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:
Fairy Tales make Wonderful Stories
By Bronwen Evans
For the final book in my Wicked Wagers trilogy, TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD, I decided to write my own version of Cinderella, but with an added twist.
Why Cinderella? I guess I love the theme or themes, underlining the story because I can relate to them. The peasant girl in rags turning into a princess, love can cross all boundaries, and of course, that evil never prospers. Plus, it is one of my favourite love stories.
My hero in To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood is Henry St. Giles, nicknamed the Saintly rake. He loves women, but he’s a proper gentleman. If anyone deserved their Cinderella, it was Henry. But Henry’s also pretty intelligent, which gave me the opportunity to put a little twist on the tale.
You see, Henry works out pretty quickly who his mysterious flesh and blood Cinderella is. Amy Shipton, but cannot fathom why she is hiding her identity from him. This leads to numerous misunderstandings, crossed purposes and general angst.
Here’s an excerpt where Henry is trying to find out who bought the earring he found after his late night fumbling with Amy. Who gave the earrings to her...
Marcus only ever bought jewellery from Garrard’s, who were renowned for quality gems. So here he was on Garrard’s doorstep far too early in the morning. His gut told him to enter and prove his disloyal thoughts false. More shame on him. He’d welcome the shame. Wanted to be proved wrong.
For if he was right, there could be only one reason Marcus did not want Henry to know the earrings were a gift from him.
He’d already asked in Garrard’s once before, but they’d denied the earring was their work. He surmised that Marcus was such a good customer they could have protected his privacy if he’d demanded it of them.
His heart felt heavy in his chest. He could be doing his best friend a huge disservice by seeking the truth. But his future happiness was at stake.
With grim determination Henry entered the exclusive store. He presented his card and was soon being fawned over. However, as luck would have it, it was not the same man who he’d question previously.
“I’m looking for a pair of earrings for my mistress. Something that screams money. I’m not in her good books at present.” Best not to ask about emerald earrings immediately.
“Certainly, my lord. Do you have a stone in mind? Diamonds, sapphires...” the jeweller asked eyes speculating the amount he’d make today.
“Something large and expensive looking is the requirement.”
“Quite. Perhaps a pair of oval cushion sapphires with diamonds set in white gold.”
Here was his opening. “They are beautiful. Her eyes are green. Would emeralds be preferable?”
“Very observant, your lordship. We can make whatever design you wish.”
“I have no idea what she’d like.”
Here it comes...
“If you don’t mind me asking, sir, has she admired any other woman’s jewels of late?”
He pretended to think. “I don’t really pay that much attention.” He paused and stroked his chin.
“However, I did hear her and some of her friends gushing over a pair of earrings Lady Shipton was wearing at the opera the other night. I couldn’t even begin to describe them though.”
The man beamed. “No need. I know the exact pair. I designed them especially for the young lady.”
“A present for her come out no doubt. From her father.”
The man leaned in conspiratorially. “Oh no. They were commissioned by the Marquis of Wolverstone.”
“No doubt before he married. There was a rumor the Marquis was thinking of offering for the young lady.”
The man was busy sketching a picture of the very earring burning hot as hell in Henry’s pocket. “No. I was commissioned to design them recently.”
A cold fury engulfed him. Why would Marcus give Amy Shipton a pair of earrings and not want him or anyone to know? Not just anyone, him, Henry St. Giles, his best friend. He’d showed Marcus the earring and yet his friend denied knowing the identity. Why? What game was Marcus playing?
For surely it was a game. He could not possibly be unfaithful to the wife he adored and worshiped. Nor would Marcus risk Amy’s reputation.
Prior to Sabine’s return, Marcus was known to be cold and ruthless when it came to women. Sabine ripped his heart to shreds and he’d gone a little crazy when she’d left. He fortified his heart and proceeded to never get romantically involved. He loved and left and broken many a woman’s heart in the process with little care.
The image of Amy in Marcus’s arms stirred in his gut. At first he was prepared to give Marcus the doubt.
Obviously Amy had been upset about something, but Marcus blatantly lied to his face. Told him he’d not seen Amy that evening.
And he’d lied about the earring.
His heart heavy with painful doubts about the honor and integrity of his friend, he walked out of the store.
He owed it to his friend to give him the benefit of doubt. He ordered his coach back to Cravenswood Court.
He needed to get back to the house party in Berkshire and speak with Marcus.
Amy has her reasons for wanting to hide from Henry. She wants a husband who will love only her; can she risk her heart when she hears Henry whisper another woman’s name?
I love a good fairy tale and I hope I’ve done this Cinderella story justice. All I know is that both Henry and Amy get their hard sort happy ever after...
Tell me your favorite Cinderella story, and I’ll draw one lucky winner who’ll receive an eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. Open internationally.
The Wicked Wagers Blog Tour runs Monday to Friday for the whole month, and you can WIN copies of all my books and $30 Amazon or B&N gift card (International)... Simply visit each blog post and follow the instructions...
Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he's searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he's called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman's name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she's determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She's not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.
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Up For Grabs:
- 1 lucky winner from the ENTIRE tour will win a $30 Gift Card (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)
- 1 lucky winner will receive a eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood.
- Leave a comment answering the question: Tell me your favorite Cinderella story.
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