Welcome to my author website. Writing is my escapism, my own private paradise. Come dip your toe in and explore it with me.
I’m quite a simple creature really. I find contentment and joy in the little things, and I laugh a lot. I also love gin, karaoke and amazing beaches. So if you ever meet me in a setting where all three come into play, don’t expect to get the microphone back!
I’ve spent most of my life as a ‘frustrated creative’: someone who wanted to follow a more creative path, but who fell into a ‘safe’ job (which is actually quite fulfilling). I dreamt of being an author from a young age, when I was devouring the likes of The Babysitter’s Club and Point Horror. At 17 years old, I even flirted with writing outside the classroom when supposedly studying for my exams.
Fast forward nearly 20 years and it was a life-changing illness that got me on the path to becoming a serious writer. You can read more about my health challenges on my Fundraising pages, but the short version is that in 2014 my body essentially ‘broke’, and I spent months rehabilitating from a raft of confusing and debilitating neurological symptoms. During this time, I turned to writing to support my cognitive and physical rehabilitation, and the silver lining to all of this is that it led to me achieving my dream of being a published author.
Unfortunately, because of this lingering health problem, reading has become difficult for me and I have had move more in the direction of enjoying on-screen storytelling. But thankfully I can still write and edit (unless it’s one of my bad days) – and my passion for churning out books has become a very pleasant addiction and a distraction from some of my more debilitating chronic symptoms.
I write warm, witty and uplifting romances with a dollop of humour. Life is not straightforward and I like to reflect this in my writing – by creating realistic characters with complex lives who can learn along the way (as we all do). My debut novel, The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating was published by Orion Dash, and my next two novels, Take A Moment and an as yet untitled (but written!) romance will be published by Canelo in September this year and March 2022.
Stand Up Guy
18th January 2024
Dumped by Instagram post. Not a whiff of a social life. Can it get any worse?
After a string of failed relationships - romantic and platonic - Lea’s had enough of watching life happen without her. When she bumps into Shep, a comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in need of accommodation, it feels like destiny. And voilá – Lea now has a lodger and some company.
The two get on like a flat on fire, and Lea can’t resist falling for outgoing Shep. But she knows it’s a mistake that will cost her heart – he’s just another guy passing through, after all. And with Shep’s stand up routine edging him closer to his big break, there’s no way he’ll stick around.
Love is no laughing matter as the Fringe draws to a close. Can Lea find the confidence to step up and confess her feelings to Shep? Will he want to stay?
A feel-good, heartwarming romance for anyone desperate to break out of their shell and find their true self. Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary, Laura Jane Williams and Miranda Dickinson.
Just Like That
1st June 2023
Is fur-ever on the cards for these enemies-at-first-sight?
Jess is smashing her Edinburgh events management job right now. Her boss is talking about a promotion, her clients love her and other companies want her. But all of that comes to an abrupt halt when her brother has a sudden stroke. Jess doesn’t think twice about stepping in as his carer, but her boss is not so understanding.
Demoted to managing low-end events, Jess is less than thrilled to be assigned to a small animal park in need of raising funds. She’s even less happy when she clashes with arrogant head keeper, Nick. He's frustrated with her squeamishness; she thinks he’s a lech. Nick wants a baggage-free life; Jess has so much drama going on, even the Kardashians can’t keep up.
But maybe saving the animals of East Lothian Wildlife Park will help these op-paw-sites find some common ground…
A stunning romance, filled with humour and heart, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Miranda Dickinson and Laura Jane Williams.
One Night in Edinburgh
23rd June 2022
One night. But how many second chances?
Heartbroken on Hogmanay, Steph wanders through the Edinburgh street party until she bumps into Jamie. He’s funny, attractive and clearly interested. In a word, he’s perfect – but she didn’t get his number. All she remembers is his lime and mango beer.
Determined to be reunited, Steph tracks him by a milk carton style campaign, sticking a message to his favourite beer across local pubs. Although eventually reunited, Jamie is frequently uncontactable and evasive, and Steph worries she’s on the path to heartbreak once more.
There’s a fine line between being patient and being gullible, and Steph’s reaching her limit. When a chance encounter with Jamie reveals his secret, she faces an even tougher decision. Should Steph give love another chance, or was one night in Edinburgh all she and Jamie were meant to have?
Buy it here!
Take A Moment
9th September 2021
Life is better lived in the moment
Meet Alex. She has a wonderful fiance, a job she thrives in, and a best friend she's known since childhood.
Life's not perfect, but it's pretty fantastic. Until a shock diagnosis suddenly throws everything off course. But Alex has never been one to back down from a fight. After losing her fiance and her job, she packs up and moves from her Glasgow hometown to Birmingham for a fresh start.
Now, in a new job in a new city, she's learning all over again what's important in life. Friendship, fun and even romance lie just around the corner - but can Alex get out of her own way and learn to just take a moment, and live?
Read fellow author Sandy Barker's recommendation on Shepherd.com.
The Gin Lover's Guide To Dating
November 5th 2019
When life gives you lemons... add a splash of gin!
