Tag Archives: Harlequin Superromance

Welcome, Vicki Essex!

Vicki, thank you so much for joining me today! I’m an avid fan and can’t wait to read this book.

Vicki is a Harlequin author whose third Superromance, IN HER CORNER, is in bookstores now.

Vicki Essex, In Her Corner, Harlequin Superromance, MMABella Fiore has a lot to prove. For three generations her family has dominated the world of mixed martial arts—a tradition Bella dreams of carrying on. Her family, on the other hand, doesn’t agree. Without their support, she’s relying on the coaching of medal-winning Kyle Peters.

Training with Kyle is not what Bella expects. They’re constantly butting heads. And with the body of a Greek Adonis, Kyle’s mat technique isn’t her only focus. Not that this attraction can go any further. She has a title to win! Yet when Kyle proves Bella can always rely on him, a championship may not be the only thing worth fighting for….

How and when did you start reading romance?
I actually started reading romance because it was my day job. As a proofreader at Harlequin Enterprises, my job is to read romance books and correct them for spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency, and so forth. I’d never actually ready what I consider a romance before that.

How and when did you start writing romance?
I started writing romance about six months into my job at Harlequin. People were always saying it was “easy” and that “They’ll publish anything.” What a rude awakening that was. It took me three years and five romance manuscripts before I finally sold a book.

What has been the smartest decision you’ve made regarding your writing career?
Joining the Romance Writers of America and the Toronto Romance Writers was definitely a good choice. Being surrounded by people in the industry, learning the craft and networking with others was invaluable to my career.

What was the worst mistake you made?
I don’t think I’ve made one worth noting yet—hope it stays that way!

What do you do when you hit a snag or block in the writing? Do you pace? Do you munch furiously on snacks? Do you turn on music at full volume to stimulate your creative muse?
I stop. I go back. I reread what I’ve done and try to pick up the thread from what I might have written. Sometimes I’ll just leave it, take a couple of days off to think and rest. Or if I’m on a deadline, I’ll write ahead—skip whatever was in between and just go to the next important scene. Sometimes I’m just stuck because what I think I need to say is, in reality, boring, unnecessary or redundant.

Who/what inspires you?
My husband has always been my biggest cheerleader, and he’s always been a good sounding board. Everything gives me ideas—sometimes it’s just a short news item, or a part of a story I heard, or a lyric in a song. Sometimes I meet people I think would make great characters.

What’s your favourite food?
I love me a good steak, but I’m also very fond of cookies, chips, roast duck and the Chinese soups my mother makes.

Where is your favourite spot on earth?
It’s wherever my husband and my cat are, which usually means on the couch in front of the TV. But in terms of exotic locales, there was a very nice canopied bed on a white sand beach in Cancun, Mexico where we spent a day lounging and drinking margaritas and pina coladas.

Do you have a life theme and does it run through your books?
None that I’ve perceived. But I do like encouraging readers to seek out romance stories in unexpected places, which is why I have two books set in the world of mixed martial arts.

Vicki Essex is a romance writer in Toronto. Her third book, IN HER CORNER, is available now from Harlequin Superromance.

You can find out more about Vicki and her books at
Twitter: @VickiEssex



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Winter Adventures

A few years ago, my life fell apart in most ways. I experienced huge, unexpected life changes and felt adrift. I decided the time was right to do things that I had been putting off for years. One of those was to take an Outward Bound course. I chose dogsledding in Algonquin Park in northern Ontario, Canada, in the middle of February. It was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. If you ever have the opportunity to try it, do so!Image

Ten of us slept in this prospector’s tent every night. Another couple of people slept outside in the sleds. It was an amazing adventure. I found healing in the magnificent landscape and peace in the companionship of the dogs. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not an athlete, and the physical aspect was a welcome challenge, but the real wonder of the experience was the dogs. They worked their hearts out for us, gladly, completely.

We would sled for hours at a time and, when we had to stop on the trail, i.e. when we ate our lunchtime sandwiches standing on the sled runners, the dogs yipped and pulled to get going, even after they’d already been running for a couple of hours. They just loved to run, to go. Here’s a photo of Azul and Keebler waiting for us to start moving again after a stop. Note Keebler jumping into the air to try to move the sled while Azul looks like a long-suffering older sibling 🙂


When we returned to camp, it didn’t matter how tired or hungry we were, our first priority was to get the dogs settled into their straw beds and watered and fed. We drilled through the frozen surface of a lake to get water for the dogs and gathered and chopped dead wood from the forest to heat that water. To encourage the dogs to drink enough to replace the fluids they’d lost while running, our guides threw frozen chicken into the water to flavor it. Then the chicken broth would be given to the dogs.

Some of them were clever. They would tip the bowls over so the broth would run into the snow. Then they would eat the chicken bits left sitting on top. We had to stand watch and scold if they tried to do that. Finally, when they realized we were serious, they would lap up the broth before eating the chicken bits in the bottom of the bowl 🙂 Only after we were sure they’d ingested enough fluids did they receive their solid food.Image

This is gorgeous Algonquin Park in the wintertime.

I used my experience sledding in Algonquin Park in my Superromance, IN FROM THE COLD. The hero in that novel runs a dogsledding business. His dogs mean the world to him. The heroine arrives in town to close down his business. Of course. Sparks ensue 🙂

“In the midst of winter, I discovered there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger—something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus

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