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Nicola Cornick
I write Regency historicals for Harlequin HQN Books and also work as a historian
Recent Activity
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Nicola here, talking about a recent visit to a place steeped in history. “At the edge of Wiltshire’s ancient Savernake forest lies a house steeped in Royal history. Shrouded in mystery and lost to the mists of time, Wolfhall stands, a testimony to the rise and fall of the Seymour family, so crucial to the heart of the Tudor monarchy and the history of England itself…” So reads the enticing introduction on The Real Wolfhall website, drawing in all of us who have a fascination with Tudor history. Long before Hilary Mantel made the name “Wolf Hall” famous all over... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month's feature on our Wenchly reading. After what felt like a long reading slump I’ve had an amazing month of good books. I was lucky enough to be a judge for the RNA Debut Novel award and really enjoyed the experience; there was a huge range of books in contention this year, ranging from an 18th century historical set in Ireland that was based on a riveting true story – Heart of Stone by John Jackson - to a laugh out loud romantic comedy – Perfect Match by Zoe May – with a load of other... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Spring is advancing which means that in villages and stately homes across the length and breadth of the British Isles the mournful cry of the peacock will start to ring out, followed by various news stories about how bad-tempered and/or exhausted peacocks have been causing havoc. Last year there was Kevin, a mischievous peacock causing mayhem in a Derbyshire village, then we heard about Henry the peacock who was so tired of being the only male in a flock of peahens (exhausting work!) that he flew away for some rest. The peacock is a familiar sight at many of our... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! As readers and writers we all know the importance of a character’s name. The right name can fit perfectly with our view of that person; the wrong one can completely pull us out of a story. With historical fiction it’s even trickier because not only do names have to fit the character but they also need to be historically correct. Nothing breaks my enjoyment more than a Regency heroine called Tiffany. And that is where I am wrong, as I discovered a couple of weeks ago when I heard about “The Tiffany Effect.” The Tiffany Effect is the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, with a post that is part travelogue, part about settings and backgrounds in books. There’s something about Cornwall, isn’t there. It rivals Scotland in the imagination as a romantic setting for a novel. It's wild, rugged and magical. Perhaps it all started with Daphne Du Maurier and with Winston Graham’s Poldark books and the TV series. I know it did for me. I grew up on the original BBC dramatization of Poldark, though my teenage heart was mostly given to Dr Enys rather than to Ross. When the more recent dramatization came out I felt it couldn’t possibly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. I’ve always found writing minor characters to be fun. They add context and depth to a story. Sometimes they run away with it and demand a story of their own. In House of Shadows I have an “offstage” character, Lady Evershot, who is modelled on a famous Georgian aristocrat, Elizabeth Berkeley, and as this is Women’s History Month I thought it would be fun to talk about Lady Elizabeth, who was most definitely a woman ahead of her time. Lady Elizabeth Berkeley was the daughter of the Earl of Berkeley, and married the 6th Baron Craven when she... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Last week, on a cold and snowy morning, I went up to Buckingham Palace to visit an exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery. It was a brisk walk across Green Park (I hadn’t seen London in the snow for years) and I pitied the poor little green parakeets that live there. London isn’t exactly prime parakeet climate at the best of times and I imagine they are shivering at the moment. There was a big crowd at Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard, but we were heading around the side to the gallery entrance to see “Charles II: Art... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m doing one of my virtual tours of an English stately home. On Monday, author Anna Campbell and I went on a day trip, as we tend to do when she is over visiting from Australia. This time our destination was Dyrham Park, a seventeenth century house near Bath which looks like a miniature version of Chatsworth House, home of the Duke of Devonshire. Dyrham was built at a very interesting time by a very interesting man: William Blathwayt, who started life as the son of a debt-ridden gentleman and ended a very rich man who made... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m taking a break from talking about books or writing or history to blog about one of my other interests; training guide dog puppies! This is prompted by the fact that we have a new puppy in training who joined the household 3 weeks ago. Her name is Lucy and she is Labrador/Golden Retriever cross and she is currently 10 weeks old! Lucy is the sixth guide dog puppy who has come to us for puppy walking. Over the years we have built up some knowledge and experience of the job but each puppy is different and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here with this month's Ask A Wench. For our question this month we’re trying to decide which movie character we would like to be. When we discussed this amongst ourselves this raised some interesting questions. Would we go all out in pursuit of adventure or would we prefer something more reflective of our own lives? What makes a super-hero(ine)? What qualities do we admire and would like to possess, on screen or in real life or both? The Wench thoughts on this are below. But what would your dream movie role be? For me this is a difficult choice.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! There are many Christmas and New Year traditions that I enjoy. Most involve being cosy and warm, out of the elements, maybe eating special food or chatting with friends in front of the fire. I might even go for a brisk walk with the dog, particularly if it's been snowing. I've already been to the swimming pool in an attempt to start 2018 in a healthy fashion. And yet... Possibly my least favourite way to mark either Christmas or New Year would be by jumping into cold water. Perhaps I'm missing something, though, as every year, more and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! I hope everyone has enjoyed a happy and peaceful Christmas Day. In the UK it's Boxing Day, an odd title that has nothing to do with the sport of boxing but lots to do with boxes. (I'm told that Boxing Day isn't celebrated in the US although it is in some other countries. I'm hoping people around the globe can let me know whether it is or not.) The first written mention of "boxing day" comes from Samuel Pepys diaries in 1663: "Thence by coach to my shoemaker's... and gave something to the boys' box against Christmas." The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2017 at Word Wenches
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And congratulations to Shannon, who has won the copy of The Phantom Tree. Thank you for all the comments!
