I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Saturday, July 31, 2010

PROMO: Blame It On The Moonlight!

A hidden past, a handsome, shape-shifting stranger, and a soul-deep connection that ignites under moonlight...

Ready for the teaser? 

Jasmine stepped backwards until she bumped into something rough and solid—the tree trunk. He was on her in a second. His hands braced either side of her head as he leaned in close to her ear, his hot breath washing over her cool skin.

"Where are you going, little girl?" His gaze kept dropping to her lips as if mesmerized by them.

"I don‘t know who you are," she whispered.

"Yes, you do." He leaned forward, his breath a tender caress against her mouth. "I‘m the big bad wolf." 

This is one hot, hot, hot story and it's called BLAME IT ON THE MOONLIGHT, the new Spice Brief from Aussie author, Tracie Sommers.

It's due for release from eHarlequin on August 1st, and you can find Tracie's book under the Spice tab.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Interview with ... Tracey O'Hara

This is an interview I conducted with Tracey O'Hara for a "newbie author" article in the Romance Writers of New Zealand's Heart to Heart magazine (late 2009 issue).

Have you ever had a conversation with friends about what life would be like once you receive THE CALL? Have you wondered what happens next? What lies beyond that magical moment?
I thought it was time to ask some of our newly published about their experiences and see if they can shed some light on what to expect and how they’ve begun to build their careers now that they’re published.

Tracey O’Hara
(Harper Collins - EOS Books)

Please share a little bit about yourself and your writing.
I'm a full-time Urban Fantasy author writing for the HarperCollins Sci-Fi/Fantasy imprint Eos Books in the US and have another full time job as an IT consultant. Seriously - I work 36-40 a week at my day job and just as many - if not more at my "other" job as I call it now. You can't be part time, not if you want to succeed. Besides my family, and even they have to take a back seat at times, writing is the most important thing.

How authors are “discovered” is as diverse as the brands of chocolate we consume. Please tell us your CALL story.
I’ve had many contest finals and placings over the last few years with NIGHT'S COLD KISS (or NCK as it has become known amongst my writing friends), including a third in the RWAustralia Emerald Single Title and the being a finalist in the RWAmerica’s Golden Heart Award for paranormal romance.
After finalling in the Golden Heart, I sold a short erotic Spice Brief to Harlequin in a 2 story deal, so I actually have had two “calls”.  After attending the San Francisco conference for the Golden Heart, I returned home with no gold locket, but still rather pumped as I had talked an editor interested in my story.
However 2 weeks later, while attending the Australian conference in Melbourne I woke up to several excited emails from my agent, Jennifer Schober saying “ring me”. The news - the executive editor at Eos wanted to buy NCK, and not only that, she wanted a three-book deal. Lots of squealing and celebrating ensured but I had to keep it under wraps until the deal was accepted. The hardest thing ever – wanting to tell everyone and having to keep it quite.  The following day I got the nod from my agent and Anne Gracie announced it to a room full of fellow romance writers. I got to accept my first sale ribbon. Best place ever to be when you receive the call story.
One of the best things though is my good friend Erica Hayes sold a month after me and we have been able to share this journey of ups and downs together.
At the moment I have my husband and a dear friend, Cathy, as my critique givers. They actually got me through the bulk of the first book, so I have gone back to the formula that works.

I just have to ask the-chicken-or-the-egg question. What happened first  – agent or an editor? How did you go about finding one/both?
I do have an agent, the BESTEST in the world - Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates. I am a slush pile success I guess you can say. I had a list of agents that I was querying - Spencerhill was number 17 on the list. I queried Spencerhill on a Tuesday and by Friday I had been accepted. Jenn and her associate Karen Solem offered representation on the strength of my first three chapters. I had had several requests for full with other agents, it was weird and quite satisfying to have to write to the others and say, “sorry I’d like to withdraw my manuscript from consideration.”

What’s the name of your book scheduled for release and can you tell us something about it?
My book is called, NIGHT'S COLD KISS (A Dark Brethren novel) and is due to be released August 25th in the US. Here is what my publisher has to say about it:-

For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires—until courageous efforts on both sides forged a fragile peace.
But the rogue Necrodreniacs will never be controlled—addicted as they are to the death-high . . . and bloody chaos.
Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.

What’s the most exciting thing about writing for you? The most boring?
The most exciting is seeing a page of utter first draft crap (and I do write a real dirty first draft) start to really shine after some re-writing. Honestly – I LOVE doing edits. The most boring is reading through your ms for the hundredth time looking for grammatical and punctuation errors when you are as grammatically challenged as I am.

