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.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Unravelled In New York by Suzanne Nicole (Author Interview / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Unravelled In New York by author Suzanne Nicole!

Author interview

Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Suzanne!

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

I am a graduate from IMEB (Aus) and a member of Romance Writers, Australia, I’m also a qualified and registered dance and drama teacher. When I’m not bombarding family and friends with story ideas I love to be curled up with a good book. I love romantic stories, angsty reads and dark-haired heroes. I live in Sydney, Australia with my husband and three gorgeous boys.

How long have you been a writer? 

Unravelled in New York is my first book, although in one form or another I’ve been writing for a while.

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

I’m also a dancing teacher and a mum to three boys. I try and set time aside to write each week.

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

I’ve always been inspired to write and love making up stories. My mum is also my inspiration – she is an author of three published books for children as well as a playwright. When I was at school I used to write stories for my girlfriends for fun. Coinciding with the writing of Unravelled in New York I also took two writing courses, which I really enjoyed.

Please give a brief description/storyline about Unravelled in New York

Unravelled in New York is the story of Charli Cooper a young journalist who moves to New York from Australia looking for a fresh start. She meets businessman Jack Manning, who is not interested in anything but advancing his own self-interest. They don’t get off to the best start and Charli senses there may be more to Jack Manning than he lets on. As she begins to unlock the truth about him, she realizes she might just find the front-page story she’s been looking for leaving her with a difficult choice between her ambition and her heart. There are plenty of turns and twists throughout but of course I can’t give away the ending.

What was the inspiration for this story? 

My sister gave me the inspiration when she rang me after a business lunch she had been on and quite literally her description of the lunch triggered the idea for Unravelled in New York. She is a journalist so I was able to do some first hand research. I had originally been playing around with another idea which was an historical romance based on the life of my great, great grandmother.

How did it feel to have your first book published? 

I was really nervous and excited at the same time. At one point I woke up at 3.00 am in the morning and thought “What am I doing? Am I crazy putting my story out there for other people to read?”

Do you write books for a specific genre? 

Contemporary romance / Chick-lit because this is my favourite genre to read.

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

I love to read contemporary romance, although I’m also very partial to a good historical romance and I like some paranormal / time-travel, but generally if it has a good romance then I will read it.

Some of my favourite books? Hmm there are so many … I guess my favourite books tend to be books I have read and re-read … so recently I have re-read Below Unforgiven by Kimberley Stedronsky (Adams), I loved the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldron (I read the first four books, three times back to back) and classics like North and South Elizabeth Gaskell and my all time favourite would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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

I love to write in bed either early in the morning or late at night when the house is really peaceful.

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

When I’m going to sleep I think about the next development of the story and also when I’m doing mundane tasks like housework or driving the car.

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

So far when inspiration strikes … although sometimes inspiration doesn’t chose the best times … like when I’m really busy doing something else and I suddenly come up with an idea – I’ve literally got to drop everything and find a pen and piece of paper. Last week I had my son type my idea down as I was driving the car dictating to him - it was quite funny!

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

I really love dialogue between characters. Some times I struggle with description because I want to race ahead to the next part of the story.

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


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

Keep at it and don’t give up.

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

For someone to tell me they have enjoyed the story. During the writing process you have to be able to accept criticism to improve the MS – so I think to have some one enjoy it after all the hard work is really gratifying and a big thrill as well.

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans? 

I have a Facebook page and also a Goodreads page.

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

Well there are a few real life experiences in there … when I was in New York my sister and I did get in a cab where the cabbie drove five metres before telling us it was quicker if we walked, we had no clue where we were going and nervously wrote down his instructions. We had been in New York less than 24 hours and were running late – it was quite funny actually. I am also a little bit of a nervous flyer.

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

There are so many writers that I’m inspired by, everyday I read I’m inspired.

What is your definition of success as a writer? 

I think to write a book that someone enjoys is the ultimate high as a writer and maybe that is also a definition of success as well.

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

Sure, I’m working on a new story set in Australia, this time I’m going with a role reversal and bringing an American out here … I will say he is not too happy about moving but I hope he gets use to it.

Thank you Suzanne for stopping by and sharing with us a bit about yourself and your writing career! 

