Monthly Archives: January 2008

Just rambling…

 No Thursday Thirteen for me today, because I’m still not quite up to snuff.  Did okay at work yesterday, but thank goodness I didn’t have to make any major decisions.  Instead, I shuffled paper *g*.

Now I’m trying to get my head wrapped around what I’m gonna work on next…methinks the shifter book, at last for now.  It’s the one speaking to me the most now, so we’ll see what happens.  I have the glimmer of a plot, and the hero and heroine were almost fully formed in my mind as I wrote the first few hundred words, so that’s good.

I’ve FINALLY been able to concentrate enough to read tho (YEAH), and am about 2/3 of the way through Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole….in a word…yum!!!

Feeling better, Release Day & good reviews

 Sorry for the lapse Monday and Tuesday…I caught a nasty flu/headcold/chestcold…if you can call it any of that.  All I know is that I slept about 40 hours over 2 days and finally feel human again.

Unfortunately, I slept through my own release day!  Sea of Dreams was released on Monday, and I already got my first review…and it’s a doozie!  Check it out here.

Right now I’m still kinda toying with what I want to do next, but since I set my new “start” date on 1 Feb, that’s cool.  Over the weekend I worked on Duck and Run…this is a story I really adore that just…died…because the heroine wasn’t talking to me (that’s a whole ‘nother blog post, and a subject my hubby rides me on).  I jammed on this baby on Saturday, logging 2,200 words.  Friday I worked on something new, a possible idea for Nocture, and today, since I was almost feeling human, I started playing with a shifter story.  We’ll see which one jells first.

Okay, off to bed now, since I have to go to work tomorrow.  Sigh.

Interview with…Nalini Singh

So if you’ve caught some of my review’s of Nalini Singh’s work, you know I ADORE her books…I had a chance to interview (and sign!!) with her last year, and she graciously agreed to contribute to the newsletter.  (Remember, you can get these babies hot off the press once a month by signing up for the newsletter…and have a chance to win a $10 gift certif to Amazon!!).  Anyway, with no further ado…Nalini Singh!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

I think the first sale is just something special.  The excitement of knowing that my book was going to go out there in the world – it was this amazing, wonderful, stupendous feeling! It makes me grin each time I think of it.

But you know, cool things happen every day – every time a reader emails to tell me they loved my work, it just makes my day. 🙂

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

I write about the Psy, a race that buried their emotions a century ago in an effort to fight a vicious tide of insanity and murder, and the changeling shapeshifters who challenge their perfect Silence. The Psy have amazing powers of the mind, none of the heart, while the changelings crave touch, live for sensation. Caught somewhere in between are the humans.

If you like hot, alpha heroes, strong heroines, and find yourself intrigued by the idea of a world in which telepathy is accepted and a panther can walk alongside a human, check out my books!

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

Oh wow, this is SUCH a difficult question!! I’m a huge reader and have so many favorites. Here are three (but really, I need a whole page to list them all!)

JD Robb – love, love, LOVE her In Death series. I’m really in awe of how she’s kept the Eve/Roarke relationship interesting despite the fact that the two of them are now married.

Anne McCaffrey – her Pern series, & her Tower and the Hive series are just amazing blends of sf/fantasy and romance. The way she builds worlds, creates these wonderful relationships, it’s something extraordinary.

Jayne Castle (actually Jayne Ann Krentz in any of her guises!) – I really enjoy her characters and how they interact. Love her alpha heroes, especially when they’ve convinced everyone else that they’re beta. Yeah, right!

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

Hmm, sometimes I listen to music in other languages. I might not know what it means, but if the tone works for me, I’ll listen to it.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

Well, I have a book out this month – it’s called CARESSED BY ICE and it’s about an icy Psy assassin that I just know you’ll love. On reader said that the hero was “so dominant, so controlled, so Icy Hot that he gave me hot flashes” . Oooh la la!

If you want to read extended excerpts of all the books in the series, check out a free short story, or go Behind the Scenes, swing by my website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/

Also, just for fun, you might want to check out this quiz to see which Psy/Changeling hero is for you: http://www.quizilla.com/users/NaliniSingh/quizzes/Which%20Psy-Changeling%20Hero%20Is%20For%20You?/

Triscuits…quite possibly the perfect food

So I signed up with three other chickies to do a Biggest Loser thing on the base, and we started last Monday.  As I do every year (at least for the past several), I take a few weeks to write down everything I’m eating (and drinking…I love my wine), so I can reprogram myself.  Not so much in calories, but in the actual content of what I’m eating…i.e., what percentage is fat, sugars, fiber, that sort of thing.

