Saturday, October 26, 2019

Today's Special - - Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas at Caynham Castle

I'm excited to welcome the authors of the upcoming holiday anthology, Christmas at Caynham Castle, to the blog today. Please give them all a warm welcome!




Christmas at Caynham Castle




Hi, everyone!  I’m Nancy Northcott, and my friends and I are excited to share our forthcoming holiday anthology, Christmas at Caynham Castle, with you. I have a weakness for Christmas collections. At busy times, I like having something I can read that’s shorter than a novel, and I love stories set during the holiday season. I wasn’t surprised to discover my co-authors felt the same way. So the seven of us got together and devised various Christmas celebrations at an imaginary castle.

Jeanne Adams and I created Caynham Castle, which is inspired by Ludlow Castle in Shropshire (England).  Unlike Ludlow, which is a well-preserved ruin, Caynham Castle is a hotel, bustling with life and brimming with holiday spirit. Once we had the castle layout and basics, the entire group then added details of the castle and the nearby town, Caynham-on-Ledwyche.

I had a great time reading what everyone came up with for Christmas at Caynham Castle. We hope you’ll enjoy that too!

Here’s a bit about the stories:

Her Heart in His Pocket ~ Donna MacMeanshttps://www.donnamacmeans.com

About a year ago, I asked my readers what secondary character they’d like to see featured in a Christmas novella and they chose Ben from Redeeming the Rogue.  I love the resulting novella and I hope you do as well. A surprise reunion of a pickpocket turned lady’s maid and a mysterious unexpected footman occurs just in time for the Christmas Frost Ball at Caynham Castle. The past of each could jeopardize the future of the other, and the future of Caynham Castle itself.




A Perfect Grey Christmas ~ Anna Sugdenhttps://www.annasugden.com

Readers often ask me about Ryan Grey, a former NJ Ice Cat who runs Grey’s Steakhouse, and who appears in several of my books. Christmas at Caynham Castle gave me the opportunity to explore Ryan’s story. Since concussion issues forced Ryan to give up hockey, and his dream of winning the Stanley Cup, it seemed important to give him his chance at glory – hence having him compete for the ultimate prize in cooking. Only one woman would do for Ryan’s heroine – Lydia, his former business partner and the woman he once loved, who left him to marry an English lord. Things are about to get hot in the kitchen!





The Ghost of Christmas Past ~Jeanne Adamshttps://www.jeanneadams.com 

In The Ghost of Christmas Past, Dr. Denby “Bee” Alden, is a bee expert and one of the witches from my Witches of Haven Harbor series. She’s come to Caynham Castle at Christmas to research ancient beekeeping techniques…and to escape. The ex-boyfriend who dumped her is getting married and she wants to be far away when that happens. While there, she meets the Earl of Caynham. A castle ghost helps them both find something to celebrate! I hope you enjoy Bee and Ward’s story!




Christmas Crossroads ~ Caren Cranehttps://www.carencrane.com

My story is about a young woman from my fictional town of Cross Springs, NC, who was orphaned young and has not found a place to call “home” until she lands in Caynham-on-Ledwyche and meets a local man who is reconnecting with his hometown.







Still ~ Seressia Glasshttp://seressiaglass.com

Still is set in my Shadowchasers universe. Morgan Lafayette is a Light Witch who got injured while astral traveling. She teams up with fellow traveler Arthur Davies and Shadowchaser Kira Solomon to defeat the creature that hurt her and finds love and a new friend in the process.






Crewel Fate ~ Gail Z. Martin ~https://ascendantkingdoms.com 

Crewel Fate was inspired by the many embroidery samples I’ve seen when touring historic homes. When Teag Logan and his fiancé Anthony Benton travel to England to celebrate their engagement, Teag’s magic and supernatural experience hone in on restless ghosts, an old scandal and century-old secrets that could turn deadly. Can Teag and Anthony solve the mystery and settle the ghosts before the Ball, or will more people join the ranks of the castle ghosts? Crewel Fate is part of my Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, and falls immediately after the newest novel, Inheritance. 





