Header Menu

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Author Guest Blog & Contest with Nancy Haddock!

My author guest this week is a writer that I am honoured to also call a 'pen-friend'. Nancy Haddock amazed me with her debut book La Vida Vampire and was my first ever author guest here on Amberkatze's Book Blog. Ever since that appearance back in 2008 we have been writing back and forth about everything possible and she has been a great friend to me even though we live thousands of miles away from each other.

Now a few years later, book three in her Oldest Vampire series has been released and of course I had to have Nancy back on the blog. The plot of Always The Vampire has some wedding plans mixed into it and when Nancy suggested writing about her and Cesca's wedding location choices I couldn't resist saying yes! hehe

A huge thank you to Nancy for not only being a guest but for taking some amazing photos to compliment her guest blog! I hope you all enjoy the post and enter the contest at the end!


The Royal Wedding is over, but bridal season never really ends. With a wedding figuring large in my new book, Always The Vampire, I thought I’d bring you some fun facts about weddings in St. Augustine, FL.

St. Augustine is known as a honeymoon spot for European couples due to the European architecture and vibe of the city. But St. Augustine has also become a city of destination weddings – and what a destination it is with all its historic sites, courtyards, and secret gardens!

In Always The Vampire, my character Cesca is Maid of Honor for her friend Maggie. Now Maggie’s chosen to have a Victorian-themed wedding with the ceremony held in her restored Victorian home, but what other venues might she have considered?

Cesca and I have put our heads together and come up with our 5 ideal spots for a St. Augustine wedding. On most locations, we agree; on one, we differ. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and tidbits about each site!

Before I get to the meat of our choices, I’ll mention that St. Augustine abounds with stunning churches. Among our favorites are the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Trinity Episcopal Church, Grace United Methodist Church, and Memorial Presbyterian Church. All have deep historical ties and meaning to the city, and all are gorgeous! I’ve put photos of the churches on my Facebook page in the album St. Augustine Wedding Sites. The other sites mentioned in this blog are also there. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Haddock/86984510891

The first venue Cesca and I agree on is the Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche on the grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios. The mission is located where, in 1565, Don Pedro Menéndez de
Avilés first stepped ashore to found and establish the city of St. Augustine.

Cesca and I love this location because of its profound sense of history and the peace one feels at the site.

Our second mutual choice is the courtyard of the Oldest House, or more properly, the González-Alvarez House. This is oldest surviving Spanish Colonial dwelling in Florida dating to the early 1700s, and has been a tourist attraction since 1893! While all the gardens are lovely, I understand most brides choose to be married under the oak tree.

Our third choice for a wedding? The grounds of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. There have been watchtowers and one other lighthouse in St. Augustine, but because of storms or the shifting shoreline, the others were destroyed or fell into the sea. The current structure dates from 1874, and the lighthouse keeper’s home is in the background of this photo.

By the by, this is actually the one venue Cesca and I both love that no longer allows weddings, but we sure wish it did!

You probably know that Cesca surfs, and I love the ocean, too, so it won’t be hard to guess what our fourth choice is for a wedding!

The beaches are open to ceremonies only - no receptions - but how can you beat an ocean view wedding?

Now to where Cesca and I part wedding venue ways. I favor the courtyard at the Lightner Museum, which was originally the Hotel Alcazar. The Alcazar was built in 1887 and was the “companion” hotel to the elegant Ponce de Leon across the street – both commissioned by railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler.

Cesca’s fifth choice of ideal places to hold a wedding? The deck of any sailing ship – the closer in style to one her father would’ve sailed, the better. But on a sloop or on the Schooner Freedom, which is an authentic replica of a 19th century blockade runner, Cesca would love to be married on the high seas. Me? I’d stick to the bay!

There you have it – wedding fever, St. Augustine style! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour, and I thank Amber ever so much for inviting Cesca and I to share today!

How about you? If you could be married anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

Answer the question above, or ask Nancy any question to be eligible to win one of 3 books she’s giving away. The book title to be given will be the winner’s choice – La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, or Always The Vampire!

Want to connect more with Nancy? You can find her in the following cyber locations:



Contest Time

Nancy is giving away three books! Well you know that already if you read her post ;)

How To Enter

Answer Nancy's question! It was exactly the same one I would have asked you guys ;)

No answer = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Sunday 15th of May 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Nancy said...

Amber, I'd forgotten I was your first author guest, and have to say I'm as thrilled to be with you today as I was the first time! Thank you for a lovely intro!

Now let's give away some books! :)


Meredith said...

It's been a discussion around here for years, and my fiance and I just can't agree on anywhere. If I could do it anywhere, at this point, I'd probably pick somewhere in the mountains, scenic, near water. No, I haven't actually found the exact place yet.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Nancy said...

