Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love in a Cold Climate

by Anna Campbell

I'm delighted to welcome back one of my favorite writers, one of my favorite people and a lair regular (wow, I hope you're paying me for this intro, Miss Cornick!), Nicola Cornick.

Nicola is here to tell us about her latest historical romance WHISPER OF SCANDAL, the first in her new "Scandalous Women of the Ton" series. They all sound absolutely delicious. The next books in the series are ONE WICKED SIN (November 2010) and MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT (December 2010).

This is the blurb for WHISPER OF SCANDAL:

One whisper of scandal and a reputation dies…


Lady Joanna Ware is the darling of the Ton, a society hostess who has put behind her the misery of her unhappy marriage to a philanderer. Until her late husband bequeaths to her joint care of his illegitimate child…

Alexander, Lord Grant, is an explorer lauded as a hero and adventurer. He scorns the Ton and wants no family ties. Until his best friend bequeaths to him joint care of his illegitimate child…

Joanna and Alex disagree from the moment they first meet, so how are they ever to stay civil long enough to join forces and rescue the orphaned baby girl? Saving Nina takes them from the celebrity salons and balls of Regency London to the frozen wastes of the North Pole and tests both of them - and their emotions - to the very limit. For what will happen when their bitter hostility turns to an equally passionate desire?

Beware of scandalous women...


You can read an excerpt of WHISPER OF SCANDAL on Nicola's website: http://www.nicolacornick.co.uk/books/whisper.php

Don't forget you can order Nicola's books from Amazon merely by clicking on the covers in the blog. Or you can get them sent post-free anywhere in the world from the Book Depository.

So here's Nicola to tell you about some of the unusual inspirations behind WHISPER OF SCANDAL.

WHISPER OF SCANDAL, my “Arctic Regency,” is a book I’ve been researching for twenty years on and off, ever since I fell in love with the Far North. I come from Viking stock so maybe this attraction to all things polar is natural. I’m a bit like a goose that simply has to fly north for the summer. Usually my annual trips to Scotland are enough to satisfy me but sometimes Scotland simply doesn’t feel far enough. Then things get serious and it’s time for Iceland, Norway and if all else fails, Spitsbergen, right up above the Arctic Circle.


The first trip I made to 60 degrees north was to Iceland and it was amazing. We swam in hot springs, enjoyed the pleasures of bathing in “therapeutic” mud and walked on glaciers and volcanoes, sometimes at the same time. One of my overpowering memories of the trip, though, was the cold. We were camping. Not a good combination. Snuggled up in our tent at night under several layers of thermal sleeping bag it was still too cold to sleep. Shared bodily warmth really is essential in these conditions, for purely practical reasons.

Our second trip, to Tromso in northern Norway, was a special expedition to see the Northern Lights. This time we beat the cold problem by renting a cosy little wooden log cabin out by a lake. The locals told us that the Aurora Borealis came out every night at precisely 8pm. This seemed extraordinary but turned out to be true. Lying in the snow gazing up at the lights as they flickered across the sky was one of most exciting and magical experiences of my life.

And then to Spitsbergen, and a cruise around the island that was utterly extraordinary. So many of the scenes that feature in Whisper of Scandal were based on our experiences of that trip, from getting trapped in the ice (luckily we were in a converted ice-breaker not a 19th century sailing ship) to the party we had on deck under the midnight sun on the last night of the voyage.

The historical research was fascinating as well. The idea of a northern sea route along the coast of Russia to the Far East had been discussed as early as the sixteenth century and frequent attempts were made down the centuries to find this “North East Passage.” By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the British and other European nations were keen to establish a trade route via the Arctic but the dangers of such a voyage were considerable. Not for nothing was the phrase “safe return doubtful” included in the advertisements asking for men to volunteer for these voyages!

I read up on the account of Horatio Nelson’s Arctic expedition of 1773 aboard the rather alarmingly named HMS Carcass and also Constatine Phipps’ account of the same voyage. Officers for these expeditions were carefully chosen; the Admiralty wanted only the most daring and courageous men who also had stamina and a cool head in an emergency. They offered crews double pay for Arctic Service and a reward of £25 000 to the captain who discovered a route through the ice, but conditions were so extreme that any sane man would have to think twice about taking the challenge. The 1773 expedition ended in failure when the ships became trapped in the ice and were almost crushed. Only a sudden change in the weather and the onset of milder conditions saved the crews. It is from this expedition that the story of Horatio Nelson wrestling a polar bear comes. Nelson had been out on the ice, trying to discover a way through to clear water, when the bear attacked. Nelson beat it off and the bear ran away. No doubt apocryphal, the story of the bear and of Nelson’s heroism in extreme danger only served to burnish his legend.

I also read the memoirs of other nineteenth century travellers who had visited the far north of Russia and ridden across the Steppes. Lady travellers to Scandinavia were few and far between but they were not unknown. Their tales recorded how they learned to row, how they rode astride because it was faster and safer and how one woman gave birth in the Russian steppes and took her newborn baby to Spitsbergen. The Russian tradition that I refer to in the book of wrapping one’s firstborn child in a “lucky” shirt to bring it great happiness and riches is taken from one of these memoirs.

