Happy Release Day, Nicki Elson’s WHEN IT HOLDS YOU

New Release! 

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WHEN IT HOLDS YOU has been selected as a TOP PICK at The Romance Reviews!

“Nicki Elson has become my MUST read new contemporary romance author! The sex is hot, but the emphasis is on emotions in this book. They really are made for each other.”
~The Romance Reviews
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WHEN IT HOLDS YOU



Virtual. That’s where she was supposed to stay—only in my online gaming life. I never intended to meet up with her in person. And I certainly hadn’t counted on her being who she is.

Cliff Walsh has dozens of hot, smart, and willing paramours in his video games. Who needs to look further? The twenty-eight year old attorney is done getting his heart smashed by real-life women who fit his perfect-mate checklist. From now on, he vows to keep his romances digital-only…until a certain redheaded gamer twists all his preconceptions and touches a place in his heart he didn’t know existed.

I always thought I knew what love would look like, but sometimes you don’t recognize it until the moment when it holds you. ~Cliff

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU is a stand-alone novel in The It Series family.

Other titles in the series:
WHEN IT HOOKS YOU, a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews
WHEN IT HITS YOU, coming January 2017

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One Song to Rule Them All

Whenever Nicki has an author over at her place, she always asks the same question. So I thought it was only fair to turn the tables and make her answer it, too.

*ahem* Nicki, if you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of WHEN IT HOLDS YOU, what would it be and why?


Nicki: Why, what a fascinating question. I choose “Turn My Heart” by Nick Pitera. First, I love the song’s playful yet emotional energy. It’s what I hoped to capture in the telling of Cliff’s story. As Nick sings, it’s the story of a heart rewired—perfect for my boy Cliff, who had to sort of turn his heart off and re calibrate before opening up to true love.

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Excerpt from WHEN IT HOLDS YOU by Nicki Elson

When a knock sounded at the door, he grabbed the eye mask from the bathroom counter and switched off the light. In the main room, only a dim desk lamp was lit. The rest of the room was illuminated by the flickering of a dozen pillar candles set all around. With privacy curtains drawn tight over the mirror-like, black windows, he was reminded of Claire’s cozy hideaway.

Peeking through the peephole, he spied a woman wearing a black, lacy mask that covered her cheekbones and spanned to the top of her forehead. Her wavy, long hair was a deep, rich red, just like PlanetClaire’s.

Cliff pulled his simple mask over his eyes and opened the door. “Welcome to my lair,” he said, rolling a hand to gesture her in.

She licked her glossy, cherry-red lips and stepped inside. Cliff shut the door and turned fully toward her. A long, satiny cape was tied at her throat and hung around her, covering her body all the way down to just above the spiked heels of her boots.

“So you’re actually a redhead, huh?” Cliff asked.

“I am tonight.” She prowled closer and pressed against him, holding two fingers to his lips. The tips of her long purple fingernails tickled against the bottom of his nose. “I’d rather not talk.”

She gave the side of his neck a tentative lick and then touched kisses up his throat and over his face until her mouth was against his. She dropped her hands to run along the sides of his hips, caressing and groping.

His mind sped. His heart galloped. The cool confidence he’d mustered before her arrival evaporated. He wasn’t sure he could do this. He didn’t know this woman at all and now she was feasting on him. He’d much rather have talked with her for a little while before jumping right into it.

Channeling his inner alpha, he forced himself to return the kiss. He slid his hands over the slick fabric of her cape to the small of her back and pulled her close. She was significantly shorter than him, even in the spiked heels. Her body felt so soft against his. Her lips tasted like strawberries.

I can do this.

He did know this woman. It was Claire, the willful strategist with whom he’d been rampaging the kingdomside. He noticed that though she’d been aggressive in her advance, she kept the kiss to lips only, almost as if waiting for him to take it to the next level. He liked this small show of submission.

I can totally do this.

Bringing his hands to her face, gently stroking her jawline with his fingertips, he nudged her lips apart with his own and flicked his tongue to lick the tip of hers. She let out a soft moan, encouraging him to dive farther in. But he kept the kiss gentle, slow and lingering. The strawberry flavor of her lips mixed with vanilla and something headier on her breath. It seemed Claire had also been drinking before their encounter. Smooth brass horns hummed a melody in the background in time with his kiss. The mildly spiced scent of teakwood from the candles enveloped them.

