Monday, July 16, 2012

Interview and Contest

A few weeks ago I reached 100 followers, and promised to hold a special contest. Well, today is the day that  contest begins. 

But first, Nicole Zoltack, one of my awesome CP's, is releasing her e-book, Woman of Honor, in paperback.

Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.

Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.

The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

[Blurb and Picture from Goodreads]

To help spread the word, Nicole agreed to an interview (and help with the contest), so, without further ado, here it is!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I first learned how to write! I started writing my first novel in the sixth grade. I switched from fiction to poetry (bad poetry, I might add) in high school. I didn’t finish that first novel until the summer between sophomore and junior year of college! In fairness, I stopped working on it for years at a time. Thank God it doesn’t take me anywhere nearly that long to finish first drafts anymore (I’ve written entire first drafts of novels in a month
now.) When I was 8 months pregnant with my first son, I quit my job to stay-at-home, and now I’m a writer and an editor.

What made you choose to go with a small press?
I look at publishing as a ladder. Since I want to one day be traditionally published, I thought it was a good idea to have some books published first before trying to secure an agent. I am very happy with Desert Breeze Publishing.

Why did you decide to do e-books first?
I was one of the debut authors with Desert Breeze Publishing as Woman of Honor was one of the first books published by them. Desert Breeze Publishing is an epublisher so, for the longest time, their books are
only available in ebook format. I decided to go with DBP for Woman of Honor after talking with Gail Delaney, the editor-in-chief, during a yahoo publisher chat. She mentioned she was looking for a fantasy romance series, I mentioned that I was working on the first book of one. She told me to send it once I finished it. I did, she accepted, and that was that.

What made you decide to release Woman of Honor in paperback? And when will you release Knight of Glory and Champion of Valor in paperback?
Although DBP is an epublisher, I secretly always hoped they would eventually release our novels in print. And now they are! I was beyond thrilled when Gail emailed me to let me know that they had picked Woman of Honor, as well as nine other titles, to be the first ones to go to print.

I don’t know the exact dates of when Knight of Glory and Champion of Valor will be in paperback but it will be before the end of the year for Knight of Glory and sometime in early 2013 for Champion of Valor. [Be sure to check back here or at for updates.]

As of this moment, I can purchase copies of Woman of Honor but the public only can through me. If you would like a copy, email me at I’ll be more than happy to autograph it for you! The distributor that DBP uses is still working on getting the print book available on Amazon and other places.

Was it difficult to convert the books from e-format to paperback?
One nice part about using a publishing house, even a small one, is that you don’t have to do the converting by yourself. I know nothing about the conversion process. I went through Woman of Honor for any typos and made corrections, but that was it.

You wear many hats- author, editor, critique partner, wife, mother-- how do you balance it all?
I don’t get much sleep. I get up early to work on my edits and then stay up late to work on my writing. It’s definitely not easy with three young boys! I have a 3 ¾, an almost 2 year old, and a 4 month old. The eldest, in his quest to be potty trained, has given up his nap which used to be additional time for me to get editing and writing done so I really have no choice but to sacrifice sleep to get things done.

If you could go back in time and have tea with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Way too many choices! I’ll say Joan of Arc - one of the first female knights!

Favorite drink?
A vanilla milkshake. I don’t drink much other than water, though. Boring, I know! [Not necessarily! I read somewhere that people who like vanilla ice cream are more adventurous than those who prefer chocolate.]

Favorite writing snack?
Nuts, especially cashews. Or chocolate!

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what?
Nope! Not unless you count PBS in the background, lol

Three things you must have when you sit down to write.
My netbook or my computer. That’s it. I don’t need anything else to write.

Where is one place you've always wanted to go, but never been?
Europe! I want to go to Germany to see the castles. I want to go to England and Ireland. I would love to do research in Spain. Someday, hopefully!

Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us get to know a bit about you! You can find Nicole at the following links:
Desert Breeze PublishingAmazon, All Romance E-Books, Barnes & Noble, Linkedin, Flickr, Twitter, MySpace, and Nicole Zoltack

Now, I mentioned a contest above, and here it is . Nicole has agreed to sign a copy of Woman of Honor  and I will send it to the lucky winner.  (See, I told you she is an awesome CP!)

How do I enter, you ask? 

In the comments, type "I wish to be the first female knight of this land" to enter.

The contest will run from Today (7/16/12) until Midnight (EST) 7/23/12. That's one full week to enter. I will announce the winner on Thursday, 7/26/12.

The winner will be drawn at random, but you can increase your odds. I will award one extra entry for each of the following:

1) Current follower
2) Post a link to this post at Twitter, Facebook, your blog, MySpace, or Linkdin (please provide link in the comments) [Just to be clear on this one, there will be one extra entry for each of these things, so if you post to twitter, facebook, and blog, that would be 3 extra entries]
3) Current follower who refers a new follower [please provide me the name of the new follower]

Good luck to you all!


  1. Mary, congrats on your # of followers--100!

    Nicole, how great your publisher is releasing ebooks.

    I'll share this post on Facebook.

  2. Wow, Nicole! I don't know how you do it with 3 kids that age. Phew! You are a true trooper! Congrats on the release and to Mary for 100 followers! I will give this a tweet. :D

  3. I'm entering to win. Here's my FB page with the link:

  4. I wish to be the first female knight of this land. Haha. I ta-weeted you!

    Great interview. The cover is gorgeous! Sounds like Nicole found the perfect fit for her start. That's a great thing. I so want to go to England too. There and Alaska just so I can lay on a big chunk of ice and scream, "I won't leave you behind," just to embarrass my husband. You can't take me anywhere. Ah-good times.

  5. New follower from Nicole's blog *waves hello* I want to read the new book!! Will tweet for you :)

  6. "I wish to be the first female knight of this land" !!! This is an amazing book and though I have an e-copy, I am crossing my fingers that I'll win a print version. So excited for you Nicole!!

  7. Congrats on the 100 followers.

    I don't need entered in the contest. Just wanted to stop by to say hello.

    Silver's Reviews

  8. Congrats on 100 followers and thanks for a fun contest. This sounds like a great read. :)

    "I wish to be the first female knight of this land"...though for me, that would require a little gender trickery. ;)

  9. "I wish to be the first female knight of this land"

    Congratulations and thank you.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  10. Nicole--your truly amaze me! Congrats on your success:~)And congrats to Mary on 100 followers!!!


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