Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Medieval View of Marriage Part II

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Hi everyone,
                    So here is the second post on medieval marriage. This time we are looking at the peasant's perspective and how the views of the Church and that of the nobility effected them.

In addition to the Church teachings, the wishes of the feudal lords were also influential and must be acknowledged as a power over peasant marriages. The feudal lord had a vested interest when it came to whom a peasant wanted to marry. If a peasant woman married a free man , the lord would not only lose a worker but also a producer of serf children.

Another aspect that effected peasant marriages was the seasons. Generally speaking, marriages did not take place during the harvest or winter. So peasant marriage could be seen as being tied to the rhythm of the seasons.

The Church saw virginity as a highly desired state before marriage, however the issue of premartial sex and illegitimate birth was more accepted in daily village life. Premartial pregnancy was seen as a prelude to marriage, as children were so important to the economy that some couples wanted to be sure of fertility. Infants and small children could be seen as a drain on the peasant household or domus, but once they matured, the offspring could work and bring prosperity to the home through marriage. Another factor was that adult children could care for their ageing parents.

Lords turned the situation of premartial sex and birth to their advantage by fining women a Legerwrite / Lechewytt charge (premartial sex) and a Childwrite charge (children out of wedlock). An example of this can be found on January 1316 in Wakefield, where the young women were rounded up and fined for being deflowered or being married without a license. One case recorded is that of Juliana, daughter of John Sibbeson; who was deflowered before she was married and had not yet paid her lechewytt or merchet (similar to a modern day marriage license).

The medieval marriage service itself, was an adaptation of the ancient Roman civil rite of marriage. The ceremony generally took place on the Church steps or porch, which suggested that it was not in origin a church service and the role of officiating priest was simply that of chief witness. The medieval service did not differ very much from what is used today.

           "I... take thee... to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part, if holy Church will ordain, and thereto I plight thee my troth."

After the bride had plighted her troth in simliar words, the groom placed gold, silver and a ring on a plate. This was blessed by the priest and then the groom continued...

          "With this ring I thee wed, and this gold and silver I thee give; and with my body I thee worship and with all my wordly chattels I thee endow. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

To truly solemnise the proceedings a mass could then be held within the church.

So, ends part 2 of the medieval view of marriage. Hope you found it interesting.

Nicóle xx
Examples taken from Religion in the Medieval West by Bernard Hamilton and The Ties That Bound by Barbara Hanawalt.
Image Istock Photo

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Website Revamp

Hi everyone,
                    Just thought I would let you know that my website has been revamped.
Hope you will nick on over and check it out.


The newsletter isn't up & running yet. We are still tinkering with it... sorry.

I really like the image of the snowy forest emerging from the book... very fairytale!


              Nicóle  xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Medieval View of Marriage

Hi everyone,
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                     As some of you may know, I have a thing for the medieval period. I love it all, including the dark and twisty bits. I thought that I may intersperse my blog with a series of posts on aspects of the Middle Ages. So, we are jumping off with the medieval view of marriage. It’s a broad subject and we are just touching the surface. Generally we are looking at England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Medieval society was divided into three distinct groups (known as estates).

1.      Those who prayed. (Church)

2.      Those who fought.  (Nobility)

3.      And everybody else. (Peasants)

And all three had very different ideas about marriage.

Okay, so according to the medieval Church, sex was a sin... even when it was accompanied with marriage, they weren’t that hot on it. The use of this Biblical quote was bandied about –

 “A man is better off having no relations with a woman. But to avoid immorality, every man should have his own wife and every woman her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:12

So the medieval Church’s view was marriage was permitted for the sole purpose of begetting children. In fact, sex for pleasure even among married couples was regarded as a mortal sin. A marriage would only be seen as valid if it met the Church’s requirements.

1.      Consent – both parties must willingly give their consent to the marriage before witnesses.

2.      Both were Christian.

3.      Both were free of prior contracts of marriage or pre-nuptial agreements.

4.      No Consanguinity – no incest. The Church ruled that this included cousins up to the 6th extent and anyone who was a former lover and their kin.