About The Author

With a passion for reading and writing Suzanne Nicole has been creating stories all her life through both her writing and dance teaching. Suzanne is a graduate from IMEB (Aus) and is a member of Romance Writers, Australia, she is also a qualified and registered dance and drama teacher. When she is not bombarding family and friends with story ideas she can be found in front of a class of students teaching dance or curled up with a good book. She loves romantic stories, angsty reads and dark-haired heroes. She also loves travelling, her recent highlights have been her trips to Los Angeles, New York and Boston and she dreams about going back there soon. Suzanne lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three gorgeous boys.


Book Review

Unravelled In New York by Suzanne Nicole
Publisher: Independent Self Publisher
Publication Date: July 4, 2015
Format: eBook - 261 pages
               Kindle - 1285 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:
On sale for $.99 during the virtual book tour!

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

Book Description:

Sydney journalist Charli Cooper is making major changes in her life. She has no idea what destiny has in store for her as she moves half way around the world for a fresh start.

Jack Manning is everything Charli shouldn't want. He is arrogant, cocky and use to getting what he wants. He has no time to deal with an inexperienced journalist who has no idea of the New York social hierarchy.

As she unlocks the truth about Manning and his empire, she realises all is not as it seems and if she digs deep enough, she might just find the story she has been looking for. She has to make a decision between her ambition and her heart.

Will the secrets they both hold cause their delicately poised relationship to crumble?

Can one mistake unravel their lives?

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 4

“Mr. Manning, Charli Cooper, New York Herald. I would like to ask you a few questions.” I hold out my hand confidently to shake his, hoping he doesn’t notice my slightly shallow breathing and trembling hands.
“So,” he says, taking my hand and slowly raking his gaze obnoxiously down my body. He seems so much taller and broader than I remember and I suddenly feel small and out of place. “Marla sends the international office junior to ask me a ‘few questions’ after the allotted time for interviews is over. An unusual move by Marla, I must say.” His voice is rich and strong. I’m momentarily paralysed by his statement and have to quickly gather myself. Set times for interviews? I mentally search for something that I’ve missed. I shuffle my papers nervously and watch in horror as they lazily flutter to the ground between us.
“Excuse me?” I say. I bend down quickly to retrieve my papers and take a moment to gather myself.
He pointedly looks at his big, ridiculously expensive watch, then at his phone, and finally lifts his eyes back to mine with a maddening smirk. “I’m sorry, Miss…Cooper, was it?” I give a small nod. “I’m sorry but had you read your brief properly you would have seen that interview times are finished for the evening.” He points to a tiny line at the end of the programme I’m holding. “Why don’t you call during business hours and see if a more appropriate time can be arranged.” And with that, he turns his back on me and saunters over to a tall flaxen-haired beauty. I’m left standing alone with my papers, mouth agape, mortified. I turn when I realise Pete has stepped in behind me.
“Pete, did that just happen?” I feel the familiar tightening around my ribcage. “It would have only taken him a few minutes. What’s his problem?”
“Yeah, sorry, I only caught the end of it.”
I want the floor to open up and swallow me. Embarrassment crawls its ugly red stain up my chest and onto my face. I fumble through my notes again, peeved when I see other guests still giving interviews.
“What’d I tell you, asshole, right? Don’t worry kid, leave it with me, we’ll get something before the night is out.”
I quietly slink back to the press corner to lick my wounds and pull myself together. Tears threaten but I will not cry. Arrogant bastard. I busy myself checking through the notes I’ve already made. I’m grateful to Pete who introduces me to associates from other papers before he moves away to take more shots. Wrapped up in my foggy brain, I excuse myself and drift across the gallery looking for the restroom and a chance to escape when his resonant voice accosts me from behind.
“You gave up very easily, Miss Cooper. I was led to believe you would be more tenacious.”
“Pardon?” I turn and see his ocean-blue eyes staring at me through his dark thick lashes. Why does his mere presence rattle me? My mouth loses all moisture and I swallow nervously. The worst thing is, I sense he knows the effect he has on me and he’s enjoying it.
“Well, Miss International Roving Reporter, you can’t work in this city if you can’t secure a story. If you don’t mind me saying so, you seem a bit out of your depth, sweetheart. Next time, I suggest you get your priorities right.” He puts his hands into his pockets.
Okay, so this guy is a patronising jerk. Did he really just say ‘sweetheart’? Who the hell does he think he is?
“I have to say that in the time you’ve stood there reprimanding me, I could have completed the whole interview and we could’ve moved on. But I’m guessing this is some sort of revenge for the other night, am I right, Mr. Manning? It’s not very professional.”
“Professional? A professional would know what order to run the interviews in, Miss Cooper. A professional would have read all the details about the evening. And the other night?” He raises his eyebrow and arrogantly leans against the wall. “Do tell? Sounds like a good story.”
“The other night when you…when you…ran into me.” I glare up at him and he purses his lips, deep in thought, then lets out a hearty laugh.
“Ah that. I remember it very differently, Miss Cooper. I remember it as a young lady too busy flirting with a barman to notice where she was going,” he says with a wink, enjoying antagonising me. “You are amusing, Charlotte, I will give you that.”
I search my brain for a witty retort, which I’m usually so good at, but come up empty. The silence spills out between us, before I finally find my voice. “Charli, it’s Charli Cooper, Mr. err…” I fidget with my notes on the pretence of searching for his name, scanning the list slowly. “Mr. Grainger-Smythe?” I blame jet-lag or a long day for my momentary lack of judgement.
“Very amusing,” he says, “I am looking forward to seeing what you can salvage from tonight’s debacle.” He looks down at his watch again, making ready to move on.
“Please don’t concern yourself over my story, I have plenty of quotes. Some more interesting than others.” I smile sweetly up at him, while inside my blood is boiling. He walks away in his big shiny shoes with his hands in his pockets, and I can see his shoulders moving. Is he laughing at me? He turns around and looks back at me over his shoulder, then saunters back towards me. I crane my neck to look up at him.
“It’s Manning, as you know full well. And I assume you do know I am the major sponsor tonight, Miss Cooper? So write what you will, I’ll look forward to reading it.” He lifts his eyebrows, daring me to challenge him before walking away again.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Unravelled in New York, author Suzanne Nicole weaves an entertaining chick lit tale with an intriguing mystery twist.

