Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dark Streets & Gorgeous Men

1. If you saw this man on a dark street, what would you do? ;)


2. If you saw this man on a dark street and were the heroine of a novel (pick your genre), what would you do?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vampires On The Brain

For some reason, I'm having weird dreams about vampires. Is this a sign? What could it be a sign of?

(a) That I should just read Dark Lover now!
(b) That I'm really the lifemate of a vampire (the good kind of course *g*); or
(c) That I AM a vampire.

Any other suggestions? What're you dreaming about?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

StS shipping / TBR

First of all, some exciting news - it looks like Slave to Sensation is already shipping from Barnes and Noble! :)

Second, Candace Havens has just put up an interview she did with me, so swing by and check that out.

Okay, onto the post I was actually going to make today. I thought we'd talk about the next 5 books that (we think) we're going to read. Here's my list:

1. Dark Lover - J R Ward: Yes, I know. I'm like the only person in the blogsphere that hasn't read this yet, but it's sitting on a shelf behind me right this second. The good thing about being late to the party is, if I really like this book, I can go out and get books 2&3 straight away.

2/3: Throne of Jade/Black Powder War - Naomi Novik: After my up till 3am reading jag with the first book in this series, I'm not starting these two until I have a whole day to read.

4. Danse Macabre - Laurell K Hamilton: Has any book been more talked about?! But I've managed to avoid spoilers thus far and am looking forward to going back into Anita's world.

5. Doppelganger - Marie Brennan: This is an author I'd never heard of but which my local independent bookseller told me I'd like (and basically since this bookseller can read my mind and is the one responsible for my addiction to, among others, J D Robb, I buy whatever she recommends).

What's next on your list?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Viral Blogging

(I'll be keeping this post at the top of the blog over the next week, but new posts will be appearing below it).

I'm back from conference exhausted but full of creative energy at the same time. It was an absolutely fantastic time and I can't wait to tell you about it. But first, I want to let you know about something really interesting (and hopefully fun) that's happening right now in relation to Slave to Sensation.

Jane at Dear Author has chosen StS to run a viral blogging experiment, which absolutely delights me, because as their site says, Jane and Jayne at Dear Author are not part of the industry but readers, and what could be more awesome for an author than to have a reader like their book enough to choose it for something like this?

Here's what's happening - I hope you guys will be enticed to join in!

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.
  • $200 Amazon gift certificate
  • Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
  • New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
  • ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game
You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

Nalini Singh
Berkley / September 2006

Slave to Sensation

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.



RTB's posted up a list of reader/writer forums "where you can share your thoughts about books you love or network with other writers". They've got a good list up there, including some places I didn't know existed.

I think forums can be fun and informative, especially if you find one with a positive vibe to it. But going back to the RTB quote, I'm curious - those of you that take part in forums, why do you do it? Is it more to touch base with readers who have the same interests as you, or do you want to talk to the writers?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Surprise Keepers

So I'm home after three years of being in Japan, and one of the first things I did was organize my "keeper" shelf. Books that I love and can't bear to part with, books that are best friends, books that I missed like mad while I was away.

But here's the crazy thing - not all of those books are ones I absolutely adore. In fact, a few of them make me want to scream. And yet, I cannot let them go, because I still love them - those stories might make my temperature rise, but they're unforgettable. Number 1 on this list is Only You by Judith McNaught. I really don't like the way the hero treats the heroine in one crucial scene and yet...(insert me squirming and making faces), it's a book I couldn't put down when I read it, and one that I still find myself reaching for occasionally. There's a magic in those pages that has me hooked. My hat goes off to Ms McNaught.

What about you? Any books that had an impact on you despite yourself?

Friday, August 25, 2006


Conference Roundup: Photos!

Sorry for disappearing yesterday - my internet connection decided that Blogger was a bad site and that I should not be allowed to access either it or most of the blogs I usually read. Hmm, come to think of it, I got a lot of work done yesterday. ;)

Back to the conference, here are a couple of pictures.

I took this at the Harlequin Authors Lunch. These are the three new authors who sold to Sil/Hlqn over last year and a half (from left) - Karina Bliss, Tessa Radley, Abby Gaines.