The Last Favor ~ Nancy Northcotthttps://www.nancynorthcott.com

The Last Favor, part of my Arachnid Files spy series, was inspired by my experiences and those of friends in dealing with loss at the holidays. Grayson (Gray) Kane, the hero, comes to Caynham Castle to pick up an award for his late father. Dealing with his loss amid the families celebrating the holiday makes him question his solitary life as an covert agent. His partner, Laurel Whitney, joins him to protect Gray from an assassin. As the long-suppressed attraction between them flares anew and a killer closes in, she must decide whether she has the courage to seize what she has always wanted.



~~~~~~~~~~~

Many thanks to all of the authors for visiting with us today and sharing a bit about their contributions to Christmas at Caynham Castle. This anthology is definitely going on my holiday reading list!

Christmas at Caynham Castle will be available November 20 through most ebook vendors. Jeanne Adams and Nancy Northcott return on December 4 to share the process of creating the castle.

Readers, do you have questions for the authors?

What's your favorite story with a castle in it? 

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), October 27, will receive a Kindle copy of Christmas at Caynham Castle (gifted to winner on November 20). 


80 comments:

  1. Good morning (or good afternoon here) everyone! Delighted to be back with our friends at the Dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anna! *waving*

      I'm looking forward to your story. A former hockey player who heats things up in the kitchen? Yes, please!

      Delete
    2. *waving back* and sending hugs from rainy England!

      Delete
  2. Third attempt at posting a comment. Blogger hates me! I am really excited for our anthology and I think readers will be, too. The castle and the stories should provide a rich environment for our eclectic group of tales! My heroine is an event planner who was tasked with a Christmas Eve society wedding in the castle's chapel. The hero is a landscape architect who is back home to run his father's floral shop (at Christmas!) while his father recovers from emergency surgery. It was fun to write and I am really excited to read everyone else's stories. I hope you guys are, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blogger hates me too! I sign in, and it pretends I didn't. I'm looking forward to having all the stories together and reading at my leisure.

      Delete
    2. Sorry about the difficulties, Caren. Blogger sometimes has a (not so cooperative) mind of its own.

      I've enjoyed your Cross Springs stories so I'm looking forward to that connection.

      Delete
    3. I had the same trouble - but seem to have worked it out now. I'm looking forward to reading the other stories in the anhtology too.

      Delete
    4. Caren, I'll third that in that blogger generally messes with me too! Ha! Can't wait to read your Cross-Springs story

      Delete
    5. Thanks, guys! I think our enthusiasm for each other's stories is evident. I am as eager as our collective fans to get my hands on this one!

      Delete
  3. Hi
    All new authors to me and I would love to read this book!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia! We had a blast creating the castle and the town. I hope you enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed building this world.

      Delete
    2. I love introducing readers to new authors and an anthology, I've found, is a wonderful way to discover them.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Patricia! A couple of the authors are new to me too, so I look forward to enjoying their stories.

      Delete
    4. LOL - It's been so long, I've forgotten how to nest replies (grin). Patricia - I answered your post down a few comments.

      Delete
    5. Hey Patricia! We're happy to meet you via The Dish! Grins.

      Delete
    6. Patricia, so great to meet you here! I hope you read the anthology and fall for it like we all have. Castle Caynham is such a wonderful setting and the town we created, Caynham-on-Ledwyche, turned into a character unto itself! I do hope you'll mark 11/20, the on-sale date, on your calendar!

      Delete
    7. PJ, we're always so grateful that you like our work and share it with your wonderful Dishies! Thank you!

      Delete
  4. I'm so excited tor read this book! Congrats to all of the authors! Old favorites and new ones to try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, PJ--

      Thanks again for having us!

      Delete
    2. Hey Deb! *waving* great to see you!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Deb! Yes, this anthology will be a memorable one. Great writers, a great setting, and a plethora of subgenres. Such fun!

      Delete
  5. Hi Patricia!
    I'm the sole historical author in this anthology. I've written a number of Victorian romances so I thought I'd give my reader a chance to pick the hero or heroine of this anthology. I was pretty confident that they would choose a secondary character from one of my earlier books, but they didn't! They chose Ben, a young kid from Redeeming the Rogue who grow up on the mean London streets. It took me a while to come up with a good story for Ben, but I think this worked beautifully. I love "Her Heart is His Pocket." I hope you give it a try. Do you like historicals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to reading Ben's story, Donna. I loved Redeeming the Rogue!

      Delete
    2. Donna, as yours is set the earliest in the anthology, I can't wait to read about the historical Caynham Castle! Of course, now that it's Halloween, I wish we had a Halloween-set anthology. With the ghost we already have in the Castle, I think we'll have to tackle that one some year or other!

      Delete
    3. Thanks PJ. I think you'll especially like this one as Phineas Conner drops in for a bit. I really need to write his story, but he's very particular. (grin).

      Delete
    4. Ohhhhh yeah! Donna, I'm hoping you'll do that story soon. PHineas rocks!

      Delete