Violating her request for no talking, Cliff slid his tongue from her mouth and rested his lips against hers, whispering, “It’s nice to meet you, PlanetClaire.”

She breathed out a small laugh and pressed a kiss against his mouth before stepping back. Her shimmery fingertips worked at her throat, untying the cape. She shrugged it over her shoulders and let it slither to the floor, like a seductive snake shedding her skin.

Cliff didn’t know what character she was portraying, but whoever she was, she was a shapely, alluring sex goddess in a black-and-silver corset with a short tulle skirt flaring to barely cover her wide hips. Except for the silver detailing on her corset, she was all in black and far more curvaceous than the video-game version of Claire. Precious few inches of her supple thighs showed above the long stockings that rose from her tall boots.

Oh, hell yeah, I can do this.

~.~.~

Nicki Elson writes spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center. She does other stuff, too…like obsess over Survivor and The Bachelor (and she’s not ashamed to admit it).

Writing fiction wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves creative writing into her life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.


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Only 99 cents until October 26
Free to read in #KindleUnlimited

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Nicki Elson’s WHEN IT HOLDS YOU Cover Reveal!

3d62eb5e-7ecb-4335-bca8-fa36e0dec5a1Coming October 2016

Nicki Elson’s When It Hooked You fans are excited Cliff gets his story in When It Holds You! This beautiful cover was designed by Coreen Montagna. I think it is spectacular!

Virtual. That’s where she was supposed to stay—only in my online gaming life. I never intended to meet up with her in person. And I certainly hadn’t counted on her being who she is.

Cliff Walsh has dozens of hot, smart, and willing paramours in his video games. Who needs to look further? The twenty-eight year old attorney is done getting his heart smashed by real-life women who fit his perfect-mate checklist. From now on, he vows to keep his romances digital-only…until a certain redheaded gamer twists all his preconceptions and touches a place in his heart he didn’t know existed

I always thought I knew what love would look like, but sometimes you don’t recognize it until the moment when it holds you. ~Cliff

Be sure to add it to your  GOODREADS TO BE READ LIST
If you haven’t read  WHEN IT HOOKS YOU , do so now and you’ll get a sneak peak at Chapter 1 of When it Holds You!
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A Walk Further into the Woods with Hans & Greta #ComedyBookWeek.

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Welcome to #ComedyBookWeek, an annual, online celebration of humor in writing. Today I’m hosting one of my favorite authors, Nicki Elson, and her twisted fairy tale, HANS & GRETA. Yesterday at Feather Stone’s Romance Under Fire blog, Nicki took you by the hand and lead you into the forest with Hans and Liesel (bet ya thought I was gonna say Greta, huh?). Today she pulls you further in—if you dare…


Excerpt from HANS & GRETA by Nicki Elson

“Liesel! Darling!” Hans called into the trees a full hour later. He’d lagged too far behind and had caught nary a sign of her.

“It actually sounds as if you care.” Her sardonic voice had come from above.

Snapping his gaze skyward, he peered through the murky night and saw her perched on a high branch. “How in the hell did you get all the way up there?”

“I’m not sure, actually. Adrenalin, I guess.” She scanned the ground.

“You have no idea how to get down, do you?”

“It’s not that far. If you just stand right there.” She pointed directly below the tree.

“And catch you? I appreciate your confidence in my brute strength, but no matter how narrow your waistline, you’re not exactly a tiny little kitty ca—” His sentence was cut short by his own scream when the spiky tip of her high heel caught him in the forehead.

“What’s wrong, sweetums?” Liesel cooed with false innocence. “I was only trying to make myself lighter. Ready for the other one?”

He scowled at the threat but recollected himself. “For your own safety, I suppose you better drop it—gently—to the ground. Then you can use your feet for traction on the trunk. I’ll stand just underneath in case you slip.”

“My hero,” she drawled. Swinging her legs over the branch and around the trunk, she slowly inched her way down.

Hans stood dutifully below, holding his arms at the ready. When she was still several feet from the ground, a loud crack of snapping wood echoed through the forest, and she dropped onto him. The force knocked him off balance and they toppled to the ground in an awkward heap, his back slamming into the unyielding forest floor.

Liesel erupted with hysterical laughter while he held still, attempting to assess the impact of the fall on his spine. She spun around on top of him and kissed the tip of his nose. “That’s what you get for being such a wretched tease.” Sitting with her rump firmly planted on his chest, she opened her mouth wide in a yawn. “Enough fun for the night. Take me home.”

