Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Elizabeth Essex "Keeps Historical Fresh" and Giveaway of New Release, SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT

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The Spy Who Loved Her
Assuming a false identity as a prim and proper governess, the bold and beautiful Cat Rowan thinks she has finally escaped the wild misadventures of her past—and the wickedly handsome spy who seduced her in India. Imagine her surprise when her employer introduces his brother: the very same cad who destroyed her heart!

The One Who Got Away

The Honorable Thomas Jellicoe cannot believe his eyes when he sees his beloved Cat—the Scottish beauty who nearly jeopardized his mission in India. Disguised as a horse trader from the bazaars of the Punjab, the British spy risked his life for one night of passion in her arms. But here and now—breaking all rules of decorum—one heated kiss ignites a flurry of gunfire. For their enemies have followed them home. And love is the greatest danger of all…
The Lovely Elizabeth Essex is talking about
"Keeping Historical Romance Fresh"
Another duke. Another ballroom. Another young miss on the marriage mart. “I can’t remember if I read that one,” is a comment I’ve made to my historical reading friends more often than I like to admit.
Not that I don’t love Regency ballrooms. But some days it seems as if every historical romance plot has already been done before. And done better, by another writer with a more sparkling wit, or a better grasp of precedence and peerage, or ballroom decorum.
So how do I keep my reading, and especially my writing, of historical romance fresh? By exploring new horizons outside the ballrooms, and by finding other places and other times that spark my imagination.
In my first Reckless Brides novel, ALMOST A SCANDAL, I explored life on a Royal Navy warship during the Age of Fighting Sail and the era of Admiral Nelson. And then I took my second Reckless Bride out into the countryside during the period of the Corn Riots in A BREATH OF SCANDAL. But for my latest Reckless Bride, I have really pushed my boundaries, and taken her all the way across the high seas to pre-Raj India for SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT.
Having a new place, and a new-to-me period to research keeps me on my toes. For SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT I immersed myself in research about India, Anglo-Indian relations, and the history of the British East India Company. I surrounded myself with reproductions of 18th-century Mughal watercolors, and photographs of grand Mughal Palaces. I played recordings of traditional dance music. I put myself into a fever dream of pressing heat, and saturated color, and fragrant spices. I reawakened my senses.
And I tried to put all of those senses into SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, so that my readers could experience India through the wide open eyes of Catriona Rowan, a young Scotswoman who has traveled to India in the hopes of a fresh start. To surround herself with all the excitement and pleasure of the exotic and unfamiliar. To reawaken her senses.
Another way I keep my historical reading fresh, and reawaken my love of historical romance, is by seeking out stories outside my own period. Some of my personal favorites include: Elizabeth Hoyt’s latest from the Maiden Lane series, LORD OF DARKNESS, which takes place in the stews of 1740’s London; Pamela Clare’s powerful and exciting McKinnon’s Rangers series, like the RITA-nominated DEFIANT, which chronicles one of my favorite periods in American history, the French & Indian Wars. (Think Last of the Mohicans); and the brilliant Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, the latest of which, THE HEIRESS EFFECT, is set in the Victorian period. For Scottish historicals, favorites include: Tracy Brogan’s HIGHLAND SURRENDER; and Margaret Mallory’s THE WARRIOR (which was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of excellence along with my ALMOST A SCANDAL). But for something COMPLETELY different, I recommend Jeannie Lin’s romances set in medieval China, the latest of which is SWORD DANCER.
Wishing you all many, many happy hours of uninterrupted historical romance reading!
Visit Elizabeth at
What is your FAVORITE "Storyline" to read?
What "Storyline" is kind of over-played?
Leave your comment with a Valid Email Address to Enter!!
(Thank you to St. Martins Press for the Giveaway)


Sharlene said...

I like the friends turn to lovers story line. One that may be overplayed is the Cinderella theme, but there are still some good ones out there!

denise smith said...

i love the stories like sharlene likes the cinderella stories abnd also the unlikely ones like the girl who is heavcier and usually isint the first choice for the guy but then falls for the girl. like the book the wrong sister by kimberly truesdale that is one of my favorite stories. i wish their was more like them. the over used stories i think well i dont really know i love all the good romance type books if it is a good story then i dont think it is over used

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

I like "marriage of convenience", where they start out as enemies but fall in love. I can't think of any "trope" I don't like. As long as it's written well, I don't object.

