Saturday, June 10, 2017

Confessions of a Home Decor Junkie

I admit it: I'm a decorating fanatic. One look at my Pinterest page ought to confirm that, in case there were any doubts. Today, I had the pleasure of a look inside Inspired, a vintage home design shop located in Liverpool, New York. This refurbished barn is chock full of goodies that echo a simpler time. I'm thrilled to see a local business not only thriving, but doing so while using and improving an existing property (and a barn, at that! Swoon.).

Owner Judi Burrows became the helm of Inspired through a gradual karma of her childhood years learning sewing and frugality, through art classes in high school, a degree in fashion and retail, and then work with a builder and designer in Central New York's Parade of Homes. Four years ago, she and her husband purchased the property that would become Inspired, lovingly restoring and updating it to the shop that stands there today. (Look at the restoration of those ceiling beams!) The overall effect is like walking into a magazine I would love to read.

If you find yourself in Liverpool (after a tasty treat at Wegmans, just across the road), and you love vintage home decor as much as I do, take a look inside this store. I nearly came home with that typewriter sign, myself. Happy hunting! 💖

Monday, June 05, 2017

Exciting News: Contracts Signed for Audiobooks!

Hey, Gang! I'm super-excited to announce that I've signed contracts to offer all of my current releases as audiobooks! My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has just begun offering this option for its authors, and many of us have decided to take the leap.

What does this mean for you?

Audiobook recording is a waiting game. I have signed the contracts, but that doesn't guarantee audiobook releases anytime soon (or at all). It simply means that I have signed over the rights to this format, and my publisher will put out a call for narrators for each book. If one of my books is picked up, we then decide on the narrator, and the book will go to audio. I really, really hope they get picked up. Audiobooks would almost be as cool as having them turned into movies! 😄

What's so great about audiobooks?

If you've ever been on a long trip, you already know how great they are! An audiobook provides hours of entertainment, and playing an audiobook through your car stereo is terrific on those long vacation rides. My family travels a fair bit in the summer, and we've listened to some new authors this way. There are audiobooks for every fan of stories, so you're sure to find one you like. (And if you, like me, are a fan of your local library, Overdrive offers audiobooks as well as e-format books and periodicals to borrow for free, as long as it's in their catalog. How can you go wrong when it's free? We listened to Tui T. Sutherland's Wings of Fire, Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy on our way to Letchworth State Park this spring! My son is a fan of dragons, and we all really enjoyed it!)

I'm thrilled to be offering my books in audio, and I hope to have further news for you soon. Until then, Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: Mystery & Romance at Solvay Public Library!

Summer's coming. Can you feel it? What better way to kick off the season than to find a new favorite beach read? On June 10th, I will join authors Diane Culver and Carol Pouliot at Solvay Public Library for an afternoon discussion, Q&A, and book signing!

Diane writes contemporary romances set in the Hamptons, while Carol pens time-travel mystery stories. I write paranormal, paranormal lite, and contemporary romances. There's sure to be something to tickle your fancy, or if you're an aspiring writer, come on down and chat with us. We'd love to meet you!

We'll also offer some fantastic freebies and giveaways. I'll be bringing this pretty summer basket to give away to one lucky recipient. The basket (a $35 value) includes a Monet seashell trinket box, scented candle, and milk chocolate Hershey's kisses:

The book signing and Q&A begins at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 10th and ends at 4:00 PM. You can contact library director Dan Golden ( or call Solvay Public Library at 315-468-2441 for more information.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: A Night of Romance at Fulton Public Library!

I'm very excited to attend my first evening book signing, this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Fulton Public Library! Local authors including myself, Leon Archer, Regina Edwards-Drumm, Barbara Witek, and MJ Woods will be onhand to sign books, offer freebies and giveaways, and discuss our favorite subject: romance!

Psst - our second favorite subject is freebies, and we'll be offering giveaways galore, including this sweet spring basket I will be giving to one lucky recipient at the end of the signing. Make sure to enter your name to win! We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!

Congratulations to Cindee D., the winner of the 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!  Cindee chose a copy of THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, Book One in the Gifted Series:

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's contest. Please keep checking back with me for announcements of future contests. Congratulations again to Cindee.  Happy Reading, and Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Calendar is Filling Up!

