Monday, July 14, 2008

Guest Blogger Nicola Marsh (Encore!)

Nicola had such a good time on the Playground on her first visit, she's back for another spin on the merry-go-round. This time, she's talking about her new book for Harlequin Romance, and one of our favorite subjects...

Give her another big Playground welcome!


It’s great to be back in the Playground! :-)

Last time, I ended up giving myself a name no one understood (thank goodness you didn’t think Swot meant anything too shabby!) and a mini-geography lesson (unintentionally) on the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

So this time I’m going for something completely different: fantasies.

I’m an avid reader. I devour books; have ever since I was a kid.
I read widely, across genres and could happily spend a day/week/month curled up with my nose in a book.

For me, part of the appeal of reading is getting engrossed in another world, being so absorbed in the characters’ lives that I’m almost there alongside them, laughing and crying and feeling their pain. It’s sheer pleasure to be swept up in the fantasy as I turn the pages, eager to reach the end yet reluctant to do so because I love the story so much.

In my books, I tend to ground them in real settings, particularly my fabulous home city of Melbourne, which I adore! So last year it was time to let my imagination run free, to create a fictitious fantasy setting and Adhara was the result. From a private desert oasis to a French-inspired palace, from a lush palace garden to an intriguing souk, I thought ‘fantasy’ all the way and THE DESERT PRINCE’S PROPOSAL (Harlequin Romance, out now in the UK & USA) is the result.

Here’s the back blurb:

Saying yes to the Prince of the desert!

Time is running out for Prince Samman al Wali! In order to be crowned King, he must marry. He has rejected all his advisors' suggestions...then he is captivated by a unique pair of honey-coloured eyes and chooses Bria for his bride!

Bria Green is an intelligent, independent, modern woman. Samman tells her she'll agree to his proposal within a week. She's sure that the powerful Prince won't get his way.

But in the scorching heat of the desert, Samman's heady kisses may change Bria's mind!

To celebrate its release this week I’m giving away a signed copy.
To win, share a fantasy with us (keep it clean, please!) in the comments. It could be a fantasy date, fantasy dinner, fantasy destination, fantasy celebrity. Go ahead, use your imaginations! :-)

Thanks for having me in the Playground!

PS. Don't forget we're looking for a few good bloggers to keep Angel company while the rest of the Playfriends hit San Francisco for RWA's National Conference. Scroll down for details.


Problem Child said...

Hmm, I think my fantasy right now is unlimited luggage allowances for my trip to SF!

Welcome back Nicola!

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks Problem Child, it's great to be back :)

As for trip to SF, it would be one of my fantasies to be going!!!

I had grand plans to go...before a certain little boy popped into the world last year. So I'm now aiming for San Diego in 2012 when youngest will be 5. Long haul much easier when the kidlets are a tad older and don't need a ton of nappies taking up valuable book space in the suitcase ;)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Nicola! My fantasy would be a week off work, most days spent in my pjs, reading, napping and taking taking it easy. The other days I would take a trip to the cemetary to see my father and hit the bookstores. And spend some time with my sisters guilt free.

MaryF said...

Hello Nicola! I am glad you could come back. :)

Fantasy's....I have plenty..but I must say I have one that hangs out in my head:

I'd like to live in a drafty Irish Castle (ghosts and all) and wander about poking my nose into everything...ok, I'll settle for a pint or two and maybe some tea. Just to have an opportunity to listen to the language and accents.

If Ireland doesn't work, I'd settle for other places that call to me for my fantasy: Scotland, Russia, Austrailia, New Zealand.....

My problem is, I have too many fantasies and I guess that is why writers write-to release them and make room for more.

At least that's what I tell myself.

Have fun here to today Nicola! :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Hey Robertsonreads,

Wow, what I wouldn't give to spend a whole day in my PJs reading...bliss :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks MaryF :)

Wow, an Irish castle sounds pretty special!
I adore Irish first love was a handsome Irishman :)

And you're right, that's the beauty of writing. We get to live out fantasies all the time :)

Smarty Pants said...

Fantasy? Sadly, mine would probably involve a private chef and housekeeper. The ability to work from home (preferably writing). Being 25 pounds lighter wouldn't hurt my feelings either.

I'd sooner get to Ireland, sad to say.

Nicola Marsh said...

Smarty pants,
I'm with you on the private chef and housekeeper.
Then I could write all day, be a super mum and wife, and actually get some sleep for the first time in 4 years rather than having to write half the night ;)

MaryF said...

Ohhh..Sleep, that's a GREAT fantasy. LOL

That's second on my list. :)

Smarty Pants said...

Mary, just combine them and say you want to sleep in an old Irish castle. My friends actually swapped their timeshare once to stay in a hotel in Scotland that was a haunted castle. Pretty neat, I think.

Nicola Marsh said...

Sleep-over in a castle sounds like the start of an interesting plot...all sorts of fabulous scenarios spring to mind...Or is that just the writer in me? ;)

MaryF said...

Well, I think we should that, we should try and get a time share in Scotland or Ireland...the best of both worlds.

You in SP and Nicola? It could be writer's retreat.....

(you know, I think its something I really want to plan...but there is that small issue of work and family...hey we could bring them too....?)

Nicola Marsh said...

Ooh...a writers' retreat, I love it, Mary!

