Friday, May 31, 2013


Title: Child of the Sacred Earth
Series: The Lost Kingdom of Fallada, Book #2
By: Alicia Michaels
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Release Date: June 2013 (Exact Date TBA)

Get a degree, get a job, save adorable foster siblings from the clutches of the evil foster mom …

These are Jocylene Sanders’ top priorities as she enters her sophomore year of college. The last thing she expects is to find herself the champion of an entire kingdom. However, that is just what happens when the mysterious Faerie, Rothatin Longspear, appears to her tasking her with saving a parallel world full of creatures from her wildest dreams.

Jocylene journeys with him into the world of Fallada, hoping for answers about her birth parents and background. What she finds is a mystifying past, and an even more uncertain future, as her heart becomes entangled with the stoic, battle-hardened Rothatin, as well as Eli, the untroubled Panther Shifter with no loyalties and no home. With her heart and soul pulled in so many directions, can Jocylene find the strength needed to become the savior one nation so desperately needs?

Okay,” Jocylene held her hands up to halt Jake’s speech. “Let me get this straight. My mother is the bitch queen of all evil and wants to take over the world. You think that me and a band of teenage princesses have enough combined power to stop her, and you expect me to lead battles in this epic war against a hostile takeover?”

Jake cleared his throat again and blushed, nodded his head slowly. “That about sums it up, Princess.”

“Hell. No. Hell-to-the-no. Forget it. There is no way you can convince me that I’ve got what it takes to lead a freaking army, let alone go up against a woman evil and sadistic enough to kidnap seven girls and cast them into another world. Her doing that was obviously a warning; ‘stay away little princesses’. Fine by me!”

“You are being irrational,” Rothatin said in that infuriatingly arrogant way of his. Jocylene turned her narrowed eyes on him.

“Says a man who flew to my rescue tonight on a gigantic owl! If your world is separate from mine, then it’s all the better for me because I have no desire to go there or become part of anyone else's plans.”

“Do you have any idea how powerful you are?” Wil asked, his hands on his hips as he came forward and stared down at her from behind the smoke trailing out of his pipe.

“I do,” Rothatin muttered as he stared out over the blanket of pine trees beneath them.

“I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It is easy to see why Eranna would be afraid of her.”

“Sounds to me like she doesn’t have much to fear,” Jocylene countered. “If she’s as powerful as you’re telling me, I don’t stand a chance in Hell.”

“Not by yourself,” Jake agreed. “But with the others—“

“Where are they?” she asked, her arms spread wide. “Where are these others girls? As far as I can tell, you guys are just casting your net out to see who you can catch. Sure, you got lucky once and now you’ve done it a second time. But seven seems like a big number when we’re talking about the possible end of the world here. Besides, things happen in this world too; cancer, car wrecks … who says these other girls are even alive? I’m having a hard time believing your luck will hold out. And then what happens? I’ve given up what’s left of my life fighting for a lost cause.”

“Do not think to question the powers of the Fae Queen,” Rothatin growled, coming up from his relaxed pose against the ship’s rail, his shoulders squared and his jaw gone hard and tight. “Her power is ten times that of the dark queen and her all-seeing eyes are everywhere. She will find them, just as she found you.”

“I’m sure your queen is a nice lady, and I mean no disrespect to her when I ask this but, if she’s so dang powerful, why hasn’t she stopped my mother herself?”

“Because the Fae are the keepers of fate and destiny,” Rothatin answered with an agitated eye-roll, as if this were information she should already be privy to. “We do everything we can to guide those in our realm on the right path but in the end their decisions are ultimately their own. We cannot interfere. And even if we wanted to, Eranna’s iron fortress keeps us out.”

“The Fae’s only weakness is the element of iron,” Jake supplied from behind Rothatin’s hulking form. “Her fortress is surrounded by it.”

“Well, you just said yourself that you can’t force me,” Jocylene huffed. “So, do whatever you need to do to turn this ship around and take me home. Or, let me off here for all I care. I can find my own way back home.”

“That is foolish, as well as dangerous,” Wil said to her retreating back as she turned to make her way back across the deck. “Eranna will not stop sending her minions after you. Of all the princesses of Fallada, she fears her own daughters the most!”

She paused and turned, shooting a glance at the three men watching her walk away with expressions of horror, anger, and dismay on their faces. “In case your friend here didn’t tell you, I am more than capable of protecting myself and those kids in there. Send whoever you want; they won’t get far. Once Michael, Vincent, and Gracie wake up, I’m out of here whether you want to give me a ride home or not.”

