First things first: Happy Mother’s Day to all you mums, nannas and mums-to-be! I hope you enjoyed a good breakfast in bed and that the kids’ arts and craft project churned out something useful or appealing or edible or easy to hide. :-D
Apologies for slacking off last week with the Bizzo, but this one is absolutely chockers with good romancey stuff, so I hope it’s worth the wait.
ARRC09 audio recordings
International Association for the Study of Popular Romance
The IASPR is offering yearly, 5-yearly and lifetime memberships. Click here for more information. The IASPR, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and the Romance Writers of Australia are sponsoring an academic conference on Popular Romance Studies. The conference will be in Brisbane on August 13 to 14 and Teach Me Tonight has posted a final call for papers for the conference. Submissions are due by May 30.
Authors and events
The Gold Coast libraries are sponsoring Literati 2009. On May 29, the Literary Feast will feature around 30 authors mingling with guests over dinner at the Gold Coast Arts Centre ($75). On May 30, the libraries will host free author talks (bookings essential. Romantic suspense author Bronwyn Parry will be at Broadbeach Library at 10am. Click here (PDF) for the full program of events.
- In conversation with Lisa Pryor at The Back Street Gallery in Newtown on May 13. The event is sponsored by Better Read Than Dead and includes wine and nibbles ($10). You can book online.
- Reading and Q&A at the Qld Irish Club in Brisbane on May 14. The event is sponsored by Brisbane’s Better Bookshops ($15/12/10). Check the link for more information on where you can buy tickets.
- Book reading and Q&A at Readings in Carlton on May 28. The event is free but you have to book by calling 03 9347 6633 or via email.
Knight will also be at the Sydney Writers Festival as well as “various lowbrow events”. I’ll be posting my review of the book next week, but in a word: keeper.
Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series, will be in Australia from September 14 to 18. Looks like she’ll be visiting Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but her itinerary hasn’t been announced yet.
Over at the Australian Avon Romance Facebook page, Anna Campbell spills the beans on her upcoming release, Captive of Sin (I’ve paraphrased quite a bit so you’ll have to read the discussion to get the finer details):
- The hero is Sir Gideon Trevithick, a national hero who returns to England scarred from his experiences while working for the East India Company. He’s a knight in shining armour type and rescues an heiress, who’s running away from a repulsive marriage being arranged by her stepbrothers.
- The heroine is Charis, who starts off as a young and unworldly virgin, but then has to develop into a woman who’s worthy of Gideon.
- Gideon and Charis end up in a marriage of convenience.
- The novel is set in Cornwall and Jersey in the Channel Isles.
- There are no pirates, but there’ll be some sea travel.
- The setting is reminiscent of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Campbell considers Gideon’s Elizabethan manor as her version of Manderley, with its cliffs and casement windows and mysterious moors.
Captive of Sin is due for release on October 27 in USA. There’s no Australian release date yet.
Nalini Singh posted the blurb for her next Psy-Changeling book, Blaze of Memory:
Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she’s dangerous. Charged with protecting his people’s most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It’s a task he’s never hesitated to complete…until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might yet prove the enemy’s most insidious weapon.
Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor, and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity itself. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die…
Singh says there’s a twist in the heroine’s name. My guess was that it’s Amara because the heroine’s name is an anagram of Ashaya Kat, but maybe the commenters on that post are correct and it’s Ashaya’s assistant Ekaterina, who we thought had died when Ashaya’s lab was blown up.
Ebooks and epublishing
Ebook reader manufacturer BeBook has unveiled its new 5-inch model. I’m not sure if it’ll match the functionality of the BeBook 2, which is supposed to have wireless connectivity and touchscreen navigation. They’re supposed to go on sale sometime this year.
And speaking of ebook readers, Amazon has just released Kindle DX, which has a much bigger screen that an ordinary Kindle. I’ve read lots of negative responses to this model, but I’m a sucker for bigger screens, so I rather like it.
Discounts and contests
- Online bookstore Fishpond.com.au is offering Book Thingo readers $10 off when you spend at least $40 from the store. Just use the discount code BOOKTHINGO at checkout. This offer applies to new Fishpond customers only and can only be used once per customer.
- Ann Somerville is offering Aussie readers a limited number of print copies of her books Remastering Jerna and Encounters (2 books in 1 volume) for AU$5 per volume (plus postage). Click here for more information.
- Borders at Pitt St Mall in Sydney is closing down as part of the building’s renovations, but word is that there are no plans to reopen the store. This is a bummer because it actually had a decent romance selection, and I’ve bought a few Marsha Canhams there—those books aren’t easy to find. Books are heavily discounted until the store closes (on May 15, according to Skerricks), although Wandergurl reports that a lot of the good stuff is gone.
- Buy a copy of Roadside Sisters by Wendy Harmer for a chance to win a luxury escape (Allen & Unwin)
- Buy a copy of Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult for a chance to meet the author in the USA (Allen & Unwin)
- Buy a copy of The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy by Emma Bowd for a chance to win some designer shoes (Allen & Unwin)
And other random stuff…
If you’re wondering if the bar in the picture at the top of this post is real—yes, it is. The books were donated to a pub called the Swan & Edgar, and they range from reference books to Mills and Boons. So I was thinking it’s a cool bar, but then I thought, What if it includes a book you really, really want to read? It would suck to see it every time and not be able to get at it. If you live in England, the pub is at 43 Linhope Steet, Marylebone.
How cool is this site: $30 date night? It’s basically a collection of ideas on how you can have a fun or romantic night out for $30. I’ve had a quick browse through the Sydney ideas, and most of them are actually pretty good.
And finally, does anyone have a copy of the Smart Bitches interview on Alan Brough’s radio show in Melbourne? I forgot that ABC Radio doesn’t provide recordings online (or if they do, I haven’t figured out how to get at the archives). I’ll settle for a transcript if anyone knows where to find it. The ABC Radio website is painful to navigate.
Save the date
13/5 — Dominic Knight in conversation with Lisa Pryor at The Back Street Gallery in Newtown | Bookings: online ($10)
14/5 — Book reading and Q&A with Dominic Knight at the Qld Irish Club in Brisbane | Tickets: Brisbane’s Better Bookshops ($15/12/10)
15-17/5 — Newstead Short Story Tattoo in Newstead, Victoria.
18-24/5 — Sydney Writers Festival
21/5 — Richard Morgan at Galaxy Bookshop, 5:30pm
22-31/5 — Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne
23/5 — Romance Writers of Australia Roadshow at Good Earth Motel in Perth
23/5 — Richard Morgan at Gaslight Book, 3-4pm
27/5 — Richard Morgan at Pulp Fiction, 6.30pm
28/5 — Book reading and Q&A with Dominic Knight at Readings in Carlton | Bookings: 03 9347 6633
29-30/5 — Literati 2009 at Gold Coast libraries (program)
30/5 — Bronwyn Parry at Broadbeach Library, 10am
8/7-12/7 — ASAL Common Readers and Cultural Critics at ANU/NLA
7-9/8 — Byron Bay Writers Festival
13-14/8 — Popular Romance Studies: An International Conference in Brisbane
14-16/8 — RWA National Conference at Sebel and Citigate Hotel in Brisbane
2-6/10 — National Young Writers’ Festival in Newcastle
Book Bizzo is a weekly omnibus of news items, events, and other interesting tidbits related to books, and especially the Australian romance book industry. You can find past Book Bizzo posts here.
Did we miss anything important? Got a book event coming up? Feel free to send tips, press releases, and any other interesting links to firstname.lastname@example.org.