All Beautiful Things–Debut Author Nicki Harris Salcedo

I am, as , we say in the south, pleased as punch to host author Nicki Salcedo. Her debut release, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS is a powerful story and the cover is gorgeous.

Seven years ago, a knife-wielding stranger left socialite Ava Camden for dead on the sidewalk of an upscale Atlanta restaurant. She survived, but her face was brutally scarred. The police, the courts, and the powerful Camden family pinned the assault on only one suspect: Joel Sapphire, a twenty-year-old star athlete on the cusp of a pro football career. Too drunk to remember any details, Joel was found over Ava’s body, holding the bloody weapon. 

The letters. His brother is her only hope for the truth. All Beautiful Things 104 (3)

Graham Sapphire grew up fighting on the city’s tough southside, and he’ll never let the Camdens crush his family. Now a wealthy hotelier, he’s determined to clear his brother’s name—and to find the monster responsible for Ava’s scars. Graham started writing to Ava the day his brother entered prison, asking her to give him a chance and offering his help. She never answered—but she never stopped reading. 

The secrets. The truth may destroy them both. 

And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, here’s an excerpt:

Ava spun around in her chair and looked at the clock. Time had been slipping away from her all day. A knock on the door drew her attention, and Graham stood in the doorway.

Eight weeks, maybe less. He’ll be gone, too.

 “You okay?” he asked. “How come your mother didn’t get a restraining order against me?”

Ava tried not to stare. She didn’t often have a tall, overly handsome man leaning into her office with a somber impression on his face. Graham had one hand casually on the top of the door frame. A door frame she wouldn’t be able to reach even with the help of a ladder.

“I spoke the police. They are probably watching you, but that’s all.”

Graham stepped forward. “Are you hungry? You haven’t missed dinner yet. Do you want to eat with me?”

She sensed he was prepared for her rejection like it didn’t matter. He was braced for her to say no.

“I’d love to eat and see who’s in the shelter tonight.”

She stood and walked over to him, but Graham didn’t move out of the doorway. She was glad he didn’t back away. She was glad his voice filled the quiet of the room.

“Eat with us, see who you need to see, and then go home, Ava. I’m asking you to do a favor for me. Don’t drive around Atlanta. Go to your house and your bed. Go to sleep. You need rest. I don’t think you’ve had any sleep since I’ve met you. I’ll help here at the shelter. I will fill in wherever you would have.”

She shook her head. “I can’t go home. I need to be here. Otherwise, I’ll do what I shouldn’t do.”

“What’s that?” he asked. He could take away her cold, and he could take away her fear.

“I’ll follow the sirens. Tonight would be the first night that I don’t, and I’d rather stay here. I don’t want to go home. I can’t sleep.”

“Neither can I, Ava. I don’t sleep. Do you know why?”

The feeling in her chest she’d first called anger and later fear was something else. She could smell the sweetness of his sweat. Every part of him had a scent.

She wasn’t going to be afraid of anything anymore. The past. The sunlight. Even if they closed down the homeless shelter. She wouldn’t be afraid. Ava put a hand on Graham’s chest. She thought it would make him take a step back, but he stayed in the doorway.

She blinked slowly and imagined Graham moving the hair away from her face and leaning down to kiss her. Her mouth opened, and her eyes moved to his lips. Maybe she was afraid.

What happens in fairy tales? Do you need a kiss to wake up or a kiss to go to sleep?

Is that not fabulous?

Welcome to the Lair, Nicki! Grab a drink, a cabana boy or a gladiator, I’ve got a few questions for you 😉

When did you know you were a writer…not when you wanted to write, but when you KNEW you were a writer?

In 8th grade English I wrote a short story in the style of Edward Allen Poe. My teacher marked my paper with very encouraging comments. He liked my descriptions and the emotions the story evoked. He also was a little surprised. I have a happy personality, but I like mysterious and gloomy stories. I’ve written stories since I could hold a pencil, but in 8th grade I told myself, “I am a writer.” I had the same feeling when I held ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS for the first time!

 Why this story?

We’ve all felt unattractive, different, and unlovable at some point in our lives. We’ve all been rejected. I want to tell a story about a woman who feels like she is past hope and past love, and then show how
she finds love. What kind of man doesn’t see scars? What kind of man only sees
beauty? There are so many books with damaged heroes, I wanted to write about a
woman who was not sunshine and perfection but still give her a happily ever after.

