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 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Giveaway:

STARLIGHT by Carrie Lofty


Esteemed astronomer Alex Christie, the eldest and most steadfast of the Christie siblings, has never possessed his late father's ruthless business drive. But to protect his frail infant son from his cruel father-in-law's bid for custody, the young widower must undertake Sir William Christie's posthumous million-dollar challenge: to make a Glasgow cotton mill profitable. At sea in an industrial world of sabotage and union agitation, Alex meets Polly Gowan, daughter of a famed union leader, who hopes to seize a mysterious saboteur without involving the police.

Because a sympathetic mill master would aid her cause, Polly becomes Alex's guide to urban Scotland. From soccer games to pub brawls, Alex sees another side of life, and feels free for the first time to reveal the man--vital and strong--behind his intellectual exterior. Polly is utterly seduced. Their ambitions, however, remains at odds: Alex vows to earn the mill bonus to save his child, while Polly fights for the needs of her people. Is there strength enough in their sparkling passion to bind them together in their quests--and in a lasting love that conquers all?

Romance Reviews Today review:

STARLIGHT – Carrie Lofty
The Christies, Book 2
Pocket Books
ISBN: 9781451636543
June 2012
Historical Romance

Glasgow, Scotland, 1881

Alexander Christie is lured to Glasgow from New York with the promise of one million dollars by taking over his father's business for two years and making it a success.  His wife recently died in childbirth, which leaves him with his sickly child, Edmund, whom he wants to remove from any contact with the baby's abusive maternal grandfather.  He finds many problems with Christie Textiles in Glasgow with much discontent among the workers.  When an explosion and fire take out part of his mill, he calls in some of the union trouble makers.  He finds that his workers are underpaid and over worked, barely making enough to survive, but he is warned by the other mill owners to not give in to their demands.

Polly Gowan is a weaver at Christie Textiles and is trying to help her father protect the people and get better working conditions.  Rand Livingstone is her nemesis, always fighting against her and the other union members.  Alex meets the fiery Polly, and electricity fills the air between them.  Polly is voted to head the union for peaceful negotiation.  She tries to convert Alex to her views rather than his siding with the other mill owners.  More fires erupt in the business district with the union blamed, but who is really starting the fires and why? Violence is close at hand.

STARLIGHT takes place in Glasgow, one of the largest and most industrial cities in the world in 1881.  The people eke out a living at the docks and mills as the city hums with life.  They live in one room shacks and tenements with few comforts.  It is a rough and tumble world.  Not often does love flourish between the classes.  Polly is an independent and strong woman, and although Alex is determined to build a future for his son, his passion for Polly cannot be denied.  Both characters are likeable, and the story moves along at a good pace with a sizzling romance.

STARLIGHT is not a light-hearted story.  Both Polly and Alex must fight for their love and what is right.  Violence is always close to the union members as they try to survive in very rough living and working conditions.  Friendship and family are paramount to their lives.  Ms. Lofty writes a compelling story with DIVA, book three of The Christies , to follow. 

Marilyn Heyman

To enter, just post a comment.
One entry per person.
US and Canada mailing addresses only.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winners to be announced....


First up... the winner of books from Jill Shalvis is... ChelseaB!!!
Would you email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing info.

Thanks and congrats!!

Now, the winner of the RITA contest.
Last night the winners of each category was announced. You can the list here (scroll down a bit for the RITA list):


We had quite a few who guessed 4. LSU Reader came close at 5 correct. But the big winner (with 6 correct) is Pam P!!!
Pam, I will forward your info onto Terrie and the two of you can work it out what you want, etc. :) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Perfect 10:

SHADOW OF NIGHT – Deborah Harkness
Book Two of the All Souls Trilogy
A Perfect 10
Viking Press
ISBN 10: 0670-0-23485
ISBN 13: 978-0-670-2348-6
July 2012

England, America, Europe – The Past and The Present

Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont have traveled to the Elizabethan era from the twenty-first century to, among other reasons, find a book that may tell them many secrets about themselves and others. Diana is a witch, and Matthew is a vampire, and they are trying to find Ashmole 782, a magical compilation that other creatures like them would kill to obtain. Daemons, vampires, and witches will stand in their way, although many of Matthew's “old” friends from the past will help. Because Diana was brought up in a sheltered situation, she is not confident in her powers, so this trip to the past will also include a search for someone to guide her in how to use her hidden abilities.

Is it normal for a witch and vampire to be friends? Not really! In fact, the 1500 year-old Matthew has hated witches for most of his life. That is, until he met the curious Diana after she inadvertently discovered Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian library at Oxford, setting off a stampede of all creatures determined to gain access to the manuscript. The book ended up back on the shelves, hidden from all before Diana realized what she'd found. Upon meeting Matthew, a geneticist, they ended up working together to find the significance of the book's information. And, consequently, ended up falling in love.

