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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Today's Special - - Eloisa James

We are thrilled to welcome the amazing Eloisa James to The Romance Dish today.  A New York Times bestselling and RITA® award winning historical romance author, Eloisa recently published what PJ thinks is her best book yet: THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X.   (Read PJ's Top Dish review here.) Discover more information about Eloisa and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter. 

Eloisa James holds a place of prominence on many readers' keeper shelves, including Andrea's, Janga's and PJ's. She recently answered some questions from all three of us.  Please join us in giving her a warm welcome.




PJ:  Welcome back, Eloisa!  It’s always a pleasure to host you at The Romance Dish.  Your newest book, Three Weeks with Lady X was released last week.  Please share with our readers what they can expect from this story.

Three Weeks includes one of my favorite heroes, Thorn: he’s illegitimate, grew up on the streets, and he’s rougher and more direct than my dukes have been.  He’s made up his mind to marry a docile and lovely young lady…but he finds himself entangled with a witty, sharp-tongued lady instead.  Lisa Kleypas just told me this is my best book yet:  I hope you all agree with her!

PJ:  I sure do!  Thorn and India have secured a place in my reader’s heart and become one of my all-time favorite romance couples.  What is it about these two characters that convinced you they belong together? 

India and Thorn are a bit rough around the edges; they're both part of aristocratic society and yet outsiders, due to preference and personality.  India is an earl's daughter who, in response to a very difficult childhood, chooses to make a living and spurns the societal rules governing women's behavior.  In the book I'm writing now, I have a scene where Thorn is thinking about India.  He grew up on the streets, and he points out that in a sense, his wife grew on the streets as well; an earl's mansion can be a "street," when it comes to surviving childhood. 

Andrea:  What were your reasons for naming the heroine Xenobia India?  It’s unusual and I quite like it!

I wanted a very unusual name—because India’s parents were so eccentric.  And I wanted the name of a female warrior or queen.  I played around with Boadicea, who was a Celtic queen.   Then my editor suggested Three Weeks with Lady X as the title—and that meant ditching Boadicea and going with Xenobia!  I really don’t know why she came to be India… when a book is written over a year, so many plot points come and go. It has that flavor of the exotic that I wanted.

PJ:  Three Weeks With Lady X is blessed with a rich cast of secondary characters.  One in particular has caught Andrea’s eye.  She would like to know if you have plans to write a story for Vander?  (I’m reasonably confident you’ll be hearing this question from many readers!)

Yes, indeed!  I’m writing Vander’s story right now.  He’s a treat to write about…but oh, poor man…you know how he wanted to marry for love?  Well…

PJ:  I think we’ve all fantasized about stepping into the shoes of our favorite heroine or being romanced by our favorite hero.  If you could step into the life of any fictional character (with an escape hatch back to your current life, of course) who would you choose and why?

Oh, the obvious:  Elizabeth Bennett.  I’ve spent years fantasizing about Mr. Darcy—I deserve the chance to get to know him better!

PJ:   Three Weeks With Lady X captured my heart and kept me flipping pages long past my bedtime.  What’s the last book (by an author other than you) that kept you reading late into the night?

The Rosie Project.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!  I thought it was absolutely wonderful—a hysterically funny, sweet love story.

PJ:  Will you be attending any conferences or book signings where readers will have an opportunity to meet you this year? 

I certainly will!  My event schedule ranges from Brooklyn to Birmingham (AL)—as well as Tuscaloosa, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Tulsa, New Orleans, Huntsville, and San Antonio.  Check out all the info on my Events page and please come!  http://www.eloisajames.com/events.php



Andrea:  Do you have any plans to write another non-fiction book such as Paris in Love

Maybe… we leave for a year in London, starting in August.  So that’s exciting!  I won’t write something exactly like Paris in Love, but I will write a book, and I think it will include London.  Watch my Facebook page and you’ll see it happening in real time!





Janga:  What can readers look for next from you?  Will there be more Desperate Duchesses connected books, another standalone or a brand new series?  

The next book is the story of Thorn’s best friend Vander… and yes, another character from the DDuchess series has a place in it (plus the Duke of Villiers attends a wedding) – and that’s all I’m saying about it right now!

Thank you for visiting with us today, Eloisa.  Would you like to ask our readers a question?

Yes, I would!  This is for a book I’m dreaming up (not Vander’s story):  do you like a) arranged marriage, b) Cinderella or c) a secret baby plot best?  

If you have a chance to pick up THREE WEEKS, I hope you love Thorn and India as much as I did. 

Hugs,
Eloisa

Three readers who leave a comment today will receive a copy of Eloisa's last book, ONCE UPON A TOWER.  