What are 3 unique things about Nicki Salcedo?

When I was a kid, I had the beginning of the book The Outsiders completely memorized and could recite it by heart.

 Have four kids is unique, because I never imagined having any kids! People always ask, “Were you trying for the boy?” Then I explain the boy was baby number 3. We were just trying never to have sleep again.

 I adore fresh herbs. Basil, cilantro, rosemary, parsley. If you put one of these herbs on my plate I will really enjoy my meal.

Thanks for visiting with us! Do you have a question for the BB’s?

I like the idea of opposites and reversals. If you could describe your perfect opposite, what would that person be like?

Hmmm….must ponder that question. What about it peeps? Don’t be afraid to tell…I have an inkling if you said zombie, Nicki wouldn’t mind :0

One lucky commenter will win an autographed print copy OR Kindle download of ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS, winner’s choice.

Nicki

Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She was born in Jamaica and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America© and a Past President of Georgia Romance Writers. Nicki is a two-time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart Finalist.

 She lives in Atlanta with her four children, husband, and a cat. Nicki thinks everyone should write and loves connecting with readers. For more information go to: www.nickisalcedo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

70 Comments

  • Helen says:

    Is he coming to my place ?

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Helen says:

    Hi Nicki and Joanie

    Oh this sounds fantastic I need to add this one to my must have list 🙂

    My perfect opposite well I try try to be nice and thoughful and caring so my opposite would be not caring and not nice 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Joan, thanks for bringing Nicki to us today. We LOVE debut authors in the lair. Nicki, congratulations on All Beautiful Things. It sounds fantastic – such a lot of emotion and conflict and so much at stake. Wow!

    I’m laughing – I think my opposite would be tall and skinny and really athletic and graceful.

    • Anna, you don’t know what an honor it is to be here and in your company! I’m a frequent lurker and jumped at the chance to be on the blog today. Many thanks to Joan and the RB for inviting me.

      We share the same opposite! Love your books and thank you again.

      • Nicki, how lovely! Thank you! And I hope you’re enjoying your first visit to the lair. Now you’ve broken the ice, you’ll have to become a regular at the margarita bar! Looking forward to reading ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Good morning Nicki and Joanie. Wow my opposite? I think I married him. Honestly, when my husband and I met and got married we had TWO THINGS in common; we both hate peas and our political leanings. Not only that but we were raised totally and completely different; he’s country, I’m city; his parents had been married about 27 years, my mom had been married and divorced twice and was living with the man who became her third hubby. Just everything about us was completely different.
    After almost 30 years together we have a few more things in common and we compromise on other things. 🙂

    • Amy, I love it! City/Country rivals brought together over a mutual hatred of peas. Seriously good conflict material there. 30 years shows that opposites can be our perfect match. Thanks for joining the conversation today!

  • Patty L. says:

    This book sounds great. I love the damaged heroine angle.

    I married my opposite. LoL I am a social butterfly and he is total introvert. Of course, adore him and he puts up with my crazy. 🙂

  • Patty, everyone has to put up with my crazy. 🙂 It sounds like you found your perfect match. Being married to another extrovert might have been too much. Thanks for stopping by.

  • I love the concept of your main character in this story. True beauty is found on the inside rather than the outside. I think that it is wonderful that you explored the meaning of beauty in this book.

  • Joan Kayse says:

    A quick good morning everybody! Wow, Nicki! You and the Golden Rooster must hang out to be up and at ’em so early.

    So delighted to have you with us. I’ll be popping in during the day because Nicki…worked some type of magic that had the hospital putting me on budget! Which right now entails cuddling up with the kittehs and getting a few more zzz’s

    My opposite would be somebody who takes things totally in stride, does laundry without whining and doesn’t complain when I want to watch the Duck Dynasty marathon 😀

  • Laurie G says:

    Unique storyline. I want to know who did this horrendous crime to this beautiful woman. I want to unravel all the secrets surrounding this crime.

    Opposite of me- artistic, talented singer and guitar player, world traveler, rich, confident speaker, writer

    • Laurie, there are many secrets revealed in this story. I hope you like it if you read it.

      Never thought about a singing hero before, but since I can’t sing (I still do it anyway) my perfect opposite would be a great singer too. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hi Niki!! *waves madly* We’ve met several times at GRW and M&M. Welcome to the Romance Bandits Lair! :>

    Your book sounds fabulous and I love the excerpt. Provacative!

    As to my opposite…hmmm….telling you that might reveal waaaaay too much about who I am. Bwahahahah!!

    • Jeanne Adams, I believe you gave me THE Golden Heart call! You know my opposite should be poised, calm, and not a bit confused. 🙂 I’m a chameleon so maybe my real opposite would need to keep changing to keep up with me. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Jeanne your DH would be satisfied with a normal size Goldfish……instead of COSTO size 😀

      Yes, I’ll never get over that…

  • Susan Sey says:

    Oh, my perfect opposite? I think I might’ve married him. This makes for wonderful balances (he makes our social life happen while I would happily commune with the couch all weekend) but it creates some rip-roaring conflicts, too. (There is a proper way to load a dishwasher, after all.)

    Your story sounds wonderful, Nicki! I’ll be checking it out as soon as possible!

    • Susan, this is very important. Do you load utensils down with handles up, or up with handles down? You might be able to settle a debate in my house. 🙂

      • Joan Kayse says:

        Yanno Nicki depends on the utensil. Regular flatware etc. handles down. Larger pieces like ladles, spatulas, down. Though with my relatively new dishwasher acting up, it’s a toss up if ANY of them get clean :0

  • Deb says:

    Thanks for the interview, Nickki and Joanie, and thanks for visiting today. WOW, your book sounds good! I don’t read many contemps, but this is going on my TBR pile.

    Well, my husband and I are alike in many ways and have much in common. But, we are opposites in that I get stressed easily, he is encouraging. I am a reader, he is a gamer (Battle Pirates). He likes horror movies and zombies, I freak out even trying to watch The Walking Dead. It boils down to love and compromise. (He will even watch a chick flick with me.) 🙂

    Thanks for the great excerpt, Nicki. Ooooh, yep, adding to my TBR pile. 🙂

  • Cheryl Hart says:

    My opposite would be someone opposed to wearing jammies all day!

    My hubby and I used to be opposites, but over the past 30 years I’ve fixed him. Or perhaps the opposite is true. hee hee 😉

    I loved reading All Beautiful Things. Ava and Graham are unique and memorable. So is the author! <3

  • Shannon says:

    Congratulations on your debut novel.

    As for wanting an opposite, I guess I’d first look for somebody who likes to clean my house. Then I’d look for somebody positive; I love to have people who remind me of the good things of life and what I have to be grateful for. (Today is one of those days when I find myself pinging towards the negative.)

    • Shannon, my opposite is very calming when I’m having my grouchy days. I like being around positive people so their superpowers rub off on me. Thanks for stopping my.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Hi, Nicki, welcome to the Lair and congratulations on your debut release. Your story sounds delicious. I love reversal beauty and the beast stories!

    • Jo, this is the happiest lair I’ve ever seen. I love a good beast, and my hero is my favorite beauty. We each have both inside us. Some days beauty. Some days beast. Thanks for stopping by.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Hi Nicki! *waving wildly*

    Fellow readers, if you want to read a book that will knock your socks off and leave you thinking about the characters long after you turn that final page, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS is for you. I loved it. Loved. It. It’s on my “Best of 2014” book list and I don’t see it dropping off anytime soon.

    My late husband was my opposite in many ways. Big city vs small town, neat freak vs I’ll get to it tomorrow, happy traveler vs homebody, only child vs relatives coming out of the woodwork. Of course, we had many things in common as well, two of which were a love of cooking and a love of sports. I like to say that our differences added spice to our marriage just as our mutual love of garlic added flavor to the dishes we created in the kitchen. 😉

    • There is my best beauty, PJ! Hello, twin. 🙂 Thank you for the kind words about All Beautiful Things. My match and I also love sports and cooking, and I admit my love of cooking means I love watching him cook. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for sharing. Love ya!

  • So I’ve read the book and I really loved it. I felt you got into the psyche really great which is always something I enjoy.

    Your question, what would be my perfect opposite? The more self-deprecating side of me wants to say an anorexic. I just couldn’t go through life without food.

    On a more personal note, I think the opposite of me is someone who always complains about their life to the point no one wants to listen anymore and they let their trails be an excuse not to succeed. I think the opposite of me today is the me of high school.

    I didn’t go to college because kids from the trailer park just didn’t do that. I didn’t date because I was fat and no one loves fat people. Those were my thoughts then. I’m glad to learn that those thoughts were wrong.

