Dive Into Silk & Scandal with Harlequin Historical

by Joanne Grant, editor of the Harlequin Historical Silk & Scandal miniseries

I am here to tell you some very exciting news about a brand new Regency continuity in Harlequin Historical that starts in June 2010, but before I get into the details I thought I’d share with you the story of how the Silk & Scandal continuity came to be…

Over the last few years there have been a number of exciting and dramatic continuities commissioned for our contemporary series such as The Royal House of Karedes and the subsequent sequel, Dark-Hearted Desert Men (that launched in April), in Harlequin Presents, and The Brides of Bella Rosa in Harlequin Romance, which also begins in April. So we decided it was time to give Harlequin Historical a turn!

Once we had settled upon which authors we would like to approach, we were faced with the challenge of what we wanted our continuity to be about. We had strong ideas about what we love most about Regency historicals, and with eight books to play with we knew we could get many of these elements in, such as: roguish rakes, virgin brides, marriages of convenience, but we needed something to gel the continuity together – we needed the actual continuity element! That is when we decided to approach the authors. It was a brave move – our most recent continuities had been “bible-driven”, but we had confidence in our authors that they would “wow” us.

The authors brainstormed, and brainstormed some more, and I met with Louise Allen to discuss the ideas, but I knew we weren’t quite there yet. It is our jobs as editors to continually push authors for more – more innovation, more excitement and in this case, more scandal! And it seems that little word “scandal” was the light bulb moment for the authors. What followed was a flurry of activity between the authors, as they developed their ideas further, whilst we waited patiently. And boy, was it worth the wait!

When I was finally introduced to a scandalous back story involving a love triangle, a scorned gypsy lover, a murder, a curse, and a hanging with a silken rope, I was definitely intrigued, but when I was introduced to the continuity character – I was sold!

He was a man so dark and mysterious that there was debate amongst the authors as to whether he was too bad, and should remain a villain, but I have a soft spot for seemingly irredeemable alpha males, an anti-hero. Especially when they are sexy, seductive and as at home in a gambling hell hole as in a society ballroom. A man so shady that you know that beneath his stern, all-penetrating gaze, lies a complex mixture of emotions that can only be released by the right woman, and when that right woman comes along – the results will be explosive! A man so intriguing, that he will keep readers reading for eight books…yes, this was what the continuity needed, and so Stephano Beshaley AKA Stephen Hebden, was born and the Silk & Scandal continuity was created!

In a nutshell, each story in the miniseries has a passionate, intense, central relationship but with Stephano as the linking thread. He is a darkly dangerous, yet sexy stranger, out for revenge, delivering a silken rope as his calling card. Through him, a long-forgotten past is stirred to life, and the notorious events of 1794 which saw one man murdered and another hanged for the crime, are brought in to question. The final book is Stephano’s story when all is revealed!

Silk & Scandal

From glittering ballrooms to a Cornish smuggler’s cove; from the wilds of Scotland to a Romany camp – join with the highest and lowest in society as they find love in this thrilling new eight-book miniseries!

Has this whetted your appetite? I do hope so and if you just can’t wait to read book one (on sale NOW on eHarlequin.com), then we have just the thing! All six authors have collaborated on an online read, Seduced by the Dark Stranger. This serial introduces some of the heroes and heroines from the continuity and there is also a brief cameo by Stephano. You can read a new chapter in this story every Tuesday and Thursday in May! Also available this month is Christine Merrill’s Harlequin Historical Undone! prequel: Taming Her Gypsy Lover, a scorching read that takes readers back to 1794, when the scandal that is the basis for the continuity has just happened!

Don’t miss a single title in the Silk & Scandal continuity:

Book 1: The Lord and the Wayward Lady by Louise Allen, June 2010

Book 2: Paying the Virgin’s Price by Christine Merrill, July 2010

Book 3: The Smuggler and the Society Bride by Julia Justiss, August 2010

Book 4: Claiming the Forbidden Bride by Gayle Wilson, September 2010

Book 5: The Viscount and the Virgin by Annie Burrows, October 2010

Book 6: Unlacing the Innocent Miss by Margaret McPhee, November 2010

Book 7: The Officer and the Proper Lady by Louise Allen, December 2010

Book 8: Taken By the Wicked Rake by Christine Merrill, January 2010

And here are some of the book covers! More will be revealed as they become available.


