The Last Charm Paperback Publication Day!

Hello my lovelies, I hope you’re well and staying safe in these uncertain times! I’m having a bit of a ‘pinch myself’ moment, because today marks the paperback publication day for The Last Charm, which came out in ebook and audiobook on 21 August.

I’ve been incredibly lucky with The Last Charm because people have really taken it into their hearts, with lots of support from bloggers and authors, and there are now over 240 ratings on Amazon UK along with 130+ fab reviews. It’s also been in several Top 10 Charts on Amazon in Hot New Releases, and in October hit #117 in the whole of the Amazon US store, and was in the Top 10 for Holiday Romance and Friendship Fiction over there 🙂 At the moment, the dream is to acquire one of those little orange ‘Bestseller’ flags – we’ll see! I also had amazing news that a high street retailer has placed a big order of the paperback, however with the current lockdown, no-one can get to them. Hopefully in early December, lockdown will lift and I’ll be able to confirm where you can lay your hands on a copy… Other than by ordering one online via Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and Bookshop. (If you’d like to order a signed copy dedicated to whoever you choose, please email me directly and I can confirm a price including postage costs).

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported my book baby, from my family and friends, to authors, bloggers and readers, and to my publisher – it means a lot, especially as writing is such a solitary profession. As I’ve had to cancel my physical book launch at a local bookstore, I’m having an online launch party tonight at 7.00 p.m UK time – there’ll be fun, chat and a giveaway with prizes including two signed copies of the paperback – I’d love to see you there via Facebook https://fb.me/e/20fibqlJY

As a reminder, here’s the blurb for The Last Charm:

A moving & heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You, One Day in December & Normal People

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

Here are the buy links if you’re interested:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/340NXLz

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-last-charm/ella-allbright/9780008386573

Hive – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Ella-Allbright/The-Last-Charm/24754176

Bookshop – https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-last-charm/9780008386573

https://uk.bookshop.org/books/christmas-wishes-9780008392994

Very excitingly, I’m also sharing paperback publication day with my lovely and talented aunt Sue Moorcroft – who is a Sunday Times bestseller – for her latest Middledip novel Christmas Wishes. It’s a fab festive read set in Sweden and the UK, and I actually helped out with a little bit of research, so if you grab a copy you might see a little mention of me in the acknowledgments! It’s the first time since we’ve both been published that we’ve shared a publication day, so in honour of that we’re appearing together on the One More Chapter (part of our publisher, HarperCollins) Book Club on Facebook next Wednesday 18 November at 1.00 p.m. via https://www.facebook.com/0neMoreChapter

Here’s the blurb for Christmas Wishes (buy links above, and it’s also available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s – and WH Smith when the book shops aren’t shut)…

A sparkling Christmas read from the Sunday Times bestseller – perfect to snuggle up with this winter!

Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.

But fate is keeping them apart… 

As soon as Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after.

When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?

A heartwarming story of love, friendship, and Christmas magic, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Jill Mansell.

Until next time, happy reading & writing.

Stay well & safe, Ella/Nikki xx

The Last Charm Publication Day & A Giveaway!!

Hello lovely people,

I hope you’re well and staying safe in these uncertain times. I’m so excited to say that The Last Charm, my first book under the pen name of Ella Allbright, is published as an ebook and an audiobook today! If you haven’t heard me going on about it already, it’s commercial women’s fiction – an epic love story set in my beautiful home county of Dorset. If you loved Normal People, Me Before You and One Day in December, I think you’ll like this 🙂  It feels like a long time coming because it took me almost three years to write from start to finish, and we’ve been spreading the word about it since February this year, just before lockdown started.

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Blurb

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her… and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

Quotes/Reviews

Here are a few lovely author quotes and some equally lovely reviews from people kind enough to read it as an advanced review copy on Netgalley…

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‘Beautifully written, cunningly constructed and emotionally deep. Ella Allbright is an exciting voice in fiction!’ Sue Moorcroft, Sunday Times Bestselling author of Let It Snow

‘A charming, tender love story & one-sitting reading that was just gorgeous.’ Carmel Harrington, Bestselling author of My Pear-Shaped Life

‘This was such a moving story. Completely devoured me and crushed my heart into pieces!’ Georgi B, Netgalley

‘Magical, heartwarming, charming, heartbreaking, enthralling… really, this book is simply beautiful.’ Sarah L, Netgalley

