Posts tagged “excerpt

A Sunday Tease…

I believe I owe you all an excerpt from my work-in-progress, Dagger of the Sun (or DotS as I affectionate like to call it).

Without further delay…here it is:

The night air was causing gooseflesh to spread over her arms and legs and the flimsy pale blue tunic wasn’t doing much to protect the rest of her either. Delphyne cursed whatever gods had brought the prince back from the barracks tonight of all nights. She judged the distance from her vantage point to the throne room’s entrance to be less than a minute, but the trick would be crossing the crowded floor without being stopped by someone interesting in hearing about a hunter’s tale.

Or I could jump from the balcony.

It honestly didn’t look that high. If she bent her knees on the landing, she would be fine. She leaned over the railing, letting her fingers encircle the cool stone.

“I would advise against it.”

Delphyne swivelled, heart nearly popping out of her chest. “Don’t scare me…I thought you were —”

Apollo raised an eyebrow.

“Nevermind,” Delphyne amended. “Where have you been?”

She had lost track of Apollo seconds after the feast had started. Apollo had noticed a poet friend of his in the crowd and wandered off. After that, it had been difficult to catch sight of him for more than a minute as he flitted around the room like a butterfly.

“Making the rounds,” Apollo said. “But I’m more interested in knowing why you’re standing here peeping at the statues?”

In the moonlight, the statues in the garden behind her looked even more lewd. Not to mention the occasional moans that drifted up from the shadowed maze.

“I was…” She paused. How could she phrase her words so that she didn’t sound like either a coward or a pervert? “I was getting some fresh air.” She finished rather lamely.

“It has gotten rather stuffy.” A pause. “More so now that the prince has arrived.”


“You know?”

“Asclepius told me.” Apollo looked at her, a small smile forming on his lips. “Did the prince really ask you to marry him…by telling you that you’d be a good breeder?”

Delphyne gave him a look that implied she would not be discussing this at length.

“And did you really punch him in response?”

Clearly, her look got lost in translation. “I didn’t have my sword with me, so punching him was my only recourse.”

Since this is a work in progress, I am very open to criticism and feedback…any thing that will help me improve. So please, please, leave a comment or suggestion below.

Now it’s back to the writing board!

Rika Ashton (aka Book Hermit)


Blurb Reveal: ROCK HARD by Nalini Singh

T-Rex and Charlotte officially have a blurb! I’ve been waiting for their story ever since the couple was introduced in Nalini Singh‘s Rock Addiction (book one of the Rock Kiss series), and it looks like book three Rock Hard is going to belong to Charlotte and Gabriel (aka T-Rex)…YES!

In New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Any other eager T-Rex/Charlotte fans out there?

Also for those of you interested, there is an excerpt from Rock Hard on Ms. Singh’s blog.

Rika Ashton

(aka Blurb Flasher)

Review: ROCK COURTSHIP by Nalini Singh

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

rock courtship cover

Nalini Singh, queen of paranormal romance, has once again delved into the contemporary romance with Rock Courtship (a short novella in the Rock Kiss series) with David and Thea’s story.

The Blurb:

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

The Review:

Unlike the inferno that was Fox’s story in Rock Addiction, the romance that develops between Thea and David in Rock Courtship is much more of a slow burn that coalesces into an forest fire. 😉

The “Gentleman of Rock” well and truly earns his nickname in Rock Courtship. David has been in love with Thea for a very long time, but he’s been a friend to her much longer. David isn’t afraid of love or to love and we see how gentle, caring, and loyal he is as the story progresses. Ms. Singh did an exceptional job with his narrative and he, much more than Thea, was the protagonist of this story. We see a lot more of David than his love for Thea – we learn about his loyalty to his family, and his friends. The story behind the development of the Schoolboy Choir was explored in more detail in this novel and it was a nice, tongue-in-cheek, anecdote of the band’s friendship:

 “I was thinking about the choir tryout.” All four of them had sung flat and off-key on purpose that day, horrified at the idea of being in the choir. “Remember how Noah kept insisting he was a born singer before butchering the entire piece he was assigned?”