The reader follows the journey of Aussie journalist Charli Cooper as she leaves Sydney after a heartbreak for a new start in New York City. Told in the first person narrative, Charli takes the readers along for the ride as she embarks on a new adventure in New York City as a society page journalist for the New York Herald. With her best friend Mia Benson as her support system, Mia is ready for a new start in the city that never sleeps, but she doesn't expect the challenge that she faces when she meets Jack Manning, the arrogant and wealthy heir to a property development company. Jack is all about advancing his own self-interests, but there are family secrets he wants to keep hidden. As Charli's interest in Jack grows, she begins to investigate the mystery behind the Manning family, and a dilemma arises when she has to choose between her ambition and her heart!

Unravelled In New York was such a fun read, the author easily draws the reader into the story with its wonderful mixture of drama, humor, romance, and mystery. I love a story that features a sassy woman and alpha male, and the author doesn't disappoint the readers with Charli and Jack. I loved following the development of their relationship from its rocky start to the spark that ignited their romantic chemistry. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed their witty banter intertwined with the mystery twists behind Jack's family's secrets, it easily kept me captivated and turning the pages.

With an engaging cast of characters, a richly vivid description of the sights and sounds of New York City, and a smooth flowing romantic storyline with an interesting mystery, Unravelled In New York is an enjoyable chick lit tale that will keep the reader thoroughly entertained and wanting more!


Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 13 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt
October 14 – CDyess Writes – Excerpt
October 15 – Charline Ratcliff – Q&A
October 15 – Caroline Fardig – Q&A
October 16 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
October 19 – Hey Said Renee – Review & Q&A
October 20 – Change the Word – Q&A 
October 20 – myhomemadelibrary – Review & Excerpt 
October 21 – I Love My Authors – Excerpt
October 21 – Hello Chick Lit – Q&A & Excerpt
October 22 – The Book Sirens – Excerpt
October 23 – Love For Books and Java – Review
October 26 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
October 26 – Polished and Bubbly – Review & Q&A 
October 27 – Texas Book-a-Holic – Review 
October 29 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
October 30- Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

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