Royalty Duo

Last week I blogged over at the Harlequin Presents site about the inspiration behind my Royalty Duo series, which kicks off with Not Fit for a King?, which is out right now, and available in stores for a few more weeks before its (rudely!) yanked off shelves,to be replaced by its sequel, His Majesty’s Mistake.

For those of you who aren’t Harlequin readers, you need to know that Harlequins are like magazines:  they have a specific pub month (think how magazines are referred to as the October issue, or the November issue) and then the Harlequin books, again like magazines, are pulled from stores at the end of thirty days, for the next month’s releases.

So many people in the media, as well as a certain segment of my readers, are always amazed that I continue to write Harlequins even though I’m also getting ready to write my 9th fiction novel, and people assume its because writing Harlequin Presents are easy (ha!), and I can churn them out (double ha!), or that I simply do it for the money.

Those people, and their assumptions, are wrong.  I write Harlequin Presents because they’re intense and exciting….passionate and dangerous…they give readers a wild rollercoaster ride of emotion and hope, heartbreak and disappointment, with yet another crazy loop of longing and pain, before finding a resolution based on compromise, understanding, sacrifice and love.  All in 55,000 words.  Whew.

But where do I find my inspiration for these intense, emotional, passionate stories?  In my childhood.  Strange, I know, but I was a very imaginative, dreamy little girl and I’m constantly drawing on fairytales, and Greek myths, and all the stories and Disney movies I loved as a child to help me understand people, and conflict, and motivation.

One of my all-time favorite Disney movies was the 1961 film, The Parent Trap, starring Hayley Mills. I loved the premise…what if I had a twin sister somewhere (never mind the real sister and brothers already in my family)? What was my twin doing? Would she like me? Was she doing okay… or was she living a more privileged life than I was?  The Prince and the Pauper was another story that made me wish I had a twin, and that I could change identities…be someone else…experience a different life.

These stories stuck with me, and then Disney remade the original Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan in 1998 and I fell in love with the story, and movie, all over again.  I thought the young Lindsay Lohan was fantastic, but in this new version, I was really drawn to Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson’s love story. I thought they were perfect…loved their careers and lifestyles, as well as how lovely and warm and funny they were.   I wanted them together…I, like their twin daughters, believed they were meant to be together.

I write romance and empowering women’s fiction because I do believe in love, and happy endings….especially when characters have to fight for those happy endings.

So if you haven’t picked up a copy of Not Fit for a King? yet, do!  Read my modern day fairy tale and tell me what you think…would you swap places with your look-alike royal version if you could?  Would you enjoy being a princess for a day?  And once you’ve read Hannah’s story this month, look for His Majesty’s Mistake in stores late June through mid to late July.



  1. Hi Jane,

    I love reading Harlequins and my favorite TV channel is Hallmark when I just need to watch something that I do not need to give my full attention.
    Growing up in a country with King and Queens, Princes and princesses I always dreamed about being a little princess or marrying a prince or something like that.
    But after growing up I could not say that I would like to switch places with a princess. It looks like much to hard work when you really look at it.
    But I would enjoy being a princess for a day, being pampered and selfish and just relaxing.
    I look forward to reading His Majesty´s Mistake next month.

  2. I have always enjoyed The Parent Trap was one of my favorite Disney movies also. I gave up being a princess many years ago but I can remember wanting to be one as a child.

  3. Wonderful blog, Jane – one of your best in my opinion. I have always loved the “lost” twin storyline or the twins that switch. One of may favorite tv movies was Deception with Stefanie Powers. The “quiet” twin changed places with her more worldly sister. She ended up getting killed in a boat explosion and the “worldly” twin fell in love with her dead sister’s husband. Kind of a bittersweet romance, but aren’t they all? Guess I will need to get to the store very quickly so I don’t miss out on reading Not Fit For A King. I signed up for a Fifty Shades of Grey Ladies Night which was put together by my local bookstore who partnered with a new lingerie store in our area. They are serving wine and goodies and a friend and I are dressing up as our inner goddesses. I’ll send pics after the event.

  4. I jut finished reading Not Fit For A King this afternoon. I totally enjoyed it and was surprised right up until the very end. i can’t wait to read Emmaline’s story next. If I had a twin, I would swap places. But, maybe only for a day.

  5. My fantasy was being adopted into a new family, not having a twin. I had 7 brothers and sisters and I wanted to be in a smaller family, so of course I loved the novel Heidi. In my day dreams I would have my parents and family die tragically and I would be adopted by some rich and wonderful family. I loved my parents and even my brothers and sisters, but I still had a deep yearning to live a different life and be more special than one of a bunch.
    A favorite movie of mine is “Roman Holiday” about a princess who escapes to be a regular person for a day, another switch lives story that is delightful.
    I just went to a bookstore last night to get the other book you recommended (they didn’t have it) but I better get back soon and try your new book.

  6. Jane,

    I think that everyone has dreamed of trading places with someone at one time or another. Thanks for giving us another twist on this.

    The story duo is great! I already have the 2nd one and for those of you that are having to wait for it……it will be worth it! It is a shame that they can’t leave the 1st one out for at least a week, when the 2nd one comes out, for people that didn’t realize that it is a duo storyline.

    Have a great week!

  7. Princess for a day would be fun, but I don’t think I would like to live the lifestyle for any longer than that. Too intrusive!!

  8. Jane; i would love to trade places with a look-a-like, but just for a day or two. It would be an adventure. Loved your book. Can’t wait for the second one of the duo.

  9. hi jane. i really enjoyed your book; will be so happy when the 2nd one comes out to read emmeline’s story. i think if i were to take my look-a-like’s place, it would only be for a short time. and hopefully i would be a princess while something fun was going on, not just duties…

  10. I have lost count how many Harlequins I have read over the years. I fell in love with Greece reading them…how many gorgeous Greek men were there in those books? !!

    As for Parent Trap..I adored Hayley Mills and anything she was in but especially this movie. I was surprised that I liked the remake. A lot.

    And yes, I would trade places. For a day or two. 🙂

  11. I’ve always loved The Parent Trap. Whenever it came on tv when I was young I was so excited! I like the newer version too, but I’ve always liked Brian Keith. Anyway, I have read Not Fit For King which was so much fun. Yes, I would not mind switching places with my Princess twin for a day or two, but probably that would be it. I think it would be rather stressful to pretend you are someone you are and keep the pretense going for a long time.

  12. I love harlequin romance. All the stories are so touching and loving. I do believe in love and happiness. I would like to write my own one day. You are doing a great job Jane. I already have this months novel and will get the new one next.

      1. I am almost done with reading your novel Not Fit for a King, I must say Jane that you did a great job. I love the description work in this book.

  13. If the opportunity came up to trade places with my “twin” I would do it, but just for a day. Unless, I really fell in love with her life and then maybe I would stay in the role a bit longer. I loved your story with your take on the twins switching places. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

  14. Tomorrow I plan to pick up a copy of “Not Fit For A King”, it sounds like a great read. I absolutely love the original Parent Trap movie. I remember watching it as a child and still love it as an adult.

  15. I don’t know that I would want to trade places with anyone as they may have more issues than I am prepared to deal with. Love both versions of this movie and I’m looking forward to reading both of your books.

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