Thursday, May 21, 2009

Confessions of Nicola Cornick!

by Anna Campbell

It's my great pleasure to welcome back a Bandita favorite, historical romance writer Nicola Cornick, who has more releases coming up than I can poke a stick at. I'm a great fan of Nicola's writing so I'm happy that she's working her fingers to the bone!

By the way, for a treat, check out the wonderful trailers Nicola has created for her new series! http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=57035166

As always, you can find out more about Nicola and her books at her website: http://www.nicolacornick.co.uk/


Nicola, my head started to spin when I looked at your website, you’ve got so many new releases coming up. Which is nirvana for head-spinning fans of your work like myself. But first things first – you’re officially here to talk about a new Regency historical series called THE BRIDES OF FORTUNE. The first book in the trilogy, THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS, is out in June. Can you tell us about this story?

THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS is Laura Cole’s story. I first introduced Laura in my 2008 book UNMASKED when she was one of the leaders of the Glory Girls highwaywomen. In that book Laura developed a bit of a passion for Dexter Anstruther, one of the men who was sent to hunt down the Glory Girls. In THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS it’s four years later and Dexter is back in Laura’s life and the two of them are still passionately attracted to one another but Laura is penniless and Dexter has to marry a rich heiress for the sake of his family. There’s also the small matter that Laura is keeping some enormous secrets from him, not least that she was a highwaywoman…


Fantastic! UNMASKED was one of my favorite books from 2008. Can't wait to catch up with those characters again.

This month, you’ve got a prequel to the trilogy, THE SECRETS OF A COURTESAN, out as a Harlequin ebook. Can you tell us about that?

THE SECRETS OF A COURTESAN is a short story that sets the scene for the trilogy and also introduces some of the characters but it’s also a very romantic, sensual and emotional love story in its own right.

The next two books in THE BRIDES OF FORTUNE series are THE SCANDALS OF AN INNOCENT and THE UNDOING OF A LADY. Each, I’m delighted to say, available as back to back releases in July and August, 2009. By the way, those are some seriously gorgeous covers! I love the colors. Can you give us any hints about these forthcoming instalments?


I think THE SCANDALS OF AN INNOCENT is a fun story because it has as its heroine Alice Lister who is a housemaid-turned-heiress. I like writing heroines who are unusual and Alice has a very different background from some of the other spoiled and privileged heiresses in Fortune’s Folly. It’s Alice’s apparent naivety that makes Miles Vickery, an unscrupulous and rakish fortune-hunter think that she will be easy prey to blackmail into marriage. The fierce attraction and the power struggle between them shocks Miles because he quickly realises that he has completely underestimated. And speaking of unusual heroines, Lizzie Scarlet in THE UNDOING OF A LADY is something different again. I’m not sure everyone will like Lizzie - but I adore her! She’s a force of nature, so wild and so close to the edge. Every time she behaves badly it seems impossible that she can do anything more outrageous and then she excels herself! For anyone who has read my book WAYWARD WIDOW, Lizzie is like a junior version of Juliana. And it takes a very strong man to match that sort of passion and determination!

WAYWARD WIDOW was the first book of yours I read and I've been hooked ever since. I love the sound of the whole series!

I notice that Mills & Boon in the U.K. are releasing your complete backlist, a book a month, starting with TRUE COLOURS in November 2009. Congratulations! Looking back on your body of work, do you have any particular favorites that you’re glad are seeing the light of day again? Will these books be available in the United States and Australia?

Thank you! Yes, I’m thrilled that Mills & Boon are going to be reprinting my backlist. Just as exciting for me is the news that Harlequin are also re-releasing all my Harlequin Historicals in e-book format so readers in the U.S. and elsewhere can download any of the ones they might have missed. It’s hard to choose favourites, isn’t it! I have a really soft spot for TRUE COLORS because it was my first book and although it’s a bit overwritten I still think it’s a good story and a meaty book too at over a hundred thousand words! I love MISS VEREY’S PROPOSAL too. Like THE PENNILESS BRIDE, it’s a bit of a fairy story and I love fairy stories. One of my favourite heroes is Cory Newlyn in THE NOTORIOUS LORD. He’s an Indiana Jones type explorer and archaeologist and I totally fell in love with him.


I had a huge crush on Cory too. He's SOOO charming and I loved the swimming scene (yum, yum!). One of my favorite books of yours is your March U.S. release, KIDNAPPED: HIS INNOCENT MISTRESS. It’s narrated by one of the most appealing heroines I’ve read in ages, Miss Catriona Balfour, who never lets drama and adventure affect her appetite (a woman after my own heart). Can you tell us more about this story and also about the challenges and rewards of writing in the first person? I must say, you sounded as if you were having enormous fun with this ironic, courageous, passionate heroine!

I’m so pleased you liked KIDNAPPED! I’ve always wanted to write a book set in Scotland and I don’t know what took me so long. It was fabulous writing about all the places I love to visit. I modelled the book on one of my all time favourite adventure yarns, KIDNAPPED by Robert Louis Stevenson. If I have tiny criticism of the original, it is that there isn’t enough romance in it to please me so I thought I would re-write the story from a female perspective and include a love story at the heart of it.


I originally started writing it in the third person but it didn’t work. Then I tried first person and it was spooky how quickly I got into the head of an eighteen-year-old Scots girl in the early nineteenth century! I loved Catriona Balfour and I’m so pleased that so many readers loved her too! The bit about never losing her appetite was modelled on me but her rather impetuous nature was imaginary. So it wasn’t in any way a self-portrait despite the fact that I felt very, very close to her. I enjoyed writing in the first person; at first I wasn’t sure how it would feel to write quite sensual love scenes like that but actually that didn’t prove to be a problem! More of a challenge was trying to convey as much depth to the hero’s character as you would do with a third person narrative.

A little bird told me (all right, YOU did!) that you’ve just recently been on an amazing cruise in the Pacific where you saw whales and assorted other wildlife. Can you share some of your favorite memories from the trip?

Oh, it was a fabulous trip! I love to travel despite being a nervous flyer (as you know!) and I love the sort of holidays where you can see amazing wildlife so a whale-watching cruise out of San Diego and around the Baja Peninsula was my idea of heaven. We had amazing views of Humpback Whales, we touched baby Grey Whales, which was an awesome experience and we also visited some beautiful offshore islands that were like paradise. The other benefit of being on a cruise was people watching! I got quite a few good character ideas and the captain of the ship features in my current manuscript heavily disguised as… um… a gorgeous American sea captain!

