Thursday, March 22, 2018

2018 RITA® Finalist: Dancing with the Duke's Heir (in the anthology Scandal at the Christmas Ball)

Yesterday it happened! I got THE CALL while I was madly typing away on a book due Sunday.  Carolyn Jewel called to tell me "Dancing with the Duke's Heir" was a finalist for best novella.  Shocked doesn't even begin to cover it, not because I didn't think it was a good story--I think it's a great story, that's why I entered it--but because who knows how these things go? A lot of good stories are entered every year and quite a few them don't quite make the cut, so there's always a lot of hope and luck behind the entries we all send off.

It's great to have it happen this year-- the conference is in Denver, just a short flight from my home, so I can afford to go, my agent will be there, and this novella is my 40th release for Harlequin, so it's a special story in that regard, too.  And also, I think the Brockmore series as a whole is a really classy collaboration/continuity effort that I was proud to do with Marguerite Kaye. So, I love that a piece of that continuity has a chance to get some recognition.

Thanks to all of you in the writing community who turned out online yesterday with so many thoughtful congratulations and well-wishes. They are much appreciated.

As a small thank you to all those who have supported me, I have posted an excerpt from the story here:


Monday, February 19, 2018

Getting the most out of reading Compromised by the Prince's Touch #1

I loved writing Nikolay's story! The reason? Because it's more than just a romance. There are layers upon layers to appreciate, not unlike Russian culture itself. But because of that, Nikolay's story is for a very sophisticated reader's palate.  I want to start with a short post here about the general construction of the story and the series.

The series as whole addresses some aspect of Russian culture, history  and lifestyle in each of the books as well as addressing the immigrant story--a theme that remains relevant throughout the ages but is particularly relevant in today's news. Nikolay's story looks at the historical dilemma of change vs. tradition, something that Russian history is cyclically fraught with revolt attempts. Do not think the idea of a Russian revolution is limited to the 1917 revolution. in 1648 it was the Moscow Uprising, in 1682 it was another Moscow Uprising, in 1698 it was the Streltsky uprising, there's a pair of attempted revolts in 1817 and again in 1825 (those two are the ones Nikolay's story is built around).  There was the 1905 revolt which encouraged Nikolas II to move from a monarchy to a constitutional monarchy etc.  There are more, but enough said. You get the point. The series translates that tension between change and tradition into the world of Kuban, a fictional southern Russian Cossack kingdom with a repressive Tsar who refuses to reform.

Nikolay's story rotates around the St. Petersburg palace revolts, which were attempts to put a less repressive Tsar on the Russian throne. Some historical points to note: After the 1817 revolt, those who fled went abroad as one of their hiding places. And yes, cells abroad did continue to plot, and yes, the plotters for this revolution which would eventually take place in 1825 were high ranking military officers and nobles, which made it unique. So, it's not implausible that Alexei Grigoriev would be entertaining such notions or that he'd approach the discontent expatriate, Prince Nikolay for help. Nikolay is ideal-- he's a military officer and he's a prince.

Second, there is indeed a secret society called the Union of Salvation and they did indeed have two arms, a northern and southern branch. Nikolay would have been a likely member.

Third, there were indeed several arms dealers and consortiums willing to sell arms to international parties after the Napoleonic Wars. These arms manufacturers no longer had the bulk outlet they once had in the English army in a time of peace and were eagerly looking for new markets.  Cabot Roan, the man who does the arm deals with Grigoriev is featured in Book #4 of the Wallflowers to Wives series, "Marrying the Rebellious  Miss," as the villain.

Fourth, Kuban is a real geographic region populated by Cossacks and by those who were willing to move there. Russian colonized the Kuban region in an attempt to make it a buffer between Russia and the Ottoman empire beginning in the 1700s.  A series of forts were built there and civilization followed. But beyond that, the rest is my own imaginings.

The second world-building layer I want to point out is the subtle nod to Russian literature. This book is scopey, especially for a historical series book. Like many Russian novels, this story takes place against the backdrop of sweeping events. Think Dr. Zhivago, Anna Karenina etc. this story is about two people finding one another against events so much larger than themselves, a reminder that even in times of trouble and conflict, love trumps all.

