When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Friday 15 April 2022

Welcoming Nadine Kampen and her book - The Brantford Wagers - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Nadine Kampen and her book - The Brantford Wagers (The Brantford series book 1) to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

Delighted to be able to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Brantford Wager

Is Clara Vincent ready to risk it all for love?

Clara Vincent is “the artful dodger” when it comes to marriage, especially when her father is bent on match-making. Will her attitude change when she meets two eligible suitors and is drawn into the lives of intensely competitive families? Clara falls unexpectedly in love, but when fortunes are reversed and relationships up-ended, she needs to decide whether to trust James Brantford, who is seeking retribution, or accept the love of the man everyone else believes is her ideal match.

As the Brantford wagers unfold and lay bare the history of past relationships, will Clara be able to learn the truth and finally follow her heart?

Publication Date: 20th January 2022

Publisher: Birdsgate Publishing

Page Length: 358 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Regency Romance

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Now for the excerpt -

From Chapter 15 - The Seton Ball 

The fact that these were Mr Brantford’s guests, while not being the best of news, was somewhat reassuring. It would be natural, thought Clara, for Mr Brantford to remain with them. She craned her neck a little and saw him approaching across the length of the hall, coming towards her. When he addressed her, she felt completely confused.

‘Miss Vincent,’ he said, ‘Would you be so kind as to dance this next set with me?’ 

‘Oh,’ she blushed. ‘Are you certain?’ 

‘Completely, yes, of course. Is that a yes, or a no?’ 

‘Thank you, yes,’ she said, recovering her composure.

There is nothing else that James Brantford could have done to engage the interest of almost everyone in the room than to arrive with Miss Westcott and dance first with Miss Vincent. For her part, beautiful Miss Westcott expected to hold his attention for as long as she wanted it, and was denied that option. Miss Vincent, beginning to understand the nature of her feelings, longed for his attention, and gained it. Both results, one wanting, one getting, were entirely positive from the man’s position, or so one might assume.

Was Mr Brantford aware of this? He was not lacking powers of observation. It is improbable that he was unaffected by his guest’s good looks. Yet he did not stay by her side; he came first to enjoy the company of Clara Vincent. In his view, the impression Clara created when he first met her was as indelible, in an altogether different way, as that made by Miss Westcott this evening. Miss Vincent had shown courage and poise, two qualities he greatly admired, and he cherished his memory of meeting her at the river.

Brantford stayed at Clara’s side, waiting for the dance to begin, and she shyly received his attention. She could not recall when she had looked forward to dancing more, and with such a partner.

Their conversation began easily enough while they waited to dance. ‘I was wishing that I could speak with you at length someplace else—perhaps in the middle of a field, or on the bridge where we met that day. Do not you wish, Miss Vincent, that two people could have a conversation, on any point of interest, without attracting everyone’s attention?’ He looked with disdain at people straining to listen. Clara saw how closely they were being watched. ‘You do realise,’ he said seriously, ‘that all discussions in Finstead are attended on three sides; or four, if you come by the toll road.’

‘I have noticed that, yes.’

‘By noon tomorrow, every matron shall know who danced with whom, how many times, and more to the point, exactly what was said.’ 

‘Not that, surely!’

‘They will hear most of it in confidence, and if the source is insufficient, it shall be invented.’

‘I see how you hold members of my sex.’ 

‘And they will know—in this case, without a single word from either of us—that Mr Brantford found Miss Vincent to be extremely fine company, and an excellent dancer, and that he wanted her to know how lovely she looked this evening, and how he wished to know her better, but that circumstances have arisen to prevent him spending as much time with her as he wishes.’

He noticed Mrs Drinscol hovering nearby, trying to overhear their conversation. He pulled Clara towards him, nodding politely, and smiled as he skilfully moved Clara away from the older woman.

The dance commenced, and they moved for some moments in silence. After this surprising speech, Mr Brantford looked resigned, and his expression unreadable. Clara, puzzled, could only suppose he had intended his remarks as some form of light-hearted flattery. He had, after all, been the one to bring guests, one of whom was an attractive woman staying on his property. She could not understand him and felt taken aback. In the pause between sets, not knowing how best to continue their conversation, Clara, mentioned the recent steeplechase race and his first-place finish.

‘My cousin John told us that you won a good horse from Mr Ashton. That is a quite the prize. Is racing a common pass-time in this region?’

‘Not serious racing, no, but Ashton holds an event every year or two with his friends.’

‘You are accustomed, I suppose, to winning horses.’

‘I cannot say that I am. That is a fairly high purse. Mr Ashton put up the filly this year to entice a few of us to race again.’ 

‘What shall he do for an encore, do you suppose?’

‘Seton Manor, I should think,’ he replied, looking archly at her. Clara felt colour surging into her cheeks. 

‘You have an open countenance, Miss Vincent. Your friends must love to play opposite you at the tables.’

‘I never gamble, Mr Brantford.’ 

‘Women purportedly never do. It is said to be a man’s sin entirely, and one heavily active in this county, I cannot deny. Tell me, do women truly believe they take no risks? Is Mrs Drinscol not gambling this evening—and playing high stakes at that?’

Clara followed his look towards the bare-shouldered Miss Drinscol, standing nearby.

‘Women would benefit from two basic lessons every boy learns at his father’s knee: never bet unless you have some chance of winning, however small; and be prepared to accept the consequences of your wager. Some people mistake their odds entirely. You, Miss Vincent, I would suggest, have a risk-taking nature; I witnessed this first-hand. You only need some outlet for it within the confines of our social norms and you will outshine us all.’

‘Pray, do not believe it, sir. I do not approve of gambling. I have seen entire fortunes lost by it. My own aunt, who came to live with us, had her world crumble in an instant. A few farthings at Loo—that is merely playing games—but gambling on horses and property is another thing entirely! I wonder that men can court ruin for such fleeting pleasure and no certainty of gain.’

Nadine Kampen

In her début novel, The Brantford Wagers, Nadine Kampen draws on her passion for stories that bring a smile and warm the hearts of the reader. The author immerses the reader in the fictional world of traditional historical romance, set in the memorable Regency England period, sharing the hopes, schemes, and antics of her characters.

Prior to her career as an author, Nadine served as a regional marketing manager with an international consulting firm and as a communications and marketing director on university campuses. Earlier in her career, she worked in public relations and journalism, and was co-author and project lead for five non-fiction books comprising The Canadian Breast Cancer Series, published in 1989.

A resident of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, Nadine loves relaxing with family and friends, reading and walking, playing tunes on her 1905 Bell piano, and gardening. 

You can connect with Nadine Via these platforms -




Facebook Author Page:


Amazon Author Page: 



You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.


Mary Anne Yarde said...

Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for The Brantford Wagers.

All the best,
Mary Anne
The Coffee Pot Book Club

Nadine Kampen said...

Dear Zoe,
Thank you for participating in the Coffee Pot Book Club blog tour for my book. It's very good of you to share this information with your blogging community. It's great for readers to be able to see a few details that can help them decide if a book may interest them. It's also lovely to meet you here on the pages of your blog. Also - best wishes to your Rovers team in the season ahead. We are in the middle of some heavy spring snow fall on the Canadian prairies and we're still tuned into NHL hockey for now. Hopefully the football/soccer pitches are clear in your area. Good luck to your team. Thanks again, Zoe, for your support.
With regards,
Author, The Brantford Wagers