Saturday, November 29, 2008

For the Chocoholics

Fancy shoe shopping? How about "a handmade gourmet shoe with a 14cm heel" from (Link and description via Sideswipe.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Emerging from the writing cave to say...

Happy Turkey Day to everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving! :)

Plus, Barbara Vey's Beyond the Book blog has an awesome roundup of Christmas themed books, including The Magical Christmas Cat, so swing by and check it out if you're in the mood for some mistletoe!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday Links

A few links I thought might interest :-)

A great interview with Marjorie M. Liu at Shanghai Scrap (link via The Knight Agency blog). Also via TKA, agent & author Deidre Knight talks about writing on agent Lucienne Diver's blog

Dear Author offers up The Romance Apologia Scale (warning: do not read with coffee in mouth)

Cara King presents Jane Austen's Twilight

The Book Smugglers interview Kim Harrison

Kate Rothwell (Summer Devon) is offering a free download of her novel The Ratcatcher (link via Meljean Brook's blog)

And that's everything I caught on my very quick scan of my blog feeds this morning. Leave a note in the comments if you've posted and/or seen something interesting around the blogsphere. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Favorite Movies

The Down Under Desirabelles are talking favorite "desirable" movies, so swing by and add your picks. What was mine?

Here's a clue:

"Farm boy, fill these with water - please."

"As you wish."

Thursday, November 20, 2008


more animals

Friday, November 14, 2008

Interview with Karina Bliss

Updated to Add: The random winner of Karina's giveaway is Azteclady. Congratulations! Can you please contact Karina at karina AT with your mailing address. :)

Sneaking back very early (shh) from the writing cave to post something special - an interview with Karina Bliss, celebrating the release of her new book, "Second-Chance Family." Not only is Karina a friend and fellow NZ author, she's also one of my favorite writers. Her stories have real heart - I can never put down her books once I pick them up.

Please give Karina a warm welcome to the blog everyone!

1. Who is Karina Bliss?

This sounds like a 'Where's Wally?' question. :-)

The great thing about being a writer is that you're anonymous except for gender, and some writers even get around that. Eg: J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis and Lionel Shriver (a female writer who uses a male name).

But for lack of literary stature, I can confirm I'm female, older than I want to be, a former journalist and a New Zealander. I sold my first book, Mr Imperfect, to Harlequin Superromance in 2006 and am currently working on book number six.

2. You write for Super Romance - what defines this line of books?

The line's taglin
e, 'Romance has never felt more real' sums it up in a nutshell. Think contemporary, believable romance with a modern tone. Because Super’s core value is home and family there can sometimes be a misconception that the books must be cozy (dare I say tame). Wrong!

Here are some examples of recent plotlines.

* An Atlanta businessman uses an abandoned baby to beef up the public’s perception of him as a great guy (Abby Gaines, The Diaper Diaries).
* A developer inherits custody of three kids with his ex wife, the woman he divorced because he blamed himself for (spoiler deleted!). (Second-Chance Family, Karina Bliss).

* A heroine opens the door to an adult son she gave up for adoption at sixteen...the product of rape. The hero is one of the suspects. (Tara Taylor Quinn – Sara's Son).
* A hero who fathered not one but two babies to different girls as a teenager, then married out of duty and lost the woman he loved. (Joan Kilby – How to Trap a Parent.)

Hugely di
verse in tone, plot and writing styles, what all Superromances have in common is family relationships complicating the hero and heroine’s life and their romantic happy-ever-after. I've recently written an article about writing for Super for Romance Writers of Australia. If there are any would-be writers out there, it's posted on my website under ‘writer in progress.’

3. Tell us about your November release, "Second-Chance Family."

The idea for the book - A guy inherits custody of three kids with his ex wife – started as fun and somehow got darker and more emotional. I really love reunion stories but one of my writing friends has trouble buying into a couple splitting up and getting back together...Why would it work a second time if it didn’t the first? How DO you write a believable love story when you’ve
already proved that love doesn’t conquer all? What kind of history would these two have?

The other thing I wanted to do with this book was write ‘real’ kids not plot contrivances. As a new mother I once threw a romance against the wall because the heroine had three-month-old twins who went to bed on the dot of six and slept twelve hours. After which she dressed her slender body sexy, served her new love – the hero - dinner by candlelight and engaged in passionate all-night bonking. Yeah right!

4. I thought this was a really emotionally wrenching book - as a writer, how do you get into the "head space" to write about such a tough situation?

I’ve had a lot of exposure to bereavement – my own and that of people close to me. And I’ve seen people demonstrate amazing character, courage, love and resilience in the face of loss. There’s always been humor amidst the pathos... I guess it’s the spark of survival. W
ith that inspiration, I found it a surprisingly easy book to write. It proved a real ‘heart’ book for me.

5. Which of the characters in "Second-Chance Family" is your favorite?

Truthfully, I loved every one of them, even the dead ones. :-) I ran a contest on my website to name a character and then emailed my choice and said, ‘Um, do you mind if I give your suggested name to one of the deceased because Julia Evans really suits the woman I have in my head?’ Fortunately the reader had no problem with it.

6. I gotta mention the kids - talk about realistic! You mention in your dedication that your nieces and nephews provided the inspiration for them - any particular events in the bo
ok that come directly from your experience with them?

The two youn
ger children are pretty much an amalgam of my son and all the kids in my extended family. I borrowed their best lines and quirks (lucky they’re too young to sue J). Even the pathos was sparked by their behaviour after my father died. Kids offer such a unique window on the world when you’re writing fiction and readers trust their perceptions so they’re a great way to give insight into your hero and heroine.

7. Staying with the kids - how do you balance writing a romance, with the family aspect that's integral to S
uper Romance?

Ha! It’s a work in progress. I’ve certainly indoctrinated my son who once suggested I go to a fancy dress party as a plot hole (he was ten at the time). And he writes books (mainly to tell me how much faster he can write than I can). My husband thinks all the heroes are modelled on him, and he’s right, (with a teeny sprinkle of Brad).

8. Your books are loosely connected - can a reader new to your work pick up any of your books, or would you recommend starting at a specific one?

I’d love to say, ‘Oh of course you have to buy the first one and read them right through.’ G> But no, they can be read as stand-alones. For purists, the series run in this order: Mr. Imperfect, Mr. Irresistible, Mr. Unforgettable and Second-Chance Family.

9. Anything else you'd like to add?

I have a prize draw for Nalini’s Hostage to Pleasure currently running on my website. Come visit on And many thanks for the interview, Nalini. You’re an inspiration to me as a writer and an auto-buy for me as a reader.

Karina is giving away a signed copy of Second-Chance Family to one lucky commenter, so feel free to grill her (or just say hi!), by midnight, Sunday November 16th, 2008 New Zealand time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Website & Blog Hiatus

The website's been updated, complete with the full backcover blurb for ANGELS' BLOOD so swing by and check it out.

Also, I'm buried in work, so the blog is going on hiatus until I dig myself back out. While I'm gone, why don't you tell me what you're reading?

Catch you all in a week or so! :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reader Interview: DD03 on The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

It's time for this week's reader interview - focusing on books readers of my blog, livejournal and myspace page consider absolute keepers. If you'd like to participate, you can find all the details here.

Also, if you'd like to read previous interviews, click on the Reader Interviews Part Deux tag at the bottom of this post.

Today's interviewee is DD03!

DDO3 on The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

a) What's the book about?

A 12 yr old boy discovers that there is another realm in which most people have a "twin" of themselves. He is one of the few who is an individual in both worlds. He learns that his mother, the Queen of B movies, is dying, as well as her counterpart, the Queen, in the other world. He must find the Talisman and bring it back to them in order to heal them...and in essence save the worlds (because there are layers upon layers of them...each a reflection of the other, some more advance, some less so). There is of course an antihero/villain that is trying to get the Talisman as well, so that he can control all the worlds.

b) What do you love most about this story?

The journey and the development of Jack, the 12 yr old boy. He meets so many wonderful and awful characters along the way. Jack is such a courageous character.

c) How many times have you read this book?

Oh, dear. I first read this when I was 14 or 15 yrs old. I kept checking it out from the library, until they finally told me someone else wanted to read it! teehee.I've reread it about every 1.5-2 yrs ever since.= approximately 15 times

d) Who would you recommend it to?

Everyone.It's a coming of age book with some fantasy mixed in. There is no sex, well other than icky men wanting Jack because he's beautiful made...his spirit, his aura. There is love, courage, action, magic of a sort, werewolves (one is his BFF)'s simply awesome.

e) Anything else you want to add?

One of the lines I've never forgotten is... "fushing feef!! fushing feef!!"It's a spider calling Jack a f***ing thief for getting near the Talisman. Also...I've never been able to eat seafood, besides shrimp and some fish. There was a very vivid scene of a seagull tearing at a didn't help! Can't stand the sight of someone picking out lobster from the shell!!*shudders*

bugs n hisses,


Monday, November 10, 2008

Winners & Link

First up, the winners of the Meljean Brook giveaway (thanks to are:

DEMON NIGHT by Meljean Brook - Pam P
NIGHT KEEPERS by Jessica Andersen - Lili
HEART DANCE by Robin D Owens - Eshani W

Congratulations! Can you all please email me your mailing addresses at - nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com :)

Also a link for you - a great interview with Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series.

Hope everyone's having a fantastic start to the week!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Weekly Catchup

Sorry for being a bit AWOL on the blog the past few days, everyone. But, to make up for it, I have some photos to take you into the weekend. Thanks to Eva, I've discovered Luca Toni - I may now have to start watching football *grin*
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! And don't forget to drop you name into the Meljean Brook giveaway if you haven't already.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

OOTB Tour: Dark Magic by Cheyenne McCray

It's OOTB Tour time! Check out the details below :)

DARK MAGIC by Cheyenne McCray

Jake Macgregor has his hands full. As San Francisco’s Captain of the Paranormal Special Forces unit, he and his team are facing a powerful enemy that threatens to bring down the city. With the weight of the world already resting on his broad shoulders, the last thing Jake has time for is romance. So why—after a long, hard day’s fight against evil—are his nights filled with dreams of Cassia?

Cassia is a D’Anu witch whose birthright ensures power and honor beyond imagination. It also forbids the one thing Cassia wants the most: the love of mortal Jake Macgregor. When she intervenes in a skirmish to save his life, the consequences are inescapable—even though the magic they make together is too luscious, and potent, to resist…



New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cheyenne McCray has a passion for writing urban fantasy, paranormal, and suspense novels. Among other accolades, Chey has won the prestigious Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for “Best Steamy Romance of the Year.”

Chey penned her first poem in kindergarten, and has been writing ever since she can remember. She always knew one day she would write novels, hoping her readers would get lost in the worlds she created, as she did in her favorites.

Now, she gets to write full time and loves what she does. For St. Martin's Press, she writes the bestselling "Magic" series. She also writes suspense novels, including the upcoming “Lexi Steele” series, starting in February 2009 with The First Sin. In June 2009 Demons Not Included blasts off a new urban fantasy series.

Chey has three sons, three dogs, a messy house, and she will do anything to get out of cleaning, which may be why she writes so much.

REVIEWS for Dark Magic

4 ½ Star TOP PICK!

“McCray does a stellar job layering the danger, passion and betrayal. Awesome!”

~Romantic Times BOOKreviews.

5 Stars “What an absolutely stunning conclusion Cheyenne McCray has penned for her ‘Magic’ series. “Dark Magic” is everything I would have wished for and couldn’t have imagined!”


“[McCray]…delivers in a spectacular way.”

Night Owl Romance


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Demon Bound - Meljean Brook

Demon Bound is part of Meljean Brook’s Guardians series. Follow this link to read all about what makes Meljean's world unique.

The series is defined by brilliant characterizations and intricate world-building. But don’t let the latter scare you – I find Meljean’s writing style wonderfully easy to read. If you want to check things out for yourself, the author has a ton of excerpts on her website.

Demon Bound is the story of Jake, one of the new and inexperienced Guardians, and Alice, an older (and rather creepy) Guardian. Alice keeps pet spiders. Yes, big, black, crawly spiders.

I’m going to be honest. When I realized Jake was the hero of DB, I was skeptical. Sure, he was cute in the other books, but a hero?*

Well, that’ll teach me to doubt Meljean. This book is wonderful! Not only is Jake a great hero, Alice is a brilliant heroine, spiders and all. I think what I love most about Meljean’s books
is that her characters are all very unique individuals—and they remain true to who they are even as they grow and change through the books.

As well as
the love story, there are some major developments in the overarching backstory—I’m hoping Meljean writes the next book really fast, ‘cause I want to read it right now!

Needless to say, Demon Bound is totally recommended!

If you haven't tried the series yet, I've got something to tempt you - leave a comme
nt on this post about anything your heart desires, and I'll throw you into the draw for a signed copy of Demon Night, the previous book in the series...Drifter, mmm...

Plus, because it's November, I'll pick two more winners, one of whom will get Jessica Anderson's Night Keepers, while the other winner will get Robin D Owens' Heart Dance - both signed :-)

Comment away! Contest closes Sunday Nov 9th, 2008, midnight New Zealand time. I'll announce the winners next week.

*I wrote this up when I first read Demon Bound, but this morning, I saw this "What the hell was I thinking?" post by Meljean. *g*

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's November!

Where did October go? Seriously?!

What's everyone up to today? I've got a meeting with fellow members of Romance Writers of New Zealand, and I'm really looking forward to talking, talking, talking *grin*

I know for a lot of you, it's still Oct 31st, so Happy Halloween!