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

Bride Quest II New Editions Available

The Countess, book #4 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThe Beauty, book #5 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixTo give the Bride Quest books a consistent look, there are new covers for The Countess, The Beauty, and The Temptress. The interiors were updated as well.

I took these three books off sale while the update was in the works, but they’re available at your favorite portal again.

If you bought these books before in digital editions, you’ll be able to download the new editions as updates. At some portals, they’ll be delivered to your device automatically. At Amazon, you may have to request the new edition be delivered to your Kindle. Contact their customer service if it doesn’t come through automatically.

The Temptress, book #6 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThe Bride Quest II Boxed Set by Claire DelacroixThe Bride Quest II bundle has also been updated, as well as the print editions of all three books. There are new versions available for sale in my online store, both print and digital.

Phew! Another job done!

August Signed Book Giveaway

Last month’s print book giveaway was for a signed copy of The Countess in its new edition. Our winner was Marcelle Cole – she mentioned that on her move to Korea from the US, she watched the sun set over and over again. I thought that was a pretty cool detail.

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThis month, I’m celebrating the publication of The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest, in its new edition. I think the cover is just gorgeous! The giveaway is for a signed trade paperback copy with this new cover.

Remember that the digital edition of The Princess is discounted to 99 cents for the pre-order and first week on sale. Here’s your chance to start the Bride Quest at a special price!

Pre-order available at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo

In The Princess, Brianna issues a challenge to the three suitors competing for her hand in marriage: she says she’ll marry the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. Did you ever challenge a suitor or make a special request of him/her? Did he (or she) surprise you? For your chance to win a signed print copy of The Princess from me, please tell me whether you’ve ever made a special request of a suitor (and even how it turned out!) in the comments below.

The contest is open to readers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

I’ll choose a winner on September 1. Good luck everyone!

The Heiress Pre-Order

The pre-order for the new edition of The Heiress is available at Amazon!

The Heiress, book #3 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixNo woman can resist the charms of Rowan de Montvieux. But the dashing rogue is in no hurry to marry—until his family dares him to find a bride…or risk losing his inheritance. So Rowan sets out on a Bride Quest, vowing to wed only The Heiress.

But his journey is interrupted when a slave merchant offers to sell him a ragged peasant girl who carries herself like a queen. Intrigued and never imagining she is the sought-after Bronwyn of Ballyroyal, an heiress in disguise, Rowan buys her, offering her his protection if she will lead him to the bride he seeks.

Never has he met a woman so proud, so beautiful, so defiant. He suspects she is no commoner and vows to uncover her secrets and melt her fiery resolve. But the perilous voyage to Ireland kindles passions that risk both their lives, as the slave girl who would not be mastered slowly takes possession of his wary heart.

“This twelfth century romance is as good as they come!”
The Dallas Morning News

USA Today Bestseller

New edition available October 19, 2017

Pre-order available at some portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

The Nutcracker Reimagined Christmas Anthology

The Nutcracker Reimagined a themed Christmas anthology of romance novellasI promised last week to tell you about another project in the works this month. I’m participating in a second themed anthology of romance novellas for Christmas. 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, a themed Christmas anthology of romance novellasThe 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 Nutcracker Reimagined, a holiday anthology of romance novellas

July Signed Book Giveaway

Last month, I celebrated the publication of Addicted to Love, by giving away a signed print copy of Simply Irresistible. Simply Irresistible is a contemporary romance and the first book in my Flatiron Five series and Addicted to Love is the second. The winner was Kate.

The Countess, book #4 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThis month, I’m celebrating the re-publication of the Bride Quest as a single series with brand new covers. The new edition of The Princess will be an August release, The Damsel will be a September release and The Heiress will be an October release. The Countess and The Beauty are already available in their shiny new editions, and The Temptress will be republished this month.

This month’s prize book is a signed print copy of the new edition of The Countess. In this story, Eglantine leaves all she knows in France and moves to a remote holding in Scotland in the hopes of giving her daughters a better future—she doesn’t expect to find one for herself, but then there’s Duncan. 🙂

For your chance to win, comment on this post and tell me if you’ve ever made a big move – to a different city, state or country – and why. Good luck!

Edited to add – the winner for July is Marcelle Cole. I loved her story of watching the sun set over and over again as she moved to Korea. Thanks to everyone who participated – the August giveaway is up!

Kinfairlie Knights and Highland Heroes

These two boxed sets will be available only until July 1, 2017. If you don’t have your copy, this is last call!

Kinfairlie Knights, a digital bundle of three medieval Scottish romances, all first in a series, by Claire DelacroixKinfairlie Knights
First Book in Each Medieval Scottish Series

Updated for 2016!

Welcome to Kinfairlie and Ravensmuir!

Claire Delacroix’s fictional medieval Scottish estate of Kinfairlie and its sister holding of Ravensmuir are the location for many of her bestselling medieval romances. Included in this digital bundle are three first-in-series medieval Scottish romances: The Rogue, The Beauty Bride, and The Renegade’s Heart.

In The Rogue—book #1 of the Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy—Ysabella’s estranged husband returns to beg for her help. Does she dare to trust Merlyn again, knowing that he stirs her passion as easily as he hides his truth? In The Beauty Bride—book #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series—Madelyn flees her arranged marriage to a notorious outlaw, only to be pursued, wooed and seduced by Rhys FitzHenry. Can she save him from the legacy of his own past? In The Renegade’s Heart—book #1 of the True Love Brides series—Isabella is intrigued by the bold knight who makes accusations against her own brother. When she follows Murdoch to discover the truth, she finds herself enraptured by his touch and determined to defend his cause. Can her love save Murdoch from his curse and see justice served, too?

