Monday, June 30, 2014

Nicky Wells: Fallen for Rock Tour Extravaganza & Giveaway

How happy am I to host the fabulous Nicky Wells and her latest release, Fallen for Rock. Nicky and I connected on Twitter, and when I read her Sophie series, I knew we had to be friends. She writes with such a fluid, engaging, and addictive voice, and she is also an incredibly lovely, supportive, and fun person. I cannot wait to devour her next book, Fallen for Rock!

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Ultimate rock chick author Nicky Wells writes romance with rock stars—because there’s no better romantic hero than a golden-voiced bad boy with a secret soft heart and a magical stage presence!

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous romance with rock stars—imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity, you’ll connect with Nicky’s heroes and their leading ladies.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor at Siren 107.3 FM with her own monthly show. Rock on!

Fallen for Rock is now available in e-book and paperback editions! Hooray! Get your copy here:
Pssst… obviously, Fallen for Rock is also available on all other Amazon sites!!

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest

Did you know? There’s a single out now by Nicky’s fictional rock band Tuscq come to life! “Love Me Better” is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other places.
‘A thrilling and delicious story of love and self-discovery woven around a broken romance that will make you turn page after page and cheer to the end.’

Love, life, loyalties. Nothing stays the same when Emily gets drawn into the world of rock.

Glossy and sophisticated professional high-flyer Emily has no time for nonsense such as the rock music her ex-boyfriend Nate adored so much. Yet when she unexpectedly comes into possession of VIP tickets—access all areas—for new rock band phenomenon, MonX, she can’t resist the temptation.

The fateful gig turns into more than one night, and Emily finds herself strangely drawn to this new and unfamiliar glittery world. However, only weeks later, MonX and her own universe fall apart with devastating consequences for all. When MonX lead singer Mike appeals for her help, she reluctantly embraces a new opportunity. But she soon discovers that while she may be a rock chick after all, a groupie she is not… Or is she?

Just exactly where do her loyalties lie? And what direction will her life take now that she’s left behind everything she treasured?

Warning! Fallen For Rock contains some explicit content and strong language that may not be suitable for readers under eighteen years of age.
Here's some insight from Nicky on what makes rock music so magical.

The Magic of Rock

‘It’s the magic of rock,’ Nate’s voice whispered in my head, and I jumped. For a second, I felt a little tearful. ‘The magic of rock’ was one of his favourite expressions, but I had always laughed it off. Oh, if only Nate were with me. Maybe the magic of rock would magically fix us, too.
~Excerpt from Fallen for Rock

The magic of rock. This is one of the key phrases in Fallen for Rock. In fact, it’s what the book is all about. Falling for the magic of rock.

Now, as you can see, Emily doesn’t get it. At least not at the beginning. My challenge was to make her understand. So what is it, this ‘magic of rock’? What does it mean? Well, let’s see.

It’s all about contradictions. Tough men with long hair. Bad boys with golden voices. Loud music with complex harmonies. Pounding rhythms and power ballads.

A good rock song is like a mini symphony. It’s deceptive in its simplicity, and it gets people singing along. It gets people involved with music. A rock concert is a living, thriving body of musicians on stage and off stage. The audience turns into a massive choir and percussion set. Everyone becomes part of something larger, something unique and extraordinary, something that leaves no room for everyday worries. For those two hours, the fans get swept away and transported to another place where everything is (nearly) perfect.

A good rock musician is a skilled as a classical performer, and in many more ways than ‘just’ performing. Rock musicians doesn’t ‘just’ make music. They also know about acoustics and the technology that makes it happen, for them on stage and for the audience in the hall. And they’re performers—entertainers, sometimes comedians, occasionally magicians. The show is about a lot more than ‘just’ the music. It’s an experience.

Last but not least, rock music is ‘real.’ I know, that sounds like another contradiction, doesn’t it? How can it be real when the instruments are largely electric? Electric guitars, electric bass, keyboards. But see, this is just superficial. The ‘electric bit’ only augments the sound. All the playing is real. There’s no (or very little) sampling, no automated drumming or chords. And the subject matter is real. More often than not, rock music is about ‘real stuff.’ Bad days at work, being out of work, drug use and abuse, falling in and out of love. Rock music touches people because it’s relevant to them.

This is the magic of rock, all of it put together. Powerful music with strong melodies; contradictions, and involvement, and keeping it real. On stage, the whole thing is underscored by light shows and stage effects that add drama and literally immerse you in that world.

Does Emily get it by the end of the book? You’ll find out... Happy reading, and rock on!
Nicky is holding a fantastic giveaway with some amazing prizes!
Fallen for Rock SWAG Giveaway!
 To celebrate the launch of Fallen for Rock and to spread some joy, I’m giving away the following items:
One Large Signed Poster of “Fallen for Rock”
Three Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock” Swag (Postcards and Bookmarks)
Three Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock SWAG SPECIAL” including 2 bookmarks, 2 postcards and 2 guitar picks
Five Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock” Guitar Picks (two picks per set)
One Set of “The Complete Nicky Wells Swag” (signed): Bookmarks and postcards for Sophie's Turn, Sophie's Run, Sophie's Encore, Spirits of Christmas and Fallen for Rock
One Audio CD: Bon Jovi "Greatest Hits" (2010)
One Amazon Gift Certificate for £5/$7 or equivalent
The Small Print:

Giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway entrants must be aged 18 or over. Giveaway closes at midnight on 14 August 2014. Winners will be notified by email.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Greatest Inspiration and How I Misplaced my Cool

Last night something happened. And for me, it was something huge. But before I delve into this, I must backtrack to 2002 when I first read Jennifer Weiner's debut novel, Good in Bed. I had been scribbling stories since I was ten years old, but my dream of writing a novel had not yet come to fruition. And then I discovered the writer who would become my greatest inspiration, whose books would eventually take up an entire shelf in my house, and whose unique, sometimes dark and gritty, and always real voice would keep me up late at night to get to the end of her stories--only to feel sad when I had. The author, of course, is Jennifer Weiner.

