Back to Top

Tag Archives: Kathryn Caskie

I’m delighted to welcome my friend, Kathryn Caskie, to Risky Regencies! Kathy’s and my writing journeys have been on near parallel path, with Kathy leading the way. One of the biggest thrills of my writing career was having previous winner Kathy present me with my Golden Heart at the 2003 RWA conference. I was already wearing a Golden Heart necklace, though. Kathy lent me hers for luck. (It worked, too!) I could go on and on with other ways Kathy has been generous to me, but better you hear from her! I’m thrilled with her success at Avon and with her newest series, The Seven Deadly Sins.

Caskie’s irresistible and irrepressible Sinclair siblings, better known as the Seven Deadly Sins, liven up any season with their audacious actions, witty repartee and wild escapades. Caskie sprinkles their stories with a winning combination of poignancy and humor that’s sure to charm her fans–Kathe Robin, RT Book Reviews.

1. Welcome to Risky Regencies, Kathy! Tell us about The Most Wicked of Sins.

Thanks for inviting me to the rout. Wouldn’t you know it? My blue silk evening gown is being dry cleaned.

The Most Wicked of Sins (in stores September 29th) is my ninth book, and the second in my Seven Deadly Sins series. It’s Lady Ivy Sinclair’s story and the sin she must overcome is envy.
The seven Sinclair brothers and sisters—known throughout the Society as the Seven Deadly Sins—live for scandal and delight in disgrace . . . until their father decrees that they must reform. Propriety has never come easily, but now they have no choice. They must redeem themselves or regret in poverty.
It doesn’t take long before Lady Ivy Sinclair grows weary of pretending to be rich while living like a pauper behind closed doors. And so she vows to land a sensible, serious husband her father will accept.
Snaring a husband shouldn’t be difficult. After all, Ivy is the envy of Society—at least she was, until Miss Fiona Feeney arrived in Town. Suddenly, the Irish beauty is the undisputed toast of the ton. Worse yet, just when the gentleman Ivy’s set her cap for is about to pop the question, Miss Feeney snatches away his attentions. Furious, Ivy hatches a plan. Using the last of her money, she hires an actor to impersonate the new Marquess of Counterton, hoping his passionate courtship of her will send her intended into a jealous rage. There is only one small problem with Ivy’s plan: Dominic Sheridan, the blue-eyed “actor” she hires, really is the Marquess of Counterton, who has just arrived in Town. And he isn’t acting at all, but intent on seducing her into committing the most wicked of sins.

2. The Most Wicked of Sins is the second book in your series, The Seven Deadly Sins. Tell us about the first book and whether we need to read it first before book number two.

The first book in my Seven Deadly Sins series is To Sin With a Stranger (Avon, December 2008). While the story introduces the series, every book is written as a stand-alone story, meaning while your reading experience may be enhanced by reading the stories in order, you do not need to understand everything.
To Sin With a Stranger is Sterling Sinclair’s story (his sin is greed). I had so much fun writing this story. Here it is in a nutshell: When an anonymous gamester places the largest wager in White’s history on whether rakish Sterling Sinclair will marry misfit Isobel Carrington, everyone wants a stake in the long-shot match of the Season. But when the ton decides to manipulate the bet’s outcome, suddenly the word extreme loses all meaning as London becomes the hottest city on earth.

3. What is risky about The Most Wicked of Sins?

The Sinclairs as characters—Ivy in particular. Social etiquette was all important in Regency Society. Even so, the Sinclair siblings regularly challenge the rules and get away with even the most outrageous behavior.

Why wouldn’t they be blocked from every drawing room? Denied invitations? Well, for the same reason stars today are sought after guests and given a pass for even the worst behavior.

The Sinclair’s are the day’s social celebrities. It doesn’t hurt that they are the sons and daughters of a Scottish duke or that they are witty, entertaining and striking in appearance. Invite them to your ball and if they attend, everyone will be talking the next day. Your event will be a success.

But they are desirable guests on another level too—because everyone, from the grandest nobleman to the lowliest maid can see that these outwardly perfect creatures are broken. Their heartbreaking past that so deeply wounded them, separated them from Society, is exactly the thing that draws people near, wanting to embrace and heal them.

4. You seem partial to Scottish heroes. Why?

I do love Scottish heroes. There is something a little less predictable, a little less restrained, a little more outwardly passionate than their English counterparts. Oh, and there are kilts.

5. I happen to know you married your very own hero this summer. Tell us about your wedding!!
As a romance author, you have to believe in happily ever afters…I mean reallllly believe. And I do. Believing in happily ever afters got me through the tough times, and I know it opened me to experiences that reinforced my belief.

Last month, my hero and I began our own happily ever after when we were joined in marriage at Dalhousie Castle just outside Edinburgh, Scotland.

