Saturday, 3 November 2012

Guest post by Samantha Kane + Giveaway

Today I would like to introduce you to Samantha Kane, who stops by Ex Libris to reveal some of the behind the scenes secrets of her latest historical romance series: the Saint's Devils series. The first book of the series, The Devil’s Thief will be released on November 12th, so join us as Samantha tells you about the inspiration behind the series and let her whet your appetite for some sexy and romantic Robin Hood stories ;-)

A funny thing happened on the way to writing The Devil’s Thief—a completely different book showed up. The series idea was originally a group of girl friends from a boarding school that resort to stealing from well-known rakes in order to keep the school open, and it was supposed to be erotic. I was toying with that series idea with another author, and we even went so far as to run it by her editor at her then-publisher. That was over five years ago. That series was shelved for various reasons, although mainly because both our schedules were already full and we simply couldn’t commit to another series at that time. But the idea for the first story—a young, innocent girl who gets caught stealing a priceless gem from a notorious rake—was put in a folder for a later date.

Fast-forward a couple of years to the release of Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey, Jr. I loved RDJ’s portrayal of Holmes and before the movie was even over I’d come up with a new character and a new series. Sir Hilary St. John is a secondary character in The Devil’s Thief. The series, The Saint’s Devils, is named after St. John. It refers to his group of friends from school, all notorious rakes. St. John is a brilliant, hedonistic Sherlock Holmes type character, and I pretty much based him on RDJ’s Holmes, albeit with a little less social awkwardness and a lot more sexual awareness. In each book in the series, beginning with The Devil’s Thief, St. John will help his friend’s solve a mystery involving their heroine.

Once I had the idea for St. John’s character, I knew I wanted to write a series about a group of men rather than focusing on the heroines as I had in the first series idea. So the Saint’s Devils were born. I dusted off Alasdair and Julianna’s story idea and adjusted it to fit the new series. I also made it mainstream rather than erotic.

I had fun writing this particular group of male friends. They are all witty, slightly dissipated and jaded, and utterly bored with their lives. I liked referring back to escapades from their youth. I mention the time Alasdair fell off a roof because he was drunk and he was unconscious for several days and broke his leg, prompting St. John to write to his guardian, the Earl of Throckton, just in case Alasdair died. Later in the book upon seeing another Devil, Edward Lyttle, for the first time in years, Alasdair brings up the fall, accusing Lyttle of pushing him off a roof when they were drunk and breaking his leg, a charge Lyttle denies vehemently.

For Alasdair’s heroine I wanted a complicated character. The book was going to begin with her stealing a precious gem. I had to give her a justifiable reason for doing so—she needs the money to support a foundling home—but I didn’t want to make her a thief with a heart of gold. I wanted a lady who resorts to burglary, someone who has to hide her true self because of a painful childhood. I liked the idea of Alasdair meeting the real, passionate, thieving Julianna first, before he meets the quiet, unassuming genteel Julianna the world knows. And I had to make them equally culpable in the theft of the pearl. Thus the famous bargain was made—one night in Alasdair’s bed in exchange for the pearl. Just the sort of thing a notorious rake would do, and exactly the opposite of what Julianna would do in her real life. When she accepts the bargain—because she wants to, she wants Alasdair and has since she first saw him—she begins to accept that passionate side of herself that would steal a priceless gem and seduce a notorious rake to get it.

Do you like romances that contain surprises? Ones that end up in an entirely different place than you anticipated?

Reviewers have called Samantha Kane “an absolute marvel to read,” and “one of historical romance’s most erotic and sensuous authors.” Her books have been called “sinful,” “sensuous,” and “sizzling.” She is published in several romance genres including historical, contemporary and science fiction. Her erotic Regency-set historical romances have won awards, including Best Historical from RWA's erotic romance chapter Passionate Ink, and the Historical CAPA (best book) award from The Romance Studio. She has a master's degree in American History, and taught high school social studies for ten years before becoming a full time writer. Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.

Connect with Samantha at her website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

Book #1 in the Saint's Devils series

The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.

Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.


Samantha is giving away a Netgalley preview ebook copy of The Devil’s Thief to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just leave a comment answering Samantha's question: Do you like romances that contain surprises? Ones that end up in an entirely different place than you anticipated?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 11 November 2012!

Good luck!

ps. For more chances to win follow Samantha on her blog tour.

You can now enter to win a paperback copy of The Devil’s Thief on Goodreads

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