Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bewitching Blurbs



Hi everyone and welcome to another Bewitching Blurbs.

Okay, so for this issue we’re tapping into our inner medieval princess. So if you like your ages ‘dark’ or your Middle Ages filled with lusty mayhem then this is the Bewitching Blurbs for you. J

 

Knight of Her Heart
By Alyssa James

“Knight of Her Heart” is the profoundly romantic and passionate journey of Lisette and Rowan—each vulnerable and less than perfect, yet determined and worthy of finding happiness. It is a story of repentance and forgiveness; desperation and hope, and one in which loyalty, courage and love triumph over treachery and betrayal.

Lady Lisette is desperate to thwart her guardian’s plans and determined to do whatever she must to save her life and protect her young sister—even if she must act against her moral integrity. But just when she’s acted to safeguard her future and committed the sin that plagues her conscience, she is stunned to learn that King Henry V has assigned her a protector—Lord Rowan. Lisette is hardly worth of Henry’s noble warrior. Can she ever gain Rowan’s forgiveness for what she has done and win his heart?

Lord Rowan, King Henry’s hero of Agincourt is driven by his thirst for justice. He swore an oath to seek revenge for the death of his parents and the last thing he wants is a wife. Yet he must marry by command of his liege. Believing that he has at least gained a beautiful and biddable bride, he is challenged on every level by a woman who is spirited and independent. Just when he thinks she may be the one to help heal the bitterness he carries, he discovers her betrayal. But does he have the right to judge her when his own past hides a shameful secret?

 
 
 
 
Alrek
By Samantha Holt
For years the Vikings had raided their lands and killed her people. Now the enemy lay in her bed...

Rescuing a Viking pirate from the ocean after his ship wrecked on the shores of Pictland was bound to bring Ilisa trouble. After all, she knew well of the savagery of the Vikings--she had experienced it first-hand. But her heart would not allow her to abandon someone in need. Unfortunately, nursing him back to health rouses a part of her she didn't know existed and soon she's the one in need.

Alrek's well aware of his own need when he awakens in this beautiful Pict's home. With his plans to venture to new lands on hold, he resolves to thank Ilisa for her help in any way he can--but not in the way he longs to the most. He must prove not all Vikings are the same. But his own savage past threatens to destroy any progress he makes and her people soon make it clear he will never be accepted.

Can they bridge the gap between two cultures or will their differences--and the dangers they bring--forever keep them apart?
 
 
 
The Golden Widows
By Isolde Martyn
Two young women on opposing sides find their lives wrecked by battle ... can they be restored by love?
As sister to Warwick the Kingmaker and cousin to the new young King Edward IV, Kate Neville finds herself on the winning side of the latest bloody battle of the War of the Roses – and under pressure to marry again. Kate’s family want to ensure her new husband will be someone they control, such as the king’s handsome chamberlain, Lord William Hastings, but Kate is refusing. Hastings has a reputation as a womaniser and she wants a man who won’t betray her like her first husband did. But the debonair Hastings is determined to win her heart. Can she thwart her brother’s plans for her?
Elysabeth Woodville is a beautiful young woman, much adored by her husband, Sir John Grey, but when he is killed in battle on the losing side and named as a traitor, his estate is seized by the Yorkists and she finds herself penniless and friendless. In her desperate struggle to restore her sons’ inheritance, she finds herself not only kneeling before her enemy but winning his heart. Is she is too proud to become his mistress? Or does the King of England love her enough to ignore his friends’ advice and make her his queen?
In the precarious peace of a bloody civil war, can love heal the wounds and reunite families?
 
 
 
 
 
Her Vengeful Scot
By Christina Phillips
Ordered to remain in Pictland, Cameron MacNeil fights the lust that consumes him whenever he encounters the aloof princess, Elise. Not only is she a cursed Pict, she’s married to the man responsible for his sister’s death. In order to avenge his sister, he must destroy the woman he wants most.

Despite her reputation, Elise has no interest in men until she meets Cameron. Lacking the famed Scots charm, his blunt ways enchant her and he ignites a passion in her she thought long dead. When she is freed from her difficult marriage, Elise places her trust in the tough warrior who stole her heart.

Bound by blood oaths, the only way Cam can protect Elise from political schemes is to make her his bride. When Elise discovers the truth of her husband’s death, she wonders if everything she knew about Cam was a lie. All she can do is trust that her goddess was right and Cameron is her true love.
 