At the chat sessions during conferences we hear favourite authors telling us that things really change once you publish. What differences, good or OMG (oh my goodness), have you experienced since getting THE CALL?
Life gets crazy. If you were busy with writing before – times that by 10. I had an email from one of my fellow Eos authors Vicki Pettersson who basically said enjoy life as you know it now because can’t you hear the train coming through the tunnel. I thought my life was insane enough as it was since selling, but I don’t have my first book yet.
No matter how much you think you are prepared for selling, you’re not. And selling is the easy part. I used to listen to published authors say this, and think “Yeah right, but your sold, you’ve made it.” But it really is like jumping on the back of a tiger. You have to work hard to stay on his back, because one slip and you could fall off and be devoured by the beast.

One of the worst things is the lack of time you have for others, well at the moment it is for me because I still work full time. My support group the go-gos, full of wonderful and inspirational women, goes on without me because I just have nothing left. I miss them terribly and get to see them once a month at the Canberra Romance Writer’s meeting. But I miss the fabulous times we used to have.

Is there any other advice, “lightbulb” moments or comments you’d like to share about getting/being published? 

Once I sold my story is was no longer mine alone. It now belongs to me, my editor, my publishing house and my (future) readers. I’ve had to learn to be flexible within limits and to trust my editor. It’s no good saying “I can’t possible change that – it’s integral to the story,” especially when your editor is the Executive Editor of the line and has multiple New York Bestsellers like Kim Harrison and Vicki Pettersson under her belt.

Tracey, thanks for your time.

NOTE: Since this interview, Tracey has been working on DEATH'S SWEET EMBRACE, the second book in her Dark Brethren series (to be released in Jan.2011), and her alter-ego, Tracie Sommers will be releasing BLAME IT ON THE MOONLIGHT, a new Spice Briefs novella.

Tracey also blogs regularly at LoveCats DownUnder with other Aussie HM&B authors.

You can find out more about Tracey and her books at her website.

Monday, July 26, 2010

USA, here I come!

Well, this is my last day on Australian soil.

Tomorrow I begin my trek to Orlando, Florida to attend the RWA® National conference and I'm just a wee bit excited, a lot nervous, but keen to see the northern hemisphere version/gathering of romance writers.

I was awed by the number of workshops on offer - about 100, I think. So many to choose from and for those who haven't been yet, that's an indication of how HUGE it is. I predict now I'm going to come back with an overloaded brain, more knowledgeable, definitely emotional but ecstatic that I went.

I might even sneak a visit in to Disney World :-) .

Expect some sharing of these experiences when I get back.

PROMO: Three Over Par

Aussie author, Cathryn Brunet's new book, THREE OVER PAR is being released by Carina Press today (July 26th)!

Wild, hot, addictive sex… 
After seeing one too many patients die regretting the things they haven't done, nurse Lucy Seymour realizes she's been making the same mistake. So when Robbie, the sexy golf instructor, makes his move, she responds with uninhibited passion, telling him there's nothing she won't try. Long sessions of foreplay lead to thrills and fantasy fulfillment…until Lucy sees Daniel, the greenkeeper, watching them. Watching her. And then Daniel does more than just watch…he joins them. 
Can it lead to love? 
Lucy might be exploring all of her secret fantasies, but her reality is that she's a one-man woman…and for her, that man is Daniel. But what does Daniel really want? Lucy or the fantasy? 

Have a sneak peek at an excerpt. It's hot, hot, hot!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Interview with ... Mel Teshco

This is an interview I conducted with Mel Teshco for a "newbie author" article in the Romance Writers of New Zealand's Heart to Heart magazine (Feb.2010 issue).

Have you ever had a conversation with friends about what life would be like once you receive THE CALL? Have you wondered what happens next? What lies beyond that magical moment? 

