Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at www.natalienicolebates.com
Connect with Natalie-Nicole Bates on Social Media....
Fifteen years ago, Bethany Minor fled her hometown after being left at the alter by Dane Brennan. After the sudden death of her mother, she is forced to return home and face her past.
The years have been hell for Dane, and seeing Bethany again only reopens wounds he long thought closed.
When they realize the flames of their past love never died, Bethany and Dane will need to confess all before they can have a chance to reclaim their life that once should have been.
But when the truth of the past is finally revealed, will they still stand as a couple?
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Interview with Natalie-Nicole....
1. What advice would you give someone who is wanting to step foot into the writing world?
Take a good, comprehensive course on novel writing. I can’t tell you how many promising aspiring authors I have read who do not understand story structure or important aspects of writing such as point of view.
2. What is the hardest part about being an author?
For me, it’s finding the balance between writing and promoting.
3. What has been the happiest moment so far for you in your journey through being an author?
I think my stand out moment was receiving the cover art for my first book. It was the moment when I realized it was real. Really real.
4. What can we expect from you in the next year?
I plan for 2014 to be the year of the paranormal for me. I’m currently working on an alternative telling of my paranormal SEE ME—a sort of funked-up fairy tale. I’m hoping to get two others completed this year as well.
5. If you were to take a vacation anywhere in the world (Family can come too) where would you go?
Romania. I do plan to make the trip there eventually. I just love the history and the culture.
6. What are 3 things we can always find in your grocery basket?
7. Are any of the characters in your book based on real people you know?
A lot of my characters are amalgamations of people I know, or things people have said to me over the years that really stuck with me. Be careful what you say to me, it just might end up in one of my books!
8. What is something that happened during or right after your publishing journey that nobody knows about?
I sold my short story, Antique Charming, and my first novel, Change of Address, within days of each other. It was a very exciting time. Also, in my Unity series, Change of Address is actually the second book. Back To You is the first, but due to circumstances, Change of Address was released first.
9. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was a reader first, then a reviewer. After reviewing for a significant amount of time, I realized I could do this for myself. That is when I started writing.
10. How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually about 6 months, depending on the length.
11. Are you a morning, afternoon, night writer?
12. What would you say is one of your more interesting writing quirks?
I write the first 5,000 words, and then go to the end and start writing backwards. Hey, whatever works, right?
13. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The ideas just come to me. I feel truly blessed. I have so many ideas for stories I’ll never get them all written.
14. When did you write your first book (doesn’t have to be published)?
I was very lucky. The first book I wrote was Change of Address, which was published by Secret Cravings Publishing .
15. Where are you from? I was born in Russia, moved to the USA when I was four, and to the United Kingdom when I was 18.
16. What is your favorite thing about where you live now?
I live in an amazing rural area with a beautiful river just a few streets away.
17. What was something you loved doing during the summer growing up?
When I was young, my mother would take me to these modelling competitions. I guess you could compare them to these baby beauty pageants of today minus all the makeup (although I do remember more and judges commenting on my score sheets that I didn’t have enough makeup on to suit them!).
18. What inspired you to write your first book?
I am an avid collector of Victorian-era photography. I have this most amazing photo from 1896 of a man standing outside a funeral home (I believe it is one of the owners). The photo is what inspired Antique Charming.
19. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
When I reread all of my books there is always something I wish I could go back in and change.
20. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I admit that I am a very hyper person. It is difficult for me to sit still for any length of time, which makes it difficult to get what’s in my head into the computer.
21. If you weren’t an author what do you think you would be doing?
I’m currently finishing up my mortuary science degree, but I will not use it. It was more a family pride thing (I come from a long line of folks in the funeral business). I do love the business, BUT, I am severely allergic to a lot of the chemicals used (found out the hard way).
22. Can we have an excerpt from one of your favorite books you’ve written?
This is one of my favorite excerpts, it’s from my short paranormal romance novella, Remember the Stars.
“Remy,” she said his name. Where did she know that name from? It wasn’t common. Think, Leah, think. Then it hit her—hard.
She remembered exactly who Remy Moreland was.
He was in the newspaper years earlier. Her mother had shown her a copy. Remy Moreland was involved in a fatal street race. His Porsche had been split in two, killing him and a young woman in another car.
Remy Moreland was dead.
But if he was dead, what was he doing here, alive, and with her?
Sweat broke out on the back of her neck and her vision clouded. This was someone’s idea of an evil, evil joke. She had to get out. She had to find her way home.
Standing, she grabbed the edge of the deck for support. “I have to get out of here,” she mumbled and stumbled her way around the desk.
He grabbed her around the waist. “You can’t go back out there. It’s dangerous.”
She sunk her open palms against his chest and struggled to get out of his grip. “Get off of me, you malevolent freak! You’re dead! You’ve been dead for years!” she blurted.
Immediately, he let go and jumped back from her as if he had been stung.
“What are you talking about? He demanded.
She backed away, ready to make a run for the front door. But the confused mix of anger and disbelief in his contorted expression stopped her.
How could he not know he was dead?
“It was years ago, Remy. You had an accident. It was in the newspaper.”
He tilted his head, his blue eyes huge. “Do I look dead to you?”
Well, he was pale, his blue eyes ethereal. She hesitated, and then spoke. “Now that you mention it…”
“You bitch!” he snapped.
The force of his voice caused her to flinch and she raised her fingers to her throbbing temples. All she wanted at that moment was to get out of this man’s sight and find her way home.
“I’m not dead,” he stated ominously.
“Okay, you’re not dead,” she conceded as she rubbed circles on her temples.
He took a step closer. “As a matter of fact, right now I am languishing across town in a nursing home. I eat through a tube in my belly and piss into a catheter bag. I remain nothing but an emaciated, contorted version of the man I once was.”
She closed her eyes. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. None of this was real.
When she opened her eyes, he was in front of her, a macabre grin creasing his handsome features. He lifted a brow. “So, what did you do?”
“Do? What are you talking about?”
“To get here. You know my situation, so what’s yours?”
He wasn’t making any sense. She turned away from him, left the office and began to walk the long hallway to the front door, but he followed her closely.
“Let me guess,” he provoked. “You look like a murder-suicide kind of girl. You’re not wearing a wedding ring, so I’m assuming you shot your boyfriend in the head and then offed yourself in some spectacular way—like jumping off a balcony and splattering on the ground. How could you have known you would wind up here?” he chuckled unpleasantly.
She stopped cold. How could he say such a horrible thing? She turned back to him only to find him mere inches from her. “You’re horrible. You don’t even know me, but you’ve resorted to participating in some sort of evil joke on me. I just want to go home…or wake up.”
“Your life as you know it is over, Leah.”
“What are saying, Remy? That I’m dead?”
“You’re not dead…not quite. This is limbo…purgatory…the first circle of Hell. The most wretched place on earth where you are sent to atone for your sins.”
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If you were left at the alter by your other half would you give them a second chance years later?