Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Friday, June 10, 2011

On Meeting Authors - Nalini Singh

Have you ever gone to an author event? Sat with other book lovers, asked questions, maybe listened to a reading, got your book signed? If not, then if you get the chance, I highly recommend it.

I admit it - I'm an author event newbie. You better believe I will be trying to search out ones in the future. When I found out the Nalini Singh was going to be at a B&N in reasonable driving distance from home, I jumped at the chance. I got there a little early, bought the book I wanted to have signed (seriously folks, buy the book early - you don't want to have to go running to the cashier when it's signing time), and managed to sneak a chair up front. It ended up being standing room only, so give yourself some extra time, unless you like standing at the back. Online, Singh has always been charming, funny, and just plain nice. It was the same experience in person. She graciously answered all of the questions, teasing around anything spoilery, and her enthusiasm for these characters she created was infectious.

The occasion was the release of Singh's latest Psy/Changeling book - Kiss of Snow. It is the 10th in the series and her first released in hardback (for those who want the paperback - it will be released in about 5 months, faster than usual for a paperback).

Now here's where I have a confession to make. I've only read the first book in this series and some of the novellas. I've actually only read the first book in Singh's other series as well. So I'm new to the party, but that just means I don't have to wait a long time for the next one to come out.

It was a little weird when a fan asked which book was my favorite and I had to admit I'd only read the first one, but it was over quickly, and the exuberant crowd let me know that I would enjoy the other books in the series.

The Psy/Changeling series is a sci fi romance set in the future in Northern California. The Psy, powerful psychics, have become pretty much breathing robots - removing emotion to eliminate dangerous misuse of their phenomenal power (which means of course - it doesn't work). The Changelings are shapeshifters who embrace their animal instincts, live in packs, and are obvious enemies of the Psy, though they exist in an uneasy truce. Then there are the humans who are stuck somewhere in the middle. Singh has created an intricate, well-thought out world that is big enough to fill several books (even beyond the main story arc). Lucky us!

I read Slave to Sensation, the first Psy Changeling book, a few months ago. I liked the main characters, and also really loved how you are dropped into the world and you discover bits of it as the story progresses. What sold me, though, was that there wasn't a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING (a disagreement that could have been resolved with a 2 minute conversation) that kept the hero and heroine apart. The big bad was really evil, and I liked the secondary characters, who will be starring in their own books throughout the series. I'm looking forward to reading them.

The Guild Hunter series - These ain't your granny's angels. Let's just get that squared away right now. Arrogant, sensual, dominant, and they create vampires. Lots of naughty bad fun here.

From my Goodreads review of Angels' Blood:

Elena is a vampire hunter - although here it doesn't mean staking them, it means catching them to return the vamps to their angel masters so they can fulfill their 100 years of service (the price of immortality). In this world, for all intents and purposes, angels rule (there aren't any religious overtones, although if you can only deal with angels in the strict Christian sense, then this book isn't for you).

Raphael, New York's Archangel, needs Elena to find a vampire. The only problem is, it's not a human turned vampire, its an archangel turned vampire. Dealing with angels is risky business, and getting to know their secrets is riskier. Raphael is also very seductive and he's decided he wants Elena. Lots of action, some very hot scenes, good characters - its a winner. It's also probably the darkest, most UF-like PNR I've read in awhile.

I have book 2, Angel's Kiss, on my shelf right now. This romance is different in that the first 3 books follow the same pair (most romance series change the lead couple), although book 4, Archangel's Blade, will be focused on Dmitri, Raphael's right-hand vamp. It will be out this September.

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