Monday, July 19, 2010

Today's Special -- Eloisa James

We are delighted to have New York Times bestselling author and former Squawker chick Eloisa James join us today at The Romance Dish! When she's not writing the many delicious novels that her readers devour, Eloisa is a Shakespeare professor at Fordham University, a busy wife and mother. For the past year, she and her family have been living in Paris, and she has allowed her Facebook friends to live vicariously through her adventures. Her newest novel, A Kiss At Midnight, will be released on July 27th. Stay tuned for Gannon's review on July 23rd---she loved it!! Please give a warm welcome to our friend, Eloisa.

These days the economy and media seem to be competing to make us feel dreary. In fact, all this bad news has done a good job of making each of us, no matter how financially secure, feel a bit like a Cinders-girl, hiding out in the kitchen in a precarious job with little prospects.

A year ago, I decided that a dose of Cinderella was what we all needed—a joyful tale of transformation, true love and great shoes. I had such fun shaping the story of Kate and Gabriel in A Kiss at Midnight!

Sometimes I found myself laughing at my desk, delighted at my characters’ antics (wait til you meet my fairy godmother). I think my pleasure shows in the novel; Romantic Times wrote that this “delightful tale is as smart, sassy and sexy as any of her other novels, but here James displays her deliciously wicked sense of humor.”

So I’ve got a challenge for you, and five randomly chosen commenters will each win one of my books, so do give it a shot! Here’s my question. What would follow “Once upon a time” in YOUR life? We all need a touch of Cinderella, so finish that sentence to win a book!

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James

Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .

Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .

Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.


  1. Once upon a time, a small town girl who never got to do anything or go anywhere, ran away to a foreign country to teach the poor. A friend she had known in school came to find her after 7 years and proposed marriage. They were friends, but nothing more. He was charming, handsome, and good hearted, so, after making him wait for an answer, she said yes. He was handsome in his uniform, and is a good husband, and wonderful father to the three children he has given her. They have traveled to many wonderful places and hope to see many more. She discovered he really was her Prince Charming and she hopes her Fairy Godmother gives her another 38 years with him.

    Have enjoyed reading you books, Eloisa. I just finished A DUKE OF HER OWN and thoroughly enjoyed it. I like characters that don't fit the normal pattern.

  2. Awww... that's lovely, librarypat! I hope it's already come true (or will). And thanks for the compliment about my books--I like unusual characters too. Sometimes writing is like reading a book, and I don't like to be bored.

  3. Congrats on the upcoming release, Eloisa.

    Once upon a time in the Big Apple, a girl braved the big city hustle and bustle to find her Prince Charming.

  4. Once upon a time, a young girl who was never independent, ever so dependent, frustrated in a world of silence. As a deaf child, she was ever so protected, never to understand those words of the mouth, but so loved those words in the books she devoured. Having never had a date, she left the nest and ventured into a whole new world where people used their hands to talk. College opened her eyes to so much! To communicate and blossom learning so much about others and the world around her. She found she was desired, to date, but there was just one other who's hands told her about love in words, comfort, and passion, her soul mate. Her mom never learned to use the signs but was so happy she found happiness in her life and silence. Her soul mate of signs and sighs is ever growing 27 years just last month.

    Gosh, I never did this before, so thanks for letting me share!

    cathiecaffey @

  5. Once upon a time a young girl dreamed of nothing more than leaving her home and seeing the world. Little did sher know her destiny was to serve the world as a warrior; she became a soldier and started her adventures to see the world down that path. Her adventures led her to the love she was waiting for and her passion for books brought her to further travels.

