Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Playing All The Angles by Nicole Lane (Author Interview / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Playing All The Angles by Author Nicole Lane!

Author Interview

Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Nicole!

Before we get to the interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself. 

Whenever I'm asked to talk about myself, I think I must be the most boring person in the world. I spend a lot of time in my head, creating characters and world-building, so there's not a lot of external activity to shout about. I'm a writer, I'm a wife, I'm a mom, and I do my level best to get a girls' night out once in a while! 

How long have you been a writer? 

I've been working as a technical writer since the mid 90s. I've been working as a novelist since the late 90s, but I didn't sell my first book until 2010. 

Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career? 

I do have a day job. I'm a banker by day. 

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer. 

I've just always written. I love stories and storytelling. I get excited about an idea, and I start writing. I probably have 30 unfinished novels floating around, and 15 completed ones that need revisions before I can start the submission process. 

Please give a brief description/storyline about Playing all the Angles. 

Playing All the Angles is an ode to all the dramatic romance novels I loved, growing up. Judith Krantz, Danielle Steel, and Jackie Collins were my favorite with their over-the-top drama and high stakes relationships. This is the story of Eve D'Amico, the wild, middle sister of three girls, and how she nearly ruins everyone else's life, just as she's figuring out how to pull herself together. It's as much a story about the love between sisters as it is a romance novel. 

What was the inspiration for this story? 

Just the glimmer of an idea, and the need to explain why Eve was the way she was, and why she made such terrible decisions. 

How did it feel to have your first book published? 

I was elated! Then I realized that meant my writing was going public, and would be out there for anyone to criticize. That's scary. But, I write to entertain myself as much as anything else, and we aren't all entertained by the same things, so I keep that in mind when reviews start coming in. 

Do you write books for a specific genre? 

I write all over the place, but I'd say all my work has relationships in common. I love exploring relationships--all kinds. 

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why? 

I read mostly non-fiction. I'm a huge fan of the memoir, and can't get enough of biographies. My absolute favorite books are Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean, Slummy Mummy, by Fiona Neill, and The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis because they have each touched me, inspired me, made me laugh, and made me want to be friends with the characters. 

Do you have a special "spot/area" where you like to do your writing? 

I do not. I have a day job, a child, and a husband, so I write in the spaces between. My bluetooth keyboard and my cell phone are my lifelines. 

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books? 

I could not tell you that to save my life. They just happen. 

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes? 

I'm strict with how many words I have to write per day. The book I just finished (which is in revisions for my publisher right now) was written early in the morning, on my lunch hours, and late at night. I wrote for several hours every weekend. Now that it's done, I am exhausted and probably won't feel the need to write a whole new book for six months, or so. 

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most? 

I struggle with a balance between exposition and dialog. I want to write my way around a room before coming to my characters, and a lot of people find that boring. I think I've gotten better at that, though. I do count how many lines I have of dialog, and how many lines of internal and external action, and see how they compare. Best? I like the really juicy turning points for the plot best. 

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing? 

My son and I write together. He'll write a story, and I'll illustrate it, or vice versa. I really have a lot of fun with my family. 

What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received? 

Trust your editor and your publishing house. They want the same thing you do--readers! They are there to help you polish your story for maximum audience enjoyment. 

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer? 

I love when someone tells me I nailed an emotion. That's hugely gratifying! 

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans? 

I have a blog, and I interact with anyone who is interested in saying hi. 

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination? 

Nothing in Playing All the Angles is based in real life, thank goodness! I'd be really, really angry if that was my life! Except for the designer clothes Eve gets to wear. 

What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer? 

I can honestly say every book I've ever read has had that influence on me. Sometimes because I think, "I could do better than this." Most of the time because I think, "One day, I hope I can achieve this." 

What is your definition of success as a writer? 

Finishing and polishing a manuscript to the point that it is ready to submit. Just creating the work is a huge thing. Of course you want someone to buy your book, you want people to love your book, but in order for any of that to happen, you have to actually do the work to finish a book. If you've done that, you've succeeded. 

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us? 

I am in revisions on a new book with my publisher, so I'm not allowed to share any of it right now. I can tell you that this was one of those books where I read bits of a very popular, very controversial, very recent book-turned-movie and thought, "I wonder if I could do that?" Definitely took me out of my comfort zone!

Nicole, thank you for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and sharing a bit about yourself and your writing career! 

About The Author

Nicole Lane is a graduate of the Danielle Steel and Judith Krantz school of romance. The grander the drama, the higher the stakes, the better! This balances out the fact that her everyday life with her little family in North Texas is extremely mundane and quite contented.

Author Website / Blog

Book Review

Playing All The Angles by Nicole Lane
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publication Date: June 8, 2014
Format: Paperback - 227 pages
               Kindle - 362 KB
               Nook - 272 KB
ISBN: 978-1623421137
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book: 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Dominic Phillips is an enjoyable distraction from fashion designer Eve D'Amico's loneliness, but there's never been anything more between them than hot sex. Since he desires no commitment from her either, it's pretty much the perfect arrangement...except for the fact that he's dating her sister Isabelle.

