Novella Love

I have a novella (Stroke of Enticement) coming out this Tuesday in The Magical Christmas Cat anthology. I had so much fun writing about Zach – talk about a sexy, playful changeling – and his heroine, Annie. (If you want to check out an excerpt, follow the link above!)

I enjoy writing novellas for a number of reasons – but today, I thought we’d chat about why we love reading novellas.

For me, novellas are perfect reading material for when I don’t have a ton of time, but I’m still craving a good read. I can get that satisfying full-story feeling in a bite-sized amount of time.

Some novellas have even become keepers for me, like The Prince of Ebon Rih in Anne Bishop’s Dreams Made Flesh. I adore this novella – I’ve read it over and over. (And incidentally, if you haven’t read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy, run and grab it now! It’s completely amazing).

So, how about you all? Do you enjoy novellas? What are some of your favorites?


39 Responses to “Novella Love”

  1. 1 Kat
    October 6, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Hi Nalini,

    Congrats on the upcoming release of “Stroke of Enticement” πŸ™‚

    Novellas are absolutely wonderful when you’re short on time. I agree, it’s the full-story feel which is perfect.

    My favorite novellas are “Beat of Temptation” (you might know the author ;)), “The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole, “36 Valentines” by Julia Quinn, “Phantom Lover,” “Until Death Do We Part,” “Love Bytes,” and “Born to be B.A.D.” by Sherrilyn Kenyon, “Seduction’s Gift” and “Galahad” by Angela Knight, “The Widow’s Auction” and “10 Reasons to Stay” by Sabrina Jeffries, “The Breed Next Door” and “Reno’s Chance” by Lora Leigh, “Midsummer’s Knight” by Kinley MacGregor, “Castle Doom” and “Catch a Falling Star” by Jill Gregory, and “Midnight in Death” by J.D. Robb. I’m sure there are many more, lol.


  2. 2 azteclady
    October 6, 2008 at 8:48 am

    I confess that I am not an avid novella reader–ninety nine times out of a hundred, I’d rather read a 300-400 pages book. There have been a few novellas, though, that have become keepers for me. “Lake of Dreams” by Linda Howard is the only one I can remember by title right now (headaches are not conductive to thinking clearly). I have yet to get An Enchanted Christmas–and of course The Magical Christmas Cat–so I can’t include them in my list.

    Best of luck, Nalini!

  3. October 6, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Kat – you rock *grin* I love LL’s novellas as well! And I recently read an Angela Knight one – I’m not sure of the title but it was a futuristic with a shapeshifter (Mad Dog?) – it was really good! JD Robb is always a hit for me, too. I’m a JD Robb junkie.

    ((Azteclady)) – hope the headache clears up. And I shall forgive you (this time) for not having read my novellas πŸ˜‰

  4. 4 orannia
    October 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

    HI Nalini *waves*

    I like novellas, especially if they tide me over between novel releases and/or they allow me to meet (and get to know) a secondary character….(I think I need to take a course in how to hint subtly πŸ˜‰ I am definitely looking forward to The Magical Christmas Cat and I still re-read all my Christmas anthologies. Done right, an anthology can really wet your appetite for a new series – Alpha & Omega (Patricia Briggs) is a good example πŸ™‚


    PS I hope you’re feeling better soon azteclady!

    PPS Kat – your memory is amazing!

  5. October 6, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Hey Orannia! Alpha and Omega – how could I forget that?! It’s one of my favorites. Just so much emotional power even in a short format.

  6. 6 Lisa Whitefern
    October 6, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Congrats on the upcoming release of β€œStroke of Enticement.” I really enjoyed writing my first novella Waking the Witch which is coming out for Halloween with Freya’s Bower. It’s set during the Salem Witch trials and while I don’t really think of myself as an historical writer I felt confident that I had done enough in-depth research on the time period and individuals to write a novella. Novella’s are great to write when you have a mind that is always jumping to the next story idea. lol I’m working on my second novella now.

  7. October 6, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Lisa, congrats on your first novella! I agree that novellas do offer a really great way to try out your wings in terms of new genres or time periods. πŸ™‚

  8. 8 Jennifer K.
    October 6, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’m not usually a huge novella fan because I tend to always think they’re too short. There are, however, some notable exceptions, many of which Kat listed in her post. I really enjoyed your first novella about the changelings and am avidly awaiting the second. So, basically, I’m wishy-washy. Overall, I don’t care as much for novellas, but I do make exceptions because some of them really are quite good, even if they are short.

