History—and Heroes!

Lieutenant-general-sir-john-moore-allied-commanders-of-the-napoleonic-war-by-john-romneyAndrea here. As I’ve mentioned here before, along with my Wrexford & Sloane historical mystery series, I’m working on a new book project in a new-to-me genre within historical fiction— a biography “reimagining” the life of Lady Hester Stanhope, an extraordinary real-life woman from the Regency era.

I Engraving of Mooren other words, it’s a book that meant to stay accurate to her real life and personality, but requires an author’s imagination to create the story and dialogue that will make her come alive for readers. It’s been a fascinating challenge. I’ve done a lot of research, which I love, and am lucky that Lady Hester was a member of a very prominent family, so many of her letters have been saved, which give special window into her thoughts and feelings.

But I’m digressing from the main topic of this blog, which is how these deep-dive research forays, where one reads as much as possible about a person’s life can become “personal” in very unexpected ways. I have a confession to make! In looking at the three men who were Lady Hester’s love interests, I have come to have a “crush” on one of them— Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore

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The Language of Romance

Award Ceremony 2018Nicola here. Today I’m talking about the sort of words that people use to describe romance and romantic fiction. In four days, I step down as Chair of the UK Romantic Novelists Association. It’s been an interesting couple of years, sometimes challenging, always busy, but incredibly rewarding to be a part of an organisation that is so involved with the business of romantic fiction. I love the RNA and I love the fact that organisations like it exist to support, celebrate and promote the romance genre. Together with readers, bloggers, writers and all fans of the genre we make up a very loyal band. We’re lucky; we have discovered the joy that reading romantic fiction can bring.

One of the issues of which I have become hyper-aware over the last couple of years is that of the Ming_Dynasty_Wardrobe
language that is used by critics to describe romantic fiction. I’ve always been aware of romantic fiction’s literary reputation – at the very start of my writing career a friend told me how she covered my books in brown paper bags because they were a guilty pleasure. (At least she was eco-friendly about it!)   This is hardly a new phenomenon. My grandmother used to hide her genre fiction at the back of her wardrobe. The RNA itself was formed 60 years ago next year to try to tackle the prejudice that there was in the press towards romantic fiction.

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Sailing Back in History with Guest Amanda McCabe

603px-Elizabeth_I_(Armada_Portrait)Andrea/Cara here, Today I'm welcoming long-time friend and honorary Word Wench Amanda McCabe as my guest. Many of you know Amanda for her wonderful Regencies, but she also writes marvelous Elizabethan romances, and she here to tell us a little about the inspiration for her latest release, The Queen’s Christmas Summons. Not only does it have a holiday theme, but it also features swashbuckling action on the high seas as the British navy clashes with the Spanish Armada. So batten down the hatches and set sail to a fascinating time in history, as Amanda  gives us some intriguing background on one of the biggest sea battles ever fought:

ChristmasSummonsCover1I’m so happy to be back at the Word Wenches today! I’m also so excited to have the chance to talk a bit about the history behind the book for my new release The Queen’s Christmas Summons. This story has been brewing in my mind for a long time, ever since I was a little girl and my grandmother (who was very proud to be Irish, and have the famous “black Irish” looks of dark hair, olive skin, and bright blue eyes) told me she was descended from a shipwrecked Spanish soldier who landed on Ireland’s coast in a storm and married a Galway woman. This story, while fantastic, is almost certainly a family legend, but it made me wonder—what would really happen if two such people met??? That’s how John (an English spy planted with the Armada) and his love Alys came to be. She saves his life on the Irish shore—and they meet up later at the queen’s own court for Christmas.


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Heartwarming Reads for the Holidays

Andrea/Cara here, Ho-Ho-Ho! Now that we spooked you with scary reads on Monday, we’re following up with a sleighful of good cheer. November signals the start (earlier and earlier it seems!) of the end-of-year holiday. And while all the celebrating with family and friends is wonderful, there are times when one simply wants to escape from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a few hours of quiet reading. With that in mind, we decided to showcase the Wenchly Christmas-themed books to spark smiles and good cheer. So get ready to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and plate of cookies . . .

PatriciaRice_IncomparableLordMeath_800 2Pat:
Incomparable Lord Meath (A Novella)

Christmas in Ireland
Penniless spinster Honora Hoyt has carved a safe niche in London society as her noble uncle’s hostess —until an old flame re-enters her life, threatening her hard-earned security.

Evan, Lord Meath, abandoned his pampered life—and Honora—after a reckless gamble left him lame and disillusioned. Now he’s hoping to perform a good deed for once—but here’s Honora again, desirable, maddening, and in the way. It looks like he’s about to wreck his good intentions, and Honora’s too. Again.

In the season of peace, can they resolve their conflicts and find the joy and love that each secretly craves?
Original Novella Rebellious Sons prequel $2.99
Christmas Enchantment anthology

Three heartwarming Regency holiday romances in one joyful book.
Christmas Angel: 
Marian had no intention of starting something new. Taking care of family and helping a once prosperous town survive was all she had in mind after the tragic death of her fiancé. Then a stranger with a heavy heart from America unexpectedly arrived. Maybe this will be the Christmas they both need – with a gift that lasts forever.

Christmas Goose
: The spoiled child of a rich baron, Rebecca left that world for love. But, her husband died in the war. Now she finds herself taking care of his young sisters, removed from the grace of her prosperous father. Simon feels his life is a failure. The war took his soul and he longs for a new beginning. Even the battles of war haven't prepared him for the battle for the hand of the feisty woman he's come to love.

Tin Angel
: Jeffrey fought the good fight in the halls of government but comes home exasperated at life, law, family and love. Much to his dismay, the visit from a guardian angel (in whom he does not believe) leads him to question his sanity. Mary’s bright humor and sarcastic jabs give him something he’s never experienced – a way to look beyond himself and into the world again. Could she be the key that opens that last door at Christmas?
(Anthology of stories originally contained in Signet Regency Christmas collections $4.99)


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