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Tag Archives: Susan Mac Nicol

Worth Keeping 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a
book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the
author. Today’s featured book is
Title: Worth Keeping
Genre: M/M Romance, GLBT, Gay Romance
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

Blurb

Abused horrifically as a boy, Nick Mathers has come to terms
with his existence as a man. Mostly. Other days life seems a little much. Especially
when Nick knows he’ll always be alone.
On those days his thoughts turn black. He walks the Norfolk coast and considers
the frigid embrace of the waves. And then, one stormy night, he finds someone who’s
tasted just that. The beautiful stranger on the beach is near death, and Nick rushes
him home to slowly nurse back to health. As he does, he finds a love unlike any
other. Owen Butler’s body is as warm as the sea was cold, his heart as big as an
ocean. And Owen is a man who swears to repay the favor. Nick can yet be saved from
himself, and he will see that he is indeed a man… worth keeping.
We are contributors to the National Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Children- http://nspcc.org.uk
– and we encourage you to donate, too.

Buy This Book

Author Social Media

Together in Starlight

In a departure from our usual interview today, author Susan
Mac Nicol is sharing a written “newspaper” article with her character, Bennett Saville.

News Article from The Cambridge Chat:
Interview: Bennett Saville, star of Gabriel, bares it all!
I’m waiting for my guest for the evening,
Bennett Saville, to get ready for his interview. He arrived a few minutes ago and
is now busy being fitted for the mike and dusted with the powder that takes the
sweaty shine off our faces under the glaring lights. His curly auburn hair is being
styled and I see him grimacing as they try to tame it. It’s fairly long, apparently
in preparation for his latest appearance as the sexy, cavalier, and slightly sinful
professor turned wizard in his TV series Gabriel. He smiles at me as I watch him,
appreciating the figure he cuts in his tailored grey suit, looking for the entire
world as if he’s just stepped out of a fashion magazine. He certainly wears clothes
well, and it—dare I say—looks effortless. I suppose his stylist put it all together.
Very, “Darling, what? This old thing?”
God, I envy his tailor at being able
to have their hands all over that well-developed and what looks like a pretty muscular
body. I chide myself for sounding like some sort of middle-aged groupie, feeling
my face flush as he grins at me. He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen on a man,
like emerald chips—
Leslie MacIntyre, for God’s sake,
contain yourself, woman!
That is easier said than done. I’m
about to interview an up-and-coming film star, a young man who’s handsome, sexy,
rich, successful, has seen his fair share of trouble and trauma, and is engaged
to a woman ten years older than he is and seven years older than me. His fiancée,
Cassie Wallace, is a beautiful woman. I’ve seen pictures of her on his arm in the
tabloid magazines and the glossies, and she looks nowhere near her reputed age;
classy, refined, and always has a rather mischievous smile on her face, as if she’s
saying, “Ladies, he’s mine. Eat your heart out.”
I want to ask him about his relationship
with her, but this man has a definite no-fly policy on discussions about his personal
life and his fiancée in particular. I once saw him walk out of an interview when
the interviewer wouldn’t stop prying. He’d been extremely polite about it, but his
resolve was unwavering.
He’s finally sorted to the satisfaction
of Mona, the makeup artist. She grins and gives me the thumbs up. Bennett Saville
walks over to the stage, settles himself down very elegantly into the rather uncomfortable
tub chair. I notice his plain black socks leading down into a rather recently shined
pair of what look like Armani shoes. Nice. The man has big feet, and that sends
me wandering along a path I really shouldn’t travel at this precise moment.
He looks at me enquiringly.
“You have a fascination with my socks?”
he drawls in amusement, in that voice like melted chocolate. I shiver.
“Better than your underwear,” I say
without thinking. Then I blush crimson.
He laughs loudly, his eyes crinkling
at the corners as he leans back and settles comfortably into the chair. “Touché.
At least I’m wearing some tonight,” he murmurs. When my jaw drops open, he chuckles
and then adjusts the mike on his lapel. His eyes gaze at me in challenge, and for
the life of me I can think of no smart-mouthed rejoinder.

I see Henry wave at me from behind
the camera, and I know we’re ready to rock and roll. The lights in the small studio
dim, the chattering ceases and there’s an air of expectancy. I’m ready. The intro
music cues to introduce the programme, and a minute later I’m sitting with my notepad
on my lap, leaning in to address the camera that’s beaming my face and Bennett’s
out into the world beyond. I’m also trying not to think about the man in front of
me with no underwear on….