  6. Once upon a time there was a little girl who was very lonely. She had no sisters or brothers and her very best friend was books. That little girl grew up and now she has many friends (thank you internet!), and now her friends share her love of books. :-D

  7. Eloisa, I can't wait to read this!The cover is exquisite, too.

    Once upon a time,a shy only child locked herself in her family's only bathroom (a dreadful inconvenience) and talked to herself, making up imaginary friends and exciting adventures. She grew up to be a shy woman who now writes about imaginary friends and exciting adventures, and lives in a house with three bathrooms but has no need to lock herself in any of them.:)

  8. Once upon a time there was a somewhat fair lass who lived in a small cave of a flat in an otherwise unassuming neighborhood. Each morning she rose and went to work in the technical support mines. Her co-workers were interesting, and her boss a kindly man. She had lovely, interesting, witty friends who were endlessly amusing. Life was not bad by any means. Indeed, it was, most days, quite lovely.
    But, her heart longed for her own special, imperfect prince charming. (Who, after all is perfect, we’ll take one with his flaws, thank you very much; as long as he is suitably charming. And by charming, I mean he can make her laugh until she thinks she’ll wet her petticoats). She yearned for a prince to snuggle and kiss, and make little princes and princesses with. This, of course, would put an end to sleeping in on Sunday mornings, among other things. *grin* But, she knows she’ll love it all the same.
    But alas, no imperfect prince has presented himself to our intrepid lass. Instead, an endless parade of frogs line up, pucker up, and make smarmy remarks about her “endowments”. We do not find these statements amusing. No, we do not.
    From time to time, a frog comes dressed in princely clothing and our lass think that perhaps her imperfect prince has arrived. But, those green froggy colors always shine through no matter how good the princely disguise may be.
    So, she waits, for a non-froggy prince to show up and make her eyes glitter with amusement such as her delightful friends can so easily do (so we know it’s not that hard, people). And also make her fingertips itch to take of his shirt whenever possible. Until then, the frogish stories will pile up so high, that a princess atop a pillar of mattresses could easily pluck one from the top hoping to read herself to sleep despite that nagging little bump beneath her rump.

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  10. I hate it when blogger is mean to me! lol :)

  11. Hello Romance dishes and Eloisa!

    Once upon a time, this mom and wife actually learned how to balance everything in her life. All the work got done and so did all the laundry and dishes :D

  12. Librarypat, what a wonderful story! It's worthy of it's own romance novel. :)

  13. Hi Eloisa! We're so happy to have you join us today! As you know, I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of A Kiss at Midnight and loved it! I'll be at the store on the 27th to buy a pretty finished copy for my keeper shelf. :)

  14. Jane said; Once upon a time in the Big Apple, a girl braved the big city hustle and bustle to find her Prince Charming.

    Oh, the makings of a fun contemporary romance! Have you found him or is the fairy tale still to come?

  15. Caffey said; She found she was desired, to date, but there was just one other who's hands told her about love in words, comfort, and passion, her soul mate.

    Caffey, what a brave and beautiful story. You made my heart sing with your words. Wishing you many more happy years together!

  16. Monica said; Little did she know her destiny was to serve the world as a warrior; she became a soldier and started her adventures to see the world down that path.

    Thank you for your service! My late dh was career military and I have great respect and gratitude for those who serve their country. How wonderful that your service led you to your true love!

  17. Dianna said; That little girl grew up and now she has many friends (thank you internet!), and now her friends share her love of books. :-D

    I'm so glad books were there for you during your childhood and delighted that you grew up to be one of our book friends!

  18. Hi Eloisa! Great to see you here. I'm so looking forward to A Kiss at Midnight! This is your first "stand-alone" book, so has it been challenging, did you have to change your writing/planning process at all, since you've only written series before? (Which are all fabulous, btw!)

    Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of being able to travel the world and see all sorts of exciting and foreign places (but not too foreign or exciting! She had one hard and fast rule-no place without indoor plumbing, she doesn't believe in roughing it!)

    When she was in high school, she got the opportunity to spend 11 days in Spain and she absolutely loved it. (Even if she got lost in Cordoba and barely made it back to the bus on time).

    Then, five years ago, the little girl got to travel to London and Paris with her family, and saw so many beautiful sites. It astounded her how she could go to churches and cathedrals and buildings that were literally hundreds and thousands of years old. One of the highlights of her trip was Westminster Abbey.

