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Lord Ruin by Carolyn Jewel
The Duke of Sin

The Duke of Cynssyr didn’t believe in love. He planned to marry for beauty. But a night of unforgettable passion left him a changed man — a man tied to a bespectacled spinster. Anne Sinclair’s long legs drove him wild with desire, and her quick wit challenged his mind. Ruined for any other, the notorious rake had only one choice; to court his wife. To win her condfidence, however, nothing less than his love would do.

The Old Maid of Bartley Green

Anne Sinclair had sworn to protect her sister from the infamous Lord Ruin. Yet she never expected to sacrifice her own virtue. Forced to give the rogue her hand in marriage, she vowed never to relinquish her heart. But Ruan worshipped her body and valued her intelligence, making Anne long to succumb to the ultimate temptation: falling for her husband.

Lord Ruin is full of engaging, loveable characters, a wonderful, interesting storyline, and true, realistic romance. — Carla Hesom, Romance and Friends

“With a captivating, innocent young woman and a handsome virile rake of a man, Ms. Jewel’s sensual and powerful love story keeps to the classic lines of the Regency Historical and while adding a fresh voice.” — (4 stars) Joan Hammond, Romantic Times

Buy at: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo

Carolyn Jewel portrait

Carolyn Jewel

Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award-winning author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has three cats and two dogs. Also a son. One of the cats is his.

Learn more and connect with Carolyn at:
Carolyn’s website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Carolyn’s newsletter

For a complete listing of titles offered in this sale, please visit the Risky Regencies 99 Cent Sale Page.

Last week, Blogger was being a pain, so I wasn’t able to post. I know you all missed me!

So I have been writing (although a snail would mock me at how slowly I’m going!), and reading, and such, and I was pondering just why I read so much fantasy and paranormal in addition to my previous inhalation of historical romance:

It’s the world-building.

I read historical and PNR/UF novels for the same reason: I like to escape the everyday world into a fantastical one, whether it’s populated by men in waistcoats and cravats or men in leather and armor. I like the authors’ world-building, which is likely why anachronisms and tweaking of the ‘real’ history in Regency-set novels doesn’t bother me as much as it does some people.

Right now, I am reading A Feast for Crows, the fourth novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (currently showing on HBO as Game of Thrones). I’ve got Laurel McKee’s next book on its way, as well as Carolyn Jewel’s (and wouldn’t it be neat if they came in the same package?), both of whom are incredible at creating their particular worlds. Laurel’s book is set in Georgian Ireland, while Carolyn’s is sets sort of now, but with demons and mages and magic.

Two completely different books with a common thread of world-building.

That’s why, with a few exceptions, I don’t read contemporary romance. I don’t find it compelling to read about the world in which I do, or could theoretically, live. I like escapism, fantasy, elegance, the occasional dose of magic.

Could that be why you read historical romance? Or other genres that include world-building?

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My birthday present to you! My bookcover for Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady coming Dec 2009 from Harlequin Historical. I LOVE this cover

My real Risky Regencies birthday is April 17, because I joined this lovely group on April 17, 2006, but, the Queen doesn’t celebrate her birthday on the anniversary of her birth, so why should I? I choose to celebrate with my other Riskies.

I was so creative. I called my first blog “My First Time by Diane Gaston Perkins” (I was still writing for Warner Forever as Diane Perkins at the time). I talked about why I think the Regency is so popular as a Romance genre. And I sounded reasonably intelligent! Who knew?

Risky Regencies came about when there were still Signet and Zebra Traditional Regencies, but we all knew they would not last. Janet, Amanda, Elena, and Cara were innovating, trying to give the subgenre new life. It was a risk, but that was the reason to name the blog Risky Regencies.

I decided to see what these Riskies chose to write about for their first times.

Janet’s first blog was, as you might expect, extremely witty with creative surprises, telling what was risky about her first book, Dedication.

Megan talks
about her risky Regency, A Singular Lady, in the sassy slightly self-depreciating style we’ve come to love, admitting she made mistakes with titles.

Cara’s first blog was about cards! She talks about the idea that became My Lady Gamester. (I still miss Cara, so I’m including her here!)