5.      The church service – which was generally held on the church steps or porch, meant the marriage was sanctified.

6.      Consummation of the marriage.

The Church felt the need to control sex and the relationship between husbands and wives. It prohibited marriage (and sex) during the holy days of the year. Marriages were banned during Lent, Rogationtide, Advent, saint days, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Clergy had encouraged the idea that saint’s days had a supernatural aura and emphasised that a sin committed on a holy day was worse than one committed at any other time. For example, Friday, as it was the day of crucifixion, was thought to be unlucky for any new venture, especially for marriage and journeys. Now, if you add up all the days that you weren't allowed to marry or have sex... I think you are looking at over five months.

The Church believed that consent was the most important aspect of marriage. Families arranged marriages during this period, in fact it was only the very poor who had the luxury of marrying for love. Many of the betrothals were contracted when the couple were as young as six or seven, in some cases even from the cradle. This was to align families and to join wealth and property. However, the Church condemned this practise and insisted that the couple could only be betrothed when they were old enough to understand the proceedings and willingly give their consent.


So that’s the end of part one, I hope you found it interesting.

Nicole  xx
Paid Images from Bigstock

Saturday, 17 November 2012

More Costly Than Diamonds

Hi everyone,
                     I made a cover for a short story I wrote a little while ago. I'm thinking about starting a newsletter, and I wanted to offer 'More Costly Than Diamonds' for free for those who signed up. Anyway, I'm not quite there yet... still trying to work it all out. Hmmmmm... I think I may get my darling husband on this. I'll keep you all up to date and announce when the newsletter is up and running.
 But until then, I thought I would share the cover I made. I'm quite proud of my effort as it is my first attempt.

Nicole  xx

A Crusader has been separated from his bride by duty, war and five long years. He is scarred, damaged and wonders what awaits him at Durand Manor. Has he lost everything? Or will he still possess the one thing he cherishes above all else... his wife.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Spotlight - Georgiana Louis

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Hi everyone,
                     Please make welcome the lovely Georgiana Louis. Georgiana is an Australian author, who is also a qualified chiropractor and a mum. She has several works in the pipeline but her debut book, 'Nanny in Paradise' is soon to be released by Red Rose Publishing.

Hi Georgiana and thanks for dropping by for a chat!

What type of romance do you write?
Generally Historical Romance set in the Regency period- London. However Nanny in Paradise is a contemporary romance.
How did you come up with the idea for your story?
Well, I love Greek men and I always wanted to be a nanny, so I just started and the story came out by itself.
With The Spares series, I was at our beach house and I was reading Julia Quinn’s books. It was thinking about the ‘heir and a spare’ idea. Then I thought it would be interesting to have a series where the spare sons of rich titled families all end up inheriting through different reasons- but they all don’t wish to. And the idea stuck and got developed.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I have a general idea about the plot and then as I’m writing it I see where the story takes me. Same with the characters. When I’m really in the writing zone I feel as though the story is happening in my head and I just record what happens. I don’t feel as though I have a whole lot of control over what happens.
Are you working on anything at the present?
I’m always editing, but at the moment I am writing the fourth book in my Regency series ‘The Spares.’ It’s called the Rakehell Duke.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I like a title to be catchy but also to describe the story well. Nanny wanted is about a millionaire who needs a nanny to help him raise his 2 year old niece- so that’s self explanatory.
Each of the Spares titles are a description of the hero- and also start with R- just because that’s what the first one started with and i55cxgcx5 wanted a common thread to run through them. Their titles are- The Reluctant Duke, The Ruined Marquis, The Recalcitrant Earl and The Rakehell Duke.
What made you want to be a writer?
I ran out of books one day and decided the story in my head deserved a piece of paper- I never really decided to be a writer.
What inspires your writing?
I don’t really know. I started writing because I had a whole story buzzing around my head and I had to get it out. It’s still the case. I can only make myself write when I am in the ‘mood’ to. Sometimes I read, sometimes I edit, other days I need to write. But I only want to do one thing at a time.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn and Eloisa James. I’ve also recently made friends with a US writer, Kissa Starling. She writes erotica which is quite different to my style and yet I have really enjoyed sharing my stories with her and getting her feedback. I think she’s rubbing off on me a little bit ;-)
What's your favourite book?
Ohh, impossible. Favourite as in, read the most amount of times? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, How beauty tamed the beast by Eloisa James and The truth about Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries- I love a tortured hero.
Dreams and aspirations... what’s the one thing you want to do, see or experience above all else?
I want to see my young daughters grow into beautiful, confident and good people. Everything else can wait.
And now for the really tough questions...

