Friday, June 22, 2012

Guest Blogger - Bronwen Evans

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.

Readers can contact Bronwen via email at romance@bronwenevans.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

Regency – the romance of history
By Bronwen Evans

History was one of my favorite subjects at school. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because when we look back we can find answers. We can see what happened. I like certainty. I’m a planner and a plotter. To me the future is so unknown and I find it both exhilarating and scary. But I take comfort from the past.

My favorite romance genre is historical romances. I think I’ve always loved reading historical romances because it gives me a glimpse of a world that’s familiar. It’s not a coincidence that I write Regency romances. As a writer I can see what happened in the past, and use it to form tension filled story ideas.

Many things trigger my imagination about the past, such as a painting, a place name, a person or as in the idea for my latest Regency romance, INVITATION  TO SCANDAL (Kensington Brava, May 2012), a poem.

A poem by Daniel Defoe about the dreaded town of Deal. Deal is in Kent, England, and was a notorious smuggling strong hold in the 17th and 18th centuries, mainly because of its close proximity to France. 

“If I had any satire left to write,
Could I with suited spleen indite,
My verse should blast that fatal town,
And drown’d sailors’ widows pull it down;
No footsteps of it should appear,
And ships no more cast anchor there.
The barbarous hated name of Deal shou’d die,
Or be a term of infamy;
And till that’s done, the town will stand
A just reproach to all the land”

Daniel Defoe 17th Century

Daniel Defoe’s poem is about how the town of Deal, Kent, is a haven of illegal activity—smuggling. How fascinating that a town should be so infamous, a poem was written about it. I immediately knew I wanted to write a story about smuggling set in Deal.

But, to make it more interesting, the smuggler would be female. There were so few ways a LADY could make a living in the early 1800′s and it seemed logical, given Rheda Kerrick lived near Deal, that she’d devise a means to save her brother’s inheritance—smuggling.

Of course she’d not counted on the devilishly handsome, Viscount Strathmore, Rufus Knight, deciding that the smuggler called Dark Shadow, was the key to clearing his father of treason. Nor did she expect his wicked attempts at seduction to have her craving his touch…

Here’s an excerpt – Rufus has just helped free Rheda who had been trapped by a very large barrel of French brandy. He thinks she’s a local country lass who can help him capture Dark Shadow…
His eyes darkened, reminding her of the hot chocolate she’d drunk this morning. They locked with hers, causing heat to sear along her nerve endings, where previously she’d had no feeling at all.

“Your legs may experience some tingling once the circulation starts working properly.”

Oh, she tingled all right.

“That is enough, thank you.” He did not loosen his grip on her ankles. “My legs are perfectly fine.”

“Now that I have freed you,” he said in a voice as smooth as the fine French brandy she held in her barrel, “you will return the favor by helping me.”

The hairs on her arms prickled. This could not be good. If he discovered her true identity, it would get back to Daniel. If that happened, Daniel would definitely put an end to her activities. She needed more time . . . Not only that, they could be in serious trouble, accused of participating in free trade.

His next words threw her off balance.  “You’re very tempting, you know.” His voice and the fire in his teasing eyes were having a similar seductive effect as the alcohol would have.

Who was she fooling? She’d been off balance the minute he’d gazed upon her.

“Your beauty cannot be disguised by these rags. I see someone has given you fine silk stockings, your lover perhaps. He must be a wealthy man.”

“I have no lover.”  Rheda could tell by the quirk of his brow that he did not believe her. A woman dressed as she was, with hidden silk stockings. No wonder he had jumped to the wrong conclusion. She shook her head. “Besides, I had nothing to do with the face God bestowed on me. It is not meant to entice you. I cannot help how I look.”

He nodded. “No more than I can help wanting to glory in it.”

With those husky words, he rose over her, slowly pressing her back into the fresh green grass. She felt every inch of his lean, hard body, and his masculine scent filled her nostrils. Rheda’s body betrayed her, welcoming the feel of him; the aroma of sandalwood and virile man became a heady rush that enhanced all her senses.

His lips hovered by her ear as he ran his hand slowly up the inside of her leg. His fingers found the top of her thigh, and with a small cry, she pushed her hands against his shoulders and squirmed beneath him. She tried to twist away from his touch, but he captured her wrists in his other hand and thrust them on the ground above her head.

“Come now, do not play coy with me. You are old enough to know the games men and women play. I would give you great pleasure. I would satisfy you more than any of your other lovers.”

 She’d had no other lovers. How could she make him believe that?

Before she could respond, his lips found hers in a drugging kiss. The slight stubble around his chin was abrasive on her skin—Rheda decided she liked the feeling. She’d never experienced a kiss like it. 

Finally he drew back. “What is your name?” he murmured as he lightly tickled the back of her knee.

Rheda’s brain spun. She could not give him her name; things had gone too far. She could barely think with his hand stroking her leg. 

“Do not . . . Get your hands off me.”

Ignoring her words, Lord Strathmore’s lips pressed lightly to her neck and he whispered, “Where did you get the barrel?”

One commenter, who tells me what their favorite period in history is and why, will win a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL. Open internationally. 

11 comments:

marybelle said...

I love History - period!! If pushed for a favorite, I would have to say Regency England if only for the etiquette & rules of courting.

Jane said...

I don't really have a favorite period, but became fascinated by the medieval era through reading romances, especially those set during the Norman invasion. I saw an episode of Battlefield Britain and learned a lot about the Battle of Hastings, William and Harold.

Debby said...

I enjoy many historical periods. Hard to say just one but if I had to I would go with really early times. I enjoy the medieval times. I would love to see how they lived. It is fascinating.

Beth said...

I don't really have a favorite period either if the story is well written then I enjoy it. Beth R

Carol L. said...

As long as it's Historical I'll lo9ve it. Hard to narrow down but if I have to it will be Scottish Historical times. Highlanders to me were the bravest and strongest Heroes for me.Please only enter me if it's print. Don't have an e-reader and can't read them on this computer. :(
Carol L.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Penfield said...

I enjoy reading about the French Revolution. Puttung aside the terrible fate of the aristocracy, it's just a fascinating look on what happens when the lower classes can't rise above their ststion in life.

penfield716(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Bron said...

Gosh isn't it great to see how we are all different. I love Regency but I do also love a manly Scot every now and then! I'm also partial to the odd Viking, even though I prefer tall, dark and handsome.

Melody May said...

When I was younger I loved Russian history, before WW 1. Then when I started reading romance I started to fall in love with regency England.

countessofmar@yahoo.com

Joy Gifford said...

My favorite period is Regency England. I love the titles, the period of dress, (minus the corset, those sounded wretched) and it seemed more romantic with balls, carriage rides in the park....Although I so like the Scottish with their brogues and kilts.

Jeanne M said...

Bronwen -

My favorite period of history ironically isn't the period I like to ready about the most but instead because it was a time period of the history of America when so much was changing in small and large villages, towns and cities as well as politics and expectations of it's citizens.

That time period was the late 1800's at the time Robert Frost emerged as a "common man" whose writing appealed to the masses.

My favorite poem that he wrote is The Road Not Taken. How many of us have reflected on his words he wrote and not had to pause and reflect back at our own lives. My favorite passages is the last in the poem:

"I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the differenc

Now that I'm older I often reflect back on my life and think "Yes, I'm glad I took the road less traveled" and rejoice at my decision.

Elf2060 said...

I love historical romances but hate history as a subject. Fortunately, you wonderful authors can make something I consider to be a very dry subject into wonderful romances wherein I learn a few snippets without the burden of rote memorization.