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Blog Tour Guest Post: Brougham Hall by Nicki J. Markus

Title:Brougham Hall

Author:Nicki J. Markus

Genre:Regency Romance, Gothic, Paranormal, Historical


Publisher:Fireborn Publishing


A family estate falling into ruin. A young woman thrown into an unfamiliar world. Two brothers at odds over their secret. And an ancient malice that threatens destruction and death.

December 1822, Wiltshire, England

When Catherine goes to live with her highborn cousin’s family at Brougham Hall, she expects restrictions on her previously free lifestyle and comments on her lack of social grace. What she does not anticipate is the loss of her heart, nor a web of dark family secrets that threaten the safety of everyone in the house.

Vampire twins Hal and James are Lord Grovely’s guests. Though close in some respects, the different approach each takes to his vampiric nature puts a strain on their relationship. Having hoped for a pleasurable sojourn, they find themselves drawn into an unfolding drama in which their brotherly bond will be sorely tested. 

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Guest Post – Elements of the Gothic

When I started work on Brougham Hall, I knew I wanted to include Gothic elements. I’d visited Strawberry Hill, Horace Walpole’s Gothic-inspired London residence, several months earlier, and I had just completed a MOOC in Gothic literature, for which I had to read/reread a number of key Gothic texts. Brougham Hall is a blend of Gothic ghost story with paranormal and historical romance, but it includes all the aspects you’d expect from a Gothic tale—an ancient abode that is falling into ruin, a tortured man with a dark past, spooky forgotten chambers and forbidden places, a dark family secret, and, of course, a virginal heroine caught up in the midst of all the madness and decay.

One of the joys about writing a story with tropes such as those of the Gothic variety is the opportunity to try something new with them. For me, Brougham Hall is something of an homage to the genre, and it is one of my more ‘literary’ works so far, with plenty of intertextual references and themes that readers of Shakespeare and the classics may well discern. There should be plenty to please existing readers of Gothic fiction, and I hope that the blend with other styles will also entice new readers to the genre.


A sudden rush of air came out of nowhere and gusted down the corridor. It caught her lamp and the flame winked out, plunging her into blackness. Catherine’s breath hitched and she waited, listening. The floor creaked. The windows shook. Her heart pounded. And up ahead she saw a faint glow. She squinted, trying to make out the form that emerged from the gloom. The light grew brighter as the shape moulded into the figure of a woman with a wan face and sunken eyes. Her gaze focused on Catherine. Then the woman’s mouth dropped open into a silent cry and she rushed forward, arms outstretched and fingers grasping.

Catherine screamed.

She squeezed her eyes shut and hunched over. Instinct made her raise her free hand in front of her face to ward off the attack. Then something heavy alighted on her shoulder. She jumped and cried out again. The lamp slipped from her fingers, but the sound of breaking glass never came. Instead, a voice rang out above the echo of her shriek.

“Please, do not be alarmed. I was on my way to bed when I heard your cry. My name is Henry Carrington. Wait one moment and I will fetch us some light.”



Nicki is offering an eBook copy of my MF PNR short story Canção do Amor to two lucky readers. To be in with a chance to win, please comment on this post, telling her your favourite historical period. She will review comments across all participating blogs at the end of the tour and will randomly select the winners, whom she will contact privately by 6 November, as well as announcing them on her FB and Twitter feeds. (Prize value US$0.98 / GB£0.99)

About the author

Asta IdoneaAsta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

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Writer, traveler, coffee and book addict, and also founder of EyesOnBooks. I've loved books all my life and now they are a huge part of my work. I have been blogging for about twelve years and have worked as a PR and marketing consultant in the IT&C field before shifting all my focus to books and authors.

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