Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today's Special -- Elizabeth Hoyt

Many of you know that I am a huge fan of New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Elizabeth Hoyt's books. So it goes without saying that I am thrilled to host her her today at the Romance Dish! She blew me away with her debut, The Raven Prince, and has been an auto-buy ever since. Her latest, Thief of Shadows, is her eleventh published novel and fourth in her wildly popular Maiden Lane series. (Check out my review here!) The previous book in the series, Scandalous Desires, is a finalist for this year's prestigious Romance Writer's of America's RITA Award. It's Elizabeth's fifth nomination! Since I LOVED the book, I'll be cheering for her to win!

Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a trio of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. She can be found online at:

Her website: www.elizabethhoyt.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/elizabeth.hoyt.author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ElizabethHoyt
Her publisher: www.hachettebookgroup.com

Welcome, Elizabeth!




One of the most frequent questions I get in interviews is: Why write in the Georgian period? A historical romance writer doesn’t choose her time period on a whim, of course, so I have all sorts of answers, like these: The beginning of the Age of Reason…blah, blah, blah…London growing both in size and economic power…yadda, yadda, yadda…a time of great social turmoil…yawn, whatever. But really, truly what it all boils down to is: Swords.  

Dude, it all revolves around the swords. 

This is because unlike other common historical time periods *cough* the Regency *cough* swords were an everyday item of apparel for gentlemen in the Georgian period. And guys walking around with three feet long, sharp weapons leads, naturally, to swordfights. Awesome swordfights. Actual, realio, trulio swashbuckling. All the time. 

*Ahem* 

At this point I should perhaps explain that I spent many a summer afternoon watching old movies on TV. Movies like Captain Blood, The Three Musketeers, and Scaramouche. What do all of these films have in common—besides lots of badass swashbuckling? They’re set in the Georgian period, that’s what. Okay, technically, both The Three Musketeers and Captain Blood are set in the seventeenth century, but they certainly aren’t set in the *cough* Regency period *cough*. And! Scaramouche is definitely set in the Georgian period and has the most awesome swordfight—possibly of all movie time—which takes place in an opera house. Scaramouche’s swordfight is so awesome, in fact, that parts of it appear in my latest book, Thief of Shadows. 

In Thief of Shadows my hero, Winter Makepeace, is a staid manager of an orphanage by day, but! by night he becomes the masked Ghost of St. Giles, protector of the poor. At one point in the book, after kissing the heroine senseless, the Ghost is accosted by an aristocrat at the opera house. Said aristocrat has misinterpreted the Ghost’s actions toward the heroine and—because he’s a Georgian aristocrat and is wearing an actual badass sword—attacks the Ghost.  Who defends himself, up the stairs, across a hall, into an opera box, and onto the balcony railing high above the pit of the opera house, all the time fighting backwards, because when I write a hero, by God, he knows how to wield a sword. 

No pun intended. 

Anyway, read my book, find out how the scene ends, and if the heroine teaches Winter a few new moves. Har! Could not resist. And! When you get a chance, rent Scaramouche, because that swordfight goes on for like fifteen minutes and is seriously a choreographing work of art. Also, please note that Mel Ferrer, who plays the bad guy, is one hundred times more sexy than the hero played by Stewart Granger—the great lunking ox—despite Mel’s unfortunate first name.

The End.

Andrea here: Thank you, Elizabeth! So, dear readers, what are some of your favorite Georgian-set romances (ahem, including Elizabeth's, of course!)? What are some of your favorite Georgian-set movies? Grand Central has graciously offered to give away one copy of THIEF OF SHADOWS to one random commenter! (The giveaway is limited to U.S. or Canadian residents only.)