Their time-walking trek deposits them in Matthew's old haunts where his friends work with him, and some against him. Some of these friends are Christopher Marlowe, Walter Raleigh, and Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland. As Diana carefully begins her training, all the while trying to appear “normal” due to the witch burnings in Scotland, and the threat of exposure in London, she must come to terms with secrets that Matthew, now her husband, keeps from her. His membership in one organization threatens her own life, while his espionage for the Queen of England makes everyone suspect. When Elizabeth sends Matthew to the continent to meet with the Holy Roman Emperor, things begin to get very tense, not only for the travelers, but between Diana and Matthew.

The second book in the All Souls Trilogy , SHADOW OF NIGHT is exciting, humorous, romantic, and filled with amazing characters. Diana and Matthew continue to evolve as they discover things about themselves that they've stifled for years (or in Matthew's case centuries). The good guys are brave, intelligent, and honorable. The bad guys are truly evil. And all of the players are beautifully rounded, and realistic. Detailed descriptions of life in the Elizabethan era show the in depth research the author went to to make this story so credible. Be prepared for some graphic descriptions—this is, after all, a book about vampires, witches, and daemons!

Terrific writing and an equally terrific storyline kept me up late last night as I finished SHADOW OF NIGHT. Readers must read the first book in the trilogy, however, to really know what's going on in this book. A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES is equally un-put-downable!

Jani Brooks


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spotlight Review:

Texas Trilogy, Book 1
ISBN: 978-1-455-51572-1
July 2012
Contemporary Romance

Everson, Texas - Present Day

Her divorce has been final for six months now, and Marla Jean Bandy is itching for some fun and a man for the night. When she finally decides to jump right in and make it happen with Donny Joe Ledbetter, who should interrupt their kiss but Abel Jacobson. Abel, whom everyone calls Jake, might be her brother Lincoln's best friend, but that's no reason for him to be bustin' open the door of Donny Joe's truck. According to Jake, Linc asked him to watch out for Marla Jean while he and his new wife are out of town; thus, Jake has made Marla Jean his pet project until her brother returns.

Marla Jean is old enough to take care of herself, but Jake won't leave her alone. She runs into him all over town while he takes it upon himself to be a regular nuisance while he keeps an eye on her. Maybe it's guilt? Marla's ex-husband, Bradley, left her for a fifty-something older woman who just happens to be Jake's aunt, and it seems like Jake is trying to make it up to her. Marla Jean has been head over heels for Jake since she was young, but he's never once looked at her. Now, he's not only looking, but he's taking the big brother role to the extreme.

AIN'T MISBEHAVING is the first book in the Texas Trilogy by debut author, Molly Cannon. The pages take us into the town of Everson, Texas, where almost the entire town gathers at Lulu's bar for fun and dancing on Friday nights, and the rest of the residents are almost always to be found over at Bertie Harcourt's Rise and Shine Diner talking about everything and everyone else, especially Marla Jean and her troubles.

Marla Jean took over her dad's barber shop when he retired, and her degree in art couldn't bring forth a suitable job. She still cuts hair for all her dad's customers, except Jake, who thinks that he has to go to a barber in another town in order to get proper attention paid to his stubborn cowlick. So, while Marla Jean is fixing to get a man in her life, and Jake is trying to keep said men away from her, there's lots of fun to be had by all. The pages sparkle with life and lots of zany characters, and although I felt the story was a little too lengthy, AIN'T MISBEHAVING is a really fun book, and I am looking forward to the next in the series, CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE. This will be Donnie Joe Ledbetter's story, and it's due out next summer.

Meanwhile, don't miss Molly Cannon's great beginning in AIN'T MISBEHAVING!

Diana Risso


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chat Wednesday night with Francis Ray!

St Martin's Press author Francis Ray joins us to discuss her book, A DANGEROUS KISS. 
Door prize: One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of ONLY HERS! 
Moderated by Sandi.
When? Wed night at 9:00PM Eastern Time
Where? http://client0.addonchat.com/sc.php?id=102122 or go to www.romrevtoday.com and click on RRT CHAT. Once the login screen loads, just type your name and choose Mo's room from the chat room drop down menu ;)
Hope to see you there for a DANGEROUSly fun chat!
and www.twitter.com/moboylan
Mo's Book Buzz - weekly author chats over at www.romrevtoday.com
Want chat reminders? Join my loop at MoBookBuzz-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Reviews Posted!

Check out the new reviews just posted!  And don't miss the author chat on Wednesday the 25th with Francis Ray, chat starts at 9 pm EST -- and the RWA - Rita Awards chat at Romance Reviews Today on Saturday, July 28th, chat starts at 9:30 pm EST.  And before then enter the contest on the RRTBlog -- who do you think will win?

Happy Reading!

