Jen: Merry Christmas! Today we turn the blog over to Nicole Hurley-Moore. Nicole, will you share a short bio with us?
Nicole: Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has traveled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving her BA Honors in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historic romance. She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi-rural town.
Jen: Please tell us a little about your newest release.
Nicole: Misrule’s Mistress is my Christmas themed novella. It’s a medieval tale which is set during the twelve days of Christmas. The feast of Misrule occurs on the last evening (eve of Epiphany) of the Christmas festivities. Misrule symbolizes a world turning upside down. On this day the King and all those who were high would become the peasants and vice versa. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean was eaten. The person who found the bean would rule the feast. Midnight signaled the end of his rule and the world would return to normal. The tradition dates back to pre-Christian European festivals however it was incorporated into the Christmas celebrations.
Lord Barric Cranley wants Lady Ellette for his wife but she has already refused once. He knows that Ellette loves him… it’s just she hasn’t realized it yet. With a little help, cunning and the Feast of Misrule, Barric plans to capture his bride and make it a Christmas she’ll never forget.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Ellette sat next to Barric, and tried several times to draw him into conversation. But each attempt was met with an answer before he turned his attention back to Arietta. Sighing, Ellette felt her heart become heavier with each passing moment. She had lost him, just when she was beginning to realize just how much she wanted Barric.
“Oh, I have never seen such a pretty thing,” Arietta exclaimed as she stared at the ring that Barric held before her.
“Aye, it is pretty. I had it made by a master goldsmith.”
Ellette’s head snapped up and she focused on the ring in the shape of a crown, the ring that Barric had offered her… her ring… or at least the ring that could have been hers.
“And who is the ring for?” Arietta asked as she plucked it from his hand and held it up to the candle. The light made the ring gleam softly, and Ellette had to stop herself reaching out and snatching back.
“For my bride,” Barric said.
Ellette willed him to look at her, but he did not.
“Then I would say not only would she be very fortunate to possess such a beautiful ring; she would be blessed to have you for a husband,” Arietta said as a slow smile spread across her lips. She held Barric’s gaze longer than she should, but as she looked away she glanced past him and sent Ellette a bold stare filled with determination. “Oh, look, it fits my hand… as if it had been made for me.”
Ellette fisted her hand under the table, her nails bit into her palm.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Nicole: I’m a plotter, to a point anyway. I like to have a loose outline to follow. Scenes and chapters may change but I like to have an idea where the story is going.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Nicole: Historical, romantic, fairytale.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Nicole: Well, I try and have a routine. I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time. Most days I usually start at 9.30 am and write through until about 4.00 pm. Sometimes I’ll write for a couple hours at night.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Nicole: I delved into Christmas traditions, medieval games and life for the nobility in a castle. I love history so the only problem was getting carried away and going off on tangents.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Nicole: As I write both medieval and Victorian era stories, I try and find names which were popular in that particular period.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Nicole: At the moment I’m writing the second installment in my Victorian era romance series. The first book, Dancing on Air was a class crossing romance set in the world of ballet. The second book continues the story and deals with a lord who can’t recognize love, even when it’s standing right in front of him. I’m also working on another medieval period fairytale.