May 2020 Alpha Night Newsletter - Copy
A Madness of Sunshine International m

Paperback out August 25th.

Welcome to the Newsletter

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August has brought with it cold winds, rain, and some brilliantly-clear winter days in Auckland.

It's good writing weather, and I've begun work on the next Psy-Changeling book - it's all very much in the beginning stages yet, so no details, but even so early into the book, I'm already fascinated by the characters.

In more cool book news, A Madness of Sunshine releases in paperback internationally on August 25th, so keep an eye out. The international ebook of Madness has an exclusive excerpt of my next thriller, Quiet in her Bones. But don't worry if you've already bought Madness (thank you!) - I'll be sending out excerpts in the newsletter, too.

Talking of excerpts, the September newsletter will feature one from Archangel's Sun.

Aside from writing, I've been trying to coax some flowers out of my winter garden, and have also been catching up on my reading. Scroll down for the titles of some recent reads I enjoyed.

Also in this newsletter: information about upcoming events, some interesting links,
and of course, the free short story I promised you.


p.s. if you'd like to read the previous newsletter, here's the link

A Madness of Sunshine

USA & Canada
Ebook: AppleBooks, Kindle, KindleCa, Kobo, NOOK
Paperback: Amazon, AmazonCa, B&N, BAM, BookDepo, Bookshop, Chapters, IndBnd
Audiobook: Amazon, AppleBooks, Audible

Ebook: AppleBooks, KindleAu, KindleNZ, KindleUK, GooglePlay, Hive, Kobo
Paperback: AmazonAu, AmazonUK, A&R, BookDepo, BkTpa, FshPnd, Hive, MtyApe, Waterstones
Audiobook: AmazonUK, AppleBooks, Audible

Hamilton Book Month Graphic - Copy

Upcoming New Zealand Appearance - Hamilton Book Month Event

Romance and Crime - Panel with Bronwyn Sell and Nicky Webber
12 August 6:30pm-8pm
Civic Reception Lounge
Hamilton City Council
Anglesea Street (enter via Civic Square)

This is a free event. For more info on Hamilton Book Month, click here.

See some of you next week!

Nalini Singh headshot smaller

Australian Romance Readers Romantic Rendezvous (Locked Down) Interview

ARRA took their conference online this year, and organized a ton of amazing interviews and panels. You can watch them for free on YouTube under the ARRLD playlist.

I did both:
- a feature interview; and
- a paranormal romance panel with Darynda Jones and Amanda Bouchet.

Happy watching!

Kariotahi Beach

Windswept trees in the dunes above Kariotahi Beach (taken a few weeks back when it was cold and crisp and just beautiful)


Audiobook Narrator Chat

AudioFile held a fun discussion last week with four narrators - including Angela Dawe, the amazing narrator of the Psy-Changeling series. Here's the link if you'd like to listen/watch!

(Angela does a reading from Alpha Night beginning about 4.25.)

Audiofile - Copy

ARR Award: Favourite Paranormal Romance

Wolf Rain - ARRA

WOLF RAIN's gorgeous ARR Award for Favourite Paranormal Romance alongside four editions of Memory and Alexei's book :)

instagram-augustauthorpanel - Copy

Cary Library Virtual Event

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
4:00 PM to 5:15 PM EST
Conversation between me, Ilona Andrews, and Amanda Bouchet

Registration is required and space is limited. Click here for more information. If registration is full, you can watch and ask questions via the Facebook livestream, which will appear on the library’s Facebook page.

International readers: This is a virtual event and open to all, but it appears the registration form requires a US phone number. I've requested this be changed, but won't hear back before the newsletter goes out. If you have trouble registering, please attend via the Facebook livestream. Questions asked there will be passed on to me, Ilona & Gordon, and Amanda. :-)

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Reading Diary

I really enjoyed the following eclectic set of books this past month.

(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris (women's fiction with romantic elements that's all about chasing your dreams). My first read by this talented author but definitely not my last.

Network Effect by Martha Wells (science fiction - part of the brilliant Murderbot Diaries, featuring a security bot that just wants to be left alone to watch its serials).

Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins (small town contemporary fiction with a gorgeous warm heart, featuring a fantastic cast of characters). I've already ordered book #2 in the series because I need to know what the future holds for these characters.

Close Up by Amanda Quick (historical romantic suspense set in the 30s with a creepy mystery). I'm really loving this AQ series set in the town of Burning Cove.

