Category Archives: Rock Star Romance, Part 1: Sophie’s Turn

Sign, Author, Sign

Yesterday saw another first in this, my year of authorly firsts. I hosted my first meet-the-author and book signing event. Hooray!

A few weeks ago, I connected with my local librarian, the lovely Karen Waring, and she was extremely enthusiastic about the idea of hosting a local author in one of her libraries, complete with book signing event. We picked a date (20 October) and a place (Welton Library, in Welton-by-Lincoln) and even set a time (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). We were on!

Both of us set to work publicising the event and yesterday morning, I presented myself at 9:50 a.m. to set up shop.

Was I nervous? Of course I was a little nervous. One worry was simply: would anyone turn up? And the second worry was: how would people feel about being invited to buy a book in a library, where they normally come to loan their reading material?

Well, here’s how it went.

Setting Up Shop

Books ~ check. Postcards ~ check. Bookmarks ~ check. Tasty treat ~ check. Visual hooks ~ check (1 book standing up, 1 big poster).

Taking a closer look… yes, I think this is good. Spy the fancy bookmark in the upright copy? This was a publication day present from two very special people and doesn’t it just add panache to the ensemble?

I’m ready… I think!

A big Thank You to my amazing loveahappyending friend, Sheryl Browne. I owe most of the ideas for this display, specifically the visual hooks, getting a copy of my book to stand upright, and the absolute need for a table-cloth (!) to a stellar blogpost she wrote on book signings on the Romaniacs blog. Sheryl, it worked!

The Quiet Before the Storm…

Meet the librarian: give it up for Karen!

Caught sharing a laugh off camera…  Having fun already.

huge Thank You to Karen for her amazing enthusiasm and stellar support. It is outstanding to have a library working so hard at creating a real sense of community and at bringing authors and readers together. I feel honoured and privileged to have made friends and I look forward to many more book signings in libraries up and down the county (and beyond?). You rock!

Thank you also, of course, to Karen’s fellow librarian, Jo, for helping set up, directing people my way, taking photos, printing photos, making cups of tea and generally keeping things ticking over. You ladies are a brilliant team!

…And Action!

Yes! Readers came! My first visitor arrived at just a few minutes after 10 a.m. Witness: my first author signature in a newly-purchased reader’s copy of Sophie’s Turn. Awesome feeling!

That was fun. Let’s have another go…

Of course I’ll sign another!

Meet Some of My Guests

Honestly, I had no idea this would be so much fun! Thank you to everybody who agreed to have their photo taken and let me post it right here on my blog.

And the Verdict?

Obviously, I had a lot of fun. Huge amounts of fun, in fact. I look forward to doing it all again.

Did people come? They certainly did. I barely had a moment’s rest during the three hours. I met some wonderful people and had some fantastically interesting conversations. It was amazing.

Did I sell and sign some books? You already know the answer to that. Yes, I sold some books. Not dozens, and dozens. But more than I dared hope.

Moreover, two of my guests took a copy of Sophie’s Turn out of the library there and then in addition to the copy that had already been borrowed earlier in the week.  There are copies in circulation! And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m told that two or three people requested a loan copy today so there is now a waiting list. My heart sings.

Lessons learned. Was it a perfect event? Probably not. Here’s what I will do differently next time.

1) I will have a proper stand for my huge visual.

2) Wherever possible, I will set myself up in direct line of vision (and walking) of the front entrance. The most important tool I had to draw people into conversation, apart from the librarians’ kind assistance, was eye contact. It’s easier to make eye contact if you’re unmissably in the line of sight; therefore, in future, I will put myself there.

3) I will print out and have available for perusing some of the fabulous reviews that Sophie’s Turn has received. This will get me around the uncomfortable moment of reassuring potential readers that of course Sophie’s Turn is a fantastic read. Instead of bragging, I can just let the reviews do their work. Easy, and obvious (hindsight is always 20-20!).

So this was it. My inaugural book signing event. I am elated, excited and exhausted. I feel very fortunate to have had my first signing event in such a lovely and supportive environment, and with such enthusiastic hosts.

