Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Bewitching Blurbs


Hi everyone.

This week on Bewitching Blurbs I decided to be a little self indulgent and list some of my favourite books. Some are new, other not so but I’ve read them in the past year and they’ve stayed with me.

Do you have a favourite book of the year?


The Winter Bride

By Anne Gracie

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.

When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride.

Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

 This is the second book in the Chance Sisters series. I love this series but The Winter Bride would have to be my favourite so far. I have to admit that I may have a little crush on a certain Freddy Monkton-Coombes. He’s an interesting character and I especially like his  downright horror of marriage and muffins. For some reason, which I still haven’t quite worked out there were moments when Freddy reminded me of Ernest and Algernon (The Importance of Being Ernest) – perhaps it was his witty banter. I thought the story was delightful and if you love historical fiction this should be at the top of your TBR pile


A Marquess for Christmas

By Christi Caldwell

Lady Patrina Tidemore gave up on the ridiculous notion of true love after having her heart shattered and her trust destroyed by a black-hearted cad. Used as a pawn in a game of revenge against her brother, Patrina returns to London from a failed elopement with a tattered reputation and little hope for a respectable match. The only peace she finds is in her solitude on the cold winter days at Hyde Park. And even that is yanked from her by two little hellions who just happen to have a devastatingly handsome, but coldly aloof father, the Marquess of Beaufort. Something about the lord stirs the dreams she’d once carried for an honorable gentleman’s love.

Weston Aldridge, the 4th Marquess of Beaufort was deceived and betrayed by his late wife. In her faithlessness, he’s come to view women as self-serving, indulgent creatures. Except, after a series of chance encounters with Patrina, he comes to appreciate how uniquely different she is than all women he’s ever known.

At the Christmastide season, a time of hope and new beginnings, Patrina and Weston, unexpectedly learn true love in one another. However, as Patrina’s scandalous past threatens their future and the happiness of his children, they are both left to determine if love is enough.


Perhaps I’m overly sentimental but there’s something very satisfying about getting a second chance at love at Christmas.  I thought the story was sweet and heart-warming.



By Kylie Scott

The drummer in a wildly successful rock band, Mal’s never had trouble with the ladies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s sexy as hell with a wicked sense of humor. But as much as Mal loves his ladies, romance and happily-ever-after just isn’t in his set of cards.

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast - at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. But he didn't count on exactly how much fun he could have being with the one right girl

Anne Rollins has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a demented drummer was never going to be a good idea. No matter how hot he is. She's had her sights set on her male bestie, Reece, for years. And now that she's supposedly taken, he's finally paying attention. If only the chemistry between her and her rock star would stop hitting new heights.


Ah, wicked sexy rock stars... sigh.

I’m addicted to the Stage Dive series but Play is my favourite. There’s something about this manic drummer which makes him impossible to forget.

The Cousin From Fiji

By Norman Lindsay

Set in Ballarat in the 1890’s, The Cousin From Fiji is a comedy of country-town amours and eccentricities. Ella Bellairs is the 18 year old visiting ‘cousin’ from Fiji. She is impatient to taste life, as is her beautiful widowed mother, Cecelia. Ella and her mother are forced to return ‘home’ after the death of Ella’s father to their overbearing, restrictive and straitlaced relations, the Domkins. Ella and Cecelia try to adjust but love and the promise of a better life threatens to entice them from the oppressive household and the tyrannical Grandma Domkins who keeps locking herself in the dumpty.

I picked up this book and reread it after many years. To tell you the truth, I had forgotten just how much fun it was. I love it. Unfortunately finding a copy may be a little difficult. I think that the best bet would be a secondhand bookshop or ebay.


To Steal a Highlander’s Heart

By Samantha Holt

Alana sets eyes on Morgann for the first time in several years and what does he do? He captures her! But Alana refuses to go meekly with the sexy Highland warrior. Her kidnapping will reignite the rift that’s existed between the two clans since her father accused Morgann of theft and she doesn’t want to see her father harmed in the inevitable war that will ensue.

Unfortunately for Alana, the faeries seek to interfere with her plans to escape. The sidhe have a debt to repay and Tèile, the green faery, is determined to mend the rift between the clans for good. And that means ensuring Alana and Morgann marry.

Morgann has his own reasons for taking Alana and they are nothing to do with marriage or war. He wants to use her to reveal a secret from the past, the one that had him accused of theft. If only he didn’t find his childhood friend so attractive. When circumstances force them together, Alana’s life is threatened and war is imminent. Can Morgann reveal the truth without losing Alana? And will the faeries meddling help or hinder his cause?