Determining that a few bruises were the extent of the damage, Hans slid his hands under his girlfriend and gently scootched her bottom to the forest floor. “About that,” he said, rising to stand and peering into the black night. “You took me on so many twists and turns, I have no idea where we are, and without the sun, I have no way to determine direction.”

“What are you saying?” Liesel asked. Any hint of mirth had drained from her voice. “Tell me you’re not suggesting we sleep here!”

“Do you have any other ideas?”

“How about we head back the way we came?” Picking up her shoes, she stepped off in a direction Hans was pretty sure was incorrect, but since he really had no idea, he followed her lead. Walking all night would at least be better than fighting off her advances until dawn.

Walk all night they did, with Liesel bitching through much of it while Hans bit his tongue. As the night drew on, she quieted, exhausted, and agreed to take a break. Hans sat with his back against a thick tree trunk and guided her to curl into his chest with his arms wrapped around her for a blanket. She fell asleep immediately and he soon followed. When they awoke, pale pink light showed through the branches. Hans noticed that the forest was much brighter just ahead, so he helped Liesel to her feet and grasped her hand, leading her to an illuminated clearing.

“How utterly charming,” she murmured in a voice that sounded like it was still dreaming.

Hans couldn’t disagree. Before them lay a hilly expanse carpeted with bright green grass. Butterflies dipped and scurried among the patches of blooms randomly scattered about, and even the fat bumblebees looked friendly. A small chicken coop stood aside a flourishing garden in one corner of the yard, and a darling cottage was plopped in the center of the meadow. Everything about the house was delightful, from its thatched roof to the cobblestone path leading up to it.

Liesel ambled forward. “I’d swear it’s made of gingerbread.”

hans-greta-promopic

HANS & GRETA is available at Amazon

Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, and only .99 to purchase!

Learn more about Nicki’s books at nickielson.com

Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of HANS & GRETA!

Release Day, When It Hooks You by Nicki Elson!

I am excited beyond words to have Nicki Elson stop by to discuss a subject dear to my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love bad boys. I fell for one hard the night I met him. With his motorcycle, long hair, and ability to bench press like a competition weight-lifter, he was my Dad’s worst nightmare. But as  I got to know my future husband, I realized t he was a truly great guy. And a NICE guy. While he still doesn’t put up with BS, he’s loving, kind and funny. In other words, a keeper! So… I’m very excited about Nicki Elson’s new book, WHEN IT HOOKS YOU. Take it away, Nicki!

Crimes against Romance

Thanks for having me over, Nancee, to share a bit about my new release. WHEN IT HOOKS YOU. You’re so wonderfully supportive, and I’m grateful we met during our adventures in publishing.

I love to write love stories, but sometimes I feel like I’m breaking “the rules” of romance. Like, isn’t the romance supposed to be introduced in the first chapter? Is it okay to make readers wait until, say, the fourth chapter to meet the male lead? Y’see, my girl Trish has some whacked out rules for dating, and I want you to be able to arrive at those rules along with her. After that, we’ve got to have a little bit of fun watching her struggle to implement them, am I right?

I also know romance readers love ‘em some alpha male—but is there room in their hearts for a beta? A man doesn’t have to be a brute to be strong. And isn’t there something kinda cute about a shy guy? One who’s not afraid to let the lady take the reins?

Since Nancee has so sweetly opened her blog door to me, I won’t make you wait to meet my beta guy. Here’s an excerpt from his first encounter with Trish.

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Links:

WHEN IT HOOKS YOU at Amazon

Nicki’s Website – Spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center

 

Excerpt from Chapter 4 – WHEN IT HOOKS YOU

As Trish approached the hand dryer in the office bathroom, she heard the faint tones of “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” floating in from the lobby. She’d left her phone at her desk and now rushed to answer before the song stopped playing. It was her new ringtone for Lyssa.

“Hey,” she said, somewhat breathless.

“Hi. Sorry. Hope it’s okay to call. This was too complex for text.”

Trish flicked her eyes around the reception area and saw she was alone. “Now’s fine as long as you’re fast. I’m expecting a client at any moment.”

“Great. I’m packing my entire life and getting rid of what I can. A truck from the church rummage sale is stopping by at six to collect donations. Before I give it all to them, I was wondering if you’d want…” She went on to list various pieces of small furniture and accessories, only a few of which Trish said she’d take.