Trish Morey, Me, Bronwyn Jameson, Fiona Brand and Frances Housden before the Awards Dinner on Saturday night. Don't we all look sparkly and happy? (NZ had just beaten Australia in the rugby but the Aussie contingent took it well - might have had something to do with the wine *g*). The photo was taken by the lovely Yvonne Lindsay, who has the yummiest cover for her debut book. Check it out.

Isn't it just so sexy? I love the use of colors and the 3D effect caused by the hero's arm going over the Desire logo on the side. Opinions?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conference Roundup: Friday

The Friday workshops at the conference were great but I missed the afternoon ones as I headed off to the Harlequin authors lunch. It was held in this restaurant that has a tiny doorway outside that I'd never before noticed, but which is absolutely lovely inside. Needless to say I ate rather a large amount of food (that chocolate desert mmmm).

(I was going to post some pictures in here but blogger's having none of that so I'll try to post those later in the day.)

Friday was also the occasion of the Tickled Pink cocktail party. People interpreted the theme in a number of ways, including pink feather boas, a pink jacket (on a man) and pink bunny ears. That last was me. I walked into a friend's room sans ears and it was decided that I needed a little more decoration. *g* It was a fun night - check out Sara Hantz's blog for some pictures. I got to meet Sara in person, too, which was awesome.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Conference Roundup:TV Interview

The conference kicked off with a bang for me on Friday. Why? Because I was on tv! The RWNZ publicity officer sent out press releases about the conference and got a call from Breakfast, a live magazine style show on a major channel. They wanted a romance writer and a conference organizer. So off we went - me and Joanne Graves, president of RWNZ.

It was a fun experience. First we went into makeup where they just touched us up a bit, then into the Green Room where we could see the show on a big tv. It was odd to know that it was all happening in the studio just next door. One of the presenters came out to chat with us for a few minutes and get some extra background for the interview, which was sort of surreal in itself. We'd just seem him on the tv screen and now there he was shaking hands with us.

We went on after the 8.30am news break, tiny microphones clipped to our tops. Oddly enough, I don't think either of us was nervous at all because it didn't feel like being on tv. We were just on a couch having a chat to the presenter interviewing us, and the cameras were like big pieces of furniture moving around. The interview itself went great - the interviewer was fascinated by the idea of vampires in romance ie. Do women actually fall in love with vampires in these books? I don't think he could see the attraction. *g*

Five minutes of talking about the conference, the paranormal genre and romance writing in genre and we were done. At which point we started wondering if we'd looked alright. The reviews were glowing ;) Seriously, it was amazing how many people saw it. I had a look at the taped version and all I could think was "is that what I really sound like?" but I think overall it was something that people would've watched. The Breakfast people must've thought so too because they reran it on Saturday in their weekly roundup. Afterward one of my shocked best friends (who is not a writer) rang me to ask me what I was doing on tv!

So there you go - now you can all say you know a bona fide tv star! *g*

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Off to Conference I go!

I'm attending the RWNZ Conference from tomorrow and my excitement is building! It's such a buzz to be surrounded by so many other readers and writers who love romance. Though there are going to be some fabulous workshops, what I'm most looking forward to is catching up with friends scattered across New Zealand and Australia, and meeting online friends in person (some for the first time).

I promise to take lots of pictures (and hope they don't go blurry like last year) and give a full report when I return. I'm also doing my first talk in the main hall (holding all the attendees) so wish me luck!

In other awesome news, check out the review that Rosario did for Slave to Sensation. Here's a part of it:
...Sascha and Lucas' initial adversarial relationship soon becomes one of the most convincing and beautiful romances I've read lately. It's got it all, both sexual tension so thick and hot it will curl your toes (and the pay-off! Those love scenes, oh, my!), and a lot of feeling behind it.
I also love that she liked it so much that she gave up "an extra hour of being pampered in the spa in order to finish it"!! :)


The next post will probably be up late on Sunday or early Monday so I thought I'd leave you with a question: What do you most like about conferences/writer's meetings?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Letters & Words

In high-school, we did an exercise with our names that was both fun and eye-opening. We wrote our names lengthwise down one side of the page and then wrote a word beside each letter. The catch was that each word had to begin with the letter it was placed next to, and it had to represent us.

