Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nicki Salcedo and . . .

ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Bell Bridge Books

THE TRUTH MAY DESTROY THEM BOTH

Seven years ago, a knife-wielding stranger left socialite Ava Camden for dead. She survived, but her face was brutally scarred. Now Graham Sapphire is determined to clear his brother’s name and win her trust in a desperate search for the truth.

Read a little, Buy the book


 Graham and Ava went outside, where the alley was quiet and the sky faded to purple. He retrieved a bottle of water from the front seat and took a swig. He wore a white t-shirt that clung to his triceps, down his hard chest and flat stomach. The shirt became slightly translucent with his perspiration. Through the shirt, she saw the outline of the bandage where he’d been cut.

His jeans sat low on his hips, only being loose at the waist. Her eyes fell to his thighs and down to his work boots. She suddenly felt thirsty. In her mind, she kept apologizing for his wound, but sorry wasn’t the right word for how she was feeling.

When their eyes met, he looked embarrassed as though she’d been judging him. Graham took another swig of water from the bottle he carried and gently held it out to her.

“You need some water?”

She wanted to say no. She wanted to say she didn’t need a drink. She wanted to explain that she had not been judging him for his clothes or his work boots. He wouldn’t believe her if she said the dirt on his boots made her trust him.

“Sure.” She accepted the bottle against her better judgment and took a small sip.

MEET NICKI
Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She was born in Jamaica and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America© and a Past President of Georgia Romance Writers. Nicki is a two-time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart Finalist.
She lives in Atlanta with her four children, husband, and a cat. Nicki thinks everyone should write and loves connecting with readers. For more information go to: www.nickisalcedo.com.

"I love this woman!" 
I met Nicki too many years ago to admit to while we were volunteering. She's amazing and caring, a great writer, a loving mom and wife. And man am I glad she calls me friend. ~Angi

GET TO KNOW NICKI
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
NICKI: Not often enough. My kids are at those ages where none of them sit still. They are 9, 8, 6, and 3. I used to get lost in a book a week. Now I’m lucky if I get lost in a book once a month. For an avid reader, a book a month is terrible! I have a book with me at all time just in case a have a few minutes to get lost in one.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
NICKI: A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith. I read it in second grade. I remembered crying and crying. I didn’t know that books could make feel such intense emotions before that book. I didn’t know a book could make you cry. It was a wonderful feeling, but also frightening, to become someone else and feel their joy and pain.

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
NICKI: Embraced. I don’t mind the word hug. Hug is wrapping your arms around someone. Embraced is better. It is my favorite love word. Embraced is both a physical and mental action. Embraced is touching and accepting. It’s a word that shows up in my novel in both English and Spanish.

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
NICKI: My novel is based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I like scarred heroes. In ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS, the heroine has the scars. She is the beast. The hero is the beauty. I always liked the variations of the beauty and the beast story, because they two people looking for something other than love. The beast needs redemption. The beauty longs for freedom. It also helps that in the Disney version Belle gets a library as a gift. Readers and writers took a collective gasp at that scene and shouted, “Yes!”

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
NICKI: Snoopy. More specifically Snoopy dancing. Peanuts was always a favorite cartoon when I was growing up. I love Charlie Brown and the gang, but Snoopy is my favorite. He is happiness and silliness and joy. Charlie is introspection. I like that too. Woodstock is exuberance. You can tell I’ve thought about all these characters at length.

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
NICKI: Graham Sapphire is kindness. You don’t see that a lot as the main characteristic of an alpha hero, but Graham takes care of his family and the woman he loves. Ava is brooding and scarred and afraid. Because Graham has survived very traumatic events of his own, his first instinct is to nurture those around him.

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
NICKI: I love the sound of the train. I could hear the train from my house as a kid. Today the train is a bit further away from where I live, but I can still hear it. The sound of the train whistle and the wheels on the track are very evocative. Sadness. Mystery. Hiding. Running away. I’m probably the only person on earth who loves getting caught at a train crossing, even when I’m late! The whistle is an intermittent sound, but the wheels have the same repetitive quality of waves crashing on a shore. I’m pretty sure the sound of a train is good for the soul.