Meredith, a mountain lake setting would be gorgeous for a wedding! Good luck on finding the location you want, and more, have a wonderful life!

Thanks for stopping in!


Ina said...

Hi Nancy!
thanks for a great post - I really enjoyed reading it :)
I would love to marry on the beach - I know with all the sand it could be a little bit problematic, but wouldn't it be romantic too? ;)
wish you all the best, Ina

inale87 at gmx dot at

Nancy said...

Hi, Ina! The beach weddings I've attended here in St. Augustine or down south a bit near Marineland were most romantic. The bride DOES need to account for the noise of the surf if she wants the guest to actually hear the ceremony. The noise factor was more troublesome than the sand.

Then again, when a dolphin jumps in the ocean backdrop, WOW!

If you marry on the beach, let me know! Meantime, thank you so much for stopping by to comment!


Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Nancy,
I got married in a wedding chapel in town, but if given my choice and unlimited funds to get all our friends to join us, I'd get married in the mountains. There's just something about mountains I love.

Thanks for a great blog!


Becky said...

I was married in front of a pretty little chapel that was surrounded by trees with a small clearing in front of it. It was a peaceful place. If I could of been married anywhere, I would of chosen a place in the mountains that had a creek close by. I think a wedding taking place in the mountains with a pretty view of a lake or a valley in the background would be beautiful.

Nancy said...

Hi, Kerilyn! A small chapel says romance to me, but I agree that the mountains would be a gorgeous setting. What area of the country would those mountains be in?

Thank you for popping in, and do have a good week!


Nancy said...

Hi, Becky, and thank you so much for visiting with me!

Wow, we have lots of "votes" for mountain weddings. I'll ask you the same question - what part of the world would those mountains be in?

Have a great week!


Nancy said...

I forgot to say this earlier, but Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate it. Whether you have children, pets, or are a nurturer in any way to friends, thank you for sharing your spirit!


Danetteb said...

I was able to have my dream wedding on Diamond Head Beach in Hawaii. It was a little windy,but the ocean was calm :D...Nancy the photos are beautiful, I wouldn't be able to choose from your five georgeous spots.
Hugs, Danette

Barbara E. said...

I would choose the great room of a Scottish castle because I think it would be very romantic, and all my guests would love it. I would then honeymoon in the Highlands.

Nancy said...

Oooh, Danette! A Diamond Head beach wedding! Diamond Head and the ocean must've made perfect backdrops for the photos, too! A pause now while I sigh. Ahhhhh!

Thank you so much for visiting Amber's blog, Danette, and have a fab week!


Nancy said...

Barbara, hi!

Oh, a Scottish castle wedding and a Highland honeymoon! The idea is wonderfully romantic! Would the groom wear a kilt?

I'm loving y'alls perfect wedding spots!

Thanks for visiting with me today, Barbara, and enjoy your week!


Amberkatze said...

It seems a lot of you guys need to come visit me in Austria and have your wedding here ;)

As for the Scottish wedding! Been to one of those and there is a lot of drink involved! But be careful! Unless you have proper Scottish ties they aren't too keen on you turning up in a kilt! ;)

Nancy said...

A wedding in Vienna would be amazing, Amber! You'll have to post some of YOUR favorite scenery on the blog sometime!

Off to bed, but will check in tomorrow!


blackroze37 AT yahoo.com said...


Andra said...

Omigod those are all 5 gorgeous venues! This question definitely is a good one for me...my honey just proposed last week!!! :D I've always loved an ocean backdrop kind of a wedding ( though where I live, a lake shore might be more appropriate) lol
Oddly, the only place that's ever come close for the perfect spot for me is in the Three Musketeer's movie with Keifer Sutherland...they go up on the cliffs and everything is gorgeous...of course in the movie they are there to attend a beheading...so i'm not sure what that says about me or my wedding lol

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Tore said...

I would love to be married in Hawaii. I think Hawaii is so beautiful and romantic. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

SandyG265 said...

I would pick Hawaii because of the warm weather and tropical flowers.

sgiden at verizon.net

Julie S said...

St. Augustine is beautiful. I remember the first time I visited. But my wedding destination is still Hawaii (which is why I got married at Waikiki).


Stephanie said...

If I could have, I would have been married in Croatia, at Plitvice National Park. It's a UNESCO site and it's incredibly beautiful.

Dovile said...

Of course this is just a dream, but I'd like to marry in a Gothic-style church, like there are in France: a dark, mystical place with tall, beautiful stained-glass windows.

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

Amy said...

I would want to be married in France, maybe in Paris. I know it's cliched, but it's the City of Romance!


