The Nutcracker Reimagined Anthology Today!

The Nutcracker Reimagined, a Christmas romance anthologyThis year, I’m participating in a second themed anthology of romance novellas for Christmas. These are all new stories which haven’t been published before. The Nutcracker Reimagined features stories that involve elements of that classic Christmas story, The Nutcracker.

My contribution is a medieval romance called The Mercenary’s Bride. This novella is the first story in the Brides of Inverfyre series. It’s the story of Mhairi, daughter of the Hawk of Inverfyre and his wife Aileen. (The family tree for Ravensmuir and Inverfyre is a free download in my online store, right here.) Mhairi is the middle child of five and the second daughter. She’s a crack shot with a crossbow and a bit of a tomboy, and she’s unafraid to defy her father. Her interest was why the mercenary Quentin was dismissed from Inverfyre, but when he returns, bitter and wounded, Mhairi is the only one who can see his merit. Can her love heal him? I think you can guess, but I hope you’ll join me for their adventure.

The Nutcracker Reimagined is specially priced at just 99 cents.

The Mercenary's Bride, book #1 of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixGet your copy today at these portals:
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There’s also a four-day feature on the anthology running at Rae’s blog, including reviews of the ten stories. Rae is giving away some prizes, too, although I think they’re limited to US readers. Here’s Day #2, which includes a review of my contribution, The Mercenary’s Bride.

Spellbound on the Charts!

As you know, our Regency romance anthology Spellbound is free until Sunday. Yesterday, it had a BookBub featured ad and this morning – thanks to all of you – it’s riding high on the charts. Let’s take a look.

At, Spellbound rose to #3 overall free in the Kindle store, as well as #1 in Regency romance.

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, at #3 overall free in the Amazon store on July 5, 2017

Here’s the top of the free chart:
Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, was #3 overall free at on July 5, 2017

And here’s the top of the Regency romance chart:

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, was #1 free in Regency romance at on July 5, 2017At Amazon UK, Spellbound was #7 overall free and #1 in Regency romance:

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, was #7 overall free at on July 5, 2017

At Amazon CA, Spellbound was #3 overall free and #1 in Regency romance:
Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, was #3 overall free at on July 5, 2017Here’s the top of the free chart in the CA store. Usually, there are regional variations, but today, the US and the CA chart – at least at the very top – are the same.
Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, was #3 overall free at on July 5, 2017Over at iBooks, Spellbound is also doing really well. It’s #2 overall free in the store:
Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, #2 overall free at iBooks on July 6, 2017

And it’s #1 in Historical Romance:

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology, #1 free in historical romance at iBooks on July 6, 2017

What a great suite of results! Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, Spellbound is still free through the weekend.

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Guest Author Elizabeth Essex on the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor

It’s time for another guest blog post about the creation of The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor collection. Today, my guest is Elizabeth Essex, whose story is included in Vexed.

Don’t miss the other posts in our “behind the scenes” series:
Ava Stone
Claire Delacroix
and more to come!

The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, a Regency romance collection

It all began with an email from Deb Marlowe, whom I like to think of as my personal Fairy Godmother in Romancelandia—she has been a trusted mentor from the very beginning of my writing career. I even named the hero of my debut novel, The Pursuit of Pleasure, Marlowe in her honor!

Regency romance author Elizabeth Essex“Would you like to be part of a collection of Regency novellas set along the coast of Cornwall?” she asked. “They would all be set in and around a haunted castle—”

I didn’t even hear the rest. My mind was already off and running along the fog-shrouded coast and windy clifftop paths, looking for strong-jawed seafarers and shifty-eyed smugglers, thinking up all sorts of nefarious and adventurous goings-on.

Oh, yes, please!

The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor is unlike anything I’d ever done, with twelve inter-related, but entirely different spooky stories. I’d never written a ghost story before, but Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea feels more like a homecoming than anything new, because I was able to write what I love best—tales of the sea, with heroic sea captains and the irrepressible young women who love them.

In Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea that irrepressible, shyly adventurous young woman is Nessa Teague, the vicar’s forgotten middle daughter. She has pined for Captain Lord Harry Beck and worshiped him from afar for twelve long years. But when he comes back to Bocka Morrow with his family for the reading of his uncle’s will, Nessa decides that there is nothing—absolutely nothing—she won’t do to make him her one and only true love. Even if it means resorting to forbidden magic!

Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of critically acclaimed historical romance. Her three Brides Series (Dartmouth Brides, Reckless Brides and her new Highland Brides) have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and Seal of Excellence Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. The Reckless Brides Series has also made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine, and Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013.

When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden, or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she.  It wasn’t always so.  Long before she ever set pen to paper, Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics and Art History, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University.  While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the Indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books.