WHISPER OF SCANDAL is a book particularly close to my heart, a story about my love affair with the North as well as the love affair of my hero and heroine, Alex and Joanna. It’s the first in a series of books with unusual historical backgrounds, albeit all very different from each other. And now that I have written my Arctic Regency there’s only one direction to head in, I think, and that is South for a sequel…

So Nicola wants to know - what creative ways can you think of to stay warm in a cold climate? Her favorite answer wins a signed copy of WHISPER OF SCANDAL and a cuddly polar bear toy to keep you snuggly at night! Good luck!

134 comments:

barb said...

mine today?????

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Barb, well done, you!

flchen1 said...

Ooh, excellent, Barb! Have fun with that bird!

And hi, Nicola! Whisper of Scandal sounds especially enticing! Somehow the great wide North has always had a special appeal--it's so beautiful and leaves me with feelings of vast, incredible up-close-to nature kind of stuff! (Boy, that doesn't sound terribly coherent!)

As for ways to stay warm in such a cold place? The usuals, of course--snuggling up with one's loved one(s) under a warm blanket, enjoying a fire, indulging in hot cocoa and s'mores... Or maybe if one has privacy, enjoying the warmth by the fire and blanket in other ways, using inspiration from some fabulous books and/or one's imagination :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Drat you, Barb! You beat me! Had to stop by to say "Hello" to my friend Nicola AKA Monty's Mum !! All of her books are SUCH a treat and I am really looking forward to this one!

How to stay warm on a cold Arctic night? You mean besides cuddling up with Richard Armitage and ... I mean OR, that's right, OR Gerard Butler?

Why for me, of course, the next best thing is to cuddle up with any or all of my canine and feline tenants! I know the Aussies have a three dog night. For a Southerner, a six dog night is REALLY a cold one! No need for an electric blanket at my house! If each of the dogs and cats is in his or her spot I am as warm as toast. The only down side is that if I shift at all then everyone else has to shift as well.

Daz said...

Hey barb, well done on getting the chook.

Nicola, the North Pole ... wow! Talk about an exotic location. How amazing. I want to read to book just to find out how the hero and heroine navigate the dangers of traveling through the Arctic.

I'm not one for the cold, so in order to stay warm, I stay far, far away from places that are too cold - like the North Pole. The coldest I've been is Calgary, Canada in the winter where it got to -50dC and let me tell you ... that was COLD! I have to say, that was a while ago now and I can't remember how I stayed warm there, but I must have managed it since I'm still around and not a frozen popsicle somewhere in Canada.

Blodeuedd said...

I love that it takes place in the north :)

Good ways, well last winter it was "only" -30 c (-22 F?). Not as cold as higher up north. But still what I do is dress in layers, and inside again a warm shower is wonderful, together with tea and going back to a warm bed :)

Karyn Gerrard said...

Nicola, love your books, well, coming from Canada staying warm is must! I just cuddle up to my pot bellied stove, yep...the hubby-snort- look forward to your new releases!

Minna said...

Ways to stay warm? Hot chocolate! Or hot tea and chocolate.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, I've always had a yen for the vast north too. One day, I'm going to get above the Arctic Circle and dance with the polar bears. Well, maybe just survey them from a distance ;-) I've got a friend who's travelled widely in Alaska and it looks amazing!

If you're looking for inspiration, can I recommend Nicola's books? Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, Louisa, for some reason, I'm hearing "And then the little one said, roll over, roll over..." Could end up quite chaotic on a cold, dark night at your place!

Anna Campbell said...

Daz, Calgary sounds INCREDIBLY cold! Brrrr! I hit Europe in 1985 during their coldest winter in 100 years and I was seriously cold and that wasn't even in the far north parts. I'm talking about France and Spain!

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeuedd, immersion in hot water is a great way to get warm, isn't it? You'll notice I'm manfully avoiding mentioning Richard Armitage like Louisa did!

Anna Campbell said...

Karyn, glad you're already a fan. I'm so looking forward to these books. Have been forever, since Nicola told me about the Arctic connection. Laughed at the pot bellied stove cuddling!

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, love the sound of hot chocolate! I might actually reach for something a bit stronger though. Oh, no, I'm back at Richard Armitage!

Nicola Cornick said...

Wow, Anna, what an introduction! Thank you! It's a huge pleasure to be back in the Bandits' lair.

Flchen1, I'm happy to hear you share my love of those vast empty Arctic spaces. It was fabulous and definitely did make me feel close to nature, although it felt a bit too close when I was on the same bit of ice as a huge polar bear!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Louisa! Thank you so much for dropping by to say hello! Love the thought of Richard Armitage as a way to ward off the cold! I hadn't heard of the expression "A three dog night." Yes, could have done with Monty as a hot water bottle on some of those Icelandic nights. Apparently the dogs are supposed to warn of polar bear attack in the Arctic but sometimes they just snuggle up to them instead. Amazing!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Nicola!

OOO! I'm green with envy that you've seen the Northern Lights. (Aunty pouts) And I haven't been to Iceland either!

