Monday, 22 June 2015

Tales from the Hearthfire

Hi everyone.

Yes, as you can see I’m finally back. I managed to finish my rural romance which is the second instalment in the Violet Falls series but then I was hit with the winter lurgy. Anyway, I’m better and feeling like I’m back on top of things (which is always a bonus).

As I’ve been quite slack lately, my writing list has grown but I haven’t managed to cross much off it. So it’s high time that I became a little more proactive and start writing ‘properly’ again.

I’m taking a tiny break before I begin my next Australian rural romance and finishing off a fairytale that I started last year. I’ve written over half of it and it would be a shame not to finish Mariella and Prince Navarre’s story. My Wolven Heart is the second book in the Tales from the Hearthfire series, the first being Black is the Colour.

Tales from the Hearthfire tells the stories of the three Rubana sisters, Ciana, Mariella and Elisabetta. In Black is the Colour, Ciana (the youngest) had to save her lover from the witch’s curse. It was a story about true love, magic and ravens.

My Wolven Heart is the eldest sister’s story. Mariella finds herself forcibly married to a man she loathes and separated from her beloved sisters.

Here’s a bit of a blurb –

Forced into a marriage she never wanted. Mariella finds herself in a dark and mysterious world. The village of Darcel Holt is hidden in the heart of a deep wood. It is steeped in misery, slavery and fur. As Mariella unravels the secrets of the village she must ask herself, who is truly the monster - Mariella’s new husband or the enigmatic stranger in the forest?

Prince Navarre Trevoré must fight to free his people from their bound slavery. He has no time to dally with a mortal – particularly the wife of his sworn enemy. But Mariella’s kindness touches his heart and her soulful eyes haunt his dreams and cause him to entertain thoughts that he never should have.


So this is what I’m spending the next couple of weeks on. As much as I love the contemporary rural romances (and I really do love them), it’s nice to dip back into a fantasy medieval world which is filled with enchantment and in this particular case, werewolves. J



If you’d like to check out the first book, Black is the Colour here’s a link –

Shortened Amazon link -



Ciana has loved Oran all her life and nothing, not even her father will prevent them from being together. But the Mayor of Stonemark has higher aspirations for his daughter than the village blacksmith. He engages the help of a witch and dark magic to bend Ciana to his will.

Oran knows that he doesn’t deserve Ciana. But their love is stronger than the metal he forges and welds. She has his heart and he will never turn from her no matter the cost.

Separated, Ciana will need all her strength to journey through the deep forest and save Oran from the witch’s curse. Alone and with only a trail of black feathers to follow, Ciana will fight against the odds and attempt to bring her lover home.


Round double, double you go,

Until black feathers upon you grow.

Beak and claw, talon and wing,

Now with raven’s voice you will sing.

To the heavens you shall fly,

It is my will –

So say I.


Thanks so much for stopping by.


Nicóle xx

Pictures from Fotolia

Cover – Have a Slice Productions

Monday, 25 May 2015


Hi everyone!

So, I promised my lovely editor that I’d have the next book in McKellan’s Run series to her in two weeks. No probs, it’s pretty much finished – it just needs a bit of a polish and I need to revise chapter five, oh and I have to add a scene at the end of chapter seven and eight... and thirteen. Oh dear!

Um... okay... I’ll catch with you guys after the deadline.

Thanks for dropping by.

Nicóle xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Spotlight - Tess Woods

Hi everyone.

The lovely Tess Woods is with us today to answer a few questions and tell us a bit about her novel, Love at First Flight. Tess lives in Perth, Australia with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins.

Welcome Tess!


What inspired you to write this story?

I've always been inspired by the tragic love story, the story of great love that just can't be. My favourite book The Bridges of Madison County stayed with me years after reading it and played on my mind. Then I read Twilight and out of nowhere I had to write my own book. Before this I had never entertained the idea of writing. But the longing in Twilight and the knowing that the one you love is the one that is dangerous for you resonated with me and I just had to write about that. So with the themes of desire and danger, I wrote a book about a married mother, because I wanted to write of what I know. I wanted to bring the great love story into the world of the typical suburban mum who is chasing after kids, working and running a home. I wanted her to have that Romeo and Juliet moment. So I wrote 'Love at First Flight'.


