Guest Author: Michelle Conder

Today my guest is a fellow Australian author whose debut novel for Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents was described by RT Book Reviews as taking “the triple crown with memorable characters, an engaging plot and a sizzling romance”. 
It’s true that Michelle Conder writes “sexy, contemporary romance novels with strong heroes and sassy, modern heroines they can’t resist.” I would also add that her characters have great depth and, despite the fact that they are living in exotic settings with amazing lifestyles, they also seem real! I wonder whether that is because Michelle has gained greater perception into the human psyche after her studies in psychology? 
Michelle was about to take up a position in a psychology honours course at university but decided to defer this to put her fingers to the keyboard and fulfil her ambition to write a romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents line. Her first completed novel was accepted from the famous “slush pile” of unsolicited manuscripts at the London office and was published in April 2012 as “The Girl Behind the Scandalous Reputation”.
Since then, Michelle has penned over a dozen Presents titles and I have read all but two of them (don’t know what happened that I missed two... will have to purchase them as eBooks now!!). One of my favourites has been The Most Expensive Lie of All which is about Aspen – a horse breeder – and the fabulous Cruz. I was speaking to Michelle in August at the Harlequin Authors Cocktail Party and telling her how much I loved this title. It occurred to me as I was speaking that my October release also features a heroine who is a horse breeder, and I’m wondering now whether my love for that story inspired me subconsciously! Definitely a different story line, so no aubconscious plagiarism except for the heroine’s occupation!!
Anyway...It’s my very great pleasure to welcome Michelle Conder to the blog!
Thank you for joining me today, Michelle. I’d like to start off by asking you about your next Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents title, THEIR ROYAL WEDDING BARGAIN, which I understand will be released on December 17th. Did it pose any particular challenges for you?
Thanks for having me! This book didn't pose any great challenges - other than writing it! I knew I wanted to put these two together when I wrote Bound to Her Desert Captor. I saw them both immediately in my mind as I was writing Bound so making their story come to fruition was a lot of fun.  I knew Rafe was a more laid back hero but very protective, and that Alexa was more uptight due to the restrictions placed upon her as a future queen. 
I have December 17th marked on my xalendar and am looking forward to reading this latest release.

                                 
I  see you like to “think about exercise” and that you do practise yoga and ride horses. Given that we have the equestrian interest in common, did you grow up around horses and if so, did you do any dressage, sporting events or showing?
No, I didn't really grow up around horses. I did have a horse for a couple of years when I was younger, but I didn't get the chance to do dressage or anything formal. But I've always loved them and every chance I get I do trail rides - my only outlet at present. In my 20s I took lessons at a nearby racetrack just to be on a horse I was so desperate! Fingers crossed that in the near future I will be able to have my own and agist it in the country. :) 
I hope so too. Lots of work – especially with changing weather … jacket on…jacket off…etc!! Our two girls have loved their horses, and we have a Shetland pony who is very much part of the family and will come and join us for breakfast if we eat outside in the garden and he’s free-grazing around the yard!
You’ve written quite a few stories in the last seven years along with raising three young children. You describe your husband as being very supportive and patient, but how do you balance your writing demands and deadlines with your young family?
Balancing is never easy. For me it's always been family first so in the last couple of years I have slowed down my writing output. Unfortunately I'm not the kind of writer who can switch off from my everyday demands when I'm at my computer so I have to prioritise. Now that the kids are teenagers I find it a little easier, but still, when I'm on a deadline, I struggle to set my fictional world aside for my real world! Usually I write when the kids are at school, and if I need to I go away for a few days in a row when the deadline is looming! It works better all around that way. :) 
Yep, I can relate to that. Much easier as they get older!
I know you enjoy travelling. What’s been your favourite place to travel to so far, and what are the top two destinations on your bucket list?
Favourite places... there are really so many, but I have the fondest memories of a trip a friend arranged for me to Yosemite many years ago. I absolutely adore the mountains. My second favourite would be a family trip we took around the Whitsunday Islands. We hired a catamaran and sailed ourselves. Best holiday ever, and one of the most gorgeous places in the world. On my bucket list is Egypt and Africa. 
I had Beverley Oakley on the blog a couple of weeks ago telling me what was not to miss in Africa so you’ll have to pick her brain if you’re planning a trip there.
What’s your current writing project, Michelle?
I've just finished another Presents book titled Crowning his Unlikely Princess. It's due out in April 2020 and I adore the story. It's about Prince Logan of Arrantino who must become the king after his brother abdicates and he takes his very efficient EA, Cassidy Ryan, along to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Of course it doesn't... and he and Cassidy discover that the attraction they have been denying flares up to the point that they must give in to it! 
Next up I am planning to write a YA series that I'm super excited about. The first two books should be out in 2020! 
Great to see you’re continuing with the Presents line but also branching out into YA. Well done and I hope you continue to have great success.
Thank you again for being my guest today, Michelle.
Thank you so much for inviting me. It's been a pleasure. 

                                       
If you’d like to know more about Michelle’s fabulous titles, youcan visit her website at: https://michelleconder.com/ 

The last couple of months have been a little busy for me with family and speech therapy commitments and I need to take December and January away from the blog so I can focus on finishing my third medieval romance and another contemporary submission for Escape Publishing.

Do visit the blog next Saturday for a Christmas contest. If you enter you may win one of the wonderful, autographed titles that I picked up from fellow authors when I was at the Booklovers Con in New Orleans in May. Details next Saturday. Until then I hope you have a week of Happy Reading!

Best wishes,

Alyssa
www.alyssajmontgomery.com

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About the Blogger:

Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia).

Latest release: The Magic of Christmas (November 12th)

Series include: Royal Affairs and Billionaires & Babies. 

Seduced by the Billionaire, book 3 in the Billionaires & Babies series, will be out  , 2020 - all published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). 

See Alyssa's website for her other books or go to the Harper Collins site:  https://www.harpercollins.com.au/cr-149414/alyssa-j-montgomery/   .






  

Alyssa also writes medieval romance as Alyssa James. (The medieval books are self-published and available through Amazon and the third title will be released in early 2020.)


 



















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