Mind you, Ireland or Scotland is even further than SF for me at the moment, so give me a few years and I'm there :)

Now, it's almost midnight here and I have to leave these revisions till tomorrow...I'm almost there...but eyes closing.

Will pop back in the morning my time. Good night :)

Playground Monitor said...

Welcome back, Nicola. We're chuffed to have you back.

We have to keep it clean? Well, it involves Hugh Jackman and beyond that it's not clean. ;-)

I'd also love to do one of those around-the-world cruises on a luxury liner. Of course, after two weeks on a ship, I might be wishing for something else. But I'd never know til I tried it.

I got to live some of y'all's fantasy this morning. I slept until 8:40. But I hav to leave in 20 minutes for another doctor's appointment. Still trying to get my stomach problems solved.


Instigator said...

Fantasy... At the moment I'm with Robertson in wishing for a week of no responsibilities where I can just sleep and read. I'm more likely to get to spend the night in a haunted Irish castle first :-) Of course, that ain't a bad second.


MaryF said...

Ooooh PM, Hugh Jackman, I forgot about him....yumm.

Insitgator, How about combining both (SP gave me this idea), a stay at an Irish Castle with No responsibilities!

Hope you get some good sleep Nicola!

Speaking of; I best get on to work, it's a late night for me today.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hmm, fantasy. I'm going to have to go with several already mentioned:

1. I think I'm up to 5 pairs of shoes for conference, and I really need at least two more. Where am I going to put them? Unlimited luggage allowance, and someone to carry it, sounds good. (OMG, y'all! I hit DSW yesterday and got two pairs of the most adorable black shoes! One pair are Enzos. I forget the other, but they're silk with sequins. Oh crap, just realized -- I'm up to six pairs.)

2. Housekeeper and chef sounds great.

3. Chauffeur would be good.

4. I've slept in a drafty castle, so no castles for me. How about a luxury hotel with a view of a castle?

5. Magical disappearance of 20 lbs in the next two weeks. :)

Thanks, Nicola, this was fun! Great to see you here again. :)

Kathy said...

Welcome back, Nicola!

My fantasies always revolve around Capt. Jack Sparrow or The Phantom himself. Ah, yes... I could rove the sea with the Capt. at my side and plenty of rum at my disposal or I could live beneathe the Opera House with my very own grotto and listen to the Phantom serenade me all night long. Ah, the music of the night. What joy!

Of course, there's always the haunted castle. I'd do that, Mary!

But my BIGGEST fantasy would be to write something so inspiring that I'd be as big as Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling.

Ellen said...

Fantasy -- well I already have one of my fantasies (being retired I can stay in my pj's all day and read) but that doesn't happen because I'm not reading at the moment. My present day fantasy would be to be able to travel without worrying about transportation--just suddenly be where I want to go with all the things I need to have there with me. No packing, no driving, etc.

catslady said...

I agree with all the above mentioned fantasies. I'll add that I would love to have an entire room devoted to my books - shelves from floor to ceiling and one of those ladders to reach them all :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks Playground Monitor :)

Thought I'd pop in briefly before the mad morning rush starts for kinder run, where I'm also volunteering today so mightn't get to pop back till later.

Oooooh...Hugh Jackman...say no more!

And I love cruises! Coincidentally, the Modern Heat/Presents I'm revising at the moment is set on a cruise ship. Around the world sounds fabulous :)

Hope the tummy resolves soon.

Nicola Marsh said...


both would be brilliant!

Nicola Marsh said...

Sleep, you say Mary?
Now THAT's a fantasy for me at the moment ;)

Susan said...

Hello Nicola,
My fantasy would be to receive the guys on the book covers with each purchase! ;-)

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks Lynn :)

Another going to SF? I'm green ;)

Chaffeur would be nice, especially in an hour or so when I have to hit peak hour...

Nicola Marsh said...


PJs all day sounds pretty fantastic to me :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Oooh, catslady, I know the room you mean!
Every reader's fantasy :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Hi Susan,

what a brilliant fantasy!
Every guy, huh?
Hmm... ;)

Nicola Marsh said...

Okay, off for the morning rush.

Will be back in just over 2 hours :)

Jolie said...

Fantasies, huh? Hmm...I have ton, but keeping it clean really narrows them down! LOL The first one that comes to mind would be having Henry Cavill (aka "the Brandon" on the Tudors) play with my hair while I listend to him talk. About anything. I'm in absolute lust with his voice. And the rest of him isn't bad either. *sigh*

Nicola Marsh said...

funny you should mention Henry...I recently 'discovered' him in a 'hot hero hunt' I had on my blog.
And have been posting pics at regular intervals since.

He is HOT!!!
And my hits tripled while I had him on there!
Loads of similar ladies like us with good taste :)

Nicola Marsh said...

your comment about Henry inspired me to the point I've just posted yet another pic on my blog :)

Jolie said...

LOL!! Thank you for the late night boost of inspiration as well! I commented. :)

Cheri2628 said...

My favorite fantasy destination is the Greek Isles. I would love to be on a romantic cruise of the islands with my honey!

Nicola Marsh said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Jolie.

Henry is rather inspiring ;)

Nicola Marsh said...


cruising the Greek islands does sound pretty spectacular, especially with a honey :)

Nicola Marsh said...


I've only just realised I completely missed your post about Jack Sparrow!
So to make up for it I'm sending you a book!

And Jolie, you're the official winner of a book :)

If you both email me with details, I'll get them in the post to you.