I hope everyone who bought or borrowed my book will enjoy it and spread the word. Thank you. And I look forward to the next event… Karen has some places and dates in mind, and I am in her extremely capable hands.

Rock On! :-)

A Working Holiday for Sophie’s Turn

Two Rave Reviews for Sophie’s Turn Today, including FIVE STARS!

Well, I have to say, my Friday hadn’t got off to the best start.  The children were grumpy on the last morning of term; instead of the promised snow, all we got was snow and drizzle; and then I got home after the school run and realised that I had accidentally taken my four year-old’s glasses home with me.  So yes, I had to trudge back to school again!

Imagine my delight, and the turnaround of my fortunes and mood, when I found not one but TWO fantastic reviews for Sophie’s Turn waiting for me!

A REVIEWER’S REVIEW…

The first review is by Kate on her lovely book blog, Me, My Books and I.

Kate and I ‘met’ on Twitter, exchanged a few DMs and emails, and then she set about reading Sophie’s Turn in something like… two days flat!  Kate really connected with the premise of the book as it reminded her of her own teen band obsessions.  Yes!!! This is exactly what I had in mind when I was writing the book in the first place, and I am so happy to hear that comment!  :-)  Kate concludes:  “This is an exciting, fun story that captivated me from start to finish, I simply can’t wait to read the second story in the trilogy to find out what happens next for Sophie.”  To read the full review, please visit Me, My Books and I, and feel free to leave a comment if you have a moment.

Thank you, Kate, for taking the time to read Sophie’s Turn and for writing such a detailed, thoughtful and enthusiastic review!  That makes all the difference to this here indie author.  XX

…AND A CUSTOMER’S REVIEW

The next review is a customer review posted both on Amazon and Goodreads.  It’s worth (drumroll!) FIVE stars and titled “Chick-lit at its best!”  The review ends on a really high note:  “I absolutely loved this book. The plot is funny, exciting, full of chemistry and I couldn’t put it down. As others have commented, the ending will surprise you…. Looking forward to the sequel! “

You can read the full review here; if you do go and visit, perhaps you might feel inclined to press the “Yes” button regarding the question of whether the review was helpful to you; that way, other customers will see it right at the top.  You can also see the review on Goodreads, where pressing the LIKE button again will be helpful if you’re so inclined.

A big thank you to the happy reader who left this thoughtful five-star comment.  You made my day! 

Nicky Wells visits The Littlereader Library and Private Detective Ian MacGregger today!

I’m doing my infamous double act again, featuring in two places all at once today:  The Littlereader Library and Ian MacGregger’s blog!

First of all, it is my great pleasure to visit Lindsay Healy’s wonderful blog, The Littlereader Library.

Lindsay has very kindly reviewed Sophie’s Turn  and she feels that “The author has penned an enjoyable, light romantic novel with some entertaining comedy moments, and there is a palpable chemistry between Sophie and Dan!”  I am truly honoured and delighted that Lindsay enjoyed my debut novel and that she is keenly anticipating the sequel!  You can read the full review here.

Moreover, Lindsay is also hosting me for an interview and you can find out about my favourite music, the sequel to Sophie’s Turn, and my favourite reads right here.

Thank you so much to Lindsay for featuring me on her blog.  Please do join me there and say hello!  Lindsay is an Associate Reader at the innovative author/reader project, loveahappyending.com.

And secondly…  A while back, a certain Ian MacGregger put out a call on Twitter asking authors to share where and when inspiration strikes them.  Well, you know me, I always have a story to tell, so I fired off my instant response to him.  The outcome of the resulting Twitter exchange is a guest blog I wrote for his Private Detective blog… a totally new environment for this here romance writer, and very exciting.  Please do stop by and take a look!  Thank you, Ian, for inviting me on your blog.  It’s a real pleasure to be there! XX

High praise for Nicky Wells from a discerning critic as Ela Bookworm reviews Sophie’s Turn

Last Saturday morning, just as I was nearly leaving the house with my family to visit the children’s grandparents for a birthday bonanza weekend, I got a message that Ela Bookworm had posted her review of Sophie’s Turn on her blog.  Normally, I’d launch right into the review highlights but there’s a bit more of a story here that I’d like to share.  Then you’ll understand why this review means so much to me!