This is a lovely medieval romance with a touch of magic. It’s the first book in the Fae Chronicles which also include To Dream of a Highlander and To Avenge her Highland Warrior. You can purchase the titles separately but I think Samantha is releasing the box set very soon.

The Goblin King

By Shona Husk

 Cursed by a Druid millennia ago, Roan lives a bleak existence in the Shadowlands, desperately trying to retain his soul and not succumb to the goblin horde. When a beautiful human summons him to grant a wish, he sees a glimmer of hope. But will she ever agree to be his queen?

Once upon a time...

A man was cursed to the Shadowlands, his heart replaced with a cold lump of gold. In legends he became known as The Goblin King.

For a favored few he will grant a wish. Yet, desperately clinging to his waning human soul, his one own desire remains unfulfilled: A Willing Queen.

But who would consent to move from the modern-day world into the realm of nightmares? No matter how intoxicating his touch, no matter how deep his valor, loving him is dangerous. And the one woman who might dare to try could also destroy him forever.


This is the first book in the Shadowlands series. The whole series is fabulous but I think this one might be my favourite. The other titles include – Kiss of the Goblin Prince and For the Love of a Goblin Warrior.

You can also get the Shadowlands prequel novella – ‘Summons’ for free –


Her Christmas Earl: A Regency Novella

by Anna Campbell

No good deed goes unpunished…

To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake’s bedroom—and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?


To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake’s bedroom—and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?

Blair Hume, the dissolute Earl of Erskine, has had his eye on the intriguing Miss Sanders since he arrived at this deadly dull house party. Now a reckless act delivers this beguiling woman into his hands as a delightful Christmas gift. Is fate offering him a fleeting Yuletide diversion? Or will this Christmas Eve encounter spark a passion that lasts a lifetime?


This is a beautiful novella and was the first book I kicked off my Christmas reading with this year. It’s romantic, touching and makes you smile. J


Lord of Scoundrels

By Loretta Chase

Tough minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And When Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction...

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him...and then for forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place -- and in some amorous position. And if this means marriage, so be it -- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof...and still his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady's considerable charms

Love it – that is all.

I’m reading the whole Travelling Matchmaker series by M.C. Beaton. The first on is Emily Goes to Exeter. They’re all get fun and I’m really enjoying them.


So there is just a handful of some of my favourite books for 2014. There’s a heap more but if I was to include them all we’d be here for days.

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading.

Nicóle xx



Saturday, 27 December 2014

Stories, Plots & Romance Sub Genres

Hi everyone.

If you celebrated Christmas, I hope it was filled with joy and fabulous. Mine was a quiet affair with family (both close and extended) which in my book was near perfect.

I’ve just read a post from a friend who said that she had decided to give up trying to stick with a single subgenre of romance when it came to her writing. There can be pressure, albeit self imposed or from outside influences to pick a sub genre and run with it.

Be it contemporary, historical, urban fantasy, erotic, rural romance, paranormal or wicked sexy rock stars behaving badly (one of my favourites) and everything else in between, there’s a genre to suit everyone.

For some writers this works beautifully. Time and time again, they will conjure fantastic and enthralling stories in their preferred sub genre that will have us all turning pages and asking for more.

When I first started writing full time I knew in my heart I was a historical romance writer. I love history with a passion which I doubt will ever abate. So that’s me, I thought – history geek, medieval girl with a soft spot for the Regency and Victorian periods.

However the more I wrote, the more stories came to me. Now, the first lot of storylines were all historical, but as my ‘To Be Written/Finished/Rewritten List’ gets longer and longer I discovered that not all of them are.

Fantasy and fairytales have made their way onto the list along with a gothic romance, a dystopian romance and to my surprise contemporary rural romances. I never really thought that I would write contemporaries but I have just finished one and started on the next in the series.

They say that writing is a journey but what I didn’t expect to discover was more about myself. I expected to learn more about the craft but with that came a knowledge of what I can accomplish and how far I stretched my self imposed boundaries. I suppose all I’m trying to say and not very eloquently, is that for me stories and plotlines are fluid and flowing flights of the imagination and that I should be open to all of them even if they don’t fit into my preferred genre.
These stories are different facets of me and I should embrace them (even the wacky Steampunk  story that came out of nowhere).   J
What do you think?