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EXCERPT from THIEF OF SHADOWS by Elizabeth Hoyt
Winter Makepeace waited for Lady Beckinhall to turn her back and then stripped off his coat and waistcoat. It was brought home with forceful memory that he’d been nude before this woman only a sennight ago.
Even if she didn’t know it.
His breeches followed and then he was in shirtsleeves and smalls. He glanced at the tailor.
“The shirt as well, sir,” Mr. Hurt said. “The fashion is for a tight-fitting waistcoat and coat.”
“Yes, indeed,” Lady Beckinhall called over her shoulder, “I want the suit to be in the first stare of fashion.”
Winter grimaced but took off his shirt.
The tailor nodded. “That shall do for now, sir.”
Winter stood with arms outstretched, feeling exceptionally silly as the tailor moved about him, wielding a measuring tape.
“Have you been practicing flattery?” Lady Beckinhall asked just as the tailor’s thumb, holding the tape, pushed up the lower edge of Winter’s smallclothes.
“As per your instructions,” Winter replied, watching as Mr. Hurt caught sight of the end of the scar revealed by the rucked smalls.
The tailor hesitated, then continued his work.
Lady Beckinhall sighed very quietly.
Winter’s attention snapped back to her. “I am in admiration of the way in which you can order tea so very…er…efficiently, my lady.”
Mr. Hurt shot him a pitying look.
There was a slight pause.
“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace.” Lady Beckinhall’s voice was choked. “I must say, you give the most imaginative compliments.”
“Your tutelage has inspired me, ma’am.”
The tailor looked doubtful.
Winter cleared his throat. “And, of course, who would not be, ah…exhilarated by the loveliness of your countenance and form.”
He arched an eyebrow at Mr. Hurt.
The tailor made a face as if to say, Not bad.
Which was probably as good as Winter was likely to get at this art.
But Lady Beckinhall wasn’t done. Her head had tilted to the side at his words, making some type of jeweled ornament in her glossy dark hair sparkle in the light. “My form, Mr. Makepeace?”
Ah, this was dangerous territory. “Yes, your form, my lady. It is a strong and feminine form, but I think you already know that.”
She chuckled, low and husky, sending shivers over his arms. “Yes, but a lady never tires of hearing compliments, sir. You must keep that fact in mind.”
Her little maid nodded vigorously in agreement.
“Indeed?” Winter stared at Lady Beckinhall’s back, wishing he could see her face. Her plump mouth would be curved slightly in amusement, her blue eyes dancing. His body reacted at the thought and he was heartily glad that Mr. Hurt had moved to his back.
“But you must be awash in a sea of compliments, my lady,” Winter said. “Every gentleman you meet must voice his admiration, his wish to make love to you. And those are only the ones who may voice such thoughts. All about you are men who cannot speak their admiration, who must remain mute from lack of social standing or fear of offending you. Only their thoughts light the air about you, following you like a trail of perfume, heady but invisible.”
He heard her startled inhale.
The maid sighed dreamily.
Mr. Hurt had stopped his quick, capable movements, but at Winter’s glance, he blinked and resumed his work.
“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace,” Lady Beckinhall said quietly. “That…that was quite wonderful.”
He shrugged, though she couldn’t see him. “I only speak the truth.”
“Do you…” She hesitated, then said throatily, “Do you think me shallow for enjoying such compliments?”
Her back was confident and straight, but her neck, bared by her upswept hair, was white and slim and held a hint of vulnerability. She was so forthright, so assured of herself that he’d not noticed the tender spot before.
“I think you sometimes like to hide behind a facade of gaiety, my lady.” He cleared his throat. “I also think that when you enter a room, all eyes turn to you. You blaze like a torch, lighting the darkest corners, brightening even those who thought they were already well lit. You bring joy and mirth and leave behind a glow that gives hope to those you’ve left.”
“And you, Mr. Makepeace? Are you one of those who thought themselves well lit?”
“I am as dark as a pit.” Now he was glad her back was turned. “Even your torch will have difficulty lighting my depths.”

©Elizabeth Hoyt

77 comments:

  1. I loved Elizabeth's Legend of the Four Soldiers series. Other favorites include Julia Ross's "The Wicked Lover" and "The Seduction."

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    1. Hi, Jane! I love the Four Soldiers series, too. I really liked the thread that ran through the four books, though they certainly stood on their own. :)

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    2. So glad you both liked the Legend of the Four Soldiers series, Jane & Andrea!;-)

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  2. I loved Thief of Shadows. I was really eager for Winter's book, and sometimes when I'm almost hyperventilating with anticipation, the book is a bit of a let down. SO not the case with TOS. It was a wonderful reading experience, especially since I was not a fan of Charming Mickey--even though I am a devoted Hoytian and, like Andrea, have read every book, some of them multiple times.

    Ah, Julia Ross! How I'd love to have a new book from her.

    Other favorite Georgian-set romances: Georgette Heyer's Georgians--especially The Masqueraders and The Talisman Ring, Jo Beverley's Mallorens--especially Devilish and Winter Fire, Eloisa James's Desperate Duchesses--especially This Duchess of Mine and A Duke of her Own , Patricia Veryan's Golden Chronicles--especially The Dedicated Villain.

