Tag Archives: chick lit

Sophie has an exciting confession for Dan…

Indeed, it’s party time again!  Did you guess right yesterday?

I feel like a regular party girl these days. Break out the bubbly, have a little treat and join the party!  Oh, and know that while the celebrations continue, I’ll be planning the third part of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy… just how will the story end??XX

~Nicky 🙂

Nicky visits Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog to talk about Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy

Happy Wednesday!  Just a quick message to let you know that I am visiting the lovely Carol on her book blog today to talk about the sequel to Sophie’s Turn  as part of the “W.I.P. Wednesday” series.  Pop on over and visit HERE to get the scoop…

Manuscript is resting, but Nicky Wells (author) is busy!

Good afternoon!  I just thought that perhaps I owed it to you all to let you know what I’ve been up to… having been a little quiet lately.  As you may have read in a previous post, I have finished the first draft for the sequel to “Sophie’s Turn.”  Now, I’m in the ‘manuscript resting’ phase.  This means that the pile of paper pictured below is currently busily being ignored while my mind takes a break from the plot and the characters.  In this manner, when I return to the manuscript for editing in a couple of weeks’ time, I’ll have a fresh outlook on it and I will find it much easier to spot holes, inconsistencies, fine-tune the humour, dial out the comedy moments and generally do everything else that authors do to make a good book truly great.

In the meantime, I thought I might get some rest, too.  Not so!  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

**Thinking about marketing and promotion

**Dreaming up the cover

**Dealing with half-term….

**Travelling to London to visit the US embassy for an ITIN (long story)

**Organising a birthday party for my five year-old

**Blogging, guest blogging, facebooking and tweeting

And somehow, days go by before I can say, “Sophie’s Run.”  And yes… here’s a little snippet of info to whet your appetite.  At this time, I am reasonably confident that the sequel will be titled “Sophie’s Run.”  Why?  Well, watch this space… I’ll be guest blogging at a really hot blog very soon about the sequel!

With that, I shall allow myself one, or maybe two, more weeks of maturing time for the manuscript.  So long my friends, and stay tuned!

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 talks about completing the first draft of Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy

Congratulations, Nicky,
you did it!

I certainly did, hooray!  For weeks now, I have been posting word counts and little updates here and there regarding my progress on “The Sequel” for my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn.   It is with huge, enormous and almost indescribable excitement that I can announce that I have completed a first draft.
And yes, I really am totally chuffed about it!  Ecstatic, overwhelmed, and ludicrously proud.  I had the best time writing it and it was wonderful to see Sophie’s life develop and move on.

Tell me more…!

At this time, my second master piece is just over 149,000 words long.  That would translate into something like 400 pages in paperback.  Somebody has already told me that this very exciting:  a real ‘doorstop read’ like we used to enjoy in the ’80s and ’90s.  Personally, I am very partial to a long, fantastic read that really involves you and captivates you, and that’s why I have written another one.  (Weighing in at just over 135,000 words, Sophie’s Turn would be about 380 pages long.)

What about the title?  Why aren’t you telling us the title?

Ah, well, now that is a good question.  I do have a title for the sequel.  In fact, I am currently using the third iteration of a working title!  But I am not convinced that I have found the killer title yet.  This, too, will reveal itself to me… probably in the middle of the night some time soon!  For now, I am not in a particular hurry to pin down the definite title.

Why is that, you want to know?  There’s quite a simple reason.  Sophie’s Turn  was born under a different title, and one that I thought was perfect and adhered to for six years.  It was only on the eve of publication–quite literally–that I suddenly realised that the title was somewhat… obscure!  And thus I fell out of love with it.  So I have learnt my lesson and am leaving the title for my next novel fluid and in the air until the last minute… which is to say, until I am finalising cover design with the help of the lovely Jessie Dalrymple.

Ok, but what is “The Sequel” all about?

This novel is Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance trilogy and it continues the story of Sophie, Dan and Rachel, also introducing a couple of important new characters.

The sequel features high drama, comedy moments and two weddings–but whose, and to whom?  If you’ve read Sophie’s Turn, you’ll naturally expect a certain course of events… but life never goes to plan!

Part 2 begins with Sophie’s long over-due thunderbolt-and-lightning moment.  However, just a few short days later, a disastrous ending to her birthday party sees her moving in with none  other than the delectable Dan Hunter.  On a strictly platonic basis, of course, and for a limited time only.  Nonetheless, her stay at Dan’s house sets in motion a series of events that derails everything she had expected to happen.

Best friend Rachel has a much bigger and more important role to play in this chapter of Sophie’s life; but this is not a part that she particularly enjoys.  It also gets her into a lot of trouble.  And Sophie… well, she reaches the point of no return; she’s  just about had enough, and she draws the consequences.

