Friday, 19 December 2014

Bewitching Blurbs



Hi everyone!

After a tiny break caused by my brain melting edits, Bewitching Blurbs is back. So sit back and enjoy this week’s offerings. J

As always Bewitching Blurbs embraces all sub genres of Romance and heat levels.

 
 
 
 
 
 

12 Days at Silver Bells House

By Jennie Jones

From the author of the international best-selling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story – country style.

Kate Singleton has twelve days to find herself. With Christmas Day and her thirtieth birthday approaching, the best thing a city-chic fashion designer who no longer has a raison d’etre can do is nullify herself in the country. With Chardonnay.

When trouble strikes, the country presents her with Jamie Knight – a gallant but uncommunicative He-Man who drives an excavator and rescues her, her shoes, and her case of Chardonnay from a boggy field.

The adventure should be over – nothing but a good story to tell to her friends in the city – but her saviour turns out to also be an unexpected roommate, the new owner of Silver Bells House, Kate’s holiday home.

Forced together and dragged into the community Christmas spirit of the town, Kate and Jamie flounder their way through mistletoe, kissing games, carolling choirs, and a bone-deep yearning for community and acceptance.

Can the enchanting Silver Bells House and the holidays bind them together? Or will love get lost on Highway B23 back to the city?


 
 
 
A Magical Regency Christmas

By Elizabeth Rolls, Bronwyn Scott & Margaret McPhee

Three Sparkling Festive Regency Tales

CHRISTMAS CINDERELLA

Handsome country rector Alex Martindale dreams of kissing the spirited schoolmistress and never having to stop… With the aid of some Christmas mistletoe, he may just get his wish!

FINDING FOREVER AT CHRISTMAS

At the yule ball, Catherine Emerson receives a proposal from the man she thinks she wants – but an interlude with his mysterious, darkly handsome brother unleashes a deeper desire…

THE CAPTAIN'S CHRISTMAS ANGEL

Returning to England for Christmas, Sarah Ellison discovers gorgeous Captain Daniel Alexander adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. But nothing could have prepared her for the secrets he’s keeping!


 

Impulse

By Vanessa Garden

When Miranda Sun returns to Marin on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, this time of her own free will, she quickly learns that her worst fears have been realised. The glittering underwater city is not as she had left it, nor too is Marko, the young king who has dominated her thoughts and heart for the last twelve months since leaving Marin.

Miranda, however, has not made the journey to Marin alone, and now must contend with not only Marko’s evil brother Damir but more surprisingly her sister Lauren who has an agenda of her own. Marko’s power begins to wane and with cracks beginning to show in the domed Utopian city, and veiled danger lurking everywhere, she quickly learns that in this dazzling city full of beautiful people she can trust no-one but herself.

If Miranda wants to survive, she must decide between the hardened sensibilities in her head and the hungers of her heart. Will her decision cause more heartache or can she help to save Marko’s throne?


 

 

Demon Hunter

By Jenny Schwartz

You can bleed and die banishing a demon, but Fay Olwen discovers there are worse hurts. Betrayed by the Collegium and by her father, she must build a new life away from New York. Leopard-shifter Steve Jekyll would have her build it with him. But loyalties are never simple and new love never easy. When demons are unleashed, Fay tracks the evil back to the Collegium, and now all hell will break loose because Fay fights for the innocent, and Steve will protect what is his.

For fans of kick-ass heroines and shifter heroes who are alpha-male and sinfully sexy.


 

Demon Hunter is free until the 21st December!



 
Christmas Seduction
By Samantha Holt
In a time when marriage had little to do with love and everything to do with money, Alexander Fenhurst, Duke of Wyndbourne, never expected a love match. But he also didn’t expect his wife to run into the arms of another man only a month after their nuptials. Having discovered her in the embrace of another man—and well aware of her dislike of him—he did what any self-respecting man would do. He left his Scottish estate and spent almost a year climbing the Alps and indulging his passion for adventure.

But no amount of adventure will change the fact he needs an heir. Resigned to the knowledge he somehow needs to win over his wife enough to allow him in her bed, Alex returns to Scotland for Christmas to celebrate... and seduce.

Emma Fenhurst, Duchess of Wyndbourne, has spent almost a year alone and miserable. She hadn’t expected much from her marriage, but she had at least expected a child or two, and Alexander had never seemed a cruel man. But after their fleeting first month of marriage, he tired of her and fled to France. Lonely and desperate for a child, the news of her estranged husband’s return summons her courage and determination. By the end of the Christmas celebrations, she will be with child and intends to do all she can to draw her husband into her bed. However, while she means to share her body with him, some secrets must remain just that—secret.

Will the festive period bring them closer together or will their plans draw them further apart? Is there any chance for an arranged marriage to bring happiness... and maybe even love?
 
