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On the twelfth day of Christmas…

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

I love this Christmas carol! Is it one you know? There are some fantastic lyrics in there and people have loved singing them for hundreds of years. But what does it actually mean?

First, let’s take a look at the lyrics. It’s a cyclical song where each verse gets longer by adding a different day, so we’re going to skip to the last verse which has all the lyrics in it.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping

Ten lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking

Seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings

Four calling birds, three French hens

Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree

Twelve Days of Christmas

It’s also great a bangin’ tune, so check it out on YouTube if you don’t know it!

So what do the lyrics mean? Actually, there is a huge amount of disagreement about whether there are secret meanings to the things that are given. Some people think that it’s tied to the months of the year.

Others think that the fact that the first five are birds is significant. There is a theory that the song was used to teach children about Catholic beliefs in England, when it was illegal to pass on those teachings. However, a few people disagree with that.

So where does that leave us? Not really sure! Sometimes you can’t find a deep meaning to a song, especially one that has been sung and changed for so long over time.

This year, when you sing this song, lose yourself in the tune and wonder what the lyrics will end up being in another hundred years!

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You’re going to miss out on this Christmas boxset!

You’re running out of time! The Dragonblade Christmas boxset is only going to be available for a few more months, so if you want to enjoy our spin off stories, you need to grab them now! Thankfully you don’t have to fork out a fortune to enjoy them – our boxset is just 0.99!

Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales!

Amazon – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Amazon

Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.

The candles are guttered, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.

A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…

The clock on the wall chimes midnight.

Now, the magic happens.

From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.

USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens’-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.

This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Caroline Lee
Chasity Bowlin
Collette Cameron
Hildie McQueen
Maggi Andersen
Mary Lancaster
Meara Platt
Violetta Rand
Alexa Aston
Anna Markland
Anna St. Claire
Aubrey Wynne
Charlotte Wren
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Johns
Elizabeth Keysian
Emily E K Murdoch
Emily Royal
Gabrielle Carr
Lynne Connolly
Maeve Greyson
Whitney Blake

From Dragonblade to you, we wish you a very happy holiday season!

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Read now! Always the Matchmaker

I am so thrilled to share that the next book in my popular Never the Bride series is LIVE! This means you can now read the story of what happens to Miss Theodosia Ashbrooke.

Not going to lie, this is so exciting for me. I included Miss Ashbrooke in the very first book in this series and I knew that if the series really hit it off, then I would be able to tell her story.

And here it is! Get ready to strap in and enjoy Miss Ashbrooke’s story!

Always the matchmaker and never the bride – even when she’s found her perfect partner…

Miss Theodosia Ashbrooke does not believe there is anything greater than matching the perfect pair – and she’s become rather expert in it. Never mind that she’s never found the missing half to her own soul and body.

Perhaps that’s not her lot in life, even at the age of eight and twenty.

Her own failure is Albemarle Howard, Earl of Lenskeyn. He’s rude, he’s arrogant, he’s overly confident, and nothing Theodosia can do makes a difference. Albemarle has found his match though: and he is sure it is Theodosia.

He’s determined to have her. She’s not ready to accept defeat just yet. When you’ve always been right it’s impossible to accept that you’re wrong.

Can Theodosia step away from her matchmaker mindset for one minute and see the man in front of her – or will she lose him forever?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order.

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Is your Christmas tree up?

I had so much fun writing this little novella, but of course you are only going to have a few weeks to grab it at just 0.99! We’re really hoping that thousands of you grab it at this bargain price because there are over twenty novellas in here for you to enjoy. So ignore the world, grab a blanket and a drink of your choice, and enjoy!

Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales!

Amazon – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Amazon

Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.

The candles are guttered, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.

A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…

The clock on the wall chimes midnight.

Now, the magic happens.

From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.

USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens’-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.

This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Caroline Lee
Chasity Bowlin
Collette Cameron
Hildie McQueen
Maggi Andersen
Mary Lancaster
Meara Platt
Violetta Rand
Alexa Aston
Anna Markland
Anna St. Claire
Aubrey Wynne
Charlotte Wren
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Johns
Elizabeth Keysian
Emily E K Murdoch
Emily Royal
Gabrielle Carr
Lynne Connolly
Maeve Greyson
Whitney Blake

From Dragonblade to you, we wish you a very happy holiday season!

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Ask me anything!

I absolutely love speaking with my readers, and sometimes I know you have questions about my books, my series, how I write, and more – so this is your time to ask me!