To see the rest of the Cambridge
Chat
interview, check out either:

Buy links

Together in Starlight – book two in the Starlight Trilogy

Previous Books

Cassandra by Starlight – book one in the Starlight Trilogy
Confounding Cupid
The Magick of Christmas

About the Author

Susan Mac Nicol
Susan Mac Nicol (Sue to most people) was born in Headingly, Leeds
in the United Kingdom.
When she was eight years old, her family emigrated to Johannesburg
in South Africa, where she remained
until her and her family¹s return, with husband and two children, to the UK in December 2000.
Sue¹s career as a professional business woman was mainly in the
operational side of the Financial Services and Vehicle Leasing markets. Currently
her responsibilities have evolved to being the Regulatory Compliance Officer at
a financial services company in Cambridge.
Having written all her life, since her first short story was
published in a local youth competition when she was just eleven, in between the
day job and daily life, the inspiration for the Starlight series of romance novels
was born. Her characters, Cassie and Bennett, finally made their debut on the flickering
screen of a laptop. The character of Bennett was inspired by someone very special
and perhaps one day, if you get the chance to ask her or meet her, over a cup of
good coffee, Sue might just explain who this was. She will probably smile wryly
and say, “Hopefully without sounding like a teenage groupie.”
Her first novel was submitted to various publishers and Boroughs
Publishing Group liked what they saw. Sue was offered a contract for her novels
and that, as they say in the classics, was that.
Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic
Novelists Association here in the UK. She lives in a town house in the
rural village of Bocking,
in Essex, with her husband, two children and a
mixed collie mongrel called Blu, so named because of his two different colour eyes
­blue and brown. Sue is a voracious e book reader and a self confessed geek and
Android phone fan. Her office is in her bag most days and without all her gadgets,
she confesses she could barely function.

Find Me Here

Cassandra by Starlight.

Susan Mac Nicol, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Cassandra by Starlight (The Starlight Trilogy).

Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Renee Yadaev
Length: 100,000+ words
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: A London
woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world
of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen.
Blurb: Unconventional though she may be, Cassandra Wallace leads
the life of an average Londoner, from blind dates to rush hour traffic. Then, along
comes Bennett Saville. Charming, erudite, the up-and-coming actor is like the hero
of a romantic movie. He sets Cassie afire like he has the stage and screen, and
defies the tragedy that brought them together. From the tips of his Armani loafers
to their scorching hot first kiss, he’s perfect. Only, he’s ten years younger and
from the upper class, and those emerald eyes invite dangerous secrets. The world
is full of hungry leading ladies, and every show must have its villain. Yet a true
romance will always find its happy ending.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Bennett Saville is the
main male character. He is a London
based actor, star of stage and screen, with his own TV series called ‘Gabriel.’
Bennett is 37 years old.
Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Wallace
is a professional woman, who specializes in project managing process improvement
for companies. She is 47 years old.

