Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Welcome to Nicole Williams Day

The Three Chicks love Nicole Williams and to celebrate the release of Crush and Jude and Lucy back in our lives, we would like to welcome you to Nicole Williams Day! We have a great author interview with Nicole, a character interview with Jude and Lucy, our 5 star review of Crush, a teaser from Nicole's upcoming novel Lost and Found and a great giveaway. Also check out Nicole's other books throughout this post. Enjoy all that is Nicole Williams and be sure to enjoy Jude and Lucy today!

Three Chicks:  What was the inspiration for Jude and Lucy’s story?

Nicole:  I’d always written paranormal and I wanted to try my hand at contemporary. I’d also only written a “good guy” character and wanted to see if I could write an appealing (but redeeming) bad boy. As far as their relationship is concerned, I wanted it to be dramatic. I wanted it to show the immaturity of youth, along with the gradual maturity of getting older. I wanted it to feel like a roller coaster and for the reader to be so invested in the story, that they kept reading. I wanted the reader to be cheering for Jude and Lucy the whole way. 

Three Chicks:  You write such a varied genre of books-young adult, paranormal, adult contemporary-which is the easiest for you to write (not that writing is ever easy) and which genre is your favorite to write?

Nicole:  This changes on a monthly basis. I can say I think, right now, paranormal is the hardest to write because you have to build a complex world before you can really sit down and start writing. Right now, my favorite (and also my easiest) genre to write is that mature YA/NA crossover genre. It’s dramatic, it’s sexy, it’s sweet, it’s fast-paced . . .all are some of my favorite elements when it comes to my favorite books to read. 

Three Chicks:  What is next for Nicole Williams-what books are in store for readers in the next year?

Nicole:  Lost and Found is coming out May 7th. After that, I’ll be continuing on with the Great Exploitations series. I’m also working on a couple of other books that are top secret right now!

Three Chicks:  Which writers inspired you?

Nicole:  The writers that inspired me to write were all of the ones I grew up reading. I’m inspired by all passionate story-tellers who’d be writing books even if no one else ever read them.

Three Chicks:  How hard is it for you to say goodbye to Jude and Lucy’s story and how satisfied are you with the way their story ended?

Nicole:  It’s hard, but it’s more bittersweet since I’m very pleased with the way their story ended. Jude and Lucy have been long time character companions of mine and I’ll miss them interrupting my thoughts every two seconds, but all of my characters stay with me in some way or another. I hope their story will stay with some readers, too.

Crush (Crash #3)

Football glory. A giant diamond. A wandering eye.

Jude and Lucy are happily engaged . . . but that doesn't mean life's a bed of roses.

Once again, Jude and Lucy are torn apart by football training and a summer job that creates new tensions. This time Jude's the one with trust issues. Will Lucy's life-changing news bring them back together or end their relationship for good? Can love triumph forever.

Our 5 Star Review 

I fell in book love with Jude Ryder by the first chapter of Crash and continued my love affair to the very last sentence of Clash.  But that love, that love seems like a crush (pardon the pun) until I met the Jude Ryder in Crush. It’s three years later; Jude and Luce are almost finished their junior year's in college-Luce is at Juilliard and Jude is at Syracuse. Still engaged, still planning on getting married "someday". Jude’s quarterbacking skills make him a first-round draft pick. He signs a three year contract with the San Diego Chargers, and although the amount is never disclosed, he goes from rummaging the sofa for spare change to being a multi-millionaire overnight.  

Jude leaves for training camp and Luce stays behind. Her choice. She wants to finish out the school year. And did she mention that she hopes to get a job for the summer? A job in New York. Jude is determined to marry Luce the moment she finally agrees to name a date; to give him an answer that is not “soon”.

“I want you in every way a person can be with another. Every way,” he said, his voice low. “I want you as my wife. My. Wife,” he repeated, as Territorial Jude burst free of his cage.

Jude, frustrated by Luce’s refusal to join him in California, shows far more patience for Luce than this reader.  She worries that the kind of money and fame that is coming Jude’s way will change things, will change him. He worries that the distance will pull them apart. They become very innovative with satisfying their need for each other and the loneliness caused by their separation. Talk about a smokin’ hot Face Time call! Flying back and forth to and from California to New York becomes a new way of life for them. Poor Jude, his attempt to buy them a lavish home and a cool truck fails to impress Luce. In fact, she becomes more sensitive about his money with his every purchase. She likes his team mates, but their trophy wives and girlfriends serve to make her feel out of place. She does become friends with Sybill, one of Jude’s teammates’ wives, and she is a breath of fresh air amongst that silicone, bedazzled group of fluff headed women. 

Holly, and her son, familiar faces from the first two books, are forced by circumstances to come live with Luce in New York. Thomas, Luce’s dance partner, becomes a regular visitor to their humble New York apartment. Her old college roommate, India, helps to find Luce a job with her brother Anton. Seems Luce’s new boss has his sights on one Lucy Larson, Jude be damned. The remainder of the story has some angst for the couple caused by her boss, and her frustrating inability to fully commit to Jude. His fame creates a particularly embarrassing, caught on film moment, after the two share a skinny dipping tryst on what they think is a secluded beach. Queue the ballistic, possessive Jude we have all come to expect.

“Your boobs on display for the entire world. I mean, shit, those are my boobs. Not the entire world’s to enjoy.”

There has been real growth in the two characters, even with Luce’s maddening behavior. Crush has a fair amount of toe curling, blush causing sex that is delicious. And then there is the angst. There are two scenes in particular, one with Lucy and her boss and one with the couple themselves where I needed to just stop reading and catch my breath. Jude, oh Jude, did that really come out of your mouth?  I felt my love for him slipping just a little; Jude Ryder does asshole very well. Their story comes full circle in Crush, the ends are tied up in a pretty little bow and the reader will be satisfied. As much as I loved Crash and Clash, Williams outdid herself with this one! By the way, the epilogue is one of the best I have ever read.

“It was give and take, and with Jude and me, I’d been more take than give in our relationship. It was my turn to step up to the give plate.”

Book provided by the publisher.  

Jude and Lucy Interview

"Here we are, Kristie you have the folding chairs? Jennifer, pizza?" "Yes, Lisa." Both Kristie and Jen answer, rolling their eyes. Lisa knocks on their door. Jude answers and welcomes us in. Lucy is right behind him. "Thank you both so much for inviting us into your home to do the interview. This is pretty awesome," Lisa states as we set the pizza on the table and start setting up the folding chairs. We comment when we see their portrait (slightly crooked) over their fire place and (*sighs from all*) Jennifer announces, "Congratulations on your engagement! We hope you two are hungry, we have some great pizza." "This is Kristie, Jennifer and I’m Lisa- together we're the Three Chicks , are you ready to get started?" We all settle in our chairs with a piece of pizza.

Three Chicks:  Jude, after Lucy publicly confessed her love for you at your football game (which just melted our hearts by the way) what was going on with you that she was almost outside the stadium before you came out onto the field?

Jude:  I was standing outside of the locker room doors just listening. It was like a dream. The first part of her speech I was trying to figure out if it was real, the second part I just needed a few minutes to wrap my head around what was going on, but when I stopped hearing her voice, when there was nothing else but silence, that’s when I started running. I couldn’t let her walk away from me again. I was physically incapable of it.

Three Chicks:  Lucy, why did you leave Jude at the hospital, after all it was the first time you two had sex, the poor guy just woke up out of a coma, and you left while he was sleeping..who does that?

Lucy:  Well, I do, I guess. It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s not something I’d do again, and it’s something I regret. I make mistakes, probably more than the average person, but I learn from the ones I make. Jude’s forgiven me and we’ve moved on.

Three Chicks:  Jude, how could you not know Adriana Vix was trouble; she was doing your laundry, touching you constantly and the body shots,,,how did the light bulb not go off in your head? And speaking of which..if Lucy hadn’t handed you her panties and played her little follow the thong game, would you have taken the shot off that boyfriend stealing tart’s breasts? (The Three Chicks all lean in closely to hear this answer)

Jude:  Yeah, I knew she liked me, I just didn’t know how much she liked me. I can’t control what girls or anyone for that matter are going to think about me, all I can control is myself when I’m around them. It was my bad underestimating her. Luce put Adriana in her place, though. *Jude shakes his fist and winks over at Lucy*

Three Chicks:  Besides each other, what can’t you live without in your lives?

Lucy: Dance!

Jude: Luce. I can live without anything else but her.

Lucy: Aww. *Drops a kiss on Jude’s cheek*  Is it to late for me to change my answer . . . ?

Three Chicks:  Jude, what was your first impression of Lucy, since you were a little cocky and she wasn't giving you the attention you were used to getting?

Jude:  Damn. I was smitten. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and it drove me nuts when she kept that hard-to-get act up. She was the first girl that made me work for it. (Lucy lifts her eyebrows. Jude chuckles) She *still* makes me work for it.

Three Chicks:  What were you both thinking when you realized in what way your lives had really crashed and your families shared a terrible link?

