Please welcome Nicole North to the blog today. Wonderful to have you with us, Nicole.
Thanks so much for allowing me to be here today!
When did you start writing?
I've been writing fictional stories since elementary school. Back then, just like now, I would totally get sucked into a fascinating story world filled with adventure. Once I became an adult, I found sizzling hot romance to be the most addictive type of fiction. Combine that with the fantastical world of the paranormal and I'm hooked.
How does writing make you feel?
Writing makes me feel happy, especially when the story is flowing and the characters are coming to life and walking off the page. I love it when the characters feel like friends I know from next door. I love writing different points of view and pretending to be all sorts of people while I'm writing. It allows me to step out of my own life and be someone else for a short time.
What book of yours is your fave?
That's difficult to answer because I love them all for different reasons. Blade of the Wolf is one of my favorites because the story is edgy, dark and explores some interesting paranormal territory. But it also has moments of unexpected humor, just like real life. It is a steamy-hot story but at its heart are intense emotion and profound love.
Which character of yours do you love most?
I would have to say Ronan Graeme, the hero of Blade of the Wolf. He is an immortal, 600-year-old Scottish Sgian Dubh Guardian who is also a cursed werewolf. Honor, weapons skills and self-control are his forte. His Guardian position and his allegiances to his chief and clan are of primary importance. He's not supposed to get involved with those he's protecting from evil, but Syrena proves too tempting for him to resist. Their chemistry is explosive.
Do you have any special requirements while writing?
I have to be at home alone or at least have some privacy so I don't get distracted by others. I like silence or listening to certain kinds of instrumental music.
Are you a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I'm sort of in between. I do fly to a certain extent, but I like to figure out where I'm going with the plot and characters as the rough draft unfolds. I want the characters to have great goals, motivations and conflicts. And I like for the plot to be unpredictable but tight. I love surprising the readers and entertaining them.
Who inspires you?
Lots of people have inspired me in the past—musicians, actors or celebrities, as well as those on reality shows. Sometimes people I meet in everyday life inspire me on characterization. If a character (for instance, the hero) is being stubborn and not wanting to come fully to life, I can see a photo of someone and I'll think that's him! Once I know exactly what the hero looks like, I have a much easier time writing him.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Songs, music videos, and movies can inspire me. Magazine or newspaper articles. Real history or legends. Part of the idea for Blade of the Wolf came from a couple of Evanescence songs.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go, who with, and why?
I would go to Hawaii with my husband. I've always wanted to visit Hawaii and never had the opportunity.
Thank you so much for being here with us today. We wish you much success with your writing career. Write on!
Blade of the Wolf: http://amzn.com/B005E8ALWA
Blurb for Blade of the Wolf:
Ronan, immortal werewolf and Scottish Sgian Dubh Guardian, faces his most challenging, yet enticing, mission in centuries. He must protect sexy clairvoyant medium Syrena Ellis from an evil incubus intent on stealing her powerful life force. She awakens a raging arousal in Ronan, but if he gives in to temptation, he will be punished.
Dark and edgy, Ronan captivates Syrena. He is hot, hard and in control, yet his scorching glances and sinful kisses tell her he yearns for her. Even though she’s only a job, she finds a way past his iron-willed resistance. She’s determined to explore the depths of erotic passion with him. They’re unaware that their explosive sexual encounters are providing the enemy incubus with heightened energy, making him almost impossible to defeat.
Syrena’s forbidden desire and scorching lust for Ronan could destroy them both.
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: BLADE OF THE WOLF
Copyright © NICOLE NORTH, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Just before nine the next evening, Ronan took a seat at a table in the Red Brick Pub and ordered a single-malt scotch. The low lighting of the bar allowed him to wait in marginal anonymity near a window. He glanced out. The full moon was nigh. Damnation, only a few more days. The worst time for this assignment.
Under the waxing moon’s influence, the hum of testosterone in his body had already grown more potent, alerting him to the presence of nearby females. Like a physical touch, their gazes had followed him when he’d entered. Several men had given him wary glances. With his wolf senses, Ronan easily heard their hushed comments about him, a stranger they didn’t like the looks of. Maybe dangerous.
