Saturday, November 7, 2009

Congrats and a celebration!

We have a winner! Congrats to Anthea! Anthea email your snailmail to cindyholby@aol.com. I'll pass it on to Elizabeth and she will send you your prize, an autographed copy of To Desire A Devil

Congrats to our own C.L. Wilson for hitting the New York Times best seller list with her latest release Queen Of Song and Souls. She came in at #12. Woot! And coming in right behind Cheryl at number 13 is my dear friend Elizabeth Hoyt with her book To Desire A Devil. Elizabeth is guest blogging here today and will give away a copy of Devil to a lucky poster.

After seven years in hellish captivity, Reynaud St. Aubyn bursts into his ancestral home half mad with fever, demanding his due. Can this wild
man truly be the last earl’s son, thought murdered by Indians?

NOTHING IS MORE INTOXICATING
Beatrice Corning is the niece of the present earl and a proper English miss. Yet she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in a certain portrait. Now, suddenly, he’s here, in the flesh—and luring her into his bed.

THAN SURRENDERING TO A DEVIL.

Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud’s savage ways to the noble man inside. And Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as her loyalty to her uncle raises his suspicions. But can she tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title—even if it means sacrificing her innocence?


To Desire A Devil is the fourth and last book in a series. Each book, To Taste Temptation, To Seduce A Sinner and To Beguile A Beast has its own story, but through out all four books is the mystery of who betrayed the four soldiers who are featured in each story. I have to admit I was blown away when I read the teaser chapter about To Desire A Devil and can't wait to read it and find out the answer to the mystery, plus see how Reynauld survived his death by fire. So here's a little insight to how Elizabeth plots her stories. And one lucky poster will win an autographed copy of To Desire A Devil.


DRIVING THROUGH THE BUSHES

So recently I had to turn in a synopsis to my editor for approval on a
contracted book?the second in a series. There was a slight internet
pause after I sent the thing in, and then my editor pointed out
(correctly) that there was no plot in my synopsis.

Sigh.

You know, I used to take a month to plot out each of my books. A
month! I?d outline every scene, I?d have black moments and turning
points. I?d have arcs and timelines. And invariably about a third of
the way into the book, I?d go off the road and start driving through
the bushes. The last book I plotted out entirely was?wait for it!?To
Desire a Devil (out this month!) In that book I went into the bushes
on the very first page. There I was writing my first scene?a dramatic
scene in which the hero burst into a party, back from the dead!?and I
realized the heroine didn?t have anyone to talk to. So I gave her a
friend?Lottie?which led to a secondary plot?and a month?s plotting
work down the drain. And y?know, I think the book turned out pretty
good, after all that.

Really, why bother?

My next book?WICKED INTENTIONS (not out until Aug. 2010!) I plotted
the first third of the book, hit a few high notes for the rest, looked
at it, said, what the heck? and began writing. And y?know, I think
it?s a pretty good book.

I?m the kind of person who spends months planning the family
vacation?down to the pit stops on the way?so letting go of the
detailed plotting is a big step for me. But guess what? One of our
most fun family get-aways was a weekend when we just took off in the
car. We got lost in the hills of southern Illinois (I know! I had no
idea there were hills in Illinois either) and had a ball. And some of
the best scenes in my books are big wonking drives through the bushes.
The scene with Kind George in To Beguile a Beast wasn?t plotted. The
scene in the inn in To Seduce a Sinner came out of the blue. And
Lottie (her dog Pan) were completely seat-of-the-pants in To Desire a
Devil.

So maybe what I need to do is quite worrying about the pit stops and
enjoy the scenery.

Yours Most Sincerely,

Elizabeth Hoyt

PS: Discussion question! What are your favorite off-the-main-road
memories? And if you?re a writer, what detours have you taken in your
work?

30 comments:

librarypat November 8, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

We go off the road all the time. I plan our family trips too, but stopped being too detailed a long time ago. I know we are heading in a certain direction, I have a map, and I've researched things to see and special events. All that doesn't prevent us from making a detour if something pops up.
On a trip to New Hampshire a few years ago, we saw a notice posted about the NH Highland Games. We spent 2 days at one of the best games we've attended. On another trip from our northern Virginia home to upstate New York, we decided to detour to the New England coast. We had our niece with us and she had never been there. As we swung east, I remembered an ice cream place we had gone to years ago on the Maine coast. We took a 125 mile detour for ice cream cones. (They made their own and it had 14% butterfat. Really GOOD ice cream!) We ended up spending an extra day on the road, but the kids got to see lighthouses, climb on the rocky coast looking for crabs in the seaweed, and have great ice cream. We took a different route across NH and VT and found some sites and museums we hadn't seen before.
We got tired driving across flat Iowa again a few years ago. Told my husband to take the next exit, take a right and just drive. We ended up in Canada, had a nice trip, found some cool stuff, and still made it to our meeting in Omaha on time. We just didn't go to South Dakota as originally planned.
Life is so much more fun if you just go with the flow and do the unexpected once in a while. As with your writing, you never know where you will end up or how exciting the trip will be.

librarypat November 8, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

Sorry, I got so busy talking about our trips, I forgot to congratulate you on To Desire A Devil hitting 13 on the NYT Best Seller List. I look forward to reading this series.

EmilyBryan November 9, 2009 at 4:44 AM  

Hello Elizabeth! I'm having such a fangirl moment here. Love your work.

A synopsis is a selling tool. Writers use it to get a contract. Editors use it to take to an in-house sales meeting to explain why they bought the project. Once I get the contract, I feel free to follow the story even if it departs regularly from the initial plan. And I've never had an editor complain that I didn't stick with the original.

Bet you never will either.

Cindy Holby November 9, 2009 at 5:56 AM  

Hee, your post made me recall a totally unplanned and fun day we had with friends on the Blue Ridge Parkway last year. And seriously, we were driving through the bushes.

I'm not much of a plotter. I'm what you call a pantser. I rely on the characters to drive the action. I always know where I'm going, I just don't know how I'm going to get there. It's worked out find so far.

C.L. Wilson November 9, 2009 at 7:24 AM  

Sorry ladies, I was out of town and missed this. Just want to say CONGRATS!!! to Elizabeth! :)

YAY US!

And Amy Pierpont had nothing but raves for you this weekend at the TARA Retreat in Florida :)

May there be many bestsellers yet to come!

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

Good Morning, all! And congrats to CL Wilson (woot! woot!) on making the NYT!

That's some detour, LibraryPat--going from Iowa to Canada--but it sure sounds like fun.

You're quite correct, Emily--my editor doesn't mind me going off-track from my synopsis.

I need to be more like you, Cindy!

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 7:29 AM  

Thanks, CL! Always good to know one's editor is enthusiastic! ;-)

Carol L. November 9, 2009 at 8:14 AM  

Hi Elizabeth,
I have been waiting to read To Desire a Devil. And now it's here. I have only gone on vacations that were "Hey, lets go there". No plotting for me. Things always turn out better that way. :)
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Penelope November 9, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

Hi Elizabeth...Just finished To Desire A Devil. It was a great finish to the series. And I have to tell you that my favorite hero of 2009 is....Alistair Munroe. (I will be writing a blog about him at the end of the year on my website). I was just thinking how funny it is that my favorite romance hero of the year is not some hunky, blond dude, but a scarred, physically imperfect man. When I finished reading To Beguile A Beast, I sighed with happiness, and then read the whole book again! Thanks for creating such awesome books!

Misty November 9, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

Well I can say dont listen to your GPS with absolute certainty. It wasnt a vacation, but a quick trip to roanoke rapids NC to pick up my mother, my husband instead of taking the highway back and turning when I told him to decided to listen to the GPS that sounds like the hive from Resident Evil. It led us to a part of VA ive never seen, it was really creepy. Dirt roads rickety bridges, fields and fields of corn. At one point we began going over a bridge and this thick fog started rolling in. I was like ok enough of this I expected to see people holding pitch forks in straw hats any minute or worse yet a group of zombie looking children surrounding the vehicle. Eventually it led us back to where I originally told my husband to turn but what would have been a 2hr return trip ended up taking us 4 So again I say Dont always rely on your GPS!