Abe scowled. “Fucker was smarter than I was.”

…David laughed… “You almost got yourself busted.”

“Give me a little credit – I’d never tried to sing off-key before. At least I didn’t pull the ‘I come from a deprived neighbourhood and don’t know what a choir is’ routine.”

David grinned at Abe’s reminder. Making an appearance of wide-eyed innocence, he’d asked to sing a Spanish song for his tryout – then dug out the rudest of the many ditties he’d heard on the construction sites when he’d tagged along with his father. “Best part was the way she actually clutched at her pearls when she realized what I was singing.”

“No, man – best part was Fox having that coughing fit because he couldn’t stop laughing, and Noah ‘helpfully’ translating for  the other kids. That’s when I knew we’d all be friends.” 

Reading about all the mischief that the band got up to as young boys almost makes me wish that Ms. Singh would write a novel about their early years…it would certainly be worth the read.

On the other hand, compared to David’s intriguing past, we didn’t learn anything new about Thea’s when compared to what we had already figured out based on the hints from Rock Addiction. Like David, Thea is loyal and confident. She’s someone who can handle the spotlight, but her strength is a front that hides her vulnerability. It isn’t a spoiler to say that Thea’s ex was a douche who left her afraid to trust another man with her heart, but that’s about all we learn about Thea – well, except for the ex’s name…it’s Eric, by the way.

The only real “mystery” in this novel was the content of David’s memos to Thea, which was actually the reason I wanted to badly to get my hands on this novel. Well, needless to say they were hot!

And here’s a snippet of what I mean by HOT:

…I think you’re hot. Extremely, combustibly hot. If I could, I’d keep you in bed for a week running, naked and mine, and I’d still not have enough. I think every part of you is hot, but I’m particularly turned on by your mind and your legs. You should see the fantasies I have of seducing your mind with my words while I stroke my hands over your legs, rub my fingertips along the inner skin of your thighs. 

The memos only getting hotter after that. 😉

I think HOT also describes this novel overall as well. This novel was David’s book more than Thea and he certainly did it justice. It had a sweet central romance and a plot that fit well into the length it was given – nothing rushed or too slow. My only complaint was that Thea came of as a little lackluster when compared to David, and because romance novels rely on both the complete characterization of the hero and heroine, I ended up giving this novel a rating of three out of five. A fun, respectable read!


-Rika Ashton

P.S: There’s an excerpt of Rock Courtship up on Ms. Singh’s website and to read my review of the first novel, Rock Addiction, check out the Romance Reader at Heart blog. 🙂

© All excerpts in this post are property of Nalini Singh and may have been shortened to avoid spoilers. 

Who is Iris Smythe-Smith?

The final novel of the Smythe-Smith Quartet has a title! Julia Quinn has been hard at work on The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy for a while, but it’ll be some time before we actually get to read Iris and Richard’s story since the release date is tentatively set for January 2015.

Which begs the question…who are Richard and Iris?

Richard is a new-to-us, but well-known to Ms. Quinn hero…though she has revealed very little about him so far. In fact, all we know about him is his first and last name…as well as the fact that he will fall undeniably in love with Iris by the end of his story, or maybe even before that.

As for Iris – she’s the sarcastic, younger cousin of the Smythe-Smith family who makes her first appearance in Just Like Heaven, the book one of the series:

Marcus’s appearance the day before had been discussed, dissected, analyzed, and—by Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, Honoria’s cousin and one of her closest friends—rendered into poetry.

“He came in the rain,” Sarah intoned. “The day had been plain.”

Honoria nearly spit out her tea.

“It was muddy, this lane—”

Cecily Royle smiled slyly over her teacup. “Have you considered free verse?”

“—our heroine, in pain—”

“I was cold,” Honoria put in.

Iris Smythe-Smith, another of Honoria’s cousins, looked up with her signature dry expression. “I am in pain,” she stated. “Specifically, my ears.”

Honoria shot Iris a look that said clearly, Be polite. Iris just shrugged.

“—her distress, she did feign—”

“Not true!” Honoria protested.

“You can’t interfere with genius,” Iris said sweetly.

“—her schemes, not in vain—”

“This poem is devolving rapidly,” Honoria stated.

“I am beginning to enjoy it,” said Cecily.

“—her existence, a bane . . .”

Honoria let out a snort. “Oh, come now!”

“I think she’s doing an admirable job,” Iris said, “given the limitations of the rhyming structure.” She looked over at Sarah, who had gone quite suddenly silent. Iris cocked her head to the side; so did Honoria and Sarah. Sarah’s lips were parted, and her left hand was still outstretched with great drama, but she appeared to have run out of words.

“Cane?” Cecily suggested. “Main?”

“Insane?” offered Iris.

“Any moment now,” Honoria said tartly, “if I’m trapped here much longer with you lot.”

More of Iris’ sarcasm can be found in the rest of the Smythe-Smith backlist, including  A Night Like This and The Sum of All Kisses.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Self-Proclaimed Smythe-Smith)


Taking a Peek at THE HOT ZONE by Jayne Castle

Best. Day, EVER!

Not only am I making some headway into my to-do-list, but Jayne Castle just announced that she’s posted an new excerpt of her upcoming futuristic-paranormal romance, The Hot Zone, on her website!

The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island. Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret…

Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.

And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow…

Plus, Ms. Castle previously confirmed that Sedona Snow is a descendant of Arizona Snow from her Eclipse Bay and Arcane series. So cool!

Cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this novel. 😀

Who else loves dust bunnies?

Rika Ashton

(aka The Paranormal Insider)

Stealthy Sneak Peeks!

Excerpts, teasers and (maybe) spoilers galore!

Here’s the latest in the world of paranormal romance/urban fantasy:

  • Nalini Singh released excerpt two of Shield of Winter. (Excerpt one can now be found on her website.) Ms. Singh is also hard at work on the Kaleb and Sahara short story, and it will presumably be released with her next newsletter on June 3rd.
  • Kresley Cole’s Dead of Winter cover has been revealed!
  • Jennifer Ashley’s next Shifters Unbound story is titled, Alpha’s Mate. (Ms. Ashley is also writing another Shareem novel, called Keiran, and has posted a short teaser on her website, and she’s promised more Stormwalker novels!)
  • The Beautiful Ashes, an upcoming New Adult novel by Jeaniene Frost also has a new excerpt. (Ms. Frost also previously revealed that the title for the final Night Prince novel is Bound by Flames.)
  • The second Sentinels book by Alexandra Ivy is titled Blood Assassin.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

If you’ve got any more release dates or excerpts/teasers to share, please do!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Novel Insider)

Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh – Sneak Peek!

So the excerpt for the upcoming novel, Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh, was released today!

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…

If you haven’t had a chance to read it, click here.

Elena blinked as she always did when she remembered she was rolling in it. Not in comparison to older immortals, of course, and way below Raphael’s league, but her personal fortune was more than respectable when it came to a fledgling immortal. Earned in the hunt that had broken her back, made her bleed until her throat filled with the iron dark fluid, and brought Raphael into her life, the money was currently amassing ridiculous amounts of interest in her Guild account.

“Damn”—she whistled—“I need to start thinking like a rich chick.”

“I will be most amused to watch this transformation.”

Narrowing her eyes, she said, “Just you wait. Before you know it, I’ll be one of the angels who lunch.”

I’m hoping I’m one of the people that Elena invites to lunch! (How cool would it be to interview her?)

And I know, the question on everyone’s mind is – did I squeal?

Yeah, I pretty much turned back into a piglet when I saw this excerpt – only this time it was in the middle of the library…and contrary to popular belief, librarians do not “shush” you when you make a fool of yourself out loud, they only stare at you as if you’ve lost your mind.

