Saturday, 26 October 2013

Rain - Release Date

Hi everyone,

Just found out that ‘Rain’ should be released by the end of November –which is great news!

I’m really looking forward to seeing it published. As I’ve said in the past ‘Rain’ is my medieval paranormal romance.

It’s about a girl who finds an elemental spirit. Nuri believes Maras is a fallen angel but Brother Erebus believes he is a demon come to snatch her soul away. Nuri finds herself caught between two men, as they fight over her body and soul.

The inspiration for the story actually came out of living through a drought. The area where I live had suffered from a severe lack of rain for several years. The winter rainfall levels were low, the September rains failed and there was barely a drop during the burning summers. Finally after being sick of seeing blue skies, cracked earth and dead gardens the rains finally came.

One night there was a storm, thunder shook the house and we had lashings of rain (I had forgotten what lashings of rain were like). The storm was violent but the air was sweet and cleansing. As I watched the storm through the open window the idea of Maras, my elemental being who is tied to the tempest began to take form.

The story has a medieval background and has a dark fairytale feel to it.

Anyway, I leave you with the blurb as we wait with bated breath for the cover!

On the mountain, high above the village of Farran – Nuri is caught between heaven and hell. Two men fight for her love and her soul. The first is Maras, an elemental being that follows the storms. Nuri knows that he is not human, he’s something more. She believes he is her beautiful fallen angel. But he is transient and is bound to the elements and their love may be as fleeting as the storm itself. And Brother Erebus, a pious monk whose tortured soul is twisted by his desire for her, will do anything to protect her soul from the silver haired devil, even if he has to crush her body to do it.

Thanks for stopping by.
Nicóle  xx


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Real Life Love Stories

Hi everyone,

This is just a mini post. Escape Publishing is putting together a blog series about real life love stories and asked its authors (the Escape Artists) to contribute.

Anyway, my romantically challenged family is today’s subject. If you’re interested here’s the link –


Other than that, I’ve started a new story. It will be a stand alone story about Evander’s older brother, Alistair, the Marquess of Coltswood and how he can’t recognise love, even when it’s standing right in front of him. Alistair and his fiancée, Lady Victoria were/will be introduced in ‘Dancing on Air’ and I think deserve their own story. It’s a story about requited love, a little murder and a touch of revenge. I’m really excited at how it’s beginning to take shape and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. Tentatively, I’ve called it ‘Covet’. Alistair covets love, Victoria covets Alistair and Arvel Hunter covets revenge.

So, just when I was sitting down and getting stuck into ‘Covet’, I was hit with another story.

It’s a dark, Gothic romance and normally I would just scribble down the idea and put it aside. This one however is playing on my mind. So much so, at the moment I find myself caught between two stories. I have to make a decision as I can’t write two stories at once!


Okay, I’m not sure how long ‘Covet’ will be but I thought I would set it at 50,000 words and take it from there. It appears I have a long way to go...

p.s. Dancing on Air is available on pre order from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Just discovered that it's only 99 cents on B & N's nook books. So, if you have a nook, grab yourself a bargain. Normal price is $4.99!

Barnes & Noble shortened link  -


Nicóle   xx

Friday, 18 October 2013

Spotlight - Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Hi everyone,

Today I would like to welcome the lovely Elizabeth Ellen Carter. Thanks so much for dropping by for chat, Elizabeth.
Moonstone Obsession is Elizabeth’s first historical romance which is set in 1790. It’s a vividly woven tale about intrigue, passion and secrets.
By the way, I’ve read a little snippet of Moonstone Obsession and I can’t wait to read it all!

Hello & welcome J

Thank you very much for having me on your blog Nicole!


What type of romance do you write?

Moonstone Obsession and my current work in progress Warrior’s Surrender are both full length historical at over 90,000 words each.

Moonstone Obsession is set in 1790 in England and involves an intrigue (and romance, of course!) involving England’s response to the French Revolution. Warrior’s Surrender is set in 1074 and is a clash of cultures and politics between our Saxon heroine and our Norman Baron.


What inspired you to write this story?

There were a few different things. One was a scene that popped into my head and just wouldn’t let go until I’d written it down – a very witty and flirtatious scene with the hero and heroine, another was an early 2000s reality TV series on love and romance called Regency House Party, made following the phenomenal success of the Pride and Prejudice mini series and then there was the 2008 film Amazing Grace which looked at the life and work of abolitionist William Wilberforce.


What comes first - the plot or characters?

For me it has to be the plot because that provides the framework for your characters to reveal themselves to the reader and to grow during the unfolding of the story.


