Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unwrapping: Interview with Romance Author Gaelen Foley + Giveaway!

An interview with New York Times Bestselling Author of Historical Romance, Gaelen Foley - can it get any better than this? Would it surprise you to know the answer is YES?

I'm so excited because not only has Gaelen graciously consented to join us for some Q & A but she's going to reveal some wonderful news and award a copy of her first Inferno Club Romance - MY WICKED MARQUESS to one lucky commenter! It told you it could get even better.

Yesterday marked the release of MY RUTHLESS PRINCE, book 4 of the Inferno Club Series featuring some of the best heroes and heroines you can meet in print.

In case you're not acquainted with the men of the Inferno Club, they are a scandalous gathering of wealthy libertines and highborn rakehells devoted to their wicked pleasures. At least that's how the Club's members are known to London Society.  Little does the world suspect their true purpose or the danger that looms over England which these select, powerful lords are secretly sworn to fight.  Brave men, recruited as lads from noble familes and trained in an array of deadly arts,  are sent to countries throughout Europe to hunt down and destroy their targets. The members of the Inferno Club are operatives of an agency so secret that few beyond the Crown and a select few top officials even know it exists.

* In MY RUTHLESS PRINCE, the Earl of Westwood is suspected by his brother warriors of having turned traitor, but Emily Harper knows this is impossible for the man she has loved since childhood—as impossible as a marriage between them could ever be—she, the gamekeeper’s daughter and he, a bold and adventurous nobleman.

Driven by hatred and revenge, Westwood is playing a deadly game of deception, bent on destroying the enemy’s dark conspiracy from the inside, and he’s furious when Emily plunges herself into danger for his sake. Forced into close quarters, their long-suppressed desire explodes into all-consuming passion.

Emily knows her love can save him…but Drake is a man who doesn’t want to be saved.  *

Gaelen Foley is one of the most talented writers in the Romance genre. Her stories are gripping and so well-researched that the readers may feel as if they are actually there in Regency London. Gaelen is one of those intelligent Romance Writers who write intelligent Romance Novels for intelligent Romance Novel Readers. She's an award-winning author who has written seventeen historical romances which are available in 15 languages.  I wonder if John Grisham can claim that?

Since she's very busy working on her next novel even as her newest release is only now on the shelves, I thank her very much for giving us some of her precious time.  I hope you will join me in welcoming Gaelen here today.

Amy:  Gaelen, thank you so much for joining us, it's such a delight for me to have you here and since you are quite busy, we won't keep you long.
You mentioned in your bio interview that you knew you wanted to write as early as high school. I can relate because that was when I was inspired to write and major in English in college. I began to hone my writing talents with poetry and short stories. What direction did your creative juices take you in the beginning?

Gaelen:  When I was little, I used to write plays for my sisters and cousins and neighborhood kids to act out for our audience of parents and doting grandparents. But my main thing early on (kind of embarrassing!) was actually poetry.

Amy:  LOL! I know what you mean, I thought my poetry was pretty good at the time but when I read it now, omg!
Over the years, you've created quite a library of works. The majority of which are centered around Regency England. I know this is your favorite era in history yet your first published novel was THE PIRATE PRINCE. This wonderful story was actually your fifth completed manuscript, if I'm correct. In regards to the first four, were they Regency Romances and were they ever published or are they still living on a shelf somewhere?

Gaelen:  They were all historicals, but they were all over the map. I had one with a gambler on a Mississippi paddlewheel boat. Another took place in Habsburg Vienna in the late 1700's. My favorite one was a treasure hunt historical with hero and heroine fighting their way into the jungles of Central America searching for some lost Mayan temple. Oh, wow, now that I think of it, one of them actually WAS a contemporary--but it wasn't really a romance. It was kind of like that dreadful 80's movie with Robert Downey Jr., "Less Than Zero." (LOL) I think it was trying to be literary fiction, but that could never work for me because, go figure, I prefer happy endings. The fifth one, I can't remember. I guess it must've been pretty forgettable!!!

