Sunday, 31 March 2013

Romanticism and the Middle Ages.

The Lady of Shalot by John William Waterhouse

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Romanticism or the Romantic Period was a literary, artistic and intellectual movement which originated in Europe in the late 18th century. It was a back lash against Industrialism and the rise of Empirical science.

The Romantic Movement possessed an idealized vision of the Medieval Period. The Middle Ages could be seen as the defining element of the Romantic character. Romantics such as Keats, Coleridge and Novalis looked back to the Middle Ages as the last great age for two reasons. The first being that it could be seen as the last great Christian period, with England and the rest of western Europe untiled under one Church collectively known as Christendom. This gives the impression of not only a united world but also a younger, more pure, noble and idyllic place.

The second reason was that the medieval period could also be seen as having a strong element of superstition and magic. Even though Christianity blanketed the land as the age progressed, tiny pockets of paganism and old magic were believed to linger. It was believed that the forests and the wild woods were savage, evil places which were inhabited with fairies, sprites and demons. And therefore, these wild places should be avoided at all costs. The supernatural fascinated and influenced the Romantic poets and the Middle Ages were seen as being filled with magic and other worldly beings.

The Romantics were repelled by the ideals of the Enlightenment, such as the rise of Empirical science and that we are no more than the sum of our experiences. For the Romantics, inspiration and intuition were more important than experience. So while the Enlightenment wished to reduce everything to physical matter, dismiss innate ideas and find logical, scientific explanations for all things; the Romantics countered this with a return to the beauty of nature, inspiration, intuition, exploring the unseen forces (the supernatural), bliss and dreams. The medieval period was seen as the age where all these qualities could be explored. It lent itself to the idealized writing of the Romantics. Certain aspects, particularly from medieval England and France aided this rose coloured view of the age that was handed down through time. These would have to include  chivalry, courtly love, the wandering troubadour and the Arthurian and Parzival myths. With such high and noble ideals, it was easy to see how heroic deeds, honour, handsome knights, faith, romantic love, damsels in distress and lofty castles could overshadow and conceal the reality of hard lives dogged with loss, violence and disease.

Examples of this can be seen in Coleridge’s Christabel and Keat’s The Eve of St. Agnes. Both used the backdrop of the Middle Ages for their respective poems.

The Eve of St. Agnes by Holman Hunt
Thanks for dropping by.

Nicóle  xx

Images - Public Domain


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Historical Novelists' 4 Day Book Fair

Hi everyone,

Between April 12th -15th, I'll be joining the Historical Novelists' 4 Day Book Fair. This is an online book fair and similar to a blog hop. It's a chance to discover new and interesting authors. It's shaping up to be a lot of fun and I hope you will be able to drop by.

Best wishes,

Nicóle  xx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Borderland Bride by Samantha Holt

Hi everyone,
Today I have the lovely Samantha Holt joining us. Samantha writes fabulous medieval tales and is a fellow Jupiter Gardens Press author. Borderland Bride has just been released and is the first book in the Borderland Legacy Series.

Samantha resides in Warwickshire, England with her twin girls and occasionally her husband, who works abroad. She admits that his long absences often help get the creative juices flowing. She's a romance addict and has been devouring all kinds of romance for as long as she can remember.

A huge history buff, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her love of romance and create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there's nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.

You can find Samantha on Facebook and purchase her books from Amazon

Thanks so much, Samantha for sharing your new release with us!

Borderland Bride

In the wilderness of 14th century Northumbria, Lady Isabel discovers just how dangerous the borderlands can be. With the loss of her voice and her hearing, there is little hope left for her. But when a brooding knight rescues her, she vows never to become a victim again and buries the secrets of her past in the hope that those hunting her will never find her in the borderlands.

 Jake is astonished to come across the beautiful Isabel, near to death, on his brother’s lands. Bringing her back to his brother’s home, he finds himself longing for something more from the courageous woman, something that he thought he would never want again. Isabel works her way into his scarred heart and opens Jake up to loving once more. But will Isabel’s secrets destroy their bond? And with his charismatic brother, Dominic, charming her, does he even stand a chance?
Jupiter Gardens Press buy link -



“Isabel, what in God’s name are you doing?”

“I am returning to my father,” she told him breathlessly.

“You would see yourself in that monster’s hands? Why?”

“I cannot see Thornewall suffer for my sake. And I cannot see you or Dominic harmed. Not for me.”

“We are grown men; will you not let us make these decisions ourselves? Thornewall is strong, we have endured worse.”

Isabel shook her head. “Nay, I will not see war brought to your door. If my father fails here, then he will turn his attention to your lands. They have not the strength of Thornewall, you have said as much yourself.”

Jake squeezed her arm until he saw her wince. Damn his brutish manners. He could not let her throw herself into the arms of a murderer for their sakes. “I can defend my lands, lass. I’ve done it before and I’ll gladly do it again.”