Are you working on anything at the present?

I’m writing my second book and I’m very excited! I am writing a contemporary romance called Flat White With One which is about my main character Mel’s son as an adult (he is a teenager in Love at First Flight). Nick is Australia’s most popular football player, a real playboy who falls for a young, conservative Egyptian girl named Anna with a tragic past who is anything but the typical footballer’s girlfriend. Flat White With One is their love story. Nick and Anna are tested by her family, Nick’s football community and the Australian public as nobody seems to approve of them being together.


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

I actually didn’t come up with the title for my book! I came up with Flight. But I got a memo from my editor, Anna, that Flight could be about birds or kites and she wanted something that sold the story more. I received that email while I was having lunch with my friend Emma on her birthday. I complained and moaned about needing to change the title. Emma came up with Love at First Flight. I emailed Anna. She thought I was a genius. I happily took the credit! I’ve been told by my literary agent that she is letting me keep the title of my next book Flat White With One for now so we’ll have to wait and see if I don’t end up naming that one either, hey!



What is your favourite book?

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller captured my heart like no other love story could. I read it in one sitting, I simply couldn’t put it down. That such a passionate love story could take place between two quite outwardly plain, middle-aged people in sleepy Iowa, where not much ever happens, was amazing to me. The connection between Francesca and Robert and their tragic Romeo and Juliet ‘not meant to be’ love pulled at my heartstrings. They made me believe in love at first sight and I went on to write my own book inspired by their intense love. I thought Robert Kincaid was the most romantic male character I have ever come across.

“But, I am, after all, a man. And all the philosophic rationalizations I can conjure up do not keep me from wanting you, every day, every moment, the merciless wail of time, of time I can never spend with you, deep within my head. I love you, profoundly and completely. And I always will.”


What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve always been a hopeless bookaholic. I was inspired by other writers and other stories. Books like Tully, The Bridges of Madison County and The Horse Whisperer stayed with me and inspired me. But when Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight, something shifted inside me when I read it and I just had to write a book myself!


Love at First Flight – Blurb

A family is threatened by an irresistible attraction in this compelling debut that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Anita Shreve.


Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it. 


What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you? 


Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever. 


What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare. 


Love at First Flight will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.



Here’s a snippet –

‘Alright, love, have a good night.’

‘You too, hey? Be safe. Don’t talk to strangers. See you tomorrow. Love you.’

His voice was warm. No suspicion there whatsoever. Of course there wasn’t, Adam trusted me. I’d never given him reason to be suspicious before.

‘Love you too, Adam. See you tomorrow, darling,’ I croaked.

I dropped the phone into my bag and walked back into the bathroom, with a sudden sharp headache behind my left eye.

‘How’s Hercules?’ Sarah looked up from painting her toenails.

‘He’s fine,’ I said flatly. ‘He says hi. He’s having an early night.’

‘God bless him, like he needs the beauty sleep,’ she laughed.

I regarded myself coolly in the bathroom mirror. ‘You are a stupid, stupid woman,’ I hissed at the reflection.

 I vigorously shook Matt from my head, wiped off the red lipstick, replaced it with a clear gloss, and sent a mental kiss to my unsuspecting husband who was missing me back at home.

No more nonsense.



If you would like to find out more about Tess, here are her links. J


 Facebook page:





Barnes and Noble:


Thanks for stopping by.

Nicóle  xx


Friday, 8 May 2015

Spotlight - Lee Christine

Hi everyone.

Today we have the fabulous Lee Christine joining us. Lee writes romantic suspense and her story ‘In Safe Arms’ was a finalist in this year’s Australian Romance Readers Association’s Favourite Romantic Suspense category.  

She’s here to give us a little peek at her latest book – A Dangerous Arrangement.

Welcome Lee. J


Thank you so much Nicole for having me on your blog today!


Churches, ancient ruins, monuments, pasta, gelato, Campari, Venice, Vatican City, high fashion, opera, Pavarotti, architecture, the Amalfi Coast…

You guessed it.


One of my favourite countries in the world to visit and the setting for my latest romantic suspense, ‘A Dangerous Arrangement’.

