We are twelve New York Times, USA Today, and international best-selling authors who have banded together to bring our readers:

 a monthly contest with great prizes,
 a FREE anthology of our favorite scenes, and a brand new boxed set
of Fabulous Firsts, the first book in each of 12 beloved series (.99!).
lots and lots of great books!
 and a Salon on Facebook where we talk all things historical romance
and throw fabulous parties!


♥ ♥

February Giveaway!

Win a $50 gift certificate
to the ebook retailer of your choice
(B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Amazon, or Google Play)!

Take a quick read of the featured Jewel of Historical Romance author’s favorite point of inspiration for her stories, then answer two simple questions and you’re entered!

Want more entries? You got it! Once you’ve answered the two questions you can earn additional entries by liking our Facebook pages and/or tweeting about the contest.



Inspiration Point

Brenda “Jade” Hiatt

It’s amazing how many different ways authors find inspiration for stories! I’ve had ideas sparked by songs on the radio, overheard bits of conversation, items in the news and, probably most frequently, while researching some detail for a different book. Only once, however, have I written a book because of an idea someone else handed to me.

Wreck_of_the_Central_AmericaMy father-in-law, a huge boating enthusiast, suggested the idea for Ship of Dreams after attending a presentation about the recovery of a historic shipwreck and the gold it contained. He insisted I should write a novel about the original sinking. Mostly to humor him, I began researching the events leading to the 1857 demise of the sidewheel steamer S.S. Central America. Somewhat to my surprise, I was almost immediately drawn in by the drama and romance of the events of that voyage, to include the ship’s sinking and rescue of many of its passengers. How had I not heard about it before? The Central America truly was the Titanic of its era!

The newspaper accounts from the time were harrowing, as were some of the illustrations I found—artists’ depictions of the sinking, based on eyewitness survivor accounts. Digging ever deeper into my research, I was rewarded by the incredible find of an actual diary written by one of those passengers, a young woman on her honeymoon trip! Better yet, I was able to get a complete photocopy of Addie
Easton’s diary from the Library of Congress. What a treasure trove of detail! CentralAmericaGoldThat diary helped me enormously as I fleshed out my story, and Addie herself became an important secondary character in the book. Because most of the Central America’s passengers were returning from the California Gold Rush, an enormous quantity of gold was being transported on the ship when it went down—the impetus behind the salvage expedition that eventually discovered the wreck, and a detail I wove into my plot.

As you might imagine, Ship of Dreams is the closest to historical fiction of all of my historical romances, as the whole story is woven around true events. That made it both extra-challenging and extra-rewarding to write! Much like the 1997 Titanic movie (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), my hero and heroine were practically the only fictitious characters on the ship, playing out their romance surrounded by the real people and events of the time. (I actually used the soundtrack from Titanic as my inspirational writing music to help me achieve the same emotional intensity!)

Alas, because Ship of Dreams is my one non-Regency historical romance, it is often overlooked, though I’ve been told by numerous readers that it’s one of my best. I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

You are now ready to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


…one of Brenda’s books, try…


Pick up a copy of Ship of Dreams at any of the following retailers:

Please note that by entering this contest you are agreeing to be added to each of the Jewels of Historical Romance authors’ newsletters. Opt out options are included in each newsletter if you do not wish to continue receiving them.

  • Content © 2012
    The Jewels of
    Historical Romance