What is your favourite food?
Chocolate and home made lemon meringue pie.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Singing in tune.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
New York City- I want to see what all the fuss is about.

Georgiana, thanks so much for stopping by.
I wish you well with your writing and look forward to reading your books.

Don't forget, Georgiana's 'Nanny in Paradise' is being released this Christmas by Red Rose Publishing.
Nicole  xx

Nanny in Paradise is a story about Alexander Grigorakis. A greek millionaire who needs the assistance of a nanny to help him raise his two year old niece. Cara Quincy, an Australian nanny, ticks every box. She also ticks every box for Alex, except for the fact that she is his employee. Class rules dictate that Alex leave Cara alone, but her beguiling smile and innocence make that impossible.


Alex smiled.  He knew Olivia wanted him.  She had made it obvious over the years.  However tempting it was on occasion, Alex had never indulged.  He knew her parents well and had never wanted to mix the two.

“Christos, so good to see you,” Alex greeted his closest friend with a hug.

“How’s life?”

“Amazing as always,” Christos grinned.

  Christos was a known ladies man, he had perfect taste in women, clothes and the stock market- some of the main reasons Alex liked him.

Who, is that?” Christos asked Alex, his eyes twinkling with interest.

Alex closed his eyes. Christos knew every female guest.

“Cara,” Alex breathed, turning to watch the object of his dreams walk through the door, Amelia in her arms.

Cara smiled at Alex, looking directly up into his black eyes.

“I’m sorry to interrupt you Mr. Grigorakis, but Amelia has come to say good night to you.”

She hoisted Amelia up on her hip and gave her an encouraging smile.

“You can do it,” Cara whispered into her ear. 

Amelia had been practicing her Greek for weeks.  Alex’s friends were all staring at her now and Cara felt her face blush red at their obvious attention.

Gala Nicta Thio,” Amelia said quietly, her eyes downcast as she nervously recited the Greek she had been taught.

Alex looked taken aback but quickly recovered himself. He smiled at Cara.

“Well done Amelia,” Alex praised his niece, a few ooh’s and aah’s coming from his female guests.  Amelia lifted her head to see Alex’s smile, then noticed everyone looking at her and cuddled closer into Cara’s chest.  Amelia whispered into Cara’s ear and Alex saw Cara’s eyes grow worried.

She smiled gently. “Of course you can.”

Sa ga po,” Amelia said quietly, telling Alex she loved him.

Alex’s gut wrenched. He had not expected to hear those words and he froze.

Cara’s eyes were on him, pleading with him to return the words, when she saw Alex freeze she jumped in.

“Your uncle loves you too sweetie.  And you said that so perfectly, I am so proud of you.”  The pointed words were mostly for Alex’s benefit, but she knew Amelia needed to hear them as well.

Cara kissed Amelia on the head and tucked her head into the crook of her neck. Cara then gave Alex a stare that would have withered a twenty foot oak tree. Then she walked away.

Who was that amazing creature?” Christos asked Alex in Greek, his eyes clearly enjoying the sight of Cara walking away.

“Amelia’s nanny,” Alex told his friend slowly, still reeling from the shock of what had just happened.

“Why didn’t you invite her to the party?  She’d probably be more fun than these stuffy bitches,” Christos sneered quietly.  “Did you see the death stare she gave you?  Are you sure she works for you?”