Oh, how cunning! Snort. What’s next for Nicola Cornick?

I have a short story reprinted in a HQN Christmas anthology, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS, with the ever-fabulous Mary Balogh and incredibly talented new author Courtney Milan. I’m really looking forward to that. That’s coming out in October. Then next year I have a Regency Historical set in London and the Arctic, so that’s a bit different!

The Arctic story sounds brill. Nicola, is there anything you'd like to ask the Banditas and Buddies to get the conversation going?

Laura, Alice and Lizzie, the Brides of Fortune, are all unconventional heroines. Who is your favourite unconventional heroine, fictional or real? Is it Scarlett O’Hara or Anne Boleyn? When is a heroine different and unusual and when is she just plain annoying?

Nicola has very generously offered one lucky commenter a double dose of her latest series. Someone will win a free copy of her ebook prequel to THE BRIDES OF FORTUNE, THE SECRETS OF A COURTESAN, and a signed copy of her latest print release THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS.

127 comments:

Virginia said...

Is he mine again!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Virginia, I'm going to start calling you Lime! Congratulations!

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia!
Great post - thanks for visiting with us today, Nicola!
As for favorite unexpected heroine... I do love Scarlet O'Hara. And Gracie Snow, Isabel Sharpe. Those are unusual ones, I think.

Virginia said...

Hi Nicola, congrats on your new release and your up and coming release's. Thanks for sharing them with us.

I guess my favorite unexpected heroing would have to be Miss Scarlet O'Hara. Although she was very annoying at times over dear Ashley. She didn't except the love that was looking her right in the face from Rhett.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Nicola, welcome to the Lair. The cover goddesses have certainly been good to you. Your covers are so rich and brilliant!

Virginia, again!!?? Yay, you!

I do adore unconventional heroines, especially if they have a quirky sense of humor and can laugh at their foibles. One of my favorites is Mary Russell who plays opposite Sherlock Holmes in the brilliant Laurie King's series about Sherlock and his protege, lover, wife.

Anna Campbell said...

Who are Gracie Snow and Isabel Sharpe, Lime? I know Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair but can't say I liked anything at all about that book!

Virginia, I've never been able to get past the first 100 or so pages of GWTW. Yeah, I know, I should be shot. I've seen the film a couple of times. Should see it again!

Jo, aren't Nicola's covers gorgeous. The June RT featured a full cover of that beautiful red one for Duchess and I was drooling all over it!

I like unconventional heroines. But in a historical, I must say I don't like an obviously modern woman in a historical setting. I like her to be of her times but not of her times, if that makes sense.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, it's always fun to cast our stories. Did you have any actors or actresses in mind when you were writing?

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi everyone! It's a beautiful spring morning here in the UK and I am so happy to be back in the Bandit's Lair!

There are some great nominations for unusual heroines already. Limecello, Virginia, I think Scarlet O'Hara divides opinion, doesn't she. I can't help admiring her for her strength of character whilst wanting to shake her! That's how powerful a character she is, I think. Jo, I haven't come across Mary Russell but she sounds my kind of gal! I love heroines (and heroes) with a quirky sense of humour.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, welcome back to the lair! We love you visiting and not just because you arrive toting cartons of nicely aged whisky. Although that helps...

Actually I'm not sure I'd like Scarlett living next door! Would you? But you have to admire her strength.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia.

Hi Nicola,
Your new series sounds great. My favorite unusual heroine is Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse. She's a busybody and meddles into others business, but her intentions are good.

Anna Campbell said...

Ha, Jane, how funny! I can't stand Emma - clearly I have a difficult relationship with pushy women ;-) I actually couldn't stand the heroines of Sense and Sensibility either, at least in their book form - it's actually one of the rare occasions where I thought the film did a better job of fleshing out the characters than the book. OK, shoot me now!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, another question - I have a million of 'em - is how you set about writing a huge project like these three books and the prequel. Did you plan extensively? Did you write one book at a time? Do you enjoy writing series or do you prefer stand alones?

Donna MacMeans said...

Welcome back Nicola! Your books sound absolutely fabulous - and those covers...yummy. I'm so impressed with your prolific body of work. How do you do it? Can you share some hints that will speed up my production? *g*

Minna said...

Congrats on your new release, Nicola!
Favourite unconventional heroine? I have to think about this for a minute.

Aikakone - Keltainen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYjMTeUKWXI

MAARIT Tuuli & Taivas (Wind & Sky)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDf5NDRRUoU

KEVÄT JA MINÄ - TOMMI LÄNTINEN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV8cRMmMAFY

Neiti Kevät
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwIgXd6avWY

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLlNe6vyokI

Tomas Ledin - Sommaren är kort
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVdGOz_ptDg

Annie West said...

Hi Nicola,

It's lovely to see you here. I've been enjoying your stories and look forward to the next ones, especially (shallow me!) because of the luscious covers. Sigh. I want some like that! Shame I don't write historicals.

Fave unconventional heroine? How about Amelia Peabody striding through Victorian society and Egypt and bossing people about with her steel-tipped umbrella? It took me a little while to warm to her but I do enjoy her.

Annie

Annie West said...

Anna, you didn't like ANYTHING about Vanity Fair? Oh dear.

Nicola Cornick said...

Anna, that's a very good point about heroines in historical books not appearing too modern. It can be tricky though, can't it. I'm sometimes aware that I'm giving my heroines - and heroes - my modern sensibilities. For example I seldom have characters go hunting and the heroine of my current wip doesn't like shooting polar bears even when her life depends on it!

Nicola Cornick said...

It is fun to cast our books, isn't it! Hmm, I had Daniel Craig playing Dexter in book 1, Toby Stephens as Miles in book 2 and Clive Owen as Nat in book 3. As for the heroines, that would be me, me, me! Hmm, what does that say about me, I wonder?

One of the interesting things about having trailers made for the books was to see what the heroes and heroines looked like. I wasn't disappointed! Laura is gorgeous and a bit more pouty than I had envisaged but when I saw Lizzie Scarlet, the heroine of book 3, she was exactly as I had imagined her!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Jane! Hmm, Emma Woodhouse. She always reminds me of my mother - meddling but with the best intentions and thinking that she really does know best! I'm with you on Elinor and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, Anna! I thought the recent TV adaptation we had over here (not sure if it has reached Aus and the US yet?) was excellent and I liked it much more than the book.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Anna! Welcome Nicola! Congrats, Virginia on the GR.

