Interview: Charis Michaels (When You Wish Upon a Duke) ~ #Excerpt

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USA Today bestselling author Charis Michaels returns to her Awakened by a Kiss series where overlooked fairy tale characters get their own happy endings, with a captivating romance about Miss Isobel Tinker and the duke who makes her believe in magic.

All it takes….

After a childhood spent cavorting around Europe with a dangerous crowd, Miss Isobel Tinker has parlayed her experience and language skills into a safe, reliable life. Working as a clerk in Mayfair’s Everland Travel Shop, she dreams of someday owning her own travel agency and has vowed never to leave the familiar shores of England ever again. When a handsome duke arrives at her doorstep, she realizes her staid existence is about to take flight.

…is faith and hope

Jason “North” Beckett, the Duke of Northumberland, desperately needs a travel guide. He’s inherited a dukedom but has a final mission for the Foreign Office—rescuing his wayward cousin from Nordic pirates. Isobel Tinker is the ideal translator, discreet and unknown, but she’s also uncooperative, stubborn, and disarmingly beautiful.

And a little bit of trust

In exchange for her help, North promises Miss Tinker her own travel agency upon return and strict professionalism at sea. Isobel cautiously agrees but soon realizes “strict” and “professional” are not how she would describe her feelings for the irresistible duke. As their adventure sweeps them to the shores of Iceland and beyond, can temptation and growing trust give way to the magic of wild, passionate love?

HarperCollinsAmazon US


When You Wish Upon a Duke
(Awakened by a Kiss #2)

Please share the opening lines of this book:

“Does this man think he’s invisible?

Isobel Tinker stared out the window of her Mayfair travel shop. On the sidewalk outside, looming with his face against the glass, a tall man stared back….”

Please share a few Fun facts about this book!

The book is inspired by Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. All of the books in this series imagine…whatever happened to a sideline character from popular fairy tales. Book #1 was The Huntsman from Snow White; Book #3 will be a stepsister from Cinderella. I’ve seen this described as ‘fairy-tale retellings,’ but this is not precisely true. The books are more, ‘fairy-tale adjacent?’ The books come in where the fairy tale left off…but also in Regency England…with characters formed from the best parts of the sideliners that have kind of been left dangling.

The book has a lot of water features. We have sexy times in a waterfall, in a geothermal pool, on a boat. The plot is over-the-top in the best possible way. I wrote it entirely during isolation and my imagination ran away from me.

I drew inspiration for the hero’s personality from the character of Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. Funny, self deprecating, hot, dashing, not-too-serious, capable of great love.

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

Near the end of the book, the heroine has to ‘rescue’ the hero from an…oh, let’s just call it a weakness—“his wound,” perhaps is a better way to say it. They’ve had this terrible dark moment and gone their separate ways; she’s not sure what’s become of him or why he’s behaving the way he is. She believes he’s broken her heart but she loves him enough to seek him out, just to make sure he’s okay. And the way she finds him, and the way he needs her and wants her…that entire scene? My favorite!

I loved it so much and I was so afraid my editor would make me cut all of it—because it’s kind of old school. That fact that I love it doesn’t mean readers will. In the end, she wanted only a few tweaks, which made it so much better.

How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

I knew Isobel right away but was afraid to write her. In general, I don’t like cautious heroines who have to do a lot of emotional work over the course of the book. I prefer a heroine who has her act together who rescues an emotionally wounded/stunted hero.

However, the more I wrote Isobel, the more I adored her. She could be confident and self sufficient and still need to be shown the way to love. She is such a bad-ass, but not in a hard, aggressive way. She’s gorgeous and generous and open, but she speaks five languages and is very handy in a fight. She is like my perfect woman on her best day.

I knew less about Jason except that he looked and behaved a little like Chris Pratt ; ). On a whim, I happened to write that he always had a gold coin in his pocket and he absently flipped it into the air when he was idle. This developed into a sort of restlessness that could be viewed like modern-day ADHD. The coin was like a fidget-spinner for him. After I studied up on this condition, I was able to develop a living, breathing character who would be miserable in a desk job, who needed to stay active, who was oppressed by paperwork and logistics and planning. He is off-the-cuff and impulsive and exciting. He struggles with anything too formal or that might pin him down. It was perfect for his backstory as a as Foreign Agent, which was a profession he loved, and then also perfect for his on-the-page role as newly inherited duke (a role he hated).

Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroin’s love affair?

Oh, let’s go with: Effervescent, burning, consuming, breathless, joyful.



“Would you allow me to pretend to kiss you?”

Isobel Tinker stared at him from deep within her hood.

“It’s an old trick,” he whispered, “but it can work if you keep your face averted.” He held his breath, waiting for her answer. He hadn’t lied; it was an old trick, reliable too. It also happened to be his most fervent wish at the moment.

Still, she could say no. She could slap him. She could call for the watchman and claim abduction. He put his odds at fifty-fifty.

Do it, she mouthed. Hurry. Do it, do it, do it.

Right, Jason thought. He bit the notebook and pencil in his mouth to free his hand and reached for her.

In one, cloak-fluttering movement, he scooped up Isobel Tinker and plunked her into his lap. She settled on his thighs in a puff of green skirts and emerald cloak. She weighed almost nothing. She stared over the notebook into his face, her blue eyes huge.

He removed the notebook from his mouth and whispered, “Sorry.” He settled his hands on her waist.

“I say, who’s there?” the night watchman called again.

Isobel’s eyes bored into his.

Jason mouthed, We needn’t really—

She kissed him.


USA Today bestselling author Charis Michaels believes a romance novel is a long, entertaining answer to the question, “So, how did you two meet?” and she loves making up new ways for fictional characters to meet and dislike each other before falling in love instead. She grew up on a peach farm in Texas and gave tours at Disney World in college but now can be found raising her family and writing love stories from her screened-in porch in Northern Virginia.

Author’s Social Media:
Website • Facebook • Instagram



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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

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