Hi Bronwen. I am ver excited to have you stopping by RCJR eZine blog today. For people not familiar with you would you mind sharing a bit about yourself?
Hi Christine. I’m a romance writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. I’ve only been writing for a few years but I’m loving the journey. I’m one of five girls – and I’m a twin. My twin sister, Leigh, is my biggest fan. My secret vice is fast cars. I love European motors like Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes. I own a 328i BMW but I hope on day to indulge myself with a totally impractical Porsche Carerra (Spanish for race).
What was it like to see your book in print?
It was surreal. I managed to sell my first book and so it was like a dream. I’d half written about 5 books but never finished one. As my writing buddy told me, you can’t sell what you haven’t finished. That book, Invitation to Ruin went on to be a nominee in the RT Book Reviewers Choice Best First Historical 2011 and it WON the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2012.
What was the very first thing you did when you heard your book was going to be
When I got the phone call from Megan Records, Kensington Publishing in New York, I was shaking so much I could hardly hold the phone. As soon as I hung up I rang my critique partner and told her. Then I phoned my agent!!!! Finally, I phoned all my family. My mother thought I was nuts giving up a very well paid job to give myself time to write but since I’ve sold she has become very supportive. Then it was opening the champers and celebrating…
When you received your first email or snail mail from a fan what did you think?
I was humbled. Humbled that a reader enjoyed my books enough to email me about it. I love interacting with fans. They are who I’m trying to please. As an entertainer its lovely that you can ‘hear’ the applause through reviews, emails etc… One fan wrote me an email I cherish. I actually loaded it on my blog…it’s about book two, To Wager the AMrquis of Wolverstone, in the Wicked Wagers trilogy.
Do you believe that social network is a productive way of meeting potential readers? Are
there pros and cons to networking with a social media?
I love social media, regardless of whether I’m reaching new readers or my current readers or simply meeting people from around the world. However, I usually only tweet or facebook when I have something exciting to say – generally my life’s not that interesting. I envy those people who can casually tweet about absolutely nothing and still make it sound fun.
What was some of the best advice you were given on your road to becoming a published author?
To treat this as a career and therefore to do things that will enhance that career. For instance:
Join writing organizations
Hone your craft by taking courses – there are loads online…
Go to writing conferences
Join online groups
Read, read, read, read, read, read, read etc
Write, write, write, write, write, write etc
Learn about rejection,
And grow a thick skin…..
What advice would you give to a struggling writer in this day and age of self-publishing?
There has never been a better time to be an author. A rejection from the traditional publishing arena is no longer a waste of all your hard work. You can self-publish it. BUT the competition is fierce. Like any business you must have a quality product at the right price and be able to find your market i.e. your readers who love your voice. Learn how to become a marketer or think like one. Success will probably not happen overnight and usually not with one book…Take advice, hone your craft, and learn from others. If you love what you are doing never stop! Live the dream…
If you could write any other genre than your present one, which would it be and why?
I write in Regency and contemporary already (a contemporary, The Reluctant Wife, due out with Entangled Publishing in December). I’d love to write a paranormal (and I have started one that a couple of publishing houses are interested in. I just can’t seem to find the time to finish it.). I LOVE strong alpha heroes and I like dark, tortured souls as well. It would be so much fun to write a non-human hero for a change.
Do you remember where you were when you first thought up the Wicked Wagers trilogy?
I was watching Barbara Cartland’s DVD with my sister – A Hazard of Hearts - where the hero wins the heroine and her father’s estate in a game of cards. I thought wouldn’t it be more fun to have a feisty heroine ask to win the house back rather than simply letting the hero claim it. And I love writing a series, so I immediately saw the opportunity to have three heroes – To Dare, To Wager and To Challenge. It was so much fun writing these three books that I’m going to do a heroine trilogy in 2013 – Scorned Wives…
I know that you put your own blood, sweat and tears into ever page. So, I’m curious to
know if your characters have any of your own traits. Is there one character you think is
more like you than any other?
Another fabulous question. My heroine, Rheda Kerrich in Invitation to Scandal (Kensington May 2012) is very much like me. She hates inequality and she’s a pretty intelligent woman. She can’t simply sit back, or lie back as the case may be, (they want her to marry to save her brother’s inheritance) so she takes control of her life, is not afraid to take a few calculated risks, and does the best she can. I really admired her.
When you began the Wicked Wagers trilogy did you have Henry St. Giles, Earl ofCravenswood’s arc figured out? Did you know that before you began Henry’s storywould end the way it did?
Nope! In fact I almost had him marrying Millicent but once I’d met Amy Shipton in Marcus’s story I just knew she was the woman for Henry. She was such a lovely woman, loyal, fair, honorable and I had so much fan mail about her, I had to redo Henry’s plot. However, I did want Millicent to have a happy ending and a better life and I think I managed both pretty well.