I'll be the first to admit, I have the best writer friends. We will be visiting several libraries around the area this year, and we'd like you to be a part of the fun! I'll be joining authors Diane Culver, Regina Edwards-Drumm, Carol Pouliot, Barbara Witek, and more across Central New York in 2017, and we're bringing a slew of goodies and some great discussion with us. Check out my main page for the event calendar to see when and where you can meet up with us, learn about our books and our writing processes, get signed copies, and even win some freebies for yourself! Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 07, 2017

2017 "Earth Day Giveaway!"

My 2017 “Earth Day Giveaway” Contest is here!

** Permission To Forward Granted **

It’s April, and that means it’s time once again for the “Earth Day Giveaway” contest!  All month long, you can enter to win one PDF eBook of your choice of any of my currently released paranormal, paranormal lite, or contemporary romance books (EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE, THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, FLASHPOINT, or HEAVY NETTING)! Not sure which to choose?  For details on each book, click here. Enter for a chance to win by clicking this link:

Nicki Greenwood’s 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!

Contest ends at 5:00 PM EST on April 30th.  The winner will be announced that evening on my blog. Good luck, and Happy Earth Day!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review: The Hidden Life of Trees

[Shared from my Amazon review]

Don't go into this book expecting a scientific approach to forestry. There are some facts in here, but they are heavily interspersed with 'probablys' and conjecture, along with a somewhat anthropomorphic view of trees. You'd miss out if you let that put you off, though. Rather, this short, fast read speaks of one man's appreciation for nature, specifically, of old-growth forests and the need for them. We forget that while trees can't move or speak as we do, they are living things and should command our respect for their longevity, gratitude for their gifts of oxygen and inner peace, and perhaps even a little compassion. The author has clearly spent many an hour walking in the forest, touching this, breathing in that, listening to and living among his charges, and getting to know them as friends. It reminded me of why I enjoy forests, and while it leans heavily on the writer's experiences in Germany, the message of the book can be taken to any forest in the world.

RATING: Four of five stars

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Movie Review: Logan

If you ever wanted to know what a superhero is like in old age, this is it.

Hubby and I had a much-needed kid-free night to see something our son was definitely not going to be allowed to see (for several years yet, at least). Being an enormous fan of Hugh Jackman and Wolverine, I've been looking forward to this one. I'd heard it gave "Deadpool" a run for its money in the ratings department, but while "Deadpool" is funny and wildly inappropriate, our favorite Canucklehead takes things in a much darker direction.

"Logan" is bitter, angry, hard-bitten, and believable. Logan has lived a very, very long time and seen a lot of horrible things. I can completely buy that he'd spend his twilight years simply existing, in a detached, brooding sort of way, until forced to interact with humanity again. His scenes with Charles Xavier were some of my favorite: two mutants eking out their elder years together simply because the world refuses to understand or accept either of them. While Charles retains his compassion, Logan has all but shut his off.

Enter Laura. A child mutant on the run, she has no one and is practically feral when Logan meets her. At first, he doesn't want to help her, either, but that hero is still in there under that thick, scarred skin, and when the chips are down, he can't resist standing up for her. Their scenes together are sad, resentful, sometimes funny, and always intriguing. While this film is not my usual cup of tea, I was not bored. Just watching a mutant at the end of his character arc, and one not yet in her prime, was fascinating. It was especially thought-provoking to see the damage that could come from a child with that sort of power, who'd never been shown any kindness or constructive guidance. If only Charles had found her a few years earlier, she might have become a new X-Man. Dafne Keen is terrific, and frankly, frightening, as a mutant "little girl lost" who's finding her feet in this dangerous world. I wouldn't want to mess with her, that's for sure.

Fans of Wolverine will appreciate this rendering of Old Man Logan, but there are still some unanswered questions. What became of the other mutants? Why did they not find a way to better manage the problems that occur when an aging mutant begins to lose some of his faculties? What if the safe haven they're looking for doesn't really exist? (Perhaps that's a question that may be answered in a future film.)