Nicola...After your last appearance in the lair, I read five of your books in a row a few weeks ago. And I'm glad to hear Laura Cole is getting her own book and I'm looking forward to learning more about Dexter. They were all wonderful.

I'd pick Scarlett over Anne Boleyn. I admire a woman who can adapt to any situation and still maintain her pride, although at times, it was on overdrive.

My favorite heroines...it's a toss up between Mame Dennis, Rachel Snopes (Dream a Little Dream) and Phoebe Sommerville (It Had to Be You)and Lydia Coleman (Sunset Embrace). These ladies all have a courage, grit, grace and the audacity to do exactly what no one expects her to do. A heroine is annoying when she plays the victim or feels sorry for herself for more than half a page. Can I say that?

Christine Wells said...

Nicola, a very warm welcome to the lair. We're so pleased to have you with us!

I'm with Anna on looking forward to all your upcoming releases. I'm a big fan of your work. And aren't those covers divine? That cruise must have been an amazing experience and most inspirational by the sounds of it!

As for heroines, I love to read flawed heroines who have their own inner conflict to resolve. I enjoy seeing the female character grow and change as much as the hero. Not sure I'm in the majority, though. It's so tricky to write heroines who aren't waifs or 'best friend' types and still make them likeable. Readers seem to forgive the hero a lot more than the heroine.

Looking forward to seeing you in D.C., Nicola!

Virginia, congrats on the Golden Rooster!

PinkPeony said...

Anna...Gracie Snow...correct me if I'm wrong, Lime, is the heroine in SEP's "Heaven Texas"... I re-read it last month.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Nicola, I adore spring in the UK. Nicola lives in a classic English village - seriously, you expect Miss Marple to run into you around the corner. Hmm, except there's no murders in Nicola's village. Is that right, Nicola?

Donna, I'd love to hear some time management hints! Seriously, that's a huge output Ms Cornick has given her faithful readers!

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, unconventional heroines is an interesting topic, isn't it?

Annie, I love Amelia Peabody. Well, I do in Crocodile on a Sandbank. Haven't read the others, although I know you have. I must grab them and find out more about that unconventional relationship.

Actually on the subject of unconventional heroines, I think I write them! Well, at least the courtesans were. I think Grace and Charis from Captive of Sin have their moments too. Neither is willing to settle for life as obedient women of their times.

Nicola Cornick said...

Anna, you were asking about planning and writing the series. Well, since I love the Bandits and I always tell the truth I will admit to you that it was total purgatory for me, and probably worse for my editor. I love the *idea* of a linked series - I love really getting to know my characters and creating a "world" for them - but boy do I hate the actual writing of a closely linked series! The reason is that I am hopelessly unplanned as a writer. In "real" life I'm incredibly organised (as you know, Anna!) but in my writing I am a total pantser. I start a book off and see where it goes. And that is fatal of course for things like series where you need to know who is doing what when. I had seven and twelve month pregnancies in there, people who got engaged one minute and seemed to be getting married the next, I was all over the place. I have tried to be better organised but I just don't write that way and I think that in writing you just have to go with what suits you - and in this case, sort out the mess at the end!

So yes, I think stand alone is probably better for my blood pressure and the health of my editor, and one book at a time! That said, I loved the series and my characters once I'd finished it and I didn't want to leave them so I deliberately left a few storylines open.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, YUMMMMMMM! What a banquet. I love Toby Stephens. I thought he was a lovely Mr. Rochester, although perhaps just a tad pretty to be true to the book. I think Jane Eyre was an unconventional heroine - she was definitely seen that way when the book was published. I think in this era of kickass heroines, her quiet determination can be overlooked but she's a tower of strength.

Annie, I did a unit of Victorian lit at uni. I remember either hating of loving the books. I also remember having to read nearly 1,000 pages every week and that was only for one subject. They sure wrote long, those Vickies! Hated Hardy and hated Vanity Fair. Thought they were mean, nasty books ;-) Loved Middlemarch - and if I hadn't done that course, I doubt I'd ever have read it.

Authorness said...

Hi, Anna and Nicola! Nicola, I'm so glad you have so many titles coming up - they all sound irresistible to me.

Scarlett O'Hara is one of my favourite unconventional heroines. I'm drawn to her many flaws and layers. Not sure if she'd be a terrific friend, but she's definitely interesting!

Can I just take this opportunity to thank each and every Bandita for awarding me a scholarship to this year's RWA Nationals? I'm beyond excited! Thank you!

~ Vanessa

~ Vanessa

Annie West said...

Nicola, I hope you enjoy Amelia P when you get to the later stories. They're such fun. She's just so indomitable and she can never quite see why her husband is so attracted to her, but that doesn't stop her enjoying it!

Annie

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, on the subject of polar bears, a friend of mine did a trip to the Aleutian Islands off Alaska. They issue everyone who goes there a gun so if a polar bear attacks, they've got some protection. My friend said, "I couldn't shoot a polar bear." The ranger said, "If he's charging you, you will." Think the ranger might have been right.

Hunting's an interesting point, isn't it? I remember my goddess Dorothy Dunnett being interviewed and saying that she could include hunting scenes in the Lymond books which she wrote in the 1960s and into the 70s and she couldn't in the Niccolo books which she wrote in the 1980s and into the 90s. And yet hunting was such a huge part of life in the past. You only have to look at the artefacts!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, I'm going to have to re-read your books now and put you in the heroine's place. Hmm, that could be a bit odd! ;-)

Nicola, I haven't seen the new Sense and Sensibility. There was a great Northanger Abbey recently - really good fun. I started the Persuasion - it's one of my all-time faves - but the heroine was too drippy so I gave up after about twenty minutes.

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, I'm so glad I turned you onto Nicola's wonderful books. She's great, isn't she? Did you read Kidnapped? I thought it was fab. Loved the heroine's continual appetite no matter what dreadful things were happening to her. That's a heroine I can relate to! Great list of heroines! I must re-read Aunty Mame - I remember kacking myself laughing at it when I first read it. A real classic.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, you'll love Christine's next book. An unconventional heroine with bells on. It's called Wicked Little Game and it's a beauty and I'm madly in love with the hero, Vane. Really, it's right up your alley!