As usual, my fiber quotient is seriously lacking, and my protein is through the ceiling.   So I did a bit of ‘Net surfing, and found not one, but two answers to my problem…the first is Fiber One cereal for lunch.  Yeah, it looks like a bunch of twigs, but it actually tastes pretty damned good, especially if you’re not a regular cereal eater.  The second, tho, was a major breakthrough for me…Triscuits.  They’ve got a cracked pepper and olive oil version out now that’s quite simply FAB.  It’s got some protein, but just as much fiber, which is what I needed.  I’ve also been eating oatmeal for breakfast, and have one of those little baggies of carrots and some apples at my desk for when I want something sweet.

After my first week, I felt fabulous, and was drinking just as much, if not more water than I’d wanted to, so it’s a bennie in both areas.

I weighed in last Monday, and probly won’t again until sometime mid-week, so I’ll be posting my last weigh in.

1/7/08…223 lbs  (yeah, I gained 3 over the holidays–wine weight–which makes my net loss last year 12 lbs)

1/23/08…219 lbs (woohooo…I lost 4 pounds in two weeks!)

On the agent front, I had one reject, but still have four out there, one who has the first 100 pages of View, so until I hear from her, one way or the other, I’m holding tight, baby!

Coming out of lurk and an answer to Harry’s questions…

 Sorry for the disappearance last week…I was in one of those moods where everything I wrote for the blog sounded goofy, so I just decided to bag it for a bit.

In happy news, I finished Breath of Heaven! Yeah for me!  It’s now in Pat’s capable hands for the first round of critiquing.  I think this is the fastest novella I’ve ever written, and I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out…we’ll see what Pat, Leigh and Jennifer have to say, tho!

So now I’m taking a bit of a break before diving in to my next project, and in that time, I have to decide which one to tackle…Live and Let Die, Angels of Retribution or Duck and Run.  I’m leaning toward Duck and Run because I’ve already got 15K done on it.  I’ll be making a decision one way or the other by the first of Feb, so I can get rocking and rolling.

Okay, now onto Harry’s question… I have a question though, okay questions, since I have a novella out myself and want to see how the situation differs with different authors. On what kind of way are your novellas published? I mean do you get them in print or digital and then how do you sell? Do you rely on the publisher to advertise or have to do it by yourself?

Harry — mine are pubbed digitally and sold first through the main site (for 3 months) and then at Fictionwise and Amazon after that.  We’ve found that our buyers off the Liquid Silver site are very loyal, and so it only makes sense to sell it there (and get full royalties for everyone) before sending it to a subsidiary like FW and Amazon, who take a pretty hefty chunk.  As for promo, everything I’ve seen in the “e” world lends to a bit of a partnership.  Your publisher should have a professional website that draws folks in, and send your books to a pre-set list of review houses.  They may, or may not, advertise in other places (like Romantic Times, which is pricey, or on blogs, review sites, etc).  When it comes to advertising myself…in a word, I suck.  I’m not comfortable tooting my own horn, so I tend to do things like interviews and such, in addition to some well placed banner and cover ads (think The Romance Studio, Fallen Angel Reviews, Just Erotic Romances, etc).  After one “big” book, two novellas and a short story under my Keira name, I’ll be honest and say that a TON of promoing depends on reaching out and touching your readers AND creating a buzz about your books.  The secret to doing that, I’m afraid, I haven’t exactly figured out yet *g*.  Hope this answered your questions, at least a bit.

TABT, Caressed in Ice by Nalini Singh

 As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people.  Now he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins-cold, pitiless, unfeeling.  Until he meets Brenna…  Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted-and had her mind violated-by a serial killer.  Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer himself.  Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness.  Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them.  Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Yet another freakin’ GREAT book by Singh.  Judd is perhaps my favorite hero yet, because he’s so understandably tortured.  Seriously, this is not a guy who’s manufacturing angst, but has to live through a very real torment.  Brenna is his equal match, living through something that would shut down 99.9% of the population.  The fact they find redemption, healing and a measure of comfort in each other’s company makes this a stunning book indeed.  Run, don’t walk, to grab this one while it’s still on the shelves.

Yeah, it’s Friday!!

