Interview with Elizabeth Hoyt

Author Elizabeth Hoyt

Today author Elizabeth Hoyt visits the Riskies to share her wisdom and insights with this sedate and proper set of ladies and readers.

We sat down to a virtual tea at which I served delicious petit-fours and my best gunpowder black. Then I asked her a few polite questions and she was gracious enough to answer them.

One lucky commenter will win a copy of her latest release, Wicked Intentions. To get your name in the running, leave a comment in which you answer the question at the end of this post. Yours truly (that would be Risky Carolyn) will choose a winner next Wednesday. You have have until Midnight Pacific Tuesday August 24 to leave a comment!) Void where prohibited.

Before we get to the interview, here’s a bit about Elizabeth Hoyt, let it never be said you weren’t properly introduced! This is a respectable blog.

Miss Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband.

And now, A polite Risky Welcome to Elizabeth!

The Interview

Q. Tell me about your book.

A: Back copy:


Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows the area like the back of her hand—she cares for its children at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk. . .


Caire makes a simple offer–in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as a cold bargain soon falls prey to a passion neither can control—and may well destroy them both.

Find out more about Wicked Intentions

(Temperance. I may steal that name for a heroine of mine. Thanks, Elizabeth!)

Q. Your name is Elizabeth. Do you ever wake up thinking you’re QE1 or QE2? Why or why not? Would you want to be? Why or why not?

Dear God, at first I thought you were calling me a CRUISE SHIP. Yes, I think I ought to be QE2 because she’s always color-coordinated and wears such interesting hats. Also, she has a pack of Corgis and I would totally be into a pack of Corgis had I footmen to walk them.

(Oh yes. Without the footmen, what would be the point of anything? But now I’m wondering, do you ever wake up thinking you’re a cruise ship? Because that would be weird.)
Q. What’s a few of your favorite things about writing historicals? Is it the clothes? Exciting history? Gender roles? The cool shoes? Or something else?

Clothes. Definitely the clothes. Big wonking skirts, some of them worn by women. Also, wigs. Why aren’t wigs worn by men anymore? We’ve entered into a very boring time for men’s fashion in general.

And I happen to write during the Age of Enlightenment (which merits Capital Letters) when people were making all sorts of discoveries, both mechanical and mental. Very interesting times!

(Good point there about the wigs. And men’s fashion. I miss the periwig.)

Q. Do you have a favorite scene or line from your current book and would you be willing to share that that is?


Caire took her arm and escorted her roughly out the door. Temperance blinked as he began hauling her back down the passage. As they neared the ballroom, the sound of the crowd inside grew.

She attempted to withdraw her arm from his grasp. “Caire.”

“What the hell were you doing going to a dark room with that ass? Have you no sense?”

She glanced at him. There was a reddened spot on his jaw, and he looked livid. “Your hair has come undone.”

He stopped suddenly, pushing her up against the wall of the passage. “Never go anywhere with a man not of your family.”

She arched her brows up at him. “What about you?”

“Me? I am far, far worse than Sir Henry.” He leaned close, his breath brushing against her cheek. “You ought never to be near me again. You should run right now.”

His bright blue eyes blazed and a muscle in his hard jaw ticked. He was truly a frightening sight.

She stood on tiptoe and brushed her lips against that tic. He jerked and then stood still. She felt the muscle jump once more beneath her mouth and then subside. She slid her lips toward his mouth.

“Temperance,” he growled.

It was strange. Another man had just kissed her on the mouth, but this pressing of lips with Caire was entirely different. His mouth was firm and warm, his lips stubbornly closed against hers. She placed her hands on his wide shoulders for leverage and leaned a little closer. She could smell some kind of exotic spice on his skin—perhaps he’d rubbed it on after shaving—and his mouth tasted of heady wine. She licked the seam of his lips, once, gently.

He groaned.

“Open,” she breathed across his lips, and he did.

She probed delicately, licking the inside of his lips, across his teeth, until she found his tongue. She stroked across it and retreated. He followed her tongue into her mouth, and she suckled him softly, raising her palms to frame his lean cheeks.

Something in her shifted, crumbling apart and re-forming into a new and wonderful shape. She didn’t know what that shape was, but she wanted to keep it. To stay here in this dim hallway and kiss Caire forever.

The murmur of voices came from the far end of the passage, drawing nearer.

Caire lifted his head, looking toward the ballroom.

A door opened and closed and the voices stopped.

He took her hand. “Come.”

“A moment.”

He turned to look at her, one eyebrow raised, but she darted around him. His black velvet tie was nearly out of his hair. Carefully, she unknotted it and combed through the silver strands with her fingers before retying the ribbon.

When she came back around him, he still had that eyebrow cocked. “Satisfied?”

“For now.” She took his arm and he led her back to the ballroom.