Jen, I've read Heaven, Texas. Love it! In that case, I'm with you. Loved the heroine of Natural Born Charmer too. You can't beat a heroine who's walking along the side of a road wearing a beaver suit in the opening scene, can you? Actually I love the heroine of Lady Be Good too. That was my first SEP and I've been hooked ever since.

Nicola Cornick said...

Donna, hi! I am a huge fan of yours and "found" you after my last Bandit visit so that's yet another reason I like it here!

I'm not sure I am all that prolific really. I know it looks as though I am because I have three books and a short story out in a row but it actually took me at least two years to write them all. That said, I did write book 3 of the trilogy in about 3 months because I felt so inspired. Gosh, I wish that happened more often! But by then I knew the characters very well and I loved Lizzie, the heroine, to bits and was desperate to give her her HEA. Plus one of the things about book 3 is that it's like the heroine - it has a sort of headlong inevitability about it as though Lizzie and the story are rushing towards the climax (no pun intended!) The short story prequel was actually the most difficult to write, partly because they asked me to do it after I had finished the series and I had to go back and think my way into what might have happened before all three stories. I had to scrap an entire short story and start again.

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Minna! It's lovely to see you here! Hi Annie - and thank you - I think I was very, very lucky with my covers!

PinkPeony, thank you. I am blushing here. I'm so happy that you enjoyed my books. Quite a few people asked for Laura and Dexter's story after they had read Unmasked and I really enjoyed writing it. Four years have passed since the story in Unmasked, though, so both of them have changed and a lot has happened to them.

PinkPeony said...

I've read...Unmasked, Kidnapped, The Last Rake in London, One Night of Scandal, and Deceived (great plot!). Just ordered Confessions of a Duchess. Yay!

Ah, the beaver suit. Hilarious. I loved it when the hero called her "Beav". :)

PinkPeony said...

Nicola...
It was Anna who suggested I read "Kidnapped" and then I was on a roll.

And when Laura bent down from her mount and planted one on Dexter I had to wonder! So thanks for not leaving us hanging! Woo hoo!
Jen

Nicola Cornick said...

" Courage, grit, grace and the audacity to do exactly what no one expects her to do." Yes, I like that PinkPeony! When I'm writing heroines I think they all have to have strength of character whatever their other qualities. That brings us back to Scarlet O'Hara and all those other strong heroines, doesn't it. They can be quite dislikeable in some ways and yet command respect and even sympathy because they are courageous.

Hi Christine! Looking forward to meeting you too, and to reading Wicked Little Game, which sounds right up my street! Yes, it's very interesting about flawed heroines. Lizzie is my ultimate flawed heroine, I think, and maybe she will be too much for some readers. I agree we do seem to be more forgiving to the flawed hero but a heroine's journey can be fascinating.

Nicola Cornick said...

Anna, well we assume there are no murders in my village but who knows??? There was the time that we were doing some DIY and found those bones under the floor... My dh took them to the police and they asked him where his wife was! When he said I was visiting my mother the policeman said: "They all say that, sir!"

Nicola Cornick said...

LOL, yes, Anna you definitely write strong, unconventional heroines which is one of the many reasons I love your books!!

Toby Stephens is currently in Robin Hood alongside the gorgeous Richard Armitage, of course! (I knew I'd be able to squeeze a mention of RA in somewhere!)Toby Stephens was very pretty in Jane Eyre, wasn't he. And I fell for him like a ton of bricks in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall a few years ago.

Oh, so pleased you have seen the Northanger Abbey adaptation! I thought it was lovely and very well done. The heroine was adorable and the way she grew up during the story was really well done IMO. Was the Persuasion version the one with Rupert Penry Jones as Wentworth? There's a real danger of making Anne Elliot seem a drip isn't there. I love Persuasion, though. I got into an argument with Joanne Harris at the Oxford Lit Fest over Jane Austen - She said no Jane Austen heroine inspired her because they were too wet and irrelevant. I pointed out that for me the interest was in the fact that a character like Anne could make a monumental mistake when she was young and then learn and grow as a result. I'd say that TV adaptation of Persuasion wasn't the best but almost worth watching just for Rupert P-J. He'd make a good Dexter, now I come to think of it...

Nicola Cornick said...

Vanessa, congratulations on the scholarship to the RWA Nationals! How fabulous!!

LOL, Jen, Laura just couldn't let that opportunity pass her by! I'm so glad that you (and Anna - thank you!) liked Catriona Balfour in Kidnapped. It takes an awful lot to put me off my food and that was one character trait I was happy to share with her!

Helen said...

Well done Virginia have fun with him

What a great post Ladies I have heard so much about this series and can't wait to read it.

Nicola I have read one of your books and loved it I have another couple on the TBR pile and have been trying to get them all I am so glad they are going to be re printed I will be able to get them YAY.

The cruise sounds wonderful I have been on a cruise and some of the Islands we visited were amazing.

I have to say Scarlett O'Hara has always been a favourite of mine I too thought she was so strong and another favourite of mine was Jo from Little Women for me she was strong and determined and I always thought she was honest and stuck to her guns so to speak. I read a blog the other day on Anne Boleyn and she was such a strong person what a Lady.

Congrats Nicola on the new releases I am so looking forward to reading them

Have Fun
Helen

Laurie said...

Jade Sperry, Sandra Brown's heroine in Breath of Scandal. After becoming a successful business woman she goes after 3 men. Revenge for raping her when she was an innocent, young, beautiful, 18 yo from the wrong side of town.

I'd love to read your books! They sound GREAT!

Deb Marlowe said...

yay! My girl Nicola is in the Lair!

I'm sorry to hear that the connected series was difficult to write, my dear, but I'm still waiting for these books with baited breath!

And the covers. Holy moly! Gorgeousness abounds!

I have to say, I'm with Annie--I love Amelia Peabody! Or maybe she just basks in the reflected glow of Emerson--I LURVE Emerson!

I've been saving Kidnapped--the treat I intend to reward myself with when I make some serious progress--but with so many wonderful books coming, maybe I'd just better go ahead and read it....

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Nicola, I can't wait to read the new books. I love your writing, I have read several of your older books but haven't read Unmasked, now I will have to get it first and then go from there.

Caren Crane said...

Virginia, have you made him an official guest room yet? *g*

Nicola, it's so great to have you back in the Lair! We are slavering fans of yours, as you know, and this year sounds like it's going to be the Year Of Nicola! I can't wait to get started on this new series of yours.

