History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

01 May 2007

Lord Sin is Out!

Lord Sin
by Kalen Hughes
Zebra Debut--available now!

K.I.S.S. Award!

What do May flowers bring? Heroes like Kalen Hughes' Lord Sin, Ivo Dauntry, who learns that revenge is a double-edged sword.

4 STARS!, Romantic Times

Hughes debuts with a novel that's part erotic romace and party country houseparty romp--a unique combination that will keep readers intrigued. Part of the appeal is Hughes' ability to create likable characters as well as spicy love scenes tinged with rough sex and tenderness. She's definitely on her way to enticing readers who adore Lisa Kleypas, Pamela Britton and Katherine O'Neal.


Georgianna Exley's passionate nature has always been her undoing-and for this reason the beautiful young widow allows her lovers only a single night in her bed. But Ivo Dauntry has come home to England, and for him she'll break her most sacred rule: granting him six nights of sensual bliss, one for every year he's given up for her . . .


As a gentleman born, Ivo risked his reputation and his life in a duel to defend Georgianna's honor. Now, returned from exile, Ivo discovers that she has proved to be less than a lady . . . and soon, his daring seduction becomes a sensual contest of wills. But the long-ago duel that bound them forever has fueled the hatred of a madman determined to make Georgianna pay for her misdeeds with her life, and once again, Ivo must risk everything to save the woman he loves . . .

I thought I’d do something a little different to announce the arrival of Lord Sin in bookstores. I’ve already done one interview with Risky Regencies, and I’ve even started getting fan mail (nothing is as cool as fan mail!). Today, I’m being interviewed by my friends over at Dishing with the Divas (and giving away a copy of Lord Sin), and I hope you’ll join me there. But here on History Hoydens we’re going to take a look behind the scenes of Lord Sin:

Lord Sin started out as role reversal book. The heroine was an extreme tomboy (a period term and concept!), raised in an almost exclusively masculine world. A world which she never left, even upon her marriage, because she married one of the boys she grew up with . . . and then he died. I was interested in just how such a woman would move on, how she would get past the loss, and how (if!) her male friends (who’d also been her husband’s friends) would react to her opening herself up to love again.

One of the things I was certain about was that she would be the kind of woman who showed up in the scandal sheets and the tabloids, the Angelina Jolie of her age. It wasn’t until I read Jo Manning’s wonderful book My Lady Scandalous that I got the idea for using this as a facet of the book. In the book she mentions the Tête-à-Tête column in the Morning Post. This was a salacious gossip column, which featured at the very top of the page a vignette of a man and a woman (people easily recognizable to the reading public). The poses of the couple in question were a comment upon the state of the relationship: Gazing at one another implied something entirely different from one looking towards the “beloved” while the other looked away, or turned their back.

Each chapter of the book begins with a made-up quote from the column. This is a feature I’ll be repeating in the upcoming sequels. Some of the quotes give you an insight into the story, some provide misleading information, and others directly affect the plot (a facet of this that I love).

As a reader, do you enjoy touches like this, or do you skip over them and just read the main story?


Blogger Victoria Dahl said...

Kalen, I just heard about those vignettes last year! What a stupendous idea! You're a genius. Ooo, maybe some day when you're a bestseller, Kensington will reissue all these books and let you put vignettes in them. *g* That would be so awesome.

Congratulations on your release! Now I have to go to the bookstore. Yay! Buying it on Amazon just isn't the same for me. It deprives me of the opportunity to blurt out "I know this writer!" to passing strangers.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Vicki, you crack me up (but I do the same thing). LOL! I have a good friend who's an illustrator and I've been totally abusing her lately working on redesigning my website. I'm hoping to use some of the drawings she's doing for me as vignettes for each book.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Always a pleasure to send some well-deserved congrats Kalen's way.

But what I really want to know is the answer to Kalen's question about whether readers like all those little touches. I love 'em, myself, but I'm not sure I'm in the majority camp when it comes to romance writing.

Do tell, folks.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Susanna Fraser said...

I know I'm being the Bad Reader here, but I almost never read little quotes or epigrams at the beginnings of chapters. My eyes just fly straight past them. One of my CPs just did a manuscript with witty thematic quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and I never remembered to read them unless someone else in the group commented on one, and then I'd thwap myself across the forehead and go back to look.

I think I picked up that particular bad habit as a child because most of the books I read that had quotes were older books quoting what to my child's eyes were obscure references. I never understood them, so I started skipping them. And now I barely even notice they're there.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Gillian Layne said...

I love them, and always read them.

Some of my favorites were in To Sir Phillip, with Love.

And so now I can read yours! :)

1:03 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

I read them. I like them and I read footnotes, too!

Congrats on your release.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Mary Blayney said...

I love 'em, but often find that I have to look back to remind myself what the teaser was --

Congratulations, Kalen -- this is one of the most enjoyable moments of the writing life.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

And stressful. I don't know why I'm always such a stress-puppy when I should be celebrating, but I am. Some fatal flaw in my psyche, clearly.

God forbid I ever get married . . . there won't be enough valium on the planet. LOL!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I read every tidbit, always!

I wouldn't want to miss some hint, nuance, or "inside joke" the author intends. But I also prefer such devices be clever. If they're not, I still read them, but I make an ugg sound. Not pretty.

I'm sure yours are quite clever, Kalen, and I'm looking forward to purchasing my, aherm, signed copy.

The most clever use of footnotes I've seen so far is in The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Stroud.

Knock back a Lord Sin for me on Derby Day!

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love extra touches like this (and reading "Lord Sin" I can say the vignettes are great--I've been reading them carefully for clues about the story). In "Almost Paradise" Susan Isaacs starts each chapter with a ficitonal newspaper quote that keeps the reader updated on the "present day" situation (the book is a long flashback of the characters' marriage). Dorothy Dunnett starts chapters of the Lymond Chronicles with poetry quotes, many in medieval French, which had me reaching for my French dictionary. I did a book where I started each chapter with a quote from letters between the characters. For the upcoming trade re-release of "Secrets of a Lady", I got to write an "A+" section (sort of like DVD extras) which I did in the form of letters between the characters that flesh out the backstory--very fun to write and hopefully to read :-).

6:29 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I love those things. Megan Frampton included some in her book Singular Lady and they cracked me up.

Congratulations again on your release. yay!

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Release Day!!!

12:23 AM  
Blogger Victoria Dahl said...

I love the little details. I usually don't notice them till halfway through, and then it's like a little treat I get to go back for!

10:01 PM  
Blogger SaucySam said...


I've never read one of your books before, but I check out this site a lot. I read this before I went to work (at a grocery store) and on my lunch break I noticed I had forgotten my book. So I went to see what we had in out very limited selection and low and behold there was Lord Sin screaming "buy me buy me"... so I did. I normally bypass the tidbits at the start of chapters but these are really cute. I'm not very far into the book as of yet but it is cool so far. Cant wait to find out what happens... off to read.

10:27 PM  
Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:55 PM  
Blogger J said...

Your vignettes sound very kewl. Julia Quinn's Whistledown books were the first where I came across something like this and I totally love it. I'll have to pick up your book as soon as my budget allows.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these quotes at the beginning of a chapter and always read them!

By the way: Nothing but praise for your debut Kalen! I received it this week (I live in Europe).
Reading it now and LOVE it! Can't wait for Lord Scandal ;-)

11:30 AM  

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