(Well, now I have to get my hands on this book. Oh, wait. I bought it last Saturday! Score!)

Carolyn has Wicked Intentions

Q. You have pets at your house. Do they like to help you with the writing? Are there any cute pet pictures or stories you’d like to share?

I have three dogs, in descending size: Max (a black lab mix), Fritz (an orange terrier) and Rue (a rat terrier.) All came from the shelter, so their parentage is in doubt. No, they do not like to help. They like to sit by my side and whine at me to go out, even when they’ve just been out five minutes ago–perhaps the yard has changed in that time.

(Rue is VERY cute!)

For more pics of Elizabeth’s cute doggies, go here.

Q: Best writing moment of your life?

The first time someone recognized me (or rather my name tag) in an elevator and was so excited that she missed her floor.

Q: What’s your favorite type of historical hero? Can be personality, physical attributes or anything.

A guy who thinks he knows everything, but is brought low by the heroine who DOES know everything. Also, guys who aren’t too pretty.

Q: I’ve noticed you tend to be very mean to the heroes of your novels. They often have tortured backgrounds. Why are you so mean?

I’m just a mean person. No! Um. . . well, I think it’s more interesting when the hero has an complicated (read: tortured) background. So many fun things to discover! And also a reason to brood in a dark, manly way.

(Brooding. ::sigh:: Dark and manly. . . . Where were we?)

Q: Anything else you want to share or tell us?

Yes! My next book, NOTORIOUS PLEASURES (out in February 2011–PREORDER!) has a hero who is NOT tortured. My first ever! I initially told my agent he was a bit of a wanker, but she said that perhaps that was not the most heroic description for him. Oh, well.

(Not tortured? A wanker? This I have to read!)

The Comment Question

For a chance to win a copy of Wicked Intentions, answer the following question in the comments:

What men’s fashion do you think should come back into fashion?

Oh. Good question! Go!

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Rene Sears
12 years ago

Heeled shoes, perhaps even red-heeled ones. 🙂

Or codpieces. (Are there any romances where the hero wears a codpiece?)

Heather Snow
12 years ago

Dressing for dinner…though I suppose that is both male and female, and maybe even more of a custom than a fashion, but still!


Cecilia Grant
12 years ago

Regency-era boots. Hessians & top boots. That would be nice.

And Yes! to wanker heroes! That made me go right over to Elizabeth’s website, where I was bitterly disappointed to find there’s no “Notorious Pleasures” excerpt yet. Now I’ll be checking every day.

12 years ago

It would be nice if men wore breeches and tall boots on a regular basis. BTW Wicked Intentions was Awesome and I would also a have girl fan moment if I were in the same elevator with you.

12 years ago

I have to agree with Hearher, dressing for dinner.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Welcome, Elizabeth! I love your cover. It reminds me of the old Gothic covers. All Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney.

I would love to see gentlemen of, say, a certain build wearing those tight buckskin breeches with Hessian boots.

12 years ago

I would like to see thigh high boots come back. With that clasped on one shoulder cape. That’s a swoony look.

I am reading Wicked Intentions now …

12 years ago

*hm* the first thing that comes to mind is fitted pants… while the guys i know personally don’t dress badly i see guys all the time with those awful baggy pants having to walk like penguins *ick*

but i’d love it we all could dress nicer on a regular basis *dreamy sigh*

12 years ago

Finished WI this week so don’t enter me in the contest. Liked it and thought the scenes with Caire and Temperance could be the catalyst for Global Warming. Also liked the rest of the cast of characters and am very curious as to where the series will lead them. Much speculation on websites has already occurred.

Silence is interesting, as is Winter (the description of his “thin face” brought Daniel Day Lewis to mind, and how could I not love Winter after that). Michael the Pirate King is intriguing, and while probably hard to redeem, it is not beyond Ms. Hoyt’s ability to do so. Asa is a total mystery, and I’m a big fan of mysteries. I could go on, but I guess I’ll just have to mark the days on the calendar until next February (a nice birthday present for this Aquarius).

Suzanne Barris
Suzanne Barris
12 years ago

Men’s fitted pants that slip into the heeled, black shiny boots. But this time with proper fitting throughout the . . .uh, crotch area. No more baggy fit. =)

Kim in Hawaii
12 years ago

Aloha, Elizabeth! Great seeing you at RomCon and RWA! I enjoyed your “Muse” workshop in Orlando.

I received the ARC for Wicked Intentions from a friend who reviews for Grand Central Publishing – so I look forward to reading it on the beach with a Mai Thai!

Keira Soleore
12 years ago

Elizabeth, it’s great to see you here at the Riskies.

I’m fascinated by the name Caire. Does this exist in Debrett’s or the maps, or did you make it up?

