Friday, January 8, 2010

Guest Author -- Beverley Kendall

Debut historical author Beverley Kendall is one busy lady. Not only is she celebrating and promoting her debut historical romance with Kensington, Sinful Surrender, she also runs the wildly popular webite The Season! Please help us welcome her to The Romance Dish as she talks about her exciting debut!

Writing the book I wanted to write

When I started writing SINFUL SURRENDER I never thought to myself, ‘will this plot sell?’. The plot for SINFUL SURRENDER is a fairly tried and true one that I absolutely adore. I will always give a ‘in love with my brother’s best friend’ story a second, third, and fourth look. The blurb has to be absolutely horrific, or a trusted friend must tell me the book was just awful for me NOT to pick it up.

So I charged ahead with that very premise when I started writing back in November 2006. I, of course, was going to make it different, put my own unique spin on things. Yep, I sure was. LOL. Little did I know that the very nature of this ‘tried and true’ plot was going to be a hard sell.

The rejections came for about a year, saying much the same thing, ‘This isn’t different’. They were looking for something more. I’m not sure how much more, but more. Now most of these rejections came from either the query or the partial. SINFUL SURRENDER apparently wasn’t different enough to stand out in the historical romance market, which at that time was said not to have a pulse.

After a year of rejections, I had long moved onto the second book. My new plot wasn’t as tried and true as SINFUL SURRENDER and I thought it had a flawed but endearing heroine and a fantastic hero. I prayed this one would sell. Then I sold SINFUL SURRENDER and that just about knocked my feet from right out under me. It sold. Picked from a slush pile, it actually sold.

Now it’s two years later, my book is actually on book store shelves, and readers are actually buying it! My mind spins. Some readers are actually telling me they really like it. And it is only then when I sit back and think of the misgivings I started after hearing for a year, it was too much of the same thing, that I actually felt really good that this was the story that I chose to write. That I’m really happy I followed my heart and wrote the kind of story that draws me in as a reader. I will read the books that are ‘trendsetters’ or so different they make everyone sit up and take notice, but to me, there is nothing like a plot that has always held a magical appeal to me. I guess that’s the reason they’ve been termed ‘tried and true’. :)

So what’s ‘tried and true’ for you? Leave a comment and TWO lucky people will each win a copy of Sinful Surrender!

Lord James Rutherford fights the inexorable demise of his bachelorhood with every sane bone in his body. But the single-minded pursuit of the delectable Missy Armstrong entering her fourth London Season proves his undoing. Just as he’s decided to risk the wrath of her brother—his friend—and right the wrong of their indiscretion, James discovers the consequences of a forgotten night of drunken passion has left yet another lady of ton compromised.
For Millicent ‘Missy’ Armstrong, being ruined by the man of her dreams is nothing to wring her hands and bury her face in her hands about. But when an offer of marriage isn’t immediately forthcoming, and whispers of James’s betrothal to another—and pending fatherhood—reaches her ears, there isn’t an acre of land on the Continent far enough on which to escape. Then, in an abrupt reversal, James is back on her doorstep with the offer she’d yearned to receive…two weeks and one woman too late.

In the face of her unwavering refusal, James launches a war to win back her passion, her trust, and her love. A war as ruthless as it is seductive. With the wounds of her heartbreak still fresh and raw, can he convince her that far from the second choice, she has always been the only choice for him?


  1. HI again Beverley. No, I'm not stalking you, your just visiting all the places I haunt. LOL

    My favorite "Tried and True's"?Here are some and book titles to give you an example.

    The girl next door. (Beauty and The Badge by Julie Miller, or Express Male by Elizabeth Bevarly (the second love story in the book, not the main one.) )

    The mistaken idenity (Jane Millionaire by Janice Lynn or Express Male by Elizabeth Bevarly (the main story line) )

    Runaway Heroine saved by the Dashing Hero ( Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell)

    Return of the first love (A Marriage-Minded Man by Karen Templeton)

    Thwarted love? I guess that's what you'd call it. You know those people that so in love, but it seems the world is against them. Kinda like Romeo and Juliet, except with a HEA. (Thirteen Chances by Cindy Miles)

    Those are some of my favorite "Tried and True's"

  2. Hi Beverley, congrats on your release! I tend to like a lot of marriage of convenience/second chance plots, but almost anything works for me as long as the characters appeal to me, if I get that sense of chemistry, sparks between them, witty dialog, poignant moments.

