Exclusive Cover Reveal: Brenda Novak’s Through The Smoke - With Giveaway!

During the past several years, author Brenda Novak has delighted readers with dark romantic suspense tales and emotional contemporary romances. Recently, her small town Whiskey Creek series has wowed fans and critics alike and the series second, When Snow Falls, took home the RT Reviewers’ Choice award for the Best Contemporary Romance of 2012. Novak is once again changing things up and will soon be releasing Through the Smoke, a Gothic historical about a brooding earl and a young miss that acts as a balm to his wounded soul. Today, we are revealing the book's cover as well as asking the author more about her shiver-inducing read. Then three lucky winners will each get an Advanced Readers Copy of Through the Smoke!

 

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How well does this cover capture the feel of your novel?

I think this cover does an AMAZING job of capturing the Gothic-like tone of this novel.

Is this how you envisioned Rachel while writing Through the Smoke?

This isn't how I envisioned Rachel, per se, since we don't really see her face, but I was more concerned about capturing the story's essence, which I think this cover does very nicely.

This cover definitely doesn't have a traditional historical romance feel. Can you tell us a bit about the design?

This cover is very different from most historical romances. Almost all of the others depict a woman in a ball gown, or a man and a woman together. And that is probably appropriate to the story they represent. The ones I've been reading (with such covers) have a very light, flirtatious tone. The tone of Through the Smoke is more like the tone of Jane Eyre or Rebecca — darker, a little sinister and mysterious.  

For the last several years, you have been writing romantic suspense novels and contemporary romances, however, Through the Smoke signals a return to your historical roots. What made you decide to write a story set in the past?

My most favorite stories are historicals — The Secret Garden, Gone With the Wind, The Thornbirds. So I wanted to write a story with a same level of drama and include a deep dark mystery. Through the Smoke is that story. 

Your novel contains a dark mystery as the hero, the Earl of Druridge, searches for answers to what happened the night his wife died, and he must wonder if he has committed a crime of passion. You are well known for adding this type of element of suspense to your writing, do you enjoy holding your readers at the edge of their seats?

Yes! Because I, as a reader, love to be unable to put a book down. I think nothing is better than a good romance, unless it's a good romance with a compelling mystery element. 

The earl's new lady, Rachel McTavish isn't nobility at all — she's the daughter of a coal miner. Why did you decide to make her an 'average' woman? What about her makes her special to the earl?

I really wanted to peel away everything that would usually make a woman appealing to a man of the earl's station. I wanted him to love her for the woman she is, for the heart beating under her plain clothes. Rachel is a very strong, admirable character, which speaks to the theme (one of my favorites) that nobility is a condition of the heart and not the pedigree. She is his equal in every way — but no one from that time period would see it that way (at least at first).

Looking towards the future, are you planning on writing any more historically set romances? If so, what can you tell us about your next project?

Yes! I actually have another book coming out with Montlake a year from this October called A Matter of Grave Concern. This one will also feature a mystery/suspense element and will include a gang of Resurrection Men (the people who used to dig up corpses to sell to the various medical colleges). It starts off with a surgeon's daughter, Abigail Hale, purchasing a cadaver from Big Jack Hurtsill, a very dangerous man. Needless to say, she gets a lot more than she bargained for. ;-)

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GIVEAWAY ALERT: Three lucky readers will receive an ARC of Through the Smoke! To enter, comment below on your favorite part of the book's cover. Or you can email your answer here with the subject line "Brenda Novak Gothic Romance Giveaway" with your name and mailing address. Three winners will be announced on May 27, U.S. mailing addresses only please. *Note: ARCs will be shipped on June 15*

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Intrigued by Brenda Novak's upcoming historical tale Through the Smoke? The book releases on October 15 and is available for pre-order now. And while you are waiting for this sure-to-thrill read, check out RT's Everything Romance Page for more historical fun.

 

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