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Vexed, an anthology of Regency romance novellas by Erica Ridley, Ava Stone and Erica Monroe

Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth Essex
Nessa Teague has never believed in the magic that swirls around her village like a fine Cornish mist. She’s never had need of it. Until the day Lord Harry Beck returns to Bocka Morrow and Nessa realizes there is nothing, including the blackest of magic, she won’t do to have him for her own.

Vexed goes on sale September 20. Pre-order your copy at these online portals:

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A Dark and Stormy Night

This is a first of a series of guest blog posts from some of the authors participating in the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series. There are twelve Regency romance novellas in this series, all of which take place during the same week at a haunted estate in Cornwall, while the characters await the reading of the late Earl’s will. I was invited to participate in this project by Ava Stone, and I’ll talk about that a bit more tomorrow.

Today, please welcome Ava Stone herself, to explain how the idea was born…

The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, a Regency Romance novella collection

It was a dark and stormy night…

It really was. Dark AND Stormy. Jerrica Knight-Catania, Jane Charles, Deb Marlowe, Claudia Dain and I were in New Orleans for the Romantic Times Convention, and we were taking a haunted history walking tour at night and darting in and out of bars, trying to stay dry while we waited for the storm to let up a bit. And we might have sampled a Hurricane or two…That part is a big foggy.

Regency romance author Ava StoneBut that’s when inspiration hit, between Hurricanes in one of the most haunted cities in America. You can’t be in the French Quarter at night and not feel like you’re stepping back into another era. There is something seriously magical about New Orleans, and something seriously spooky at night under the gas lamps while you listen to tale after tale of the city’s haunted past.

One of us said, “What if we did a collection of haunted Regency stories?” That autumn, Jane, Jerrica and I published One Haunted Evening, which we followed up with One More Haunted Evening the next year.

But this year we wanted to do something new, something different, something BIGGER….

“What if an earl died and the vast majority of his estate was unentailed?”

“And what if he lived in a haunted castle, and his distant relatives had to stay there while they waited for the reading of his will?”

“And what if there were more than just ghosts there?”

“More than just ghosts?”

“Like witches! Cornwall is famous for witches!”

“Oh, and their rocky coast! There could be smugglers! And—”

“Maybe some Cornish Pixies!”

“And a dead wife in an attic à la Jane Eyre!”

“Attic? How ’bout turret, instead?”

“Let’s make this BIGGER than what we’ve done before.”


“More authors. More stories. More hauntings.”

And so, The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor was born.

With four anthologies, VEXED, BEDEVILED, MYSTIFIED, and SPELLBOUND we’ll bring you more authors, more stories, more hauntings as the distant relatives of the late-Earl of Banfield converge upon haunted Castle Keyvnor to await the reading of his lordship’s will. We hope you will fall in love with Castle Keyvnor just like we did.

USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Stone first fell in love with Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen, and Regency England at the age of twelve. And in the years since, that love has never diminished. If she isn’t writing Regency Era romance, she can be found reading it.

Her bestselling Scandalous Series is filled with witty humor and centers around the friends and family of the Machiavellian-like Lady Staveley, exploring deep themes but with a light touch. A single mother, Ava lives outside Raleigh NC, but she travels extensively, always looking for inspiration for new stories and characters in the various locales she visits.

Ava can be found regularly at Red Door Reads, on Facebook, Twitter and at Lady Jane’s Salon Raleigh-Durham, where she is one of the salon’s directors. Visit her website at

Vexed, an anthology of Regency romance novellas by Erica Ridley, Ava Stone and Erica MonroeOnce Upon a Moonlit Path by Ava Stone
Lady Cassandra Priske sees dead people…not all the time, but occasionally. When her family is summoned to Castle Keyvnor for the reading of the late Earl of Banfield’s will, Cassy is more than terrified. After all, the castle is famous for its hauntings. But the very last person, dead or alive, she expects to see at the castle is the rakish Lord. St. Giles. After all, he’s not even a distant relation to the late-earl.

Vexed goes on sale September 20. Pre-order your copy at these portals:

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Spellbound Available for Pre-Order

Summons to Spellbound Regency anthology by Claire Delacroix, Jane Charles and Claudia Dain

As mentioned last week here on the blog, I’m participating in a series of linked Regency romance novellas with eleven other authors. There will be four anthologies published, each with three novellas in them. The novellas all take place at the same time – during a week before the reading of the late earl’s will at Castle Keyvnor. Halloween 1811 is right smack in the middle of that week, and the castle is said to be haunted. We’ve had a lot of fun coordinating events and hinting at the doings of each other’s characters in our own contributions. It’s a really fun project—plus it gave me the opportunity to finally write a Regency romance, with lots of expert advice at hand.

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology by Claire Delacroix, Jane Charles and Claudia Dain

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Read about the whole series on its new page here on my website: The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor.