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July 2, 2013

BOOKMARKED is the name we gave to our paper.li journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes paper.li, we also run an adhoc compilation of links on the blog to highlight items that might be of interest.

Julia Quinn — Australian tour

Julia Quinn has announced that she’ll be coming to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle in August. No details yet, but I can tell you that I’ve heard rumours. This is really happening!

Penguin Random House merger completed

It’s official! Books+Publishing has details of key appointments and the new company will be called Random Penguin House. Okay, I made that up. It’s Penguin Random House, but I still think my version is better.

Romance shoes

You read that right! Rudi, who reviews at Orchid and Peach Cocktails, was featured at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Or rather, her shoes—dubbed The Most Awesome Shoes in the Universe—were, created as part of a visual art project at uni. Check out the pictures at SBTB and tell me you wouldn’t commit a crime to own those babies.

Galaxy paranormal romance book club

The next paranormal romance book club is on Thursday, July 4 at 6.30pm. This month’s topic is ‘Power, Sex and Violence’. Contact Galaxy Bookshop for more details.

May & July Romance Buzz

In case you missed it, the May and July issues of the Booktopia Romance Buzz are up. Yes, June is missing, and that’s because the Romance Buzz moved from being sent at the beginning of the month to being sent mid-month and covering the next month’s pre-orders. Too complicated, I know. Just go to straight to the book features. :D July, in particular, is packed with excellent historical romances. The featured authors are Fiona Lowe (May) and Nalini Singh (July)—such lovely, generous and extremely humble authors.

Aussie romance ebooks for 99c

Apple’s iBookstore is running a Home Grown Romance promo, with a selection of titles by Australian and NZ authors. Here’s the list of titles:

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June 27, 2013

The Romance Writers of Australia has announced the finalists for the Romantic Book of the Year awards, more commonly known as the R*BY. The winners will be announced on August 17 at an awards gala at RWA’s annual conference. The RB*Ys are one of the few literary awards determined by readers—members of the RWA are ineligible to judge the entries. This always makes the results very interesting, I feel.

I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read most of the books nominated, and I’m going to try and rectify this. However, it seems unlikely that I’ll get through the list by mid-August. So I’d like to propose a challenge: I’ll send you a free copy of one (or more—but one at a time) titles listed below in exchange for your guest review at Book Thingo. You have to pick a title that hasn’t already been reviewed, and you need to send me the review by the end of July (this gives me time to post them before the awards night). The review should reflect your opinion, and yes, by all means dnf it if it’s not working—and say why in your review—but I ask that you read at least 50 pages before giving up. If you’re interested, leave a comment below or email me at kat@bookthingo.com.au.

And now, the finalists…

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June 24, 2013
Me with Sylvia Day

Me with Sylvia Day

Jen’s recap of Sylvia Day’s exclusive morning tea with members of the Australian Romance Readers Association.

On Friday morning I was fortunate enough to be a part of ARRA’s exclusive morning tea with Sylvia Day at Dymocks 234 Collins, as a sort-of organiser (but I was merely the +1 among the other twenty ARRA members). Actually I wasn’t even expecting to go, but HELLO JEN?, it’s SYLVIA DAY–when will another opportunity come again?

I can safely claim with all my arrogant fangirl authority that I have been a long-time Day reader, pre-Crossfire. I was almost out of high school when I discovered that there was even more smut beyond FanFiction.Net and Anne Rice (see, I got corrupted early). Now that was some tertiary education right there.

So it comes with great delight, some bemusement, and not a little “I saw her first!” smugness that we come to this Day (sorry, can’t help myself).

Sylvia Day morning tea

Pamela welcomes Sylvia

For the event, we were led into the upstairs Bargain Books alcove of the bookstore, away from the public (it felt kind of funny, actually). There was already a significant line in the general queue waiting for Sylvia’s 12pm signing, from which we received quite a lot of perplexed and envious stares and pointing fingers. Yeah, that was nice to drink in.

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Posted by Jen in Events (3 comments)
Keywords: dymocks, sylvia day
March 13, 2013
Australian Romance Readers Convention 2013 - australianromancereaders.com.au

Some highlights from the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Covention (The Mercure, Brisbane — March 1 to 3, 2013).

I apologise for not posting detailed recaps of the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. Allison (Decadence), Jen and I attended the event, but we did so as readers first and bloggers maybe second or third—we all wore different hats over the course of the weekend—so I haven’t wanted to put pressure on us to record the event. (You’ll notice that even our tweets weren’t as extensive as they’ve been in previous ARRCs.)

