Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Today's Special - - Eloisa James


We are so happy to welcome one of our favorite authors and people to The Romance Dish today!  New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

Please give Eloisa a very warm Romance Dish welcome!





Last night I dreamed a romance, by which I mean that I found myself the heroine of my own dream in which I was falling in love with a tall blonde man in a blue shirt.  It started at a reunion (very improbable, if you knew my high school).  I had two girlfriends, who warned me that he might be hard to catch.  I answered loftily, “If I want him, I’ll simply take him.”  And then I apparently did, because we were sitting together on a couch and he leaned over and gave me a swooningly romantic kiss.  (Though that’s as far as we got, alas.) 

When I woke up, obviously I wanted to tell someone about it—which, naturally, meant my husband, since he was lying right there. I happily recounted my dreamy triumphs with the blue-shirted man, and then he said, rather grumpily, “Is this something I should worry about?”  It stopped me in my tracks.

He didn’t understand.  For a romance lover to dream a romance, no matter how short and unconsummated, is as delicious as a baker discovering creating the perfect lemon tart.  My brain gave me a treat.  I just happened to be the main character, that’s all.

So you’re probably wondering how this ties to my new book, The Duke is Mine.  Well, it doesn’t.  But then…maybe it does.  My heroine, Olivia, would never consider herself worthy of a romance.  She thinks she’s plump and imperfect, the kind of woman no man would find attractive.  But inside?  Inside she has as many dreams as anyone.  So, in some sense, The Duke is Mine is the dream of every girl who thinks she’s not a heroine—but finds, to her delight, that she is just that.

Who are your favorite imperfect heroines?
 

Two randomly selected readers will each receive a copy of WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST. 

36 comments:

  1. My Dear Eloisa, I have to say that YOU are one of my Hero's. I have always considered writing a supreme art form. You inspire me everyday as you intereact with your fans, write, teach, and take care of your husband and family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It only occurred to me recently that you are very much like some of your heroines. You feel insecurities and doubts where your fans see none. Lest you think I am putting you on a pedestal, I find that you are a normal, likable, approachable person as well as a brilliant writer and academic. Seeing another side of you makes me like and respect you all the more.

    P.S. My best romantic dream starred George Clooney and it was...err wonderful and did NOT end too soon!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Eloisa,

    For me, i think my imperfect heroines is Annabelle from Secret of A Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't know that I have an absolute favorite. That seems a tad disloyal to all my other favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are way too many to name one, I do like imperfection in a hero and a heroine. Personally I am waiting for a hero that is not quite an Adonis, doesn't have 6-pack abs and isn't necessarily male grace personified....Can I get a vote for a klutz as as hero?
    I already have The Duke is Mine and devoured it ("found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"), I can definitely relate to that comment. I got to the end and whined because it was over.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your writing and I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

    As for my favorite imperfect heroines, I have a TON but I love Stephanie Lauren's Cynstern females because they are so strong and independent. I also like the Desperate Duchesses Heroines from you. They are also cleaver and independent as well. But in each series there are a lot of women involved so I'll just say both series!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good Morning, Eloisa! We're thrilled to have you with us today. The Duke is Mine is a brilliant book and one of the best I've read in a long time. Olivia sits on a very high shelf in my gallery of favorite heroines. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. fsbuchler said, My best romantic dream starred George Clooney and it was...err wonderful and did NOT end too soon!!

    Uh oh! You better be careful, Flora. Janga may fight you for the right to those dreams! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eli said, For me, i think my imperfect heroines is Annabelle from Secret of A Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas ;)

    Annabelle is an excellent choice!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Marybelle said, I don't know that I have an absolute favorite. That seems a tad disloyal to all my other favorites.

    LOL! I know what you mean, Marybelle. There are so many of them out there, aren't there?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dianna said, I already have The Duke is Mine and devoured it ("found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"), I can definitely relate to that comment. I got to the end and whined because it was over.

    Oh, me too! Wasn't that epilogue an absolute delight? One of the best I've read in ages!

    ReplyDelete
  12. BrittanyG said, As for my favorite imperfect heroines, I have a TON but I love Stephanie Lauren's Cynstern females because they are so strong and independent.

    I agree! I adore her heroines. Another author who writes imperfect heroines I love to meet is Amanda Quick. Her early books in particular feature wonderfully imperfect heroines; quirky, intelligent - frequently scientific - women far from the society "norm."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Eloisa -

    I love that Olivia is "plump and imperfect"! It's wonderful to have a character that readers can idenify with and realize that beauty is not only what you see when you look at someone.

    When you take into consideration that the very first "romance" book I read was Man of La Mancha by Miquel de Cervantes I think you'll understand that my favorite "imperfect" heroine is Aldonza, better known as Dulcinea to those who have seen the play or broadway production of Don Quixote.

    I think of Cervantes as being the first romance writer and while most people who read the story think of Don Quixote first I found that when I read the story I was drawn to Dulcinea! Of course when I read it I was 16 and it was in the 1960's. After all what teenage girl has a great self-image and how wonderful to see a character like Don Quixote see past all of Dulcinea's faults and see beauty. That's my kind of hero and heroine.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Eloisa! Great to see you here at The Dish. :) One of my favorite "imperfect heroines" would have to be Josie from your Essex sister series, and Naomi from Nora's MacGregor Grooms-she's just a little shy and insecure but of course, with the love of the right man, she comes out of her shell and blossoms.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awww, Fsbuchler, that's such a nice thing to say. Particularly today, because I am feeling like a bad mom. Is there anyone in the world better at making a mom feel terrible than a grumpy teenager in the morning? And I have two of them! So I totally appreciate your lovely note. big hug, Eloisa

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh! fsbuchler is Flora! hi, Flora!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you, Dianna! And a klutz would be good -- Jayne Ann Krentz has had some unusual heroes. The problem is that he needs to have a lot of testosterone along with clumsiness -- hard to manage. But maybe I'll think of it -- challenges are always good. I'm so glad you liked Duke is Mine!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jeanne -- what an interesting comment. I taught Don Quixote a few years ago in a Renaissance survey class and had a great time with it. It really does have all the parts of a modern romance, albeit turned upside down.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think everyone in my online communities knows by now that I loved The Duke Is Mine. I've been raving about it evey chance I get. I adore Olivia, and her body image is one of the reasons I find her endearing. And, of course, Josie Essex has to be included in any list of favorite imperfect heroines.