Buy Links

And without much further ado, if you fancy it, here’s where you can buy it ❤

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Audiobook at Amazon/Audible or Kobo

Ebook from Amazon or  Kobo or Google Play

Giveaway

As well as the excitement of publication day, we’re also running a TLC/Dorset inspired giveaway 🙂 This will be open for the next week or so, alongside the blog tour being superbly run by Rachel’s Random Resources and with the help of thirty-six lovely bloggers. First prize is the gorgeous The Last Charm/Reading mug, postcards, Lulworth chocolate, mermaid bookmark and keepsake book bracelet. Second and third place are the postcards, chocolate bars and chocolate lollipops plus bookmarks. There’s also a mystery prize for each of the three prize winners! To enter, just click on the below rafflecopter link and follow the instructions 🙂 Please note this is for over 18’s and UK residents only – sorry! Good luck to everyone who enters…

Rafflecopter Link

That’s it for now! I’ll let you know how the book does and hopefully be back with more exciting news in due course.

Until next time, happy reading & writing (and stay safe),

Love, Ella / Nikki xx

 

Reminiscing About Writing Retreats

Hello my lovelies,

I hope you’re all well and staying safe. I was talking to Debbie Flint who runs Retreats For You in north Devon the other day and it got me thinking about how much of The Last Charm I actually wrote there over the course of two summers, and how much longer it might’ve taken to finish the book had it not been for the lovely tranquil cottage and even lovelier team to look after me. I went digging around and found a post from 2018 I wrote about my first experience there – you can read it here The Wonders of Writing Retreats.

 

The four days I spend at Retreats For You each summer enabled me to get huge chunks of the story down, and during those visits I wrote circa 45,000 words – or half a book… The benefits of writing retreats for me are:-

  • No day job to distract me – I save up holiday entitlement to use
  • No Fiancé/son/puppy to look after/talk to/walk – very time intensive!
  • No housework – I’m cooked for and taken care of at RfU
  • No life admin – the bills can wait until I’m home
  • Headspace – the ability to focus on the story and nothing else
  • Freedom – setting my own schedule, around meal times
  • Triple the number of physical hours I usually get to write in, around the day job and other commitments*

*I got into a routine of 7.00 a.m. wake up, write for an hour, shower and dress, quick breakfast, write until lunchtime, quick lunch, write until 5.30 p.m., take the retreat dog for a walk, dinner and wine with everyone, write until 10.00 p.m, read for an hour/watch TV, sleep… repeat! This meant I got at least 10 hours of writing time a day, if not more.

If you get the opportunity to visit a writing retreat – which often includes tutors on site to deliver workshops – I’d heartily recommend it. Giving yourself permission to write is an important step on the journey to finishing a book and getting it published, or meeting your deadlines if you’re a published author. If you can’t go on a retreat due to financial pressures/family responsibilities then there’s always the option of going to stay with a friend (so long as you explain you’re not there to socialise other than at meal times!) or having an ‘at home’ retreat. I’ve done this before, and it really just means clearing the decks for a whole weekend in terms of visitors, commitments, housework etc and telling your nearest and dearest to pretend you’re not in the house and that disturbing you while you’re hiding in the spare room/shed/corner of the kitchen will mean certain death!

I was intending to visit Retreats For You again this year, but due to lockdown it sadly hasn’t been possible, and they had to pivot and offer the cottage out as an Air B’n’B… Seeing all the pictures made me feel almost home sick! But roll on 2021, because I’ll be back and am looking forward to it 🙂

Have you ever been to a retreat? What did you get done, or achieve? It would be lovely to hear about your experiences 🙂

Until next time, happy reading & writing,

Love, Nikki / Ella xx

 

The Last Charm & OMC Readalong

Hello my lovelies, I hope you’re staying safe & well.

It’s been a busy few weeks as I’ve started a new HR day job and there’s also lots going on with the forthcoming publication of The Last Charm THIS Friday! 🙂 I just wanted to share the exciting news that my publisher One More Chapter (digital first division of HarperCollins) are hosting a week long readalong to coincide with my blog tour, from publication day onwards.

The readalong is an exciting opportunity for reviewers and bloggers to read The Last Charm together, chat about the book with me and each other, and join in with lots of fun activities and interactive events like a Facebook Live on publication day, plus via an Instagram Story takeover I’ll be doing. The full schedule will be released this week, and lovely people have already started talking about it on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

If you’re interested in taking part, you can direct message the OMC Twitter account here @0neMoreChapter_ or sign up to their Blogger Newsletter here bit.ly/OMCBloggerMail. You can also keep an eye on what’s going on via the Twitter and Instagram handle #OMCReadalong 🙂

It’s the first readalong they’ve done, and I’m really excited about it!

