Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PJ's Birthday Bash - - Elizabeth Michels

I'm delighted to welcome Elizabeth Michels to my birthday week celebration! Not only is Elizabeth a woman who sparkles with wit and charm, just like her stories, but she is also another September 20th birthday sister. Julie Anne and Elizabeth both share my birthday. That's just all kinds of awesome! Elizabeth's next series, The Spare Heirs kicks off March 1, 2016 with the release of The Infamous Heir. I can't wait! 

Elizabeth is the award-winning author of the Tricks of the Ton series and the upcoming Spare Heirs Series.  She grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri. They spent their summers visiting his family in Middlesbrough, England soaking up culture, history and a few pints along the way.  Elizabeth attended Park University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interior Design.

Elizabeth now spends her days creating plots and concocting characters at her home in a small lake-side town in North Carolina. When she is not typing as fast as human movement will allow, she is caring for her husband and little boy. Elizabeth Michels is a lover of happily-ever-afters; whether in her writing life or in her home life, she spends her days with one word on her lips--love.  She invites you to read her stories, get lost and enjoy.  www.elizabethmichels.com

Happy Birthday from THE REBEL HEIR and Elizabeth Michels

Bristol, England
“All you have to do is blow out this candle,” Ash said, producing one of the small tapers from his pocket with a flourish and a smile just as he always did. 
Whether he was selling love potions to ladies or investment opportunities to gentlemen, a smile and some showmanship always helped matters along.  And matters needed to be helped along if he was to be on the road out of town tonight.  He glanced to the clock on the drawing room mantle.  Dinner had already been a lengthy affair, but he hadn’t been able to refuse the invitation with so many local gentry gathered in one place for the night.
“That’s all?” One of the ladies who had gathered around him asked, her eyes wide in disbelief…or perhaps that was anticipation.  It was difficult to tell when she wore such thick spectacles.  “I’ll look young forever?”  She added in a soft dream-like voice.
“Is it a magic candle?” Another lady asked as she stepped closer to investigate.  Her gaze was trained on the small piece of wax he held between his fingers.
“Some believe so, my lady.” He spoke only to her although five other ladies leaned in to hear every word.  “I discovered the secrets of the flames of Claughbania when I was on a distant isle.  The women there were all young and beautiful—much like present company.”
He paused to scan the group, noticing the round of blushes just before several fans were put into motion.  “I lived with the native people for three months in quite rustic conditions, everyday asking for their secret to everlasting youth.  And every day I was denied the answers I sought.  Until finally, one long, sleepless night, I went for a walk and found a man sitting before a fire.  He was an elder and he shared with me the very candles I have with me today.”
He looked into each of their faces, waiting to continue his story for dramatic effect and taking in their believing looks of awe.  That was when he caught sight of the dark haired gentleman across the room he’d met at dinner.  That man was traveling through town just like Ash, only St. James was from London.  One day, Ash would return to London as well, but certainly not any time soon.  St. James was watching him with a thoughtful gleam in his eye.  Everything about that man screamed mysterious and that was coming from someone who was currently selling candles of eternal youth to a group of hopeful ladies in a stranger’s drawing room. 
Ash held the candle up as he continued.  “The wax was melted in the flames of Claughbania- a vicious volcano on the isle said to hold the spirit of a beautiful Greek goddess.  The wick, well that’s a secret I swore to keep forever.  If I told you, I would be putting my own life at risk.”
“Oh dear! Don’t do that Lord Crosby!” One lady cried even as she batted her lashes at him.
“I agree,” another lady added.  “You can’t endanger yourself in such a manner.  What would we do without you?”
“I appreciate your concern,” Ash said with a grin.  “Now, as it happens, I have only six of these candles left in my possession and for five pounds one could be yours.  But you must purchase it tonight.”
“Why tonight?”
Ash lowered his voice as if telling a grave secret.  “It must be extinguished by the light of a waning moon.”
“Oh, that is interesting.”
“Isn’t the moon tonight waxing?”  Ash heard a deeper voice ask. 
He looked up to see St. James.  The man had moved across the room to lean on the mantle only a few steps away.  Ash tensed, but didn’t allow his annoyance to show in his face.  “That’s what I said—the light of a waxing moon.”
He lowered his gaze back to the ladies who surrounded him, determined to finish the business that brought him here this evening.  “Eternal beauty could be yours tonight.  Imagine looking young forever.”
“I’ll take one,” one lady demanded.
“As will I.”
“Thank you for your business,” he murmured as he passed around the candles and lined his pockets with their pin money, ignoring St. James who was watching the transaction with interest rather than stopping it.  He didn’t know what that man was about, but the faster he left this place, the more at ease he would be.  He smiled down at the last lady as he handed her the small candle.  “You’ll wake tomorrow with the shining looks of a twenty year old.”
“Thank you, Lord Crosby.”
“Anything for you ladies.  And happy birthday.”  He nodded to their hostess for the evening before moving away, finally able to shoot St. James with the glare he’d kept hidden for the last ten minutes.
“The Flames of Claughbania?” St. James asked in a whisper as he followed Ash across the room.  “If your brothers ever discover you used the good name of Claughbane to sell candles you purchased in the next village over…”
Ash spun on his heel to face the man.  He’d buried his past long ago and had never looked back.  How did this man know?  Bluff—that was the only way out of this alive.  “They’re candles of eternal youth.”
“Clearly.  And if your brothers ever hear of this they will burn you alive in the volcano you just invented.”  St. James’ voice was low enough not to be overheard, which coincidentally made the man sound lethal.  Perhaps he was lethal—to a man like Ash anyway.
“How do you know of my family?” Ash ground out through teeth clinched into some form of a smile.
“I know a great many things, Mr. Ash Claughbane of the Isle of Man.  You’re the youngest of four and your eldest brother recently inherited a dukedom.  Yet you spend your time…”  St. James broke off with a glance over his shoulder to the ladies still gathered near the fireplace.
“If my brother sent you, you can save your speech about being honorable.”
“No one sends me anywhere,” St. James corrected.
Ash studied him for a second before asking, “Who are you?”
“If you’re ever in London, come see me.” St. James slid a calling card into Ash’s hand.  There printed in black embossed type was The Spare Heirs’ Society with an address printed below.
“What is The Spare…”  Ash began but when he looked up, St. James was already moving toward the door. 
London and a society of any sort?  Ash had been on his own too long to be interested in that.  Yet he found himself following after St. James and stuffing the card into his pocket.  Perhaps it was time to return to London after all…

