Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.
So I was lucky enough to interview Nichole today, so here ya go!
1- When did you begin writing? Why did you decide to become a writer?I wrote my first story when I was six. My grandmother kept it and gave it back to me a few years ago. I’m not sure that I ever ‘decided’ to become a writer. In fact, I would say that I unconsciously fought the idea. Like many others, I thought it would be a fruitless dream. When I realized that I could publish a book myself and let the readers decide if it was any good, I closed my eyes and jumped in with two feet. I gave myself a year to finish (I’d been writing off and on for years) and publish my first novel. Somehow, my wildest dream came true—I had a published book AND it was selling. I couldn’t believe it, but I’ve never looked back.2- I LOVED Suddenly Royal, so I am curious as to what your inspiration was for the book?Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed Suddenly Royal. Really, Samantha and Alex were the inspiration for the story. I’ve always been interested in things to do with royalty. Someone once said that all little girls want to be a princess—and I think that’s true to an extent. It would be pretty cool in some ways, right? But it got me thinking. What’s the down side of being a princess or prince? For me, privacy would be a big issue. As neat as it would be to have tiaras and to get to dress up, I’d hate being in the spotlight all of the time. Thus, Sam was born. A woman that liked being outside, wearing work boots, and working with animals—a woman that would despise the thought of tea parties and cameras following her every move. Then I had to know what would force her into that type of lifestyle, what (or who) could inspire her to take up a life where she was no longer doing what she loved. This book is a love story, but it’s also the story of Samantha finding herself in the new role that’s been forced on her.3- What books or authors have influenced you the most in life?Anne McCaffery is a scifi author that changed the industry. She wrote some of the first scifi/ fantasy novels that featured women as main characters. McCaffery had a way of drawing you into a story and inspiring emotion in the reader. I cried over characters that died in her books, laughed at funny parts, and fell in love with the heros and heroines. I hope I’m half the author she was.JK Rowling, of course, is a huge inspiration. Years later, I’m still in awe at the way she managed to interweave important parts of the series throughout her books. Things that we read in passing turned out to be such huge things in the last book. The ‘ah-ha’ moments in the Harry Potter series were breathtaking. (I know I sound cheesy, but I swear I felt that way.) That moment when you’re reading and you sit up a little straighter and your heart beats a little faster, because you’ve just discovered another piece of the puzzle—I hope I can do that for readers too.4- What was the hardest part in writing Suddenly Royal?Every book I’ve written has had different challenges. Suddenly Royal was no different. In the story, Samantha’s father is ill, which was difficult to write for me. My father suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and while it’s not cancer, I can relate to some of the things she went through. It helped me understand her decisions and reasoning.I also did a lot of research about royal families—their day to day routines, lifestyle, and challenges. I actually felt sad for Samantha when I realized how much her life was going to change, but I hope that translated into the story.5- How do you begin to organize your writing process when you are starting a new project?I often have random ideas that write down in notebooks or type into my phone notepad. These ideas often percolate for a while, developing in the background on my mind, until I can’t ignore them anymore. Music often inspires scenes or characters—and while I outline stories, I often find that I’m happier when I let my muse have some stretching room and do what she does best. (Wreck havoc on my carefully laid plans.)6- Are any of your character's traits similar to you or to people you know?My sister is a currently working on her doctorate in wild life biology, with a specialization in birds. She provided a great resource while writing this book and even helped with Sam’s responses to the swarm of people in her classes. While no character I’ve written is 100% me, or anyone else I know, I would say that there is a good deal of my personality in Samantha—especially her desire to be outside or to have quiet time.7- What advice would you give to inspiring writers?Keep track of every idea you have and never stop writing. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself and write the stories that you love.This or That:1- Peeta or Gale?I’ve only read the first book, so I’m going with Peeta. He would have died for Katniss.2- Ron or Harry?Harry. But, dang, I love me some Ron. Who wouldn’t want to be a Weasley?3- Physical book or e-copy?I love having my favorite books in paperback and have been known to buy physical copies of books that I have in e-copy.4- Pen and paper or computer?Mostly computer—but if I’m stuck, switching to pen and paper often helps.5- Prince William or Prince Harry?Toughie! William.6- Beach or mountains?Mountains. No. Beach. No. Mountains! Beach! Can’t I divide my year between the two? Please?7- Cookies or brownies?Brownies. Delicious, gooey, brownies. With a big glass of milk. Yum!Thank you for reading Suddenly Royal and for having me on your blog! I’m so glad that you enjoyed Sam and Alex’s story.
Also, here's my review!
A review copy was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I am a gigantic fan of the Princess Diaries, and that is what I was reminded of while reading the synopsis. I was immediately hooked and knew I had to have it, and I was so luck to get on the blog tour. I was definitely not disappointed by this amazing book. It had everything I love: a strong girl, sexy man, and a swoony romance!
Samantha’s life is thoroughly uprooted when she learns that she is an heir to an estate in a foreign country, which comes with a whole new set of responsibilities and problems. As if learning this is not enough, she has an instant connection to the crown prince of Lilaria. With her father really sick, can she really leave him to go to Lilaria? And if she succumbs to Alex’s charm, could she really run a country?
Samantha really was a wonderful heroine. She is just a regular girl trying to get through graduate school and life itself. She’s the most down to earth girl, and even inheriting a huge estate and a lot of money did not change that. She never cared about titles and whatnot and wanted to see people for who they are despite their title. She always thought of what was best for her ailing father. She is also very feisty and never backs down and always speaks her mind.
Alex, also known as Prince Yummy, was so amazing. He’s so caring and sweet, but he also has his bad boy ways. He excels in chivalry, flirtation, adorableness, and protectiveness. Basically a perfect man. AND he has a sexy accent. I swoon hard over Alex. I love how he treats his family and Sam.
Jess, Sam’s best friend, was so freaking hilarious. She was the one who originally dubbed Alex Prince Yummy. I loved every scene she was in. Chadwick, Sam’s personal assistant, was such a great friend. I hated what Sam’s dad was going through but he was so supportive of Sam. What an awesome dad. Cathy, Alex’s sister was one of my favorite characters. I’m so stoked she’s getting her own book! Woohoo!
I completely adored the plot. It’s kinda every girls dream to find out they are royalty, so I just had the best time reading the story. I appreciated everything about the story and the plotline. It was just great. I loved being in Sam’s head, and it was so interesting to hear her inner dialogue of the conflicts of all the decisions she has to make. I felt for her, but she made all the right decisions. Now for the romance. Alex and Sam are clearly attracted to each other right from the start, but it progresses wonderfully. It was not rushed at all, and I loved when Sam let go of all her reservations about being with a prince. I mean, he’s a prince. I’d have no reservations. :)
This NA book is seriously top-notch. I literally can’t find anything bad about it. Well done Mrs. Chase. Well done.
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: One of his hands moved to cup my cheek, tilting my face upward. Our eyes stayed locked until his warm lips touched mine. It started out slow and tender, our breaths mingling while we touched with feather light brushes. I was putty in his hands, my body no longer under my command. I ran my hands over his chest, tracing the muscles I had caught hints of through his shirt. Eventually I tangled my fingers in his hair.