Jan 23, 2015

Cover Reveal– Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson

Time for a cover reveal and a smashing cover it is too. I’m looking forward to this.

nickielson_vibrizzio2500

Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category. After yet another failed relationship, the twenty-six-year-old investment analyst is convinced that real guys aren’t ever going to live up to her expectations—so why should she bother with them? She’s determined to keep her dating life purely electronic…though she occasionally fantasizes about Hayden King, the delicious new associate she just got partnered with at work.

While Lyssa manages her romantic risks by deleting men from of the equation, the ever-charming Hayden protects his heart by diversifying his love life across multiple women. As the two young professionals travel together around the country for business, their flirty working relationship develops into a close friendship that hurtles toward something more. Between hot tub confessions in Baltimore, an accidental kiss in Dallas, and an all-nighter in Chicago, Hayden proves himself to be better than any fantasy.

About the Author

Writing wasn't something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.

Nicki writes with two goals in mind: #1 to keep the characters realistic, even when their circumstances are anything but, and #2 to make the reader feel. Watch for her new title Vibrizzio, coming in 2015 from Swoon Romance. Her published works include Three Daves, a light-hearted romantic romp through a 1980s college campus, Divine Temptation, a romantic novel of angelic proportions, and Hans & Greta: a Twisted Fairy Tale Novella. Her published short stories include “Sway” (available as a single), “I Don’t Do Valentine’s Day” (part of A Valentine Anthology), and “Impressionism 101” (included in the debut issue of Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desire

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Jan 20, 2015

Something Wicked Release Day!

sw 6

It’s release day! I’ve been so excited about this one. It seems a long time coming. I started writing this story for NaNoWriMo in 2010 and it started with a single idea – What if Jack the Ripper was a Vampire? I asked questions like, what would be his motivation? Why so much blood, wouldn’t he drink it? What made him do it? And why did him stop? It spawned posts like this – Living with Vampires and Do Vampires Pee?

Thanks to everyone who made this idea a reality.

Infected by the vampire virus on the streets of Dublin in 1886, the search for a cure brought Henry Clayton to London and to the brink of madness. Salvation and friendship arrived in the form of Dougal, an immortal Highlander with a devilish sense of humor and a love of life.
Amidst turmoil in vampire society, Henry returns to modern day Dublin. The Circle, a cult determined to awaken their Celtic blood god, the first vampire, is once again active.
When Henry meets a young American woman who sees past his human pretense, he fears exposure. However, his fear is overshadowed by curiosity. What is the source of the strange energy between them? Why are vampires stalking her? Determined to find answers, Henry takes Ari into his home and under his protection.
As their connection grows, Henry begins to suspect Ari isn’t what she claims to be. Their shared history may hold the answers to his uncontrollable bouts of rage and thirst. Perhaps, even a cure for his wicked blood.


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Order now at

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

For more retailers see Something Wicked at Simon and Schuster

There is still time to sign up to the Promo Blitz 29/30 January HERE

Jan 18, 2015

Something Wicked Promo Blitz Sign-up

As the image below shows, Something Wicked release day is almost here. Together with Omnific Publishing and The Book Avenue Review, I’m gearing up for a promotion blitz on the 29/30 January. If you would like to join us, please complete the sign up form HERE.

Thanks!

sw 2 days

Infected by the vampire virus on the streets of Dublin in 1886, the search for a cure brought Henry Clayton to London and to the brink of madness. Salvation and friendship arrived in the form of Dougal, an immortal Highlander with a devilish sense of humor and a love of life.
Amidst turmoil in vampire society, Henry returns to modern day Dublin. The Circle, a cult determined to awaken their Celtic blood god, the first vampire, is once again active.
When Henry meets a young American woman who sees past his human pretense, he fears exposure. However, his fear is overshadowed by curiosity. What is the source of the strange energy between them? Why are vampires stalking her? Determined to find answers, Henry takes Ari into his home and under his protection.
As their connection grows, Henry begins to suspect Ari isn't what she claims to be. Their shared history may hold the answers to his uncontrollable bouts of rage and thirst. Perhaps, even a cure for his wicked blood.

add-to-goodreads-button

Pre-order now at

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

For more retailers see Something Wicked at Simon and Schuster

Jan 12, 2015

Review - Jessamine by Shani Struthers

 

Crooked cat Publishing

“The dead of night, Jess, I wish they’d leave me alone.”
Jessamin Wade’s husband is dead – a death she feels wholly responsible for. As a way of coping with her grief, she keeps him ‘alive’ in her imagination – talking to him everyday, laughing with him, remembering the good times they had together. She thinks she will ‘hear’ him better if she goes somewhere quieter, away from the hustle and bustle of her hometown, Brighton. Her destination is Glenelk in the Highlands of Scotland, a region her grandfather hailed from and the subject of a much-loved painting from her childhood.
Arriving in the village late at night, it is a bleak and forbidding place. However, the house she is renting – Skye Croft – is warm and welcoming. Quickly she meets the locals. Her landlord, Fionnlagh Maccaillin, is an ex-army man with obvious and not so obvious injuries. Maggie, who runs the village shop, is also an enigma, startling her with her strange ‘insights’. But it is Stan she instantly connects with. Maccaillin’s grandfather and a frail, old man, he is grief-stricken from the recent loss of his beloved Beth.
All four are caught in the past. All four are unable to let go. Their lives entwining in mysterious ways, can they help each other to move on or will they always belong to the ghosts that haunt them?

