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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GUEST AUTHOR: Bronwen Evans

I'd like to welcome a very special friend, my fellow BILD'er (writing group - Book in 50 Days ) and historical romance author, Bronwen Evans.

Bronwen's in the middle of a blog tour and has stopped by today to share with you more about her latest release, INVITATION TO SCANDAL, and there's a surprise at the end of the interview!

Without further ado, take it away, Bron!

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 won 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.

Readers can contact Bronwen via email at romance(at)bronwenevans(dot)com For more information on all of Bronwen’s books, including updates on novels yet to come, visit Bronwen’s website at www.bronwenevans.com

Title – INVITATION TO SCANDAL 
Publisher – Kensington Brava
Release date – 1 May 2012

What do you think the readers will like about INVITATION TO SCANDAL?
Hi Kylie, thanks for having me over to blog today. I’ve just about finished Vengeance Born. It will almost be a disappointment to come to the end. But I digress. :-)

I hope readers will love INVITATION TO SCANDAL because they can relate to the internal struggle my hero, Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore faces. Rufus is all about honor and clearing his father of treason. He lives his life trying to atone for the sins of his father. He puts honor before everything else. He has to live his life this way because Society would crush him, his mother and sister, if he did not. However, my heroine, Rheda Kerrick, teaches him that sometimes doing the honorable thing leads only to pain and suffering. Sometimes a little naughtiness can do a world of good.

Imagine the gut-wrenching position Rufus is put in when he learns that he can clear his father’s name, but only by destroying the woman he loves! It’s the old catch twenty-two – love or honor.

What themes or tropes appear in INVITATION TO SCANDAL?
Good versus evil. Honor versus what’s right. Self-sacrifice for those you love.

INVITATION TO SCANDAL
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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Excerpt
The thundering hooves focused her back on the problem at hand. Horse and rider appeared around the bend. The horse was galloping so fast she wondered if its accomplished rider would see her. Her heart missed a beat. The man wasn't Daniel. Daniel didn’t own, nor could he afford, a magnificent beast such as this.
Please, she prayed, let him fly past without noticing me. 
Like every other aspect of her day, she was denied her wish. The rider pulled on the reins, and the powerful steed came to a sliding halt in the middle of the road, gravel spraying through the air.
Her shoulders drooped. “Perfect,” she uttered to no one but herself.
The stallion pranced on the road in tune to the pounding surf, its owner stroking its neck with a large gloved hand. He took in her situation and seemed to whisper something in his horse’s ear. Rheda licked her lips nervously. Would he be friend or foe?
The pair trotted across the field in her direction and halted in front of her.
“Are you in need of assistance?” His voice was velvety smooth, yet commanding.
She saw two dark eyes rimmed with lovely long eyelashes, and a wide soft mouth. With a mouth that soft he would be very responsive. She might even be able to control him. The stallion before her was impressive. He would make a fine mate for her mare, Desert Rose.
“He won’t bite,” the man added, misinterpreting her interest in his horse as fear.
With some reluctance she lifted her gaze to the owner of such a beautiful piece of horseflesh. Her heart tumbled in her chest, flipping and flopping as if caught in the thundering surf behind her.
Beautiful.
She shook her head. The word applied equally to the stallion’s rider. She had never seen such an arresting man. Her pulse hitched as she drank him in, the pain from the barrel momentarily forgotten. When she reached his dark eyes she shivered. He had a look of danger about him.
His eyes were almost the same color as his horse’s glossy coat, a luminous rich brown. His breeze-swept chestnut hair was fashionably cut and softened the hard planes of his handsome face. His countenance screamed he was a man not to be messed with.
Like his regal mount when he sought his mares, this man could mesmerize any female he chose to conquer—she was sure of it.
Rheda tried to move her foot so the pain would distract her from the knowledge that this man’s beauty disturbed her more than it should.
To hide her reaction to him she bit out a reply. “Of course I need some help."

What was the inspiration behind your INVITATION series?
I love tortured heroes. Men who seem to have everything but in reality are missing the one thing that would make them whole—LOVE. So the series is about four friends (two brothers) who have had terrible events in their lives which they must overcome. Needless to say it’s the heroines who help them through their journey and who complement them.

I had to match these magnificent men with pretty special heroines. That was fun too. They are woman who are perhaps a little ahead of their time, but who we can all relate to. Strong, intelligent and independent, but full of compassion, warmth and love.

Will readers see more books in this series?
Rufus’s story, INVITATION TO SCANDAL, is book two in the series, so there are two more books to go. INVITATION TO PASSION is Richard Craven’s story. He is the twin brother of Anthony Craven,  my hero in book one, INVITATION TO RUIN.

Richard’s book will be released early 2013. I’ve paired Richard with Rufus’s sister, Madeline. The story is very poignant as tells the tale of their deep friendship and the how they find themselves, through a misunderstanding, married. The journey from friends to lovers is a rocky one.

Then late 2013 will be, INVITATION TO LOVE, Alexander Montford’s story which is also introduced in INVITATION TO SCANDAL. 

What other new projects are you working on?
I’ve written a Regency novella trilogy called, Wicked Wagers. Book one, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield got to #3 in the Amazon Best-Sellers list Regency, and I’ve just released book two, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone, and I’m busy finishing book three, To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood – August 2012.

I also have a contemporary category romance called The Reluctant Wife coming out with Entangled Publishing in fall 2012. This is a new direction for me and I’m very excited. I’ll still be writing dark, tortured heroes though.

5 minutes with Bronwen...
Worst subject at school? Chemistry
.
First pet? A Puppy – Sam – when I was seven
.
Lake Okareka, Rotorua, New Zealand
Ideal holiday spot? Lake Okareka, Rotorua, New Zealand
.
Favourite holiday activity? Golfing.

Favourite snack? Cottage Cheese on crisp breads.
Sunset or sunrise? Sunrise
.
Dragons or angels? Dragons.
Guilty pleasure? Chocolate cake with loads of frosting.
Favourite place to write? My study.
The book (or author) that got you hooked on romance? Any romance book by Penny Jordan, Robyn Donald.

Now, for that surprise I mentioned at the start of the post!

Bronwen is generously offered a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL to one lucky commenter who tells her their favorite trope in a romance book i.e. marriage of convenience, secret baby etc., and why?

Comment and leave your email address by 6pm, Sunday May 20th (AEST), and you'll go into the draw. Have fun!

37 comments:

  1. I love reading all the blogs about thus book. What a great advertisement. I guess I'd have to say Sarah MacLean's number series. There was scandals galore. I lived all three books.

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    1. I forgot my email sorry lorimeehan1@aol.com

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    2. Sounds like you're a Bronwen Evans fan, lorimeehan! :-) And that you've enjoyed following her blog hop.

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  2. Hi Kylie and Bronwen,
    Sounds like you've got yourself some really great books there Bronwen, thanks for sharing a little about them and yourself :)
    Fave trope?...hmmm, too many to choose from but I really enjoy the 'forced into marriage, hate each other but omg he/she's gorgeous, I was totally wrong about him/her, cant help but fall in love' senerio!!!
    Thanks again Kylie for another great post =D
    Cath
    cbcowley AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Have to admit I don't mind that scenario either, Cath. Thanks for dropping in! :-)

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    2. Than you might like my first book - INVITATION TO RUIN. They are forced to wed and it's all down hill then UP hill from there.

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    3. Have added it to my list to check out, thanks Bronwen :)

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  3. I guess since I love most sub-genres of romance my favorite is an emotionally damaged or tortured hero (not that I like seeing anyone harmed or suffering), but I like to see how each heroine gets the hero to open up his mind and heart to learn how to trust and love again and they're not jumping into bed and swearing their undying love before you've only read the first quarter of the story.
    purpleunicorn19(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I love that too! My Invitation to series is about wounded men who need the love of a good woman to overcome the things in their past.

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  4. Thanks for sharing all your news, Bron. I love your tortured heros and they're probably my favorite trope - especially the ones who are so reluctant to admit their love for that one special lady *sigh*

    Only you could put Dragons and Angels head-to-head, Kylie. What happens if you love them both?

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    1. That was my problem too - I like Angels but there is something about the idea of dragons that sparks my imagination.

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  5. Hi Bronwen and Kylie!

    I loved reading five mins with Bronwen's answers!
    Earlier I read the blurb of Invitation to Scandal and it sounds intriguing.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Nas

      Thank you! I love following your posts too!

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  6. Woot!! This is exactly my fav trope. Usually my response would have been that I enjoy any book that is well written regardless. Then I read What a gentleman wants by Caroline Linden & then it hit me why I enjoyed the book so much. It was exactly the trope that I like. The dutiful hero who puts honor above all & finds himself conflicted in falling for the heroine but can't help himself. I love the internal conflict part. It's so delicious when/everytime he gives in!

    Can't wait to read this book. The excerpts are most tantalizing.
    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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    1. In historicals honor is often the key element that puts the hero under pressure. I love that conflict. I love having to look at whether doing the honorable thing is really the right thing to do.

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  7. What a place to grow up, and I am guessing beautiful golf courses! If I ever join my hubby on the course its just to wear a cute golfing outfit and drive the cart =)

    I love the "I am really nobility but I am dressed like a commonor to evade ___", that story line always gets me.

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    1. Hi Lexi

      Yes beautiful golf courses and cheap! It really is easy to play golf in NZ.

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  8. hi Kylie and Bronwen i love secret babies and strong female characters:). I love to read stories about wounded heroine who finds strong hero who loves her unconditionally:)

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  9. I really enjoy the friends to lovers and enemies to lovers. Both tropes require a twisted path to get from point A to point Z and I love it.

    I've only read Bronwen's 'To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield' so far and enjoyed it. I'll be looking for more of her books.

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    1. Thanks Karen

      The second book in my Wicked Wagers trilogy, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstones is enemies to lovers. I hope you enjoy it!

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  10. It's so hard to say what my favorite trope would be. I could say it is so-and-so one minute just because I finished reading a fantabulous book that was the best second-chance at love trope. But in reality, it all depends on how well the author writes the story, the author's voice, etc. Even if I like the author. Of course, there are some themes I like less than others and tend to shy away from those. But pair an angsty alpha hero with his matched heroine and I'm done for.

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    1. You've hit it ont he head. If the characters are fabulous then does it really matter.

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  11. I love the kind where they were in love, but something or someone broke them up. Then years later the get back together. I love how one or the other or both have to learn to trust again. I couldn't find the word Bronwen, so I guessed. I don't know how I am missing it. Thanks for the giveaway!

    gatormaryd(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. OK, I see now there is not a clue on this one. I feel so silly! LOL

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    2. Tee Hee Mary. I like to keep you all on your toes.

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  12. My favorite tropes are marriage of convenience or friends to lovers. The former is best suited in an historical, while the latter works in both genres.

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    1. Hi Kim

      I really enjoy the 'friends to lovers' and the next book in the Invitation to series is exactly that. Richard Craven and Madeline Knight, Rufus's sister.

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  14. Oh, I can't wait to read the Invitation series, wonder where I've been all this time, never heard of it before. I always love series where the main characters from each book have a solid and strong bond to each other, whether they're family or friends.
    As for my favorite romance trope, I really really love marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, a secret baby where the hero didn't know it for quiet sometimes, and tortured heroes/heroines. Love them all.

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    1. You've found me at last. Welcome to the blog tour.

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  15. Favorite trope? Hmmm,I like the idea of a quickwitted, headstrong, trouble finding type of heroine matched against the quickwitted, headstrong, damsel rescuing kind of hero. Although I do agree with Artemis it does depend on how well the Author writes the story. It could be my favorite trope but if it is not well written, it really puts me off finishing the book.

    my email is: joylynne66@hotmail.com

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    1. I think we all agree, a heroine has to be intelligent. There is nothing worse than stupidity in a heroine, gullibility is okay but has to be realistic.

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  16. I like the tortured hero ones because they're much more interesting to read.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Yes! the darker the better in my opinion.

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  17. I like the feisty independent heroine who is not afraid to laugh at herself (and others) and a hero who complements but doesn't smother her even as he tries to spoil her. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  18. I think my favorite is the friends to lovers or Heroine falls for brother's friend :)I already have the book so don't enter me so someone else has a chance to read this excellent read.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  19. Bronwen -

    My favorite has been when the heroine/hero have pretended to be something they aren't, i.e. a governess instead of noblewoman/butler instead of titled gentleman (Earl/Duke).

    I think it's fun to see them pretending they're in a lower class than they are and the situations they get into because of their "disguise"! I've read a lot of historical romance and have only come across this in a story line a few times but it does bring up some interesting ideas of how a story could be developed with all the reasons that could be used for the reason of trying to disquise themselves. I guess that reason could also apply to the slant that you are taking with Dre, her brother and Rufus as well - I'll just have to wait to read your book to see!

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