    I often think whenever I see readers and publishers saying they want different, there is only so much different you can do without getting absurd, then you're back to tried and true. For me in a romance, it's mainly about the characters and how engaging the author makes them to the reader.

  3. Congratulations Beverley !! I'm very glad you finaly published your story. There is nothing wrong with those 'tried and True's story. on the contrary. My favorite ?

    - Secret Baby : Two Little lies
    - Marriage of convenience : Captive of Sin
    - second chance at love : Again tha Magic
    - pennyless earl marries heiress for money while pretending to love her (grrrr I loooove that one): Seduced by his Touch

    Congrats again !

  4. Hi Beverley,
    Congrats on your debut release. I never tire of revenge and amnesia stories. I like it when authors put a twist in the tried and true storylines.

  5. Hi Beverley

    And again huge congrats on your release.

    I too love a marriage of convenience story and best friends to lovers a good Cinderella story. There are not too many historicals especially that I don't enjoy they take me on adventures and to places and times I have never been and probably won't visit.

    Have Fun

  6. Hi Bev :)
    my favorite (still) Captive of Sin why ? because i'm so new with the Romance world.

    Congrats for the release Bev ! everybody's talking about your great book, and i'm still hoping that i will have one *fingers crossed*

  7. Congrats Beverly! I really enjoy reading about alpha heroes that have been shaped by their abusive childhood - S. Kenyon writes about them in a very good way.

  8. With me, you can't go wrong with a plotline like the movie She's All That: Guy has to make Girl look/act fantabulous (for whatever reason), realizes that oh crap Girl is actually pretty stunning and the love of his life, and Girl proceeds to make his life hell before taking him back graciously. In a nutshell.


  9. Hello Beverly, like Dorthy I swear I am not stalking, it just so happens you are going to my fav places on the net.

    I like the stories that give the power to the female, let the guy prove himself for a change. It has been done, just not often, that is why I am wanting your book, he had his chance, blew it and now has to prove himself to get the girl.

  10. Hi, Beverly! What an exciting week this has been! Your followers have all shared in the fun! Congratulations on the grand reviews and the successful release of "Sinful Surrender"! As always, I cannot praise highly enough the wonderful manner in which you produce "The Season".

    Favorite Tried & Trues:
    1) Coming back to claim "the one you left behind".

    2) Opposites attract, sparks fly, both parties are enlightened and enraptured. Antagonism becomes overpowering attraction.

    3) You suddenly realize that you are madly in love with someone who's been a friend for most of your life. The coworker whom you've joked with every day is suddenly more than a laughing matter. Your brother's best friend has become the best looking hunk you've ever seen!

    4) Beauty and the Beast. Scarred, wounded, jaded, armor-plated. Underneath it all, a heart of gold. A protector with a love to last for all time.

    5) Can't resist a cute kid. Those little darlings wrap themselves around your heart. You're a goner!

    6) Dead....not really. You have mourned your lost love, but now you have a new life, a new beginning. Not so fast. You're about to get hit with a blast from the past!

  11. Hi Bev! Congrats on the release!

    My favourites are the friends to lovers. Love these! And the hot hero falling for the plain but witty heroine.

  12. Hi, Beverley! We are so happy to have you dishing with us today!

    Even if I hadn't heard all of the fantastic buzz about your debut, I would buy it after reading the blurb!

    There's something comforting about a "tried and true" plot, as long as the author keeps it fresh.

    I love the hero in love with his best friends sister. And of course there are:

    Cinderella--who doesn't want to see the mistreated heroine win the hero?