Interview

Tell us about your latest
book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
My latest books are a trilogy,
contemporary Romance crossing over into Romantic suspense. The Starlight Series
takes the story of Cassie Wallace and Bennett Saville from their first fateful meeting
after a tragic accident, right up to just after the three years they are together
and are finally tying the knot on an idyllic Fijian island. The incident bringing
the two together is the suicide of Bennett’s younger brother, Eric, who throws himself
off a motorway footbridge. Unfortunately, he lands on Cassie’s car, injuring her
badly. Bennett feels responsible and goes to see Cassie in hospital. He’s intrigued
by her looks, her compassion and her bravery in dealing with the incident. She in
turn is struck by his youth, film star persona, his obvious demons and the fact
that he seems to have no one he can really turn to. The couple strikes up a romance
that transcends the age barrier and they find in each other a way to both appreciate
each other and provide what the other needs.
What is the single most
important part of writing for you?
That would be bringing
the characters into a reader’s living room, writing scenes and dialogue that is
both believable and real and helps the reader to identify with the characters and
the situations they find themselves in. The greatest compliment for an author is
to be told that a reader could really get into the minds of the characters and that
the story line was well paced, i.e. they simply turn the pages as if it was a seamless
read that flowed well and made the reader feel comfortable.
What do you enjoy most
about writing?
Writing for me is not a
hobby, it’s a passion. I’ve been writing for a long time, for my own pleasure, and
it’s only since the Starlight Trilogy and getting my first book published that I’ve
truly come to appreciate the magic that exists in sitting down and creating something
that until then exists only in my imagination. The most incredible thing I can think
of to do is take a name of my own creation and build a character about that until
he or she seems almost real. I love to put them in situations that I’d either love
to be in myself, or create one where I can control it and make the decisions that
get them out of the predicament they find themselves in. It’s the most fun anyone
can have in playing the Creator in your own little universe and knowing that it’s
only fiction and you can make anyone do anything you want to.
I also enjoy the variation
of writing different things and of being given the opportunity to showcase a different
style. As well as writing these three novels, I also wrote a short story for my
publisher’s ‘Lunchbox Romance’ line. These are short, fun stories designed to be
consumed in the lunch hour. This new story, called ‘The Magick of Christmas’, was
a little bit of whimsy created especially for the line and as I myself have a great
interest in Wicca and love Christmas, it made sense to combine the two in a feel
good contemporary Romance story about love and magick at Christmas time.
Where do you start when
writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
I am a fly by the seat
of your pants writer. I literally started out with Cassandra by Starlight using
an Excel spreadsheet with half a dozen names on it, about five lines per character,
defining age, look, what they did and a very brief description of their character.
I had no idea when I started that Bennett’s mother was going to be schizophrenic,
that Cassie had an ex-husband, that Bennett had a crazy stalker who was an former
terrorist, or that he’d have a gay best friend called Dylan who’s quite an irreverent
character. It all simply flew from the tips of my fingers onto the screen as the
characters developed and I thought of the next line.
Research wise – for Cassandra
there was a lot of research required, especially around the world of the theatre
and movie-making, the issues of schizophrenia and stalking and of course, one of
the most controversial topics in my book, the female on male rape scene. The latter
was researched using case histories of people who had actually been subject to rape
and in fact, after the book was published, the gentleman who wrote the original
article that I used as the basis for my scene in the book, James Landrith, got in
touch with me. It was a very moving moment to be able to communicate directly with
the man whose grim experience formed some of the basis for my book.
What did you learn from
writing your first book?
I learned that I knew nothing
about formatting or writing for publication and about the nightmare of point of
view and what not to do and how not to head hop. I’m still learning that one…
I also learned how a good
editor was worth her weight in gold and one who worked with you and guided you,
worth a lot more.
As for social networking
and how to self promote – when I started writing these books in February this year,
the only thing I had was a business LinkedIn account, gathering dust, and a very
meager Facebook page. The mere mention of Twitter and tweets was enough to make
me hiss like a vampire having a necklace of garlic thrust around her neck. But,
as well as writing and doing the editing to make my stories suitable for publication,
I had to get out there and learn everything I could about the art of social networking.
I’m pleased to say I’ve got the knack of it, and I am beavering away valiantly to
build my ‘community’ and draw readers into my books.
How do you balance a life
outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
I work full time in the
city of Cambridge
which is about an hour’s drive from my home. I leave the house at seven in the morning
and am back in around six p.m. I am very fortunate to have a very supportive family
and to be honest, (and bear with me on this train of thought!) my saving grace (in
my view, my mother and family would agree) is that I’m not really a domesticated
animal. I don’t like cooking, I don’t bake and I will run like hell if an iron ever
comes near me. I’ve always been a professional working woman, working long hours
and have gotten used to this way of life. So having a husband and kids who can cook,
and like to cook, to me, is an absolute boon and they are very happy to take up
this mantle, which gives me the time from seven p.m. to midnight and sometimes longer,
to write and retreat into the ‘bear cavern’ so called because my daughter has warned
the family ‘not to poke the bear when she’s writing. She growls.’
What do you hope readers
take with them after reading your work?
My biggest desire for a
reader is to simply enjoy the moment and live in the world I’ve created and feel
comfortable doing so. I want readers to almost feel bereft when they finish my book,
to feel as if they want more. If they think about the characters and the events
after they’ve put down the book, even if it’s just a day or two afterwards, and
I accomplish this, then I think I’ve done what I set out to do.
If money were not an object,
where would you most like to live?
I have always wanted to
live in a country manor where there is a lot of land and a lake and I can simply
spend my days writing in my huge, book-laden study. This could be either here in
England or in France. I’ve never
been to France but one of the
places I would truly love to go is Carcassonne in
the south of France.
I became entranced with this place when reading Kate Mosse’s ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Sepulchre’
and I think a beautiful castle overlooking this area would suit me down to the ground.
If you were a tool, what
would people use you to do?
I would definitely be a
blunt instrument as that describes me so well. I suppose a hammer is the best fit.
Picture yourself as a store.
Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold
there?
Comfortable clothing that
made you feel warm and fuzzy, chocolate of any description, books, anything geeky
like smart phones, tablets, gadgets, time machines, holographic devices, Benedict
Cumberbatches, (an English actor I have a particular passion for), anything to do
with magic or witches, chunky costume jewellery that sparkled in a myriad of colours
and a selection of really sexy men to pander to my every need when the Cumberbatch
is having a well deserved rest.
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
This item is hard wearing
and tough, has a tendency to switch off when in writing zone mode and can prove
extremely fractious when disturbed.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with bacon.
I’m always ready for bedtime.
When I’m alone, I live in my own head.
You’d never be able to tell, but I am actually listening to
you
.
If I had a halo it would be a little tarnished.
If I could time travel I’d go back and catch Jack the
Ripper
.
I can never give up because I’m driven.
Susan MacNicol

Books Coming Soon

Books 2 and 3 in the Starlight
trilogy – tentatively titled ‘Together in Starlight’ and ‘Starlight and Promises.’
‘Saving Alexandria’ – a novel about a flawed woman who finds an unexpected and sexy
saviour who helps her overcome both her fears and the demons from her past.
Currently
working on another Lunchbox Romance short story

Find Me Here

Cassandra by Starlight
Facebook page http://on.fb.me/RQYv3Z
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