Amy:  Well, then I guess that last one is living way back on a shelf somewhere! I actually think some of the others sound very interesting especially the Mayan temple adventure. I hope you'll consider revisiting them someday. 
We all fell madly in love with the Knights, (my particular fave is bad boy, Lucien) and then along came the cousins in the Spice Trilogy, oh my! [fanning myself] Now, we are fully in love with and ensconced in the adventures of the Inferno Club members. When you began the Knight Family Series, did you already see the adventurous and mysterious dealings of the Inferno Club looming on the horizon?

Gaelen:  No, not at all. I was totally focused on one book at a time and didn't really start thinking about what to do next until I had turned in the complete manuscript for the final Spice book, HER EVERY PLEASURE. I took a good long rest after that, then started developing the Inferno Club series. Once I had a proposal together for the Inferno series, we ended up having an auction. I don't normally report my deals to Publisher's Lunch, but a few different houses were interested, which was something I could never have dreamed would happen to me back in my pre-pubbed days. I ended up choosing Avon. I LOVE my editor, Lucia Macro, and can't say enough good about Avon and their extremely supportive publicity dept and sales team. Avon is really good at publishing historical romance, in particular.

Amy:  That's wonderful to know that you think so highly of them for I'm hoping to call myself an Avon author some day. I've been reading Avon romances forever and tend to follow their authors more than other publishers and perhaps now I know why although it something I've always suspected - they have the best authors and strong author loyalty. 

With the release of MY RUTHLESS PRINCE, which is now available for sale, we are pulled into the dangerous world of treachery and deception with Drake and Emily. It sounds dangerous and very exciting! We're all hoping Emily can save Drake from his desire for revenge and from himself. Next up, I understand that it will be Beau and Carissa's turn to encounter their own mysteries and dangers but we'll have to wait until next Fall for that one. How many more members of the Inferno Club do you see emerging to have their stories told?

Gaelen:  Well, Amy, that is the great question ...and you and your blog readers can be the first to know (cuz I haven't yet announced it) that there will be three more books after MY RUTHLESS PRINCE. For those who are following the series, you probably saw Beau's book coming, so that won't be a surprise (Autumn 2012). If you recall, our rakish pal Beau has been worried as hell about his two buddies, Nick and Trevor, who haven't been heard from in months. Here's a hint: They're alive! *g* But all is not well...

Amy:  OMG!! That IS very exciting news and folks, you heard it here first!! I was hoping you would say there would be more ... that is wonderful news indeed!
Gaelen, thank you for your time, I know how busy you are right now and I do so appreciate you coming to visit us. I have but one more question and it's not at all related to any of the above. If you could become any character from any book, who would it be and why?

Gaelen:  Hmm...what a fun question!! Well...I think I would love to become Jane Bennet from Pride & Prejudice, at least for a few days. The reason is that she's SUCH a good, kind, gentle, obedient person. I would love to find out what it feels like to be that sweet and good and demure, lol. I'm much more of a headstrong, passionate Marianne Dashwood by nature, LOL (see Kate Winslet in Sense & Sensibility) Ah well, it's better to admit one's own flaws than have someone else point them out to you, ha ha. If I couldn't be Jane Bennet, then I'd opt for Melanie Wilkes in Gone With The Wind for the same reason. Such a saint! What must that be like?? Unfortunately, I already have plenty in common with Scarlett, lol. What about you? Who would you be? Do tell!

Amy:  I love asking that question because it generally gives us some interesting insight into the person living beneath the surface.  Gaelen, I believe there's some Jane Bennet or Melanie Wilkes in you but I suspect you would soon be bored but then again being like Scarlett or Marianne Dashwood isn't such a bad thing ... they were both romantics, much more than Jane or Melanie.  Thank you again for visiting us today!

Gaelen:  Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog today, Amy! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year to you all! Don't forget, if you would like to read Ch. 1 of MY RUTHLESS PRINCE, it is posted at my website, at  All the best!

Amy:  You're welcome here any time and I am personally very excited about reading MY RUTHLESS PRINCE. Drake sounds sexy and dangerous, so until my next pretend 'boyfriend' comes along, I'd like to be Emily just because she gets to have a thrilling adventure with Drake.   ; )

So how about y'all ... Gaelen would like to hear who you would be if you could be any character from any book?  Answer Gaelen's question in a comment and please be sure to leave your email address to qualify for a chance to win a copy of Gaelen's first book in the Inferno Club series, MY WICKED MARQUESS - the one that started it all.

