Archive for the ‘Author post’ Category

Elizabeth Hoyt Covers her Maiden Lane Series in 60 Seconds

We’re about to publish Duke of Sin, the 10th title in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. So, we thought: What better time to get the lowdown on all things Maiden Lane, and who better to tell us than Elizabeth?

And, Elizabeth delivered! Read on to get up to speed on the most important things about Maiden Lane, Elizabeth’s favourite bits and a hint of what’s to come.

 peanuts snoopy delight

  1. What’s the single most important thing we need to know about the Maiden Lane series?


I have it on good authority (readers!) that Maiden Lane is addictive. 😉


  1. In five sentences tell us what the series is about. Go:


Finding redemption through love. The friction between opulence and destitution. The importance of family. Sexual tension through swashbuckling and wordplay. Moral choices.


  1. What’s your favourite book in the series?


Duke of Sin, which sounds a bit coy, but it’s true. This book is slightly different from my other books. The ‘hero’ is a villain – and he STAYS a villain. The heroine in contrast is a morally upright housekeeper who challenges him and doesn’t let him get away with anything. They are perfect for each other.


  1. Who’s your favourite character?


Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, the hero of Duke of Sin. One, because he’s such a complex character: there’s a contrast between the flamboyant, sinister persona he presents to the world and his interior self, and THAT contrasts to what he’s concealing about himself from himself (if that makes any sense).

Also, on a purely practical level, he’s a ‘wordy’ character, which is great fun to write. 😉


  1. Give us a hint about what’s coming next


I’m working right now on Alf’s book: Duke of Pleasure, which will come out in late fall 2016.


  1. Complete the following sentence: If you like x, y and z, you’ll love the Maiden Lane series


If you like sensual love scenes, complex characters and enthralling stories, you’ll love the Maiden Lane series.


Duke of Sin is out May 31st, 2016






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MaryJanice Davidson author note

isbn9780349412788I love Shaun of the Dead. It is, possibly, one of the finest movies in the history of cinema, second only to Starship Troopers. It’s got everything: a clueless hero, a puffy sidekick who can imitate an orangutan, Bill Nighy (my old man crush), a super nice mom, a nerdy bespectacled frenemy in love with the hero’s ex, Queen on the soundtrack (is there a more beautiful sight than a bunch of British twenty-somethings whacking a zombie with pool cues while Don’t Stop Me Now blares in the background?), debunked dog myths (“Dogs can look up!”), and innocents getting hit by darts.

Oh, and zombies. Lots of zombies. I love everything about Shaun of the Dead, but I love how they handled zombies the most. Their love for the genre shone through virtually every minute of the film as they poked fun at themselves and the genre, and I never once felt like they were mocking me or the movies I like: we were in it together. It was the first movie I ever thought of as a conscious gift to the audience: here’s something we liked, we think you’ll like it, too.

So: this book. My editor and I love the romance genre (not atypical for writers and editors who work in the romance genre, and thank goodness). We love historicals and paranormals and contemporaries and regencies. We love the silly stuff and the BAMF stuff and the sexy stuff. We love kick-ass heroines and damsels who need to be rescued every twenty minutes. We love alpha heroes and beta heroines, and we love it the other way around, too. (We’re dirty girls, and so flexible, too!) We love heroes who are SEALs and farmers and sheriffs and doctors. We love heroines who are biochemists and Vikings and captives and wardens. We love third person and first person and audio and electronic and paperbacks and classic hard covers.

And the romance tropes, oh God, the tropes. We love those most of all; for us, tropes make the romance.

For the uninitiated, Wikipedia defines tropes as “the use of figurative language—via word, phrase, or even an image—for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech.” Did that help? Because it didn’t help me even a little. I had to keep reading: “The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.” Oh. Okay. That’s a little better, Wikipedia. Stop trying to impress me and just define stuff, okay? Maybe with pictures next time? I like pictures.

A trope is, when you’re watching a new show about a cop who’s set to retire next week/month/year, you know that cop will never retire. It’s when the slutty pretty teenager in a horror movie says “I’ll be right back!” and you know she’s toast. It’s knowing the hero and heroine who at first loathe each other will fall in love. It’s a way for the writer to let the reader/viewer know what to expect without having to, you know, write. (Shut up! We’re doing the best we can.)