Anthology Reviews
THE GUY MOST LIKELY TO ... - Leslie Kelly, Janelle Dennison, Julie Leto - 7/2012 - Patti - Contemporary Romance
HOT IN HANDCUFFS - Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, Shiloh Walker - 7/2012 - Jennifer - Erotic Romance

Contemporary Romance
AIN'T MISBEHAVING - Molly Cannon - 7/2012 - Diana - NEW!
AT LAST - Jill Shalvis - Lucky Harbor Series, Book 5 - 7/2012 - Patti
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE - Molly O'Keefe - 7/2012 - Patti
CAROLINA HOME - Virginia Kantra - A Dare Island Novel, Book 1 - Carolyn
A DANGEROUS KISS - Francis Ray - Grayson Friends, Book 6 - 7/2012 - Jennifer
FAMILY AFFAIR - Debbie Macomber - 7/2012 - Diana
THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE - Nell Carson - 4/2012 - Amy
THE LAST GOOD MAN - Kathleen Eagle - 5/2012 - Marilyn
MELT INTO YOU - Lisa Plumley - 5/2012 - Diana
MOONSHELL BEACH - JoAnn Ross - A Shelter Bay Novel, Book 4 - 7/2012 -Jane
THE SECRET SHE KEPT - ReShonda Tate Billingsly - 7/2012 - Robin
THE WAY BACK HOME - Barbara Freethy - 7/2012 - Robin
WILLOW SPRINGS - Toni Blake - A Destiny Novel - 7/2012 -Patti

Contemporary Fiction
THE SLEEPING NIGHT - Barbara Samuel - 6/2012 - Marilyn

SHADOW OF NIGHT - Deborah Harkness - All Souls Trilogy, Book 2 - A Perfect 10 - 7/2012 - Jani - NEW!

Historical Romance
THE DARK KNIGHT - Elizabeth Elliott - 7/2012 - Robin
A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER - Christina Brooke - Ministry of Marriage, Book 3 - 7/2012 - Robin
A SCANDALOUS SCOT - Karen Ranney - 7/2012 - Jani
HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY - Katharine Ashe - A Falcon Club Novel, Book 2 - 7/2012 - Jane
IF THE SLIPPER FITS - Olivia Drake - The Cinderella Sisterhood, Book 1 - 6/2012 - Diana
IN THE BARRISTER'S BED - Tina Gabrielle - Barrister's Chambers, Book 2 - 7/2012 - Robin
SCANDAL WEARS SATIN - Loretta Chase - The Dressmakers, Book 2 - 7/2012 - Jane
A SUMMER SEDUCTION - Candace Camp - Legend of Dwynwen, Book 2 - 7/2012 - Robin
THIEF OF SHADOWS - Elizabeth Hoyt - Maiden Lane Series, Book 4 - 7/2012 - Jane
THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS - Victoria Vane - The Devil DeVere, Book 2 - 7/2012 - Holly - Erotic

Paranoraml Romance
ALL THAT FALLS - Kimberly Frost - A Novel of the Etherlin, Book 2 - 6/2012 - Amanda
DARKNESS BECOMES HER - Jaime Rush - The Offspring, Book 6 - June 2012 - Amanda
NIGHT SEEKER - Yasmine Galenorn - An Indigo Court Novel, Book 3 - 7/2012 - Jennifer
ONCE BURNED - Jeaniene Frost - A Night Prince Novel, Book 1 - 7/2012 - Jennifer
SEEKER OF SHADOWS - Nancy Gideon - Shadow Series, Book 2 - A Perfect 10 - 6/2012 - Terrie
WHEN DARKNESS HUNGERS - J.K. Beck - The Shadow Keepers, Book 5 - 7/2012 - Amanda - NEW!

Romantic Comedy
DEATH, TAXES, AND EXTRA-HOLD HAIRSPRAY - Diane Kelly - A Tara Holloway Novel, Book 3 -7/2012 - Patti

Romantc Suspense
DANGER IN PLAIN SIGHT - Marta Perry - Amish Suspense Series, Book 3 - 6/2012 - Diana

Series Romance
AIDEN; LOYAL COWBOY - Cathy McDavid - Miniseries: Harts of the Rodeo - 7/2012 - Jane - HAR #1409
THE CEO'S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL - Karen Rose Smith - Reunion Bride Series, Book 3 - 7/2012 - Jane - HSE #2201
THE CINDERELLA ACT - Jennifer Lewis - The Drummond Vow, Book 1 - 7/2012 - Patti - HD #2170
HIS MAJESTY'S MISTAKE - Jane Porter - 7/2012 - Astrid - HP #3075 - NEW!
GILDED SECRETS - Maureen Child - The Highest Bidder, Book 1 - 7/2012 - Patti - HD #2168
LEAD ME HOME - Vicki Lewis Thompson - Sons of Chance, Book 8 - 7/2012 -Patti - HB #693 -NEW!
A MAN OF PRIVILEGE - Sarah M. Anderson - 7/2012 - Patti - HD #2171
MORE THAN HE EXPECTED - Andrea Laurence - 7/2012 - Jennifer - HD #2172
NOT FIT FOR A KING - Jane Porter - Miniseries: A Royal Scandal - 6/2012 - Astrid - HP#3069
A SCANDAL SO SWEET - Ann Major - 7/2012 - Diana - HD#2167 - NEW!
SMALL TOWN PROTECTOR - Hope White - Port Whisper Series - 7/2012 - SHLI - NEW!
STRICTLY TEMPORARY - Robyn Grady - Billionaires and Babies series - 7/2012 - Patti - HD #2169

DISCRETION - Allison Leotta - A Perfect 10 - Robin


Romance Reviews Today