Sunday, July 31, 2005

Greetings from KL!

This is a fly-by-post from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I've only been here for a short while and all I have to say is that it's an amazing city. The energy in the air is astounding (and the shopping rocks, too). I promise some photos once I'm in NZ.

And in the awesome news department, I just heard that a member of RWNZ won the Golden Heart for Short Contemporary. Go KARINA!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2005


1 day to go until I'm on a jetplane! I'm heading off soon for New Zealand with a stopover in an exotic Asian location-I may log in from said exotic location if possible. Otherwise, catch you all when I land in NZ in a few days!

While I'm gone, I'd like to leave you with this question - what's a dealbreaker for you with an author, something that would make you never pick up one of their books again? I read a lot of series' and for me, the dealbreaker is usually the death of one of the main characters. I'm not talking about a secondary character but a powerful central character built up over several books. It would be like JD Robb killing off Roarke, Laurell K Hamilton destroying Jean Claude, or Sherrilyn Kenyon doing the same to Ash. (No times three!!!)

This dealbreaking act was done by the author of a mystery series I used to love. It felt like the killing was simply a plot device-the series was lagging so she used it for shock value. As far as I was concerned, it was a betrayal plain and simple - betrayal of the characters she'd created and betrayal of her readers. I haven't picked up another one of her books since and I really doubt I ever will. Because what if she makes me care for another character like she did the first one, and then she does the same thing all over again?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

On what the Writer has achieved this month...

  1. Revisions to Secrets in the Marriage Bed completed. Check.
  2. Desire proposal finalized and sent in. Check.
  3. Dust-bunny colony uprooted from apartment. Check (!)
  4. Blog kept (relatively) regularly updated. Check.
  5. Visited post office two thousand times. Check.
  6. Did not catch bouquet at wedding. Check.
  7. Overcame chocolate addiction. Um…
  8. Lost at basketball against six year olds. Check.
  9. Read Publishers Lunch notice of Berkley sale three million times. Check.
  10. Broke at least one electronic appliance in apartment. Check.

P.S. Only two days to go until I’m on a jetplane!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Anybody still here?

It's become strangely quiet in the cybersphere over the last couple of days as so many romance readers and writers head off to the RWA national conference in Reno, Nevada. So I feel compelled to ask - is anybody (besides me) still here?

If you are, how about answering this question - if you could be any animal in the world, what would you be? Me, I think I'd like to be able to fly, so I'd be a bird - maybe a raptor. (No jokes about birdbrains please.) :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

They're reading my books in the Czech Republic!

How very, very cool. And if you look closely, you'll see that my name has undergone a magical transformation from Singh to Singhova. :)

Monday, July 25, 2005


Self control is when a ‘friend’ drops by a copy of the new Laurell K Hamilton book (A Stroke of Midnight) while I’m trying to complete revisions to my next release, and I manage not to read it for one whole day. So far, it’s been twenty hours and counting. Wish me luck.

So, what authors/books test your self-control, make you burn dinner, forget about the fact that you have to get up for work the next day, and generally take you on such an amazing fictional journey that you forgive them for all that as soon as you open the first page?

Competition Winner

And the winner of the Craving Beauty competition is Tina R. from Nevada! :) Congratulations, Tina.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I'm hoping to run more competitions in the coming months on so keep an eye out.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Life in Japan: Conversation with a Japanese Friend

Phone rings.

Nalini: Moshi, moshi. [Phone greeting in Japanese]

Friend: Hi, I have a question about some words I don’t understand.

Nalini: Shoot.

Friend: What do ‘la’ and ‘de’ mean?

Nalini: [Insert puzzled silence] Um, I don’t think those words exist in English.

Friend: Oh, it’s not English, it’s French.

Nalini: [Pondering why she’s suddenly been credited with fluency in the French language] Well…I only studied about a semester of French when I was thirteen.

Friend: Oh, really? You don’t speak French? [Extreme surprise]

Nalini: Er, no.

Friend: Oh.

Note: This friend has known me for two years, during which time I have never spoken French in her presence, nor have I ever hinted that I might be hiding such skills for some nefarious reason of my own. And yet...