Until next time, happy reading & writing,

Love, Nikki / Ella x

The Last Charm Blog Tour!

Hello my lovelies,

I hope you’re all well and staying safe during these uncertain times, and getting plenty of writing and/or reading done – or if not, whatever gets you through. Personally, I am partial to gin 😉

I’ve just started a new HR role working remotely from home, and am also busy editing the next book as well as doing promo for The Last Charm, so life certainly feels very busy at the moment!

I can’t quite believe it, but there are now less than two weeks to go until the ebook of The Last Charm is published on 21st August. I’m both nervous and excited, and am just hoping readers who buy it will love it as much as the majority of early reviewers on Netgalley have 🙂 I hope that Leila and Jake’s story touches people’s hearts in the same way that writing about these two complex characters touched mine.

Very excitingly, the wonderful Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources is hosting a week long blog tour from 21st – 28th August with the help of thirty-six amazing bloggers who are going to review / blog about the book. Doesn’t the graphic look fabulous? It would be lovely if you’d stop in at one of the blogs during publication week, have a read and say hello 🙂 We’re also going to be running a gorgeous TLC/Dorset themed giveaway, so if you fancy entering, the details will be on those blogs (I’ll also post the link on my blog on publication day).

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More exciting news about publication week plans are coming soon, as well as some great news about the TLC audiobook!

Until next time, happy reading & writing,

Love, Nikki xx

Leaving Your (Writerly) Comfort Zone

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Hello my lovelies,

hope you’re well and staying safe. In the lead up to publication of The Last Charm under my Ella Allbright pen name, I’ve done some things that are within my comfort zone… and some that are definitely outside of it! I thought I’d share those experiences with you here. Readers may be interested in taking a peek ‘behind the curtain’ and aspiring authors may want to think about what could be expected of them if they get that sought after publishing deal…

It’s been a while since I had a book published (2018, and that was in Italy) and a lot has changed since then, but the main things I considered when musing over (worrying about) publication plans at the beginning of 2020 included: the rise and increased power of Netgalley, Goodreads and Amazon; reader expectations in terms of engagement with the author; and changed publishing models (increased popularity of digital-first publishing and audio books).

I worked hard on The Last Charm over a period of three years through job changes, house moves, bereavements and raising teenagers. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart and I want to do everything I can to make it a success, so I decided to really go for it with promotion and building my author brand as Ella, while hanging on to the one I’d already created as Nikki Moore.

I decided to work on the premise of two ideas: –

(1) Knock on as many promo doors as possible – ask people for help, even if it makes you squirm. (If you don’t ask, you don’t get. The worst that can happen is someone says no, or fails to reply).

(2) Say YES to anything you’re asked to do, however scary it is

I consider myself a confident person, but actually doing these two things in practice has been hard! Over the past 6 months they’ve led to exciting yet often nerve-wracking experiences, but with some amazing results 🙂

I have: –

  • Approached authors to read early copies of The Last Charm, many of them big names and/or best sellers, to provide author quotes – so far 10 have provided them, including Alex Brown, Sue Moorcroft, Carmel Harrington and Catherine Miller

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  • Appeared on a Facebook Live with the lovely Kiren of Tamworth Book Club (I HATE seeing myself on screen so this was particularly hard for me) – to date this has had c. 700 views (Watch via Tamworth Book Club with Ella Allbright)
  • Been on the BBC Radio Solent Dorset’s Breakfast Show for a 5 minute prime-time slot about writing during lockdown – this gave me great exposure and there was a spike in ebook sales that weekend (listen at 1hr 25 mins via BBC Radio Solent Dorset’s Breakfast Show)

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  • Gritted my teeth, read every review on Netgalley & where it’s a 4 or 5 star (thankfully, the majority of them) I’ve tweeted, shared on Insta, or posted them on Facebook – this has created a real buzz and people now message me to tell me when they’ve pre-ordered, have finished reading the book or have left a review 🙂

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  • Appeared in a local magazine, Dorset Living, talking about why I love Dorset and have decided to set The Last Charm here (with a giant photo of my face in it!) – this has been great for raising brand awareness and I’ve had a lovely response on Fb and Twitter (read digital version via Dorset Living – August Edition)