Jude: At first, I wasn’t thinking, I was reacting. Only when I was exhausted from breaking shit, did I lay down and start thinking.

Lucy: I kept thinking that it couldn’t be. Jude’s dad couldn’t have been the one that killed John. It was . . .surreal.

Three Chicks:  Jude, why do you call Lucy, Luce?

Jude:  *Shrugs*  That’s her name. 

Lucy rolls her eyes but stays quiet

Three Chicks:  Lucy, do you think you have commitment issues-it seems that every time Jude made an effort for the two of you to work out your differences you backed off-when he tried to explain he hadn’t cheated and slept outside your dorm room for 3 days you drove him back to school but wanted to take a break, when you believed Sawyer’s lies about Holly’s baby, at the hospital you left him, and after you kicked some Adriana butt (the Three Chicks fist bump) you got up in the early morning and left him again..?

Lucy:  I *had* commitment issues. I got over them. When someone shows you the level of love and commitment Jude’s shown me, it’s hard not to get over those kinds of issues.

Three Chicks:  Jude, do you still blame Lucy’s father for breaking up your family? 

Jude:  Nah, I don’t blame him. When you’re angry about something, you want to blame someone and for me, I put that blame on Mr. Larson for a while. I’m not going to lie, it’s still hard sometimes. But it’s getting easier.

Three Chicks:  Jude, do you ever see your father? Will he be paroled at some point and will you take Lucy, if she wants to, to see him?

Jude:  No, and hell no. Next question, please.

Three Chicks:  Lucy, do you ever, even for a moment find yourself resentful of Jude for his father’s actions?

Lucy:  At Jude? Never. At his dad? Every hour of every day.

Three Chicks:  Jude, what did you do for the summer after high school graduation when you dropped out of sight-what if Lucy hadn’t ended up going to Juilliard?

Jude:  I was trying to get my shit together. I took a long road trip, slept in the bed of my truck, and spent more time thinking that month than I’d spent thinking my whole life.  All I knew was that I couldn’t let Luce go. It was impossible to do.

Three Chicks:  Lucy, how did you tell your parents that you were engaged to Jude? Do they think you are both too young to settle down?

Lucy:  Carefully. *Jude and Lucy give each other a look before breaking into a laugh*   They were a little shocked at first, but they were smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves and show their support. When we told them we were planning on a long engagement, you could feel their collective sigh of relief.

Three Chicks:  Jude, why did you wear that grey beanie all the time and why did you stop wearing it? Have you ever told Lucy how you got all the burn scars on your body?

Jude:  My mom made the beanie for me. I needed it one day and one day I woke up, and I didn’t need it anymore. And no, I’ve never told her exactly but she knows enough to fill in the blanks.

Three Chicks:  How do you think you can make your relationship work when you are separated more times than you are together? 

Lucy:  *Jude and Lucy open their mouths to answer at the same time. Lucy pats Jude’s arm* I got this one, babe.   *Jude nods and grabs her hand*   When you find the person you’re meant to spend your life with, you don’t let anything come between you. Least of all something like location. Or future Vix-Bitches. 

*Jude tries to keep from laughing. He fails*

Three Chicks:  Jude, it’s no secret you aren’t exactly lacking in experience when it comes to females, why Lucy-why not someone a little less high maintenance (sorry Lucy)? 

Jude:  I like a challenge. *Jude dodges Lucy’s elbow jab*  But she challenges me, too. And let’s not forget about the chemistry because . . . damn, that’s reason enough for me to get down on one knee in front of thousands of people all over again.

Three Chicks:  We can’t see what the future holds, do either of you imagine there is anything that could break the two of you up?

Jude: I’m sure that many things could and will try to break us up. But nothing’s going to succeed.

Lucy: Ditto that.

"Jude and Lucy, again thank you. We had such a wonderful time tonight." Jennifer stands up and says, "Lucy, I have to give you a high five for the Adriana ass-kicking- you go girl!" Lisa and Kristie laugh. Lisa looks over to Jude, then Lucy and says, "We really hope to talk to you both again in the future." We shake hands goodbye with chairs in tow and head out of their comfy and cute apartment. Kristie looks over to Lisa and Jen, "They are cool, I can't wait to meet up with them again. I think it’s time to head home, I call shotgun!". Lisa and Jen laugh, shaking their heads as we walk back to the car to head back to the hotel..


A sneak peek at Nicole's next release Lost and Found coming out May 7th

You came,” I said, stepping back because being so close to Jesse made my head light. Logical thought process became next to impossible to attain.

He lifted a shoulder, but that was the only response he gave
me. Was Jesse Walker giving me the silent treatment?

