January 16, 2010

Nalini Singh at Galaxy Bookshop (14/1/2010)It was the surprise that couldn’t be kept under wraps. Plans were dropped for this … or they would have been if I’d made any.

Galaxy’s monthly book club would have another special guest in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nalini Singh, who jumped across the pond from New Zealand.

I managed to arrive before Nalini and learned that Sofia (Galaxy’s paranormal romance guru) had invited a reporter and photographer from the Daily Telegraph to meet Nalini.

While I was waiting for Nalini to arrive, I had a chat with the reporter, Julia, who will soon converse with (rather than interview) Charlaine Harris. (I asked what the difference was, and apparently a conversation is meant to be more comfortable, informal and less inherently interrogative than an interview.)

For research purposes, Julia has read the first 2 Southern Vampire Mystery books (which she enjoyed) but hasn’t read any other paranormals. Yet. (I’d like to think that might change as a result of her stories on Nalini as well as Charlaine.)

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December 12, 2009

Tracey O'Hara at Galaxy (photo by Decadence)BOOK GIVEAWAY: Read on for a chance to win a free copy of Night’s Cold Kiss. The contest ends midnight on Sunday, December 20 AEST.

What happens when an Aurealis Award finalist comes to visit our local bookshop? We take over the paranormal romance aisle, of course! And yes, there were Tim Tams involved.

Decadence, the early bird

This was not your traditional book signing, with a long line of people waiting, the publisher’s reps asking for the name you want to personalise your books and standing ready to take your photo with the author. Thursday night’s book signing with Tracey O’Hara took place during one of Galaxy’s book club meetings, so there was a row of chairs down each side of the paranormal aisle, ending in a table of refreshments. I was a book club virgin, so I didn’t know what to expect from the evening.

Sofia introduced me to Tracey (who was standing in the new releases section, at the back, with a female relative and her father) before the meeting started

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December 6, 2009

It’s not often we get romance author signings, let alone two at the same time, so when Tracey O’Hara and Erica Hayes did a signing at Intrigue Bookstore in Canberra last month, Kate Cuthbert generously offered to do a recap for Book Thingo.

Kate is a reader, writer, reviewer, twitter-er, blogger, and starter of readers’ groups, all devoted (mainly) to romance novels. You can read her Romance Buzz newsletters at Booktopia, check out her sadly-neglected website, email her, or follow her (@katydidinoz).

Here’s a hint: showing up first thing for a signing means you get a couple of extra minutes to hang out with the authors. Of course, you’re up first thing for a signing, but as Intrigue’s sponsoring of brand new Aussie authors Tracey O’Hara and Erica Hayes started at 11am, it wasn’t that hard to pull myself out of bed. Plus I’d read both Night’s Cold Kiss and Shadowfae, loved them, and really wanted signed copies for myself.

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November 19, 2009

Diana Gabaldon (2009) by decadenceDecadence, who is fast becoming our author event specialist, ducked out at lunchtime last Tuesday to attend one of Diana Gabaldon’s Sydney events.

In what is sadly becoming a book signing tradition for me, I missed my train to the city and had to wait half an hour for the next one, which would hopefully still get  me to North Sydney before 1pm, but leave me right at the end of the queue.

Stanton Library is at the top of a hill I used to walk up to get to work a few years ago, so in my defence I was younger then and wasn’t carrying 6 very thick and heavy books, even if they are all mass market editions.

I had almost made it to the library when I was ushered into the neighbouring council chambers and up the stairs to their meeting room. I found a seat with a few minutes to spare before Diana arrived. I looked around and even though I’d heard about a friend’s experience in Melbourne, I was still surprised to notice that most of the crowd consisted of middle aged women. I noticed a small group of girls closer to my own age and two very brave and intrepid men.

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September 24, 2009
source: Bronwyn Parry

Source: Bronwyn Parry

What do you do when one of your favourite authors visits your library? You talk about books, of course!

When I arrived—half an hour late and with the Lilliputians in tow—to Books Alive author Bronwyn Parry’s meet and greet at Ultimo Library, it seems I may have interrupted an animated discussion about books. I felt a little awkward, butting into the conversation, but it’s almost impossible to hang out with book lovers and not be caught up in the discussion.

Located near the library entrance, Bron’s table was the first thing I saw as I walked through the doors. Seated at a large, round table were Bronwyn Parry, Louisa Dear (her publicist), Vassiliki (our librarian host), and a couple of us readers.

It was a far cry from Decadence’s recent author signing experience, but it made for a much more intimate experience. For someone long past her teenybopper years,

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September 23, 2009

Dark Country by Bronwyn ParryBronwyn Parry at Ultimo Library

Books Alive author Bronwyn Parry will be at Ultimo Library tomorrow from 5pm-6pm. Come along for a chat, and bring your books or buy one on the day and have them signed. More details at the City of Sydney’s What’s On website.

