Wednesday 6 November 2019

Spotlight and Q&A with Nicole Leclercq

Today I have a very cool visitor. First read a very cool Q and A,  then a bit about her books! 

As a child, I always wanted to be an actress or a singer. However, my only shot at becoming the next Meryl Streep was during my one-second appearance in Paul Verhoeven's film 'Black Book' where my shirt got ripped off my body. My off key Kate Bush impression during a karaoke contest may have broken some glass. After that, I decided to focus on my writing career instead.

When I'm not writing, I work at an office, setting up contracts. I spend my free time as crazy cat lady, looking after other people's cats and playing with my cats Buffy and Garfield. In addition, my hobbies include trying to chase tornadoes (although I still haven't seen any), fantasizing about villains (isn't Lex Luthor far more interesting than Clark Kent?), and most of all reading stories somebody else wrote.

You can find Nicole on her website, on Facebook  or on Twitter. You should also sign up to her newsletter

Hi Nicole Leclercq. Glad to have you here. Now, to start, what inspired you to write the "Erin Holland Series"?

I love romance novels that are darker, and I was huge Buffy the vampire slayer fan. When I discovered Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series I wanted to read more urban fantasy novels with kick-ass heroines and sexy vampires, but at that time there weren’t that many books in the paranormal genre, so I decided to write my own. Unfortunately, I’m a really slow writer so while I completed the series, lots of other books in the genre were published.

How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?

It’s the story about a young woman who survived a ritual killing by her voodoo priest father as a child, but who has the ghosts of the creatures that did die that night haunting her. She also has the powers of those creatures, but she wishes she were normal. She returns to her hometown to find out what happened so she can undo the ritual. But when she arrives, she draws the attention of master vampire Dane Lynch who doesn’t know if he wants to taste her lips or drink her dry.

Describe Dane Lynch and Erin Holland in 3 words each.

I'm cheating a bit, but here it goes:

Erin is a survivor, haunted by four ghosts and because of her father’s ritual she has the powers of a vampire, shape shifter (leopard), witch and warlock.

Dane is a sexy master vampire, a typical alpha and a bit of a control freak.

What do you think makes Dane appealing? How about Erin?

I like that Dane is terrifying when he first sees her. He realizes the effect she has on him and worries that she could be used against him. He can’t afford any weakness and wants to get rid of her. But he’s conflicted because he also hates not having her. 

Erin is conflicted too. She hates being different. She spent most of her childhood in a mental hospital and thinks the only way she can find peace, is if she gets rid of the voices in her head and her powers.

How did you create your characters? Were they inspired by real people?

Haha, if I based my characters on real people, I wouldn’t admit to that! But I can say that I do identify myself with Erin, and I wanted her to look like a (much) better version of myself. I fantasize about kicking ass too sometimes and having handsome vampires and werewolves desire me! When I imagined Erin’s dad, I pictured Tony Todd from Candyman. I thought he was terrifying but very sexy in that movie.

What scene did you have the most fun writing?

In the first book, I really loved writing the scene where Erin and Dane meet each other for the first time when she’s an adult.

When he spotted the girl he was looking for, she had almost reached the border of the Mississippi river. She stood next to some Chinese lanterns, staring out over the water with her back to the house. Her blond hair was tied back in a ponytail, and he couldn’t see her face from this angle. He might not have recognized her had it not been for his gut feeling, informing him that she was the little girl he had given his blood to all those years ago.
She didn’t dress like a security guard, nor did she seem particularly alert to danger. Shaking his head as he took in the backless dress and the frivolous heeled sandals, he concluded that he did not need to kill her. Wearing such provocative outfits, she would soon draw the attention of some psychopath who would finish her off for him.
Of course, if necessary, he would destroy her. He stared intently at her and realized that it would be best for both of them if he discovered that she had no effect on him at all. If he murdered her to stop anyone from using her against him, it may bring about the one thing he wished to avoid. It’d send out a signal to his enemies that he had a weakness they could exploit.
I do not have failings.
His thoughts involuntarily moved to his sister. Jane had been his Achilles' heel. She had been about the same age as Erin was now when she had died. Instinctively, he knew that it would probably be for the best if he turned around and left, but he told himself he couldn’t.
He had to know if this Erin Holland had any power over him, even if he was mostly convinced he would be immune to her. He let his eyes flicker over her slim body. His gaze lingered on the slight curve of her hips.
Damn it, she still affects me.
His body went rigid with frustration.
Her mesmerizing scent seemed to travel across the lawn and seeped into his skin as if trying to mark him. He clenched his fists in an attempt to deny the sudden urges she invoked in him, but a quiet moan escaped his lips. With a feeling of self-loathing, he shook his head.
His face felt as if it had turned to stone, and his eyes burned as he watched her. The fact that his every sense responded to her as though plugged into high-voltage electricity profoundly disturbed him. He exhaled, and she quickly turned around to face him, her golden eyes wide and alert to danger. She dropped the apple she had been eating and scanned the area.
So she does have the right instincts for a guard, after all. Can she sense what I want to do to her?

I like dangerous men. Not in real life, but in my imagination!

Why do you write paranormal romance?

As I mentioned before, I love romance novels that are darker, and I was huge Buffy the vampire slayer fan.

