My Books!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Gold Crucifix

Welcome to Nickie Fleming's blog tour.  Nickie is the author of The Gold Crucifix.  Here's a bit about Nickie.

Nickie Fleming was born and raised in the historical town of Dendermonde, Belgium – home of the legendary Horse Bayard.

She read English Literature at the University of Ghent, and got her master’s degree in philology. Since then, she has been working as a high school teacher.

Her interests besides reading and writing are travelling, skiing in winter and enjoying fine food.


I asked Nickie if she'd talk to us about the challenges of being an author.  Nickie, thank you so much for sharing with us.  Take it away!

When you are not being offered a million bucks to write a novel – like some of the authors I know personally – it is rather a challenge to write.

In my case, I did not set out to become an author and only live for my art. No, I wanted to do something entirely different, so I became a high school teacher. Lots of people think that being a teacher is like a lifelong vacation – hey, they have all these holidays, and being in a class with a bunch of kids can’t be very demanding, right??? Despite the hardships of confronting difficult students (and their parents) I do like my job and I believe I can say in truth that I have good interaction with those in my classes. I all treat them the same, for me it makes no difference where they come from or what their parents do. It’s what they do in my class what counts. They also know they can come to me if they’ve got a problem, and I will try to help them the best I can.

So writing is only a hobby for me. One that I have cherished since I was a little kid, since I grew up in a house full of books. I soon knew I could write novels in the tradition of Dumas and Dickens. I believe I was only 16 when I completed my first full length novel, Maria Gonzalez. Yes, the book which was published two years ago!

Although I kept making up stories all of my life, it took me until I reached my 50th birthday to realize I also wanted to be a published author. I’ve been lucky to find a publisher almost immediately.

As long as I can’t earn as much money as I make by being a teacher, I won’t give up my day time job. Being a woman, I’m able to do more than one thing at a time, so I can keep up with the preparation of my lessons and the correcting of papers, doing my part in the housekeeping (I live with my sister, and we both share the tasks) and the rest of the time is divided between my hobbies: reading, writing and travelling.

I set myself the goal of writing one book a year. Up to now it has worked out fine. I try to do some writing in the weekend, or during the holidays (of which we have so many!) but also when I’m at work. Sometimes my students are working on a task, while I makes some notes on my laptop. They can’t see it, but then I’m working on a novel…  Also on the train home to and from work I manage to write some pages, and sometimes the person sitting next to me asks what I’m doing and then I can explain about my being an author. You never know you’ll be selling a book by doing so.

To conclude, I don’t find it very challenging to write – but more so of having dinner ready (I hate cooking) or painting the walls of my house….

Nickie, we have a lot in common.  I too am a teacher.  I could relate to what you were saying.  Now let's read an excerpt from The Gold Crucifix.


England, mid seventeenth century. When young Sarah finds out that innkeeper Amos Jennings is not her father, she feels uncertain and scared. Her problems grow bigger when she starts a job as housekeeper and gets involved with two men who both want her love: the earl of Linfield, and his younger brother Richard. To escape these problems, Sarah takes off to London to begin a new life as actress at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Richard cannot forget the young woman her met at his brother’s. He is determined to find Sarah and make her his own--even his wife, despite what his family thinks of it. But love never comes easy. Richard and Sarah will have to face many a storm--even the Great Fire of London--before they can become one.

Excerpt:  This is where Sarah meets Richard, the brother of her employer, for the first time)

It happened in the last bend of the lane, just before the clearing where the lawns and flower-beds of the manor became visible.

All at once Sarah heard the thundering of a horse in full gallop, and before she could even jump to safety, she was pushed off the road into the soft grass of the verge. She was so stunned she did not hear the curse of the horseman and how he pulled his mount to a standstill.

Slowly, she crawled to an upright position and immediately noticed the pain in her right knee. Neglecting the fact that her basket had fallen and its contents were shattered over the path--some of them trodden on--she started to rub her knee fiercely. Only then did she notice the man, who had turned his horse and who was now throwing disdainful looks in her direction.

Suddenly, she realized what danger she had barely escaped. This notion triggered a fit of anger, which became so violent she turned hot and enflamed. Returning his glances with eyes that shot fire, she snarled, "You fool! You could have hurt me!"

The look in his eyes remained cold, but the tone of his voice revealed a show of interest.

"In case you shouldn't know, let me warn you that you find yourself on private property," he said.

She refused to be intimidated and was quick to answer. "So right you are. But I am the housekeeper of the Grange…sir," and she put all her contempt into the word, "and I have every right to be here. I was walking alongside the road and you should have been more careful! The least you can do is offer your apologies to me, and if you're a gentleman, you will help me pick up my belongings."

Thanks for including me in your blog tour.  Your book sounds wonderful.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Nickie today.

Nickie Fleming said...

Thanks for having me over!

MomJane said...

Your story sounds really fun.

Ingeborg said...

The book sounds wonderful.

Elaine Cantrell said...

MomJane and Ingeborg, I'm with you. the book sounds great.

bn100 said...

Very nice post and excerpt.