Oh and just as an aside – since we are still smack bang in the middle of the twelve days of Christmas I thought I’d leave you with snippet from my Yuletide medieval novella, Misrule’s Mistress.



With a golden ring and a little cunning Lord Barric Cranley plans to catch his bride. She’s refused him once, but Barric wants Lady Ellette for his wife. He plans to show her just how suited they are. With luck and the Feast of Misrule on his side, he proceeds to awaken Ellette’s passion with his kisses and stoke her jealousy until she realizes just how much she loves him. He’s vowed that by the end of the Christmas festivities he shall have a bride by his side... hopefully it will be Ellette.

 Shortened Amazon link                     http://goo.gl/L1YJQC



“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.


Thank so much for stopping by.

Nicóle xx

Friday, 26 December 2014

Beltane's Bride

Beltane’s Bride  

Alivina’s life is almost done but she has been blessed long enough to see one more Beltane. As the village celebrates the beginning of summer, Alvina revisits her past and receives a gift for a long forgotten kindness.



Alvina sat still as the dappled sunlight warmed her old body. It was good to breathe the sweet air and listen to the music of the young.

She opened her eyes and watched the scene before her. The village had made their annual journey to the scared grove in the middle of the deep forest. It was Beltane and all had gathered to give thanks to the gods for their bounty.

A great fire burned brightly in the middle of the clearing and tonight the bride would be presented to Cernunnos. It was symbolic, as not one of the brides was ever taken but the tradition carried on. The people must give thanks for the fruits of the forest, its wildlife and the trees and herbs which sustained them.

The women wore crowns on their unbound hair, made from twigs, leaves, berries and flowers. They danced to the rhythmic beat of the drum around the ancient elderberry tree. Children ran about weaving this way and that through the trees, their laughter carried on the wind.

“Old mother – this is for you.”

Alvina turned her head and saw a girl holding out a floral crown.

“You are kind, child – to think of an old woman.”

“It would not be the festival without you, mother. You are always here... just like the forest itself.”

Alvina smiled as she allowed the girl to put the crown on her head.

“There, you look beautiful.”

Alvina chuckled. “Ah, you are as sweet as honey. I thank thee for my crown but go and dance while you can.”

“I have all day and night to dance, mother.”

“Ah, but the days slip by as quickly as droplets in a fast running stream. Go and enjoy yourself. Besides, I see that young man looking at you...you can see in his eyes that he wants you, child. I might be old but even I can remember such a look. The question is, do you want him?”

“Aye,” the girl whispered as she leant forward. “But I have not told him yet.”

“By the way his eyes follow you, Jenet – I would say you have hooked him as surely as any fish on a line. Go and make it a Beltane that you will both always remember.”

Jenet dipped down and kiss Alvina’s cheek.

“You are a wise woman.”

“I am an old woman,” she said with a smile. “Go now, enjoy your day and I will sit here and let the sun warm my bones.”

This short story is available for free on my website.

Thanks for stopping by.

 Nicóle xx


Monday, 22 December 2014

Free Short Story - Beltane's Bride

Beltane’s Bride


Hi everyone.

I’ve posted a free short story (5,000 words) on my website. It’s called Beltane’s Bride and is about an act of kindness, forest, fires and old magic.

At the end of her life Alvina finds an unexpected gift during the fires of Beltane.




I really enjoyed writing it and I would be interested to know what you think.

It’s a bit different from what I usually write but I had to get the sexy sheep farmers out of my head for just a little while.

Wishing you all the very best of the season.


Nicóle xx

Friday, 19 December 2014

Bewitching Blurbs

Hi everyone!

After a tiny break caused by my brain melting edits, Bewitching Blurbs is back. So sit back and enjoy this week’s offerings. J

As always Bewitching Blurbs embraces all sub genres of Romance and heat levels.


12 Days at Silver Bells House

By Jennie Jones

From the author of the international best-selling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story – country style.

Kate Singleton has twelve days to find herself. With Christmas Day and her thirtieth birthday approaching, the best thing a city-chic fashion designer who no longer has a raison d’etre can do is nullify herself in the country. With Chardonnay.

When trouble strikes, the country presents her with Jamie Knight – a gallant but uncommunicative He-Man who drives an excavator and rescues her, her shoes, and her case of Chardonnay from a boggy field.

The adventure should be over – nothing but a good story to tell to her friends in the city – but her saviour turns out to also be an unexpected roommate, the new owner of Silver Bells House, Kate’s holiday home.