Five years ago, a holiday in Italy inspired me to write a novel set in this unique and wonderful country. After travelling throughout Europe, my husband and I decided to ‘wind down’ towards the end of our trip. We boarded a magnificent cruise ship in Venice and for the next sixteen days visited Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Sicily as well as circumnavigating Italy.

The security on the ship was amazing, and as I write romantic suspense, I began thinking how a villain might breach that security. All from the comfort of my sunbed, of course. Also on board was an accomplished, primarily Russian, string quartet and the seeds of a story began to form in my mind, a kind of ‘cat and mouse’ chase beginning in Venice and continuing along the Italian Riviera.

A crime, a naval architect, a musician and a super yacht, an American heroine, an Australian hero, a love story that takes place in a truly international setting.





When violinist Marina Wentworth arrives in Venice en route to a cruise ship for a short working holiday, the last thing she expects is to be confronted by a handsome stranger demanding answers. After going to great lengths to keep her real reasons for the trip a secret, Marina refuses to let her immediate attraction to Dean Logan derail her plans.

Desperate to recover his latest super yacht designs, Dean doesn’t want to believe the lovely violinist is involved in the devastating cyber-attack that threatens to destroy his yacht building empire. However his growing feelings for Marina fail to extinguish the nagging suspicion that she is hiding something.

Set against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Dean and Marina must navigate the dangerous waters of secrecy, attraction, and the fusion of two very different worlds. Will their lives remain discordant, or will they take the chance at true harmony?


Here’s a snippet of A Dangerous Arrangement


Ten minutes later the tender was in the water, and Dean was adjusting the ties on her lifejacket. It reminded Marina of the day in Sicily, when she’d worn the bike helmet, though on this occasion his hands lingered a little longer as he adjusted the strap.

‘What became of the Harley?’ She raised her arm so he could adjust the side ties.

‘It’s on board, with some jet skis and other fun stuff. It’s a nice bike. I don’t feel like parting with it at the moment.’

Marina looked at the silver painted speed boat tied up to the back of the yacht. ‘You certainly love your big boys’ toys.’

He straightened and gave her a lopsided grin. ‘Some people might say I’m overcompensating for other deficiencies.’

She blushed, and it took every ounce of her self-control not to look at his crotch. ‘I didn’t say that.’

But she’d known where a comment like that would lead, and she’d gone ahead and said it anyway.

‘You’re welcome to find out for yourself.’


He laughed, and eventually she smiled and looked away. Her darn mouth was at the mercy of her subconscious.

Time to change the subject.

‘The tender’s different to the ones on the cruise ship.’

‘Comparing this to a ship’s tender is like comparing a racing car to a people mover.’ He pointed to the tender. ‘This baby is made of carbon fibre and fibreglass. It’s capable of 45 knots. It’s racing boat engineering.’

She laughed, revelling in their new camaraderie. ‘Well, excuse me for not being up on my tenders.’

His reassurance there was nothing between him and the heiress had already brought them closer. Even more so, their willingness to learn something from each other.

He smiled, looking so boyish in his tee-shirt and boardies it was hard to believe he owned a multi-million dollar company.

‘Okay, I think we’re good.’ He glanced over his shoulder. ‘Alain, we’re off.’

Alain emerged from somewhere behind them and began untying the bow line that attached them to the yacht.

Then Dean clambered on board with the same ease he’d displayed on the gondola. And just as he had in Venice, he reached out to her. This time, she took his hand without question, and as she stepped across the small gap, confident in her lifejacket, he wrapped a muscular arm around her waist and lifted her into the boat.

‘Welcome aboard.’

He held her a little longer, a little closer than necessary, his warm, hard body pressed against hers until Marina silently cursed the barrier of the lifejacket.

Then his arm loosened, and he pointed to a seat close to the front. ‘Take that one.’

As she sank into the soft, white leather, Alain tossed the rope to Dean and the tender began drifting away from the yacht.

Dean looked at her as the first mate disappeared inside. ‘Ready?’

She nodded, heart hammering with excitement as he turned the ignition switch and the luxurious boat roared to life.

