History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

05 June 2007

New Release from Kristina Cook!

To Love a Scoundrel
by Kristina Cook
Zebra­--June 2007
One lucky poster will get a signed copy from Kristina!

HE'S NOTORIOUS FOR HIS WICKED WAYS…Frederick Stoneham thoroughly enjoys the life he leads as one of London's most disreputable rogues. When his father arranges for him to wed Lady Eleanor Ashton, he believes his decadent lifestyle can carry on uninterrupted. After all, he remembers Eleanor to be plain and timid--not the kind of wife who will demand attention or insist he leave his mistress. But Frederick has a change of heart when he sees the striking beauty Eleanor has become…

CAN SHE REFORM HIM?Eleanor is stunned to discover she is to wed Frederick Stoneham--the man she has secretly pined after for years, despite his reputation. When Frederick's former mistress tells her a horrible lie, Eleanor feels betrayed. But Frederick's persistence--and a passion that refuses to be ignored--are slowly melting Eleanor's resolve. Now Frederick must prove to Eleanor that his days as a rake are in the past and that she is the only woman he will ever love...

"TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL is a luscious tale that will keep you turning pages until the sun comes up. Don't miss it!"
--Sabrina Jeffries, NYT bestselling author

The Hoydens are always excited to announce the release of a book by one of their own. Kristina’s latest book is actually a prequel to Her “UN” series, so if you’ve never read her before, what better place to start than here and now?

TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL is set in 1806. How did you become interested in this time period? What you love about it?

This is the fourth book in a series that is set in the 'extended' Regency period (the series spans from 1806 to 1824!). I've always been interested in Regency England, thanks to Jane Austen--probably my all-time favorite author. I think it's the perfect setting for romance, thanks to the built-in conflict provided by the social structure. I also like that the period still seems very 'historical'--very different from modern times--and yet it's also the beginning of what feels like 'modern' times, if that makes any sense!

What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

I always find it a challenge to try and get my hero and heroine alone somewhere--without a chaperone. Yet it's generally necessary! I try and use Austen as my guide, as there are definite situations in which Emma and Knightley or Lizzie and Darcy, or even Elinor and Mr. Ferrars are alone. If Austen can do it, I can do it! Despite the strict social rules, I'm sure that human nature reigned, and rules were broken. There are even examples of this--Lydia Bennet, for example--in Austen.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn't get out of your head?

TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL is actually the fourth and last book in a series, though it's actually a prequel, taking place eleven years before the first book, UNLACED. People often ask me why I did this, but actually the entire series is written out of chronological order, written in the order that the muse struck. Once I’d finished the first three books, I still felt as if something important was ‘missing.’ Hard to put my finger on it, but there it was. The impetus; the single event that set the entire series in motion. I realized then that that event was the marriage of Lady Eleanor Ashton, the twin sister to UNLACED’s hero Lord Mandeville. Her matchmaking efforts played a key role in Lord Mandeville’s happily-ever-after; without her prodding, he might never have married UNLACED’s heroine. It’s clear in UNLACED that Eleanor and her husband Frederick love each other very much, despite that fact that their marriage was an arranged one. In fact, Eleanor’s love for her husband was so strong that she desperately wished for her brother to experience the same happiness. I simply *had* to find out how Eleanor and Frederick went from that arranged match to true love, as that set into motion a chain of events that play out over the course of three books.

Did you have to do any major research for his book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn't already know?
There's a duel in the book, so I had to do a bit of research on the 'art of the duel.' It's amazing just how formal a duel actually was, how many rules there were for an illegal activity!

What do you like to read?

I have a few favorite historical romance authors--Julia Quinn, Judith McNaught, Jill Barnett, Mary Jo Putney, and Mary Balogh. Lately, however, I've been reading a lot of YA. I loved Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT, Libba Bray's A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, and John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA. I also love to read my CP's (Charlotte Featherstone's) erotic historicals--her stories are so lush and sensual yet very emotional and touching at the same time.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

I'm definitely a panstser, which gets tricky when I need to write a synopsis before I finish a book. Actually sitting down and plotting a book before I write it somehow 'ruins' it for me--it's almost like reading the last chapter of a book first! Discovering the story as I write it is part of the creative process for me. I pretty much come up with the main characters, the general set-up, and, crazy as it sounds, the characters pretty much take it from there!

What are you planning to work on next?

I’ve just begun a new historical trilogy set in 1819. The heroine is the eldest of three sisters, and a widow. She’s the first ‘experienced’ heroine I’ve ever written, and I’m having fun with that—gives me a bit of leeway to make the story slightly steamier than my previous books. And the hero is a younger man, a guy who has secretly pined after the much older heroine since boyhood. It’s a premise that I really like, and I’m having a great time creating a whole new ‘community’ of characters. I’m also working on several YA (contemporary) projects, most with paranormal elements. It’s definitely a challenge to develop not only my YA voice, but also my contemporary voice, but it’s a fun challenge!


