I'm happy to have Nicky Penttila with me here today. Historical or contemporary, she is sure to please with her fresh voice and delightful writing style. Plus she is having a give away! Yep and she is giving you your choice!
Welcome to the dark side Nicky it's good to have you. Now, why don't you tell us more about your giveaway.
What is your prize? A paperback copy of A Note of Scandal –OR-- e-copies of Scandal plus my two contemporary novellas, Babysitting the Billionaire and Out of Her Comfort Zone.
How do they enter to win? Leave a comment and tell me what city doesn’t get enough love in romance novels. I set Babysitting the Billionaire in Washington, DC, and Out of Her Comfort Zone in San Francisco (its original title was Stays in SF). Where should I set my next story?
When will you be announcing the winner? Monday
Wow, that sound exciting!
Now, to the questions, We all want to know more about you.
Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?
Drink coffee! I write first thing in the morning.
Which authors inspire your writing?
Bernard Cornwell, for combining action and history. Carla Kelly, for combining social issues with romance. Jane Austen, and the idea that to her, the stories she wrote were contemporaries. I want my stories to be as fresh as hers.
What is your favorite book, character and why?
Alice, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I read it many times as a kid, and loved how she remains clear-sighted and practical in worlds that seem to be steeped in chaos.
Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?
Both. It seems easier to write erotic in my present-day stories, while the historical ones come out sweeter.
Which famous person, living or dead, are you drawn to?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still writing, still reading, still wondering
Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when:
I’m known well enough that more people I meet pronounce my name correctly than don’t (it’s PEN-ti-la, like Baltimore)
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
It’s never too late to start.
What do you see yourself writing in the future?
I have more ideas for historicals and short contemporaries, plus an idea for a futuristic story (not sure if it’s SF or fantasy) bubbled up this summer, too.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Mind-reading (or heart-reading), so I could understand why people do the things they do and how I could help them get what they really want.
What time of the day are you at your best to write?
Writing, first thing in the morning. Editing, afternoon and evening.
And now for something completely different…
What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?
Body—I like to see how they move, what gestures they use.
Explain your perfect day.
Wake up on time, rested. Write for 2-3 hours. Do my day job (reporting about brain science), with a break for lunch with my fabulous husband. Chat online with friends and readers. Make plans for where we will travel next—I love to plan. Walk to a local restaurant for dinner. Come home to read or watch TV or edit (if on deadline).
What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?
I’m not that much into sweets, but I never said no to grandma’s strawberry-rhubarb pie.
Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?
Easter. It’s a sign of spring and not as stressful/commercialized as some of the “bigger” holidays.
What key words describe you best?
Curious, relentless, happy.
Reviewers say: “Combine Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels with Jane Austen, add a touch of Dickens and a modern sex scene, then you’ll have the flavor of Nicky Penttila’s Note of Scandal.”--Goodreads
The story: A desperate composer tricks a principled newspaper publisher into printing a false story, and then falls for him. How can she prove that she’s worth a second chance?
Excerpt: Olivia’s face mirrored her surprise. She had lost track of him for only a moment, and yet he had snuck all the way up on her. Had he caught her surreptitiously watching him?
“The music does not inspire you?” He gestured at Rosa, but his gaze remained on her.
“It does,” she said, trying to pull on her familiar careless-girl mask. “I must ask after her tailor.”
“That sentiment isn’t worthy of you.” He whispered, but he could have spoken aloud, as little attention as anyone was paying them in the midst of Rosa’s aggressive arpeggios. “Jealous?”
Her mask faltered. “I did not mean it so.”
“Then how?” He slipped to her other side, effectively cutting her off from Mr. Mellon, who did not seem to notice. Too close. She took a step to the side, turning to face her interlocutor.
“She is part of our family now.” Her voice sounded breathy, unsure.
“I heard you arranged this performance.” He stepped closer. “That shows a spirit of generosity, despite your words.”
“She deserves the opportunity. And it is right to salute Spain.”
“Our esteemed ally.” He nodded, leaning in. “But perhaps it is difficult, to see a woman who is allowed the freedom to perform, to create? Who can let her hair down in mixed company?”
He looked away from her a moment, gazing at Rosa. Olivia did not dare look away from him. She let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding. Her mind was addled; she was reacting too strongly to this man, to his words. To his smell, deep and rich. Sandlewood, but hints of the flesh within.
The corner of his mouth turned up. He teased her? The thought cast out her breath again. Her ears had a buzzing in them, unrelated to the passionate rhythm of the guitar.
He could read her. He saw far too much. She reached out to touch him, no, to push him away. He turned at her movement, stepping into the path of her hand.
A thrill of power coursed through her arm. It filled her center with energy of an unfamiliar sort. Unable to stop herself, she jumped. Then quickly looked around to see if anyone saw.
She could never make a scene. Not here in public. She took another step back, pulling her hands tightly behind her, as if they were tied.
Step by step, they sidled to the side of the great room. Toward the shadows.
“Are you disappointed your fiancé found someone else?”
“It isn’t that.” She was not quite sure she could call up a vision of Richard at the moment. Her awareness was centered on the man in front of her.
They passed the seven-foot-high sterling candelabra and into the shadows, far from the crowd. Olivia would not have believed she could feel so alone in the midst of a gala. Alone, but for one other.