I am going to have this blog comments section open forever, so whenever you have a question, just pop it in the comments and I promise to answer them truthfully!

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My Christmas tree is up!

I admit it. My Christmas tree is up! I absolutely adore the season, and it’s impossible for me to stop thinking about it – and so I have put the tree up, the lights on, and there is more gingerbread in my cupboards than I know what to do with!

If you’d like to get into the Christmassy mood, I have just the thing for you – our Dragonblade Christmas boxset! Each story has been contributed by a historical author well loved by many, and this way you can try out a whole new set of authors you love!

Our pre-order is only 0.99p or 0.99c, so please do grab it now!

Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales!

Amazon – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Amazon

Nook – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Nook

Kobo – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Kobo

Apple – https://bit.ly/DB-ONightDivine-Apple

Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.

The candles are guttered, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.

A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…

The clock on the wall chimes midnight.

Now, the magic happens.

From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.

USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens’-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.

This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Caroline Lee
Chasity Bowlin
Collette Cameron
Hildie McQueen
Maggi Andersen
Mary Lancaster
Meara Platt
Violetta Rand
Alexa Aston
Anna Markland
Anna St. Claire
Aubrey Wynne
Charlotte Wren
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Johns
Elizabeth Keysian
Emily E K Murdoch
Emily Royal
Gabrielle Carr
Lynne Connolly
Maeve Greyson
Whitney Blake

From Dragonblade to you, we wish you a very happy holiday season!

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Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween!

Here in England where I have grown up and still live, Halloween is celebrated very differently from in America, and so much of how I think about the day is from what I have seen in films!

When I was growing up, Halloween was mainly just another day. I did not go trick or treating, and only when I was in primary school – so under the page of eleven – did we dress up and that was to go to school.

When I was a teenager, there were a few parties around Halloween, but not really. It seems to be in the States that children and their parents go all out in their outfits.

There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate it, and while this year it is going to be difficult for people to go trick and treating like normal, I will be trying out Halloween cocktails at home and watching a frightening film!

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Grab ‘Always the Rival’ on discount now!

With just days to go until Always the Rival goes on sale, you absolutely have to grab it now otherwise you’ll end up paying full price for it! This wild romp of a Regency romance is eagerly anticipated by some of my readers, I know, and I can’t wait for you to enjoy Priscilla’s story!

Make sure you grab this gorgeous Regency romance and let me know what you think!

– and this time, it’s her own fault…

What had Miss Priscilla Seton been thinking? She had always assumed that Charles would stay the same forever, but bowing to familial wishes he is now engaged – and Priscilla is determined to sabotage the match. She has known him for all her twenty years, and he is hers.

But Charles Audley, Duke of Orrinshire, is facing pressures of his own. His marriage arranged for him, there’s not a single day that goes by without him regretting Priscilla.

Of course, he could never say anything. His family honor is at stake, and he would never betray them – but letting off a little steam?

He’s determined to have his cake and eat it. She’s ready to rival any woman that comes into his life. Seduction isn’t the problem – it’s the pressure of family and commitment that threatens to destroy everything.

Is it possible for Priscilla to rival not just the perfect woman for Charles, but also his family?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order.

Read FREE in kindle unlimited!

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Hugs in the time of COVID

You know, I never thought I would think of a hug as a powerful thing, until this year.

I have always loved hugs. I am one of those people who is a ‘hugger’, even hugging people who I have just met – apologies if you are one of those people who hate that!

It is just my way. I like hugging people, feeling close to them, ensuring they know of my affection for them. But of course that has all changed now. In a world of COVID, when you are not supposed to be within a few metres of another person, you simply cannot hug those you want to.

I am fortunate to live with my wonderful husband so I am able to have hugs pretty much on command (sorry, dear!), but there are so many other people that I would like to hug, especially as we move into the winter months.

And of course, there are those who live alone and are finding this time so challenging. My heart goes out to you, and I hope my books and the other authors you love keep you company.

When we will can all go out into the world again, I am sure we will all be huggers for a little while!

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Surprise! Another Christmas anthology!

I know, I have been busy! As well as O Night Divine, this year I am a part of another Christmas anthology – this one is called Have Yourself a Merry Little Secret!

Some of my favourite historical romance authors to read are in this set, and so you’ve got to dive in and explore how secrets and scandals can bring people together at Christmas time

From the seductive boudoirs and elite salons of London to the ancient castles of the snowy Scottish Highlands, our fearless heroines enter the Christmas season in pursuit of their heart’s desire.

