Monday, 26 August 2013

Cover Reveal - To Steal a Highlander's Heart

Hi everyone.

So, I was thinking it’s a cover reveal kind of day!

Here is the lovely Samantha Holt’s new cover – To Steal a Highlander’s Heart.

Isn’t it delicious!

To steal a Highlander’s Heart is a medieval romance. Its publication release date is the 30th September.


Book Blurb

Alana sets eyes on Morgann for the first time in several years and what does he do? He captures her! But Alana refuses to go meekly with the sexy Highland warrior. Her kidnapping will reignite the rift that’s existed between the two clans since her father accused Morgann of theft and she doesn’t want to see her father harmed in the inevitable war that will ensue.

Unfortunately for Alana, the faeries seek to interfere with her plans to escape. The sidhe have a debt to repay and Tèile, the green faery, is determined to mend the rift between the clans for good. And that means ensuring Alana and Morgann marry.

Morgann has his own reasons for taking Alana and they are nothing to do with marriage or war. He wants to use her to reveal a secret from the past, the one that had him accused of theft. If only he didn’t find his childhood friend so attractive. When circumstances force them together, Alana’s life is threatened and war is imminent. Can Morgann reveal the truth without losing Alana? And will the faeries meddling help or hinder his cause?



Samantha resides in Warwickshire, England with her twin girls and husband. She's a romance addict and has been devouring all kinds of romance for as long as she can remember.

Having studied archaeology, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her passion for romance to create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there's nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.

Amazon Author Page



As always, thanks for dropping by.

Nicóle  xx



Friday, 23 August 2013

New Banner

Hi everyone,

So as you can see I’ve been playing around with a new image for the website. What do you think?


Also, I’ve finally broken the back of my latest story. Midnight’s Masque is a romance which is set in the Victorian era. I have about a chapter and a half to write. I love the storyline and the images it conjures in my head but the last couple of chapters have been an uphill struggle. Why? Because I’m a bad, evil woman who shook up her normal writing pattern and for a moment it all went sideways.

It always starts with an idea or a scene. Once I think on it a bit and it solidifies, I write down a storyline.

I’m a plotter, maybe not down to every tiny detail but I generally get the chapters and scenes scribbled down before I start writing. I like to have a backbone of a story to follow. And yes, sometimes things change and grow but I always find a plotted story is a comfort.

Once the story is plotted, I usually start at the beginning and write my way towards the end. I resist the scenes I know I’m going to love writing and begin at the start. I use the fun scenes as little rewards to myself... twisted, maybe... anal, probably... but that’s how I normally work.

...Except this time! This time I wrote everything out of sequence and for a couple of days I got in a muddle. I had the opening (thanks to Anne Gracie & the Writing Romance 2013 class for their suggestions), the first meeting, first kiss and first sex scene. I had even written the dark moment, the final confrontation and the end. As I sat back, I was happy with all the individual scenes but I realised that the story still needed to be linked up and smoothed out.

Normally, because I write from start to finish there is a fluid motion which runs not only between scenes but through the story. But not this one and I have found that a little challenging.

However, it’s taken longer than I thought, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I really love this story. It is a little different to what I usually write but as soon as I had the image of a masquerade ball swirling in my head, I knew I had to.

Here’s a bit of a blurb just to give you a general idea.

Sophia’s life is a lie. With a sham marriage and the need to produce an heir, Sophia uses a masquerade to find a mate. She wants a night of passion, anonymity with no ties but Lord Mathias Eldridge spins her senses and makes her wish for the impossible – love.

So, back to writing I go and hopefully soon I’ll be able to write ‘The End’.
Thanks for dropping by.
Nicóle  xx
Bigstock & me.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Riding the Waves Conference

Hi everyone!

Well, we have a busy, busy weekend looming. As some of you may know it’s the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference this weekend. This year, the ‘Riding the Waves’ conference is being held in Freemantle, Western Australia. There will be heaps of workshops, guest speakers, publishing pitches, networking and fun. Some of the guest speakers include – Julia Quinn, Kim Hudson, Nina Bruhns and Sarah Wendell.

Unfortunately, I am unable to go. *insert weeping*

But all is not lost. The RWA also organise a ‘Claytons’ conference (which is held online) for all the poor souls who can’t attend the actual conference. So, it’s the conference you attend when you can’t attend the conference. This year the Claytons is called ‘Be the Book’.

Again there are some fabulous guest speakers and publishing opportunities. I’m looking forward to Alexandra Sokoloff’s The 3 Acts/8 Scene Story Structure and The Revision Maze with Valerie Parv.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hmmm... maybe I can make it to the conference next year in Sydney. Fingers crossed.

Oh by the way, I thought you may like the actual definition of what Claytons really was – thanks Wikipedia!

