It’s Day 4 of the 24 Sleeps ’till Christmas book tour and my guest today is author Nicky Wells and her book “Spirits of Christmas”
Spirits of Christmas: A Rock’n’Roll Christmas Carol
At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction. Unwitting at first, Jude has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls. Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas?
Spirits of Christmas is a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season.
Here’s my review of “Spirits Of Christmas” to get you in the mood;
Spirits of Christmas is a modern day twist on a classic. A failing rock band needs all the help it can get and a team of ghosts oblige with a few home truths for the band leader. Full of Christmas past, present and future the ghosts must make Jude see the light before it is too late. A good reminder that we should all take a good look at our lives from time to time and check if we like what we’re seeing. My review is based on a free copy of the book supplied by the author.
Let’s find out more about Nicky;
1) Where is your home town?
My home town is Essen, in Germany. I was born there and moved to the UK when I was twenty. Now, I call a small village in Lincolnshire my home, and I’m loving it here. In between, I’ve lived in London, Oxford and Bristol.
2) How long have you been writing?
Ha, how long have you got? The cheesy (but nonetheless true) answer is, since I was ten. I submitted my first ‘novel’ to a children’s publisher when I was twelve. It was a rejection, needless to say, on grounds that they couldn’t accept manuscript s from children!
However, if you’re asking me about launching my author career in earnest, I’d have to say that I started writing in 2004.
3) What genres do you like writing for?
I love romance and chick lit, so that’s where my natural writing home is. I’m itching to try my hands a crime novel or a thriller, but I’m not sure I’d be very good at dealing with the blood and gore!
4) Where did the idea to write a modern twist on a Christmas classic come from?
Great question. It came out of the blue, quite literally, in the middle of the night right on the heels of launching my second full-length novel, Sophie’s Run. That would have been in February of this year. I was hyped up from the launch, I had more or less just finished writing my third book, I was buzzing, and my mind just wouldn’t come to a rest.
A significant portion of my third book—the one I’d just finished writing—takes place at Christmas, so I had Christmas on the brain. And when I couldn’t sleep, this cocktail of ideas swirled round my head… rock music (I’m a rock addict, did I mention that?), romance, Christmas, mystery, departed rock legends… Bingo! There it was, the whole thing.
My OH thought I was nuts when I presented him with the idea the next morning, but in a good way. He was being all practical and wondered how it would fit in with my planned schedule, but I made it work. And there it is, Spirits of Christmas!
5) Can you tell us who the rock stars are who appear as ghosts?
Ah, great question. I’m dying to tell you who inspired me, but I worry that it would spoil the fun for anyone who’s yet to pick up a copy and read it. So is it okay if I keep quiet on this one? You could always share your guesses, but my lips shall remain sealed, LOL!
6) I get the impression you are a bit of a rock fan, is this true?
Rosie, I love rock. Love, love, love. I love the strong sound, the powerful guitars, the drums, the ‘realness’ of the music. Throw in great vocals and a haunting tune, and I go weak at the knees. There’s awesome skill in rock music, both in the writing and the performance, and other than classical music, I can’t think of any type of sound that is more likely to induce goosebump moments. (I love goosebump moments!).
I also have a bit of a thing for rock musicians. I don’t know if it’s the voices, the hair, or the sheer talent of the guys, but a rock musician will turn my head any day. They are like Viagra for my soul. (My OH, by the way, while not exactly a rock star, does play the guitar, sings, and happens to be called Jon. A pure coincidence!)
7) Tell us about the rock star romance series
The Rock Star Romance Trilogy tells the story of the romance between girl-next-door Sophie and mega rock star Dan.
In book 1, Sophie’s Turn, Dan crash-lands in Sophie’s life and turns her entire world upside down. He proposes to her in the most romantic way imaginable just a short while after her boyfriend, Tim, also popped the question. Sophie is at a loss as to what to do. Deceit and betrayal don’t feature in her repertoire, and she struggles to come to terms with her unexpected, strange reality. Which is why you see her turn away from the obvious decisions… and launching her life path onto a little detour.
