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Category: Giveaways

Posts in which we or our guests offer a giveaway.

therenegadewife Today at Risky Regencies, we are delighted to have Caroline Warfield as our guest! Caroline has a book giveaway for you and a fascinating glimpse of a Canadian setting used in her new release, The Renegade Wife. Her new post-Regency series follows the children of characters introduced in her first series. To learn more, please read on!

Traveler, would-be adventurer, librarian, technology manager—Caroline Warfield has been many things, but above all a romantic. She is now a writer of historical romance, enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens, who sits in an office surrounded by windows and lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Children of Empire

Raised with all the privilege of the English aristocracy, forged on the edges of the British Empire, men and woman of the early Victorian age seek their own destiny and make their mark on history. The heroes and heroines of Caroline’s Dangerous Series overcame challenges even after their happy ending. Their children seek their own happiness in distant lands in Children of Empire.

Caroline will give a Kindle copy of the winner’s choice of Dangerous Works or Dangerous Secrets to one randomly selected person who comments.

Book 1 in the new series is The Renegade Wife, which releases on October 12. Betrayed by his cousin and the woman he loved, Rand Wheatly fled England, his dreams of a loving family shattered. He clings to his solitude in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. Returning from a business trip, he finds a widow and two children squatting in his house. He wants them gone, but his heart is not as hard as he likes to pretend. Meggy Blair harbors a secret, and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her children safe. She doesn’t expect to find shelter with a quiet, solitary man, a man who lowers his defensive walls enough to let Meggy and her children in.

Their idyllic interlude is shattered when Meggy’s brutal husband appears to claim his children. She isn’t a widow, but a wife, a woman who betrayed the man she was supposed to love, just as Rand’s sweetheart betrayed him. He soon discovers why Meggy is on the run, but time is running out. To save them all, Rand must return and face his demons.

Caroline says: “When my Dangerous Series came to an end, and I looked around for my next project, I realized that I had populated my earlier books with young people who would grow up and need to search for their own happiness. A quick look at timelines of English history showed me that I would be moving into a really rich period of social upheaval and empire building. With it came exotic locations, something I particularly value. One wearies of the London drawing room after a while. The result was not just one book, but a whole new series. I named it Children of Empire.

The first books take place during the reign of William IV, the time in between the Georgian and Victorian eras. The Reform Crisis, social upheaval, growing interest in the Canadian timber industry, the expansion of the East India company, and the seeds of the First Opium War all lurk in the background of the first three books.

One major treat in researching The Renegade Wife was learning about the building of Rideau Canal. The story takes place months after the completion of the canal, certainly a wonder when it was built, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My characters travel the Rideau watershed and visit Bytown, now called Ottawa.


The untamed river and the lock 100 feet away.

I took the opportunity to go take a look, and the locks at Ottawa—still functioning after 180 years—astounded me. So did the whole length of locks, dams, and blockhouses, all built to defend the Canadas (as the provinces were known in 1832) from those pesky Americans down south. ”  bytownlocks(1827 Commissariat Building, shown behind me in the photo, is now the Bytown museum.)

Do you enjoy following characters into the post-Regency era and more exotic locations of the British Empire? Have you ever been to Ottawa, or visited the Rideau Canal or the Bytown museum? Post a comment to be entered into the drawing for Caroline’s giveaway!

A brief excerpt from The Renegade Wife:

She pushed away from the door. “If you’re finished, I’ll clear up your dishes.

“Damn it woman, I fend for myself here.” He looked her up and down. He noticed her deep blue eyes, midnight black hair, and dusky skin. “What are you? Gypsy? Is that where you learned how to diddle a man out of his belongings?”

She drew her back up straight and squared her shoulders. The gesture pulled her dress tight across obviously ample breasts.

There’s a practiced enticement. She’s in for a surprise if she thinks that trick will work on me.

Chin high, she met his eyes without flinching. “My grandmother is Ojibwa, my father was French, and my husband was a Scot. You can despise whichever one of those your English heart chooses, or all of them, but I am not a thief.”

She grabbed her skirt and took a step toward the door. “Do fend for yourself. We’ll leave as soon as we can.”

“I’ll decide when you’re a thief,” he snarled, bringing her to a halt. “It’s my house.”

For (pre-order) purchase on Amazon.

Also check out Caroline online:

Website and Blog


Twitter      @CaroWarfield

There’s also a Pinterest Board for The Renegade Wife!

Please leave a comment, to be entered in the giveaway.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Caroline!





Using, Caroline Warfield has selected the winner of her giveaway from her visit with us on Sept 30. A-n-d the winner is: JUDY!! Caroline tells me Judy has already received her choice of either Dangerous Works or Dangerous Secrets, from Caroline’s “Dangerous”series. Congratulations, Judy!! Thanks for visiting us at Risky Regencies!

Well, I want to say that everyone who offered suggestions for my “real Regency heroines” list are winners simply by being generous people who participated and expanded everyone’s knowledge of the period by doing so. But I did promise specifically to give away a free ebook or two, and since the response was so wonderful, I gave away four!!

