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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt for "The Curse of Maiden Scars"

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Book Title: The Curse of Maiden Scars

Series: Maiden, Mother, Crone

Author: Nicolette Croft

Publication Date: June 4, 2024

Publisher: Historium Press

Pages: 286

Genre: Historical Fiction / Women’s Fiction

The Curse of Maiden Scars book cover

The Curse of Maiden Scars

Nicolette Croft

Coming in August 2024: Audiobook narrated by Liz May Brice




Sixteen-year-old Renna Covert toils away in the shadows of a Yorkshire workhouse, her days filled with the mundane task of shelling cotton and the dangerous duty of scouting for punters. One fateful night, she crosses paths with two sailors and finds herself thrust into the heart of a chilling encounter at the local asylum.


These harrowing experiences catalyze Renna’s journey, promising newfound opportunities and revealing long-buried family secrets. Yet, at every turn, powerful forces conspire to thwart her quest for truth, forcing her to abandon her scullery work and embark on a daring escape to Venice alongside her steadfast companions.


In the labyrinthine alleys of Venice, Renna’s fate takes yet another twist. She is ensnared by a cunning Madam who trains her as a Venetian courtesan. But beneath the veneer of luxury lies a world fraught with danger, where Renna must rely on her withs and resilience to navigate the treacherous waters of deceit and betrayal.


Set against the backdrop of Venice’s tumultuous Napoleonic invasion of 1797, this is a tale of a girl's struggle for survival. It is a story of resilience, defiance in the face of adversity, and, ultimately, one young woman’s determination to reclaim her identity.


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Author Bio:

Nicolette Croft author photo

Nicolette Croft can’t remember a time when she was not creating imaginary worlds inspired by her Hungarian and American ancestors. As a neuro-divergent learner, however, putting those stories to paper proved more challenging than imagining them. Because her determination would not allow her to settle, she pursued an English B.A. to improve her writing.


Young motherhood also brought unexpected challenges, which motivated her to pursue graduate work in twice-exceptional learners and education. She would later add an M.A. degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in neurodivergent people, trauma, and grief. Nicolette uses her natural gift of storytelling as an exploratory method for her clients.


The Curse of Maiden Scars is also an outgrowth of her personal journey and marks her first publication as a novelist, having previously published short fiction. When not at her counseling practice or researching historical facts for her latest story, Nicolette shares treasured time with family, friends, and her husband. Whether writing, cooking, traveling, or learning, the act of creation is always at the center of her colorful life.


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Book Excerpt:

Taking the seat and tapping Francese’s cage, awakening him, I perched at my dressing table and bore Mother’s attention. I hoped her assistance meant she felt regret for her treatment of me. Of course, I could never trust or forgive her, for I was no longer naïve to her machinations. She spoke little as she arranged the wig, tightly securing it with pins to a bun of my hair. She positioned me where I could not take in my likeness, covertly completing her task. I caught a whiff of the tresses as they brushed against my nose. The smell reminded me of the asylum.


“How did you learn about social expectations?” I was genuinely interested.


“Venice was not always my life. I had a family and was raised as a lady.”


I craned to see her face in the mirror, but she stood too far in the periphery. “Camilla said you came from a good family, and there were once three of you. Neither of you ever name your other sister. What happened?”


“She died.” Mother pushed me toward the mirror. “Tell me what you think.”


My questions vanished from me as I admired her work. I couldn’t believe it was me—skin white, flawless like new porcelain. Charcoal outlined my hazel eyes and accentuated the gold fleck. The bright rouge on my cheeks left a healthy complexion. All was topped with the silkily plated wig as if it had been gilded.


I looked at her with astonishment, “Is this me?”


She appeared satisfied. Her fingers brushed the base of my neck. “You are stunning” Her coloring changed, cheeks reddening as the light in her eyes faded as if she had let something slip.

I took the reaction as regret for an inadvertent compliment. Watching myself in the mirror, I needlessly fixed my hair at the side of the wig and elegantly positioned my head. “I don’t know what my mother resembled, but at this moment, I’m glad to embody myself.” Haughty, indeed, but she had made me beautiful, unbelievably so.


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1 commento

Thank you so much for hosting Nicolette Croft today, with an excerpt from her fascinating novel.

Take care,

Cathie xo

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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