Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Author, Michele Bardsley. Whether you're looking for something light, and humorous (The Broken Heart series), or plenty of hot Alphas (The Pack Rules series), you'll definitely find something to suit your reading mood on Michele's bookshelf.
If you have any questions, or would like to leave a comment, for Michele, please feel free to do so. We love author/reader interaction here!
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Welcome to PNRLovers, Michele.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background.
I received my first publishing contract in 1998 from pioneer electronic publisher Hard Shell Word Factory. I’ve had numerous short stories, novellas, and novels published by electronic, independent, and traditional publishers, including New American Library and Harlequin TEEN. I’ve also written articles for national magazines such as Writer’s Digest, RT BOOKReviews, and Byline. My print books have sold more than 300,000 copies and counting.
I’ve been lucky enough to win several awards and honors throughout my writing career, including the Grand Prize in the Writer's Digest annual writing contest, Grand Prize in the Silhouette Yours Truly Contest, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice award, and the Crème de la Crème award from Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.
When you’re not writing or doing work related to writing, what do you do that’s fun and just for you?
I crochet. I particularly love crocheting hats. I also love to watch movies and binge-watch Netflix series. I really, really love spending time with my awesome hubby.
What type of author would you categorize yourself as, a plotter (one who plots the story from beginning to end), or a pantser (one who lets the story take shape without meticulous planning)?
Definitely a pantser. I like to jump into a story and tell it to myself first. It’s not an efficient way to write, and I’m becoming more of a plotter so I can write more stories. LOL.
Are you planning to attend any reader conferences in the next year? If so, which ones?
I may attending the Romantic Times convention in Las Vegas. Other than that, I have no real plans to appear anywhere.
I’m the Vampire, That’s Why counts among my top favorites, as does Never Again. I love these worlds so much. I can be silly in the Broken Heart world, and dramatic in the Nevermore world. My new favorite, however, is A Damned Deed, the first story in the Deed Brothers series. I’m also super partial to my snarky heroine in the Violetta Graves series. Huh. I guess it’s difficult for me to choose.
Every author goes through periods where the last thing they want to do is sit in front of a computer and type. How do you get past this and still put out the quality stories that you do?
I tend to be a binge writer. I’ll write and write and write. Then I’ll do anything but write. I’m trying to be more consistent, and it’s a chore because … oh, look SHINY.
We all know that in order to be a successful author, a great deal of time has to go toward self-promotion. What is your favorite type of promotion, and why?
Promotion is maybe the seventh ring in a writer’s hell, but one of those business-y things you gotta do. I think my favorite thing to do is interact with readers. Social media allows me to do this on some levels and platforms. I’m on Facebook about 93% more than I should be, LOL.
What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome to become a successful author? Is writing easier, or harder than you expected it would be?
I’ve always felt writing was more of a calling than a career. I’m not sure I started with the goal of becoming successful. I just wanted to share my stories. Writing is freaking hard. Some days you have more word ju-ju than others, but mostly, it’s you and a computer and an idea. But the challenge of that, of creating a new work, is also the most fun.
Group projects can be so much fun, but also frustrating at times. Do you have any box sets coming out soon? Any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to tell our readers about?
Oh, yeah. I have boxed sets coming out the wazoo. A few that are available right now are:
Taming the Monster
Dark & Stormy Alpha Nights
Wicked Authors, Wild Nights
Spell of the Bell
Boxed sets that are coming soon include:
A Very Alpha Christmas
Wicked Authors, Wilder Nights
You’ll also see me in three or four more boxed sets scheduled to come out between now and January. Whew.
And now before you go, how about a snippet from one of your books that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us? Pull us into your world with your words.
The following excerpt is from A Damned Deed, currently available in the Taming the Monster boxed set. http://tamingseries.com/taming-the-monster-anthology/
I’M A LIGHT sleeper. The nature of my business deems it necessary to remain hyper-vigilant. I’m very good at what I do, and that includes covering my tracks. I don’t use credit cards. I have a variety of IDs. I keep on the move. I do my job, collect my money, and do it all over again. I don’t have roots. I don’t own a house, and I don’t have bank accounts. I paid for the Demon in cash. I’ve developed very good instincts, which keeps my ass alive.