I'm with PinkPeony on Mame Dennie. "Auntie Mame" (with Rosalind Russell, of course) is my favorite. It doesn't get quirkier than Mamie! *g*

I can forgive overbearing, pushy or over-the-top women, though, having grown up in a house full of them. They don't bother me at all in books and movies!

One of my recent favorites is Lady Sophia Dalby in Claudia Dain's "Courtesan" series. I love Sophia, who is strong, determined and incredibly clever. Love her!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Nicola,

Loved the post. Have a great day.

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh my gosh, Caren--YES!

Sophia Dalby has got to be one of the most fascinating characters to hit the pages! I love her humor and her unrepentant deviousness!

Now THAT's somebody I'd want to hang with at a party!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Helen! Thank you - I am thrilled that you have enjoyed my books. Yes, the cruise was absolutely amazing. The previous one I went on was to the Arctic, which provided a lot of inspiration for my current wip!

Hello Laurie! Jade Sperry sounds an amazingly strong heroine!

Hiya Deb! Another Amelia Peabody fan! I really have been missing out and must get these books at once!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Caren! Thanks so much for the warm welcome. I must check out Lady Sophia dalby. Like you and Deb I have great admiration for clever, devious women! Was Jane Austen's Lady Susan the first of those, I wonder?

jcp said...

Madeline from A Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth.

penney said...

Congratulations Virginia! I love your books
Penney

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Nicola,

Great interview and love the tidbits about the books of your new series. Can't wait to get my hands on all of them! I love the new covers and I love your work. Keep 'em coming!

I think my favorite heroine is Scarlett O'Hara. Gotta love her tenacity in the face of desperation and like a cat, she always lands on her feet! I also like the heroines written by Michele Ann Young. Her ladies in 'No Regrets' and 'Pistols at Dawn' didn't fit the mold for the ladies of the time period and I liked that.

Anna, you said: "I've never been able to get past the first 100 or so pages of GWTW". I must urge you to CONTINUE...I was the same way the first time I read that book in 1961, I had a hard time getting into it and really didn't get out of the first chapter. At the same time, the film was making an anniversary return performance in the theaters and I went to see it. After seeing the film, I picked up the book again and read it through in just a day or two.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good morning, Bandita Lair! Nicola, welcome back! We're so glad to have you. Wow, and bearing gifts too. Grins. LURVE the whale patting photo. That's amazing.

Unconventional heroines...hmmm...I've not yet had enough coffee to come up with much and someone may have already said this, but Anne Shirley Blythe, of LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series if probably my fav of all time. :> As to others? Once I've actually HAD coffee (they're hooking up the mainline drip now) Maybe I can think of somethign else.

Then again, I'd call all of Anna's heroines Unconventional w/ a capital U. Love me some Verity. And some Grace...

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi housemouse, hi jcp, hi penney and thank you for stopping by! So many great unconventional heroine nominations - and new books on my list to try!

Karen H - thank you for such kind words about my books. And Jeanne, I'm so glad you liked the whale patting photo! Apparently it's only the gray whales that approach boats like that. The mothers steer the babies in to meet you! It really was extraordinary.

flip said...

I love Scarlett O'Hara, I named my oldest daughter, Katie Scarlett. But she isn't my favorite unusual heroine. I also love Amelia Peabody. Have loved her for over 30 years. Phoebe Sommerville is also an excellent choice. Hmmm, I think that the most unusual heroine that I really like is Elena from the Women of otherworlds series. She is really different from other heroines.

Minna said...

My favourite unconventional heroine is Linnea Ravaska from Arto Paasilinna's book Suloinen myrkynkeittäjä, "The Sweet Poison Cook" (this one hasn't been translated in English yet). Her deceased husband's relative, who was also their foster child causes her plenty of trouble with his awful friends. And she finds a way to get rid of them for good.

Kristiina Wheeler - Sunny Day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ9dz9Cge1k

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, what an interesting description of the fun (?) you had writing the series. That's kinda how I imagined it would be if I ever wrote one. But as you say, there's the payoff of coming back to beloved characters and creating that rich world and living in it for a longer time. Laughed at the various pregnancy lengths!

Actually it's odd how practicalities come into play, isn't it? I have a fairly hot scene in the current story in the British Museum. Yes, love among the sarcophagi. Well, not quite to the love at the Great Exhibition stuff in Passion but a bit of heavy petting behind some relics. Which was fine until I discovered the British Museum was closed in August in the 1820s and that's when this story is set. These things are set to annoy we poor innocent authors, aren't they?

Have you ever had a problem where your research spoilt a REALLY good story idea?

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, congratulations on being our very deserving scholarship winner this year. As you can imagine, I was so thrilled when the votes were in and it was YOU!!!

Another SOH vote, huh? I still don't think I'd want her to move into my suburb!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, I'm really enjoying your insights into writing these books. Clearly with a series, you do develop some momentum, even if you have to cope with pregnancies of varying lengths! That's a nice thought! I'm gathering Lizzie is your favorite among your current heroines?

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, one of the really great things about Nicola is that she's got such a long backlist. Heaps of books to keep you entertained while you wait for the new one, not that you have to wait long in 2009 for a new Nicola Cornick! A couple of her oldies that I absolutely adored include Lord Greville's Captive which was nominated for a RITA, the Penniless Bride which is a real fairytale and The Wayward Widow (also nominated for a RITA) which is just rollicking good fun.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, how cool about the bones and the policeman. I can hear Inspector Barnaby saying that, indeed I can. What was the story behind them? Were they human? Actually, not sure I want to know. I'm hoping to visit and I want to come home again afterwards!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, when did Toby Stephens go to Robin Hood? I must say I think that show is just silly. Not even for RA could I watch it, which as you know is a huge statement for me! Who does TS play?

I think that was the Persuasion. Seriously, it opened with this drippy heroine wandering around a grey house and I think I gave up on it then. Looked worthy and not much fun. Glad you're a Northanger Abbey fan. I thought that was beautifully done - especially the visit to the gothic house. Loved the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Toby Stephens is a lovely Duke in Twelfth Night - have you seen that?

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I loved Jo from Little Women. Of course, I identified with her writing ambitions. I was always sorry she didn't marry Laurie, though. Never liked Amy. I remember crying my eyes out when Beth died! Hope that doesn't count as a spoiler!

Wow, Laurie! I had a Sandra Brown stage in the 90s where I read most of them, including that one. You're right - she does really amazing heroines.

