Friday 26 February 2016

Release Day - Life Support

The single requirement of a romance novel is that it has an HEA – a ‘happily ever after’ ending, but the beauty of romance novels is that there are so many sub-genres to choose from – from inspirational/Christian romance, to sweet/clean romance (which I write) to the very spicy books at the other end of the scale. You'll also find books from contemporary to historical and everything in between.

Among romance novels, the ‘return home’ trope is very popular – some would say, overdone. The challenge therefore for authors is to apply our own spin on it by creating a memorably different reason for the hero or heroine to return home. I hope I’ve done this well in my latest book, Life Support: #3 in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, released today.
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We first met Emma O’Connor in book #1, Intensive Care (FREE at time of writing). Emma is Joel’s annoying and opinionated younger sister who didn’t take too kindly to Kate Kennedy stealing her brother’s heart. But five years on, Emma has grown up. She’s completed a nursing degree (encouraged by Kate), has met a man, moved to Melbourne, married and started working in the Emergency Department. But after a marriage breakdown, followed by tragedy, Emma’s whole world crumbles around her. Her only choice is to return to Birrangulla – home – and start again. Alone.
The first time Emma saw Tom Henderson she was a shy, never-been-kissed 16 year old and he was the older, wiser, handsome school hero. For her, it was love at first sight. His good looks, humour, personality and all-round quintessential Aussie country bloke persona had her swooning from G’day. (Me too!)

Unfortunately Tom had a girlfriend and Emma didn’t even register on his radar. Until one fateful night. A night Tom clearly didn’t remember.
Emma’s ex-husband Lleyton has left her an historic heritage listed property called Lexton Downs. Inspiration for this homestead comes from a property called Mount Mitchell, owned by one of my husband’s colleagues. (Check it out here:

When Emma returns to Lexton Downs, the last person she expected to see was Tom.
A man’s silhouette filled the doorway. Emma looked up and stifled a gasp as shock swelled within her. Once she remembered to breathe again, Emma stared at Tom in astonishment. Her heart was beating so hard she was surprised he couldn’t hear it from the other side of the room. Age and time had been kind to him. Exceptionally kind. If possible, he appeared taller – he had to be at least six foot four now – and he’d filled out in all the right places. She exhaled in a rush. The adult version of Tom Henderson was far sexier than the one she remembered in her dreams.

The shadow of a day’s stubble covered Tom’s face and his thick dark hair looked like it had been unfairly trapped beneath a hat all day. Emma had to curl her fingers into a tight fist to stop from reaching out to give him a hug and tousle his hair. He twirled the well-worn felt hat in his hands and she knew she’d been right. He’d been out working on the farm all day, his Akubra crammed on his head. The same striking blue eyes sparkled beneath his smooth forehead.

Small lines fanned out from the corners, crinkling as he frowned at her in recognition. “Emma O’Connor?”

“I wasn’t sure you even remembered me.”

“I remembered you.”

Her heart sped. Did he remember the night they’d shared too? She searched his face but saw nothing. Disappointment surged through her like a dam bursting its banks.

His eyes darkened with sympathy as he gazed down at her. “I’m sorry for how things have turned out for you, Emma.”

He stunned her by enveloping her in a hug and Emma returned the hug, wrapping her arms around his waist and drawing comfort from his strength. His arms tightened across her back as she fitted herself into him the way she had once dreamed of doing. She closed her eyes. It had been a long time since she’d felt so safe. Turning her head to one side, she rested her cheek against his chest, listening to the steady pounding of his heart. Time stood still. Memories flooded. Was it possible to sustain a crush for ten years? She pulled back to gaze into his eyes and her stomach shifted south. Apparently, yes, it was possible. Very possible.

Whatever the driving force, Emma didn’t recognize it. But she had to kiss him. Ignoring the clanging and banging alarm bells, she stood on tiptoes and kissed him. She felt him hesitate at first and she almost pulled away in embarrassment, then he returned her kiss softly.

The years faded, her legs liquefied and she was sixteen again.

What comes next is not what Emma expected! Her world implodes once again when their kiss is interrupted by Tom’s fiesty five year old daughter Ruby!
There’s so much I love about this story. I love Tom and the relationship he has with his daughter, Ruby and also with his Mum, Judy. I also love how Emma picks herself up after tragedy and loss and rebuilds a new life back home in Birrangulla.
I hope you enjoy this ‘returning home’ book. As always, there are plenty of medical dramas and moments which I hope I move you to tears.
For a chance to win an e-book copy of Life Support, please tell me what your favourite type of romance novel is, and what your favourite ‘trope’ is. Winners will be announced on 1st March, 2016.
Here’s some examples, but I’d love to know if you can come up with some others.
·         Returning home
·         Childhood/teenage sweethearts
·         Blind date falls in love
·         Bad girl/bad boy repents/changes
·         Best friends become lovers
·         Widow/widower finds love again
·         Single parent finds love again
·         Beauty and the beast
·         Confirmed bachelor meets woman of his dreams


About Nicki Edwards:

I'm a city girl with a country heart. Growing up on a small family acreage on the outskirts of Geelong in Victoria, Australia, I spent my formative years riding horses and pretending the neighbour’s farm was my own.

After spending three years in a regional city in New South Wales, my love of small country towns was further developed. One day I plan to escape to the country with my husband Tim and live on land, surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep. Until then I live vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels I love to read.

In 2006, when my youngest child started school, I returned to university, juggling full time study, part time work and raising four small children, to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse.

Always a voracious reader, with my nose frequently stuck in a book, my other dream was to be an author. In 2015 I achieved that dream, writing medical rural romance for Pan Macmillan Australia.

I write sweet romances, filled with medical dramas, set in rural locations. Inspiration for my books comes from the amazing nurses I work with, the patients I have the privilege of caring for, the many places I've lived both in Australia and overseas, and the people I love and who love me in return.

When I'm not reading, writing or dreaming about rural life and medical emergencies, I can be found working as a Critical Care Nurse either in Intensive Care or the Emergency Department. This is where many of my stories and characters are imagined.

Tim and I and our three teenage/young adult boys currently reside in Geelong. Our adult daughter lives in Ballarat.

My debut novel, “Intensive Care" Book #1 in the Escape to the Country series was released in January 2015, followed by my second novel, “Emergency Response” which came out in October 2015. The third book in the series, “Life Support” was released today and book four, “Critical Condition” will be released later in 2016.

A Christmas novella, “Operation White Christmas” was released in December 2015 and my 'book of the heart' (so far), “The Peppercorn Project” is available for pre-order now. It will be released in stores Australia-wide on 31st May 2016.

Today you'll find me somewhere, dreaming up more stories.

Please visit my website and subscribe to my newsletter. If you love my books, please let me know and leave a review.



  1. Congratulations, Nicki. And they're zooming up the Amazon US charts. Fabulous. Love seeing one of our own doing so well. I reckon there are a few of us (well many in fact) who could learn a lot from you. How you package, market and price your books.

    Well done. I grabbed the first in the series and will see where it lands in my TBR pile. I'm so pleased for you, Nicki.

  2. Aw thanks Ian! I just saw this morning that it's #2 in Hot New Releases in Medical Romance!
    I'm glad you grabbed the first one while it was free. Hope you get to read it one day! Thanks for your support. X

  3. Congratulations on the release of your latest novel Nicki. I enjoyed reading Intensive Care. I'm not a huge category romance reader. I like my romance mixed in with a good dose of fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, mystery or suspense. I'm not sure I've a preference when it comes to tropes- though I've used 'enemies become friends', 'arranged marriages', 'unrequited love', 'love at first sight' (more or less), 'reunion' and 'mistaken identity' in my own fiction.

    1. Hi Jeanette. Glad you enjoyed Intensive Care. My books aren't technically "category" romance in the strict sense of the defintion. Each of my books can be read as a stand alone (even though some are part of a series) A true category romance is around 55k words (such as Mills and Boon series). My books range between 90-105k words. Even though they fit into the 'category' of medical romance or rural romance, this is just the subgenre for marketing purposes. I understand what you're saying though - you like to read a cross section of different types of romance books. I love a good suspense and there are some brilliant rural romantic suspense books on the market at the moment.
      As for tropes, the mistaken identity is an interesting trope and funnily enough I'm playing around with something similar in my next book, Critical Condition. Stay tuned!
      Thanks for your comment and support.

  4. Hi Nicki - so thrilled to see your continuing success in the general market. Just brilliant xo

    1. Thanks so much Andrea. You have been an absolute God-send in my life. xxx

  5. Fab book, Nicki (my review will post on my blog on Tuesday). Congratulations!

    1. Thanks so much for your review Iola. Glad you loved it :)

  6. Hi Nicki, Congrats on your latest release! It's sitting in my Kindle account, and I can't wait to read it :)

    1. Thanks Narelle. Your TBR pile must be massive!

  7. Hi Nicki, congratulations on the new release. I love reading in any of the genres mentioned above but I guess my favourite would have to be widow/widower finds love again since I'm an older single again lady. Haven't read any of your books yet but need to get them to add to my ever increasing Tor pile but hey I just love reading. I didn't even entertain the idea of writing myself until I was in early 50s and I so admire good Aussie authors who are enjoying success with their writing. Well done Nicki!

    1. HI Lesley, if you enjoy reading widow/widower stories then I think you'll love my next book, The Peppercorn Project.

    2. Lesley, congratulations! You are the winner of an e-book copy of Life Support. As soon as I have your email address I'll be in touch. Bless you. x


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