 
 
 
Viking Sword: A Fall of Yellow Fire: The Stranded One (Viking Brothers Saga Book 1)
By Maíri Norris
Kingdom of Wessex, southern England, 882.

Golden-haired Saxon maiden Lissa of Yriclea is the sole survivor of a brutal assault against her village. After the attack, she is taken as thrall by a vikingr with the disconcerting ability to slip past all the defenses of her heart. Grieving the loss of home, friends and freedom, she must cope with the deprivations of travel across England in the company of the powerful Viking she both fears, and cannot resist.

A bizarre turn of events strands viking Brandr Óttarrson in hostile Saxon territory during a raid gone very wrong. Getting back home will take all his courage, strength and wits. Complicating the journey is the lovely woman he desires but cannot have; some troublesome, unexpected companions; and a love-struck Saxon warrior relentless in his determination to rescue the lady he sees as his.

In this ancient time of darkness - and mystical beauty - when adversity, hardship and sudden death are the norm, a courageous woman and a single-minded warrior struggle to overcome perils, cultural taboo, and the ambivalence of their own hearts to win a coveted prize: enduring love.
 
Thanks so much for dropping by and I promise we’ll return to the present next week. J
Nicóle xx
 
 
 
 


Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Fanfare




Hi everyone,

Just a quick reminder to let you know that I now have a newsletter. Yes, yes... I know, it took me long enough.

So if you like a bit of fun, gossip (the book variety), competitions and snippets, I hope that you will sign up for The Fanfare.

Fanfares originated in the Middle Ages. A fanfare is a short musical flourish that is typically played by trumpets or other brass instruments.

                                                                -Wikipedia


Just add the word “The Fanfare” into the subject line and I’ll add you to the list. J

 

Nicóle  xx

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

An Observation about Teaching History



 
 
I was just reading the fabulous Jo Beverley’s blog on Word Wenches about does the word ‘Historical’ put people off reading them? I found this article really interesting... sad, but interesting. What do you think?
Here’s the original article.
 
One of the comments suggested that this could be partly due to how history has been taught in schools.
 
I can only comment on how I was taught (and that was a million years ago). My head and chalkboard was filled with boring dates and shadowy people. I wanted to say ‘I imagined them’ but I couldn’t and that was the problem.
 
History was something that happened ‘back then’... in a time when people weren’t so civilized (as if we are now) or generally not so clever (an idea bandied about by 19th century scholars. Oh, there were a few exceptions but really no one could ever be as clever as them).
 
Now, I have always loved history, especially the medieval kind but even my resolve was pushed. One teacher (who was a lovely woman but...) would barely speak to us. She would divide the chalk board in half and begin writing the entire lesson – 50 minutes of ceaseless writing. Oh, and once she got to the end of the board, she would rub it off and then keep writing.
 
Which meant you had to be really quick to get all the information copied down.
 
Am I so old that there weren’t photocopiers in my school, I hear you ask. No, there were photocopiers... she just chose not to use them.
 
Go on... ask me how much I remember about the Rum Rebellion.
I do however have sick skills when it comes to taking notes.
 
So when I was taught History at high school, I was given dates, names and events but told nothing of the human condition. And that’s the secret to really ‘getting’ history. I found this out by myself with no help from the history faculty.
History is about love, hate, greed, power, lust, vengeance, blood, intelligence, despair, Inspiration and determination.
 
It’s all about why someone did something not the actual date on which it was done.
That’s where the real story is.
 
So as an author of historical romance, I hope that you will look past the words ‘Historical’ and give my medieval romances a go. J
 
Nicóle  xx

 


Seizing Heaven

 

Can the Reynard family betrothal ring really choose his true bride? Lord Savaric Reynard is about to find out.

 

Lord Savaric Reynard is intent on marrying the widow of Blackstone Manor, that is, until fate and the Reynard betrothal ring get in the way. On his way to meet the widow, Savaric is waylaid by Rosamund, a travelling artist.

He doesn’t believe in magic or the old family legend that the Reynard betrothal ring has the power to choose the right and true bride. Savaric soon discovers he can try and run from Fate, but one way or another it just might catch up with him.

 

Amazon link - http://goo.gl/brQEB6

 

Snippet

 

The girl straightened and her eyes narrowed when she addressed him. “Sir, I do not want your coin.”