Other Books In The Series: 
Prequel: Beyond The Iron Gate (A Lost Kingdom of Fallada Novella)
Video Book Trailer:
Blurb: In the year 1845, before the mystical land of Fallada was separated from the realm of men forever, the two worlds coexisted in harmony. Man could mingle freely in the world of the Elves and Faeries at will and peace reigned. In the hills of Shropshire, England, just miles from the gate separating the village of Ludlow from the world of mystical creatures, farmer’s daughter Zara Wells longs for answers.

It is not only the golden hair that trail feet behind her, or the strange hue of her violet eyes that separates her from the other girls her village. There is something inside of her, something touched by magic that longs to know more about what lies on the other side of the gate. In Fallada, darkness has begun to spread. As the youngest and most beautiful girls of her village begin to disappear, Zara comes closer to discovering the true circumstances surrounding her birth. Little does she know, that the closer she comes to the answers she so desperately desires, the closer she will come to being ensnared in the dark queen’s web of growing treachery.

Purchase Links
Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords

Book 1: Daughter of the Red Dawn
Video Book Trailer:
Blurb: These are dark times in the land of Fallada, and I fear that they will only continue to grow darker. Only the return of those we’ve lost will even the score.

It will begin with first line of the prophecy, which foretells of a red sun over the desert sky…

--Adrah, Queen of the Fae

On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.

A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that Selena was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart?

Purchase Links

About The Author:
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
Author Links:



Wednesday, May 29, 2013


If you'd read my last post I'd a hectic few days in which I became the Manager of a LinkedIn group, "childrens book authors" [this is now the group's name is spelled]
Now, a week later everything is running smoothly for this group, in fact, the changes I made here I also applied to the two LinkedIn groups I already own.  The interesting thing now is managing these three groups is taking me less time than when I only had two.

We have no children which meant we enjoyed the long holiday weekend just taking care of things which had been put to the side for some time now, and going out to our favorite restaurants.

One of my major achievements since my last post is finally writing another chapter of my still untitled Contemporary romance.  I haven't thought of a title yet, however I'm going to try to have the last words of the story be the title as well; just like I did with my YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance entitled I Kissed a Ghost.

My next post, which I didn't get to do when I originally had wanted to, will be later on in the day, and probably be after dinner.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


You've probably noticed that for the past sixteen plus days aside from posting two interviews and a guest post about writing I haven't done any postings and there are several good reasons for it.
First, the KINDLE version of my first YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled "I Kissed a Ghost" became available on May 12, 2013 


which meant I'd been quite busy with the pre-release and post release marketing/promotion for it.  The book is available of Amazon at 
with the paperback version currently available with a 10% discount.

As most of you should know by now I'm the owner of two LinkdedIn groups for some time:
Authors/Writers Helping Authors/Writers

Young Adult Book Authors . 
And on May 19 I agreed to become the Manager for another LinkedIn group:

Childrens Book Authors

I officially took over the position pf Manager on May 22 and have spent almost all my time cleaning up the discussions there by removing countless posts most of them made by single individual where the vast majority of the posts made look as if they were actually Tweets for a Twitter account.  I've set up automatic messages when someone asks to join the group, when they get their requests denied, and of course a automated message the moment I approved a request to join the group.  I set up rules for the group and posted them on my other two groups. I also post four discussions in an attempt to revitalize the group.

It might still take a few days for me to finish working on my groups before I can resume posting on this group on regular basis.

My next move is to the same with my other two groups.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to check out my three groups and hopefully decide to join them.  I'd also appreciate if everyone could take the time and check out my book.

THANKS for being here and for your on-going support. 

Monday, May 20, 2013


Hi everyone. I'd like you to join me today as I interview Joyce Strand who's volunteer this week to be on the proverbial HOT SEAT as I ask her questions about her , her writing, and of course, herself.

Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.  Joyce T. Strand: Please meet Joyce T. Strand, author of the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries On Message and Open Meeting, and avid reader of mysteries and suspense thrillers. I LOVE Broadway musicals, and attend as many as my budget can support. 
   I served as a PR professional in high tech and biotech companies for more than 25 years in the San Francisco area. I live in Southern California near San Diego with my two cats, my collection of cow statuary, and my muse, the roadrunner.
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.  Joyce: Open Meetings is a Jillian Hillcrest mystery. PR Executive Jillian Hillcrest is having lunch with a reporter colleague when a woman enters and begs him not to print anything she’s told him because they will kill her if he does. A few days later, the reporter tells Jillian that the woman was killed in his hometown in the California wine country. Police ruled her death as an accident in a car crash caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol—except the woman had vowed never to drink again. Jillian joins with the reporter to investigate the suspicious death, and they both uncover far more than anticipated.