The Marquess of Rotherstone has decided it’s time to
restore the family's good name. But as a member of
the Inferno Club, he knows there is only one way to
redeem himself in Society's eyes:  marry a lady of
impeccable beauty and breeding, whose reputation
is, above all, spotless. Someone quite unlike
Daphne Starling. True, she's temptingly lovely, but
a jilted suitor has nearly ruined her reputation.
Still Max cannot resist her allure - or the challenge
of proving London's gossips wrong. He would
do anything to win her hand ...
and show that even a wicked marquess can make a perfect husband.

This Giveaway is open to U.S. COMMENTERS ONLY! This Giveaway will run till the end of the year - literally. This contest will close at 11:59 PM EST, on Saturday, December 31st. Remember, if you don't leave an e-mail address, you will NOT be entered for a chance to win MY WICKED MARQUESS.  (for further info, see my FTC Guidelines.)

Happy Reading Everyone and Good Luck!



Beebs said...

So many heroes, I'd like to play heroine to, it's very hard to choose.

From Gaelen's books I'd happily play the Masked Raider for Rafe or gift wrap myself for Rohan.

From the classics I'd have to be Lizzy Bennett just to get Darcy in my clutches.

I think my favourite heroine is still Jess from Lord of Scoundrels, she's smart, funny, compassionate and will stop at nothing to get what she wants including shooting Dain. *g*

Amy Valentini said...

Beebs, I'd wrap myself in anything for Rohan! [fanning myself]

Lisa said...

Hi Gaelen! Great to see you here. :)

Hhmm, the obvious answer would be of course I'd love to be Elizabeth Bennet, and end up with Darcy. I mean, win-win-win situation if there ever was one!

I think I would also like to be Kate Sheffield in JQ's The Viscount Who Loved Me. Kate and Anthony's book is my favorite in the series because I love battle-of-the-sexes books. The sparks fly every time Kate and Anthony banter and go at each other's throats and the way that turns into a loving passionate marriage is delicious. I would also get to learn how to play Pall Mall too. :)
P.S. See you back at The Ballroom! :)

Olivia Kelly said...

I just love Beatrix from Love in the Afternoon, by Lisa Kleypas. She is smart, funny, loyal and brave- all the qualities I someday hope to perfect. She is also impulsive and a little kooky, qualities I ALREADY embody, so hey, I'm half-way there! ;)

The_Book_Queen said...

I've never really thought about a heroine I'd like to be...I mean, I've thought of a lot of heroes I'd like to have, but I've always pictured me in the picture as myself, you know? :D

However, if I had to choose, I'd say....I'd have to go with Olivia on this one and choose Beatrix. I loved her book, and I loved her as a character--she was unique and very comfortable with who she was. And if I couldn't be her, I'd at least love to have her as a friend! :D

The_Book_Queen AT yahoo DOT com (My Holiday Giveaway ends 12/31/11....)

Gaelen Foley said...

Hello, Amy! Hello everyone, incl. familiar faces from the Ballroom Blog. Thanks for coming to continue my Launch Week Festivities with me for the release of My RUTHLESS PRINCE. I really appreciate the support.

It would not be that fun if I had to celebrate it all my lonesome!!lol. Amy, I really appreciate you having me and am humbled by your praise. :)

I wanted to second the choice of Lord of Scoundrels as one of the best romances ever. I will never forget Dain shooting the noses off the cherubs in that old, but ostentatious drawing room where he had harlots on each knee, if I recall correctly. I still can't believe I got to be in an anthology with Loretta Chase and the great Stephanie Laurens (see Royal Weddings). I thought I was dreaming when I got the offer to participate.

Anyhoo, I hope you all are having a grand day. It's wonderful to be here! If anyone wants to see Ch. 1 of MY RUTHLESS PRINCE btw it's posted on my website at


Amy Valentini said...

