Christmas at Castle Keyvnor – Claudia Dain

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor, twelve linked Regency romance novellas

Today my guest is another of the authors participating in the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies. Please welcome Claudia Dain!

Regency romance author Claudia Dain

There’s something about having a lot of time on your hands, about unending leisure time, that feels . . . wrong. Maybe that’s my middle class values showing, but for this story, I wanted my hero to have A Job. Oh, yes, he’s an aristocrat and he’s not hurting for money (because that’s more fun than being broke) but he does have Goals and Dreams and he is determined to run a profitable business venture in Regency England. He is going to own the best coach/cross-country horse breeding stable and the best hunting dog breeding kennel in England; that is his goal.

In researching horse breeds, I stumbled across the Trakehner. Originally developed to take knights into battle, by the 16th century, this horse had been refined into an elegant coach horse. It had a bold, fearless nature that made it perfect for the cavalry. Did you know any of that? I didn’t. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect horse for an elegant aristocrat in 19th century England to breed? I thought so. Trakehners are known for being highly courageous with an ideal temperament, a horse of great stamina and endurance. Just what we’d all like our heroes to be.

Of course, my hero, Charles Grimstone, Earl of Snowingham, is all of that and more. He is the inheritor of the Grimstone ring. To him, it’s just a family heirloom, with a family myth of Vikings and Valkyries to go with it. He wears the ring at all times, as family legend insists he do, but when the ruby in the ring begins to glow when he enters Castle Keyvynor, and then the power within the ring explodes when Lady Rose Hambly appears, Lord Snow begins to realize that there might be more than myth to the legend, and more fact behind the legend than he’s been willing to admit. Until he meets Lady Rose.

Writing stories with a paranormal element isn’t what I usually do. Castle Keyvnor is the setting for stories with a very definite paranormal slant. The whole place is haunted! I honestly didn’t know if I had the mindset for writing a romance set at Castle Keyvnor, and then I found out that I did. I created two ghosts in my first story (Lady Ghost and Lord Death: A Love Story) and I had a lot of fun having them spar with each other while interfering in the romantic life of the hero and heroine. When it was time to sit down and write Lady Rose and Lord Snow: A Wedding Story, I decided to give my ghostly pair something dangerous to come up against. I created the Grimstone ring and the legend behind it. Lord Snow and his ring can destroy ghosts. This time, if the ghostly pair wanted to interfere in the romance of my hero and heroine, they’d risk destruction.

I wish I could tell you where I came up with the idea for the Grimstone ring. As a writer, I normally don’t know where my ideas come from. A good idea just sort of beckons, leading me down a path that looks exciting, and I follow it. The Grimstone ring was a wonderful path into the story of Rose and Snow, and it ultimately plays a significant role in their love story. Do any ghosts pay the ultimate price of the Grimstone ring? I’m not going to ruin my story, or anyone else’s. You’ll just have to read them all to find out.

Have you ever looked at a piece of jewelry and had the feeling it had a story to tell, a past you wished you knew?

Claudia Welch/Claudia Dain graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in English. While there she became a member of Alpha Phi, one of the oldest sororities in America. A two- time Rita finalist, she has won numerous writing awards and honors since her first novel was published in 2000. She has lived for most of her life in Los Angeles, called Connecticut home for a decade, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Visit Claudia’s website, like her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter.

Enchanted at Christmas, a Regency romance anthology and part of the Christmas at Castle Keynor seriesEnchanted at Christmas
includes Claudia Dain’s Lady Rose & Lord Snow
The Grimstone has come to Castle Keyvnor. His name is Charles Snowingham and he is the Earl of Grimstone. Upon his right hand he wears the Grimstone ring, an ancient ring imbued with, it is said, ancient power to destroy ghosts and ghouls and otherworldly things. Snow is not the sort of man to believe in fairy tales, until he arrives in Castle Keyvnor, that is, and he meets Lady Rose Hambly. * Lady Rose is determined to escape her ancestral home, Castle Keyvor. She’s not about to admit it publicly, but there is a certain ghost at the castle who is haunting her. Since her sisters Morgan and Tamsyn are being wed on Christmas, and since the castle will be awash with eligible men, she is determined to find a husband as quickly as possible, if only to get away from Castle Keyvnor and her impossible ghost. * What Lady Rose and Lord Snow do not realize is that the ghosts of Keyvnor want them away from the castle immediately, if not sooner. The Grimstone ring spells their doom, and Rose’s ghost doesn’t want to haunt her just as fervently as she wishes not to be haunted. Will Rose take romantic advice from a ghost who does nothing but insult her? Not willingly.

Available September 26, 2017

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Christmas at Castle Keyvnor – Erica Monroe

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor, twelve linked Regency romance novellas

Today, my guest author is Erica Monroe, who has a Regency romance novella in Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies. Please welcome Erica!

Author Erica MonroeMy heroine Felicity Fields of THE DETERMINED DUCHESS (available in Charmed at Christmas) practices alchemy, a chemical and speculative philosophy that aimed at transmuting metals into their base elements. Much of alchemy focuses on transforming common substances into substances that have great value, like gold, as discussed below. While much of modern science can trace its roots back to alchemy, chemistry is probably the most notable, and in fact until the 1830’s scientists were oft called “chemists” or “natural philosophers,” regardless of what they studied. In fact, Isaac Newton’s alchemical papers have now been found and portions can be viewed online, as well as in museums.

Though alchemy has an ancient history that spans across several continents and centuries, by the Regency alchemy had fallen out of favor and was no longer viewed as a “real” science. Instead, scientific research moved more toward chemistry, galvanization, and astronomy. Alchemy began to be viewed as a form of witchcraft, and many scientists were in a hurry to distance themselves from being seen as pseudoscientists.

I had a lot of fun depicting the Regency disdain for alchemy. Felicity faces scorn on two fronts because not only is she a woman dabbing in subjects many thought were better left to men, but she is actively pursuing alchemical experiments that have now become taboo. Christy Carlyle and I got the idea that we’d both write scientists, but we’d have them at odds with each other. Septimus Locke, the hero of A LOVE FOR LADY WINTER, is pursuing galvanization, and he views Felicity’s attempts to recreate the Philosopher’s Stone as absurd and pointless. (You can read Christy’s excellent novella in Enchanted at Christmas.)

The Philosopher's Stone as pictured in Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 21The Philosopher’s Stone is perhaps the most famous and intriguing of alchemical works, and so when I wrote THE DETERMINED DUCHESS, I had to include it. To fans of Harry Potter, the Philosopher’s Stone probably sounds familiar. In J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, she reinvents the work of famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel. (The British title of this book is indeed HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE, off of Flamel’s work). For many alchemists, the Philosopher’s Stone represented the ultimate triumph – not only on a scientific level, but also on a spiritual level. It was thought that if one was able to take the stone through the three stages of transmutation – Black Phase, White Phase, Red Phase—you’d be able to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

The alchemical symbol for the Philosopher's Stone, 17th centuryFelicity doesn’t care about using the stone to transform simple materials into gold. She’s after the Elixir of Life that one can supposedly make from the stone. The Elixir of Life has many interpretations throughout both Eastern and Western philosophy, but I chose to focus mostly on the work done by alchemists in Europe, as that is what Felicity would have had access to. The Elixir of Life is said to have granted Flamel and his wife eternal life, and it contained healing properties as well.

Because of the Elixir of Life’s special properties, Felicity hopes to use the stone to bring back her beloved guardian from the dead. (THE DETERMINED DUCHESS is my take on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, make of that what you will). It was a challenge to balance Felicity’s alchemical experiments with her very real grief over her guardian’s death—science has always been her touchstone, so she sees it as a way to make sure that she is never abandoned again, and she thinks she owes her guardian a second chance at life.

Will she succeed? You’ll have to read CHARMED AT CHRISTMAS to find out. 😉

For more information on alchemy, you can check out my story board on Pinterest.

Erica Monroe is a USA Today Bestselling Author of dark, suspenseful historical romance. She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, SBTB, and All About Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, and comic book fanatic. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. Visit Erica online at ericamonroe.com and sign up for her new release newsletter at: bit.ly/mlem4.

Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies of Regency romances, including one by Claire DelacroixCharmed at Christmas
includes Erica Monroe’s The Determined Duchess
After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left alone with an uncertain future. But this blunt bluestocking has a secret: she’s determined to resurrect her guardian through the ancient art of alchemy. The last thing she needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.
When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many scientific studies. Now, he’s determined to bring Felicity to London so that she may make a match within society–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?

Available September 26, 2017

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Christmas at Castle Keyvnor – Claire Delacroix

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor, twelve linked Regency romance novellas

I’m starting off a series of posts from the authors of the Regency romance novellas in the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor collection. We’ll each talk a little bit about our research and our story.

As most of you know, I don’t usually write stories set in the Regency period, although it is an era that fascinates me. I read a lot of Regency romance written by contemporary authors, but what is particularly fun about the Regency era is how much fiction was published within that period. Reading the same stories that my characters might have read is consistently a favorite research avenue of mine. Technically, the Regency era is from 1811 to 1820, but Wiki notes that the period is often entended to 1795 to 1837. I like the broader parameter for finding books.

Let’s look today at a few authors and books from that period.

Jane Austen by Cassandra AustenThe most obvious author to read, of course, is Jane Austen, particularly if you’re interested in social conventions and romance. Her books – Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818) – are must-reads for all Regency romance fans. I really enjoy her wit and it’s hard to pick a favorite. If pressed, I have to say P&P, because I like how Elizabeth challenges Mr. Darcy’s expectations, prompting him to take a second look. On the other side of the coin, his criticism provokes Elizabeth to reconsider her own actions. They change each other, and I like that.

Within Austen’s books, however, there are references to other authors who were her contemporaries (or close to it) whose works were popular with young women. In Emma, Harriet Smith is disappointed that her beau, Mr. Martin, forgets to read the book she has recommended to him – The Romance of the Forest, which is by Ann Radcliffe. In Northanger Abbey, the protagonist Catherine Morland loves Gothic novels, particularly Mysteries of Udolpho, also by Ann Radcliffe.

According to Wiki, Ann Radcliffe was a “pioneer of the Gothic novel”. Her works certainly were popular in her time and she was comparatively well paid for her work. The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), The Italian (1797) are several of her books that I’ve read. They have a lot of description of the landscape and the pacing is slow. They are long books and the heroines weep a lot. (They are not very active protagonists.) It’s easy to see how people found Radcliffe’s depiction of supernatural elements to be compelling (although I am skeptical that Mr. Martin read Forest so very quickly once he did get a copy!)

I haven’t read Catherine Cuthbertson, although she is said to be an author who was influenced by Radcliffe. Her works include Romance of the Pyrenees (1803), Forest of Montalbano (1810), and The Hut and the Castle: a Romance (1823).

Sir Walter Scott’s fiction is also considered to be Regency era literature and much of it is romantic in tone. The Lady of the Lake (1810), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) and Ivanhoe (1820) would be good choices for their glimpse of Regency-era romance. I also use Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-3), in which he recorded oral stories of Scotland, as a reference when I write Scottish romances.

Lord Byron was a romantic poet, but also an influence over romantic fiction both during his life and after his death. His excesses, moodiness, periodic charm, good looks and tragic ending have been captivating to many – even now, we talk of Byronic heroes – and that his only daughter, Ada, was so clever has inspired many a ‘bluestocking’ Regency heroine. Of his own work, the narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-1818) is probably the best known.

Mary Shelly by Richard RothwellOne Regency-era author often forgotten or overlooked is Mary Shelley, whose work Frankenstein (1818) was published in the period. Her husband Percy Boyd Shelley was one of the romantic poets as well as a friend of Byron’s. I love that this story resulted from a challenge between writers: Mary, her future husband Percy, Lord Byron and John Polidori competed to discover who among them could write the best horror story. Mary’s idea of a doctor creating a living creature then being horrified by the result has become a cornerstone of the horror genre. It remains a great read and a classic book. Polidori’s story, btw, was The Vampyre (1819). I still need to read that one.

There are also stories written after the Regency which portray the era. One of the things I always notice about Regency characters is their obsession with appearances and their frank discussions about money. Mr. Darcy is  interesting at dances and social events because of his annual income, which the various ambitious mamas seem to know down to the shilling. As a result, I’ve always enjoyed William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, which takes a dim view of this obsession with the physical realm, and his cunning heroine Becky Sharp. It was published in 1848 and is often considered the first Victorian novel, partly because Becky isn’t very sympathetic, partly because of its social criticism. It gives good insight into what people were prepared to do to maintain those appearances, though.

The Brontë sisters were published later than the Regency era, although their work is romantic and I think it contributed a great deal to the romance genre and reader expectations. Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë has definite commonalities with Ann Radcliffe’s work, given that the heroine is left with nothing and needs to conquer obstacles to win love and her happy ending. Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë is another Gothic classic, albeit with a more tragic twist, while Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) has been called the first feminist novel.

Oscar Wilde’s work was published well after the Regency, but I love his wit. His dialogue is just wonderful and his social commentary is cutting. Lady Windemere’s Fan (1892), An Ideal Husband (1895) and, of course, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) are wonderful and inspiring reads for all writers.

Another great favourite of mine when it comes to Regency romance is Georgette Heyer. Her sparkling dialogue, wit and sense of humor are unrivalled in the genre. One of her books that I revisit over and over again is The Grand Sophy (1950) with its practical, problem-solving heroine, squaring off with a hero who has learned to worry only about himself.

A Duke by Any Other Name, book #2 of the Brides of North Barrows series of Regency romances by Claire DelacroixI found my inspiration for A Duke by Any Other Name in a work of fiction that depicts an era a little earlier than the Regency—I love Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel (1903). I love a hero in disguise, and particularly enjoy that this Sir Percy is consistently dismissed as a fop and a fool, even as he is orchestrating the escape of aristrocrats from Paris and cheating Lady Guillotine. In my story, Alexander, Duke of Inverfyre, is hunting a jewel thief, one who has ruined his sister’s reputation. He does so in disguise, but Daphne isn’t fooled—and Alexander is tempted. Will Daphne’s curiosity win the duke? Or will she jeopardize his quest, right before it is fulfilled? I had a lot of fun with this story and hope you enjoy it, too.

A Duke by Any Other Name is included in the anthology Charmed at Christmas and will be available in a solo digital edition (with the cover at left) in March 2018.

Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies of Regency romances, including one by Claire DelacroixCharmed at Christmas includes

Claire Delacroix’s A Duke by Any Other Name
Daphne Goodenham has always been determined to wed a duke—not just because she loves fine dresses and parties, but because she wants to guarantee that she and her sister are never destitute again. When she meets the Duke of Inverfyre, a notorious fop, she immediately notices intriguing inconsistencies. Is there more to the duke than meets the eye? Why would he hide the truth if he were handsome, young, rich and a duke? Alexander, the Duke of Inverfyre, is bent on catching a notorious thief who injured his sister, no matter what the cost. But when the lovely Miss Goodenham is bent on charming him, Alexander’s disguise proves to be no defense against her curiosity—and he has no resistance to her kiss. Will Daphne inadvertently foil Alexander’s plan? Will he have to sacrifice her interest to avenge his sister? Or can Daphne ensure Alexander’s triumph and make her own Christmas wish come true?

Available September 26, 2017

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One Knight Enchanted

I’m finally making progress on the republication of my books which were originally published by Harlequin Historicals. Mostly, I needed a plan. 🙂 They all need some revision and some reworking, partly because I’ve learned a few things about writing and storytelling in the past twenty years. I also wanted to build stronger series connections between the books, as many of the series grew organically instead of being planned from the outset.

One Knight Enchanted, book #2 of the Sayerne Series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixFirst up is a revised edition of my story, Enchanted, which was always a favourite of mine. I love the new version even more. It’s called One Knight Enchanted and is available for pre-order now, with a delivery date in December.  This book will be going into Kindle Unlimited on publication, and will be available for 99 cents when it first goes on sale.

I also love the new cover.

Annelise de Sayerne is determined that only true love will convince her to pledge herself in marriage, a legacy of her father’s cruelty. When her brother conspires to see her wed against her will, she insists upon returning to the convent instead. En route, their party is attacked by wolves and divided. Annelise finds herself before the gates of a mysterious palace, hungry predators at her heels, only to learn that the price of admission is marriage to the palace’s lord, sight unseen.

A knight and younger son, Rolfe de Viandin hopes his older brother rewards him on his return from crusade with a small holding of his own. But on his way home, Rolfe opens the gift he bought for his brother in Outremer, releasing a djinn from captivity. He is granted a magical palace, but also cursed to be a wolf by day and man by night—unless love breaks the curse and sets him free. Could lovely, impulsive Annelise be his salvation? Or will she be the one to bring treachery to his gates instead?

Pre-order One Knight Enchanted for December 12 delivery at Amazon.

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The Brides of North Barrows

I reorganized one corner of the website this week, bringing this series out onto the main menu for my historicals. This means that if you had the page for the Brides of North Barrows bookmarked before (or if you had the page for Something Wicked This Way Comes bookmarked before) the link might not work any more.

Of course, I did this because we have a series going on. 🙂 When the series is complete, there will be a digital and print bundle of the entire series.

Something Wicked This Way Comes, a Regency romance novella by Claire Delacroix and #1 of the Brides of North BarrowsSomething Wicked This Way Comes is Sophie and Lucien’s story. When Octavia and her grand-daughters Daphne and Eurydice travel to Castle Keyvnor for the reading of a will, the girls’ governess encounters her lost beloved, who has made a wicked bargain to defend her.  A demon is due to collect Lucien’s soul on Samhain, but Sophie can’t stand by to watch the man she loves be lost forever.

This Regency romance novella is available on its own in a digital edition, and also in Spellbound, one of the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor anthologies.

A Duke by Any Other Name, book #2 of the Brides of North Barrows series of Regency romances by Claire DelacroixA Duke By Any Other Name is Daphne’s story. When the family return to Castle Keyvnor at for a Christmas wedding, they meet Alexander, Duke of Inverfyre, en route. Alexander isn’t particularly looking for a wife—in fact, he’s in disguise as part of a trap to foil a jewel thief and means to see that quest completed and his sister avenged first. But Daphne is both tempting and perceptive—when she’s targeted by the villain, will she inadvertently foil his plan? Or will Alexander see another beauty’s reputation ruined by this same thief?

This Regency romance novella is included in Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies which go on sale September 19. It will be available in its own digital edition in March 2018.

A Baron for All Seasons, book #3 of the Brides of North Barrows series of Regency romances by Claire DelacroixA Baron for All Seasons is book #3 and will be the story of Alexander’s sister, Anthea and Alexander’s friend, Rupert. I’m hoping to publish this story in the spring of 2o18.

Book #4 will be Eurydice’s story but it doesn’t have a title or a cover yet.

 

The Bride Quest I New Edition

The Bride Quest 1 Boxed Set by Claire Delacroix

Be swept away by the classic fairy tale medieval romance trilogy by the “Queen of Medieval Romance”! Three brothers set out on a Bride Quest at the behest of Princess Brianna and each find love of legendary power…

In The Princess, Brianna challenges three knights to compete for her hand, declaring that she will marry the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. She hopes to avoid the king’s dictate and marry for love, but Luc has no interest in surrendering to a beauty’s whim. He has abandoned his life as a knight and put down his sword forever—or so he thinks, until Brianna tempts him to fight for her love.

The Bride Quest trilogy of medieval romances, digital boxed set, by Claire Delacroix

Unavailable first digital edition

The Bride Quest 1 Boxed Set by Claire DelacroixIn The Damsel, Burke returns to Ireland in the hope of claiming the hand of Alys, the beauty who haunts his dreams. Consigned to the custody of her cruel relatives, Alys has lost hope in any happiness, but Burke lays siege to her assumptions with resolve, restoring both her faith and her love. But when the secrets of the past threaten the couple’s future, will their love be enough to defend them?

In The Heiress, Rowan takes his brothers’ challenge and vows to win the hand of the richest heiress in Ireland. There is no place for love in this charming rogue’s heart—until he finds himself buying a beautiful slave girl, one who provokes him into reconsidering all he knows to be true, and daring him to win her heart, if he can.

This digital boxed set includes all three medieval romances in the original Bride Quest trilogy: The Princess, The Damsel and The Heiress.

The new edition of this bundle will be available on November 22, 2017.

Order your copy of The Bride Quest I Boxed Set at:

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The Bride Quest continues with The Countess.

 

 

Heartbreakers: Three Medieval Bad Boys

Heartbreakers:Three Medieval Romances in one bundle from Claire Delacroix Heartbreakers:Three Medieval Romances in one bundle from Claire DelacroixDo you love dangerous heroes? Heartbreakers: Three Medieval Bad Boys brings you three wicked heroes of ill-repute – and the women who dare to love them.

In The Scoundrel, Evangeline is determined to recover her family’s relic from the thief Gawain. She knows he’s a charming trickster with no moral code and has vowed to play by his rules to regain the prize, never expecting that Gawain will steal her heart. Gawain is intrigued by the first lady who is his match—when he falls in love with Evangeline, will he be able to convince her that his sweet confession isn’t just another ruse?

In The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, Catriona arrives pregnant at notorious Ravensmuir, home of the Hellhound, a mercenary of dangerous repute. The last person she expects to save her child is this grim and fearless man, and she knows herself to be in his debt. When Malcolm suggests a marriage of convenience to give her son a future, Catriona knows the only way to repay the Hellhound is to save him from the curse placed upon him, whatever the cost to herself.

In The Crusader’s Heart, Christina takes a chance on Wulfe, challenging the Templar to aid her in escaping her captivity in a brothel in Venice. She will do anything to convince him that he has need of her by his side as Wulfe is the key to her safe return home. Wulfe finds himself dangerously tempted by the beautiful and resolute Christina, to the point of discarding his vows. He has nothing to offer her in his own right, but Christina’s optimism is infectious and he revisits his own past, in the hope of building a future with her.

Three bold women each dare to challenge and to love a disreputable rogue, tempting the heartbreakers to change their ways. Love does conquer all in Heartbreakers: Three Medieval Bad Boys!

Heartbreakers goes on sale September 27, 2017 and will be available at Amazon in Kindle Unlimited for three months only.

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The Nutcracker Reimagined & Eliza Knight

Today, my guest is another author participating in the Nutcracker Reimagined collection. Please welcome Eliza Knight!

Hello! I’m Eliza Knight, an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. Under the name E. Knight, I pen rip-your-heart-out historical fiction. Most of my novels take place in medieval Scotland, which is my favorite time period to write about. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to do some research in Scotland, too, which brings me even closer to my characters and the land they cherish so much.

The Highlander's Reward, a medieval Scottish romance by Eliza KnightMy Stolen Bride series is kicked off with The Highlander’s Reward, and in it my hero Magnus Sutherland fights for William Wallace and the Bruce in trying win back Scottish freedom from the English. So what happens, when in the middle of a battle, Magnus comes across an English lass, daughter to the enemy, in need of saving? Well, he takes her of course, and forces her to marry him. Arbella is horrified. She didn’t like the idea of leaving England to marry an English lord occupying a Scottish castle as it was. It’s a wild place full of heathens, and now she’s married to a barbarian! For Magnus, marrying the enemy puts his duty to his clan and country in jeopardy, not to mention that having a wife will be a total pain in the arse. But what started as a mock marriage turns into one of passionate love, and together they have to fight off the enemies who would seek to destroy them. The Highlander’s Reward is currently a free read—escape to the Highlands with me and give this series a try!

The Highlander's Gift, a medieval Scottish romance by Eliza KnightMy story in The Nutcracker Reimagined is The Highlander’s Gift, and it features the daughter of Magnus and Arbella from The Highlander’s Reward. Bella is a fiery and independent lass who definitely doesn’t want to be constrained by the bonds of marriage. And she just so happens to find the most perfect man for her. Sir Niall Oliphant was betrothed to the Bruce’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, until she declares that his wound in battle has incapacitated him as a man. Because he does not wish to marry the spoiled royal, he is glad to pass her off to his brother Sir Walter, and remain a bachelor. Until he is presented with an offer from the Earl of Sutherland to marry his only daughter, a lass more beautiful than any other. Bella Sutherland, daughter of one of the most powerful earls and Highland chieftains in Scotland, can marry anyone she wants—but she wants no one. When she spies the injured warrior at the Yule festival who has been shunned by the Bruce’s own daughter, she makes her choice. What is better than no husband? A husband who cannot truly be husband at all. With them both satisfied that they are gaining a marriage in name only, imagine their surprise when love blossoms and passion ignites?

