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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, asking a personal question. Do you sniff your books? It’s something that non-readers apparently find weird, something that is perhaps best done in the privacy of one’s own home to avoid strange looks and odd explanations. But if, like me, you are a book sniffer, then you understand perfectly that the smell of a book can be a wonderful thing. Scientists say that there is a rational explanation for the attraction to the smell of old books. The paper, adhesive and ink that make up books degrade over time, giving off a volatile chemical compound. The lignin in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about dukes, as you do if you are an author of historical romance. I’ve live in Britain all my life and I’ve never met a duke. In fact they are the only rank of the peerage I haven’t met. There are currently only 24 of them in existence which in a population of 65 million must make them amongst the rarest creatures in the country on a par with the Scottish wild cat. At times during the UK's history there have been no more than two or three; at others – the mid 1700s – there were... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. The recent hot weather in the UK (3 hot days and a thunder storm, as the old adage suggests) has given us lots of lovely opportunities for being outside, whether sitting reading a book, eating, or doing some much needed gardening. Two hundred years ago if I had been sitting in this spot it would probably have been a vegetable garden and pen for the pig. The cottage would have been newly built, two rooms up, two down. It looked out across a rough track rather than a paved road, and there was a stream that ran down... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2017 at Word Wenches
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I too loved those crime and mystery writers, Janga, and was quite apprehensive when I saw that Sophie Hannah was writing some Agatha Christie style books but I found the first one, The monogram Murders, quite good and close to her style. Also Antony Horowitz's Magpie Murders was an old-style crime story with some excellent twists!
Toggle Commented May 15, 2017 on Ask A Wench: Treasures Old and New at Word Wenches
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I loved Rosemary Sutcliff's books too, Sue, and would love to find a modern day equivalent. I do enjoy a lot of YA books, actually. They so often seem to capture the excitement and have the imaginative appeal I remember enjoying as a younger reader. I also love Emily Larkin. Haven't read Lillian Marek's books and will look out for those.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2017 on Ask A Wench: Treasures Old and New at Word Wenches
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This is a great place for like-minded readers, Catherine! Thank you very much for your recommendations.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2017 on Ask A Wench: Treasures Old and New at Word Wenches
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Hi Patricia and thank you very much for your comments. I totally agree on the lyricism of Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin. It is beautiful writing. Whilst Game of Thrones is a powerful series I too find the sex and violence very difficult to read (or watch.) No matter how the writers justify it, it feels gratuitous to me, a part of the move towards prolonged description and away from imagination. I haven't read Rothfuss but probably wouldn't pick up a book in any genre with a detailed rape scene. Just my personal taste but I don't feel any scenes of any nature need to be laboured.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2017 on Ask A Wench: Treasures Old and New at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench where we are talking about old and new treasures on the bookshelf, which is a riff on the “if you like this author, you’ll enjoy this one” idea. Amazon in particular makes a point of recommending authors on the basis of the books you order from them. Sometimes their recommendations are spot on and you discover another great author in the same genre. Other times, their idea of similar authors is a bit wayward. I cherish the occasion I ordered a copy of Jo Beverley’s St Raven and Amazon recommended I also... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! A couple of weeks ago I went on a family visit to my native county of Yorkshire. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the places I used to love visiting as well as with family and friends. When I was a child one of my favourite local places was a house called Lotherton Hall near Leeds The name itself sounds exactly the sort of place you would find in a Bronte novel and I remember wandering through its rooms lapping up all the historical displays and soaking up the atmosphere. It was one of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, and today I am talking about award ceremonies, those amazing, glittering, special occasions that always run like clockwork, right? Hmm… I love a good award ceremony. The glamour, the excitement in the air, the love in the room… And hopefully no mistakes when it comes to announcing the winners! A couple of weeks ago I was in a taxi heading across London to the Romantic Novelists’ Association 2017 award ceremony in the beautiful location of the Gladstone Library in Whitehall Place. When I arrived and threw open the doors to make my entrance… The room was empty because... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, and today I am musing on pillows. Repetitive strain injury is an occupational hazard of a writer’s life, or indeed anyone who uses a keyboard. It can affect people in all sorts of jobs who, as the words suggest, use the same movements frequently. In an attempt to deal with my RSI, which gives me neck, shoulder and back pain, I’ve taken all sorts of measures, trying to get my desk at the exact correct height and my chair as well, foot rests, wrist rests, and special pillows in bed at night to support my head. When I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. A couple of weeks ago I visited Portland, one of the most wild and remote parts of the UK. It lies off the south coast of the county of Dorset, opposite the famous seaside town of Weymouth and is a “tied island” connected to the mainland by a causeway. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries though the best way to approach was by boat and even that was very dangerous with the tides, currents, and lurking rock shoals that surround the island. The day we arrived was extremely stormy with the sea lashing the famous Chesil Beach... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Thank you very much indeed to Melinda for being our guest on Word Wenches and congratulations to Kareni who has won a copy of Moonshadows! Thank you all for your comments - and enthusiasm for time travel!
