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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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Last week I went up to London to interview international bestselling author Tracy Chevalier as part of the Romantic Novelists’ Association 60th anniversary celebrations. A number of people who weren’t able to get to the talk were interested in hearing about it, so I thought I would report back on it here as Tracy had so many fascinating things to say about books, reading, writing and art. Tracy Chevalier was born in Washington DC, the daughter of is best known for the book Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into a film in 2003. It’s based on the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about brooches. Although I love sparkly jewelry, mainly rings and earrings, I’ve never worn brooches very much. Maybe I associated brooches with my grandmother in the same way that I thought of scarves and lavender, both of which I’ve come around to appreciating over the years. I’ve a number of brooches in my drawer but they don’t see the light of day very often. Well, that’s about to change. Last year in the UK, Lady Hale, the president of the supreme court caused a sensation in several ways, with her ruling on the prorogation of parliament but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. Today we’re tackling a big question which crops up a lot in different forms: “With the world in such turmoil at the moment, what's the point of romance novels—especially historical romance novels about a past that's dead and gone?” As readers and writers, we get this a lot: We’re accustomed to hearing: “What you read/write is frivolous/fluffy/some other disparaging word beginning with “f”. As the Wenches explain so eloquently below, this is to both miss the point and underestimate the power of romantic fiction. Read on to see exactly why, with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Farewell to 2019 and to the "twenty tens!" As we enter a new decade, the Word Wenches would like to thank you for your continued support for the blog and wish you a very Happy New Year. Together, the Wenches and our blog readers form a community that loves chatting about history, books, writing and life in general. We look forward to many more discussions in the years ahead! A hundred years ago in 1920, the new era was greeted with excitement in western society. In the wake of the First World War, the "Roaring Twenties" were known... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here on the third day of Christmas, talking about colours (or even colors!) For me this year, Christmas has been a very colourful occasion. White, red and gold have traditionally been the colours associated with Christmas in my home ever since I was a child and helped my grandmother decorate the tree each year. Red always reminds me of the vivid berries that you can still find in the hedgerows, feeding the birds, in the winter. Gold feels bright and regal and white is for snow, of course! White decorations arethe closest we've been to a white Christmas here... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m talking about re-branding in the form of book covers and titles. The reason: My publisher and I decided to give The Woman in the Lake a new cover and a new title for the UK e-book and I thought it might be interesting to explore why this happened. I hope this will appeal to readers who might wonder why books are sometimes rebranded, and to authors who may face the same dilemmas themselves. It’s a look behind the scenes – and a very honest one – into what happened with The Woman in the Lake. TWITL... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I welcome historical author Elizabeth St.John to the Word Wenches. I first met Elizabeth at the Historical Novel Conference in Oxford a few years ago. I confess to stalking her a little (in a completely non-sinister way!) because I knew she had a family connection to Lydiard Park, the glorious 18th century stately home in Swindon near where I live, and I was desperate to meet her and chat about Lydiard and its history. It’s been a huge pleasure to get to know Elizabeth and discover her writing. Her books are set in the 17th century, in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today it's my very great pleasure to welcome Anna Belfrage to the Word Wench blog. I first met Anna at a Historical Novel Society Conference a few years ago when she and Word Wench favourite Christina Courtenay gave a fantastic talk about the pleasures and perils of writing timeslip and time travel books. In fact Anna says that if she had had the choice, her favoured career would have been as a time traveller, but as this isn't currently a job option (which I think many of us feel is a great shame!) she does the next best... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Happy almost-Halloween! It’s Nicola here with this month’s Word Wench reading choices. Here in the Northern Hemisphere the nights are drawing in and it’s time to curl up cosily beside the fire with a good book so what could be better than sharing our suggestions here, favourites new and old! I’ve actually been getting ahead of myself, already reading a Christmas book this month, A Wedding in December by the very talented Sarah Morgan. I love Sarah Morgan’s writing and I enjoyed this book very much indeed. It was deliciously funny as well as sexy and romantic, and Sarah also... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Have you been watching Sanditon, Teresa? I wonder how Jane Austen would have developed the story if she had had the chance to finish it? Not like Andrew Davies, I'm sure!
