Escaping to the country was meant to be easy …
On the surface it looks like busy intensive care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.
Local café owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.
Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?
please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
I’m currently working on two projects, with another one in the wings that I’m trying desperately to ignore until I finish what’s in front of me. From what I understand, lots of authors have this problem. When you’re in the middle of something, an idea for something else strikes! After finishing Intensive Care I wrote another rural romance set in South Australia. The working title is The Peppercorn Lease and it’s currently being considered by publishers. Right now I’m writing the follow up to Intensive Care, called Emergency Response where many of the same characters from the first book make an appearance. This book will hopefully form the second of three books in a series all set in the fictional town of Birrangulla.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I don’t think there was ever one “moment”. More like one “decision”. I always wanted to write – in high school I was encouraged to consider a career as a writer or journalist but it wasn’t until the start of 2014, after I’d finished eight years of studying, that I woke up and decided this was the day to write the book I’d always promised myself I would write. I guess you could say it was a bucket list kind of thing to do. Once I’d started writing, I was hooked and wondered why it had taken me so long to do it.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Two friends, both authors (Meredith Resce and Fiona Leonard), gave me the same piece of advice. Just start. And then make sure you finish.
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
My “perfect” hero loves me unconditionally, laughs with me (and sometimes at me), forgives my annoying habits, does all the cooking, and is my best friend. He’s also a fantastic dad, a leader in the community and well respected by others. My “perfect” hero is the one I can imagine growing old with. Perhaps I should just include a photo of my husband here!
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
If only I had the time for all my other hobbies, but writing is my latest hobby and it’s pushed aside all the other things I enjoy doing. For years I have been an avid scrapbooker – I have around 20 traditional albums and a dozen digital scrapbooks – but these days, now that the kids are older, it’s not as easy to take photos of them and sadly I think the years of making my annual albums have come to an end. I also enjoy running, but I have to force myself to put my runners on and actually do it.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Perhaps very cliché, but my marriage is an awesome adventure. I’m married to someone who loves change and is always dreaming of what’s next. We have so many more wonderful adventures planned and we fully intend to keep dreaming and coming up with new ones before we get too old. And of course motherhood is an amazing adventure too. I have four kids, now 14, 16, 18 and 20.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
The UK. My husband and I lived there back in the late 1980’s and we have a romantic idea of returning to work and live there for a couple of years. It’s something we plan to do in the next ten years, but if a fairy godmother came along tomorrow, I’d have my suitcases packed before she’d even put her wand back in bag.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
Definitely not adventurous at all, although I went out for dinner the other night and had an incredible nine course degustation meal, which was amazing. When the waitress told me I’d just eaten beef tongue, I almost died! I dislike cooking immensely (I don’t even own a cook book) and only do it because it has to be done. I’m the definite opposite of my “foodie” husband in that regard.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
My mobile phone. And the internet.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Don’t laugh, I’m sure it’s not romantic at all! My ideal romantic evening is sitting in front of an open fire, husband by my side, stomach full after a yummy dinner (not cooked by me) reading a book or watching a movie, and knowing I don’t have to go to work the next day!
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
I have been called the “Energizer Bunny” once or twice!
What is your favorite comfort food?
Beef steak, hot chips, crunchy fresh veggies, Cadbury dairy milk chocolate and Pepsi Max. Pretty sure I could live on this!
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Autumn. Not too hot in the day and cool enough at night to light the fire. And I love the changing colours on the trees – just wished I lived in North America where I could enjoy the changing seasons more.
What project are you working on next?
When I finish Emergency Response I plan to start work on another, as yet untitled romance about a nurse who wins a trip around the world, but I’ve promised myself I won’t even start it until I’ve finished with Emergency Response and The Peppercorn Lease.
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
You’re welcome to come visit me any time in the Emergency Department where I work, but I don’t recommend it! Always happy to chat on any form of social media. One day I dream of doing a book tour with another romance writer.
After twenty-five years of marriage, travel, children, study and work, Nicki decided she wasn’t busy enough. In January of 2014 she woke up and decided to fulfill a lifelong dream – to write a novel.
Nicki calls herself a city girl with a country heart. Unfortunately the only way she can escape to the countryside of her dreams is by living vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels she loves to read. If she could spend her days dressed in jeans and boots out on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep, she’d be in her element.
When Nicki isn’t dreaming, reading or writing about rural life, she can be found in her scrubs in the emergency department where she works fulltime as a nurse. Nicki writes medical rural romance for Momentum and her debut novel is available now. Visit her at www.nickiedwards.net