Happy Birthday, PJ! Do you know where we could find some candles of eternal youth for our birthday cakes this year?
I don't, Elizabeth but I'll sure let you know if I do! Thank you for the sneak peek into your new world of spare heirs. I have March 1st marked on my 2016 calendar! 

What do you say, readers? How do you keep young? Is it a matter of diet? Exercise? Attitude? Reading lots of romance novels? Let's dish!

Two randomly chosen people leaving a comment will receive a package of books from my prize stash. (U.S. only)

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive a paperback copy of Desperately Seeking Suzanna by Elizabeth Michels. (open to any address serviced by bookdepository.com)

The Infamous Heir
By Elizabeth Michels
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Ethan Moore is the disinherited second son of nobility, and that’s all he should have ever been. But everything changes when his eldest brother’s disappearance grants Ethan the noble family title. Though he expects a lavish season under his new title, Roselyn, the lady his brother left behind, has other ideas. She is determined to solve this case and sees Ethan as the prime suspect.

With the help of a secret society he was once part of, Ethan searches for the truth of his brother’s disappearance. As he battles Roselyn to prove her wrong, an unforeseen attraction kindles between them. While Roselyn will do whatever it takes to prove him guilty, Ethan will do anything to ignite the burning flames rising between them…


  1. Attitude is everything. I think that being happy with who you are shows.

    1. I totally agree, Mary! I've seen people who are old at 40 and others who are young at 80!

  2. Believe it or not I believe having 7 children keeps me mentally young. But good habits with diet & exercise play a big part. I love the excerpt and now I'm intrigued and must read more. Thanks for thepost. And Happy Birthday ladies.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. I agree, Carol. Being around children and young people has always been a blessing in my life. A 30 minute phone call from the college girl last night left me with a huge smile, a happy heart, and feeling at least 10 years younger! :)

  3. I think that even if we are not working, we need to get up, dress in something other than rags, fix our hair, and put on makeup. I do this if for no other reason than to make me feel better about myself. Get out every day doing something for fresh air, sunshine, and interactions with people. This keeps our bodies moving and our minds functioning. I am a huge believer in reading lots of books. That is a constant learning process and takes me places I would love to see plus involves me in situations that make me wonder how I would handle them.

    People like Elizabeth Michels and you too, PJ, who project a big, beautiful smile are people who make me happy. No frowning and gripping allowed. If we don't always feel really happy, just smile and think good thoughts! This motto has gotten me through many difficult times in my life.

    Happy Birthday, PJ. I've enjoyed seeing Elizabeth Michels here today and look forward to reading more of her books.

