Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Hoyt..and a giveaway!

Recently at a conference I was on an historical author panel with the wonderful Teresa Medieros. We were asked to introduce ourselves and Teresa began by listing how many books she’d published (a lot!) and the year she’d started publishing. Which got me thinking. Thief of Shadows is my thirteenth published book (I published two contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper) and my first book was published in 2006. Six years isn’t very long in the life of an author as a whole, but I’ve been through quite a lot of changes, both big and small in that time.


One of the most interesting things about being a published writer is that people actually read my work. Believe it or not, I remember years of wishing that someone—anyone—would just read my writing. And then, of course, I sold my manuscript and all sorts of strangers began reading my writing, which, as it turns out, is both a thrilling and faintly disturbing experience. I don’t know about other writers, but I don’t think about the reader when I’m putting together a story. I write at the most basic level for myself. The hero I create is one that appeals to me, the heroine is someone I can empathize with, the romance is one that interests me. Writing is by its very nature an essentially solitary art. And then suddenly overnight other people are reading the story and experiencing it for themselves—and often they may not experience the story the same way the writer does.


The first time this happened to me it was with my agent. We were discussing my second book, The Leopard Prince, and she said something about the heroine, Lady Georgina, being a bit ditsy. I don’t see Lady Georgina as being ditsy at all. She thinks about odd things at inappropriate times, but then, so do I—and I’m one of the least ditsy people I know. So I opened my mouth to object…and then closed it again. Because I realized something: once the writer has written the book it isn’t hers anymore. The book belongs to the reader. And however the reader sees the character—even if that isn’t what the writer intended when she was typing away—is correct. Letting another person read one’s work is, essentially, an act of letting go for a writer. Because however much I might argue about how I intended the character to turn out, in the end, reading a book is an intimate and solitary act—rather like the act of creating the book itself. Whatever the reader finds all in my book is true for her—even if she hated by book with a passion that knows no bounds. That’s just the way it is.

  Win a copy of Elizabeth's book by posting in the comments section!

Excerpt from THIEF OF SHADOWS:

Isabel swallowed at Mr. Makepeace’s low words. His voice sent a shiver across her nerves, making her nipples tighten. Had she heard correctly? Had he just confessed to being a virgin? He was unmarried, true, and by his own admission had never had a sweetheart, but still. Many men resorted to prostitutes—and he lived in an area where they abounded.

But one look at Mr. Makepeace’s proud, stern face disabused her of that notion. Somehow she knew: he would never pay for such an intimate act.

Which meant he was a virgin…and he’d just asked for her tutelage. Surely he didn’t mean—

“Your silence is uncharacteristic, my lady,” he said, still in that deep, precise voice that feathered across her senses. “I hope I have not shocked you with my inexperience…in flirting.”

Flirting. Of course. That was what they were discussing. But she hadn’t imagined the gleam in his dark eyes—or the subtle pause before he’d said “flirting.”

Isabel straightened. She was the experienced one here, after all. “I believe we must work on your introduction, then.”

He merely raised one eyebrow.

She cleared her throat. When had she last been this out of sorts? And over a plain, rigid schoolmaster—a man younger than she! “Flirtation is best begun immediately, even before the introduction. Can you show me your bow?”

 He stood slowly and, still holding her eyes, bowed shortly.

She frowned. “No. Something more elegant. Shall I demonstrate?”

“No need.” His gaze was ironic.

This time he backed up a step and pretended to doff an imaginary hat, bowing from the waist, his arms outstretched gracefully.

Isabel’s eyes widened. “If you’ve known all along how to give a proper bow, why haven’t you?”

He straightened slowly and shrugged broad shoulders. “A simple nod of the head gives enough deference without such silly flourishes.”

She rolled her eyes. “Well, from now on flourish, please, when in polite company.”

“As you wish,” he said gravely.

“Now.” She had to stop to inhale, for oddly she found herself out of breath. “Now, I would like you to practice kissing the hand of a lady.”

She extended her hand, hoping he wouldn’t notice the faint tremor of her fingers.

He paced toward her, took her hand, and bent over it. For a moment, his bowed head obscured their hands, but she felt the brush—warm and intimate—of his lips on her knuckles.

