August 28, 2014

The cover and back cover blurb for The Shadows have been revealed! Tentative release date is April 2015. Virtual signing for Immortal opens tonight at 11pm AEST, plus future books by J. R. Ward.

Need to brush up on your BDB knowledge? Click here for the BDB cheat sheets.

The Shadows by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) - US editionTHE SHADOWS by J. R. Ward

Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hisbe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Selena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

Booktopia | Bookworld | Amazon US | Book Depository | Kobo | Library

J. R. Ward will start writing The Shadows in September and it is expected to be released in April 2015.

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August 12, 2014

Harlequin achieved a clean sweep as Australian romance book industry’s top prizes were awarded last Saturday at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney in a gala dinner that was capped off by a moving speech by Hall of Fame inductee Emma Darcy.

One Life Changing Moment by Lucy Clark - Australian edition What The Bride Didn't Know by Kelly Hunter - Australian edition Her Favourite Rival by Sarah Mayberry - Australian edition Lost in Kakadu by Kendall Talbot

The Romantic Book of the Year awards, known affectionately as the RUBY by the Romance Writers of Australia, were presented last Saturday at the Novotel, Sydney Olympic Park, and all the major awards went to Harlequin authors. Lucy Clark won the Short and Sweet category with her Medical book One Life Changing MomentKelly Hunter won the Short and Sexy category for What the Bride Didn’t Know (Harlequin Kiss). Kendall Talbot took home the prize for Romantic Elements for her unusual story featuring a trophy wife, a bisexual hero and a plane crash in Lost in Kakadu. The win was also a first for Escape Publishing. Sarah Mayberry took home the RUBY for Long Romance with Her Favourite Rival (Harlequin SuperRomance) as well as the ELLA for her novella Worth The Risk.

Emma Darcy (source: Harlequin)

Emma Darcy (Source: Harlequin)

The night, however, belonged to Mills and Boon author Emma Darcy, who was inducted to RWA’s Hall of Fame. Darcy received a standing ovation before giving a moving speech that included a tribute to her late husband Frank. Audience members were reduced to tears and laughter. Darcy summarised the appeal of romance fiction with the 5Fs: ‘fantasy, feelgood, fun and fabulous fucking!’

The Romance Media Award went to yours truly for my opinion piece on The Drum, ‘Dear columnists, romance fiction is not your bitch’. Presenter Nikki Logan revealed that for the first time, the ROMA nominees included blog posts and opinion pieces. I can’t even express how honoured and overwhelmed I was to receive this award.

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Posted by Kat in Industry news (2 comments)
August 5, 2014

Everlove: Rose by Silicon SistersEverlove: Rose raises the game in the romance genre with a unique interactive experience designed to appeal to romance readers.

A review copy of this app was generously provided by Silicon Sisters Interactive.

While you can possibly only label me a casual gamer at best, I used to work in mobile application design, so I was excited to try out the ‘interactive’ romance novel, Everlove: Rose.

Everlove: Rose was specifically made for romance readers by Silicon Sisters, a Canadian company led by women creating video games for women.

Everlove: Rose is a historical romance with a medieval setting and a storyline that changes based on the decisions you make. The heroine is Rose, a career woman struggling to understand her hang-ups with men, who turns to past-life regression for insight. Under hypnosis she’s transported to the medieval village of Heart’s Home, where she soon discovers that she has chemistry with several of the local hotties. You get to decide what she says and who she pursues, with each decision you make shaping Rose’s personality and defining where the romance goes.

Everlove: Rose - screenshotAs a visual novel Everlove: Rose succeeds more than as a game. The premise on a superficial level seems like a weird excuse to just get with hot dudes in a fantastical setting. And hey, maybe that’s exactly what some women want, but I was somewhat bothered by the idea of roleplaying a modern career woman (though you don’t even get the sense that she is one) with ‘issues’ justifying a romp in the Middle Ages. The game begins during a ‘past life regression therapy’ session, which is how Rose is ‘transported’ to the medieval period. Hypnotherapy is actually kind of a scary situation to begin a fantasy in, no?

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Posted by Jen in Other, Reviews (Leave a comment)
Keywords: games, time travel
August 2, 2014

2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival bannerRomance panel at Byron Bay Writers Festival, featuring Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George with Mandy Nolan.

Finally, we have a writers’ festival with actual romance authors in the program! If you’re at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival this weekend, make sure you check out tomorrow’s panel, Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance, where local celebrity comedian Mandy Nolan chats with Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George and explores the world of romance writing and what it’s like to be a contemporary romance author.

The event is on Sunday, August 3 from 12.45pm to 1.30pm at the New Philosopher Marquee. You can purchase your tickets here or at the Festival. You can download the full program here (pdf). 

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July 31, 2014

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl (Girls' Night Out, Book 1)If he had a beard, the hero would be the actual perfect man.

Kat’s note: When Rudi of the Famous Romance Shoes mentioned she was looking forward to Victoria Dahl’s latest book, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to invite her over for a guest review. An advance reading copy of this book was generously provided by Harlequin Australia.

Rudi Bremer is a romance genre nerd, emerging radio broadcaster, and the owner of some pretty amazing shoes. After reading countless articles suggesting all romance readers must want a man exactly like the heroes they read about, she began her search for a Scottish werewolf with a dukedom. She is still searching, but remains hopeful.

Looking For Trouble is hot, guys. Like really, really hot. To the point where I pretty much didn’t care about the plot as long as Sophie and Alex kept touching each other. Or talking about touching each other. Or thinking about touching each other. And for the most part that’s exactly what Victoria Dahl delivers — THANK GOD!!! Like in this scene (which co-incidentally inspired my favourite button from the RT conference)

‘I guess nice girls like this,’ he growled.

‘Yes,’ she whispered.

‘What else do they like?’

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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!)

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!

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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