SusanB November 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

Congratulations on hitting the NYT best seller list! I plan to start your series the beginning of the year and can't wait to get to it.
susan.byerly@comcast.net

Jeanne November 9, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Congratulations on your book hitting 13 on the NYT Best Seller List. Awesome!
I have a great off-the-road experience in Sweden. My husband and I visited family close to Stockholm and were driving back to Kalmar (about 4 hours) when a snowstorm hit. It was during the Christmas season and I did not know that Swedish hotels were not really open during that time. We pulled over and found a city sign and called the only hotel we saw in Oskarshamn Sweden. They told us that they would stay open until we got there (only 6pm) and when we arrived, we got their best suite since they had no guests. Our windows overlooked the city square and with the lights and the snow, we felt like we were in a perfect Christmas snow globe.

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

I hope you enjoy TDAD, Carol!

I'm so glad you liked Alistair, Penelope--scars and all! Let me know when you post your blog.

Oh, no, Misty! That sounds like a horror film example of driving through the bushes...maybe your GPS is possessed?

And thanks for the congrats, Susan B!

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

That's the perfect off-the-road story, Jeanne! It sounds so romantic!

Anthea Lawson November 9, 2009 at 10:15 AM  

Congrats on the list-making release, Elizabeth! (and CL Wilson too!) I've really enjoyed your series so far, and am looking forward, with that bittersweet sort of regret, to reading the last book.

I've found as an author that the unexpected detours and characters are the best part of writing. The story stays fresh and interesting, even if you know that eventually you'll get to Illinois, or Devonshire, or even Tunisia~ :)

Enjoy your big day!

etirv November 9, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
etirv November 9, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

Hi Elizabeth, love your novels and can't wait to read TDaD!

I'm an extremely detailed vacation planner as well. When we went on a pilgrimage to Disneyland several years ago, I was so anal all the way to should we turn left or right when we come out of an attraction. As a result, I'm exhausted even before we leave for the trip!

My DH, however doesn't plan. One year he convinced me to be a more spontaneous vacation planner when we visited Madrid. I didn't make hotel reservations and I think I aged 10 years during that trip. It do happened there was an olympics or some other major event and of course, there were no vacancies in many of the hotels. We ended up riding a cab and asking the driver to stop at any hotel and after half a dozen hotels, a fancy hotel finally had a suite available only for one night so we took it, paid an arm and a leg for it and fortunately, another hotel had a room available for the rest of our stay. No more devil may care attitude when taking a vacation! Never again!

Elizabeth, I think no matter what approach you use in writing, the end result will be fabulous, thank you!

Bella November 9, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

Excellent sentiment Elizabeth, and congrats on the new release and on hitting the NYT best sellers' list!

Off the beaten path? Before we were married, hubby and I drove from San Fran to Denver. We meandered - through Utah, on back roads in Nevada, and spent a glorious day at the Grand Canyon. Sigh. I so miss not being in a hurry.

Thanks for the giveaway!

b42bella AT gmail.com

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

Thank you, Anthea! ;-)

Your Madrid trip sounds like the kind that you enjoy AFTERWARDS, etirv! Although staying in a fancy European hotel would be my idea of fun! ;-)

I know what you mean, Bella--it seems like Mr. Hoyt and I were much more spontaneous before children, dogs, and a house!

Cindy Holby November 9, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Holby November 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

Misty, My friend Alyssa Day and I were having a writing weekend at Smith Mountain Lake in VA. She lived in Richmond at the time and called me and said "Am I supposed to be in NC?" After I quit laughing hysterically at her and got her back on the road she told me where she'd been. I'm pretty sure it was the same place you describe.

Misty November 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

Cindy, LOL, My husband is stationed at Ft. Eustis, VA which is about 45 min south, south east of richmond so she very well could have been. My mother lives just across the NC border so I am constantly driving to see her, I know the way, but the one time my husband drives and we end up in as we now call it "Children of the Corn" VA.