Cold?!?! What's that??? I'm always too warm. Haven't had a blanket on my side of the bed in years. Staying warm in the Arctic would undoubtedly include cuddling up to ME! Hear that Gerry?!?! AHEM!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Forgot to say CONGRATS on the GR, Barb! Guard the Tim Tams and have a fun day.

AC

Nicola Cornick said...

Daz, I like the practicality of staying away from the cold as a way of keeping warm. Yep, can't beat that!

Blodeuedd minus 30c??? And they say England is a cold climate!

Nicola Cornick said...

Ha ha Karyn - the pot-bellied stove!! Must tell my dh. Great description!

Minna, all this talk of hot chocolate and snuggling up has sent me back to the kettle for a cup of tea. Early morning here in the UK, not Arctic cold but definitely need something warming. A pity RA has so many calls on his time...

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, I'd like to know a little bit more about the next two books in the series. Can you give us a few hints? Beautiful covers, by the way!

Anna Campbell said...

AC, I too have a yen to see the Northern Lights. Isn't that photo amazing? Love it. There was a lovely doco on TV here a few months ago where Joanna Lumley of Absolutely Fabulous fame went north looking for the lights. She actually found them - it was a wonderful piece of television.

Nicola Cornick said...

Thanks for the welcome, Loucinda! It's lovely to be here. I know you are no stranger to exotic settings yourself and I love books set somewhere a little bit different. Feels like a virtual trip then as well as a great read. I've just finished reading a Dick Francis thriller set on cross-Canada race train. Loved it!

Pat Cochran said...

For many years, this Grandma kept
the babies in the family while the
mommies worked. They would bring
the little ones in, tuck them into the bed with me, put up the bedrails, and off they would go. The babies,heat-seeking and heat-producing little missiles that they were, snuggled up next to me and I was never cold in winter. That would be my way to
stay warm in a cold place. Lots
of sweet babies can produce lots
of warmth, believe me!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, that sounds absolutely lovely. How they must love you! Actually a slightly different thing, but I love a cat snuggling up on my lap on a cold day, both of us happy as can be to be sharing the body warmth!

barb said...

Have got back now LOL... taken GR for a stroll in the sun as it is a lovely afternoon here.

your books sounds great Nicola and we need a bit of cold here as we are heading into spring and then hot summer.....so just out in time to keep us cool..... the nearest cold place south of here is the Antartic and there are no places to visit there. It is a long time since I have really felt the cold as I used to when I was in the UK... we used to go out to play in the snow when I was a kid and then go in when fingers and toes were freezing....I think I would just hibernate with a good book if I had to be in the cold again....

barb said...

Sorry forgot to apologise to Louisa
for getting GR LOL

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! I cannot fathom cold after living in Hawaii for a year. But here are three steps to pretend you are basking in the Hawaiian sun:

- Imitate an Oreo cookie with the Cabana boys (they being the cookie part, you being the creme)

- Drink ChocoVine, "The tates of Dutch Chocolate and red wine". Hubby found this in the Hickam Exchange and it is made in Holland. It tastes a little like Bailey's Chocolate Irish Cream.

- Read the hot romances from the Bandits.

And come visit me!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Nicola and Anna! Nicola, congrats on the release of WHISPER OF SCANDAL. An Arctic Regency--wow! I just popped over to read the excerpt and I can't wait to see what happens next.

I love winter, though I say that having never experienced the kind of weather where you have to chip the ice off your car before getting inside. I'm hoping someone will invent an attractive electric Snuggie that I could wear while waiting for my train at 5:30am.

Anna Campbell said...

Barb, there's something absolutely delicious about curling up with a good book on a cold day, isn't there? I'm really enjoying our spring but I think it's going to be a scorcher of a summer. It's already warmer than usual for September. Glad you're giving the rooster some exercise. Helen fed him so many Tim Tams, he's turned into the Golden TURKEY!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Barb. That apology DRIPPED with sincerity! NOT!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Kim, I'd love to come and visit you. Perhaps one day! Did I tell you they've started on authors on cruises program down here? I'm going to New Zealand at the end of November for two weeks. Maybe one day, they'll sail to Hawaii and take me! Love your suggestions for keeping warm - actually I must say I think you're the naughtiest one we've had yet. Nicola was worried that the Bandits would be scurrilous. I told her Bandits are NEVER scurrilous! We run a classy joint here!

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, I always giggle at the Snuggie ads. I bet the kids who DO wear them outside get beaten up! They're so daggy!

Hmm, am I about to hear howls of protest at how marvellous the Snuggie really is? I'm waiting...

Yeah, Nicola had me at Arctic and Regency romance. I don't think I've ever read one with that setting before. It's so intriguing.

barb said...

Now Anna, don't be like that I really meant it (tongue in cheek)

Anna Campbell said...

Snickering here, Barb. But I'm an evil cynical person! I'm sure Louisa appreciates your sensitivity to her bruised feelings in missing out on Sir Chook!

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Anna and Nicola, wonderful post!