Come to Kinfairlie, for adventure and romance, passion and pageantry, and loves that will endure for all time.

Kinfairlie Knights will be available until July 1, 2017.Kinfairlie Knights, a digital collection of three medieval Scottish first-in-series romances by Claire Delacroix

Buy EPUB e-book from Deborah Buy MOBI e-book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

 

Highland Heroes 2016 edition, a boxed set of three medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixBe swept away by the romance and enchantment of the Scottish Highlands!

Three complete medieval Scottish romances from New York Times’ Bestselling Author Claire Delacroix. In The Beauty, part of Claire’s Bride Quest II trilogy, a maiden pledged to the convent heals the heart of a crusading knight returned home to find his legacy stolen. In The Rose Red Bride, part of Claire’s Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy, a damsel seeking adventure and romance is abducted, but only she can see the valor her captor would hide from the world. In The Warrior, part of Claire’s Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy, a daughter considered undesirable is chosen by a dangerous knight of dark repute to be his bride, only to be haunted by dreams of their shared past.

Three wounded champions, each more honorable than he believes, each destined to be healed by a lady who steals his shielded heart.

#1 Kindle Bestselling Title in Medieval Romance – TWICE

Highland Heroes will be available just until July 1, 2017.

Buy at these portals:
Buy EPUB e-book from Deborah Buy MOBI e-book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

The Damsel Pre-Order

The pre-order for the 2017 edition of The Damsel is live at Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo!

The Damsel, book #2 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixOnce upon a time, the legendary knight Burke Fitzgavin galloped into Kiltorren Castle and fell in love with Alys, the lord’s orphaned niece. But her uncle was determined that Burke marry one of his homely daughters instead. Through tricks and lies, Burke was sent away believing that Alys wanted nothing of his heart.

Pledged to a Bride Quest, Burke has vowed not to return home until he finds his long-lost love. He returns to Kiltorren to discover that the fiery young innocent has become a woman, a servant on her uncle’s estate. Paying penance for Burke’s long-ago embrace, she wants nothing to do with him. Burke knows he must earn her trust again.

Even as he slowly rekindles her desire, Alys’ family attempts to thwart their romance—determined that Alys should not marry before her cousins do. But Burke is a warrior and this battle to win the hand and the heart of his one true love will be his greatest challenge ever…

“A gem of a book!”
Rendezvous

USA Today Bestseller

 

New edition available September 14, 2017

Pre-order available at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

 

The Countess New Edition

The new edition of The Countess is available!

Remember that I’ve renumbered the Bride Quest books so that they’re all in one series. Instead of The Countess being book #1 of the Bride Quest II, it’s now book #4 of the Bride Quest. If you bought the book before, you should be able to download the new edition as an update at your portal of choice.

I’m working with a new proofreader on these books and she’s doing a great job. We’re working around our vacation schedules this month. The Beauty and The Temptress are in the works. I’m hoping to publish those new editions by the end of the month, just FYI.

And now, Eglantine and Duncan. There’s an excerpt on the book page if you want to take a peek.

The Countess, book #4 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixDriven from her late husband’s estate, Countess Eglantine de Crevy fled to wildest Scotland to claim a castle, only to find a ruin — and a clan chieftain standing guard. Kinbeath was hers, she declared, vowing to rebuild the manor and launch a bride quest so her daughters could marry for love. But Duncan MacLaren had devised a bride quest of his own, swearing to win the land — and the fiery countess — in a war of sweet seduction…

Eglantine declared she would never be captured by this barbarian. Yet Duncan awakened passions she had never known before. She promised to fight him with every weapon at her command even as he vowed to woo her for a year and a day — and make her his pagan bride.

Each thought Kinbeath the prize the most desired, a prize to be won at any price. Until passion turned to love, and the chieftain found himself fighting for the heart and hand of the woman he was born to possess.

“Master storyteller Claire Delacroix has done it again with this marvelous medieval romance. The Countess is a keeper!”
Old Book Barn Gazette

 

Buy The Countess now!
Buy EPUB e-book from Deborah Buy MOBI e-book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

Quiet in the Office

Notice how quiet it is around here this week? That’s because I’m in the middle of several nitpickity jobs.

I’m weeding and mulching my garden – when it’s not raining.

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixAnd I’m preparing the book files for the republication of the Bride Quest. This is the first time I’ve worked with scanned book files and it’s been an interesting process. I had the books scanned, which means that a single copy of each book was torn apart and put through an OCR scanner to generate a Word document (and a PDF, too, but I’m not using that.) The thing is that the scanner tries to recognize characters, but it’s not smart at all. It doesn’t look at context or grammar or anything beyond trying to identify each character. As a result, you end up with a file that’s mostly right but has some characteristic quirks.

I’m developing a system. 🙂 The scanner interprets the end of each printed book page as a section break in Word, and those section breaks have to be taken out. Page breaks at the end of each chapter have to be added in. Scene breaks are odd little interpretations of the dingbat used by the publisher, and can vary each time. The same is true of the drop caps at the beginning of each chapter. All of that gets addressed in my first pass through the book.

The Countess, book #4 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThen there are the misinterpretations. For example, the scanner might perceive rn as m. Fortunately, Word has a seach and replace utility, and I have a growing list of words that get mucked up. Burn might appear as Bum; ruin might appear as min; corner as comer. It might decide that I is 1, that an m is a w (we instead of me) or present a double quote (“) as two single quotes separated by a space (‘ ‘). We won’t even talk about what happens with italics. Each time I think I’ve found everything, I find something else to add to the list. Spellcheck has helped to find some things, Grammarly has helped with others, and I’m sure the proofreader will find some more.

I think it’s saving time over retyping the books completely but at the end of each day, I do wonder.

Two down, four to go.

What are you doing this week?