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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guest Post with Author Bronwen Evans and Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome to the blog author Bronwen Evans. Bronwen is currently on a massive blog tour celebrating the release of her book Invitation to Scandal and has stopped by today to share why she loves Regency Romances. Before I give the floor over to Bronwen, let's get to know her a bit.

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.

Places to find Bronwen:

Why I love writing Regency Romances

Hi Danielle

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…

Places to Purchase:


Here’s an excerpt…. [CLUE TWENTY-TWO: IF]

...His forceful gaze swept over her trying to ascertain their identities. A shiver of fear sliced her insides. Damn the moon. She prayed it was dark enough, and her disguise good enough, that he would not know who she was. Perhaps he would think her one of Lord Hale's stable boys.

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.

Check out the other books in Bronwen's series:
Click on cover for more info.


Want to win some goodies from Bronwen? 1 lucky commenter will win a copy of Invitation to Scandal.

To Enter:
  • 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.  

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

43 comments :

  1. I love reading almost everything. I like past, present and future time-lines in my books. Sometimes though, nothing else will do but a few Regency Romances in a row... there is just something about putting yourself in those clothes, with everything so very different... and yet some things remain the same... ahh romance.

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    1. I love reading romance full stop too. There is not many romance books I read that I have not enjoyed.

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  2. I guess besides reading my favorite which is Scottish Historical romance it's Regency Romance.I love History and the time frame I enjoy. The Balls, clothing,but the rules, forget it. :) I never could have survived. Just reading about the history of it all is what draws me to Regency Romance.I already have the book so don't enter me. Loved Rufus and Rheda.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I love scottish historicals too. There is something so sexy about a well-built man in a kilt.

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  3. I love regency. I think I like the romance of royalty, suspense and war and all that.... Not so much in real life but it's terrific to read about it!

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    1. I'd have hated to live in the period, it was far from glamorous.

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  4. I lOVE all historical romances, especially Regency. I love the morals and values and how they come through in the author's writing.

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    1. A man had honor and a moral code but of course those that didn't were usually pretty evil. Makes for thrilling villains.

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  5. I love historical romances set anytime in the 19th century and early 20th century but I prefer the Regency period. The grandeur of the era sucks me right in. That said, I have never read Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen. Although P&P was one of my favorite films.

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    1. P&P was delicious. I must admit, when I lived in England for eight years, I soaked up a lot of the romance and history of the country. I visited Jane Austen's house and sat reading P&P in her garden. It was sureal.

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  6. Regency is my favorite time period to read. The era was just so different from what we live in today. Society and it's quirks and rules, it fashions, and day to day life are just so interesting.
    But I do have to admit ever since Downton Abbey I've been reading more about Edwardian as well.

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    1. I'm a huge Downtown Abby fan. I love it. I imagine we will start to see a few more romance books written in that period pretty soon!

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  7. What I enjoy about reading Regency romances is the scandal of the time period that may not seem so scandalous in our time, but it really adds to the drama of those stories. I also really like to read about the fashions.

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    1. I agree. Imagine a lady walking in the park unescorted - such scandal. What would they think of us jogging in the park in our spandex top and shorts!

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  8. Good morning, ladies

    It's just gone Thursday morning here in New Zealand and it's bitterly cold. I am so pleased I only have to flick a switch for heating. Imagine how cold houses must have been in the Regency period. It sounds glamorous but I bet it was anything but.

    Thanks for stopping by. I too love the romance of the period and the morals or as I call it honor code. When a man’s word was worth something.


    Bronwen

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  10. I love Regencies because they take place in a time just before Victorian mores took hold but right after the libertine Georgian period. During the regency era you had a social atmosphere sexually charged yet the social atmosphere was socially starting to become repressed which makes for some very pungent tension beween the H and the h!

    I have not yet a book by Ms. Evans but I am sure she delivers and I'd really like to win this book. Please enter me. Thank you.

    annfesATyahooDOTcom

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    1. I love the virginal inexperienced heroine with a sexually experienced and utterly gorgeous irresistible hero.

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  11. What is not to love? I think part of me enjoys reading about a time when there were social standards expected to be held by men and women. Not that I agree with women being a poor damsel in distress but men were actually men...they could and would fight for what is right. Chivalry.
    I guess I still hope for the knight in shining armor type fairytale world even though it did not exist during that time either! :)

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    1. Sigh... Me too. I love the knight in shinning armor and the damsel in distress. Its fine if the damsel saves herself but I love the heart ache attached to the idea that the hero suddenly realizes he loves her but might lose her.

