Book Releases

The Duke of Ruin by Darcy Burke Release

DUKERUIN_RB_BANNERThe Duke of Ruin, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is LIVE!

Burke, Darcy- The Duke of Ruin (final) 800 px @ 72 dpi low res

With her betrothal to a duke in tatters and scandal imminent, Diana Kingman has two choices: live in certain ignominy or flee into obscurity. Diana wants solitude. She never wished to wed in the first place. However, her father will stop at nothing to betroth her to one of the finest titles in the realm…no matter how loathsome the bearer. Escape is Diana’s only option, and she’ll pay any price to achieve freedom.

Universally blamed for the death of his wife and unborn child, Simon Hastings doesn’t dispute his guilt over an accident he cannot even remember. He hasn’t had a drink since, nor a moment’s peace. Determined to be a better man, Simon rescues a young woman in need—only to be accused of kidnapping. They must marry to save him from prison. But how can a man haunted by the love he lost and a woman afraid to get too close find happiness together?

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About Darcy

Darcy BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

Connect with Darcy

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Book Releases

The Pursuit of Mrs. Pennyworth Blog Tour

Meet the Author:

Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. And twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”

 

Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at calliehutton11@gmail.com or find her online at www.calliehutton.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content.

 

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

About the Book:

From USA Today Bestselling Author Callie Hutton is a new captivating and suspenseful historical romance…
 
Recently widowed, Charlotte Pennyworth is relishing her independence and it rankles to have to rely on a man to help her with an increasingly sinister stalker. Former Yardman, Elliot Baker, is reluctant to take on Charlotte’s case but despite himself and his history with another woman, he is drawn to the bright, attractive widow.
Sparks smolder between the PI and his client but neither is looking to form an attachment. Elliot thinks Charlotte is hiding something. Charlotte has no desire to marry again, especially to a private investigator, no matter how handsome, brave and kind he is. The risk to his life and her heart is too great. But more dangerous than a menacing stalker is secrets and when Charlotte’s come to light, even the passion between them might not douse the flames of Elliot’s distrust.

 

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Research · Travel

Cardiff Castle

In 2016, I made my first trip to the United Kingdom. During the trip we visited the city of Cardiff in Wales.

The keep at Cardiff Castle.
The Norman keep at Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle dates to the Roman Invasion. As a result, the castle has a rich history. The current site contains a reconstructed Roman fort, a Norman Castle and a Victorian Gothic home.

The Roman Invasion occurred in 43 AD and a fort was built at the lowest crossing point of the River Taft. The fort is believed to have been abandoned after the Roman Empire fell.

When the Normans invaded, they reused the site, adding a wall to create an inner and outer ward. They also built a hill to defend a castle with a stone keep added later.

The mansion built in the 1420’s and 1430’s is defined by the lighter colored stone.

The castle was built during the 1420’s and 1430’s by Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. For a time the property reverted to the crown. In 1551, it was granted to William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke. The 2nd earl expanded the castle in the 1570’s.

A marriage brought the property under the ownership of the Bute family in 1776. The Bute family made changes to the castle, adding Gothic wings. Capability Brown was hired to landscape the property and he destroyed many of the ancient walls and buildings.

The 3rd Marquess of Bute is responsible for the Victorian alterations. The work was done by the architect William Burges.

The Arab Room was used as the ladies’ drawing room.

Lord Bute was an animal lover and they are featured throughout the castle and grounds.

The Animal Wall
This carved monkey doubles as a bell pull.

There is so much to see at Cardiff Castle that it is impossible for me to cover it all in this blog post.

If you’re interested in Gothic Revival architecture, plan a visit to Cardiff Castle. I highly recommend the House Tour which will guide you through some of the rooms of the castle.

References

http://www.cardiffcastle.com

The essential Cardiff Castle by Matthew Williams

Research

Eye Miniatures – An Anonymous Token of Love

This article was previously published but I’ve never posted it on this site and thought I’d share my research into eye miniatures here.

The sentimental jewelry used during the 18th and 19th centuries is fascinating to me. These tokens of affections are sometimes very elaborate or made from unusual items, such as a loved one’s hair.