Emma is a friend of mine and, in fact, was present at the gathering last summer that saw the first ‘pressure testing’ of my crazy idea to publish Sophie’s Turn.  OK, so everyone had had rather too much Pimms but still… Emma was extremely encouraging of my plans and promised then to read my work.

After the launch on Kindle, things got a bit hectic for me and I struggled to keep my head above water; I’d never Blogged or Facebooked or Tweeted in my life and it was all a bit much.  So while, of course, I included Emma in my general promotion fest, I never managed to catch up with her properly.  By the time I’d got myself a bit more savvy and organised and managed to track her down on Twitter to offer her a review copy, she had gone and bought a copy for herself.  This is the bit where I blush deeply, and a good place to say “Thanks” for Emma’s amazing dedication and support.

Now Emma leads a busy life and has been in and out of the country a lot.  But she didn’t forget her promise and she did read Sophie’s Turn.  She doesn’t read romance or ‘chick lit’ very often but she does read extensively (A LOT!) as you can see immediately upon visiting her fabulous blog.

Emma also has a very keen eye for fictional writing prowess; and, as the expression goes, “she says what she means.”  So I was curious to see what she made of rock star romance Sophie’s Turn!

I think it’s safe to say that Emma really enjoyed it!  There are a few things that she’s questioning but her conclusion blew me away:  “an entertaining piece of wish-fulfilment which is resolved satisfyingly and realistically, with a flawed heroine who eventually realises what is important in life.”  That is high praise indeed, and I am chuffed to bits.

Thanks, Emma, for posting such a detailed, thoughtful and positive review.  I really enjoyed reading it, I am proud of it, and I am mulling over the questions you raise with a view to seeing how they might apply to events in the sequel.  I’m loving it and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

To find the full review, visit here–and feel free to share your thoughts, too! X

Nicky Wells introduces “Sophie’s Turn” live on BBC Radio Bristol

Today was another monumental occasion for this here author, Nicky Wells, and my rock star romance, Sophie’s Turn!

I was invited to talk about Sophie’s Turn on BBC Radio Bristol.  The wonderful Elise Rayner hosted me on The Afternoon Show and asked me fantastic questions about the book, and Sophie, and Dan.

It was a truly amazing experience to visit the studio and to answer so many direct and thought-provoking questions about my work.  Unlike my radio debut, which had to happen by telephone on account of the tremendous geographic distance between me and the Dresser After Dark show, this interview was person-to-person.  And yes, there was a big fat red microphone pointing towards my face, and all sorts of technical equipment all around us, but mostly, it was like having a ‘real’ conversation with a lovely person.  In fact, I forgot about being live on air altogether… let’s hope I didn’t get too carried away!.

Here’s the audio — see what you think! :-)

A huge big Thank You to Elise Rayner for hosting me on her show and asking such fantastic questions.  Rarely have been able to showcase my work quite so extensively!  And another big Thank You to Alex Lewis, producer at BBC Radio Bristol, for making this interview happen.  When the sequel is out…. I’ll just come back for more!

Nicky Wells presents her radio debut on the Dresser After Dark Show

Late on Wednesday night… or rather, very early on Thursday morning of this week, a fairly momentous thing happened for Nicky Wells (author).  [DRUMROLL....!]

I had my radio debut talking about Sophie’s Turn!

Who would have thought that all these amazing things would start happening to me after launching Sophie’s Turn onto the world!  It was my tremendous pleasure to visit Michael Dresser on the Dresser After Dark show on BBS Radio in the United States.  Without further a-do, I’ll let you have a listen for yourself…  On this occasion, my spoken words will probably achieve more than a thousand typed ones.  ENJOY!  (It’s about 15 mins long….)

A big thank you to Michael for his supportive hosting and interesting questions–I really did enjoy myself!  And also a big Thank You to Susan Greenman for helping arrange the interview.

