Posts Tagged ‘regency romance’

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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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.

 

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What’s Next for Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane?

Sweetest ScoundrelAs some of you may know, Elizabeth Hoyt has agreed to continue her Maiden Lane series! We’re terribly excited, but it begs the question: where is the series going next?

Thankfully, Elizabeth has agreed to answer that question:

Late next month my ninth Maiden Lane novel, Sweetest Scoundrel will hit stores. Asa Makepeace is an eagerly awaited hero, if my reader mail is anything to go by. He’s self-made, big, bold and brash. Our heroine, Eve Dinwoody, in contrast, is the bastard daughter of a duke and a retiring sort of lady. She’s dragged rather unwillingly out of the comforts of her quiet house by her brother who has left her in charge of the finances of Asa’s pleasure garden.

 

Is Asa pleased by this turn of events? You can bet your brass buttons he isn’t. But while Eve might be retiring she isn’t about to let Asa just walk all over her — even if he’s about the sexiest man she’s ever seen. For his part, Asa isn’t used to a woman who isn’t intimidated by him or his temper, who actually argues back and who sees him as a man — not just as a business. This is a true clash of personalities and I hope you enjoy reading Sweetest Scoundrel!

 

And after Sweetest Scoundrel? I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been contracted for another three Maiden Lane novels, starting with Duke of Sin, the Duke of Montgomery’s book is coming in late spring 2016. Montgomery made quite an impression upon readers in Darling Beast: he’s mercurial, vain, and amoral. In the past he’s done some pretty terrible things, and on Goodreads and my Facebook page many are wondering if I can redeem him. I certainly hope so . . . but it may be a journey. 😉 His heroine is Bridget Crumb, the bastard daughter of an aristocrat and Montgomery’s housekeeper.

 

After Duke of Sin comes Duke of Pleasure with a new hero, Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kilshaw, but a long-awaited heroine, Alf, the girl — actually a woman — dressed as an urchin boy in previous Maiden Lane books. Finally, I’ll be ending Maiden Lane with Duke of Desire.

 

If you haven’t already, do go ahead and check out some of the places I lurk online. I make idea books for each of my books on Pinterest, and I discuss and sometimes hold Name that Dog Character Contests on Facebook. You can read excerpts of upcoming books on my website, as well as read bonus content such as the extra epilogue to Dearest Rogue I recently wrote. And on Twitter I’m mostly just silly.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

Elizabeth Hoyt

 

Sweetest Scoundrel pre-order:                                              Duke of Sin pre-order:

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An extract from Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

9780349407616Readers have long waited for the return of New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas to historical romance, and boy was it worth the wait. Cold-Hearted Rake is one of Lisa’s most breathtaking novels to date, a seductive romp set in rural Devon with scoundrels and rakes aplenty.

To celebrate Regency Week, we’ve got a sneak preview from Chapter One of Cold-Hearted Rake, which is available in print and ebook from 27th October.   