The Wicked Wagers trilogy is set against the turbulent and glamorous backdrop of
Regency era. What about this era drew you to it?
Turbulent and glamorous does it for me. No. Seriously, it is one of the periods of the greatest change in history – the industrial revolution, immigration from Europe to the rest of the world, new inventions, rise in the arts – both music and painting and literature, war’s and other conflicts (India, China, America, France). There are endless interesting facts to write books around. Characters are fascinating to write and the world is very vivid.
Bronwen, would you share with us a bit more about Henry and Amy’s story in TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD?
Amy’s father is trying to marry her off – quickly! Now that his wife is dead, he wants to move his mistress and ‘other’ family into his country estate. He cannot do that with an unmarried daughter under foot. However, the only man Amy is interested in is her handsome neighbor Henry St. Giles. When he was the second son of the Earl he was forbidden. Not high enough for a duke’s daughter. But now he is the Earl he’s a prime candidate, until after a mistaken, anonymous fumble in a darkened garden sees Henry whispering another woman’s name in Amy’s ear.
Amy’s one hard and fast rule- she will not marry a man in love with someone else. Her parent’s marriage showed her the horror of just such an arrangement. So with Henry in possession of one of Amy’s earrings, determined to find out the identity of the woman he’d held in his arms, Amy’s equally determined to stay hidden. She’s not about to give her father the ammunition he needs to see her forced up the aisle.
What was your premise for writing this story?
Henry is a ‘would be if he could be’. What I mean by that is he’s classed as a rake but really he’s a man looking for love. Looking for his soul mate. I love the idea of a man whose reputation is gained from the friends he keeps. Henry, in the previous two books, was always the one who reminded Harlow and Marcus to be good. I wanted him to find his soul mate but have to work at it. Perhaps even have to go further than he honorably wished to go…
I would like to take a moment and thank Henry and Amy for dropping by with Bronwen.
Hi Guys, (waving above the crowd) I am so excited that you both were able to drop by
today. I hope you do not mind, but I would love to ask you some need to know questions
that readers are desperate to know.
I am one of those readers that love to find out what people think the moment they meet the love of their lives. Amy, I will start with you. What was the very first thing youthought when you met Henry? Henry, you are up. =) What was your first impression of
Amy: I was fifteen when I first noticed Henry. I fell off my horse in Hyde Park and broke my arm. It was Henry on his dapple gray charger that came to my rescue. Even through my pain I took one look into his warm and richly green eyes and knew he was the man for me. Unfortunately I didn’t think I had any hope with him because he was only a second son—not that it mattered to me but it would matter to my father…
Henry: I have of course known Amy most of her life. She’s about ten years younger than me. But the first time I really noticed her was when I caught her, bottoms up, hunting for her guinea pig in my garden. I’d never seen a more enticing behind (Amy: thank you, darling). It later turns out she was really searching for her lost earring but she led me a pretty chase, making me help her search, down on all fours, for an imaginary pet called Tinkles. Later when I learned her ruse I was not amused. I was woefully hung over at the time and my head ached.
I know your love story started with a stolen kiss. (Pulling the besotted couple into asecluded corner) did you, Henry, really have no idea who the woman was in your arms and the lips you were kissing?
Henry: Well, in all fairness I was slightly concussed and completely blotto. Drinking my sorrows away does that for you.
Amy: You’re such a fibber. You thought I was Millicent.
Henry: I might have while I was kissing you but as soon as I became more compos mentis I knew it was someone else. Just not who. How was I to know that young ladies steal into my private garden at four in the morning. (Raised eyebrow) Uninvited. Spying on me.
(Amy turns bright red)
Amy, wow, what a kiss, (Christine fans her heated red cheeks) what did you think of that
Amy: (Still red) It was my first real kiss and I never dreamed it could be so heavenly. I’m pretty sure it was spectacular because the man who held me in his arms and was kissing me so passionately was Henry. The man I hero worshipped. Wouldn’t you be thrilled?
Henry, on that one night in a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken
kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, what was it that lead you on a Cinderella hunt of a
woman you believed was your soul mate? Why did you believe she was that woman?
Henry: I don’t want to sound like a soppy fool, but (he glances at Amy and takes her hand), I just knew the woman I’d kissed in the dark was right for me. Besides, my two recently married friends threatened to set my Great Aunt on me unless I married by the end of the season. I thought this angel of my dreams the best place to start.
Amy, what is it like being married to a notorious scoundrel? Is it true that rogues makethe best husbands? Would you please share with readers the moment you knew your scoundrel was the man for you.
