippi for 7 months while my husband was in the service but was happy go go back to PA. I love historicals!!!

  14. Hi Michelle, I would love to read one of your books. It looks like you write historical and that is my favorite.

  15. Hi, Michelle. I just finished reading "Taken by the Viking", and I loved it! Historical romances are my favorite, and it was interesting to read this book about a different time period and group of people. I am looking forward to your next Viking book.

  16. I am a BIG historical fan and love knowing authors' backgrounds so look forward to this novel. Interesting to note Magnus Magnuson's name being so Scandanavian with repetition of first name in last name. My spouse is from near Cambridge, have visited twice and read C Cookson long ago.

    Therefore, would ENJOY extending my winning streak with one of your wonderful books!! LOL

  17. Cheryl I love the Harlequin books and your ones as well. Thanks for letting us all know about your page here, it has been fun.

  18. SmOOches to you, Penney! Come back often. We have fun chatting about all sorts of things here.

  19. Good fantasy worlds are hard to come by. This one sounds as if it might succeed.
    clynsg at yahoo.com

  20. Lucky Lou couldn't get in to post again. This is from her:

    Yes, Cheryl, you do have the coolest friends, Authors and fans!
    That's why I read your blog faithlfully and appreciate your email when I am so busy, I don't make the time for my CSJ Fix! ROFL
    Could be fighting college son for computer time even though HE has a laptop and I DON'T; UNFAIR :(

    Michelle, GREAT cover, btw! VERY
    eye-catching; think it will attract readers/enhance sales!

  21. Hi Michelle. Big fan of yours here. Can't wait to read Taken by the Viking. Great post by the way. And as the others have said HOW Brave You ARE!!!!! MOving I mean. LOL

  22. I can't wait to read your next book.

  23. I just finished this book early this AM. I was waiting for my daughter to come home from work, started it at 11:00pm. She came home shortly after, but I couldn't but it down til the last page. Thanks for a great late night read.

  24. I wish you continued good luck in the future.