Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating Strong Women in History and Details of a Massive Giveaway: Michelle Styles

In the aftermath of the US Presidential election, I returned a manuscript I’d abandoned earlier in the year, partly because I knew my heroine needed to be a proper warrior and I wasn’t sure how she’d be received. Suddenly,  the way forward became clear and I was able to write the strong woman protagonist that I had envisioned. It also enabled me to focus my annoyance at male entitlement behaviour and use it in a constructive fashion. Some of the writing process for me is utilizing my emotions in a positive fashion.
Do not let anyone fool you, women have always been strong. And history is littered with examples of  women who broke the mould if you look beyond the brief outlines. For example, one of Xerxes’s main naval commanders was a woman – Artemisia of Caria. He revered her advice above his other naval commanders and when she said to attack the Greeks at the battle of Salamis, he did. Or  Septima Zenobia who fought the late Roman Empire. Or St Bathilde who rose from being a slave to ruling the Merovingian Empire and who instituted the first laws against slavery in the 7th century. To name but three. They tend to be overlooked, just as the women who ran banks and had licenses to print money during the Regency period are overlooked and brushed under the carpet. As an aside, I still see no reason (except for a male self-publicist’s word) why the Lady Patronesses who had access to  bank records, foreign courts etc would need to hang on Beau Brummell’s words about who to admit.
Within the Viking sagas, there are the Valkyries, long held to be a myth because no solo grave was ever found which contained both women’s implements and weapons. However, DNA testing recently turned this on its head when it proved a number of male warriors were in fact female. It had merely been male prejudice that had them wrongly attributed.
When it came to revisions, my editor gently pointed out that I had bottled showing the villain getting his just desserts. I had to agree. In discussions with my daughter, I realised that my heroine had to act. It was a case of an editor’s eyes really opening up mine to the possibilities. I do think The Warrior’s Viking Bride is one of the best books I have written thus far.
The reviews I have received  for The Warrior’s Viking Bride have confirmed my view.  4 stars from the RT. No one does Vikings better than Michelle Styles. The Warrior’s Viking Bride is a passionate romance between a Shield Maiden and a Gael warrior, who find love amid danger and betrayal. Styles’ attention to detail will captivate readers, as will her powerful characters and elaborate plots.
  And a lovely one from Chicks, Rogues and Scandals.Ms Styles has created an original and I found it to be a very moving story about moving on, and second chances. The storyline is a wonderful blend of romance and action with that seductive and mysterious quality that you only get from the Medieval era. I think Ms Styles has got Aeden and Dagmar spot on, they are both highly charged individuals who need the other in each of their lives.
This is so good, I cannot recommend it more. 


I have teamed up with Book Sweeps and 41 other authors to create a lavish giveaway which includes my latest The Warrior’s Viking Bride as well as a chance to win a new e-reader. The giveaway ends on 19 February and is very easy to enter.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romances generally featuring strong heroines. Her latest The Warrior's Viking Bride is published on 22 Feb (in case you haven't guessed) You can learn more about Michelle and her books on 

No comments: