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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Guest Post from Claudia Dain on the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor

Today, Claudia Dain joins us for more “behind the scenes” in the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series. Please welcome Claudia!

Remember to check the previous posts in our “behind the scenes” series:
Ava Stone
Claire Delacroix
Elizabeth Essex

The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, a Regency romance collection

Do I love writing about the Regency period? I do.

Do I love writing about paranormal events? I don’t.

Regency romance author Claudia DainDid I want to participate in this series with all these fabulous authors? I did.

Did I have any ideas about writing a paranormal story? I didn’t.

What did I do? I wrote myself into a solution. I did a “Shakespeare” on it.

Have you read ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’? Yeah, me neither. But I do know that the basic idea is that there are all these fairies in the woods with Issues and there are all these humans in the woods, and they’ve got Issues, and it’s Midsummer Night, and that’s very supernaturally special night, so . . . if Shakespeare can make it work, so can I! (A girl can dream, right?)

My story takes place during Halloween, on the Cornwall coast (there are some woods involved, I’ll admit), and instead of fairies, I used ghosts. Two ghosts: a pair of lovers who died in 1484. Two humans: a pair that in 1811 might fall in love on their own, but why wait when you have ghosts around to give things a push? If Shakespeare can use fairies to push things along, I can use ghosts.

As you might have guessed from the tone of this post, my novella, Lady Ghost and Lord Death: A Love Story, has a comical edge to it. Since it worked for Shakespeare way back in the late 1500s, I thought it might work again, now. The way I look at it, even ghosts deserve a chance to have some fun and to share a few mostly innocent laughs, and so do you.

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.


Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology by Claire Delacroix, Jane Charles and Claudia DainLord Death and Lady Ghost by Claudia Dain
Hal Mort, Viscount Blackwater, visits Keyvnor Castle in the company of friends and atop his new stallion. How was he to know that ghosts awaited him? Hal does not believe in ghosts. Unfortunately for Hal, the ghosts take an interest in him. One ghost wants to see him married to the lovely Lady Morgan. Another ghost is just as determined to see him slip the noose. As the ghosts work their supernatural magic, Hal can’t determine if the intense attraction he feels for Morgan is coming from him or from them. And after a few magical kisses, he’s not sure he cares.

Spellbound 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.