Christos walked off laughing.

“Yes, I know,” Alex sighed.





Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Gratuitous Promotion

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Hi everyone,

Today I'm doing a little gratuitous promotion. I have been lucky enough to have three of my novellas published by Pink Petal Books, and there is a fourth on the way. My first two novellas, The Trinket Seller's Daughter and Capturing Bliss are both historical romances which are set in England's medieval period. The third, Until the Stars Burn Cold is a paranormal romance which is set in ancient Persia and modern day, rural Australia. I admit, it's a bit different but it was a lot of fun to write. Misrule’s Mistress which is coming soon, is set once more back in my beloved Middle Ages. It’s a Christmas story which spans the twelve days of Christmas and ends on the Feast of Misrule.


If you have read one of my stories, I would love to hear from you.

If not, why not give one a go and check it out... go on, you know you want to! J


Lost in the tangled wood where she was attacked and her traveling party killed, Emelin finds safety in the company of Sir Allard de Gerril. But as the pair hunt the man who killed her companions, Emelin finds she wants more than companionship with the knight... she seeks his love.



To save her sister, Lady Blissot de Woodville exchanges places and marries a handsome stranger. But lies born from love have the power to destroy...



An antiques dealer gets more than she bargains for, when she discovers an ancient ring.



Thanks to everyone who has supported me and bought my books. *Mwah*    

Although... they could always do with a little more love. *wink*

Nicole  xx


My books are available from :-




And there are a whole lot more international Amazon sites but I thought you would all get sick of reading down the list. However if anyone believes their national pride has been slighted, I would be more than happy to add their Amazon site. J

Coffee Time Romance and More

Book Strand :      http://www.bookstrand.com/term-search?term=nicole hurley moore

Diesel eBook Store

All Romance ebooks



Sunday, 11 November 2012

Misrule's Mistress is coming...

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Hi everyone,
                     I've been writing madly and working pretty gosh darn hard lately. I am just putting the final touches to my Steampunk novella, Strange Phenomena and launched headlong into a romance novel set in the Victorian era. I'm enjoying the research in this time period and so far I've managed to bang out about 23,000 word in a two week period. Fingers crossed this surge of ideas and words on screen will continue!
My medieval Christmas novella, Misrule's Mistress is coming soon from Pink Petal Books.  I thought I would share a little snippet of Barric and Ellette's story. I hope you enjoy it!

“If I were sure that you loved me, if you would accept my offer, I would wait if I knew how long.” Barric slowly closed his fingers over the ring and let his hand fall down by his side.

“I cannot tell you, for I do not know – a year, two... or three.”

“But after all these long years, would you then marry me?”

“I do not know, Barric; I do not know what to say. I am confused and do not know what I want or feel,” she said as went to walk away but Barric caught her arm and she turned her head and looked at him.

“You kissed me back, Ellette.”

“I know, I know I did... but...”

 “Then without an answer I cannot wait for you, Ellette, no matter how much I want to,” Barric said as his hand slid down her cheek. “If I cannot have you, it matters little who I take for a wife. And because of that, I vow I will be married by the Feast of Epiphany.”

Arching a brow, Ellette replied, “Are brides so easily found?”

“I want you, Ellette, but if you do not wish me for a husband and cast me aside, I will be forced to find a bride elsewhere.”

“By the end of our winter festivities?”

“Aye,” Barric said.

“I fear you have taken our games and challenges too far. For whom will you marry... the kitchen maid, or the weaver’s daughter? I am the only eligible maid at Cranley, and I say nay.”

“Mayhap, but I will be married by midnight at the feast.”

“In twelve days?” Torn and confused, Ellette stared at Barric. Part of her wanted to cry that perhaps she had been too hasty, perhaps one day, far away, she would marry him. Mixed with that, she was annoyed and hurt that he would think she was so easily replaced; and lastly, a hint of competitiveness reared its head. She almost wanted to take his challenge and wager that it would be impossible to marry in twelve days.