I love Hugh Jackman, and always will. There will never be another Wolverine for me...but Dafne Keen just about stole the show. Moral of the story? Don't piss off the little girl in the unicorn T-shirt.

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Monday, January 23, 2017

Music, the Five-Minute Story

Today, I'm going to talk a bit about one of my favorite things to do with storytelling: music! I often write to a soundtrack, or at least compile a soundtrack that inspires me for each book and listen to it before writing. I've learned recently that it goes either way, too, and it's not predictable. Sometimes I have to have the soundtrack on while I write, and others, I need to have silence, and just let the music inspire me, pre-writing. Whatever gets words on the page!

I'm going to give you a couple examples, and I want you to listen to the songs and see if you can pick out the storytelling rhythms within them.  The first is a good one for us romance writers, because the arc is beautifully written in the song, and just as we would tell the story.

Example One: The Love Story

This is "Forbidden Friendship" from the "How to Train Your Dragon" soundtrack. By now, most of you know that this movie is the story of a friendship between a Viking boy and a dragon. Hiccup has been told his whole life that dragons are bad, and along comes Toothless the dragon. The song in this clip goes with the scene in which Hiccup and Toothless begin bonding. It is a love story, a friendship, and the song reflects that. Give it a listen.

Halfway through a romance novel is what we romance authors call "the point of no return" - the point at which the hero and heroine are actively invested in one another in spite of the odds. I'm sure that it's no coincidence that halfway through this song, the tempo picks up, and what was a tentative song becomes fuller and more melodic.  By the last fourth of the song, we have a rich, symphonic tone that shows how wonderful this relationship can be. John Powell knew what he was doing when he wrote this song, and it remains one of my favorite pieces. It's pure magic.

Example Two: The Epic Adventure

This is "Lure of Adventure" from the "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" video game soundtrack. This song is particularly exciting for me as a storyteller because it's even laid out in three acts, the way most classic stories and plays are done.

In this, we have several of the highlights. Right at the beginning, you hear the whistle indicating the Call to Adventure. Then there's that hesitant tempo, indicating Refusal of the Call. After that, it jumps right into Act II, and the tempo increases. There's a palpable give and take of call and answer, and then we move on to Act III, where the tempo increases yet again. Now, you can sense the hero's forward movement to meet whatever comes. Again, no coincidence, I'm sure. Henry Jackman has composed lots of film music, and it's obvious he's familiar with storytelling.

Using Music to Learn Arc

Music is a wonderful shorthand for getting a story arc laid out correctly. The best songs have that full arc, and even if you don't understand the exact pinpoints, you will sense the rhythm and how a story rises and falls within them. The only difference is, music uses notes and sound, and we writers use words.

If you like to listen to music while you write, pay special attention to the songs you choose and how the rhythm flows up and down to match your scenes. You'll know it matches up when you get that little "thrill" while you're writing. Until then, Happy Reading (or Writing)!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Office Redux

Remember my beautiful rolltop desk (which, strangely, I blogged about exactly two years ago)? Well, the bug has bitten me again to streamline my space and maybe get a couch in my office (or a big comfy chair) where I can kick back, so Hubby and I swapped desks. As much as I adore my rolltop, I needed some breathing space in my office if I plan to get some comfortable seating in here. This is the first of what will probably be a process for me ... but an enjoyable one! (After all, now I get to pick out new desk accessories, and what writer doesn't love that?)

Hubby is already settling in with the rolltop, and frankly, it suits him because it's a good size for him, with lots of storage. He still has a desktop PC, so the rolltop is ideal for that, too.

As for me, the new, smaller desk forces me to live minimalist, and I'm enjoying it! I've still got lots of stuff to work out, as far as what I plan to keep, what to do with my walls, and what I can live without. I want to cut down on the knick-knacks and smaller pieces of furniture in favor of just a few things: one bookshelf, my file cabinet, the desk, the couch, and fireplace. I think I need a new chair, too, 'cause this one seems a little short for the desk height now that I sit here. If that seems like a lot for a small room, you should have seen how the rolltop ate up the space. It's practically empty now!

I'll keep you posted as I continue the cleanout. Happy winter!