“Are you having a good time?” I tried next, taking another half step back because I could still smell that soapy, shampooy scent of him, and that was messing with my head, too.

He lifted the other shoulder.

So yeah. Jesse Walker was giving me the silent treatment. I was probably the only person who could claim that honor.

“Are you going to talk to me, Jesse? Or are you going to communicate with me with shrugs the rest of the summer?” Might as well get down to business. I didn’t know how long Josie would be gone, and I needed to talk to Jesse. I had to clear the thick air between us.

He caught himself in the middle of another shrug. With a sigh, he pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. “What do you want me to say, Rowen?” he asked, his voice tight. “I’ve been racking my head all damn week trying to figure out what to say to you when I saw you again, but I couldn’t think of anything. Obviously.” He wiggled his shoulder and gave me a small smile.

A small smile was a start. And he was communicating with me, real words and all. I’d take it. His gaze shifted, just over my shoulder, and those sky blue eyes went as black as they could go.

I didn’t need to look behind me. I knew a black felt hat was back there somewhere.

Jesse lifted his chin. “Garth’s over there if you want to dance with him.” I stepped back again from the ice in his tone.

“And what if I want to dance with you?” I said, managing to sound braver than I felt. “What if you do?” Still the ice, but I wouldn’t back down. I wouldn’t let him push me away so easily. I owed him an explanation, and I wasn’t leaving
until he had it.

“Would you want to?” I asked. There was so much between the lines in that question, I almost winced just anticipating his answer.

“That depends.” His eyes continued to glare holes into the back or front of Garth. I wasn’t sure, and I wouldn’t look over my shoulder to find out. “Are you planning on having a little campout at Garth Black’s trailer tonight after you dance with me now?”

Bitter? Jealous? Those weren’t words I’d use to describe Jesse, but tonight, he seemed to be a little of both.

“Jesse. I’m sorry,” I said. “I let Garth get into my head. I let him remind me of all my fears and insecurities. I let him tell me what I deserved and what I didn’t deserve.” Shit. If I got any more vulnerable, I would turn into one gaping, bloody wound.

“Well, sorry, but I don’t let Garth Black decide what I do and don’t deserve. And you shouldn’t either.”

“I know,” I replied quietly. I could have gone into all the reasons I had. Why it was so easy to believe the Garth Blacks of the world. Why the bad was so much easier to believe than the good. Man, I could have gone into a day-long lecture on the special brand of screwed-up I was, but my apology wasn’t about me. It was about Jesse. It was about me hurting him and needing to make amends.

Jesse studied my face, like he was trying to remain objective about the whole thing but he failed. A long sigh followed. “What were you doing at Garth’s place that night anyways, Rowen? Why were you kissing the hell out of me that afternoon and snuggled into his lounge chair later that night?”

I could have cried from the pain in Jesse’s voice alone. From knowing that my actions had caused that level of hurt in him. Everything inside of me wanted to edit the truth. Everything inside of me wanted to appease him with a surface answer. Everything inside of me wanted to protect myself.

I flipped everything inside of myself off and sucked in a deep breath. “Because Garth Black isn’t able to break my heart.” I bit my lip and pressed on. “You are.” The ce in Jesse’s expression melted. His eyes softened. The wrinkles
in his forehead smoothed. “I never have to worry about Garth hurting me, because I know he will. I know what to expect with him. I know he’ll screw up and leave me if I don’t leave him first. I don’t give him every piece of myself
because I know what I’m getting into. I don’t know what I’m getting into with you, and if I give all of myself to you, you could break everything.” Was I really spilling my guts in a honky tonk with hundreds of people around? I took a quick scan of the area. Yeah. I sure was. “You make me feel too much, Jesse.” I crossed those few steps I’d put between us. “It freaks me out.”

There was almost a full minute of silence between us. Nothing but him studying me and me just letting him. A minute of silence after you drop that kind of deep stuff on a guy is basically an eternity.

Finally, Jesse’s mouth parted. “When you open yourself up to people, you let the bad in with the good. I can’t promise I won’t ever hurt you, Rowen. But it won’t be on purpose. I will never hurt you intentionally. I *can *promise
you that.” Jesse’s hand dropped to my waist, but he didn’t draw me to him. He drew himself to me. “But if this is something we’re going to give a go, I need you to promise me the same. I need you to promise me you won’t go out of
your way to push me away, or hurt me, or fall asleep on Garth Black’s lounge chair, *when*—not *if*—things get scary. I can tell you don’t want to let people in, that it scares you , but you need to let me in if we’re going to have a fighting chance. You can’t shove me away the moment you let me inside, as much as I know you’ll want to.” His fingers curved into my waist, and the warmth and strength in them made my eyelids heavy. “Don’t hurt me, Rowen,” he whispered in a way that tugged at any and every feeling I had for Jesse.