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  12. I like reading about a piece of history and the regency period meets this criteria. I've studied the era in history class, but romance writers still manage to include an interesting tidbit into the plotline. As an example, an illegitimate child can inherit a title/entailed estate if there's an Act of Parliament.

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    1. Yes - it's the history of the period that can lead to wonderful story lines.

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  13. I Love Regency Romances, where at some characters were innocent and finding themselves as they grew with the story. There were rules and most men were gentlemen with honor, and what gentlemen they were........(sigh);)

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    1. Totally agree. Honor was sometimes difficult as Rufus found. Being honorably could hurt the one he loves.

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  14. I love reading about the Regency period as well as other historical times prior to the 20th Century. Things were so different then. The way people dressed, thought, and acted were very different. I guess you can just call me a history nut.

    kscathy@yahoo.com

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    1. I love history too. I think it's that we can look back and understand why things were as they were. Looking forward is harder. We don't know what we don't know.

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  15. Ever since I started reading romance novels it has been the regency period. I guess I just love that period. So, much happens during that time. It's just my favorite time period.

    countessofmar(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I agree, the period is full of excitement, glamour (if you're rich) and strong men and women.

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  16. There's just something about the Regency period that seems romantic - it's probably the beautiful gowns & the balls & the heroes.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  17. I like reading about the fashion and lifestyles.

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  18. i love regency romance because i can find the rakes and scoundrels become a truly loving husband after their meet the lady of his own..very romantic... :)

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    1. Sigh! Perfect, that's what I love about a rake. The ability to tame him and win his heart so he turns into the model, loving husband. It's so satisfying.

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  19. I love LOVE reading Regency! I think my love for this genre started with Lisa Kleypa's books, I fell in love with the dresses the romance, the time, how everything was.

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  20. I love everything about Regency Romances, especially the rules of courtship & the etiquette.

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  21. i'm not sure which period is regency, but as long as it's romance i read them. even better if there's a touch of suspence in it :)

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    1. Hi Sienny

      Yes, I love suspense in my stories. In Invitation to Scandal the villain is hidden. Let me know when you guess who it is.

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  22. Hi Bronwen! My love affair with romance novels started with Regency London novels...everything about that era is appealing, the setting, the clothing, the way H/h break the moral codes imposed by society in order to love each other...

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    1. I agree, I love the clothing. It's a tricky business writing a love scene. There are so many layers.

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  23. I think historical romances were the first genre I became enamored with, especially Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Patricia Veryan and Sylvia Thorpe. I particularly like the Regency romances because I love reading about the balls and formal dance of manners contrasted with the passion that is hidden.

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  24. Regency sure is full of things that inspire, and in my head it is such a romantic time. The men were gentlemen, and if you flashed a little ankle you were being pretty shocking. The beautiful feminine clothse doesn't hurt either =)

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  25. Hi Bronwen!

    I love reading Historical romance and the Regency is my favorite time period.

    To me the early 19th century is a fascinating time period. Whenever I read a Regency romances I automatically think of the books I had read are by Jane Austen and Gerogette Heyer. I really enjoy the fast paced interaction between the characters as well.

    Whenever I read a Rengency romance I always enjoy the scenes of the social interactions of the characters in the reference to what was happening in the time period the stories are set whether it's a ball the heroine is attending or the social activities that were prevalent at the time like going for carriage rides in the park, dinner parties or making "morning" calls! If the characters attend the opera or a play I love when what is playing is included as well. To me there is no such thing as too much information.

    Maybe because my younger son fenced in High School but I love when that is included in the book as well. If not I want some sort of "physical activity" to be included whether riding at the hunt or boxing.
    I also love that are so many different things that can be included and be true to the period with the marriages of convenience, mistresses as well as characters of different levels of society including Kings to the working class.

    To me reading Regency offers me a wide range of experiences to discover and the flexibility authors of Regency romance can use while developing their stories!

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  26. I love Regency romances mainly because of their moral code, fashion, transportation (horses + carriages) and titles! I love reading about rakes and all those "courting" and restrained desires... :)

    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  27. I enjoy the balls, clothes, jewels and manners from the Regency period.

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