Nicola, your travel experiences and research for writing this Regency with an Arctic setting sound fascinating. With a warning of "Safe Return Doubtful", the men who volunteered to go on those Arctic voyages must have been real danger-addicts. How brutal the cold must have been!

As for my preferred method for staying warm, I am very fond of snuggling up and sharing my cold hands and feet with my dh when he'll let me! Failing that, a hot water bottle - it never complains! LOL

Good luck with Whisper of Scandal - it sounds brilliant so I'm off to track it down and add it to my TBR!

:)
Sharon

PinkPeony said...

Hello Nicola! Hey Anna!

Wow...I love your covers! Step aside Sophia Loren! Your heroine's have great shoulders and...poitrine. :)

How to stay warm...Me in a sleeping bag with a naked Clive Owen.

Grins,
Jen

Congrats on the GR, Barb!

Nicola Cornick said...

Thanks for asking about the new series, Anna! It's a series of six books with heroines who do different (or scandalous) things - like travelling to the Arctic! The books are loosely intertwined with the same characters appearing in each book because as you know I love series and just can't let my characters go. Plus the books have different/unusual background elements. One Wicked Sin is set against the background of Napoleonic prisoners of war in England whilst Mistress By Midnight features the London beer Flood of 1814!

Nicola Cornick said...

Awww, Pat, I absolutely love that story. What a great way to keep warm! Babies as heat-seeking and heat-producing missiles!

Nicola Cornick said...

Barb and Kim, actually a little warmth wouldn't go amiss round here in the UK. Last weekend was gorgeous but now we are heading firmly towards autumn!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Vanessa, and thank you - I'm glad you like the sound of Whisper of Scandal!

Sharon, absolutely those explorers were danger addicts! Well, the officers at least. The other guys maybe didn't have a choice. But I read one book that commented that there were a lot of young, dashing officers who had served in the Napoloenic wars and were looking for challenge and adventure and so signed up for the Arctic expeditions.

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Jen! Glad you like the covers. Yes, we have both front and back cleavage!

Helen said...

Whoo Hoo Barbara I will be down for a cuppa

Nicola
I am soo looking forward to reading this new book I love your stories and one set in the cold sounds even better to me I love the cold weather. I do love those photos beautiful

For me I would have to stay in bed with a roaring fire going and of course a fantastic hero to keep me warm what a way to spend some time YAY.

Congrats on the release Nicola and thank you Anna for inviting Nicola back today

Have Fun
Helen

Annie West said...

Hi Nicola,

Lovely to see you here and hear about your latest book. Sounds delicious! And as for the research - how intrepid you are! I was nodding at the idea of warm springs in Iceland (a place I've long wanted to visit) but camping? No thank you! Love the sound of the Northern Lights. Another thing on my wishlist...

As for keeping warm my instant reaction is to say shared body warmth (I do write 'Sexys' after all!). But my other answer is one I don't really want to try. I remember reading the memoirs of a man who spent a year or so living amount the Inuits a long time ago. he noted that there was nothing like eating frozen blubber to warm you up! Imagine that.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I could handle the cold a lot better now than when I was younger, like AC I would be one everyone would want to snuggle up with. I kind of generate heat randomly....LOL
On the rare occasion I do get cold it is all about layers for me. The more layers the better you can regulate the heat.
The new series sounds awesome of course Nicola, I am still working on getting your backlist.

Maureen said...

What a great setting for a book. As we are ending summer your post reminds me that the cold will be back soon. The nice thing about a cold winter day is that you get more time for reading. I do enjoy a warm blanket, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Helen! Thank you - I'm so pleased you liked the photos! Annie, we do do some very intrepid trips (I sometimes think I should have been a travel writer) but I have to admit that the older I get the less keen I am on camping, especially out in the cold!

Nicola Cornick said...

LOL Dianna, people like you who generate warmth are very useful and would be in great demand in the Arctic! Fortunately my dh is another "generator"!

Maureen, I love the thought of winter giving me more time to cuddle up and read. This blog is very bad for my comfort food intake - I've had three cups of tea and a chocolate eclair already this morning!

Dianna Love said...

Nicola -
How very creative to expand a historical to somewhere like the North Pole and other exotic areas. But traveling there looks awesome. Your post alone makes me want to try your new book. Congratulations on turning your passion for the North Pole into a novel.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Nicola and Anna
Nicola, your books sounds absolutely fascinating- I love the plotline and I also love the idea of the so-different setting.
Staying warm? I can't beat a DH who thoughtfully warms my side of the bed for me with his body heat before I hop in and kitties who warm my feet!
I hate being cold but it is something I might have to endure if I want to see those fabulous northern lights...

Kirsten said...

How to stay warm, well I could do the obvious and make a cocoa, wrap myself in a woolen quilt and read a fabulous romance but...

I think it would be a lot more fun to "kidnap" a hot guy and have him play me a lovesong on his guitar. Think Gerald Butler in PS I Love You. (Yes that scene without the shirt. What do I care it's freezing for him) Music always gets my blood pumping. And his hautingly beautiful voice and sexy grin afterwarths would lead to building a fire for sure!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Kandy! So you have a toastie warm dh too! They are very useful!