Misty November 9, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

Oh the stories I could tell where my husband does something spontanious and I end up in trouble. He is from a small town called Highland in north central Arkansas. In 2003 we where stationed in HI so instead of flying 15 hours with a 6 month old we decided to take a road trip. We stopped in his hometown which had a very dry summer and decided to go for a hike. Well having just had a baby I wasnt in the best shape of my life -_- and he decides to go down to a cave in a ravine sure im adventureous it sounded like a wonderful idea and going down was easy coming back up on the other hand was a completely different story! It was like 100 degrees over hades outside and i am an astmatic, well somehow we ended up having to climb up what seemed like a 85 degree mud slick dry season???? I thought I was gonna have to be life flighted out of there but eventually I made it. The down side severe muscle failure everytime I would try to sit down my legs would give out and I would collapse! On the upside it was a beautiful cave, there where reflective ponds a few stalagtites and stalagmites really picture perfect. The downside lots and lots of guano!

Bucky November 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

Congratulatons on making the best seller list, a happy occasion but hardly unexpected. If you write books everyone loves you can't help but make the list!!
nancy

jeanette8042 November 9, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

My favorite off-the-road memory was when my friends and I just decided to take random roads when driving back from a camping trip. We ended up at a fabulous beach where we jumped and played around at for hours!

Elizabeth Hoyt November 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

Thank you, Nancy!

And that sounds like fun, Jeanette!

I'm so glad you didn't lose Alyssa, Cindy!

Oh, dear, Misty! I'm glad you've survived your husband's adventures.

stacey November 9, 2009 at 5:58 PM  

I love just driving some where and finding new thing I found a water falls that way once it was very nice.congrats on your book coming out.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

Barbara E. November 9, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

I'm usually a planner, but I have to say there have been trips in the past that were spontaneous and so much fun, even though we didn't see half what we'd wanted to because we were wandering around just enjoying the day.
I'm looking forward to reading To Desire a Devil. I love the premise of the long lost heir coming back to claim his due after he was thought dead.

Julie November 9, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

I love being surprised, so not having minute details on my itinerary doesn't bother me. There was one time, though, where three friends and I planned a mini-road trip through Arizona, Nevada, and California; one of the stops was the Grand Canyon. We had no idea that driving on dirt roads would take so much gas, and the driver took a curve much too fast and inadvertently drifted into a pile of rocks. So there we were, miles from the highway, with a little less than half a tank and a leaky tire and a clueless GPS. It was great fun, let me tell you...especially when we took a road in the opposite direction of the highway in hopes of finding a town with a gas station (we didn't). That night also included freezing temperatures, creepy deserted-looking ghost towns, and driving on a tire that shouldn't have been used for as long as we did.

Suffice to say, we survived, but it was a very nerve-wracking experience and one I hope never to repeat again. Maybe not my favorite off-the-main-road story, but definitely a memorable one.

Heather D November 11, 2009 at 5:06 AM  

My husband is the planner of the family, I absolutely hate to plan anything. But I guess you have to have at least one planner in the family. When I was growing up my mother would come to the school and pick us up on the spur of the moment and say get in the car. We would head out destination unknown (to us at least). It was some of the best road trips. We may have only gone to the next town over for an ice cream or to Aunt Cathy's house, but we always had a great time doing it. On the other hand when we took our trip to the Grand Canyon a few years back my husband planned out everything. He knew the speed limits in each state, cost of gas, how long it would take us to get to the next stop, which hotel we were going to stay, etc. It was fun, but it didn't leave room for spontaneity. We just purchased a camper so I am hoping to get him to fly by the seat of his pants a little more. We can go anywhere and stay anywhere. I love it!!

There was a time where my husband decided he was taking me on a weekend getaway. To me it was completely spontaneous, but I know he had to have been planning it for a few weeks. My aunt showed up at the door to watch the kids and he had a bag packed and in the car. All he said was lets go. That one was fun, but very hard for me. It was the first time I had left my son who was 18 mos, but we had a wonderful break from life.

Cindy Holby

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C.L. Wilson

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