Praise well deserved! I'm a big fan, what can I say! <3

So what do y'all think about Nick and Trevor getting their own stories? Isn't that great news?! : )

Beebs said...

Hahaha! Loved that scene in the drawing room and Jess' reaction to it.

Looking forward to meeting Nick and Trevor and reading their stories.

Kim said...

I'd have to pick Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, too. I also wish I could be as witty as a Julie James heroine in any of her contemporary romances.


Amy Valentini said...

Love the characters y'all have chosen ... I wonder if the characer you've chosen is more similar or opposite then you. I would choose a character that would most certainly be opposite of me, Elinor Dashwood! I've so many times wished I could step into her shoes and smack a few people upside the head, especially Fanny and Lucy Steele! I'd never be able to be soooo sensible! : )

Gaelen Foley said...

Ok, my comment of a little while ago didn't show up here (I think my computer hates me today) - but I was going to say that Elinore's sensible-ness (as opposed to Marianne's sensibility) is kind of her problem, isn't it? I know Jane Austen writes her far more sympathetically than she does the rest of the cast...which makes me sure Jane must've thought of herself as entirely sensible (which is weird for a writer, jmo, but we're not generally described as sensible, as a breed).

At any rate, that was one of the things I liked best about S&S - how Elinore and Marianne are on two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Actually (and I don't mean to be controversial) I thought the tone Jane Austen used in writing ABOUT Marianne was pretty snarky - constantly ragging on her. She wrote her to be much more obnoxious than the adorable Kate Winslet played her in the movie with Emma Thompson. (I've just been rereading it and this is what jumped out at me this time.)

What jumped out at me even more than that is all the characters toward whom Jane Austen seems to take a giant eyeroll attitude. It's not like the warm/fuzzy world the way they make her stories play in the movies. I'm not sure Jane liked most of her characters, but rather was just spoofing everyone and venting about people like that who may have lived with/around her and drove her crazy.

The big exceptions are Elinore and Elizabeth...anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about that, because I'm not a mocker by nature. I like to laugh, but not AT people. Shrug.

Well, not that a mere mortal like me can possibly judge an immortal like Jane Austen. But I do seem to bond better with characters whose authors go out of their way to make me think, This is a person I'd like to have for a friend.


Amy Valentini said...

Wow, Gaelen, I think you just summed up Miss Jane completely in that comment. I think you're right that she didn't like most of her characters. When you read her works, there is generally one character in each that you like, unconditionally, the others all seem to have annoying flaws or you dislike them completely. Even Darcy, tell me that y'all don't want to smack him silly because he's so arrogant but then you come to love him just as Lizzie does.
I love "Sense and Sensibility" and being the oldest of 3 sisters, I can relate to Elinor but I never would've put up with the things she did to keep the peace. Perhaps Miss Jane saw herself flawed because as a creative person, she was unable to be sensible and wanted to be.
I agree with Gaelen, creative types like writers, can be anything but sensible! Highly emotional and reactive is more our style!
And true, if you can't see yourself sitting down for a casual chat or a stroll in the park with a character, you're not going to connect. Something Miss Gaelen and Miss Jane have in common. It's not just those fabulous men of the Inferno Club that keep us coming back but we like the ladies, too - just want to be in their shoes. : )

Di said...

I haven't read this Inferno Club series yet & I always like to start at the beginning. I'd love to be an adventurous heroine, maybe in Medieval times (but just for a visit - I like indoor plumbing).

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Gaelen Foley said...

Indeed, here's to indoor plumbing!

Amy, I should probably have my head examined for any criticism from little ole me to Jane Austen, but it was really just perplexity, not disapproval, I suppose.

OTOH, have you ever seen the quotes from famous authors who couldn't stand Jane Austen's books? It's shocking! Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, and I think Emerson just haaaated her books. There are more...I can't remember them right now. I had researched it in preparation for my talk at the Jane Austen festival.

I just think it's interesting that the Hollywood interpretation is this darling, warm, fuzzy, sweet, Regency world, and Jane is pretty crisp and has that cool emotional restraint.