They got through the list quickly, and the client still hadn’t arrived, so Trish figured it was safe to chat until the elevator dinged. “I’ve cracked the code on my guy troubles.” She’d kept Lyssa apprised of her latest revirgination disasters. “I don’t tell the guy anything. He doesn’t need to know I’ve set a three-date maximum. We go out one, two, or three times, and if he tries to get in touch after the third, I blow him off. Easy peasy. This way we don’t waste any valuable date time haggling over my neuroses.”

“Plus you’ll leave the door open for a fourth date if he’s worth it.”

“No, no, no! Absolutely no more fourth dates for me.”

“Have you cracked the code on the sex thing?”

“I’m still not planning to sleep with any of them, if that’s what you mean. But I did crack the seal on a new toy from The Pleasure Chest last night. It has this add-on that gets right up in—” She halted when a noise sounded from behind the tall bush between her desk and the elevator. When she continued, her voice took on a warning tone. “I’ve gotta go. Unless the plant in my office has grown a throat and just cleared it, I’ve got an eavesdropper.”

From behind the highest frond, a man’s head emerged. His dark blond hair was straight and mostly swept back from his elegant, handsome face. As he leaned forward, a stray wisp fell over his forehead. Trish didn’t recognize his long, angular features. She guessed him to be in his mid-thirties at the oldest and noted a touch of suntan to his mid-tone complexion. His tall, lean form moved around the plant with his arms bent and hands half raised in surrender.

“Talk to you later.” Trish clicked off the phone, keeping her gaze locked on the new arrival.

“I’m sorry. It’s my first time in the Chicago office.” The boldness of his rich, plummy voice was surprising against his abashed demeanor. “When I saw the reception area was vacant, I went back to the elevator to make sure I had the right floor. You surprised me with the phone. I heard you say you’d be quick, so rather than interrupt, I intended to wait until you finished. Then…”

His eyes darted away and Trish’s face warmed at remembering exactly when he’d cut her off. She’d initially assumed the throat-clearing had come from Levi or one of the building maintenance guys she often joked with. That would’ve been something to laugh at. Talking about shoving things into her naughty bits in front of a client she’d never met before, however, was nothing short of mortifying.

She pulled on the most self-assured expression she could muster. “I’ll let them know you’re here.” Pressing the line of Michael Gutierrez, one of the partners, she announced. “Mr. Helms has arrived.” After getting instructions and hanging up, she forced herself to look the client straight in the eye. “Someone will be here to bring you back in a few minutes. Please have a seat while you wait.” She gestured toward the couches by the window. “Can I get you something to drink? Water or coffee?”

“No, thank you.” He stayed where he was, not making a move toward the couches. His gaze fixed on her desktop. By the way the fingertips of one of his hands tapped against his thumb, she gathered he had something more to say to her.

She preempted him. “I’m sorry for what you overheard. It was unprofessional of me to have a conversation like that at the office. It won’t happen again, Mr. Helms.”

He lifted his eyes and she saw they were a light golden color with touches of green—or was that the hue of his suit reflected off them?

“I’m the only one who need apologize,” he said. “I should’ve made my presence known sooner. I’m sorry to have caused you embarrassment.”

She arched an eyebrow. “So you’re not going to rat me out to my bosses?”

His lips twitched into a small smile. “It stays between you, me, and whoever was on the other side of the phone.”

She smiled in response, inciting his grin to grow larger. She wasn’t sure if it was because of her relief or the sudden warmth of his expression, but she felt drawn to the alluring man in front of her. There was something old school about his slimness and height, his crisp suit, and the formal way he talked. Yet the wisp of hair that he hadn’t yet smoothed back revealed an impish, less polished side to him.

“Please, call me Adam,” he said.

“I’m Trish Cerise.” She stood and reached across her desk. It wasn’t until he took her hand that she remembered her rush to answer the phone. Swiftly pulling back, she explained, “My hands aren’t usually this damp. I hadn’t finished in the bathroom. Oh! Not like that. I meant I hadn’t finished washing my hands. No! I’d finished washing, just not drying them and…” She sank into her chair and fisted her offending hand in her lap. “I’m going to stop making words come out of my mouth now.”

“And deny me the best entertainment I’ve had in weeks?”

She laughed, caught in Adam’s amused gaze. She realized now that it was the intensity behind his eyes that pulled her in, making her more intrigued by him than their brief conversation should warrant.

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