(Ellora’s Cave & Nocturne Bites)

Share a little bit about yourself and your writing.
I live on a small rural property amongst rolling green hills and tall gums, ex-dairy country, in South-East Queensland. I’m a full-time mum after having my third daughter, Miss Whirlwind-On-Legs who is now two. Miss eleven is a huge paranormal fan and reads anything I let her get her hands on. My eldest daughter lives with her boyfriend and made me a proud grandmother recently at the ripe old age of thirty-nine. I also have three stepchildren, though only one lives with us now and he has just finished year twelve.
I started my writing journey with the failsafe plan to be a sexy/presents author. I also dabbled with the idea of becoming a Desire author (If only it was that simple!) Actually, ‘dabbling’ is how I discovered my love for writing paranormal. Comparatively speaking, I’d read very little of that genre until I decided to write it — and the same could be said for my erotic reading experience — a bit topsy-turvy, I know. In both my Ellora’s Cave gargoyle story, STONE-COLD LOVER, and my upcoming Nocturne Bites vampire story, Blood Chance, (yet to be renamed) I can still detect an underlying ‘category’ voice.

Our readers love a good story - please tell us how you received THE CALL.
I’d had a bit of success in U.S. comps with my paranormal story Shadow Hunter. In fact it’d garnered a request from Nocturne’s editor, Ann Leslie Tuttle. Shortly after, I fell pregnant, so writing took a backseat for a while and I didn’t really make much progress during those ‘pregnancy’ months. I didn’t get a ‘call’ with Ellora’s Cave, everything was done via email. But I was thrilled the editor loved it as the story was originally aimed for Nocturne Bites.
Actually I’d sent STONE-COLD LOVER to Ellora’s Cave at about the same time I sent Blood Chance to Nocturne Bites. STONE-COLD LOVER was published for three months before I received an acceptance email from Shawna Rice at Nocturne, and then the phone call a few days later! That was one nerve-wracking experience! But she was lovely.

I just have to ask the-chicken-or-the-egg question. What happened first  – agent or an editor? How did you go about finding one/both?
For me it’s the chicken before the egg!
In the earlier days with Shadow Hunter I had a couple of agents interested and wanting to see more work. But since concentrating on shorts, at this point of time there isn’t a need for an agent – not until I finish Believe - my single title work with co-author, Kylie. Then I’ll have to brush up on my query letters and go through that process again!

Can you tell us about your debut/current book up for release?
My current release is my debut Ellora’s Cave book STONE COLD LOVER.

Heiress Loretta Shaw is notorious for her loose morals and sexual needs. Trouble is, it’s taken her one too many one-night stands to realize that no man can extinguish the sexual fire she feels toward her guardian, Cray Diamond.
A long-ago curse made Cray immortal—a gargoyle, a guardian, who is impelled to protect a human chosen by the curse. He is imprisoned in stone during daylight hours but dusk returns him to flesh and bone to carry out his immortal duty.
That Cray can shift between human and living gargoyle at night bothers Loretta not one bit. She’s seen him naked many times and her desire for him—in any shape or form—knows no bounds. She’s tired of his resistance. He’s her gargoyle…and she wants him in her bed.

The Nocturne Bites story, Blood Chance is set in Sydney, in the seedier parts of Kings Cross and my imagination. (g) The heroine, Kia – is born a part vampire after her mother was savagely attacked by a nightwalker in the very early stages of her pregnancy. Unfortunately that same attack on her mother has years later triggered a terrible disease. Now Kia is on a mission to save her dying mother, a mission that requires her to track down the Ancient One. The healing properties of this elder vampire’s blood may very well contain a cure.
Last but not least I have a short story in with Ellora’s Cave, tentatively titled Kallie Revealed. This is a contemporary short about a woman exploring her fantasy of stripping after a personal tragedy rocks her world. Sexy, but a little emotionally confrontational. The hero in this story senses that stopping her from living her fantasy could mean losing her. And how hot is a hero who’d do anything to keep his woman?

Writers’ tend to have strengths and weaknesses. Can you identify them? What’s the most challenging thing about writing process for you and how do you strive to overcome it?
Weaknesses – where do I start!? I’m rather chuffed to say the other day I wrote a short story (will eventually be an EC freebie unless I lengthen the word count) from start to finish after the visuals of it played through my head. That was a one off! Normally I can’t plot; my brain just won’t allow me to push beyond that first scene, and definitely rarely beyond the first chapter. Hmm. Does that make me shortsighted?
I’m also a ‘checker’ who can’t write more than a paragraph or two before having to go back and edit it to my satisfaction. I have hellish trouble moving on to the next scene if I haven’t perfected the last scene! Believe me, I’ve tried! Freehand writing helps a little with this, but I haven’t completely overcome it yet.  I’ve been toying with the idea of participating in NaNo to see if I can push past this annoying habit!
My strengths are probably perseverance and a great imagination. Like all of us writers, I love to write! And it’s beyond fascinating watching a character come to life on the page!