“Then what do you want? Come, you came to Foxwoods with a purpose.”

“I want nothing from you, Lord Reynard. I was honour bound to return the ring and I need no money for that.” Her voice was even but he saw a spark of indignation spark in her eyes.

“And what do you know of honour?” The words slipped out of Savaric’s mouth before he could stop them.

“Savaric!” Aunt Amice gasped.

“More than you, I wager,” Rosamund said as her hands fisted by her sides. “I have returned your possession and yet you choose to insult me. You may be a fine lord, but I have found better manners and more kindness from the woodcutter I passed on the road.”

She stepped away from the hearth and dropped into curtsy before Amice. “May God grant you blessings, Lady. I thank you for your sweet words but I should leave. ‘Tis better that way.”

“Nay, I will not have it. I will not allow you to go back into the tempest. I insist that you accept our hospitality. You will have dry clothes, a warm bed and food. We are in your debt, child and once Savaric recovers his manners he will be in agreement.” Aunt Amice stood up and took the girl’s hand. “Now, I shall not hear another word about it.”

Savaric saw the hurt in Rosamund’s eyes and another wisp of guilt fanned over him. She made him react and it confused him beyond reason.

 “Forgive my words. My Aunt is correct, Rosamund. You are welcome and safe a Foxwoods,” he said before he turned on his heels and strode to the door. He would avoid the girl as best he could. In the morning she would leave and everything would fall back into place.

 

 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Medieval Book Curses



Hi everyone,

After having sent off another ‘take down’ notice I find myself (as many of my colleagues are) totally frustrated with books being nicked, stolen and pirated. We all know that it’s a big problem and an annoying one.

So I think next time I have to send another notice to a pirate site asking them to stop the downloading of my work – I’m going to go medieval on their arse. Yeah, that’s it – I’m at the end of my tether. They’ve got no one to blame but themselves.

Along with the take down notice, I think I’ll send a medieval curse.

In the Middle Ages curses were the only way (oh, and chains) to stop people running away with your books. So if it worked then, maybe it would work now!

This one has always been my favourite. I had it framed and mounted over my bookcases for many years. It’s from the Monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona.

 

For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw at his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not. And when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.

Here’s another from Germany. Thanks to ‘The Everything of Books’ for finding this little gem.

 

This book belongs to none but me

For there’s my name inside to see,

To steal this book, if you should try,

It’s by the throat that you’ll hang high.

And ravens then will gather ’bout

To find your eyes and pull them out.

And when you’re screaming “Oh, Oh, Oh!”

Remember, you deserve this woe.

 

I particularly like that bit about the ravens. *wink* And here you all thought I was kind, nice and sweet. J

 

Here’s another – this time it’s written as if the book is speaking.

Wher so ever y be come over all
I belonge to the Chapell of gunvylle hall;
He shal be cursed by the grate sentens
That felonsly faryth and berith me thens.
And whether he bere me in pooke or sekke,
For me he shall be hanged by the nekke,
(I am so well beknown of dyverse men)
But I be restored theder agen


 

And here’s the translation for those who are a bit rusty when it comes to their Middle English.




Wherever I might end up over all,
I belong to the Chapel of Gonville Hall;
He that feloniously ferries me and bears me from thence
Shall be cursed by this great sentence:
Whether he bears me in a pouch or sack,
On account of me he shall be hanged by the neck,
(I'm too well known by many men [to not be noticed])
Unless I be returned there again.


 

Anyway, that’s my dastardly plan.
 

A pox be on whoever stealith a book from me.

(That was my first attempt of book curse writing... maybe I could find a niche market? Lol)

 

As always, thanks for stopping by.

 

Nicóle  xx

 

 



Image - Fotolia

 

 
 

Friday, 1 August 2014

A Journey Through Time



A Journey Through Time

 
Hi everyone,

Today a group of historical romance authors are holding a Facebook Party called – A Journey Through Time.

It starts on Friday, August 1 at 3:00pm in EDT so you’ll have to work out your time zone (something that I always suck at). J

There’ll be chatting, fun and heaps of giveaways, so I hope that you will drop by and say hello!