“Aye – I swear it,” Barric said as he turned and returned to the feast, leaving Ellette alone with her riotous thoughts.

Nicole xx

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Spotlight - Juanita Kees

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Hi everyone,
                     Today we are lucky enough to have the wonderful Juanita Kees dropping by. Juanita is here to talk about her new book, Fly Away Peta. One lucky reader will win a pdf copy of Fly Away Peta, so please leave your name & email address to be in the draw. The comment button is located at the very end of this post. :)

Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now proudly Australian, Juanita is a freelance writer of book reviews, blogs, web content, advertorials, newsletters, resumes and training manuals. Juanita is a freelance editor for US Publisher Damnation Books, and proofreads scientific text books for Elsevier Press, Oxford, UK.
Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature Daschund, Sam is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing.
Hi Juanita and welcome!
Thank you so much for having me here today, Nicole. The thing I love most about Australian fiction is that we have so much material to draw from for our stories. Our history might be young but it’s rich in culture and character. There are so many places in this wonderful land of ours to write about. I’m not sure which I had more fun with: writing FLY AWAY PETA or researching the Western Australian town of Williams where it’s set.

What type of romance do you write?
Contemporary with a touch of suspense.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I use the wonderful profiling tool from Valerie Parv’s THE ART OF ROMANCE WRITING to create their persona. Then I choose a star sign for them and build their personalities around that. Although (like real people) they do tend to develop their own personalities as the story grows!
I do a very basic event plan (again using a tool from Valerie’s book) and create a collage of places, people and scenes for visual planning. And then I let my imagination have free reign to go where it chooses with the story. 
What comes first, the plot or characters?
It could be either. I might see a person in a shopping centre that strikes a chord. My mind wanders when I’m getting ready to go to work in the mornings. I’ll be standing in front of the mirror brushing my teeth and an idea will strike. Lucky I have an understanding boss, who doesn’t mind me being a little late for work!
Are you working on anything at the present?
Taming the Tiger is my current WIP which I entered into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Competition
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Valerie Parv – without her helpful romance writing guide, I would never have started this journey. I’m also a huge Nora Roberts fan.
What is your favourite food?
What made you want to be a writer?
We grew up with books and storytelling. I come from a creative family of storytellers, artists and musicians. I started out writing poetry and lyrics. I guess it was always about finding an outlet for my restless imagination.
Juanita, thanks so much for stopping by for a chat J
Please check out the snippet of  Fly Away Peta!
Nicole  xx
Fly Away Peta
The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…
Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When the Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Western Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart; the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.


Taking a deep, steadying breath, Jaime turned back towards the girl on the stage. She wore the same little black dress she’d worn when he’d met her ten years before, he noted. It fit a little more snugly now that the slender curves had matured.  Her chestnut mane shone under the lights as she slowed the pace again. He remembered the glittering green eyes which had once seared his soul, the dusting of freckles on the pert nose he used to kiss, and the smooth, almost translucent skin on the cheeks he used to touch. Slowly he moved forward to get a closer look at the woman who had filled his dreams and thoughts constantly for as long as he could remember. He’d put it down to guilty conscience that she’d haunted him for so long because he didn’t dare consider the other option. 
She sang with her soul. The song was meant for someone special. Her ex-husband perhaps, he thought with all too familiar feelings of jealousy. From this close he could see the dampness at the corners of her beautiful green eyes as she sang, pouring her heart into the performance. It was this ability to engage emotion that had kept her steady in the top ten charts.
Dear God, he’d never thought it possible she could be more beautiful than he remembered. Tightness gripped his heart painfully. He swallowed around the lump in his throat. 
As he stood at the base of the stage staring up at her, she looked down at him and their eyes met and held. He heard her voice falter slightly as shock registered on her face.  She tore her eyes from his and moved away across the stage. Jaime felt his heart plummet from his chest down into his stomach. He didn’t want to feel this way! He should’ve stopped feeling this way about her after all this time. His lips tightened as he took one last look at her and strode from the hall.
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/#!/juanitakees
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