A trope is the thing that brings you back to the same genre again and again, because the stuff you loved in the first book will pop up in other books and you’re always chasing that feeling, the giddy excitement of reading about a hero and heroine, or hero and hero, or heroine and—you get the picture, whoever they are, you know they are destined for love, and you want to watch. (Not in a creepy way.) Even more: you want to fall in love, too.

And while we were listing our fave tropes (and everyone in the office was getting in on it, and when I mentioned it to my book club they couldn’t wait to list theirs, too) my editor said, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a book that paid homage to the romance tropes? Not in a mean way, like the Scary Movie movies.”

“In a fun way,” I replied, “like Shaun of the Dead.” And wouldn’t it be great, we thought, if the audience was in on it?

And that’s how Danger, Sweetheart came about. A romance novel that pays respect to romance novels, where the readers are in on the joke. Unless you skipped my Author’s Note, in which case I cannot help you.

For those of you in a hurry, I’ve listed all the romance tropes used in the writing of this book at the end, so you can peek and see if any of your favorites are there. Dunno about you, but I can never resist a hero with a high fever, all delirious and adorable, being tended to by a (reluctantly) adoring heroine. I also like the fish out of water trope, and the first sex is perfect sex trope. I even got to have some fun with tropes I find annoying (I’m looking at you, Hero Keeping A Big Secret).

If you’re new to the genre, this is a fun place to start because: tropes! I’m basically throwing you into the deep end but, unlike when I was tossed into the deep end at the helpless age of twenty-seven, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Other things you might want to know (or things I want you to know and your feelings on the matter are nothing to me, nothing!): no tropes were harmed in the creative process. Also, I’m am not as gross as readers might assume: it really did rain urine in the bathroom at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, courtesy of a leak one floor above. I did not make that up. God, I wish I had made that up. “Urine” and “rain” and “hotel” are three words that never belong in the same sentence.

The t-shirt Natalie wears (“One by one the penguins slowly steal my sanity.”) is a thing! You can get it at Amazon. As I did. As I did. And the pink skull leash sported by Margaret of Anjou also exists in real life.

Finally, as of this writing, you can’t hop an Amtrak from Las Vegas to Minot, North Dakota. This is a crime against humanity. Long train rides rock. Minot does, too (my bias: I was born on the Minot Air Force Base).

Love Wanted in Texas

Theisbn9780349413532 moment I set out to write the Love Wanted in Texas Series I knew it was going to be special not only for me, but for the readers as well. This series has been so incredibly fun to write. Diving into the original Wanted characters again and their kids has been an experience I will forever cherish. I think reading the stories of the kids growing up has also been a fun journey for the readers as well. We’ve gotten to see them born, watch them grow up, walk along with them as they learned life lessons (some hard, some not so hard!), and cheered them on as they started families of their own. Talk about full circles!

Now that we are nearing the end of the LWIT series, I find myself with mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m happy to see that each character has had their story told and given a happily ever after. It’s also somewhat refreshing to know that I’ll be moving on to newer projects and exploring new things that I’m excited to share with my readers.

On the other hand, I’m sad to let go of these characters. I’ve come to love each of them so very much. They may be fictional, but they feel like my own family. There are times I often think of them when I’m driving and I find myself coming up with a scene in my head! I have no doubt letting them go is going to be very difficult and very emotional to say the least, not only for me, but for those who have invested in these characters as well.

With the release of Loving You it has given me a chance to stop and reflect on all six books in this series as well as the WANTED series. To be able to write these families has been a pure joy. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!

Happy reading!


LOVING YOU is published tomorrow – available in ebook here

Why I wrote RAZE and REAP, and a look ahead to RAVAGE – by Tillie Cole

51rRH4WFf-LBelieve it or not, I actually wrote RAZE after a dream that I had. I was in the process of writing another dark romance, when I had a dream featuring a homeless man that had lost his memory. He was sitting in an alley, in Brooklyn, New York, begging for money so that he could enter a death match competition. He also had a Russian accent.