Eve's grown used to being the promiscuous black sheep of her family ever since an unplanned pregnancy at age fourteen, and Isabelle is the only one in the D'Amico clan who doesn't treat her like a second class citizen. Eve doesn't exactly revel in the idea of hurting her sister if the truth ever comes out.

Just when she starts hitting it off with the sexy new neighbor next door, her world is turned upside-down when Dominic reveals his plans to marry Isabelle. As if things weren't complicated enough, life decides to throw another surprise her way, and Eve is suddenly trapped with another secret to add to a much more shocking one from her past, both of which threaten to destroy every relationship she's ever hoped to have. She must soon decide whether to reveal the truth and save her sister from a man who's incapable of commitment, or to keep her lips sealed and secure her own place in the family. For now, though, she will dance around that decision for as long as she can, keeping everyone in check by Playing All the Angles.

Book Excerpt:

“Your sister is a right piece of work, you know that?” Dominic said, looking up from the paper to watch Isabelle at the stove as she made breakfast.

“Which one?”

“You know which. The one who hates me.”

Isabelle turned to look at him. “Eve doesn’t hate you.”

“She doesn’t much like me, either,” he said, folding the paper. “Of course, she’s not fond of her own family, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”

She frowned. “They’re too hard on her. She’s living her life the way she wants to. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“She’s living life to spite them, more like. Doing whatever she can to piss them off.”

“If she wanted to do that, she’d flirt with Doyle. That’s the one thing that would send Alora over the edge.”

“You think?” Dominic laughed. “I think her ignoring him sets Lora off. If she gave him attention, it would validate Alora’s taste, especially since she’s always on about what a slag Eve is. Ignoring Doyle makes Alora look like a fool.”

Isabelle put her hands on her hips. “You’ve thought a lot about this.”

“I’ve been watching, yeah.”

“She ignores you, too. I don’t feel any less validated.”

“Well, look at me. Then look at Doyle. Of course you feel validated.”

She snorted a laugh. “Is that what all this was leading up to? You want me to tell you how handsome and wonderful you are?”


“You don’t have to ask, you know. Didn’t I make it clear last night…and this morning?”

“Hmm, I dunno. It’s still a bit fuzzy. I think you might need another demonstration for it to really stick.”

She leaned over and kissed him. “After breakfast.”

“Now.” He pulled her over by the ties on her robe, then dug his hands into her hair as he kissed her. He had managed to get the robe off and had her on his lap when the smell of burning bacon interrupted, and Isabelle leaped away to move the frying pan from the stove. He followed, flicking off the burners before grabbing her and carrying her back into the bedroom.

From the bed, Isabelle watched their reflections in the mirror above the dresser as Dominic drove himself into her, his face buried in the curve of her neck. Her eyes traced the lines of his body from his muscular shoulders, down his back, to his thrusting hips, and she marveled that this man was in love with her.

A glint from the stone in her engagement ring caught her at­tention, and she slid her left hand down his bicep, watching the diamond solitaire glitter. Her hand looked so small on his arm. He was cut out of marble, tall and broad, making her long angles soft by comparison. Everything about him made her soft, she thought as she wound her arms and legs around him, pulling him closer, wanting more. She could never get enough of the feel of his skin, his body rocking against hers.

Dominic lifted his face to look into her eyes, tender and warm, before dropping his mouth to hers. For a few seconds, Isabelle lost track of everything but her building tension and the sound of her own breath. He made her feel things she hadn’t felt before. He made her forget there had ever been anyone else.

My Book Review:

Playing All The Angles is an entertaining contemporary romance story that follows the family drama and romance dilemmas between sisters Eve and Isabelle D'Amico and professional motorcross racer Dominic Phillips.

Author Nicole Lane weaves an intriguing tale set in London that easily draws the reader into the multi-layered lives of the three D'Amico sisters: Alora, Eve, and Isabelle. With a wonderful mixture of family drama and steamy romantic dilemmas, the reader can't help but follow the trials and tribulations in the sisters' lives. The reader will definitely find themselves swinging back and forth between which sister they will like or dislike, each of their lives are fascinating in their own way. This is definitely not your typical contemporary romance, it is a wonderful story about the love between sisters and all that it entails. It is a fast paced story that will simply keep you hooked until the surprising conclusion! 

Playing All The Angles is a fun contemporary romance story that has just the right mixture of humor, drama, and romance that will keep the reader thoroughly entertained!


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

April 13 - Hello Precious Bliss – Review
April 13 - Chick Lit Plus - Review
April 14 - FictionDreams – Q&A
April 15 - Booknosh – Q&A& Excerpt
April 16 - LiteraryMusings – Q&A & Excerpt
April 16 - Chick LitGoddess – Excerpt 
April 16 - Curling Up With a GoodBook – Q&A & Excerpt
April 17 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews- Review, Q&A & Excerpt
April 17 - Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock – Review
April 20 - Books Authors Blogs – Excerpt
April 20 - Novel Escapes – Q&A


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! I agree, thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.