Dianna, thank you! Until I started to read up on the history of Arctic exploration I hadn't thought to set a book there. I was thrilled when I discovered there was so much unusual background to draw on.

Kirsten, I'm smiling at the thought of a shirtless Gerard Butler trying to serenade you amidst all that snow and ice. Perhaps you could retire to one of those lovely warm yurts we tried out after the dog-sledding. They had a fire in the middle and like Gerard were very hot! Or there is the sauna, which features in avery hot scene in the book!

Anna Campbell said...

Sharon, I thought you'd enjoy the post - you're such an intrepid traveler yourself.

Just FYI, Sharon and her husband did a really adventurous tour around vast areas of Australia on motorbikes!

Laughed at the hot water bottle not complaining. I bet Karyn's pot bellied stove does! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, aren't the covers gorgeous? I've loved all Nicola's covers. Check out the Brides of Fortune ones. They're beautiful too. You know I had to look up 'poitrine' - now I want to use it somewhere!

Anna Campbell said...

The London beer flood? I know some Aussies who would have loved to see that!!!! I'd never heard about it. I love the sound of the new books.
What fun you must have had researching them!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Nicola, love the sound of the young, dashing officers!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I like your idea for keeping warm. So glad you love Nicola's stories too! And I like cold weather as well. There's something nice about snuggling down under an eiderdown (or a hero?).

Laurie said...

Your pictures... WOW love the one on the boat with your husband. It looks so COLD with those ice flows floating in the water.
I've lived through -50* wind chills and broken water pipes in Wisconsin. I'd rather be too hot than too cold!!!
Ways to stay warm :cross country ski, you'll be stripping off your clothes in no time. Keep active in the bedroom and out. Fires in the fireplace are so romantic and smell so good. Put on some romantic music and grab your guy. Can't beat it! You can even roast your meal over the fire!

I hate getting wet when it's cold...it's freezing while you dry off!!

Love your books Nicola!

Anna Campbell said...

Ugh, frozen blubber? Really? Sounds foul! Annie, thought you'd enjoy the post. I know how much you love to travel. I've always wanted to visit Iceland too - preferably when the volcanoes are NOT going wild!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, Nicola's backlist is fabulous. Two of my favorites are Kidnapped: His Innocent Mistress which made me laugh. The heroine is absolutely dauntless and she never loses her appetite. That's a woman I love! And Lord Greville's Captive is fantastic too. It's set during the English Civil War and the story is just heart wrenching and so romantic. Oh, and I loved the Wayward Widow. That was the first book of Nicola's I ever read and I've been a fan ever since. Oh, and then there's the Last Rake in London which is set in the Edwardian period and features a really cool, rakish hero!

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, I love the sound of your cold day. I like curling up with a book on a rainy day too (actually I ALWAYS like curling up with a book!).

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha! Nicola, it sounds like we're giving you a very nice day with all those treats!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, isn't it great to see a slightly different setting in a Regency? Love it! Thanks for swinging by.

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, what a lovely picture of the cats and the dh cuddled up and keeping you warm! Thanks for swinging by. Wasn't it an interesting post?

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Kirsten, I like your suggestions! All of them, even the woolen quilt one!

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, aren't the pictures fantastic? One of the reasons I keep inviting Nicola back is that she supplies the BEST illustrations! Oh, and I've got to say the blog posts aren't too bad either, LOL!

Deb said...

Nicola, what a great and unusual setting! I'm looking forward to the book. Thanks for the interview, Anna and Nicola.

Keeping Warm----
Romantically: Snuggling up with my DH and sipping a cup of hot chocolate. (Nibbling on a Tim Tam or two as well.)

Realistically: Crank up the heat, sweet pea! I've also worn my DH's long underwear to bed. :) For the first time, last year, I wore a pair of my son's old Carharts when I went out to shovel the drive.

Nicola Cornick said...

Wow, a trip around Australia on motorbikes! That sounds amazing. The southern hemisphere is definitely on my "to visit" list, and soon!

Anna, when I told my brother in law about the London Beer Flood his eyes lit up at the concept!

Rebekah E. said...

For me it is snuggling. Thanks for coming today.

Nicola Cornick said...

I'm so glad people like the concept of the Arctic Regency! And thank you, Laurie,for your comments about the photos. My dh is a very keen photographer and got some wonderful pictures.

Nicola Cornick said...

Thank you, Rebekah, thank you, Deb - I have to agree that not much beats snuggling up! If all else fails though I too have reached for the thermal long johns!

marlibu said...

To stay warm on super cold days i get all snuggly with my polar bear fleece blankie wrapped up in bed with a good book and a cup of piping hot chocolate with marshmallows on the side. Hmmm i think i'm goin to make some now :O)

I love polar bears too, i have a polar bear stuffy named ginko LOL

Minna said...

Coconut & Chocolate Drink

3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup milk
20 oz. milk chocolate or dark chocolate
1 TB (or less) sugar

Pour the coconut milk and milk into a kettle and boil. Add chocolate and sugar. Stir well. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

MsHellion said...