I really wonder about parents who name their children Temperance, Chastity, or Prudence. Did they wish that their children would imbue these qualities?

I think every body-pinching, uncomfortable aspect of men’s fashion should make a comeback all at once. It would be payback time for all that we women suffer in the name of etre en vogue.

Elizabeth Hoyt
12 years ago

Why HAVEN’T codpieces come back into fashion?! Also, boots. Perhaps even nothing BUT high boots and codpieces…

Elizabeth Hoyt
12 years ago

one-shouldered capes sound vaguely Scottish. Carolyn. Glad you liked WI, Susan/DC! I do intend to write about both Silence and Winter in future books, and Silence makes an appearance in NOTORIOUS PLEASURES, the Feb. 2011 book.

Elizabeth Hoyt
12 years ago

Hope you like WI. Kim–a Mai Thai chaser on the beach sounds lovely! 😉

Elizabeth Hoyt
12 years ago

I can’t remember where I got the name Caire from, Keira, I may have made it up.

The descriptive names are almost all religious in origin, so their meaning is slightly different than what we might think today. All of the Makepeace family first names are real ones from the time period.

Amy Kathryn
Amy Kathryn
12 years ago

I recently finished a book where the hero kept putting on his banyan. I think just the word itself makes me want it to come back in style.

I loved the Four Soldiers series and am looking forward to starting a new one.

12 years ago

oh, i’ve been wanting to read this book !

High boots seems great ! i wonder whether they do slip when use high boots 🙂

12 years ago

I have been advocating/predicting the return of the codpiece for some time. It might save us from sagging jeans.

Don’t enter me in the contest, though, because I bought this book on release day.

Also, I just have to say that Elizabeth is as funny and charming in person as she is in this interview. Loved meeting her at RomCon!

Johanna J
Johanna J
12 years ago

Oh, I would love to see top hats, hessians and High heels woud be fun to bring back. Those funny neckclothes too. Great interveiw Love your books and can’t wait to read Wicked Intentions! Thanks for sharing today.

12 years ago

Kilts are good, but they are already becoming popular. How about the breeches and Hessian boots. Pair with the full sleeved, blousey shirt. Couldn’t you just see someone walking into a board meeting dressed like that. Add a riding crop and you would never loose their attention.
I would have a fan girl moment too If I met you. Maybe one day at a conference or signing. I promise not to be a stalker.

12 years ago

I believe I’d like to see those coats with long-tails on them. Forgive me for not knowing the actual names… I did a google search for “18th century men’s coats” and practically all of them are what I mean. They sort of look like extremely-fancy trenchcoats 🙂

12 years ago

The only possible response to this is ‘The Codpiece’ – maybe then men won’t have to waste money on big red flashy cars?!

12 years ago

Red army coats! I absolutely love those. Never understood why a soldier should wear such an eyecatching color, but I guess that if it’s to make him look more handsome it works for me.

Kate Diamond
12 years ago

I was so excited to see this interview. I love Elizabeth Hoyt!

I would love to see a return of suspenders and fedoras. I think, in a past life, I was a gangster’s moll… and enjoyed myself quite thoroughly.

12 years ago

buckskin pants

Jami Gold
12 years ago

I agree with both Jen in regards to the long coats (that was my initial thought), and Kate Diamond with the fedora.

And I’ll definitely have to add this book to my TBR pile. Love the excerpt!

12 years ago

I vote for the tight pants — buckskin, knee britches, whatever as long as they show off the legs 🙂 paired with hessians sounds pretty good. Also kilts for the same reason 🙂 As long as the guy has good legs – too skinny or such can be excused for being out of fashion 😉

12 years ago

1. Hahaha! I vote for Carolyn and Elizabeth doing an interview together whenever either has a book due out.

2. I was going to say ‘top hats’ but then I remembered how Daniel Day Lewis looked in ‘Gangs of New York’ and my enthusiasm died.

3. As previously mentioned (ahem) I think Elizabeth/Julia’s best cover so far was for ‘Love of Pete’ and eagerly await a cover featuring a mini cooper.

4. Really loved the epigraphs in the first series, especially ‘Raven Prince’. Does this series have intriguing epigraphs also?

12 years ago

I always loved the cravats and coats they wore during the Regency era.

Barbara E.
12 years ago

I’m looking forward to reading Wicked Intentions.
The men’s fashion that I’d like to see is the buckskin pants with boots, and the greatcoat with the shoulder cape.

12 years ago

I would like to see men’s hats come back – and by that I don’t mean ballcaps! (Especially not backwards!)

I mean bowlers, top hats, the like. They were even worn into the 1920s and 30s….not that long ago. To me, they make men look very polished and put together.

12 years ago

i think a cravat. i’ve always loved the word and i would love to see them out and about on men. random, but true.

meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

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