Ghost of a Chance Give-Away Update

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying your day, wherever you may be in the world. It is a glorious late summer morning here in my little spot in the woods. Above is a snap of one of our hostas, which are blooming like crazy this year. Before too long we’ll be enjoying the vibrant fall foliage, but for now we still have some summer blooms left.

Ghost of a Chance was released on August 3rd, and I’m so delighted and humbled by the response. Thanks to all of you who have purchased a copy. If you’ve read it and enjoyed it, I would ask if you would do me a huge favor and post a review on either Amazon or Good Reads. Or both if you are feeling particularly generous!

As I mentioned in a previous post, for those who signed up on my Mailchimp newsletter list, they would be entered in a giveaway for a signed copy of GoaC. This morning I notified the five winners, so be sure to check your email to see if you were one of them!

I am busy working on my next novel (actually, I have two works in progress right now) so stay tuned for the next release from my brain, to the page, to your hands.

Keep reading and stay safe!

Best – Nikki

Early Arrival!

I’m a stickler for getting places on time. To be completely honest, I usually arrive early. Catching a flight? Count on me being at the gate way, way, WAY ahead of time. Meetings? I’ll be there 10 minutes early (5 minutes early for Zoom meetings). Dinner out with friends? I’ve been known to drive around the block a few times so I’m not the first one there.

Well, apparently, early arrivals also include publishing my debut novel. It’s true! Ghost of a Chance is available NOW in paperback. You can purchase through Amazon here. The e-book is available for pre-order and will be available on the original release date of September 3rd–hey, self-publishing is a learning curve! But if you just can’t wait and you prefer holding a real, honest-to-goodness book in your hands, then you can head over to Amazon and order your paperback copy now!

I’m so excited, happy, thrilled, overjoyed… you get the idea. Oh, and I have a new logo for my publishing company, Long House Press, designed by Karin Star, superstar illustrator.

I can’t thank you all enough for your support. Don’t forget that I’m also giving away five signed copies of Ghost of a Chance. If you want a chance to win, please sign up for my mailing list by August 14th in order to be eligible. I’ll announce the winners on August 15th.

Ghost of a Chance Launch Date!

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut contemporary/paranormal romance novel, Ghost of a Chance, will launch on Friday, September 3, 2021 on Amazon. More details to follow on pre-orders, as well as other available online retailers, but I can confirm that there will be both paperback and digital downloads available.

One of the most exciting aspects of launching a novel is working with other artists. Believe me, there is no way you can do this alone. The illustrator for Ghost of a Chance (or GoaC for you cool kids into acronyms) is none other than the super-talented Karin Starr. I was lucky enough to meet Karin virtually through the ALA Book Club on Facebook. Seeing her beautiful illustrations influenced by the Discovery of Witches trilogy made me realize that only Karin could bring my characters to life. And WOW! She captured Kate, Pete, and Abigale just as I imagined them. When she sent me the final illustrations I cried tears of joy.

So, without further delay… drum roll please. I am honored to share with you the cover art for GoaC.

Contest alert: I will be giving away five signed copies of Ghost of a Chance. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter here: to be eligible to win.

Oh, and please visit Karin’s shop at to see more of her beautiful work!

Are you ready for this?

Hello, friends! It has been a busy couple of weeks. Graduation is over, the summer is beginning, and I’m getting ready to publish Ghost of a Chance. As I get closer to publication my anxiety is ramping up and I keep asking myself, “Are you ready for this?”

I’ve incorporated my business, hired Karin Star, a kick-ass, super talented illustrator for my book cover, and finished a final edit on the manuscript. Next week I’ll be doing a shoot for my author photo with my all-time favorite photographer, Albert George. I’m now working on the back cover copy and setting up accounts with Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon, and all the other digital storefronts.

It’s been fun during the writing and planning stages but like I said, the anxiety is ramping up—big time! What if after all this work, all this blood, sweat, and tears, people hate it? Ghost of a Chance has been my baby that I’ve nurtured along for almost two years. I’m not saying everyone has to love it, but what if…. What if no one buys it? What if someone (or many) leaves a dreaded, awful Amazon review?

I’ve performed in front of thousands of people without a moment’s hesitation. I feel more myself onstage—more confident, and more in command of my talents. But this whole publishing thing is not for the faint of heart. Nothing has felt more personal than publishing this novel. Maybe I’ve spent too many years reading incredible writers… how can I hold a candle to them?

Now, I realize this is turning into a REAL buzz kill so I’m going to stop wallowing in the muck and mire of self-doubt. Instead, I’m going to do what I always do when that voice in my head tells me I’m not good enough. I’m going to channel my inner diva and say, “Get out of the way, bitch. I’m driving!” I’ll close with these beautiful flowers and a reminder that Ghost of a Chance will be released in August/September 2021. Watch this space!

For you!

Busy, busy, busy

Hello friends. It’s official. A little over a week ago I defended my master’s thesis and passed! I will be collecting my diploma on May 15th and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a lot of hard work but it was worth it. I was so fortunate to have a kick-ass thesis committee who allowed me to embrace my love of all things romance.

But now it’s time to move forward with publication of Ghost of a Chance. I was excited to receive a notice from an agent a few weeks ago who wanted to see more pages. I dutifully sent on the manuscript but in the end it wasn’t in her wheelhouse. While I’ll continue to query agents, I’m not going to wait around anymore. By June/July 2021 I will start the process of self-publishing through all of the major retail digital storefronts. There will be quite a few hoops to jump through as far as registering my business license, marketing plans, hiring an illustrator for my book cover, and setting up the all important newsletter mailing list.

