Embracing Romance Welcomes Guest Author Sarah Hegger

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Sarah Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below:




Hello and thanks to the incredible ladies of Embracing Romance for letting me crash their blog space for the day.

My name is Sarah Hegger and I write both historical and contemporary romance. Today, I thought I would combine those worlds, throw in a giveaway and give a little nod to this being October and Halloween month.

I grew up in South Africa, where we didn’t celebrate Halloween. We’d seen it in movies and American TV Shows, but it was not a holiday I took part in growing up. These days, kids in Johannesburg are beginning to catch onto the awesome fun that is Halloween.

So, I supposed you could say that I celebrated my first Halloween when I moved to Vancouver, Canada, about six or seven years ago. I am now a true convert and can honestly say it’s one of my favorites.

Moving on with today’s post. I am going to give you five creepy bits of trivia from medieval times. But beware, one of them is a total fabrication on my part. If you are the first person to guess the fabrication correctly, I will be giving away a copy of my medieval romance, Sweet Bea. So, put your best guess in the comment section, along with a way to get hold of you in case you are the winner.

Are the following true or a figment of my imagination (remember only ONE is a fabrication)

1. Castle moats were multipurpose. If you were caught breaking the castle rules, you could get the dunking stool. The offender (generally female) was strapped into a great big chair, and then dunked into the gross moat water, several times in succession. This was rarely meant to kill anyone, but it was viewed as entertainment for the entire castle.

2. Cobwebs were believed to cure warts.

3. The Battle of Northallerton, commonly known as the Battle of the Standard, in 1173 is the most likely origin of the legend of the headless horseman, used in many scary tales over the years. About two hours into the battle the Scots, led by King David, unexpectedly fled. The English gathered up the fallen bodies, beheaded them, tied them on horses and sent them after the fleeing Scots. Charming!

4. Halloween is a descendent of the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sah-een) or ‘summer’s end’ in the original Scots Gaelic. Held on November 1, it marked the Celtic New Year when dead souls were believed to walk the earth. ‘Soul cakes’ were left out for good spirits and lanterns were customarily lit – the modern version of the Halloween pumpkin – to ward off stray evil spirits that also happened to pierce the thin veil of the underworld during this time of year. In the eighth century, the church finally named November 1 All Hallows Day (or the day of the holy ones) in honor of the saints. However, two centuries later, the Church followed the Samhain festival more closely by naming November 2 All Souls Day in honor of the dead. Owing to the medieval custom of beginning observances the night before, the collective holiday began on All Hallows Evening, or Halloween

5. In 1006, after losing in battle at Durham, the severed heads of Scottish soldiers were put on spikes around the town. The women of Durham offered to trim the dead men’s hair and beards, in return for a fee. The Scottish widows agreed!

Sarah Hegger - Book Cover While you’re deliberating, let me tell you what Sweet Bea is all about.

Is anything sweeter than revenge?

In a family of remarkable people, ordinary Beatrice strives to prove herself worthy. When her family is threatened with losing everything, she rushes to London to save them. Unfortunately, she chooses as her savior the very man who will see her family brought low.

Garrett has sworn vengeance on Sir Arthur of Anglesea for destroying his life when he was a boy and forcing his mother into prostitution for them to survive. He has chosen as his instrument Sir Arthur’s youngest daughter, Beatrice.

Can Beatrice’s goodness teach Garrett that love, not vengeance, is the greatest reward of all?



Trivia Question: Who has Garrett chosen as his instrument for revenge? Enter your answer here

Follow Victoria Vane:

Romance Novelist

VICTORIA VANE is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance with works ranging from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her books have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. She lives the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse.

5 Responses

  1. ginaconkle2013

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for joining us on Embracing Romance. I’m impressed with your multilingual skills and the chance to globetrot and live in foreign places. Those experiences must make your grasp of setting all the richer.

    Have a great day-

  2. Sandra Owens

    Enjoyed your post, Sarah. Glad I wasn’t a female back then. I would have probably been dunked in the moat on more than one occasion. 🙂

  3. bmonajem

    Brr. What a lot of ghoulish stuff. Hmm. I’ve heard of dunking people (horrid custom), but not necessarily in a moat. Cobwebs–I thought they were for wounds, but anything will cure warts if the sufferer believes it will. #3 is an absolutely fabulous idea, whether or not it happened! Samhain/Halloween is my favorite holiday (and I grew up celebrating it in Vancouver). The beard-trimming is the least appealing of all of these. I have no idea which is imagination, though. Enjoyed the post very much!

  4. sarahhegger

    Thanks for having me over and to you ladies for stopping by. The answer (drum roll) is number 3. The Scots did leave the battle early, but they left with their heads still on their shoulders, at least, most of them did.