Posts Tagged ‘eloisa james’

Eloisa James & Julia Quinn Chat Ideas, Research, Books & More

Interview

 

Good heavens! It’s been quite a week for Piatkus Fiction and ladies, we’re positively faint! *fans self elegantly, reaches for the smelling salts but –oops – finds the gin . . .* We admit it has at times been tiresome typing in gloves, insisting that email is not a thing and sitting on our office chairs in corsets (particularly for poor Dominic), but needs must.

All joking aside* we’ve had a wonderful time sharing such great content with you all! It’s been very exciting to see your enthusiasm for our brilliant authors and I’m delighted to present the final piece – a fantastic interview between two Regency romance greats: Eloisa James and Julia Quinn. This made us laugh out loud in the middle of the office – we hope very much that you enjoy it too.

*but not the gin. The gin stays where it is.

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Julia: Okay, Eloisa, I’ll go first since my deadline is sooner which means I am more eager to procrastinate. I want to know what the first thing is that comes into your mind when someone asks, “Where do you get your ideas?” Because we get asked that ALL the time, and we never have a good answer.

Eloisa: “At the sale counter, going cheap — two heroines for the price of a pirate!” More seriously, I think I get them from reading. And watching movies and TV. I saw a couple episodes of House, M.D. on a plane once and ended up turning a version of the good doctor into the hero of When Beauty Tamed the Beast. How about you, Julia? Let’s talk blatant theft. What’s the last movie that inspired you to write?

Julia: When I steal things, I’m never quite so blatant. (Well, except for An Offer from a Gentleman, but who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story?) It’s more that I’ll watch a movie or read a book and it’ll inspire a feeling in me that gets me writing. That said, sometimes there are little concrete nuggets that inspire a book, even if no one would see the connection but me. For example, The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume were inspired by a Dire Straits Song! (“Industrial Disease,” in case you’re interested.)

Eloisa: Hey, I love Dire Straits! I just taught his “Romeo and Juliet” (in Shakespeare class, natch). So that makes me think: you’ve rewritten Cinderella. Have you ever thought of doing a Beauty and the Beast? Because I have the title: The Beautiful, Beastly Bridgerton!

Julia: This is why I don’t turn to you when trying to come up with titles for my books.

Eloisa: Yeah, our publisher rejects them too. I would love to put Bodacious in a title. Bodacious Bridgerton? No? Seriously, do you come up with your own titles? Because all my best titles have come from my editor, who has a positive gift for it. What’s your favorite title?

Julia: I’d say I’ve come up with about three-quarters of them. My favorite is probably How to Marry a Marquis. It was my first really clever title. I actually sort-of kind-of stole it from Candice Hern. She’d written a traditional regency in the vein of Georgette Heyer that she wanted to call How to Marry a Duke. Her editor hated it and they changed to something totally nondescript. When Candice told me about this, I immediately said, “Can I have it?” A little alliteration later and it was How to Marry a Marquis.

I think this might have been the only time I had a title before I had a book idea, and it actually took me several years to come up with a plot to go with it. I was completely at a loss until this book called The Rules came out, purporting to be a modern-day guide to catching a husband. I immediately thought, “A-ha! Jane Austen meets The Rules!”

In retrospect, this was probably my only true high-concept novel.

Eloisa: I’m trying to think if I’ve ever written a high concept novel . . .  I don’t think so. My plots usually spring from a funny detail that I somehow turn into a whole book. The idea for My American Duchess sprang from a visit to a British historical house where the dining room table featured a pineapple on a silver platter. The docent told us that pineapples were so expensive and fashionable that people used to rent them for a dinner party! I instantly thought up an American heroine who would horrify high society by asking for a slice of pineapple. From there, I had a wonderful time coming up with more mistakes that Merry could inadvertently make. Did any of your novels spring from one funny idea?

Julia: No, but I did have one novel spring up from an opening line. The first line of To Catch an Heiress just popped into my head fully-formed: “Caroline Trent hadn’t meant to shoot Percival Prewitt, but she had, and now he was dead.”

I have to say, I’m fascinated about that pineapple thing. I’d never heard of that! Food is one of those things I find I’m always researching. That and flora in general. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted spent trying to figure out which flowers are in bloom and when in specific regions of England. My latest research time-sink has been the American Revolutionary War. Because of Miss Bridgerton is set in England, but the hero’s brother is a captain in the 54th Regiment of Foot, stationed in New England and New York. I spent hours and hours figuring out which regiment he needed to be in in order to put him where I want him crazy — since he doesn’t even appear in the book! What about you? What’s your latest research black hole?