Ways to keep warm:

1.) Invite the entire pack of Twilight werewolves to snuggle with because their body temp is 108 all the time. Skin to skin contact is best for beating the cold and heading off hypothermia, you know.

2.) If the pack is unavailable, I make myself some spicy, comfort food. Something stewish and warm, like chicken and dumplings perhaps, but maybe with a kick of cayenne for the added warmth.

3.) Follow up with warm drinks, like hot tea, hot chocolate, anything with vodka. Maybe hot chocolate with kahlua sounds promising.

4.) Wear layers. If I'm cold, I'm wearing thermals, pjs, sweats, and a couple pairs of socks. I'm snuggled under about three layers of blankets.

5.) Thermal proof your house. Every little bit counts, and thermal proofing the windows and doors does save a few degrees in temp here or there. Block or caulk drafts in windows and doors; put up curtains.

6.) Exercise. Exercise always makes you feel warmer. If the pack shows up, I know what exercise I'd elect to participate in.

Nicola Cornick said...

Hot chocolate with marshmallows, Marlibu! Yum! And live the name Ginko for your cuddly polar bear!

Minna, I've copied out that recipe. Thank you!

Nicola Cornick said...

Loved the list, MsHellion. Skin to skin contact with the Twilight werewolves, hmm! It's tough but you have to do all you can to keep warm.

In the absence of the pack I would head into the sauna as my hero and heroine do in Whisper of Scandal!

Minna said...

Coconut & Chocolate Drink works very well with these:
http://scandinavianfood.about.com/od/coffeecakessweetbreads/r/slappedears.htm

PJ said...

Hi Nicola! Wow, your travels sound wonderful (I love exploring new places) and I'm fascinated by the premise of Whisper of Scandal. I'll definitely be picking up a copy!

I've always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis. Hopefully, one of these days!

My late dh was stationed in Iceland for two years and always spoke fondly of it. Even with the cold, it was one of his favorite duty stations in his 20 year military career.

Like Louisa, I'm blessed with canine comforters to keep me toasty warm no matter how cold the temperatures plunge. I awoke this morning to discover Rachel, one of the furry furnaces, plastered to my side with her nose tucked into my shoulder and happily snoring away. No wonder I was so hot! With her along, I don't think I'd have any trouble keeping warm on a snowy glacier! lol!

Nicola, where will you be heading on your next travel adventure?

Nicola Cornick said...

Oh, they sound scrumptious, Minna! When we were in Norway we tried some cake that tasted fabulous but that I've never been able to find since. It was like sweet flat bread. That had cinnamon and I'm wondering if it is the same recipe.

elainec said...

Hi Nicola,
When we lived in Michigan, we had a power outage for over four days one winter. We lit fires in our fireplace which had glass doors (good for not sucking the heat out of the house). We moved the furniture so we had a large open space. We put down lots of comforters and quilts, then our down sleeping bags - zipped together, covered by our king-sized down comforters. My husband and I and our three toy poodles cuddled up duing daytime hours - talking, reading, etc. :-)
We lit our gas stove with a match and ate simple things and drank hot chocolate and coffee. When it got dark, we slept.
I've always looked back on that time with how happy we were and how rested. Luckily, our pipes didn't freeze and neither did we.
"Whispers of Scandal" sounds interesting. I'll look forward to reading it.
Elaine C-D

Christina Courtenay said...

Whisper of Scandal sounds brilliant, Nicola - can't wait to read it! I love historicals with unusual settings and since I too am (partly) of Viking stock, the far north appeals to me greatly!
As for how to keep warm, I was taught how to build an igloo and sharing body heat with someone inside one of those would probably do the trick. I won't name any names, but certain "heroes" might be warmer than others :)

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi PJ! I love the story of Rachel the canine comforter cuddled up to you! Where will I be travelling next? Well, nowhere as far-flung as the Arctic. We go to Wales next month which is fine with me - I love all the Celtic countries, so beautiful and with such inspiring history and legends. I've never set a Regency in Wales. That might be next!

Nicola Cornick said...

Elaine your tale of that cold Michigan winter reminded me of the power outage we had last year that co-incided with the coldest spell in the UK for about 45 years. We lived in just one room with the open fire. I doubt we were as cold as you were, though! You sound to have been very resourceful - and happy!

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Christina! Thank you for dropping by! Build an igloo! Of course - the thermal effects of the snow. I think that was where we went wrong with the tent. It certainly wasn't cosy!

catslady said...

A hot tub is nice. Unfortunately, we don't have our own but our uncle has one and it's fantastic even on the coldest of nights - snow falling, looking at the stars and a glass of bubbly makes for a nice romantic and warming evening!

Nicola Cornick said...

Oooh, I do so agree on the hot tub, Catslady! Bathing in the hot springs in Iceland was absolutely fabulous. I love the idea of sitting there with a glass of champagne watching the snow falling. Now that's romantic!

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, cold weather clothing is SOOOO glam, isn't it? Snort! Mind you, blue goose flesh isn't exactly becoming either! Love your plans for keeping warm although number one sounds a lot more fun than number two!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Nicola, would love you to come down here to visit! I promise I'll arrange a Sunshine Coast beer flood!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Rebekah, it's been a fun day in the lair, hasn't it?

