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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Stefanie Sloane: Regency Spies, and the Elizabethan Inspiration

Linda Banche here. Today I welcome Stefanie Sloane and the three books in her Regency Rogues series: The Devil in Disguise, The Angel in My Arms and The Sinner Who Seduced Me. Those of you who like historical spy stories (I LOVE spy stories) will want to check out the series.

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of the Regency Rogues book of your choice. See below for more details.

And the winner Stefanie selected is Maria! Congratulations, Maria, and thanks to all for coming over.

Welcome, Stefanie!

Stefanie Sloane:

First, thank you to the Historical Hussies for kindly inviting me here for a chat. Now, here’s a question that I’m asked quite often: what inspired you to write about spies?

In many ways, the inspiration behind my Regency Rogues series began with the movie, Elizabeth. Oh, I’d heard of Sir Francis Walsingham during my school years, of course. But it wasn’t until the Working Title film that Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster got me thinking. I know, I know—Elizabeth was absolutely riddled with historical inaccuracies and artistic license taken to the limits.

But the fact remains that the man captured my imagination.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who found him to be keenly unforgettable. Queen Elizabeth met Walsingham through mutual friends, including such notable men as Robert Dudley and Sir William Cecil. In 1570, Elizabeth assigned Sir Francis as ambassador to France—a terrible honor, if ever there was one, considering the queen’s desire to establish an alliance between England, Charles IX, and the Huguenots. Despite Walsingham’s best efforts, Catholic opposition proved too powerful and he returned to England defeated—but not undone. Elizabeth saw in Walsingham a man she could trust and put to good use.

And put to good use she did. He’d no more crossed the channel and set foot on British soil before the queen appointed him joint principal secretary alongside Sir Thomas Smith. Smith retired in 1576, leaving Walsingham in charge. One of his many duties included foreign intelligence—a subject matter close to the man’s heart. It is rumored that he’d been spying for Cecil from as early as 1567, reporting on the movements of foreign spies in London. His new position put an official stamp on his favored pastime, and he set to work building an efficient and impressive intelligence network the likes of which the world had never seen before.

He’s long been considered a forerunner of modern intelligence methods, one of the first to use agent provocateurs with 53 agents at foreign courts and another 18 whose duties are, to this day, a closely held secret. His men were trained in the art of deciphering correspondence, forgery, and many other, less reputable skills. As for the identities of his spies, the famous playwright Christopher Marlowe was rumored to be in Walsingham’s employ, as was Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno. But these are all just rumors, still—which, in my opinion, speaks to the man’s significance.

Yes, Rumors. Even more than his having thwarted both the Throckmorton and Babington plots to regain Elizabeth’s throne for Catholic rule, Sir Francis Walsingham’s ability to keep secrets—even from beyond the grave--is part of his mystique, at least for me. Sure, spies are all about secrets. But Walsingham managed an intricate network that included both Catholic and Protestant alike, stars of the stage and political big-wigs—all without any real rulebook, so to speak. He created and managed, directed and oversaw, during one of the most turbulent times in English history.

Fascinating stuff. And ripe for fictional pillaging, wouldn’t you agree? What if Walsingham’s men were as fascinating as the time they lived in? Why would anyone assume that they were immune to love’s lure? And if an author was to imagine an agent in Walsingham’s employ, where and when would their story best blossom and grow? I asked myself all of these questions, and more.
And found my way to the Regency Rogues.

Would you like to try one of my Regency Rogues books before you buy? Tell me which book you’d like to win, and you’re automatically entered to receive the Sloane book of your choice.

Good luck!

Please visit me on the web:

The Regency Rogues Series

The Devil in Disguise
Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345517393
ISBN-13: 978-0345517395
May 24, 2011

The Angel in My Arms
Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345517407
ISBN-13: 978-0345517401
June 28, 2011

The Sinner Who Seduced Me
Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345517415
ISBN-13: 978-0345517418
July 26, 2011


Linda Banche said...

Nice to have you here, Stefanie. I love spies! And your series looks like one I have to try.

