Tag Archives: Giveaways

A Summer for Love Blog Hop: Summer in Scotland (with Giveaway!!!)

Ahh, summertime! It’s the perfect time for strawberry ice cream, for peach bowle, for spending lazy days outside, and for going on vacation.

In the summer of 1839 this meant for a lot of people to go to Scotland because a young Scottish lord, the Earl of Eglinton, was hosting a medieval tournament on his estate in Ayrshire. He and a group of his friends donned medieval armor in order to joust like knights of old. The event drew several ten thousands of people to the Scottish countryside – and caused unspeakable traffic jams in the area around Eglinton Park. And because everybody was to come in costume, the coaches all over the country were piled high with boxes, parcels, and packages of all sizes.

In Edinburgh, a reporter for Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, ready to embark upon his journey, was utterly astonished by the amount of luggage – and he was not the only one:

Arriving at the office in Prince’s Street a little before the hour at which [the coach] should have started, we were astonished at the immense pile of luggage which we saw heaped on the street in order to be packed upon the carriage. When Mr. Croal, the coach-proprietor, came up, he was so much appalled by the sight, that, apologising for the delay which he must inevitably  occasion, he informed us that he must send back the coach to the yard, and get out a stronger one, that might be more certainly able to bear such a load without risk of breaking down.

When this more potent vehicle arrived, any impatience that might have been excited in us by the delay, was subdued by the interest which we could not help taking in the ingenuity which the coachman and his assistants displayed in packing and piling the various articles in and upon it; till I, and my companion, and two officers of our acquaintance, who had all of us placed ourselves comfortably on the hinder seats, could no longer see those in front, even when we stood up to try to do so. We felt some comfort in thinking that  the superior construction of coaches, now-a-days, admits of this being done with more safety than was formerly the case.

Besides all the ordinary kinds of trunks, portmanteaus, band-boxes, and carpet-bags, which are usually attendant upon a coach full of passengers inside and outside, there were innumerable white deal boxes of all manner of shapes and sizes. Most of them were ingeniously suspended like sausages on strings all around the carriage; and, to crown all, on the very top perched a wicker cage, containing a great, long-legged, large-bodied, awkward-looking pair of Chittagong fowls, belonging to an Indian who had a seat in the interior. The cock not only seemed to know that he was going to the Tournament as well as other people, but to think that he was to be triumphant there; for much to the amusement of all who beheld him […] he crowed away so loudly that he brought some of the sleepy citizens of Prince’s Street, in their night-caps, from their beds to their windows, to wonder at so unwonted a summon.

(from Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, November 1839)

My latest release THE BRIDE PRIZE is set against the backdrop of the Eglinton Tournament, and my hero and heroine are among the people travelling to Scotland in August 1839. Click below to listen to an excerpt.

THE BRIDE PRIZE is available from Amazon US / UK (and all other Amazon stores) & from Kobo

But wait! You can also win a signed copy of the novella if you sign up to my newsletter during the Summer for Love Blog Hop!

And there is even more!
Leave a comment here on this blog with your name and your e-mail to be entered into the Grand Prize drawing for a chance to win one of six $50 Amazon or B&N giftcards! Just tell me about your favorite summer destination.

Comments without name and email will not be counted.
Commenting on each and every stop will increase your chances of winning.
You can find the list with all stops here.

The Grand Prizes will be awarded to randomly drawn participants / commenters.

Winners will be drawn and announced on THE ROMANCE TROUPE blog by June 10th using random.org to determine each winner.

Let’s celebrate! The Paperback edition of SPRINGTIME PLEASURES is out now!

I’m so thrilled to announce the release of the paperback edition of SPRINGTIME PLEASURES. The book is now available on all Amazon sites, and you can also buy it directly from CreateSpace. To celebrate the release I’ve set up a Goodreads giveaway where you can win one of five signed copies of the novel.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Springtime Pleasures by Sandra Schwab

Springtime Pleasures

by Sandra Schwab

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Home for the Holidays Hop – German Holiday Cookies

The Romance Troupe
German Holiday Cookies: Spekulatius*

I’ve always been a huge fan of Spekulatius, German holiday cookies, but I’ve found the following recipe only last year — and it has already become one of my favourite holiday cookies! Not the least because this receipe is just perfect for cookie stamps. 🙂 (If you don’t have a cookie stamp, never fear: the cookies taste fantastic with or without stamped motif)

You will need:

  • 250 g / 9 oz plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g / 2 oz skinned and ground almonds
  • 100 g / 3,5 oz softened butter
  • 100 g / 3,5 oz brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • a pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cardamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g / 2 oz flaked almonds

Mix the flour with the baking powder and the ground almonds. Cream together the butter with the sugar, the vanilla sugar, the spices, and the salt. Add the egg, mix together, then add the flour mixture and quickly mix in.

Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 200° C / 392° F (fan-assisted oven: 180° C / 356° F).

Line two baking trays with baking paper and sprinkle the flaked almonds onto the paper.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface about 4 mm thick. Cut in rectangles. OR run wild with your cookie stamp(s) and your cookie cutters. 🙂

Place the cookies onto the baking trays and bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown. Place the cookies onto a baking rack until cool, then store them in a pretty tin. (They developed their full taste only after a few days.)

Now you have the cookies, it’s time to grab a cup of tea (or coffee) (or hot cocoa) and snuggle up on your couch with a nice book! And since you’re warm and comfy, what could be better than a book partly set in the stark, bleak landscape of the wintry fenlands?

When BEWITCHED was first released, Kathe Robin from RT Book Reviews called the novel a “captivating tale of a spell gone wrong, a love potion gone right, deceit, revenge, black magic and redemption.”

Sweet passion …

After a magical mishap that turned her uncle’s house blue, Miss Amelia Bourne was stripped of her powers and sent to London in order to be introduced into polite society—and to find a suitable husband. Handsome, rakish Sebastian “Fox” Stapleton was all that and more. He was her true love. Wasn’t he?

… or the bitter taste of deceit?

At Rawdon Park, the country estate of the Stapletons, Amy began to wonder. Several inexplicable events suggested that one sip of bitter punch had changed her life forever—that this love, this lust, was nothing but an illusion. She and Fox were pawns in some mysterious game, and black magic had followed them out of Town. Without her powers, would she be strong enough to battle those dark forces and win? And would she be able to claim her heart’s true desire? Magic potion or no, what she felt for Fox was a spell that could never be broken.


Do you have a favourite kind of holiday cookie or any other favourite holiday food?

The giveaway has now ended.

For a chance to win the Grand Prize in the Home for the Holidays Hop
leave a comment with your e-mail address here on this blog.

Visit the Event Page for a list of all stops
(Each blog where you visit and leave a comment
means another entry in the drawing!)

But that’s not all!

For a chance to win an additional goodie bag
full of German Christmas goodies,
(think Christmas chocolate!)

subscribe to my newsletter

* The recipe is based on the Spekulatius recipe from the book Lieblings-Weihnachtsplätzchen by GU. The original recipe can be found online here.