  6. Thanks PJ for having us today. Participating in this anthology was such a fun experience. I know most of the other authors from Romance Bandits, but writing with Seressia Glass and Gail Z. Martin makes this a new experianence as well. I really excited to read everyone's novella. This should be a fantastic way to get into the Christmas Spirit - love, love and ghosts (grin).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay, ghosts! Grins. Can't wait to read yours too, Donna. Love me some Ben!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh yes, some of my favorite authors all in one spot, can't beat that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like old times, isn't it, Di?

      Delete
    2. Dianna, my darling, so great to hear from you! We all miss the Lair (though not the time commitment, honestly). Four Banditas in one anthology was a treat for us. I think you'll be really happy with this anthology. It has a bit of everything romance. Some historical, some contemporary, some paranormal, some romantic suspense. A smorgasbord! We have had loads of fun figuring out all manner of logistics about the town and Castle. Do expect some meaty reads. Each of these novellas is 20 - 25k words. Some of us (me and Anna, for sure) were hard pressed to keep it to 25,000!

      Delete
    3. Hey gal! So great to "see" you here! Hope you'll enjoy this set. It's super fun!

      Delete
    4. Hi Dianna! Miss you! And Caren - Four Banditas??? I count five - Anna, Caren, Donna, Jeanne, and Nancy. (grin). I really think, Dianne, you'll enjoy the anthology as you know so many of us and can hear our voices in the individual stories. We write in different subgenres but all romances with feel good endings. (grin).

      Delete
    5. Thanks, Dianna! It's so good to see you again. As Caren says, we have a little something for everyone in this, so I hope you'll enjoy it.

      Delete
    6. Donna, you KNOW I can't count! For some reason, i never count myself in these things! HA!

      Delete
    7. Dianna! So great to see you! Big hugs. We miss hanging out with all our BBs in the Lair!

      Delete
  9. Ooh, I can't wait to read this one!! I've been following many of you Banditas for years! I love that you were able to come up with a shared setting for all your stories! Do any of the characters overlap? Did you have a chance to read each other's work along the way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we could have read each other's stories in advance! I got to read most of Nancy's (which I love!), but haven't read any of the others. We were in desperate deadline crunch for this one. Sad, but true! I don't know that any of our primary characters interact "on page", but there are some secondary characters that many of us used. The events planner at the Castle, Verity Pedley-Mortimer, is mentioned in my story and she appears in Anna's. I think my hero's family's floral shop, Greenbury's Floral Abundance, is also mentioned in one or two others. We have landmarks we use in town and businesses that are used quite a bit. The Boar and Knight, a pub in Caynham-on-Ledwiche, is used by at least 3 of us!

      Delete
    2. There's a little overlap in my story and Nancy's - my Earl of Caynham gives her hero an award. Grins. This was super fun to do and I can't wait to see more of the castle through the other writer's eyes. Great to "see" you here, Fedora!

      Delete
    3. Hi Fedora! I'm afraid that I was "out of the loop" with the other authors as my story is set in 1891 - not a lot of interaction with the contemporaries (grin). I did read most of Anna Sugden's and all of Jeanne's. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the stories. It's pretty amazing to take one location and see how everyone interacts with it. I will say that Phineas Connor, my character from Redeeming the Rogue, makes a surprise appearance in my story. Some characters simply will not be overlooked (grin).

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Fedora! There is a little overlap, as others have said, but we mostly each went our own way. The pub was very popular (even--or maybe especially--without a Golden Rooster making trouble). The main things that overlaps is the Frost and Flame ball Anna created. Either the decorations or the festivities, or both, figure in several of our stories. The continuity was a lot of work, but we had fun with it.

      Delete
    5. Fedora! Hey Sweetie! Big hugs! Miss you! We tried to incorporate things from other stories, even if only a mention. So in my story, for example, there is a statue beside the folly which is a memorial to Donna's characters.

      Delete
  10. Is this available for pre-order, or will it simply become available on November 20?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fedora, I'm told it will be available on November 20.

      Delete
    2. Fedora, I don't know if we'll have the formatting finished in time for a pre-order, so look for the on-sale announcement for 11/20! It's great to "see" you here! I miss the Bandits Lair often. :/

      Delete
    3. Thanks for asking, Fedora. As Caren said, we're scrambling, so we decided not to risk a preorder not being ready on time. The collection will definitely be available November 20.

      Delete
  11. WOW, so many genres. Thanks for the introductions to so many new to me authors. I am a fan of Christmas anthologies. Always can get a "good" feeling with one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annette! I love Christmas anthologies as well. The season is just so magical, and then you add romance. Gotta love it. Plus, I like having the shorter "quick reads," available for the busy holiday season. The nice thing about this anthology is that often you get all historicals, or all paranormal. Our anthology has a little bit of everything so you're bound to find some new authors to love. I hope you give it a try.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Annette! I really love Christmas anthologies. Novellas and short stories take so much less time to read than novels, and that's a boon at a busy time of the year. And Christmas-themed stories are always so upbeat.

      Delete
    3. Great to meet you Annette - Christmas anthologies are a favourite of mine, especially with novellas, for when you don't have as much time to enjoy a full book. I'm sure you'll find several stories to love in this anthology (not that I'm biased ha ha)

