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 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.