Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Break(Through) The Ice: Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway with Rachell Nichole

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always been a writer. I was writing short stories as early as first or second grade. What drew me to romance was definitely Dark Desire by Christine Feehan. It was the first adult romance I read when I was a teenager, and two years after that, I started writing my first novel. 

Do you have a specific writing style?

Sort of. It kind of depends on the book, the deadline, and what’s going on in my non-author life. My first book I “pantsed”. For you non-writers out there, that means I didn’t really plan much out before I started to write the book, sat down and tried to write the draft without making a bunch of changes. It was kind of a disaster. Too many starts and stops, not enough planning, etc. The next few books I plotted out using this 3-Act Structure that I’d learned at a writer’s conference. But I don’t always use it. For Break(Through) the Ice I didn’t do a lot of planning, but it was a shorter piece – novella length instead of novel, so that worked out. I also pantsed my other novella, Queen of Hearts. The longer books, especially ones that are part of a series must be plotted. I know this now.  

Do you write in different genres?

I do. I write paranormal romance, romantic suspense, contemporary erotic romance, GLBTQ erotic romance, Interracial erotic romance, and contemporary romance.  Sheesh! That’s a lot, huh? I also occasionally write some flash fiction (1,000 or fewer word stories), some poetry, creative non-fiction, and children’s books. 

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I really like variety (in case you couldn’t tell) but I think my favorite is erotic romance. That’s definitely the one I’ve written most of as of now, and whenever I get bored, I think oh, it’s been like ten pages since they had sex… woohoo write the next sex scene.  

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

That also depends. I usually have a title in mind or a working title for a project, because I’m freaking OCD and I can’t just title the word doc “Next erom book” or something like that. I have to have a whole folder dedicated for notes and stuff for the book, so I always have some kind of title, but it’s not usually the final title. For instance, An Affair Across Times Square was originally titled The Lawyer Across Times Square. An Engagement in Paris was originally A Marietta Wedding. Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce (which is my favorite title to date) was originally Holiday Hell (a title I hated, but it was all I could come up with at first) and Break(Through) the Ice was originally Adirondack Avalanche. As the story evolves from the original idea, so does the title. 

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

When I was an undergraduate, we had a writer’s retreat up at a camp in the Adirondack Mountains in the middle of winter, so the whole setting for the book is taken from that camp/my experiences up there. The scenes that are in the lodge of the camp are loosely based on the cafeteria building at the camp I stayed in. There’s also this super-emotional scene in the book where Jasmine describes the death of her brother when she was younger, and that one was the hardest/most truthful scene in this book. I’ve lost a lot of family members in the past few years, and I really mined that kind of grief and guilt and pain to help craft that scene and Jasmine’s character as a whole. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Suzanne Brockmann. The woman walks on water. She’s amazing. Her characterization and plot lines make me drool with envy. I would love to learn from her. 

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m working on a BDSM-themed erotic romance currently titled Domestic Discipline Needed about Liz Clark, an author who can’t stop thinking about this book and decides to throw caution to the wind and do some research at the local BDSM club – The K Club. She meets Chase Masters and is instantly attracted to and terrified by him. I will soon be working on another Marietta Hotels book and possibly a paranormal book as well this year. 

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

 I try to. I love to travel and have lived in France on two separate occasions. I’ve only set one book in a place I’ve never been. That was Queen of Hearts which I set in California. I’ve never been farther west than Las Vegas. It’s hard to write a book about somewhere you haven’t been. But through my time in France, I did a ton of traveling around Europe, so someday I’ll definitely set books in Italy (A Valentine in Venice) other parts of France/Monaco (Midnight in Monaco), Spain, Canada (A Night in Niagara), and a bunch of other places I have yet to visit. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes – stop reading author interview blogs and go write your damned book. Now. 
Do it. No excuses. Butt in the chair, fingers on the keys. Go. 

Thanks so much Roxanne, it’s been fun. And informative for me as well as for our readers, I hope. 