He raised his voice above the roar of the three outboard motors, positioned the throttles and trimmed the tender. ‘I’ve designed this to deflect spray while we’re underway. You won’t even get wet, especially when it’s calm like today.’

‘Getting wet isn’t an issue. It’s sinking that worries me.’

He winked then covered his eyes with the trendy Ray Bans she recognised from Venice. ‘When you’re with me darlin’, that’s never gonna happen.’








If you would like to find out a little bit more about Lee here’s her website –

And if you love romantic suspense check out Lee’s ‘In Safe’ series.




As always thanks for stopping by.

 Nicóle xx


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

McKellan's Run - Update

Hi everyone!

Yes, I know I’ve been remiss and haven’t posted anything in ages. There’s really no excuse, except that I’ve been swept up with McKellan’s Run release.

So down to business – here are the winners of all the McKellan’s Run Giveaways.


Congratulations to Katherine and Niki who both won a copy from this blog.

The winners in the Goodreads Giveaway were – Vanna, Cherie, Maria, Jacinta and Sharon.

And from the Second Chance Giveaway from Allen & Unwin congrats to Caz, Rachael, Chantell, Trudy and Sharon!


Thank you all so much for taking the time to enter! J

There’s one more chance to nab one. I’m over at Breathless in the Bush talking about writing what you know. If you leave a comment you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of McKellan’s Run.


Hope you’ll join me again later this week when I have Lee Christine popping in to chat about her new book – A Dangerous Arrangement.


Thanks for stopping by.

Nicóle  xx
Graphics – Have a Slice Productions
Original cover – Christa Moffitt, Christabella Designs
Cover photography – Ron Lang. Getty Images.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

McKellan's Run Release Day Giveaway

Hi everyone,

To celebrate the release of McKellan’s Run, as promised I’m doing a giveaway which is open internationally.

I’ve got one signed copy and one digital (Amazon Kindle) copy up for grabs.

So if you would like to enter just fill out the pink contact form which you’ll find on the right hand side of this blog site (about halfway down).

Just leave your name, email and the answer to this question –

What’s my heroine’s name in McKellan’s Run?


The giveaway is open from 21st April – 1st May 2015. I’ll randomly select the winners via the tried and true top hat method.

Top Hat modelled by Alannah

If you’re in Australia there’s also a chance to win one of five copies on Goodreads.


Violet Beckett once made the mistake of falling for the wrong McKellan brother. Now, eight years later, fate has brought Violet back to her home town with her daughter, Holly.

As soon as Violet runs into Charlie ‘Mac’ McKellan, she wonders if she should run all the way back to the city. But something about him makes her want to linger. Can she trust him, can she trust herself or will she be burned again?

Charlie McKellan has had a soft spot for Violet Beckett for longer than he can remember. It almost killed him to watch his brother woo her, use her and finally lose her. From his very first encounter with Violet he’s hooked. But how can he convince her that not all McKellans are the same?


Short Amazon link

Short Amazon Au link


Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck.

Nicóle  xx

Monday, 20 April 2015

McKellan's Run - Trailer

Hi everyone.

So I’m finding it hard to contain my excitement as McKellan’s Run is almost here.

Today I received these!


If you’re in Australia, I have a Goodreads giveaway happening at the moment. There are five copies of McKellan’s Run up for grabs.

Here’s the link.

I’ll organise an international giveaway in the next few days, so stayed tuned. J


And to top everything off we now have a trailer, thanks to Have a Slice Productions.




Violet Beckett once made the mistake of falling for the wrong McKellan brother. Now, eight years later, fate has brought Violet back to her home town with her daughter, Holly.


As soon as Violet runs into Charlie ‘Mac’ McKellan, she wonders if she should run all the way back to the city. But something about him makes her want to linger. Can she trust him, can she trust herself or will she be burned again?


Charlie McKellan has had a soft spot for Violet Beckett for longer than he can remember. It almost killed him to watch his brother woo her, use her and finally lose her. From his very first encounter with Violet he’s hooked. But how can he convince her that not all McKellans are the same?


It’s still on pre-order at the moment.


Short Amazon link


Short Amazon Au link


Thanks so much for stopping by.


Nicóle  xx