Now, I don’t normally dream of such dark things—I promise!—so this dream wouldn’t leave my mind. I thought about it constantly. As I took a walk one morning, I began replaying the dream in my head. An hour later I had a storyline for RAZE, and three weeks later, I had completed the first draft. I had never written a book so fast before. I literally sat down for about eighteen hours a day, everyday, until it was done. To this day I haven’t had a writing experience like that. It makes this series that much more special to me.

A few weeks later, I published RAZE via Amazon, and within a week, it had made the USA Today bestsellers list. My readers seemed to love the dark, almost dystopian, underworld that I had created, and wanted more. I knew that Talia, Luka’s sister, was a stand out character, and I had a loose idea of where her story would go if I was to ever write it. At that time I wasn’t sure if I would, but when I secured a publishing deal for four books—what became The Scarred Souls Series—I knew that story would be written, and I couldn’t wait to begin.

REAP was slightly different in tone to RAZE, and I loved that. I wanted it to be different. I have always adored the forbidden love, Romeo and Juliet-type theme, so I knew I wanted to do my very own Montague and Capulet type story—only with the Russian and Georgian mafiya. With tensions high and family honor and revenge in the story, I knew it would make for a thrilling read.

In the end, I loved the contrast of RAZE and REAP. RAZE is very rough and raw, romantic yet violent at the same time. REAP is more about unlocking the past through a forbidden love, learning to forgive, but most importantly, leaving the demons of the past behind and focusing on a new beginning. At least as much as one can after a plot twist rears its head.

I feel these two novels compliment each other greatly. As will the next two installments.

RAVAGE and RIOT, books three and four, are the final two books in the Scarred Souls series. All I can say is that with each of these next two books, the underground world that shapes the Scarred Souls series, gets bigger and bigger, stretches farther and wider, and we begin to uncover the deep layers that make up this secret, yet volatile, world.

Hold onto your seats, guys, that’s all I’m saying!

Three things you need to know about RAVAGE—a tease

  • RAVAGE is by far the most brutal and dark of the Scarred Souls series so far. It features a Jekyll and Hyde theme, and it’s a hell of a dark and twisted ride, that’s for sure! The journey of our two romantic leads is not for the faint-hearted. Limits will be tested, hearts will be pushed to their breaking point. The bridge between good and evil will be blurred.
  • The male protagonist in RAVAGE is most certainly the epitome of an anti-hero. He is a trained torturer for the Georgian mafiya and is set on destroying one of our main characters, whatever the cost. As the novel progresses, we see many elements of this multi-layered man. We find there’s more than meets the eye. We find that he too may be broken, and in desperate need of help and understanding. And total disclosure time, he’s my favorite of all the men in this series. I’m a sucker for the messed up tortured souls!
  • The female lead in RAVAGE is one of my favorites too (if you’ve read REAP, you might have an idea who she is!). Her strength and family honor is put to the test in RAVAGE, and she faces one of the most horrific situations possible. But what I love most about this character is how she endures pain and heartache with such dignity and poise. She has one goal in her life, one she’s been waiting to fulfil since she was a child, and she never gives up. She never lets go of her dream. Her capacity to forgive and love with an open heart will astound you. She is truly someone to look up to. And she may just have the kind of heart that can see past the monster that tries to hurt her, and find the true man underneath.

That’s all I’m saying for now. I can’t wait for you to read it!


Order Scarred Souls paperback here:

Pre-order Ravage:




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Jared, Tate and Madoc do Christmas . . . EXCLUSIVE CONTENT from Penelope Douglas




It’s Christmas morning, and Madoc and family have come over to Jared and Tate’s. But they’re still sleeping.


Tate: *groans* *still asleep*

Madoc: GET UP!!

Jared: *lifts head off pillow* I’m going to fuck him up. What time is it?

Tate: *moans, reaches over and cuddles* Ignore him. Come back here.

Jared: *lays back down

Madoc: Seriously!! I can’t believe you two are in bed when your 10 year old daughter is outside the house unsupervised!!

