Guest Author & Giveaway: Elizabeth Hoyt featuring Notorious Pleasures

Tuesday, January 25

My guest today has made my "Favorites" list at the end of the year two years running....basically since I found out about her books.  I love them!  I love that they are emotionally intense, they're sexy AND sensual (and no, they are not the same thing... at least to me), the heroines are strong and the heroes, though sometimes wounded, are to die for!  I can't get enough of them, which is why I am glad I can finally feed my Hoyt addiction with a new addition to her latest historical romance in the Maiden Lane series, Notorious Pleasures.

Elizabeth Hoyt is here today to share some insight into Notorious Pleasures with us, which is completely my pleasure to bring to you with an interview, as well as a exclusive excerpt just for Musings readers.  Read and enjoy!

Welcome back to Seductive Musings Elizabeth! Your historical romances have made my list of “Favorites” at the end of the year two years running (ie ever since I discovered you in 2009).  For you, what makes a romance novel a great love story and what makes writing historical romances so compellingly seductive to your muse?
Emotion is at the heart of all great romance stories. Without deeply felt, sometimes wrenching emotion, the story is flat. But in order for the reader to truly feel the emotion, they have to connect to the characters, so the characters have to be so real they breathe.

I think historicals give me freer rein to explore metaphors and characters and over-arcing themes. That seems a bit counter-intuitive because of course historical romances are constrained by the time period and conventions of that time period. But oddly, those constraints provide a framework to hang all that good stuff on.

What’s the craziest, funniest, most embarrassing, or most bizarre thing you’ve ever researched, experienced, observed, or done for one of your books?  And did that experience make it's way into any of your books in some way?

Well, there was the con woman who convinced a great many learned men—including George III—that she was giving birth to rabbits on a regular basis. I can’t remember what I was researching when I ran across this character, and sadly I haven’t been able to use her in a book, but I did write an article about her on my website research page.

Your newest story in the Maiden Lane series is NOTORIOUS PLEASURES. Can you tell us how many books are planned for this series?  How WICKED INTENTIONS and NOTORIOUS PLEASURES are related, and for someone who has not had the pleasure of reading the first one, can you give us a brief summary about each of these stories? And do they need to be read in order? 

My earlier books don’t really need to be read in order, but I do think the reader will get the most out of the Maiden Lane series if it’s read in order. At the moment there are only three books to the series, but I do plan to continue with the characters and setting, even if it’s under another series name (so people waiting for Winter’s book, don’t panic!)

In Wicked Intentions Lord Caire is hunting for a murderer in the worse part of London—St. Giles. But since he’s an aristocrat, Caire is having trouble getting people to talk to him so he turns to Temperance Dews. Temperance runs an orphanage in St. Giles and knows the area like the back of her hand. But even as Caire’s search brings them together, it also sends Temperance into danger.

Notorious Pleasures also takes place partially in St. Giles, and features Lady Hero Batten, the new patroness of the orphanage.

Most authors have a synopsis, outline or idea of what the story they are about to write will be before beginning.  However, sometimes during the writing process your “Muse” might speak to you and lead you in different or unplanned directions.  What surprised or changed the most from your original intent for NOTORIOUS PLEASURES, or this series in general?

I originally thought the orphanage in St. Giles would only appear in Wicked Intentions, but it’s almost become a reoccurring character. Since I deal with sad stuff like gin addiction, poverty, and etc. in St. Giles, it seems right to have a beacon of hope and love embodied in the orphanage.

If you had an opportunity to provide only a two or three sentence "teaser" quote from NOTORIOUS PLEASURES to grab the attention of potential readers and give them a glimpse and feeling of what the story is about what would it be?

“I am a veritable blackguard,” Lord Griffin said. “A seducer, a rake, the worst sort of profligate. I am notorious for my pleasures. I have no discretion, no morals, and no desire for either. I am, in short, the devil himself, and you, my dearest Lady Perfect, would do well to avoid my company at all costs.”

Tell us about your hero, Lord Griffin Reading.  What do you think will make readers, much like his heroine Hero, fall in love with him despite taking an instant dislike to him? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in NOTORIOUS PLEASURES?

Griffin is interested in his own pleasure—and unrepentant about it—but he’s also intelligent and hard-working and modest enough to pull his family from the brink of financial ruin without taking any credit for it. Oh, and he’s sexy. ;-)

Tell us about your heroine, Lady Hero Batten, and what makes her the perfect woman for Griffin?  What are some of the qualities that attracts him to her and makes her irresistibly tempting despite viewing her as too proper, too good...too perfect?  And what made you choose Hero for your heroine’s name?

