Q: Tell us, readers, about your latest release, Ignite.
Ignite is the second book in the Heart of the Inferno Series. It is the story of Natalie Tyler, a nurse and everyday girl-next-door, who inadvertently becomes the paramour of billionaire mafia don Jaxon Pace. From completely different worlds, these two were never supposed to meet, let alone fall in love. But love is a funny thing, and despite all the outside forces attempting to tear these two apart, we see them choose each other, finding hope in the darkness.
Ignite picks up where Catalyst left off-with Jaxon having been shot by his assumed dead, but very NOT dead ex-girlfriend, who is now out for vengeance. And, if having a crazy ex-girlfriend after you isn't enough, Jaxon also learns that Natalie is pregnant with his child. Natalie learns more about Jaxon's "other" life, the one that very few outside of his underground crime organization ever get to see. But Jaxon is more than just a brute or bully, he is a complicated man, with a complicated past...and is also the father of her child. While Catalyst introduces us to a cast of beloved characters and sets the stage for Jaxon and Natalie's love story, Ignite will test that love in every way imaginable. Ignite is the fuel on the fire, thrusting our characters into a myriad of trials, tribulations and heartbreak that will test just how deep their love truly is.
Q: Using three words for each character, how would you describe your hero and heroine, Jaxon and Natalie?
Jaxon: Calculated. Complicated. Ruthless.
Natalie: Calm. Observant. Courageous.
Q: What led you into writing romantic suspense novels such as your Heat of Inferno series?
I'm a bit of a documentary enthusiast and fascinated by the various crime organizations around the world. Perhaps it's simply because I love a little mystery, but
I find it incredibly interesting that so many exist around us without the average person ever knowing. And while, yes, the men and women involved in these organizations might bad people who did bad things, the more I learned about these organizations, the more I realized there was more to the story. There was loyalty, honor, and even love. Not to any government or power in particular, but to their organization. Their FAMILY. I guess my dark little heart found that...beautiful. I've always had a heart for a good romance story, but I've always loved those broken, dark, bad boys even more. Those characters that blur the lines between "good" and "bad," challenging us to fall in love with both the light and dark inside them. I wanted Jaxon to be complex enough to make us REMEMBER him. To see him as the bad man keeping worse men in check. Moreover, to see that regardless of how rough and curt he can be with the people in his life, he would always treat Natalie like a queen...and that ALL of us are capable of change.
Ultimately I wanted a story that would appeal to both the romance lovers, as well as the thrill-seekers, and hope that I have accomplished that with this series.
Q: Why choose Chicago for the mafia city? Why not New York City?
While New York City has quite a history with the mafia, many forget that Chicago does as well. And with its ideal geography, it serves as a gateway to much of the country. I felt that given its history and mystery the Windy City provided
an excellent and eclectic backdrop for a story about a secret billionaire mafia man.
Q: What themes will readers find in your novel, Ignite (book 2)?
Ignite is many things, but mostly it is a story about the power of love, and what makes a strong relationship. While superficial beauty and attraction are easy enough to find in romance novels, the struggle and strength of a relationship between those beautiful people isn't as common. Jaxon and Natalie face many trials together as a couple, some of which are excruciatingly painful. But through it all we see them cling to each other, finding their way through the night together. Additionally, we see both of our characters grow in many beautiful ways, and find their strength in the community around them.
Q: Tell us more about the villains and your inspiration for creating them. Jaxon's ex-girlfriend, Rachel, and her psychotic brother, Michael sound like a great pair.
Rachel and Michael are the product of the world around them. They were born into pain, and though Rachel was able to find some sort of stability with Jaxon during their relationship, we learn it wasn't for very long. Jaxon was young and selfish, and Rachel was unfortunately a casualty of his wake. Michael on the other hand, is a different beast entirely. We learn in Ignite that he was traumatized as a child, an incident that completely changed how he viewed the world...and the people in it. Love is something he doesn't remember or understand, and so anyone in his life is always at risk of being his next victim.
Q: What other projects are you creating now and where can readers find your books online?
Right now I am finishing up the third book in the four book series, Flash Point. I know they say authors shouldn't have favorites but I would definitely argue that Flash Point might be just that! My books are available on Amazon and Kindle!
Nicole can be found at nherownwords.com
Nicole is a smitten wife and super proud dog mom to three rambunctious rescue dogs.
She is an old school romantic, with a proclivity for a little mischief, and an obsession with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Her debut novel, Catalyst, is the first incendiary installment of the Heart of the Inferno Series, which follows the story of a dangerous mafia don and the girl who became his only exception.