    Any list would also have to include Prudence Merridew from Anne Gracie's The Perfect Rake, the plain sister among beauties who is seen by her hero as the most beautiful of all; Alys Weston from MJP's The Rake, a tall, odd-eyed creature who had two heroes in love with her; and Miss Hattie Colfax from Pamela Morsi's Courting Miss Hattie, "horse-faced Hattie" whose sizzling kiss wins the heart of an extraordinarily handsome hero. Such great stories--all of them! I could probably do a list of 25 favorites, but I'll save that for a blog sometime. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can't say I have a favorite imperfect heroine, but I want them to be inperfect. I want my heros and heroines to have flaws because in real life no one is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love your books. In your newest I have to say that Rupert and Lucy were my characters so straightforward, artless and loving souls jumped off the page and made me smile and appreciate my world that I inhabit a bit more. Thanks for all the wonderfully written words.

    I have to agree with Jeanne M about Cervantes’ Dulcinea. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I named my cute; flat faced, and wrinkled English bulldog Dulcinea because nothing is more beautiful to me then her.

    ReplyDelete
  22. An imperfect heroine was Gigi from Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. Gigi went after the man she wanted even though she lied to him to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. No one is completely perfect, so I wouldn't want my fictional heroines to be portrayed as perfect. Imperfections are part of which makes a character endearing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi, Eloisa! I can't wait to read The Duke is Mine. It will be my reward when I get some of my reviews finished.

    One of my favorite imperfect heroines is Nellie Grayson from Jude Deveraux's Wishes. She's another plump heroine with a heart of gold. And the hero loves her just as she is. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  25. Welcome, Eloisa! I love you and your books. So sorry your dream ended too soon. Sigh... I don't have any special imperfect heroines or heroes. I love them one and all. What is better than finding you have something imperfect in common with a heroine, and you can live out your dream life with her?

    ReplyDelete
  26. My favorite imperfect hero/ine would be the last one I read. I can't ever pick favorites. I like my characters to be flawed, it gives more depth to the story and it's great to see how the author crafts the story to grow the characters together to create a strong unit TOGETHER. I just finished Laura Lee Guhrke's "Trouble at the Wedding" and she did a fantastic job getting a insecure newly rich "poor-white-trash" American gal married to a firmly single "Duke-al Rake".

    ReplyDelete
  27. There are a lot of less than perfect heroines that I do enjoy. There's Evie from Devil In Winter with her stutter and then there's Melisande from Elizabeth Hoyt's To Seduce a Sinner.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Eloisa, I just *love* that you had this wonderful romantic dream and upon waking immediately told your husband!! My hubby gives me stranges looks when I get all dreamy-eyed on him, so I have pretty much stopped telling him about those dreams ;-)

    Is there anyone in the world better at making a mom feel terrible than a grumpy teenager in the morning?

    As the mom of only one 13 year old, I don't think there is anyone better than a teenager to knock the wind out of a mom. It's tough. But stay strong ... and remember the mother's curse ... "I hope you have a child just like you." LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can never think of a char when asked questions like this (I go completely blank all of a sudden) but there is really no perfect heroine -- after all the hero ends up with a character in the book & not me ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I can't think of any specific heroines at the moment.
    The imperfection part of the equation is important to me for characters. I think that is the reason The Beauty and The Beast is my favorite romance trope. Whether the Beast is the hero or the heroine, it shows that an imperfect person is worthy of love and just needs the right person to realize it.

    I already have THE DUKE IS MINE and look forward to reading it. I hope the release is going well.

    I don't wait for romantic dreams. I keep running stories in my head that I am making up as I go along. My dreams tend more toward action and adventure. Certainly don't have any of that in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Kat--

    What a beautiful description of Rupert & Lucy-- straightforward, artless and loving souls -- Thank you! You absolutely understood what I was trying to do. smooches, Eloisa

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love reading about all these imperfect heroines -- some I haven't read, but will now!

    And thank you to all of you who bought my book. I just found out it hit the New York Times list (in paper and e-format!) so there is much rejoicing in the James household tonight. hugs to all of you, and thank you for having me, Eloisa

    ReplyDelete
  33. Congratulations, Eloisa! What wonderful news on hitting the NYT List!

    Thanks for being with us today!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I came back to check all the responses from today as well as Eloisa's. This was a terrific blog PJ, and ending with the news of Eloisa's THE DUKE IS MINE making the New York Times list is like frosting on the cake! Congratulations, Eloisa! Let's Celebrate in Seattle!

    ReplyDelete
  35. ACK! My comment from yesterday is gone! That has happened several times lately. Grrr...

    Anyway, the heroine I mentioned was Amanda Briars from LK's SUDDENLY YOU. I just adore how much Jack loved her just the way she was. Sigh. :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Eloisa,
    I have this on my TRL. I love all your books and really can't wait to purchase The Duke Is Mine. Other then Evie from Devil In Winter I can't think of anyone just now but I do enjoy when the Hero and Heroine have flaws ad are less then perfect. Thanks so much for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete