It’s that time again in the romance world where authors begin to gear up for conferences and conventions. I know Kristan Higgins was just at the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon, and next week I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas.
If you’ve never been to RT, it’s something you must try once. There are tons of panels and workshops for authors, readers, and booksellers. Plus, if you like to party, there are themed parties and events every night. Lots of attendees dress up, and it’s fun to see all the creative costumes.
If you’re going to Dallas, I’d love to meet you. Here are my scheduled appearances, but you might see me out and about too!
Wednesday, May 13, 12 p.m.: Everything Old is New Again Workshop
This is going to be a really fun workshop where authors ask readers to play a game where readers come up with their own high concept story ideas.
Wednesday, May 13, 3:45: Writing the Authentic Historical for Modern Readers
This is a panel that’s more geared toward authors who write historical romance, but it will be interesting for readers who love historical romance too.
Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.: The Historical Market Today
This panel is going to rock. There will be lots of tips and tricks from New York Times bestselling authors.
Saturday, May 16, 11-2: Giant Bookfair
This event is open to the public. There are rows and rows and rows of authors. You couldn’t possibly meet every one.
Saturday, May 16, 4:30: Flaunt Your Fascinator
This is an event sponsored by Eloisa James. The readers and authors will be creating our own fascinators! There will be other fascinators (pictured below) given away.
If I don’t see you in Dallas, I hope to see you in Vegas next year!
I’m so pleased to welcome historical (and contemporary) romance author Darcy Burke to the blog today. She’s here to tell us about her new book!
Hi! I’m so excited to be here at the Jaunty Quills today!! I’ve been following the Quills for an eon (I refuse to say how long), and I’m delighted Vanessa asked me to stop by. I write historical and contemporary romance, and my latest release, ROMANCING THE EARL, is Book Two in my Regency Treasure Hunters series. The series title says it all: these books are about treasure hunters during the Regency! I love treasure hunts and mysteries, especially when they’re wrapped up in history and legend. I also love action adventure movies in that vein, and of course, I love the Regency. Melding all of these things together has been so much fun, and I’m only halfway through the series!
I won’t lie, mapping out the mysteries and the treasure hunt can be a bit complicated. All of the treasure hunts have to do with Arthurian-related artifacts, which meant researching King Arthur, the “treasures” associated with him, and other historical information that could be worked into the legends. I decided to go with King Arthur because it’s an enduring and fascinating legend. Some believe he’s myth, other argue he’s history. I find the truth is usually something in between, and so I sort of ran with that.
The treasures are based around the Thirteen Treasures of Britain, which are “real.” (Real in that they appear in many stories. Not real in that no one has ever found them, and I think we’d know if someone found a food hamper that produces food for everyone who needs it!) The other main component of the series is the fictional Order of the Round Table, a secret, centuries-old order charged with protecting the secrets of the Knights of the Round Table, including the thirteen treasures. (Or are they . . . duh duh duh!) Actually, now that I think about it, there could be an Order-esque society that maybe found the treasures and kept them hidden, so maybe they do exist . . . Or maybe I’ve just started thinking my books are real! (Hey, that happens, right?) I have to admit, I adore the idea of a centuries-old anything, especially a secret society. To think that something has been around for so long and withstood the test of time gives me a little shiver. How about you?
One of the great things about having a treasure hunt/road romance is all the sexy banter that happens between the hero and the heroine. Here’s an excerpt to give you an idea of how Elijah and Cate interact:
His eyes widened. “Pardon?”
She cast him a disbelieving look. “Oh, you heard me.” Catching an unsettling amount of his unfortunately delicious scent of sandalwood and pine, she took a small step back.
“Maybe I just wanted to hear you say it again.”
“That I believe.” She lifted her chin and gave him an unflinching stare. “You didn’t respond to my offer of five hundred pounds.”
“You don’t have five hundred pounds.”
“You don’t know that,” she said crossly.
He glanced up at the ceiling as if he were trying to find some patience from on high, but he’d given her the impression he was somewhat of a heathen, so she really had no idea what he was doing. When he looked at her again, his eyes were fierce and frigid. “I’d stake the tapestry on it.”
“The tapestry you don’t have,” she said testily.
“The tapestry you’ll likely never have.”
She sucked in a breath. “Now you’re just being cruel.
“Still being pragmatic, actually.”
I hope you’ll find me on Facebook—I give away a backlist book each week to one random commenter.
And be sure to sign up for my newsletter to hear about my latest release and learn insider information. http://www.darcyburke.com/newsletter/
One random commenter will win a signed copy of THE DE VALERY CODE, Regency Treasure Hunters Book One (contest is open to North America). My question for you is what sort of treasure would you most like to find?
No, it’s not my 10-year wedding anniversary, but my publishing anniversary! In May 2005 my first historical romance was published. WHEN DASHING MET DANGER was the first book I ever wrote. Of course, it went through extensive revisions before it ever hit the shelves. For example, I had to take out the dog’s point-of-view.
I think your first book is a lot like your first love–you never forget it. Lucia and Alex were my first hero and heroine. Writing about their love affair consumed me. Every song I heard at the time made me think of them, every TV show, every movie. Even today if I hear certain songs by Maroon 5, Ashlee Simpson, or No Doubt I think about scenes in WHEN DASHING MET DANGER.
Recently I’ve been thinking about Alex and Lucia even more because I just released a book about their siblings. In WHEN DASHING MET DANGER, Lucia and Alex have met before because Lucia’s older sister is married to Ethan’s half-brother. I always wanted to publish Ethan and Francesca’s story, but I ended up writing another series. So when I finally got the opportunity to publish WHILE YOU WERE SPYING, not only was it fun writing about Ethan and Francesca, but it was wonderful to revisit Lucia and Alex when they were younger and before they met.
Some days I can hardly believe it’s been 10 years since my first book came out. What a rollercoaster ride! Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? One random person who comments will win DIGITAL copies of WHEN DASHING MET DANGER and WHILE YOU WERE SPYING (must be able to read on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or Google Play). Winner announced and contacted Sunday!
The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome New Zealand author Bronwen Evans back. She’s the USA Today bestselling author of some of my favorite historical romances. Her latest release is A Touch of Passion, book #3 Disgraced Lords series.
Keep reading to find out how to win your copy of her audio book of her best-selling Wicked Wagers the Complete Trilogy series.
Shana: Welcome, Bronwen! Tell us more about A Touch of Passion. The advance reviews have been fabulous!
Bronwen: Thanks, Shana. Yes, the readers seem to really connect with my heroine, Portia. The book is a Top Pick at Night Owl Reviews and RT Book Reviews loved it too.
Evans’ newest installment in the alluring Disgraced Lords series could easily be read as a stand-alone, which is perfect for new fans looking to jump right in without missing anything. The author’s storytelling abilities are top-notch and this book is proof. A fascinating storyline and characters who seem to linger in one’s mind long after the very last page combine in this fiercely romantic and completely enchanting novel. – RT Book Reviews.
A Touch of Passion is book #3 in my Disgraced Lords series, and features a trailblazer heroine, Lady Portia Flagstaff, and a conservative hero, Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood. It’s a best friend’s sister trope.
A vivacious thrill seeker clashes with her dutiful defender—causing irresistible sparks to fly.
Lady Portia Flagstaff almost died of influenza when a child and is determined to live her life to the full. She loves apple cider, so she decides to try and make some—just a hobby—yeah, right! If she calls it a hobby she’s allowed to make it. However, it turns into a very successful business, and now society scorns her. Portia’s cider business allows her to fund an orphanage and be financially independent. She values financial independence as it gives her choices other women do not have. She feels a responsibility to ensure she uses this freedom to prove women can, and should, be able to do anything.
Portia has been in love with my hero, Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, most of her life. Grayson moved into her family home many years ago when his family died in a carriage accident. He is her brother Robert’s best friend. Grayson’s memory of his dead mother clouds his judgment regarding behavior of a suitable wife. Portia is far too modern, outspoken, and scandalous, for his tastes, even though he’s drawn to her wit and beauty.
However, when they find themselves in a compromising position, he does the honorable thing and offers marriage.
Unfortunately, that is not enough for Portia. She wants his heart or nothing. The sparks fly as Grayson realizes that to save his honor he’ll have to convince Portia to become his wife.
Shana: I love that Lady Portia Flagstaff is a thrill seeker. She’s captured and put in a harem? This seems like a real throwback to those fabulous early romances. Tell us about Portia and what motivates her to risk so much?
Bronwen: She’s a bit of a tomboy. She has five brothers and no sisters, so has been brought up as one of the boys. Her parents also influence her as they have a love match. It’s a very happy, embracing, and encouraging household. Even her brothers are proud of her desire to be more than a mere brood mare for some lord. She quite rightly assumes that she can do anything men can do.
At sixteen she has a brush with death from influenza, and it changes her perspective on life. You only get one chance at living and she won’t waste a minute of it. She takes risks yes, but considered risks. She doesn’t want to have any regrets when she finally meets her maker.
Here’s the blurb for A Touch of Passion:
Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.
After losing his mother and sister in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.
Shana: I see you’ve also written a contemporary, The Reluctant Wife. Is there a difference in how you approach writing a contemporary novel as opposed to an historical?
Bronwen: Yes and no.
Character development might be different. A hero still has the same underlying traits – honor, kindness, strength, compassion, loyalty etc. but the way they live and how they behave is set by the social norms of the period you write in. For instance, having a mistress, going to ‘gentlemen’ clubs (brothels), is not considered out of place for a Regency hero. However, I don’t think it’s particularly hero type behavior in modern day.
Language is also a huge difference. Speech was more formal in Regency times. Certain words weren’t even in use. For example, I couldn’t say, “His touch was like accidently touching an electric fence.” There was no electricity in the early 1800’s.
As to the writing process, it’s exactly the same for either historical or contemporary books. I’m a plotter and I use Michael Hauge’s Six Act Story Structure. It’s very adaptable as it uses turning points at certain percentages of the story. For example, the Set Up of the book is usually 10%. If a book is 90,000 then I know a turning point has to come at around 9,000 words, if the book is 50,000 the turning point is around 5,000 words. A very useful road map for writers like me who love to plot.
Shana: You’ve done a lot of traveling. Do your travels influence your novels?
Bronwen: Many years ago, I lived in England for almost eight years, and I traveled extensively round the world. It’s a ‘kiwi’s’ right of passage. Most kiwi’s under the age of 28 can live and work in England for 2 years. We use London as a base to work and travel from because NZ is so far from the rest of the world. I’ve been to Russia, America, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America…. What I particularly loved about traveling to so many countries, experiencing different languages, varying levels of wealth, and interesting cultures, is, I learned we are all the same when it comes to wanting love and having healthy and happy families. The human condition is the same the world over. That is probably why romance stories are translated into many different languages.
Travel has certainly allowed me to be able to visualize places and settings for my books. How do you describe the Rockies and the ski resorts for instance, if you haven’t been to one? You probably can from a picture but it makes it easier when you have actually been there and experienced the culture and people—the sights, smells, and nuances are more vivid.
Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Bronwen: I’m finishing writing A Whisper of Desire book #4 and A Taste of Seduction book #5, and A Night of Forever book #6, in the Disgraced Lords series. I’m also writing a Christmas novella, Invitation To Pleasure, part of my Invitation To series. I’m pretty busy!
Readers, now it’s your turn. Portia is such a spunky heroine. Whose your favorite feisty female–fictional or real life! One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win the audio book of the Wicked Wagers trilogy [eBook can be substituted if the winner prefers eBook over audio book]. Winner announced and contacted Sunday.
USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dog Brandy.
Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/bronwenevans_NZ
Buy Links for A Touch of Passion $2.99
Amazon Canada http://amzn.to/1yUMOfv
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1ucWygI
Amazon Australia http://bit.ly/1zEw2lG
Amazon Germany http://amzn.to/1AkEo57
It’s time once again for My Favorite Line! This is the game where I pick favorite lines from various chapters of my latest release and you tell me your favorite. One person who comments will be randomly chosen to win a copy of the book (print or eBook).
Let’s get started!
Not him, she thought. Anyone but him.
“It was a mistake. I know that now.”
Taking a deep breath in anticipation of her freedom, Francesca threw open the door and stared straight at her father’s scowling face.
The Marquess of Winterbourne was not a nice man. Or one to be trifled with. She should pray she’d never have to see him again, free the sliver of hope lodged stubbornly in the back of her mind that one day he’d come to her, declare his love, and sweep her into his arms.
Grinning, he leaned down and brushed his cheek against the wisps of her hair, as soft as silk on his skin. “Are you tempted, sweetheart?”
Which line is your favorite? I’ll announce the randomly chosen winner tomorrow!