PJ said...

ElaineC, I grew up in Michigan and remember many power outages like the one you described. Thanks for bringing back good memories!

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, the hordes of Snuggie fans out there failed to speak up! LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Marlibu, I've been manfully resisting but I really think I need to have a hot chocolate!!!! And it's not even cold here. Everybody keeps mentioning them!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Minna, that coconut chocolate sounds delicious! We have a chocolate down here called a Golden Rough which is basically milk chocolate with coconut shredded through it pressed into a round cookie shape. I absolutely adored them when I was a kid although the coconut was inclined to get stuck in your teeth!

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, I wonder if Christine hates Golden Roughs! We never seem to agree on chocolates which means I want the bed next to hers in the old people's home - I'll get all her rejected chocs!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Hellion! I love your idea of exercise! Actually I love your list all round. Fantastic!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, your picture of your dog all snuggled up next to you made me smile. How sweet! How interesting about your dh being stationed in Iceland. It's a place I've had a long-held fascination with (I think it's that Scandinavian thing again that Nicola mentioned - you know, genetics or something!). And it looks spectacularly beautiful with its cliffs and its mountains.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Nicola and Minna, now I'm hungry as well as craving hot chocolate. Stop it! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Elaine, how interesting. Your story of the power outage made me think of how they coped with cold weather in the Middle Ages. If you think about it, people have had to do the primitive things to stay warm for much longer through history than our easy-solution society of turning on the aircon. Actually it's quite scary how helpless we are when we lose power. I had a week of blackout when I lived in Sydney (a transformer blew up that supplied most of the inner city). For a little while I was completely bamboozled, then I settled into a routine. Mind you, I used to have a hot shower at work so I wasn't exactly suffering!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Christina! An igloo? You're the only person I've ever met with that skill! How cool are you? Laughed at the heroes varying in temperature. I can think of some that could heat up a room just by looking at it!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Nicola, Wales? How lucky are you? I suppose you're going Wales-watching? Small joke there - last time Nicola visited, she'd been whale watching off the California coast and there were some amazing shots of her leaning over the side of the boat and touching the whale! You really do go to the most interesting places. Mary Jo Putney wrote a marvellous Regency set in Wales where the hero keeps a menagerie of penguins! I'm sure you've read it.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Catslady, sitting outside in a hot tub and watching the snow tumble down sounds like an absolutely magical experience!

Minna said...

Anna, we don't have Golden Rough, but we have Bounty chocolate bar and Bounty ice cream. Sadly, they don't have those in the local shop where I usually go these days.

librarypat said...

I love the sound of this series. It certainly takes this lady of the Ton out of her comfort zone. I am so glad you are shaking things up and getting your heros and heroines out of the drawing room and into "the world."

Shared body heat is the best way to stay warm. A good shelter, be it a cabin, igloo, cave or snow cave is the first priority. A nice warm fire would be good. If the fire isn't warm enough or you don't have one, make sure you have a large sleeping bag on hand. Ideally, two that zip together is what you want. It is actually better if you don't have too many clothes on. It will give you enough room to move around and snuggle comfortably. We have used them, and they are quite nice : )

We haven't been to the Arctic, but lived on the Canadian border in NY and Maine. It was -50 one night when I got home in Maine.

We got caught in a blizzard in Iowa one January when we were moving to Colorado. They closed the interstate, my car broke down, and we spent 3 or 4 days in a really crummy motel. It never got above 55 in our room and the snow blew in around the door. It was -100 with the wind chill factor. My husband, 2 young daughters, myself, the cat and the dog all spent the time bundled up in a bed watching TV, and trying to stay warm. It was an adventure. Don't want to do it again. The girls thought it was great. They loved eating at the greasey spoon cafe attached to the motel 3 times a day. We couldn't go anywhere else, even with our other vehicle.

Thanks for a great post. Really interesting. One of these days we will go there.

Minna said...

One more way to stay warm: sauna!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Barb! Great grab on the Chookie!

Hi Anna! Hi Nicola!

Nicola, what a fabulous book and a fabulous topic! If it involves the cold, the snow and the wild northlands, I'm there. Grins. This one is on my BUY list as of NOW.

Sorry I'm late to the party today - been off bloggin about the net. Grins.

Barbara E. said...

Whisper of Scandal sounds like a fabulous story and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
I don't have much experience with cold weather, coming from So. California and now living in Central Florida. I do know that having lots of sex under some nice warm blankets will make you forget all about being cold though, LOL, so that's what my answer is.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, we have both of those two. Golden Rough (kinda sounds like a description of the Rooster, doesn't it?) has the chocolate and coconut all mixed up together so the chocolate has this wonderful texture. Yum!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Pat, that was such an interesting story about you stuck in that motel. Isn't it wonderful how I'm sure that memory is precious to you and the kids now? It must have seemed like an adventure to them!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, finished your fabulous new release DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS last night! Wow, girl, you're one bodacious writer. That's a fabulous story. No wonder RT gave it a Top Pick!