In addition to completing my master’s degree and getting ready to launch my debut novel, I’ve also been working on two exciting new story ideas. One of the novels, “Grace Under Pressure,” takes place in and around New York City and the Catskills, and centers on my first passion–theatre! The other novel with the working title, “Luck of the Irish,” takes place in Ireland and it involves a lighthouse, a psychic, a handsome movie star, and magic. Romantic? Of course! As you may be aware from past posts, I love all things Ireland. Fell in love with it when my husband and I visited in 2017. So be on the lookout for lots of activity from yours truly. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this photo. One of my favorite places in Ireland. Doesn’t it just signify everything romantic and mysterious?

To-Do List Win!

Can you hear the angels singing? Maybe you can hear my gleeful chuckle from wherever you are in the world? The reason for all this joy? I have finally finished the synopsis for Ghost of a Chance! It has been hanging over my head for the last four months. Yes, I’m a procrastinator but it is finally done.

In the world of writing, I’m considered a “pantser.” Which means someone who gets a thread of an idea for a story and just starts writing. The characters take it from there and I follow them willingly (most of the time). Now I know there are some writers who don’t even start the first chapter without a full outline or synopsis. To you I say, bravo! But my way of writing works for me so if I have to suffer through the synopsis phase, so be it.

The analogy I use regarding this process is of a kid trying to get two pounds of candy in a one pound bag. Seriously! I am so wedded to what I’ve written, every little scene that I think (based on the definition above), is important information. Imagine taking a 75,700 word novel and condensing it down to around 1,900. It’s not easy, trust me. And forget about any “creative writing” in the process. Its all just the facts, ma’am. But it also has to engage whoever is reading it to want more. Is it a wonder that a lot of famous writers drink?!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m having a blast with the whole process. I just wanted to share with you my joy at finishing this dreaded task. Now, it might be time for a drink!


One Step Closer

I have just completed my last semester of official course work for my master’s degree. The spring will be spent finishing my creative thesis and then defending it, probably sometime in April 2021. The title of my thesis? Modern Love: Reading, Writing, and Publishing the Romance Novel. Can you hear my sigh of relief that it’s almost over?

Some of my research materials. I have a lot more.

To be honest, the past year has felt like one long checklist of items I had to finish before I could get to the good stuff, namely focusing my energy on publishing and writing. Now that the graduate degree is almost complete I feel more than ready. I am ready to release Ghost of a Chance on the world! Of course, there is a lot left to do in order to get there. I’ve been actively pursuing agents, but so far I’m still waiting for the “we’d like to see more” letter. But I will not be deterred! If I’m still agent-less in early 2021, then I’m going to go the self-publishing route.

I recognize that 2020 has been a hard slog for all of us. But, as the title of this post says, we’re one step closer to getting back on track. The pandemic has been the reality check I need to keep everything in perspective. The night before last I watched news footage of semi-trucks loaded with the Covid-19 vaccine leaving the Pfizer plant to be delivered all over the country. I’ll be honest, I cried. Cried for the lives lost, cried for medical professionals who have put their lives at risk while devoting long and arduous hours to help those who are sick, and cried for the hope that someday soon we’ll be able to meet again in our favorite places to share our lives with those we love. I cannot wait to give my first hug once this is all over! And as much as Zoom has been a huge help in keeping communication open, I’ll be damned glad when I don’t have to use it anymore! So, I’ll close by wishing you all a very happy holiday season. I’ll also remind you that, for a little while longer, continue to social distance, wash your hands, and please, please, please wear a mask.

Happy Holidays!

Memories from Christmas 2019, with our sweet pup Jessie who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in April 2020.

Down Time

I’m sitting on my back porch, enjoying the sounds of birds chirping and bees buzzing. Yesterday brought major thunderstorms to the area but they did little to wash away the humidity. That’s okay, though. Because today I have a day off and I plan on enjoying it–regardless of the sticky air!

I don’t know about you, but most of the time I find myself at a loss when faced with down time. There is always a niggling sense of guilt that I should be doing something. But not today. Today I’m embracing the indulgence of down time.

“What brought about this change of attitude?” you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you. A few weeks ago I put out a call for beta readers and folks stepped up to volunteer. Their responses to Ghost of a Chance were not only incredibly helpful, but they were off-the-charts positive as well. It is never easy putting your writing out there for the world to see. While you’re waiting for those first reports back, you think all manner of horrible scenarios. Things like…

Why does she think she can write?

This is the worst thing I’ve ever read.

I don’t believe these characters at all.

Obviously, if you want to be a writer you have to, “screw your courage to the sticking-place,” as Shakespeare wrote. While that line spoken by Lady Macbeth, urging her husband to kill Duncan, is not exactly a perfect metaphor in this case, I think you get the idea–fear be damned–get your stuff in the hands of readers! Those reader responses drove me forward to the next steps and I’ve interviewed and hired a line editor. My manuscript is now in her capable hands for a final pass before I start approaching literary agents. Nervous? Oh yeah. Excited? You betcha! And the side benefit is that right now, I’ve got some well earned down time.

So, today I will drink my coffee on the back porch until it is an appropriate time to switch over to adult beverages. Plus, I have a few new story ideas that are percolating in my brain.

Have a great weekend!


P.S. Thank you to my beta readers. You know who you are and I appreciate your efforts!