Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Maiden Lane Series Continues & A Giveaway

It’s always fun when historical writer Elizabeth Hoyt returns to Thoughts in Progress because it means there’s a new installment in her New York Times bestselling Maiden Lane series.

This, the fifth novel, is LORD OF DARKNESS in which Lady Margaret St. John arrives in London determined to do two things: seduce her husband in order to have a baby and kill the Ghost of St. Giles, the murderer of her true love. But what will she do when she discovers that the Ghost of St. Giles is her husband?

Thanks to Elizabeth and Marissa at Forever/Forever Yours, I have a very special giveaway to offer today. One winner will receive ALL 5 BOOKS in the Maiden Lane series. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.

Elizabeth has graciously answered several questions for me concerning her series and her writing.

Mason - For someone new to the Maiden Lane series, could you give a brief history of the various installments and how tWicked Intentionshey are connected?

The Maiden Lane series starts with Wicked Intentions which introduces readers to St. Giles, a desperately poor slum in Georgian London. Temperance Dews, the heroine, runs a home for orphan children in St. Giles with her brother, Winter Makepeace. One night while bringing home an orphaned newborn, she runs across the notorious Lazarus Huntington, Baron Caire. Caire is in St. Giles searching for the murderer of his mistress. He makes a bargain with Temperance: if she’ll help him traverse the secretive alleys of St. Giles, he’ll introduce her to society where she can find a patron for the home.

Notorious PleasuresBy the end of Wicked Intentions, Temperance has indeed found several patronesses, one of whom is Lady Hero Batten, the heroine of the next book, Notorious Pleasures. Lady Hero is betrothed to a marquess, but she finds his rakish brother, Lord Griffin Reading to be a much more interesting challenge.

In Scandalous Desires, Temperance’s sister, Silence Hollingbrook finds herself at the mercyScandalous Desires of the notorious river pirate, Charming Mickey O’Connor. Meanwhile, the Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante introduced in Wicked Intentions, continues to harass villains in St. Giles.

In Thief of Shadows, the Ghost is revealed to be Winter Makepeace. The elegantly aristocratic Lady Isabel Beckinhall has found him unconscious in St. Giles. The Ghost fascinates Lady Beckinhall, but Mr. Makepeace she finds quite maddening.
Thief of Shadows 
Which brings us to Lord of Darkness, my current book. At the end of Thief of Shadows it’s revealed that the Ghost of St. Giles is slightly more complicated than he initially appeared: he’s in fact three different men. Godric St. John has never recovered from the death of his beloved wife. Lord Griffin Reading blackmailed him into marrying Griffin’s sister, Lady Margaret. Lady Margaret lost her own true love to murder—but not before falling pregnant—hence the hasty marriage. Lady Margaret miscarried the baby shortly after the marriage and has lived in the country apart from Godric ever since. Now, two years later, she’s come to London both to seduce her husband in order to have a baby and to kill the Ghost of St. Giles, the supposed murderer of her lover. What she doesn’t know, of course, is that Godric is the Ghost of St. Giles.

Mason - Your book covers are always so gorgeous. How are the covers created and what is your involvement with them?

Aren’t they lovely? I’ve been very fortunate to have some very talented people at Grand Central Publishing working on my covers. My editor, Amy Pierpont, usually asks me about a year out for the physical characteristics of my hero and heroine and if I have any ideas for settings. That’s pretty much my entire involvement. ;-) 

From there, Amy gets together with the art department and brainstorms ideas. There’s a photo shoot with the models and then the artist makes a painting from the photos. Then there’s the arrangement of the title and my name, any quotes, and other stuff like the Maiden Lane cartouche. Making a cover is much more complicated than most readers know and I’m happy to leave it up to the experts.

Mason - What type of research did you do for your current release, LORD OF DARKNESS?

I didn’t do a whole lot for Lord of Darkness, mainly because it’s the fifth book in the series so I’d already researched the commediaHoyt_LordofDarkness_MM dell'arte (the Italian folk plays which the Harlequin comes from), St. Giles, sword fighting, stocking making, London, the Thames, fashions, etc. I like books, naturally, but I find I get a lot of my inspiration/research from visiting museums and looking at portraits from the time period.

Mason - When you wrote the first installment in the Maiden Lane series, WICKED INTENTIONS, did you decide beforehand it would be a series or did the characters decide and how many installments will there be?
I deliberately plotted Maiden Lane as a closely linked series. I wanted to be able to explore the characters, setting, and themes over several books so that the whole series has a kind of immersive feel (at least I hope it has an immersive feel.) 

I’ve already written the sixth book in the series, but much depends on my next contract on whether I’ll continue with Maiden Lane. I do have some ideas and characters I’d like to visit in Maiden Lane. ;-)

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Duke of Midnight is the sixth Maiden Lane book and it’ll be out mid October this year. The hero is Maximus Batten, the Duke of Wakefield who has been searching for the murderer of his parents for nineteen years. His heroine is Artemis Greaves, a lady’s companion to her cousin, Lady Penelope Chadwicke.

Elizabeth, thank you for stopping by and giving us a bit of background on this intriguing series. I enjoyed learning about the book covers. I never realized there was a photo shoot and then the painting for the cover. Amazing.

Elizabeth is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. Her books have finaled four times in Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award contest, have won two Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, and were nominated for a third. 

All of her books have received Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Both Wicked Intentions and Notorious Pleasures received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. Four of her books were voted into All About Romance's (AAR's) Top 100 Romances of All Time list and six were Desert Isle Keepers at AAR. Elizabeth's books have been translated into twelve languages. 

Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. For more on Elizabeth and her writing, visit her website,, where you will find contests, book excerpts, news, and Sidetracked Research Articles. You can also follow her on Twitter @ElizabethHoyt and find her on Goodreads and Facebook at

Now for the awesome giveaway. To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Maiden Lane Series.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win ALL 5 BOOKS in the Maiden Lane series is 8 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, March 23.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading a series that highlights different characters from previous books each time or do you prefer the series to focus on one main character?


  1. Elizabeth, thanks again for joining us today. Your book covers are beautiful and definitely catch your attention. Wishing you much success with this intriguing series.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Elizabeth.

    Elizabeth - I'm always impressed with the amount of research that goes into an historical series like yours. I also think it's creative of you to connect all of the books as you do, so that they don't always feature the same protagonist, but they're all related. I wish you much success.

  3. I think this series sounds great to read. I have been eyeballing it. I too love your covers that is what caught my eye and then the subject matter has me hooked.

  4. I love Elizabeth's historicals. This is a wonderful series. Thanks for the post.

  5. Just wanted to stop in to say that I just finished Lord of Darkness and LOVED it. There are still tears in my eyes from the ending. It is my favorite of the series. It now joins my short list of 5 star books. Thank you, thank you for such a wonderful story. (Can't wait for October!)


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