Eloisa: After my dissertation-level research into the status of pineapples in the western world (ask me anything!), my most recent foray has been into the world of Registry Offices, from which people would hire servants. The heroine of the book I’m writing at the moment, Seven Minutes in Heaven, owns a registry office for governesses. Even talking about my manuscript makes me nervous, though . . .  I should be writing it. Why don’t I ask one last question. What book are you writing right now, and what’s the heroine like?

Julia: I’m putting the finishing touches on Because of Miss Bridgerton. The heroine is the eponymous Miss Bridgerton — Billie Bridgerton, to be more specific. She’s a total tomboy, utterly devoted to her home and village, and about to fall in love with the guy who has been the bane of her existence for years. She doesn’t own a registry office, but she’s really into managing her father’s estate, which means I got to research barley and mulch. I’m thinking pineapples sound like more fun.

Eloisa: OK, I’m off to google wax flowers (every governess needs to know how to make them), leaving Julia to research pineapple stoves (seriously, all the best estates had one!).
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Farewell for now, dear readers – may your future involve many dukes, cads of only the most entertaining kind and a multitude of gilded invitations!

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To pre-order your copy of Because of Miss Bridgerton go here:

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An Exclusive, Early Excerpt from Eloisa James’ MY AMERICAN DUCHESS

My American DuchessI don’t know about everyone else, but ever since we read the cover copy of My American Duchess, we’ve been dying to get our hands on it. To help tide us over Eloisa has kindly supplied us with an exclusive, early excerpt for #RegencyWeek.

Enjoy!

He had promised himself he would be gentle when he kissed her. He was wrong.

It was a greedy kiss. He had never realised that a lady’s lips could be as voluptuous as a courtesan’s — but that the addition of surprise and innocence would make it a far headier experience than he had ever experienced.

To this point, Trent hadn’t particularly enjoyed kissing. It was too intimate. He’d never been selfish about giving pleasure, as he enjoyed bodily intimacy. All the same, he didn’t care for kissing.

Not until now.

When Merry started kissing him back, the shock of it sent a hum down his limbs that brought with it a strange feeling, as if the world were shaking around them.

One of her hands came around his neck and buried itself in his hair. Her mouth had been sweet, but now it was silk and fire. Her innocence was still there, but alongside it, a searing urgency.

Trent lost himself. Their tongues danced together and he felt a shudder go through Merry’s body. She made a whimpering sound in the back of her throat, and desire exploded down his spine.

It wasn’t until he became aware that one of his hands had settled on her thigh, and that certain parts of his body had taken on an ungentlemanly life of their own, that he regained a measure of sanity.

He drew his mouth away from hers, just far enough that he could still feel the erotic heat of her breath. He watched her face, his heart pounding unsteadily, as she opened her eyes.

A man could get lost in those eyes. Desire shimmered between them like a haze on a hot day in August.

Would she be outraged? Surprised?

She was dismayed.

“I loathe myself,” she mumbled, closing her eyes in anguish.

“It wasn’t a bad kiss.” Trent’s voice had a rasp that he’d never heard in it before.

Her eyes opened again. “You have the oddest sense of humor,” she said, frowning.

“Did you enjoy the kiss?”

“It was a very nice kiss. In fact —”

She caught back whatever she was about to say.

“I am a despicable person,” she said, her voice ragged.

He suppressed a smile. “I strongly disagree.”

Descriptions and details began tumbling out of her — about Bertie, who used to kiss her on a sofa (if Trent ever met him, he’d have to kill him for that), about Dermot, about Cedric . . . In short, the whole sorry saga of Merry’s romantic life thus far.

Trent didn’t want to discuss the three men she’d fancied herself in love with. He didn’t want to imagine that they had touched her. Or kissed her.

As Merry recounted her supposed sins, Trent cupped her face in his hands and lowered his lips to hers, so close that their noses brushed. She went silent. “You never kissed Cedric the way you just kissed me,” he stated.

Her eyes didn’t fail him. He could see the truth in them. “No,” she said with a little gasp. “No — that is to say, I won’t discuss it. This mustn’t ever happen again, Your Grace. I’m —”

He took her mouth in a thirsty, deep kiss.

Before now, first, second and third kisses had been merely signposts on the road to bed. His mistresses had all been courtesans, refined women who chose their lovers and enjoyed his company as much as he did theirs.

Kissing Merry was no signpost. It was like making love, something he could do all night. She was everything he’d ever wanted in a woman, and nothing he’d ever thought to find in a lady.

 

Pre-order your copy here:

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Meet the Graysons . . .

