Monday, October 15, 2012

All the fun of the fair plus giveaway by Michelle Styles

My latest book Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match originated in part because I happened to read about the Stagshaw Bank Fair. In its time, the Stagshaw Bank Fair was the largest one day fair in England and it was always held on the 4th of July. It was included a huge stock sale as well as various traders brought their goods from around England to sell to the local populace. The Stagshaw Bank Fair is has also been immortalised in several folk tunes. This is one rendition done with the Northumbrian (as opposed to the Scottish) bagpipes.

Fairs and their possibilities always intrigue me. When I was a young girl we used to go to the Calavaras County Jumping Frog contest. I also super enjoyed Charlotte's Web which has its climax  at the fair. But there are not so many fairs in historical romance these days, even though the fair or show was a large part of rural life.
Fairs could be happy and joyous times but they could also be fraught with danger. I clearly remember driving through Angel's Camp, the day before the Jumping Frog contest started and seeing all the policemen on the rooftops. We had not realised until we got to the fair but the fair had become a huge gathering point for the Hell's Angels and other motorcyclists. My father was friendly with the sheriff who said that year, they ended up using every spare cell, including the black as night one from the 1850s where the outlaw Black Bart had ended up.
The Stagshaw Bank shortly before the Regency period was notorious for people snatching and press gangs preying on the farmhands and the like. Apparently, many of them were snatched and sent to work on the sugar plantation in the West Indies. Unfortunately, I could not find out enough information to write a credible story and it is not my time period but the story intrigued me.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match. The back cover reads:


In the eyes of the ton Hattie Wilkinson is a respectable widow, content with her safe, if somewhat modest life.

On the other hand Sir Christopher Foxton prides himself on being regarded as one of London’s most notorious rakes, with a particularly mischievous streak!

Upon their first meeting Kit threatens to shatter Hattie’s well-ordered peace—and her reputation!—if only she’ll allow herself to succumb to his playful advances. This time they’ve both finally met their match…

Set in June/July 1816 Tyne Valley
You can read an excerpt here.

UPDATE on Totebags Giveaway: Barbara was the first name out of the hat this morning so she wins a signed copy of Hattie.

You can also enter the giveaway I'm doing with Good Reads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match by Michelle Styles

Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match

by Michelle Styles

Giveaway ends November 01, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide variety of time periods. her latest Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match will be published 1 November in both the US and the UK. She is currently working on her next Viking.You can learn more about Michelle's books at


Karen H in NC said...

Thanks for the interesting video and blog. I'm looking forward to reading your latest book. Hope I win a copy...thanks for the giveaway.

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the opportunities to win!

Lory Lee said...

Excited! :D

Mary Preston said...

"Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match" looks wonderful. Fingers crossed.

Michelle Styles said...

YOu are all very welcome.I am pleased you found the blog interesting

Eli Yanti said...

already enter the giveaway, hope can win :)

Carol L. said...

I really enjoyed reading your post Michelle. I loved the theme of your book and can't wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com