Hampshire, England

August 1875

“The devil knows why my life should be ruined,” Devon Ravenel said grimly, “all because a cousin I never
liked fell from a horse.”
“Theo didn’t fall, precisely,” his younger brother, Weston, replied. “He was thrown.”
“Obviously the horse found him as insufferable as I did.” Devon paced around the receiving room in restless, abbreviated strides. “If Theo hadn’t already broken his damned neck, I’d like to go and break it for him.” West sent him a glance of exasperated amusement.
“How can you complain when you’ve just inherited an earldom that confers an estate in Hampshire, lands in Norfolk, a house in London—”
“All entailed. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm for land and properties that I’ll never own and can’t sell.”
“You may be able to break the entailment, depending on how it was settled. If so, you could sell everything and be done with it.”
“God willing.” Devon glanced at a bloom of mold in the corner with disgust. “No one could reasonably expect me to live here. The place is a shambles.”
This was the first time either of them had ever set foot in Eversby Priory, the ancestral family domain built over the remains of a monastic residence and church. Although Devon had become ennobled shortly after his cousin’s death three months ago, he had waited as long as possible before facing the mountain of problems he now confronted. So far he had seen only this room and the entrance hall, the two areas that were supposed to impress visitors the most. The rugs were worn, the furniture threadbare, the plaster wall moldings dingy and cracked. None of this boded well for the condition of the rest of the house.
“It needs refurbishing,” West admitted.
“It needs to be razed to the ground.”
“It’s not so bad—” West broke off with a yelp as his foot began to sink into a depression in the rug. He hopped away and stared at the bowl-shaped indentation.
“What the deuce . . . ?”
Devon bent and lifted the corner of the rug to reveal a rotting hole in the flooring beneath. Shaking his head, he dropped the rug back into place and went to a window fitted with diamond-shaped panes. The lead came that joined the window glass was corroded, the hinges and fittings rusted.
“Why hasn’t that been repaired?” West asked.
“For want of money, obviously.”
“But how could that be? The estate comes with twenty thousand acres. All those tenants, the annual yields—”
“Estate farming is no longer profitable.”
“In Hampshire?”
Devon sent him a dark glance before returning his attention to the view. “Anywhere.”
The Hampshire scenery was green and bucolic, neatly divided by bottle-green hedgerows in bloom. However, somewhere beyond the cheerful huddles of thatched-roof cottages and the fertile tracts of chalk down and ancient woodland, thousands of miles of steel track were being laid out for an onslaught of locomotive engines and railcars.
All across England, new factories and mill towns had begun to appear faster than hazel catkins in the spring. It had been Devon’s bad luck to inherit a title just as a tide of industry was sweeping away aristocratic traditions and entitled modes of living.
“How do you know?” his brother asked.
“Everyone knows, West. Grain prices have collapsed. When did you last read an issue of the Times? Have you paid no attention to the discussions at the club or the taverns?”
“Not when the subject was farming,” came West’s dour reply. He sat heavily, rubbing his temples. “I don’t like this. I thought we had agreed never to be serious about anything.”
“I’m trying. But death and poverty have a way of making everything seem rather less amusing.” Leaning his forehead against the windowpane, Devon said morosely, “I’ve always enjoyed a comfortable life without having to perform a single day of honest labor. Now I have responsibilities.”
He said the word as if it were a profanity.
“I’ll help you think of ways to avoid them.” Rummaging in his coat, West pulled a silver flask from an inside pocket. He uncapped it and took a long swallow. Devon’s brows lifted.
“Isn’t it a bit early for that? You’ll be stewed by noon.”
“Yes, but it won’t happen unless I start now.” West tilted the flask again. The habits of self-indulgence,
Devon reflected with concern, were catching up with his younger brother. West was a tall and handsome man of four-and-twenty, with a wily intelligence that he preferred to use as seldom as possible. In the past year, an excess of strong drink had lent a ruddy cast to West’s cheeks, and softened his neck and
waistline. Although Devon had made a point of never interfering in his brother’s affairs, he wondered if he should mention something about his swilling. No, West would only resent the unwanted advice.
After replacing the flask in his coat, West steepled his hands and regarded Devon over the tips of his fingers.
“You need to acquire capital, and sire an heir. A rich wife would solve both problems.”
Devon blanched. “You know I’ll never marry.” He understood his limitations: He wasn’t meant to be a husband or father. The idea of repeating the travesty of his childhood, with himself in the role of the cruel and indifferent parent, made his skin crawl. “When I die,” he continued, “you’re next in line.”
“Do you actually believe I’ll outlive you?” West asked.
“With all my vices?”
“I have just as many.”
“Yes, but I’m far more enthusiastic about mine.” Devon couldn’t hold back a wry laugh. No one could have foreseen that the two of them, from a far-flung branch of the Ravenels, would be the last in
a lineage that could be traced back to the Norman Conquest. Unfortunately, Ravenels had always been too hot-blooded and impulsive. They yielded to every temptation, indulged in every sin, and scorned every virtue, with the result that they tended to die faster than they could reproduce. Now there were only two left.
Although Devon and West were wellborn, they had never been part of the peerage, a world so rarefied that the highest levels were impermeable even for minor gentry. Devon knew little of the complex rules and rituals that distinguished aristocrats from the common masses. What he did know was that the Eversby estate was no windfall, but a trap. It could no longer generate enough income to sustain itself. It would devour the modest annual income from his trust, crush him, and then it would finish off his
brother.
“Let the Ravenels come to an end,” Devon said. “We’re a bad lot and always have been. Who will care if the earldom goes extinct?”
“The servants and tenants might object to losing their incomes and homes,” West said dryly.
“They can all go hang. I’ll tell you how what’s to be done: First I’ll send Theo’s widow and sisters packing; they’re of no use to me.”
“Devon—” he heard his brother say uneasily.
“Then I’ll find a way to break the entailment, split the estate apart, and sell it piecemeal. If that’s not possible, I’ll strip the house of everything valuable, tear it down, and sell the stone—”
“Devon.” West gestured to the doorway, where a small, slim woman veiled in black stood at the threshold. Theo’s widow. She was the daughter of Lord Carbery, an Irish peer who owned a stud farm in Glengarrif. She had been married to Theo only three days before he had died. Such tragedy coming on the heels of a customarily joyful event must have been a cruel shock. As one of the last few members of a dwindling family, Devon supposed he should have sent her a letter of sympathy when Theo’s accident
had occurred. But somehow the thought had never translated into action, only stayed in his mind like a bit of lint caught on a coat lapel. Perhaps Devon might have forced himself to send condolences if he hadn’t despised his cousin so much. Life had favored Theo in many ways, gifting him with wealth, privilege, and handsomeness. But instead of being grateful for his good fortune, Theo had always been smug and superior. A bully. Since Devon had never been able to overlook an insult or provocation, he had ended up brawling with Theo whenever they were together. It would have been a lie to say he was sorry that he would never see his cousin again. As for Theo’s widow, she had no need of sympathy. She was young and childless, and she had a jointure, which would make it easy for her to marry again. Although she was reputed to be a beauty, it was impossible to judge; a heavy black veil obscured her in a mist of gloom. One thing was certain: After what she had just overheard, she must think Devon despicable.
He didn’t give a damn.

 

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Happy publication day Christine King!

We are excited to finally welcome the 2013 Entice Writing Competition winner Christine King to Piatkus! Her regency romance debut, The Blade and the Dove, is filled with secrets, danger and ferocious passion.

Trapped she may be, tamed she is not . . .

Lady Elinor, the ethereally beautiful wife of Sir Lucien Reveley, is lusted after by many but known by no one. Famously cold and unfeeling, she is regarded by the gossiping Ton with curiosity. Yet beneath her seeming serenity hides a desperate woman – married to a man whose public persona belies the sadistic, sensual monster within.

Finally pushed to breaking point, Elinor flees, desperate to escape the increasingly debauched demands of her husband. Living a modest life in hiding, Elinor keeps herself safe, but when she meets a man who sees beneath her reserve, a man who makes her tremble for his touch, the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her fragile peace . . .

 
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh or Elizabeth Hoyt, Christine King is a stunning new voice in historical romance!

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.