New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Being able to write her characters stories is never work, it’s a dream come true. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. She's finaled in several romance writing competitions and is a member of several writing organizations, including RWA, RWNZ, and The Beau Monde. Her 2011 debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewers’ Choice awards – Best First Historical.
When not ensconced in her study writing her characters thrilling journeys to their happy ever after, Bron can be found on the golf course.
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Why I love writing Regency Romances
Thank you so much for inviting me to guest blog today. I have been asked many times why I write Regency romances. I thought by telling readers why, it might also give insight into the fascinating period that was the Regency era.
At my very first romance writer’s conference, I pitched a contemporary romance and the editor asked me why I wrote that type of story. The question threw me. When I first thought of writing a romance book I simply thought the only option was to write a Mills and Boon. I hadn't considered that I could write a full length, single title romance. This editor told me I should try writing the type of book I loved to read. I took her advice and decided that I would try to write a Regency romance, my favorite romance genre.
It made me ponder why I liked Regency set romances the best. Rakes, lords and men who were men. I must admit I've always loved bad boys. I like my men with a lot of arrogance and a touch of humility. There is also something about a man who has the world at his feet, the arrogant duke, the rich earl, the landed gentry with no money yet a distinguished title, and a woman who is trying to make her way in a man's world. Women had virtually no rights in the Regency period. They were either owned by their fathers, brothers, or husbands. Unless of course they were lucky enough to be widowed with an inheritance. This male/female set up makes for very entertaining and highly emotional conflicts.
I will admit I have never read any Georgette Heyer books, however I do love Jane Austen. I preferred the more modern Regency romances, by that I mean those written probably from 1980 onwards. I tend to like my books slightly darker, with very wounded or tortured heroes. I think it takes a very special heroine to open an emotionally wounded hero’s heart and find love. I love reading a difficult journey to the happy ever after.
When exactly was the Regency period? The Regency era in the United Kingdom is the period between 1811 – when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent – and 1820, when the Prince Regent became George IV on the death of his father. The term Regency era sometimes refers to a more extended timeframe just before 1811 and right the way through to 1837.
The Regency period offers wonderful fodder for plots and subplots. The war with Napoleon, the unrest with the Americas, the colonization of India, and the start of the Industrial Revolution, provides wonderful material to enrich stories. Then you also have sub-plots, such as that in my first book, Invitation to Ruin, which involved slavery, and Invitation to Scandal, my latest release, which involves smuggling. There was very little in this period that was politically correct. Again this makes for interesting plots and characters. You can have extraordinarily evil villains!
The other question I’m often asked is how I come up with my characters, plot ideas or story ideas. One of the ways I come up with ideas is to look at the history of the period. I do this in two ways; one – I look at an historical event and think of an idea for a story using the event, or two, I think of something that is a modern day topic and wonder what it would have been like to solve that problem in the historical period. For example infertility. The medical profession, such as it was, couldn’t help you become pregnant in 1800’s. And we all know when talking about peers of the realm how important having an heir is. The rules of hereditary titles meant women were under immense pressure to produce a son. Looking at that aspect of the period, my mind immediately filled with loads of story ideas around plotlines were a woman was having difficulty getting pregnant.
The Regency period was also a time of excess for the aristocracy; for example, it was during this time that the Prince Regent built the Brighton Pavilion. However, it was also an era of uncertainty caused by several factors including the Napoleonic Wars, periodic riots, the war with America and the concern (threat to some, hope to others) that the British people might imitate the upheavals of the French Revolution.
For those who had money, as it still is today, the Regency was also a period of great refinement and cultural achievement, shaping and altering the societal structure of Britain as a whole. The Regency era is noted for its elegance and achievements in the fine arts and architecture. And the period encompassed a time of great social, political, and economic change due to the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Of course, if you didn't have money, or you were not among the echelons of Society, there was a dark side to beauty and fashion in England at this time. In many areas of London, thievery prostitution, gambling, and constant drinking were rampant. There was a population boom where the population increased from just under 1 million in 1801 to 1.25 million by 1820. Disease and death was rampant.