But, the course of true love never did run smooth… especially when SECRETS abound.

Settle in to enjoy these tales of intrigue, romantic adventure, sizzling passion, and heartwarming holiday romance.

This collection of never-before-published Yuletide historical romances from your favorite authors is available for just three months, so don’t miss out.

Unwrap the pleasure

Wedding Her Christmas Duke – by Collette Cameron
He’s not who he says he is…but then again, neither is she. Their secrets are revealed at a Christmastide house party, resulting in scandal and scorching romance.

The Knot of a Knight – by Linda Rae Sande
Sir Randolph’s daytime occupation collides with his nocturnal avocation of service to the Crown when he discovers Lady X’s hidden stash of bank notes. They might be counterfeit—but are his feelings for her?

The Marquess is Mine – by Tamara Gill
Is a Christmas ball at St. Albans Abbey the perfect setting for Sarah to regain her trust in love–and in Giles? Or is their second chance at happily ever after doomed to end as badly as their first?

A Yuletide Miracle – by Laurel O’Donnell
The one knight who didn’t believe her was the only man who could keep her secret and save the Yule.

The Lady Who Stole Christmas – by Sydney Jane Baily
Amid mistletoe and missing jewels, a wealthy widow and a sexy sleuth play a game of cat and mouse.

Christmas with a Czar – by Emily E.K. Murdoch
This Christmas at St. James’ Court, a gentleman claiming to be a Czar is not all that he seems…

A Scot Most Wanted – by Angelique Armae
When highwaywoman Catrina Lennox’s secret is unmasked during a Christmas Eve snowstorm, she learns just how deliciously scandalous the laird she once walked out on, truly is.

Secretly Marvellous – by Virginia Taylor
Lady Mary doesn’t expect Lord Westerham to ask for her hand in marriage but she has a secret reason to say ‘yes’ and mean ‘no.’

Yuletide Secrets – by S. Cinders
He promised to never love again—until she quite literally fell at his feet. Now he’s ruined for anyone else but her.

One Scandalous Christmas – by J. Burrelli
Robert Vaughn, never expected to lay eyes on Kitty Thorpe again. Her misplaced anger confounds him, but the fire in her eyes tempts him to pure folly, of falling in love with her all over again.

The Rogue’s Secret – by Stacy Reid and Giselle Marks
Bachelor, Lord Rupert Rogers, is searching for the treasure his great uncle suggests he has left him but finds an enemy and a bride he must convince with one kiss at a time they are perfect for each other…

The Secrets He Keeps – by Amy Sandas
She’s the madam of an elite London brothel. He’s a master in the art of seduction. Enticing her to his bed will be a pleasure. Convincing her love is real might prove to be impossible.

Grab this amazing boxset now!

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What do you eat and drink while writing?

Whenever I was studying for my exams when I was young, I would always need to have chocolate chip cookies. For me, that’s what revision tastes like! I would use them for motivation; all I had to do was get through revising another few pages, and I would have a cookie.

As I’ve got older, I really haven’t changed that much! Some days I am completely in the zone, the Muse is with me, and I can’t imagine struggling to write another chapter – and another chapter – and another chapter…

But sometimes, writing is hard. Writing is hard! Every word seems to be a real challenge and although I know I need to write more, I struggle.

That’s when the cookies come in.

There’s nothing quite like incentives like cookies! I line them up and make sure I promise myself not to have one until I finish the chapter. All of a sudden, the chapter is written, and I’m stuffing a cookie into my face!

But that’s what works for me. What works for you? What food or drink do you use to motivate yourself – or do you use something else?

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Think bluestockings are a thing of the past?

My latest release in my Never the Bride series, Always the Bluestocking, has Mariah Wynn as my heroine – a bluestocking who is desperate for education and furious that society forbids her from university.

I loved writing this book. Mariah is probably one of my heroines who is most like me, and so I had a great time being angry on her behalf – or was it that she was angry on my behalf?

Because I am angry. Although I was able to go to university for an undergraduate degree and even my masters, there are women and girls all over the world who are denied that right.

Bluestockings are not a thing of the past. There are millions of girls in countries in almost every continent who are not allowed to go to school, whether because they are needed at home, because they need to work, or because education isn’t seen as valuable for girls.

I’d really encourage you to look at Unicef’s website about girls’ education, which you can find here: https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education

I look forward to the day when every girl can get a good education! In the meantime, I’m going to keep supporting Unicef and writing books that have strong, powerful, and amazing women.