For some reason, Laurie, your post made me think of some of Linda Howard's heroines. Perhaps the Southern connection. One of my favorites is an antisocial painter who ends up turning psychic in Now You See Her. Great book!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, you often base your stories around real historical events. Was that the case with any of these?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Deb, my buddy! You'll love Kidnapped. There's this delicious humor in it that will really appeal to you. Hope you get to it soon.

Dianna, you've got a treat ahead with Unmasked too. There's so much emotion in that. And some funny bits. The heroine can't ride which brings about a lot of comedy! Was nice to see a heroine who wasn't born on a horse for once! They're always such equestriennes in romance novels, aren't they? Not that I can talk - Olivia was too! Although Verity wasn't.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Posh, great inclusion in our unusual women series! Isn't it a treat to have so many NCs hitting our bookshops? Yay!

Hi Roberta! Is this your first visit to the Bandits? Lovely to see you! Seriously if you haven't read one, grab one of Nicola's books, you won't be sorry.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, I hope there's a cuddling to get warm scene in the Arctic story ;-)

I haven't read Lady Susan. I've read excerpts but not the whole thing. Personally I think clever devious women have always featured in stories. Because they're INTERESTING. Look at someone like Lady Macbeth (not sure I want her living next door either!) or Cressida or the Wife of Bath or the heroines of Restoration Comedies.

Anna Campbell said...

JCP, I love Winter Garden. That love scene gave me goosebumps! Great choice. Did you know Avon is reissuing WG? I'm so glad. It's actually quite hard to get and I won't lend out my copy in case it doesn't come back so all my friends will be happy.

Penney, another Nicola fan? Welcome! Welcome!

Anna Campbell said...

Karen, I have a couple of books I intend to read before I die. Among them are a couple of doorstoppers - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and GWTW. But they never seem to crawl to the top of the TBR pile ;-) I think Scarlett is definitely winning on points!

Michelle came to the Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne in February and she's lovely. I must check out her stories. Thanks for the recommendation.

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, what does a whale actually feel like?

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, had to laugh at you loving verity and grace. I would hope so, dear! ;-) Actually I couldn't get into the Anne books either when I was a kid although I watched the miniseries as an adult and loved it.

Flip, who writes the Women of Otherworlds series? I don't think I know them. And if she's your favorite with all that competition, she must be great!

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, eeek! I think I'd rather have Scarlett living next door. Come back, Scarlett! All is forgiven!

Beth said...

Nicola, so wonderful to have you with us in the lair! Your series sounds so fantastic - I can't wait to read it *g*

I hate to post and run but I'm heading back to the writing cave. There are only 9 days of school (and my peace and quiet *g*) left and I need to make the most of each and every minute ;-)

Nicola Cornick said...

Flip, Katie Scarlett is a gooorgeous name! I'm godmother to a little girl called Scarlett.

Oh Anna, that's maddening about the British Museum being closed when your characters wanted to get it on! I'm trying to think of an occasion when research has spoiled it for me! Oh and you're giving me too much credit on the RITA nominations LOL! Lord Greville's Captive was a RNA prize nominee not a RITA nominee - and I'm thrilled you liked it. I loved that one too and it was great to write a seventeenth century set book for a change. One day I'll do it again!

Nicola Cornick said...

No worries, Anna, it's perfectly safe to visit us here, really it is!! The bones were animal bones (though not dug up by monty this time!) and once the police had called round to make sure I really was safe and sound they were quite happy!

Nicola Cornick said...

Anna, Toby Stephens turned up in Robin Hood a few episodes ago playing King John and hamming it up for all he was worth. I have to admit that RH doesn't do it for me either, but I am *shocked* to hear that not even the gorgeous Richard Armitage could persuade you to watch it! Shocked!

Nicola Cornick said...

The whole of the Fortune's Folly trilogy is based on a real life event, Anna, albeit a modern one transposed into the Regency. You know how people can buy "Lord of the Manor" titles? I read in the papers a few years ago how someone had bought the lordship of a village in Sussex and had discovered he could impose all these ancient taxes on the villagers. He started to charge people to walk their dogs on the village green and use the footpaths and so on. Naturally the villagers rebelled and there was an outcry. I think he was thrown in the village duck pond. Anyway, this gave me the underlying idea of the whole trilogy, which is that a greedy village squire decides to levy taxes on all unmarried ladies in the village, which in turn leads to all these fortune hunters dropping by to persuade them that they'd be better off marrying than giving all their money to the squire!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Beth! How lovely to see you here! Totally understand about the 9 days of peace and quiet!! Best of luck!

Nicola Cornick said...

Whales feel like rubber, Anna, smooth and firm! I patted the baby whale and waited for it to swim away but it just stayed beside the boat so I stroked it some more and we looked at each other and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had!

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, good luck in the cave!

Oops, sorry for getting that mixed it. It was Lord of Scandal that was the other RITA nominee, wasn't it? Lord Greville SHOULD have been a RITA nominee! ;-)

Hmm, I think you could use the bones as the start of one of your great stories, m'dear. Perhaps handsome Cory could find them, as he is an archeologist!

Anna Campbell said...

Sadly in RH, there was too much wet stuff and not enough wonderful RA. And Marion drove me bananas! Guy should have gone for MEEEEEE!

Ooh, Nicola, how cool about the modern event inspiring your story. I'm not surprised the dork ended up in the duck pond - which should be rechristened the dork pond! Imagine if your guy had gone for droit de seigneur! Whoooeeeeee!

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, the whale story gives me goosebumps! Actually dolphins feel like wet firm rubber too. Way back in less politically correct days, I fed one at Marineland at the Gold Coast.

Nicola Cornick said...

The droit de seigneur is in trilogy book three, Anna! Yes, fortunately I don't think the real life dork went that far!

Minna said...

Minna, eeek! I think I'd rather have Scarlett living next door. Come back, Scarlett! All is forgiven!

Even Scarlett would have resorted to murder if she would have had to deal with the kind creeps Linnea had to deal with.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey ladies! What's this I hear about droit de seigneur? Hmmmm?

I love stories that involve it, whether it's skirting it a la Braveheart, or using it as a crucible experience. :> SOmetimes I believe that the social conventions of earlier times gives writers more leeway in plot stuff. In contemporaries, if a conversation can solve it, or you can slap the guy and leave, you got no story. Where as in years O-1900 you can have forced marriages, droit de seigneur, runaways, heiresses, etc.