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    1. "even though I am a devoted Hoytian"

      Oh my goodness, Janga, I love this! Yes, we are devoted Hoytians, aren't we? ;-) Thanks for the other recs!

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    2. So glad that you enjoyed Winter and THIEF OF SHADOWS, Janga! (And have you coined the term, "Hoytian"? LOL!)

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  3. Good luck to Elizabeth at RWA. Scandalous Desires was an amazing story and 'Charming' Mickey O'Connor was a hero I enjoyed very much.

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    1. Maureen, it is my favorite of hers so I'll definitely be rooting for Charming Mickey!

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    2. Fingers crossed, Maureen and Andrea. ;-)

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  4. Hi Elizabeth! I'm running off to the day job but wanted to pop in to welcome you to TRD and let you know how much I adored Thief of Shadows! So, so good!

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  5. Alas, I don't have any favourites. It's like choosing a favourite child!
    Suffice to say I would love to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

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  6. Hi, Elizabeth and Andrea! I loved the post today and I agree with you about swords *ahem* being a romantic part of a hero's *ahem* attire. ;) Andrea gave a wonderful review of TOS last week and, because she and I have the same tastes in heroes and storylines, I bought the book last Wednesday. I haven't picked it up yet, not because I haven't wanted to do so, but because I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel and putting up sweet corn and having spent time at the hospital with my mom (long story, but she's home now).

    I like the movie "Scaramouche", too, with Stewart Granger as the lead. I know it's not Georgian era, but Errol Flynn's "Robin Hood" is an excellent movie with lots of swashbuckling action.

    Congratulations on your continued success, Elizabeth, and I look forward to reading TOS very soon!! Winter sounds like a great, *ahem* swordified hero!!

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    1. Deb, your comment made me smile! I think you'll enjoy the *ahem* swordplay when you get to it. ;-)

      I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom! I pray she's on the road to recovery!

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    2. Hope your mother is feeling better, Deb. Enjoy THIEF OF SHADOWS when you get the chance--my sympathies on the bathroom remodel. ;-)

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  7. I've never heard of the movie Scaramouche.

    Love this time period of decadence!

    Favorites:

    Catherine Coulture Devil's Embrace, Hellion Bride, Heiress Bride...LOved these books

    Suzanne Enoch- After the Kiss: The Notorious Gentleman

    Jo Beverly- Devilish, My Lady Notorious

    Elisabeth Thornton- Strangers at Dawn

    Kathleen Woodiwess- A Rose In Winter!

    Kat Martin -Wicked Promise, Royal's Bride, Perfect Sin, Nothing But Velvet LOVED these books!!

    Jane Feather- Almost a Bride, A Wedding Wager, Rushed To the Altar

    Christina Dodd- A Well Pleasured Lady

    Katherine Sutcliff- A Heart Possessed

    Eloisa James- An Affair at Christmas, Kiss at Midnight

    Miranda Jarrett- Starlight, The Golden Lord

    Of course I've read all of Elizabeth's Legends of 4 Soldiers series

    Elizabeth Boyle- Brazen Angel

    Julia Quinn -Lost Duke of Wyndham

    MOVIES???

    Elizabeth,
    Thanks for the chance to win your latest release
    THIEF OF SHADOWS!!

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    1. Laurie, I'd never heard of Scaramouche until I was preparing Elizabeth's guest blog for today. I immediately checked it out and thought it looked good. One of these days, I must see it!

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    2. What a great list, Laurie! Hope you can add THIEF OF SHADOWS to it. ;-)

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  8. Just wanted to say I got your book and as soon as I finish my current read, I'll be starting it and can't wait :)

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  9. Love, love, love Elizabeth's books and can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the excerpt.

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    1. I can't wait to hear what you think after you've read it, LSUReader!

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    2. Hope you like THIEF OF SHADOWS when you get the chance to read it. LSUReader! ;-)

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  10. I can hardly wait to get my hands on this book. It's been torture each time waiting for the next book to come out. :) I had the pleasure of meeting you at the first RomCon a couple of years ago, and have been a major fan since then.

    As to favorites, well, I can (without any intent to suck up) said that Wicked Pleasures, the first book in the Maiden Lane series, is my all-time favorite historical.

    torymichaels(@)live(.)com

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    1. Isn't Wicked Intentions great, Tory? And I hear you on the torture. Luckily, Elizabeth's books come out about every 6-8 months!