~ Rach


Oh, God, no. No, no, no. Please do not come over here! Her first meeting with Vince couldn’t be while she was face-down in a tangled heap of arms and legs. With another man, to boot. She was supposed to be breaking the ice around Vince, not her ass, damn it.
She pushed her gloved hands into the snow and tried to lever herself up. She attempted to get her knees under her, but the snowshoes were too big in the front, keeping her off balance.
“Here, let me.” Vince’s large hands closed around her arms and he lifted her as if she weighed nothing. At five-nine, and none-too-skinny, she wasn’t used to being manhandled. But when Vince set her upright, steadying her with those strong hands of his, she felt almost delicate.
His shaved head was covered with a fur-lined hood clouding his features with shadows, but she would know what he looked like in the pitch black: Dark skin, a wide-set nose, low eyebrows, and thick pink lips she’d imagined kissing a thousand times. Even within the confines of his coat, she could see the broad shoulders, the thick, corded neck, and tapered waist.
Jasmine looked into those dark eyes and forgot everything around her, even the fact that not thirty seconds ago, he’d been telling another woman he loved her.“Uh… I’m…” Coherent thought left her completely.
“Jasmine Graves.” The deep rumble of his mildly-accented voice caressed her name, sending a shiver skittering down her spine.
He knew her name? She’d entered an alternate universe where movie stars knew authors’ names, not the other way around. She nodded like a fool.
“Are you all right, Ms. Graves?”
“Jaz,” she said.
His hood slipped back, revealing that devastatingly handsome face. He looked momentarily confused, and if she didn’t know any better, she’d think his face looked as star-struck as hers felt in that moment. She blinked, trying to make sense of the situation and regain her equilibrium, but as soon as her eyes opened, they were captured again by his gaze. What did he see when he looked at her?
She’d pulled a soft multi-colored knit hat low over her ears. her long hair flowing out behind her in the wind. A rib-knit scarf covered her chin and neck. Only a bit of her face was visible in the night, but Vince’s attention didn’t waver an inch. She’d imagined this day a thousand times, a thousand ways, but this instant physical reaction hadn’t been part of the equation. He still held her arm, and he was standing closer than was necessary. But she sure as hell wasn’t going to complain.
“You’re taller than I expected.”
He’d anticipated this meeting too? Out of all the fantasies she’d ever had, his knowing who she was immediately and making some comment like that hadn’t been one of them. She swallowed. Not even in her worst bouts of writer’s block did words desert her so completely. “Thanks,” she managed to squeeze out, then remembered to smile at him and at least attempt to be flirtatious.
“For saying you’re tall?”
She laughed. “No. For picking up my sorry, klutzy ass from the snow bank.”
“Yeah, what the hell happened?” Brian asked from beside her. His voice broke the spell and Vince let go of her. The separation was like a physical blow and she shivered in the sudden coldness.
She turned her attention to Brian. “Sorry. I was… admiring the scenery. I didn’t realize you had stopped until I looked back toward the path and was nose to back with you. I couldn’t stop in time. You okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He brushed some snow from the front of his coat. “As I was saying, up ahead is the main lounge. It’s where all the meals will be served. There’s always hot chocolate, coffee, and tea on tap, as well as bottled water and all that. You’ll be sharing a cabin with a few of the crew. It’s over there.” He pointed to a set of cabins next to where the blonde actress was staying. Damned if Jaz could remember the woman’s name. After Vince had stepped down off the porch, Jaz had gotten a good look at Vince’s latest co-star.
Out of the corner of her eye, Jaz saw Vince staring at her. That same look of wonder was in his eyes, but she didn’t turn her gaze back to his. He’d just been professing his love to someone else. It was one thing to fantasize about a man, create a character around him, and fall in love with him in her dreams. It was another thing entirely to interfere in his real-world relationship with someone else. She would keep her distance.

“I’ll show you the rest of the way to your cabin if you’d like,” Brian said.
Damn. The man had taken the words right out of Vince’s mouth. He wanted to be the one to show Jaz to her cabin. It was a stupid reaction, but one he couldn’t quite quell. She was almost as tall as he was. When she’d posed with those wolves for her author photo, she’d been kneeling in the dirt. He’d had no idea that she was so tall. Her thick, dark hair ruffled in the night breeze, adding an ethereal quality to her looks. A chill climbed over his bare head, but he couldn’t quite bear to put up his hood yet and restrict his view of her.
Jasmine’s Native American heritage was apparent in her tan skin, breathtaking square face, and dark, slightly almond-shaped eyes. Together, the effect was mesmerizing. Though right now he couldn’t see most of her face beneath her hat and scarf, he knew what she looked like. She glanced at him and he smiled.
“Thank you, again…”
“Vince. You can call me Vince.”
“Okay then, Vince. Thanks. I suppose I’ll see you around?”
God, he hoped so. He nodded and she turned away. It would be entirely too awkward for him to stand there another second, so he headed for his own cabin to reread tomorrow’s scene. 
“I’m actually starving, is there still food about?” she asked Brian as they walked toward the other end of the camp.
“Great. I’ll just drop my bags, and then could you show me over to the lodge?”
And if Vince happened to be there, having another cup of hot chocolate and Jasmine happened to come in to have a late dinner, there’d be nothing wrong with that, right?
“I’d be happy to,” Brian said. By the man’s voice, he really hadn’t minded being pancaked into the snow by the lovely Ms. Graves.

Break(Through) The Ice
Rachell Nichole

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Twenty or Less Press

Date of Publication: January 14, 2014

Number of pages: 100
Word Count: 20,000

Book Description:

When Jasmine Graves is invited to the set of the movie based on her book series, she thinks all her dreams have come true. The Vince Demarco, the man she's based her hero on for the past seven years, will be there and she can't wait to meet him. Little does she know that she'll have to face her worst fears to keep her leading man.

Vince Demarco has never been as intrigued by a character or an author before being introduced to the haunted werewolf he's been cast to play. So when he comes face to face with its creator, Jasmine Graves, he's awestruck. But he fears an author who's a reported recluse will want nothing to do with the paparazzi madness and crazy shooting schedule that comes with dating a movie star.

Neither one can deny the almost animal attraction that overwhelms them at first contact. But can an author and her muse breakthrough the barriers between them, or will the heat between them turn to ice in the winter cold of the Adirondack Camp?

About the Author:

Rachell Nichole is a contemporary erotic romance author. She currently writes what she likes to call Sizzling Romantic Entanglements. She loves creating memorable characters and putting them through the paces on their discovery for and journey to love.

Rachell holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Professional Writing and the other in French. She also received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. She is the author of The Marietta Hotels Series, Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce, and Queen of Hearts.

Rachell lives in New York with a mountain of books, a loving family, and an evil cat named Godiva that she adores.


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Rachell Nichole said...

Thanks so much for having me today. It was so much fun sharing a bit more about myself.