Jared: *pops head up again* What?!


Jared: *listening

Tate: *listening

Jared: Oh, shit! *scrambles, throws on jeans and races out of room

Jared: What the hell is she doing?

Madoc: I’m guessing she found her Christmas present early.

Jared: *swings open front door, sees Dylan and Hawke racing down snow-covered Fall Away Lane on their four-wheelers.

Madoc: You realize it was kind of stupid for you and Jax to get them the same thing, right?

Jared: Dylan!! Get off that thing now!

Dylan: *carries on racing as the snow falls

Madoc: *snorts* It’s okay. Mine hear white noise when I start yelling, too.

Jared: *throws on sweatshirt, shoes, and runs to the street

Jared: Dylan, now!

Dylan and Hawke pull up to curb. Hunter and Kade watching. Fallon and Tate come outside…

Dylan: I love it! It’s so much fun!

Jared: Yeah, you don’t have a helmet on. You haven’t been trained on it, and you’re on a city street. Get off now.

Dylan: Did you wear a helmet when you raced?

Jared: I didn’t race four-wheelers.

Dylan: Were you trained how to race? I thought you told Hawke that a little danger is good for you.

Jared: Hawke’s not my child.

Dylan: Is it because I’m a girl?

Jared: Jesus…

Dylan: And Mom told me that you and she raced all the way to Main—IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! IN CARS!

Jared: *cocks eyebrow at Tate*

Tate: *hides smile

Dylan: I’ll learn how to use it on my own. I don’t need help.

Jared: No, I…

Dylan: You can’t just take it away now that I’ve gotten a chance to ride it. If I have to come inside, I’m just going to stare at it through the window all day being unhappy.

Jared: Dylan, I–

Dylan: And I don’t want to be unhappy on Christmas. Come on, please? It’s so much fun. It’s going to ruin the whole day if you make me wait to ride it.

Jared: Don’t be dramatic. I—

Dylan: I’m not being dramatic! Do you call the boys dramatic?

Jared: I…I…

Tate: *laughing

Madoc: *making whipping sound

Dylan: Just twenty more minutes.

Hawke: An hour.

Dylan: Yeah, an hour. Then we’ll come inside!

Hunter: Hey, Dyl. Let me ride with you.

Dylan: Don’t call me Dyl, Dork.

Hunter: Fine. Let me ride with you. *walks to four-wheeler

Kade: *grabs him and pulls him away* You go be Hawke’s sissy. I’ll ride with Dylan.

Kade: *looks at Dylan* Scoot back. I’m driving.

Dylan: Fat chance. You want to ride with me, climb on behind. I’m driving.

Kade: *smirks, climbs on behind and then leans forward into Dylan’s back, placing his hands on the handlebars and pushing hers out of the way.

Dylan: Hey!

Kade: I always win. You know that by now. *speeds off, followed by Hawke and Hunter

Madoc: That’s my boy. You can’t learn skill like that.

Jared: *scowls and glares at Madoc

Madoc: Oh, come on. Things are going to get real interesting in a few years. She doesn’t stand a chance. You know that.

Jared: Shut up.


Love Penelope Douglas? Have you read her brand new book, available NOW: Misconduct












How to write a love triangle: Get the inside scoop from Joya Ryan, Tiffany Snow & us

Love triangles are like romance crack to me – put a good one in any story and I’m immediately, helplessly hooked. I’ll swallow any other problems in the story without complaint, buy into any world and hope desperately for the redemption of characters who I know I really should have given up on. At Piatkus, we’re lucky enough to this October publish two authors who excel at creating love triangles – Joya Ryan and Tiffany Snow – and even luckier that they’ve agreed to share their trade secrets on writing love triangles.

