Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blog Tour: Guest Post with Bronwen Evans + Giveaway

Bronwen Evans doing an epic two long tour for her newest release, Invitation to Scandal. Today she is sharing why heroines are backbone of romance. Sure, we love our alpha heroes and their rocking hard bodies but do we ever go ga-ga over a heroine? Sometimes. We like strong women who assert their independence, who actually have brains (sorry TSTL heroines) and are still able to melt into a puddle around a handsome man. Bronwen is also sharing an excerpt which we think will make you want more.


WELCOME TO THE BLOG BRONWEN!!!


Meet Bronwen:
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@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.

Connect with Bronwen: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog


Heroines—the back bone of any fabulous romance
By Bronwen Evans

Hi, Jamie and Kati. Waving from New Zealand. Thank you so much for inviting me over today. I’m an avid romance reader – all genres. I've been reading quite a lot of romance books lately as a treat for the release day of my latest Regency romance, INVITATION TO SCANDAL. Reading all these books makes me think about heroines and what makes a reader bond with them.

The heroine in Invitation to Scandal is Miss Rheda Kerrick, the impoverished daughter of the wastrel Baron de Winter. She’s faced with bankruptcy when her father dies leaving her and her younger brother in a pile of debt. Instead of taking the easy way out and marry her wealthy neighbor, Rheda comes up with a plan that can save the family and offer her financial independence.

I’ve had loads of lovely emails from readers all saying how much they loved my heroine, Rheda Kerrick.

Rheda is a heroine loads my readers have bonded with. This feedback from one reader sums up why we all want Rheda to succeed and find her happy ever after.

“I liked the character of Rheda. She was smart, headstrong and determined to fulfill her dreams, no matter what she had to do. She even refused to use her neighbor and friend for his title and fortune after her father’s death when he proposed to her, refusing to taint his good name with her scandal. She opted for smuggling rather than the loveless marriage.”

Rheda’s a fighter. She doesn’t wait for life to happen to her, she makes it happen the way she desires it. She also thinks of others instead of just herself. She has honor and integrity. She’s spent the last seven years saving her younger brother’s inheritance and she took on the responsibility of providing for the widows and orphans in Deal as well. [CLUE TEN: KNIGHT]

Here is s scene which I think depicts her outlook on life. She has been caught by the hero, Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, with a barrel of unstamped brandy. Rufus is desperate to catch a local smuggler called Dark Shadow. He thinks the farming wench he has just rescued on the cliff tops above Deal, must know who the smuggler is, because she has in her possession, one of Dark Shadows barrels. Because Rheda doesn’t wish him to discover her true identity she heads to her friend Meg’s house and pretends to be an impoverished villager. This is her discussion with Meg when Rufus finally takes his leave.


“You can’t keep doing this, Rhe. It’s too dangerous. You have too much to lose if you are caught. Not like us village folk. You’ve done enough for this town. And you’ve all but saved Tumsbury Cliff Manor. Daniel’s a grown man. Let him take over the burden of providing.”

Rheda glanced over to the boys. “How can I stop? Most of the neighboring widows rely on what Dark Shadow provides them in order to survive. What will happen to them? To their children?”

Meg’s face tightened. “Maybe Daniel would continue to support them?” she asked, but it wasn’t truly a question.

Rheda gave a short laugh. “Daniel is becoming like most men, despite my influence. I fear he’s becoming blinded by the idea of a rich and influential barony. That’s all he thinks about.” Rheda hung her head. “Sometimes I despair of my own brother. He grows more like Father every day.” In a whisper she added, “I don’t think I could stand that.”

Meg turned to the stove and began dishing out more stew. Hot and fragrant, it smelled divine. Rheda’s stomach pinched reflexively. She watched Meg walk and slide the bowl in front of her eldest son, Connor. When she looked up, Meg was watching her.

“What of your other scheme? Over summer all the women could pool their cut. We can live off the fish we catch and vegetables we grow. Would that be enough for stud fees?”