      Delete
    4. *Waving* Hi Annette! Hope you'll like this one. Like the others have said, I too love antho's especially at the holidays. You get a good read but don't have to commit the time a full novel takes. Happy Holidays!

      Delete
  12. Beauty and the Beast is a favorite story with a castle

    denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought of Beauty and the Beast, but you're right, that's a great story with a castle. I can't speak to the tropes of the other author's stories, but mine is a "friends to lovers" story. I tend to write a senuous, but fun historical. This one fits that description perfectly. I hope you give it a try.

      Delete
    2. Denise, I love that story, too. Many authors have put their own spins on that tale, but it never seems to get old.

      Delete
    3. Beauty and the Beast is a great heartwarming story, that can fit any season or genre. I must admit to loving the Disney films with castles!

      Delete
    4. Anna, I do love Disney's spin on it too. Also love Robin McKinley's Beauty for a great spin on the classic tale. :>

      Delete
  13. I love anthologies and have many Christmas ones that I keep and reread each year. They are perfect for this time of year when I have little time to read. There is always time to squeeze in a story from an anthology.
    Since my first and favorite romances were medieval stories, castles were important features in all of them. I really can't name a favorite. Whenever I think of one, another I liked comes to mind. Whether historical or contemporary, castles have a charm and magic that gives any story with one a special feel. You ladies have put together what sounds like a varied and enjoyable book. I look forward to enjoying every one of the stories during a break (escape) from the chaos of holiday preparations. A cup of hot chocolate, a few cookies, and one of your stories is the perfect way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is definitely something magical and romntic about a castle. Even as the resident Brit, I love them and am always inspired by the stories they hold. Mm did you have to mention cookies ... :)

      Delete
    2. Forgot to say, if you like seasonal themed short stories, I have 3 selections (all compiled together in a Complete Collection too) of bite-sized romances which cover everything from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Easter and Valentine's Day, and which feature my hockey hunks.

      Delete
    3. Wait, there are cookies? I'm so there! Grins. I'll second Anna's note about her great hockey hunks and her bite-sized romances. So good! (Anna, you're an auto-buy for me and not just 'cause we're friends!) Also the other Anna - Anna Campbell - has a grouping of three or four of her Christmas historicals which are faboo too. :> I've got a New Year's story that's out in my Haven Harbor series - Happy New Year from Haven Harbor - as well if you want a little witchy with your cocoa!

      Delete
    4. Thank you so much for the suggestions ladies. Now I have more books to look forward to.

      Delete
  14. I love Christmas Collections too. I have read a lot of stories with castles over the years. Most were set during the Middle Ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Mary! Great to see you here! Have missed chatting with you in the Lair! Ooh can you recommend any good romances set in the Middle Ages?

      Delete
    2. Hey Mary! Long time no "see"! I'd love a few recco's on middle ages romances too!

      Delete
  15. I also love Christmas stories, and it is nice to have some short ones to read when you have an hour or so available. These sound very inviting. Thanks for sharing this book with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Carla! Thanks for popping in! Glad this piques your interest. Hope you'll enjoy them when they come out.

      Delete
  16. Ok, I am so freaking excited for this one and I am guessing it will be an annual holiday read for me! So much to love here ! New authors that have become faves too... November will be here before we know it and the stresses of holiday season. This will make a solid dent in making sure I care for my spirit ... sitting down and getting cozy with all these stories ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww. Thanks, Hope! We're excited about it too. And the idea of being someone's annual holiday read just thrills me to death. Thanks! You're right, too, in saying November will be here before we know it...holy crap, how did that happen? Where did the year go? Ha! Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and then tinsel and trees!

      Delete
  17. I'm exited about this anthology, especially since all the authors except for Donna Macmeans are new to me. Always great to meet new writers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Waving* Hey Meg! If you love Donna MacMeans, you'll love her story in this set. It's vintage Donna and charming as all get out. And there's a Folly, so...yeah. hahaha! So many great stories! (We're super glad to "meet" you too, by the way! Thanks for popping in!)

      Delete
  18. I love anthologies and stories set in castles. I look forward to this one. I have read too many books with castles I can not pick just one.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey KL Mann! What's not to love about a castle, right? It's always so fun and mysterious, with so many possibilities, given the age of the structure. Ghosts, ghoulies, love stories past and present...so much story fodder! Grins. Thanks for stopping in!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for visiting, everyone! I'm looking forward to visiting the Castle on November 20!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love the mix of genres and all Christmas stories.Being set in a Castle with a ghost makes it more interesting. I can't wait till November to read it ladies. An earthly Christmas treat. 🌝 I'm always reading Scottish Romance set in Castles so I can't pick one favorite.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, I'm so eager to read this! Thanks for popping in, Anna, Nancy, Donna, Jeanne, and Caren! <3

    ReplyDelete