A bagpiper led the bridal party through the castle chapel where my fiancé waited. The rings were delivered to my daughter by a little owl (named Ted), the great surprise of the guests. After pronouncing us husband and wife, the adorable minister presented us with a tiny box he’d made from the wood of centuries-old yew (the oldest trees in the world), wishing us a long, happy marriage and everlasting love.

We cut the wedding cake with the piper’s dirk (which works really well!). Next came the traditional Scottish wedding toast. The piper gifted us with a Quaich and a bottle of Glenfiddich. As the bride I was tasked with filling the Quaich and passing it to everyone to toast our union. Beginning with my new husband, everyone (of age) in the room made a toast then drank the whisky. The reception dinner was held in the white flower-filled dungeon. Lady Catherine, lovelorn ghost of Dalhousie, who is said to hate weddings, thankfully did not make an appearance.

It was a fairytale wedding for this romance author.

(for more wonderful wedding photos, see Kathy’s Facebook page)

7. What is next for you?

I am just finishing up The Duke’s Night of Sin (Avon, August 2010), book four, and beginning work on a mini-trilogy within the Seven Deadly Deadly Sins series, which is planned to be released in 2011 (very close together).

So, I am staying busy!

So now I have a question for all of you.

Each of my characters battles one of the Seven Deadly Sins: Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust, Wrath and Pride.

Usually when you hear of a series dealing with the Seven Deadly Sins, it’s a suspense or horror series—not a love and laughter romance. Right?

Given this, which sin is your greatest challenge? Be creative. Join the fun.

I’ll give away one signed copy of To Sin With a Stranger to one lucky commenter!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 34 Replies

Whenever people ask me about my agent Lucienne Diver I tell them that I write stuff, she sells it, and she’s really nice. But here’s her official bio:

Lucienne Diver joined The Knight Agency in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over six hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, romance, mystery, suspense and erotica. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Heart, and the Romantic Times Reader’s Choice, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. 

She’s also an author in her own right with her debut YA Vamped released in May 2009 by Flux. Further information is available at The Knight Agency, her author site, and her blog.

Everything I Need to Know About History I Learned from Roberta Gellis.

Okay, this isn’t entirely true, but it’s not terribly far off the mark either. Have you ever read a Roberta Gellis novel? Full of fantastic history and characters who are truly products of their time. The men are not necessarily enlightened, appreciating the heroine’s wit and independence at first banter. They’re as they would have been—largely focused on their estates and their wars. The women often start out as conveniences or distractions and end up earning every ounce of the hero’s respect.

This is not to say that I have trouble with historical heroes who are sometimes forward thinking. I’m sure they existed as well. I love the truly wonderful banter of men and women who give as good as they get. But I think it has to be kept in perspective, because what makes a historical romance truly remarkable and memorable to me is being transported to another time and place. I don’t just want to imagine the trappings, I want to run my fingers along them, breathe them in. Do they need airing out? Is the scent of the sachets they were stored with still redolent in the air?

I think that part of the reason the Regency era is so popular in romance is that it was such a rich time. It covered less than a decade of actual history, but so much happened within those years. The Napoleonic Wars, riots, decadence, reform, Jane Austen, Byron and Shelley (both of them), balls and banter and rakes, oh my! So much material to mine, it’s no wonder writers and readers never grow tired of it.

But what about other periods? The middle ages, with the invasions, crusades, Knights Templar, black death (okay, maybe the latter isn’t the stuff of romance) is equally rich, potentially missing only the glittering, over-the-top decadence of the Regency. The middle ages were a little more down and dirty and the church a little more…present…in everyday life.

Speaking of down and dirty—what about the old west? Pioneers and pistols, outlaws, lawmen, braves, snake oil salesmen, gutsy women….

You know, there’s just something to love about every time period. Been hearing that historical romance is a difficult sell? Well, I look on the New York Times bestseller list and at the sales on Publishers Marketplace and historical romance is still selling. But there are a lot of great stories well told already on the market. Sure, if your voice is amazing, the romance gripping and the action visceral, the sheer page-turning readability of your novel may be its own hook, but now more than ever it’s important to make your work really stand out. If I can’t think how I’d write a pitch letter or what a publisher might put in the back cover copy to distinguish your novel from a dozen others on the shelf, there’s a good chance I won’t take it that far.

So, what says excitement to agents and editors?

I asked Keyren Gerlach from Harlequin, who says that super-sexy historicals, like Courtney Milan’s January 2010 debut PROOF BY SEDUCTION, really stand out for them.
Kate Seaver from Berkley mentions Robin Schone’s erotic historical CRY FOR PASSION, which came out in March 2009. The author, she says, really knows her time period, has a distinctive voice and pushes the boundaries of her genre.

I’m going to mention a few more names, authors with very unique, chicklit voices in historical romance: the fabulous Janet Mullany (RULES OF GENTILITY), Kasey Michaels (THE BUTLER DID IT) and Kathryn Caskie (A LADY’S GUIDE TO RAKES).