67 comments:

  1. I atually like all three, but if I have to choose, it would be an arranged marriage which turns into love, of course.

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    1. I'm reading one of those arranged marriages right now and loving every delicious word. :)

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  2. I love arranged marriage stories. One of my favorites. I love the growing realization.

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  3. melissa spencer feehanApril 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Oooooh.....I like all three. I think secret baby is probably least popular, and less used. Makes it more intriguing to me, I would love to see what you would do with it.

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    1. Hi, Melissa! I enjoy all three too. In the hands of a good writer, any of these tropes would work for me.

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  4. I agree that Three Weeks with Lady X is Eloisa's best yet. I've read it three times--once when I first got the eARC from Avon via Edelweiss, a second time shortly before I wrote my review, and again last week so everything would be fresh when all my friends started talking about it. I've loved it more with each reading. And I've already preordered Vander's book!

    I can't choose among the three tropes. My very first romance novel was an arranged marriage story, and I still love them. I am endlessly fascinated by all the variations of the Cinderella story. And even secret baby stories--which sometimes make me cringe--can be wonderful, particularly in historicals where they seem to come with marvelous twists. I think of Jo Beverley's A Lady's Secret as a secret baby book.

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    1. I love your review, Janga -- thank you!! I'm so glad you liked Thorn & India so much. This book took loads of revision and tears, so I'm really happy that it's worked out.

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    2. Right there with you, Janga. I just can't bring myself to say good-bye to these characters!

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  5. LOVED Three Weeks - Villiers has always been one of my favorite characters throughout the entire series and now to see that the son takes after his father is perfect. This is a story about 2 people who had dysfunctional childhoods but managed to rise above them yet their hurts can only be healed by the other.
    I do like all 3 plot twists but the secret baby is my favorite.

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    1. Thank you, Diane! You went to the heart of the plot.

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  6. I really did love "Three Weeks with Lady X" and have recommended it to many. As to choosing a trope, I would like a combination story. My favorite is friends to lovers, but what if the friends had already been lovers and there was a secret baby and even though they are friends, a marriage has been arranged by their relatives? Have fun writing!

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    1. Thank you for those recommendations, Barbara! Believe me, I treasure every one. It's so hard to reach new readers these days, when no one has a bookstore to wander through!

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    2. Love your "mash" trope, Barbara!

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  7. I love love arranged marriage stories, Cinderella is the ultimate fantasy of almost every girl, BUT I think Eloisa is such a wonderfully creative writer. I think she has taken some of the most unusual ideas and turned it into some of the best stories I had ever read. I would like to see what she does with a secret baby plot- This would be the least favorite of the topics, so I would like to see what she does with it.

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    1. Rose, I have no doubt that she could turn it into writing "gold."

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  8. I like the love stories where marriage is arranged. In the beginning there is the dislike and rebellion stage, to the tolerant stage and grows to exquisite love between the two main characters.

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    1. It's that growth that I most enjoy too, Kathy.

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  9. Arranged marriage fits best with the times.....

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    1. There were a lot of them, weren't there?

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  10. Love arranged marriages in books. They fit will with regency times and can be so funny as the couple progresses towards true love.

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    1. I enjoy those arranged marriages where they become friends first then eventually find love. Very satisfying.

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  11. I read LADY X in about a day...if I hadn't been forced to go to work like I'm supposed to, it might have taken only half the day. Gobbled it up like the delicious, awesome sweet that it was--and right from the beginning I was thinking, "Wow, I think this might be Eloisa's best book to date!" and then I thought, "Even better than Pleasure for Pleasure"--the gold standard for me--and I was all, "Yes, I believe so. These characters have such chemistry." The letters were probably my favorite because it revealed so much about them and took away from the "they're not in the same room, how do you keep up the tension?"--the tension was AWESOME in this book. Loved, loved, loved. Recommended it to my FB friends and I know one of them at least bought it because she thanked me after reading it and asked for more. *LOL* Fortunately most of my FB friends are already Eloisa readers...

    Well, I adore an arranged marriage plot; however, considering the time period you write, a secret baby might be a bit more complicated and interesting to see how you'd work that out. And I'm so, so glad Vander's book is going on now. I adored him in LADY X.

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    1. I love this! I'm sitting here grinning like a fool. Thank you for showing me your thought process while reading!!

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    2. Hellie, I'm sitting here, nodding my head and thinking, "Yep. Yep. Yep." That's exactly how I felt during my first read of THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X!

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    3. The letters about the mirror I think were my favorite...it was so TOTALLY a couple conversation. But the pestal and mortar(?) guy and the sexy conversation that fell out of that, hilarious. I would just start reading the letters to whoever was in the room with me. Hilarious.