I hope you enjoy the subsequent posts about Nikolay and Klara's story!! And I hope they intrigue you to read the book.

4 Stars from Romantic Times for Compromised by the Prince's Touch

"Scott delivers an absorbing tale with an uncommon hero, bold heroine,
elements of foreign intrigue, treachery and passion. The witty byplay between the characters and their tension-filled battle of wills fuels the readers’ desire to turn the pages. The love story unfolds masterfully as the characters are caught in a conspiracy that could change the face of European politics. Brava to Scott for bringing interesting historical possibilities to light in the debut of the Russian Royals of Kuban series.
Prince Nikolay Baklanov of Kuban went from a life of war and rebellion to that of an instructor at a prestigious London riding academy. Teaching spoiled young misses is not what the dashing prince imagined. Then diplomat’s daughter Klara gallops into the ring. Since her mother’s death, Klara has been her father’s hostess and a member of his political circle. It is her mission to ferret out Nikolay’s motives for being in England and his reactions to a possible revolutionary conspiracy. She’s the perfect lady, but something in the daring prince exposes her wild side. Nikolay has his reasons for not trusting Klara, but he is drawn to her intelligence, beauty and love of horses. No longer willing to be her father’s puppet, Klara falls deeply in love with Nikolay, but there are many impediments and a ruthless suitor to overcome before they can find their happily ever after. "(HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL, Jan., 288 pp., $6.50)
Re-posted from Romantic Times Book Review

The Russian Royals of Kuban Have Arrived

Happy New Year,
2018 starts with a bang with the new Russian Royals series. This year's series features four books about Dimitri Petrovich's friends (mentioned in Wallflowers to Wives book #2 Awakening the Innocent Miss). These are the four men Dimitri trusts to bring his sister and his father out of Kuban.  But they have issues of their own as they settle into their new lives. The series is sophisticated and layered, exploring the nostalgia of home and themes of relocation and re-discovery of self in a new land, while also exploring larger Russian cultural issues.

Book #1 (available January2018) Compromised by the Prince's Touch
The first book features Prince Nikolay Baklanov, a former cavalry officer in the Kubanian military. Wounded by an unsuccessful assassination attempt when he spoke out against the Kubanian Tsar, Nikolay faced trial for treason if he stayed. But after the grueling overland and sea journey to England, Nikolay now has adjust to life outside his home and the military.  It's harder than he thought. He's always had a cause to fight for, and now his life is empty and the cause of reforming Kuban remains unfinished. He's at loose ends, teaching riding at Fozard's to pass the time.

Enter Klara Grigorieva, daughter of the Russian attache in London. She's on a mission: recruit the prince to her father's cause; a palace revolt in St. Petersburg to dethrone the repressive Tsar. Nikolay is tempted to join her father's cause, in part to fill the hole in him, but also for her. Klara is a temptation that supersedes even the cause of reform. But Klara has already been promised to another, an unscrupulous duke who will not hesitate to expose the secret revolt in order to see Nikolay dead.

Together, Klara and Nikolay must defy the odds in order to protect their newfound love.

Book #2 Innocent in the Prince's Bed (Feb. 2018)
Illarion Kutejnikov, the Poet-Prince, former poet laureate of Kuban is adrift in London Society. Since his escape from Kuban and charges of libel against the Tsar, he's lost his muse.  His poetry remains uninspired until the night he meets Lady Dove Sanford-Wallis, only child of a wealthy duke, and the most anticipated debutante of the Season. She is intended for an excellent high -society match, while London intends to tolerate Illarion's handsome eccentric rakishness as long as he limits himself to London's merry widows and demimonde. London doesn't want a cast-off prince with no land or assets to corrupt the purer roses of English womanhood. But when Dove sparks Illarion's creativity and his empathy, Illarion vows to pursue her.

