Thursday, November 19, 2009

Guest blogger, Nicole North

10 Things I'm Thankful For
By Nicole North

First of all, a huge thanks to the ladies of PF&HT for having me here today! Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and it's important to recount the things we are thankful for... if possible, not once a year, but every day. I have many things to be grateful for in my life, but today I want to concentrate on writing related things. In no particular order...

1. I'm thankful for my own hero, my encouraging, supportive husband. He always believed I could become a published author, even during times when I doubted myself. He enjoys reading the good reviews of my books almost as much as I do. :) He's the best--generous, caring, lovable, sexy, and sweet.

2. I'm thankful to Red Sage for giving me an opportunity and publishing my first novella, Devil in a Kilt (in Secrets Volume 27), and my next two novellas, Kilted Lover and Beast in a Kilt. This was a great kickoff for my publishing career. I've loved reading Secrets anthologies for years. They contain the level of hot sensuality I love in my romance reading. Red Sage has been around for over fifteen years and continues to grow and expand.

3. I'm thankful for my awesome critique group, Rebels, and my other individual critique partners because they are also my friends. In addition to critiquing, we share the ups and downs of writing. We encourage and support each other and are each other's biggest fans. Sometimes my critique partners have saved my sanity, like when I've had to rewrite a scene from scratch and needed help figuring out the best solutions.

4. I'm thankful for my laptop so I'm not stuck writing at a desk all day. I can write in a comfy recliner, while walking on a treadmill or outside if I choose. This is important because my desk chair isn't so great to sit in for hours and hours. And I find I can write more creatively if I'm comfortable or walking.

5. I'm thankful for fun research methods, one of which is the internet because it makes research so much easier and faster. Before I discovered the wealth of information online, I spent hours in libraries spinning my wheels. But the most amazing and fun way to do research is in person, visiting the places I write about and touching the things in my stories. Attending Highland Games and watching the caber toss is one way that I researched before writing Kilted Lover, since the story starts at such an event and the hero tosses cabers as a hobby.

6. I'm thankful for the wonderful writers who take my workshops and make teaching both fun and rewarding for me. I never knew I could teach until I jumped in with both feet and gave it a try. Turn Up the Heat! was the first workshop I taught. It was an experiment that turned out well. Imagine my shock when some of my students told me I explained certain hard to grasp concepts in a way that gave them new insights into their writing, and truly helped them improve. Helping people in this way is very rewarding for me.

7. I'm thankful when unexpected inspiration hits me and doesn't allow me to do anything but write. Ahh to feel this way all the time would be bliss, but of course that doesn't happen. But I'm also happy when I can read a page or two of what I've written, then easily sink back into the story. Even if it isn't a blinding flash of inspiration, I can still draw on the moderate hum of inspiration and finish the story.

8. I'm thankful for my three online chapters: Celtic Hearts, From the Heart, and Hearts Through History. Since I live far from any land based chapters, connecting to other romance writers online is wonderful. Writing is mostly a solitary pursuit so it's great to be a part of a friendly writing community. Dozens upon dozens of members of these chapters are incredibly supportive and encouraging.

9. I'm thankful for the sexy, delicious cover of Kilted Lover, designed by Rae Monet. It's eye candy, pure and simple! I never get tired of looking at it. Rae captured perfectly the yummy hero of my story.

10. I'm thankful for readers who buy my books, then email me to let me know they've read them. What a blast it is to entertain people, make them laugh or cry or affect them in other ways. Even when I was a kid I'd sometimes turn clown, just for the thrill of making people laugh. Now, at times I write humor, but more often my focus is writing hot, sexy stories with a bit of action and suspense.

Kilted Lover, my latest release, has the elements I mentioned above: sexy heat, action and a bit of humor.

When kilted caber-tosser Scott MacPherson tosses Leslie Livingston over his shoulder to rescue her from two armed thieves trying to steal her priceless amulet, they are thrust into a deadly but sexy adventure. Though Leslie already has a lukewarm, uninterested boyfriend, her attraction to Scott is white-hot and undeniable. She wants to lick this tall, muscular alpha male all over and explore the depths of eroticism with him. But will he want anything more than one night once the danger is behind them?

Prize: Name three things you are thankful for! I'll choose one winner at random from the comments to receive a pair of handmade Celtic silver and peridot earrings inspired by the amulet in Kilted Lover.


Cyrano said...

