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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 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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Many thanks for your comment, Janet. It does feel as though there is a strong case to be made against Buckingham. It's such a tangled web!
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2019 on On the Trail of King Richard III at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, reflecting on the emotional effect that people and places in history can have on us. I’ve been a Ricardian, a supporter of King Richard III, since I read The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey when I was about 12 years old. The much-maligned English monarch was a shoe-in to be my first adolescent crush; he was brave, loyal and devoted to the North of England, where I grew up. I joined the Richard III Society and became enormously partisan and completely unable to entertain any other point of view about Richard other than that he was a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing the Wenchly reading recommendations in the month of February. As ever we have a big mix of books for you and look forward to hearing what you've been reading too! the picture on the left is the rather gorgeous old bookshop in Marlborough, a town just down the road from me, where I love to browse. Sometimes you might even meet the resident bookshop ghost, which seems appropriate for Pat's first recommendation today! Pat writes: SEANCES ARE FOR SUCKERS by Tamara Berry Ellie Wilde is a cynic, for good reason. As the youngest of triplets, she’s paying... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, just back from a cruise along the coast of Norway taking in some spectacular scenery and the stunning beauty of the Northern Lights. Standing on the deck on the ship at 2am in temperatures of -13, it did occur to me to wonder what our ancestors had made of the extraordinary phenomena of the aurora. It’s so beautiful and other-worldly that even in these days when it can all be explained by science, it’s still pretty mind-blowing. How did people view the aurora in the past? Fortunately there was an excellent lecture on the ship that covered everything... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here! When I was a small child we lived in an ultra-modern house in a town in the North of England. It was the 1960s and 70s and open plan was the height of fashion. Both sets of grandparents however lived in bungalows and my step-grandparents lived in a Victorian two-up tow-down house. All three of these buildings had one thing in common; they had a room that was “for best.” The door was almost always closed and when I was allowed in I didn’t like it. It was always cold (there was no heating on because it wasn’t... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, musing about the atmosphere of particular places. Today I’m taking us back a long way in English history, beyond the Regency, beyond those ubiquitous Tudors, to a time before the Norman Conquest when England was split into the Anglo Saxon seven kingdoms. The village where I live has a recorded history that goes back to this distant time – there are actual documents from the era relating to events that happened in this very place over a thousand years ago and I find that mind-blowing. As I walk along the footpaths and over the hills I frequently imagine... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. It’s New Year’s Eve here in the UK, with fireworks, celebrations and all the traditions that go with the ending of one year and the start of the new. One of my favourite new year'e eve traditions was celebrated by my grandmother for many years - She would open the windows at the front and back of the house to invite good luck in and the front and let bad luck out at the back! However this might just have had the practical intention of airing the house after all the smells of Christmas cooking! It may be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Over the past few weeks we’ve been sharing excerpts from our Word Wench Christmas Anthology, The Last Chance Christmas Ball (which is currently still on special offer in the US and Canada in the run up to the festive season – you can find it here!) A number of commenters have asked about the process we went through writing the book as a group project (thank you!), so we’ve updated a post from 2015 when the anthology first came out explaining a bit about this and about the individual stories that we came up with. Today's blog title... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, continuing our Sunday excerpts from The Last Chance Christmas Ball, (the e-book is on special sale right now for only $.99!) Here's the setting: Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Abbey is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year… My story is A Season for Marriage... Lady Caroline Camden is unhappily married to a brilliant MP whose work is his life. In love with her husband and resigned to the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. There’s something about this time of year that makes me think about food even more than I usually do. Perhaps it’s the run up to the festive season when I’m not only thinking of the dishes I’d like to cook, or more accurately, I’d like the DH to cook for me as he’s a much better chef than I am, but somehow the dark evenings, short days and cold weather make me long to turn to food for both comfort and warmth. I’m reasonably okay about trying new dishes but when I came across a recipe that mentioned... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Last week I was in London for the RNA Winter Party and Industry Awards, and had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow Word Wench Susanna Kearsley who had come to talk to the RNA’s members about her latest book, Bellewether. It was a fabulous occasion and as an added bonus, the following day I had a ticket for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gallery in Westminster Abbey. I’ve wanted to visit the gallery ever since I read of how they had found so many treasures up in the roof space at Westminster Abbey and that they were restoring and displaying... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. I’ve always loved a road trip, whether real or fictional. In my time I’ve been lucky enough to circumnavigate Iceland, drive across a fair bit of Southern Africa and enjoy a fabulous journey on the iconic Route 66. Last month, though, we took to the road closer to home and travelled the North Coast 500. This amazing route around the Highlands of Scotland is becoming one of the most popular driving routes in the world and I can totally see why. It has stunning views and even more amazing history to take in on the way and I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today it is my great pleasure to welcome to the blog Julia Gasper, a historian and author whom I met through a shared interest in Craven family history. Today Julia is talking about one of the Georgian Lady Cravens, Elizabeth Berkeley, whom she intriguingly describes as a "writer, feminist and European." Julia also draws some interesting parallels between Elizabeth Stuart, for whom Ashdown was built, and her namesake Elizabeth Berkeley. "I greatly enjoyed reading Nicola Cornick’s novel, House of Shadows. However, one thing I found worrying was being told that, in this fictional world, Ashdown House had been... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. A short and hopefully sweet blog from me today as I’m heading off on holiday to Scotland soon and am surrounded by dog and human packing and am trying to work out how much food we will all need for 2 weeks in remote locations! Anyway, back to the blog, and a writing friend mentioned to me a week or so ago that she thought numbers in book titles were becoming a trend. Just as there had been “girl” titles, so there are now number titles, and a glance at the UK charts seems to support this: Joanna... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench question which is: "What comfort foods and other strange rituals do the Wenches turn to when under deadline?" This is a subject which elicited many sighs, groans and hollow laughter when it was raised amongst us. We've all been in deadline territory and we have the scars to prove it. How do we handle it? What rituals do we indulge in to tempt the Muse? How much extra chocolate does it take to see us through to the end of the book? These are all questions that we will be tackling. And... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Here in the UK it’s the first day of the new school year today. I can vividly remember the pleasure of the school summer holidays – six weeks off! – lasting from the end of July to the beginning of September, including my birthday and usually a holiday by the seaside. Summer was such a treat in that respect! Then the days would start to shorten and the nights would turn cooler and even if it felt as though it was still summer we knew that autumn and a return to school was on the way. The shops would all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, inviting everyone to join me in a small celebration! Twenty years ago this year my first book for Harlequin Mills & Boon was published. True Colours was named in homage to Georgette Heyer; the writing style probably owed a fair amount to her as well for she, along with Alice Chetwynd Ley, Clare Darcy and others had been strong influences on my developing love of the Regency romance. Even now I can remember the sense of disbelief to see a book I had written actually in print. For years I had written in my spare time – 12... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2018 at Word Wenches
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