Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop -- An Old New World


Welcome to the first Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop, Bluestocking Ball edition. If this is your first visit to my blog, hi! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll find something here to entice you to come back again soon.

When I think about the Regency world I try to create for my readers, I'm drawn back to the idea of why I read romance novels to begin with. From the perspective of a reader, what escape am I looking for?

Setting is the first thing that comes to mind. I think you all know I'm a bit partial to historical settings. I love visiting times gone by, particularly my beloved Regency. The trappings of it are beautiful -- the clothes, the grand houses, the balls, the carriages, the pastoral countryside. Life moved a little slower then. A shopping jaunt into the village involved a walk or a ride in a carriage, not a high speed car race [As an aside, do you ever think about how fast we really travel these days? Travel by carriage achieved about 20 miles per day. PER DAY. Even speeds we grumble about now, like 25 mph through a small town, would have seemed screaming fast to our Regency counterparts.] Manners and etiquette were matters of common knowledge. Of course, this system gives ample opportunity for historical romance authors to create comedy of manners, a trope employed by Shakespeare and Jane Austen, among other literary luminaries.

For me, setting is the icing on the cake. It's the decoration that catches your eye when you're browsing a selection of delicacies and makes you say, "I want that one. It looks delicious!"

And by "that one" I mean ALL THE NOMS.

But what are we really looking for in a romance? I submit that readers take two journeys in a novel. One is the setting that transports us to another place or time. The second, which I would say is even more important than the first, is an emotional trip. Romance is about escaping into the lives of characters who are facing challenges and falling in love. It's about meeting new people without the awkwardness of making small talk with them. A romance novel takes us on a journey of the heart.

After we finish a fantastic novel, what do we remember? The sweeping vistas or thrilling action might be part of it, but mostly we remember the characters we've grown to care for. We remember the heartache and suffering. We remember the sizzling chemistry between the main characters. We remember the triumph and joy of a well-deserved Happily Ever After. A romance novel is an emotional wonderland you can carry in your heart and mind, long after you've put down the book.

* * *

And now the moment you've all been waiting for... giveaway time! My contribution to the blog hop fun is this beautiful 16" necklace adorned with a quote from Jane Austen's Emma:



It says: "You must be the best judge of your own happiness." This quote is inspiring to me because it serves as a reminder to listen to your own heart when faced with life's hurdles. It's also a precept that must be learned by heroes and heroines in romance novels. Inevitably, they must judge for themselves in which direction their happiness lies. It's part of the emotional journey.

If you'd like to enter my giveaway, just leave a comment on this post! *EDIT: Please also leave your email address with your comment, so you can be contacted if you are one of the grand prize winners.* One commenter will be selected via random.org. My giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, November 21. No comment left after this time will be eligible to win. 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!!

By entering my giveaway, you will also be entered for the chance to win one of three fabulous grand prizes. Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop is giving away one $100 gift card, and two $50 gift cards, each to your choice of either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 

Visit all the participating authors (listed below) for more romantic wonderlands and the chance to win more fabulous prizes! Good luck and happy hopping!


THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!



48 comments:

  1. I agree with you. Setting is so important and gets my imagination roaring, but it is the characters that I laugh, cry and feel joy for that I remember about a novel years down the road. My missing the characters is what makes me pick up a book and read it again. Sometimes you just have to visit them.

    Also, I want that awesome necklace!. ;)

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    1. Rereading a favorite book is like visiting old friends. It's always great to see them.

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  2. The setting is very important and adds to what you know and feel for the characters. I love reading books that are part of a series so that I can learn more about each character and come to love or even hate them a little more with each book.
    I love the quote on the necklace, would love to have it.

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    1. I love sticking with characters throughout series, too! Glad you like the necklace. Good luck!

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  3. While setting is important to any story...It is the characters that get to me, if I can laugh and cry with them all the better then I fell like I am involved in the story. My husband teases me about it all the time.

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    1. After years of walking into our room and seeing me weeping over a book, he just passes me the tissues and leaves, lol.

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  4. agree with you. Setting is so important and gets my imagination roaring, but it is the characters that I laugh, cry and feel joy for that I remember about a novel years down the road.

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    1. Isn't it funny how characters can sneak up on you so long after reading a book? Thanks for your comment!

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  5. I love certain settings but like others have said its the characters that grab me.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. I love blog hopping because it adds new books to my to read list! The library is my fav escape location! LOL!

    grapeapril75(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I hope you enjoy finding some great new reads! I've loved every Crimson Romance novel I've read so far.

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  7. Great idea on the giveaway!Thanks for doing the blog hop and a chance to win! I love reading as a form of escape, love reading YA and Adult romance and paranormal! My favorite place to read is curled up in my chair in my little 'library'!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Your reading spot sounds so cozy! Thanks for commenting.

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  8. I too love to go back in time. Love a great historical romance novel!! Or any great stream punk, paranormal, mystery, anything is good too.
    Thanks for the hop!!

    kp_kazamei(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Steampunk and paranormal are two of my favorite genres, too. Behind historical, of course. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. "Romance is about escaping into the lives of characters who are facing challenges and falling in love. It's about meeting new people without the awkwardness of making small talk with them. A romance novel takes us on a journey of the heart." that is so true...

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful post

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

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    1. You're so welcome! Thanks for reading. :)

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  10. Regency is my absolute favorite so I am going to have to check out your books -- thanks for participating!

    booksconsidered[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I'd love it if you gave my debut novel, Once a Duchess, a go! Thanks for dropping by. :)

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  11. I read them for the time traveling. The romance, for me, is a bonus, but not a requirement. I just love going into the past. tchevrestt(at)yahoo.com

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  12. I am a sucker for the Happily Ever After which is why I like the romance books. I especially like the paranormal or futuristic romance books with hot sexy alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. They can be futuristic, or go back in time, or be contemporary or even on another planet as long as they get me hooked from the very first few chapters. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  13. The necklace is as gorgeous as you are, my dear.

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  14. The story, the atmosphere, the characters, mix it all together and the journey has begun.
    As a lover of History and Romance, I Love the beautiful pendent and Thanks for the opportunity to meet a brand new author.

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  15. I so agree with you which is exactly why I am a romance addict ...the setting that transports us to another place or time, and the emotional trip. Romance is about escaping into the lives of characters who are facing challenges and falling in love... Thanks for sharing!

    Elizabeth, nice to meet you, explore your site and learn more about your writing.

    Belinda G
    belgre AT comcast DOT net

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    1. Nice to meet you, too, Belinda! Thanks for reading. :)

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  16. Now I want books AND cake! Fun post...

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I always want books and cake! Thanks for your comment.

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  17. Great post and what a beautiful necklace! Thanks for the chance to win!
    sqwalker2@hotmail.com

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  18. I read romance novels mainly for the emotional journey.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

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  19. Hello Elizabeth! What a wonderful quote from Jane Austin! I am going to post that one on my inspiration board! Taking that emotional journey with the characters is what keeps them with you after you have finished the book and tucked it away!

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    1. So many great Jane quotes... it was hard to choose one!

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  20. Yay!! Just stopping by on my way around the hop! This is so much fun!

    Rionna

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  21. I love reading romance so that I can escape and sometimes live dangerously. I love that feeling of falling in love and having a Happy Ever After.
    mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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    1. A touch of danger always adds to the excitement. Yum! Thanks for your comment!

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  22. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    bme722 at gmail dot com

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  23. I'm all about the characters. They are what I remeber after I close the book. I love the hop! kwanawrites (at) yahoo (dot) com

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