A Scandalous Price

Avon loves to pick out a few ebooks each month and offer them at the crazy, ridiculous price of $1.99. So this month you can get one of my favorites, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress for just $1.99.

This was the book everyone wanted me to write–Pippin and Dash’s book. Their first meeting in This Rake of Mine, on a smuggler’s beach, caused quite the stir. I got email after email after email, all saying the same thing: Write Pippin and Dash’s book. I also got one letter that scolded me for having a young girl of 15 being kissed.

But didn’t we all dream of being kissed like that at 15? By a truly bad boy. Kissed so our toes curled up in our shoes and we never, ever forgot it?

I took my time getting to their story–there were other books to write first: Love Letters from a Duke, Confessions of a Little Black Gown. Then I sat down to write their story. And I knew two things–I hadn’t told the entire story of their past encounters and their love story would be one of second chances found. This book encompasses their 20 years of trying to find a way to be together. And since it is a romance, I don’t think you need to be told how it ends.

Get Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress in your favorite format for only $1.99.


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Looking Back: Something About Emmaline

Since Avon Books has my electronic backlist on sale right now, I thought it would be fun to look back at the titles that are being offered for $4.99. Over the next 6-8 weeks, I am going to pick a book and look at the inspiration behind it, the characters and perhaps some of the challenges behind writing it.

I had to start with one of my favorites (yes, an author can have a favorite), Something About Emmaline. This was the first book in the Bachelor Chronicles series. Something you might not know is that this series was inspired by a traffic sign. Yes, an exit sign off the highway, which read: Sedgwick Rd, Tremont Rd. I thought those were amazing hero names, and thus came to life, Baron Sedgwick.

I had my hero, but the real kernel of inspiration for this book came while watching the movie, The Importance of Being Earnest. Of course, I could blame Colin Firth’s presence on the screen, because he is such an inspiring sight, however the entire plot line of the story intrigued me—the idea of a man with two identities—the solid, country gentleman and his alter ego, his made-up “brother” Ernest, the rakish, man about town. The secret identity and grand lie stuck in my brain and began to rattle around. I kept seeing my hero, Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, the solid, dependable, rather boring sort of fellow who wanted to keep the status quo, but I could just never see him being the rakish devil-may-care kind of Corinthian that an “Ernest” character would require.

Then I realized what I really loved about the plot was the weight of that huge lie, and the great lengths to which Alexander would have to go to when it started to unravel. Suddenly, I saw it—Alex didn’t make up a brother, he made up a wife—because he was tired of everyone pestering him to get married. And in a flash, Emmaline was born. His perfect English wife—reliable, respectable, sickly and therefore, never seen. Alex had his perfect life without anyone trying to match him up since he was already “married” to Emmaline.

Now of course, I couldn’t leave him a happy man, so I therefore had the great joy of creating his Emmaline—I knew that from the moment she stepped into his life, a living breathing, hot blooded wife, she would have to turn everything in his orderly existence upside down, whether it was intentional or just part of her quirky and slightly mad character. Much of the inspiration for her character came from another of my favorite movies, Auntie Mame, with Rosalind Russell. At times, I almost felt sorry for Alex as he scrambles to stay one step ahead of his unraveling deception. Okay, maybe I didn’t feel all that sorry him—because it was tremendous fun to tell his and Emmaline’s story.

Two side notes: My working title for this book was The Importance of Being Emmaline. The powers that be changed it to Something About Emmaline. Whatever the title, the book is a rollicking good time. Secondly, the picture on the right is from the manga version of the story. This was my first book translated into Japanese and one of two of my books that were also done in a manga version.

Get your digital copy of Something About Emmaline on sale for $4.99 from:

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Or you can read the excerpt here.

P.S. Have you read Something About Emmaline? What was your favorite part?

Weaving Series

Someone in Dallas this weekend asked me if when I started a new series, such as Rhymes with Love, am I tempted to bring in old characters from my other series. The answer: Boy, am I ever!

Old, familiar characters are what makes writing a series fun.

Anyone who has read my Danvers series will notice I have a slight fondness for Temple. He appears in nearly every book. I adore that man, er, character, to the point that borders on obsession. I had thought that after giving him his own book, Stealing the Bride, that would be enough. No. He had a habit of wandering onto the page of whatever story I was telling, slanting a rakish wink at me,  and while I was still flush with joy at his arrival, make himself indispensable. Wretched rogue!