After the retirement of George III, Society became more frivolous, ostentatious, and saw the end to reserved society. This change was influenced by the Regent himself, who used scandal as a form of rebellion against what he saw as disapproval and censure of his harsh and unloving father.
The Industrial Revolution helped to further fuel these frivolous changes. In 1814 the newspaper, The Times, adopted steam printing thereby increasing production capability. This development brought about the rise of the widely popular session novels in which publishers spread the stories, rumors, and flaunting of the rich and aristocratic, not so secretly hinting at a specific identity of these individuals. The gap in the hierarchy of the Society was so great that both of the upper classes could be viewed by those below is wondrous and fantastical suction, something entirely out of reach it tentatively here.
As you can see the Regency period provides magnificent gems that can form the basis of a story idea. I try to ensure that each of my stories teaches the reader something new about the period. I currently have four Regency romances available, all of which I hope provided a little insight into the period. Visit my website www.bronwenevans.com to learn more about my books.
If you enjoy reading Regency romances, tell me what you enjoy the most. Alternatively, tell me which period in history you enjoy reading about. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Invitation to Scandal my May 2012 Regency release.
Her secrets are coming undone...
Plagued by scandalous rumors, Rheda Kerrich will stop at nothing to restore her reputation and make an honest living for herself-and she's determined to do it without a husband. But times are hard, and smuggling is a risky though profitable trade. So when a dashing agent for the English government catches her in the act, she desperately resists his charms and conceals her illicit profession. Until she realizes he may be the key to her ultimate freedom-and unbridled passion.
Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, has never had trouble beguiling the ladies of Kent. When his search for "Dark Shadow," a cunningly elusive smuggler, leads him to alluring and headstrong Rhe, her objections to his amorous advances merely incite a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Soon, they'll find the very secrets driving them apart could ensnare them in a love they can't escape…
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Here’s an excerpt…. [CLUE TWENTY-TWO: IF]
She ground her teeth in resignation. What was the worst that could happen? He was too late; the deed had been done, with one horse anyway.
Eyes sharp as flint slashed in her direction, and she took a step back.
Ignoring her, Lord Strathmore bent to study his stallion. "Have you been having an enjoyable evening, Caesar? I hope you have not let the Strathmore name down, and you have performed appropriately."
In a voice she hoped mirrored a young boy's she said, "Actually we were debating if he had enough stamina to service the second filly." Since Lord Strathmore appeared to be buying her story, she might as well push her luck.
"I think you will find Strathmore males are perfectly capable of pleasuring more than one female in one night."
A chuckle escaped from his companion while Jamieson gave a discreet cough.
Rheda, thankful for what little darkness the moon provided simply blushed, his insinuation not lost on her.
Lord Strathmore approached until he towered over her, menace pouring from every pore. Rheda thought the effect was somewhat spoilt because he looked thoroughly enticing in his formal dinner wear. "We shall have to discuss how you are going to repay me for Caesar's services - Miss Kerrich, Miss Rheda Kerrich - Rhe."
Thanks for stopping by. Don’t for get to follow my INVITATION TO ROMANCE blog tour and collect the clues. Read more at my website http://www.bronwenevans.com/latest-news.html
The Book Tour Grand Prize – A $200 Amazon, or B&N Voucher, PLUS… A Book Basket of 30 ‘SIGNED by the AUTHORS’ books…
There are 30 clues that must be collected to be eligible for entry into this contest. Collect all the clues and spell out a paragraph relating to Bronwen’s 1 May 2012 Regency release – INVITATION TO SCANDAL.
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Want to win some goodies from Bronwen? 1 lucky commenter will win a copy of Invitation to Scandal.
- Leave a comment answering the question: What do you enjoy about reading Regency romances? If you don't read Regency romances, which period in history you enjoy reading about.
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
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