Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A CLICHE CHRISTMAS - Nicole Deese - One Free Book or Ebook

Welcome, Nicole. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Maybe I should ask my husband this question? I never intentionally write myself into a character, but I’ll often have close friends and family say, “I totally heard your voice when so and so said this or did that, Nicole!” Haha! That always makes me laugh.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
I’m pretty quirky so this is a hard one for me to narrow down. The most recent quirky thing I’ve done is pretend to be an expert in the art of Mod Podge—which I’m not. Not even close. But as I stood in the aisle of Hobby Lobby next to a seasoned craftsperson (the kind who actually does those things I pin on Pinterest) I felt the need to play along. When the woman glanced down at my sorry-looking mess of supplies and asked what my plans were, I quickly swiped a nearby jar of Mod Podge and began spew out a list of random artsy-sounding stuff.

Shockingly, I think she believed me. Or maybe she was just really nice and took pity on me. I’ll never know for sure.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I loved stories from the time I was a young girl—telling them, reading them, and acting them out. I think somewhere inside me I always knew I was destined to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I turned thirty that I put pen to page and wrote my first full-length novel.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ll pretty much read anything if it has the promise of romance in it! Yes, I’m really that much of a sap. My favorite genre is Contemporary Romance, but Young Adult is a close runner-up. I also enjoy Women’s Fiction and some Fantasy (as long as the love story is strong!)

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Not sure if I keep my sanity most days, but if I do, it has everything to do with prioritizing. I’m not so good at that yet, but I’m learning. Slowly.

Starting my day off with prayer and a good walk and a big dose of laughter (by texting with my crazy author friends) usually makes for a pretty great day.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing names is usually a completely random process. Sometimes I have a name in mind, sometimes I ask my readers on my author page, and sometimes I peruse the ever-knowing Google database for inspiration.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Saying “I do” nearly eleven years ago. My husband has taught me so much about love through his selflessness and sacrifice. There’s blessing to be found in commitment.  

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A bird. Wouldn’t flying be the greatest thing ever? And the worms. Such a good source of protein. Mmm.

What is your favorite food?
Coconut. Yep. I’d eat it with every meal if I could.

What has been your greatest roadblock in writing, and how did you overcome it? 
My greatest roadblock in writing came during a family tragedy. Writing during a season of grief can be very difficult and challenging, but I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to learn and accomplish within that time. Writing can be so healing for the soul.  

Tell us about A Cliché Christmas.
Writing happy endings is easy. Living one is the hard part.

Georgia Cole—known in Hollywood as the “Holiday Goddess”—has made a name for herself writing heartwarming screenplays chock-full of Christmas clichés, but she has yet to experience the true magic of the season. So, when her eccentric grandmother volunteers her to direct a pageant at Georgia’s hometown community theater, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside Weston James, her childhood crush and the one man she has tried desperately to forget.

Now, facing memories of a lonely childhood and the humiliation of her last onstage performance, seven years earlier, Georgia is on the verge of a complete mistletoe meltdown. As Weston attempts to thaw the frozen walls around her heart, Georgia endeavors to let go of her fears and give love a second chance. If she does, will she finally believe that Christmas can be more than a cliché?

Please give us the first page of the book.
I glared at the incessant blinking of my cursor and groaned.

Eleven months of the year, I lived in a perpetual state of holly-jolly fanfare. But by the time the first of November rolled around, I was completely Christmased out. I know I sound like a Scrooge to admit such a travesty, but believe me, when you build a career on Christmas cheer and holiday hype, the warm fuzzies of nostalgia fade faster than Hollywood’s latest scandal.
When I wrote my first Christmas pageant at nineteen, I had no idea I was actually sealing my fate. But seven years, a few dozen screenplays, and three Hallmark movies later, Christmas had become exactly that. My destiny.

Ironically, December was my only month off. And I took full advantage of those blessed four weeks, which magically buoyed me for another year of fa-la-la-la-la-ing.

Since I moved to LA seven years ago, my Nan—short for both Nancy and Nana—and I traveled to a new tropical destination each year, enjoying sunshine instead of snow, and hulas instead of caroling. Last Christmas it was a two-week Caribbean cruise, but this year our nontraditional holiday extravaganza would be a remote getaway in the Hawaiian Islands.