Not that I'm complaining, hey I torture my characters too, but every now and again, I long to just say, "now she HAS to marry him, okay? Whether she wants to or not!" Grins.

Nicola, did you have fun writing for the anthology, or was it tough to write that short?

Christine Wells said...

Anna thanks for your lovely words about my lovely Vane! Nicola, I'll be sure to give you a copy of WICKED LITTLE GAME at National.

I was wondering how the anthology with Mary Balogh and Courtney Milan came about? Is that something your agents put together or did the authors come together and decide?

Can you also tell us a bit about your work for the National Trust? (My idea of heaven!!) and how that experience feeds into your stories?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh wait, the National Trust? I missed that part. I love the National Trust and am a member too.

Now I have to prowl back through the interview and see what I missed...

Keira Soleore said...

I'm here, I'm here, I'm here. *gasping* Sorry, I'm late, but... Yoo Hoo, Nicola. How's yous?

Virgina & Lime: I see a rather ruffled GR coming up with you two tussling for him.

Off to read Nicola's and Fo's what-I-am-sure-is-a brilliant interview.

Keira Soleore said...

But before I do that...

VANE

IS

MINE !!!

Just so everyone is clear on this.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tell us how you really feel, Keira!

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne, you didn't miss anything. I know about Nicola's NT work from elsewhere (think Fo told me!)

Christine Wells said...

Snork! Keira, I'm delighted that Vane inspires such belligerence in your otherwise mild-mannered self:)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Whew! Thanks for setting that straight Christine. I was thinking I was going stark raving mad - then again it wouldn't be a long trip given the state of the Mess in PRogress. :>

A scan through the interview and the comments brought no mention of the NT! Ha!

Nicola Cornick said...

Jeanne, so pleased the droit de seigneur is one of your favourites! I was hooked on the idea ever since I read a Jean Plaidy book about William the Conqueror years ago. And I felt really pleased to be able to use it in The Undoing of a Lady!

Jeanne, Christine, the anthology story is a reprint of A Season for Suitors. The Mary Balogh story is a reprint as well. Only Courtney is original! And I for one will be buying the book on the strength of that alone. I'm really looking forward to her HQN debut novel - it sounds absolutely fabulous!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, I've read Courtney's debut and it's fantastic. I think she's a major talent.

Nicola Cornick said...

Christine, thanks for asking about the NT stuff! Any excuse to talk about my lovely, lovely house! Yes, it is MINE! Actually, Ashdown is currently for sale for a cool £4.5 million, so if you know anyone who can spare the cash...

No, really, I get such a thrill working in a seventeenth century house. I take visitors on guided tours and tell them the history of the estate and just walking in the door gives me a frisson every time. I love sharing the place and I learn such a lot from the visitors. There's a timeless feel about Ashdown - it's an easy leap to imagine you're sweeping up the staircase in the 17th century, or sweeping the staircase, since I expect I would have been a servant! The portrait collection has some good looking guys in armour to lust after (ahem!)so it's all very inspirational for a historical romance author!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Keira! Fantastic to see you here! And thank you so much to everyone for such a fun day. I always have the best time with the Bandits! Sadly it's my bedtime now but I will pop back in the morning to talk to anyone I've missed. Thank you, Anna, for inviting me, and thank you once again for being such a great group to hang out with!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Nicola. Sleep tight. We'll keep the lair buzzing in your absence and have a nice cold margarita waiting for you when you return!

chey said...

My favourite unconventional heroine, is fictional. It is Claire Fraser of the Outlander series.
The heroine is different and unusual when she is progressive for her times, and annoying when her stubborn actions/inaction cause danger to herself and others.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, when you come back Nicola, I want to hear more about Ashdown!

Sleep tight in your mighty houseen adn come back to visit soon!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna, what lovely guest you always bring to the Lair. Of course it's great when it's just you too, but how fun to chat with someone s prolific as Nicola!

PJ said...

I've been trying to get here all day! Great interview Anna and Nicola!

I'm looking forward to your new books, Nicola. I enjoy reading about unconventional heroines. One of my favorites is Annique Villiers, the cunning French spy and heroine of Jo Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady. I don't think I've ever encountered another heroine quite like her. She was magnificent!

Helen said...

Anna I agree Michele Ann Youngs heroines are different and both the books that I have read were great. I gotta say I think that your three heroines Verity, Grace and Olivia were different as well but excellent and so well matched to their wonderful heros

I have Unmasked here to read I will be moving it up the TBR pile and looking forward to it

Have Fun
Helen

flip said...

Anna, The Women of Otherworld is a Kelley Armstrong series.

Nancy said...

Virginia, congrats on the GR!

Nicola, welcome! Terrific interview, Anna.

Nicola, your books sound like great fun. It's hard to know where to start, so what do you recommend?

My favorite actual unconventional heroines are Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, and Queen Elizabeth I.

Right now, I'm drawing a blank on fictional ones, which is strange in view of all the books in this room.

I've always wanted to go whale-watching, but the timing has never been right. *sigh* We went dolphin-watching once and had a great time.

Nancy said...

Fictional unconventional heroines . . . Scotia, the heroine in Gerri Russell's wonderful The Warrior Trainer, many of Patricia Rice's wonderful historical heroines, Raine Benares in Lisa Shearin's series, Carlotta Wren in Stephanie Bond's Body Movers series, Wren Valere in Laura Anne Gilman's Retrievers series (urban fantasy from Luna).

Nancy Drew, who was unconventional for her day.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, hadn't thought about Wren, Nancy, but she's a fav for me too. I also like the female detective in the A is for Alibi series, Kinsey Milhone. And I have a sort of remote fondness for Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. I can't take too much of her at one sitting because then she annoys me, but with a long pause between books, I like her. :>

Anna Campbell said...

Chey, I ran a favorite romance hero contest and I've got to say Jamie Fraser was joint number one! Claire clearly was a very lucky girl ;-)

Jeanne, Nicola is fascinating about Ashdown. It's actually the home of a rather tragic love story!

sherrinda said...

This is totally embarrassing, but how could I not have read any of these books? Seriously, the covers alon would have drawn me in...they are gorgeous! I jumped over to Nicola's blog and loved the trailer for Confessions of a Duchess. Beautiful!!! Great interview!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, so glad you've enjoyed Nicola's visit. She's great, isn't she?