So when I started writing Along Came a Duke, I really had to keep all the old characters at bay, barring the door to my office. Refusing their friend requests on Facebook.

Even Temple.

But that doesn’t mean the old books are not in the new series. Because like Temple, I am a wretched rogue at heart. And there are two “cameos” in Along Came a Duke. You may or may not have noticed them. One is a reference from to Love Letters from a Duke and the other is from It Takes a Hero.

In the interest of not providing spoilers, did you spot them, yea or nay?

$4.99 Digital Sale!

Have you heard? Thirteen of my digital backlist romance novels are on sale for $4.99! This gives you a chance to pick up an old favorite or fill in a series that you haven’t finished yet.

Hurry and download yours soon in your favorite format:

One Night of Passion
Stealing the Bride
Once Tempted
It Takes a Hero
His Mistress by Morning
Tempted by the Night
Something About Emmaline
This Rake of Mine
Love Letters from a Duke
Confessions of a Little Black Gown
Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress
Lord Langley is Back in Town
No Marriage of Convenience

Danvers Series
One Night of Passion

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Read an excerpt

Stealing the Bride

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Read an excerpt

Once Tempted

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Read an excerpt

It Takes a Hero

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Read an excerpt

Marlowe Series
His Mistress by Morning

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Read an excerpt

Tempted by the Night

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Read an excerpt

The Bachelor Chronicles
Something About Emmaline

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Read an excerpt

This Rake of Mine

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Read an excerpt

Love Letters from a Duke

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Read an excerpt

Confessions of a Little Black Gown

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Read an excerpt

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress

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Other Titles:
Lord Langley is Back in Town

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No Marriage of Convenience

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Read an excerpt

Lord Andrew

Every once in a while, I come to a place in a book where I need an unexpected character. Someone I wasn’t planning on. Usually I have all my characters mapped into the outline, names picked and they wait in the wings until their curtain comes up.

Then a story will take a little bit of a twist and I find myself making a quick casting call.

In the case of Lord Langley is Back in Town, that character was Lord Andrew Stowe. Suddenly, I needed a young agent from the Foreign Office willing to help Langley. Basically, I needed a younger version of Langley–a young gentleman, rash and impetuous, with a keen mind. The sort who had easily seen too much, but couldn’t be easily gotten rid of because of his connections to Society. He leaped onto the page, “Ta-Da,” but then came the tough part.

What to call him. As I sorted through my usual naming sources, I found myself delving deeply into creating his character–where he’d come from, that he was a second son, that he was brilliantly wise–an old soul, but a name! What to call this character who was stepping onto the page in a moment of plotting need and now demanding a full and engaging place in the story. This doesn’t happen all that often, but as a writer I know his name is going to be important.

But at the moment, I just couldn’t come up with one that fit.

So I did what I always do when a character needs a name, I can’t find one, and I must get back to the writing: I borrowed one.

Yes, borrowed one. I call these “placeholder names.” I use someone’s name (usually a friend or family member’s name) to hold the place until I have time to come back and find the right name. I do this, so I don’t forget to remove it. Because when I use a familiar name, then it just blares at me every time I see it to “find me a REAL name.” Only sometimes, the placeholder name becomes the final name.

This happened in This Rake of Mine. I needed my heroine, Miranda Mabberly to have an assumed name. So I plucked out of the hat, Jane Porter, the women’s fiction writer who is a good friend of mine. Yet I never got around to changing it because by the end of the book, Jane Porter fit so perfectly.

And so it was with Lord Andrew. I plucked a name from my family at large, and then it stuck. It became the perfect name for the character–a young man of conviction and dedication, like my nephew Andrew. So Andrew, thank you for letting me borrow your name and being such a good sport about it. And thank you to the fictional Andrew for being such a wonderful character. And yes, eventually, you will get your own book.

In Defense of Felicity

As the early reviews began to come in for Lord Langley is Back in Town, I was quite pleased to find that all of them were very favorable. I wanted the story to be funny, but I also wanted the story to have an emotional depth, since it is a story of coming home and about discovering one’s identity, and the reviews I was reading got that. Hurrah!