One short-lived jewelry trend that started in France sometime in the mid 1700’s and spread to London was the exchange of eye miniatures also known as lover’s eyes. It is generally believed that the Prince of Wales, who later became George IV, popularized this form of jewelry in London.

These portraits feature only an image of the eye, allowing a person to present it to a lover while keeping their identity a secret from others. They were also exchanged among family members. Lockets, containing portraits were another popular item but contained covers to hide the identity of the person. The anonymity of eye miniatures meant they could be worn openly.

Photo Credit: Yale University Art Gallery, Unknown eye, circa 1805-10, Watercolor on ivory.

The trend lasted until the 1820’s. It is estimated that less than 1000 eye miniatures exist in the world today with the Skiers of Birmingham, Ala. owning the largest collection.

For more information on eye miniatures:

Dennis Gaffney, “Gazing Into Lover’s Eyes,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/loverseyes.html

Candace Hern, “Lover’s Eyes Brooches,” http://candicehern.com/regencyworld/lovers-eye-brooches-origin/

Emma Mustish, “The secret history of lover’s eyes,” http://www.salon.com/2012/01/21/the_secret_history_of_lovers_eyes/

Diana Scarisbrick , “Miniatures and Silhouettes,” in Portrait Jewels (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2011).

Yale University Art Gallery, https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/16212

Do you own any jewelry that holds sentimental value?

 

Book Releases

Duke of Ice Blog Tour

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The Duke of Ice, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available NOW!

Burke, Darcy- The Duke of Ice (final) 800 px @ 72 dpi low res

Title: The Duke of Ice

Author: Darcy Burke

Genre: Historical Romance

Publishing Date: December 26th, 2017

Synopsis

Everyone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Eight years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind.

Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her. Despite those obstacles, it’s clear their passion hasn’t dimmed. However, the heat between them isn’t enough to melt the Duke of Ice, and this time Violet may find herself the jilted party. Can love, once so tragically lost, finally be found?

Excerpt:

“Looks like it’s you and Lady Pendleton,” Simon said. His voice carried a hint of something.

Nick snapped his head toward his friend and detected the glimmer of a smile in his gaze. He was enjoying this. He was playing matchmaker. And he had his sights set on Nick and Violet. Bloody hell.

Nick wanted to be angry, but his pull toward Violet was too strong. He’d felt it last night and again today when Simon had asked if it would be odd for him to pursue her. Nick had been jealous. Shockingly, blood-boilingly, desperately jealous.

The realization shook him to the core.

“Who’s to be the crier?” Simon asked.

“Why not Mr. Adair since he won Kiss the Nun?” Seaver suggested.

With everyone in agreement, Violet and Nick moved to the center of the room.

“Is this awkward?” she whispered.

“No.” His pulse quickened. Should he kiss her or should he fail?

His mind screamed the latter. And really, that was for the best. Jealousy aside, he and Violet had no future, not when their past was so painful.

And yet when they knelt with their backs to each other, he caught her scent of rose and an earthy spice. It was wholly feminine yet slightly wild. He hadn’t smelled a rose in the past eight years without thinking of her. His body reacted, heating at her proximity.

“Make ready,” Adair said.

Nick looked over his right shoulder and felt the air move as she looked over her left.

“Present.”

Nick leaned close to her cheek. He could feel her warmth, and his skin tingled.

Fire.”

He moved closer, but she sprang up. Instinctively, he reached for her, his arm curling about her waist. He pulled her back down. To stop her from hitting the floor, he spun to his back and sprawled, bringing her down on top of him. He cupped the side of her face and kissed her, his lips sliding over hers for a brief but delicious moment.

“The cheek,” she murmured, her gaze locked with his.

He leaned up and brushed his mouth against the soft flesh of her cheek. His lips lingered perhaps a second too long, but he didn’t care. Desire coursed through him, and for the first time in years, he felt alive.

AN

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The Forbidden Duke (The Untouchables Book 1)

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About Darcy:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

Darcy Burke

Connect with Darcy:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcyburke

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/darcyburkewrite/

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Stay up to date with Darcy by joining her Reader Club today:

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Website: http://www.darcyburke.com