Her books called to me, made me think, and really, really made me want to sit at my computer and finally do what I'd wanted to for so long. And in 2003, I did it. I wrote my first novel and in the next few years, I wrote two more.

In 2012, I published Finding Lucas, which wasn't in fact that first novel I wrote (that one is now in a box in my basement next to my Master's degree). When it came out, I, of course, was grateful to my family and friends who had been so supportive of my writing, but I also owed a lot to Jennifer Weiner. I am compelled to write, and it is a part of me. But without her books, I don't know if I would have taken the risks I have to get my work out there.

When I found out that she was coming to Toronto and would be signing copies of All Fall Down, well, I knew there was no way I was missing it. And I would have stood in the pouring rain without an umbrella to meet her. Luckily, I remembered my umbrella and thanks to Lydia Laceby and Kaley Stewart, I got a front row seat.

She came in, beautiful, hilarious, irreverent, and warm. She is exactly as I imagined, and I both laughed and cried as she talked about explaining periods to her daughter, why she wrote about addiction, her love of The Bachelor, and how amazing she felt helping Sarah Pekkanen, another author I love, when her first novel came out. Usually when you meet someone you revere, there is a slight disappointment. Jennifer Weiner exceeded my expectations.

Then it was time for her to sign my copy. I had inhaled All Fall Down the day it came out, and I loved it--raw, honest, smart, and thought-provoking, it is one of my favorites of hers. Shaking with a huge grin plastered on my face (I may have looked rabid), I told her what a huge inspiration she has been. When she asked if I'm a writer and then asked me if I was "Perfect Pen" (my twitter handle and editing business name), I almost fell over. I stuttered, I repeated myself, I stared, and I was so happy that I nearly floated out of the bookstore.

So, thank you, Jennifer Weiner, for being the incredibly talented writer you are, for writing stories that always speak to me, for being brave, funny, and kind, and for making this little author a very, very happy girl.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke on their Upcoming Release: Your Perfect Life

I am beyond excited to have Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke on the blog today. Not only can I not wait to read Your Perfect Life, releasing from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster on June 10th, but they have been such a wonderful support to me since I published Finding Lucas.

I had, of course, heard of the blog, Chick Lit is Not Dead, long before my first book came out. It was one of the go-to sites for all things chick lit, which despite its baffling fall from grace, I read voraciously. And though I no longer write chick lit (let's call my next novels commercial women's fiction), I still devour it on my couch at night. They were always happy to help me promote, answer my questions, and simply be there for me. When I knew their debut novel was coming out, well, I had to have them on my blog. And here they are! Welcome, Liz and Lisa!

Photo Credit: Debbie Friedrich
And check out this gorgeous cover!

Two childhood best friends wake up the morning after their twentieth high school reunion to discover that they’ve switched bodies in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by two childhood best friends.

With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.


Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.

Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to face the broadcasting dreams she gave up when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the real reason why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring their “witty, winning style” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us) to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of Me. Your Perfect Life is a story of humor and heart about two best friends, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, each learns to appreciate her own.
Want to know more about their journey? Liz and Lisa have graciously answered some questions.
Sam: Why did you start the blog Chick Lit is Not Dead?
L&L: We started Chick Lit is Not Dead (now in 2009 to celebrate the authors we love so much. We wanted to have a platform to showcase not only our work but to also celebrate the writing of everyone from an up-and-coming author to one who had already been on the NYT bestseller list.
Sam: How did you feel about the incredible response to the blog?
L&L: We love our readers and are so thankful for them! We would not be where we are today without their support. Thank you!
Sam: Can you describe the experience and process of co-writing Your Perfect Life?
L&L: We each chose a narrative—Lisa wrote Rachel and Liz wrote Casey.  Although, by the time we’d finished editing we had no idea who had written what! And truth be told, with the exception of an email spat here and there, it was a pretty painless experience! We’ve come to know each other and ourselves so much better over the years, and that really helps.
Sam: What do you think made this book “the one”?
L&L: Great question!  We think this book was “the one” because we finally just wrote from our hearts. We penned the story we wanted to tell and then we found an editor and agent who wanted to listen! The feedback on our book has been exactly what we would have wanted—that the reader has related to our main characters, to wanting to know if the grass is really greener, to being curious about another person’s life. It has also made them want to celebrate their own friendships.  What more could we have asked for? We’re so excited for Your Perfect Life to come out June 10th and to hear more feedback! We hope you all love it as much as we do!
Sam: What advice would you give to self-published authors who dream of seeing their books on a shelf that isn’t in their own houses?
L&L: We would tell those authors that if they want to be traditionally published, to keep working at it—to continue to evolve as a writer. We really tried to take feedback we’d receive to heart, and felt as if that helped us improve as writers. And remember, talent and hard work are very important, but luck always seems to play a small part too. (It did for us!)  So keep working hard and eventually all the pieces should fall into place!
Liz and Lisa love to hear from their readers! Connect with them!
Buy Your Perfect Life!