Claytons is the brand name of a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beverage coloured and packaged to resemble bottled whisky. It was the subject of a major marketing campaign in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting it as "the drink you have when you're not having a drink"


Nicóle  xx


Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer Lovin' Blog Hop

Please click date button to view entire post.

Hi everyone,

Thanks for dropping in and joining our Summer Lovin’ Blog Hop. And a big thank you to Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains for organizing the hop. I hope you have fun and maybe even discover a few new stories and authors on the way.

The theme of the hop is of course what we love about summer. Whilst others may talk about swimming, hazy lost summers of their youth, the soaring temperatures and hot lovers – the one thing I love and value above all else (with the exception of my family) is... my air conditioner. Yes I know, it’s not at all sexy, sensual or even a little bit romantic but without it I couldn’t think or even function.

Summers in Australia are hot. Where I live it is not uncommon for the temperatures to hit up in the 40 – 45 degrees Celsius range (which is about 104 – 113 F). Now this would be fine if you could spend the day at the beach, river, watering hole, weir, pool or res (reservoir) but most days you can’t. On days like this I find it hard to write as my brain is usually melting out my ears.
Disaster averted - cold water stops woman melting through man.

This is why I love my air conditioner. I turn it to full and dream of winter.

...Oh, I’m also awfully fond of my fridge icemaker.


I’ve added a snippet of one of my stories, Misrule’s Mistress. It’s a medieval Christmas novella set in England. It’s Yuletide which means frost, ice and snow abound. With all the heat of the Summer Lovin’ Hop, I thought some of you may need a little cooling off!

 Lord Barric Cranley wants Lady Ellette for his wife but she has already refused once. He knows that Ellette loves him… it’s just she hasn’t realized it yet. With a little help, cunning and the Feast of Misrule, Barric plans to capture his bride and make it a Christmas she’ll never forget.

 To go into the major prize draw (a huge bundle of ebooks) please leave a comment and email address in the comment section below - thanks!

Thanks for visiting & enjoy the hop!

There's a blue froggy link to keep you hopping at the end of this post.

Nicóle  xx  *who is in the middle of a glorious winter*



“If I were sure that you loved me, if you would accept my offer, I would wait if I knew how long.”Barric slowly closed his fingers over the ring and let his hand fall down by his side.

“I cannot tell you, for I do not know – a year, two... or three.”

“But after all these long years, would you then marry me?”

“I do not know, Barric; I do not know what to say. I am confused and do not know what I want or feel,” she said as went to walk away but Barric caught her arm and she turned her head and looked at him.

“You kissed me back, Ellette.”

“I know, I know I did... but...”

“Then without an answer I cannot wait for you, Ellette, no matter how much I want to,” Barric said as his hand slid down her cheek. “If I cannot have you, it matters little who I take for a wife. And because of that, I vow I will be married by the Feast of Epiphany.”

Arching a brow, Ellette replied, “Are brides so easily found?”

“I want you, Ellette, but if you do not wish me for a husband and cast me aside, I will be forced to find a bride elsewhere.”

“By the end of our winter festivities?”

 “Aye,” Barric said.

“I fear you have taken our games and challenges too far. For whom will you marry... the kitchen maid, or the weaver’s daughter? I am the only eligible maid at Cranley, and I say nay.”

“Mayhap, but I will be married by midnight at the feast.”

“In twelve days?” Torn and confused, Ellette stared at Barric. Part of her wanted to cry that perhaps she had been too hasty, perhaps one day, far away, she would marry him. Mixed with that, she was annoyed and hurt that he would think she was so easily replaced; and lastly, a hint of competitiveness reared its head. She almost wanted to take his challenge and wager that it would be impossible to marry in twelve days.

“Aye – I swear it,” Barric said as he turned and returned to the feast, leaving Ellette alone with her riotous thoughts.

Misrule's Mistress Amazon Link -

Images - Love, Lust & Lipstick Stains.
Bigstock,, JGP.



Friday, 2 August 2013



Hi everyone,

 Today I’m immersed in the edits for Dancing on Air. I’m steadily working my way through and I think they are shaping up pretty well. I can’t wait for its release in November from Escape Publishing.
Have you checked out Escaped Publishing's great titles?

I hope that you can join me for Love, Lust and Lipstick Stain’s Summer Lovin’ Blog Hop. It runs from the 5th – 8th of August. We are talking about why we love summer. There are some great prizes up for grabs and it looks as if it will be great fun.

Historical Hearts is now on Twitter. Come join us for a tweet or jump over to the blog. If you love historical romance, you’ll love Historical Hearts!

The Darkside Down Under has had a makeover. If you like a little magic, the paranormal or even a touch of sci fi or steampunk - then perhaps the Darkside is for you. Come on over and see what the darksiders are up to.
Dark Side DownUnder

I’m off again this Sunday to the Romance Writing course with Anne Gracie. Can’t wait and looking forward to another great session.


Thank for stopping by.

Nicole  xx
Image - Bigstock