Blogger Unknown said...

Well I write the same way you do, and the synopsis comes close to ruiningi t for me too!

Good luck with that experienced heroine (they’re lots of fun!!!). I've never written a virginal one, so I’ve got no basis of comparison. LOL! I started a book with an uptight, virginal spinster heroine, only to find out 40 pages in that the reason she doesn’t trust the hero is that he minds her of the man she secretly eloped with as a girl. Whoops!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Kristi Cook said...

Don't you just love it when a character reveals something *totally* unexpected like that?!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I do love it! I think that's why I write, because I want to find out what will happen. LOL!

I just started plotting a new book and when I was done the heroine up and told me that she couldn't marry the hero when he asked cause she was already married! Ugh. Gotta go back and sort that out . . .

10:51 AM  
Blogger Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Kristina,

I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy of your new book. I absolutely loved the Un-series

11:32 AM  
Blogger Lois said...

Ooh, thank you for writing more Regencies! LOL :) I'll definitely look forward to and watch for the new series (as well as the new book too!!) :)

Heck, I like all heroines, experienced, virgins. . . though I guess if I had to pick one. . . which luckily, you not making me do (LOL), I like virgins more.

But I love unexpected twists even more! :)


12:29 PM  
Blogger Kristi Cook said...

Thanks, Danny and Lois!!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

Sounds really good! I love a scoundrel who is redeemed by a good woman. That is a plot I always enjoy. Interesting part about the duels. I did not realize there were alot of rules either.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Sounds really interesting Kristina. Now if we can just get you to come and do a workshop for the NYC chapter!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Sue A. said...

I love the premise of the book. Just reading the works in ALL CAPS is enough for me to know it is my kind of book.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

The premise of your new release sounds great. Love those bad boys.

I work in a high school library, so I'll be on the look-out for your future YA books. As much as I'd like to write a YA historical, I know I'd miss the sex scenes!

I could never write a synopsis before I finished the book cause I never quite know how I'm getting to the HEA.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Carol M said...

HE'S NOTORIOUS FOR HIS WICKED WAYS really looks good. I'm looking forward to reading it! I love Regencies!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Victoria Dahl said...

I'm a pantser too, that's for sure. I try to tell myself it's NOT because I'm immature with a short attention span. *snort*

And the next story with the younger man? I'm on that like white on rice. Sounds delicious! Get to work, hoyden!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Keira Soleore said...

A prequel to your series of three. How delicious!! I find that period between the looser morals of the Georgian and the more uptight mores of the Regency harder to pin down. Kristina, what specific research did you have to do to make this book have a different "tone" from the series?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Kristi Cook said...

Keira, the best thing about this book is that it is set almost entirely in the country, and very rarely are the characters out in "society." This gave me a lot more leeway than, say, had the book been set in London, with the characters moving about Mayfair. So....eeek...I almost hate to admit it, but the tone isn't all that different from the next two books in the series. But I do think the book set in 1824--UNVEILED--has a very distinctly different tone from the other three.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Diane Gaston said...

This looks great, Kristina! And I LOVE the cover!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Keira Soleore said...

Oh, what a clever workaround, Kristina. I'm filing that away in my notes for future use. Thanks.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read the book. It sounds great.

5:43 AM  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Sounds like a great book. Love the cover. The new book you are working on sounds good too. :)

5:57 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

I love the pantser way, too! I can get on a roll, keep going and everymorning when I sit down to write, I really want to, to see how the story unfolds.

Then I find the plot holes when I have to write the synopsis.

Do you find the books get a little easier to write as you write more books? Fewer revisions/plot fixes etc, on the third book compared to the first?

6:57 AM  
Blogger Kristi Cook said...

Definitely, Kathrynn--it's been a learn-as-I-go thing, and I do find that each book has less plot holes/unaswered questions by the time I finish it. I definitely wrote myself into a couple of holes in the first book or two, and then had to do my best to 'fix it' later. Not fun!

7:09 AM  
Blogger anne said...

Your book sounds so appealing and fascinating. I am totally intrigued with the great heroine you have created as well as the entire story.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kristi Cook said...

Thanks, Kimberly, Crystal, Anne--and everyone else! Hope the book doesn't disappoint!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great cover!!! Love the premise of the book. Interesting to find out how the h/h do get together alone once in awhile.


1:36 PM  
Blogger Caffey said...

I'm trying to post again. My first post didn't show up!
I loved to be surprised about the heroine I'm going to read! I like not knowing before I read the story. (But too if I know, I like read how the author spins the story), I think I should be saying that for every book I read. Because I really enjoy historicals. Its so great to be able to go back to that culture and rules and all. This sounds like a great blog to be in! Really beeen looking forward to this release Kristina!! Congrats

5:30 PM  

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