Shadows in Death by JD Robb (this releases in September, and I'm totally not the least bit objective about it since it's part of one of my all time favorite series. Will always recommend! But if you haven't started this series, begin with #1 Naked in Death).

SilverSilence USA - Copy

Exclusive Extra: Psy-Changeling Short Story

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As always, please don't copy and paste the newsletter-exclusive material online. If you'd like to share it with friends, you can easily forward it using the "Forward to a Friend" link in the footer, or by using the Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest buttons at the top. Thanks!

Beary Tiny Ghosts

By Nalini Singh

Valentin glared down at the four sweet, innocent faces looking up at him. It took serious effort to keep the glare from morphing into outright laughter. “What,” he said in a very serious voice, “is Dima doing with your gang?”

Sveta, Fitz, and Arkasha looked at each other before Sveta stepped forward. At seven, she was the oldest of the tiny gangsters by about six months. “He wanted to play with us.”

“Yeah,” Dima piped up on a puff of white dust, long-lashed dark eyes peering out of a dusty white face.

Valentin pointed a finger at him. “Quiet.” Then he looked back at Sveta. “He’s three.” He had a very good idea what had happened, but he needed one of them to tell him. The cubs could be very loyal to each other even when they were fighting, and that was a good thing. But as with every member of StoneWater, they also understood that lying to their alpha was verboten.

Trust in the alpha was the foundation of a strong pack.

Sveta gulped then seemed to say to hell with it and threw down her hands. “But Mishka, he wouldn’t let go!” Her tone wasn’t a whine—it was pure aggravation. “He put his hands on my leg—”

“Like this!” Fitz dove down to clamp his hands around Sveta’s ankle in a mini-explosion of white dust, his body prostrate on the floor.

Sveta attempted to move, managed an inch or two. “See!” It was her turn to glare at Dima. “We had plans!”

Of course the tiny gangsters had had plans. He could see their plans all over them. Each and every one was coated in flour from head to toe, though Dima was the worst off. Even his eyelashes were dusted with the evidence of the crime. Valentin couldn’t see even an inch of his actual skin, the intense deep brown eclipsed by what looked to be the fine baking flour he’d seen Chaos use when he made cakes.

Now, Valentin pinned the cub with his gaze. “We talked about this.”

Dima the Barnacle lowered his gaze, as bashful a bear as you’d ever seen. But Valentin hadn’t been born yesterday. “I told you what the punishment would be if you did it again to another cub.” Adults and juveniles, all far bigger than little Dima, were fair game, but he was to behave with his age group—and the tiny gangsters fell into that general category.

Eyes going wide, Dima gulped.

Beside him, Fitz got off the floor and said, “What’s Dima’s punishment?”

Sighing dramatically, Valentin went behind his desk—which was pristine because he rarely sat at it—and picked up a small ball and chain, complete with a tiny ankle manacle.

All four cubs gasped.

“It's okay,” Sveta said quickly. “We don't want Dima punished.”

Fitz and Arkasha as quickly voiced their agreement with Sveta.

Valentin’s heart swelled with pride. Yes, his clan grew good cubs. But it also grew very naughty cubs who had to be taught that bad habits had consequences. And three-year-old Dima was old enough to have learned never to do his barnacle impression with the younger cubs—so he knew full well he wasn’t supposed to do it with Sveta and the others too.

“No, this is Dima’s responsibility,” he said with utmost solemnity, and crouched down in front of the miscreant. “You going to take your punishment?”

Dima’s lower lip quivered for a second before he squared his shoulders and nodded.

Biting back the urge to hold him close, Valentin clamped the manacle around his small ankle—the fur would ensure it did no harm to that tiny ankle the short time it’d be on. “How does that feel?”

Dima shrugged, then grinned. “No problem, Uncle Mishka!” At which point, he tried to move…and couldn’t.

Grunting, he strained, but the heavy ball would not budge.

“How will Dima go pee?” Arkasha whispered.

“How was Sveta meant to go?” Valentin asked with a bearish rumble deep in his chest.

Dima stopped straining and blinked dusty lashes, his mouth rounding in an O. Then he looked at Sveta. “Sorry, Veta,” he said, not yet at an age where he could properly pronounce Svetlana’s nickname. But that he was sincere couldn’t be doubted.

Dima was naughty, not bad.

Sveta took Dima’s hand in hers in silent acceptance of his apology. Craning her neck around afterward, she looked at the ball. “That’s so heavy, Mishka.”

“Yes.” Rising to his feet, he folded his arms and left Dima to consider his plight, as he turned his attention to the other three. “Now, explain to me what you were doing in the kitchen at four in the morning?” A time when it was mostly empty.

