July 21, 2014

2014 ARRC15 banner darkThe 2015 Australian Romance Readers Convention registration details have been released!

ARRC 2015 will be at the QT Hotel, Canberra, from March 6 to March 8, 2015. Keynote speakers Sylvia Day, Victoria Dahl and Helene Young are confirmed, and ARRA revealed that Kelley Armstrong will also be coming to the convention.

ARRC 2015 has two platinum sponsors this year — Booktopia, who has supported ARRC since the very first convention, and eXtasy Books. Yay for platinum sponsors! The official bookshop is Dymocks Canberra. They will be accepting pre-orders for the convention, and I’m told they will also offer a mail home service for people who run out of luggage space for their loot!

Registration rates are:

Author pre-registration – $225/$245 (closes Aug 16)

Reader early-bird (ARRA members only) — $225 (closes Jul 31)

Registration (from Sep 1) — $255/$275

Day only — $150

Booksigning only — $15

Welcome reception — $53 (Update: I originally posted the incorrect rate.)

Awards dinner — $79

Early-bird registration is for members only (limit of 50) and closes July 31. Author pre-registration closes August 16 (limit of 100). Regular registration opens September 1 and closes March 1. The full rate is for the entire weekend (Friday to Sunday) and includes morning and afternoon teas, lunches, and entry to all sessions, including the booksigning. The cocktails and ARRA dinner are separate. Booksigning ticket only will be available from December 1.

Guys, it is going to be SO MUCH FUN. Plans are already afoot for shenanigans on Friday night after trivia, so watch this space! Let us know if we’ll see you in Canberra next year!


July 1, 2014

2014 Laura GreavesAustralian author Laura Greaves may have released her debut novel this month, but she’s no stranger to writing, having written for national and international magazines. Her book, Be My Baby, is one of Destiny Romance’s chicklit titles, and you’ll be able hear an extract from the book in the next Heart to Heart podcast, which should be coming out very soon. If you like a bit of Bridget Jones, a bit of Tina Fey and a lot of mayhem, make sure you grab a copy of her book! (Also, I love her release day post, complete with gif, which you can read here!)

Website: www.lauragreaves.com
Social networks: FacebookTwitter
Genre: Chicklit
Latest release: Be My Baby

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Posted by Kat in Authors (1 comment)
Keywords: laura greaves, quickies
June 29, 2014

A commitment-free way to ‘meet’ new books!

Galaxy Bookshop will be holding their second ever Book Speed Dating Session from 6pm on Thursday, 10th July! It’s similar to traditional speed dating where you get a short amount of time to decide whether you want to get to know someone better, only this time, you’ll get to check out some books you may not have noticed. Most of the books offered on the night will be paranormal romances, but they may also introduce you to some possibilities from other genres. If you’re looking for something new to read, this is a great, commitment-free way to check out some books you may not have come across previously.

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Posted by Decadence in Events (Leave a comment)
Keywords: galaxy bookshop
June 25, 2014

Fiona McArthurYou might know Australian author Fiona McArthur from her Mills and Boon Medical romances or her non-fiction guide to giving birth, and this month her first full-length work of fiction comes out with Penguin Australia. Red Sand Sunrise features three sisters, each with different specialities in rural healthcare, and if you love family drama with romantic elements, this book will definitely hit your sweet spot.

I had the opportunity to chat with Fiona for Destiny Romance’s Heart to Heart podcast, and I can’t wait to share that with you next month!

Website: FionaMcArthurAuthor.com
Social networks: Facebook | Twitter
Genre: Category romance (Mills and Boon Medical) and rural medical romance
Latest release: Red Sand Sunrise

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Today is release day for Fiona’s new book, and Penguin Australia is giving a free copy of the book to TWO readers! For a chance to win a copy of RED SAND SUNRISE, leave a comment below, telling us where to find the best sunrise in Australia. Open to Australian readers only. Full details at the end of this post.

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Posted by Kat in Authors (4 comments)
Keywords: fiona mcarthur, freebies, quickies
June 18, 2014

Temptation by K. M. Golland (Temptation, Book 1) - Australian editionTries something new with the Fifty Shades premise, but is too busy fangirling over itself to make us give one fuck about the supposed conflict.

An advance reading copy of this book was generously provided by Harlequin Books.

I admit, when I first read the blurb for Temptation I was intrigued by its ‘taboo’ premise. Despite the allusions to another Fifty Shades of Grey tropefest (I must disclose here that I still haven’t read it), you’d think the fact that the heroine is a married mother would dramatically change the dynamic—perhaps even enter a new provocative plane of thought?

Yeah … no.

What actually happens plays out like superlatively BAD fanfic, or the gratuitous and melodramatic josei and shoujo manga I love to hate-read. Temptation is a poorly written collage of bombastic erotica cliches, narrated by a tedious, immature and entitled heroine. I’m still not sure whether to be ashamed or proud that I actually finished the book. It is just awful on so many levels.

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June 7, 2014

2014 Heart to Heart logo - Destiny RomanceIn which I talk about a lot of things about a lot of books with a lot of authors.

I’ve been slacking off on the Yay, New Things! posts, and before I knew it, three Heart to Heart podcasts have gone by without a single post from me. (Or if I’ve posted about them, I can’t find the damn post!)

Anyway, I wanted to share these with you because I think the author interviews in these episodes are fabulous (not because of me — because of the guests!). The linked pages should have embedded players for listeners who don’t want to go through iTunes. If you have any problems accessing the podcasts, let me know!