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Promised Bollywood Post

When I started this blog, I warned you that I would be posting about Bollywood. You might ask, why watch Bollywood at all? Because their stories are drawn on a huge canvas, are wildly romantic, not the least bit politically correct and full of drama and emotion, everything we love as romance readers and writers. There is also an innocence in Bollywood films that’s sometimes missing from Hollywood—in Bollywood, the bad guys always get their comeuppance and true love triumphs. What more recommendation do you need?

I thought I'd begin by introducing Arjun Rampal, who fits neatly into the tall, dark and gorgeous category. He recently played the most delectable husband any woman could have in Tehzeeb (the name of the heroine).

Have I whetted your appetite yet?

Reminder: Competition Deadline

Don't forget, the Craving Beauty competition ends Friday 22nd July (whenever Friday ends in your timezone!). Click here for entry details.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Alpha Males

Let’s talk about alpha men. Why? Because they’re fun to talk about. I love writing and reading about alpha men. To me, they make the perfect romantic hero because they’re just so…alpha! These men aren’t pc, aren’t wishy-washy and definitely aren’t going to stand around thinking when they should be doing something. They're also hard to control, incredibly stubborn at times and occassionally threaten to drive the heroine to violence.

One of my favorite alpha males comes out of
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Sure, Darcy gives the impression of being a snob, but underneath it all he’s alpha through and through, as shown by the way he tracks down Wickham after the dastardly soldier has run off with Lydia. There is such honor in him, such willingness to do anything to protect Lizzy’s reputation, in spite of the fact that they’ve had a massive falling out. That protectiveness is what, for me, separates the alpha from the wanna-be-alpha. These men will go to any lengths for the women they claim as their own.

In terms of the tv adaptation of the book (the BBC one), I think Colin Firth did a brilliant job of portraying an arrogant alpha male who we all end up falling in love with. If you watch that adaptation, you'll notice that Mr. Darcy doesn’t actually say much about his feelings to Elizabeth (except for the infamous outburst). It’s with his actions that he speaks the loudest—and that is one of the greatest challenges of writing the alpha male. Getting that emotion, that heart, across, without making these men speak lines they would never in a million years speak. But when it’s done right…pure magic.

So, who are some of your favorite alpha heroes?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Quick FYI

Someone's been sending out emails pretending to be agent Deidre Knight, so if you're out there searching for an agent, please take care. And if you've received an email from this person, let Deidre know so she can hunt him down. Click here for the full story.

Blog Guilt & Revisions

I am suffering from a severe case of blog guilt. Since my blog is fairly new, this is the first time I’ve been hit with it. Three days and no entry—will I be thrown out of the blogsphere? In my defense, we just had a three day weekend and I was actually working very hard through most of it on revisions to Secrets in the Marriage Bed.

I have a question for those of you who are writers—do you like doing revisions? Me, I don’t mind, so long as I agree with the revisions. I find it interesting thinking of how to change just a fraction of the story without altering the whole, or if the whole has to be altered, thinking of how to do it without losing the soul of the story. It engages a totally different section of my brain than the one that spills out the first draft, during which process I’m usually not thinking so much as simply doing.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Competition Details

Okay, I know I said this competition was going to go up early next week but it has come to my attention that I might be offline for a few days, so I'm posting it in advance. However, it'll be open until Friday 22nd July, so y'all have a few days to enter.

Here's what you have to do to win a signed copy of the fabulous Craving Beauty and (in honor of the fact that I'm resident in Japan) a pair of decorative chopsticks to put in your hair (or even eat with if you want!) - Send me an email through the email address listed on my website, telling me the answer to this question: In the excerpt from the book posted on the website, what kind of sheets are on the bed that Hira is sitting on?