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
NICKI: I am an avid romance reader. I love a romance novel. I adore fairy tales, but if I’m at the movies or watching TV I choose action adventure. I like superheroes, sci-fi, zombie stuff. If people are running around shooting lasers and avoiding explosions, I’m pretty much going to love it.

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
NICKI: I wrote a story about a young girl with nine brothers when I was in elementary school. It didn’t have a plot, but the kids wandered around town having silly adventures.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
NICKI: The Terminator. Yes, 1980’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. Time travel, sci-fi, romance. It is my go-to movie when I’m sad. I wish I had something high-brow or a current movie as my favorite. The truth The Terminator is perfect. Ridiculous and perfect.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
NICKI: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is one of my all-time favorite books. The monster is created by Victor Frankenstein. The monster is the most heart-breaking villain in literature. I guess he is another beast who I love. He questions human nature, love, and survival.

I also watch The Walking Dead and have read the graphic novels. The Governor is a scary villain.  He is insane. His character show what happens when questioning human nature, love, and survival goes horribly wrong.

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
NICKI: A nice dinner. I have four kids. Food at home is usually macaroni and cheese or broccoli. Nothing fancy. Everything I eat at home is eaten standing up. My day job is pretty busy, so I often miss lunch. My husband knows that I don’t need flowers or jewelry. I like a nice dinner out. We have a favorite restaurant in our town and the name is taken from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” Part of my biggest vice is dessert. I plan my meals around the ability to have dessert. Preferably apple or cherry pie. If not that, then anything warm. Cobbler, bread pudding, chocolate cake. Books are a better vice for me. Fewer calories.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: I doubt that you ever have any "down" time, but if you do…what do you do for fun?
NICKI'S GOTTA ANSWER: You are right. I don’t have down time unless you count soccer practice and piano lessons and school projects. Honestly, writing is my down time. Writing is my fun. Writing is the only thing I do that is 100% for me so I consider it my down-time even though it is my second career. I have a certain writing voice that comes naturally to me, and I try writing different genres and different points-of-view in my “down-time.” I like writing to be fun. I play with language.

FIND NICKI:
Twitter @NickiSalcedo   

This is Nicki's debut, but  she writes for 
It’s Only A Novel . And what's UP NEXT for NICKI? I’m working on revisions on two other novels. Southern fiction with romantic elements.

NICKI is giving away a copy of All Beautiful Things. Kindle version or a paperback copy--winner's choice. 

International Kindle book giveaway: ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS may not be available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. In these cases the recipient will be given the option to request an exchange for gift credit on their Amazon.com account during the redemption process, or they may contact Customer Service for assistance in exchanging the book.

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

NEXT UP ON GLIAS: Join us tomorrow for Judy Alter. I'll be back next week with Roxanne St. Claire & Pamela Hearon.  ~Angi Morgan

Get Lost on Facebook    or   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

NICKI WANTS TO KNOW: ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS is a story about reversing expectations. The “beast” is the woman, the “beauty” is the man. What are your favorite books where there was an unexpected twist or something that defied stereotypes?

31 comments:

  1. Many years ago I read a beautiful story about a woman who lived out in the backwoods. Her love interest was the Doctor in the town. The Doctor had a lot to learn. I learned a lot too. The title escapes me, but the story lingered.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. It sounds like a story I've read, too! Normally the man is the secluded one. I love reversals. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

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  2. Nicki, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. I loved All Things Beautiful, and why am I not surprised that Frankenstein is your favorite book. So happy to connect. Four kids under nine, you're busy!

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    1. Donnell, you don't know how much it means to me that you read this book! I was so surprised to read the real Frankenstein in college. Not what I expected. That's a good thing.

      Me, mom of 4 under the age of 9, on a snow day with my husband trapped across town since yesterday...not a good thing and extra busy!

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  3. Good morning and welcome, Nicki. I'm so excited about your book. So glad you kept after your dream and didn't wait on 4 kids to grow up before pursuing it.
    ~Angi

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  4. I'm not sure these kids are ever going to grow up. :) It's now or ever. Thank you for hosting me!

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  5. Hi, Nicki. Great to see you here! To answer your question, I have to mention my critique partner Liz Selvig's The Rancher and the Rock Star (Avon Impulse), where the heroine is the rancher. Hope your husband is home safe soon. One thing about living up here on the tundra is they know how to do ice and snow.

