Monday, 30 January 2017

Author Interview - Nicola M Cameron

I absolutely fell in love with Nicola M Cameron's fantasy romance, EMPRESS OF STORMS, when I read it last year. So when I heard there'd be a sequel, I asked Nicola if she'd like to answer a few questions for me and give me, and you guys, a bit of insight into PALACE OF SCOUNDRELS. Without further ado, here we go!

Tell us a little bit about your newest release.
Palace of Scoundrels is the second book in my Two Thrones series and a sequel to Empress of Storms. Which was supposed to be a standalone, except that so many people asked, “Where’s the sequel” that I decided to go ahead and write one. Now I have a third book in mind as well as two novellas, one of which was entirely inspired by Rory McCann. Whee!

I was definitely delighted when I saw there was a sequel! I can understand people begging for more. Was there any part of this story you found particularly tough to write? If so, why?
It’s fairly intricate from a political point of view. Politics tend to make my teeth itch so delving into the political game powering the plot took a fair amount of effort.

Is there any part of this story you absolutely love, and why?
The banter. I love writing good banter, and I love using it to show how Matthias and Danaë have not only remained in love, but grown comfortable with each other over the months.

Do you have a favourite genre to write in?
Science fiction erotic romance. So yeah, this is something of a departure.

I bet! And on that note then, are there any genres you haven't tried yet that you really want to?
I’m currently taking a crack at straight historical romance. I’ve done historical stories before, but always with speculative fiction elements. My current WIP is set in Weimar Republic-era Berlin, so doing all the research for that was fascinating.

Oh yeah, I love reading historical biographies, but I've not yet had the nerve to try writing historical fiction. Good luck! Who are your biggest influences – they don't have to just be literary ones!
Literary — Sir Terry Pratchett, Kage Baker, and Madeleine L’engle. For reader interaction, it’s Jeffrey Combs — he’s long been one of my favorite actors, and back in 2009 I got the chance to meet him and speak with him for a half hour. He was utterly charming, gracious, and put me at my ease, and that’s what I try to give back to anyone who interacts with me.

If you could have dinner with any three writers, living or dead, who would they be?
Sir Terry (he was a personal friend and I miss him), Lewis Carroll, and Lois McMaster Bujold. Man, that would make for some interesting dinner conversation.

Are there any books you can just read over and over again and never get sick of?
The Outlander series, Kage Baker’s Company series, the Vorkosigan series, Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series. Can you guess that I like series?

If you could recommend any book (beside your own) to everyone reading this, what would it be?
Damon Suede’s Hot Head. Just an absolutely perfect book.

The tough question now. Tea or coffee?
Neither — I don’t like hot drinks.

Shocking revelation from Nicola M Cameron! You read it here first. Apart from writing, what are your great passions in life?
Making stuff (the maker gene is strong in my family), my delightfully wacky husband, and environmentalism.

What else are you working on right now? What's up next from you?
I’m currently finishing up a MMF historical erotic romance titled Behind the Iron Cross that’s set in the aforementioned Weimar Republic-era Berlin. After that I have a dubcon erotic romance titled Do No Harm, and after THAT is going to be a straight-out sex comedy set in the court of Louis XIV called The Chevalier. So, yeah, I pretty much have the rest of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 mapped out.

So now you know a bit more about Nicola, let's take a look at PALACE OF SCOUNDRELS!

Spring has sprung in the island kingdom of Hellas, and with it come thoughts of young love and fruitful fields. But with no signs of an occupant for the royal nursery, Queen Danaë is starting to worry about her own fertility. Her concerns aren’t helped by the arrival of the legendarily conniving Dowager Queen Atilia of Illium–or the woman’s handsome grandson Prince Marcus, on the run after being accused of poisoning his older brother.

In the neighboring kingdom of Ypres, Danaë’s royal husband Matthias is dealing with dangerous family politics and a wolfish duke who has kidnapped a young noblewoman for immoral purposes. Or has he? Can Matthias ward off the threat of civil war, outwit his relatives, and deal with a charming rival in his wife’s own palace?

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And read on for an excerpt!

Matthias pulled Danaë into his lap, squeezing her close. She felt his chest rumble in rueful laughter. “Only you could fall into the ocean, be rescued by pirates, and wind up haring off with them on a treasure hunt.”

“Oddly enough, Father said much the same thing,” she admitted. “But it turned into a wonderful adventure. I even got my favorite tiara out of it, the silver one with the large pearl.” She’d also earned the unswerving loyalty of Captain Jason Constantinedes and his crew, who now served as her personal spy network outside of Hellas. After brief consideration she decided not to mention the days she had spent as Jason’s willing lover. It was in the past, and she didn’t want Matthias harboring a grudge against Jason if the captain ever had cause to come to Hellaspont. “They brought me back home with a wealth of knowledge about piracy on the high seas. Which is why I know I don’t want to be a pirate queen.”

“Thank the gods for that,” Matthias muttered, kissing her hair. “You’re rapacious enough as it is.”

She turned so that she could nuzzle under his ear, licking the salty skin there. “I never heard you complain before.”

“I’m not complaining now, little bird, merely observing.”

She hummed, catching his earlobe between her teeth and nibbling on it. “Rapacious,” she whispered after she let it go. “I like the sound of that.” His breath caught as she traced spirals on his skin with the tip of her tongue. She could smell clean sweat, male musk, and something distinctly Matthias underneath it all. “Would you like me to show you how rapacious I can be?” she teased.

“Another night, perhaps,” She heard a promise in his voice. “Tonight, milady, I plan on doing the boarding.”

His arms tightened around her and he got up with a soft grunt, carrying her to the bed and dropping her onto the silk coverlet. She bounced with a giggle and rose up on her elbows, watching avidly as he pulled off his shirt and breeches. Regular riding and sparring matches with his guard had kept him muscled and firm, and she could spend hours running her fingers over the curves and dips of his body, particularly his broad, furred chest. The flickering light from candle and fireplace transformed the hair there into gold and amber sparks, trailing down his carved abdomen before spreading into a darker nest of curls around his rising cock. She rubbed her thighs together, feeling the delicious ache that always grew between them when he stripped like this for her.

He cupped himself, squeezing the shaft hard enough to make the sheathed head bulge. “Still want a statue of me?” he asked, with the cheerful arrogance of a man who knew he was desired.

She licked her lips. “More than ever.”

He glanced down at his swelling flesh and grinned. “You can’t scare me, you know. I’ve seen the kind of statuary you have in Hellas. I doubt anyone would bat an eyelash at it.”

“Bat an eyelash, no. Be violently jealous of me, yes.” It was her turn to tease, and she took her time unfastening the brooches that held up her gown. She slid the delicate fabric over one breast, then the other, letting it caress her hardening nipples. The sensation made her shiver. Cupping one breast, she rolled the peak between her fingers, imagining his hot, wet mouth around it. “The question is, what will your future subjects think when they see the statue of me?”

Matthias put a knee on the mattress. The movement made the furred sac between his legs swing a bit, and she reached out to cradle it, enjoying how he shivered at her touch. “The women will weep from envy, and the men will all fall in love with you,” he murmured, his voice rough and needy. “And none of them will ever have you.”

“No, they won’t,” she breathed, letting him push her onto her back. The ache between her hips grew, turning into a slow, sweet throb. “Only you, my love.


Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of "y'all," much to her Chicago family's dismay.

Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn't until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).
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