And to help me sort our your entries from spam, please put Craving Beauty Competition in the subject line of your email. Happy hunting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bron's Online Story

I've been so busy over the past few weeks that the only thing I've been reading is my fellow Desirable and good friend, Bronwyn Jameson's free online serial over at eHarlequin. Titled Outback Reunion, this is one great story. It had me hooked at chapter one and then it only got better. There's just a few chapters left to go now, so if you'd like a taste of Desire, check this story out. Warning: It's hot. And I mean, hot. Your screen might start to smoke from the sizzling scenes. Have fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Competition Alert

As part of the celebration of my new sale, and because Craving Beauty is a really cool book, I'll be giving away some copies of it (along with some other small but cute prizes) next week. I'll post more details of the competition early next week. Until then, feel free to wander over to my website and read the excerpt from the book. :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

A Friend's Wedding

What a weekend! First, I had the news about Slave to Sensation, and then yesterday, I attended the wedding of one of my best friends in Japan. It was an absolutely beautiful event – since the bride was Japanese and the groom American, they didn’t do a traditional ceremony but something that suited both of them, including writing their own vows. The bride wore a white wedding dress with a really lovely veil for the ceremony and then changed into a gorgeous kimono for the reception. It was a wonderful day for two wonderful people.

I also learnt an interesting Japanese custom. Instead of throwing the bouquet, the bride held it in her hands and then ribbons were trailed out from it to all the single women in the room. Each woman held one of the ribbons and then on the count of three, all the women pulled gently. Only one ribbon remained attached to the bouquet and that’s the person who got the bouquet. It was lots of fun and perhaps a little more civilized than the traditional throw and grab. ;)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Slave to Sensation

And the promised news - Friday NY time, I sold my first ever single titles (or rather my wonderful agent, Nephele, did)! Here's a copy of the Publishers Marketplace notice.

Nalini Singh's futuristic paranormal SLAVE TO SENSATION, about a young woman born to a race without emotions and her encounter with a group of sensual changelings, and a second untitled book, to Cindy Hwang at Berkley, in a nice deal, at auction, by Nephele Tempest of The Knight Agency.

I'm so excited that I can barely breathe, so please excuse any incoherence. :) And let's celebrate!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Watch this space...

More to come. :)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Movie: Monster

Last night I watched Monster. Needless to say, I was amazed by Charlize Theron's performance, but what really got me thinking was the love story aspect of the film. As a romance writer, I'm used to concentrating on the good that can come out of a relationship between two people, but in Monster we see the destruction that can be done in the name of love. Would Aileen Wuornos have continued her spree without Selby? No one can answer that, but the film certainly raised the question and made me think about the complexities of human emotion.

Any other opinions on Monster? What else has everyone been watching lately?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Puzzle Brains

If you'd like to drive yourself insane in a very short period of time, I suggest you try this game of Sudoku. All you have to do is fill in the grid so that every column, every row and every 3x3 box has all the numbers from 1-9. Easy. Hah! It is pure evil. But then again, I've been known to say that about jigsaw puzzles. (I would like to add that I'm not advocating this game as a form of procrastination). Enjoy. And try not to beat your head too hard against the desk.

Awaken the Senses

Look what I found! A five star review for Awaken the Senses on Amazon. And it's from a complete stranger that I in no way bribed or otherwise enticed. Really. ;) That totally makes my day.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

True Love

Now that I've got my feet wet in the blogsphere, let's talk about something on which I can wax lyrical for hours - books.

A couple of weeks ago, I read Kathleen Kane's This Time For Keeps. I've read my share of time-travel romances but I'd rank this among one of the best. I was hooked in the first few pages - when the heroine died via an accidental 'bowling ball' incident - I kid you not. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

However, my favorite time-travel book of all time is Jude Deveraux's Remembrance. There's just something about the story of lovers who are literally one soul split in two, curses and the power of true love that gets me every time. It's probably why I love The Princess Bride as well, though I've only ever seen the movie.

"This is true love. Do you think it happens everyday?"
Wesley from The Princess Bride


Monday, July 04, 2005

Blogging 101

Finally, after months of saying I was going to do it, I've set up a blog. Since I'm compulsively secretive, you probably won't find me posting any deep, dark secrets. However, I will post lots of interesting stuff about romance novels (which may or may not include shameless promotion), bollywood movies (I am a fan and not afraid to admit it) and life in Japan (yup, that's where I am).

For my first interesting fact, I'd like to note that 2feet tall children are really, really scary. I was mobbed by about a thousand of them (okay, maybe more like 35) earlier today and let me tell you, they could've taken me. Easy. So what apparently 'harmless' thing scares you?