How do you come up with the titles to your books?

It often emerges when I’m looking at the theme for the book. I did have to have a chuckle when a couple of early readers said they didn’t understand where the title Moonstone Obsession came from.

The heroine’s name Selene is a reference to the Greek moon goddess, a couple of key moments in the book take place during a full moon, our heroine does wear moonstones and the villain becomes obsessed with her.

I thought it was pretty clear, but I’ll let my readers decide. J


What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and like just about every kid who has been good a creative writing at school, I was told to go into journalism. Hmmm, all those creative writers as journalists… no wonder you can’t believe what you read in newspapers!

I’ve done all sorts of writing throughout my life and I toyed with the idea of writing a novel for many years and it’s only been recently that the time has been right.


How long have you been writing?

My own short stories since I was 10, from the age of 17 I was a newspaper journalist and when I was 30 I moved into marketing and communications. Now I can add published author to my resume!


What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Write, write, write, read, read, read, write some more, read some more. Examine why you enjoy the books you do, what is it about the style, the structure, the pace which draws you.
Thanks Elizabeth for the visit and chat.
Check out the snippet and the Amazon link below. I’m guessing if you like historical romances, you going to love this one.
p.s.    Love the cover!



Secrets, scandal, and passion…

Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.

For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life?


Excerpt from Moonstone Obsession:

James inspected the clearly frightened woman. Her gown appeared intact although her elaborately curled hair had started to come adrift of its pinning. Her face was flushed. Had she just come from an assignation? For some reason the thought didn’t sit well with him.

“Wait here,” he demanded.

Moments later James returned with a glass of unadulterated punch in one hand, and with the other led her to a low stone bench within sight of the ballroom, but mercifully cast in shadows by a boxwood hedge.

Now seated, Selina accepted the glass, turning it in her hands, grateful for the distraction and the anonymity of the shadows, and obviously thankful not to be on the receiving end of an interrogation as she would receive if her brother had found her first.

James waited patiently for her to speak and for a few long moments they sat in silence.

“Thank you,” she offered. James nodded and it was understood that she meant for more than the glass of punch.

“I’m sure I have inconvenienced you horribly,” she added softly.

He shook his head, even though she could not see the gesture.

“Selina, look at me… please.”

She did and the light from a garden lantern revealed she was blinking back tears.

His heart softened. If it was any other woman he’d see her safely back to her escort and consider his work done, but he sensed Selina was different—needed something different from him.

He met her gaze.

“Will you tell me what happened?” he asked.

She shook her head before looking back at her glass.

James shifted in his seat to look back down the colonnade in the direction he was sure she had come from. As he did so, a movement in the shadows caught his eye.

Was someone listening in on them? Who?

He turned back to his companion whose composure was returning.

“In that case, will you assure me that you are unharmed?” he murmured low.

“I am.”


Selina raised her head and looked at James fully in the face.

“Truly, I am unharmed.” she nodded. “All except I think, for my dignity because you have been more than kind and you are far too important to have your time monopolised by me.”

James gave a half smile.

The tension and fear that had radiated from her when he first found her had dissipated.  All she had needed was time, not a big scene which would have only embarrassed her further.

He decided to test the mood.

“And what if I told you that you are the only woman here whom I wouldn’t mind being monopolised by?”

Selina genuinely laughed. “Then I’d say you are a most notorious scoundrel and breaker of women’s hearts and I shouldn’t believe a word you tell me.”

James laughed at the spirited rejoinder.

She stood, placing one of her hands in his and giving it a squeeze.

“Thank you,” she smiled down at him.

He stood also, his eyes capturing hers. His hand returned the pressure before lifting her hand to his lips for a kiss that lasted a few moments longer than it needed to.

“I want to see you again, Selina.”


Links –

Website -



As always, thanks for stopping by.

Nicóle  xx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Myths, Legends and Fairytales.

Hi everyone,

For something a little different I thought I would write about using myths, legends and fairytales as inspiration.

Of course as writers we know that certain fairytales have become common tropes in romance writing. And that is not a criticism by any means, just an observation and a fact. Fairytales we see often are – Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood to name a few. There is something familiar and almost safe about these stories. Perhaps it is because they trigger recognizable feelings within us. We know deep down that when presented with another form of Cinderella, good will triumph and our heroine will get the happy ever after or at least the happy for now she deserves.

Beauty and the Beast is another popular choice. We see it in many forms, from the tortured bad boy to the emotionally scarred Lord of a period romance (oooh, I love those ones!). Yet echoes of this tale can be found long before the recognisable Belle and her Beast. The tale of Cupid and Psyche incorporate aspects of the B&B formula.