  9. 9 Avi J
    October 6, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Hi Nalini, Novellas are a rare read for me, but when l do pick it up l enjoy them. Though l cant name them off hand l remember reading one by Linda Howard

  10. October 6, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Nalini – “Mad Dog Love”? It’s in the Shifter anthology πŸ™‚

    I’m a Nora Roberts junkie, but I’m becoming a J.D. Robb one as well. I’ve got Imitation in Death coming up next, as soon as I beg, borrow, or steal the time *grin*

  11. October 6, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I enjoy novellas if the anthologies have an equal amount of good writers in it. The short story definitely allows me to get some reading when I know I am going to be interrupted and short on time.

    My main reason for enjoying them is it is good way of trying new authors or new series without committing to buying all 7-19 books in a series or trying to play catch up with a long running series. Sometimes novellas allows an author to explore a new idea outside his/her series. I love it when an author gets experimental with their writing in a short story. But the biggest catch is just trying a new author I normally wouldn’t have known about. I have discovered quite a few authors that way including Laura Anne Gilman, Angela Knight, Joe Hill, Caitlin Kiernan, Lora Leigh’s Breed Series, Meljean Brooks, Emma Holly ect and went and got their series immediately or waited impatiently for their debut work.

    Some of my favorites are Anne Bishop’s entry “The Price” and “By the Time the Witchblood Blooms” (the latter was was reprinted in Tangled Webs the newest Black Jewel book) and her Dreams Made Flesh anthology, Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples” and “Murder Mysteries”, Marjorie Liu’s entry “Hunters Kiss” in Wild Thing, “Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs,
    “The Sea and Little Fishes” by Terry Pratchett (featuring fan favorites the witches of Discworld), among many others as well as this short story by this author Nalini Singh called “Beat of Temptation” as I always wanted to know the story of Tamsyn and Nate. πŸ™‚

    Only complaint I have with them is the fact that I can’t have the anthologies with the series or authors (how I organize my shelves) as I have numerous authors in one book that I have series of and they are on seperate shelves. Am I weird that I like to have them all together? Tempting to buy a duplicate copy to be able to have the set all together, but the husband frowns on that for some odd reason. πŸ˜‰

  12. October 6, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Jennifer K – I think you’ll like Zach *g* I agree with you – not all novellas work for me, but the ones that do, tend to work really well.

    Avi – I’ve enjoyed Linda Howard as well. Very intense.

    Kat – yes! You do have a great memory. And I envy you getting to read JD Robb’s backlist. I’m all caught up and salivating for the next one.

    Shar – lol about your shelves! Mine are all in boxes – I need more shelves. In fact, I dream of a library where I can organize my shelves to my heart’s content. πŸ™‚

  13. 13 ShellBell
    October 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    hi Nalini .. can’t wait for the release of The Magical Christmas Cat. I’m a huge fan of novella’s. They are a great way to find new authors and a great way to get a quick fix for favourite authors. Some of my favourite novella’s are: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “Phantom Lover” and “Winter Born”; Elizabeth Elliott’s “Bewitched”; Judith McNaught’s “Double Exposure” and “Miracles”; Jude Deveraux’s “Change of Heart” and “Just Curious”; Cherry Adair’s “Snowball’s Chance”; Patricia Brigg’s “Alpha and Omega”; Kresley Cole’s “The Warlord Wants Forever”; Stephanie Laurens’s “Melting Ice”; Shelly Laurenston’s “My Kind of Town”; Lora Leigh’s “The Breed Next Door”; Christina Skye’s “Enchanted” and last but not least your “Beat of Temptation”.

    My only complaint is that some novella’s are too short – Sherrilyn Kenyon is a good example. One novella of SK’s was only 10 pages long and that was a bit disappointing when I had bought that particular anthology just for that one story!

  14. 14 Jane
    October 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I love novellas. Some of my favorites include Lisa Kleypas’ “Promise,” Loretta Chase’s “The Mad Earl’s Bride,” Cindy Gerard’s “Desert Heat,” Nancy Warren’s “The Nutcracker Sweet” and Shannon McKenna’s “Meltdown” and “Touch Me.”