Power PlayLove triangle rules à la Tiffany Snow – author of the Risky Business trilogy

  1. Decide how far the love triangle will go. There are various degrees of “love triangle” and in my opinion, a TRUE love triangle is one where the heroine falls in love with BOTH heroes. For instance, did anyone really think Jacob ever had a chance with Bella? Or that Ashley and Scarlett were ever going to get together? But having a heroine fall in love with two different men is a tough scenario to create believably. And then comes the next question: will she have sex with both men? And, if so, how to do that without turning women readers against her? (Women readers are very tough on heroines, especially when it comes to the heroes they adore.) But a love triangle doesn’t have to go that far, as we’ve seen many times in fiction. Just know and have a plan for how and why and how much the heroine will be emotionally involved with each hero.
  2.  Don’t go for the easy way out. Locked in a love triangle and don’t know what to do? Death starts looking pretty darn good — for one of your heroes, that is. Kill one off and voilà! The heroine’s choice is made for her. Or, Option B, have one of the heroes do something so reprehensible, the readers (and the heroine) are left with no choice but the alternative. Stay true to your characters and dig deeper for that reason why one love story is going to work out and the other one won’t.
  3. Be Prepared for the Fallout. Unless the love triangle is erotica, someone’s going to lose in the end. Romance readers get emotionally invested in characters — that’s one of the many reasons they’re the best! And with that investment comes disappointment and sometimes anger when a love triangle doesn’t end to their satisfaction. I think every romance writer of a love triangle has had the hate messages and angry emails at the end of a series (or during) when their preferred hero doesn’t get the girl. The old saying is true: you can’t make everyone happy. Be sure to stick to YOUR vision for the story and give readers a reason to follow your emotional logic. Don’t pull a rabbit out of the hat at the end and expect readers who’ve faithfully followed (oftentimes for many books) to be pleased. End the love triangle in a way that justifies the work put in to creating it.


Yours TonightLove triangle rules à la Joya Ryan – author of the Reign series

  1.  Friendly Competition: There’s nothing wrong with a bit of friendly fire when it comes to getting the girl. Keeping dude one and dude two in check with each other keeps the heat revved up and the scenes spicy. Going for the girl can be a tricky match, so each guy has to bring his A game.
  2.  Earn it: One of the best parts of writing a love triangle is pitting two strong men, not against each other, but against themselves. They want the girl? They have to earn her. Why are they the best man? How can they prove that to her and the reader? That key element of breaking down the hero and showing what he’s really made of and why the heroine should be with him is what keeps the story constantly spiraling forward.
  3.  Mr. Man Must Be Unique: Each hero in the story has to have his own flare. He possess something the other hero doesn’t and it’s that something that the heroine needs. Each man has different skills, strengths and taps into a special side of the heroine. It’s the men’s uniqueness from each other and from other men that keep the reader going back and forth on who to cheer for. Because they’re both awesome in their own way!


And finally, here are three points from an editorial point of view, as I had a think about what really makes them work for me as an editor:

  1. Make the choice difficult. Too often, I see love triangles made up of the ‘right on paper’ choice and the maverick choice that you just know is the only one who’s capable of making the heroine truly happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love that too (I’m basically a sucker for anything involving three characters and a choice for the heroine to make) but where this doesn’t work is if much of the excitement in the story is meant to flow from who the heroine ends up with. If both men aren’t deeply appealing in their individual ways, it can make for a very frustrating read. It becomes harder to sympathise with a heroine going back-and-forth over this kind of choice, which automatically distances your readers from the story.
  2. Explore the difference. I find the most compelling triangles occur when each hero brings out a different aspect of the heroine – the more you can tie her choice in with the heroine’s character arc, with the kind of person she wants to be, the more powerful the story is likely to become – the stakes will be higher if we believe that her ultimate choice will also impact her overall character.
  3. Give the heroine agency. It can be very easy for a heroine in this situation to become somewhat passive – someone who keeps being rescued, who is helplessly overcome every time one of the heroes makes a move. Though initially compelling (everyone can understand how she might feel!), without a heroine who has the gumption to make her own choice and fight against her feelings, as well as rebel against the situation as a whole, may begin to lose reader sympathy – make sure she’s got her own story and develops as a character in her own right. What, apart from each of the men, does your heroine want?


Want more love triangles? Of course you do, because THEY ARE AWESOME. We love this list of 26 unforgettable TV triangles, in order of time sustained . . .