    Beauty and the Beast--not necessarily a physically scarred hero, but definitely emotionally scarred. LOVE seeing him healed by the heroine's love for him. *sigh*

    Friends to lovers--never get tired of that one

    Reuniting with your first love--sometimes you can go home again. :)

    Marriage of convenience--definitely!!

    I know I could go on, but you get the point. As you said, there's a reason the plots are called "tried and true." *g*

  13. Hi ladies! I'm very tardy this morning because school was canceled for my son, so everyone got to sleep in. *grin* Commencing right now.

    Thanks Gannon and the ladies at The Romance Dish for having me here today.

  14. LOL!! Dorthy, not for one second do I consider or think you're stalking me. I do hope you're hoping to win my book. :D

    OH, I so love that you put examples. I LOVE examples. Love your tried and trues, especially the girl next door and return of first love. Can you tell I really love it when the h/h already know each other and have a past.

    Hi Pam! Thanks so much. Love the marriage of convenience and second chance plots. They are definitely some of my faves! And you're right. I completely agree with you about wanting differently before it just becomes too different for the reading public.

    I also think that for agents and editors, because they do this for a living and HAVE to read so much, they become somewhat jaded when reading and trying to figure out what the public wants. If they've seen the same sort of plot come across their desk, they get TIRED of that plot and don't want to see another one. Meanwhile, the reading public reads for their own pleasure and picks up books that appeal to them. Most of these readers have 'tried and trues' that totally work for them.

  15. Hi Emmanuelle, thanks for stopping by! Boy did you nail the good ones on the head with your list. Love them all.

    I think there's really no original ideas at this time (or very, very few), it's all in the execution.

    Hi Jane, thanks so much! I have to admit, it's been awhile since I read an amnesia story. LOL. But I do love a revenge storyline.

    Hi Helen, glad you stopped by. :)
    You sound kind of traditional (like me). I'm not so much for the big adventurous romances. I love adventure and suspense in my movies. In my romance, I want a real character driven story with lots of angst, sexual tension and great conflict. I don't need to be in exotic locales. I hear so many people sort of turning up their noses at ballroom scenes. I don't mind the ballroom scenes at all. :)

  16. Hi Beverly! I'm so excited about this book and can't wait to read it. Got my copy so I am a happy camper.

    I also love friends to lovers, especially if the hero has been in love with the heroine for quite some time. Just gives me a happy sigh to read these kinds of stories :)

    Good luck with your release, and I hope you're enjoying the ride!

  17. Hi Mariska!! Wow, I keep hearing about that people are talking about SS and I would love to know who they are. LMAO!!! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you win a copy. :D

    Thanks host!! Now you see, I'm a total ninny. I have a real hard time with abusive childhoods. Don't get me wrong, I've read many books like that, but they are always the least favourite part of the book for me. Especially physical or sexual abuse. I just find that hard to take in my romances.

    Julie, LOVE those. Actually, there is a book kind of like that scenario called Breakfast in Bed that I'm really looking forward to reading. The hero wants his ex back and decides he needs to be more domesticated, so he turns to his friend, the heroine, for lessons. Now she's been in love with him for awhile, and she's not about to get him all nice and domesticated for another woman. Totally my kind of book.

    LOL!!! Dianna, so glad you're here. Like I said above, hope you want to win SS. ;) Oh yes, James does blow it and has to do the chasing. I LOVE THAT!!!

  18. Good Morning, Bev! I slept in too. Lovely activity on a cold, icy morning.

    We're so happy to have you with us today. You already know (since I've been broadcasting it all over the how very much I enjoyed SINFUL SURRENDER. You've taken one of my "tried and true" storylines - in love with my brother's best friend - and made it all seem fresh and new. I fell in love with Missy and James as I laughed, cried and sighed my way through their journey.

    I'm off to get some coffee then I'll be back with some of my favorites.

  19. Hi, again, Beverley.
    I like the girl-next-door and the nice-girl-gets-her-man stories. It's fun to watch a hero suddenly realize that the pesky, little kid next door has become quite pretty and-and-and a girl! When did that happen? It's fun reading those plots.