But one review stood out, and not for its kind words about the book but what it said about Felicity, the heroine of Love Letters from a Duke, and a reoccurring character throughout this series. They wrote:

Felicity was mentioned several times in this book, and as I haven’t read her book yet, I’m not sure if the Felicity that is being depicted here is what I would find when I read her book. Yet, I find myself not liking this Felicity at all. I can understand why she’d want Lucy, Elinor and Minerva (widows related to her husband by marriage) to stay together in one house (to cut down expenses), but to even begrudge them the basic repairs that would make the house livable is I feel too much, especially as I’m sure she’s rich, being a duchess. What happened is that I’m not left with a charitable impression of Felicity. (Romance Reviews)

To be honest, this isn’t the first time that a reviewer or a reader review has nailed poor Felicity for her, ahem, single-mindedness.

I will say here and now, that the Felicity whom we met in This Rake of Mine, who found her heart in Love Letters from a Duke and takes her bow in the last pages of Lord Langley has never changed. Nor would I want her to.

Here is why I love Felicity: she is so wonderfully flawed. She is a determined, bossy, pain in the butt, who will stop at nothing (and I mean nothing) that crosses her plans. We all have friends like this, “my way or the highway” sort of people, who see the world through tunnel vision and have their objectives squarely in their sights. But here is why we keep them as our friends: their intentions are always well-meaning.

There isn’t a vicious bone in Felicity’s body–when she tosses the Standon widows into that tumbledown house, she hasn’t done anything to them that she hasn’t already survived herself. That was her house and she knew how much she wanted out of it, so she knew that desire to rise out of the mire would only motivate the widows to get off their duffs and find their true loves.

Yes, not to freeze, not to starve, but to move beyond the anger and stagnation that was their lives before Felicity kicks them in the butt. She is a matchmaker for one of the best reasons: she knows the redemptive powers of love. It saved her when she met Fletcher, and since then she has done her determined best to make sure everyone else discovers their own “happily ever after” as well.

Oh, her methods are a bit high-handed, I’ll give you that, but here’s my last word on Felicity.

She’s never boring.

I think that is one of the biggest flaws in romance, that we are expected to make our characters likeable, and I don’t argue with that per se, but what I don’t want to do is write about perfect heroines. The sugar sweet sort of Disney heroines of old who float through a magical world into the arms of their waiting prince.

My heroines will never float.

They will cheat, claw and fight their way to that man’s side, and he better be darn worthy of her when she gets there.

So tell me: Do you like characters with flaws? Loads of them? Or just a few? What are your favorite character flaws?

Comment and enter to win one of the very first finished copies of Lord Langley is Back in Town! I’ll pull one winner’s name Wednesday at noon PT, and give them until noon Thursday to email me with their address and then I will overnight the book to them so they have it for the three day weekend. (Sorry, I can only do this for US residents.)

I will award the prize only if I get over 100 unique comments on my blog–so share the contest, tweet about it, let your peeps know and encourage them to enter. This prize comes with big bragging rights.

MONDAY BLOG CONTEST Guidelines and Rules:

Three ways to enter:
1) Leave a comment here on my blog. (If you are reading this on Facebook, pop over to this post on my blog, http://elizabethboyle.com/blog/?p=1000 because Facebook has gotten all stinky about contests, so entries can only done at my website.)
2) Follow me on Twitter (@ElizBoyle) and then make the following tweet:

I just entered to #win #LordLangley from @ElizBoyle! #AndILoveToWin. You can enter at http://bit.ly/l3LbX0

3) Do both and you’re entered twice!

And don’t forget, check back to discover if you’ve won and contact me before Thursday, May 26, 2011 at noon PT to claim your prize.

Lord Langley ~ Regency SEAL?

Last weekend, the Seattle Times ran a front page article about Navy SEALS and how they make great romance novel heroes. On the front page of the paper. If you didn’t get to read the article, here it is in its original form via the Washington Post.

Of course all my husband sees as he reads the article is how successful all these books about SEALS are and has to ask, “Why aren’t you writing about SEALS?”

Well, I am here to argue that I am. And have been for years. May I introduce my newest Regency era SEAL, Lord Langley, and five ways he can be compared to his modern day (and oh-so-hero-worthy) counterparts.

1) Lord Langley has slipped in and out of danger for years. Okay, mostly into the boudoirs and bedrooms of beautiful women. But seriously, you don’t take a margravine as a mistress unless you can protect yourself.

2) Thalia and Felicity Langley’s long lost father, who everyone thought was dead, has survived some pretty harrowing adventures to return to London. And the worse is yet to come.

3) He’s gotten himself engaged to Minerva Sterling. Obviously this is a man who isn’t afraid to stare death in the face.

4) Langley and Aunt Bedelia get along. For the most part. I say that takes a whole lot of diplomacy and the keen ability to watch your back. After outliving five husbands, she’s hardly an enemy any man wants to make.