She gasped. “You’re supposed to kiss the air above the lady’s knuckles.”

He raised his head, still bowed over her hand, the position bringing his face much closer to hers. She could see tiny shards of gold in his brown eyes. “Isn’t this a lesson in flirtation?”

“Yes, but—”

He straightened to his full height. “Then it seems to me that a real kiss is more to the point than a pretend one.”



            Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including her Maiden Lane novels—Scandalous Desire, Notorious Pleasure, Wicked Intentions and the just published, Thief of Shadows.
            Five of Elizabeth’s books have been honored as finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award contest.  She is the recipient of two RT Book Reviews Review’s Choice Awards.  Four of her books appear on All About Romance’s list of the Top 100 Romances of All Time.
            She is the author of eleven books—The Prince Trilogy (The Raven Prince,
The Leopard Prince, and The Serpent Prince), her Legend of the Four Soldiers novels     (To Taste Temptation, To Seduce a Sinner, To Beguile a Beast, and To Desire a Devil), and the Maiden Lane series. All of her novels are set in eighteenth century England and all feature a fairy tale story that serves as a foil to the main story. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages.
            Elizabeth researches extensively for her historical romances, both by reading books on topics such as history, costume, warfare, social mannerisms, and cooking, and by frequenting museums whenever she can to study portraits and the little dogs that aristocratic Georgian ladies seem to always be holding.           
           Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a trio of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. She is at work on the next Maiden Lane novel.

THIEF OF SHADOWS, Book Four in the Maiden Lane Series
Elizabeth Hoyt
A Grand Central Publishing Mass Market and E-book Original
Fiction/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)
978-1-455-50832-7 • 1455508322 



Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

It was The Raven Prince which turned me on to Historical Romance. Now I am working my way through Ms. Hoyt's novels one by one. Thank you for opening a new world for me!


LSUReader said...

Love, love, love Elizabeth's books. She is one of my favorite authors. I'm looking forward to reading her newest. Thanks for the column and giveaway.

Kristy said...

I love reading Elizabeth's books! I believe she was my second HR author I picked up after a recommendation from a friend. Can't wait to read Thief of Shadows!

Joanne said...

Thanks for the great post and excerpt. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Elizabeth is a new author to me.


Estella said...

Thanks for the excerpt. Sounds really good.

Na said...

Hi Elizabeth. Thank you for allowing us to read your books! I love finding a new author because then another world opens up to me and there are that many more books I can look forward to.

Every few months I'll try a new author and some have been publishing formany, many years and I'll wonder what took me so long to try their books because I've been missing out :)

Jane said...

I can't wait to finally meet the Ghost.

elaing8 said...

Thanks for sharing the excerpt.Sounds like a great book.Enjoyed reading your post.

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt. The book sounds intriguing.


Lexi H said...

The Maiden Lane series is so beautifly written, I am always eager for the next one.
Writing is really putting yourself out there. It is revealing a part of yourself to the world, and if you are a private person that is scary. Especially when you know people will criticize your work. So good for you to put your self out there!

Karen H in NC said...

Well, just give me 20 lashes with a wet noodle...I have to hang my head in shame over here! I have several of Elizabeth's books on my ever growing TBR shelves and have NEVER even picked one out to read it! I've heard from so many of my on-line reader buddies that her work is outstanding. I ask myself...what are you waiting for?

I totally understand what you are saying about the book belongs to the reader once it's written. Not everyone will garner the same thoughts from a book as they read it. You don't think your heroine is ditzy (because she's just like you..LOL) and your agent did. She sounds to me like she might speak first and think second. Is that ditzy? I don't know...but I think I would like her.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Maureen said...

It looks like a great story.

Martha Lawson said...

I have been anxiously awaiting this one! I love love your books. Enter me please.

Booklover1335 said...

I've been waiting for this book since reading the first Maiden Lane book! Winter Makepeace has always been an intriguing character and I can't wait to read his story at last!

Thank you!

PaulaP said...

Loved the excerpt and the cover is beautiful! Enjoyable blog post by Elizabeth! I'd love to read this book! :)

flchen1 said...

Great post! Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I'm slowly catching up with your backlist and recently finished the Princes trilogy :) Fabulous!

winnie said...

Very interesting post and great excerpt! Thanks for sharing!