  20. Thanks so much Virginia. This week has been fabulous. Honestly, just great. I love getting email from fans. I love that they're asking about the other books in the trilogy and want me to write faster. LOL. I swear I do a little gig with every email. LOL.

    And boy do I love ALL of those plots you listed. And I'm with you on the cute kid. I have a child in book 3, and while he's not center stage, the book pretty much revolves around him. And he's darn cute. ;)

    Hi Dobby, thanks for stopping by. Yep, friends to lovers get me EVERY TIME. I'm a total sucker for them. One of my faves is A Whole New Light by Sandra Brown. It's an old Loveswept. And yes, I love it when a hero finally does see the heroine in a whole new light. Those are great too.

    Hi Gannon, thanks so much for the warm welcome and a fabulous place to hang out for the day. Again, I'm so happy that there's positive buzz about SS, and i wonder whose buzzing about it. LOL. I'd like to thank them. :D And you hit all my soft spots with tried and trues. Yes, you're right my list is very long and could go on and on just like yours. *grins*

  21. Congrats on your release, Beverley! I reckon it must be very exciting for you to see your first book released!

    I very much like The virgin hero (soooo delicious!), The underestimated bookish outsider heroine (think along the lines of Penelope Featherington), Outsiders' love (doesn't that sound good?) in general, Best Friends Gone Lovers and, of course, also My best friend's brother/My brother's best friend.

    And I assure you, your book sounds different!

  22. Hi Stacy!! So happy you have a copy of SS in hand now. I hope you enjoy! And yes, I LOOOVVEEE when the hero has been in love with the heroine. Sarah Mayberry did a fabulous one for Blaze called Amorous Liaisons. It was FABULOUS!! Thanks so much, and I'm totally savouring the ride. :D

    Awwww PJ, you are just so sweet!! I'm so happy you enjoyed SS. You have no idea how excited and happy I was to get your message when you finished it. :D So much jigging going on around my house, my son thinks I'm crazy. LOL. See you after you've fortified yourself with that coffee. ;)

    Hi Deb!! Yes!! Seriously, I could read those all day. LOVE those stories. I love the hero's dawning realization that he is really attracted, wants the heroine, especially when someone else starts paying attention to her. I say a little jealousy never hurt anyone.

  23. Congrats on your fabulous debut, Beverley!

    Oopps, I think I misspelled your name on another post. Sorry!

  24. Hi Lisa!! Thanks so much. Oh, I do love those scenarios. The virgin hero--I haven't read many of those. The one or two I have were really well done. I just don't like to think they're something WRONG with my heroes sex drive. *grin*

    And thank you, I tried to put a fresh spin on my story and I really hope I succeeded.

  25. LOL. Thanks Santa!! And you wouldn't be the first. I got the British spelling and now that I'm in the States, I'm just so used to people spelling without the 'e'. Though, in legal documents etc, I make them get it right. ;)

  26. Hi Bev ^^
    If i don't win this time i'm going to the bookstore and picking up a copy of your book. ^^

    I never tire of the wounded hero (whether mentally or physically), in love with my sibling best friend, a good marriage of convince or for scandal, gender bender, or a good nerdy girl with a rakish man. I can read these plots over and over again because it's the author usually has it's own take on the subject. This interpretation is true of any book genre you read. These different interpretations also make the books more interesting because you never know how the individual author is going to resolve the plot line.

    The only books i really don't like (i've believe i said this on another form to you ^w^) is the pregnant heroine or the hero or heroine already has a lot of kids (unless they're adults or teenagers).

  27. Hi Again Beverley!

    When it comes to historicals, for the most part, I love tried and true, as warm and comforting as a cup of Earl Grey tea!

    I figure if I am in the mood for 'different' I can always read a paranormal! Though an occasional tread off the path for historical is fine.

    What is tried and true for me, is the tortured man, and the somewhat innocent but determined woman, finding love against all odds. And I love it when an author immerses us in their world, their era, I am one of those people that wants to know what delicacies are on the tea tray, LOL!
    Also the rich rakish rogue falling in love with the underhouse parlour maid is always a fav!

