Guest Author & Giveaway: Samantha Kane featuring The Devil's Thief

Friday, October 19

I've been reading a lot of contemporary romances recently, and now I'm craving a really good historical romance.  It's finally Friday and I'm sooo ready for the weekend.  All I want to do is curl up with a good book and unwind a bit.  Historical Romances are my comfort read.  Which is why I wish Samantha Kane's The Devil's Thief was already out :(  Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until November.

On a happier note, Samantha Kane is my guest today to share a bit about The Devil's Thief and how Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet plays a part in her book.  Enjoy!

~~~***~~~

Welcome to Seductive Musings Samantha! For you, what makes a romance novel a great love story and what makes writing historical romances so compellingly seductive to your muse?

I think a romance novel becomes a great love story when the love relationship fundamentally and positively changes something about the hero or heroine, be it their situation, their life view, their self-image. But it has to be something major, and it has to be the result of loving or being loved by that one person. Not just moving across country because of a job change, but moving across country to be with that person in spite of agoraphobia, or abandoning a successful career to help the other person pursue their dream.  I’m a firm believer in the HEA. I think it’s the underlying sense of hope and possibility in romance that appeals to me so much.

Why historical romance? It’s just the way my muse rolls, I guess. The idea of creating a passionate, tempestuous romance within the confines of a strict historical setting is a challenge. It’s sexy, to feel like we know something about the prim and proper characters that no one else does.  I love to write scenes where the sensuality simmers just below the surface, at a ball or a dinner party, where the characters are forced by circumstances to convey that passion through subtle conversation or heated looks. And then when they finally get together, BAM! That passion explodes. Gives me shivers.

Your newest novel, THE DEVIL’S THIEF is the first book in your new The Saints Devils series. Can you tell us a little bit about the books in this series, how many there might be, and how they are all connected?

The Saint’s Devils is the nickname given by society to a group of rakes who have been friends since their school days. Their unofficial leader is Sir Hilary St. John, hence the nickname. Sir Hilary is a hedonistic Sherlock Holmes character, and in each book he will help the hero solve a mystery centered on their heroine. There will be three books in the series—The Devil’s Thief (Nov. 12), Tempting a Devil (July 2013) and The Damsel and The Devil (working title, no release date yet)—and I’m planning for at least two more after that.

Tell us about your hero, Alasdair Sharpe.  What do you think will make readers, much like his heroine Julianna, fall in love with him despite her desperate bargain? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in THE DEVIL’S THIEF?

I think Alasdair’s vulnerability will appeal to readers. The heroine, Julianna, and her act of stealing his priceless pearl force him to re-evaluate his life and who he wants to be. It’s a struggle for him because he thought he knew already, but as he falls in love with her in spite of his misgivings he realizes he’s not the man he thought he was at all. He has a moment where he tells her with great sincerity that she’s made him want to be a better man for her. The unexpected twist to it all is that Julianna is the one who’s done something wrong: she stole his pearl. But she did it with good intentions. Whereas Alasdair lied when he made the bargain—one night in his bed and he’d give Julianna the pearl—for selfish reasons.

And, of course, readers will appreciate that he’s wicked good in bed.*smile*

Most authors have a synopsis, outline or idea of what the story they are about to write will be.  However, sometimes during the writing process your “Muse” might speak to you and lead you in a different or unplanned direction.  What surprised or changed the most from your original intent of THE DEVIL’S THIEF?

The Devil’s Thief was originally written as an erotic romance. But after a few people read the first draft they all said it needed to be rewritten as a mainstream historical romance. The characters and plot, according to those readers, would appeal to a much broader audience. And once I began the rewrite the book became so much better. Eliminating the erotic storyline opened up the rest of the plot beautifully and the book is much richer for it, I think. I’ve said many times before, you can’t simply add sex to a romance and call it erotic. So this was a major rewrite that worked really well.

The secondary character of Wiley, a teenage boy who’s a notorious thief and gang leader in St. Giles, changed dramatically as well. I love his character. When I first introduced him he was only in two or three scenes, more as a sort of comic relief and plot device. But I really enjoyed writing him and I think it showed. My beta readers responded so favorably to him that I expanded his role a great deal. He’s now one of the future heroes in the series.

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

I loved writing the scene where Alasdair finally finds Julianna. It was so fun to describe that scene, played out at small evening party amid social pleasantries where neither Alasdair nor Julianna dare accuse the other one openly. They have to pretend they’ve never met, and each word they say has a double meaning.

Julianna was frantic. She’d managed to maneuver her father and stepmother into the far corner of the room early on in the evening. It had been quite a feat to get in unnoticed. When she had seen Alasdair standing off to the side as she and her parents waited to greet their host and hostess, she’d made a hasty excuse and fled to the retiring room. When she emerged her parents had already greeted Sir Hilary and Alasdair, who had been busy talking with new guests, and she’d slipped into the drawing room and worked her way over here. She’d thought she was safe. Over the years she had developed the ability to blend into the background when necessary. Most people overlooked her ordinary appearance and she tended to listen rather than speak.

