Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Guest Blogger Nicola Marsh

Within hours of news of my sale hitting the internet, the other Modern Heat authors were emailing their congrats and welcoming me into the fold. They were all so great and friendly, I had to invite them to the blog, so you'll be getting to meet some new friends of mine in the near future!

Nicola Marsh was one of the first to say Hi, and she's been super nice about helping the Newbie learn her way around, so I'm tickled to welcome her to the Playground for her first guest blog. Make Nicola feel at home, okay?


It is great to be in the Playground!

Unfortunately, you gals have snaffled all the cool names, so as a guest I guess I’ll have to be the Swot. Doesn’t quite have the same ring as Angel or Problem Child or Smarty Pants or Instigator, does it? :-)

I’ve brought my crayons along so thought I’d draw you a picture.
Picture a pristine beach, a cerulean ocean, a semi-naked buffed guy…you with me? Can you see it?

Well, that’s where I’m at. Down Under. Australia.

Okay, so maybe the Swot just told a little fib out of school.

I’m in gorgeous, cosmopolitan Melbourne where the beaches are okay and Port Phillip Bay isn’t cerulean. As for the buffed naked guy…my hubby’s having a conniption reading this over my shoulder.

But the place I described exists.

The Whitsunday Islands, in the tropical north-east of Australia, are exquisite. Beautiful one day, perfect the next (and yes, that’s an ad slogan!)

There are 74 islands in total but only a few are inhabited. The islands are situated in the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the world. Cool, huh?

(sounds like the Swot’s giving a geography lesson…)

If you’ve never been to this part of the world, you absolutely must visit.

Or if you want to do it vicariously, check out my current release HOT NIGHTS WITH A PLAYBOY (Harlequin Mills and Boon Modern Heat, June)

Here’s the back blurb:

Working by day...
Abby Weiss could make her name as a stylist to the stars on a two-week photo shoot in a tropical island paradise. Even better, Judd Calloway, her best friend, will be the photographer. Nothing could be more fun than working with him...

Naughty by night!...

except spending hot, sexy, passionate nights with him! In the years since they last met Judd's become a charming, muscled, gorgeous hunk! Abby can't keep her hands off him-and the attraction's mutual.

And now Judd's got a proposal that he hopes will keep her right where he wants her: in his bed!

Think hot: hot weather, hot nights, hot chemistry, hot bods…phew, is it hot in here or is it just me? :-)

So to continue my steamy theme, share your dream destination, tropical or otherwise, in the comments, and you could be in the running to win a copy of MISTRESS TO THE TYCOON, my latest Harlequin Presents (set in Brunswick Street, the boho central of Melbourne: think caf├ęs, art galleries, tapas bars, comedy clubs, vintage boutiques…love it!)

Thanks for having me in the Playground.

Looking forward to coming back to play next month!


For more info on Nicola and her books, be sure to visit her website: http://www.nicolamarsh.com/

***In addition to Swot's geography lesson, it seems like we'll be learning some new words on the Playground today...starting with "Swot." :-)


Playground Monitor said...

A geography lesson AND a lesson in 'Strine. We may have to put a little glossary in the sidebar. :grin:

Welcome to the Playground, Nicola. And good onya!


Michele L. said...

Hi Nicola,

So nice to have you here at Playground! My dream destination is definitely Aruba! Pristine blue waters, lush plants & trees, beautiful beaches, and awe inspiring!

Your books are always fantastic! Your blog was equally fabulous as well!
Have a great week!
Michele L.

Nicola Marsh said...

LOL, I though 'swot' was a universal term then suddenly realised it's probably an 'Aussie-ism'!!

A 'SWOT' is someone who studies really hard...and yep, just checked the Aussie Oxford Dictionary and it's a slang!

You probably all think I'm calling myself some crazy name :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Oh, and thanks for the welcome :)

Aruba sounds heavenly.

Whenever I hear it, I think of that song 'Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I'm gonna take ya.' Kokomo, I think it's called?

Playground Monitor said...