Here’s the link –


And here’s the list of the participating authors and what time they will be hosting –

 

3pm - 4pm--Samantha Holt

4pm - 5pm--Em Taylor

5pm - 6pm--Lindsay Downs

6pm - 7pm--B.J. Scott

7pm - 8pm--Joanne Wadsworth

8pm - 9pm--Nicole Hurley-Moore

9pm - 10pm--Christina Phillips

10pm - 11pm--April Holthaus

11pm - 12pm--Kirsten Blacketer

12pm - 1am--Kathryn Le Veque



So come along and treat yourself to a hot highlander, a Regency Buck or a medieval lord. Just to whet your appetites I’ve included some of the featured titles, blurbs and links.
 
Samantha Holt –
Alrek
For years the Vikings had raided their lands and killed her people. Now the enemy lay in her bed...

Rescuing a Viking pirate from the ocean after his ship wrecked on the shores of Pictland was bound to bring Ilisa trouble. After all, she knew well of the savagery of the Vikings--she had experienced it first-hand. But her heart would not allow her to abandon someone in need. Unfortunately, nursing him back to health rouses a part of her she didn't know existed and soon she's the one in need.

Alrek's well aware of his own need when he awakens in this beautiful Pict's home. With his plans to venture to new lands on hold, he resolves to thank Ilisa for her help in any way he can--but not in the way he longs to the most. He must prove not all Vikings are the same. But his own savage past threatens to destroy any progress he makes and her people soon make it clear he will never be accepted.

Can they bridge the gap between two cultures or will their differences--and the dangers they bring--forever keep them apart?


 
Em Taylor
Restoring Lady Anna
When Lord James Eversley is accused of a murder he did not commit, he dresses up as his new brother-in-law’s footman and hitches a ride in their carriage out of town. When it seems they are no longer being followed he begins to relax until a minor accident causes them to stop at a shabby looking inn. As his “master” and his sister sip tea in the scruffy parlour, James comes face to face with Lady Anna, the woman who left him in the dead of night five years before and a familiar looking child.

Lady Anna has accepted her life as Mrs Johnstone, mother of four-year-old Viola, “wife” of Peter, the mentally ill former footman and land lady of a shabby inn on the Great North Road. Her plans for a love match with the handsome Lord Eversley were cruelly snatched away from her five years before. Her ruination means there is no opportunity to return to her family or the ton. When James turns up, dressed as a footman and demanding answers, Anna must decide whether to tell the truth.

James never stopped loving Anna and now he must learn what happened that fateful night that Anna left him heartbroken. With the truth out in the open, he must convince the love of his life to take a chance on him. He wants to marry her and restore her reputation among the aristocracy. But in Regency England reputations are easily lost and difficult to regain. Can Anna trust James enough to do what is right for Peter, despite his actions, her child and most importantly himself? Can James convince Anna to seek the help that Peter needs and return to the ton?


 
Lindsay Downs
The Masked Lady and the Murder
When Lord Robert Markson, Viscount of Hampshire, is force to return to England to find out who murdered his father and older brother he’s in for a surprise.
It comes in the guise of Lady Kristina Rosewood, daughter to the Earl and Countess of Crossington. To many she’s quartz but to him a multifaceted diamond.
While recovering from an attempt on his life which thrust them closer together they work through emotions for each other while sorting through letters sent to his mother years ago. Slowly, they’re able to discover the one man who could have set the murders in motion. The only problem, he’s been dead for years so who could it be and more importantly why now.
Once all the evidence is compiled the answer is something neither could believe as the threat comes from within the late viscount’s house.


 
B.J. Scott
Highland Legacy
Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?
 
 
 
Joanne Wadsworth
Highlander’s Castle
Traveling through time…for a Highlander.

Anne MacLeod’s identical ancestor has made a wish on the Fairy Flag at Dunvegan Castle, one which sees the two young women swapping places in time and leaving Anne set to handfast with the very man her ancestor wished to escape. Only Anne sees the possibilities, because now she could change the future and ensure her parents never perished in the inferno which took their lives.

Highland warrior Alex MacDonald has made an agreement to handfast with Anne in order to bring a halt to the feud raging between their clans. The last thing he expects though is a woman claiming to come from the future, a woman who stirs him on a physical and emotional level to protect, and to even believe.

When Anne finds herself in her MacLeod chief’s presence, she chooses to go with him in order to leave a message for her parents. In full pursuit, Alex wages a battle of the heart, and of the very essence of time. Can he defy the odds as Anne is taken from him…to work his own magic and get her back?
 