What was Alasdair doing here? She’d noticed Sir Hilary at his reception the other night, but there had been a great many people there. She’d had no idea the two were such bosom beaus.

As she hid in her corner and hungrily watched Alasdair--half wishing he’d find her and half terrified he would--she noticed something awful, something horrifying. All the young ladies here looked like her. And Sir Hilary and Alasdair were making a point of speaking to each one. He was looking for her. And he was going to find her. There was no way to escape without alerting her father and stepmother.

Then Sir Hilary spotted her father and made his way over to them and she thought her heart would jump right through her throat.

Why? Why now? She had the money. She hadn’t been able to slip away and meet with the solicitor yet. But Alasdair wouldn’t want the money. He’d want the pearl. As soon as he spotted her, he would denounce her. Her father would be ruined. She’d be treated as a common thief. The children would be turned out of the foundling home, and sent to some overcrowded orphanage or worse.

Blood pounding in her ears, she shrank back into the shadows of the corner, nearly slipping behind the curtains of a nearby window. Every instinct she had was telling her to run. But she was rooted to the spot, watching her doom approach on impossibly long, muscular legs, his wonderful blond curls artfully mussed, his eyes narrowed dangerously as he scanned the room. He was magnificent. He was awful. He was going to kill her.

Suddenly Alasdair and Sir Hilary were standing before them and Julianna could feel Sir Hilary’s gaze burning into her. She stood as still as a statue, trying as hard as she could not to be noticed. And Alasdair didn’t notice her. He wasn’t even aware of her presence. Relief coursed through her as he exchanged empty pleasantries with her stepmother. But that relief was short-lived, quickly replaced by anger. How could he fail to notice her? How could he not see through this silly wallflower disguise of hers to his Juliet underneath? She berated her own foolishness. It was best this way. He must surely hate her now. Why would she wish to lose her anonymity now, when it could cost her so dearly?

She was a fool, fool, fool. Because she would give anything for one smile from him.

“It seems one is always running into the same people wherever one goes, doesn’t it, Julianna?” her stepmother asked as she turned in her direction.

Julianna wanted to scream in frustration. What on earth was she doing? Why couldn’t Lady Linville just let her fade into the wallpaper? She nodded and mumbled her agreement, desperately hoping the conversation would move on, and take Sir Hilary and Alasdair with it.

Her father gave her a sharp look, concern etched on his features. “Are you all right, my dear? You do not sound well.”

Alasdair was turning around. As he’d been talking with her father and stepmother Julianna had been trying to slide away into the shadows behind him. But he was turning around at her father’s comment. Oh, God, what should she do? Sir Hilary was still staring at her intently, a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. He knew. How? She glared at him, glad to have an outlet for her anger. He looked surprised for an instant and then darkly amused.

Fine then, she would play his game. She would play this scene out and see where it led. She’d been in a receiver’s lair in Tottenham Court, for heaven’s sake. She could handle one well-bred Englishman in a drawing room.

“Yes, Lady Linville,” she answered clearly and calmly. “One is always running into a previous acquaintance here in London. It can be quite inconvenient.”

She knew the exact instant Alasdair recognized her voice. He froze, his back still half-turned to her. She watched as he began moving again, very slowly turning to face her.

“Inconvenient? What an odd thing to say!” her stepmother exclaimed. “I find it quite comforting. London is so large that it can sometimes be quite daunting, don’t you agree, Sir Hilary? To find an acquaintance when one least expects it is vastly pleasing.”

“Yes, indeed, Lady Linville. Vastly pleasing,” Sir Hilary replied, but Julianna barely heard him. Alasdair’s eyes were on her now. Angry, disbelieving, accusing, there was no welcome there. No joy, no relief--just a dark, accusatory stare.

“Julianna, you remember Sir Hilary and Mr. Sharp? Gentlemen, my daughter,” Mr. Harte said, “Miss Harte. I believe you met the other evening.”

Alasdair smiled grimly. “Yes, I believe we did.” He took her hand in his, and even through their gloves she could feel his heat warming her cold fingers. He bowed over her hand and Julianna saw a picture of him the other night, the moonlight shining in his hair as he kissed his way down her stomach and then put his mouth on her sex. Her fingers clutched his hand and he looked up, his obvious anger dousing her unwanted desire at once.

“How do you do, Mr. Sharp,” she said, and she was proud of how strong and unaffected she sounded.

“How do you do, Miss Harte,” he said, with unnecessary emphasis on her name.

“Quite well, thank you.” She couldn’t resist the challenge of showing him how supremely unconcerned she was by his presence. He need never know that she feared she might be ill at any moment or that she wanted to weep with remorse over what she’d done to him and the fact that she’d clearly lost him forever. If she’d ever had him, that was.

“How delightful,” he bit out. Oh, he did think the worst of her. And why shouldn’t he? When he let go of her hand she had to force herself not to grip his tightly in protest.

What are five fun facts about this story that readers would love to know?
  1. It started as an erotic romance.
  2. Sir Hilary St. John’s character was inspired by Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes.
  3. The idea of a young, naïve girl who steals a valuable gem from a rake was originally intended for a series co-written with another erotic romance writer. That series was scrapped.