Party Time! Let’s celebrate the re-launch of Sophie’s Turn at loveahappyending.com

I am fantastically excited to be re-launching Sophie’s Turn today over at loveahappyending.com.  Join me there for a little background on my writing journey, and a fantastic excerpt of my masterpiece.

The re-launch comes at the end of a big, massive, four-month virtual book tour, which was a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.  I gained 17 fantastic reviews and gave over 20 interviews and guest blogs.  Visit my book tour close-out post for review highlights that help celebrate the re-launch and put it into a proper context:

This book ROCKS (and that’s not just my opinion…)!!!

Finally, to help you celebrate with me, I have initiated a special holiday promotion.  You can now download Sophie’s Turn from amazon.co.uk for only £0.86, and from amazon.com for only $0.99.  All European amazon sites retail Sophie’s Turn for Euro 0.99.  This is for a limited time only!

Come and visit me over at lovehappyending.com to join in the launch fun, and feel free to spread the word using the sharing buttons there, or at the bottom of this post.  Rock on, friends!  Thank you all for your support.  X :-)

Closing out the Virtual Book Tour for Sophie’s Turn: Thank You All, and check out the Review Highlights

So…. After four cracking months, the virtual blog tour for my masterpiece romantic debut, Sophie’s Turn, is drawing to a close. It’s been a lot of fun, quite a lot of work, and absolutely exhilarating.

I’ve met wonderful bloggers, made new friends, learned an awful lot about publishing, self-promotion, and technology… Yes, I didn’t even have a blog when it all started! So take a look around you and see how far I’ve come.

I’ve had an opportunity to visit many other blogs for interviews or guest blogs, and obviously I gained many reviews. This is a kind of stock-taking exercise for me to tell you all how it went, and to offer my sincere thanks to all my supporters.

Right, let’s have the stats.

The blog tour saw:

17 reviews (and at least one more still to come, possibly more….).  Most of these were either four or five stars (and the others weren’t rated because the reviewers didn’t use ratings systems)!!!   Am I chuffed, or am I chuffed?

11 interviews

3 guest blogs

11 give-aways

1 character interview

1 lounge around a (virtual) pool

Here are the review highlights… and yes, they’re all great (of course!):

“Absolutely loved it and want a sequel.” — Kristin Durham

“The attraction between Sophie and Dan is sizzling…. you can feel the heat coming off the pages!” — Shaz Goodwin

“I loved the British charm that was evident on every page, as well as the plot that kept me reading well past my bedtime.” — Jonita Fex

Nicky Wells spins her story with a delicate hand that will have readers cheering Sophie on throughout the entire book. I felt Sophie’s confusion, her hesitance to spark up anything with Dan, her dismay at her betrayal to Tim. This was such a real book, with a real woman in a very confusing situation” — Samantha Robey

“The outcome, well what a great ending – not what I expected but totally satisfying.” — Sue Fortin

“…excellent debut novel… I love her style of writing, and this book was an absolute pleasure to read.” — Kim Nash

“Packed full of heated highs but also some very sad lows that might have you reaching for a tissue. (Loved the ending) Nicky has written a perfect ChickLit book that easily stands up against the others available today in the shops.” — Lou Graham

“I found there were also some lovely humorous touches in this novel which were not predictable” — Rea Sinfield

“This is a great debut from Nicky Wells about deciding your fate.” — Christy Goldstein

“…it is really well written with an interesting and entertaining and fun storyline.” — Nikki Bywater

“While this was Nicky Well’s first novel, it’s written so well it doesn’t show at all. In fact, this book is chick-lit at its very best.” — Brittany Roshelle

“I was able to devour this novel almost as fast as I tend to wolf down a chocolate bar when I‘m in need a sugar rush, even having to be literally dragged away from the novel at one point.” — Georgina Scott

“I just love music and rockstars! So what happens when I see these two combined! THE INEVITABLE – I LOVE THE BOOK!”— Ananda

“If you are looking for an entertaining chick lit novel, then you’ve come to the right place with this one.” — Melissa Amster

“It is a delightful ‘chick-lit book; definitely one you will not be able to put down.” — Donna McBroom-theriot

“I knew this book was going to be good because I was hooked from the first chapter. … I can see this book being made into a movie…” — Flo

“I was instantly hooked from the very beginning of the novel and found the writing style to be both easy to read and gripping at the same time.”  — Sarah Taylor

And the result….?