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Haha! Yes, I always feel a sense of inevitability about adding to the TBR pile whilst at the same time knowing it has to be done... It's hard though, trying to resist books, isn't it!
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Hi Keira! Yes, Sharjah is a big centre for cricket, which I didn't know until we visited and met a huge crowd of fans out to see legendary cricketer Wasim Akram! He was also talking at the book far - something for all interests!
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Thank you, Kareni!
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Last week, whilst many people in England were getting excited about the first snow of winter, I was heading south to visit the wonderful island of Madeira. Madeira is a Portuguese island off the coast of North Africa and has a lovely sub-tropical climate, which meant that there were lots of colourful plants and trees in flower – and there was also a lot of rain! However, that didn’t dampen the mood as I’d wanted to visit the island for over 40 years since my grandparents first went there when I was a child. I imagine the main town, Funchal,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! Today I’m musing on book fairs and literary festivals. Ten days ago I had the huge honour and pleasure of being invited to speak at the Sharjah Book Fair in the UAE. Despite the fact that this is the third biggest book fair in the world and has been running for 35 years, I hadn’t heard of it before (my bad) and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Those who had experienced it told me it was a fascinating mixture of a book fair and a literary festival, but I’m so glad I had the chance to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Word Wenches
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The thing for islands is also a word wench thing! I love them! Love the whole special little world idea and the fascinating history you find in all these places. Thank you for a fascinating blog, Andrea!
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2017 on No Man Is An Island . . . at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. The firefighter is a popular hero – and increasingly heroine – in romantic fiction. It’s easy to see why the trope appeals; fire is an ever-present danger and those who fight it demonstrate courage, compassion for others and even self-sacrifice. To be a firefighter embodies many character ideals. Interestingly it isn’t a character type commonly found in historical fiction which is surprising in a way because fire-fighting has a long and noble history. I’m not going back all the way to Ancient Rome and the first fire brigades in this blog because I mentioned them in a previous... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Thank you very much for all the comments and the fun discussing Jane Austen and rival interpretations! The winner of the book giveaway is Mary T. Congratulations, Mary!
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2017 on Which Jane Austen? at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Last week I was in Oxford at the Bodleain Library to see the Jane Austen exhibition. I love “The Bod” as it’s known; when you join you have to swear an oath that dates back to when the library was first open to scholars in 1602. Amongst other things you have to promise not to set fire to the place which suggests that those 17th century students were a bit unruly, not unlike some of their modern Oxford counterparts! The exhibition was quite small, just one room, and I did wonder when I went in whether there was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing the Wenches' monthly "What We're Reading" feature, which, this month is a "What We're Watching" as well! Anne: I've had a pretty busy time in the last month and, apart from some rereads of old favorites, the only book of any note I've read recently is Together by Julie Cohen. A friend told me about this book, saying that it was about a romance, but was written backwards, starting at the end of a couple's life and gradually working backwards to when they first met. I was intrigued, so I bought it. In the working backwards, the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. After the beach and the sea, a woodland is probably Angus’s favourite place for a walk. I’m not a dog, obviously, but I can imagine just how exciting it might be for him; so many sights, sounds and particularly smells that are different from the garden or the street. There is something special about the woods in lots of different ways: places to run, places to hide, secrets and surprises just around the corner. In the fairy stories, woods are often scary places. I remember Hansel and Gretel as one of my least favourite fairy tales because of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, and today I'm talking about pearls. It's two months until my first timeslip novel, House of Shadows, makes its debut in the US and I've been having a wonderful time reminding myself of the themes and inspiration for the book and browsing through the amazing portrait collection at Ashdown House which gave me so many ideas for the story. The mirror and the pearl that feature in House of Shadows are imaginary historical artefacts but like so many aspects of the book they are inspired by historical fact. The idea of the pearl came from the Craven portrait... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2017 at Word Wenches
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