But she was right, Greycroft was ill prepared for a full-scale war and his own castle would not hold out long against a siege. It was likely he would die defending it.

“That is what I fear,” she said softly and Jake wondered if he had spoken aloud.

Her voice took on a desperate quality and she pulled against his grip. “Let me go, Jake, for I cannot allow you to place yourself in danger for me. Not for a woman that hurt you so.”

He considered her and saw the fear in her eyes - a fear that was not for herself, but for him, his brother, and all their people. How he could ever have thought her as wicked as his wife, he knew not. There was nothing in this lass but kindness. He gulped, fighting the words he would have to say. There was no other way.

“Isabel, you do not have to return.”

“I do, Jake!” She struggled again.

“Listen…” He grabbed at her other arm and pinned her still. “Listen, there is another way. Marry…”

She ceased her struggles and stared at him.

“Marry Dominic.”

Isabel blinked at him. “What?” she whispered.

“Marry Dominic. Your father would be a fool to say nay to such an allegiance. He is one of the richest men in England. There will be no war and you will be safe.”

Safe. He clung to the word, trying to ignore the ache in his heart. It didn’t matter, as long as she was safe. In spite of himself, he urged her to say nay, to confess her love for him, but he knew it could come to nothing. He had nothing to offer Lord Henry in return for her hand.

Isabel gaped at him. “Marry Dominic? But…did he decide this?”

“Nay.” He sighed. “‘Twas my idea.”

She gulped and her eyes misted with tears as she took a deep breath. Her composure regained, she shook her head in disbelief. “Why would you suggest such an idea?”


Coming soon -

Borderland Beauty

Book 2 of The Borderland Legacy


Dominic of Thornewall has already lost out on one bride. Will he succeed in charming his way into the heart of a second?


Lord Dominic is in need of a wife. With the reivers, the wild and dangerous criminals that haunt the borderlands, breathing down his neck and his brother now married, he needs a strong woman by his side. So when he finds out about an old marriage contract between him and his neighbour’s daughter, he vows to give the mysterious woman a chance. Upon meeting the beautiful, feisty maiden, he vows to make her his wife.


Lucy Montgomery wants nothing to do with the arrogant lord. Hurt by the past, she refuses to believe she is anything more than a game to him. Surely a man like Dominic could never fall for a woman like her. If only he wasn't so hard to resist…


Can Dominic persuade Lucy she is more than just another woman to him? And with the reivers growing bolder, are there worse dangers on the horizon than Lucy saying ‘nay’?

Check out the other great titles at Jupiter Gardens Press.

As always, thanks for dropping by.
Best wishes,

Nicóle  xx


Friday, 15 March 2013

Editing, Waiting & Plotting... oh my!

Hi everyone,

So as I wait for the edits for my medieval paranormal, Rain...  Oh, have I told how excited I am that it’s been contracted? No? Really?   J

 I love all my stories but I have to admit Rain is one of my favourites... is that wrong? I mean how can you not love a hunky elemental being with wings which are made out of rain and mist? Maras is yummy... he really is!

Anyway, while I’m waiting I decided to carry on with a new story. I was torn between another paranormal and a historical romance – the historical won. It’s the second book in the series which is set in theatres during the Victorian period. The first one was about a ballerina and the second is about a girl trying to save her theatre from ruin. I’m enjoying the writing and the research immensely.
Carlotta Brianza in the 1890 production of Sleeping Beauty

I had planned to spend the day writing the second book but I was hijacked by inspiration. Somehow I managed to plan out books 3, 4 & 5. I originally planned for three books but as of today it seems books 4 & 5 decided they wanted to join the party. I’m not complaining, I welcome the new plots and characters. But all of a sudden there seems to be a lot of work stretching out in front of me.

 Next week I have the lovely Samantha Holt here chatting about her brand new book, Borderline Bride. It is the first instalment of The Borderland Legacy. I hope you will be able to join us.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Nicóle   xx

 Images - Public Domain

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Rain... is coming.

Hi everyone,

Today I have some exciting news. My medieval paranormal romance, Rain has just been contracted by Jupiter Garden Press.

I am very happy and honoured that I will be able to share Maras and Nuri’s story with you all.


On the mountain, high above the village of Farran – Nuri is caught between heaven and hell. Two men fight for her love and her soul. The first is Maras, an elemental being that follows the storms. Blessed with silver hair, ice grey eyes and skin that heals with water, Nuri knows that he is not human, he’s something more. She believes Maras is her beautiful fallen angel. The other is Erebus, a pious monk sent by the Church, whose tortured soul is twisted by his desire for Nuri.

    Nuri must choose whether to follow her heart or be tied to the edict of the Church and village. Maras is transient and is bound to the elements and their love may be as fleeting as the storm itself. But Nuri may sacrifice more than her heart when the Church brands her angel a demon. As Brother Erebus will do anything to protect her soul from the silver haired devil, even if he has to crush her body to do it.

Images from Bigstock