Christmas at Castle Keyvnor – Ava Stone

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor, twelve linked Regency romance novellas

Today, our blog feature for the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies continues with a guest post by Ava Stone.

Ava Stone, bestselling Regency romance authorAll that Glitters was…Copper?

By 1811, England had been at war with Napoleonic France for almost a decade. Heroes we still know today were born in those battles on land and at sea in both Arthur Wellseley (then Viscount Wellington) and Admiral Lord Nelson, respectively. Finding new ways to fight and hopefully defeat the French enemy were necessary for not only England’s survival, but in the returning of as many of her soldiers and seaman as possible back to her shores.

Parys Mountain Copper MineMining in Wales was hardly a new endeavor at the time. A number of Welsh gold, lead and copper mines had been in operation as far back as the Iron Age, and on an even grander scale during the Roman occupation of the British Isles. Parys Mountain, right outside of Amlwch, is one of the oldest mines in Britain and was one of the world’s largest producers of copper, earning Amlwch the moniker “Copper Capital” and making it one of the wealthiest and most important ports during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Admiralty began sheathing Britain’s wooden naval ships with copper, which gave the Royal Navy an advantage over their adversaries. After all, ships sheathed in copper were more protected from seaweed, barnacles and shipworms. A copper coating also helped increase a ship’s speed and maneuverability, which is said to have aided Nelson in his victory during the Battle of Trafalgar. These sheathed warships were able to remain at sea for much longer periods of time as their need to return to port for regular maintenance was quite reduced over that of their wood only counterparts.

Lord Michael Beck, the hero of Ava Stone's Regency romance novella, Once Upon a Midnight Clear.It is the Admiralty’s need for copper in 1811 that is the focus of my novella Once Upon a Midnight Clear and my hero, Lord Michael Beck’s, foray into trade. If a gentleman had the disadvantage of being a second, third or fourth born son of a nobleman, his prospects were generally limited to the military, the church or scholarly pursuits. Going into trade was frowned upon and could be quite ruinous to one’s reputation and that of one’s family. Work, after all, was a four-letter word and considered quite beneath the nobility. It would be better to be hungry and penniless than to work for a living.

However, Lord Michael, third son to the Marquess of Halesworth, has no desire to join the military. His rakish tendencies do not lend themselves to him taking a position in the church. And he much prefers his pursuits be more risky in nature than scholarly. Knowing he will never inherit his father’s title or lands, but having a desire to continue living the life to which he is accustomed, Michael decides his best option is to purchase an operational copper mine in Amlwhch and make his own fortune despite what such a scandalous decision will do to his reputation…

…and despite how such a decision might cost him the girl of his dreams – Lady Ivy Dallimore.

Lady Ivy Dallimore, the heroine of Ava Stone's Regency romance novella, Once Upon a Midnight Clear.Lady Ivy is the slightly spoiled youngest sister of the Duke of Westbury. After watching her two older sisters marry for love but still end up unhappily married, she wholeheartedly believes that love is fleeting, but a title lasts forever. If a girl doesn’t look out for her own best interests while she can, she has no one else to blame except herself. Ivy is not the sort to listen to her heart over her head, and she’s not the sort who would ever consider a tradesman.

Is there anything Lord Michael can do to convince her to take a leap of faith with him? Or will he have to make due with only his copper mines to keep him warm at night?

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 http://www.AvaStoneAuthor.com

Kissed at Christmas, a Regency romance anthology and part of the Christmas at Castle Keynor series

Kissed at Christmas includes

Ava Stone’s Once Upon a Midnight Clear
Only a duke will do for Lady Ivy Dallimore. If her unhappily married sisters have taught her anything, it’s that love is fleeting but a title lasts forever, which is all well and good in theory until she finds herself falling for the scandalous third son of a marquess who is bound and determined to make his fortune in trade! Lord Michael Beck courts scandal, living life to the fullest and dabbling in games of chance. Unfortunately, he’s neither heir nor spare to his father’s title, and the time has come to enter a profession. Michael is no soldier, and he certainly isn’t cut out for the cloth, so he embarks on the most scandalous and risky venture of his life. He will need capital, however, and collecting a number of outstanding gambling debts at a Christmas Eve wedding at Castle Keyvnor seems like the perfect place to start, at least until he stumbles across the lady of his dreams. But what are the odds the practiced gambler can win the girl without losing everything he’s worked for?

Buy Kissed at Christmas now at:

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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.”

“Bigger?”

“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 http://www.AvaStoneAuthor.com


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:

Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at GooglePlay

Castle Keyvnor Character Cards

Henry Beck, hero of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth Essex, included in the Regency romance anthology, VexedAva Stone has been creating some wonderful character cards for the heroes, heroines and even the ghosts who appear in the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series of Regency romance novellas. Because I think they’re so wonderful, I’m collecting them in a gallery here on my site.

Here’s the gallery of character cards. I’ll be updating the page as Ava reveals new cards, so be sure to check back.

And, if you’re planning to attend the Historical Romance Readers’ Retreat, coming up in September, you’ll want to find Ava Stone, Elizabeth Essex and/or Deb Marlowe. They’ll have printed versions of the cards – collecting the whole set won’t be so easy, as some will be rare. 🙂