Amanda’s first real blog (after a brief one about covers, citing both a movie and fashion, natch) was a cute Jane Austen quiz. We’ve had lots of quizzes since.

Elena does another thing we’ve repeated often–talking about other books and authors we admire. Elena will be blogging on Sept 26. Yay!!!

And finally our newest Risky, Carolyn, who started her time here with a quirky introduction in Regency-speak and her first real blog about The Regency Ottoman Empire. What could be more Risky than that???

Like the Regency genre, we’re still evolving. I love the community we’ve become, and that includes our commenters!

Do you have any Risky Regency blogs you remember? What ones have stuck in your memory?

My prize, awarded at the end of the month, like Janet’s, is a DVD: 1815 The Battle Of Waterloo. It is a documentary released by that I used in writing my Three Soldiers Series (and ordered twice because I forgot I already owned it). If you don’t win you can order your own from Amazon.

My website is updated! And there is a new contest there.
And I’m now on Twitter as well as Facebook.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .”

Happy Official Holiday for the Fourth Of July, Even Though It’s Only The Third!

There are certain inviolable rights that we take as Life Assumptions; I’m talking, of course, about knowing–and owning as part of one’s self–certain pop culture touchstones. Recently (i.e. yesterday), I was reminded of a truth I’d suppressed: That Carolyn Jewel, our newest Risky, had never seen North And South, the BBC mini-series based on an Elizabeth Gaskell book. It’s not set in the Regency (it’s Victorian), but it is otherwise perfectly suited for a historical romance fan.

Because, you know, it’s set in a historical period and is a romance.

Anyway, Carolyn will doubtless rectify that gap in her life soon, thanks to pressure from me and many other N&S fans who are on Twitter, but it got me to thinking about pop culture assumptions, and then into the Venn Diagram of romance novel assumptions. There are some people who grew up without TV (like me), and I don’t have that common vernacular of forty-somethings who grew up on a diet of ’70s television. There are romance readers who’ve never read Nora Roberts (also like me), or Lord of Scoundrels (NOT like me), or seen Romancing the Stone (me, again), or liked Ghost (guilty), or any of a countless other shared experiences that weren’t so shared after all. Just like we all know Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson, and Watergate, and chia pets, and Frankie Says Relax, we all assume we’ve read Nora, or seen certain iconic romantic movies or share the same opinions and assumptions about our books (for example, I am always startled when someone doesn’t love Lord of Scoundrels; I can accept it, but it stuns me for a minute or two).

What Romance Pop Culture Touchstone have you never experienced? Which of your Romance Pop Culture Touchstones are inviolable when it comes to discussing romance with others?

And happy Truth-Holding Day!


*See how concerned Richard Armitage is that Carolyn hasn’t viewed his John Thornton-ness?

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This Friday, we have a special interview with Carolyn Jewel, whose new book, Scandal, is released this week. Scandal has already gotten some stellar reviews:

Dear Author gave it an A-; Romance Novel TV gave it “5++++++++++” stars, saying, “WOW. Simply, wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this masterpiece. It has been such a long time since I have read such a rich, emotional and tension filled romance.”

Carolyn lives in Northern California with her son, three cats, a border collie, several chickens, some sheep and various strays and other rescued critters. In addition to writing luscious historicals, Carolyn writes edgy paranormals, with her next book, My Forbidden Desire, coming out in May. Megan is honored to have Carolyn as a faux critique partner, and even more thrilled that she was able to help, in some small way, with Scandal‘s brilliance.

Carolyn took some time out from basking in the glow of excellent reviews to answer a few questions. Comment on the interview to win a copy of signed copy of Scandal, the winner chosen randomly by the Riskies.

Q. Tell us about this book—its characters, setting, etc.

Scandal is set during England’s Regency era and takes place in the countryside and London. It’s the story of a young woman who marries unwisely and pays a fairly severe price for her love.

Lord Banallt is a rake who behaves very badly with Sophie. They’re both married, and although Sophie would never, ever be unfaithful to her husband, Banallt has no such scruples. By the time he realizes he’s in love with her, it’s too late. She’s convinced, with good reason, that he is irredeemable.