“Who’s going to do the fishing?” Rheda said with uncharacteristic sharpness. “Perhaps their husbands? Oh, wait. Their husbands have died at sea, or are in prison for smuggling, or they’ve simply walked out on them. Or mayhap they have a man who is one of the better ones,” she added with a brittle smile. “The sort who gambles, and whores, and provides better for their fancy women than his children.”

She grabbed the next bowl from Meg’s hand and set it down a bit too hard on the table. Some slopped over the side. She and young Connor looked at each other.

“I could do the fishing. I’m old enough,” he interjected.

Rheda forced a smile, patted his head, and turned back to the stove.

“Eat your meal and don’t interrupt,” Meg said gruffly. But she bent and kissed his head, proud of her son’s offer.

“I have been beating the odds for over seven years, Meg,” Rheda said quietly, “and I will not stop now. Not for the Revenue men, nor fines, nor all the rest.”

Meg paused in adding more stew into a bowl. “Not even if the coin involved in your smuggling ends up in Napoleon’s coffers?”

Rheda hesitated, then shrugged her shoulders. “Incidental, and not my intent. That’s why I only trade in goods which I sell for coin. In any event, when I get my horse stud started, I’ll be helping the war effort. I’ll supply our troops the finest cavalry horses and be done with smuggling.” She tried to end on a triumphant note and smiled brightly. “I just need a bit more time.”

“That’s what you’re running out of. The government’s determined to stem smuggling. And you know what they’ll do to you if you’re caught?”

Rheda nodded and looked away, into the bubbling pot. Yes, she knew. Prison. Or if she was really unlucky—transportation.

Meg shoved a bowl filled with stew into Rheda’s cupped hands. The broth inside was warm, but Meg’s next words chilled her. “There’s been news, Rhe. They’re stepping up their patrols of the beaches. There will be Revenue men in every port, on every beach. Any time. You need to find a way out. Now.”

She looked out the window, down the path to where she’d last seen Lord Strathmore. Was her hunch right? Was he a government man? She cupped the bowl tighter, so that the warmth started to chase away the chill seeping through her bones. Whether he was or wasn’t, he was still trouble. Or maybe he was just what she needed. Her brain began whirling with ideas. “I might just have found a way,” she murmured.

The sound of the boys slurping their food and the crackle of the stove were the only sounds in the stuffy room. Rheda silently ate her stew, all the while thinking up her grand plan.

Glancing at Meg she stated, “I only need a few more months. I’m quitting at the end of summer. I should have enough stores by then to carry everyone until I sell the first foal.”

Meg’s face screwed up. “Foals? What foals? I thought you couldn’t afford a stallion?”

Rheda moved to hug Meg good-bye. “I don’t, but Lord Strathmore may come in useful there. Or at least his stallion.”

Meg pushed her away. “I don’t like that look on your face. It means trouble. What are you planning? You can hardly ask to borrow his horse when you’ve just pretended you’re someone you’re not.”

She slid Meg a sly smile and made her way to the door, her shoulders straight, her step light. “Who said I had to ask?”

“Lordy,” Meg said as if in prayer, “you’re inviting trouble.”

###

Can you guess what she does next? Leave a comment telling me what you think she does next and I’ll draw a winner who’ll win a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL, in book or ebook format (open internationally).

INVITATION TO SCANDAL:
Genre: Historical
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington Brava (April 24,2012)

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…
Get Your Own Copy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook | Book Depository
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
Other Book in Series:
Click for excerpt


So ladies...Bronwen is giving away a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL to one(1) lucky reader. The best part? It's international! Yay! Go ahead and copy what the guy is doing above :) Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment for Bronwen: Can you guess what she does next? Leave a comment telling me what you think she does next and I’ll draw a winner who’ll win a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL, in book or ebook format (open internationally).
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
Don't forget to follow Bronwen's blog tour. She's giving away some really cool prizes as well as a copy of her latest release at each stop. Follow the tour here.

A huge thank you to Bronwen for sharing her latest release on the blog as well as providing the giveaway copy.
***This giveaway is running for a whole month. Remember, this post hold a clue as part of Bronwen's epic tour***
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