  15. 15 KJsGrrl
    October 6, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I like reading novellas as well. Some novellas seem rushed and dont make the coming together of the H/H believable. Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed something and dont understand why the H/H ended up so in love.
    I just read “Mysteria Lane” over the weekend and I loved Gena Showalter’s novella “A Tawdry Affair”. It made sense and even though the story was short, the journey from beginning to end was smooth and enjoyable. .

    I really look forward to getting the Magical Christmas Cat.


  16. 16 christa
    October 7, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I find with reading a novella in an anthology you discover a whole world of authors and the book buying just snowballs from there. I also find that with a novella there is a definite stopping point(if you need it). Like if you are waiting for a certain book but you won’t have time to read a full length book.
    I don’t know if I can name a particular novella(I have two shelves strictly alotted for them in the bookcase), but I do like most of Lori Foster’s and a lot of Janelle Denison’s Wild books are novellas.

  17. 17 barbarav
    October 7, 2008 at 1:19 am

    I love novelas, they are just perfect for a good and quick read. By the way “STROKE OF ENTICEMENT” was super goood. Zach is very charming, Nalini was right about that. The story is funny and sexy. I love it!

  18. October 7, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I look forward to reading your novella. The Psi/Changling series is one of my top must reads. Reminds me, I need to get my books back from a friend. It’s about time to reread them again. πŸ™‚

    I am a huge (HUGE) Anne Bishop fan. I love the Black Jewels series. Can’t wait for her next book.

  19. 19 azteclady
    October 7, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for the good wishes, ladies, I feel much better today.

    And Nalini, I am getting both anthologies–they are in my wish list! I just need to nudge the budget a bit… πŸ˜‰

  20. 20 Christina
    October 7, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Hi Nalini, followed you over here ^_^

    I love novellas that flesh out a world like “Warlord wants Forever” (Kresley Cole) and “Beat of Temptation”. Beat of Temptation is probably my favorite novella, I think it is probably the best novella I have read in ages. It was cute, the tension was absolutely perfect (I *adored* Nate going after Tammy), and the plot isn’t lost in sex scenes.

    I can’t wait for Magical Christmas Cat!

  21. October 7, 2008 at 7:03 am

    ShellBell – I love how you put it! A good novella is a definite “quick fix” when you really want to read something but don’t have time to read a full-length book.

    Jane – I don’t think I’ve read those – adding them to my tbr list!

    AJ – hope you enjoy it! It is difficult to tell a complete story in a shorter format, but I find when it’s done well, the stories are perfect little gems. πŸ™‚

    Christa – yep, I sympathize with the snowball effect. But on the other hand, it’s always fun to find a new author to glom!

    Barbara – yay!! I’m so glad you loved Zach. I adore him πŸ™‚

    Beth – hope you enjoy it! And isn’t the BJT fantastic? It’s one of my all time keepers.

    Azteclady – glad you’re feeling better πŸ™‚

    Christina – thank you!! I really loved writing Nate and Tammy’s story.

  22. October 7, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Well I never, I had no idea novellas were so popular! I have to confess I have never read one….but of course I will look out for Magical Christmas Cat – where do you buy novellas, anyway? Perhaps because I haven’t given them any thought, my eyes have not picked them up in bookstores.

    I do however love JD Robb but have a long way to go in her series.

    Waving at Azteclady, glad you’re feeling better. Headaches suck!

  23. October 7, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Jan, a novella virgin!! GASP!! What shall we recommend to you???!!!

    p.s. You can buy The Magical Christmas Cat everywhere *grin*

  24. October 7, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Oooh, what a busy thread, Nalini! Hmm, novellas. Have read a few but sometimes a featured author has only done a three chapter lead in to another book rather than a self contained story and I ended up feeling cheated. So, while I’m not a total sweet and innocent young thing in the novella department, like our darling Jan, I am not a total convert to them either. I will check Magical Christmas Cat out though, maybe that’ll convince me πŸ˜‰

  25. October 7, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I have to admit, Yvonne, those three chapter lead-in’s make me crazy. For a novella to work for me, I need a complete story (even if it’s part of a series). For example with Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega, it was the start of a series, but the novella felt like a complete story – the conflict at the heart of the novella was sorted out by the end.