Is it fair to say getting published takes you on a steep learning curve in the next stage of your career as a writer? What’s something you’ve learnt since getting THE CALL?
For me that steep learning curve is probably the promo involved. Actually I enjoy the promo side (guest blogging, interviews, articles, blog writing etc) but it does eat into the writing. Oh, and there’s another of my weaknesses – procrastination!

Is there any other advice, “lightbulb” moments or comments you’d like to share about getting/being published?
Don’t give up. Don’t lose your voice. Weigh up critique and judges comments constructively not emotionally. Don’t give up. Did I mention, don’t give up?

Thanks for your time! 

NOTE: As you can see by the range of book covers, Mel has since published other works. Her latest is CARNAL MOON, an Ellora's Cave Quickies novella. You can find out more about them on her website.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PROMO: An Interview With...series

As the end of July and August are THE busiest season for romance writers, I have An Interview With...series of posts featuring a swag of Aussie Authors & a ring-in from the USA.

I'll be absent from my blog the last week of July as I'll be winging my way to the Romance Writers of America National Conference, then in August I'm off to Sydney for the Romance Writers of Australia conference, and a week later I'll fly to Auckland for the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference. So these posts are articles I've written for the RWNZ Heart to Heart monthly magazine over the last year.

I hope you enjoy reading them. Here's who's coming up when...(mark them in your diary!)

23rd July - Mel Teshco
29th July - Tracey O'Hara
7th August - Sherrilyn Kenyon
14th August - Keri Arthur
21st August - Anna Jacobs

Friday, July 16, 2010

CRAFT: World-Building Summary

World-building can be hard to get your head around but if you can follow the guide below then you'll have a basic structure you can build on as your understanding and knowledge of your world develops.
  1. Research – make the time to flesh out your world. Readers come to your book wanting to believe and if you don’t delve a little more deeply into what makes your world function, then you run the risk of the story not living up to its potential.
  2. Structure and consistency – by all means interweave reality with imagination but whatever you create in your world must have a set of rules or be based on logic or reason. Gerrold, in his book Worlds of Wonder, quite rightly states, “The reader will suspend belief - he won’t suspend common sense.”*** Little or no structure will result in the reader becoming confused; that leads to boredom or frustration. And without consistency the reader will disbelieve and mistrust what they’re reading. Don’t give them a reason to put your book down.
  3. Humanize elements of your world building – make them similar enough to something readers would be familiar with but then balance it with whatever is unique about it. Combine the old with the new. 
  4. Layer the experience – use the senses. Create the scene in your head. What did you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste? Feel emotionally? Provide this and you’ll bring your world alive, make it believable.
  5. Have fun – take time to daydream. It’s part of the creative process of world building. Collage your ideas, make maps, family trees, lists of your character likes/dislikes, create a play-list of songs that evoke the right mood conducive to the tone of your world.
 What are you waiting for? You have the tools to start world building – it’s time to go for it. Discover and enjoy the process that works for you, whatever it may be.

Once you get started, you never know what sort of wonderful world you might end up with! 

Quotes used in the article
* “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” article by Maree Anderson from her website (www.mareeanderson.com)
** Nalini Singh website – web-link called Behind the Scenes re: “skin privileges” (www.nalinisingh.com/psy.html) 
*** Worlds of Wonder – How to write science fiction & fantasy – David Gerrold (Titan Books 2001)

Website Articles:
A Way with Worlds by S.Savage (www.seventhsanctum.com/www/wwwfull.html)
Magical World Builder by S. Cottrell Bryant (www.web-writer.net/fantasy/)
Fantasy World Building Questions by P.C.Wrede 1996 (www.sfwa.org/writing/worldbuilding1.htm)
Checking on Culture by Lee Killough 1993 AG Press
The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference – Introduction by Terry Brooks (Writer’s Digest Books 1998)

Worlds of Wonder – How to write science fiction & fantasy – David Gerrold (Titan Books 2001)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PROMO: The Warlord's Comeuppance

Gail Koger's science fiction/romance ebook, THE WARLORD'S COMEUPPANCE, was just released by Whispers Publishing.

Stealing from a warlord and giving him the one finger salute as I made my getaway was not the brightest thing I’d ever done. Okay, it was an incredibly stupid stunt.

Did I mention that this particular Coletti warlord is the most feared in the entire galaxy? That Zarek’s the ultimate predator and even the other warlords are scared spitless of him? That he never ever stops until he either captures or kills his prey?

Yeah, I have the big, bad after me and all because of one little finger. Okay and a Ditrim crystal the size of my fist. Am I worried? Of course, only an idiot doesn’t fear a very angry Coletti warlord. But, I am very good at what I do. Bad news is, so is Zarek.

If you're interested, check out this link to order her book or go to her website!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

CRAFT: How Do I World-Build?

In the third post in this series we'll look at what elements make up world building. It's the practical part, where you get to ask yourself lots of questions and apply them in the context of the book you're writing.

So, where do we begin world building when we have no idea where to start?

I discovered plenty of comprehensive checklists of elements essential to world building and character development in articles and books as I researched this topic. Too many to cover in the space of this post. So I’ve combine a smattering of those with some our authors mentioned in the previous post.


Environment – What is the world your characters inhabit? What life forms are there? Are there any physical features such as continents or landforms? Ecosystems? What are the locations of any cities & towns? Does weather or climate play a part in your story? Will these factors influence your characters culture, lifestyles, shelter, food production or types of clothing?

I like to draw maps of the places where my characters live, putting in details of topography, territories or borders, cities and place names and often thumb through information books or travel guides to get a visual image of the landscapes to accompany them.

Culture – What building blocks make up your characters life? Do they have government, religion, an economy, values, language or dialects, beliefs, social classes, education, family structures, law, the arts or leisure activities? How do these issues relate to marriage, sexual relationships or death?

All these things will influence your characters thoughts, behaviour and actions. The foundations of culture can come from your imagination or you can draw on aspects of past & present societies from our own world history. This is where research comes in. A lot of fun can be had hunting for information, whether you surf the ‘net or visit the local library. Note taking is a definite must and don’t forget to reference where you found your ideas as there’s nothing worst than losing a great source of information when you want it again.

Alternatively, post a query on the on-line loops – there’s a wealth of information among our own members for all sorts of things or they can refer you to a site, article or book if they don’t.

Technology – Is your society/culture industrial or pre-industrial? What forms of machinery, communication and transport exist? Have they achieved space travel? Who uses the technology in your world? The military? An undercover cop? Everyday Joe and Jane? A specific race or culture? How does it impact on your characters lives? Do they have a phobia associated with technology?

Clothing – What does your character wear? Does their environment dictate the style? Will their culture or class influence their choice? Do male and female clothes differ? What fabrics make up their clothes? Does their employment require a certain image?

Language or communication – Do your characters speak another language or dialect? Will their conversation be interspersed with words from their native tongue? Do you need to make up your own language? Have you considered giving a character a speech affectation (eg. a stutter, a lisp, an accent)?

Depending on your genre your choice of vocabulary and the grammatical structure of the sentences your characters speak may vary (eg. think of Yoda from Star Wars). Language isn’t just confined to verbal communication. Gestures, sign, sounds, and mannerisms are all facets of language.

In one of my stories I have a young character who’s mute as a result of a childhood trauma. He communicates using sign and I indicate this through the use of gesture and italics. In the same book I have an alien who has a sibilant hiss in her speech. In another, the colour of my heroines eyes change with the moods she’s experiencing.

Sex – Does culture affect your characters views on this subject? What practices are acceptable? Frowned upon? Are there any taboos or restrictions? Do your characters have relationships, love or is it just for the purpose of reproduction? What sexual preferences are the norm in your world? Will marriage be a pre-requisite to having sex? What slang words do your characters use associated with sex?

(eg.Nalini Singh uses the term “skin privileges” in her Changeling series. It refers to who has the right to touch one another in their Packs. Here’s how she explains it – “Because touch is such an intimate thing, it depends on each individual as to what level and to whom, they will accede the right to skin privileges.” **)

By no means are these the only categories you should consider when world building. They’re just a starting point. Many of the sub-categories mentioned within the larger ones can be teased out as well. It all depends on each writer’s needs.

Play the “What If…” game when you ask questions about the categories. Dig deep on the who, what, where, when, why or how this affects or influences your world and characters. One of the benefits is that you’ll discover conflicts, plot twists & sub-plots for your characters coming from the answers.
Now, once you’ve built this world, do you include every little detail?

No. Not if you want to bore your readers to death. Details are good for the likes of writing for Encyclopedia Britannica or Lonely Planet.

Details, in this instant, provide you with knowledge. The confidence of this knowledge will come through in the tone of your writing. You’ll write the story from the inside out.

Join me next week for the final post when I summarise the points I've made over the last few weeks about world-building.

Quotes used in the posts:
* “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” article by Maree Anderson from her website (www.mareeanderson.com)
** Nalini Singh website – web-link called Behind the Scenes re: “skin privileges” (www.nalinisingh.com/psy.html)
*** Worlds of Wonder – How to write science fiction & fantasy – David Gerrold (Titan Books 2001)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Italy Trip (part 7)

Ah, the abstract photographer strikes this time (and it seems she has a fetish for windows & balconies)!

* The last two photos are:
1. the eave of a building and,
2. looking down the side of a rock cliff face.

Monday, July 5, 2010


To all who dropped by to say hi to Nalini and I - thank you.

By random draw, from my (clean) coffee cup...

Sharon Archer gets the autographed copy of ARCHANGEL'S KISS. Congratulations!

Please contact me ASAP on kyliegriffin (at) clearmail (dot) com (dot) au - no spaces.

Happy reading, Sharon!

*If the book remains unclaimed after a week I'll redraw.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Guest Author: Nalini Singh

First called to publication in 2002 with Silhouette Desire with DESERT WARRIOR, Fijian-born, New Zealand bred, best-selling author, Nalini Singh continues to rock the paranormal romance world with her success.

With her work hitting the USA Today bestseller list, the New York Times short list, and with multiple awards for her books, Nalini’s joins the ranks of other highly successful paranormal romance authors such as Sherriyn Kenyon, Angela Knight and Christine Feehan.

Nalini has been writing as long as she can remember and can’t imagine doing anything else. This is great news for her fans and the romance genre in general!

Today she joins me to share her thoughts on a variety of topics.

Hi, Nalini, it's great to have you here! Thanks for chatting with us today! 

Author name &/or Given Name: Nalini Singh

Published genre/s: Paranormal Romance / Short contemporary romance

Favourite childhood toy: A doll whose hair I "shampooed" and whose face I made up with blue eyeshadow. She was quite the fashionista!

Greatest Vice: Chocolate

Hmm, mine too!

Book you’re reading now: I just finished The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks (Sep 2010) - it was fantastic. I've now started the first book of Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife series and I'm really enjoying it.

Ahh, Maya Banks is a "new to me" author and I love her work (Sweet series) - it pushes a few comfort boundaries but I really enjoyed her writing.

Most intriguing place you’ve visited: The Forbidden City in China - I was so compelled by the beauty and history of it that I returned to it in Archangel's Kiss.

Another region that made an impression on me in a different sense was the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. I'd never before stood in a country literally divided in half, with soldiers on the border.

And one more, from New Zealand - the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. It's amazing - the glow worms make it seem like you're under the stars deep inside a cave. It's one of my favorite places to recommend to visitors.

I second the Waitomo Caves. I took the boat ride through the caves just after they'd flooded. The water level blocked the exit, so we got to go all the way back to where we started the tour, twice the amazing view for one entry fee - good value and spectacular!

A place you’ve yet to visit: Morocco - it's on my list!

Author/s in your genre who you enjoy reading:  Jayne Castle, Patricia Briggs, Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Christine Feehan, Anne Bishop...and more!

Who or what influenced you to write in the genre/s you’re now published in? It just fit.

Ohh, I like that! You "just knew". How awesome!

When developing a story who tends to appear first in your mind, the hero or heroine, and why? It really depends on the individual storyline. Since I write series, I'll often have known one of the characters for a while--but by the time I begin a book, I usually know both intimately.

Writing Milestone/s: The first sale, and then my other 'first' sale in the paranormal romance sub-genre! Hitting the NYT and USA Today Bestseller lists was also a huge, huge deal.

And last, but not least ... actually, it's a very important fact we all need to know ... right now... no delay ...

What's your latest release? Bonds of Justice - out July 6th (it's awesome, trust me *grin*). Excerpt available here.

Only 4 more sleeps, folks, then you can find out what happens in the next installment of the Psy/Changeling world!

Thanks for joining me on the blog, Nalini, it's been fun having you here!

And for those of you (local or international readers) who leave a comment by Sunday, 4th July (Aussie date), you go into a random draw for an autographed copy of Archangel's Kiss.

EXTRA FACT: Angels' Blood, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory and Must Love Hellhounds all recently won PEARL Awards. Congratulations!

Next in the Psy/Changeling series, Play of Passion, will be released in November 2010.

 If you're one of the few who haven't discovered Nalini, you can find out more about her and her books on her website.