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Books with Buzz: To Beguile a Beast ARC Giveaway and Interview (Contest Now Closed)

Over the past few years those of us who love historical romance have been given a few reasons to celebrate.  Elizabeth Hoyt is certainly one of them.

She writes smart.  She writes sexy.  And she writes books that engage the emotions of readers on almost every level.

With her new release set for April 28, she was kind enough to take the time to answer a few quick questions.  And, to make a great thing even better, her publisher donated two ARCs (which are tough to come by these days) of To Beguile a Beast to give away to two lucky AAR readers. All you have to do to enter for your chance to win is to post in the comments section of this blog by 11:59 pm eastern time on Thursday, April 9th.  (Please note: This contest is designed to put ARCs in the hands of readers who might not otherwise have access to them.  So,  if you review or write for another blog or site, please do not enter the contest.  Obviously, we can’t police the entries, so we ask you to use the honor system.)

Hope you enjoy the brief interview and that you’re as buzzed as I am about the new book. (BTW, the author promised to stop by to check out the comments.)

You seem to have an almost unprecedented streak going here at AAR, Elizabeth. Six historical romances and six DIKs – something that is even more impressive when you realize that these A grades all came from six different reviewers with varying tastes in books. Clearly, you are hitting it out of the park for a lot of readers. What do you think readers expect when they sit down to read one of your books? And, just as important, what do you want to make certain you deliver?

I’m very pleased with the DIKs—thank you to the entire AAR team!

What do readers expect? Hmm. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately—probably because I’m starting a new series. Writers want to deliver what readers expect, but deciding just what it is a reader is looking for in your stories can be difficult. So here’s my best guess: I think readers are expecting sophisticated characters, a deeply emotional love story, and really hot sex scenes when they read my books. That’s pretty much what I’m trying to deliver, although I try to go beyond that as well. The best authors write books that have the same core voice but are also new and exciting each time. I hope I can do that over my career.

To Beguile a Beast is the third entry in your Legend of the Four Soldiers Series. Readers are already buzzing, but could you share just a bit about the plot to get them…well, a little more buzzed?

Sir Alistair Munroe was horribly scarred in the French and Indian War. Because of his scars he now lives in a crumbling Scottish castle, all alone except for his Deerhound and one surly servant. Until one dark and stormy night when he opens the door to a beauty claiming to be his new housekeeper.

Helen Fitzwilliam has made many mistakes in her life, not least among them spending the last ten years as mistress to the Duke of Lister, a man without any kindness. But when Helen decides to leave the duke she knows it isn’t a mistake. Knowing that Lister hates to give up anything–even a mistress he’s cast aside–Helen flees to Scotland with her two young children.

Now Helen is learning how to clean a filthy castle and trying to hide her true identity from Sir Alistair—who is turning out to be almost as attractive as he is surly.

One thing I love about your books is your frequent nods to classic legends and lore. This one is – and I don’t think I’m giving away anything here – an Elizabeth Hoyt take on the classic Beauty and the Beast fable. Do you think readers will ever tire of these archetypes – because, honestly, I don’t.

I don’t think readers tire of the legends/fairy tale archetypes because they are so much a part of our psyche. There’s a reason these tales appear over and over again—they touch something deep inside of us.

Regency, Regency, and more Regency has been flooding the market for years now. How hard a sell was it initially to convince your publisher to give your Georgian-set books a chance?

It actually wasn’t much of a problem. Historicals in general were a hard sell when we were shopping The Raven Prince, but that’s another discussion entirely. ;-) I do think that Georgian and Victorian are easier non-Regency periods to sell than other periods. Readers have at least a vague idea of the style of dress, etc.

Obviously, you’ve got one book left to go in your current series. Do you have any idea what you’re going to be working on after that?

Yes, because I’m writing it right now! ;-) I’m starting a new series that’s loosely based around the gin problems in London from the 1740’s to the early 1750’s—doesn’t that sound dry? Gin was very cheap and very available and most of the London poor was addicted to it, which led to all sorts of social problems.

In the first book (no name yet!) the heroine is a widow running a foundling home with her brother in St. Giles—one of the worse slums in London. The hero is an aristocrat whose mistress has been murdered in St. Giles. He’s investigating her murder and getting nowhere, so he hires the widow to help him. In return he promises to introduce her to wealthy members of society so she can find a patron for her foundling home. She disapproves of him, he’s fascinated by her, despite the fact that she’s a Quaker, and of course they’re both hiding secrets.

At least that’s the outline I have now!

Thanks to Elizabeth Hoyt for taking the time to answer our questions.  And good luck to everyone.

-Sandy AAR

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