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, good suggestion!

Anna Campbell said...

Barbara, thank goodness, somebody finally said the 's' word!!! It's been like the elephant in the corner all day! Snort! Nicola, at last you got your scurrilous answer! Wahooooooo!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Nicola! A warm welcome back to the lair. Thanks, Anna, for luring Nicola here today.

I can't wait for these books! And you get the most gorgeous covers. You must be so pleased.

And double wow on the cold climates. I really admire your fortitude in actually camping in freezing conditions. I'd be miserable, as I'm a real beachy gal. Whisper of Scandal sounds fascinating!

Hmm, a lot of my ideas for keeping warm (mostly involving Richard Armitage) seem to have been taken!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*blush* Thanks for the Shout Out about Deadly Little Secrets, Anna! Sorry (sort of...) that I kept you up at night with the book, but...

Grins.

Minna, love me some sauna...

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, I must say camping in any environment doesn't fill me with excitement ;-) I'm a lounge lizard from way back.

By the way, do you enjoy Golden Roughs? Interested parties want to know!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Jeanne. You sound as sincere in that sorry as Barb sounded when she apologized to Louisa about nabbing the Rooster feathery butt!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: You sound as sincere in that sorry as Barb sounded when she apologized to Louisa about nabbing the Rooster feathery butt!

Well, yeah...but...(Speaking of butts)...

cories said...

Congrats on your new release!

A historical in the North Pole? No thinsulate? No high tech materials to keep them warm? Brrr.... (and how often do they bathe?)

For cold weather, aside from layers especially silk long johns, a large, warm male body is an excellent way to keep warm. A friend of mine has a house in the Sierras and sometimes would hold New Year's Eve parties there. Of course, the house also has an indoor heated pool, a hot tub, and a sauna - all excellent ways to keep warm, too.

cories119[at]yahoo.com

The Reading Reviewer said...

Nothing is better than being bundled under a fleece blanket with my lovely dog Roxanne next to me, my feet up and a Nicola Cornick book (any NC book) in my hand. I now have them loaded onto my kindle so I can read and re-read them as much as I can as often as I can.

Everyone should pre-order the new series it is fabulous!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

To The Reading Reviewer, that sounded just SO lovely - cold day, warm fleece, book, cup of tea....

Yep. I could jump inside that scene (altho my dogs are named Sweet Pea and Diver rather than Roxanne!), and be perfectly content with an NC book and a day in which to read it.

Le sigh...

Anna Campbell said...

Snort! But what about the butt???

Anna Campbell said...

Cories, I had to laugh at your friend doing it tough in the Sierras! I think that's the kind of nature experience I could cope with no troubles. And silk long johns? They sound marvellous!

Anna Campbell said...

RR, so wonderful to meet another avid fan of Nicola's! I love her books too. How wonderful to hear the new series is great. I mean, I knew it would be - and I'm so excited that I can get all three fairly close together. Love that!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, when I was thinking about your books that are my particular favorites, it was interesting I picked two non-Regency stories. Have you any plans to branch out from the Regency again? Although I love your Regencies too!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne and RR, it's one of those magical things, isn't it? Snuggling down in bed with a pet (and/or a dh) and reading a luscious story! If heaven involves such pleasures, I won't be upset at all!

Nancy said...

Barb, congrats on the bird!

Nicola, welcome back. Your series sounds wonderful, and so does your trip. I'm envious of all these fabulous places you visited.

My prime choice of a way to keep warm in a cold climate would be a cozy cabin and a fire. And maybe some wine.

Christine Wells said...

Anna, I'm not that keen on camping, either, I have to say!

Who wants to know if I like Golden Roughs??
As a matter of fact, I do:) Haven't had one in ages, though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna, it may have been explained earlier, but what the heck are Golden Roughs?

Grins.

SOunds kinky.

Nicole said...

ummm Body heat... There is also friction, that keeps you warm.... Oh how about body heat plus friction?? *goes searching for mind in the gutter*

minnchica(dot)bookpusher(at)gmail.com

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I'm really disappointed at how clean most of the suggestions have been! LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Really? We usually have such different taste in chocs, Miss Christine. I haven't had a GR for years either but they were one of my faves when I was a teenager. They still make them - I see them at my local fruit shop.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, a Golden Rough is the rooster talking' dirty...

Nah, it's a round chocolate about he size of a cookie and it's chocolate mixed with coconut. Yummy! You really need to visit me so I can introduce you to the fabulous world of Aussie chocolate bars!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicole, that's more like it! Sheesh, I'm not used to you girls being so polite. The cabana boys are completely disappointed! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Thank you so much to everyone who came to say hello today. And it was lovely to see a few unfamiliar faces amongst the usual rambunctious crowd ;-) Nicola, you've been a marvellous guest. Thank you so much!

Don't forget to check back in the next few days to see who won the signed book and the cuddly polar bear! Good luck!

Nicola Cornick said...

Thank you for having me to visit, Anna! Thank you to everyone for the very imaginative ideas of ways to keep warm in a cold climate and a huge thank you also for your enthusiasm for my new book!