Episode 2 –Anne Gracie

I chat with historical romance author Anne Gracie about Australian romance, the possibilities for Australian historical romance, and whether or not The Rosie Project fits in the romance genre. I also review the first two books in Kathryn Ledson’s Erica Jewell series, Rough Diamond and Monkey Business.

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June 3, 2014

Pearls Of Asia by Lee GeigerThe story doesn’t provide enough depth and suspense to keep readers invested in the outcome. This one is very easy to skim.

A reading copy of this book was generously provided by TWCS via NetGalley.

A high profile murder investigation leads San Francisco inspector Mac Fleet to the mysterious Sheyla Samonte, with whom the victim’s husband was having an affair. Mac follows her to Pearls of Asia, which turns out to be a high-end club known for its Asian transgender entertainers, and Sheyla is one of the bar’s headline acts. Sheyla refuses to cooperate unless Mac agrees to mix business with pleasure; Mac is torn between his desire for Sheyla, his duty as a cop, and his ambivalence towards trans women.

Lee Geiger’s debut novel meanders between crime fiction, romantic suspense and erotic romance, but it fails to execute any one genre well. Readers with a passing interest in the success of Fifty Shades of Grey might recognise the book’s publisher, TWCS — The Writer’s Coffee Shop, and should expect about the same level of content editing in Pearls of Asia. The characters are mostly stereotypes, the transgender characters aren’t explored much beyond their constant groping and conversational asides about how handsome Mac is or how much they’d like to get him into bed (mostly said in Tagalog), and their preoccupation with being trans women. Stereotypes aside, I give Geiger props for creating individual and believable backstories for most of the characters.

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May 31, 2014

2014 National Book Bloggers Forum by Penguin Random HouseSome books, a few authors, and a lot of navel gazing. Oh, and the Gayle Forman film comes out August 28 in Australia.

The National Book Bloggers Forum was a free event hosted by Penguin Random House Australia. Disclosure: Kat hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia.

Last week, I attended the inaugural National Book Bloggers Forum hosted by Penguin Random House. Blogger events are few and far between in Australia, let alone book blogger events, so this was somewhat exciting for me.

Random House hosted the event at their North Sydney office. Despite being held on a Tuesday during the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the event was relatively well attended, with a number of bloggers traveling from various states to come along. Compared to last year’s Harlequin Summit, NBBF attendees probably got a little bit more out of the day, given that the program went from around 9am to 4pm. That said, it’s still quite a trip to make for a one-day event that was, yes, fun and interesting, but still largely a promotional activity.

Blogging things

The event was kicked off by Random House marketing and publicity director Brett Osmond, who set the tone for the rest of the day. Osmond was very supportive of the role that readers and bloggers play in the world of books. I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, but I remember receiving an email from him way back in 2011 when Marg, Zja, Rosie, Ali and I were organising a blogger meet-up in Sydney. I’ve never forgotten that first attempt to reach out and get to know bloggers, and Brett’s enthusiasm for connecting with bloggers doesn’t seem to have waned in the interim.

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May 26, 2014

Immortal by J. R. Ward (Fallen Angels, Book 6)Decadence brings us some exciting news for fans of J. R. Ward!

Yesterday JR Ward announced on Facebook that next year will bring two new series as well as continuing the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but no details on who/what those series will be about. I suspect this may finally show us the wolfyn she hinted at in Lover Unleashed. Also no word whether or not the series will have any links to other books, but I think they will since a hero in one of her earlier romances was friends with Butch O’Neal during childhood, and the Fallen Angels live in the same city as the Brothers.

Immortal will be the final in the Fallen Angels series and its cover and US release date of 7th October, 2014 were recently revealed.

The Boston Globe wrote an article on Ward’s journey to bestsellerdom, her most recent event in Cincinnati and gives a broader picture of her as an individual.

Click here for a round-up of BDB-related posts on Book Thingo.

May 24, 2014

In romance, the heroine — pure or promiscuous — gets to decide if the hero is worthy of her love.  

This week, we’re asking readers who plan to attend SWF to leave specially designed postcards at common areas, empty seats and any other places that other attendees might serendipitously find them. If you plan to attend SWF and would like to help out by leaving postcards in places other readers might find them, send an email to kat@bookthingo.com.au.

SWF OFFER: If you find a #LoveRomance postcard at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, tweet a selfie with the postcard to @MoonlightMoment and they’ll send you a free ebook bundle! More details here. Thank you to the fabulous folks at Momentum for this impromptu yet totally awesome offer!

We have saved the best for last in our final #loveromance cover reveal. This would not be a complete set without a glorious historical cover featuring windswept locks, satin gown and half-naked hero. The only thing missing is the stepback cover — we shall leave that to your imagination!

This cover remix features Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Thomas Hardy. I confess: I haven’t read this book. Because no amount of salacious text can make up for a plot in which a woman is continually victimised by the power that men hold over her. I expect more from men in fiction, and my favourite heroines do, too. My favourite romances are the ones where the heroine gets to decide if the hero is worthy of her love. So that when she decides to recklessly throw away her strength, so does he.

#LoveRomance - Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy cover remix designed by Jennifer Wu

You can check out some quotes from the book here, and you can download the book from Project Gutenberg. (Note: Definitely not a romance.)

This postcard was designed by the superlatively fabulous Jennifer Wu. You can find out more about her work here.