The Nutcracker Reimagined, a Christmas romance anthologyThe Highlander’s Gift is the ninth medieval tale in my Stolen Bride series. It will be available first as a novella in the Nutcracker Reimagined which releases on October 19th — only available for 30 days for 99 cents – along with nine other great Christmas novellas! After that, The Highlander’s Gift will be expanded into a full-length novel and released in its own edition.

Visit me at www.elizaknight.com and sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about new sizzling hot reads, book news, contests, and more!

Pre-order your copy of the Nutcracker Reimagined today at these portals:
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The Nutcracker Reimagined & Claire Delacroix

You all know about the upcoming Christmas anthology, The Nutcracker Reimagined, but you might not know the work of all the authors involved in the project. I thought it would be fun to do some virtual introductions.

bestselling author Deborah Cooke, also writing as Claire Delacroix

I’m Deborah Cooke and I also write historical romances as Claire Delacroix. Mostly, they’re medieval romances because that’s my favorite historical era. My characters often tell stories because I’m fascinated by why people choose one story over another. These might be folk tales or fairy tales. They also could be chansons, like those sung by the troubadours. Invariably, they reveal something about the character telling the story.

The Beauty Bride, first book in the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixA good example of that is my medieval romance, The Beauty Bride. Rhys is a gruff warrior and an outlaw, a man who needs a bride but knows nothing about courting a woman’s favor. He thinks having a wife (and getting a son) is a simple matter of marrying a woman and consummating the marriage. Madeline, who is less than impressed that her new husband refuses to confide in her at all, soon helps Rhys to realize that it isn’t going to be that simple. Intent on convincing her to stay with him but not knowing how to charm her, Rhys tells her stories instead. Madeline quickly realizes that each story told by Rhys reveals a little bit more of his secrets. When Rhys’ past catches up with the pair, he’s determined to deal with it himself and save Madeline–by then, Madeline isn’t nearly so ready to lose the husband she’s come to love. The Beauty Bride is a free read and a good way to give my books a try.

The Nutcracker Reimagined, a Christmas romance anthologyMy story in The Nutcracker Reimagined is The Mercenary’s Bride and it features another warrior and knight. Quentin was sent away from Inverfyre for defying the command of the laird himself, the Hawk of Inverfyre. I like that he couldn’t resist the temptation of teaching the laird’s daughter the arts of war, that her request trumped her father’s command. 🙂 Quentin was determined to earn the means to ask for Mhairi’s hand in marriage (he thinks a warrior maiden will suit him perfectly as a wife) but everything comes awry at the beginning of this story when he is robbed and left for dead in Spain. He blames the Hawk for his situation and vows to somehow return to Inverfyre to avenge himself and his loss. His innate honor hasn’t deserted him, though—he foils a plot to kill the Hawk’s lady wife, acting on instinct, and is invited into Inverfyre as a guest. Mhairi’s kiss dismisses the last of his bitterness, reminding him of the man he used to be—and convincing him to become that man again. He undertakes a plan to rid the forests of Inverfyre of the rebels hunting the Hawk and his kin, never imagining that he will win the sweetest prize of all. At Christmas.

The Mercenary’s Bride is book #1 of my new series of Scottish medieval romances called the Brides of Inverfyre. It will be available first in the Nutcracker collection—which will be available for just 30 days and is priced at 99 cents—along with nine other Christmas romance novellas. After that, it will be available in its own edition.

The Nutcracker Reimagined is specially priced at just 99 cents and is available for pre-order now. It will deliver on October 19 and be available only for 30 days.

Pre-order your copy today at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo

The Last Highlander Disappears

The Last Highlander, a Scottish time travel romance by Claire Delacroix (writing as Claire Cross)If you’ve been looking for my Scottish time travel romance and romantic comedy, The Last Highlander, you’ll have discovered that its digital edition is currently unavailable.

This morning, I thought I’d tell you why. 🙂

The main reason is that I’ve been invited to participate in an exciting project. This  requires The Last Highlander to be in Kindle Unlimited, which means that it can’t be available anywhere else while it’s available through KU. I’ve removed the book from sale now, to make sure it has time to disappear from all the portals that are fed content by the big portals. After this is all done, I’ll republish The Last Highlander. So, you can expect to find Morgan and Alasdair’s story widely available again in the new year.

I’ll tell you more about this project and give you links as soon as I can!