I think the same exercise can be applied to our characters as well. For those of us who don't like doing character interviews, this is one quick way to get to know your characters. Or if you do like the interviews, this is a great starting point.

Okay, let's do it. We were only allowed to use single words in school, but since some letters are very difficult, I'm going to allow phrases too. To kick things off, I'm doing Lucas from Slave to Sensation.

Used to control

Anybody game to introduce themselves or their characters?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Smilies, Reviews and Candy

If you haven't already, I highly recommend dropping by Jaci Burton's new blog. She has the funniest smilies ever. I was tempted to make random comments just to use the smilies. Go on, have a look, then tell me you don't agree. Actually, I think you should all leave this comment: "Nalini thinks your smilies rock" (and of course insert smilies of your choice). *g*


In the good news department, a couple more great reviews have gone up for Slave to Sensation!!
Singh has created a fresh, intriguing and thought-provoking mythology and a very appealing cast of characters who harbor plenty of secrets...I look forward to the next installment from this talented writer.

Martina Bexte at Bookloons
Character-driven and well-written, it's not easy to put down at bedtime; it kept me reading well into the night.

Sue Burke at Fresh Fiction

And what did I achieve yesterday? Well I finished reading Sleeping With Fear, the last part of the trilogy I blogged about Monday. I found this one less spooky as it was concentrated on occult practices, but I really liked the hero and heroine, both of whom were very well drawn and whose relationship sizzled from their first meeting.

Um and I satisfied my craving for Indian sweets. I have two words for you - sugar high.

So, what did you achieve yesterday?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kay Hooper: Chill of Fear

I'm having a run of really good reads lately. Kay Hooper's Chill of Fear was another one. It's part of the Bishop Special Crimes Unit (SCU) series of books and the second one in the Fear trilogy. But don't worry if you haven't read the others - it stands comfortably on its own.

The SCU is basically the "Spook Squad" - they investigate things outside the normal realm and all the members are psychic to some degree. I don't know how Kay Hooper does it but she manages to blend suspense, romance and paranormal spookiness so flawlessly it's all absolutely believable.

This one features Quentin Hayes, who is a "seer" and Diana Brisco - no spoilers but Diana's ability is definitely a disturbing one. Totally recommended, especially if you like solid suspense mixed with a little bit of the paranormal.

Here's the backcover blurb:

FBI agent Quentin Hayes always knew he had an unusual talent, even before he was recruited by Noah Bishop for the controversial Special Crimes Unit. But, as gifted as he is, for twenty years he's been haunted by a heartbreaking unsolved murder that took place at The Lodge, a secluded Victorian-era resort in Tennessee. Now he's returned one final time, determined to put the mystery to rest.

Diana Brisco has come there hoping to unlock the mystery of her troubled past. Instead, she is assailed by nightmares and the vision of a child who vanished from The Lodge years ago. And an FBI agent is trying to convince her that she isn't crazy but that she has a rare gift, a gift that could catch a killer.

Quentin knows that this is his last chance to solve a case that has become a dangerous obsession. But can he persuade Diana to help him, knowing what it could cost her? For something cold and dark and pure evil is stalking the grounds of The Lodge. Something Diana may not survive. Something Quentin never felt before: the chill of fear.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Series Writing

I'm sitting here, it's a beautiful Saturday morning and I had no idea what to post today. I was about to threaten you with more travel photos when I hopped over to Alison Kent's blog and found this link to the The Lipstick Chronicles.
One of the great debates in authordom is the great series question: How long is too long? Putting aside the exceptions - Sue Grafton, Diane Mott Davidson, J.D. Robb - who have created and run with such great characters that we never want them to end, I think the fact is that every series has an endpoint.
The question interests me since I'm embarking on a new series with Slave to Sensation. So far, my closest brush to any kind of series writing has come with Desert Warrior and Craving Beauty, two loosely linked books set in the same fictional desert kingdom. But I always knew I'd write a series because I really like exploring the same set of characters or the same world, learning new things and watching the world/characters develop.