Robin Leigh: What are the two latest books you’ve already published? Give us about a five sentence description for each? Joyce: In addition to Open Meetings, which I described in the previous response, I have also published On Message, the first Jillian Hillcrest mystery. Jillian, the head of corporate communications at Harmonia Therapeutics, is eagerly staying “on message” to inform investors, the media, and the community about her company.   

  A call from a homicide detective interrupts her routine when she learns of the murder of a friend. She encounters a determined San Francisco police inspector who is convinced she is the key to her friend’s murder, which he subsequently connects to another killing. With the help of her ex-husband–whose attentiveness to her suggests he wants to amend the “ex” status–and a retired middle-aged intrusive motherly neighbor, Jillian fits together disparate pieces of the puzzle to help solve the crimes.

Robin Leigh:  What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?  Joyce: I am currently finishing the third Jillian Hillcrest mystery, Fair Disclosure, which is going through the editing process. Jillian and her ex-husband are enjoying a play at a local community theater when a scream interrupts the production upon discovery of a bludgeoned volunteer. When it turns out that the victim is someone Jillian interviewed for a job at her company, she becomes involved in another crime, drawn ever deeper by a second murder, an irate investor, and suspicious stock trading in her company. 

Robin Leigh:  Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in your latest novel?  Joyce: From Open Meetings  
Chapter 1
    “You absolutely cannot print anything I told you. They'll kill me.”
    Jillian Hillcrest looked up from the lunch menu. She saw a non-descript, thin, brown-hair-in-a-bun, middle-aged woman dressed in jeans and a white V-neck top frantically approaching her lunch companion, a local reporter. Jillian watched as the reporter quickly stood up, uttered a brief “Excuse me” to Jillian, and put his arm around the woman, leading her outside. He appeared to be trying unsuccessfully to calm her along the way. She continued to plead with him that he must never repeat what she had told him. 

Jillian was interested in what the woman was saying to the reporter. Somewhere in his late 40s, the tall and slightly stooped Miles Smith was a stringer for a local newspaper and also had a blog focusing on city, county, and state government. He had a history of investigative journalism that impressed and fascinated Jillian. For example, he had uncovered a county assessor's officer who collected for property value assessments that weren't done, and then funneled the money into personal bank accounts. So she was intrigued about whatever it was the frightened woman did not want Miles to print.

Robin Leigh:  What was the inspiration for your latest novel?  Joyce: All of the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries are inspired by real California cases. Actual events of the murder of a former biotech executive in La Jolla, Calif. led to On Message. A series of crimes committed by a network of former and current police officers in the San Francisco bay area suggested the core plot for Open Meetings.
I based my protagonist, PR Executive Jillian Hillcrest, on my more than 25 years serving as the head of public relations at high tech and biotech companies in Silicon Valley.        
Robin Leigh:  How did you decide what the title of this book would be? If this book is part of a series, then the books in the series.  Joyce: Open Meetings refers to the California Brown Act that guarantees citizens’ rights to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. As part of her responsibilities as a PR executive, Jillian works with local communities as a representative of her company. In Open Meetings much “not-open” corruption draws her into trouble as part of her community relations duties.
    On Message is a phrase used by public relations practitioners to indicate communicating a particular point, or message, and continuing to reinforce it through repetition in various situations. Since Jillian is a public relations practitioner, it seemed like a good title to connote the book’s environment.

Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?  Joyce: When I start writing a new mystery, I know the main characters, opening chapter, the crime—which is based on a real case—and the conclusion. Jillian and her friends guide me through the bridging chapters. Frequently, the antagonists gets an upper hand, and another murder occurs, or Jillian disappears and her ex-husband has to track her down. I let them guide me as I write as long as we are headed toward the intended conclusion.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?  Joyce: As an out-of-work public relations professional, I was spending a frustrating time trying to find a job – for more than a year. My husband, who I’m sure was tired of my moping, suggested I write a mystery. I had always been a writer. Throughout my career, I wrote my doctoral dissertation (which I consider my first book), dozens of by-lined articles, hundreds of press releases, lots and lots of white papers, fact sheets, and many other documents. To become an author, I had to learn how to write fiction—and I’m still learning.

Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.  Joyce: In Open Meetings, I tend to favor Jillian’s friend and neighbor, Cynthia Anderson, a retired SFPD police officer. She is friendly most of the time, but we gain insight into her police persona as she helps Jillian and her reporter friend to track down the truth about a dead informant and her own husband’s death 20 years earlier. I like her because she is a strong—but understated—woman who chose a typically male career of a policeman, and someone who still engages in solving crimes when presented with them. She also loves to cook.
Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?  Joyce:  Setting aside a specific amount of time sounds so organized. I’m really a “just do it” kind of person, although when I set goals I typically achieve them. When I’m in the middle of writing a mystery, it becomes my primary driver, and I usually devote more time to it than marketing. However, I also like to see results. So I gear my marketing efforts to achieve a certain number of likes, followers and hits.  That helps guide my input so that my efforts are effective. 

Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?  Joyce: I read mostly mysteries and thrillers. However, my favorite book is Shogun a historical novel about medieval Japan. I do enjoy historical fiction especially if a mystery is involved. So I guess you could say that I read historical fiction, which is outside my typical mystery/thriller genre.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?  Joyce: Above all, coffee in the morning. No music – I need silence. (Yes, I was one of those students who had to go to the library to study.) I definitely need my computer—not just for writing but to research. Having a cat on my lap can be helpful, but also distracting. I use food as a way to take a break and bribe myself to write just one more chapter.

Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?  Joyce:  First – if you want to be a writer, just write. Don’t worry about your first words being perfect. You’ve got the editing process to re-write as much as you want.                                                          
Second, if you self-publish, make sure your book or short story is error-free. You can control errors and typos. Do not allow your output to be posted as an e-book with formatting errors, typos or spelling and grammatical errors. Readers deserve perfection, and they expect it.
Third, help other authors. You can learn much from them.

Fourth, market, market, market. Be prepared to learn more ways to market, and market some more.
Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.  Joyce: I’d like to ask readers to please show your appreciation for a book by posting reviews. Aside from the fact that it takes us authors years to bring a book to market and so we appreciate hearing from readers, our sales and marketing efforts rely on reviews.  We really need them to be successful.

Thank you so much, Robin Leigh, for the opportunity to do this interview.

Where can we find your book?
Open Meetings


Barnes and Noble:
On Message

Barnes and Noble:

Where can we find you on:
BLOG: Strand’s Simply Tips


Are there any other internet sites you would like to tell us about where we can find you?

Joyce: THANKS for your time in allowing me to interview you.  Robin: You're quite welcomed, it has been my pleasure. I believe my readers as well as yours will be pleased with this informative interview.
If you have any comments or questions for Mandy, I'm sure she'll be happy to hear from you or answer your questions.
If you're not already following this blog. I'd like to invite you to consider following it.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Hi everyone. I'd like you to join me today as I interview Nicky Wells who's volunteer this week to be on the proverbial HOT SEAT as I ask her questions about her , her writing, and of course, herself.
Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.  Nicky Wells: Hi! I’m Nicky Wells, your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, I write Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. 
    My books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!
    Like my first leading lady, Sophie, I love listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When I’m not writing, I’m a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant. Rock on!
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.   Nicky: Sophie’s Run. My second book baby… *sighs wistfully* Bringing you glamour, glitz, intrigue, romance, betrayal, a fire, an exploding cake, a dashing male nurse and, of course, the gorgeous rock star! What a labor of love. Here’s the blurb:
    Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…
    Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.  
    So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancĂ©, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.
    Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.

Robin Leigh: What are the two latest books you’ve already published? Give us about a five sentence description for each.   Nicky:  Well, I’ve given you the blurb for Sophie’s Run above. Here’s the blurb for Sophie’s Turn, my first published novel. 

So the rock star wants to marry her, but she’s already engaged…  
  One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter.
But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim. Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris. This contemporary romantic fairy tale describes how Sophie gets into her impossible situation and how she turns it around.