    Did I go off topic? lol Anyway, love the book!

    • I forgot to tell it to notify me if anyone replies so this is me fixing that.

    • Bryonna, if you read the book then you know I am interested in raising questions. One of the questions is about meeting someone completely different. Ava is rich, Graham poor. She is angry and scarred. He is the kind protector. But at different points in the story, they take on characteristics of the other. Maybe even their former selves. I love that you said your opposite might have been yourself at a different life stage. I’m much more optimistic now compared to a younger me. I agree with you, and you are totally on point!

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Bryanna…we all love you in The Lair. Here….Demetrius will demonstrate….just um, don’t take any YouTube video…

  • bn100 says:

    Nice interview. Tall and rich

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Hi Nicki, just stopping by on the fly to say congratulations on your debut! Even though I can’t be part of GRW anymore that connection is still in my heart and I root for and support all you wonderful ladies just as you all did for me. Wishing you much success!!

  • Hey Nicki !

    Very cool to see you here and super congratulations on the debut!!!!!

    Let’s see – my opposite would be someone passionate about keeping their house spotless and who is a skinny-minny without a taste for desserts. LOL

  • Becke says:

    Nicki,

    Wounded/scarred heroine? Compelling. Fabulous cover. Congratulations on the debut.

    Exact opposite: wishy-washy, laid-back, goes with the flow. That would pretty much drive both of us crazy.
    b

    • Joan Kayse says:

      I absolutely LOVE this cover! I’m a “Covergirl” as it draws me first, then the back blurb then a few random pages.

      This one had me a “wow”

    • Becke, thanks for stopping by. The cover is designed by the ever awesome Deb Dixon.

      I can deal with laid-back, but wishy-washy? No. Let’s make up our minds and keep moving, people!

  • Wish I could hitch a ride with the GR, Helen! I’d love to come to Oz and visit you and Barb! Especially this time of year as it is cold and wet here in LA (Lower Alabama!)

    Great interview, ladies, and I love the excerpt! I am completely intrigued by the premise of this book. Putting it on the must read list!

    My perfect opposite ? Calm, first of all he’d have to be calm. Sensible. Sweet-tempered. Serious. A good driver. (LOL) Not stubborn. Patient. Not terribly organized or OCD. Deals well with idiots. 🙂

    • Louisa, you have me cracking up. “Deals well with idiots.” This!

      If we are taking a trip to Oz, count me in. I can be quiet (if necessary) and sit still. You wouldn’t even know I’m there. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Nicki, I’m about as focused as a headless chicken today! I’m so sorry to be so late getting here. Congrats on your wonderful debut.

    My perfect opposite would be patient, optimistic, and short. 🙂

    • Nancy, glad to see you hear. I appreciate you stopping by. We are all running like mad these days. I have to disagree with you on optimistic. That is not your opposite. You’re a realist, so your opposite would be fanciful. You are my hero! Take a rest this week. 5 minutes. No work, no books, no tv. With a timer. 5 minutes of quiet just for super optimistic you! Thanks again.

  • I love the whole premise of this book! Thank you for sharing.
    Now, as far as my perfect opposite? Well, I married him.
    I am emotional and act with my heart. He’s logical and thinks things through before acting on anything.
    I will fly off to just about anywhere and he’s grounded–and perfectly happy to stay home while his wife flits about. I am creative whereas he is a fix-it man who can actually read schematics and do math.
    I love to read. He loves to…not read.
    I love veggies and he loves meat.
    Name it, and we’re opposite.
    Somehow, it really works! 🙂 Go figure.

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    Well, I think I already found my opposite. I’m 5’2″ and not thin. My hubby is 6’10” and thinner than me…though I maintain that’s just an optical illusion. LOL

    I love the sound of your book, Nicki!

  • Thanks again Romance Bandits for the warm welcome! I enjoyed spending the day with you in the lair. Best wishes!

  • Teri says:

    Wow this book sounds really good! Nice interview. Am I too late for the contest? I’ll answer the question anyway… Like most people it seems, I married my opposite. We are opposite in a way that we balance each other out, which makes us kind of perfect for one another. And there’s never a dull moment!

    • Hi Teri, thanks for stopping by. I like to think that the opposite things help keep us closer together.

      A winner was already picked, but I do have a goodreads giveaway in progress if you’d like to try your luck over there. Happy reading! Thanks again for stopping by.