  4. I had to do a lot of research about pearls for the story. Not many people know that pearls used to be farmed from the River Tay in Scotland, the origin of Alasdair’s family pearl.
  5. I quoted extensively from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the book. Julianna lies to Alasdair on their first meeting and tells him her name is Juliet.
For readers that are familiar with your Historical Erotic Romance, Brothers in Arms series, what should they expect from your sensual historical romances?

Damon Suede recently told me that I write intimate stories, focused closely on my main characters. I think that holds true for both The Saint’s Devils and Brothers in Arms. The center of the story is very much the romance between my main characters rather than the forces trying to keep them apart. And the HEA relies on personal revelations and epiphanies far more than vanquishing a villain. By the end of one of my books you know the hero(es) and heroine as well as you know your best friends. I’ve also created the same sort of male camaraderie in The Saint’s Devils that you see in Brothers in Arms, but without the m/m romance element, of course.

However, in The Devil’s Thief and subsequent stories in The Saint’s Devils series there is a bit more external conflict in the form of villains at work to keep the lovers apart. There is also more humor in these stories simply because they don’t involve heroes struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases, or new projects that we can look forward to?

Love and War: The Beginning, is a very short Brothers in Arms story that will be released next month, a prequel to the first book in the series, The Courage to Love. It was originally written as a free story for my newsletter subscribers, but I understand that not every reader wants to subscribe. After sending it out for two months to new subscribers I’m now going to make it available to others. I’m hoping to release a Brothers in Arms novella before the end of the year as well, a prologue to Daniel’s book, Love Betrayed, which will be out next year.

Tempting a Devil, the second book in The Saint’s Devils series, will be released in July, 2013. Tempting is about Roger Templeton, one of the Devils who helps Alasdair in The Devil’s Thief. I’m currently working on the third book in the series, The Damsel and The Devil, Sir Hilary St. John’s story, but no release date on that book yet.

Finally, just for fun…if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie what would it be?

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it count!



In Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, a desperate woman must resort to burglary—but the beautiful thief ends up stealing the heart of a rogue.

The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.

Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.

Enjoy Chapters 1 & 2 below:

 

Congrats! Samantha and thanks for being my guest today and for sharing The Devil's Thief with us. It sounds like Juliana gives Alasdair a run for his money, or in this case...pearl :)

If you'd like to learn more about Samantha Kane and the books she writes you can find her at her website, her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Devil's Thief (Nov 12, 2012), the first book in her Saints Devils series, Samantha would like to giveaway a digital ARC via Netgalley to one very lucky Musings follower!  Just think you could read the book before it's even released!  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

12 Comments:

biochemguy October 19, 2012 at 9:23 AM  

...freak the heck out. Why am I in some guy's bedroom? How did I get here? Why is he looking at me like I'm going to be a toy?

:)

erin October 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM  

“If Alasdair caught me in his bedroom in the middle of the night I would... be very surprised since I would have a lot of 'splainin' to do to both him and my BF!

Haley Miller,  October 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

This sounds amazing, and I can't wait to read it!

Joanne October 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM  

I think I would pretend to seduce him, but I would put a sleeping potion in his drink so I could sneak out.

June M. October 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM  

I think I would have to pretend to be sleepwalking, or just say "Well, this isn't my room. Sorry to bother you, sir." And quickly leave, lol. Unless he is a very handsome rake, then I would think of someway to, err, distract him ;)

Alicia October 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM  

In real life - freak out.

In a fantasy world - take full advantage :)

Tore October 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM  

I would freak out and run out of the bedroom. Tore923@aol.com

Jeanne M October 19, 2012 at 9:43 PM  

I loved the excerpt and if Alasdair caught me in his bedroom I'd probably laugh histerically and tuck him back in bed since I'm in my 60's! Alasdair would probably just cringe and crawl back into bed and pull the covers over his head!

Since I've been married for 42 years and only had sons and now plenty of grandsons his nakedness wouldn't bother me at all after seeing naked males running around the house for so long. They never do "grow up" you know!

I love Samantha's books because of the detail she includes even about her secondary characters and know I'll get a kick out of reding what role Wiley plays in the story between Julianna and Alisdair! I have a feeling that Julianna is going to have a merry time matching wits against Alisdair!

I can't wait to read The Devil Thief when it comes out in November!

Barbara E. October 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM  

If Alasdair caught me in his bedroom in the middle of the night I would...try to play it cool and tell him I had something important to discuss with him in private.

Samantha Kane October 20, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

I love all these responses! lol Thanks guys. And thanks for having me as a guest on Seductive Musings. :)

Jeanne M October 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM  

Hi Samantha,

Thank you for the dedication you put into developing your characters and their stories! Know that the gift you give your readers with your stories is appreciated and the only problem is waiting your your next great release!

bn100,  October 20, 2012 at 7:06 PM  

“If Alasdair caught me in his bedroom in the middle of the night I would… continue walking towards him."

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