Forced together and dragged into the community Christmas spirit of the town, Kate and Jamie flounder their way through mistletoe, kissing games, carolling choirs, and a bone-deep yearning for community and acceptance.

Can the enchanting Silver Bells House and the holidays bind them together? Or will love get lost on Highway B23 back to the city?

A Magical Regency Christmas

By Elizabeth Rolls, Bronwyn Scott & Margaret McPhee

Three Sparkling Festive Regency Tales


Handsome country rector Alex Martindale dreams of kissing the spirited schoolmistress and never having to stop… With the aid of some Christmas mistletoe, he may just get his wish!


At the yule ball, Catherine Emerson receives a proposal from the man she thinks she wants – but an interlude with his mysterious, darkly handsome brother unleashes a deeper desire…


Returning to England for Christmas, Sarah Ellison discovers gorgeous Captain Daniel Alexander adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. But nothing could have prepared her for the secrets he’s keeping!



By Vanessa Garden

When Miranda Sun returns to Marin on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, this time of her own free will, she quickly learns that her worst fears have been realised. The glittering underwater city is not as she had left it, nor too is Marko, the young king who has dominated her thoughts and heart for the last twelve months since leaving Marin.

Miranda, however, has not made the journey to Marin alone, and now must contend with not only Marko’s evil brother Damir but more surprisingly her sister Lauren who has an agenda of her own. Marko’s power begins to wane and with cracks beginning to show in the domed Utopian city, and veiled danger lurking everywhere, she quickly learns that in this dazzling city full of beautiful people she can trust no-one but herself.

If Miranda wants to survive, she must decide between the hardened sensibilities in her head and the hungers of her heart. Will her decision cause more heartache or can she help to save Marko’s throne?



Demon Hunter

By Jenny Schwartz

You can bleed and die banishing a demon, but Fay Olwen discovers there are worse hurts. Betrayed by the Collegium and by her father, she must build a new life away from New York. Leopard-shifter Steve Jekyll would have her build it with him. But loyalties are never simple and new love never easy. When demons are unleashed, Fay tracks the evil back to the Collegium, and now all hell will break loose because Fay fights for the innocent, and Steve will protect what is his.

For fans of kick-ass heroines and shifter heroes who are alpha-male and sinfully sexy.


Demon Hunter is free until the 21st December!

Christmas Seduction
By Samantha Holt
In a time when marriage had little to do with love and everything to do with money, Alexander Fenhurst, Duke of Wyndbourne, never expected a love match. But he also didn’t expect his wife to run into the arms of another man only a month after their nuptials. Having discovered her in the embrace of another man—and well aware of her dislike of him—he did what any self-respecting man would do. He left his Scottish estate and spent almost a year climbing the Alps and indulging his passion for adventure.

But no amount of adventure will change the fact he needs an heir. Resigned to the knowledge he somehow needs to win over his wife enough to allow him in her bed, Alex returns to Scotland for Christmas to celebrate... and seduce.

Emma Fenhurst, Duchess of Wyndbourne, has spent almost a year alone and miserable. She hadn’t expected much from her marriage, but she had at least expected a child or two, and Alexander had never seemed a cruel man. But after their fleeting first month of marriage, he tired of her and fled to France. Lonely and desperate for a child, the news of her estranged husband’s return summons her courage and determination. By the end of the Christmas celebrations, she will be with child and intends to do all she can to draw her husband into her bed. However, while she means to share her body with him, some secrets must remain just that—secret.

Will the festive period bring them closer together or will their plans draw them further apart? Is there any chance for an arranged marriage to bring happiness... and maybe even love?
Thanks for stopping by.
Nicóle  xx

Allison Merritt - Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal - Eban by Allison Merritt

Hi everyone,

Today we have a sneaky peek at Allison Merritt's upcoming book, Eban. Allison will  also be running a giveaway, so check out the bottom of this post for details.

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.

Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.


Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.


Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.


Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood...and offer it as a sacrifice.


Warning: Contains a half-human, half-demon doctor who can heal anyone except himself, and a woman who’d blush if she could remember the sensuous torture she’s been inflicting on him. Could make you wonder if you should start listening to the voices in your head...

Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
ISBN13: 978-1-61922-634-0
Length: 70k
Release date: April 7, 2015

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.
Social media links:
Read the first book in the series: Wystan (The Heckmasters)
Buy links:
Samhain - http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wystan-p-73651.html
Amazon - http://amzn.com/B00L501TJK

Thanks for stopping by.

Nicóle xx

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