I knew letting him in would be like going against a strong current. I knew it wouldn’t feel natural, or be my first, second, or even third instinct, and I knew it would be a daily struggle to keep from running from Jesse when things
got serious, when things got . . . scary, as he’d said.

But when I looked into those eyes of his that saw everything , those eyes that saw *me*, I knew the fight would be worth it. The struggle to let him in when I wanted to barricade the windows and lower the gates would be a battle I’d never regret fighting.

I inhaled. I exhaled. I wove my fingers through his where his hand still rested on my waist. I locked my gaze to his.

“I won’t.”

About the author: 

I'm a wife, a mom, a writer. I started writing because I loved it and I'm still writing because I love it. I write young adult because I still believe in true love, kindred spirits, and happy endings. Here's to staying young at heart *raises champagne glass* . . . care to join me?

Nicole loves hearing from her readers. You can contact her at nwilliamsbooks@gmail.com.

Author links:


More from Nicole Williams

Our 5 Star Review for Crash (Crash #1)
Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are complete polar opposites. Lucy is serious and knows what she wants in life. Jude has a history of run ins with the law and has major anger issues. Both are scarred from violence in their pasts. When their worlds collide, a series of events takes place and they develop feelings for each other. There are no safe places for these two-gossip surrounds them at school and their are issues, major issues in their home lives. Distrust undermines their relationship and allows others to widen the crack. Never does the reader stop believeing that these two can somehow defy the odds. Even at their lowest point, this book made me catch my breath, and ride along on this roller coaster with these two, always hoping against hope, that they just might make it. A definite read.

Our 5 Star Review for Clash (Crash #2)
This follow up to Crash is even better than the first one. Jude is now firmly established at Syracuse as their star quarterback. Lucy is studying ballet at Juilliard. Having surmounted major obstacles in the first book, this modern day version of star crossed lovers must deal with distance, jealousy and trust issues. Lucy infuriated me in this one. Although it's natural to feel insecure, especially when every female in the state of New York seems to be throwing themselves at your boyfriend's feet, her reactions are over the top. Jude, who showed far more patience for her than most, does his best to convince her of his loyalty. Even in the midst of their fighting, these two are just so adorable. You can not help but hold your breath, and go where ever these two will take you. Both mature over the course of this story. This is a definite must read-can not wait to read the final installment, Crush!

Great Expoitations - 4.5 Star Review

"My body wasn't my own to do whatever I wanted with it. It was on lease to the Eves until the day I retired or, lord forbid, the day I was disavowed."

Nicole Williams’ Great Exploitations is a clever series of novellas, the first of which is Mischief in Miami. The main character is an Eve, a member of an elite group of beautiful women, hired by unhappy wives, (usually on the losing end of pre-nups) who pay to have their husbands seduced. Photos are taken, the deed is indeed caught on film and unhappy wives become happy divorcees. This covert agency is owned by the elusive “G” who molds and morphs ordinarily pretty girls into stunningly attractive woman. They receive intimate details about the subject to be seduced; their sexual habits, bank accounts, and preferences in woman. The Eves then meet the spouses, exchange untraceable phones, and give detailed instructions. Once the Eves transform themselves into the type the cheating louses prefer, they set the bait and snare the prey.

Men are tagged by their net worth and the number of zeros in their bank account. Sevens are a dime a dozen, eights are worth a little more, nines are quite nice and desired and tens, well tens come across once in a lifetime. Each Eve gets a split of the fee, a seven is a 50/50 split for 500K, an eight is a split for a million dollars. A nine is fantastic, but a ten can set up an Eve for life. Mischief in Miami follows our girl from start to finish; hook, line and condom. She has ceased to have any real emotion about her work; she performs a service to women who are neglected, betrayed and miserable. Almost a public service if you will. Of course it is a successful mission and we learn a little about this Eve's next client to be landed, (she overheard this unhappy little hottie ranting to a friend and referred the secretive agency to the wife herself). So when G informs her that her referral has made contact and this next one is hers, imagine how elated she is to find out he is anmelusive, once in a lifetime ten. Or is she??

"From the sound of it, Mr. Ten had committed no greater offense than making a shitload of money and marrying the wrong woman."

Add in a ironic little twist to the next assignment. This series is one of those naughty little reading pleasures; delicious and delightful. I cannot wait for Williams to release the next sequel!

Up in Flames 


 Our 4 star review of Up in Flames



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