On Friday, July 25th we published the first in a brand new series by Tracy Anne Warren, The Last Man on Earth! It’s sexy, clever and we’re pretty sure we’re the ones who gave that guy his lipstick mark . . .

 

Read more about the beginning of the Graysons series below and be sure to pick up your own copy now! The Man Plan, second in the trilogy, is coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Idealistic good girl Madelyn Grayson believes in doing what’s right. Even as a high-powered executive in the mad world of advertising, she doesn’t cut corners, making her ad campaigns sizzle without having to burn anyone along the way.

Rival exec Zack Douglas never wastes an opportunity to land the next big deal – especially when it benefits him. A bad boy with a reputation to match, he has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get ahead, no matter who gets in the way.

When a hot promotion pops up at their company, both Zack and Madelyn wind up on the short list for the position. But as the two square off, they discover that being heated rivals in the office makes for scorching bed play behind closed doors. Will Madelyn’s steamy, secret affair with Mr. Vice make her compromise her ideals – or worse, lose her heart?

 

‘Few things are more fun than an enemies-to-lovers romance, and Warren delivers with The Last Man on Earth Sarah Maclean

‘Effortless and light-hearted romance’ Eloisa James

 

Eloisa James on Potent Pleasures . . .

Do any Enticers dream of being a historical romance author? Or any kind of author?

Here at Piatkus, we’re constantly seeing our authors encouraging new writers on their websites, on social media or in essays for magazines/blogs. They’re right – reach for the stars!

And sometimes, when someone you really admire, tells you a story from their past, about starting out and perhaps making a few mistakes, it’s tempting to think, ‘Yeah right!’

But yeah . . . RIGHT! Everyone was once in your shoes and in Eloisa James‘s first year as a published author, she learned and grew and was basically a totally tough battle warrior!

With the help of intelligent readers like you, some tough times led to one of her most well-loved books, (Potent Pleasures, the first in series that has just become available in the UK for the first time) and inspiration for all others that followed . . .

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Remember how much you longed to be a teenager?  When I was unpublished, the published state looked just as glorious as the magic year thirteen does to a eleven-year-old girl.  I had no problem visualizing myself signing my name with a flourish and meeting my editor at fancy New York lunches.  But First Years are often not exactly as one visualizes.  Take the First Year of Marriage, for example.  Magazines and movies portray it as a blur of romantic dinners and surprise gifts from one’s dearly beloved.  Yet even as my husband and I wander into our second decade together, I shudder to think of our first twelve months.  I am not just complaining about the state of the bathroom, either.  Why doesn’t anyone tell you that supposedly intelligent men turn out not to have balanced their checkbook for years?

And what about that long-awaited First Year as a Teenager?  I expected something marvelous to happen.  OK, breasts might have been a long shot, but secretly I hoped to transform into a graceful, slender girl with blond hair.  Needless to say, my hair remained obstinately red, my clumsiness was unmatched by anyone else trying out for the cheerleading squad, and my waistline was a matter for tears and French fries.  The year is summed up, in my mind, by one day at lunchtime when the boys (who generally stuck to their side of the room), were acting like rampaging animals, tossing about a garment of clothing.  I hadn’t the faintest idea what they were so excited about.  And it wasn’t until the said white scrap of cloth shot over to the girls’ side of the room and draped itself on my head (rather like the homecoming crown I longed for), that I discovered the existence of the jock strap.

I guess my real point is that First Years are often painful.  My first year as a published author was no exception.  The shock was all the greater because I so enjoyed the unpublished life.  I don’t happen to be someone who was wise enough to attend creative writing classes, or join the Romantic Writers of America, or learn how to ride before jumping in the saddle.  Nope, I hopped right on and started writing.  And because I loved it, I kept going.  The year I spent writing Potent Pleasures will always remain, in my memory, one of the most charmed experiences of my life.  I was juggling my job, my three-year-old son, and our household (my husband never did learn to balance a checkbook) – but at four o’clock every day I would sink into the story of Alex and Charlotte.  And I loved it.  Writing was something I felt I could really do well.  I don’t know about you, but I have to work hard at mothering.  It’s the toughest job I’ve done, and if I ever meet someone who says out loud that they do it very, very well, I will likely consider a citizen arrest on the grounds of criminal insanity.  As for being a wife, I was never much good at math.  And as for my job…it’s a job.  Hard one day, excruciating the next, kind of fun one week, stressful for a month.  But writing Potent Pleasures was pure pleasure.

So my first year as a published author should have been bliss, right?  Everyone who picked up the book would say, “Hey!  This is great!” and write me a letter saying so.  What’s more, the publication of Potent Pleasures was not the only wonderful thing that happened to me in 1999.  My second child, Anna, was also born.  Oh bliss!  Oh glory!  Oh desperation!