Review

I want to live in Skye Croft, let me just get that out there first. Oh my gosh, this book…

My disclaimer is that I knew before the first page that I would enjoy this book based on reading Shani’s past writing. She has a magical way with prose, her descriptions are sublime, and the reader is submerged into the emotion of every scene.

I wouldn’t exactly call Jessamine a ghost story. That’s just too simple. It’s a haunting story of lost love and guilt and how the past can destroy the present by holding on too tightly. It’s also a mystery that unravels slowly and draws you in to the point you think you won’t be able to breathe without answers.

Jessamin was blissfully happy and desperately in love with her slightly older husband, but blames herself for his death because of a stupid fight before the accident that took his life. He took care of her in life and in death, left her financially, if not emotionally secure. She continues to hold onto him, convinced he is still with her in spirit. James is the only thing she wants really, so, she retreats to a place that did give her comfort as a child – an old painting of an unnamed loch in Scotland. Her only clue to its whereabouts is the area her grandfather came from.

Glenelk has a tiny population and is deep enough in the Highlands to retain a touch of Celtic magic. Shani Struthers captures the entire area with such vivid enticing imagery, that there was a couple of times that I stopped reading to look at pictures. She made me want to be there among the people, glens, fairy pools, and mountains.

The Highlands are almost a character in there own right in this book, one of a number of fascinating characters. Each so fully developed, that they were ready to walk of the pages into real life.

It’s through loss that Jessamin connects with the other main characters, each holding onto their own almost as tightly as she is. The problem for all of them is moving forward means letting go and none of them are capable of doing it alone.

I laughed and I cried reading this. I felt the characters exhilaration when life began to creep back into their blood, but also their fear. If I can described it, it would be like emotions tied up and as a reader I was desperate for the characters to break free.

This really is a must read. A absolute gem of a read, especially now during the winter months when it’s perfect for curling up by a fire. 

5 Stars

Goodreads     Amazon.UK    Amazon.com     

About the Author

An avid reader, I'll wade through pretty much anything but hot favourites right now are romance, horror (not gory though, more supernatural) and contemporary. Am discovering some wonderful books through Goodreads and writing circles on Facebook - haven't had to pop into Waterstones for ages! I'm also the author of The Runaway Year, published by Omnific Publishing - a contemporary Cornish romance with a healthy dash of sass. Later this year my second novel will be available - a paranormal mystery this time. Psychic Surveys Book 1: The Haunting of Highdown Hall will be published by Crooked Cat Publishing and is the first in a series which will only get darker.

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Jan 11, 2015

Your Book is Probably Not as Unique as You Think.

If you’re a voracious reader, even if you’re just an average reader, you’ve probably come across two books which are very similar and came out around the same time from authors with no connection to each other.

If you are a writer, you’ve probably experienced that sinking sensation of working on something you whole-heartedly believe to be utterly unique and never seen before in the world of publishing, only to pick up a book with almost the exact same premise.  Received a rejection from an agent because they have something similar already on their lists. Or come across scenes, descriptions, or conversations that could have been plucked right out of your sleeping head by mischievous plot bunny fairies while you slept.

I’m not talking about plagiarism, which is an entirely different thing. I’m talking about cases where two writers don’t know each other or never read each others work. In some cases the books come out around the same time. 

I’ve seen writers talk about it time and time again, especially new writers. There are a number of cases taken against (usually big time) authors and even in the film industry where someone claims absolutely that their story came first so the second must be a copy. In the world of publishing there are often trends. This is partly to do with selection by bigger publishers pushing the market a certain way, but it also has to do with many writers using the same themes at the same time.

I’m not one to give advice on writing often because writing is such a struggle for me. I don’t necessarily feel qualified to speak as a mentor about what others should and shouldn’t do. I have done, mostly in private, when asked my opinion. I usually wait to be asked.

This post was prompted by an interview on Jennifer M Barry’s blog yesterday and a Podcast she linked me to last night. While discussing her standout reads of 2014 and those she’s looking forward to in 2015, she talked about not reading The Shades books yet and the weird circumstances under which we came to know each other.  My reasons for not reading The Kingdom books yet are pretty much the same. Generally speaking, I avoid intentionally reading books similar to what I’m writing until I’ve finished. You can listen to the entire podcast here.