Robin Leigh:  What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?    Nicky:   Ah. Interesting! See, I’ve just finished the third book in my rock star romance trilogy. Sophie’s Encore will be published on 5 September! So that makes my current writing endeavor my fourth novel. 
    So, my current WiP. It is a completely new story; no more Sophie and Dan; instead, you’ll meet Emily, Nate and Mike. Don’t worry, this isn’t a love triangle. It’s way more sophisticated than that but I don’t want to give too much away until I’m confident that the plot develops how I want it to. Suffice it to say that there’ll be a rock star in this book; possibly two!
Robin Leigh:  Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in your latest novel?    Nicky:  Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from Sophie’s RUN:
    Abruptly, he handed me four dresses. The magical blue one wasn’t among them. “Try these on,” he commanded. Fingering one of the dresses lightly, I sighed heavily. They looked divine. And expensive.
    I stepped back, my arms folded across my chest. “I don’t think I can afford these.”
    Dan rolled his eyes as though to say, “Not that old chestnut again.” Grabbing a random dress off the rack, he disappeared in a cubicle and pulled the curtain shut behind him. This got the personal shopper’s attention. She jumped up from her chair and walked over to me swiftly, eyes swiveling between me and the cubicle. She cleared her throat, uncertain how to handle this.
    "Did he…did he go in there?” she confirmed unnecessarily.
    “It looks that way,” I offered, trying not to laugh at her disconcerted expression.
    “He’s not—is he trying the dress on?”
    Err, yes.” I breathed. “Why, is that a problem?”
    Meanwhile, Dan had run into trouble in the changing room.
    “I need some shoes,” he shouted woefully. “Could you get me some shoes to match? Size ten please, for me, and size six for the lady as well. Please?”
    Confronted with a direct request, the personal shopper sprang into action. “Schuhe…” she murmured. “Size forty-four and size thirty-nine…. Hmm…” She bustled off.
    Finally erupting into laughter, I bounced into Dan’s cubicle. I was going to ask him what he was doing, but the words stuck in my mouth. There he was, in a bright orange, low-cut, floor-length dress with a big bow at the front. He had filled in the missing curves using his socks, and he hadn’t managed to do up the zip. He looked disturbingly attractive in ladies’ fashion.
    “Will you do me up?” Dan turned his back to me and tugged experimentally at the fastening. I swatted his hands away and closed the zip to halfway up Dan’s back.
    “It won’t go any further,” I informed him dryly. “By the way, did you know your dress is called GaGa?” My eyes had caught on the flashy black-on-orange label sown inside the back.
    “I didn’t, but it makes sense. It’s a wild dress.” He gave a little twirl. “What do you think?”
    “I think you’re nuts,” I snorted. “You be sure not to ruin this dress or else we’ll have to buy it.”
    “Never fear,” he grinned wickedly. “It would look much better on you, though.”
    I shook my head. “I don’t do orange. Not if you paid me.”
   A discreet cough disturbed our whispered conversation.
  “Excuse me, sir? Madam? I’ve got your shoes…”
  “Great,” Dan enthused and stepped out of the cabin. “Let’s have them.” He took a pair of orange flats out of the assistant’s hands and regarded them critically.
  “I was hoping for heels,” he announced with a straight face, and I almost peed in my pants with laughter.
  The assistant was now in professional mode. “I can’t offer you heels in this style in your size,” she announced, “but I do think we have some silver-colored shoes that would work with the dress. The heels are—” She looked attentively at Dan. “The heels are probably about six centimeter stilettos. Would you like to try them?”
  “Why, yes!” Dan enthused. “I most certainly would.”
  The personal shopper went off to fetch the silver stilettos, and Dan grinned his wicked boy smile at me.
  “Do you reckon she’ll let us take a picture?” he wondered out loud.
  “Hm…possibly, why?” I wondered back.
  “It’d be cool to stick up on our website, don’t you think?”
  I regarded him critically. He was most probably joking, but with Dan you never did know.
  "Yeah. But perhaps you ought to tuck those socks in more carefully,” I suggested, tugging playfully at a black-and-pink striped heel that was protruding from his chest area. “It does rather kill the look.”
   He peered down his front appraisingly. “D’you reckon?” he asked. “I think it has something, this unexpected flash of black sock.”
  “Well, it does rather go with your hairy chest,” I conceded. “If you’re serious about the dress, you might consider shaving.”
   “I thought you liked my chest hair?” Dan mock sulked.
   “Yes, but it doesn’t work with a dress. It’s just wrong.”
   “That’s sexist,” Dan declared, then changed the subject abruptly. “Here, try this.” He handed me the divine-looking blue silk creation. “It’s perfect for you.”
   I gave in.
Robin Leigh:  What was the inspiration for your latest novel?   Nicky:  Let me tell you about the inspiration for the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You see, this is all my husband’s fault. He knows I have a ‘thing’ for rock stars. He’s made his peace with the notion. Yet sometimes, he can’t resist teasing me. So imagine the scene. Here’s Nicky, over eight years ago, heavily pregnant, watching something on the telly involving one of her favorite stars. Nicky swoons. “Cor, if he ever proposed, how’d a girl turn him down?” Nicky’s husband, deadpan: “Good job you’re married to me then.”
