Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guest Blogger, Cara Elliott

Please join me in welcoming author Cara Elliott as the guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

“The Circle of Sin” is Cara’s seductively sexy new trilogy. The first installment in the series is “To Sin With a Scoundrel” which was released on March 1. The trilogy is about three unconventional female scholars who formed a bond of friendship through the weekly meetings of their Scientific Society. Each has an expertise in a certain field of science - and each has a slightly shady past that comes back to haunt them.

Here’s a brief synopsis of “To Sin With a Scoundrel:

A reclusive widow known for her scientific scholarship, Lady Ciara Sheffield is shadowed by rumors that she poisoned her husband . . . A rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, Lucas Bingham--the Earl of Hadley--is not accused of murdering anything--save for the rules of Polite Society. The only thing they have in common is seeing their names featured in the lurid gossip columns of London's newspapers. Until an ancient manuscript draws them together.

Ciara needs a titled fiancé to quell the slanderous speculations which may send her to the gallows. Lucas needs brilliant scholar to help his elderly uncle decipher the secrets of the mysterious manuscript. So when her friends urge her to accept the earl's proposal of a temporary alliance, Ciara decides that she has no choice but to make a deal with the Devil. And so begins a seductive dance of sinful pleasures and hidden desires as the two of them waltz through the mansions of Mayfair. Lies, intrigue, treachery, sex. They find themselves facing slanderous whispers, unscrupulous relatives-not to speak of their own simmering passions, which quickly ignite into dangerous flames. It's a potent mix and the result may be explosive-and perhaps deadly-if they don't watch their step.

I have five copies of “To Sin With a Scoundrel” to giveaway. More details at the end of the post.

Cara is join us today to talk about what draws her to write historical romance as opposed to modern romance.

I fell in love with Jane Austen and her era at an early age. Ladies in ball gowns! Men in knee breeches! Dancing in the soft glow of candlelight! The romance of Regency England simply swept me off my feet . . .

And it still does. I love the Regency because it was a fabulously interesting time and place—a world a-swirl in silks, seduction and the intrigue of the

Napoleonic Wars. Radical new ideas were clashing with the conventional thinking of the past. People were questioning the fundamentals of society, and as a result they were fomenting changes in every aspect of life.

For example, you had Beethoven composing emotional symphonies, Byron composing wildly romantic poetry about individual angst, J.M.W. Turner dabbling in impressionistic watercolors and Mary Wollstonecraft writing the first feminist manifestos.

So trust me, London was a pretty swinging city in the early 1800s. You had drugs, you had sex, you had bad boy—and bad girl—celebrities partying hard and flaunting their wealth. And you had women rebelling against their traditional roles. Gossip and scandal were a big part of everyday life.

If you look at the satirical prints by Rowlandson and Gillray, you’ll see that they were as cutting as the paparazzi of today—and society just ate them up! As for sex, the lords and ladies of the Regency were pretty wild. (Why do you think their children rebelled and became the Victorians?) So as an author, I can’t help feeling, oh, what a perfect setting for the unconventional heroines of my new “Circle of Sin” trilogy.

But no matter what era we romance authors choose for our books, we all deal with the same elemental human emotions. How our heroes and heroines grapple with doubts, fears, and conflicts—and ultimately come to celebrate the redemptive power of love is at the core of our stories.

All of which is to say that I believe historical romances can be every bit as exciting, sexy, and relevant to modern readers as contemporary stories. I hope those of you who haven’t read historicals lately will give them a try!

Cara, I never thought of Regency England in those terms. It does make a difference.
And the cover of "To Sin With a Scoundrel" makes me think romance with the soft colors and the subjects (of course). Cara, thanks so much for guest blogging here today.

I have five copies of “To Sin With a Scoundrel” to giveaway, thanks to Cara, Anna and the Hachette Book Group. To enter the giveaway send an e-mail with “Win To Sin” in the subject line and be sure to include your name and address in the body of the e-mail. The giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and and Canada only and no post office box addresses. The giveaway ends March 20. 

Cara has an 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. According to Cara, she is very fortunate in that her work allows her to travel to interesting destinations around the world. She said her favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for her stories. For more on Cara check out her website at and her blog at Word Wenches


  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Cara. Cara - I've always had a love for historical fiction. Regency England is a fascinating time in history, so I'm not surprised you were particularly drawn to that period in time. There were a lot of exciting events that can be used as "backdrop," and even the customs of the time are interesting. I wish you the best with your trilogy.

  2. This time period seems to be making a huge comeback in books today. Or maybe I'm just becoming aware of it. Either way, it seems to be very popular (for good reason).

    Straight From Hel

  3. You've picked a great place and time to write about, Cara! I bet the research was fun and interesting.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. I love your descriptive explanation of the Regency era. I've always loved historical romance, for many of the reason you talked about. The era itself is so full of opportunity for great scenes and stories, and your trilogy sounds captivating!

  5. Fun post, and a great title. Who wouldn't want to sin with a scoundrel!

  6. Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by. I think historical romance are definitely making a comeback.

    Cara, thanks for guest blogging here today. I look forward to reading this, it sounds so interesting.

  7. I love historical fiction of any genre, so bring it on!

    No need to enter me in the contest (even though this isn't how you enter!). I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail, Mason. I've got this posted at Win a Book.

  8. It definitely sounds like an interesting time period to write about. Perfect for some rowdy romance!

  9. Sounds like a fun romance with an unconvential heroine. Good stuff!

  10. Oooh, sounds hot and fun! I always like intelligent, educated women.

  11. Susan, thanks for adding this to your site.

    Janel, Jemi and Mary, this does sound like an interesting time that would bring out the intelligent women of the era.

  12. I love regencies and I'm glad they're making a comeback!
    Thanks for hosting Cara, Mason, and for visiting my site.
    I'll be back.
    (Could you check the link to Word Wenches, Mason? Might just be my Internet connection but I couldn't reach it.)

  13. Kathy, thanks so much. There was something wrong with the Word Wenches link. I think I've got it fixed now, so sorry.


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