How did you start writing?

I always started writing stories, but I switched to other stories before I could finish them. Several years ago I went on a writing course in Turkey and the teacher encouraged me to actually finish the story. That was Erin’s story.

Do you listen to music while you write? 

Yes, I really like Evanescence and Within Temptation [Aly: I love Within Temptation!], but I also enjoy listening to Tori Amos and eighties music.

Did you always want to be an author? 

No, I always wrote, but I imagined myself becoming an actress one day.

Does your family read your books? 

My mom and sister read them, but they would prefer it if I wrote thrillers. They’re not a fan of the paranormal genre.

What did you read as a kid? 

When I was a fourteen year old, I discovered romance novels. My first book was Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsey. After that I was hooked!

Can you tell me some of your favorite authors?How about books? 

I love Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan and anything by Jayne Ann Krentz. Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound is one of my favorites. 

What are you currently working on? 

I just finished ‘Touched by Evil’ and want to start writing the story about Erin’s parents next. It’s a very dark story, but it’s calling out to me.

A few short answer questions:

Tea or coffee? 
Tea with a flavor.

Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains? 
I love the mountains, but I need the sea. 

Sweet or salty? 

Print or ebook? 

Movies or TV shows? 
TV shows. I seem to have less patience for movies now.

Touched by Fear (Erin Holland Series 0.5) - only available if you sign up to the newsletter

An obsessed doctor. A tormented shifter. To find freedom, she must embrace the voices in her head…

Erin Holland craves the drugs that quiet her mind. Years of isolation in a London mental hospital have kept the creatures inside her at bay. But when her incapacitated state leaves her vulnerable, a twisted doctor begins an experiment to unlock her dark potential…

As the callous man's tests become more and more invasive, Erin has no choice but to listen to the seductive voice of the scheming warlock within. Confronted with two evils, she must outwit both the ghost and the scientist to prevent the birth of a new terror.

Can Erin control her powers or will her efforts to survive wreak havoc upon the world?

Touched by Fear is a thrilling prequel story in the Erin Holland urban fantasy series. If you like dark magic, tormented heroes, and a touch of steamy romance, then you’ll love Nicole Leclercq’s supernatural tale.

Sign up to Nicole’s newsletter to listen to the voices today:

Touched by Madness (Erin Holland Series 1)

A possessed mortal. A powerful vampire. Some bargains can only be signed in blood…

Erin Holland has spent a lifetime with ghosts in her head. Desperate to silence the four supernatural voices twisting her mind, she searches her dark past for answers. But to free herself from mental torture, she’s forced to cross paths with a sexy vampire who may be the only reason she’s still alive...

Commanded to leave his territory under threat of death, Erin strikes a deal with her savior that binds them closer together. Unable to tell if the sultry Master of Hope Acres longs to taste her lips or drink her dry, she falls deeper into a shadowy mystery. A mystery that threatens to pull them both under. 

With enemies out for blood, Erin’s survival depends on once and for all embracing the powerful souls within.

Touched by Madness is the addictive first book in the Erin Holland urban fantasy series. If you like conflicted heroines, sexy vampires, and simmering chemistry, then you’ll love Nicole Leclercq’s haunting tale.

Touched by Darkness (Erin Holland Series 2)

She has incredible power and the immortal of her dreams. But will a bite of the truth take everything she loves away?

Erin Holland can now add vampire boyfriend to her long list of abnormalities. After years of balancing the ghostly voices in her head, she’s suddenly forced to handle a telepathic connection with the sexy Master Vampire of Hope Acres. So when her shift at the hospital brings in a transforming werewolf, it’s the latest mental message from her sweetheart that distracts her long enough for the patient’s teeth to pierce her skin…

Terrified that her next metamorphosis will be beyond her control, she keeps her secret and dreads the next full moon. But when a local pack can smell the wolf on her, she may have to choose between embracing a mate or falling prey to a sadistic tradition. And after her boyfriend’s rival calls her heart into question, Erin may not be able to trust her boyfriend or her own mind to save her this time.

Can Erin keep her freedom before paranormal forces tear her life apart?

Touched by Darkness is the second book in the thrilling Erin Holland urban fantasy series. If you like supernatural action, hunky alphas, and dark magic, then you’ll love Nicole Leclercq’s spine-tingling tale.

Touched by Evil (Erin Holland Series 3)

She's made peace with her ghosts. But will trusting the man who put them there get her killed?

Erin Holland hasn't seen her father since he tried to sacrifice her life. Comfortable with the spirits roaming around her mind, she wonders what happened to the man who made her. But when she's blackmailed into hunting her dad down, a violent family reunion might be the only thing that preserves her freedom…

Leaving her witch roommate and vampire ex-boyfriend behind, she embarks on her mission only to find herself locked in a cell with her murderous dad. As supernatural enemies circle to claim her for their own gain, Erin's only hope for escape could come from teaming with the blood relative by her side. As long as he doesn't choose to finish what he started…

Will Erin's final stand lay her and her ghosts to rest?

Touched by Evil is the riveting conclusion to the Erin Holland urban fantasy trilogy. If you like paranormal twists, steamy action, and kick-ass heroines, then you'll love Nicole Leclercq's nail-biting climax.

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