Author Nalini Singh Shares Her Secret to Staying Inspired

Today we have a visit from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Romance author Nalini Singh. Super-Calli-fragilistic YAY! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

I was fortunate enough to meet Nalini earlier this year at Fresh Fiction's Boas & Tiaras event in Texas. Of course, I went total fan girl on her, gushed and asked innumerable story and writing questions. She handled me with utmost patience and graciousness. :)

(The gracious Nalini Singh)

However, I saved my most important question for her blog visit to share with y'all!

I love your productivity! (More NS stories to read!) So what keeps you inspired and writing?

Here's Nalini's Answer:

"My inspiration comes from my love of writing. It is my passion, has always been my passion. I’ve written at bus stops, on trains, in a tent in the desert, while I’m the only person awake on an entire plane, on vacation…because writing is what gives me joy. 
I never ever want to lose that joy, so I nurture it – there are always parts of a project that get hard for example. When that happens, I give myself “play” time where I write things just for fun, like short stories or vignettes, or even a book that no one knows about. I’m usually itching to go back to my work in progress afterward, rejuvenated and excited to continue."

Thanks Nalini for a great answer! Play time and joy...what wonderful concepts and so key to creativity. It's important to remember them when we are stressing or hit a speed bump in our writing.

Speaking of writing, Nalini just released a new book. Yay! My reading self is super-duper-happy because I love her stories -- both the Psy-Changeling ones and her Guild Hunter series. Check out the awesome cover!

Here's the blurb:

Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) returns to an immortal world of violent passion and lethal power…on the brink of a deadly archangelic war.

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.
Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

Want A Taste?

Visit Nalini's website for an excerpt by clicking on

Have More Questions?

Though Nalini’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand.


Share what you do to stay inspired in the comments & leave your email (so I can contact you if you win), and I'll pick a random winner to receive a digital copy of Nalini's latest -- Archangel's Legion. Winner will be announced Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.

***A Big Thanks goes to Nalini's lovely assistant and sister Ashwini for helping me with this blog post***

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**Sharing is encouraged and appreciated. Thank you**

Want to check out the super cool trailer? 

Toys for Tots and the 12 Days of Halloween

I believe in the power of the individual and in math. If each one of us does what he/she can to make the world a better place, then our individual actions add up and a difference is made, life is improved. Listen to the wise words the late Roger Ebert shared at the end of his memoir “Life Itself:”
“I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world.”
So I'm always happy to champion individual efforts for the greater good and share about them. In doing so, I increase the probability of that one person's action/good deed to be multiplied and spread to parts and hearts unknown. So today I present you author Danielle Monsch and her efforts for Toys for Tots.

From about mid-October until Christmas was always a magical and much anticipated time when I was young.

 Probably not an uncommon statement from a kid. My mom should have been a party planner, because our house was always decked out for the season. We were the house that people do that double-take with, because looking only once wasn’t enough to take it all in.

Mom’s favorite holiday was Halloween. Since I’m a fantasy/paranormal writer, it’s safe to say that rubbed off on me, and with kids of my own, I enjoy Halloween in a completely new way, with my kids excitement about dressing up and their enjoyment in the *fun* scares.

While her favorite might have been Halloween, Mom excelled in overall holiday planning. My mom was a generous lady. She never liked cooking, but she loved to bake the holiday pies and cookies and other goodies that come with the season, and everyone who knew us came away during the holiday season with loads of culinary delights. If you ask me to name my favorite food ever, it would have to be Mom’s pumpkin pie.

It’s probably because this time was usually so joyous that one memory sits there, lumpy and misshapen and not a fit with the rest.

Don’t ask me how old I was, but I came down the stairs one night – going to get some water I think – and Mom was on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree. The packages weren’t under the tree yet, which was odd since Mom tended to put them under as soon as the tree went up (Mom is not a last minute shopper – in fact, I’m pretty sure her shopping is done in July.) Now I haven’t believed in Santa ever, so it was no question in my mind about who presents come from.

What set this memory in my mind so sharply was my mother’s face the few moments before she realized I was in the room. At the time I didn’t have the words or the emotional knowledge to name what emotions were in play. All I knew was it wasn’t good.

Several years later we were talking, and in the way of conversations everywhere, somehow that night came up, and I asked Mom what was going on.

She confided that when I saw her, the reality of our situation was none of us kids were going to get Christmas presents. It had been a bad year with lots of doctor bills and not as much work as they hoped to get. Maybe they would be able to get a practical clothing item, but certainly nothing beyond that. Then she told me that a couple days after I saw her that night, her uncle heard about our situation. Without her or my dad asking, he went out and got presents for us kids and told her that it was his early Christmas gift to her and he would not accept any money or repayment.

Mom told me she cried while she wrapped them. She told me it was the best gift she’d ever gotten.

