Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Book Club

It's book club time! What're you reading and loving this week?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whisper of Sin Excerpt

I'm working on copy edits for Bonds of Justice at the moment, and really enjoying reading the manuscript again after having turned it in a few months ago. :-)

The copy edits for Whisper of Sin (novella featuring Ria in the Burning Up anthology) will most likely arrive soon, too. Which reminds me that I haven't shared an excerpt from the novella yet. So, here it is! I hope you enjoy!

Unedited advance excerpt from Whisper of Sin

(Ria and her hero have been sparring in a basement gym in this scene.)

“How did I do?” she asked.

He glanced at his forearm. “I didn’t teach you the biting.” It was a snarl.

Or maybe he hadn’t been playing the whole time. “I decided to add it on my own,” she said, though in truth, it had been an instinctive response to his arrogant provocation. Her eyes went to the marks she’d made. Deep and red and perfectly formed. Guilt invaded. “I didn’t mean to bite you that hard. But…I’m not sorry.”

“Oh?” He walked over, slow, so slow. This time, she backed up. It was one thing to play with a predator who was keeping his claws sheathed, quite another to know you were prey. He kept coming. She knew the door out of the basement was only about a foot away. Making a quick move, she went to dart left.

Too late.

He was there before her and somehow, she found herself pasted up against the closed door, very aware that she was all alone with a big, dangerous leopard in human skin. Except instead of fear, it was a vivid excitement that beat in her blood as he placed his hands palms-down on either side of her head and bent until their breaths mingled. “Boo.”

She jumped, then wanted to slap herself for it. “Stop acting the big bad cat.”

A blink and when he raised his lashes, the eyes that looked back at her were in no way human. “Mmm, I smell a pretty little human in my territory.” A soft whisper against her lips, bright green-gold eyes daring her to respond.

Her breasts brushed his chest as he pressed closer, her breath coming in jagged pants. “You’re behaving very badly.” It was a husky reproach.

“You bit me.” He angled his head a little to the left and though she couldn’t see those amazing eyes except for a glint through his lashes, she knew he was looking at her lips. “Say sorry.”

She didn’t know what made her do it. Parting her lips, she said, “No.”

Copyright (c) 2010 by Nalini Singh

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guest Author: India Grey

Winners: Thanks for the great discussion everyone. I've run the random numbers and the winners are listed below. Congratulations!! Please email me your address at nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com so I can pass it on to India.

Chelsea B (Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure )
Manders (Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride)
Marilyn Shoemaker (Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper)

I posted a couple of weeks ago about how much I enjoyed India Grey's novel Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper. And as you all know by now, when I love a book, I find ways to stalk contact the author ;-)

India was gra
cious enough to agree to guest on the blog today, and she's come bearing gifts. Please welcome India to the blog everyone!

Fairy Tales
by India Grey

Each year as Valentine’s Day looms I usually find myself doing interviews with journalists who are after some kind of ‘expert comment’ on the whole soft-focus hearts-and-flowers-and-chocolates thing. I’m absolutely not complaining: writing is a seriously lonely business and usually my day is broken up only by conversation (mostly one-sided) with the cat, so the opportunity to talk to a real person is always hugely welcome. The trouble is I often feel a bit of a fake. These poor journalists, harassed by editors and struggling with deadlines and word count are mostly under the impression that I write stories about swooning heroines being swept off their tiny feet by identikit strong-jawed heroes and carried into the pink sunset. Along a beach. With violins playing in the background. And I hate having to disabuse them.

I think of the books I write as being modern day fairy tales for grown ups, and as anyone who has ever read a genuine, un-Disneyfied fairy tale knows, pink and fluffy just doesn’t come into it. In fact, it’s pretty bizarre that the term ‘fairy tale’ has become some kind of shorthand for airbrushed,
rose-tinted perfection (celebrities have ‘fairy tale’ weddings and live in ‘fairy tale’ houses) because perfection was the last thing I expected as a little girl when I opened my book of fairy tales.

Cruelty, loss, pain, suffering; those were the things that hooked me in and kept me turning the pages. It wasn’t so much Cinderella’s beautiful dress when she went to the ball or Rapunzel’s envy-inducing hair (although I did desperately want to grow mine that long) that brought me back to those stories time and time again, but the shivery horror at the thought of being orphaned and banished to the cellar as a slave in your own home, or sent to the forest to have your heart cut out as a punishment for being too beautiful. It was the tormented roar of the Beast and the yellow glint of the wolf’s eyes… and the strange mixture of feelings they stirred up that made me a seven-bedtimes-a-week fairy-tale junkie.

As an otherwise well-adjusted child I’m not sure exactly what it was about those things that gripped my imagination so fiercely that I can still feel its hold all these years later. Perhaps it was the way the stories played powerfully on the most basic fears all children have, of being abandoned and unloved. Perhaps it had something to do with the illustrations of the kind of dramatic, gothic settings which I now love using in my books – a huge, dark mansion with its miles of shadowy corridors, a crumbling stone tower in the middle of a lake, a house in a forest of silent, towering pine trees. Perhaps it was the whisper of sex – an echo of the explicit x-rated elements that were part of the stories hundreds of years earlier and which still curl, smoke-like, between the simply-written lines, so that I instinctively understood why the prince climbed Rapunzel’s hair to get into the tower and what drew Beauty to the compelling, disturbing beast. (And wanted to know more!)

Or maybe it was the seductive promise of the Happy Ever After that turned me into a fairy tale addict and fledgling romantic novelist. Society has changed beyond recognition since the days when stories were recited around the fire on endless winter evenings – when darkness and illiteracy meant people couldn’t read to entertain themselves, and a lack of central heating and Desperate Housewives ensured they were a captive audience – but people are essentially the same. We might live in an age of science and street lighting but deep down there’s a part of all of us that’s still afraid of the wolf and the dark woods. And still so wants to believe in happy endings.

In the books I write the Happy Ever After has nothing to do with magic wands and miracle cures – in fact, you could almost say it’s the antithesis of the fairy tale because it has to feel utterly, absolutely real. It’s about being accepted and loved as you are, flawed and vulnerable. And feeling whole and invincible through being loved.

What’s your best-loved fairy tale, or the element from one that made the biggest impression on you as a child?

I’ve raided my bookshelf and pulled out three of my books with fairy-tale influences to give away* to three random commenters (because three is the magic num
ber!) Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure (Beauty and the Beast), Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride, (Rapunzel), and Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper (Cinderella).

Thanks for having me Nalini!

India's Website:
India's Blog:

*Giveaway closes Wednesday 24 Feb, 2010 @6pm New Zealand time. Please make sure to check back to see if you've won!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snapshot Monday: New Zealand

Some pictures from my home today - of a stunning black sand beach I visited yesterday.

Shell on the sand - you can actually see how the sand sparkles in this shot and the one following.

A piece of driftwood that reminded me of bones you might find in the desert.

The horizon is just endless - you can look for what feels like miles and not see any signs of civilization.

Looking out at the water from the sand dunes.

Looking back toward the mountains.

This last shot was taken as the tide was going out.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. What did you get up to?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Book Club

First, some wonderful news - Archangel's Kiss is in the top 15 of the NYT for the second week running. It's also hit the Publisher's Weekly Bestseller list. Woohoo! A big thank you to all of you! :-)

Now, bookclub time!

I read Lori Foster's Back In Black this week, and LOVED it! The hero is rough, tough, and all-around delicious. I didn't realize this was part of the SBC Fighter series (set in the world of mixed martial arts), but had absolutely no problems reading it as a stand-alone. I'm now looking forward to glomming the entire series. *rubs hands in glee*

Your turn! What've you been reading and loving this week?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I'm deep into the first draft of the next Guild Hunter book and things are starting to come together. After I post this blog, I'm off to write a super-duper-awesome fight scene.

What're you all up to?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Author: Joss Ware

I'm delighted to have Joss Ware on the blog today. I came across Joss's books last year, when I was asked if I would read Embrace the Night Eternal for a possible cover quote. I picked it up not knowing anything about it, and ended up devouring it.

I've now read both Beyond the Night and the as yet unreleased, Abandon the Night and thought they were fantastic. This series has very quickly become one of my new favorites - I can't wait for the next entry!

Please welcome Joss to the blog everyone!

Joss Ware on the Envy Chronicles

About three
years ago, I was talking to someone about trends in paranormal romance novels. Vampires were hot, of course, and demons and shapeshifters were starting to get really popular as well—and we all know that angels soon followed ;-)—but this person said, “I think there’s going to be a trend toward post-apocalyptic romances.”

Huh, I thought. Wow. Then I immediately discarded the thought. I was writing the Gardella
Vampire Chronicles at that time, and post-apocalyptic settings were about as far from historical vampire slayers as you can get.

Besides. I couldn’t even begin to imagine something like that. How could anyone write a post-apocalyptic romance? How can anyone believe in true love or a happy ever after when the world is being destroyed around them? People are dying, in pain, kids, dogs, cats being destroyed, buildings in shambles…no thank you!

But then, one day, I was chatting with one of my friends, and she said, “I think you should write a post-apocaly
ptic romance.”

And I started to think about it. The more I thought, the more fascinated I became with the idea…or, more accurately, the challenge, of writing a romance set in such a dark time. I loved the idea of having a world that had all of our knowledge in technology and science, our pop culture and fashion…but without the infrastructure and civilization that we are used to today.

It would be like writing a historical novel (no cell phones, no computers or cars), but with the ability to know everything we do now. Fascinating.

But, yet, the problem of dealing with the devastation of the earth and civilization and all t
hese people dying still bothered me. So I decided to start my series fifty years after the horrible events that ruined the world and destroyed the human race.

Once I figured out what happened to destroy the earth, then the rest of it fell into place rather quickly. Was it a group of bad guys whose plans, for once, weren’t foiled? Was it nature? Was it aliens? An asteroid? Global warming? Nuclear war?

Then, I
started thinking about how to make a strong connection between our world (in 2010) and the new world (of 2060). I ultimately decided to build the series around a group of guys who somehow “miss” the catastrophe and suddenly find themselves in this strange new world.

They’re called The Awakening Heroes: Elliott, Quent, Simon, Fence, and Wyatt. Each one of them awakens with a changed life, to find that everything they once knew is kaput. Nada.

Not only that, but some of them have even acquired paranormal abilities. And of course, they meet sexy, smart, brave women as they try to build a new life in this strange, horrible world.

The series
is called the Envy Chronicles, and the first one, Beyond the Night, was released in January. The second book, Embrace the Night Eternal was just released last week, and Abandon the Night will be out in March!

I’d like to thank Nalini for having me here. What a thrill to be invited to her blog, and especially for her support for this new series! I’m flattered and very grateful when anyone enjoys my books and lets me know, but when it comes from a colleague, that makes it all the more thrilling!

Link to Joss's Website

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snapshot Monday: Beautiful Bath!

First of all - thank you to everyone who attended my talk at the Blockhouse Bay Library yesterday. I had a wonderful time chatting with you all! A special shout-out to Kerry, who comments on the blog - lovely to meet you in person :)

Onto today's photos!

I only spent a short time in Bath while I was in the U.K. but I thought it was a gorgeous city, one I definitely want to return to and explore more fully.

Above and below are pictures of a "circus" - the circular buildings that are so much a part of Bath. When I saw this, all I could think of were the final scenes in the recent movie adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion (with Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins). My in-love-with-Austen-heart gave a big sigh.

As an aside, though my love for Pride and Prejudice remains steadfast, I think the quieter Persuasion might be my favorite Austen novel.

Below is a picture looking out toward the city from the top level of the Roman Baths. See all the centurions lined up on the edges?

Looking down into the Great Bath. Spot the monk!

I believe the shot below is of the Sacred Spring, which is really, really, really hot.

A picture of one of the many beautiful buildings in Bath.

And this little guy just tickled me! I thought it was brilliant that the city was showcasing modern artwork against the ancient background.

Hope you enjoyed the cyber-tour of Bath!

p.s. I was shocked, SHOCKED, to realize I had no "Jane Austen" tag on the blog. That has now been rectified!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cover Love: Bonds of Justice!!

World, meet Max!! I love it, love it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Book Club

So, what's everyone reading and loving this week?!

All sorts of Goodness!

It's a two-post day today! The book club post will be up later this evening :)

I'm delighted to share that Archangel's Kiss is on the USA Today Bestseller list as well as in the top ten of the NYT! I want to say a huge thank you to all of you for your support of this new series!

And more good news - Germany's
Love Letter Magazine just published their 2010 Awards, and "Eisige Umarmung" (Caressed By Ice) won the Best Paranormal / Fantasy category!! (Thanks to Eva for forwarding me the info!).

Further n
ews from Germany - "Engelskuss" (Angels' Blood) has just released! Check out the gorgeous cover above. And talking of gorgeous covers, the UK edition of Angels' Blood is also out!

AAR released the results of its Annual Poll this week, and Mercy & Riley took out the Best Paranormal category (with an Honorable Mention in the Best Love Scenes *grin*). Elena was voted the Best Kickass Heroine. Thank you to everyone who voted!

A quick heads-up for those of you in Auckland. I will be giving a talk at the Blockhouse Bay Library on Sunday 14th Feb (yep, Valentine's Day!) @ 1pm. I'm happy to sign books if anyone wants to bring them along.

I also have a new interview up at
Women on Writing. Follow the link to read.

And, over at Oddshots, both Jill & Patrice are giving away books, so make sure you stop by and enter. Plus, The Knight Agency is holding a Lovers Rock Week, with all sorts of great posts!

Wow, I think I've used by my quota of exclamation marks for the entire week in this one post (o0)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Archangel's Kiss...

...just hit the NYT!! Woohoo!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guest Author: Nikki Logan

Today, we have a debut author visiting - please give Nikki a warm welcome everyone!!


Elephants gestate for 22 months, giraffes 16 months, orang-utans 8 months.

Debut novels…? Somewhere between an elephant and a giraffe, it seems. My debut ‘Lights, Camera…Kiss the Boss’ was conceived during the Australian equivalent of NaNoWriMo. I began June 2008 with a vague idea of a story and finished it a few days shy
of the last day of the month, weighing in at a healthy 55K and full of the promise of new life. The name on its birth certificate was Love on a Rooftop but I knew it by its nickname, LOAR.
I had a world of fun making that ‘baby’ over the space of a month. The story seemed to just flow out of me, like it had been waiting for me to sit at my computer and set it free. And then, when I was done, I filed it away in my documents as an interesting experiment. It never occurred to me that I should polish it up because it never occurred to me that I would sell it. To anyone.
But I did, to Kimberley Young from Harlequin Mills & Boon (London) who was considering one of LOAR’s sibling manuscripts. She casually asked ‘Do you have anything else I can look at’ and I panicked becasue I didn't, then I remembered little LOAR sitting politely in its room waiting to be invited out to play by the big kids. I polished it up and sent it off like a first day at school. It was raw, it was virtually still stream-of-consciousness stuff. And it was on its way to London!

What was I thinking??

Five months from the day I typed The End on my baby, Kim Young gave me the call. Not just a call, the call. She wanted to buy Love on a Rooftop.

That was it, thought I. Fame and fortune here I come. I started planning my retirement from the day job, I bought floor to ceiling IKEA bookshelves to celebrate (and because that seemed like a writerly thing to do). And then the timelines hit me.

The baby that
I’d written in June 2008 and sold in November 2008 wouldn’t be released until December 2009. Thirteen months from the date of sale, eighteen from completion. And then it got pushed back to February 2010 to be part of a special series month and suddenly my baby’s gestation was around twenty agonising months.

I could have made m
ost of an elephant in that time! And me so bad with delayed gratification.


The gestation has been filled with exciting firsts. My first revisions, my first contract, my first advance-cheque, my first author alterations, my first title, my first cover, my first hard-copy-in-the-hands-honest-to-goodness-books and… finally…my first release date.

All writer-things, meaningless to others but the stuff that keeps all of us going. And must be like the first ultrasound for expecting mums. The first heartbeat, the first kick, the first smile, the first step.

Valentines weekend 2010 may be the one I remember for the rest of my life. Even more than the time I got twenty-four anonymous roses on my doorstep. It’s the week my book debuts and the whole world gets to see how I spent June 2008 and a whole lot of months in between. It’s the week I introduce Ava Lange and Daniel Arnot to the planet; all their barely disguised chemistry and complicated history. Their special brand of happy-ever-after.
It’s the day my baby has its first birthday—in elephant years. I hope you can all come to the party!

Lights, Cam
era…Kiss the Boss debuts in February 2010 (March 2010 in Australia & New Zealand) Or be kind to the planet and grab an electronic copy from or your favourite e-book store right now.

Nikki's Website: – A Romance with Nature

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Social Networking

Good discussion going on over at Oddshots on social networking. Swing by and join in.

I also have a guest author lined up for you, but we're ironing out some technical difficulties *g* so the post may be up either later today, or tomorrow morning :)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Archangel's Kiss Spoiler Thread Now Open

I decided to open the Spoiler Thread early. Follow the link!

(Closing comments on this post to avoid confusion.)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Book Club

I'm also over at RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk, chatting about heroines today :)

Now, onto today's book club! What've you been reading and loving this week?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Michaela & More!

A (somewhat scary) link to start with - Kate of Babbling About Books managed to sit down with the Archangel Michaela for an interview earlier, and that interview is now up!

Also, I'm over at the RomConversations FF&P blog talking about Friendships in romance. Come on over and join in the discussion.

And, I have to *squee* over two fantastic new reviews for Archangel's Kiss, at Dear Author and at AAR (Desert Isle Keeper review)!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Forbidden City, Bejing, China

The Forbidden City is an immense place, full of grandeur - literally a city within a city, and when I stood in the middle of it, I could easily imagine what it must've been like when filled with light and color and music.

Below is a closeup of a dragon detailed in metal.

The city is full of interconnecting staircases and bridges - like the ones you can see in the shot below, and in the one at the top of this post.

The large central square.

And finally a gorgeous section of roof detail that may be familiar...

I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse of the Forbidden City! If you're ever able to visit, I would utterly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Release Celebrations!!

Archangel's Kiss will officially release on Feb 2nd (U.S.) time, so only a few hours to go!! I hope you all enjoy reading about the next stage in Elena and Raphael's relationship.

Lots of things related to AK are going live today, so here's a linkfest.

I have a
Dear Reader letter up at Penguin's Paranormal page.

Also, a new interview has gone up at
Calliope's Domain.

And I woke to find a number of great new reviews!