Not much going on with me today…I spent last night getting my first-round edits on Sea of Dreams finished and back to my wonderful editor.  It seems that I have a new “favorite” word with every manuscript.  This time it was “then”.  One hundred and twenty-eight of them (in a 30,000 word manuscript) to be exact.  Holy crap! Luckily, a majority of them were total fluff, and something I could take out without impacting the sentence or the scene, but a few required rewrites, because I had ’em bunched together.  Sigh.  Last year my fave word was “that”….so now it’s on my watchword list and I go through and take out as many as I can before sending up.  Guess I’ve gotta add “then”, as well.

This weekend I’ve got line edits on the print version of Saints of Midland, a critique for Leigh, and a critique for Pat, so not sure how much writing I’m gonna get done, which is oddly comforting for some reason.  I seriously blazed through 24K in Breath of Heaven in one month, which is *really* fast for me, and so now I like the idea of letting it percolate a bit.  I think, if my schedule permits, that I’m gonna take next Friday off, and that’s what I’ll do…reread and get some word count in before I head down to my RWA meeting in Oklahoma City…

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (January update)

 Well, it’s that time again, time to revisit my TBR shelf.  Now I get to include the books I got for Christmas!!  I have to say, tho, that I’m not doing a ton of reading simply because I’ve been writing!  Which is cool, but I’ve got basic edits for Sea back, and line edits for the print version of Saints, as well, so who knows when I’ll crack a book again (sigh)…

  1. Garden of Beasts, Jeffrey Deaver
  2. Cover of Night, Linda Howard
  3. Blood Brothers, Nora Roberts
  4. Caressed by Ice, Nalini Singh
  5. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Kresley Cole
  6. The Alibi Man, Tami Hoag
  7. Marked, PC and Kristin Cast
  8. The Falls, Karen Harper
  9. Die in Plain Sight, Elizabeth Lowell
  10. Wild, Wicked and Wanton, Jaci Burton
  11. Sugar Daddy, Lisa Kleypas
  12. Alluring Tales, Anthology
  13. Walking in Circles Before Laying Down (non-fiction)

Going back to work (blech) and writing (yeah!)

 I’m still creeping along with Breath, but considering I really started working on it in early December, this is still one of my fastest novellas to date, and I’m really liking it.  I do have two pages of notes to go back and layer in stuff, so I’m actually closer to the end than my word count indicates (24,100), so this week I’m gonna go back and address those issues to ensure they don’t raise more questions and goof up my ending.

On the agent front, I’ve got five partials out now, after one of my author friends ponied up a recommendation to her super-agent for me.  I also took the plunge and sent out a query to Avon, so we’ll see what happens on that end.

This is my first full week back at the day job, and I’m actually very much enjoying diving back in.  I need to find a happy medium somehow, so this year I’m going to try taking at least one Friday off per month to get in a full day of writing and set myself up for a really productive weekend.  We’ll see how that goes, but if my past history is any indication, I can write 3-5K on an uninterrupted day, and if I get my 1K a day done, then that kind of productivity would ensure I get the Live and Let Die completely done by the May-ish timeframe, and set me up for finishing either Duck and Run or Angels of Retribution.  We’ll have to see which one catches my attention after L&LD!!

TABT…Lord of the Fading Lands and Lady of Light and Shadow, by CL Wilson

 Once he had scorched the world… Once he had loved with such passion, his name was legend.  Now, a thousand years later, a new threat calls him from the Fading Lands, back into the world that had cost him so dearly.  Now an ancient, familiar evil is regaining its strength, and a new voice beckons him-more compelling, more seductive, more maddening than any before.  As the power of his most bitter enemy grows and ancient alliances crumble, the wildness in his blood will not be denied.  The tairen must claim his truemate and embrace the destiny woven for him in the mists of time.Wow…I really mean it.  Wow!  What a fantastic set of books! 

Think Kushiel’s Dart, but not as tiring on the intrigue and politics end.  Oh and there’s a real romance here *g*.

Rain (the hero) and Emmie (the heroine) are just delish.  The characterizations, worldbuilding and court politics are vividly drawn and lush.  I’m addressing both books here because, to be brutally honest, the first book ends leaving you hanging a bit.  That was perfectly okay with me, as a reader, but it did make me want to dive right into the second.  Lady of Light and Shadow picks up right where Lord of the Fading Lands leaves off, and even though it’s the second book, it manages to retain the joy and wonder of the first, while walking you along a fine edge of tension as your journey with Rain and Ellie through the magical and mystical worlds of the Fey and humans.  I cannot recommend this series enough.  But fair warning…if you pick it up, you won’t be putting it down any time soon, so clear your calendar for a good long bit.  Now, as a personal plea…Ms. Wilson…write faster!!