PJ, I've heard so much buzz about the Jo Bourne books! I'm not surprised she's a double RITA finalist this year. She's a honey, too. I hope you get to meet her at Nationals. Yay, not long now!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, you'll love Unmasked. It's quite different too. Won't say more, it will spoil it. But a group of female highwaymen make a great start for a story! Thanks for those lovely words about my heroines. I think I'm naturally drawn to flawed, offbeat heroines - always makes the story more interesting for me.

Thanks, Flip. I'll keep an eye out for them. So many good books, so little time!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I've never done formal whale watching but I was lucky enough to be in Western Australia when the whales were migrating and saw them from Rottnest Island doing the jump up and smash down thing - apparently male mating behavior! And a mother and baby came and played around the ferry when I went out to the island - absolutely magical. They're amazing creatures.

Love all your real life heroines! I must say Elizabeth I is one of mine too. I spent a lot of time researching a book set in her reign that I never actually got around to writing. Loved all the reading, though.

Anna Campbell said...

Sherrinda, thanks for checking out Nicola's trailer and website. Both the covers and the trailers are gorgeous, aren't they? Love the colors! And what a treat! You're a Nicola Cornick virgin! ;-)

Caffey said...

Hi Nicola!! Great to see this whole post and this series! I can't put into words how excited I am about them! I remember discovering your books with a HH,MISS VEREY'S PROPOSAL, and then had so much fun reading them since. I love the writing voice and how it grabs me right in and how I it feels like being there. I'm not sure what you mean by an unconventional heroine? You mean one that is not as usual for that time period? I'm not good with the historical accuracy so for me, its if the author makes the story work with the heroine, it works for me as a read! I'm thinking then along the line of a Lisa Kleypas I read that the heroine fell in love with a Stable Boy in AGAIN THE MAGIC. A beautiful book and two that wouldn't have gone together during that time period.

Gannon Carr said...

Better late than never, right? Great interview, Anna and Nicola. And by the way, Nicola, the covers of your books are absolutely gorgeous!

I agree with PJ about Annique Villiers--a unique and amazing heroine! Another one of my favorites is Claire from the Outlander series. Of course, she happens to be paired with one of my all time favorite heroes, Jamie Fraser!

Anna Campbell said...

Caffey, great to meet another Nicola Cornick fan. I haven't read Miss Verey's Proposal. That's one of the reasons I'm excited that they're releasing Nicola's backlist!

Gannon, thanks for swinging by. And you're only fashionably late ;-) Another Claire Fraser and Annique fan. Whoo-hooo!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I'm just gonna say it...Luv ya, Caffey. Anyone who just dives in and goes for the story without caring about the historical details that much? My kind of reader. Not that I write historicals, mind you, or have to worry about it, but I gotta love a reader who's willing to just go with it and enjoy the tale.

I am a real fan of authors who get all the details right, but like Caffey, if the story's good, you could tell me Elizabeth I was really a hermaphrodite and I'd go with it for the sake of the story.

Grins.

flchen1 said...

Soooo late to the party! Congrats on your latest, Nicola! As for unconventional heroines, I guess a fun one is the one Julia Roberts played in Pretty Woman--not quite the polished miss! Or the heroine in Debbie Macomber's Morning Comes Softly--I like that one because she's acknowledged to be plain and unassuming, and pretty much remains that way. I loved that she didn't find true love by getting a makeover ;)

Pat Cochran said...

Anna Campbell's heroines in Claiming The Courtesan and Tempt The Devil are among my favorite, most truly unforgettable and "unconventional ladies." Their unusual ways of life and memorable battles royal with their heroes have earned them a spot on my keeper shelves.

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, does this heroine still get her man? I like the sound of this book!

Pat, mwah to you! Thank you for mentioning Olivia and Verity.

Nicola Cornick said...

Goodness, how busy you’ve all been whilst I was asleep! More on Ashdown, Jeanne, hmmm? I could write a whole essay! Yes, Anna’s right, there is a very sad love story about the place. It was originally built by the Earl of Craven, who was a very dashing cavalier, for Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen. William Craven had been devoted to her for 40 years and it was said that they had married in secret. Sadly Elizabeth died whilst the house was being built and Craven lost interest in it as a result and never went there because it reminded him too poignantly of her. Apparently their initials were entwined on all the gateposts with a picture of cupid shooting his arrows!

Nicola Cornick said...

Chey, I like Clare Fraser very much as an unconventional heroine. And PJ, I’ve heard a lot about Annique Villiers and have the book on my TBR pile as we speak. And Nancy Drew, yes she was a great favourite of mine too.

Hi Nancy! Your dolphin watching sounds wonderful. Actually my dh nominated the dolphin watching as his favourite part of our holiday. When they surfed along the bow wave of the ship it was quite something!

Hi Sherrinda! Thank you so much – I’m so glad you enjoyed the book trailer. I have one for each of the books in the series so will be putting them up each month. I think they’re lots of fun!

Caffey! Thank you for dropping by and I’m thrilled you enjoy my books! I still have a soft spot for Miss Verey’s Proposal. It’s a trad Regency and very sweet, I think!

I like the sound of the heroine of Morning Comes Softly, Flchen1. Laura in Confessions of a Duchess is plain but then on all the artwork they made her look stunning! Maybe it’s the confidence that gorgeous gown can give!

I’ve got so many recommendations for good books today from you all –it’s been magnificent!

I'm off to Scotland now (how's that for an exit line!) so I will raise a dram or two to toast the Banditas and their visitors. Thanks for having me and for being so great. Slainte Mhath!

Blodeuedd said...

The look so good :)
Well honestly, I do think Scarlett is my fav, but on the other hand I find her extremely annoying, as I do many, while loving them

Anna Campbell said...

Bloduedd, it's official Scarlett gets the blue ribbon. Uh, Blue gets the Scarlett... Whatever!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everyone, for a great day in the lair and for giving Nicola such a warm welcome. Thanks, Nicola, for being a wonderful guest! Good luck with all your new releases. They sound scrummy!

And don't forget to check back in the next day or so to see who won the prizes - a download of THE SECRETS OF A COURTESAN and a signed copy of THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS. Whoever wins is a lucky duck!

flchen1 said...

Oh, yes she does, Anna--that's partly why it's one of my favorite books. The story focuses on how his perception of her is transformed, not on how *she's* transformed. And since I think that's truly part of how love changes us, I really enjoyed the story.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, that sounds lovely. I must find it!