The second ‘act’, Sophie’s Run, follows Sophie and Dan as Sophie is in pursuit of true love with Steve, the new man in her life. Dan assumes the role of best friend and ‘rock, and—unusually for him—languishes in a state of unrequited love for Sophie. Sophie is oblivious to this, but her best friend Rachel and the reader will be very aware. Sophie’s Run features glitz and glamour, laughter, an exploding cake, a fire, travel, betrayal, friendship, romance, a dashing male nurse and of course a gorgeous rock star ~ an intoxicating combination of ingredients, or so I’m told.
In the closing instalment, Sophie’s Encore, it’s all change for Sophie in the most dramatic fashion. This time, there’s more at stake than just her happiness. Dan has continued to be her rock through the highs and the lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it’s time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his new album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers hole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.
8) You’ve taken part in radio interviews, how scary are they to do?
Fabulous question. The first time I did a radio interview, I thought I would pass out. I remember my heart beating furiously, my hands being cold and clammy, and my blood roaring so load in my ears that I could barely hear anything. There I was, in the BBC Radio Bristol studio with a great big microphone in front of my mouth, about to go live on air all over the West Country. What if I made a complete fool out of myself? I was convinced I’d open my mouth and nothing would come out.
Well, that didn’t happen, thank goodness. What did happen is that I chatted, I laughed, and I had a great time. The buzz lasted for days afterwards, and I determined to try this again. After I moved to Lincoln, I connected with the team at Siren 107.3 FM and started putting in appearances on The Midweek Drive show, so much so that I’m now a regular contributor with my own jingle. (I’m thrilled to bits about that!). And the BBC has been very kind to me, in that I’ve been to visit with
BBC Lincolnshire twice, with more visits in the works.
So I think it’s fair to say that I went from being a little scaredy cat to being a radio addict!
(And I blame this development for leading me into whole new avenues of self-promotion. For example, I burst into song at a reading once… as you can see here: http://youtu.be/jrDQmGXImFM)
9) Tell us how being a member of the Romantic’s Novelists Association supports your writing?
The RNA is a fantastic resource for writers in various ways. The conferences and parties they put on offer great opportunities for networking with other authors and industry professionals. The blog and magazine feature relevant and interesting (and very helpful!) articles about publishing and writing. And the ‘support forums’ (Chapters or the online group) are a fabulous place to hang out and chat. It’s a great place to be, and you can get as involved (or not) as you like.
10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have a publication date in mind?
My next full-length novel is titled Fallen For Rock. I’m planning to publish this one in the summer of 2014. At this time, I’m about 15,000 words in (out of what will be about 100,000 words in total) and I’m loving how the story flows. This part in the process is exciting and absolutely exhilarating. Even after four previous publications, it’s still amazing to see a plan and an outline spring to life. Here’s the blurb:
Fallen For Rock
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?
More about Nicky;
Nicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door.
Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!
Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C. Like her first leading lady, Sophie, 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 to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!
EXCERPT, from Spirits of Christmas;
The voice emerged from the door, and Jude’s head whipped round as if drawn by a string.
‘Hiya, Jude,’ the voice repeated cheerfully. Unexpectedly, it launched into the first line of one of Jude’s most favourite songs. Jude once again sank onto the bed, his legs refusing to carry him with the shock of this second apparition.
‘Is this really you?’
For a moment, Jude’s second otherworldly visitor abandoned his song and remained silent, motionless, allowing Jude to take a good, long look. The sideburns, the nose, the defined chin, the round glasses were clearly visible despite the spirit’s transparent appearance. Everything about this figure was familiar, yet nothing was quite as it should have been. It was as though Jude was looking at a hologram, a distorted, stretched vision where nothing quite fitted together.
Nonetheless, Jude found his voice. ‘Oh my God, it is you!’
Excitement made his exclamation strong and clear. The figure flinched at the sudden burst of noise, but Jude ploughed on. ‘This is…this is totally unreal. I mean, imagine this—here’s me in my bedroom, and there’s you, come to visit me.’
‘I’m not who you think you see,’ the apparition interrupted. ‘I’m the Ghost of Christmas Past.’
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Thanks Nicky for being our guest today. Merry Christmas!
Following on with my “Good Deed” suggestions for readers to try, I’ve taken a couple of themes from Nicky’s book, today’s Good Deed is …”Tell someone how wonderful they are or how much you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate them and do something special for them.”