Psyche is given (to appease the gods) to an unseen bridegroom. Even though she can feel his touch, the room is dark and she cannot see him. Her sisters, jealous that their baby sister lives in such luxury tell her that her new husband must be a monster (why else would he not show himself?) The result is Psyche follows her sisters’ advice (silly girl), waits until he is asleep and brings in a lamp and knife to kill him. Of course she is confronted by the beautifully handsome Cupid and not a monster. As she had violated his trust, Psyche must endure years of wandering and tribulation before she can be reunited with her love.

Another fairytale which follows the same lines is Hans my Hedgehog. Our heroine, when forced to marry Hans (a Grufflehog- a mixture of man & hedgehog) sees a monster. Yet as days go by she realises that there is more to him, he is kind and gentle. Each night he can remove his quills like a jacket to reveal a more than handsome hero beneath the fur. The heroine believes that she could live with a monster in the day and a handsome lover at night, but listens to her family. Break the curse... burn his quilled jacket. She does and loses her husband and just like Psyche she is cast out and must wander, and is tested until she can prove her love.

This choice of a ‘monster’ by day and a beautiful lover at night can also be seen in the tale told by the Wife of Bath in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales.

Another interesting aspect (at least I think so) is the way stories of the past were shared. I don’t mean the evolving stories told by oral tradition but rather how they were quite literally shared.

An example of this is the awful, and I mean awful ‘Tale of Patient Griselda’. Three versions of the same story; today it would have been a case for plagiarism, but back in the 14th century apparently not so much. Most people come by this story through ‘The Canterbury Tales’ (the Clerk’s Tale), however there were two other versions circulating around a similar time frame. Each story is slanted in a different way but the tale is generally almost word for word. Griselda is the tenth story of the tenth day in Boccaccio’s Decameron (an earthy telling), then Petrarch’s version (more spiritual) and finally Chaucer’s version which seems to be a combination of the two.

And why do I say it’s awful? Well, I hated that poor Griselda is plucked from obscurity (the tiny village on the lord’s land) and married to Gualtieri the Marquess on the proviso that she promises to obey him in every aspect – action, word and even thought. To see that she stays true to her promise he tests her constantly, even to the point of taking away their children and casting her back to the village. After years of abuse he finally realises that she has not only kept her promise but loves him (God, only know why because half way through the story I was ready to drop him over the nearest cliff). Yet, no matter how much I hated it (all three versions), it did have the whole trial and tribulation that each hero/heroine must suffer through to earn their happily ever after.

Perhaps this is why the old stories endure and are reinvented constantly. They carry us on the not only physical but emotional journey alongside our hero. We feel their pain, learn through their adversity and finally celebrate in their triumph.


Talking about different tropes, my ‘Cinderella’ story – Dancing on Air will be released by Escape Publishing on the 1st of November.


Thanks for stopping by.


Nicóle  xx



Metamorphoses – Apuleiulus

Decameron – Boccaccio

The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer

Grimm Tales – The Brother Grimm.

Bigstock - Cupid & Psyche
Hedgehog - free image
Girl - Frank Dogan Cowper  (1877-1958)


Friday, 11 October 2013

Spotlight - Sarah Belle

Hi everyone,

Today I would like to welcome the lovely Sarah Belle. Sarah’s time shift, Romagic novel, Hindsight is published through Escape Publishing.

Thanks so much for visiting today, Sarah!

And I’ll let Sarah explain the term ‘Romagic’, she does it far more eloquently than I do. J

What type of romance do you write and what exactly is ‘Romagic’?
I write ‘Romagic Comedy’(which is a little buzz word I came up with that is now taking off!) which is romantic comedy with a twist of magic – time travel, spells, imaginary friends and such. It is set in the real world, where ordinary people  are put into extraordinary situations.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I come up with an outrageous situation – such as waking up and finding that you’ve time travelled back to 1961, and then I create the character for whom this would create the utmost upheaval and conflict. Then the fun begins!
Are you working on anything at the present?
I am nearly finished my second manuscript – just a bit of polishing to go- about a woman (not a witch) who casts a spell and ends up turning her entire life upside down and losing her soul mate. She then has to try to get him back.
Oooh, that sounds like a lot of fun – another one to added to my ever growing TBR pile ;)
What is your favourite book?
Carmilla’ by J.Sheridan LeFanu. It was written in 1872 and is a hauntingly beautiful gothic tale of a female vampire. It was rumoured to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  I’ve been reading it over and over again since I was 13!
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
To the UK- I long to stand in castles that are 1,000 years old and absorb their history. To visualise  all those who have stood there before me and imagine their stories would be amazing. ( day!)