Hero is from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” She’s kind of the secondary heroine behind Beatrice who banters so wonderfully with Benedict. Hero was sweet and kind and rather innocent—almost perfect, in fact, and rather bland because of it. I thought that was a good starting point for my nearly perfect Hero. My Hero is nearly perfect—on the outside anyway. In reality she’s never had reason to challenge that perfection—until she runs across Griffin.

What's your favorite scene or moment from NOTORIOUS PLEASURES, and why? Can you describe it (or provide a short excerpt) for us without giving too much away?

I really enjoyed writing a scene that takes place in a pleasure garden where everyone is masked. Here’s a short excerpt from the beginning of the scene:

Behind her, Reading laughed. "Touché, my Lady Perfect."
"Don't call me that," Hero snapped.
"Why not? Are you not perfection itself?"
She repressed a shiver. "Whether I am or not, I'm certainly not yours."
She stopped. "What did you say?"
"Pretty." He raised innocent eyebrows at her. "You're very pretty tonight."

What are five fun facts about you or this book, that readers would love to know?

1.  When researching gin distilling I found out that all sorts of non-edible things were sometimes added, including creosote and vitriol (sulfuric acid.)

2.Also, something like 90% of infant orphans died in London during this period—a very depressing fact that I chose to ignore for my orphanage!

3.  I often chew gum when writing—the closer to deadline, the more gum!

4.  The cover of Notorious Pleasures was changed to a close up of the couple. Future reprints of Wicked Intentions will have a close-up of Temperance as well to match.

5.  Cousin Bathilda is based on a portrait of Queen Sophie Dorothea of Prussia (pictured below).

    Finally, if you could ask readers a question, or have them finish a sentence what would it be?

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to____"

    Their lives were perfect . . .

    Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn't bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . .

    Until they met each other.

    Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect - and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire - desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero's wedding nears, and Griffin's enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?

    Read an excerpt, listen to an excerpt, & a bonus excerpt especially for Musings readers

    Congrats Elizabeth! I have no doubt that you will end up on my "Best of" list in 2010 as well...especially since I can't wait to read Silence and "Charming" Mickey's story in Scandalous Desires (Nov 2011) in addition to Hero and Griffin's love story.  There's nothing better than a great historical romance read, which is why I always look forward to your novels.

    If you'd like to learn more about Elizabeth Hoyt and the books she writes you can find her at her website and, her blogTwitter, and Facebook where she has a short video from the photo shoot for the next Maiden Lane book, Scandalous Desires (did I mention that I am really looking forward to this book?).  She has a great extras page, and if you send her a self addressed stamped envelope you can get assorted goodies (like lovely bookmarks) and a signed bookplate.  I love goodies!

    To celebrate the release of Elizabeth Hoyt's second book in her Maiden Lane series, Notorious Pleasures, her publisher, Grand Central Publishing, would like to giveaway a copy of her book to three lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win...

    Ways to earn entries:
    • Mandatory:  Finish the sentence Elizabeth asked readers to finish in the interview, AND show her some comment love by leaving a meaningful comment or question for her.   (good for 1 entry)
    • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
    • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
    • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
    How to enter:
    • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
    Rules and disclaimers:
    • This contest is open to US & Canadian addresses only
    • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
    • The contest will end on February 5th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
    • Winner(s) will be selected using
    • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
    • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
    • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
    • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
    • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
    Good Luck!

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    *I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


    Jane January 25, 2011 at 1:47 AM  

    Happy Release Day, Elizabeth. I can't wait to read Hero's story. Will we also see more of the Ghost? "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to rap them on the knuckles with her fan.

    I'm a GFC follower.

    gamistress66 January 25, 2011 at 8:32 AM  

    Congrats on the release! I can't wait to read it. I loved the Wicked Intentions (and actually liked the original cover as it gave the feel of the books opening & story a little with "mysteries of St Giles at night". Thanks for the insight into the H/H (admit I was curious about the name as well). And the bonus excerpt only made more anxious to get my copy of the book. Love the period the books are set (not many new romances set in this time frame); what made you choose it?

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to____be a shining example of decourum and correct the young ladies when she saw them misbehaving."

    gamistress66 (at)
    aol (dot) com
    am a follower

    Carol L. January 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM  

    Congrats on the new release Elizabeth. I have read all your books and loved all the characters.
    Look forward to reading Notorious Pleasures.

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to reprimand them on it whenever they were in her presence to embarrass them in behaving properly.
    Carol L

    Carol L. January 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM  

    sorry, forgot to mention I was a GFC follower under Lucky47.
    Carol L

    Virginia C January 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM  

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to reform each and every young infidel who dared to cross her path! Pledging a solemn oath to the creators of her cherished bylaws of unimpeachable ettiquette, Cousin Bathilda would live out her days as a standard-bearer of all that was proper!"