So happy to hear from you Nicole!
And I loved reading the list of things you're thankful for. A lot of them mirror my own happy experiences.
Husband for one. Mine's wonderful too.
I related with these particular words most of all though, "I'm thankful when unexpected inspiration hits me and doesn't allow me to do anything but write. Ahh to feel this way all the time would be bliss."
I feel the same way. Just wish that feeling stuck around always.
I also agree on the cover of Kilted Lover. Ummm...WOW!!!
I hope that when I'm published (I'm going to be sending something requested by Red Sage very soon. Fingers crossed) that I'll be lucky enough to score a cover like yours. Can you say HOT-O-LICIOUS?
Thanks so much for visiting with us this morning. We love our guest bloggers so much.
Have a lovely Thursday.

Cyrano said...

Also, thanks for the chapter one excerpt Nicole.
Can't wait to read it.

Pam said...

Great post, Nicole! My youngest son and I kept gratitude journals together for a while; maybe I should pull mine out again! Today, I am thankful for clear skies, great kids, and my piano students. Bonus: PFHT and all the inspiration and encouragement I get here for my writing!

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am thankful for the continual outpourings from our fabulous guest chefs here at PFHT. Completely grateful for a husband whose support is unwavering and especially overwhelmed by the community of writers who inspire, support, assist, critique, motivate, and encourage each other.

Marilyn Baron said...

I loved your "Thankful For" list and thanks for the excerpt and for blogging with us today.

I'm grateful for my two daughters, who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

I'm grateful for my wonderful husband who puts up with me.

I'm grateful that my parents are still alive.

I'm grateful for my PF&HT blog sisters.

I'm grateful for my friends.

I'm grateful for my ability to write.

Marilyn Baron

Carol Burnside said...

Hi, Nicole! It's good to have you here with us again. (Fabulous ab cover, BTW)

I enjoyed your list. There are many things I'm thankful for, but today the #1 thing is that I submitted my full to Red Sage last night and have started a new project.

Wish me luck!

Nicole North said...

Thanks Tamara!! A wonderful man is awesome to have. :) And inspiration. Best of luck with Red Sage and your submission! They're a great company! One of the perks is the luscious covers. LOL And thanks for checking out my chapter!

Pam, gratitude journals are a great idea. I don't keep one but sometimes I do write down a list of things I'm grateful for. It helps keep everything in perspective.

Debbie, nice list! You guys have a fantastic blog here and I love visiting!

Marilyn, wonderful list! One nice thing about gratitude lists I've noticed is the more I write down on it the more I can think of to write down.

Thanks for allowing me to be here, Carol! And thanks for being a wonderful friend and critique partner! Way to go on the full submission! I'm keeping everything crossed that you hear great news soon! Hugs!

Dorthy said...

Hi Nicole! This sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for posting the fist chapter!

I like your thankful list. But I do have a question. How do you write while walking?

My list of thankfulls...

1. I'm thankful for my health. Cliche I know, but after having a mild heart attack in high school, I'm really thankful that I have had no other real medical problems. The occasional cold, but come on everyone gets those. :-)

2. I'm thankful for my hubby, because he chose me. :-) and because even though he hates reading and all my books, he puts up with them...even when I burn dinner while reading. :-)

3. I'm thankful for my kids, because they truly are Gods greatest gift to me. Even on those days where I just want to pull all my hair out because they aren't listening. LOL

4. I'm thankful for authors because they have the gift of writing and are willing to share their stories with the rest of us mere mortals.

5. I'm thankful for books (guess this kinda goes with the authors one...) because they are my drug and my escape. When I'm having a really bad day, a moderately bad day, an ok day, a good day and an awesome day. There is a book for every occasion.

Ok, well I know that there are more things that I am thankful for, but I just realized that you only asked for 3. Oops....

Happy reading everyone!

Nicole North said...

Thanks Dorthy!! Writing while walking... LOL! I have a treadmill and my wonderfully inventive husband made me a small desk which attaches to it. It is large enough for a laptop and a couple other things, bottle of water or whatever. A lot of people find it makes them motion sick to type while walking but I have no problems with it. I actually enjoy it and find I'm productive on it.

Great gratitude list!! Thanks for commenting!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Great post. I think it's important to say thanks for the blessings we have in our life.

I am thankful I got a clean bill of health from the cancer check up on Monday. It's been 4 1/2 years since my surgery.

I am thankful for my support group of hubby, children, and writing friends who never let me down.