Did it all pay off, you want to know? Did I sell any books? Yes, I have to confess, I did—sort of. I sold a few copies. Not many by a best-selling author’s standards, not enough to make a living or scrape into any charts… but a few. Let’s call it a slow trickle, albeit a fairly steady one. Steady enough to make me realise that word is getting out, slowly; that notice is being taken, seriously; that my work is being talked about, all over the world (oh yes, baby, all over the world); reviews are being read, excitedly; and thus my platform is slowly consolidating.

More importantly, I have just found out that two people nominated “Sophie’s Turn” as their favourite chick-lit read for 2011 in the Chick Lit Central Holiday give-away competition.  OK, so it’s not an end-of-year poll of favourite books, nor is my book likely to be the ‘winner’ here as it were.  But that’s not the point.  The point that’s got me bowled over with awe is that two lovely readers out there enjoyed it so much, it topped their own personal charts.  And that matters to me!

Therefore, I would like to express my deep and heart-felt gratitude to all these lovely bloggers who took the time to read and review Sophie’s Turn, hosted me on their blog with an interview or in some other capacity, and generally guided me on my way. When the sequel is out…. I’ll know where to find you to do it all over again!

The Big Roll of Thank You’s Goes Out, in no particular order, to:

Shaz Goodwin at Jera’s Jamboree; Sue Fortin at lovereadinglovebooks; Georgina Scott at Chick Lit Aholic; Lou Graham at Lou Graham’s Blog; Rea Sinfield at Reabookreview; Christy Goldstein at the Chick Lit Club; Laura Williams at Bookworm Ink.; Nikki Bywater at Books4U; Kim Nash at Kim the Book Worm; Jonita Fex at The Book Chick; Kristin Durham at Kritters Ramblings; Melissa Amster at Chick Lit Central; Mandy Baggot at Mandy Baggot Author; Komal Mansoor at The Review Girl; Brittany Roshelle at The Write Stuff; Sarah Taylor at Today I’m Reading; Flo at Girls Who Love to Read; Ananda at Books to Remember; Donna Mcbroom-theriot at My Life. One Story at a Time.; Pauline M Barclay at Scibbles! and last but not least, Laurie Jenkins at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.

I can’t tell you how much your support means to me.  Take care of yourselves… and I’ll be back before you know it.

Until then…. cheerio, my friends! xx :-)

Lou Graham interviews Sophie and Dan (from Sophie’s Turn) for “Hiya!”… and it’s sizzling over there!

It’s another edition of Lou Graham’s great feature, “Hiya“… and this time, she’s interviewing the gorgeous Dan Hunter of rock-band Tusk, and the lovely journalist Sophie Penhalligan, who is accompanying Tusk on their grand tour to bring us all daily updates and behind-the-scenes gossip.

Dan and Sophie appear to have some kind of special chemistry going on between them, and Lou was quite intrigued by it all.  She said to me privately, “my God, there were sparks flying between them.  Never mind they’re denying everything… they’ve definitely got a ‘thing’ going on…”

Well, I never, who would have thought!  What are my lovely characters getting up to?  Visit Lou’s blog to read the latest edition of “Hiya!” and get the inside scoop on this interview.

…oh and, let’s not forget, you can also win a free Kindle copy of the book that Sophie is currently reading!  Garnering great reviews from all over the world, her favourite novel is called ‘Sophie’s Turn,’ written by an amazing new author from the UK by the name of Nicky Wells.  This competition is open internationally and runs until 10 December).  Good luck to all entrants!

A huge, big, enormous thank you to the lovely Lou for hosting this interview and give-away.  Let’s rock and roll! xx