    The little girl hopes to continue to travel, as she has a long list of places she would still like to go-Italy,Australia, Ireland, New Orleans, San Francisco, the list goes on and on.

    In the meantime, the little girl is finishing up school and hoping to find a good job (hopefully as a writer), and Prince Charming to make life perfect! As Col. Sarah MacKenzie said on JAG, all a woman wants and needs is "A good man, a good career, and comfortable shoes!"

  19. Maggie said; She grew up to be a shy woman who now writes about imaginary friends and exciting adventures,

    ...and how fortunate we all are that you did! Glad to hear you no longer need to lock yourself in the bathroom. ;-)

  20. Cutesox, I love your story! You have a wonderful way with words. Here's hoping a "non-froggy" prince will drop into your life very soon!

  21. Kim said; Once upon a time, this mom and wife actually learned how to balance everything in her life. All the work got done and so did all the laundry and dishes :D

    How lovely! Will you teach me how to do that? ;-)

  22. Lisa said; As Col. Sarah MacKenzie said on JAG, all a woman wants and needs is "A good man, a good career, and comfortable shoes!"


  23. Once upon a time, an intrepid young novelist sat alone in her tower of academia waiting for prince charming to find her and give her her first kiss. Until he did, she decided to live vicariously through the characters in her novels. Being a modern woman with slightly feminists leanings, she might want to find PC, but she wouldn't just sit on her heels until that happened.

  24. Once upon a time there lived a young girl who believed that love forever after, adventures, new wonders and Prince Charmings didn't only exist between the pages of a novel. She has lived her life on these beliefs and hopes to never be proven wrong.

    This was fun & sweet, love reading everyone's 'fairy tale'... thanks Eloisa! Love your books, A Duke of Her Own is one of my favorites.

  25. Once upon a time, a little girl's parents traveled all over the world with her. This made her shy and introspective. She looks for love on the pages of romance novels and even tries writing a few. When the teenage kids, who are ever a source of conflict, move out, maybe she and her alpha male will find their HEA.

  26. Once upon a time this clumsy girl who broke her arm 3 X as a child entered the police academy and 6 months later was in the best shape of her life and the only injury she sustained were painful shin splints from running but she perservered and graduated fulfilling all physical requirements. The chin ups, running and boxing with men being the most difficult feats.
    Love & Hugs,\Pam

  27. I love fairy tale romances, and A Kiss at Midnight is a brilliant, charming, unforgettable addition to the subgenre.

    Once upon a time a very ordinary girl with a dreamer’s heart met a most extraordinary prince who was loyal, brave, and true, and all the other things the very best princes are. But a king of poor judgment and narrow vision sent the prince on a dangerous journey where he suffered a wound some think proved fatal. But the ordinary girl moved through long years with her dreamer’s heart filled with memories of her true prince, taking comfort in the steady belief that the doubters are wrong. She knows her prince waits for her in a distant, perfect kingdom where all dangers are past and happy endings really are forever.

  28. Once upon a time, a young girl was making all the wrong choices. Then one day she met a prince who told her, "you've never been shown the right kind of love, you deserve so much more." And he swept her off her feet. Seventeen years later, they are still enjoying their happily-ever-after, with their two daughters and their four dogs, in a tiny cramped house overflowing with happiness.

  29. Hi Eloise!
    I can't wait to read your book. ^^

    Lets see.... Once Upon a Time a young girl sat dreaming in her bed reading romance after romance wishing for her prince to come. Although she had six furry rabbits, five dogs, and the woodland creatures that she feeds outside she wished for something more. Convinced at the age of twenty four that the Amish and Mennonite around her get more action that she does she still believes that one day her prince will show up. So she sits dreaming trying to find a part time job so she can have money to complete her paralegal training wishing that the prince would get his butt in gear and move faster.


