Thursday 21 March 2013

Twenty Questions with... Michelle Smart AND A GIVEAWAY

I am delighted to welcome Michelle Smart onto my blog today, author of Tempted by Trouble, recently released by Entangled Publishing and going down an absolute storm with reviewers already.

Despite frequenting many of the same virtual hang-outs, I don’t really know all that much about Michelle, so I’m hoping a round of twenty questions will change that…

ACT ONE – all about you…

Michelle's love affair with books began as a baby when, according to her mum, she would throw her teddies out of the cot and cuddle with books instead. This love of all things wordy has never left her. A voracious reader, her tastes cross all genres. Her first experience with romance was as a child devouring copious amount of fairy tales. As her reading tastes evolved, she discovered something special--a book has the capacity to make her heart beat as if falling in love the first time.

When not reading or pretending to do the housework, Michelle loves nothing more than creating worlds of her own featuring handsome heroes and the sparkly, feisty women who refuse to take crap from them. She hopes her books can make her readers’ hearts beat a little faster, too.

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve always created my own stories since I was a little girl, often dreaming up whole stories in my head (with me as the heroine, natch) when I was supposed to be sleeping. I never dreamt I would grow up to be a writer though, but writing has always come as naturally to me as sleeping, eating and reading. It’s one of life’s essentials!

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Yep – I sit at the laptop, procrastinate for an hour and then start writing. Err, that’s about it. I don’t sit down and plan a book. I remember my English teacher making us do that at school, and by the time we were allowed to actually sit down and write the thing, I’d be bored out of my tiny little mind with it. All I know before I start writing is who my characters are (I can spend hours in bed dreaming them up instead of sleeping) and what their conflict is. Everything else is kind of murky.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Stephen King and Jilly Cooper. Stephen King because his books are so full of character and heart (even if on occasion they scare the knickers off me) – the man is a genius, and Jilly Cooper because her books are such fun to read. Their books may be completely divergent but they both sucker me in. I am also a huge fan of the Harlequin Mills & Boon author Sarah Morgan – she can make any tried and trusted trope appear as fresh as a new born baby.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

My Dad has many, many sayings, but my favourite is ‘when one door closes, another slams in your face’! Forgetting the door slamming in face bit, I honestly believe that to get anywhere in this writing malarkey, you have to be stubborn and show perseverance. Just because a door closes does not mean it’s locked forever – I’m living proof of that.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I love to paint portraits, I always have music on, and I can spend an hour every evening reading in the bath.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My laptop, definitely. Then my books (I’m going to lump them together as one item!), my radio, my bubble bath and my mascara.

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

Scroll down for excerpt
Socialite Pippa Rowantree has always provided excellent fodder for the UK’s gossip rags. After another unfortunate scandal sends the gossips into a feeding frenzy, her shamed family retaliates by forcing her into hiding at old family friend, Marco Capello’s lush Caribbean estate—literally the last place on earth she wants to be.
As far as Marco’s concerned, wild child Pippa has ruined his life once and he’ll be damned if he lets her do it again. But it’s hard to reconcile the adolescent he knew with the mature, beautiful woman who stands before him. Soon he's questioning if everything the media is claiming about Pippa is the truth, or if he should trust his heart.

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Tempted by Trouble, what was your inspiration for writing Pippa and Marco’s story?

The initial inspiration came from the tabloids and gossip magazines. At the time there was a small gang of young, female celebrities being photographed on a regular basis, often knickerless, drunk and behaving outrageously. I kept imagining what they would be like in five, ten years’ time and wondering if they would have changed. I also wondered whether other people’s perception of them would change too, or of they would only be remembered for their past antics. And so Pippa came into being – Pippa was that wild-child, but now she’s all grown up with a past that refuses to set her free.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

On the whole, it flowed for me (but occasionally hit a dam!).

9) I see Tempted by Trouble is your debut, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

Erm, if I’m remembering rightly, it took about two months from when I first put fingers to keypad to when I submitted the partial.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
“I’m sorry your ego demands that every woman you bonk immediately starts planning white dresses and babies, but I am not one of them.”
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Tempted by Trouble, to make us rush out and buy it?

Tempted by Trouble is about love, hate and redemption. It’s about two people who care desperately for each other but are terrified of falling in love; Pippa because Marco rejected her once before and it almost destroyed her. Marco despises the attraction he has for her, holding Pippa responsible for his own life almost being destroyed seven years ago.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

My debut Harlequin Presents / Mills & Boon Modern, The Rings That Bind, which should be released on the 23rd July, which I am very excited about. Currently I am working on revisions for my second Presents, which should be releases early in 2014.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser – I can’t plot to save my life!

