I hope those of you who were on Spring Break had a good time and are as refreshed as I am! Today I have the lovely Shelley Munro on the blog talking about her latest release, Mistress of Merrivale, her homeland of New Zealand (I'm totally jealous by the way, I've seen photos and it looks gorgeous over there) and giving away a book from her extensive backlist to one lucky winner!
A marriage of convenience…full of inconvenient secrets.
Jocelyn Townsend’s life as a courtesan bears no resemblance to the life she envisioned in girlish dreams. But it allows her and her eccentric mother to live in relative security—until her protector marries and no longer requires her services.
Desperate to find a new benefactor, one kind enough to accept her mother’s increasingly mad flights of fancy, Jocelyn is nearly overwhelmed with uncertainty when a lifeline comes from an unexpected source.
Leo Sherbourne’s requirements for a wife are few. She must mother his young daughter, run his household, and warm his bed. All in a calm, dignified manner with a full measure of common sense. After his late wife’s histrionics and infidelity, he craves a simpler, quieter life.
As they embark on their arrangement, Leo and Jocelyn discover an attraction that heats their bedroom and a mutual admiration that warms their days. But it isn’t long before gossip regarding the fate of Leo’s first wife, and his frequent, unexplained absences, make Jocelyn wonder if the secrets of Merrivale Manor are rooted in murder…
Warning: Contains mysterious incidents, a mad mother who screeches without provocation, scheming relatives, and a captivating husband who blows scorching hot and suspiciously cold. All is not as it seems…and isn’t that delicious?
Adria: Hi Shelley! Welcome to the blog! I hope you don't mind fur babies since it seems one of mine is intent on sitting in on the interview:
|Mr. Cooper aka Penguino|
Adria: Just ignore the little fur ball, he likes to get everyone's attention. He has no shame...
Shelley: LOL – he must be related to our puppy, Bella. Always wanting to know what’s going on!
Adria: Shelley, for readers who are encountering your books for the first time (like myself), can you tell us a little about the types of books you write?
Shelley: Hello! I live in New Zealand, and I write historical, contemporary and paranormal romances, usually of the spicy hot variety. My contemporary and paranormal romances are often set in my home country of New Zealand, but my historical romances are firmly rooted in 18th century England.
My husband and I spent six years living and working in Great Britain, and my love of English history increased while I was there. New Zealand is a very young country, and I just loved the centuries of history in each town and city in Great Britain.
Adria: If you only had 30 seconds to tell people about your latest book, Mistress of Merrivale, what would you say?
Shelley: A Georgian set historical containing elements of mystery and smokin’ hot love scenes where happy-ever-after is in doubt at first, but love triumphs as Leo and Jocelyn’s marriage of convenience turns into the forever kind.
Adria: What is the sexiest thing about Leo, the hero in Mistress of Merrivale?
Shelley: He’s intelligent, loyal and willing to take a chance on Jocelyn, despite her courtesan background.
Adria: I had a look at your site and you have quite the back list of books! If you had to write a "Where are they now?" for one of your couples, who would you pick?
Shelley: My all-time favorite couple has to be Emily and Saber from Scarlet Woman, the first book in my feline shapeshifter Middlemarch Mates series. I had such a hard time writing their story. At first I wrote a short story. My editor said, “I like this story but it needs to be longer.” I rewrote the story, and it was hard. I edited and re-edited before my editor and I were happy with the final result. Emily and Saber visit other stories, and right now I’m working on a spin-off series called Middlemarch Capture where the ancestors of Emily and Saber have settled on a planet called Tiraq after escaping a virus on Earth that decimated feline shapeshifters.
Adria: I love that you've written for a lot of different romance genres, is there one that you haven't tried yet that you'd like to? Or perhaps a different genre altogether?
Shelley: During the last year, I’ve been concentrating on contemporary and historical romances, and at present I’m working on the third book of a sci-fi/paranormal series spin-off. While I’ve done a lot of experimenting these are my preferred three genres. I intend to stick with these three for the foreseeable future. While I read all over the genre scale, I think I’ve finally selected my favored genres to write.
Adria: What is the strangest thing you have ever looked up in the name of research?
Shelley: I had to really think about this. Research can be anything from historical titles to nanotechnology. I’m currently researching the mating habits of spiders, which are pretty brutal, I have to say. I’m glad I’m not a spider. I’ve also researched condoms, leopards and read screeds about 18th century England.
Adria: What are you working on now?
Shelley: I’m working on a spin off sci-fi paranormal series called Middlemarch Capture. I’ve written two of the five books in this series, and the first book should be with my editor soon. I’m also percolating a new historical series at the same time. No rest for a writer!
Adria: What do you like to read on your spare time? Any favorite authors?
Shelley: I read mostly romances, but like to dabble in mysteries, especially the cozy mystery kind when the mood strikes. I read most genres of romance and have lots of favorite authors—too many to list, but tend toward the erotic side of the sensuality scale.
Adria: Totally random, non book related question, I read your bio and you're from New Zealand which is one of my dream destinations (Blame Lord of the Rings for that, you all have some gorgeous scenery). What is one thing that if I'm lucky enough to visit I must see/do?
Shelley: One of the things I enjoy is travel. My husband and I love to fly off and explore different parts of the world, but New Zealand is definitely home, and we have a beautiful country. Our favorite part of New Zealand to visit is the Otago region of the South Island. The scenery is gorgeous and the climate is cooler. This area has four seasons and is where I set my Middlemarch Mates series. There’s lots of history since this is the area of the gold rush in the 1800s. It’s a beautiful part of the country with stunning mountains and lakes. If you enjoy adventure, this is the place to bungee jump, and there are also some excellent vineyards.
Auckland, which is where I live is beautiful too. We have a subtropical climate and it never gets below zero. We do have lots of rain, but it keeps our scenery green. We have lots of extinct volcanoes to explore and a selection of gorgeous beaches and vineyards to visit.
Adria: Thank you Shelley for stopping by and chatting with me, it was fun and your books are officially on my radar for future reading!
Shelley: Thank you very much for having me to visit!
About Shelley Munro:
|Photo by Princess Cruises|
Typical New Zealanders, Shelley and her husband left home for their big OE soon after they married (translation of New Zealand speak – big overseas experience). A year long adventure lengthened to six years of roaming the world. Enduring memories include being almost sat on by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, lazing on white sandy beaches in India, whale watching in Alaska, searching for leprechauns in Ireland, and dealing with ghosts in an English pub.
While travel is still a big attraction, these days Shelley is most likely found in front of her computer following another love – that of writing stories of romance and adventure. Other interests include watching rugby and rugby league (strictly for research purposes), and curling up with a good book.
Find Shelley Munro:
Shelley is graciously offering one e-book from her back list to a lucky person who stops by today. Boy I don't envy the winner (much) because she has quite the back list! You can see a list of Shelley's books on her website.