Today it’s my pleasure to interview Michelle McLean, author of A Bandit’s Broken Heart, A Blood Blade Sisters Novel- Book Two.
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous Imprint
Genre: Historical Romance
Number of pages: 167
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Widowed mother, Brynne Richardson, gave up her bandit activities when she left California to make a fresh start with her young daughter in Boston. Working for a handsome doctor fulfills her need to be useful and independent, but he creates another yearning she can’t deny.
A man with a purpose
Dr. Richard Oliver assumes Brynne is just another debutante hunting for a rich husband, until she intrigues him with her steady hand for stitchesand guns. He cant put her out of his mind, but the young widow has mysteries hes determined to unravel.
A love in danger
When smugglers raid the much-needed supplies from the clinic, Brynne must resurrect her bandit persona for the good of the sick and the poor. Her secret life threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard to protect her life, her family and her heart.
SKY: How did you come up with the title?
MICHELLE: This book was actually the easiest of the trilogy to name. This is a bit of a spoiler if you haven’t read book 1, but my main character Brynne is a widow. Her husband was murdered in book 1 so the title of book 2, which tells her story, is very apt. She is broken-hearted. Book 2 is about her journey back from heart-break.
SKY: Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
MICHELLE: This story focuses on two main conflicts; Brynne’s inner struggle and her personal healing journey, and her fight against a group of smugglers she rubs the wrong way. Brynne really struggles with who she really is and who she is trying to be. She moves to Boston for a new start. She wants to get away from all the sad memories in California, so she leaves that life behind. Only it’s a case of “you can take the girl away from the bandits, but you can’t take the bandit out of the girl” :)
Brynne, despite her best efforts, just doesn’t fit into the Bostonian societal circles. She’s bored, she has too many weird quirks, and she just can’t stop secretly helping those who need it :) She also falls in love with a kind, handsome, and very eligible doctor which brings up a host of new inner conflicts as she battles her feelings for her new love, and her feelings of love and loyalty toward her dead husband.
In the meantime, she manages to tick off a group of black marketers who decide to exact revenge on her and those she loves. When that happens, Brynne resurrects her full bandit persona and rides off to kick a little bad guy tail :)
SKY: Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
MICHELLE: I love my cover! My publisher did such an amazing job. The whole tone of it is just perfect – from the autumn colors (autumn is my favorite season, a little sad maybe, leaving summer, weather turning colder, yet heading into the wonderful holiday seasons…it’s the precursor to all the merriment that can be found even in the “deadness” of winter), to the model gazing off into the distance, seemingly reflecting on her life and future. It just fits the book perfectly :)
SKY: Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
MICHELLE: Yep, currently working on book 3 of the Blood Blade Sisters series. It’s entitled A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart and will tell the youngest sister, Lucy’s, story. This book is set in the South about a year after the Civil War and will follow Lucy as she searches for her lost love…and what happens after she finds him :)
SKY: What sort of personality does your hero have?
MICHELLE: Dr. Richard Oliver is very kind, hard-working, generous, loving, and just a tad arrogant :) He’s turned his home into a medical clinic for the poor and spends his days trying to help those in need. He’s also very used to being the most eligible bachelor in town, and while he doesn’t really relish that position, he isn’t used to having to work to get a girl’s affections. So Brynne is a bit of a mystery to him. One he is intent on solving. ;)
SKY: What sort of personality does your heroine have?
MICHELLE: Brynne is the most refined of the three sisters, but she’s still a feisty country girl who will fight tooth and nail to protect those she loves. She’s very loyal, level-headed, hard-working, and self-sufficient and is used to being in charge. She can also be rather stubborn :)
SKY: Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.
MICHELLE: I really liked writing the scene where Richard goes with Brynne on his first heist. Brynne sets off to steal back some medical supplies and Richard follows her. She reluctantly allows him to go along. It was fun because the typical roles were reversed. Brynne was the “bad guy” leading her “good guy” boyfriend into trouble. Richard was up for it, but a little bumbling and it was a lot of fun having Brynne be in the tough guy roll with Richard being the more inexperienced, straight-laced one :)
SKY: Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
MICHELLE: I prefer to write indoors. I love my desk. It’s set up right in front of a floor-to-ceiling window and looks out at our neighbor’s cow pasture :D On the other side of the pasture is a 200 year old cemetery with an old brick church. It’s a great scene to stare out at when I need a little inspiration. Usually if I’m working late at night, I’ll take my laptop and squish down on the couch surrounded by a bunch of pillows :)
SKY: Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
MICHELLE: The Blood Blade Sisters is my first series. The first book, A Bandit’s Stolen Heart, released this past spring. It introduces all the sisters and tells the story of how and why they became bandits. The romance focuses on the middle sister, Cilla, and her love interest Leo. Book 2 in the series is the one this blog tour is for, A Bandit’s Broken Heart (see the above answer for tidbits on the plot) :) And book 3 was the other one I mentioned above, A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart, that will follow the youngest sister, Lucy.
I also have something in the works that will be a series of fairy tale retellings set in the near future/present day. They will have a bit of a twist and will have some suspense and possibly some sci-fi elements :)
SKY: How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
MICHELLE: I’ve been writing in some form or another my whole life. My mom still has a story I wrote when I was four or five :D But I started writing with the goal of being published about 10 years ago. My first book, a non-fiction called Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, was published by Career Press in 2011. And my first novel, a historical romance, To Trust a Thief, was published by Entangled in Jan of this year.
SKY: Great interview, Michelle! Thanks for joining me today.
About the Author
Romance and non-fiction author Michelle McLean spent 98% of her formative years with her nose in a book indulging in her love of reading and research. Expanding that love into writing was inevitable. Michelle has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and tends to be a bit of an organized mess with an insatiable love of books and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at.
She is the author of the historical romances To Trust a Thief and the Blood Blade Sisters trilogy, the non-fiction Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, and several upcoming historical, paranormal, and contemporary romances. She is also a contributor on The Naked Hero, and the Operation Awesome, Scene 13, and Scandalous book blogs as well as maintaining her personal blog. If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. Michelle resides in PA with her husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.
If you would like Michelle's signature, you can request one for her ebooks through authorgraph.com or request a signed bookplate through her website.
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