 
 
Yay! It’s my turn J
Seizing Heaven
Lord Savaric Reynard is intent on marrying the widow of Blackstone Manor, that is, until fate and the Reynard betrothal ring get in the way. On his way to meet the widow, Savaric is waylaid by Rosamund, a travelling artist.

He doesn’t believe in magic or the old family legend that the Reynard betrothal ring has the power to choose the right and true bride. Savaric soon discovers he can try and run from Fate, but one way or another it just might catch up with him.

This is the follow up story to Capturing Bliss.
Amazon link - http://goo.gl/brQEB6
 
 
 
Christina Phillips
Her Vengeful Scot
Ordered to remain in Pictland, Cameron MacNeil fights the lust that consumes him whenever he encounters the aloof princess, Elise. Not only is she a cursed Pict, she’s married to the man responsible for his sister’s death. In order to avenge his sister, he must destroy the woman he wants most.

Despite her reputation, Elise has no interest in men until she meets Cameron. Lacking the famed Scots charm, his blunt ways enchant her and he ignites a passion in her she thought long dead. When she is freed from her difficult marriage, Elise places her trust in the tough warrior who stole her heart.

Bound by blood oaths, the only way Cam can protect Elise from political schemes is to make her his bride. When Elise discovers the truth of her husband’s death, she wonders if everything she knew about Cam was a lie. All she can do is trust that her goddess was right and Cameron is her true love.
 
 
 
April Holthaus
The Honor of a Highlander
Laird Rory MacKinnon set out to join William Wallace after discovering an imminent threat that the English have planned an attack. Raised as a warrior, he has given his heart and soul to fight for Scotland’s freedom, until he meets a lass who has captured his heart like no other, Lady Annella. After a brutal attack on her land, Rory discovers that Annella has been taken prisoner by the English. Now Rory must fight; not only to secure his own clan’s freedom but to save the woman he loves.

Annella, the eldest daughter of the MacCallum clan vows to never marry, until the day Rory MacKinnon enters her life and opens her heart. Heading off to war she knew they had no future. After her father offers aid to Laird MacKinnon and his men to help in their campaign, her castle is attacked and her father is killed by the English for treason. Starved and beaten for denying to pledge her allegiance to the English King, Annella has earned her place in the gallows. Her fate now rests in Rory’s hands.

 
 
 
Kristen S. Blacketer
An Irresistible Shadow
Trust is more valuable than gold in a world where traitors conspire, and Lady Evelyn realizes that even shadows demand payment.

Lady Evelyn Montgomery, only daughter of the Baron of Rayne, detests the thought of marriage. She will never allow a man to control her. Crushed by the constraints of propriety, she steals away from the safety of the keep and stumbles onto a plot designed to stir up trouble between England and Scotland. When a mysterious hooded man saves her, she fights her attraction to him as they join forces to hunt down a traitor and save her father. But can she save her heart?

Gabriel is a Shadow Guardian. Hiding beneath his black cowl and blending into the night, he is sworn to protect the Baron's daughter. The spirited Lady Evelyn is far from the delicate flower he anticipated. She makes herself crystal clear, no man will possess her. Can he prove to her that love can be more than just possession? Or will the traitor they seek tear them apart forever
.
 
 
 

Kathryn Le Veque
Dragonblade
Tate Crewys de Lara is the son of kings.

The illegitimate son of Edward Longshanks, Tate has the qualities of a magnificent king. But fate is cruel, leaving him a mere knight protecting young Edward III during the uncertain days following the horrific murder of Edward II.

While gathering allies for the young heir in Northumberland, he meets the Lady Elizabetha “Toby” Cartingdon. Daughter of the Lord Mayor of Cartingdon Parrish, Toby is a gorgeous woman with a mind for business. It is she who runs the parish, not her father. Taken aback by the strong, bitter female, Tate is nonetheless intrigued with her. He soon discovers why Toby seems so hard; her father is a drunkard and her mother is an invalid, leaving Toby responsible to not only provide for the family, but also for the welfare of her small sister.

Feeling something more than curiosity, Tate begins to break through the hard surface to discover the warm and compassionate woman beneath. Yet factions who would see the young heir dead make a sudden appearance, drawing Toby into their malevolent plan. Soon she finds herself linked to both Tate and the quest to take the throne from Roger Mortimer. It becomes Tate's destiny to not only win a throne for young Edward, but to win Toby's heart as well.
 
Hope to see you at – A Journey Through Time.
Nicóle  xx