    All the best for your release!

  28. Congratulations Beverly on your new book. For me, the marriage of convenience is a plot I really enjoy in historical romance because the characters really have to compromise to get to their HEA.

  29. Beverley! Good Morning!

    Ahaaaha , unlike the other ladies who are NOT stalking you I am! Just kidding! I just love your call story and want to support an author who is so involved with their readers and also being an aspiring author, I love to think someday I will have friendly stalkers too! LOL!
    Again Congrats! and thanks for giving us aspiring writers the insperation to keep writing our story the way we want to!

  30. Congratulations again on your debut release! Personally, the brother's best friend is always an automatic buy for me. If only they were all as good as yours!

  31. Hello Beverley!

    Please add me to the drawing.

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

  32. Hey Doll!!! I'm sooo happy for you on your big release! You know I love your writing voice, and the fact that you are such a dynamo in promoting historical romance with your site The Season, is something I have such great respect for. As for tried and true, I just want a good story with characters I can fall in love with. I don't worry too much if it's already been done before, because you and I know. They ALL been done before.!! Go get 'em GF!! Hugs, Mon

  33. Hi Melissa!! Thanks for stopping by. I concur with you. I not one for the pregnant with another man's child or with a slew of kids with someone else. Kids by other men (especially if the men are still alive and kicking) just complicates a good romance for me. I hope you win this time. ;)

    Hi again Drew!! Thanks so much! You've just described some fabulous scenarios. LOL. I'm laughing that you said you like all the details. I thought too many of those drove readers crazy.

    Hi Maureen!! Thank you so much and for dropping by. I think the marriage of convenience is definitely the MOST tried and true plot and I NEVER get tired of it.

  34. Hi Jane!! Thanks so much. I so know what it's like writing and wanting so much for someone, ANYONE, to want to contract you or represent you. I think attitude is everything. Every time I got a rejection, I'd just think to myself, well maybe the next one. If they don't like book 1, they might like book 2 and it not book 3. I knew if I kept at it it would happen. It will for you too. :)

    Awwww, Devon my unbiased CP has spoken. *big wink* Thanks sweetie, you're the best.

    Hi Bodice Novel Rippers, you are so entered. ;)

    Hi Mon!! Congrats on the release (same day as mine, January 5th) of KISMET. May you sell a gazillion copies. And you know I want literally every person to read historicals. LOL. Thanks for dropping by sweetie. Too good sales!!!

  35. I'm having so much fun reading about everyone's tried and true favorites. Makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of books! :)

  36. I love "fish out of water" stories which is probably why I'm so fond of time travels. I think Veronica Wolff and Sandra Hill do those very well.

    "Opposites attract" is another theme that I enjoy. I just finished Robyn Carr's latest, Forbidden Falls, where the hero (a minister) falls in love with a smart-mouth ex-stripper with a heart of gold. Love it!

  37. Virginia C said: Coming back to claim "the one you left behind".

    I just finished Lori Wilde's The Sweethearts' Knitting Club which has this theme and, for added intensity, makes the hero an ex-con and the heroine the town's "good girl."

  38. PJ, I have that one, The Sweetheart's Knitting Club. Oh, I so didn't like her fiance. AT ALL!! And I've been looking for a really good time travel that somehow involves the 19th and 20 or 21st century. Have any suggestions?

  39. And I've been looking for a really good time travel that somehow involves the 19th and 20 or 21st century.

    Bev, do you want the time travel to be contained to those three centuries?

  40. I also like opposites attract or ploys where the hero never really noticed his friend's youunger sister.

    Best of luck with the new release.

  41. Hello and welcome, Beverley!! We're glad you're with us today. HUGE CONGRATS on the release of your baby, SINFUL SURRENDER!! I am a big-time fan of the "in love with my brother's best friend" plot. In fact, I would have to say that it is one of my three favorites. The other two being the reverse Cinderella plot (where the hero is beneath the heroine and feels he's not worthy) a la THE LEOPARD PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt and the enemies to lovers plot (lots of sparks with that one) a la THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME by Julia Quinn.