  30. I think there should be "like" buttons on comments here like on facebook, I would have used it several times by now :)

  31. Congratulations, Eloisa!! I just found out I've won an ARC of A Kiss At Midnight from RT. I can't wait to read it.

  32. *waving* Hi, Eloisa! Thanks for joining us today. Can't wait to see you in Orlando!

    Congratulations on your upcoming release! I love stories with a fairy tale theme. :)

    I'm so enjoying reading all of these "Once upon a time" stories! Y'all have some good ones!

  33. Once upon a time, a shy country girl who could not see very well ventured off to the big city. She found Prince Charming who made her feel like a princess.

  34. Once upon a time there was a girl who travelled the world carefree and experienced life to the fullest without a Prince Charming. When she returned and found that everthing else in her life was fulfilled she found her Prince Charming and they lived happily ever after in a cottage by the sea in lush green Ireland.

  35. Hey there Eloisa! Looking forward to finally meeting you in Orlando. Beware - It's gonna be a fan girl moment for me ;-)

    I'm always looking forward to reading an EJ book!!!

    I can't believe all of this stories. So wonderful!

  36. Hi everyone! I just spend a hot, sweaty day packing. In case anyone's wondering, we're currently in a 4th floor aprtment in Paris -- elevator broken (!) -- and moving out tomorrow am. When the UPS guy showed up for our boxes, it was so sweet about the 30 boxes and 92 stairs that we all pitched in. My thighs will never be the same!

    At any rate, I just read through all these lovely wishes -- and I'm adding my hope that they ALL come true!

    Kim -- you're already doing miracles!

    And Lisa, writing a stand-alone turned out to be a challenge, and a pleasure. I really like it! I just finished my second one (When Beauty Tamed the Beast--coming in February) and starting the third...

    And now I'm going to collapse into bed... I'll check back tomorrow am, so if anyone has questions, don't hestiate to post!

    hugs, Eloisa

  37. Eloisa, as you know, I adored this book! So fresh and wonderful! Can't wait to see you in Orlando. Hope you are able to rest after your day of moving. Ugh! I've done that more times than I can count.

    I'm loving everyone's "once upon a time" stories. Fantastic!

  38. Once upon a time there was a young girl who was told that she wouldn’t because she couldn’t.
    As time went on she began to question the naysayers’ wisdom. They treated her like she was made of delicate glass. The girl knew that she’d go crazy, if she didn’t get outta there Fast! She didn’t expect to get a Happily-ever-after. But she knew that there was more to life then being forced to sit on your a-- …
    Um. Derriere!
    She wanted to live for the now. So with a smile and a sigh she said goodbye to the ivory tower her parents had locked her in. And she started to live her life again. With out worrying about “can’ts” , she made her way out into the real world. There she met her match over a game of backgammon. She lost the game , but she won the prince’s heart. When she told her parents that she would marry … Her father said “But what about your career, DearHeart?’ Her mother said “What if I say no?” She told them in a voice that was both loving and bold “ I shall marry my Prince, if he‘ll have me! He‘s cute and sweet and he has a heart of gold!” Now the girl is a woman. She’s been married for ages-and-ages. Ask her about true love and happily-ever-afters and she tell you … “I Believe that there is a happy ending for anyone and everyone. Sometimes though, you have to close the book that others have written for you. And you must find the courage to write your own pages!”

  39. So many wonderful stories!
    Thank you everyone for sharing.

  40. And Eloisa, your "A Kiss At Midnight" sounds simply wonderful!
    I'm looking forward to reading it on my vacation.

  41. Hi! Just so you know, Eloisa, I loved Esme and Villiers in your last two series.

    Once upon a time, a overly responsible girl worked really, really hard and got into the college of her dreams (or at least the dreams of the last two generations of her family), where she found out that no longer did she have to take care of her younger siblings and cousins; she was only responsible for herself. College was hard and although she ended up with a "marketable" degree, it unfortunately got her a job in which she nearly died. Oh well. Still, with a loving family and a long-time boyfriend, she goes through each day happy that she's still alive, even if her present job doesn't pay her nearly as much as her biotech ones did and her health isn't as good as before she was hurt.