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    4. I'm giving a talk tonight in Tuscaloosa -- and they want a "reading." Normally I don't do it, but I'm thinking of reading those letters and you've made me decide to do it!

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    5. Oh, absolutely do the letters! They'll be racing to buy the book!

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    6. Do the letters!!! Loved them. LOL at them. Re-read them. Brought so much of the couple or not yet a couple's thought process...and it was a fun way instead of a he said, she said conversation.

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  12. arranged marriage is my choice

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  13. Welcome, Eloisa! It's been three months since I first read an e-ARC of THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X and I'm still gushing. One of my favorite books ever!

    Count me among all those readers who are delighted with the news that you're writing Vander's book!

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    1. Hi sweetie! I'm almost done with Vander's story...

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  14. I am a Cinderellas story girl, love the rags to riches stories. I love to read a little of them all though. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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    1. Quilt Lady, I'm curious. What do you think of the flipped Cinderella where the hero is the one living the rags to riches story? Does it work as well for you as the traditional Cinderella trope?

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  15. Hi Eloisa, congrats on the new book. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but judging from all the positive reviews, I know I won't be disappointed. I'm not a big fan of the secret baby trope but I do adore the Cinderella stories - must have something to do with watching all those Disney movies growing up. The arranged marriage trope is intriguing, especially when the couple have never met before and we the readers, get to take the journey of discovery with them. Thanks for writing all these fabulous books, I always look forward to reading them! :-)

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    1. Hi Anita! I hope you love Lady X once you get a chance to read it!

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  16. I adored three weeks with lady x! And I can not wait for the next book. I like all three tropes that you named. So I would be good with any of them.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal -- I'm so glad you loved Lady X!

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  17. Cinderella would be interesting in this time period! Loved Lady X, can't wait for Vander's story.

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    1. I'm working on it, Monique -- almost done!

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  18. Arranged marriage, Cinderella as well; I really don't like the secret babies !

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  19. I do enjoy arranged marriage stories - you don't have the question of if they will get married, just how will they relate to each other and when will they admit that they love the other. Cinderella is also fun to see the young lady get her prince charming - especially in front of those nasty stepsisters.

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  20. Hi, Eloisa! As you know, I LOVED Three Weeks with Lady X! Loved, loved, loved it. Can't wait for Vander's story!

    I love a good Cinderella plot, but one in reverse (where the hero is beneath the heroine in status) is my favorite. The hero who doesn't feel "good enough" for the heroine really tugs at my heart. : )

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  21. I hate secret baby plots. Hate them. But I love arranged marriages. My very first romance was The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer.

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  22. Love her books. I pick Cinderella or arranged marriage. Not secret baby.

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  23. loved Lady X, cannot wait for what comes next

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that, Deborah! Vander's story is next.. I'm almost done writing it!

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  25. Put me down for an arranged marriage. Devoured this book. Adored it. You have somehow outdone yourself again. I can't wait for Vander's story!

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  26. I'll vote for an arranged marriage.... I just love Eloisa's press photo... she has such a mischievious twinkle in her eyes....

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  27. Congrats to Eloisa on the newest release!!! I bought this for my Kindle and I'm sooo excited to start reading!!! Ummm... I'm a glutton for tropes and so I'd say that I love all 3! Especially if you could combine them :) Thanks for the fun interview!

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    1. I hope you love Thorn & India, Erin!

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  28. Congratulations to Eloisa. Arranged marriage is ideal.

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  29. I'll vote for an arranged marriage. Love this book.

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  30. Congratulations! I just saw that this book made the USA Today Bestseller's List. In Villier's book, I can still remember that scene with Oyster. Are there any animals in this one?

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    1. Thanks, Kim! It did make that list, happily. There are not animals in this one... small girl instead. :)

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  31. WOW! That's a loaded question! It's hard to choose just one of whether it's an arranged marriage, Cinderella, or secret baby plot twist. I like all three and would love to read a historical romance that covered all three!

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  32. Cinderella or arranged marriage. Thanks for asking. lisa(g)k(at)yahoo.com

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  33. Hi Eloisa!! I would love another Cinderella story or if not, an arranged marriage. Not really a fan of secret baby storylines.

    Congrats on the release of Three Weeks with Lady X! I love the Desperate Duchesses and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!! All the best! :)

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    1. Hi there Ada! I hope you love Three Weeks! A lot of the letters I'm getting are readers who were especially happy to meet the Duke of Villiers again.

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  34. Congrats on Lady X!! Can't wait to read it :)

    I like all three, but lately I'm a fan of secret baby plot

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  35. Hmmm.... hard to decide, I don't think I favour one way or the other, the marriage question, that is. I think it depends on the plot to make it interesting, fun and intriguing, but definitely one that I would find myself rooting for the hero or heroine is the best.

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