5) When it comes to risking everything, Langley will not stop until his country, his family and his beloved are safe and sound. (With the help of a few of his friends: Clifton and Mad Jack, just to name a few)

What do you think gives Navy SEALS that heroic edge? And can a Regency era hero boast the same?

P.S. CONTEST WINNER And just in case you wanted to know–the winner of the Monday, May 16th Twitter blog contest is Kati R or @romancingrakes as she is known on Twitter. Kati, please contact me with your address and I will get your prize of a book bag and books off to you. You have until May 29th to claim your prize. Not a winner?? Check in again this coming Monday for my next blog contest.

London Calling

Every five years or so, I pack my bags and toddle over the North Pole and drop in on London. And this being one of those years, I am about to leave again. I didn’t think I was going to go this year–the difficulties of finding a time to leave the family, the expense, was it the right year to go (okay, is there ever a wrong year?), but like my grandmother always said, when things are right, they will align for you. And so it was this year.

A few months ago, my husband came home and rattled keys in front of me and then said they were to a flat just outside London–free for me to use when I wanted. A friend of his only uses the place part of the year and she and her husband were kind enough to offer it to me. Oh, yeah, baby! And having saved enough miles and points, I had the airfare right there waiting for me.

I could see my grandmother’s hand in all this. So I am packing up and flying off for twelve writerly-indulgent days of loitering about London, York, Canterbury, Dover, Windsor and a host of castles, houses and ruins in between.

The last time I went, I came home inspired to write Tempted by the Night after a particularly gruesome Jack the Ripper walk. While on a stroll through Jane Austen’s London with a London Walk’s guide, the entire plot, and I mean the ENTIRE plot, for Confessions of a Little Black Gown fell into my lap.

I stood in front of the house on Brook Street and wondered what it looked like in the early 1800s when Felicity Langley would have need of it, which she did when I wrote Love Letters from a Duke. And I walked Grosvenor Square and Hanover Square and wondered which houses would befit a future duke-ish hero. And finally, I stood in Floris, the perfume shop that survives today, much as it did when my heroines would have shopped there, and plied the incredible staff with questions about their earliest perfumes. And then they let me smell them. My senses ranneth over. I came home brimming with the sights and sounds and smells that I indulged in, and then those spilled into the books that followed.

I know what I am looking for this trip–several things, but I have also mixed in the unexpected: a tour of Royal Richmond, medieval churches and towers to fill my crusader lust, and a bit of Tudor history because I love it so much. Oh, I’ll go in search of more Regency inspiration, Sir John Soanes’ House, Fairfax House in York, and the Thomas Lawrence showing at the National Portrait Gallery, but I know from experience in traveling that often in the oddest corners comes the most delightful surprises.

I will try to post daily photos up on my Facebook page, so check there often. However, if you are going up there to look for Jack the Ripper pics, don’t bother. I haven’t the stomach to do that walk a second time.

Manga Me

Yes, the Japanese manga versions of This Rake of Mine and Something About Emmaline have started to arrive, starting with the two volume set of Emmaline. I have to admit that of all the things that have happened in my career, this really tickles me. I don’t know why, but it just does. Perhaps it is just the fact that I sit in my office in Seattle and spin my words into sentences and paragraphs, and now my stories are finding new lives all over the globe. It is humbling and leaves me awe-struck.

Thank you to everyone who has picked up one of my books. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Something About Emmaline

As I told my husband, if someone had told me years ago that my books would end up as comic books, and in Japanese no less, I would have thought them mad. But here they are and I adore them! I’ve put all the scans from the covers up on my Facebook page. Check them out!

This Manga Rake of Mine

If you had told me, all those years ago when I started writing, that one day a book of mine would be redone as a comic book in Japan, I would have probably thought you were off your rocker. I kinda thought my agent was off a bit when she sent me the news. A comic book? Really? Of my characters?

Then the kid in me took over. OMG! I’m going to have a comic book!

So for all of you, here is the first sneak peak of Jack and Miranda from This Rake of Mine as manga characters:

Click for larger version

I think it is so much fun–Jack looks so dashing. And for those of you who haven’t read This Rake of Mine, you might want to pick it up over the summer and get caught up. My September book, Mad About the Duke features Jack’s brother, that stickler for propriety, James Tremont, the Duke of Parkerton.

Maybe after James finds his true love, he might be open to a little manga adventure?