Demonstrating a distinct local bias, Australian romance readers awarded their favourite authors at a the Australian Romance Readers Convention on Saturday night.
For the second year in a row, historical author Anna Campbell won the award for Favourite Australian Author. Campbell also picked up the award for Favourite Historical Romance—which might as well be called the Anna Campbell Award because she’s won it every year since the awards began—for her latest book, My Reckless Surrender. Campbell is published by Avon/HarperCollins and was one of the keynote speakers at the convention.
New Zealand author Nalini Singh picked up three awards. Singh won Favourite Paranormal Romance with Bonds of Justice, part of her Psy-Changeling series. The series, set in a future featuring humans, psychics and changelings, also won the award for Favourite Continuing Romance Series. Her urban fantasy book, Archangel’s Consort, the latest book in her Guild Hunter series, won the award for Favourite Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy or Futuristic Romance. Singh is published by Gollancz/Hachette in Australia.
Mills and Boon author Paula Roe won the award for Favourite Short Category Romance for the second year in a row with The Billionaire Baby Bombshell, published under the Silhouette Desire imprint by Harlequin Mills and Boon.
Jess Dee won Favourite Erotic Romance for Raising Stakes, a novella from her Three of a Kind series, published by Samhain, a digital publishing company popular with erotic romance readers.
The award for Favourite Contemporary Romance went to Kandy Shepherd for Home Is Where The Bark Is, published by Berkley in the US. The book does not currently have an Australian publisher. (And it should!)
But the fairy tale of the night went to Helene Young, who picked up the first writing award of her career. Her debut novel, Border Watch, won Favourite Romantic Suspense. Border Watch is published by Hachette Australia and has been reissued under the title Wings of Fear.
Readers were also recognised through various prizes. Member of the Year went to Barbara Evans (right), who accumulated the most points for participating in ARRA activities. I won the Reader Challenge. Deb K won the Pop Quiz contest, but she was not at the dinner. A random dinner attendee won a door prize from the Down Under Divas. The rowdy table next to ours (you know who you are *ahemPaulaRoeahem*) won the musical trivia prize.
The awards night also featured a bling off, in which attendees wore their sparkliest, glitziest best, and author Christine Darcas was the undisputed Queen of Bling for her stunning ballroom dancing costume.
The results of the silent auction was announced, with ARRC attendees contributing over $6100 to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Appeal.
The Australian Romance Readers awards are run by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA). Winners are are nominated and selected by ARRA members. Finalists for the 2010 awards are listed in the ARRA website. Prizes are awarded in accordance with the rules for each member competition, except for the bling off, which is an unofficial prize and totally subjective.