When Liv's high-flying career goes off the rails, she finds herself working at a glitzy new gin bar to pay the bills. She's never let romance distract her, but with one very hot colleague, a mysterious online follower who might just be her soulmate, and a lot of cocktails, her dating life is about to be shaken up...
But is Liv looking for a sparkling flirtation, or something a little stronger?
Sometimes you have to face up to your past, seize your future, and mix your own recipe for happy ever after...
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’ve either read my most recent novel, Take A Moment, or you’ve come across some information about my charity song release. Either way, thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you’ll read on.
Did you know...
It’s estimated that over 130,000 in the UK are living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and that nearly 7,000 people are newly diagnosed each year.
About 100,000 adults and 20,000 children in the UK have an illness called Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). It’s badged as ‘the most common condition you’ve never heard of’, because the awareness is so poor and research is underfunded.
MS is a degenerative autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord, where the coating that protects our nerves (myelin) is damaged. FND is where there’s a problem with the messaging between the brain and the body. Both conditions can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
I have first-hand experience of this impact, so I’m sharing my story and raising money for charity through my charity song, Take A Moment, in the hope that this will help make lives better for people living with MS and FND in the future.
My most recently published novel, Take A Moment, is a story close to my heart, because the inspiration for it came from my own life-changing illness.
In 2014, my body failed me in incomprehensible ways: I experienced extended episodes of uncontrollable shaking and tremors, difficulty walking, loss of balance, faltering speech. My vision and hearing were distorted; I lost my ability to concentrate, couldn’t find words, could barely eat and I would fall flat on my face several times a day. That was only part of the picture.
After several months, a Neurology Consultant eventually diagnosed me with a condition called Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Simply put, my central nervous system isn’t working properly and there’s a problem with the messaging between my brain and my body. FND can range from very mild (e.g. weakness in one leg) to severe, with multiple physical, cognitive and sensory symptoms (unfortunately the version I have).
The good news is that it isn’t a degenerative condition, though it can be as physically debilitating and life limiting as MS and other neurological diseases. The bad news is that it’s a condition for which there is no known cure and support for sufferers is underfunded. Some people get better and others don’t. Some end up in wheelchairs, on incapacity benefits, unable to work or have any quality of life.
I’m in the middle. I’ve managed to rehabilitate enough to have a reasonable (but somewhat limited) quality of life, but every day I’m battling varying levels of chronic pain, fatigue, breathlessness and an overreactive central nervous system, among other symptoms. There are still days when I can have difficulty walking or with my balance, but thankfully these are rarer now – and I hope they stay that way.
Despite all this, and with incredible support from the people who love me, I’ve managed to come through this real-life nightmare fairly unscathed mentally and emotionally. And I’ve found a positive: my passion for novel writing. I actually started writing my first novel (very slowly!) as part of my rehabilitation, to get my cognitive and physical functions working again. So, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been lucky. But I can see how, without the right support networks, it would be easy for someone with a chronic illness to become isolated, unemployed, and if things got really bad, homeless.
When I started writing Take A Moment, I didn’t intend to write a biography, but I did want to draw on my experience to raise awareness of neurological illness as well as tell a good story. I chose to write about a character with MS so that it wasn’t too close and because many of the symptoms I experience overlap. It was important to me to get across what it feels like to have your life suddenly shattered, while at the same time keeping the story light and humorous enough that readers could easily engage with it.
My charity song
My main character, Alex, writes a song within the story – also named Take a Moment – and this song is in fact a song I wrote (with help from a talented musician called Willie Glass) when I was a good way through my rehabilitation. It’s a recognition of the struggles many people experience in life, while others live theirs as if on autopilot. It’s a message to be kind, to care and to open our eyes to what’s going on around us – and to make a difference where we can.
Since writing the song, it has been my goal to do something with it. As well as giving it a home within my novel, I’ve used my own money to get it recorded professionally, and the difference I would like to make is to raise some money through music streaming and downloads to support two very important charities: the MS Society and FND Hope UK.
During the process of receiving my diagnosis, I spent a short time on a neurology ward and I witnessed some of the saddest, most heart wrenching sights I’ve ever seen. It really is one of the cruellest types of illness a person can suffer.
I've released Take a Moment worldwide and it's available for download and streaming on all major music platforms. I’d hugely appreciate it if you’d consider downloading it and/or adding it to your streaming playlist – and please spread the word! All proceeds from the song will be split equally between the MS Society and FND Hope UK.
Thank you for everything you do.
Nina Kaye x
With thanks to...
As with publishing my books, it has taken a team of amazing people to bring this song into the world.
A huge thank you to Willie Glass, who kindly spared his time to help me create a musical arrangement for my lyrics and who provided me with a demo track.
Thank you to Iain McKinna of Offbeat Studios and Productions in Edinburgh, who did a stellar job in producing the song, as well as providing backing vocals, and playing bass, guitars and synths.
Thank you also to Keith More for playing lead guitar and to Niki Paris for playing drums.