Australian release for Night’s Cold Kiss

Night’s Cold Kiss, the debut novel by Australian author Tracey O’Hara, will be published locally by HarperCollins Australia. The website shows Sept 22 as the release date, so it should be in stores soon.

Queen of Songs and Soul by C. L. WilsonComing soon from C. L. Wilson

One of my most anticipated books of the year, the Queen of Song and Souls by C. L. Wilson, is scheduled for release on October 27. (You can read an excerpt here.) I’m told that the book became much longer than anticipated and had to be split, so this will be book 3 in the Tairen Soul quartet. The last book will be called Tairen Soul, which gives it a lovely bit of symmetry, given that it was the original name for the first book, which then had to be split into Lord of the Fading Lands and Lady of Light and Shadows.

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September 20, 2009

2009 Books Alive ChallengeHi, everyone! We’ve just passed the mid-point of our Books Alive Reading Challenge, and I wanted to check in and see how everyone’s going!

My reading progress has been abysmal these past couple of weeks. I managed to finish 3 books:

1. The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke (fantasy) — Unique premise, interesting characters. I’ve added the next book to my to-buy list.

2. Blue Noise by Debra Oswald (young adult fiction) — I’m not the target reader for this book, but I can see it appealing to younger teens or older reluctant readers.

3. The latest Kathleen O’Reilly (Harlequin Blaze) arrived last week, and I didn’t sleep last night because I just had to finish it!

What have you been reading? Anything you’d highly recommend (or not)? If you’ve posted any reviews or lists, leave a link in the comments so we can check them out!

Bronwyn Parry at Ultimo Library

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September 19, 2009

Richelle Mead Sydney after partyAt her second Richelle Mead signing of the day, Decadence goes back to school. In a manner of speaking.

Any questions I had over why the after party of a YA book tour would be held at a university hall were answered when I arrived. St Vladimir’s Academy is traditional on the outside and modern on the inside, while Sydney Uni has a mix of historical stone and modern glass and steel. MacLaurin Hall has some truly inspiring stone towers and large-paned windows surrounding beautifully kept lawns.

As a new friend said, “I feel like I’m in Hogwarts.”

I arrived at this signing with over half an hour to spare, which I spent in line chatting to strangers whom I hoped wouldn’t spoil the series for me (as though the exclusive reading from the as-yet-unpublished fifth book in the series, Spirit Bound wouldn’t do that).

One fan was so hardcore that she had brought at least one book from each of the three series Richelle Mead has going and on the title page of (I think) a Succubus book

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Posted by Decadence in Events (Leave a comment)
Keywords: richelle mead
September 18, 2009
Source: Penguin Books Australia

Source: Penguin Books Australia

With all the hype surrounding Richelle Mead’s Australian tour, Decadence just had to see what all the fuss is about. (Plus, we love Galaxy events.)

I am actually a very new reader of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series—I haven’t finished the first book yet! I wanted to go to her book signing because it’s not that often that bestselling American authors come all the way across the ocean to see us.

I missed the damn train that would have got me to the city in plenty of time, so when I finally arrived, I saw Richelle and her entourage (which included a TV camera) walk through the door. The line was even longer than the one for Sherri. I was halfway to the door of the next shop. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the number of teenagers who got the day off school, but I was. Another surprise was the number of guys in the line, too, who were all taller than me and blocked my view of Richelle, who is every bit as pretty as her publicity photos.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait that long because someone* let me cut through about half of the people waiting there. Even better than that, I got to talk to adults in the line.

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September 17, 2009

2009 Book Blogger Appreciation WeekThis week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW). Marg, whose blog Reading Adventures was shortlisted in the BBAW Award for Best Romance Blog, posted a lovely write-up on Book Thingo. I thought it only fitting to pay it forward by listing some of the book blogs I most frequent or which continually inspire me.

Monkey Bear Reviews

SarahT’s blog is even younger than Book Thingo, but it’s already on my must-read list. I love reading Sarah’s opinion on various issues around romance blogland—she gets me thinking even if I don’t always agree. Sarah isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues, but she does so in an articulate, fair and well thought out way.

Literary Minded

Okay, I don’t read every article on Angela Meyer’s blog, but if there’s one blog that has inspired me to be a better, more creative reviewer, it’s this one. Angela plays around with different styles when reviewing books, interviewing authors, or covering Australian literary events. She also convinced me (probably without realising it) to try two books that look set to make it to my list of best reads for the year: Addition by Toni Jordan, and Affection

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Posted by Kat in Events, Lucky dip (2 comments)
Keywords: bbaw, bloggers