The Jaunty Quills are excited to present author Bronwen Evans all the way from New Zealand. She’s the author of sizzling historical romances, including the new Invitation to Scandal. Anna Campbell, one of my favorite authors, said of Invitation to Scandal, “A sexy Regency take on Robin Hood. Passion, adventure, secrets and danger will keep you turning the pages.” This sounds like my kind of book!
Keep reading to find out how to win your copy of Invitation to Scandal.
Shana: Welcome, Bronwen! Tell us more about Invitation to Scandal. It sounds like a perfect summer read.
Bron: Hi, Shana. Waving from New Zealand where it’s getting pretty cold. Winter is truly here.
Thanks so much for having me to guest blog during my Invitation to Romance blog tour. I’m really excited about the release of my second Regency romance, INVITATION TO SCANDAL, almost as much as my first book, Invitation to Ruin.
Invitation to Scandal is a story about honor and love, and how one can force you to forgo the other. I think RT Book Reviewer, Jill Brager, sums up the book perfectly…
Rheda Kerrich has been helping the townspeople and trying to hold on to the family home for her brother in her own unconventional way, as local smuggler “Dark Shadow.” She has one last shipment to deal with before retirement, but then Rheda gets stuck under a barrel of French brandy and is found by Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore. He is immediately attracted to Rheda, thinking she is a simple village girl. Rufus is in Kent to find the smuggler and decides to seduce Rheda, and he will not rest until he finds Dark Shadow — the only one who can clear his father of treason. But the closer he gets to Rheda and the truth, the more dangerous things become.
Shana: I read the excerpt and was intrigued by the names you chose for your characters—Rufus and Rheda. They’re unusual for an historical. How did you choose them?
Bron: Invitation to Scandal is set in Deal, Kent which was a notorious smuggling region due to it’s proximity to France. Smugglers could get there and back in a day. As the area is mainly Anglo-Saxon in influence, I wanted a heroine with an Anglo-Saxon name. Rheda is an Anglo-Saxon name; in fact, there is a line in the book, one of my favorites, where Rufus says…
He swore softly under his breath before flashing a mocking smile. “Rheda means goddess in ancient Anglo-Saxon – did you know that? You are aptly named, for you truly are a goddess among woman.”
I’m not sure where the name Rufus came from, and no I don’t have a dog called Rufus. All I know is that when I thought of him as a character, the name Rufus popped into my head. My agent hated his name, but once my editor read the story she said, “Rufus is delicious.” And so his name stuck.
Shana: Your book is set during the Regency, which is my favorite historical period. Why did you choose to write in this period, and what drew you to historical romance?
Bron: I was told at the beginning of my writing career to write what I love to read. I LOVE historical romances and one of my favorite periods is Regency. There was just so much change going on in the period – wars —India, France, America, Ireland —then the start of the industrial revolution, slavery, smuggling etc. I guess what I love most during the Regency period, was that a woman had to be extremely clever to live the life she really wanted. You have to write strong, intelligent and engaging females. I relate to strong heroines. In addition, men held all the power and this leads to wonderful heroes and truly evil villains.
Shana: Do you have a day job? If so, how do you manage to write and do everything else?
Bron: I do have a day job. I work twenty hours a week as Chief Executive Officer of a NZ Surgeons Association. We run the general surgical training programme in NZ. We have about 300 members. I look after the membership in terms of lobby with government, insurance companies etc I love being involved in the health care industry. It’s very rewarding and the job is not too demanding. I’m lucky that it leaves me plenty of time to write.
Shana: What’s the romance community like in New Zealand? Are there a lot of romance readers? What about writers?
Bron: NZ is a small country of 4.5 million people but we do have a strong romance community. Per capita of population, I think NZ is fourth in the world for books bought. So we have ferocious readers here in NZ. And romance is right up there. [CLUE TWENTY-ONE: EVEN]
We also have Romance Writers of NZ (RWNZ) with about 300 members. For a country of our size, you’d be surprised at how many published authors we have. Nalini Singh, being one of our most famous authors, and of course Robyn Donald, who has written over 100 books for HMB. We do seem to have a lot of category romance writers.
Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Bron: I’m just finishing off book three in my self-published Wicked Wagers trilogy, a set of Regency romance novellas. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is book one and it hit #3 on the Amazon Best Sellers List in books Regency.
In September, I have my first contemporary romance, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Wife, due out with Entangled Publishing. I’m really excited about my move into contemporary romances and the business model behind Entangled. It’s exciting times to be a writer.
In early 2013, book three, INVITATION TO PASSION, will be released. This seems to be the book all my fans are waiting for. It’s Richard Craven and Madeleine Knight’s story. Richard is Anthony twin from Invitation to Ruin, and of course Maddy is Rufus’s sister.
Readers, now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite hero/heroine names? Do you like when authors use unusual names? One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win a copy of Invitation to Scandal.
About 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. 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. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin, was a finalist in RT Reviewers’ Chocie Awards – Best First Historical.