  42. PJ, thanks so much. I just never put it down in words, what he means, I always say it so it was a great to do this!

    I so love reading all your stories here! They too are so inspiring, and emotional too! I got goosebumps often!

  43. I am so looking forward to this new book! I can't remember if this is a first in a series or just a stand alone?
    I remember I started with Eloisa books when DUCHESS IN LOVE came out. It was when I got online and found the romance book community and found out all these authors I missed reading! (How hard it was to find a paperback romance in the library, and still is). So this historical romance yahoo group picked her book DUCHESS IN LOVE to read and discuss, it was my first time participating online in a read and chat. I was so taken with with Eloisa's humor in her writing! I could hear in my head the voices of the characters reading them. The group went on to I think doing all 4! Now I feel re-reads coming on of those Duchess Quartet! I only missed the first two Desperate Duchess books of hers (shh, I read out of order) LOL. I can't even pick a favorite because each one was unique in their own story! But because DUCHESS IN LOVE was my first read, I talk about that one often. I know its hard to pick a favorite, but is there one that's most special and why?

  44. Once upon a time, a little girl was told she would never amount to anything. For seventeen years she believed it. She let bad things happen to her. Older men took advantage. She was raped. She had to make decisions no little girl ever should. But then one day she met her fairy god mother. She helped her realize that life is what you make it, that if you let people do bad things to you, they will keep doing them. Then the little girl got into college. All on her own. She payed for it on her own. And then she realized, as she was arm in arm with her prince charming, that the past is in the past for a reason, and the future has only just begun.

  45. Caffey, thank you so much for taking the time to write down your Once Upon a Time story.
    Your words Her mom never learned to use the signs … really struck a cord with me. Because they reminded me that, as a Mother, it is so important for me to know my children’s’ “language”. Tonight my DD started talking about “nothing”, but I recalled your words and I thought “She’s trying to tell me something. I see the signs …” So I stopped what I was doing. And I focused all of my attention on her. When she was done she smiled and said “Thanks so much for listening, Mom.”
    I smiled back. Relieved that my DD felt better. Then under my breath I sighed “ Thank you Caffey.”

  46. Hello all...

    I just want to say a huge thank you for all the supportive, encouraging things people said about my books above. That makes me so happy!

    Caffey, I don't really have a favorite myself -- it's generally whatever book I've finished most recently. And that may just be a sign of my horrible memory. I can tell you that I adore adore adore my February book, When Beauty Tamed the Beast. Plus, I just got the cover and it's FABULOUS! (Even Christina Dodd, Teresa Medeiros and Connie Brockway agree, and they are a hard crowd to please).

    Some of these stories have really tough bits to them... so I just want to finish my visit at Romance Dish by sending a big cyber hug to those whose stories have that gleam of hard truth in them. I hope Fairy Godmothers are getting out their wands this very moment!

    all the best from rainy, cool Paris... our last morning here, so I need to wake my irascible children and get on the road!


  47. Once upon a time a country girl from a little unknown town watched as her prince charming walked into her house with a family friend.

  48. Once upon a time, a quiet, and shy "nerd" got asked to prom by a handsome Prince Charming who had black hair and blue eyes. :]

  49. Eloisa, thank you so much for visiting with us and many thanks to all who shared their "once upon a time" stories! Be sure to check back in a few days to see who won books from Eloisa.

  50. Oh Julie, you're welcomed! I remember when I had my baby and my mom was visiting. She told me that she was lost in what direction to go with me in communication and realized that I taught her when I went to college and all, that its 'whatever works!' That it was important that the communication happened, that we 'listened' When I read your note here, I so understood what you experienced! Thank you for sharing that!

  51. I'm so sorry I missed this blog. I cannot wait for this book to be in stores so I can buy it. *LOL*

    Once upon a time, a shy gawky girl grew up and realized she had the power to create her own happily ever after--the prince was just a bonus.