Marianna said...

I definitely want to get married near the water, a cliche beach wedding. I guess it doesn't matter too much where, it could be in my home-state of Rhode Island, or my second home Florida (I love Tampa, but I am not sure I would actually want to get married there, it is a little...you know), or I would love to get married on a beach somewhere on the east coast of Italy where my ancestors came from (the name of the place doesn't leap to my mind...yes my roots are thin there).

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

Jen D. said...

Thanks for the guest post Nancy. I've lived in Florida all my life and have never had the chance to take a road trip up to St. Augustine. I will need to fix this STAT.

I'm not a huge proponent of marriage but, if I was I'd like to get married in a forest. Not a crazy Amazon style rainforest. Something woodsy and laid back where you don't have to fear for you life. Does that even exist? I think it would be make a beautiful backdrop for a wedding. I'm not sure how it would work out logistically but it's a nice mental picture.

Thanks for the hosting Nancy and this giveaway Amber.


Ana said...

Wonderful post Amber and Nancy I will have to definitely visit St Augustine some day. It sounds like a lovely place to have my wedding at. The island of Crete in Greece would be my second choice. Seen some lovely photos of the island.

Alicia said...

I would get married on top of Machu Picchu. Why? Because it's absolutely beautiful.


Victoria said...

I would be married in the little church of the town I grew up in. It was built in the last 1700's and only holds around 100 people. The stained glass windows came from a church in NYC that had suffered a fire. They were floated up the Hudson and then taken by mule to their final destination. I always wanted to get married there but unfortunately was not able to when the time came about.

Nancy said...

Sorry I'm tardy getting back to the blog today, and ...

Hello, Blackroze! How are you? LOL that you want to do the Las Vegas, Elvis look alike wedding. That would be a hoot!

Thanks so much for visiting with me today, and have a stellar week!


Nancy said...

Andra, my dear, it's a good thing I didn't have a mouthful of coffee when I read the beheading part of your comment. Snorting beverages out one's nose is so unattractive! :)

Best wishes on your engagement! May your lives be long and happy - and you can't go wrong with the ocean, lake or a cliff-side wedding. Heck, just have pix taken there!

Have a marvelous week, and thank you for visiting!


Nancy said...

Tore, Sandy, and Julie, hello and welcome!

I agree that Hawaii is breathtaking, and it's one of the places I long to visit ... for any reason! Good choice, ladies, and that's 4 "votes" for Hawaii!

Many thanks to each of you for visiting, and good luck in the drawing, too! Happy week!


Nancy said...

Hi, Stephanie!

The Plitvice National Park in Croatia sounds gorgeous! My daughter has visited Croatia, and I'm seen the pix she took and other photos of the country. Wow! Just glorious scenery!

Thank you for stopping by, and have a terrific week!


Nancy said...

Hello, Dovile and Amy!

Paris would make a most romantic wedding site, and so would one of the Gothic churches in France. Love your wish for a mystical touch, Dovile!

My thanks for each of you for popping in to share, and do have a fantastic week!


Nancy said...

Ooooh, Marianna! Italy! Your roots may be thin there, but you have them. And, hey, this is dream wedding spot we're talking about! :)

Have a great week, and good luck in the drawing, too!


PS - If not Tampa, there's always St. Augustine. :)

Nancy said...

Jen, I love the idea of a forest clearing wedding. There must be some locations that would fit the bill!

As for correcting that St. Augustine omission, let me know when you come this way and I'll meet you for coffee or something ... if you have time, that is!

All the best in the drawing, and enjoy your week!


Nancy said...

Ana, Greece - and Crete! - are high on my to-see wish list, and a wedding there would be so special!

I'll tell you the same thing I told Jen. If you get this way, let me know. We'll see if having coffee or whatever works into your schedule!

Take care, and best of luck in the drawing!


Nancy said...

Hi, Alicia!

Ahhh, Machu Picchu. Another destination I'd love to visit, and what a wedding setting that must be! Plus, if you're into the spirituality of the place, that would add a whole 'nother level of special!

Have a superb week and good luck in the drawing!


Nancy said...

Victoria, hi!

I adore your description of the historic church in your old home town. Weddings in such a unique setting must be lovely!

Thank you for sharing with us today, and have a super week!


AngelaK said...

I would love to be married on the shores of Dingle, Ireland. Talk about green, lush, and gorgeous! I have always wanted an outdoor wedding, but to have it in Ireland (I'm Irish) would just make it that much more memorable.


Lisa R/alterlisa said...

On a moonlit beach, white, white sand is where I'd want to be married. I just love the beach.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Stephanie said...

I'd like to get married outdoors in a beautiful garden.


Nancy said...

Apologies, all! My computer has acted up today, and I had to give it a time out. In fact, it ate my reply to Angela, so here's hoping this response takes.

Angela, with the stunning scenery, the history and the archeological sites of Dingle, that comes in high as dream destination for a wedding. Or a plain old visit!

Thanks for sharing your ideal wedding spot, and have a fab week!


Nancy said...

Lisa, I can see the full moon's ribbon of light on the ocean and sand now! Talk about romantic!

Thank you for stopping by to share, and have an awesome week!


Nancy said...

Stephanie, I love your garden wedding ideal! You can't go wrong with that setting!

Thank you for visiting with me today, and have a fun week!


Andrew said...

I would like to participate in this competition nancy. I am very impressed by this book collection.

hp coupon code

Nancy K said...

Hi, Andrew! Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind words about my books!

Have a good week!


donnas said...

I know it might be a bit boring. But I always wanted to full church deal. Although I love to watch the destination weddings on TV. Disney looks awesome.

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/68151120182259713

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Nancy said...

Donnas, a wedding is never boring, and the full church wedding works never goes out of style. :)

Thank you for coming to visit, and I hope you're having a fab week!


Nancy said...

I'm posting this for a reader who couldn't get to the site.

This is from Jane Neill-Hancock - jneillha@telcordia.com for the drawing

Hi Nancy
Being of Scottish ancestry, the choice I would make, if I could choose ANYWHERE in the world to be married would be the EILEAN DONAN CASTLE. Eilean Donan sits on a rocky islet where three lochs meet - Loch Long, Loch Duich, and Loch Alsh. It one of the most photographed Castles in Scotland. At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland, Eilean Donan is situated by the picturesque village of Dornie on the main tourist route to the Isle of Skye.

Jane added more info in her note to me. and painted an amazing picture of the Eilean Donan and surrounding area.

From Jane

Nancy said...

To Jane~ This is another stunning and romantic location for a wedding, and I love it that you're so passionate about the Eilean Donan Castle!

Thanks so much for sharing, Jane!


Nancy said...

Quick Alert! I've noticed that several messages that were once showing up are now missing. I'm sure the MIA posts are a reply to Donnas and a note I posted for Jane with the response.

This is likely a glitch with Blogger. However, if you're waiting for me to reply to a post, the silence is only because I haven't seen it. Please re-send if you like!


weta1972 said...

My husband is from Mexico and I have always wanted to get married at one of the beautiful beaches there

saturdaynightfever said...

Kauai, Hawaii: it is paradise!


mbreakfield said...

A castle in Scotland. I've always wanted to go to Scotland and I love castles.

Nancy said...

Weta1972, thank you for coming by! Your comment about marrying on a beach in Mexico reminded me of the photos my aunt and uncle took of the beaches there. Gorgeous!

Good luck in the drawing, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Nancy said...

SaturdayNightFever, thanks for weighing in on Kauai as your ideal wedding location! I've lost count, but that's a good many "votes" for Hawaii!

Happy weekend!


Nancy said...

Mbreakfield, hi!

Thanks for your comment "voting" for a castle in Scotland. Again, I've lost track, but Hawaii and Scotland seem neck-to-neck in ideal wedding sites!

I hope you get to make that trip to Scotland someday. Meantime, have a good weekend!


heatwave16 said...

I would love to get married in Hawaii. The beautiful beach & gorgeous water...that would be awesome.


Nancy said...

Hello, Heatwave! Thanks for adding your voice to our ideal wedding setting question. Hawaii might now have overtaken Scotland in the number of responses! :)

Have a great rest of your weekend, and good luck in the drawing!


AEKZ2 said...

I'd choose Hawaii because of the warm weather. I'm not really into formal clothing, so I'd get married wearing a long, simple white dress on the beach in my barefeet.


Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I would like to get married in a small stone gothic Scottish church to see the sun shine through the glass windows and then after the ceremony go out and look out at the vast green hills and sky and feel elated! I also would love to spend my honeymoon in Scotland in a castle :-)

Thank you for the great post Nancy! :-)

+1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Stella_ExLibris/status/69732984940531712

+1 posted on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=146138972125245&id=100000899165880

Thank you for the great giveaway!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

purango said...

I would be married in Buckingham Palace because of the tradition of royalty weddings. garrettsambo@aol.com

willdebbie said...

I would choose to be married in Paris. That is where my husband is from
willdebbie97 at yahoo dot com

Deadmonkeys90 said...

If i could get married anywhere in the world i would definetely choose France! It's just such a beautiful country.

Bryce Canyon Inn said...

I actually love looking through a posting, with thanks to get spreading I like them, thanks

Tourist Place