I forgot to add my dream destination. Honestly, I'm not sucking up when I say it's Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. I'd love to see the sails on the opera house for real, see Ayers Rock, the vast outback and bush, get a glimpse of the "other" Alps (I've seen the Swiss/Austrian/Italian ones) and meet a real Taswegian. Maybe you and I can do a house swap some day, though I'm not sure Alabama is quite an equal swap for Melbourne. :grin:


MaryF said...

Hi Nicola,
Its a pleasure to meet you :)

Your description makes me want to go to Austrailia! It's your "winter" right now isn't it? Or do I need to go hit the geography books again?

The funny part is; one of my dream destinations is not a sultry spot...its cool with lots of rain: Ireland. Never been there, but I want wander through some damp and dank castles, look over some craggy cliffs near the ocean and drink a pint. And if I can bump into a few good looking guys with their beautiful accents; all the better.

I'm such a subversive; the reality is I'd probably hang out for a day or too then flee to a warmer; tropical climate.

Hmmm, perhaps there should be trip to the down under one day.

(Ok this is why I should not have lots of caffiene prior to posting early in the morning..I ramble)

Eva S said...

I'd love to visit those islands! Australia has always been one of my favorite dream places, unfortunately it's so very far away from Finland, but one can always dream...
Another place I'm fascinated of is Santorini Islands in Greece, and I'd love to walk in the Andies.

Love your books, Nicola!

Nicola Marsh said...

now see, Alabama sounds very exotic and interesting to me because I've never been there.
And you must visit!
New Zealand is beautiful too, though I've only been to the north island and loved it.

Nicola Marsh said...

great to meet you too :)

Yes, it is our winter though up north, in the Whitsundays, they don't get much cool weather up there. It's pretty much perfect all year round...sigh...says she who's typing with frozen fingers...

And guess what? I have a fascination for Ireland too! Would love to visit one day...almost got there once about 11 years ago...maybe some day.

Nicola Marsh said...

So glad you like my books, Eva :)

The Greek Islands are another 'must see' on my country wish list...

Smarty Pants said...

Morning and welcome Nicola. Thanks for explaining Swot. I had no clue what that meant. :)

My mom is turning 50 this year and I asked her if she could go anywhere on vacation, where would she want to go. She said Australia. When I tried researching what it would cost, I nearly cried. The two of us could spend weeks in Italy for what the airfare to Sydney would run me. Its a shame. I'm determined to get there one day, though.

My dream trip, I think, would be to Italy or Greece. I guess that's why I talked my mom into Italy instead. :)

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Nicola!

Hmm, the list of places I want to visit is long and varied. Ireland and England. Africa (I want to go on Safari). Greece. Australia is on the list too but like SP, I researched the cost of getting there and it ain't pretty. I'll just have to get your books and live vicariously :-)


CrystalGB said...

My dream destination is Australia. I have always wanted to go there.

Anonymous said...

Good morning and welcome Nicola,
My dream vacation would be near a local pool, tall drink, your book and room service later. I don't really care to go anywhere right now, too tired to be bothered. Oh, and add an afternoon nap to the agenda.
birmingham, al

Problem Child said...

Hi Nicola!

Australia is on my list of places to visit--now that AC has outgrown the Wiggles that is...for a while there, I had some issues.

I also want to go to Greece, back to Italy...anywhere in fact. I love to travel.

Kate Hardy said...

Swot is a Brit-ism, too, so I know exactly what you met :o)

Dream destination... I'd like to go to Norway to see the Northern Lights; to Iceland to see the hot springs; and to Naples so I can visit Pompeii (if I set enough books there, wonder if it would count as research? Ditto enforced eating of ice cream). I'd also love to visit Luxor. And Australia (except our friend in Sydney showed us pics of the spiders and my daughter is TERRIFIED of spiders and says she can't go to Australia because of the golden ball spiders). And New Zealand (I'd like to see the Southern Lights). And the Antarctic. (Nicola Cornick went there last year and shared her pics of polar bears with me - amaaaazing or what.) Oh, and I'd love to go on the Trans-Siberian railway.