While my childhood would never fit in a Dickinson narrative, there were a few years there where we did with minimal, so hearing after-the-fact that no presents was a possibility didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the lurch in my chest at the thought of it as a near reality. That didn’t make sense – after all, we were several years past by then, and I was a grown person who understood economic realities.

That lurch, though, was real. And as time has marched on, I think I understand the reason for it, just like now that I’m a mother I understand the look on my mother’s face that night. The holidays were a safe and sacred time. The rest of the year – okay, it’s life, and life happened. But in my memory, the holidays were apart from that, not touched with the ickiness that could happen at other times.

If I didn’t get presents that year, I think that safety and warmth that the holidays (or the thought of) always caused would have disappeared. I wouldn’t have had that protective bubble anymore that helped get me through bad times, and the loss of that would have been a greater tragedy than not getting a doll under the tree.

So while Toys for Tots was not responsible for me getting presents that year, I recognize in a deep and personal way the very good work they are doing.

Toys for Tots is my favorite holiday charity. There are many excellent charities I celebrate and give to, but this time of year my thoughts and my wishes are for the kids who are not in the best circumstances and are in danger of not having a gift under their own tree. It’s not the material item that matters (though it’s always nice to get a great gift, right?) What I never want them to lose is that safe warmth that should categorize the holidays, a warmth that sometimes might be the only thing that gets them through the rest of the year.

Which leads me to the 12 Days of Halloween! 12 Days of Halloween is my (and many other excellent authors) way of having a great time and celebrating the beginning of this wondrous time of year – with giveaways and gifts and raising money for Toys for Tots!

What is involved?

First! My novel Stone Guardian is on a very special sale. From now until Halloween, it is half-off with part of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots! So you get a book for cheaper than usual, and a chunk of the money will be going to an amazing cause! Huzzah!
And on the other side, I’ll be sharing lots of giveaways! Ebooks (donated by many generous authors) gift cards, swag sets, a Coach (!) bag, and finally…
An iPad Mini!
Yes, you read that right – an iPad mini with a special Entwined Realms designed cover set is the grand prize.
So if you are interested, please keep up with me at twitter ( facebook ( or my blog ( with all the ways to win.
Let’s celebrate the beginning to this great time of year, have a great party, maybe win some stuff, and most important of all – support Toys for Tots and make sure they can help a lot of kids this year!

Fall Into Fantasy

"Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different." -- Neil Gaiman, author.

I think this is especially true for fantasy and speculative fiction. They open doors to innumerable possibilities. And, often, it is easier to share hard truths and dark fears wrapped in the guise of fiction. Fortunately, it is just as easy for stories to give comfort and offer hope.

This is why I love reading and writing fantasy. And why I jumped on the Fall Into Fantasy Giveaway hop. New authors mean new stories, and lead to new worlds to explore. About 50 authors are participating!

Here are some of the books up for winning:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

The creator of this fantastic fantasy event is author Ash Krafton. Check out her blog.

Yes, there is a giveaway! Check out:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Made the News

Okay, I didn't. But my book, WILDFIRE, is on the front page of the San Angelo Standard-Times. And that's even better! WooHoo!

Feeling stunned, honored and over-the-moon happy!!! :D

And, omg, omg, omg, my Dead: A Ghost Story has been mentioned on Night Owl Reviews in an interesting article titled Get Your Spooks On in Color

Yes, I'm happy dancing!

Love & blessings,


Fall Excerpt for #TeaserTuesday

Happy #TeaserTuesday! Since I'm enjoying this wonderful fall weather, I'm sharing a scene from WILDFIRE that is reminiscent of this time...


“The gall of the man.” She revved the Mustang and screeched out of Jack’s yard. Gripping the steering wheel hard, she wished her fingers were on his neck. He’d started the kissing and manhandling. She hadn’t asked for any of that. The two kisses they’d shared —her lips tingled as warmth hummed somewhere between her breasts at the memories.

A montage of his reactions tumbled through her thoughts—fear, revulsion, relief. No room for doubt. Damn dragon senses. Jack seemed to make every nerve ending in her body come alive, every sense leap to new heights. A tremor danced through her. She’d heard his thoughts as clearly as if he’d spoken them inside her head. She’d smelled his emotions — the sour tang of fear; the cool, wet scent of relief— as if she’d had her nose pressed to his warm, naked skin.

She almost ran the car off the road. Her hands shook as she pulled to the side and parked underneath a golden-leafed pecan tree.

Every little breeze created a shower of leaves. Every little thought set off a flutter of feelings. Obaa-chan had once said if two dragons were emotionally close —really close— the connection could be amazing, like being one. Her breath stuck in her throat –a painful, pregnant pause. Close. When had she become close to Jack? She didn’t want to be close. She knew better.


I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! If you'd like to know more about WILDFIRE, check out the Books tab. Or you can check out the following links: