Tuesday, September 29, 2009

High-Tech Dispatch

This post comes to you courtesy of the wi-fi aboard the ferry currently traveling from Ireland to a port in Wales.

Ireland was gorgeous - I saw some amazing scenery, met some wonderful people, and had a
taste of Irish culture (including a visit up to Blarney Castle).

The photos from Ireland are still in the camera, but here's a shot from Scotland - the stunning Eileen Donan Castle.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mega Book Club!

This post is sticky. Scroll down for newer posts.

I've put on my traveling shoes and am off to see a little bit more of the world!

I'm hoping to post while I travel, but since my Internet access is likely to be sporadic over the coming weeks, I thought I'd pin a mega book club post to the top of the blog - just like Friday Book Club, except bigger and with even more books to add to your tbr pile ;-)

It's all about sharing the book love, so I hope you'll all have fun talking about the books you're enjoying at the moment. I'm hoping to make a dent in my own to-be-read pile during my trip, so I should have some recs for you when I return!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Luck of the Irish to you!

I've landed in Ireland - spent yesterday exploring Dublin until my feet ached. We came across a cathedral where they were filming The Tudors! I haven't downloaded the photos of the actors in costume yet, but I'll be sure to post them once I do - the velvet and gold looked very sumptuous.

Today, I'm a little way out of the city, and looking forward to going deeper into the country tomorrow.

Hope you're all having a fabulous week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Highland Fling

I've just come down from the Scottish Highlands - and all I can say is that I'm in love with Scotland. I took hundreds of photos. Here's one!

p.s. My internet time is currently limited, so I'm severely behind on emails. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bonny Scotland

I'm currently in Edinburgh. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous day - bright sunshine, absolutely stunning. Today, we went and saw Rosslyn Chapel (Da Vinci Code) - what a fascinating building. I took lots of pictures, so I'll be posting them later.

For those of you who asked about meeting in London, I'm thinking of just an informal coffee get-together on Sunday the 4th of October. Drop me an email at nalinis
inghwrites AT gmail DOT com if you're interested.

As promised - some photos from Germany!

This first one is of the greenhouses in the Palmengarten.

This is in Heidelberg, a pretty town with cobbled streets and a lovely atmosphere.

Cafe in Heidelberg - the image just struck me as very European :-)

Hope you're all having a great week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hellhounds & Auf Wiedersehen Germany

First, some super duper good news - MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS hit the New York Times short list!! Thank you everyone :-)

I've just had two fantastic days in Frankfurt!

The day I arrived, I spent with (the absolutely wonderful) Cora, who occasionally posts on this blog. (Hi Cora!) We walked our feet to exhaustion exploring Frankfurt, and ended up at the gorgeous Palmengarten - pictures to come once I get a chance to resize them for easy loading.

We had so much fun and I could've gone on chatting with Cora for ages about books, but jet lag hit me like a runaway train and sent me to bed at 7pm. Next time, Cora, we'll go dancing at midnight ;-)

Yesterday, I went to Heidelberg and saw an amazing castle. So old I could feel the weight of history all around me. The little town at the foot of the castle was just gorgeous, with its cobblestone paths and grand church. I feel a book set in a castle coming on...

I definitely need to come back and explore Germany properly. But today, it was goodbye to Frankfurt and hello to London!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dispatch from Singapore

Random thoughts.

Changi Airport is awesome! Free wi-fi, really nice helpful Info desk, pretty sculptures and even a live singer! Also, it's ginormous. I had to catch a sky-train to get between terminals then walk an hour (ok, maybe more like 10 minutes at an amble).

I adore my netbook. Adore.

Power-points at your seat in the plane - awesome! Especially if you're a writer revising your book. (Tip for travelers - make sure you bring your plug adapters - I've already used two different plugs today.)

I have now been awake for 20 hours and counting. Plan for next leg of trip - sleep, sleep, zzzzz...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ARC Winners & Catchup

The random winners of the Blaze of Memory ARC contest are Tammy (PA) & Leslie (MI). Congratulations!

Today, it's all running around doing errands for me. What're you all up to?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Gingerbread Men Return!

Remember the Gingerbread haka? Well, they're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I've put the new vid up at The Oddshots. Come see!

Also, the Blaze of Memory ARC contest is now closed. I'll be posting the name of the winner either tomorrow or Wed.

Hope you all had a fantabulous weekend!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Book Club!

It's book club time, all about sharing the books you've read and loved this week. So comment away!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Deleted Scene from Branded By Fire

I love this scene. It's a little bit naughty so be warned!


Mercy felt so deliciously loose and relaxed after her encounter with Riley that she had the urge to turn leopard and just curl up somewhere. It was as well that she had a standing date with the women of the pack that night.

Showering and sprucing up after her return from the den, she made it to the gathering half an hour late. It was being held at Annie and Zach’s house this time around—though Zach had been kicked out for the duration. Attendance fluctuated depending on work-shifts and the general mood of the pack, and tonight, after Nash’s successful return, there were well over twenty-five women in the small house filled with the delicious smells of chocolate, cocktails and friendship.

“Mercy!” Anu all but dragged her to a seat on the sofa. “I have something for you. Show me your toes.”

Grinning, Mercy did as bid. Ten minutes later, her toenails had been painted a vivid silver-blue that glinted in the light. “I like it,” she said definitively. Anu was one of her favorite people, being so infectiously good-natured that it was impossible to be in a bad mood around her. “How’s the baby?”

“Gorgeous. See?” The proud mommy pulled out a phone with an array of new photos.

Genuinely interested, Mercy spent several minutes looking at them. “She’s growing fast. Feels like only last week I held her and she was the size of a tadpole.”

“Tell me about it.” Anu turned to put her phone back into her purse. “Make sure you take home the rest of the polish for touch-ups.”

“Thanks.” Admiring her toes and feeling distinctly feline in her pleasure, Mercy nudged Anu.

“Where’s Annie?”

“Here.” A margarita was put into her hand. “Anu?”

“Better not—breastfeeding. Gimme that pineapple juice.” Taking a glass, she picked up her bag of tricks. “Time for my next victim.”

Mercy glanced up at Annie as Anu arrowed her way toward Poppy. “You know how to throw a party.”

Annie grinned. “I think Zach’s having visions of coming home to find drunken naked women all over his lawn. Actually, I think he’s hoping for it. Except for his sisters, of course—I have strict instructions to save him from that trauma by warning him to stay the hell away.”

Laughing, Mercy took a sip of her margarita and watched as Annie moved to put the rest of the drinks on the low table a couple of feet away. The small brunette was immediately shanghaied by her sister-in-law, Jess, and Sascha, into a heated debate that pitted Mr. Darcy against Heathcliff. Mercy was leaning forward to listen to Annie’s take on things when Tammy waved to her from the other side of the room, where she was being offered something that had her red-faced and laughing. Curious, Mercy made her way over.

Her eyes almost crossed when she saw the array of objects on the table in front of the healer. “Tammy!”

“Hey, don’t blame me.” Tammy wiped tears of laughter from the corners of her eyes. “This is all Faith’s fault.”

The F-Psy looked incredibly demure when she answered the charge. “How was I to know what Lurrrve Motion produced? When they said they were sending me samples to help me tune my mind for forecasts, I said fine.” She glanced at long, green and very...flexible, Lurrrve Toy, her eyes dancing with laughter. “I never had to worry about things like this when I was working exclusively for Psy companies.”

Mercy was trying to figure out how another toy worked when it came buzzing to life in her hands, turning six different colors in as many seconds before bouncing out of her grasp and across the table to fall into Talin’s lap. Tally took one look at it and said, “Do you think Clay would know what this was if I took it home and gave it to him as a present?”

Seriously naughty suggestions came from all sides, and by the time it was over, Mercy was laughing so hard, her stomach muscles protested. This, she thought, was life, was joy. She couldn’t imagine a future in which her pack didn’t play an integral role. DarkRiver was part of her soul through her blood-bond to Lucas, but her packmates were part of the very fabric of her heart.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Must Love Hellhounds & The Oddshots

First - MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS is officially out!! Go forth and buy!! :-)

Now, onto to today's story:

Once upon a time, Nalini said she wasn't planning to join a group blog again. Then Meljean gave her an appletini, Ilona sidled up with a chocolate martini, Jill nudged over some chocolate mousse (to go with the martini), and Patrice whispered that there was more where that came from.

And the end result is: THE ODDSHOTS

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Guest Author: Tracey O'Hara

Today we've got debut author Tracey O'Hara on the blog. I was lucky enough to read NIGHT'S COLD KISS before publication and thought it was deliciously dark and intriguing! Follow the link if you want to check out an excerpt. Tracey's website also has a book trailer.

Please welcome Tracey to the blog everyone!

To Read or Not to Read

I hear a lot of writers say they started writing while still in their cradles. Okay exaggeration there but you get the idea. They always wrote, they always wanted to be a writer and that is all they really wanted to do.

Well not me.

I hated English in school, with a passion. Mind you, I’ve always been a reader, but I hated technical construct that went into learning about sentence structure, verbs, adverbs, propositions and pronouns. I was a math and science geek from way back. Nothing was more torturous for me than having to write an essay. I’d sit there looking at the blank page having no idea what to write. So having failed English at school – how did I become a writer. Answer – my love of stories and books.

There have been a few books, and we all have them, that have not exactly changed my life but changed the way I viewed books. The first book that transitioned me from a child reader to reading more adult books was William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES. I was eleven or twelve at the time when I read it, my first year in High school. And OMG it blew me away. It wasn’t nice and the children didn’t go home for tea after a lovely trip to upside down land like they did in Enid Blyton’s ENCHANTED FARAWAY TREE series. No these boys turned wild, hunted pigs and even committed murder. I just couldn’t go back to childish books after that.

My father was an avid Wilbur Smith reader and we had a shelf of his books. So I picked up the first – MEN OF MEN. I was soon transported into the world of colonial Africa. I went to war with the Zulus, hunted elephant and went on many adventures with the rugged Sean Courtney – I think he was my first crush. I wanted to go to Africa so bad, still do, because of those books.

A couple of years later after I had devoured every single Wilbur Smith I could get my hands on, I saw a movie called Carrie. Apparently it was a book, and the book was better. So I picked up this book and soon found a new love -- Stephen King. He scared the living daylights out of me, and I loved it. Even now I can’t walk past a street drain without fear of some insane clown grabbing my ankle and dragging me down to my death. As with Wilbur Smith, I began to read everything I could.

Then I discovered fantasy. All my husband’s fault. He gave me THE MAGICIAN by Raymond E. Feist and again I couldn’t get enough of Midkemia or Kelewan through Janny Wurt’s DAUGHTER OF THE EMPIRE books. So I tended gravitate towards authors I guess as we all do. I read other things as well, sci-fi, classics, contemporaries, historical. I have read widely, but none of those books had as much an impact on me as the authors I’ve mentioned. Well Maybe Kurt Vonnegut.

Today there are so many to choose from, so many books. Nalini and Keri Arthur were such an inspiration to me as a writer. Not only did they write really great books, they were from downunder—Keri the Aussie and a Kiwi Nalini. In fact one of Keri’s earlier releases, the Ripple Creek werewolf series, was the first paranormal romance I read.

Then I discovered writing — caught the bug, so to speak. Unlike when I was in school, I found I actually liked putting words done on the page. I love learning how to structure the sentence to have the most impact. But the down side is I don’t have as much time to read as much as I used to. I really don’t think you can be a writer you must be a reader. When I am stuck, I read and that tends to bring back my muse.

Is there any one or more authors that have really influenced what you read or changed your approach to reading?