Two years later they have both lost their spouses and Banallt sets out to prove that he really has changed. And he has. It’s a genuine transformation for him. Convincing Sophie of that is the challenge.

Q. How long did it take? Was this an easy or difficult book to write?

It took Banallt the entire book to convince Sophie he’d changed – oh. You mean how long it took to write the book?

I wrote at least two very different versions of this book, one of which was probably okay, the other one(s) was/were pretty awful. My agent read the opening chapters of sucky version 10.5 and advised me to start over. So I did. Scandal underwent its own transformation to a version that was truer to the original version, but much, much better. My fabulous agent sold it shortly after I resubmitted the proposal, and I wrote the rest of it in about four months, and spend the last two absolutely convinced there was no way I’d ever finish on time.

So far every single book I’ve ever written has been difficult. All of them. I don’t foresee that changing.

Q. Did you run across anything new and unusual while researching this book?

In a way, I did the opposite. Rather than research for the book specifically, I drew on research that I did in graduate school (in 2005/6 I believe) when I chose Regency Era author Eleanor Sleath as a project subject for my academic research course. Our assignment was to find everything EVER written about our subject. The trick then, was to pick someone who wasn’t too famous, because then you’d never be able to track down everything, and yet find someone who wasn’t too obscure, because then there wouldn’t be enough material for all the research papers we were to write in this course.

Jane Austen fans will recognize the title of Sleath’s most famous book, Orphan of the Rhine, which Austen mentions in Northanger Abbey. For quite some time scholars believed Austen made up the titles. She didn’t. All of them have been located, with Sleath’s book the very last to be found. The account of that is actually rather exciting.

The other exciting thing is that in the course of that research, I discovered what no one else knew; that Eleanor Sleath was a wealthy widow who married Reverend John Dudley under rather scandalous circumstances. The really silly thing is that I should have written a paper on this discovery since, actually, I think there are now only three people who know Sleath’s biography; me, the English historian who was researching Dudley, and a professor I happened to be corresponding with on the subject of Regency era novels. But I was working full time, going to grad school, parenting a soccer playing son who was young enough at the time to need more attention than he does now at 13, and writing novels. Frankly, I was a bit overwhelmed. I did not have it in me to write the paper on top of everything else.

So, after that lengthy digression, in the course of my Sleath research project I learned an absolutely astonishing amount about publishing in the Regency. The economies, I was surprised to discover, are not vastly different from today. My heroine, as the wife of a man who is spending all her money as fast as he can, takes to writing in secret in order to have some money to pay the bills. This research informs a great deal of the backstory in Scandal.

Q. What is it about the Regency period that interests you as a writer?

Larger than life characters like Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft and too many others to name. The period is a transitional one, in my opinion anyway, sandwiched as it is between the Georgian period and the far more stultified Victorian era (which probably wasn’t quite as stultified as the stereotype). It is in the Regency that we see so many of the events that drove the Reform movement and, ironically, and ultimately, led to the decline of the aristocracy Regency authors so love to write about.

Q. What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?

My philosophy is to risk everything in every book. There is no point in holding back. Alas, I have varying degrees of success with this, which I sometimes don’t see (or not see) until long after it’s too late to fix things.

I am a character driven author, which means my stories develop from my characters. The risks, therefore, tend to derive from them and what they are bringing to the story that unfolds as I panic that everything completely reeks of failure and I’ll never ever pull it off.

Q. Is there anything you wanted to include in the book that you (or your CPs or editor) felt was too controversial and left out?

No. It’s happened in other books, but not this one.

Q. What are you working on next?

I just turned in another historical, Indiscreet, which will be out from Berkley Sensation in October 2009. Right now, I’m –shudder– writing proposals for more paranormal romances. Very soon, I imagine, I will be writing a proposal or two for more historicals, too.

Q. Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you or your books?

Can we just skip this question? I am too boring to answer it.

Thanks, Carolyn, for joining us here today. Comment to get a chance to win a copy of Scandal.

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