    Hello, Elizabeth! I loved your "Four Soldiers", and your "Maiden Lane" series sounds equally enticing! "Notorious Pleasures" with "Lady Perfect" and "Lord Shameless" sounds wicked good ; )

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

    Tore January 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

    Congratulations on your new release. Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to teach them a lesson"

    Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

    jeanette8042 January 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM  

    Congrats on the release, I loved Wicked Intentions so I'm super excited about Notorious Pleasures! Thanks for the giveaway! "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to transform them into proper young ladies and gentlemen."

    GFC follower

    Scorpio M. January 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM  

    Notorious Pleasures is one of my most anticipated books this year. Looking forward to Silence's book later this year as well. I know her hero must be Charming Mick!

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to leave the country if she encounters yet another unseemly circumstance."

    GFC follower.


    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:04 PM  

    Thank you, Jane! ;-) Yup, you'll be seeing more of the Ghost in each of the Maiden Lane series books.

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:07 PM  

    Hi Gamimistress66! I'm glad you enjoy the Georgian time period as much as I do! ;-) I picked it because I thought it was an exciting time period--lots of changes both socially and mechanically, London itself was booming, and the guys were wearing wigs, but no make-up! ;-)

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM  

    Hope you enjoy NP, Carol L!

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM  

    LOVE your sentence end, Virginia C! ;-)

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:10 PM  

    Thank you, Tore! ;-)

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:11 PM  

    Hope you like NP, Jeanette8042!

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

    Hope you like Silence's book when it comes out in Nov, Scorpio M!

    heatherzilla January 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM  

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to retire to the drawing room with a bottle of sherry.

    Elizabeth, you made my day! I am SO glad to hear that Winter will have his own story.

    I follow via GFC.

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 2:56 PM  

    ;-) I hope you like Winter's book, Heatherzilla!

    chey January 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM  

    Congrats on your latest release! I always enjoy your books!

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to have patience.

    gfc follower.

    Robin K January 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

    OK, I love this sentance. I know just how my mom would have ended it! But that may not be fit to share.

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to buy a new lash during her fit out outrage.

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

    Jessica January 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

    "...take off all of her clothes and run naked through the park". What? That has nothing to do with anything?

    I love that little dog in the picture. I wonder if it's a papillon.

    I'm a GFC follower.

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 6:52 PM  

    ;-) I'd love to hear what your mother would've said, Robin K!

    Elizabeth Hoyt January 25, 2011 at 6:54 PM  

    It's a cute dog, isn't it, Jessica?

    Artemis January 25, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

    I like that TPTB decided to give the cover a close-up -- much better! Love the red and blue.

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to require etiquitte classes of middle school students."

    GFC Follower

    Barbara E. January 25, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to give them all lessons in how to behave."

    I loved Wicked Intentions and I'm really looking forward to reading Notorious Pleasures. I love the new look for both covers, very nice.

    GFC follower

    Lisa R/alterlisa January 25, 2011 at 10:53 PM  

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to thump__them on the heat with her diamond thimble till their ears rang.__"

    I love historical fiction and have wondered with all the great writers also adding YA author to their accomplishments why we haven't seen more YA historical fiction.

    Julia January 25, 2011 at 11:25 PM  

    Oh!! I am so looking forward to reading this! What I loved so much about the first one was that they are exploring an avenue of historical romance that I have yet to really delve into as a reader.

    Congrats on the release, Elizabeth!!

    D.L. January 26, 2011 at 2:12 AM  

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to pen an ediquette manual to teach them proper behavior.

    Ack! After reading that list I'm glad I don't drink gin (even if they don't do that today).

    CrystalGB January 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

    Hi Elizabeth. Congratulations on your new release. I love your books.
    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to send a missive to all the papers denouncing their atrocious behavior."
    I am a GFC follower.

    Meredith January 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM  

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to start offering her services as an etiquette tutor to the families who would pay for such a service.

    I'm a GFC follower.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    Pam S (pams00),  January 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM  

    I am looking forward to Notorious Pleasures (really enjoyed Wicked Intentions), congrats on its release! The five facts were interesting indeed! I ama gum chewing person too and will run through packs like crazy when working on strict deadlines (web/graphic designer). I love the research page btw on Eliabeth's site (thanks so much for having it).

    "Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to reform the youth of their scandalous ways."

    Pam S
    gfc follower pams00
    pams00 @

    CherylS22 February 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

    Appalled by the utter lack of manners in young people today, Cousin Bathilda vowed to set an example of civil behaviour & "call" people for their boorish behaviour.

    I so enjoyed reading "The Raven Prince" & I know I'll enjoy this book as well. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    megalon22 at yahoo dot com
    GFC follower

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