I knew someone was sneaking around outside, even before Max shook herself awake, jumped off the bed, and padded to the door.
“What is it?” whispered Glory.
The room was dark save for the red light emitting from the digital clock on the nightstand.
“Take Jacob and go in the bathroom,” I whispered. I pulled the Sig from underneath my pillow. “Lock the door. Get in the tub and lie down. Do not move until I tell you it’s clear.”
Glory did as I said without argument. While she and Jacob got hunkered down in the bathroom, I pulled on my boots and checked the side pockets for my sheathed knives. I always slept in a tank top and shorts. I never knew when a getaway would be necessary, and I sure as shit wasn’t going to be caught in my underwear.
I stood behind the door and looked out the peephole. I had a narrow view of the parking lot, and couldn’t see anything that warranted the foreboding sitting in my stomach like a bad burrito.
I quietly released the slide lock, and then turned the bolt. I opened the door. Max slipped outside. I took the safety off the .45 and kept it at the ready as I followed the pittie down the cracked concrete and around the building.
The only thing behind the single story motel was a field of waist-high weeds and a tangle of trees. Even though the sun had been down for hours, the heat was stifling. Oklahoma and humidity were soulmates. I felt like I was breathing water. Sweat beaded my skin—as though my body’s moisture was trying to escape so it could join its air brethren.
I stayed close to the building, aiming the gun as I scanned the area. Max sniffed near the weeds. She lifted her head, whirled to the right, and took off.
My heart nearly leapt out of my chest.
What the hell was she doing?
I ran after her. I skidded around the motel’s corner and came to a dead stop.
Max had a man pinned against the side of the brick wall.
She stood on her hind legs, her paws pressed against his chest, and licked his face.
“Who the fuck are you?” I asked, annoyed that Max was drowning this creep in affection. I kept the gun trained on his skull as I moved toward him. “What did you do to my dog?”
“I think the question is…what is your dog doing to me?”
He sounded too casual. Either he was trying to keep Max calm—and really, she wasn’t exactly acting stressed out—or he was used to being in tense situations. I voted for the latter. That made him a very particular kind of person. Cop. Criminal. Soldier. Psychopath.
“Max.” The command in my voice had her dropping to all fours. “Check him.”
She sniffed his shoes and his jeans then along his waist. She jumped up on him again and sniffed at his arms. Then she sat down, her signal that the guy was clean. No guns. No knives. Max could find a hint of steel on a gnat’s butt. But that didn’t mean the guy wasn’t worth shooting.
“Why are you skulking around the motel at two a.m.?”
“Where else would one skulk?” he asked, his lips quirking into a grin. Yeah, sure. He could joke, but I saw the sharpness of his gaze, the careful nonchalance. He wasn’t afraid of me. In fact, I didn’t think he was afraid of much.
“I will shoot you.”
His gaze met mine. I don’t know what he saw in my face, but he straightened and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “All right. Cards on the table.” He looked down at Max. “She likes Cheetos, doesn’t she?”
She loved them. That didn’t mean I gave them to her because I’m not that shitty of a dog owner. Okay. Maybe as an occasional treat. But if this dickhead had Cheetos on his person, even orange dust in his pockets—that would explain Max’s sudden, inexplicable adoration.
“If I tell her to attack, you will be minus one throat. Then I will walk away and let you bleed out. It’s a lot harder to be a smart ass when all you can do is gurgle.”
“That’s hardcore. Bet you’d sleep like a baby after leaving me to die.”
He laughed. “You’re adorable.”
Adorable? I lowered the gun to his chest and imagined shooting a smiley face into his center mass.
“My name is Adam Deed.” That smarmy grin returned. “I heard you were looking for me.”
Motherfucker. I smiled sweetly. “It was nice of you to find me so I could take you in.”
He flashed that grin again, and I felt a tingle in the pit of my belly. Oh, no. Hell, no. This was the longest conversation I’d ever had with one of my targets. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. He was the whole reason I’d ended up in Texas—only now I was in Oklahoma with an injured girl and an abused kid.
Deed had followed us.
“Answer my questions, or I’ll shoot your kneecaps.”
“Fire away. The questions,” he clarified. “Not the kneecaps.”
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