Sheltered and protected her entire life, Dove is ready to throw off the chains of her over-protective parents.  Illarion is unlike any man she's ever met, and he opens her eyes to the possibilities of a life far beyond the one that has been imagined for her, a life Dove had never questioned until now. But to claim it and the man she loves, she will have to rebel against family and long standing tradition.,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

Book #3 Awakened by the Prince's Passion (July 2018) 
Prince Ruslan Pisarev is awakened in the middle of the night in his newly purchased London townhouse by a bedraggled Kubanian officer and his companion, a woman whom he claims is the last survivor of the royal house of Kuban, Princess Dasha.   Kuban is in revolt, the royal family massacred on their front lawn. The officer wants to Ruslan to protect the princess until it's time for her to return home and re-claim the throne.

Ruslan is used to protecting others, used to spiriting them out of Kuban. This would be different. He'd have to get someone back in to the country--a country he'd thought he left behind forever. But duty calls, presenting him with not only the personal dilemma to leave the life he's built in London, but also to accept the officer's claim. The princess does not recall who she is but she is the country's best hope of peaceful transition, and the best hope of Kuban claiming the reform he and his friends had given their lives for. Ruslan will risk it all by uniting politics and love.

Book #4 Seduced by the Prince's Kiss  (Aug. 2018)
Stepan Shevchenko is the last of the four princes, and he's feeling it. His nest of friends is empty. He is born leader of men and now he is alone. Now, there is no longer a reason for him to not act on the hidden flame he's carried for miles across a continent and into a new life for Dimitri's sister, Anna-Maria, except perhaps Dimitri himself and that bit about having become a smuggler of fine spirits in protest against restrictive taxation in England. It seems old habits die hard. ...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

4 Stars from RT for Unbuttoning the Innocent Miss

July 1 readers can meet the first of  the Wallflowers to Wives heroines, Claire Welton, as she finds herself tutoring her long time secret crush, Jonathon Lashley, in French.  Jonathon must overcome his inability to speak the language in order to secure a coveted diplomatic posting to Vienna, AND he must marry the Season's reigning Diamond of the First Water, Cecilia Northam. His life seems perfectly arranged. The only problem is that he's falling for Claire, a sudden attraction that might cost him everything. Order now!

Summer Starts with Scandal at the Midsummer Ball!

My duet with Marguerite Kaye is now available! This is an interesting book to read because we each wrote a story set at the same party, among the same guests, using the same events to build the story around. It was so much fun to do, I'll tell you a secret: We are teaming up this October to write a Christmas party duet that will come out in 2017.

My story in the duet focuses on the roguish horsebreeder, Kael Gage, and the Season's jilt, Miss Zara Titus--who once had made an incredible match but now that the match has been broken must marry again in haste. Only,  Zara disagrees with the verdict. Why marry at all? Why not enjoy a little freedom? With Kael Gage on hand to oblige, that seems like a perfectly enjoy outcome as long as she doesn't get caught by her matchmaking mama who intends to see her married to the perfectly respectable and not nearly as exciting Richard Downing.  Her covert exploration into the sensual seems to be going well until the Duke of Brockmore steps in to make Kael an offer he shouldn't refuse, or should he?  Anything can happen when Midsummer magic abounds.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

All About Romance likes Nolan in Rake Most likely to Seduce!

Caz Owen reviews "Rake Most Likely to Seduce"
" Bronwyn Scott’s historicals are at the hotter end of the HH/M&B scale, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint in that department; the chemistry between Nolan and Gianna is terrific and the love scenes are nice and steamy. Gianna may be a virgin, but as the daughter of a courtesan it’s easy to believe she’s a little more clued up about sex than the average virginal young woman at the time. Ms Scott’s descriptions of the sights and sounds of La Serenissima, from the canals and gondolas to the piazzas and markets are wonderfully evocative and round out the story nicely.
Rake Most Likely to Seduce is a quick and enjoyable read, and one I’d recommend to anyone looking for an historical romance with a dash of adventure in a setting that’s slightly different to the norm."
The other books in this series are Rake Most Likely to Rebel and Rake Most Likely to Thrill
-- Caz Owens