Nicky’s Rings

Countdown to Valentine’s Day continues with guest, Nicky Wells, the rock chick author.


Love means…taking things as they are: A tale of two rings

So my husband proposed to me with a blue plastic ring. It was a gorgeous ring, mind, and I really liked it. I stared at it for a second or two, debating, just briefly, whether I was disappointed that there wasn’t a sparkly diamond in sight. And then I thought, heck, it’s blue and it’s shiny and actually, it is really beautiful. And it’s different. Who cares about diamonds?


So I said yes.

Later, much later that night, I discovered two things. One, the ring wasn’t plastic. It was, in fact, Lalique Crystal and (probably) hideously expensive. And two, it was only a stand-in. My lovely fiancé had scoured the jewellers of London and made a shortlist of three rings (complete with diamonds) from which he wanted me to pick the perfect one. Love him!

 He, in turn, stuck with his proposal even when he discovered that his clueless soon-to-be-wife thought he’d bought her a plastic ring. He wasn’t in the slightest offended (he knew me too well, even then!). He laughed. ‘Well, I’m touched you said yes anyway,’ he chuckled. ‘It must be love.’

Go figure. We’ve been happily married for nearly eleven years now, and both rings are very much treasured.


Nicky’s novels are pictured below. If you want some good love stories in time for Valentine’s Day, you may want to save the Spirits of Christmas for later in the year, but  you can’t go wrong with one of the Sophie books. . For that matter, many of my Valentine guest bloggers have love stories available for you, so don’t be shy. Check them out and have a good time reading them.

NickWellsBannerSee Nicky’s author page on  and on


Writing Styles – Part 3

Continued from Writing Styles – Part 3

Writers all have different ways of conveying meaning to their readers. In this post I’ve asked authors to provide short excerpts with examples of how they’ve developed description of a character and a setting. A third challenge was to provide a sentence or two showing their favourite ending to a scene.

Today’s first guest is Emma Calin.


KNOCKOUT! A Passionate Police Romance by Emma Calin

1. Character:

He smiled again, showing even white teeth behind the full wide lips that pouted forward as he spoke in such a way that just possibly he really was French.

Sitting opposite him, she could take in the full presence of this stranger. It was as if he transmitted a force – an aura of danger and a sardonic humorous innocence. She attempted to re-assert her normal senses – her ability to appraise a man, threat or situation in the blink of an eye – a skill she had honed on the streets of South London – in a world of gangs, drugs and murder. And yet – here she was, tripping over the bags that some stupid girl had left in the entrance to her brain.

2. Setting:

She drove down to the beach and looked out at the azure, turquoise and aquamarine cocktail of the Pacific Ocean. Waves split into pure white fragments against an offshore rock. The beautiful loneliness of the scene mirrored her feelings of desolation. The rollers finished their journey pounding their force against the uncaring sand. She laid her head back and let a wave of fantasy break over her as he kissed her lips and moved inside her. For a few seconds he was there again in her heart but too soon the image washed away leaving only the call of gulls and the trickle of her desperate tears.


3. Scene Ending:

The great River Seine rippled and pushed on to the sea as the sun tiptoed the back stairs of the world climbing towards dawn across Paris, maybe the morning light would never uncover two lovers hiding within the protection of each other’s arms….

 Knockout 2013 rationalised


Amazon Worldwide Link:  Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance

Amazon Author Page: Emma Calin Amazon Author Page

Emma Calin Blog:

Emma Calin Website:


and pages: &

Twitter: @Emma Calin



And now, let’s welcome Nicky Wells.

Author - Nicky Wells

Author – Nicky Wells

1. CHARACTERS—This little excerpt neatly contains the essence of all main characters in Sophie’s Turn; Dan, the rock star; Sophie, the eponymous heroine; her fiancé, Tim; and her best friend, Rachel:

Shh!” I admonished. “Will you keep your voice down? What are you talking about?”

“Dan is completely besotted with you, and he said he couldn’t bear the thought of you getting engaged to Tim so he had to…hic…come and check him out…hic!” Oh God, she had the hiccups. She would have to spend the night in the guest room. Once Rachel got the hiccups, she was beyond salvation. I gave her twenty minutes before she collapsed. I had to extract critical information fast.

“Why did you introduce him to Tim?” I continued my interrogation. “Couldn’t you have sent him away?”

Oh no, Sophie. I couldn’t turn this lovely, heartbroken man away.” She looked at me with big, innocent, and totally unfocused eyes. “In fact, we were just looking for you. You seemed to have… hic… hic… hic…disapp-hic-eared.”

“What did you say to Tim about who Dan was?” I needed to know.

“That he was Dan, of course. Your boy-hic-friend from Tuscq!” She dropped this bombshell completely nonchalantly.

“You what?” I squeaked. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

No, I’m s-hic-erious! Ti-hic-im thought it was very funny. Hic.”