In fact, it's eye-opening to realize just how many of my favorite authors write series - J.D. Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar books), Anne Bishop (Black Jewels trilogy), Laurell K. Hamilton, John Sands, Kathy Reichs, Kay Hooper...the list goes on and on. I think part of the reason I love reading series is because you get to watch things change over time. Instead of a snapshot into the characters lives, you get a motion picture that goes from act to act.

But having said that, I'm very aware of the initial question that started this blog: How long is too long? It's really something that I think must play in the back of the mind of every series writer.

What influences you to carry on or not carry on with a series?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quirks & Odd Habits

I'm ready to begin the second draft of Caressed By Ice, which in my case, means putting together the jigsaw of scenes I wrote for draft 1 into some sort of correct order. I don't always write sequentially so this is normal for me though it does strike others as somewhat odd.

I'm curious - if you're a writer, what's your writing quirk? And if you're a reader, where's the oddest place you've ever read a book?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mt Aso, Kumamoto, Japan - Pictures

Here are the promised pictures of my trip to Mt. Aso. I have a ton more but I thought these would do for a start.

Seen on the slopes leading up to Mt. Aso. Not what you think of when you think Japan, is it? Seems more like some European chalet.

The lake below Mt. Aso. That puff of white in the distance is the volcano itself. Interestingly, I've been here in winter, too, and the lake was non existent. The first time it was completely dry - all yellow grass, the second time it was a snowfield. I'll have to find some of those pictures for contrast.

Here's proof I was actually there.I don't usually post pictures of myself but I figured I was tiny enough in this one!

Taken from our cable car going up to the summit.

Aerial view of Mt. Aso. Taken from the helicopter! I hope the minty-green/blue color of the core comes through.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

His Majesty's Dragon

Like I said, my self-control around good books is close to nil. And His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik is a very good book. It's not a romance but it's definitely a love story--about a man and his dragon. Here's a synopsis from the PW review:
Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle. Each nation has its own breeds, but none are so jealously guarded as the mysterious dragons of China. Veteran Capt. Will Laurence of the British Navy is therefore taken aback after his crew captures an egg from a French ship and it hatches a Chinese dragon, which Laurence names Temeraire. When Temeraire bonds with the captain, the two leave the navy to sign on with His Majesty's sadly understaffed Aerial Corps...
Temeraire is a beautifully drawn character in his own right, an intelligent, beautiful creature. Capt. Will Laurence starts out as a reluctant Aviator and slowly develops into a wonderful partner for the dragon who has chosen him.

Seriously, don't be put off by the naval/war setting. I thought I would be but I raced through this book and am dying to get my holds on the second one in the series. Here's the author's website.
p.s. Good news - broadband connected. Bad news - my email doesn't work.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I want a dragon

Okay, today is supposed to be my first day fully back at work. Except sitting within arms reach is Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon, which I'm two thirds of the way through. You're thinking it can't be that good if I put it down. Except that I started at 11pm last night, vowing to read "only a few pages" and read 228 before collapsing. This book is GOOD. Very good. I can't wait to finish it. But now I have to go hide it so I'll do some work. I'll do a proper review after I've finished (which will probably end up being in a few hours given my self control).

I've already finished reading Karina Bliss's Mr Imperfect. Loved it. Go buy it if you want a to-die-for hero as well as a wonderful and honest story. Christian and Kezia have a past but they manage to talk about it and understand what went wrong. The minor characters were also great - interesting and funny without taking over the story. A big thumbs-up from me. (And oh yeah - it was hot *g*).

In other news, more awesome reviews are coming in for Slave to Sensation, which is so exciting. The release is less than a month away now and I feel like a little kid hopping up and down saying, "Are we there yet?"

The newest review came from Romance Junkies. The reviewer said that: "Nalini Singh has penned an incredible world where fire and ice mix to create an unforgettable sensual eruption. SLAVE TO SENSATION is a volcanic start to a new series that’ll leave you craving for...more." (Squee!!)

And in the most exciting news of all, I might actually get broadband today. Please, please, please...pretty please...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thoughts on a rainy day

I'm sitting at my desk looking out the window at the rainy day outside and marvelling at the fact that I have a desk. After three years of making do, I know the desk isn't a necessity for work, but it's definitely nice having it and having space to put my notes or handwritten pages etc.