The winners were chosen at random and they are: Sharon Farrell, Queen PoohBear, Harriet Robinson, and author Kim Lambert (who posted on FB). I included several people who posted on FB because I know not everyone finds it easy to post comments on the blog. Congratulations to all four winners! And thanks again to everyone for helping to create a most interesting roster of admirable women!

Diane here! It is my pleasure to introduce our guest bloggers today. As you may know, Harlequin Historicals are edited by the Mills and Boon offices in the UK. One of the pleasures of writing for them is getting to know the UK authors. These are women who live on moors, shop in London, visit stately homes. Sigh! I envy them! Today please welcome three of them who have an exciting series to tell you about (and a mystery goody bag to give away to one lucky commenter). Here they are!

Sarah Mallory

Sarah Mallory

Put any three romance writers together with a glass or two of wine and, if they are friends and have interests in common, sooner or later one of them will say, “I’ve had a great idea… Shall we collaborate on it?” On this occasion we were the three writers in question – Sarah Mallory, Annie Burrows and Louise Allen.


Annie Burrows

It was Sarah who had the idea – she’d just visited Waterloo and had been very moved by the stories that were bound up with that momentous battle. Knowing the bicentenary would be a very important occasion she wanted to do something personal to mark it and suggested three linked books to Annie and Louise.

Louise Allen

Louise Allen

We’ve been friends for years, and we all write Regency historicals, so Waterloo is a familiar background for all of us. Fortunately Sarah had her brainwave with plenty of time to plan, so we waylaid the senior Harlequin Mills & Boon Historicals editor at a conference and pitched the idea. When she accepted the concept of the Brides of Waterloo trilogy the hard work began!

51e7KKHdaZLWe had all worked on collaborations and linked books before, and we knew it was essential to be able to discuss ideas and to negotiate over what did and didn’t work for us and our characters. Fortunately we soon agreed that our three stories would overlap in action and in time, but would also stand alone as complete stories in their own right.

It only took a few emails for us to agree what we wanted to write and after that we began to plan our books, each using a character from the artillery unit we had created, affectionately known as Randall’s Rogues (think of a Regency Dirty Dozen!) Sarah’s story begins before the battle, Annie’s starts as it is being fought and Louise’s begins the morning after, on the battlefield. Our characters are linked by blood – Sarah’s hero and Annie’s heroine are brother and sister, Louise’s hero is their half-brother.

71EaIQ+IgQLMost of our communication was by email, although we did meet up occasionally at Romantic Novelists’ Association events. Emails flew thick and fast and we started to use spreadsheets to plot the timelines and to keep a note of our characters. Modern technology was hugely important in our collaboration, although on one memorable occasion Annie and Sarah did get together in the café of a large bookshop to work out one of the battle scenes with the use of the cruet set, sugar basin and napkins. That attracted a few bemused looks from other customers!

All three of us have been researching the Regency period for years, but this trilogy meant we needed to find out more about the military aspects of the battle. The personal stories of our three heroes were paramount, of course, but we had to set them in the right background. We read books on Waterloo by respected military historians, visited exhibitions and talked to re-enactors, as well as contacting a Waterloo tour guide who has made the battle his life study.91WF2PbRqGL._SL1500_

Sarah’s hero in A Lady For Lord Randall is Justin Latymor, Lord Randall, the colonel of the artillery unit. He is a career soldier with no time for romance, until he meets Mary Endacott, a radical young teacher who challenges his authority. She is opposed to everything Lord Randall represents and not afraid to say so, but once she falls in love with Randall she proves herself to be every bit as courageous as her man.

Annie’s hero is the unit’s resident rake, Major Tom Bartlett, in A Mistress For Major Bartlett. Left for dead on the battlefield he finds himself being nursed by darling of the ton, Lady Sarah Latymor – his commanding officer’s precious sister. He knows the right thing is to send her away, but Sarah is going to defy everyone in order to stay with him, even if she ruins herself in the process.

In A Rose For Major Flint, Major Adam Flint is Louise’s hero. He’s Randall’s illegitimate half-brother, he’s fought himself out of the gutter and become an officer – but he’s tough, rough and definitely not respectable. When he rescues the traumatised young woman he calls “Rose” on the battlefield he believes her to be a camp follower. But Rose is not what she seems and Flint’s hard-won honour is soon put to the test.

9134Oka6uXL._SL1500_-1   It was a challenge fitting the three stories into the framework of the historical facts, but that was also a strength, because it gave us so many wonderful situations to exploit – the Duchess of Richmond’s legendary ball, for one. It also led Louise into producing a non-fiction book about the first Waterloo tourists in their own words – they began appearing on the battlefield the morning afterwards and haven’t stopped visiting since! (The Road to Waterloo: The First Waterloo Tourists 1815-1816).

To reflect the timescale of the books we have been given three gorgeous covers. All show the little chateau of Hougoumont in the background. It was the key to the western end of the British front line and the covers show it intact before the battle, burning during it and in ruins afterwards.