    BTW, I love visiting The Season!! Great site!

  42. Forgot to add that I WILL be picking your book up from B&N on my next trip, Bev!!

  43. I look forward to your book!

    I like the following "tried and trues":

    Kidnapping (Historical)
    Forced marriage (Historical)
    Unrelated guardian (usually historical)
    Hero is a virgin or celibate...

    As well as most of those mentioned!

  44. I love this blog!! Very inspiring!

    My favorite tried and true is the Rake and the Bluestocking (who's usually plain.)

    I also love marriage of convenience and/or reunion stories. Love them! Can't put them down. *LOL*

  45. Congratulations on your debut Beverly! Can't wait to read it. Let's see, tried and true, probably a good sheikh story.

  46. Penfield, that's one of my favourites!! Thanks. :)

    Hi Andrea!! Thanks for the warm wecome. :) And thanks so much about the site. It's fun to do. Yeah, I'm with you on all three scenarios. Love 'em. And I hope you enjoy SS!!

    Hi Jessica! Thanks for stopping by. Yep, you hit them all. I like the heroine having been celibate for a period of time.

    MsHellion, I concur on all accounts. I do like a plain heroine that cleans up really well though. hehehehe

    Thanks for stopping by Kit! I used to do sheikh stories when I was younger. Not as much anymore. ;)

  47. Congrats on your release; you must be really excited.

    I've always like the best friends become lovers stories.

    Tracey D

  48. Bev, I've been trying to think of a time travel for you that takes place in those three centuries but I'm not having much luck. Most of the ones I read either have characters traveling from present day to the Middle Ages or the reverse. Linda Lael Miller has one that takes the heroine from the 1990s to a 17th century Caribbean island.

    I'll keep looking!

  49. Hey Tracy, I'm with you. That's why I'm really excited about getting my hands on Robyn Kaye's Breakfast in Bed. I read the excerpt and was dying to read more. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  50. LOL. Thanks so much PJ. If you can't find anything, that's okay. I'll still have my historicals and contemps. ;)

  51. Finally, I thought of a few! I just don't know if they're still in print.

    Linda Lael Miller: from 1990s to late 1800s (Old West)


    Sandra Hill: from 1990s to 1800s (Louisiana)


  52. Congratulations Beverley on the release of "Sinful Surrender" and on all the great reviews! I also love the in love with my brother's best friend plot. Some other plotlines I never get tired of are friends to lovers and secret babies.

    Can't wait tell your next book is released.

  53. Thanks so much PJ. I'm going to look them up.

    Hi Amber, thanks so much for dropping by. I'm a sucker for all three of those storylines! Next book is like a year away (sob, sob). But I plan to do a connecting novella to bridge that long gap. :)

  54. My favorite plot lines are The Beauty and The Beast and Cinderella. There have been countless variations done on them, but they still work.

    Congratulations on the release of your book, Beverly. It must be so thrilling to finally see your name on a cover (and such a nice one), and the book on the shelves of stores and libraries. Enjoy it!

  55. Thanks Pat!!!It is a dream come true. Maybe the day will come when I see it and don't think I need to pinch myself. LOL.

  56. Bev, thanks so much for being with us today! Best of luck with SINFUL SURRENDER!

  57. What’s ‘tried and true’ for me are books like Liz Carlyle's Lady of Virtue. I love stories about independant women who Don't want to fall in love. But, against their better judgment. they do. In my favorite tales the women fight with their feelings, they fight with the hero ... but in the end they realize that the only thing really worthy fighting for is ... true love.

  58. Thanks PJ, Gannon and Andrea for having me here. I had a ton of fun!!

  59. Love The Season, BTW.
    And Congratulations upon getting the story-that-you-adored published!

  60. Congrats on your release, Beverley! I can't wait to read your book! My tried and true is probably the friends first then lovers theme. It never gets old to me :) Thanks for the contest!