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    1. Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by. Lady rancher! I love it. I will check it out.

      Snow is one problem. Lack of sand and salt is the other. The real issue is how hilly it is in Atlanta. People forget we are the bottom of the Appalachian Trail. It is beautiful and people are being so amazingly kind to those stranded. I love a happy ending!

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  6. Hi Nicki, great interview. Thanks for letting me get to know you better. My four children are grown, but I remember all those busy days.

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    1. Hi Vickie, thanks for stopping by. Busy days are fun days!

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  7. Hi! Just stopping in to say hello and let other readers know All Beautiful Things is a spectacular read! The Beauty/Beast reversal is bold and beautiful.

    Also, Nicki, you're my hero. Four kids and two careers. ((hugs))

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    1. Cheryl, thanks for coming by. So glad you read it and liked it. Sometimes I look at my life and wonder. And wonder. And wonder. But it is a happy life. You are MY hero! Thanks for your support.

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  8. Cheryl Hart sent me here to read about you! (I've heard great things, but it's nice to get a glimpse into your life.) I have 5 kids, and I remember how it was when they were young. (Whew! Now two are grown and gone, three teenagers still at home.) It's amazing you have time to write! Now, to answer your question...I love books where the main character is a strong woman. My favorite book is--well, a series of books actually. The Earth Children series by Jean M Auel. The main character, Ayla, must overcome many obstacles and does so with independence and spunk. (I named one of my daughters, Ayla. Goes to show what an impact these books had.) Thanks for the chance to win your book, All Beautiful Things!

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    1. Hi J.M., Cheryl is my heart! You have 5 kids. Wow. Any number of kids more than zero is wild. Even 1 kid is a handful. The Earth Children series was a wonderful one. Hardship. Determination. All that walking. :) I appreciate you stopping by!

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    2. All that walking. Ha! Spit my coffee on that one.

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  9. oops, forgot to leave an email address. authorjmpowers AT hotmail DOT com.

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  10. I have no idea how you find time to do anything let alone write! :) You gave me hope! :)

    Hmmm... I think Eve... in JD Robb. She is the non-romantic in the relationship. :) I love that she hates shopping!

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    1. May, I write in the shortest bursts in the history of writers anywhere. If I have 5 minutes, I will write for 5 minutes.

      I'm like Eve. Somehow I love romance novels, but I'm adverse to romantic gestures! I hate shopping. Any time I need to buy a pair of shoes (once every 5 years) I take one of my writer friends with me. Good at romance. Good at shoe shopping. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Nice interview. Can't think of any

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  12. Hey.....my favorite action movie of all time is Terminator 2: Judgment Day!! I never miss it when it comes on t.v. I just had to mention that. : )

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    1. Hi Laurie, I've seen Judgment Day a time or two hundred! My favorite line: "I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do." Love! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. And my favorite female heroine in all of cinematic history! Linda Hamilton is my hero.

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    3. My favorite scene is when Linda Hamilton is running and sees Arnold S. and she's so scared she skids to the floor saying "noooo, nooooo." And he says "Come with me if you want to live." Makes me want to watch it right now!!! My all time favorite!!!

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  13. Nicki, I should have said in the interview that THE TERMINATOR is one of my favorite movies of all time. Love Linda Hamilton...especially in the 2nd movie when her twin helped out.
    ~Angi

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    1. Angi, I knew we were friends for a reason!

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  14. Hi, Nicki. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale and I love wounded warrior stories, too. Your book sounds perfect for me. :)

    Heather Snow's historical books have unusual heroines. In her 'Veiled Seduction' trilogy the heroines include a chemist, a criminologist and a mental health counselor.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Marcy, I've have Heather Snow's books, and I'm using them as an incentive when I finish a little project. I can't wait to read them! Hope you get a chance to read ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

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  15. You have the most wonderful writing voice. I love happening upon it and chasing it down when you blog. If I ever finish my RITA entries, I'm going to read your book, too!

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    1. Liz, thank you for stopping by. I'm halfway through my RITA entries. Toughest job we'll ever love, right? Hope you like ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

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