We’d love to hear your comments about our series and to answer any questions you might have. We would also like to ask you a question – Just what is it about men in uniform that is so attractive? And which uniforms do you go for – the Roman legionary? The medieval knight? The British redcoat or the American GI, perhaps? It has been great having the opportunity to visit Risky Regencies and to celebrate we’re offering a mystery goody bag to the writer of one answer, chosen at random.

Sarah Mallory:

Annie Burrows:

Louise Allen:

Buy links

A Lady For Lord Randall: &

A Mistress For Major Bartlett: &

A Rose for Major Flint: & &

The Road to Waterloo:

MichelleStyles smWelcome my friend and fellow Harlequin Historical author Michelle Styles who writes in a variety of time periods, including Roman, Victorian, Regency and Viking.  Michelle is the perfect person to explain to us how Viking Romance differs from Regency Romance and how they are alike. 

Michelle’s latest Viking Romance, Summer of the Viking, is available June 1. Prejudice in Regency Society was a special UK release in April, easily available to North American readers from Book Depository

Here’s Michelle!

As I write both Viking and Regency Romances, Diane Gaston thought this blog would be the perfect opportunity for me to compare and contrast the two time periods. A bit like the questions I used to always answer on high school history exams.

The big similarity is that they are both romances. At their heart, Viking and Regency romances are about the growing emotional relationship between the couple. Society may change but deep human emotions remain the same. This fact makes it easier for an author to find a way into a time period. Ultimately romance is about the emotions and the characters’ emotional reactions to the events which overtake them, within the confines of the society they exist in.

SummeroftheVikingRegency society is an urban society. People have banded together and live in cities. This puts certain pressures on behaviour and accepted standards of behaviour. Like Western settings, Viking romance are rural. Although urban centres did exist, I am not sure we would recognise them as cities in the same way that we do now or indeed as the Regency did. It means many activities were done within the home — hard for a heroine suddenly to acquire a new wardrobe, for example. Or to go to the theatre. Or meet friends for tea.

Because society was far more violent, the choice of occupation for the hero is far less. Basically, unless the hero became a priest, he would be a warrior. He would also be a merchant, farmer and a politician but under-pinning all of this was his status as a warrior. His skill with the sword and shield as well as leading men will have been tested. He will have travelled as the Vikings were forced to look beyond their shores for trade.

9780263250138Regency heroes can and do have lots of different occupations and hobbies. They do not necessarily have to be leaders of men in battle or skilled with weaponry. They can be more refined, if you will. It means their reactions to various events may be different than that of a Viking. Viking heroes tend to be the ultimate in alpha male dom. Regency heroes while still alpha are not quite so uber, unreconstructed.

The rate of literacy was far lower in the Viking era. The whole concept of sitting down and reading was alien to a certain extent. Theirs was an oral culture which means memory was hugely important. There was no such thing as university, for example. Young men might go away to be trained but the universities are founded because of a need for clergymen, rather than for warriors. Equally for the writer, the ordinary Regency voice is accessible through diaries, journals and other published sources. Nothing like that exists for the Viking period. We can’t be precisely sure of the slang or the exact manner of speech. This can be also considered a blessing as there is no one to tell you that you made an error either.

Equally the concept of private space was different. There was much more communal living. The hearth was central in the room, rather than being at one side and things happened in the great hall. While the lord might have a private hut or chamber, there were no great houses with little nooks for privacy.

Sexuality and marriage were different. As the Viking society was pre-Christian until near the end of the Viking period, the taboos against divorce or indeed sex didn’t exist. Women could divorce as well as men. Indeed several sagas use this as crucial plot points. Men could take mistresses. And sometimes would have more than one wife. However, from we know from the sagas, polygamy was not popular and most had one wife at a time. Men could also have mistresses and there were various concepts of legitimacy. Children belonged to the man and he was expected to contribute to their upbringing. So if a noble had a one night stand, he would leave a token for the woman in case there was a result. The population pressure was not great and incidence of child mortality was high. Men needed heirs.

Communication was far worse in Viking period. We do not know how long it took for a message to get between two places. Transport was also much more primitive. The roads were appalling to non-existent and those who could travelled by boat.

Slavery existed but it was different from what we think of as slavery today. It was very possible for a high born man or woman to be sold as a captive. They could be ransomed. Slavery was not based on colour or creed. It would be unthinkable to a Viking not to have slavery because there were no machines to certain tasks. Everything was handmade. However when writing about things like the existence of slaves, one has to use a light hand and not rub modern noses in the fact.

Why are these things important? Knowing the limitations makes it easier for an author to craft the story. But ultimately because the spine of the story is the growing relationship, there are a lot of similarities.

Which do I like writing more? In Viking set romance, there tends to be more sword fights and I do love writing a good fight!

Giveaway: to celebrate the publication of my latest Summer of the Viking, I would like to offer one reader a signed copy. Please email me ( ) with the answer to the following: where is Summer of the Viking set? Hint – look on my website:

I will draw the winner next Wednesday (3 June 2015).

Thanks, Michelle! Another difference I noticed right away was that Viking Romances are more likely to have a bare-chested, leather-clad, sword-carrying, tattooed hero on the cover! Whew!

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