Mostly being the operative word.

Stasya had gotten the fright of her life when she’d wandered in to make some coffee and come face to face with “four tiny ghosts”—who’d all screamed when they were busted. Valentin’s sister was probably still laughing into her coffee at the thought of Valentin having to handle this.

“Is Mr. Chaos birthday,” Arkasha whispered, his big blue eyes sad. “We wanna make him cake.”

“Because he makes the cakes for everyone,” Sveta put in.

“Yeah,” Dima added, while still trying to move his leg, his face scrunched up in pure determination. “Papa makes cake.”

“No one makes his cake,” Fitz said, his lips downturned.

In actual fact, Chaos’ cake was usually made by his mate—a.k.a Dima’s mother. Nova was no professional, but she knew enough to do a good job. And Chaos always got a goofy smile on his face when he saw those cakes. Aside from how he’d looked the first time he held Dima in his arms, it was the only time Chaos could be said to be goofy in any way, shape, or form.

But the fact these tiny cubs had thought of Chaos, made the plan to get up early—how they’d done it, he had no idea—and been underway with their plan until the flour disaster, it made Valentin’s heart expand and expand.

Hunkering down, he said, “That was a kind idea, but you know you should’ve asked an adult first. You’re not allowed in the kitchens alone.” There were too many ways for unsupervised cubs to get hurt in a busy clan kitchen.

Four solemn nods.

“Sorry, Mishka,” they said as one, their heads lowered.

“We go to the salt mine now?” Arkasha asked.

Lips twitching at the reference to their previous hard labor in the kitchen, these three particular tiny gangsters as thick as thieves, Valentin said, “Well, you’ll have to sweep up the flour. As for the rest… Wait here.”

He stepped outside to call Nova. His sister was awake and in the infirmary. After checking on her patients, she planned to head to the kitchen to bake the cake as was tradition. When he told her what had happened, she said, “I left Dima sleeping like an angel with Chaos asleep in the next room. I should’ve known he was up to something when he didn’t squirm into bed with us last night.” There was laughter in her voice.

It was the only way to survive being a bear mama.

“Of course the escape artist and his felonious little friends can help me bake the cake,” she added, then said, “You’re a good alpha, baby brother. The cubs have such big hearts because you have such a big heart.”

Valentin scowled to hide that mushy heart. “Don’t call me baby brother.”

She laughed at his half-hearted growl. “When are the small criminals coming to join me?”

“Soon. We might as well dust them off in the kitchen.”

He entered the office quietly…and there they were, all the three bigger kids trying to roll the ball so Dima could move. When he cleared his throat, they jumped up as if on springs.

“You three. Outside. Don’t move from there.”

They knew that tone. All three skedaddled…though they looked back at Dima with worried faces.

Dima, meanwhile, stood up straight when Valentin came to loom over him, his little head bent back to stare up at Valentin. “Dima no cook Papa cake?” The question was a little shaky, but he didn’t cry.

“Have you learned your lesson or do you need more punishment?” In truth, Valentin had never intended to leave the manacle on for long. Dima was three. A few minutes was a lifetime to him.

His nephew took a moment to think about it before nodding firmly.

Flour dust flew around his head.

“Hmm.” Valentin rubbed his jaw. “Second strike warning. Get to a third, and you have to wear the ball while sitting in the Cavern while everyone else is playing.”

Pure horror on Dima’s face. “Dima no strike three, Uncle Mishka,” he promised.

Crouching down, Valentin unhooked Dima from the furry cage. His nephew gave a dramatic sigh and fell against him. “Spasibo. Is so hard punishment.”

It had been approximately four minutes.

Shoulders shaking, Valentin fought to keep his voice solemn. “You have to understand the consequences of your behavior. What aren’t you going to do?”

“Hold other kids.” His eyes glinted. “Grownups?”

Valentin winked.

And Dima grinned in pure glee as he put his small, warm hand in Valentin’s and they walked out. Outside, Arkasha took his other hand, while Fitz took Arkasha’s, and Sveta went around to take Dima’s.

Then Valentin and his coterie of tiny gangsters—plus one tiny gangster in training—headed off to the kitchen, to bake a cake. Leaving behind a trail of small white footsteps. Adding to Denhome’s laughing memories of tiny gangsters past.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

For more information on the Psy-Changeling series, click here.

The first bear changeling book is Silver Silence.

Age of Trinity 4 - Copy

Alpha Night (Germany) 29. Januar 2021

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