Authors release summaries, but around release we are often found all over the web talking more in depth about our stories and characters, our process, and inspiration. Jennifer and I got to know each other and support each other because although we’d never talked before these books and come from different continents, we were taking a mythology, unravelling and twisting it up, but somehow taking the same leaps and coming up with similar direction.

It’s not the only time this has happened to me. I’ve just been reading Jessamine by Shani Struthers. When I finished, I emailed Shani to tell her I have a half-written project(one that I’ll probably never end up finishing) that is very similar in many ways. The opening is almost exactly the same, the motivation of the main character, the setting, and the people she meets are very much alike.

Back to The Kingdom and Shades books -- Anyone who has read Shades of Atlantis or Shades of Avalon will know how the different threads of mythology are weaved together. When I submitted Shades of Atlantis to my publisher, I also submitted a detailed description of exactly how I weaved a multitude of seemingly unrelated threads into the story. So how could someone a half a world away be creating a similar tapestry?

This morning my brother crossed his arms in the way he does when we discuss a bigger view and plastered on his professional brow to explain it in terms of psychology and cultural anthropology using lots of big words and historical references. He’s very clever. I told him how I’d always thought of it in terms of monkeys.

You might know the theory that a monkey with a typewriter and infinite time will eventually writer the works of Shakespeare or some similar work. My theory is a hundred monkeys on one side of the planet and a hundred on the other with time and typewriters is bound to produce at lease one or more on each side coming up with Shakespeare.

With humans who have an ability to write and aren’t just hitting random keys, and are also working from the same pool of human experience, the probability of coming up with almost the same thing in a more realistic timeframe increases. With a limited range of words, the likelihood of similar phrases or descriptions of settings, emotions, or sensations can’t be zero.

We are programed to make the same leaps to a large extent. If I say picture a cup. Now picture what’s in that cup. You are more likely to picture a liquid of some sort than 50 miniature cars. With the advance of globalisation, our shared experience increases. Some say there are a finite number of plots and we are all telling different variations of them. Writers using the internet for research are more likely to come across the same information and books. So, that initial random spark of an idea together with our similar unconscious leaps and pooled knowledge can often lead us in the same direction others are travelling, or have travelled before us, or will travel in the future unknown to us.

But don’t panic. Don’t dump that manuscript you’ve been tinkering with for ten years. There’s a big, bright, positive side too. It’s not so much about the similar but about the differences and the delivery. I bolded that because it’s the most important point to take away. Ideas are ten a penny and recyclable, and even basic plot points.

Yes, Jennifer’s books and mine have similarities but there are huge differences too. They are not the same books. Like I said before, publishing moves in trends and if someone reads a book and loves it, they will probably intentionally go looking for a different book with some similarities. So it can be a bonus when it happens. Likewise with Shani’s book and my half-finished project, there were some similarities but in more ways they were completely different. Besides Shani’s amazing way with words, probably a factor in my enjoyment of the book was that I obviously had thought about the same themes in the past and they interested me enough to want to write about them. Of course I would enjoy reading this book immensely and it doesn’t take away from the story I want to tell in the slightest, if I ever get around to it.  

I’ve collaborated with Debra Anastasia in the past on visual media and one of the reasons we’ve always said we work so easily together is that we often share a vision of a project and are on the same wavelength. We can anticipate each others ideas and use it to work together. A bonus for an ability to take leaps together.

So, don’t give up if you some across something similar to your project, or a book similar to your book. Try not to think of it as negative. It might even be positive, you might end up helping each other to succeed or gain a friend.

Despite everything, remember only you can tell your story in your way.

Drop in tomorrow for my review of  the fabulous book, Jessamine.

Jan 6, 2015

Something Wicked Cover Reveal

I'm so excited to share the cover of my next release from Omnific Publishing. The inside of the book is prettied up too and looks fabulous! Something Wicked will be available January 20,2015 through Omnific Publishing, Simon and Schuster, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered through your local bookstore.


New Adult
Historical/Contemporary Supernatural

Releasing January 20, 2015

Infected by the vampire virus on the streets of Dublin in 1886, the search for a cure brought Henry Clayton to London and to the brink of madness. Salvation and friendship arrived in the form of Dougal, an immortal Highlander with a devilish sense of humor and a love of life.

Amidst turmoil in vampire society, Henry returns to modern day Dublin. The Circle, a cult determined to awaken their Celtic blood god, the first vampire, is once again active.

When Henry meets a young American woman who sees past his human pretense, he fears exposure. However, his fear is overshadowed by curiosity. What is the source of the strange energy between them? Why are vampires stalking her? Determined to find answers, Henry takes Ari into his home and under his protection.