This excerpt from the opening pages of Sophie’s Run sets the scene for Sophie’s amazing exile:

While I waited for the ferry to finish docking, I drank in every detail of my chosen exile. The calm sea with little white-crested waves lapping gently against the quay. The green and white of the sandy dunes standing stark and fresh against the wide-open, deep-blue sky. The tiny harbor with only a handful of buildings and a few fishing boats bobbing on the incoming tide. Seagulls wheeling overhead, their mournful cries carrying on the gentle breeze, augmenting my sense of emptiness, newness. Fresh, clean, salty air. I took another deep breath, feeling calmer already.


Adrenaline sloshed through my body in a rush of great excitement. This was it.

Music. Did I want music?

I flapped about a bit, shuffling through the few CDs I had brought and eventually deciding on my new Eighties compilation CD. No sooner had the first song started than there was a tentative knock. I did a final check; everything was ready.

I went to open the door.



Nicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door.

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C. Like her leading lady, Sophie, Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant. Rock on!

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We’d love to hear what you think. Why not leave a comment?

Sophie’s Scrumptious Paella

Come dine with Sophie and Dan: Today’s treat is… Scrumptious Paella!

Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013


Sophie’s Run

 Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.



Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from and, and in Paperback edition from and You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).


Hey, you! My name is Sophie, and I’m so excited you’re visiting me here today at Anneli’s fabulous blog. I’m the heroine (God, that sounds weird—I still blush when I say that) in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy by Nicky Wells. Nicky and I, we’re currently taking her second book, Sophie’s Run, on tour, and we’re taking you to all the places and sharing all the food that features in the books.

Today, I share a very special recipe with you. It’s something Steve, my… current boyfriend, shall we say, and I cook for Dan (the rock star) and Rachel (my best friend). I know, that sounds like an interesting set-up, right? You’ll just have to read the book to find out what on earth is going on, but meanwhile, here’s a little excerpt:

Dan popped the tops and handed a bottle to Steve. He pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down, and Rachel joined him instantly. Steve was at the stove looking after the paella and I laid the table.

“January,” I prompted Dan. “That seems an odd time. You’ll miss the Christmas sales.”

“But we’ll be the first launch of the year, which gives us more time to get into the ‘best album of the year’ charts. Plus we’ll be touring from February, and the label has also booked a promo gig for New Year’s Eve. Tickets to go on sale soon, not that you’ll need any.” He grinned meaningfully.

“I should hope so, too!” I teased.

“It’s good to see you,” Dan changed the subject abruptly. “And you, Steve.”

Steve raised his bottle in salute. “Likewise. Sophie’s been looking forward to tonight for days.”


See? We’re having a regular little dinner party here. And here’s what you need to make your own, Sophie-style sumptuous paella for four people.

~about 500 grams of chorizo sausage, thinly sliced

~1 large onion, roughly chopped

~2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped

~1 cup of paella rice

~a pinch of saffron

~about a litre of chicken stock

~400 grams of cod or any other white fish (fresh or frozen)

~400 grams of king prawns

~a dash of lemon juice

~a small handful of peas (fresh or frozen)

~a large handful of herbs (fresh or dried): parsley is a must; coriander and basil to taste if you like

~salt and pepper to taste

~4 eggs

~one or two spring onions, roughly chopped, for garnish

~200 grams of little prawns (optional)

~a small chicken breast, diced (optional)

~any other seafood you might like to add (squid, mussels, clams) (optional)

And here’s what you do…

Well, as you see from the ingredients list, this dish is versatile. I’m going to tell you my ‘basic’ version excluding all the optional extras; but if you feel inspired, just add them in as you go towards the end of cooking (I’d say… with ten, fifteen minutes left).

First of all, in a large frying pan or wok, dry-fry the chorizo until all the lovely fat oozes out. I like my chorizo crisp! Then fry the onions in the chorizo fat until they’re just going glassy and soft. Add the garlic and the paella rice and give it a good stir until the rice is properly coated. Next, pour your chicken stock in and stir around.



Boil for maybe a minute, then add the fish (if frozen), peas, herbs, saffron and pepper. (Leave the salt until the very end ~ all the fish and chorizo may already make this dish plenty salty!) Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the liquid boils away, add more water.

Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs, leave to cool, peel and cut into quarters. Leave to one side until ready to garnish your paella.


After 30 minutes or so, try the rice to see how far it has cooked. If it’s soft and very nearly done, add the king prawns and any other optional ingredients (note ~ if using chicken, brown it in a separate frying pan first so that it doesn’t dry out!). Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until all the seafood is heated through. Taste and season as needed. Spoon out into four bowls and garnish with the eggs. Enjoy with a large glass of wine!


So, bon appetit! I hope my post today inspired you to have a try at making your very own Scrumptious Paella. And while you wait for it to cook, why not join me and the men in my life with a nice glass of wine? Put your feet up and relax for a few minutes. Sophie’s Turn and Sophie’s Run are both out now for you to enjoy… 🙂

Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS

1) Standard Giveaway

Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!


The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.

Rafflecopter Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Bonus Giveaway

 Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Author - Nicky Wells

Author – Nicky Wells



Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star PublishingAmazon and, of course, Goodreads.