The women, on the other hand, were far friendlier. A few smiled at him.
“He’s hot. I wonder if he’s looking for company?” one of them said. The rock music blaring from the juke box couldn’t cloak her words.
The squeaking door ensnared his attention. The blonde psychic, Syrena Ellis, entered. His chest tightened. He’d dreaded this moment for the past twenty-four hours. Seeing her in person… Iosa is Muire Mhàthair! It would not be easy. But naught in life ever was.
“Mia, have you seen Jackie recently?” Syrena asked the waitress behind the bar. The soft, southern drawl was sensual and surprising, but he should’ve expected it, given the location.
Syrena shook her head, her long platinum hair gleaming in the low light. “I’ve called her cell phone for over a week. She won’t return my calls. None of her other friends have seen her.”
“Hmm. She’s probably holed up in some posh hotel room with a sexy rich guy. You know how she is.”
Syrena nodded, slowly scanning the bar patrons. When her gaze landed on Ronan, she paused, her eyes widening a fraction.
Ronan held his breath. God, she was stunning. Though most men would likely not see this because she tried to hide behind those glasses. She was curvy and feminine, as a woman should be, but her most intense appeal lurked beneath the surface. A mystery waiting to be discovered and unwrapped.
His strong instincts told him certain things about women, like how sensual they were, and Syrena was, if she would let loose. A fantasy flashed in his mind of sinking his cock into her lush body, over and over, fucking her hard and deep. Sucking the taut nipples of her full, generous breasts while she screamed out in orgasm and begged for more.
Under his breath, he cursed at his instant erection, painfully hampered by his jeans.
Taking her was the last thing he could do if he wanted to keep the head on his shoulders and his freedom. Calling upon his martial arts training, he restrained his instincts and desires beneath a strong control.
She cut her gaze quickly away, back to the waitress, and whispered, “Um… Mia, who is that man over there? He looks familiar.”
Why the hell would she say that? He’d never met her before.
“Don’t know, but he sure is somethin’, isn’t he?” Mia asked. “He has a dreamy accent. Ordered an expensive scotch, neat. And he’s been eyeing you since you walked in, hon.”
Syrena snorted. “No, he hasn’t.”
“Why don’t you go talk to him?”
“Are you out of your mind? He’s way too gorgeous for me.”
Mia’s mouth dropped open. “No such thing, darlin’!”
“Shh. He’ll hear you.”
“If you don’t go talk to him, I’m going over there and tell him you want his phone number.”
“You will not,” Syrena growled.
Ronan drew in a deep breath. The scent of her light floral and citrus perfume finally reached him. Beneath this lay her female pheromones, so sexual and tempting. He savored her delicious uniqueness. Blood pounded through his groin and he was more than ready for immediate mating. Damnation, he’d known he would be attracted to her. No matter how modern the times, the intensely primal instincts of his kind would not be subdued.
He rose from his chair, leaving his scotch on the table, and approached her. Walked right up behind her. Her lustrous hair mesmerized him. “Might I buy you a drink?” he asked.
Mia’s eyes riveted on him. She jiggled Syrena’s arm and motioned to him.
Syrena turned slowly, wide eyes locking with his. “Oh my god,” she breathed.
Aye, oh my god, Jesus and Mother Mary. Those eyes of hers—haunting, fiery blue.
Torradan had implied resisting her wouldn’t be a problem. Like hell. He hadn’t met a woman in centuries who appealed to him more. She was tall with sumptuous curves, long legs and an arse made for squeezing. A physically vital woman who could endure much bedding.
His arousal intensified.
Ronan wished he could control his raging libido, or at least shut off his super-senses so he couldn’t smell her sexual pheromones, which were becoming stronger by the second. Aye, her body was responding to the closeness of his.
“What?” he asked. “Do I have soot on my face?”
A laugh burst from her mouth. “No. Sorry. You have a beautiful accent.”
He gave a slight bow. “I thank you. And so do you. I’m Ronan Graeme, from Scotland.”
“Neat. I’m Syrena Ellis.”
“A pleasure.” He yearned to touch her, kiss her hand, but he dared not.