  26. October 7, 2008 at 8:52 am

    The Magical Christmas Cat? Only three of my favourite things!!! A definite “must buy”. I’m a JD Robb fan and Gena Showalter…I don’t get to read as many novellas as I’d like. I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, full stop! It’s sometimes a little difficult to track down novellas where I come from, but I’m not adverse to having my local bookstore lady track them down for me, that way I get to pick some new releases off the shelves while she knuckles on her keyboard. πŸ™‚

    ((Hugs Azteclady))


  27. October 7, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Robbie, I agree, they aren’t as readily available here and I think that is part of the reason I’ve not got into them. That and the fact there are so many books and authors to keep up with in book form alone. πŸ˜• But the last several years I’ve read novellas in RITA judging and some have been good enough to convince me I’m missing out on some excellent reads. I agree, that it’s a perfect introduction to new authors and/or different worlds. That aside, I have read a couple of fab novellas by Marion Lennox (her Mothers Day one this year = full box of tissues!) and Fiona Brand’s sheikh from a few years back was awesome.


  28. October 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I particularly enjoy novellas that tie in with series I’m already reading–a short story or a novel can really enhance a particularly over-all story, and that’s the reason I’m most likely to pick up a novella compilation. The format works beautifully for some F/SF stories, also, and I very much enjoyed the novella portion of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine back when I was a subscriber.

  29. October 7, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Robbie – I crave JD Robb! I always want more!

    Bron – Fiona’s sheikh one was wonderful πŸ™‚

    Alana – I think for a writer, doing a novella in a series world is a chance to maybe explore some tangents, things that are intriguing but maybe wouldn’t necessarily fit easily into the series.

  30. October 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Hey everyone! I have a few novellas on my shelves, but only because it’s JD Robb and I ADORE Eve and Roarke πŸ˜€ I get them from Rendezvous in Melbourne because they always ship ’em quick. I do have Dean Koontz’s collection of short stories “Strange Highways”, but the first story is more like a novella and just blows me away – reads exactly like a SuperNatural episode!

    Otherwise I tend to go for anthologies more than novellas because I always crave more… I’m currently trying to write an erotic fantasy novella but the darn thing just gets bigger and bigger (uh… no dirty comments, please!)

  31. 31 Sandra
    October 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I’m not a complete novella virgin but i’m definitely on the inexperienced side! So I’ve been writing down all these names and will hunt some of them down to try – and I guess a great place to start will be The Magical Christmas Cat. Looking forward to it.

  32. October 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    So because it’s been mentioned so often, has JD Robb put out novellas about Eve and Roarke? (my all-time forever and ever fave hero in the whole wide world). I thought they were all full-length.

  33. October 8, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Paula – trying to refrain from commenting πŸ˜‰

    Sandra – hope you enjoy!

    Jan – oh yes!! She’s done several. Currently, I’m waiting for Suite 606, which has a story in it by JD Robb.

  34. October 8, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Ooh, yes! Fiona Brand’s Sheik *drool*. In the Sheiks of Summer Anthology. I know I got the book, thumbed through to Fiona’s story, read it, savoured it, basked in it. Am thinking I’ll read that again in the next evening or so, definite food for the soul.

  35. October 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Speaking of gorgeous covers, I love your novella cover, Nalini. Like Robbie, that’s 3 of my favourite things all together.

    I have to admit that I don’t read too many novellas but this book looks like a great Christmas present to get hubby to buy me. πŸ™‚

  36. 36 May B.
    October 9, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I love Nicole Camden’s story in Big gun out of uniform anthology and do not really understand why she cannot get a sigtle title contract. I also love Kresley Cole’s The warlord wants forever and your Beat of Temptation.

    Apart from that, I really cannot connect with short stories. It is too short for me. By the time I got into story, it is end. However, I think short stories are the good way of extra explanation of the series like you do with Psy/Changeling series. Some tidbit about the series, which may not important but essential for the die-hard fan.

    I also agree that short stories are the way to find *new to me* authors. I admit finding Linda Howard through her short story.

  37. 37 limecello
    October 9, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Hi Nalini –

    Whoops – I thought I’d commented – I love novellas and can’t wait to get my hands on your new book! Some of my favorites are, well, pretty much all the Brava ones. HelenKay Dimon, Lori Foster, Shannon McKenna, etc.

  38. October 10, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Limecello, I’d forgotten that I’d read some of the Brava novellas. I really liked the Jingle Bell Rock one with Lori Foster.

  39. 39 limecello
    October 12, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Maxine – I like that one too! I don’t know why but novellas are strongly tied to Brava for me. In fact, I’m reading “To All A Good Night” right now, and loving it!

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