Monday, June 18, 2012

NBTM Tour: Anything You Want by Erin Nicholas + Guest Post and Giveaway

We host the Name Before The Masses: Anything You Want by Erin Nicholas tour today. We asked the author about her process with character creation and the things involved with bringing Sabrina, Marc and Luke to life. Be sure to read her informative Guest Post below. Erin will also be giving away a $25 Amazon GC and a choice of an ebook from her backlist so keep reading to find out how to enter.

The blurb: Suppose the solution to all your problems is the one thing you never wanted…

It figures the one time Sabrina Cassidy is determined to do the responsible thing, karma kicks in. After four years on the road chasing her musical dream, she’s stranded six hours from home with no money, a ruined credit history—and morning sickness.

Out of options, she swallows her legendary independent streak and calls the only person who won’t hang up on her. Luke, the man she left behind.

Marc Sterling’s first instinct is to protect his business partner and best friend from another broken heart. That means letting her think she’s talking to Luke, then finding a way to send her in the opposite direction.

When he shows up at her hotel room, there’s something in the air beside their customary insults. Sure, her rebellious attitude, smart mouth—and purple panties—still drive him crazy, but now it’s a different kind of crazy. The kind that has him driving her home instead of to the nearest airport.

And when Luke offers to solve all her problems if she’ll only say “I do”, Marc realizes he’s just crazy enough—about her—to forget whose heart he wanted to protect.

Warning: Contains two people who don’t like each other very much, a Toyota that can’t quite handle the road trip home, and a spontaneous proposal. Or two. Or three. And foreplay with—what else—pie filling.

Guest Post: What Ifs
What do you suppose is a romance writer’s favorite game? Twister? Strip Poker? Suck and Blow? Well, yes. Those are all great, of course. But my favorite is “what if?” You take a situation, a person, an item… and you start asking “what if….” over and over again.

You have a wedding ring that’s been missing for one hundred years suddenly turn up in someone’s possession. What if that person is the ring owner’s great-great-great granddaughter? What if the ring has special powers? What if those powers enable the wearer to find their One True Love?

See what I mean?

For me, usually the first idea I have for a book is a character in a specific situation. And then the What Ifs start.

In Anything You Want, it went something like this: The heroine is a woman, estranged from her father, who’s been away from home for four years. Now, what if something happened so that she has no choice but to return home? What if on the way home, her car breaks down? What if she has no money, and no one she can turn to? What if she decides to take a chance and call the only person she’s ever been able to count on? But what if that guy is the man who proposed to her, who she spent one night with, and then left in the morning without an explanation?

I’m not a plotter. You won’t find story boards or plot worksheets in my office or on my computer. What you will find, though, is unorganized, multi-colored sticky notes, notebook after notebook for handwritten notes, and pages of character interviews. So, when I get through a few “what ifs…” I then start getting to know these people.

Then the characters write the story.

So developing them, getting to know them well, really understanding what motivates them, what they want, what they’re willing to do, is very important.

In Anything You Want, I started with Sabrina. Once the premise of a girl estranged from her father, who left town, and who is now in trouble and needing to come home was there, I needed to know who she really was. I needed to figure out what could have made her leave home? What could be important enough to bring her back? What’s going to be waiting for her--- and who?

The first thing I knew about Sabrina was that she was spunky. Even when things didn’t go her way, even when things didn’t turn out at all how she wanted or expected, she made the best of it. But what I discovered as I went along was that she was completely open and accepting of all types of people and had met and learned things—like how to play the banjo and to speak French—from some very unlikely friends.

Luke came next. He was the one she left behind. He’s the one she’s going to ask for help. But my what-ifs led to Luke being in love with her practically since childhood and still carrying a torch for her all this time. What I didn’t know, was that Luke had seen Sabrina’s dad as a father-figure while he was growing up and some of his connection to her came from that.

And then there was Marc. Yep, I had a love triangle (which was also something I didn’t know in the very beginning) so I had another guy to figure out. I knew right away that he didn’t like Sabrina. He blamed her for breaking his best friend’s heart and was willing to do anything to keep it from happening again. He’s fiercely loyal to his family and pretty unforgiving. I knew that. What I didn’t know was that he is so protective of family because his parents were killed in a car accident and Luke’s family took him in, eventually adopting him.

I think my favorite part about writing is having these unexpected things turn up. To start with a general idea and then dig deeper and deeper until you discover something really special… that’s what keeps the writing fresh for me and makes me want to sit down at the computer every day.

Creating stories about people that can make someone laugh, sigh, maybe tear up, or hug someone they love a little harder or more often is the best thing I can imagine doing.

Because the one what if question I hate to think about is, “What if there were no love stories?”

About the author: Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, flawed heroines, sex with food and happily ever afters. She does not like to write dark moments, synopses or bios.

 can find Erin on the web at her blog, on Twitter and even on Facebook.

Erin will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and choice of an eBook from her backlist to one commenter at every stop. In order to be entered, leave a comment below along with your email.


  1. I am looking forward to reading ANYTHING YOU WANT. Purple panties - they are fun!!


  2. It looks like a fun and intense story. I can't wait to read it!
    eli_green22 at yahoo dot com dot br

  3. What a fun blurb. This sounds like a really fun story.

  4. I didn't know Luke's family adopted Marc. Interesting! This book sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it to learn more about Luke, Marc, and Sabrina.


  5. Erin...I tried to go look at your blog just now...only to find that it is BLOCKED on my campus (as being in the pornography category)...LOL. The things that I do on my lunch hour! I'll have to check it out from home.

    From the blurbs (and reviews) this week, I'm not really sure that I like Sabrina. While I like a spunky heroine, I also like one who's loyal and who doesn't use people. If someone called me out of the blue and I haven't heard a peep from him/her in 4 years (at which time he/she hurt me), and come to find out he/she needs a favor because their car broke down...I would NOT be inclined to help! Luke sounds like maybe too nice of a guy for her.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. I like your game of 'what if?'. It could take the story in an infinite number of directions. So, do you answer your 'what if?' with more than one answer? And what happens if you write yourself in a corner and have to backtrack to the original 'what if?' to take a different route?

    One of my favorite authors used to do a 'You Tell Me the Story' with her readers. On her website, she would post the first chapter of a story. At the end of the chapter, she gave 3 scenarios for readers to vote. At the end of voting, she would write the next chapter based on the majority votes for one of the three options. This went on for about 6 months until she wrote a complete short story. Lots of fun waiting for the next installment and to see if my choice won the vote!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  7. I always feel that characters drive a good plot first. Interesting to hear your writing methods!


  8. The blurb is very interesting and that cover is amazing! I think I will really like Marc. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. In real life I don't go "what if", but it's amusing in books.

  10. I would love to read this book that looks so sexy.

  11. I would think that all authors would like to play "what if", that it would help to generate ideas. And I am with you with not liking to think about the question "What if there were no romances". That would be a very scary world, lol.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  12. I love that you let your characters speak for themselves and find their own way.

  13. This sounds like a really good book. I definitely need to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Sounds great!!!


  15. I would love to read this book. Thanks ever so much for the giveaway
    susand1408 at gmail dot com