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  • Invested in Facebook ads before my publisher One More Chapter took over paid adverts – raised awareness, garnered some lovely comments plus some pre-order sales
  • Started vlogging on YouTube about writing and publishing (on a hiatus during most of lockdown because I’ve been editing a book, but returning soon) – which got some lovely feedback, with people suggesting topics for future vlogs (watch via Author By The Sea YouTube Videos)
  • Put myself forward to lead a workshop on writing at the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference. This is now postponed to July 2021, and people who know me know I love talking about books and writing in person, but speaking about those things in front of a roomful of my peers (some of whom I’ll be fan-girling over) is going to be challenging!
  • Pitched national magazines about featuring in reviews, author slots or writing in lockdown articles for them – I’ve had a few no’s, one maybe and am waiting to hear back from the others, so watch this space!

I’ve also enjoyed lots of engagement with (early) readers and reviewers on social media, been asked to read and provide author quotes for other people (a privilege), and have agreed to several other live social media events. All of the above, along with OMC really publicising the book, has led to a healthy amount of pre-orders with 3 weeks still to go before ebook publication as well as The Last Charm twice appearing in two Top 100 Fiction Charts on Amazon (Coming of Age, and College & New Adult).

Every experience has taught me – or will teach me – something new, and these are the most important learnings so far:-

  • Be authentic & be yourself
  • Be brave
  • Be honest 
  • Be passionate about your book
  • Be generous in your support of others
  • Be grateful for the support – say thank you 🙂 

Only 3 weeks to go until ebook publication – wish me luck! If you want to pre-order the ebook, audio or paperback you can do so via Amazon, Google Play or Kobo – at the moment, the ebook is a bargain at just 99p in the UK.  

Please do track me down on social media to say hello, ask me questions or ask for help with something 🙂

Until next time, happy reading & writing,

Love, Nikki/Ella xx 

https://amzn.to/3a1kroG

Book Chat on Radio Tamworth!

Hello my lovelies,

I hope you’re well and staying safe.

Over the past few months I’ve been busy getting the word out about The Last Charm, thanking lots of lovely people for some amazing Netgalley and Goodreads reviews, and also writing my next book! I’ve finally finished a full draft and will then be getting out the red editing pen and doing some serious work on it before sending it to my agent Hattie.

In the meantime, I’m delighted to be joining the lovely Kiren at Radio Tamworth this week to talk about books, writing and The Last Charm 🙂 If you can tune in, watch along with us and ask some questions or even watch afterwards on Facebook, that would be fab – and truly appreciated. You might pick up some interesting writing tips, find out about the books I’ve been reading during lockdown, or hear about the inspiration for The Last Charm – an epic love story set in Dorset for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December.

Here are the details: –

When: Thursday 2 July 2020

Time: 10.00 a.m. 

Where: On Facebook Live via  m.facebook.com/TamworthReads/ OR listen to Radio Tamworth online or on the radio via 106.8 FM

Hope to see you there, and if you listen in, I hope you enjoy it.

Nikki / Ella x

 

New Title! Tweaked Cover! The Last Charm…

Hello my lovelies,

I hope you’re managing to cope with lockdown, are staying safe and well during this difficult and uncertain time, and that your family and friends are safe and well too.

Our house has been busy, but after an initial period in which I couldn’t concentrate at all, I’ve been reading more than ever, and writing lots too (around GCSE level home schooling!) I’ve found and read so many gorgeous, escapist books over the past six weeks that I thought the best thing I can do as an author right now is to keep writing stories for people to read 🙂 In light of that, and because I’m cramming writing around home schooling, puppy caring and house work, I’m taking a few weeks break from vlogging to do a huge re-write of the current work-in-progress.

To brighten people’s days, I’ve been posting pictures of our adorable beagle puppy Luna on Twitter, using the hashtag #SocialDistancingWithMyDog, as well as running giveaways for some of the #LoveLondon ebooks and trying to support other authors as much as possible. So many of them are missing out on book launches or events that I wanted to help them out on social media where I can.

In amongst all that, the decision’s been made to give my forthcoming new book (out in August as an ebook) a new title, with a slightly tweaked cover, so I wanted to share it with you all. It was called The Charm Bracelet, but I’m very excited to say it’s now The Last Charm. This was actually what I was calling the story in my head during the last six months of writing it. The cover hasn’t changed much, only a couple of tweaks to the strap-lines either side of Leila and Jake, with Ella Allbright in a different font colour.