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Comments ( 13 )
  1. Nancy O'Berry
    May 4, 2010 at 10:49 am
    Reply

    Oh I can’t wait to read. The story line looks awesome. I’ve seen a lot of discussion in the past month or so on continuing characters. I think its an awesome idea for a series whether the continuing character is hero – or the villain. Thanks for taking that leap!

  2. Marcie
    May 4, 2010 at 11:09 am
    Reply

    How do you decide on authors for a continuity? Do you choose based on who is available?

  3. Tweets that mention Dive Into Silk & Scandal with Harlequin Historical - Harlequin Blog -- Topsy.com
    May 4, 2010 at 11:23 am
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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Harlequin Books and Malle Vallik, beverleykendall. beverleykendall said: RT @HarlequinBooks: Editor Joanne Grant dives into the new Historical Silk & Scandal miniseries today on the blog! http://bit.ly/aFwoze […]

  4. sugar
    May 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    Reply

    sounds like great reading! Can’t wait to check them out.

  5. Joanne Grant
    May 5, 2010 at 6:48 am
    Reply

    Hi Marcie,

    Choosing authors for a project like this can depend on a number of factors, one of them being availability, but we also have to take into consideration the mix of author voices. With this continuity we wanted to showcase the variety of authors we have in Harlequin Historical, so we have British and North American authors, some who have been published for a number of years and some newer authors, all who have distinct voices but whom we felt would sit well together. We also chose authors who we hoped would enjoy collaborating closely with other authors (this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!) and hoped they all got along! I think it is fair to say all of the authors got along famously and loved working with each other 🙂

  6. Michelle Willingham
    May 5, 2010 at 7:14 am
    Reply

    Morning, Joanne!

    Can’t wait to read these books! I have an absolute LOVE of gypsies. There’s something so wild and untamed about them. It must have been fun to work with this project!

  7. Julia Justiss
    May 5, 2010 at 8:59 am
    Reply

    Jo, it was so interesting to get some insight into how the editors approached putting the continuity together.

    Michelle, get prepared for gypsy lore, both in Chris’s Undone and especially in Gayle Wilson’s CLAIMING THE FORBIDDEN BRIDE. There may even be some hedgehog recipes.

    And wow, did the authors ever enjoy collaborating on this! It’s been probably my favorite writing endeavor EVER; we created not only a series, but an enduring friendship. Fortunately, we get to keep collaborating as the series is released, since we’ll be doing blogs and features in a variety of venues over the next few months. We don’t want the association to end.

    In fact, Louise Allen created a special 2010 wall calendar for all of us, complete with period prints that complement the theme of each new book. (Louise, you need to post a pic of this over at the authors’ blog.)

    Thanks again, Jo, for giving us this opportunity!

  8. Christine Merrill
    May 5, 2010 at 9:53 am
    Reply

    I just finished The Lord and the Wayward Lady, and it was a fabulous read (and I’m not the least bit biased ).

    It had me tearing up in the airport, on the way back from the RT conference. And to see my characters written by someone else, but still exactly the way I’d imagined them?

    Working together on this really payed off for us.

  9. Marcie
    May 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    Reply

    Joanne – thank you for answering my question!

  10. Diane Gaston
    May 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm
    Reply

    Hi, Joanne!
    This is such an exciting concept. I know the authors have loved working on it, and I can’t wait for the books! (The covers are wonderful!!!)

  11. Louise Allen
    May 6, 2010 at 10:33 am
    Reply

    I’ve now read all of the first four and I’ve got the second four on order – and I can’t wait!
    So glad I had Christine tearing up – love it when I make a reader cry
    This was jsut such a joy to work on collaboratively – both the authors and the editorial team.
    And as soon as I’m back home I’ll post some of the illustrations I used for our calendar

  12. Camouflage pants guide
    May 28, 2010 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    Thanks! it’s helpful to me. Here you can always find the cool Camouflage lounge pants!…

  13. Laura E Mitchell
    January 6, 2013 at 1:29 am
    Reply

    Just got done reading and I was happy to know my mystery instincts were still good! Any chance of some sort of postscript set a few years later, especially the bad guy’s children?

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