I am thrilled to welcome back New York Times and USA Today best selling historical romance author, Elizabeth Hoyt! Elizabeth is the author of the popular Maiden Lane series from Grand Central. If you haven't read her books, you should! You can check out my review of her latest NY Times best seller, Lord of Darkness, here. Also, did you know that Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology? Indeed, she does! You can find out more about her and her interesting life at www.elizabethhoyt.com. Elizabeth was kind enough to take the time to answer a few (or more) of my many questions! :)
Hello and welcome back to The Romance Dish, Elizabeth! We are thrilled to have you join us today.
Thank you for having me! ;-)
Congratulations on your newest release, Lord of Darkness! Can you please share a little bit about the book with our readers?
Lord of Darkness is the fifth Maiden Lane book and features reader favorite, Lady Margaret Reading who in the last book found herself pregnant by her murdered lover. A marriage was hastily arranged for her with Godric St. John, a widower grieving the loss of his beloved wife. Fast forward two years. Lady Margaret lost the baby on her wedding day and has spent the years since recovering in the country. Now she’s come to London to seduce her husband and have a baby. But Godric is hiding a rather important secret…
He is, indeed. Lord of Darkness is the fifth book in your popular Maiden Lane series, set in London during the 1730s. What drew you to that time period?
It’s a very visceral, dynamic time period. London was the biggest city in Europe and it was growing exponentially. The aristocracy was living in gilded splendor while at the same time the very poor were literally starving on the streets. And then, to add fire to the mix, England discovered distilled alcohol in the form of gin, which was both readily available and cheap.
And you are so brilliant at mixing the aristocracy and the poor!
**SPOILER ALERT!** If you’ve not read the Maiden Lane series, you may want to skip to the next question!** The infamous Ghost of St. Giles is a key character throughout this series. Did you know from the very beginning that there was going to be more than one Ghost?
Yup. When I started thinking about a masked crusader, I thought of the vicar in Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (a Disney movie no one but me seems to have seen with a mild mannered minister by day who turns into an avenging masked scarecrow by night.) And then I thought about all the other tropes/themes I’d love to explore, and very soon thereafter I realized I had too many ideas for just one character. Thus was born three Ghosts of St. Giles.
As you know, I love your books and especially this series. While each of your Maiden Lane books features an unforgettable hero and heroine, your secondary characters are hard to forget as well. Several of my previous favorite secondary characters have gotten—or will get—their own story (thank you!), so now I’m curious about a few more, such as: Lady Phoebe Batten…Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque…Captain James Trevillion…and most recently, Sarah St. John. Will any (or all) of these characters get their own story someday?
The brief answer is yes, I do plan something for each of these characters—whether or not I’ll get around to them is of course another matter. A lot is up in the air at the moment because I just finished out a contract. We’ll have to see what gets negotiated into my next contract. ;-)
Oh, I pray you get to tell their stories! Okay, I know from your Faceboook posts that you own dogs and your books have dogs in them, too. Do your fictional dogs share any characteristics with your real life dogs?
Well, my big dog, Darla—a lab-basset hound mix—is very silly and loves her tummy rubs, but she’s not nearly as scary looking as Jock from The Raven Prince or Lad from Scandalous Desires. Mouse from To Seduce a Sinner was modeled on our late rat terrier, Pickle, who loved beyond reason her family and was pretty snotty to anyone else. I think only a terrier lover would understand the attraction of a small, snarly dog. ;-)
So funny. And speaking of funny, you have also written humorous contemporary romances under the pseudonym Julia Harper. I adored both Hot and For the Love of Pete. Do you have any plans to write more contemporaries in the future?
Not at the moment, but I do have a book fully outlined—I’d love to write it someday! ;-)
I really hope you get to. *g* Your characters and their storylines are so intriguing. Which comes first for you—the characters or the story?
Oh, definitely the characters, though I usually have an idea of their situation or the thing that they’ll have to face, so that’s a nice start on the story.
If your life was a romance novel, what would be the title?
LOL! “Clueless Middle-Aged Woman Somehow Makes Good Writing Romance”
Oh my goodness, that's awesome! So, what activities do you like to do in your spare time?
I read, garden, and play with my dogs.
Aww! Can you give us a hint about what is up next for you?
Yup! Duke of Midnight is coming out in October this year (the release date got moved up a month) and will feature Maximus Batton, the Duke of Wakefield and Artemis Greaves.
Quick Six time!
Alpha or Beta? Alpha
Coffee or tea? Both!
Early bird or night owl? Early bird
Mountains or beach? Mountain
Diamonds or pearls? Pearls
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Elizabeth! Now it’s your turn—is there a question you would like to ask our readers?
Thank you for having me on The Romance Dish! Readers can learn more about my Maiden Lane series and Lord of Darkness at my website: www.elizabethhoyt.com. You can also chat with me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ElizabethHoyt), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks?ref=search&sid=1033016156.428653851), Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16202.Elizabeth_Hoyt), and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/elizabethhoyt/)Now here’s my question for you: I’m leaving for Florida in two weeks for a writing retreat, but of course I’ll be bringing something to read. What have you read recently that you absolutely loved?
ONE lucky commenter (living within the United States, no PO Box, please) will win a complete set of the Maiden Lane books! That's all five books: Wicked Intentions, Notorious Pleasures, Scandalous Desires, Thief of Shadows, and Lord of Darkness!