Please enter me in the giveaway, I'd love to read Ms. Essex's newbie. Thank you.


Unknown said...


I love friends to lovers too. I've used that story line a couple of times, in my debut THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE (which also had a marriage of convenience element it), and then in my first Reckless bride novel ALMOST A SCANDAL (which also had the girl disguised as a boy trope).

Good luck in the drawing, and thanks for stopping by to chat! Cheers, EE

Unknown said...


I've done a Cinderella-like story too, THE DANGER OF DESIRE, where the heroine is a thief (and a good one!), but I agree that I will read ANY kind of story as long as it is well done.

Wishing you best of luck in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by to chat with me today. Cheers, EE

Unknown said...

Soft Fuzzy Sweater,

As I told Sharlene, I have one book, THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE (my debut) that features as marriage of convenience, but YOU are the first to hear that I have another marriage of convenience stroy coming for you shortly! THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS is a novella about an unlikely marriage of convenience coming your way for the Christmas season. Hope you like it. :)

Best of luck in the drawing, and thank so much for stopping by to visit me today. Cheers, EE

Anita H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

And I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to A Tasty Read for hosting me here today. It's always a pleasure to connect with new readers. Cheers, EE

Anita H. said...

Hi Elizabeth! I really enjoy reading the Cinderella "rags-to-riches" and the "friends who turned into something more" story-lines. I find the "marriage of convenience" storyline overplayed and gets repetitive. Thanks for the chance to win! (I think my earlier post got eaten by my computer! :))


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hello, my sweet friend! I just finished this book and was so in love with the hero--fanning self.ox

Unknown said...


I have one very rags to riches story (THE DANGER OF DESIRE) but I think there are some elements of that move from poverty to happily ever after in SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, where the heroine beings as a poor relation, and unpaid quasi-governess to her aunt and uncle's children before she meets her true love. Of course never did the path of true love run smooth, so there is a long journey to her happily ever after with the son of an earl. I hope you'll give it a try.

Best of luck in the drawing, and thanks for stopping by to chat. Cheers, EE

Unknown said...

Dearling Vicki,

Thank so much for finding me here today! And I am so glad you liked Thomas. He was a rather single-minded hero, so stubborn and even a little angry, but he was certainly utterly devoted to his true love. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat! xox EE

Tara said...

Favorite story, honestly? I like the ones that HAVEN'T been done. LOL. Oooh. I know. Shana Galen's Spy Series. The women are spies too. I believe the first book was based loosely off Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The most overdone storyline? Girl flees arranged marriage by dressing as a boy and stowing away on a ship. Captain finds her and ravishes her across the ocean. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. LOL tchevrestt(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ada said...

Hi Elizabeth,

One of my favorite storylines is the mistaken identity ones. Those always turn out to be as comedic as they are heart-warming when the truth comes out. I can't really think of one that's over-played, at least to me. As long as the characters are awesome, I can pretty much back any type of storyline! :)

Unknown said...


You have voiced exactly what readers want—variety! When someone puts a new twist on things, or brings an entirely fresh perspective, we will read it again and again.

I will tell you I've written a girl gets dressed as a boy and goes on a ship, but I think it's VERY different—she actually WANTS to go to war, and the captain doesn't find out, but one of her fellow naval officers. And he doesn't ravish her. They are both professional sailors, and they save each other, and fall in love. It's called ALMOST A SCANDAL and I really think you'd love it if you gave it a try.

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat today, and best of luck in the drawing. Cheers, EE

Unknown said...


I don't think I've ever tried a mistaken identity story, mostly because the good ones are all comedic, and comedy is extraordinarily hard to do well. My hat is off to anyone who can write comedy.

SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT has people with hidden identities, but the effects are far from comedic.

Good luck in the drawing and thanks for stopping by to chat. Cheers, EE

Ada said...

Whoops, just realized I forgot to leave my email address!

ahui89 at hotmail dot com

Thanks for replying Elizabeth! :)

Tasty Book Tours said...

There were 7 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

Congrats to TARA!!! I will email you for your mailing info!!

Thank you to ALL who entered!!

Unknown said...

I love friends to lovers stories. I think they are the best. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.