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Ooo – I think I must have read every Secret Seven and Famous Five book a dozen times. I know it’s not one of the options, but my favourite Enid Blyton series was The Five Findouters (and dog). If I have to choose between the two choices you gave me, it would have to be the Famous Five, with the caveat that I always wanted to punch Julian in the face for being such a sexist pig!

15) Digital books or print books?


16) Tea or coffee?

Tea (but I adore freshly brewed coffee).

17) Cats or dogs?


18) Extrovert or introvert?

I wish I could say I was the shy, retiring type, but that would be a big fat lie. I’m definitely an extrovert.

19) Save or spend?

Alas, I’m a spender.

20) Facebook or Twitter?

I use both but I’m definitely a Twitter Girl.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Michelle, I wish you every success with your new release.

As a sucker for the Caribbean, and desperate for my fourth trip, I will have to make do with living vicariously through others for the moment, so have already added Tempted by Trouble to my TBR shelf.

To discover even more about Michelle, and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads


One lucky winner can walk away with a copy of Tempted by Trouble, just leave a comment below to enter. The giveaway will close in a week's time, with the winner announced March 28th.

And there's MORE!

As part of Michelle's blog tour, there is also a $30 gift card up for grabs, with the winner getting to choose from Amazon, Amazon U.K., Barnes and Noble or Book Depository. The giveaway will be given at the end of the tour to one international winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


When no answer was forthcoming she turned her head, half-expecting him to have gone, but no. There he still stood, dressed for the office, his eyes narrowed, staring not at her but at the sheets of music.

“Did you write this?” he asked, his tone accusatory.

“No. I stole it from Mahatma Gandhi.”

His eyes flashed a warning. “Is this the piece you were playing yesterday when I got home?”

“Do you mean when you returned home yesterday and screwed me over this piano? Is that the piece you’re talking about?”

To witness his face harden gave her enormous satisfaction.

“I did not ‘screw you,’ ” he refuted grimly. “We made love. There is a difference.”

She shrugged. “You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to. It’s the same difference. Anyway, we’re going off on a tangent. I assume you want something. You’ve already had your wicked way with me and declined a second helping, so I assume it must be about something else.”

“You’re upset,” he said, exhaling through his flared nostrils.

Well spotted, Einstein. “Not at all,” she lied airily. “You must be confusing me with someone who gives a shit—now what can I do for you?”

This time he made no effort to hide his anger, the fury on his face clear, and she sucked it in, revelled in it. Let him hurt. Let him experience a fraction of the pain he had put her through.

Buy it now…

ISBN-13: 9781622660544
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 3/11/2013


  1. Excellent interview. I love it that some one else remembers the Findouters too!

    1. I should probably confess that I never particularly got on with the Famous Five or Secret Seven books, but adored the Secret Series, especially the Secret of Spiggy Holes, and they were always eating macaroons yet I didn't have a clue what one was LOL

    2. Yay to the Findouters! We are a rare breed. Were the Secret Series by Enid Blyton? I don't remember those. I do, however, remember discovering my local shop sold ginger beer and getting my mum to buy me a can so I could drink lashings of it. It was gross!

    3. Oh yes, some of my favourite Enid Blyton books! I used to try and write stories when I was little, but they all turned into Secret Series copies LOL

  2. Great interview ladies. Michelle, Tempted by Trouble sounds brilliant. All the best with its release. x

  3. Great interview y'all!!! Michelle, Congrats on your recent release :) Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Ah, yes. FIVE ON A SECRET TRAIL - the very best of all the Five books. Timmy has a horrible cut on his neck and has to wear a "cone of shame" which he loathes - and George hates the way people keep laughing at him, so she takes him away to a secret hideaway.....

    Gosh, I read this years ago and yet the story is as fresh and vivid in my mind as if it was yesterday! And that's the secret of good writing, no matter how many people like to scoff at Enid Blyton.

    Great blog and great interview - I look forward to seeing your Presents release, Michelle.

  5. Fabulous! Sharon, I've spent years looking forward to all your Presents releases!

    My favourite was Five Go Off in a Caravan. How I wanted to go with them and stumble upon my own circus family, but alas, my parents weren't happy with the idea of me going off in a horse-led caravan with four other children and a dog.

    It's amazing how they stay with us though - with the Five Findouters, I remember one where they go into Fatty's house and they all sniff, and little Bet yells out 'Liver and onion!'. Even now, I always associate liver and onion with the Five Findouters!

  6. A nice get to you know you MIchelle and Aurelia... enjoyed it!

    Have a good one, cheeries


  7. Hi Aurelia, Hi Michelle. Great interview. Michelle, I agree with you about the Jilly Cooper book - they are wonderful.

    1. Thank's Maria! Out of all the Jilly Cooper books, Rivals is my favourite. Love it!

  8. Very nice interview


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