I am thankful for winning the historical category of the Melody of Love contest - First time in my life I have ever won first in anything. :)

Have a great day, Nicole.

Anonymous said...
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Casey said...

Hi Nicole! Love your thankful list.
I am going to shout at the top of my lungs, "KILTED LOVER IS HOT!"
The three things I'm thankful for:
1.) I'm thankful that I FINALLY stepped over the threshold and let someone read my writing instead of keeping it hidden in my underwear drawer.

2.) I'm thankful for all the places that excepting my short stories (or are now considering them for publication) and to Cobblestone Press for publishing my first novella, Scarlett's Wolf.

3.) Last, but not least, I am thankful for the support and encouragement I get from my best friend, Jim and my two cats, Cecil and Baby. All three of them make me laugh on a daily basis.

Have a great day!

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Nicole,

Great post...great list of things you're thankful for.

I'm thankful that I have God in my life.

I'm thankful that I have a wonderful husband.

I'm thankful for my kids & grandkids...I'm so proud of them.

Then the rest, health, ability to write, etc fall below.

Thanks for joining us today.


Anonymous said...

I've been learning over and over this month--National Novel Writing Month--how thankful I am for my online community. Support and commiseration and brainstorming available at any hour of the day or night.

I'm also glad I stepped up to take my turn as head cheerleader with a loop on FTH: we tell each other our writing goals for the week, and I write a positive message every day to encourage everyone. It's been an effort for me, but to be specific, take the day in stride, and celebrate have set a great tone that I'll have to keep applying to myself.

Finally I'm thankful for my children. Their inventiveness and willingness to explore gives me specific ideas for my writing and a general atmosphere of welcome to the world that I enjoy every day!

Nicole North said...

Paisley, thanks for commenting and I'm glad to hear about your clean bill of health!! Congratulations on placing 1st in the Melody of Love!!

Casey, awwww thanks!!!!! I'm so thrilled you liked my story!! And congratulations on your publications!!

Sandy, wonderful list!! Thanks for commenting!!

AnnMarie, another fantastic list!! And thanks for commenting! The online writing community is an incredible help for all us writers.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for a lot of things but these 3 are special to me
1. Thanks to Guttenberg for inventing printing.
2. Thanks be to my teachers who taught me to read and the importance of the written word.
3. Thanks for all the wonderful people who write the romance books I like to read.

Nicole North said...

Joy, nice list of things I think all readers and writers should be thankful for. I'm certainly thankful for readers! And thank you for posting! Wow, lots of thanks going on today. How positive is that!?! :)

Tami Brothers said...

Wow! There are some wonderful things people are bringing up that I hadn't thought of before. Thanks to everyone for these little reminders. I'm adding to my personal list as I type.

Thanks a ton, Nicole, for blogging here at PF&HT today. This is a great list.

I listed a few last week already, so I'll add a couple of little things I thought of recently.

1. I am thankful for whoever invented Skittles candies. Sounds silly, but these are definitely my favorite candies.

2. I am thankful for chapstick. I love the peppermint scented/flavored ones best...grin... and how they make my lips all tingly.

3. I am thankful for Q-Tips. They are useful for just about everything.

Okay, those are just a few of the little things I'm thankful for.

Have a great evening!


Cinthia Hamer said...

Good evening, Everyone!

Nicole, thanks so much for guest blogging here with us today. Your book sounds fascinating. :) And the cover ain't bad, either. LOL!

3 things to be thankful for...that's so easy.

1. I'm thankful that my daughter, her husband and their unborn baby (our first grandbaby) survived a head on car crash with only minor scrapes and bruises.

2. I'm thankful for family and friends. I treasure all of you.

3. I'm thankful for my health. Every time I moan about hurting, I remind myself that there are so many people in the world who have many more reasons to complain than I do.

Thanks again for visiting, Nicole. Hope you've had an enjoyable day with us.

Susan May said...

I'm off at Hermit week with Carol. Thanks for sharing you book. Nice, nice cover.

I'm thankful for:

1. 80 degree weather on the beach in Nov.

2. Naps in the afternoon

3. Ice tea

Nicole North said...

Tami, thanks to all of you for allowing me to be here! I love your list. LOL! It is important to be thankful for the little things as well. Okay, I admit it, I'm thankful for chocolate. And lemonade. And hazelnut coffee. :)

Cinthia, wow, the first one on your list, definitely. How scary. And I'm always thankful for my health too, because without it we don't have much. There was a time when I had a major low back problem and couldn't even get out of bed for a month. It's much better now, thank God, and I remember telling my friend that was glad and thankful I could do things like use a weedeater now. She thought I was insane. But really, to be strong and able to do things like this is something I appreciate much more now.