Get your copy of Power Play here:                             Get your copy of Yours Tonight here:

Kindle                                                                                           Kindle

iBooks                                                                                           iBooks

Kobo                                                                                              Kobo

Waterstones                                                                                Waterstones


Mary Balogh’s favourite kissing scene


We are honoured to welcome this afternoon’s guest to Regency Week: international bestseller Mary Balogh, author of over 60 novels and one of the biggest names in Historical romance today.

We asked Mary to choose, out of all of her books, her very favourite kiss scene! With over 30 years of writing behind her, it’s a big call to make . . . Read on to find out what she chose!

I’d like to choose the kiss that gave my newest book, Only a Kiss, its title.

Percy, Earl of Hardford, has come at last to the estate in Cornwall he inherited two years ago, only to find Imogen, Lady Barclay, his predecessor’s widowed daughter-in-law, in residence because the roof is off the dower house, where she usually lives. Imogen is not Percy’s type at all. He thinks of her as the marble lady. And he is not her type – he is altogether too flippant, too irresponsible. They quarrel in the library one night over who should pay for the repairs to her roof – each insists upon doing it. She is very close and very angry when she tells him he is no gentleman. But instead of defending himself, he curls one hand about the back of her neck and kisses her.

“He did not need even the fraction of one second to know that he had made a big mistake . . .  She broke off the kiss after perhaps two seconds and cracked him across one cheek with an open palm . . . His cheek stung and his eye watered . . . ‘How dare you,’ she cried . . . He owed her a groveling apology – at the very least. ‘It was only a kiss,’ he said instead.”

And Percy muses a little later when he is alone that if that kiss had lasted for two seconds, then for at least one of them she had kissed him back.

To find out more about Mary Balogh, visit her website or follow her on Facebook.


Buy a copy of Only a Kiss here:







Welcome to my Amanda Quick world – a guest post by Jayne Ann Krentz

Greetings from Seattle:

What a perfect opportunity to wish my readers in the UK a glorious spring!

Welcome to my Amanda Quick world.

I’m often asked why I chose the Victorian era for my novels of historical romantic-suspense. The answer, of course, is that it is absolutely perfect for the kind of stories I love to write. There is gaslight and fog and a sense of change in the atmosphere. Scientists are at last starting to unlock the secrets of the natural world and people are becoming aware of both the wonders and the dangers that the future hold — and a public raised on “horrid” novels laced with dread and the supernatural are discovering that there are real monsters such as Jack-the-Ripper prowling the dark streets of London.

What better time for the return of Mr. Slater Roxton? He can be forgiven a few eccentricities, don’t you think? After all, they say he was entombed alive on a strange island. And there is that talk about the strange sexual rituals that take place in a secret room below his mansion. Nevertheless, as far as Miss Ursula Kern is concerned, Roxton is an excellent client and he pays well for her secretarial services. It’s all business between them. What could possibly go wrong, hmm?


Jayne Ann Krentz
Writing as:
Amanda Quick

Is three the magic number? A guest post by Joya Ryan

The Reign Series has been a fun and tricky one to write. In dealing with love triangles, the assumption that one person will lose out is implied. Because surely . . . three people can’t be in a relationship right?

Or can they?

One thing I enjoyed exploring in these books was the idea that one woman was in love with two men and she couldn’t—wouldn’t—choose. Between the love, lust, loss and despair, she refused to pick between different men who made her feel different emotions. The majority of the third book—Yours Forever—explores this notion that choosing between the men is irrelevant when in fact, she’s choosing to not make a choice. The idea of a three person relationship then starts to present itself.

Ménage a trios have been done by many authors in many ways. In the case of Yours Forever and the entire Reign Series, this was attacked more as a love triangle exploring options for the ending rather than a relationship between three people from the beginning. Though both men are present in all three books, each hero has his individual time with the heroine. However, the ending isn’t as traditional. Yours Forever, the third book in the Reign Series will you keep guessing until the very last page. And the idea of what is possible, takes on a whole new meaning.

Other favourite ‘menage’ authors of mine include Maya Banks, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black.

You’ll find Joya’s Reign Series here: