Thursday, March 15, 2018

Michelle Styles: Roman gladiators, highlanders and Vikings Oh My!

One of the great things about being part of the Harlequin Historical authors is that I am part  of a sisterhood who are passionate about writing historical romance, and history in general. I have been part of this particular sisterhood since 2005 and sometimes forget that when others join, they might have read my books. Earlier this year, I realised a newish author, Greta Gilbert had written a Harlequin Historical set in Ancient Rome. I wanted to read it so contacted her, expecting to have to explain who I was etc etc. To my surprise and delight she had read some of my books and graciously allowed me to read her latest (it is absolutely cracking). She also agreed to do a short blog for Tote Bags so you all could get to know her better:

When I was asked to tell my call story for Tote Bags, I immediately thought back to my twenties and the release of the movie Gladiator. I was an unpublished fictionista then, and I remember thinking that it was one of the best-written movies I had ever seen. Maximus (played by Russell Crowe) was the honorable (and rather hunky) general-turned-gladiator whose story was both plausible and incredibly poetic. The moment he touched his fingers to the sands, he had my heart.

Rejection letters piled up through my thirties, and by my forties I had mostly given up writing fiction and was working at an education publisher. A coworker told me that Harlequin was accepting unsolicited submissions for its Historical Undone! series, so I summoned my inner Maximus and wrote a gladiator story. When I got the call that my manuscript had been accepted, I could hardly believe my ears. I suppose I felt a bit like Maximus after he survived the Carthaginian horde. I still can hardly believe it.

Michelle Styles, friend and author of some truly epic Roman romances, says interest in ancient Rome is due for a resurgence. I hope she is right. With its greed, brutality, pluralism, inequality, and globalism, ancient Rome seems to me like a parallel universe to our own--and one capable of producing great heroes.

And though Russell Crowe’s beard is now more grey than brown, he will always be the honorable young gladiator who inspired me and stole my heart. (Russell, if you’re reading this, call me! ; )
To whet your appetite for this great book 
Cleopatra’s slave girl…
And an enemy Roman soldier…

Egyptian slave Wen-Nefer is wary of all men. But she can’t help but be captivated by handsome Titus, advisor to Julius Caesar―even though he is commanding, and intolerant of bold women like her. Their affair is as all-consuming as it is forbidden. But is he a man who will go to any lengths to love her despite their boundaries…or a sworn enemy she must never trust?

You can read the first chapter for free.

In Other News:

Make a Date with Harlequin is back. 
This time they have a date with a Highlander doing karoke.
They have also done several print ads with Woman’s World. The March 19 2018 edition features a Viking and my latest book. I didn’t know it was there until Denise Lynn, another Harlequin Historical author, alerted me.
What will be next year ? A Date with a Roman Gladiator?

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romances for Harlequin Historical in a wide range of time periods including Vikings and Romans. Her latest The Warrior’s Viking Bride is out now. You can learn more about  Michelle and her books on

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

love the Harlequin videos.

Congratulations for being in the print ad.