“Never met anyone from Scotland before?” he asked, teasing to cover his own disturbing reaction to her. This assignment would test his control as it had never been tested before.
“No.” Her gaze dropped, as if she were briefly checking him out.
Saints, she was beguiling. Spellbinding. But he must stay focused on his mission. “May I buy you a drink? Single malt scotch, perhaps?”
“Um… how about an Irish cream?”
“Aye. An Irish cream it is, then.”
Mia went to mix the drink.
“Thanks. How kind of you,” Syrena said, guarded. Wary.
“Would you care to join me, as well?” He motioned toward his table.
She swallowed hard, searching his face, his eyes.
“I won’t bite, I promise.” He grinned, hoping to put her at ease, but unable to help visualizing exactly where he would love to bite her—the cheek of her gorgeous arse, right next to her juicy slit.
I must stop!
A lovely blush spread over her face. He hoped she was not psychically reading his thoughts.
He returned to his table, pulled out a chair and waited for her, hoping she wouldn’t notice his erection beneath the dull colored clothing and leather coat.
She strode forward with a distrustful expression and took the seat he offered. “Why?” she asked.
“What?” He joined her.
“Why are you buying me a drink?” Her Southern accent, which he found exotic and appealing, made him visualize slow lovemaking on a hot, lazy afternoon.
“It is obvious. You’re a beautiful woman I would like to know better.” If she only knew how true that was, even if protecting her wasn’t his mission.
The blush deepened.
“Surely, this is not surprising to you,” he said.
“It is, actually. I can’t remember the last time a man bought me a drink.” Her eyes reflected naïve innocence. She was far too good for him to touch, even if she wasn’t a forbidden Tè-gleidhte.
“Perhaps you don’t go out enough.”
She slid him a sheepish glance. “You’re probably right.”
Mia served her drink and gave her a secret, encouraging smile.
What type of man would she be attracted to? How could he quickly insinuate himself into her life before Ualraig drew too close and put her in even more danger?
Syrena studied the tall stranger on the other side of the table. Ronan Graeme snatched her breath and electrified her senses. A tempting male scent surrounded him—musk, spice and leather. His amber eyes stared deeply into hers for a long moment, raking away years of protective layers, one by one, leaving her naked and exposed. Although the contact was brief, she was left with the distinct impression he’d seen too much, both in the world and inside her.
“What brings you to Asheville?” she asked.
“Business. It is a lovely city.”
She nodded and sipped her Irish cream with extra milk. Delicious, like him.
His black leather coat and black jeans were not the norm for a businessman. He had to be hiding something. The dark stubble shadowing his square jaw gave him the look of an untamed bad boy. His straight, sun-streaked brownish-blond hair almost reached his broad shoulders. With the trained eyes of a masseuse, she noted his tension. How would it feel to knead those hard, well-developed muscles?
“Have we met before?” he asked, swirling the scotch in his tumbler. “I don’t mean that as a pickup line. You do seem familiar to me.”
“I don’t think so.” Jeez, why had he asked that? She now knew why he looked familiar to her. She’d had a dream about him two nights ago. In the same dream where she’d seen her stepsister pale and near death. Syrena’s stomach ached at the image. Was Ronan Graeme somehow involved in Jackie’s disappearance?
Syrena didn’t sense much about him beyond his body language. He had a wall erected securely around his mind. Not that she was a mind reader, but she usually perceived enough to form a general impression of a person. She had never met anyone like him—excessively male, edgy, an obscure mystery.
All day, she’d had a vague feeling of being followed. Maybe it was him. But why?
An instant of perception sliced through her mind—Ronan Graeme was lying. Her heart thrummed louder than the hodgepodge of voices and music in the bar.
Though she wanted to jump up and flee, she rose calmly from her chair. “Thanks for the drink.”
He stood as well, his expression troubled. “Surely, you don’t have to leave so soon.”
“I’m afraid so.” She fumbled for an excuse. “I’m supposed to… um, meet someone in a few minutes. I hope you enjoy your stay inAsheville.”
“I thank you.” He gave a brief bow.
She fled the table. He was too… everything. Too gorgeous. Too mysterious. Too hot.