Why had I not realized that juggling a job, a household, a second book, a four-year-old son and a new baby added up to INSANITY?  At the same time that Potent Pleasures was hitting the bookstores, I was struggling to finish my second novel.  The contracted due date for Midnight Pleasures came and passed.  It wasn’t that the book wasn’t done – it was, sort of.  Sophie and Patrick was a gloriously funny couple.  I adored them and their jokes, their love for each other and their griefs.  The problem was their sex life.  They didn’t have one.  Well – I hardly had one, so why should they?  Anna was born at a low birth weight, and woke up every two hours for a feeding, every night for months.  And if she didn’t wake up, I was under strict instructions to wake her up.  Who needs sex?  Sleep is the ultimate pleasure.

The second problem was my readers.  About half of them loved Potent PleasuresUSA Today loved it, Booklist loved it, and Publishers’ Weekly loved it.  Half of my readers fell into Charlotte and Alex’s story just as I had hoped when writing it:  with pleasure and affection.  But the other half of my readers wrote me blistering letters.  Charlotte and Alex dance a quadrille in 1803 – and there were no quadrilles in England until 1815.  Even worse, Alex wears pajamas – and there were no pajamas worn until the 1930s!  Here’s where my mortification came in.  You see, in my day-to-day job, I am a scholar.  Facts are my business.  I spend most of my days teaching undergraduates how to write footnotes and how to do research.  The mortification of being crowned by a jock strap was easily surpassed when I became the queen of the anachronism.

In my defense, I had no idea that some readers treasure historical accuracy.  Back in my blissful pre-publication state, my husband pointed out that men didn’t wear pajamas in the old days.  I dismissed that suggestion out of hand.  My Alex couldn’t wear a nightshirt!  Yuck!  My husband also thought that prostitutes were not known as hookers back then.  But I liked the sound of a Hookers’ Ball.

Now that Potent Pleasures was actually on the stands, more letters went up on Amazon.com every day.  Outraged letters battled supportive letters.  My editor described my Amazon site as a war zone.  My husband described it as forbidden.  After visiting the site, I invariably spent the whole day in tears (mind you, lack of sleep doesn’t make criticism any easier to handle).

Fortunately, there was a good nine months before Potent Pleasures was to be published in paperback.  I spent two of them in a frenzy.  A few anachronisms couldn’t be changed as they were woven into the texture of the story.  But some pages underwent as many as seven alterations.  Words changed.  Details changed.  Alex lost his pajamas and went to bed naked.  Charlotte’s garters descended to her knees and she attended a Cyprians’ Ball rather than a Hookers’ Ball.  Baby Pippa, alas, was forced to eat cake rather than ice cream.  I turned in the revised draft of Potent Pleasures in a state of complete exhaustion.

In my first year of as a published author, I learned that the art of writing is just as difficult as all the other good things in life, such as parenting or staying in a marriage.  But like those other things, the pleasure of writing well is far keener than the pleasure of writing easily.  By talking back to me, irate readers helped me become a better writer, in a way I may never have learned on my own.  The paperback of Potent Pleasures represents, to me, the very best story that I could write at this moment.  And yet the paperback is no longer just my property.  It is a collaborative effort, written with the help of intelligent, conscientious, and vocal readers.

My baby, Anna, not only sleeps through the night, but bops around her room listening to Justin Bieber.  My husband may not balance our checkbook, but he cooks a great pot of pasta, and he does all the laundry – and he even sorts the colors sometimes.  Sophie and Patrick regained their sex life, and became a more passionate couple for having lived a celibate existence.  I’m still writing novels, but now I find myself looking forward to letters from readers, whether they be irate, supportive or otherwise.  How else will I grow as an author?  I still don’t have time to take a creative writing class!  What was most difficult about my First Year as a Published Author has become a crucial source of help and inspiration.

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Potent Pleasures and the rest of the Pleasures trilogy is available now in ebook from Piatkus Entice, and in paperback July 3rd, 2015!

Introducing Eloisa James’s Pleasures Trilogy!

Nothing is more seductive than temptation . . .

Eloisa James is a firm favourite here on Entice! Her sumptuous historical romances are both funny and exciting, all at once sexy and tender. Therefore, we are thrilled to say that for the first time in the UK we are publishing her Pleasures Trilogy! Want to know something even more amazing? They were the first books she wrote!

So, suffice it to say, they are pretty special. Read on for more details on the entire series! Yes indeed, dear Readers. You are being seduced . . .