What inspires your writing?
Emotions and people who dig deep in tough times, especially women. I loved the film ‘Steel Magnolias’ because it shows how incredibly strong women are when they need to be. Bringing that strength to life, and honouring women is the main theme behind Hindsight.

Thanks Sarah for dropping in for a visit! Check out the snippet of Hindsight below...and remind me not to eat curried sausages any time soon – lol!

You can purchase Hindsight from a heap of sites such as Amazon, iBooks, Nook and All Romance ebooks. For the complete list check out the links at Escape Publishing.


Thanks so much for having me Nicòle! It’s been great and I love your questions!  X


Sarah Belle started her professional life in the hospitality industry, working in some of the roughest hotels in Melbourne in the late Eighties, surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, and undercover police. She then completed a business degree and went on to work in the recruitment industry and the Department of Defence, where she met and married the man of her dreams: a dashing, Army Blackhawk pilot. They have four young sons and live on the beautiful Queensland coast.


Blurb –  Hindsight

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead...

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.



Sadly, for my family, the neighbours’ hospitality ran out last Saturday. We had enough leftovers to cover us for Sunday dinner, the Last Supper as it was termed in my mind. Each night dinner has been put on the table, with varying degrees of success. There was the meatloaf, which has been renamed ‘meat brick’ due to its crunchy texture and brick-like exterior, the tuna casserole that looked and tasted like ‘fish Playdoh’, the lamb chops that could double as hammers, the egg and bacon pie that had cracks akin to the San Andreas fault line, curried sausages that exploded in their skins and ended up looking like circumcised penises bobbing around in luminous yellow goo and of course, tonight’s disaster, spaghetti bolognaise.

“Smells….nice, Jules, new recipe?” Chris asks as he dry retches his way through the kitchen to the bathroom with Ethan and Cal.

“Ummm, yes.”

“Mmmm, can’t wait!” But the look on his face tells a different story.

From behind the bathroom door I can hear Ethan ask, “Dad, has something died in the kitchen?”

“No mate, why?”

“Then what’s that awful smell?”

“Shhhh, Eth,” Chris answers him quietly. “I think it’s meant to be dinner.”

“Does that mean we have to eat it?”

There is a pause before Chris says, “Yes mate. Your Mum’s working hard to make dinner and we have to remember that she has lost her memory. We need to be really understanding and patient with her, OK?”

“Maybe she forgot how to cook? She keeps burning my toast.”


Links –

HINDSIGHT  is available via

Facebook –

Twitter –

Blog –  


Thanks for stopping by.


Nicóle  xx



Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Dreaded Author Photo

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d mention the dreaded author photo. Many of my fellow authors appear to be naturally photogenic and ‘ridiculously good looking’. They put up happy snaps over Facebook, websites and book covers and all look confidant and gorgeous. And I have to admit I’m wee bit jealous. I’m camera shy, always have been, so when I was told I needed an author photo I went into a panic.

As some of you may know I had a major health issue a couple of years ago and consequently it changed my body and my image of myself pretty much forever. So am I comfortable in my own skin? Well, the answer is um... er... maybe... yes... no... not quite. So... to have to have a photo taken freaked me out all the more.

The first attempt was let’s just say a disaster.

Then I read Anne Gracie’s hilarious but frustrating attempts of trying to find the perfect author photo and it made me even more nervous.

Anyway as it had to be done, I bit the bullet and took myself off for the second attempt. The photographer was nice, kind and put me at ease. I found the experience not as terrifying as I thought it was going to be. And here’s the result.

To other news -

Finally! I have finally finished Midnight’s Masque. It still is in the editing process but as it has a beginning, a middle and an end (which is always a bonus), I’ve put it aside for a week or two so I can edit with fresh eyes. Sometimes, to be ruthless you need a little distance.

To occupy my time (other than stressing over photos) I’ve begun plotting and writing the second book in the ‘Dancing on Air’ series. So once again, I’m playing in the Victorian era. It will be a stand alone story about Evander’s older brother, Alistair, the Marquess of Coltswood and how he can’t recognise love, even when it’s standing right in front of him. Alistair and his fiancée, Lady Victoria were/will be introduced in ‘Dancing on Air’ and I think deserve their own story. It’s a story about requited love, a little murder and a touch of revenge. I’m really excited at how it’s beginning to take shape and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Dancing on Air  will be released on the 1st of November by Escape Publishing.


 As always, thanks for stopping by.


Nicóle  xx
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