“Stunning, beautifully written romance” -- 5 stars, Amazon reviewer “I loved the relationship between Lena and Rob. What begins as a slow simmer quickly becomes molten between the two of them.” -- 5 stars, Amazon reviewer >>> Can a Paris bistro heal a broken heart?
Charm, wit and poignancy abound in this gripping contemporary romance. Introverted heiress Lena moves to Paris to nurse old wounds reopened by her neglectful boyfriend. Enter Rob, a charismatic and handsome Frenchman who waits tables at La Bohème -- a café on Lena’s street -- and has big dreams. He makes her laugh and forget her insecurities. She stirs something infinitely tender in his soul. Before they know it, they’ve fallen for each other, even though both had good reasons to fight the budding love. But their passionate romance is cut short when she discovers his dirty secret... *** WHAT IF IT’S LOVE? is the first book in the “Bistro La Bohème” series. >>> Is the “Bistro La Bohème” series for you? If you’ve enjoyed “Amelie” and “Friends” and like smart heroines, sexy heroes, witty dialogue and heart-stopping romance, then give this series a try. It will delight you with an unforgettable cast of imperfect and charming young men and women who work or frequent an ordinary yet special Parisian café. They fall in love, cope with heartbreak and chase their dreams with a passion that makes them endearing even when in the wrong. Welcome to the Bistro La Bohème! Take a seat by the window, order your café crème and lose yourself in these deeply romantic and heart-warming tales of love, friendship and finding out where you belong. *** The books are interconnected, with a recurring setting and characters. But each story is self-contained, and you can read it as a stand-alone.
Tell us about your latest book.
“What If It’s Love?” is a contemporary romance set in Paris. Its heroine Lena is a bookish, introverted heiress who comes to Paris to nurse a broken heart. Enter Rob, a handsome penniless waiter who sees the world as his oyster. They meet in a Paris bistro and start an unlikely friendship that soon blossoms into love.
Until she discovers his dirty secret.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’m not sure. Some of the characters and aspects of the story have hovered in my head for a few years now. But not the plot. It came to me one afternoon—and that’s when I began to write the book.
Who and what inspire you to write?
People around me, poetry, songs. “What If It’s Love?” was inspired by a friend’s story and Marina Tsvetaeva’s love poems. The friend in question isn’t an heiress, but her life was transformed by a few months’ stay in Paris, and after that she changed and grew in way similar to Lena’s.
The book I’m currently writing was partly inspired by Sting’s ballad “Mad About You.”
Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
Innocuously. One day I arrived at a point when my stories simply had to get out of my head and fix themselves to a medium other than my gray matter.
What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
The best part about writing is when things you didn’t even realize you knew jump into your story straight from some secret corner of your brain.
The down side is when you reread a draft scene you were quite pleased about the night before and realize it needs a complete makeover. Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Every writer knows what he meant.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I tend to do my most inspired and efficient writing in cafés.
Do you write your books in order?
When I brainstorm and write the outline, it’s all over the place. I often write the ending right after I’ve decided how the story will begin. Then I usually end up rewriting the ending after I’ve written the middle.
What is on your writing playlist for this book?
Any favorite writing snacks?
Coffee and chocolate. They’re also my favorite snacks for non-writing occasions. Come to think of it, they’re simply my favorite foods.
What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
Become your own publisher. Seriously.
Are you working on anything new right now?
I’m finishing “Under My Skin”, book # 2 in the “Bistro La Bohème” series. It’s Jeanne and Mat’s story, both of whom are secondary characters in “What If It’s Love?”.
Who is your favorite character in your current book?
Jeanne. She’s bold, fun and generous—the kind of woman I’ve always admired, being an introvert myself.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I’m absolutely incapable of picking one favorite book. So I’ll go by genre. In sci-fi, it’s Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama.” The most poetic and beautiful book I’ve ever read. A lot of good science fiction is poetic, by the way.
In magic realism, it’s Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita” and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” And since we’re in Latin America, I must stop to profess my love for Jorge Amado’s “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon.”
As for romance / chick lit, where do I begin? It will be easier to list favorite authors: Marian Keyes, India Knight, Courtney Milan, Judith Ivory, Tessa Dare, Kresley Kole, Carol Snow… to name a few.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book.
If you’re looking for these things in a book: a heroine to relate to, a hero to fall in love with, passion, laughs, conflict, and a happy ending—then my book is for you.
I am an avid reader of chick lit, romance and fantasy, caffeine addict and a badge-wearing Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth fan. I released my first book at the age of six. It had six postcard-size pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. The book was titled “Eliza and Robert” and had atrocious mistakes in every single word. Some words were written in mirror image. Unintentionally. I remember being immensely proud of my creation. Turns out there’s a remarkable constancy to my life: decades later, I still love the name Robert and the genre romance. As for my spelling and grammar, they are only marginally better than at age six (thank God for editors!). I live and work in Paris, France. When not writing, I read romance (what else?) and spend time with my family. Sign up to Alix Nichols's monthly Newsletter to get notified of new releases and offers, and receive a free ebook "Bistro La Bohème Cookbook: Quick and Easy French Recipes" (http://www.alixnichols.com/sign-me-up)