Just as well I do what I do for a living - I can pretend :o)

Sherry W. said...

Hi Nicola!
Dream vacation, yes, Australia would be at the top of my list. I always enjoy reading books with Australia as the setting. Especially the Outback. There's just something about a tough, sexy Aussie!

I popped over to your website too...Love it!

Problem Child said...

Giant spiders!?!?! Wait, no one said anything about giant spiders. I may have to rethink this Australia idea... But then Alabama has some pretty big and poisonous stuff to bite you as well. (As DG found out when he moved here. And he wondered why I didn't sound keen on the camping idea. Camping in the UK lacks that danger of something eating/biting you...)

DG has an uncle who lives in Australia, and he went over as a kid. Baby B-i-l was bitten by a wombat (he was possibly two at the time). When Baby B-i-l went back last spring, he was quite shocked to find them not as big and scary as he remembered. :-)

I would like to see a platypus though!

Playground Monitor said...

I've been to Santonini (yes, you definitely want to go because it's GORGEOUS) and I've been to Pompeii (fascinating). The DH and I are looking into a belated anniversary trip to Curacao in January (anniversary was a month ago but summer's not the time to travel in the Caribbean -- hurricanes you know).

Today's blog is turning into a veritable travelogue.

You mean there's really such a thing as a wombat??? Must go Google.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Nicola! Those islands sound LOVELY (and the book yummy)! Alas, I lived 3 years in Hawaii, and I sometimes long for the tropics. I used to be able to hit the beach after a short drive. The skies were always cerulean and the water ranged from turquoise to deep sapphire. The sun, the palms...oh dear. Better stop.

OTOH, I didn't get as much writing done when I lived in HI as I have in Alabama. :) And Alabama is cool for lots of reasons, so I'm not unhappy at all. :)

I wanted to go to Australia. Still do, but it would have been a much shorter trip when I was living in Hawaii. I remember a friend went and the time change was nothing. An hour difference, but a day ahead. He had no trouble with jetlag, in spite of the 10 hour flight.

Other dream destinations would include Greece, a return to Venice and Paris, New Zealand (those mountains!), and Antarctica.

Thanks for explaining Swot. Not an American term, that's for sure. :)

Heidi said...

Hey, I want a cool nickname too, can I be the Bad Girl... I feeling pretty bad at the moment, having spent the last twenty minutes reading Nic's blog post and all the comments instead of writing.. Nothing new there then.

My dream destination, anywhere in America. My top picks of recent years, Maryland, the Smokies, Death Valley and Big Sur... just thinking about those places makes up for being stuck in London in the pissing rain chained to my computer (and not writing anything on it!). What the heck happened to summer anyway. It seems to have passed the UK by yet again.

Heidi (who on the strength of this post should probably be called the moaning minnie).

Ellen said...

There was always a disadvantage to teaching World Geography for as many years as I did. I always wanted to travel to the places I taught about and never could! I would however start in Ireland and make Australia a second trip (but only in the coolest part of the year because living in Texas gives me enough heat). Actually every place mentioned sounds fantastic.

Ellen said...

PS Nicole when you used SWOT I was thinking SWAT - an elite group of police.

Natalie Anderson said...

Nic - I'm spluttering ovwer you only having been to the North island of New Zealand when we all know the best scenery is in the South (not that I'm biased or anything) But then I guess I haven't been to Melbourne - only Sydney many times over. Will have to fix that sometime soon I think... As for the 'swot' - yep, a Kiwism too (let's not start the debate over who thought it up! ;)
Dream destination - I'm going to have to go back to Italy like you Smartypants - such great people, fabulous food, beautiful art and everything - I love it! :)
Oooh Kate - I went to Iceland for my first wedding anniversary (was living in Scotland at the time so it was only a skip) - and I'd go back in a heartbeat - the Blue Lagoon is H E A V E N - I'd love to get it in a book sometime!!!

terrio said...