On a research note, I definitely raised an eyebrow at the part where Marianne goes off for hours unseen with Willoughby. Nobody on the Beau Monde would've let their heroine get away with that. But Jane was writing about behavior in her day, and while Elinore definitely disapproved, Marianne's disappearance with the rakish W. didn't seem to cause the screams of horror that we in today's RegencyLand would expect it to.

Just another random observation of a current reread of Sense & Sensibility. I do think Jane liked Colonel Brandon rather well--she does approve of him and he's another one who completely hides his emotions; it's the expressive, emotional characters that she seems to get so annoyed with. Hm, send in the shrinks to explain that to us... lol. (Just, dear God, don't analyze me based on my fiction. LOL. Lord only knows what conclusions one could draw--!)

Gaelen ;>

June M. said...

I think I would want to be Alice from the Knight Miscellany books. I have always loved Lucien Knight! He is sexy, a little twisted, but still a good, caring person.
I would love to be entered in the contest if the book is autographed. I love Gaelen's books, but don't have any autographed copies :(
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Dalila G. said...

Hi Gaelen and Amy!

Great post and lots of neat information on your up and coming books.
I'm just happy you will continue with THE INFERNO CLUB series. I would like to read about Beau and see what's up with Nick and Trevor, YAY for us lucky readers!

I do like a lot of the answers here. The only thing I keep going round and round with, is that all I want from any of the women characters is their tiny waist!! LOL! I'll pick anyone of them as long as they have a small, trim, little waist as it's always described in the books. :-)

I know, not good of me, can't help myself....hanging head in shame.

Wishing you the best Ms. Gaelen!

P.S. ~ Please do not enter my name in giveaway, already have this wonderful book! :-)

Gaelen Foley said...

Dalila, you're so cute. :) You know, if you look at portraits of women who were considered major babes back then, they were much more normal sized women. Scarlett O'Hara's famous 18-inch waist must have looked like a freak of nature. Google images of Emma Hamilton or Georgiana Devonshire. They were considered two of the hottest women of their time. Each of them is about 2 or 3 Angelina Jolies in body mass index, lol. Fwiw! LOL.


Amy Valentini said...

So glad y'all have joined us. June M. Lucien, twisted! NO, really! Oh, but in a good way, I love Lucien best, too! It's the bad boy thing.
Gaelen, Miss Jane had her opponents that's for sure but then those who are there from the start tend to. Fielding took a lot of criticism for TOM JONES and those were based on letters.
Our movie images of the ladies of the past are based on today's fashions. If you were skin and bones in those days, you didn't last long. You need some meat on your bones to keep you healthy. Remember, too, women were considered 'handsome' not 'beautiful' in those days. And handsome didn't mean quite the same thing we consider beautiful today! : )

Gaelen Foley said...

That is a very good point! Well, ladies, thank you so much for having me today. It's time for me to shut down the computer and pay a little attention to the husband. Thanks so much for all the fun comments and conversation today. I don't know who'll win the contest, but good luck to all!

Visit my website and drop me a line any time. I'm hosting tomorrow, so if you get a free moment, hope to see you there. Thanks so much, again.


Amy Valentini said...

Gaelen, thank you for joining us ... it's definitely been a treat! See ya in the Ballroom. xoxo

Maureen said...

Amy and Gaelen,

This was a fabulous read, wonderful comments and some terrific insights in to some great minds! Thank you to all the commenters I learned so much about everyone.

I am so excited that the Inferno series will continue on for a while, I get so depressed when an awesome series ends. :(

As to the my favorite character - it would have to be any of the lucky ladies who end up with the Boscastle men from Jillian Hunter's series, primarily Eleanor from A WICKED LORD AT THE WEDDING, is she like me? Nope, I may be tough but don't do conflict well, and more often than not end up doing a really good impression of a rug! Eleanor takes a stand, has an exciting mission and fights for her independence from an absent husband despite their attraction, gutsy! I'd probably say "oh yes sweety" batting my eyelashes demurely,LOL!

I wouldn't change my life as it is, because I don't believe regret should be a part of anyone's life, but boy I sure wish I had Eleanor's Chutzpah!

Thanks for the great blog Amy, I love visiting!

Best wishes to you both, and Happy New Year!

Maureen :>