How Do You Shred A Man Card?

I need to know pretty soon, because the howling for me to turn mine in will reach a crescendo very soon. Possibly today, more likely once the book review I plan on publishing Thursday hits. The problem is, the darned thing is laminated and won’t go through the shredder I have here at home. With fear of loss in my heart, and great joy in talking about a good book, I now launch into A Cliche Christmas.

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Let’s start with the pictures and social media:

Nicole’s website is www.nicoledeese.com and her twitter account is @NicoleDeese. You can visit her author page at Facebook by hitting this link. Last, but not least, she’s up on Goodreads as well. Good? Thought so. Go buy the book, A Cliche Christmas while you’re clicking.

Nicole Deese

Nicole Deese

A Cliche Christmas

A Cliche Christmas

On to the review I posted at Amazon.com:

This is the first Nicole Deese book that I’ve read. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. It’s a story about Christmas. In many ways it’s a story about telling stories about Christmas. No matter what you call it, you must call A Cliche Christmas enjoyable and well written.

Nicole touches a part of the heart in this work that crosses age and gender lines. While it is clearly written for the romance market, it’s so well done that even grizzled misanthropes (me) can find a great deal of pleasure in the work. I won’t give away the ending, or the middle for that matter, but it did cause the pollen count in my office to go up enough that my eyes were kind of moist. I wasn’t crying, let me make that clear – but it was a near run thing.

This book is ideal for later teens through the golden years. It’s not a kid story by any means. It’s not sappy. It’s got good characters and great scenes. Well worth the price of admission. I now understand why she sells so many books – she’s a great writer.

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Nicole is a high tech kind of author: she’s even added a book trailer. (I won’t have one for Assault on Saint Agnes, it would be rated R for some reason…)

Here’s the book blurb from her publisher:

2014 American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis Award Finalist
Writing happy endings is easy. Living one is the hard part.
Georgia Cole—known in Hollywood as the “Holiday Goddess”—has made a name for herself writing heartwarming screenplays chock-full of Christmas clichés, but she has yet to experience the true magic of the season. So, when her eccentric grandmother volunteers her to direct a pageant at Georgia’s hometown community theater, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside Weston James, her childhood crush and the one man she has tried desperately to forget.

Now, facing memories of a lonely childhood and the humiliation of her last onstage performance, seven years earlier, Georgia is on the verge of a complete mistletoe meltdown. As Weston attempts to thaw the frozen walls around her heart, Georgia endeavors to let go of her fears and give love a second chance. If she does, will she finally believe that Christmas can be more than a cliché?

On to the interview!

You write romances at this point in your career. Have you considered another genre? If so, what would it be?

I honestly couldn’t imagine writing a fiction story that doesn’t have at least a smidge of romance woven into it. I do love to read a fairly wide variety of genres. (My favorites being: Dystopian, YA, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy.) But truth be told, a book doesn’t feel complete to me without a love story.
I know. I’m a sap.

Like a lot of kids who grow up to be authors, you’ve “left the pack.” What’s the best part of having voices in your head?

Two words: Yoga pants.
Okay fine, even though I really do love my everyday writing attire, my favorite part of the writing process is actually brainstorming for my next project. There’s nothing like the magic of new ideas, characters, twists, and plot lines. I’ve been known to talk on the phone for hours with my author buddies and never stray from Nicole’s Fiction Land. It really is that fun to me!

The characters in your books are unique personalities. Where do you draw these writing skills from? How can readers who yearn to write pick up this ability to create people out of thin air?

I usually envision a single character first. And while looking into his/her past, I ask these questions: What has wounded this character? What life experiences have shaped them and made them who they are at the beginning of my story? Once I have a good feel for that hero/heroine, I can then figure out who their love interest needs to be—usually with the “opposites attract rule” in mind.

Do you tend to limit settings to places you’ve lived or visited?

Thank goodness for GOOGLE! There’s A LOT I don’t know about the world, but what I don’t know is usually pretty easy to research online. I’ve watched many a YouTube video. I’m currently writing a story about estranged twin sisters that takes place in rural Montana (which most of Montana is rural—haha!) But thanks to videos and research sites, I feel pretty confident in my descriptions so far.

And of course when all else fails? I just make stuff up. Like Lenox, Oregon. The small-town setting in A Cliché Christmas. Though I grew up in Oregon, there wasn’t an exact fit I could think of that would work for this particular story. So I created Lenox, which is a cross between two of my favorite real-life Oregon cities.

Writing is your full-time job. What careers did you have before moving to writing?

I was fully submersed into the Domestic Arts prior to authorhood. That is to say, my husband supported me in every possible way so that I could stay at home and raise my babies. And now those babies are nine and six. And in full-time school.

Those years at home changing diapers and watching Barney ’til I wanted to ban the color purple from my life FOREVER were all kinds of crazy, but those years were also what inspired me to keep dreaming. To keep hoping for tomorrow. To keep reaching for the future. Because those years were the perfect catalyst to launch me into this season as a full-time writer.
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Thank you, Nicole. A Cliche Christmas is riding high on the charts at Amazon and Walmart. Best of sales to you!

Like all good authors in the modern era, Nicole included her own paragraph of propaganda. I’m always tickled to get that along with questions I didn’t ask in the interview. It makes me look good!

Nicole Deese Bio: Nicole Deese is a lover of fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found fantasizing about “reading escapes,” which look a lot like kid-free, laundry-free, and cooking-free vacations.
Her debut novel, an inspirational contemporary romance, All for Anna, has hit multiple milestones since its release in January 2013, including a 4.8 star rating on Amazon and more than 150,000 downloads on Kindle. She has since completed the Letting Go Series and over-the-moon excited about her new release, A Cliché Christmas, published by Waterfall Press, an Amazon Publishing imprint. A Cliché Christmas is available at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, and on Amazon.com.
Nicole lives in Frisco, Texas, with her husband, Tim, and her two rowdy boys, Preston and Lincoln.

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