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August 15, 2010
Tracey O'Hara, R*BY Award - Romantic Elements winner

Tracey O'Hara (Winner, R*BY Award -- Romantic Elements)

There was no shortage of glamour in last night’s Romance Book of the Year (R*BY) awards where Sophia James took out the top prize in Australian romance fiction, winning the Long Romance category for Mistletoe Magic (in Christmas Betrothals, Mills & Boon/Quills), beating Christine Wells and romance veteran Stephanie Laurens, who was nominated twice in the category.

Tracey O’Hara received the R*BY in the Romantic Elements category, which goes to novels of any length  or genre in which romance plays a significant—though not necessarily a central—-role in the story. Her book, Night’s Cold Kiss (HarperCollins/Eos), was the only speculative fiction work shortlisted for the R*BY.

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August 14, 2010
Ann Gracie as Dame Barbara Cartland (RWAus 2010 Cocktail Party)

Ann Gracie as Dame Barbara Cartland (RWAus 2010 Cocktail Party)

Last night I attended my first ever  Romance Writers of Australia conference event: the Harlequin-sponsored cocktail party. What? You thought I was going there to work? No, no, I signed up for all the parties!

The cocktail party is a themed event and this year it was ‘Fantasy Island’. Never say that writers aren’t a creative bunch because some of the costumes were pretty amazing. Anne Gracie was awarded the best costume prize for her fabulous Barbara Cartland.

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August 13, 2010
Keri Arthur and Tracey O'Hara book signing at Galaxy

Keri Arthur (left) and Tracey O'Hara

For the first time that I can remember, Galaxy had TWO paranormal authors in to sign books. And they brought a New York agent. And a soon-to-be-published debut author. And a partridge in a pear tree. OK, maybe not that last one.

The gathering at Galaxy was nice and informal, so we got to spend some time chatting with Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara while they signed our books.

The cover for the second book in Tracey’s Dark Brethren series, Death’s Sweet Embrace, has been redone and I think it looks better this way. Its style is more like the Night’s Cold Kiss cover, so I think the new cover ties the books together as a series better than two differently styled covers.

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July 31, 2010

Bronwyn Parry’s third Dungirri book shelved

In case you missed her announcement, Bronwyn Parry is no longer working on her third Dungirri book. If there’s one thing I admire in an author it’s knowing when to let go of a book or series. The good news is that Parry seems to have a new book in the works, so yay for her and for us readers!

FANGtastic Fiction’s change of focus

I noticed that our friends over at FANGtastic Fiction have decided to stop selling books directly but have become a kind of portal for book recommendations. If you love your books with a touch of the supernatural, it’s worth checking out the site.

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July 19, 2010

ARRA book signing event

The Australian Romance Readers Association is hosting a book signing event at the Romance Writers of Australia later this year. The book signing will be on Friday, August 13 at the Crowne Plaza in Coogee.

There are over 40 authors expected to be at the signing, including some big names in Australian romance. Entry is free for ARRA members and RWA delegates. It’s also open to the public for a $5 registration fee. If you’re planning to attend, it’s best to register in case the event is booked out. Check out the flyer below and click here for details.

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July 16, 2010

The finalists for this year’s Romance Book of the Year (R*BY) Awards have been announced. Congratulations on the finalists and good luck!

Long Romance Category
Mistletoe Magic by Sophia James
Mastered by Love by Stephanie Laurens
Temptation and Surrender by Stephanie Laurens
Wicked Little Game by Christine Wells

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May 20, 2010
Melina Marchetta

Source: www.melinamarchetta.com

Or as I like to think of it: Meeting Melina Marchetta.

Well, maybe that’s not quite fair. This panel featured four female Australian authors reading excerpts from their books, and each of them sparked my interest in different ways.

But I can’t lie. I was there for Melina Marchetta.

Pier 4 was teeming with people when I arrived a few minutes before 10am for the session. It was a wonderful atmosphere. Attendance at Reading Muster 1 seemed fairly small, which meant I got a great seat … looking straight at Marchetta.

What? I’m a big fan!

I confess I wasn’t expecting much from this session. I’m not big on written stories being read aloud, and I’m also not convinced that authors are the best people to read their work. I’m happy to say I was wrong.

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May 18, 2010

Proud member of the Australian Romance Readers AssociationBecause ARRA members just wanna have fun. (And read!)

The Awards dinner was excellent. I’d never heard of Cello’s Restaurant before, but it’s a beautiful venue—although the lifts are a challenge if you’re the least bit claustrophobic. High ceilings, chandeliers, and even a grand piano to the side—it’s just reeked of old world romance.

If you follow  us on Twitter, you’ll know that Tracey O’Hara issued a challenge that eventually resulted in a call for a bling off at the Australian Romance Readers Awards dinner. And do you know what I love most about my fellow ARRA members? They said, Bring it!

You can see photos of the bling off here and here. (I’m missing a lot of blinged out people, though, so let me know if you have any more links!)

Sadly, I got carried away and left my outfit shopping so late I turned up to dinner, well, quite UNfashionably late. Others also suffered for the sake of bling and leather, with stories of shoes superglued to the kitchen floor, the case of the killer heels, and last-minute

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May 16, 2010

Proud member of the Australian Romance Readers AssociationAnna Campbell took out the top prize in last night’s Australian Romance Readers Awards, held last night at Cello’s Restaurant in Sydney.

Campbell was voted Favourite Australian Romance Author of 2009 and also won Favourite Historical Romance for her fourth novel, Captive of Sin.

The night was a bonanza of wins for Australian authors, with Paula Roe, Kandy Shepherd and Bronwyn Parry taking the prizes in their categories.

Roe won Favourite Short Category Romance for The Magnate’s Baby Promise. Shepherd won Favourite Contemporary Romance for Love is a Four-Legged Word. Parry won Favourite Romantic Suspense for Dark Country.

New Zealand author Nalini Singh, who was also the guest speaker for the event, won Favourite Continuing Romance Series for her Psy-Changeling books and Favourite Sci-fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance for Angel’s Blood.

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May 12, 2010

Proud member of the Australian Romance Readers AssociationThe 2009 Australian Romance Readers Award dinner is on this Saturday at Cello Restaurant in Sydney.

Today is the last day for registrations, so if you’ve let it ’til the last minute or are on the fence about coming along—make sure you register today. Click here for details and a list of finalists.

The guest speaker is Nalini Singh, but there will be many other authors coming along to the dinner. It’s a great way to have a chat with some of your favourites!

Are you coming along? If so, let me know in the comments. It’d be great to catch up with Book Thingo readers.

RWAus author signing

Romance Writers of Australia has announced the author signing at this year’s conference in Coogee. The book signing is jointly organised by ARRA and will be held at

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