Thanks for stopping by.
Nicóle  xx


Allison Merritt - Cover Reveal


Cover Reveal - Eban by Allison Merritt

Hi everyone,

Today we have a sneaky peek at Allison Merritt's upcoming book, Eban. Allison will  also be running a giveaway, so check out the bottom of this post for details.




If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.

Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

 

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

 

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

 

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood...and offer it as a sacrifice.

 

Warning: Contains a half-human, half-demon doctor who can heal anyone except himself, and a woman who’d blush if she could remember the sensuous torture she’s been inflicting on him. Could make you wonder if you should start listening to the voices in your head...




 
Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
 
ISBN13: 978-1-61922-634-0
Length: 70k
Release date: April 7, 2015


A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
 
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.
 
Social media links:
 
Read the first book in the series: Wystan (The Heckmasters)
Buy links:
Samhain - http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wystan-p-73651.html
Amazon - http://amzn.com/B00L501TJK

Thanks for stopping by.


Nicóle xx

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Medieval Christmas



Hi everyone.

I thought today I would post on the medieval Christmas. As the old carol goes Christmas was celebrated over twelve days - from Christmas Day to the 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany. This period is also known as Christmastide.  The first recorded use of the word "Christmas" was in 1038 when a book from Saxon England used the words "Cristes Maesse" in it.

Pre-Christian, northern European celebrated the winter solstice with a celebration of fire to chase away the dark days, protect from the thinning veil between the worlds and spark the renewal of life and the coming spring. As Christianity spread this winter festival was swallowed and incorporated into the Christmas festivities.

Medieval homes were decorated with evergreens, this was one of the customs left over from pagan time. Evergreens have been valued for their ability to retain signs of life in the middle of winter - even in some instances producing berries and flowers. This idea fitted in with the Christian view of everlasting life. Churches and houses were decorated with ivy, mistletoe, holly, or anything green, which remained up until the eve of Candlemas (Feb 2).

 
 
Also important in the celebration of Christmas was the banquet, which necessarily varied in sumptuousness with the resources of the celebrants. The menu varied with soups and stews, birds and fish, breads and puddings, but a common element was the Yule boar, an animal for those who could afford it or a pie shaped like a boar for more humble tables. Desserts included gingerbread, sweet plum pudding and king’s cakes, which were sweet cakes fashioned in the shape of a crown to symbolize the tree kings who brought gift to Christ’s birth.

The gift-giving of the season was represented by the New Year Gift, which continued a tradition of Roman origin.

In Medieval England there were, in fact, three Masses celebrated on Christmas Day. The first and most characteristic was at midnight (the Angel's Mass), catching up the notion that the light of salvation appeared at the darkest moment of the darkest date in the very depth of winter. The second Christmas Mass came at dawn (the Shepherd's Mass), and the third during the day (the Mass of the Divine Word).

Wassail comes from the Old English words waes hael, which means "be well," "be hale," or "good health." A strong, hot drink (usually a mixture of ale, honey, and spices) would be put in a large bowl, and the host would lift it and greet his companions with "waes hael," to which they would reply "drinc hael," which meant "drink and be well."

In England religious plays and mumming were another form of popular Christmas entertainment; as well as minstrels and jugglers.

Another example of pagan traditions mixing with Christian ones was the tradition of the Lord of Misrule. This was someone appointed at Christmas to be in charge of Christmas revelries, which often included drunkenness and wild parties in the tradition of Yule. This tradition seems to come from ancient Rome, from the feast of Saturnalia. During this time, the ordinary rules of life were turned upside down. Masters served their slaves, and offices of state were held by peasants. The Lord of Misrule presided over all of this and had the power to command anyone to do anything.

In the church, on January 1st's Feast of Fools, similar strangeness occurred. Priests wore masks at mass, sang lewd songs and ate sausages before the altar. It was a time of such wildness that lords often employed special guards to protect their property in case of rioting. Tenants of a manor belonging to London's St Paul's Cathedral were obliged to keep watch over the manor house, and were paid with a fire, a loaf of bread, a cooked dish and a gallon of ale.


December 28th is "Holy Innocents Day" or "Childermass Day". This is the day when King Herod ordered that all children under two years of age be killed.  In Medieval England, children were reminded of Herod’s cruelty by being beaten. Which in my opinion would kind of take the sparkle off the whole celebration!


I thought that I would leave you with an Anglo-Norman carol. It’s from Ancient English Christmas Carols – 1400-1700 by Edith Rickert.

 

Lordings, Listen To Our Lay

Lordings, listen to our lay --
We have come from far away
To seek Christmas;
In this mansion we are told
He his yearly feast doth hold;
'Tis t-day!
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, I now tell you true,
Christmas bringeth unto you
Only mirth;
His house he fills with many a dish
Of bread and meat and also fish,
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, through our army's band
They say -- who spends with open hand
Free and fast,
And oft regals his many friends --
God gives him double what he spends
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, wicked men eschew,
In them never shall you view
Aught that's good;
Cowards are the rable rout,
Kick and beat the grumblers out,
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

To English ale and Gascon wine,
And French, doth Christmas much incline --
And Anjou's, too;
He makes his neighbour freely drink
So that in sleep his head doth sink
Often by day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lords, by Christmas and the host
Of this mansion hear my toast --
Drink it well --
Each must drain his cup of wine,
And I the first will toss off mine:
Thus I advise.
Here then I bid you all Wassail,
Cursed be he who will not say, Drinkhail.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

 

 

 

Wishing you all the very best of the season.

Wassail!

 

Nicóle xx

 

 

Food and Feasts in the Middle Ages – Lynne Elliot
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England – Ian Mortimer
Images from Bigstock, Fotolia & British Library

 

 

I'm back with a Giveaway



Hi everyone!

The edits are done and I’m finally back. J

 


To celebrate the season I’m hosting a giveaway through my newsletter, The Fanfare. If you would like to sign up and go into the draw just drop me a line here –



One of the things I’m giving away is this sweet little bookmark. It’s a metal snowflake and is so cute that I kept on for myself.
 

Black is the Colour has been entered into the cover contest at You Gotta Read Reviews. If you have a moment to add your vote, I would really appreciate it. Voting is open until the 31st Dec. Thanks so much!


 


Can’t wait to get back into writing all those stories I had to set aside for a few weeks.

 

Wishing you all the very best of the Season.

Thanks for stopping by.

Nicóle xx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Update


Hi everyone,
Sorry I’ve been slack and haven’t posted Bewitching Blurbs.
No, I haven’t been hiding or abducted by aliens. I’m in the middle of edits for McKellan’s Run, so once they’re done I’ll get back to blogging & writing.
So while I’m buried under a sea of printed pages, hi lighters and sticky notes – I’ll leave you a friend to keep you company until I make it back.

Hmmm, he looks pretty serious maybe he needs a bit of cheering up. I’m sure I can leave him in your capable hands. 
He’s inspiration for a story I’ve got on the back burner and from his intense stare I’d say he’s smouldering...lol.  


Thanks for stopping by and I promise to be back soon. J


Nicóle xx 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Black is the Colour Book Tour


Hi everyone,
Just to let you know that Black is the Colour is on a mini book tour. I’ve listed some of the lovely bloggers who are hosting me. Thank you all so much!

Also there’s a $20 Amazon Gift Card up for grabs but hurry time is limited. So, drop by one of the stops and enter – Good Luck!!!

Other than that, for all my wonderful U.S. friends happy Thanksgiving. Hope you have a blissful, warm and heartfelt day. J

Nicóle xx

2 Bibliophiles Guide

Mythical Books

Beanie Brain Reader

Pandora’s Open Box

Love Us Some Books

Padme’s Library


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday – Black is the Colour


Hi everyone and welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday.


Here’s a snippet from my medieval fairytale, Black is the Colour.





Ciana bit her bottom lip as she spied through the chink in the blacksmith’s wall. Oran was stripped down to his waist, with only the heavy leather apron to protect the front of his body. He raised his arm and brought down the hammer onto the red hot metal. She suppressed a sigh as she watched his muscles work along his broad shoulders. The heat of the fires made the air hot and there was a sheen of perspiration across his entire back. He all but glistened. She wondered what it would be like to run her hands over him.

 A metallic clang echoed through the workshop as Oran beat the anvil with his heavy hammer. Ciana leaned a little closer to the wall so she could get a better look, her hands resting on the rough wood. Dear Heavens, she doubted she would ever tire of watching him. He lifted his arm again, but hesitated before dropping it by his side. He turned his head and scanned the room.

“Ciana! Ciana is that you?”

Ciana jumped back and flattened herself against the wall. Holding her hand over her mouth to stop her laughter escaping, she waited.

“Ciana!”


He called her name in a soft, deep voice. It seemed to roll off his tongue as sweetly as if it were honey. Even his voice made her stomach tighten and flip. She heard the hiss of the metal as he doused it into the large barrel of water which she knew stood by the anvil. She waited one more moment before stealing another peek. The workshop was empty. Silently as she could she crept along the wall but as she rounded the corner familiar hands caught her around the waist.


Blurb
Ciana has loved Oran all her life and nothing, not even her father will prevent them from being together. But the Mayor of Stonemark has higher aspirations for his daughter than the village blacksmith. He engages the help of a witch and dark magic to bend Ciana to his will.

Oran knows that he doesn’t deserve Ciana. But their love is stronger than the metal he forges and welds. She has his heart and he will never turn from her no matter the cost.

Separated, Ciana will need all her strength to journey through the deep forest and save Oran from the witch’s curse. Alone and with only a trail of black feathers to follow, Ciana will fight against the odds and attempt to bring her lover home.

Shortened Amazon link - http://goo.gl/f3juDg

Thanks for stopping by.
Nicóle xx


Here’s a link to check out the other great snippets from Sneak Peek Sunday!