Sometimes originality comes from the way disparate elements are combined, like the history and humor, sometimes it’s in the heat coming off the pages or the way a particularly intriguing event or historical figure is spotlighted. I love to learn even as I’m entertained! The important thing is to find that which makes your work special and unique and to give the reader a transcendent reading experience. There’s always room for transcendence!

Having Deb Marlowe (shown here at Wilton House) with us yesterday reminded me of our 2003 Regency Tour of England and made me think again about friends. I’ve said over and over that the real gift Romance Writing has given me is the gift of friendship from so many people all over the world, including the ladies who came with us on the trip..and everyone in our Risky Regencies community.

The gift keeps on giving.

When my children were small and I was finishing up my Masters in Social Work, I gave up sending Christmas cards and, as a result, I lost touch with my very dear college friends from Ohio University. In the last year or so, however, my college friends Eileen and Linda (here in our college dorm room) found me again because of the Romance Writing, because I’m on the web and was mentioned in our Alumni magazine. I even discovered that my friend Linda’s daughter lives not even five miles from me-close enough that I was able to have lunch with Linda, now living in Texas, when she visited her daughter.

This past week, however, takes the cake. I had a phone call from my old college boyfriend, Nigel (Yes, that’s Nigel and me, back in the distant past). I haven’t heard from Nigel in a brazillion years. He phoned me from a distant overseas location, where he is doing the sort of important work he’d always wanted to do. Nigel had been in England a couple of years ago and had seen one of my books, and later another one when he’d been in the States. (Nigel, as you can guess by his name, was born in England, but grew up in the US)

I love it that my Romance writing has put me back in touch with old friends.

I just watched Miss Austen Regrets (Don’t forget. We discuss Miss Austen Regrets tomorrow on Cara’s blog), and it ended with her sister Cassandra basically saying that her sister Jane was her best friend. This got me thinking of other Regency friends.

My Regency heroes often have a close male friend, a friend for whom he will do anything. Brummell had Alvanley. Wellington was a good friend to Castlereagh. Earlier there is the strange friendship between Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and Elizabeth Foster, who became the Duke’s mistress. Elizabeth’s and Georgiana’s children by the Duke all grew up together. And the friendship, as fellow writers, of Mary Robinson (The Prince Regent’s ‘Perdita’) and Mary Wollstonecraft.

I wonder if the Patronesses of Almack’s were friends….

Do you have any Romance Writing friendship stories to tell?

Can you think of any other Regency era friendships that I’ve forgotten?

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow when the JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB discusses Miss Austen Regrets!

You writers among us, come join the discussion of CHARACTER all this month on the Wet Noodle Posse Blog . There are prizes.

Speaking of prizes, come visit my website and enter my contest. My friend Kathryn Caskie, whose How To Propose To A Prince is due out Feb 26, and I are each giving away signed copies of the books that started our series. From Kathy, it will be How to Seduce A Duke, and from me, The Mysterious Miss M.

And that is the end of the commercials and my blog!

Remember me mentioning my Annual Registers? Annual Registers were compilations of important information of the previous year: world events, politics, news stories, births, deaths, marriages, promotions, even poetry sometimes. I wrote a bit more about them at History Hoydens last week.

When we both were very new Regency authors, my friend Kathryn Caskie called me to say that an antiquarian bookseller had several Annual Registers he was willing to sell, enough for each of us to have a complete set of 1810 to 1820. Was I interested? Was I!!! He sold them for $20 each, which was a bargain for us and a steal for him, because they were in such bad shape he probably would have thrown them away.

Here’s what they looked like, covers falling off, binding torn or missing, tape holding them together:
I priced rebinding, but it was much too expensive and I couldn’t justify spending more money on these books. They were usable and that was enough for me.

Then my husband’s friend came to visit. He’s a printer, which I always knew, but I didn’t know he was also a bookbinder! He had an old binding device and materials which he gave me with instructions on how to rebind my books!

Today I mustered the courage to give it a try. Here’s how I did it.

Step 1. I gathered the materials. (This is my dining room)

Step 2. I removed the old binding (I’m going to use that rolling pin)

Step 3. Next I lined up the cardboard.

Step 4. Then I glued it down and used the rolling pin to press it down and force out all the air bubbles. (This is my second try, using black cardboard)

Step 5. I glued on the inside lining and positioned the binding glue strip.

Step 6. I then placed the pages in the new binding and put it in the machine.


I’m a little sad to let the old binding go, especially on the books that have the least damage, but now I’ll be able to handle the books without them falling apart and crumbling in my hands and without the pages coming loose.

Have you ever rebound books? Or have you ever taken a chance on doing any kind of craft that you never did before?

(I can’t wait until tomorrow and Cara’s discussion of Northanger Abbey!)


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 18 Replies
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By