What do you think? Do you love it?

I’m also absolutely delighted to say that The Last Charm currently has 76 reviews on Netgalley – with still three and a half months to go until publication – and a rating of 4.49 stars on Goodreads. It’s all very exciting, especially as readers and reviewers seem to really be taking Leila and Jake into their hearts.

Stay safe, stay home, take time to breathe and relax when you can – and don’t feel guilty about what you can’t do at the moment, just be proud of what you CAN do.

Until next time, happy reading & writing,

Love, Nikki xx

 

The Charm Bracelet – Cover Reveal Day!

Hello my lovelies,

I know it’s been a while – because I’m heavily into writing the next book, and mostly vlog nowadays – but I am SO excited today to finally share the cover of my next book with you.

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What do you think? It’s my first novel writing under the new name of Ella Allbright, and is commercial women’s fiction set in Dorset.

Here’s the blurb: –

A moving and heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

I love the cover so much that I even had my nails done in the same design ❤

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The novel will be published by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins UK, and while it isn’t out until the summer, it can be pre-ordered now at several retailers. If you do pre-order now, you’ll get it for the displayed price even if it increases between now and publication day. And the ebook is currently ONLY 99p!

 

Ebook: Out 21 August 2020

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3a1kroG

Kobo – https://bit.ly/2w0e32r

Google Play – http://bit.ly/3a4wjpQ

 

Paperback: Out 12 November 2020

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charm-Bracelet-Ella-Allbright/dp/0008386579

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-charm-bracelet/ella-allbright/9780008386573

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the cover and blurb 🙂

In the meantime, happy reading & writing,

Nikki xx

The Decade That Rocked (aka Don’t Give Up!)

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Hello my lovelies,

I hope you had a great festive season and are all hyped up about 2020! It’s that time of year again when we look back over the past 12 months, think about our achievements and then about our dreams for the coming year. The end of 2019 was all the more poignant as it marked the end of a decade, and I’ve seen loads of Facebook posts about 2009 vs 2019 and how the decade unravelled for people.

For me, the last decade has held it’s ups and downs, whether personal, professional (the day job) or writing wise. I’m the type of person who likes to think of set backs as opportunities for growth, and the 2010’s have been no exception. In that time my son has finished primary school and is now in Year 10 of secondary school, and my daughter has finished education, pursued a career in childcare and turns 20 this month (!!) Luckily my children are happy and healthy, and I’m proud to have played a part in that. I have gone through a separation and divorce, suffered significant bereavements, moved house twice, moved jobs four times for promotion, met my Fiancé Mark and celebrated his 30th birthday with him in Miami, turned 40, got engaged, attended weddings, christenings, dinners (basically seen the lives of my family and friends flourish), holidayed in Florida and Malta, had road trips across Europe, and added a gorgeous beagle to our family. The list goes on… but what has been constant are my writing dreams, which I am close to fulfilling.

 

 

It was in 2010 that I started writing seriously to get published. That year, I won two writing competitions and sent my first manuscript off to the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme. From there I carried on writing novels and refining them as I got critiques, started this blog, started making connections with the writing community until at the RNA Conference in 2013 I met my now Editor at HarperCollins, Charlotte Ledger, who later offered me a four work contract. Since then, I’ve had three short stories, five novellas and two novels published. In 2019 I signed with a literary agent, Hattie Grunewald at The Blair Partnership (the agency who represent none other than J K Rowling), and set up a YouTube channel to start vlogging about getting published. I finished full edits on my next book just before Christmas – a women’s commercial fiction novel set in Dorset – which will be published by One More Chapter in 2020 under the pen name Ella Allbright.  I’m currently working on my next book with Hattie.

But I’m not boasting. None of this has happened easily; it has taken blood, sweat, tears, a good amount of angst and many hours to write those stories and get them published, especially around a full-time day job. I have still not achieved what I want to, which is earn enough from writing to reduce the day job to part-time hours. I am hopeful that with enough hard work and a bit of luck, I’ll manage that this decade. For now I say this to you; if you have a writing dream, don’t give up. Keep going. Write that short story, or novel, polish it, get advice, submit it, and take every knock as a sign of success, because it means you’re trying. And when it comes to fulfilling your dreams, that is half the battle. Be strong, be determined, be brave. Good luck!

 

reach for the and blue moon neon signages

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Until next time, happy reading & writing. Love, Nikki xx