Amy: Scoundrel? I knew Henry was no scoundrel even when I was young. I hated the rumors about his rakish ways…I was green with jealousy. He might have been wrongly encouraged to sow his wild oats by his very rakish two friends, Duke of Dangerfield and Marquis of Wolverstone but… If he was a scoundrel he was my loving and caring scoundrel.
Same question for you, Henry. When did you know that Amy was your ‘soul mate”?
Henry: I thought she might be the one, as soon as I saw her hiding under my bed. She witnessed—well, let’s just say she saw me in a moment of self-pleasure and she didn’t run screaming from the room. But it wasn’t really until I saw the sketches she’d drawn of me, which she kept hidden under her bed. Then I lost my heart completely… (Amy – big sigh).
What is one thing you, Henry and Lady Amy, would like readers to walk away with after reading your love story?
Henry: I’d like them to know that love takes courage. It’s a risk putting your heart out there but the rewards are immense.
Amy: nodding at Henry’s comment. I think that a lot of couples need to learn to communicate. If I’d been braver I could have simply asked who Millicent was. But then I wouldn’t have had such a fun and exciting journey to love.
Now back to Bronwen
Thank you, Bronwen for bringing along Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood and
his beautiful wife, Lady Amy St. Giles with you today to chat about their love story. I
truly appreciate you letting me take a few moments to ask them some need-to-knowquestions. Now, I am curious, Bronwen, when you wrapped up with them and typed THE END to your TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD transcript, what did you do to celebrate?
Bron: I had a little tear in my eye actually, as I loved these two. Gosh, I loved all the characters in my Wicked Wagers trilogy. I never really celebrate a book until I see my readers’ reactions. If they enjoy the story I’ve done a good job. I hope people enjoy Henry and Amy’s fun road to happy ever after…Then I’ll celebrate with a big piece of chocolate cake and a cup of tea…
When your readers read the last word of TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD what do you hope they take away from it?
Bron: That warm glow of satisfaction. A feeling that their spirits have been lifted and they have a big smile on their face and a little tear in their eye.
When that fleeting free time comes your way what do you like to do? Are there any
authors you would recommend to readers until we have the next Bronwen Evans’ book in
Bron: The next book is not far away. I have my very first contemporary coming out with Entangled Publishing on 15 December, The Reluctant Wife. I’m actually really nervous about this book as I don’t know how my readers will like it.
Besides, I’m never too busy to read a romance. I loved Emma Wildes, Ruined by Midnight, and Nicola Cornick , Forbidden. Any books by Shana Galen or Gaelen Foley or Nicole Jordan are my favs.
Where can we connect with you on the great wide web?
One more thing before I let you skedaddle. The holiday season is upon us and I was
wondering if you had a special recipe that you make every holiday season that you would
like to share with RCJR eZine readers?
Bron: My pavlova recipe. It’s a must in my household each Christmas (remember its summer here in New Zealand). So, it tends to be bar-b-que’s and light foods at the beach or by the pool. This dessert is to die for….
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 1 pavlova
3 Egg Whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat egg whites until stiff (forms peaks). Add sugar - heaped tablespoon at a time - beating well after each addition. Then beat for at least 10 minutes. This is very important. Then sprinkle vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence into mixture. Beat until blended.
Coat baking paper with water drops to allow baking paper to stick to sides of tin and pile pavlova mixture in 20cm circle.
Heat oven until 300°F (or 150°C). Put pav in oven and immediately turn oven down to 250°F (or 125°C) and leave for 1 hour. Then turn oven off and leave in oven until cold. (Usually overnight). This makes a nice crust on outside of pav.
Before serving, cover pav in whipped cream and decorate with your favourite fruit (kiwifruit and strawberries are the NZ tradition)
I would like to thank you one more time, Bronwen for bringing readers into the
Fascinating and opulent Regency world once again. Henry and Amy’s love story in To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood (book 3 in the Wicked Wagers trilogy) will bring
your legions of new fans rushing to know more about this incomparable loving couple.
Bron: Gosh thank you for such kind words. I hope everyone has enjoyable Holiday Season and that you had a wonderful Thanks Giving yesterday!
Tell me what your favorite Thanks Giving read was and why, and I’ll draw one lucky winner who’ll receive an eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. Open internationally.
The Wicked Wagers Blog Tour runs Monday to Friday for the whole month, and you can WIN copies of all my books and $30 Amazon or B&N gift card (International)... Simply visit each blog post and follow the instructions...
OverviewWicked Wagers Trilogy Book #3 (Long Novella 190 pages)
Read an Excerpt
To live happily ever after...
Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he's searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he's called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman's name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she's determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She's not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.
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 won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence release late 2012, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Bride.
Bronwen loves hearing from avid romance readers at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com
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