When will you publish your next novel?

I am aiming to publish Part 2 in July of this year.  Here’s my plan of action.  For the next month or so, I won’t be touching the book at all.  Won’t read it, work on it, or consider it in any detail.  I will, however, be busy working on ‘blurbs’ and synopses, as well as the cover, so that I can bring you more juicy information some time in March.

Throughout March, I will be re-reading my work, editing, tweaking, polishing, improving, deleting scenes, adding new ones, plugging holes, streamlining twists (or making them sharper!)… whatever is necessary.  A small group of ‘test readers’ will offer feedback that I will duly incorporate, as well!

In April, I will once more take a break from the novel but May will see the last serious edits and also several rounds of in-house and external proofing.   So watch this space… some time in June, I hope to post a taster chapter right here on this blog!

Wow, that’s a long drawn-out process!

It certainly is!  A great novel is like a good wine.  It needs a lot of maturing!  🙂

I haven’t read Sophie’s Turn yet.  Can you tell me what your debut novel is all about?

Rock Star Romance Sophie’s Turn is the funny, honest and occasionally bitter-sweet story of one young woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter.  But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim.  Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris.  The novel describes how Sophie gets into this impossible situation and how she turns it around.   Follow Sophie on a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will…

You can download Sophie’s Turn onto your Kindle right here.

Amazing!  Thanks for the update!

My pleasure!  Keep watching this space as I will certainly keep you all posted.  Also, get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts or any kind of reaction at all.  I’d love to hear from you!

XX 🙂

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

A Fond Farewell and an Excited Hello: Unveiling the New Look for Sophie’s Turn

It is with a tinge of nostalgia that I am saying good-bye to the original cover for my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn.  Designed and lovingly created by my wonderful husband, it was a true piece of cover art.  It received plenty of praise and served me well.  And yet…  as I became more experienced in all manners relating to independent publishing, I was beginning to realise that the cover needed a little more ‘oomph.’  So my wonderful husband and I, we took stock, and we decided to ramp things up a little.  More glitz and glamour was called for.

Enter my great friend and former work colleague, the one-and-only Jessie Dalrymple.  Based in Washington, D.C., Jessie and I go back quite a long way.  We have spent many a long night editing, proofing and (in Jessie’s case) designing books for publication for the company that we were both working for then.

Jessie decided to brave the chaotic editor-cum-artist person that she knows I am and offered to have a stab at jazzing the cover up.  And of course, it didn’t quite stay as simple as that.  In the end, I gave Jessie a creative carte blanche and star-designer that she is, here is what she came back with:

Doesn’t it just take your breath away?  If you’ve already read the book, you will know why this is so perfect.  And if you haven’t… what are you waiting for?  You can get it right here. 🙂

Thank you so very much Jessie!  This is terrific.  Words cannot capture what I feel right now… but the cover couldn’t be better.  Wow!

And here’s the credits:

Cover design: Jessie Dalrymple

Cover image, “a carousel and the eiffel tower lit up at night” by www.unrestrictedstock.com, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

More About the Lovely Jessie Dalrymple (by Jessie Dalrymple)

Jessie is usually designing conservative covers for the U.S. Social Security Administration, where she’s a web and print production specialist. She is the current webmaster for their Research, Statistics, and Policy Analysis and Retirement Policy sites – creating publications and tools for social security researchers around the world. When she started at the agency three years ago, she redesigned all of their statistical report covers using her own photos of flags and fellow concert attendees.

Jessie and Nicky first met while developing corporate research publications, full of stick people and process flowcharts. But Jessie was able to break out into the exciting world of textbook publishing for a few years. She composed dozens of textbooks and workbooks for all grade levels and across various subjects: maths, history, reading/language arts, music. (Her favorite, by far, was the introductory music book!)

Across her career, Jessie has created advertisements, posters, brochures, newsletters, event programs, invitations, logos, annual reports, training manuals, exhibit booth displays, meeting handouts, onscreen presentations, and books for government agencies, nonprofit associations, corporations, and academia. Now she is evolving into more of a web developer, exploring new technologies and new ways to share information with others.

When Jessie is not hard at work, she is usually playing tennis, cycling, or walking with friends. She’s completed five half-marathons, two triathlons, and several local cycling events. She’s obsessed with genealogy research ever since she found a direct ancestral link to Eleanor of Aquitaine and other fascinating historical people. And, while she doesn’t normally read chick lit, she devoured Sophie’s Turn within 3 days of its initial release on Amazon and is now anxiously awaiting Part 2!”

What can I say?  You rock, Jessie! 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

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 🙂