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2019 on What We're Reading at Word Wenches
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I'm glad you enjoy Emily Larkin too, Vicki! The yare auto-reads for me. I'm so glad I've found her! I've heard a lot of good things about The Chilbury Ladies Choir and must pick that one up.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2019 on What We're Reading at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, musing on the pleasure of discovering unexpected reads. Last week I visited Tredegar House, which is a fabulous 17th century mansion in Wales, once the home of the Morgan family. Like so many of these places, the house is magnificent and the family history riveting. There’s also a connection to Ashdown House, which made it even more interesting for me so I wandered around looking at the family portraits and admiring the rooms before heading off to the gift shop and the tearoom! Most National Trust properties these days have a second hand bookshop and browsing through the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! Today, in honour of the recent release of the Downton Abbey film, I’m reposting a blog from a few years ago when I took Guide Dog Puppy Rochester on a visit to Highclere Castle. I haven’t seen the film yet but I’m looking forward to it. So here, to celebrate, is my updated post from 2012: "Last week I had the pleasure of a visit to Highclere Castle in Hampshire, which is the location where much of the hit TV series Downton Abbey is filmed. I was pretty excited about this trip as not only do I enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about the unexpected delights of being stranded in a remote community. It’s a familiar and popular trope in books, whether it’s being marooned in the snow with a handsome hero or, in crime novels, stuck in an eerie house with a bunch of suspects, but I’ve always wondered what it would really be like to be stranded somewhere. When I was a small child, we went on a family trip to the Lake District at Christmas time and did get stuck in the snow. We all ended up rattling around in an empty hotel – they opened... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, enjoying being back at home after an epic trip to Alaska and Canada. When I travel I do like to read up on the history of the places I'm visiting and to seek out historical sites - museums, old houses, monuments, battlefields, as well as experiencing as much as I can of a place as it is now. So today I'm sharing a bit of a whistle stop travelogue and I hope you enjoy it! We arrived in Juneau Alaska twenty two hours after setting off from home and gratefully settled into our beautiful bed and breakfast place.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here and today I’m talking about reprints of my old books that come out all around the world. Although I now write timeslip books – and some of those are being published in different countries – my Regency historical romances are still regularly reprinted and reissued. It makes me very happy that books, some of which were originally written 20 years ago, are still in print somewhere in the world and hopefully reaching new Regency readers! When I first started writing, back in 1998, I was published only in the UK. The books were shorter, sweet romances, sometimes with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here and today I'm sharing a visit I did recently to an amazing country house. Just to the side of a busy main road in Cheshire, surrounded by houses and traffic, lies a throwback to another time. It’s called Little Moreton Hall and whilst it’s not a stately home it certainly isn’t that small either. Built 500 years ago, it’s a time traveller from the Tudor era to the present. It was built to impress; a half-timbered house with decorative timber, plasterwork, painting and glazing that is totally dazzling. I hadn’t been to Little Moreton Hall since I was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m talking about the sort of words that people use to describe romance and romantic fiction. In four days, I step down as Chair of the UK Romantic Novelists Association. It’s been an interesting couple of years, sometimes challenging, always busy, but incredibly rewarding to be a part of an organisation that is so involved with the business of romantic fiction. I love the RNA and I love the fact that organisations like it exist to support, celebrate and promote the romance genre. Together with readers, bloggers, writers and all fans of the genre we make up... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today is the 510th anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII. Despite my very mixed feelings about Henry and his Dad, it feels like the sort of occasion I can’t ignore, particularly as my next timeslip is set in the Tudor period, albeit later in the reign of Henry’s younger daughter, Elizabeth. A decade ago, when it was the quincentenary of Henry's coronation, there were a number of celebrations to mark the occasion. But is Henry someone who we want to celebrate? Henry VIII bestrides English history like a colossus both in terms of physical size and reputation.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m looking at roses, literally out of my study window and also as a historical symbol. It’s that time of the year in the UK when the rose is in full bloom. It’s a sign of summer and the sight of roses growing around a cottage door (or window) is one of the quintessential images of an English country village. The rose is also a symbol of a lot of other things: A red rose is for romance, of course, whilst innocence or purity is symbolized by the white rose, friendship with yellow roses and passion with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, fresh back from Paris and the amazing Festival du Roman Feminin, Festival of Women’s Fiction. The festival is an annual event for readers and authors, and when I was invited I was thrilled; the combination of books and Paris was, of course, irresistible! I’m so glad I went. It was an opportunity to meet new-to-me authors as well as old friends, and also to have time to chat properly with readers in a relaxed way (chatting in Franglais and with the help of some awesome interpreters!) Thursday morning found me at St Pancras Station in London all ready... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. Recently on my Facebook page I’ve started to post an item called Saturday Swagger, sharing some of the gorgeous historical portraits I’ve seen and love. One of them was this 17th century miniature of Sir Edward Herbert reclining in a come-hither pose. When she saw it, fellow author and Word Wench friend Sophie Weston of the Liberta Blog commented: “The Boots! The Boots!” Happily, this set us all thinking about those aspects of historical costume that we particularly enjoy, and the result is this blog piece in which we ask: “What... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Word Wenches
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When I’m travelling within the UK I tend to look for somewhere historical en-route to break my journey, whether it’s a castle or stately home or ruin or some other interesting place. If there is a tea room and gift shop that’s a bonus. So when I was driving from the east coast of Scotland back to Glasgow a couple of weeks ago I got out the map to help me decide where to stop. The whole area is absolutely packed with castles so it was more a case of trying to whittle it down than find somewhere. Then I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here and today I’m talking about beaches – and history. You may already have noticed that the Wenches love a good trip to the sea, whether it’s a Caribbean island or the Antarctic or the Northern shores of Scotland. There’s something about the water and a stretch of golden sand that is refreshing and inspiring, even if you’re wearing several layers of thermals to appreciate it, as I was last week! My beach odyssey started in Bamburgh in Northumberland, on the North East coast of England. It’s a favourite spot of mine and the setting for a story I’ll... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about the popularity of romantic comedy, both in contemporary and historical stories. A couple of weeks ago I was at the London Book and Screen Week, interviewing Sarah Morgan about romantic comedies and why they are so appealing and so enduring. Not only did we have the chance for a great chat, we also had a private screening of Sarah’s favourite rom com movie, In Her Shoes, just for us and the audience in a very cool little cinema! I love a good romantic comedy. The best and most enduring ones are funny, witty, charming and moving,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at Word Wenches
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