    We had a laugh about this but it got me thinking. What would I do if Jon Bon Jovi knocked on my door tomorrow? Well, nothing, is the answer. But in a different life… and there, the story was born.
Robin Leigh:  How did you decide what the title of this book would be? If this book is part of a series, then the books in the series.  Nicky:  Interesting question! Sophie’s Turn was born under the title “Full Circle” and lived as such for nearly six years. It was only when I was trying to figure out a cover design that I realized the title didn’t work. It lacked a certain… panache. My husband pushed me and pushed me, trying to distill the nugget of the story—which, in essence, is about choice. Well, the title “Sophie’s Choice” was very much taken so I opted for “Sophie’s Turn” and the title works on so many levels… it was just perfect.
    “Sophie’s Run” and “Sophie’s Encore” followed on naturally, both playing on the key ideas of the respective book. Although my personal favorite is, I have to say, “Sophie’s Encore”. You’ll have to read the book to find out why… Did I mention it’s out in September?
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?  Nicky: Plotter. Compulsive, obsessive plotter. Iterative plotter! From nugget to hand-drawn plan on one-page, to hand-drawn page on two-meter piece of paper, to Word outline, to detailed chapter-by-chapter crib sheet and research notes. I use colored post-its to track character development and sub plots. Yes, I am a plotter.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?   Nicky:  Um. I didn’t really decide that, it kind of happened. Maybe I was born that way, because writing in some capacity or another has been the core professional theme in my life. Maybe I simply got lucky and had the opportunity, when the time was right, to get writing fiction… and keep writing. Either way, it’s a life-long ambition, a dream come true. And it gets me excited to ‘go to work’ every day!
Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.   Nicky:   That would have to be Dan, the rock star; referring back to the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. I want one of him. Kind, caring, highly talented, good-lucking, powerful, musical, smart, funny, not to mention sexy… with just a hint of naughty in there for a bit of excitement. *swoons*
Robin Leigh: Do you have a set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?  Nicky:  Oh yes. I can only pursue my authorly existence during the school day, between 9 am and 3 pm during term time. Holidays are a different matter and I won’t bore you with the detail.
   So, between 9am and noon, I write. I don’t do anything but. No phone, email, Internet. Just write. (Oh, and I drink copious amounts of tea!). After lunch, I catch up on emails and do all the promotion I can squeeze into the available time; yes, that means Facebook, Twitter, blog and so on.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?   Nicky:  I read almost anything. I don’t particularly like science fiction or horror, but apart from that, I’m game. Firm favorites outside of the romance genre are crime and travel books.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?  Nicky:  Tea. Milk, and two sugars please. Biscuits. And a cardigan; my office is an ice box, even in the summer!
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice, what advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?  Nicky:  LOL, Robin, in many ways I’m still an aspiring author. Yes, I have books published, but I still want to write more, grow my readership, improve my craft… I think it’ll take another twenty or so years before I consider myself ‘accomplished’! J
    But in answer to your question… here goes.
   1) Build an author platform as early as you can. Blog, Facebook, Twitter—you have to
           have a presence, a means to connect with readers.
   2) Build a brand. What is it you write? What makes you unique? Be clear about your
           brand—it tells your readers what to expect.
   3) Don’t oversell. In fact, don’t sell, as such. Build relationships. Make friends. Let your
           friends know about your books. Honestly! Think about it. When is the last time you
           bought a book because an author told you every five minutes in your Twitter stream,
          Buy My Book? Exactly. It turns you off. So don’t sell. Be you, live your books, your 
          excitement, and share that with your friends and potential readers.
  4) Write, and keep writing. The ONLY way forward is to keep writing, to show the world
         what you’re made of.
Robin Leigh: If there’s anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.   Nicky:   Did I mention I love rock music? Ha ha ha, I bet I did. Robin, I think I’ve said enough and I can’t thank you enough for your time. I hope your readers enjoy meeting me here today!


Where can we find your book?

Where can we find you on:

Robin Leigh: THANKS for your time in allowing me to interview you.   Nicky:  THANK YOU, Robin, it’s been a pleasure!

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