Workwise I've had a very disrupted few weeks so I'm itching to get back down to things. I did manage to attend my first RWNZ chapter meeting this Sat and that was a much-needed shot in the arm. I loved being able to catch up with my friends and meet all the new faces. Fellow Desire author Tessa Radley gave us a hilarious report on the RWA conference and her trials and tribulations in actually making it to Atlanta (via South Africa and London) - I wish I could reproduce it here. I guess I'll just have to bug Tessa to get her own blog.

I somehow also managed to acquire several books over the weekend. The first one I've been waiting for, for a while - fellow New Zealander Karina Bliss's debut book: Mr Imperfect. Can't wait to dive into that one. It's signed and everything!

Also I wanted to say that I've been unable to catch up on everyone's blogs as I'm on a slow connection right now (fingers crossed that changes later this week), so tell me your news! What's happening in your corner of the planet?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Other Blog & RWNZ Talk

My first post is up at Between the Covers so hop on over and visit.

Second piece of news - I'll be doing a talk on Writing Paranormal at the Romance Writers of NZ conference in a few weeks time. Help me out. If you were going to come listen to me talk on that topic, what kind of things would you like to hear? Any questions? I will be putting up these notes online after the conference, so here's your chance to pick my brain.

Going off on a tangent - I have to go out in a couple of hours and I'm stressing over what to wear. It's not that I don't have clothes. It's that the clothes are stuffed into suitcases, boxes (some of which are still on a ship somewhere in the Pacific) and hanging in random places in my room. I seriously doubt I can put together any kind of 'normal' outfit. This might be my chance to go avante garde. So if you see me today, don't laugh. I mean it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

New Site!

So, notice anything different? The whole site's been updated! Check it out. Tell us what you think "us" being me, and my web designer Gabrielle, who deserves a huge round of applause for her work getting this up and running. As promised, there are behind-the-scenes sections and more!

(Hit refresh if you're still seeing the old site.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Work & Links

Okay, I'm back on track and working. Well, kind of. I admit to lazing about in bed and whining making valid complaints about the cold, but aside from that, work is getting done. Yesterday I had a look at the backcover copy for Visions of Heat, which reminds me - I need to blog about what a surreal experience it is to be writing the third book in a series when the first hasn't been released yet (one month to go!).

In other news, I've joined a new group blog - Between The Covers (oooh) starring several of the Berkley Babes.
People have already posted so swing by and have a read. My first post goes up on the 4th (first I have to figure out this timezone thing and make sure I don't post a day in advance!).

Another interesting link is the interview that author Michele Hauf has done on her blog with cover artist James Griffin. He's also agreed to drop by to answer questions, so here's your chance to grill a cover artist.

p.s. Something exciting's going to happen on Friday. Clue: It'll be a whole new experience. I know, I'm such a tease. But I can't wait to share this with you all. ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Kiora from New Zealand!

I'm back! The flight to NZ (Japan to Seoul, transit wait 3 hours extended to 4 hours, night flight from Seoul to Auckland 10.5 hours) left me slightly sleep deprived, so I spent most of yesterday napping. But after a great night's sleep, I'm back to normal (or as normal as I ever am *g*). I went from full summer to full winter, but the weather's not that cold right now so I'm having a chance to adjust. But definitely no more short-sleeves.

Thanks to all of you who dropped by while I was in the air or in dreamland! I loved your guesses about what I was doing in the chopper. And as promised, here is the answer. Drum roll please....

On Sunday, I went on a road trip with a very good friend. Our destination - Mt Aso, an active volcano in Kumamoto, Japan. This volcano is seriously active - bubbling lava active. The gas gets so dangerous at times that they shut down the ascent to the top (yes, you can go to the top). But we had a gorgeous day on Sunday, the gas wasn't at danger levels, so we got to take the cable car up to the top and look down into the boiling heart of Mt Aso. The volcanic liquid below is extremely hot but from the top, it looks like creamy soda, soft and toucheable. A very surreal experience.

While we were up there, we saw the helicopters flying around, showing people the birds-eye view. And we looked at each other...the rest as they say, is history. The ride was absolutely fantastic and the view was completely amazing. I have a ton of photos which I'm dying to share with you so look out over the next few days!

(p.s. The timezone of this blog is now NZ.)