So who’s counting down the days to October 29 with me?

Rika Ashton

(aka The Library Piglet)

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole: Blurb Reveal!

(…and a possible spoiler reveal. Shhh!)

For eager readers of Kresley Cole’s “Arcana Chronicles” series, we finally have a blurb for Endless Knight and it reveals a little more about why Death is on the front cover, including his relationship with Evie!

In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles, Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all.

In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed. Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight.

Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history – one that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack.

Determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it.

Rika Ashton

(aka “Why isn’t it October yet?”)

P.S: If you would like to discuss your thoughts on the Endless Knight cover (part 1) or see the full cover flat (with Jack on the back cover, aka part 2), click the hyperlinks to visit past posts. 😀

P.P.S: If you’re even more eager, then there is an excerpt available at the end of the Kindle edition of Macrieve, involving Jack, Evie and a bathtub! 😉

Dagger of the Sun Teaser: Bae

It’s that wonderfully time of day when you guys get another Dagger of the Sun teaser. So now without further delay, let me introduce to you Baelock, Kale’s right-hand man and supporting character:

He opened his eyes as his second-in-command, Baelok, came into the room. The man was tall, like any immortal he towered well over the average mortal man, but he was still not as tall as Kale. And though his hair was a jet-black, much like Kale’s own, their eyes were eons apart. Bae’s eyes were a striking green-grey combination, the colour of the sea during a storm – something Kale was certain Bae had never seen, being born and never having left the Underworld in his entire existence thus far. In contrast, Kale’s own eyes were as dark, though most would say darker, than his hair.

Kale could see that Bae had yet to go see his personal attendant, his face sported a light scruff of hair – not unusual for Bae – but his black cloak was dusted with soot and dirt, and underneath it Kale could see that his recently purchased silver armour had not suffered any better, all of which indicated Bae had just arrived from his latest journey to Tartarus.

“I brought along a present Kale,” said Bae in his usual rumbling tone that some women found seductive – that is until they heard Kale speak. “Would you like to guess what it is?”

“If it’s another woman, I will kill you,” muttered Kale.

“I can see you’re in one of your moods.” Kale heard Bae sigh, moving closer to lean his shoulder against the doorway. “Too much time with Hades?”

“Any time spent with Hades is too much.”

“Then you are going to like what I have to show you even more,” Bae’s reply contained more than a hint of mirth.

And that’s a taste of Bae…who is turning out to be a surprise. He a new invention of my imagination – never existed in the original draft – but then a lot of new characters are sprouting up now that I have time to look at what Dagger of the Sun needs to make it a truly complex story. And a great supporting cast is essential!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Tease)

P.S: Also joined Pinterest.

Dagger of the Sun Teaser: Kale

Just letting you guys know that I’ve been diligently working on Dagger of the Sun edits with my critique partner, the fabulous Priscilla Shay – I say fabulous because not only does she have to look at my make-your-eyes-burn bad novel drafts, she also has to provide feedback that will make it better – all while working on her own novels, short stories, poems, etc. Check out her second weblog here!

In celebration of my hard work this past week, I’m celebrating with a Lord Kaelus (Kale) teaser from chapter two of my novel. Kale is my anti-hero, who is really more of a villain and Delphyne’s future husband, because somehow I will give these two a happy ending!

Now on to the (unedited) teaser:

Lord Kaelus, High Councillor of the Underworld and Master of the Night Palace, was seated in the large dining hall, sipping his ambrosia. A clear liquid, created specifically for him, that on most days satisfied his more primitive urges. However, on this particular day, Kale had spent far too much in the “esteemed” company of the God of the Underworld.

He felt like killing someone.

And with that I bid you farewell for the day, since I must get back to more edits or the fabulous Priscilla Shay will eat my head.

-Rika Ashton

(aka The Diligent One)

P.S: Here’s an image of the colour of Kale’s midnight cloak, which he inherited from Nyx, the Goddess of Night.