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    2. Thank you, Tory! Suck up accepted. ;-)

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  11. I don't usually read Georgian period novels, because I hate the whole "wig" scene. But I do enjoy the Maiden Lane series.

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    1. LOL on the wigs, LilMissMolly! But I guess there's something outlandish about every period in history. ;-)

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    2. Wigs are sooo sexy! As are men in red heels. Just give it a try. ;-) Although Winter Makepeace doesn't actually wear a wig. He has long, flowing hair--which is period accurate!

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  12. Meredith Duran's At Your Pleasure is set during this time period as is Joanna Bourne's spy series.

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    1. One of these days I need to read a Duran book! Thanks for the rec, Kim.

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  13. My favorite is always the one I am reading at the time. I love your books, Elizabeth, and would love to win Thief of Shadows.

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    1. So, what are you reading, Cathy? Inquiring minds want to know!

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    2. So glad you like my books, Cathy.

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  14. I used to watch those old swashbuckling movies on Saturday/Sunday afternoons when I was a kid

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    1. Cool! Thanks for stopping by, dstoutholcomb!

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    2. Those were the days, weren't they, dstoutholcomb? ;-)

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  15. I've liked sword fighting ever since The Princess Bride!!

    I totally LOVED Thief of Shadows, and yeah, I'd say Winter definitely knows how to handle his, um, swords! So does Lady Beckinhall for that matter. I could NOT put it down. I even read it at work. Shh, don't tell.

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    1. Hi, Linda! Doesn't he, though? Glad you loved TOS, too!

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    2. LOL! Hope you weren't caught, Linda!

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  16. I loved the old movies... great action and some kissing [but not too much for a tomboy!] Scaramouche was just wonderful... although I never realized that the fight went for 15 minutes..
    Thanks for the update on what you have coming out...
    PS if you are weeding in your garden, you have had more rain than the rest of us in the Midwest!!! Gah! This is awful...

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    1. LOL! Love your "kissing" comment, girlygirlhoosier!

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    2. um...no, I haven't been weeding my garden lately, girlygirlhoosier--I think everything may be dead. :-/

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  17. Thanks for a fabulous post! Congrats to Elizabeth on the newest release! I'm very excited cuz I just got the first book and can't wait to start reading :)

    Ummm... I don't know if this is the right time period but I loved Eileen Dreyer's Drake's Rakes series :)

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    1. Oh, Erin, you are in for a treat!! I hope you enjoy the series!

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    2. Dreyer's Drake's Rakes are fabulous...but they take place during the Napoleonic wars, which makes them REGENCIES. ;-)

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  18. I adore this series. I think I came in a little late to the Elizabeth Hoyt Fan-Fan Revolution (i.e. I read the second prince book first...but after that, was totally a Elizabeth Hoyt fan for life. Still waiting for my decoder ring.) Anyway, I didn't miss this book either; loved it. That sword scene was quite awesome, but I knew this series was going to kick ass when I realized it was going to be set in the mid-1700s. Well played!

    My other favorite Georgian set author is Eloisa James.

    Keep that era coming ladies! I love the setting too!

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    1. Yay! MsHellion, please feel free to be a fellow Hoytian!

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    2. I so need to get decoder rings for the Hoytians...

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  19. My favorite Georgian set romance is Jo Beverley's A Lady's Secret, in addition to the Maiden Lane series of course. My favorite Georgian era movies are The Swiss Family Robinson, Rob Roy, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

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    1. Barbara, I've never read a Jo Beverley book, can you believe it?? I need to rectify that. Glad to hear you enjoy the Maiden Lane series!

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    2. Have you seen the Anthony Andrews SCARLET PIMPERNEL, Barbara? Wonderful B movie stuff! ;-)

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  20. Oh, Winter Makepeace is Steve Kuchinsky on the stepback!

    The only other books set in Georgian England that I remember reading were by Eloisa James.

    I like the swords, too; I guess they make up for the hideous wigs?

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    1. "I like the swords, too; I guess they make up for the hideous wigs?"

      Exactly my thought, infinitieh! lol

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    2. Wigs are sexy, I'm telling you! ;-) (I may be fighting a lost cause here...)

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  21. Elizabeth's books are easily my fave Georgian stories :) I love them. They're the first books to pop into my mind when I think of that period. Can't think of any movies/shows that take place during that period off hand though I'm sure there have been some -- all the wigs & fancy clothes :)

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    1. I just remembered the POLDARK saga started just after the Revolutionary War, which definitely makes it Georgian. Not much in the way of swords, but the guy playing Poldark had a big influence on my adolescence.

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  22. I don't any favorites from this genre, but I've enjoyed reading them.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I hope you enjoy THIEF OF SHADOWS, bn100.

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  23. Western romance is my favorite genre, but I read a little of everything. I will have to say I loved your Prince series, it was just awesome.

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  24. Hello Eliabeth, I'm just go right on and gush with everyone else and tell you ho much I am enjoying your current series. I have been waiting, not too patiently for "Theif of Shadows" and cannot wait to get my hands and eyes on it! I read Andrea's review here and it was exceptional, truly worthy of your work.

    My favorite Georgian era books are Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses Series. The duel/sword fight leaves The Duck of Villiers at death's door throughout the next several books in the series and is ultimately the catalyst that leads him to find his finer self. It's interesting that the duel is fought over the character named Roberta ST. GILES! Small world and all.

    Some of my other favorite authors writing about the Georgian period are Jane Feather and Christina Dodd. The best sword fight in a movie would have to be Errol Flynn and Basil Rathborn in the 1n the 1939 version of "Robin Hood." I realize that it is not in the Georgian period, but it is so well done that it deserves to be included.

    Finally, Best of luck at RWA! Did you receive my Facebook message from earlier this week regarding the conference?

    PS. I do remember "Scaramouche," and not from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody!"

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    1. So glad you like the series, fsbuchler! ;-) Basil Rathbone was apparently something of an expert at stage swordfighting--I believe he also starred in a Zorro movie that had a swordfight. And if anyone knows what the Scaramouche line means in Bohemian Rhapsody, I'd love to know. ;-)

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  25. Thank you so much for the excerpt. It gives an interesting peak into who the hero and heroine are and what their relationship is. I have been waiting until all the books are out to read the Maiden Lane series. Am I correct in assuming that this is the last one? I can't wait much longer to read these books. I have trouble waiting for the next book in a series and prefer to read them together. This keeps the characters, setting, and overall story line fresh in my mind.

    I never really pay much attention to the period the story is set in, just whether it sounds like a good story. I do like action and swords are high on my list of things to look for in the story. One series I really enjoyed that I guess is just after the Georgian Period is Jennifer Blake's MASTERS AT ARMS series. It follows the fencing instructors in the New Orleans of the 1840's. Lots of swords and sword fighting in these as well as interesting insight into the culture of the area at the time. As for movies, I haven't seen many of this time period in a long time. The Three Musketeers is a favorite. It seems most movies Errol Flynn made had over the top action and lots of sword play. I'm not sure I have ever seen Scaramouche. Sounds like I need to.

    Congratulations on the success of your books. May there be many more for us to enjoy.

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    1. No, actually THIEF OF SHADOWS isn't the last in the Maiden Lane series, Librarypat. I'm contracted for two more after TOS and have at least another three in mind after those. You may have to wait a while if you want to read the series all at once.

      Lisa Kleypas had a series set in New Orleans that had sword fighting as well, I believe. It was very good.

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    2. I'll have to check Lisa's series. I have a bunch in my TBR mountain and might luck out.

      I will have to think about starting your series sooner than later. I have read other long running series like Stephanie Laurens' Cynster books over time. They are tied together, but in sort of a group of mini-series way. Sounds like the Maiden Lane books will be similar. I'm glad THIEF OF SHADOWS won't be the end of this swashbuckling bunch.

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  26. Elizabeth, I loved Thief of Shadows. Loved Winter. I've got my fingers crossed for you too. Charming Mickey was quite a Character and I loved him too. lol I have a lot of loving with your work Elizabeth. :) Can't wait to read about the next "new" Ghost. :)
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  27. I love love love The Maiden Lane series! Thief of Shadows will be mine, one way or another...for me thr most iconic movie of that era is Dangerous Liaisons...unforgettable John Malkovich!
    minadecaro@hotmail.com

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  28. No contest...that favorite Georgian book is The Raven Prince. It's earned its place on my Keeper shelf--which is very very limited, I assure you. A close second is The Serpent Prince. I love those arrogant men who find their lives out of their control when they meet and fall in love with a strong woman. Sigh...

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  29. Right now I am reading The Casanova Code by Donna MacMeans.

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  30. I don't think I've read any Georgian romances in a while - there don't seem to be nearly as many as Regencies - good thing Elizabeth has written some for us!
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  31. I love the series, just finished Thief of Shadows and can't wait for more

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