Monday, December 20, 2010

Michelle Beattie

Get Lost in This Story…

Excerpt from “A Pirate’s Possession”.

Her heart beat quickly with her intent and her palms were suddenly damp. She wiped them on her trousers and grabbed the handle. Biting her lower lip, Claire eased open the hatch. Thankfully Nate kept a well tended ship and the hatch swung open soundlessly.
No light came from below and as she strained to listen, the only sound was that of Vincent's soft whistling and the whisper of wind sliding between the sails. Claire swallowed hard, closed her eyes and said a brief prayer. Opening them again, she stepped onto the ladder.
With each step down she paused to listen. It was only once she'd made it far enough to be able to close the hatch above her that she heard Nate's even and deep breathing. Her shoulders sagged. He was asleep. The hatch closed as silently as it had opened.
Since it had been dim above deck as well, her eyes didn't need time to accustom to the darkness. Recalling where she'd seen everything earlier, Claire crept toward the berth. She'd hoped she'd step on some clothing as it would mean she could simply search through his clothes for the map, but her feet hit nothing but smooth wood.
She only dared breathe in short, shallow breaths. Soon she was at the bedside, her heartbeat thumping loudly in her ears. It seemed as though he'd fallen asleep without meaning to, spread out over the blankets. He hadn't even taken off his jacket.
Claire wiped her quaking hands onto her pants, reminded herself to remain steady. She could do this. She had to do this.
He was sleeping on his back and his large hands were at his sides. His head was turned slightly away from her. The part of her that remembered what they'd meant to each other, or rather what she'd believed they'd meant to each other, wanted to linger. It wanted to trace the arch of his brows and feel the roughness of his beard. It wanted to once again be taken in his arms and to be cherished.
For God's sake, stop it, she scolded herself. The map, remember the map. Remember the lies, the hurt.
To that end, she deliberately kept her gaze off his face. Reaching forward, she slid her hand into the pocket of his jacket. Her fingers brushed against the paper and Claire's heart leapt to her throat. She had it!
She slowly pulled her hand away. When Nate didn't move, Claire exhaled a trembling breath.
She looked at him once more, had a moment when she wished things could have been different. But knowing they weren't, could never be, she backed away from the berth, tucked the folded map into her undershirt and turned for the ladder.
She got as far as the base of it before she was grabbed from behind.
The scream ripped from her throat.
"Goddammit, Claire," he swore as she thrashed to break free.
Her arms flailed wildly, desperate to connect with some part of him that would make him release her. Her elbow struck his chest. Her foot came down hard on his. Growling, he spun her around. Her right knee came racing up.
"No, you don't," he said as he deftly wrapped a large hand around the back of her knee and held it there, a mere breath away from where she'd intended to strike him. His other hand grabbed her left wrist and held it shackled down at her hip.
Luckily Claire was right-handed. Smiling sweetly, she aimed for his jaw.

Today, we welcome historical romance author Michelle Beattie to the blog. Michelle grew up on her grandfather's homestead near Beaumont, Alberta, Canada. She didn't fall in love with romance novels until she graduated from high school and worked at a car rental company that allowed her a lot of free time. To fill it, she turned to romance novels, specifically historical westerns. It wasn't until years later that she began to edit as she read and soon she began thinking, "I'd have done that differently." Soon she sat herself down and began her first manuscript, a historical western. Twelve years later, and a genre hop to pirates, she sold her first manuscript to the Berkley Publishing Group. Michelle writes full time, is married and has two beautiful daughters.

Heather: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Michelle: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black Pearl because it inspired me to write a pirate novel.

Heather: How often to you get lost in a story?
Michelle: Hopefully every time. If I can't, I'll stop reading and go on to another book.
Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Michelle: Any story, really, where I can really relate to the characters and can feel what is happening to them. If it's too far-fetched I typically won't get lost in it. I like action, so if you can start with that, that usually hooks me from the beginning.

Heather: What turns you off like nothing else?
Michelle: In a book? Lack of character motivation or having the character do something that no normal person would for no apparent reason.

Heather: Where do you read and how often?
Michelle: In bed, every night. I work full time, have 2 kids and a home to look after and I always find time to read. I don't understand people who say they're too busy. There's always five minutes to read!

Heather: Be honest, when reading 1st you miss the hero’s POV?
Michelle: Heck yes! While I don't mind seeing his actions and his expressions from the heroine's POV, I like to get in his head!

Heather: What sound or noise do you love?
Michelle: Fire crackling and water lapping. Also frogs and crickets and the lonely sound of a loon.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Michelle: Can't. I need silence. It's why I don't get much work done during summer holidays or weekends when my kids are home!

Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book? Michelle: Walk away from it for a few days. Walk away from writing all together and get caught up on housework!

Heather: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Michelle: Luke from What a Pirate Desires because he's just so darn sexy and cocky. I'd love to get into a sparring match with him. Well, and he's a good kisser too!

Heather: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Michelle: Yes. And of course I think those that loved it are brilliant and those that didn't just didn't get it!

Heather: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? Michelle: Seeing my name on the cover and knowing I was good enough. I've never been good at anything else, not drawing, sports, math, business, etc. So it was a great ego boost to set my sights on this and actually achieve it. Not many people can say they achieved their dream.

Heather: What’s your favorite “love” word?
Michelle: Cherish. It's easy to say love, to think it, but to truly cherish someone is the ultimate. It means you realize how lucky you are to have that person in your life.

Heather: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
Michelle: God. Then Johnny Depp!

Heather: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Michelle: To the wild west or the goldrush. It goes back to chivalry and being cherished. I just really love how they treated and thought of their women.

Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Michelle: Coffee with cream and sugar in the am, after supper mint tea to relax

Heather: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
Michelle: Thank you! Thanks for spending your hard-earned money on my books and for taking a chance on a newbie writer such as myself. I appreciate it more than I could ever tell them!

Heather: What is the most fascinating thing you learned while researching or writing this particular book?
Michelle: I was never interested in pirates until Pirates of the Caribbean. It just wasn't a thing I cared about. I couldn't figure out why, other than Johnny Depp, that movie hooked me so much. And then one day my best friend's mom gave me this block of wood she found at her place (they lived down the road and me and my friend played a lot together). On it were my initials and this pirate flag I had carved into the wood. I don't remember making it, but clearly there's always been a bit of pirate in me after all!

In A Pirate's Possession, Claire and Nate are on the hunt for treasure. If you could find anything, and it doesn't have to be monetary, what would you most like to find and why?

I would love to give a copy a signed copy of “A Pirate’s Possession” as well as a bookmark to a random commenter today!

Thanks for coming by today, Michelle!
If you’d like to learn more about Michelle, visit her website or find her on Facebook.

Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at the drawing.
We will announce a winner here and on Facebook

You can also follow us on Twitter @GetLostInAStory

Come back tomorrow, where our guest will be historical author and this month’s RT Book Reviews Cover Girl, Delilah Marvelle!!!


  1. Great interview! (and great cover, too!) Who doesn't love a good pirate? ;) I used to have to have a lot of silence, too, but now I find the hum of three girls and their friends about the house doesn't faze me too much.Are you looking forward to the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie?

  2. Pirates do make for great stories. I can't wait to read yours!

    As far as treasure I'd like to find... I'm going to say I'd love to find a stash of all the single earrings I've lost over the years. :) And if my stray socks are in there, too? Bonus.

  3. Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for visiting us at GLIAS today. Your story sounds fantastic, and I'm so glad I learned of it just in time for Christmas!

    LOVED the Black Pearl...sadly, wasn't a huge fan of the other movies in the series, though. Don't know if I dare watch the new one.

    I really can't think of treasure I'd like to find now, as an adult, but when I was growing up, I was a HUGE Goonies fan and lived on 360 acres of land with creeks, waterfalls, and a river, I spent my summers drawing up treasure maps and coercing my friends into faux treasure hunts...but all we ever found were cool river rocks and arrowheads :)

  4. Hi, Michelle, Hi, Heather, great interview, and thanks for helping us get lost in a story. I need complete silence too. and love mint tea in the afternoon. Mix it with chamomile and it's totally relaxing.

    I don't mind first person if it's well done. First person is plain hard to experience all the emotions.

    And just one other thing... when you interview Johnny Depp... Can I come? ;) Congratulations.

  5. Gillian-first of all let me tell you I love your name! In the very first book I wrote, a historical western, I named my heroine Jillian. Love that name!

    As for Pirates 4, the movie, yes, I'm looking forward to it. 2 and 3 were a little out there for me, but Captain Jack makes it worth watching! I've seen the trailer for "On Stranger Tides" and it looks better than 2 and 3 so we'll see... ;-)

  6. Maureen-you have missing socks too? lol! I have a drawer full as well, earring I seem to be able to hang onto!

    Heather-your place sounds amazing! I didn't have a river but we had trees, and they were the site of many an adventure and the biggest treehouse complete with fireman poles and bridges between trees. Not sure, looking back, if it was safe, but it sure was fun!

  7. Donnell-you want me to share Johnny Depp??? lol
    That man amazes me and I think he'd be so much to interview. I love his understated sense of humour. Should I ever get the chance, I'll let you know!

  8. I loved the interview Michelle. I found out some things I didn't know. If i was to find a treasure as an adult it would have to be all the pictures I have lost from moving around. Memories are a wonderful treasure. I can't wait to read your new book. Got some to give for Christmas presents too.
    I love to get lost in your Characters, they are so vivid. Thanks for sharing your world with us.
    Rebecca Bridger

  9. I am so with you on the Johnny Depp pirate thing! Of course, I'm kind of waiting to see how Johnny reinvents the vampire thing in Dark Shadows.

    And your heroine spells her name just like me!

  10. I, too, love Johnny as a pirate, but I do have to say, having visited Disney World this summer, it was kind of funny to see how the Pirates of the Caribbean ride has changed to include him. Several animatronic Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow's was a bit much :)

  11. Wait, where have I been? Johnny Depp will be staring in Dark Shadows? Swooning here!

  12. Hi Michelle! Am I showing my age by admitting I sed to love all those Errol Flynn et al pirate movies as a kid? We have something in common in writing pirate books. I wrote a prate book starring my son and one of my daughters. A school friend of theirs illustrated it. We still read it together and have a good laugh. I too would like to find all our missing sox. When I come back in another life, I'm only buying black socks, then they can go with anything! Meantime, finding a gold nugget the size of my size 10's would be nice.

  13. Rebecca, you're so right. Memories are golden, aren't they? They're all I have left of my mom, dad and one brother, and I treasure them more than anything. Thanks for the compliment about my characters. I was asked once what I thought my greatest strength was and I said characterization. I'm glad someone agrees with me!
    Merry Christmas!

  14. CC,
    Great to "see" you! Yeah, finding that gold nugget would be sweet indeed! I'd love to see that pirate book, i imagine it owuld be great fun to read!

    Cheers and have a great holdiday season!

  15. Hey, I have a pirate movie out from the library now - The Black Swan, actually, with Tyrone Power - and it made me think of you.

    Can I co-host your interview with Mr. Depp? Oh please, oh please?

    What I would like to find: at the moment, my energy. It seems to have vanished with the Alberta sunshine, but I *would* like to have it back before Christmas arrives.

    Congrats on the release, Michelle. Looking forward to reading it.

  16. Welcome, Michelle! Speaking of Pirates of the Caribbean, I think I'd like to find Orlando Bloom. Where the heck has he been?

    Jillian, you share a name and spelling with the heroine I'm writing right now :)

  17. Great interview, Michelle!

    As for treasure hunting...when my husband's grandmother was moved from her home to the nursing home, they found cash hidden under the carpet in the livingroom. Thinking this might not be an isolated case, they started searching her house and found thousands of dollars, in cash, hidden behind cabinets, in the ceiling rafters, under floor boards, and any other place she could squirrel money away. They're still not sure they found it all... :-)

    Cheers, Julie Rowe

  18. I checked in again to find that my first comment didn't post. Ugh.

    Michelle, what a great interview. I absolutely adore Pirate Romance. LOVE IT. The new release is definitely going on the shopping list today.

    Treasure Hunting? Hmmm.... Afraid with a kid in college and planning on med-school that I'd definitely want monetary. :-) Something worth a lot of money to pay for the education. Doesn't matter what. AFTER that, I'd love to solve a long-time mystery.


  19. Hi Michelle, I love pirate books. This book sounds like I need to put it in my TBR pile.

    If I could find anything, I think I would want it to be a lost city. I love history and I think being the first person after hundreds of years to look upon a place that has been lost for centuries would be fascinating. If there was treasure involved too that would be icing on the cake.

  20. Jan, my husband is 6 1/2 yrs older than me and I'm consistently in bed and asleep before him. He keeps bugging me that he "thought he married a younger woman!" so I hear you on the engergy front. I can hit the ground running in the daytime but by supper I'm done. Thanks for coming by, Jan! ;-)

  21. Simone, Orlando's been busy getting married and having a baby on the way. Will be interesting to see how this new movie feels without "Will".

    Julie-I've heard of many seniors doing that. Can you imagine if the place ever burned down with all that money hidden inisde (shudder)?

    Angi, I imagine finances must be tight for you and I wish you a long-lost treasure to find! But as hard as it is, you're giving your child the best thing in the world-an education. Good for you!

  22. Tanya,

    Wow, a great answer and yes, it would be cool indeed to be the first to walk in such a place. I'd think anything you'd find would feel like treasure, wouldn't it? Thanks for the great comment!

  23. Congratulations Jan O'Hara! You are the winner of Michelle's drawing. Please e-mail your address to: so we can forward your prize!