Nicole North said...

Susan, I envy you guys at Hermit week! Isle of Palms, right? I love it there. We've vacationed there several times. Plus Kilted Lover takes place in Charleston and Isle of Palms. :) Thanks for allowing me to guest blog!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Nicole!!
I was thrilled to see you were the guest blogger today! Wonderful blog, too!! Btw, great writer AND instructor!!

Okay, 3 things I'm thankful for...lemmee see...My family. They are the most incredible support system. And my critique partners, Lanna and Sherri. I have to thank you for bringing us together actually. We "met" in one of your workshops. They are awesome!! And I'm thankful to God for creating Vin Diesel...that doesn't really need an explanation, does it? Hee-hee-hee!!

Bye, Nicole and much continued success!!!

Nicole North said...

Naima! How cool to see you here too!! I noticed your hot cover on the side bar and everytime I see it I'm thrilled for your publishing success! You go! Thanks for all the nice things you said! I'm so happy you met Lanna and Sherri in my class. I love being able to help people. And I can fully understand the Vin Diesel attraction. LOL Thanks so much for dropping by to comment! Hugs! I wish you all the best!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Nicole,

I enjoyed your post! We all have so much to be grateful for! For me, I am grateful for my family, my three beautiful boys who drive me crazy one minute and make me laugh the next. I'm grateful for my wonderful husband who deals with all my ups and downs without complaining. I'm grateful for my brothers who are two of the most amazing men in the world! I'm grateful that my parents are still around to set me straight when I need it. Parents never give up that job no matter how old you are! And I am grateful that my grandmom who is 84 is still with us! I am grateful for my friends near and far, one's I have met and one's I only know online. Without them my life wouldn't be the same! I'm grateful for the beautiful sunsets, the leaves that are falling from the trees and just the beautful array of life that surrounds me! And I am grateful that my family are all healthy and that GOD gave me the gift of storytelling! To make a long story short, lol, I am grateful to be alive, and to live my life to the fullest!!!!!!!

Andrea :O)

Nicole North said...

Thanks for stopping by, Andrea!! Awesome gratitude list you have!! Often there's so much negativity in the world, it's wonderful to stop sometimes and really think about ALL we do have to be thankful for.

Jerrica Knight-Catania said...

Great post, Nicole! I have so much to be thankful for, but I'll narrow it down to my top three:

1) My husband...he's so wonderful and amazing, and he's my very best friend.

2) Our soon-to-be-born daughter!!! She's got me up at 4:30 in the morning with her incessant kicking, but that's okay...I'm just grateful she's healthy and I can't wait to meet her!

3) Our fur baby, Dr. Snuggle, who keeps me company when Baby Bella wakes me up in the middle of the night. He's been my lovable companion for more than 10 years, and I will always think of him as my first born :)

Nicole North said...

Jerrica, so nice to see you here! Congratulations on your soon-to-be-born daughter! You have a wonderful gratitude list!

Linda Henderson said...

I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but here are three of them.

1. I'm grateful for the continuing good health of my granddaughter who spent 4 months in the NICU. She is truly a miracle.

2. I'm thankful my step-dad got out of the nursing home yesterday so hopefully he can stay well long enough to spend Thanksgiving with us.

3. I'm thankful they finally found a treatment that would work for my severe rheumatoid arthritis so that I can function again.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Linda Henderson said...

I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but here are three of them.

1. I'm grateful for the continuing good health of my granddaughter who spent 4 months in the NICU. She is truly a miracle.

2. I'm thankful my step-dad got out of the nursing home yesterday so hopefully he can stay well long enough to spend Thanksgiving with us.

3. I'm thankful they finally found a treatment that would work for my severe rheumatoid arthritis so that I can function again.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Nicole North said...

Linda, fantastic gratitude list! Health of family, friends and yourself is so important! Thanks for stopping by and have wonderful holidays!

Nicole North said...

Hi, I've used a random number generator to choose a winner of my handmade earrings. Joy, you're the winner! Congratulations!! I'll email you. Thanks to everyone for posting comments and for the ladies of PF&HT for allowing me to guest blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

Dorthy said...

congrats JOY!!!