Potent Pleasures

Reckless  desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked  stranger. He’s powerful, unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who  lures her – not against her will – into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball.  Then he vanishes.

Several years later, after Charlotte has made her  dazzling debut in London society, they meet again. But the rogue is no footman.  He’s rich, titled, and he doesn’t remember Charlotte. Worse, he’s the subject of  some scandalous gossip: rumour has it, the earl’s virility is in  question.

Charlotte, who knows all too intimately the power of his  passion, is stunned by the gossip that has set society ablaze. At last, there  can be a storybook ending . . . unless, of course, Charlotte’s one mad indiscretion had not been with him at all . . .

 

Midnight Pleasures

To her legions of adoring suitors, it comes as quite a shock when Lady Sophie  York rejects an offer of marriage from the dashing, rakish Patrick Foakes in  favor of amiable but dull Braddon Chatwin. He may be an earl, but it is  Patrick’s stolen kisses that sear her lips.

When Patrick, in disguise,  scales a ladder to retrieve his friend’s fiancée, he never expects the elopement  to be his own. Neither does Sophie, Braddon, or the rest of the tattling  ton. One hasty wedding later, the passionate innocent and the  sophisticated rogue play out their own intricate dance as Sophie masters what it  takes to keep a man where he belongs. And Patrick learns the ultimate lesson in  love.

Enchanting Pleasures

Gabrielle Jerningham cherishes the portrait of her betrothed, the perfect Peter  Dewland . . . until she meets his commanding older brother Quill. But it is Peter to  whom she has been promised. And how can she possibly transform her voluptuous,  outspoken self into the poised gentlewoman Peter requires?

When Gabby’s  shocking décolletage plunges to her waist at her first ball, Peter is  humiliated. But Quill comes to the rescue, to the peril of his heart. An  accident years before has left Quill plagued by headaches – the kind that grows  more excruciating with strenuous exercise. Needless to say, this hardly bodes  well for siring progeny. But the very sight of Gabby leaves Quill breathless.  One forbidden kiss and Quill vows to have her, headaches – and Peter – be damned!  But it will take a clever man – and a cleverer woman–to turn the tables on  propriety and find their way to true love . . .

 

All three in Eloisa James‘s Pleasures Trilogy are available now on Piatkus Entice, and in paperback July 3rd 2014.

A special letter from Eloisa James to her UK readers . . .

Eloisa James authorHappy publication day, Eloisa James! Your UK readers having been waiting for this book with bated breath!

Readers, see below for a special message meant especially for you!

 

 

Hello to my UK readers!

I’m so happy to know that Three Weeks with Lady X in finally on the shelves, in e-readers – hopefully in your hands!  Every once in a while a writer creates a pair of characters so witty and smart that she truly wishes they were her friends in real life, rather than just on the page – and for me, India and Thorn are that pair.  When I wrote the Desperate Duchesses series, I fell in love with the Duke of Viliers’s scrappy, illegitimate son, Tobias.  It took a while, but I finally realized that a Georgian boy can grow into a Regency hero . . . and before I knew it, Tobias had been to Eton, renamed himself Thorn and was demanding a book of his own!

There’s no need to have read the Desperate Duchesses series before this one – Three Weeks with Lady X truly stands alone.  But in case you have read those earlier books, the Duke and Duchess of Villiers (from A Duke of Her Own) play Cupid, and it’s rather fun to meet them again.

I hope you love India & Thorn as much as I do.  If you get a chance, please do let me know on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/eloisajames) or by email (eloisa@eloisajames.com).  I answer all my own email – it can take me a few weeks when a book first comes out, but I’d love to know what you think!

Three Weeks with Lady X is out now in all good bookstores and ereaders everywhere!

Recommended Easter Ebooks from Entice

What better way to spend the four day weekend than wrapped up with a brand new ebook?

To celebrate Easter and a blissful four whole days all to ourselves, we’ve rounded up four fantastic Entice ebooks to suit every romance taste. What will you be reading?

Wedding Belles by Zoe Barnes is escapist fiction at it’s very best. If you’re a fan of real-life romance, this is the Easter read for you.

With This Kiss by Eloisa James is gorgeous Regency romance. If you fancy escaping to another world this Easter, don’t miss this sumptuous story in three parts.

If you’re looking for something a little more seductive, download book one in Emma Allan’s Deep Desires series, Naked Ambition.

And if a sweeping saga of love and relationships is exactly what you want to read, don’t miss A Highland Engagement by Anne Douglas.

Whatever you read this Easter, we hope you have a wonderful weekend full of romance and escapism. Happy reading!