Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bewitching Blurbs





Hi everyone,

Here’s this week’s Bewitching Blurbs!




 From a hung over duke and a Rapunzel complex, to a cowboy, a werewolf and a vengeful ghost – we’ve have it all this week!




A Desperate Wager
By Em Taylor

Nathaniel Spencer, the Fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne wakes up with an almighty hangover and a wager note in his pocket stating he has agreed to marry the Earl of Brackingham’s daughter. And he can’t even remember ever meeting the chit. Clearly his drinking has got out of hand.

Lady Sarah Steele is horrified when her father announces that the Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry her and even more horrified that her father wagered her hand in a game of cards. Not only that, but the earl has not told the duke of the riding accident that left Sarah paralysed when she was sixteen. But he’s dying and she knows he wants to see her settled before the inevitable happens.

Despite Nate’s drinking and Sarah’s possible complicity in the earl’s plan, they agree to marry. But when accidents start to happen, the newly-weds must deal not only with the fact they are practically strangers, but they must find out who is trying to kill one or both of them. Nate’s drink problem and Sarah’s disability are only a couple of the hurdles they must face to find lasting love.


 




 
The Rapunzel Dilemma
By Jennifer Kloester
Lily's had a charmed life so far, and now she's off to London to pursue her dream of becoming a great actor. But life at the London Drama Academy is full of surprises – and for the first time, Lily finds that things don't always go her way.

It's not just the other students who are making life difficult. Lily's got a secret she's not sure how to handle, but she finds that a room in one of the Academy's deserted towers makes a perfect refuge. Lily can't stay locked in the tower forever, though. And when she meets the mysterious Ronan Carver, everything starts to change . . .

A fast-paced modern fairytale and companion novel to The Cinderella Moment, from talented YA author Jennifer Kloester
.
 
 
Tease me, Cowboy

By Rachael  Johns
Selah Davis loves her life as a journalist in Seattle (or so she says) but on a rare trip home to Marietta to cover the Copper Mountain Rodeo, she confesses to her best friends over drinks that her one regret in life is not sleeping with her high school boyfriend, Levi Monroe. Into the bar walks Levi, also home for the rodeo. When her friends dare her to proposition him for a one night stand, she’s at first appalled… but the more she thinks about remedying her one regret, the less she can get him and their electric chemistry out of her head. Selah’s always been her parents’ good daughter. Would it hurt just for one night to be a little bit bad?

Levi Monroe is ready to settle back in Marietta and start his own rodeo school teaching others the techniques that have made him a star. He doesn’t want any distractions during his last rodeo where he aims to win All Around Cowboy, but when his high school sweetheart – the one woman he’s never been able to forget – comes along and offers to rewrite their history, it might just be an offer too good to refuse
.


 
Blood Moon
By M.A. Grant
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Red Moon, about a playboy werewolf, his shy roommate, the ties that bind and a battle for true love.
Dana Patterson never regretted the simplicity of her life in Alaska until she moved in with playboy Connor Sinclair. On the surface, Connor is the darkly seductive owner of Vegas’s hottest new casino. But in private, she gets to see a vulnerable side that no one else knows about — and the combination makes him a temptation she isn’t willing to resist any longer.
After Connor openly sides with his brother Flynn in the battle against their unstable lycanthrope father, protecting family and friends becomes a necessity. Having Dana move in with him was the chivalrous decision; sharing his bed with her was not. Dana may think Connor’s everything she’s ever wanted, but his scars run deep, and he can’t bear the thought of hurting her.
But war changes everything — and exposes dark secrets. As Rupert’s true plans come to light, Connor must decide whether he is truly the monster his father created, or the man Dana knows is hidden within the beast.



 
Penelope’s Ghost
By Goldie Alexander
Fleeing a humiliating end to a passionless marriage, Lisa Harbinger seeks refuge in a posh summer retreat on Australia’s lush South Coast. There she finds work as a nanny for two wilful children on one prestigious estate. But behind Rangoon’s ivy and red brick walls lies a mystery: What really happened to the family’s beloved Penelope?

Even more mysterious is Richard Prescott. Cold and aloof by day, Lisa’s boss heats up her nights and awakens her soul. But to have a future they both must escape their pasts. Vengeful ghosts and a generations-old curse seek to bring ruin on Richard and his family. But if Lisa can find the answers, she—and her growing love—could be the one to set him free
.
 
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Nicóle xx





 
 
 
 




 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Bewitching Blurbs




 
 

Hi everyone!

Apologies for being slack and sending
out Bewitching Blurbs late.

Anyway, here are the yummy morsels
for this week - enjoy!

 

 
 
 
Luna Tango
By Alli Sinclair


 Tango, like love, is complicated

Journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango to expose the decades of lies and deception that threaten three generations of her family. She’s desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, why her grandma lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.

Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero, a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion, who helps her unravel tango’s sordid history. Despite Dani’s lack of rhythm, they create their own dance of the souls until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, tango – the dance of passion – becomes a complicated dance of betrayal
.




 
Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal
By Amy Rose Bennett
A runaway countess finds love when she least expects it…but she can’t hide from her past forever.

Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, fears for her life. When she discovers her dissolute and long-estranged husband has syphilis—and he wants to beget an heir no matter the cost—she flees to a remote part of Scotland to begin a new life as the widowed governess, Mrs. Beth Eliott at Eilean Tor Castle.

When Mrs. Eliott unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep, the reclusive and recently widowed Marquess of Rothsburgh is both irritated and intrigued. No longer in need of a governess—his young daughter now resides with his sister’s family in Edinburgh—he proposes the beautiful widow fill a position of a different kind…

Torn between staying true to her marriage vows and her wanton attraction to the devilishly handsome marquess, Elizabeth struggles against the temptation to become his mistress. But living a lie is not easy when you have fallen in love. And secrets always have a way of coming out…
 

 
 
Under Cover of Dark
By Juanita Kees
New Australian romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts, and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer Gino Bennetti and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’s murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom and her life.
 
 

 

Engaging the Enemy
By Susanne Bellamy

One building, two would-be owners and a family feud that spans several generations: all relationships have their problems.

Andrea de Villiers can’t lie to save herself. But when developer, Matt Mahoney, buys the building she and a friend have established as a safe house in the Melbourne CBD, she decides that protecting The Shelter is more important than her aching heart. She will confront Mr Mahoney, and she will emerge victorious. There are no other options.

But Matt has other plans for Andie, and she soon finds herself ensnared in a web of well-meaning lies and benevolent deceit. To protect the building and the families that depend on her, Andie agrees to play the part of Matt’s fiancée, and play it convincingly.

But lies soon bleed into truth, and what was once a deception starts to feel all too real. Can Andie accomplish her goals and protect The Shelter, without losing her heart to the charming Irish developer?



 
 
 
The Summer of Jake
By Rachel Bailey
 Life is just dandy for aspiring fashion designer Annalise Farley. She has a great job (or she will once her designs are discovered), parents who only slightly disapprove, a cat that thinks she’s a dog, and a best friend…even if she hasn’t seen her in a while. But then Jake Maxwell saunters back into her life. Jake, the love god. Jake, her best friend’s older brother. Jake, who broke her heart at sixteen without realizing it, then left to become a pro surfer.
Now he’s back, having taken the surfing and business worlds by storm, and he’s ready for a new challenge—catching the eye of another girl. And he wants Annalise’s help. Helping Jake land his next girlfriend is too fraught with emotional danger for her liking, but then Jake offers to put her designs in his shops. Is that the sound of her life cracking at the seams? It’s hard to tell with Jake smiling at her like she’s the only thing that makes him happy…

 
Thanks so much for dropping by.
Nicóle  xx



 

 

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

 

 



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