As their connection grows, Henry begins to suspect Ari isn't what she claims to be. Their shared history may hold the answers to his uncontrollable bouts of rage and thirst. Perhaps, even a cure for his wicked blood.

Add it to Goodreads 

 



 

Dec 3, 2014

Claiming Excalibur Blitz

 

LH Nicole is gearing up for the release of Claiming Excalibur, the second book in her Legendary Saga. For now, here’s a teasers and a chance to win some goodies.

final Claiming Excalibur cover

CLAIMING EXCALIBUR (Legendary Saga #2)

Aliana Fagan has done what many thought impossible: she’s awakened King Arthur from his fifteen-hundred-year sleep, reunited the Knights of the Round Table, and even beaten Mordrid and Morgana LeFay in battle.

But the Destined One’s quest has only begun.
Before the knights can "unearth and reclaim their lost relics" they must survive the trip to Charleston, South Carolina and meet the newest member of the Round Table. If King Arthur’s men thought Aliana and Lacy were tenacious, they'll be even more surprised by Dawn, the third member of the fem-trio.
Deadly secrets, unexpected allies, and a traitor lurking in the shadows await Aliana and the new Round Table as they continue their search for Excalibur. Their only clue is a beyond confusing poem from a mysterious book that speaks of a terrifying creature guarding the legendary sword. Trying to build a somewhat normal relationship with Sir Galahad adds a whole new level of complexity to Aliana’s task, especially when several among them suspect the White Knight may not be wholly himself. Her friendship with King Arthur grows closer, and when circumstances become intense, he may finally get the chance with Aliana that he’s been pining for.
Mysteries, legendary quests, and haunting memories will either unite the members of the New Round Table or fracture their bonds. Aliana and her crew only have seven months before the planets align and Mordrid can seize the power he needs to conquer the seven realms. Can the Destined One keep her new family together and lead Arthur to his destiny of saving the realms? Or will a centuries-old plot for revenge finally spell the king’s end?

ADD CLAIMING EXCALIBUR TO YOUR GOODREADS TBR LIST HERE

PRE-ORDER CLAIMING EXCALIBUR AMAZON or B&N or iBOOKS

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Titania descended the stage as they approached. “I’m pleased to see all of you here tonight.” Her eyes settled on Aliana rather than the former king of Camelot.

“Like we had much of a choice,” Lacy muttered. “We were all but kidnapped by Puck.” Galahad cleared his throat and shot Lacy a warning look.

Titania raked her gaze over Lacy. Her face showed no sign of annoyance, but somehow Aliana knew the queen wasn’t pleased with her smart-mouthed friend. “I believe you were on your way here before Puck brought you to my palace, yes?”

“We weren’t looking for your city, per say,” Galahad told her. “But we were hoping to find information to help us find the Dragon Silzik. Or possibly a clue regarding Excalibur’s location.”

“We know my sword is here on the Isle of the Blessed,” Arthur said as soon as Galahad finished. “What we don’t know is where it hides.”

Titania nodded slightly, her calculating gaze slipping between the king and Galahad. “Such information does not come cheaply, dear king.” Her gaze flicked to Aliana’s new gauntlet. “And I’ve already given you one mighty gift without receiving anything in exchange.”

Aliana clenched her fist, feeling the glove pull and slide over her flesh as she did. If Titania had wanted something for it, why didn’t she say anything earlier?

“What price would you ask for the information?” Arthur asked.

“I would ask two things,” Titania said, taking a gold and jewel-encrusted goblet that a servant handed her. “I would ask a sword for a sword. Should you claim Excalibur, you would give me the sword that the Lady of the Lake gave you.”

Arthur nodded his acceptance, but Aliana wondered why Titania had chosen such a simple thing. She reflected on the strange jewels that decorated the Elf blade, but her thoughts were interrupted when Arthur spoke. “And the second?” he asked.

The queen took a long drink from her goblet before answering. “The second is a task I would ask of the Destined One.”

Aliana gulped as her friends all shifted a fraction closer to her. Galahad tried to tug her closer to his body but Aliana stood firmly on her own. She hadn’t shown Titania weakness in the cave when she’d freed Arthur. She couldn’t do so now. “What do you want me to do?”

The queen looked at Galahad, and Aliana swore she saw frosty contempt for her knight in the queen’s emerald eyes. “At a time of my choosing,” she finally said, “I will tell you of the task I have in mind and you must complete it.”

“Your Majesty…” Arthur said.

“Deal,” Aliana said over Arthur’s words. The queen grinned wickedly, and Aliana ignored the sharp, reproachful looks from the guys and the hard pinch to her side from Lacy.

“Aliana—” Owen started, but Titania silenced him with a glare.

“The bargain is struck,” the queen declared, looking to Arthur.

Claiming Excalibur giveaway

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