Have you heard the news? Not only did Nicole Deese release the third book in her Love in Lenox series earlier this month, A New Shade of Summer, (you can read my review here) but she also received the CAROL award for Best Romance for the second book in the Love in Lenox series, A Season to Love (and you can read that review here). What a month it’s been! If you want to see a gorgeous, tear-inducing acceptance speech, there’s a link at the end of this post. But for now, we’re going to indulge in a Romance Rendezvous with Nicole Deese!
~ About the Author ~
Nicole Deese is a full time lover of humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled fiction. When she’s not writing a sweet romance, she can usually be found reading near a window while drinking a La Croix. She lives in small-town, Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious and smarty-pants sons, and a princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.
~ Nicole’s Books ~
(Read my review)
~ Rendezvous ~
Thanks for joining me for a little rendezvous today, Nicole. As a romance writer, you’re in the business of making readers swoon, but what makes Nicole Deese swoon?
Honestly, I’m a sucker for kindness! When I read a romantic story (real or fiction) involving an unexpected act of kindness… I totally s-w-o-o-n (and sometimes shed a tear or two). My husband won my heart for life because of his selfless love for others. It’s such a beautiful (and heroic) quality.
Yes! A little kindness can go a loooooooong way towards melting a girl’s heart! ❤
What was the most recent book that made you swoon, and why?
I’m almost finished with an advanced copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner. The romance between her two main characters has definitely given me a few tummy flutters! (And I’ve laughed out loud many, many times, too!)
Oh, this is in my TBR pile, and I have heard soooo many good things about it. I can’t wait to read it for myself!
Why do you think romance is such a popular genre?
The world is so full of heaviness and hardship—and bad news seems to be everywhere we turn. I think romance readers (myself included!) crave an escape that will eventually lead to a happy ending. Falling in love within the pages of a book (again and again) offers us a respite from the all hard stuff going on and grants us a lighter (and hopefully brighter) perspective of the world… at least for a little while.
Very true. I’m not all that keen on the saying ‘Love makes the world go ’round’, but it certainly makes the journey more pleasant!
How does being a Christian influence the way you approach writing romance?
Before I start my writing day, I invite God to speak through my current work in progress. He is always faithful to guide me, stop me, push me, and assist me. Every book I author is a book I pray He will use for His glory.
Who are some of your favourite romance authors and why?
Tammy Gray—She may be my critique partner, but I LOVE her angst-driven characters and relatable storylines.
Connilyn Cossette— I have never read an author who awakens all five senses the way Conni does. She’s brilliant with setting, detail, and romantic tension!
Amy Matayo—Her writing voice is so amazingly distinct! I could spot an Amy Matayo book ten miles away. And boy oh boy… she writes some of the best heroes around!
Jenny B Jones—Humor. Wit. Romance. A perfect trifecta every time.
Amy Harmon—One of my favorite storytellers of all time. She’s a one-click author for me.
I’ve read all of these authors except one (look out Amy Harmon, I’m coming for you! 😉) and I agree!
Time to pucker up! Readers and writers have different preferences when it comes to how kisses are written in romance novels. How do you like to capture those memorable moments on the page?
Hmm… that’s a hard question! Every romance I write is different when it comes to kisses because my characters are always different. But in general, I try to capture my hero and heroine’s emotional response when a kiss happens on the page. As a reader, I love to know what’s going on internally during those intimate exchanges. How does the kiss (especially the first kiss) change the dynamic of their relationship? Does it add or reduce the main conflict within their unique storyline? How might a smooch progress their feelings for one another? I want my reader to feel invested in the couple I’ve created. To feel a sense of commitment—even if the couple hasn’t truly committed to each other quite yet.
It is a hard question, isn’t it? #sorrynotsorry But you answered it beautifully! 🙂
Any non-spoilery hints as to your favourite Davis and Callie moment?
One of my favorite scenes to write was their date to the Night Glow Festival (a hot air balloon show after dark). I love their conversation as they watch the hot air balloons ascend into the sky, and getting to write the scenery around them felt a bit magical for me! (If you’ve never been to a hot air balloon show at night… go!)
That was a great scene. ❤ And would you believe that there is a balloon show happening in the Hunter Valley, where I live in New South Wales, Australia, right as I’m posting this?! Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta is happening over our long weekend, and for the first time they’re having a Night Glow. Now, I realise that’s a bit of a commute for many of you readers (lol!) but there are some lovely pictures to look at if you click on the links. I wish we could go, but it’s a bit of a late night for our youngest kids, especially with church in the morning!
What was the most enjoyable part of writing their story?
I adored my time in Callie Quinn’s head. She brought such joy and fun to my writing day and I looked forward to her positive outlook and artsy spirit every time I sat down at my keyboard. (Don’t tell the other heroines I’ve written, but she holds a very special place in my heart.)
I know what you mean! She had me from the moment she contemplated her unconventional entry into her sister’s house! ☺ (And that’s pretty much the first time we meet her, in case anyone was wondering!)
To finish up, just for fun: If someone wrote this novel as an equation, what would it say?
One straight-laced veterinarian plus one quirky free-spirit = LOTS of colorful tension and romance!
And lots of fun! Thanks for chatting with me today, Nicole.
Have you read A New Shade of Summer yet? What did you think? If not, let us know what makes you swoon.
And as promised, here is Nicole’s award-winning moment and her beautiful acceptance speech. ❤