Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cara Elliott, Guest Blogging

I’d like to welcome author Cara Elliott who is touring the blogsphere this week and makes a stop here today at Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger.

Cara’s latest book is SURRENDER TO A ROGUE, the second in the Circle of Sin trilogy. Thanks to Cara, Anna and the folks at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of her book to giveaway. Please see the giveaway guidelines at the end of this post.

Here’s a brief synopsis of SURRENDER TO A ROGUE: “An expert in antiquities, Lady Alessandra della Giamatti arrives in Bath to excavate newly discovered Roman ruins-only to find herself caught in a web of evil intrigue by a blackmailer threatening to expose her scandalous past. The one man who can help her is Lord James "Black Jack" Pierson, a fellow member of the expedition and a sinfully handsome rogue whose tempting presence ignites a different sort of danger.

Jack has clashed with Alessandra in the past, so when she suddenly surrenders her body he can't help being suspicious. Is she a scheming temptress? Or is she truly a lady in trouble? As desire and deceptions swirl around them, Alessandra and Jack must find a way to win each other's trust. For if they don't work together to uncover a shocking truth, their enemy-and their own simmering passions-may destroy them and everything they cherish.”

I’ve asked Cara to explain why she decided to write about antiquities as Lady Alessandra’s line of work, to talk about her research and why she chose Bath.

I’ve been a history geek since I was little—it must have been all those great PBS specials on The Tudors and the secrets of the ancient Pyramids! And after seeing a show on the discovery of a Viking treasure trove in northern England, I became enamored with archeology. (My parents were not amused at the large holes that began appearing in the backyard, and I was told that Norse warriors had never, ever lived in suburban Connecticut.)

Alas, I was hopeless in science and math, so decided to pursue a different career path. However I’ve always remained fascinated by the subject. So when I conceived of my circle of scholarly ladies (The Circle of Sin) I knew right away that one of them would specialize in antiquities. And hey, I got to write an Indiana Jones-type hero! (Jack is a pretty dashing rogue! He doesn’t have a fedora but he does wear skin tight leather breeches.)

The city of Bath made a perfect setting for the book, because it’s been a “spa” town since ancient times. The Roman established a magnificent temple and underground thermal baths over two thousand years ago, which can still be visited today. It was really fun to research the history of the city and discover all the interesting people who spent time there. In the Regency era, it was a very popular watering hole. Jane Austen lived there for a bit, and it as the setting for Northanger Abbey (though she thought the city “a place of vapor, shadow, smoke and confusion.”) It also features prominently in Georgette Heyer’s romances.
In my book, I use the marvelous Roman ruins as part of the plot. Alessandra comes to Bath to help with an excavation, only to find that someone is threatening to dig up a dark secret from her past. She is not sure whether to trust Jack, and so . . .
Oh, but that would spoiling all the fun! I hope you’ll read their story and let me know what you think!

Cara, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. Now I understand why antiquities had to be Lady Alessandra’s line of work and Bath is an exciting setting.

For a little background on Cara, she started creating books at the age of five, or so her mother tells her. And she has the proof — a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses and bound with staples — to back up her claim. She has since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured her imagination ever since she opened the covers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. 

Cara has a BA and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and now work as the creative director of a lifestyle sporting magazine, a job which lets her combine her love of the printed word with her love of art. Cara said, “I’m very fortunate in that my work allows me to travel to interesting destinations around the world — however, my favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for my stories.” For more information, check out her website at and she blogs at

Now for the giveaway guidelines. I have 5 copies of SURRENDER TO A ROGUE to giveaway. To enter the giveaway, send me an e-mail ( with the “Win Surrender” in the subject line and be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the e-mail. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. The giveaway ends at 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, June 30.  

To listen to an interview with Cara, click here.


  1. But what if Norsemen HAD visited suburban Connecticut??? LOL

  2. Cara, thanks so much for stopping by today and guest blogging. I think being a 'history geek' has paid off well for you.

    Diane, I love that idea. Endless possibilities there. :)

  3. I love Cara's way of combining passions ... writing with her love of history. I think doing so really helps bring an enthusiasm to the page. It also enriches the whole writing process, including the research, when there is a passion for the subject. Thanks for sharing today.

  4. Mason - Thanks so much for hosting Cara.

    Cara - I'm a history buff, too, and I think it's so interesting that you've placed your book at those ancient Roman ruins. Sounds like a wonderful spot for a romantic mystery. I wish you well with your book.

  5. Funny how a handful of books (this is one of them) start stalking me. I run into them everywhere! Coincidence? I think not....

  6. I love reading about the backgrounds of writers and how their lives and loves directed their lives and their writing.

  7. I think Bath would be a fantastic location for a story! Great setting.

    I love the fact that you used to dig up your parents' yard looking for artifacts. :)

  8. Bath is such an interesting place, a juxtaposition of old and new—visit Roman ruins in the morning, stop at Starbucks and shop the Gap in the afternoon. The book sounds irresistible, Cara!

  9. Thanks Mason and Cara! Bath is such a beautiful town, I can imagine any novel set there would be a brilliant read!

  10. "To Surrender ..." sounds like a fine book. thanks for the heads-up and the guest post, both of you!

  11. Sounds like a fun summer read! :)

  12. This sounds like a great read. I enjoyed reading about your excavations. I grew up in London and discovered a piece of Roman pottery that I treasured for years. I later found out it was a cup my grandmother had broken.
    I can't wait to read your novel.
    Ann Summerville
    Cozy In Texas

  13. Ah, Bath - such a gorgeous place!

  14. I'm such a fan of PBS specials and who doesn't love British accents!! I'm thrilled when I read bits of history intertwined within a romance novel.

    Can't wait to read To Surrender to a Rogue.

  15. Sounds like a good book, sorry I was away and didn't get to enter the drawing. I'll have t look for it.

  16. I think being a 'history geek' has paid off well for you.
    Banner Advertising Network India

  17. I love Bath, history and Regency romances and can definitely empathize with Cara.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.