Saturday, July 06, 2013

40 for 40 - Michelle Styles

It's  a real thrill for me when I think back to times I  spent on the forum  boards at eHarlequin  and talked about writing or gave advice to people who wanted to learn their craft - and then I look at them today and see that they are now established published authors, with a record of books behind them. Michelle Styles is one of these.  I met her on line, then through the Romantic Novelists' Association - and then, happily, through her well-earned place amongst the Mills & Boon novelists writing for the Historical line. 

The other thing I'm really  happy about knowing Michelle for (apart from enjoying her company and  her books!) is that way back, before she was ever published, she was given the warning  that M&B would never buy a book set in the period of Ancient Rome.   I remember how I refuted that - and said they would buy it if it was well  enough  written. So I was delighted when Michelle proved me right with her very first book - The Gladiator's Honour.  Since then she's written more Romans, books set in the Regency and Victorian times - and of course her 3 linked Viking stories.

So - here's Michelle

I am absolutely delighted to be taking in part in Kate Walker’s 40 Blogs for  her fortieth. Kate and her husband are totally lovely. I have so much respect for them and am pleased to call them friends.

Anyway – a bit of wedding wisdom which was handed down to me before I married was that I should expect one bad thing to happen at the wedding. Something that even the most organised bride can not plan for.

Twenty-five years ago last 18th of June, I thought I had conquered this curse when it turned out my bridal gown was not ready as promised. Luckily, the dry cleaners’ apologised, found the dress and did get it ready. So I was feeling rather smug the morning of my wedding.

I  worried that I had gained weight from when I bought the dress in a sale earlier that year. I did my corset up another notch – going for the Scarlet O’Hara approach and the dress fastened. I was rather nervous but did have a blueberry muffin and some champagne that my brother brought to my mom’s house. The day was very hot. In fact the hottest day in the San Francisco Bay Area for a hundred years.  In fact they had to move the reception indoors to the church hall rather than having it in the courtyard because the wedding cake which was covered in white chocolate started to melt.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I fainted at my wedding. I said I do and I went down in a crumpled heap. My husband caught me and prevent me from hitting my head. But it was a dead faint. Everything went black.

My father who knew where the smelling salts were kept acted and waved them under my nose.  There had been some discussion apparently about the need for such things as the priest in his long experience had never had a fainting bride.

Smelling salts revive but they also make my stomach revolt. My husband was brilliant (once again)
and captured the vomit in his sleeve so nothing went on my gown.

I then stood up and we finished the ceremony. We processed to the sound of  clapping. My husband later made a speech that he had  rather anticipated the in health part lasting longer. He also made mentioned of the fact that the day was the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

So this was my one bad thing that happened at the wedding.  And the thing is about bad things happening, they provide stories for later years. A perfect wedding without a hitch would not be memorable in my humble opinion but maybe that is because I like stories.

As my recent book Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her  Match opens on the evening of 18 June 1816,

To win a signed copy of the book, email  the answer to the following question – which battle took place on 18 June 1815?  I will pick a winner two days after this blog appears.

You can buy a print copy of Hattie from the Book Depository  or an ebook wherever  ebooks are sold.

My next book is Paying the Viking’s Price and that is published in November 2013.

My website is where you can learn more about me and my books.

PS from Kate - To be in with a chance to win Michelle's book please email her with your answer at the address she gives.  Don't leave your answer in the comments or you'll give the answer away to everyone!

But please - if you have a story to tell about your own wedding - fainting brides or anything, do share!


Mary Preston said...

I'm actually rather chuffed that I knew this. A fascinating period in history.

Aurian said...

Happy Anniversary Kate! I already have read Michelle's book, and it is a good one, so I hope the winner will enjoy it as well.

Kate Hardy said...

I still think this is one of the most awesome wedding stories ever - saying 'I do' and fainting! But happy silver wedding anniversary to you, and happy 40th to Kate and Steve. (And I'm with Aurian. Hattie is EXCELLENT.)

Laney4 said...

Congrats to Kate re 40th and congrats to Michelle re 25th! ANY anniversary is a good one! (Ours is 32 next week.)

What can go wrong? Hmmm. They left a parking spot close to the church for my dad/me, but Dad didn't realize it and parked WAY far away instead. Oh well; exercise is a good thing.

We followed "wedding etiquette" books re who does what speeches when. Imagine my surprise when after the speeches were done, the MC (our best man) said the bride was going to get up and say a few words too! (Apparently he didn't read those books, LOL!) I managed to stand up (somewhat bewildered) and thanked friends and family from coming so far to join in our celebration (especially my sister and her husband coming over 2000 miles). I'm sure my face was red and I stuttered a bit, as public speaking was not my thing at 22 years of age. Mind you, at 54 now, I have gotten used to it (pretty well).

Yes, "bad things" make for great stories. Through the years, my husband has relished in telling how the first time I made him butter tarts, he had to ask for a spoon - as I forgot the tart shells! There are numerous "helping someone move" stories, complete with gouging walls, dropping on stairways, and things flying off the trailer on an open highway - and yet they still call my husband to help them move the next time, LOL! (Seriously, though, the above "accidents" were not his fault, thankfully, and by telling people those stories in advance, it hopefully prevents those people from experiencing the same "accidents".)

Anne McAllister said...

Loved your story, Michelle! You put your husband to the test right way, didn't you? And it seems he came through with flying colors.

Nothing so dramatic happened at ours. It was a small wedding, held in a store-front Catholic Church, the year before the 'real' church was built, so not exactly pomp and circumstance. But when I went to wend my way through the folding chairs, we discovered that the flowers (aka my bouquet) had not arrived. A call to the florist netted apologies and, gee, the driver was somewhere. I found a feather duster and we took a picture of me with that right before I began the 'march.' Then all of a sudden, there was a flurry of activity outside the door, a very dismayed driver apologized for being lost because he was 'looking for a church' (I sympathized with him!), and I had my bouquet. The feather dust was lime green. The bouquet was daisies and assorted other flowers. Nicer by far. But the feather duster would have made for interesting photos! That will be 46 years ago next month. My, time flies!

Caroline said...

Hi Michelle (fan girl wave). Wow what an amazing day you had on your wedding day. I can't top that I'm afraid. Your husband was such a gentleman. Kate's bio of you is lovely. I still have my copy of your debut hmb - very much thumbed of course! As you know I love your books but my heart always love your 'romans'. Caroline x

Michelle Styles said...

It is so lovely to see people here!
And I'm blushing from Kate Walker's intro.
Laney4 That is great story.
And Anne LOL on the feather duster!

Caroline I postively MUST get up the excerpt from Paying the Viking's Price this week.

Chastity said...

This is gorgeous!


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