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Nicola here. Today it is my very great pleasure to welcome Melinda Hammond back to the Word Wench blog. Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory is a long time Romantic Novelists’ Association friend and colleague of mine and we share the same taste in fast cars! She is also an award-winning author of Regency historicals. Today, however, we are chatting about her haunting timeslip novel Moonshadows, set in the Georgian period and the present day, originally published by Samhain and now re-issued by Melinda herself. I first read Moonshadows a number of years ago and found it a thought-provoking read as well as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Hi Kathy, yes I also find that one of the most fascinating aspects of history, the fact that people discover others in their family were artists or actors or activists. That's one of the things I would love to know about my own ancestors; I don't know if anyone was a writer! But even in the UK it can be difficult to find the correct records once you get earlier than the first censuses, unless you can find a famous connection, of course.
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2017 on Who Do We Think We Are? at Word Wenches
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I agree, Sonya. History and heritage are so important and special but I suspect that you, more than a great many people, have reason to cherish them. It seems to me a case of people not always realising how fortunate they are until something such as a programme like that puts it in front of them and makes them think. Whereas you have had a great many reasons to think about it in depth. I so like the fact that having been on the programme, a great many people realise how important their heritage is and it also makes a lot of viewers much more aware of their histories.
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2017 on Who Do We Think We Are? at Word Wenches
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Anne, your story is the perfect example of why I love talking to people with Ashdown connections; there is so much detail you can add to our picture of the place in the past. It makes it come alive for us to know the names of people who lived and work there and also to hear what the place was like in those days. It's the sort of real stuff you can't get from the records!
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2017 on Who Do We Think We Are? at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. I’ve been enjoying the current series of “Who Do You Think You Are” the BBC’s genealogy programme, very much. It’s been the usual mix of actors, singers and celebrities, each with a fascinating family history story to tell. Whether they find a royal connection, a shocking secret, a family tragedy or a black sheep ancestor, the subject matter has been very varied and interesting but what makes the programme for me is the response of the people involved. They all seem to have found it thought-provoking and have gone away different people as a result of delving into... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Thank you, Sue! The Wenches do indeed have some lovely books coming out this year. Exciting! I'm impressed by your learning goals for your new lap top. I am resolutely non-techy even though I should do better. My dh is the one in this house who LOVES reading the manuals. Like you, though, I'd love to have more time - and tools - for genealogy research. It's fascinating! Good luck with all your projects!
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2017 on Ask A Wench - Plans for 2017! at Word Wenches
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Plans can be a wonderful thing. They can give us a shape and structure for the time ahead. At the same time we’re also all aware of the old saying “Man plans, God laughs.” The best laid plans, as Robert Burns pointed out, so often go awry. Today the Word Wenches are sharing some of their plans for 2017, writing and otherwise, and we’re asking you to tell us what you have lined up this year. Pat: If I actually stopped to think about my plans for 2017, I’d probably run screaming for the nearest margarita. But I’ve learned if... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today is known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Twelfth Day. For many the date marks the end of the Christmas festivities, the day people take down their decorations if they haven't already done so the day before. It’s also the last of the Word Wench festive posts for this season as we head out into 2017! We’re lucky that these days we have artificial light to help us face the long, cold and dark days of winter. Candles and firelight may sound romantic but I imagine that if I was trying to read or write in that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Only a sleep from old to new Only a sleep from night to morn The new is but the old come true Each sunrise sees a new year born. By Helen Hunt Jackson Nicola here, wishing everyone a very happy 2017! January 1st has traditionally been a time to reflect on the year that has gone and the opportunities, hopes and dreams for the one that lies ahead. It’s a natural human instinct to be optimistic even if sometimes the world feels like a difficult place. Perhaps positive resolutions and hope in the future helps us to deal with that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, wishing everyone a very happy festive season! Last week I had a gorgeous time visiting Basildon Park, a stately home that has featured in many a costume drama from Downton Abbey to Pride and Prejudice. At this time of year many British historic houses are “dressed for Christmas” and you can wander through the rooms seeing how the inhabitants celebrated during eras gone by. Preparing the “big house” for Christmas is a major job. Often plans for Christmas are made in March, eight months ahead, and a huge band of staff and volunteers come together to set up... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2016 at Word Wenches
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It's great that you have come across it at all! I hadn't heard of it. I think it had completely died out in the UK.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2016 on The Return of the Skirret at Word Wenches
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Hi Oana-Maria! I have heard of the quince stew and haven't eaten that one but versions of it with other fruits. I will make that next week! My favourite quince recipe is a sort of French toast with quinces and cream which is delicious. I also love merillo, a quince paste, which we eat with cheese. Yum!
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2016 on The Return of the Skirret at Word Wenches
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