IandSsmom said...

I would love to read The Devil In Disguise! The all look wonderful! I just love the covers!!

Johanna Jochum said...

Wow, great interview today! Thanks for sharing with us! I read the Devil in Disguise and would love to win a copy of The Angel in My Arms! Love the beautiful covers too!


Dana said...

I would love a copy of The Sinner Who Seduced Me, since I own the other two, lol! Otherwise I guess I'll just have to go buy it...sigh... ;)

Chele Blades said...

beautiful covers...

I would like to start at the beginning...The Devil in Disguise

thanks for the chance

Mel S said...

Looks like a great series:) I quess I would want to start at the beginning with The Devil in Disguise:) Thanks for sharing your imaginary world with us lesser mortals!

catslady said...

Well I learned a lot today. I'm not sure I was ever taught or read much about any of that and I found it very fascinating. I have just started hearing about your wonderful books and if lucky enough to win I would love the first book in the series, The Devil in Disguise, since I think it's better to read in order and I don't want to miss any of your intriguing tales!

Sue P. said...

Love your books, Stefanie. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I love ALL regency romances. I would love to try The Devil in Disguise.
Thanks so much!

susan said...

The Sinner Who Seduced Me sounds good. I have not read any of them so really would accept whichever no one else wants. I am glad for a chance to win one of them. susan Leech

Diane D - Florida said...

Hi Stefanie.

Thank you for another great interview.

I've always been been a lover of Spy stories ever since I was younger, and used to read all the Nick Carter and Ian Fleming books.

I would love to be entered to win The Angel in my Arms.

Many thanks for this opportunity.

BTW, I love the cover art and colors on all your books.

dpd333 AT aol dot com

Chelsea B. said...

This was a wonderful post to read! Congratulations on your new release, Stefanie! As you are a new-to-me-author, I would love to start at the beginning of your series: The Devil in Disguise. Nice chatting with you!


Di said...

Since I always have to start a series at the beginning, it has to be 'The Devil in Disguise'!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Vickie said...

Thanks for an interesting interview! I would love a copy of Devil In Disguise.

RFTC Blog said...

I would love to win a copy of The Sinner Who Seduced Me since I have the other two already and I'm just waiting for this one to start the series.

Danielle @Ramblings From This Chick

Maria D. said...

The Regency Rogue series looks fantastic! I have not read any of these books yet so given the choice I would like to read the first book in the series "The Devil in Disguise".

Thanks for the giveaway!


ztalady80 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ztalady80 said...

Thanks for sharing today. I would love to start with the first, the Devil in Disguise.

sheila said...

I'd love to win The Devil in Disguise, and beautiful covers!

May said...

The sinner who seduced me! I read the first one already!

Linda said...

I've a copy of The Devil in Disguise & I'd love to win a copy of The Angel in My Arms. I totally agree with other commenters that the covers are beautiful & such nice color schemes!

Stefanie Sloane said...

Hi everyone! Sorry for wading in late--sometimes life gets in the way, right?

Thanks so much for the kind words regarding my books and the covers. I had the chance to meet the woman who designed the covers while I was in NYC. I did not bow down to her, but almost!:) She's working on the covers for books 4, 5, and 6 right now and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with!

Emily C. Reynolds said...

Thanks for the interview! I'd love to read The Devil in Disguise. Intrigue is just so much fun.


Karen H said...

Hi Stefanie,

I have DID on my TBR shelf but haven't read it yet. I promise I will soon. I'd love to win a copy of The Sinner Who Seduced Me. Love your covers BTW. Thanks for the giveaway.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Karen H said...

Just wondering if a winner for Stefanie's book was chosen yet? Don't see winner's name anyplace.

Chele Blades said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Stefanie,

If I were the winner of the book giveaway (*fingers crossed*) I would love to receive the third in your series: The Sinner Who Seduced Me.



Linda said...

I've read Stephanie's 1st book & would love the 2nd one The angel in my arms.

Love the covers of her books!