Clicking out of my latest work in progress entitled Noelle’s First Noel, I navigated through my newest temptation to procrastinate, a travel website that flung me into a cyclone of palm trees, sandy beaches, fruity drinks, and—

My phone did the cha-cha across my desk.


Today was Tuesday—volunteer day at the senior center. She never called on Tuesdays.

An alarming icy-hot sensation crawled up my throat. I grabbed my cell. “Nan?”

Georgia! I’m so glad you answered.”

The balloon of air I was holding inside my chest released. “Hey, are you okay?”

“Oh, I’m fine, darlin’. But I did just hear some distressing news.”

“Is it Mom?” The muscles across my shoulders tightened.

“No, I just spoke to her yesterday. She, Brad, and the twins are all doing fine.” In true Nan fashion, she threw an extra dollop of happy onto her last phrase, as if that were all it took to rewrite the past. “You know my little piano student I brag to you about all the time—Savannah?”

“Yeah, sure.” My mini panic attack subsided. I clicked on another picture of a Hawaiian bungalow wrapped in the warm glow of a setting sun.

“She was just diagnosed with leukemia.”

I stopped clicking. “Oh, Nan. That’s awful. How old is she again?”

“Only five. And her mother is a widow—I’ve grown very close to them.”

“Is there anything I can do?”

“Well, yes, actually . . . I was hoping you’d ask.” Her voice climbed twelve stories. “I need you to come home for the holidays.”

And I fell twelve stories. An image hit my mental screen. Me, in my Hello-Kitty jammies, splayed on a busy sidewalk, broken and bloody.

“What? What are you talking about, Nan? I’ve already booked our vacation.”

“I’m coordinating a holiday fundraiser for Savannah’s medical bills.”

I pinched my eyes shut and tried to ignore the tantalizing sound of crashing waves that seemed to lap against my eardrums in perfect time with my pulse. A part of me wanted to throw a tantrum—as fading images of tiki torches and spit-roasted pigs danced across my vision—but who could dismiss a child with cancer?

Scrooge, maybe. But not me.

I can’t wait until my book comes, so I can finish reading it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @nicoledeese

Buy Link On for A Cliché Christmas:

Thank you, Nicole, for sharing this Christmas book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book--print or ebook, winner's choice. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Cindy W. said...

Oh, A Cliche Christmas sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing the fun interview and giveaway. I enjoyed the excerpt and would love to read more!

Britney Adams, TX

Unknown said...

Ah, gotta love Christmas books! thanks for the giveaway!


Linda Kish said...

This sounds really good. I look forward to reading it.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lourdes said...

Oh this book really sounds wonderful. Would love to win.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

Anonymous said...

would love to win Angela in Ky

Caryl Kane said...

Lena, thank you for the great interview. I would love to read A Cliche Christmas! :)

Caryl in TEXAS

Anonymous said...

Love trying new authors!Shelia from MS

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you, Lena for your great interview and giveaway!

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

I'm looking forward to a fantastic read.

Mary P


Judy said...

A Cliche Christmas sounds like a great read! I'm looking forward to it. Loved the interview with Nicole. I have a daughter named Nicole as well as my husband has a daughter named Nicole!

Judy B from Indiana

Deanna Stevens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna Stevens said...

A Cliche Christmas! great title :)
dkstevensne AT outlook DotCom

Patty said...

I can understand how Georgia could be ready to 'escape' Christmas if she spent the whoel year writing about it!

Patty in SC

Library Lady said...

I would love to win a print copy of, "A Cliche Christmas" to give to my church library.
Thanks for the chance to do so.
Janet E.

Melody said...

I enjoyed the interview. ..and how her friends say she herself appears, sometimes in words.

Donna, TX

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview. I would like a chance to win the book. Maxie from Texas.
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win this book.Thanks for the chance.Jackie Tessnair N.C.

Beth Gillihan said...

Love the first page! Sounds like a great read!

Beth Gillihan, Montana

kandi723 said...

This sounds like a wonderful book!

Kandi Turner in beautiful Montana. Big sky country!

sm said...

You are a new author to me and Cliche Christmas interests me as. I'd like to see what you do with all those cliches. sm. CA. wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com