    1. You make an excellent point, Connie. I do find that I'm much more productive and high energy on those days that I shower early and "fix myself up." Not that we don't need the "curl up on the couch in my pj's with a book" days too. I find them both necessary. :)

  4. Loved the excerpt, Beth! Happy Birthday, PJ!

    People who are at peace and engaged with life have a youthfulness and vivacity that worriers and sluggards don't own. Along with meditation, I read, do puzzles, volunteer, and try to be a loving friend. I'm pretty sure that approach works for me because people are always surprised to hear my age. Good surprise. (grinning)

    1. Thanks, Ashantay! Sounds like you've found the right formula for you! :)

  5. I think that ageing has been essential for evolution to work .... though perhaps we are now approaching the final stage of biology when the robots take over!

    Sorry, forget that I said that! Within the biosphere, the highway to long life and happiness is clearly paved with love. Love gives meaning to life, it soothes away stress and generates joy and emotional healing wherever it exists.

    So my solution to staying young (for as long as possible) is to love, be loved and read about love ... ie read romance novels. LOL

    Lovely taster Elizabeth .... reckon I could read more of that! :)

    1. Love gives meaning to life, it soothes away stress and generates joy and emotional healing wherever it exists

      Beautifully stated, Q. I couldn't agree more!

  6. I exercise a lot, and try to eat healthy foods. I always love reading historical romance novels. Happy Birthday wishes to all of you September ladies.

    1. I've slacked off on the exercise and the effects are making themselves known. Time to get back to it!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  7. Happy Bday.

    I exercise regularly.

    Patty B.

  8. Having a positive attitude and outlook makes life happier and more worthwhile. As well as healthy habits.

    1. A positive attitude is important in so many facets of life.

  9. I read a great deal and this always makes me feel inspired, but I walk and follow a healthy lifestyle.

  10. genes and common sense diet and exercise

    1. Genes are oh so important. I hope to outlive my genetic history!

  11. Although exercise and diet are definitely helpful, I think attitude is the most important. Being open-minded and tolerant, empathetic and going with the flow and up-to-date on what is going on around you and being willing to change things up. If you still think like past generations and are unable to change with the times, no matter how young you look or feel you will still be perceived as "old." And that can be at any age, I've know some people in their 20's and 30's that seem older than some 70 year olds.

    1. My late step-mom, at 80, was "younger" than many people I know in their 20's!

  12. Following my interests and trying to keep up with my children keep me happy and young at heart.

    1. Children are good for that, aren't they? :)

  13. Well, it is getting harder to keep young! I guess I keep young by reading lots of romances, traveling the world, spending time with family and friends, and counting my many blessings!

    1. I think travel, exploring new places, and meeting new people are wonderful ways to stay young!

  14. I try to exercise, not to overindulge in the yummy stuff and try to get on the treadmill several times a week.

  15. Keeping young on the outside is about a healthy diet, lots of water, and sunscreen ;)To keep a youthful soul then it's a matter of attitude and be thankful for what we have and help those in need.
    Happy Birthday to you both!

  16. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth and Happy Day 3 of Birthday Week, PJ!!

    I think a lot of staying young is attitude but some is definitely taking care of yourself. Of course reading romance novels helps keep a good attitude. :-)

  17. Oh, I definitely think it's attitude :) But good diet and exercise help too! Thanks for the fun post!

  18. Happy Birthday Week, PJ and Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

    Romance novels help, but my secret to staying young is good food, a curious mind, and Noxzema skin creme. Most of the girls in my family have been using Noxzema on our faces at night since we were teenagers. My grandma introduced us to Noxzema and my aunts used it, too. We are not as wrinkled as other girls our age, but then again it could be our Slavic genes. And, no, I don't work for Noxzema!

  19. Well I do love my romance novels! Even though we're retired, being around our grandkids (3 plus one on the way) keeps us on the go!

  20. Happy Birthday Ladies!
    I swear I don't know where the years have gone - I feel I know more now, and I sometimes feel it more when I over do, but mentally I don't feel that much older than years ago. I sometimes have to remind myself of my age and how many changes I've seen over my life.
    I do enjoy all the fun books available now and that I get to find out about so many authors on the internet.
    I think a positive attitude and laughter makes me feel better, so I try to find some every day. Reading romance certainly plays a part in that.

  21. Hey, as the saying goes, "The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana."
    "Age is an issue of mind over matter: If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!"
    Stay young by being happy!

  22. I think having a purpose to motivate you keeps you moving and young.
    Happy Birthday Week!