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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. 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 10 hours ago 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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Nicola here. I’m sitting outside today in the sunshine (we’ve been having very un-summery weather here in the UK lately so I’m making the most of it) and around me are various ornaments that are, literally, part of the garden design and something I really love having in my garden. There’s Fez, Kiwi and Piwi (who are metal birds) and elsewhere, my badger (in the photo), tortoise and even a peregrine falcon with its beak chewed off by one of the guide dog puppies. I’d never really thought what a feature garden ornamentation is until I read an article recently... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. The sort of stately home visits I tend to make usually involve a gorgeously-furnished and decorated historic house, beautiful gardens, a gift shop and afternoon tea (or morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea to be more specific.) Those are usually the National Trust places or the Historic House Association. Alternatively I might go to a ruined castle or a site in the care of English Heritage and it’s always amazing and I learn a lot about the place and the people who lived there. I’ve never “done” a stately home visit like the one I went on last... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Word Wenches
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It's good to feel that some blogs like the Wenches have longevity and build up a strong community of readers and participants. With the blogs I visit there needs to be a combination of good content and a community feel. There has been such a proliferation of them over the years that some selectivity feels necessary!
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on How Connected are You? at Word Wenches
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I'd forgotten about Google +! Another way to be connected. And I do think it is so useful to have sites where we can find people with shared interests.With genealogy it must be particularly helpful to find people who can help with your research, I imagine.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on How Connected are You? at Word Wenches
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I'm with you there, Sue! That sums up my relationship with Facebook perfectly LOL!
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on How Connected are You? at Word Wenches
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How fabulous, Patricia! That feels like a really imaginative and interesting way to find a new dance partner, and great that you can link to FB too. I like the inter-connectedness of it all.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on How Connected are You? at Word Wenches
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I like how well you have separated out the different social media platforms for different things, Stephanie. That's good way to keep organised! I guess moving to FB is a way for a "blog" to keep going in a different form. Interesting!
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on How Connected are You? at Word Wenches
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