Hello there, Nicola. I just received a friend request on MySpace from you and wouldn't have accepted except I remembered your name from this blog guest list. You can't be too careful over there, you know.

This books sounds great. Hot is an understatement. And great cover.

My dream would be anywhere in the UK. London, Edinburgh, Dublin - I'd take any of them. Then there's Italy and Greece. So much history and the food!

Australia has always been one of those places I'd love to visit. But as mentioned, that's not a spontaneous kind of trip. Keeping my fingers to get there someday though.

Maureen said...

Just give me a beach, an umbrella, a bunch of sunscreen and a great book and I'm happy.

Angel said...

Running late and dragging, as seems to be the definition of my day. Not getting much accomplished, I can tell you that!

Welcome, Nicola! Love that name. My daughter's name is Nicole, so I'm a little partial.

I'd go back to Scotland in a heartbeat! Loved it there. The UK, definitely. Also, Maine and Wyoming in America.

My mother always wanted to visit Australia too. I'd have to stick with the populated areas. I'm not fond of any kind of spider, much less big ones. I have a severe case of arachnophobia (as Mary can attest to after I freaked out at her house yesterday). That's one reason I didn't care for Texas when my sister lived there.

We're learning all kinds of new words on the Playground lately. "Slather" was used the other day. I've heard it before, but in the south we use it like, "Slather (spread) lots of butter on that biscuit." ;)


Virginia said...

Hi Nicola, it is nice to see you here. My dream place to visit would be Ireland and Scotland, I have alway wanted to go there as long as I could remember. I am sure I will never get there except in books, but I can dream.

Nicola Marsh said...

Oh wow, Smarty Pants, Italy is fabulous, one of my favourite countries.
I was lucky to visit once, about 11 years ago.
Loved it!

Nicola Marsh said...

I'd love for you to live vicariously through my books :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Crystal, Problem Child and Sherry, I'm thrilled OZ is high on people's dream destinations.

You absolutely have to come.
It truly is a diverse and beautiful country (maybe the tourism board should give me a job?)

Nicola Marsh said...

Kate, Kate, Kate...we've had this discussion.

The spiders ARE NOT that bad.

Just the same amount as any other country.

So no excuses not to visit :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Wombats are cute and cuddly...but to a little 'un, would be like getting bitten by a monster.
Some of them are seriously big!

Nicola Marsh said...


I'm giggling at your wombat comment.

Wombats are definitely real :)

Actually, one of my books last year, Two-Week Mistress, had a huge wombat theme!!

Nicola Marsh said...

Lynn Raye, living in Hawaii would've been amazing!

I love Hawaii :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Dear 'Moaning Minnie',

reading blogs is good.
It's therapeutic (says she who should be writing her next Modern Heat and not procrastinating by doing the same!!)

Nicola Marsh said...

I'm definitely not SWAT material ;)

Nicola Marsh said...

Nat, hoping to make it to South island soon!!

And Iceland sounds terrific!

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks Terrio!

I'm a British fan too...love England!

Nicola Marsh said...

I'm with your, Maureen :)

Nicola Marsh said...

I'd love to visit Scotland.
Maybe one day...

Nicola Marsh said...

dreams are good.
They give us something to look forward to :)

Nicola Marsh said...

throwing my book into your dream destination would make you a winner if I was open to bribery ;)

Which I'm not!
Winner will be chosen randomly!!!

As you can, the Swot has a funny sense of humour :)

Problem Child said...

So is it morning in Australia now?

Cherie J said...

Hi Nicola,

Glad you could guestblog with us. Hubby and I dream of going to two places someday. One place is Australia and the other is Great Britain. My brother just finished studying at the University in Perth just this last year. He loved it over there and after hearing all about his time in Australia I want to go even more now.

Nicola Marsh said...

Problem child,
it was morning when I blogged earlier.
Now it's 7.39pm :)

Cherie, our neighbours just moved to Perth and I'm looking forward to visiting them. It's supposed to be a beautiful city with a great climate.