Nevertheless, I know many readers who wanted to come along to ARRC but were unable to do so, and I wanted to share some of the highlights of the weekend with you. Bear in mind that I didn’t go to all the panels and keynotes, so I’m using my Storify stream to fill in some of those blanks. If you’re after a panel-by-panel recap, check the next issue of the ARRA newsletter. I believe a few of the sessions were recorded, so you can also email ARRA to check if they’re releasing an audio CD.

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March 10, 2013
Australian Romance Readers Convention 2013 - australianromancereaders.com.au

I’ve compiled the tweets from ARRC 2013 on Storify. If you can’t see the embedded thread below, you can go directly to Storify to view the tweets.

These are mostly chronological order (oldest tweets first), but where a side conversation develops, I’ve tried to keep the tweets together. Let me know if something doesn’t make sense.

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March 3, 2013
Anna Campbell - 2013

Photo by Kat Mayo

In which everyone played a game called Have A Drink Each Time Anna Campbell Accepts An Award…and everyone ended up drunk.

This year’s Australian Romance Reader Awards was dominated by historical romance author Anna Campbell, who took home the award for Favourite Australian Author, which she has won since 2010*. Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed won Favourite Historical Romance, a category in which Campbell has never lost. She also won all three minor awards for Favourite Meeting Between Hero and Heroine, Favourite Love Scene, and Favourite Cover. Since 2010*, she has not lost an award for she has been nominated.

Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series was awarded Favourite Continuing Series. Singh remains undefeated in this category since it was first awarded in 2010*.

The biggest upset of the night was in the Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance, which was awarded to Kylie Griffin for Alliance Forged (accepted by Anna Campbell) and breaks Nalini Singh’s three-year run in this category. In a similar vein, Kaz Delaney won Favourite Paranormal Romance for Dead, Actually (accepted by Paula Roe), beating an impressive list of finalists, including J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole. Favourite Erotic Romance went to the only non-Australian winner of the night, Sylvia Day, for Bared to You (accepted by ARRA).

Two categories featured all-Australian finalists. The Favourite Short Category Award went to Kelly Hunter for Cracking the Dating Code, despite three other authors being twice-nominated in category. Rachael Johns won Favourite Contemporary Romance for Jilted and gave a somewhat teary but very gracious acceptance speech.

Bronwyn Parry also gave an emotional speech when she accepted the award for Favourite Romantic Suspense for Dead Heat. She previously won this award in 2010* and this year beat Nora Roberts, who was nominated three times (twice as J. D. Robb) in the same category.

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February 28, 2013
2013 Harlequin Summit - Photo by Kat Mayo

Photo by Kat Mayo

Yesterday, Book Thingo bloggers were fortunate enough to be invited to Harlequin’s first blogger summit. Decadence, Envyious, Jen and I (we missed you, Wandergurl!) attended the event, which was held at Harlequin HQ at Chatswood. It was a surprisingly intimate event, with opportunities to meet the team at Harlequin, as well as guest author Rachel Vincent, who stopped by Sydney on her way to Brisbane for the Australian Romance Readers Conference (ARRC).

I haven’t heard of any other publishers who have done anything similar to the Harlequin Summit, so it was quite interesting to be part of this event. I was also surprised at the large turnout, with a number of people—Envyious and Jen included—traveling interstate for the occasion.

I made some notes, but most of the presentations centred around Harlequin’s pipeline and teasers about the books, so I’m just going to list those, and you can check out the blurbs for yourselves. Afterwards, Rachel Vincent gave a talk (highlights below) and then was generous enough to sign our books.

Harlequin community page

Harlequin Australia launched a community page, which brings together tidbits from their Twitter stream, Goodreads reviews of their books, videos from their YouTube channel, photos from Instagram, book extracts, and memes and games related to books. Every month they’ll feature a book blog, and I’m chuffed to say that Book Thingo is the featured blog for this month. :-)

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February 25, 2013

As I suspected, Galaxy has pulled off a coup and will be hosting a Rachel Vincent signing on Wednesday at 11am. Drop in to say hi, get your books signed and order her next release—the final book in the Soul Screamers series.

If you haven’t been to Galaxy in a while, they’re now located above Abbey’s Bookshop, behind the QVB.

Posted by Kat in Events (1 comment)
November 15, 2012

A recap of last night’s official launch of Harlequin Australia’s digital-first imprint, Escape Publishing.

Harlequin went all-out with a photo shoot for its authors around Sydney harbour, interviews with mainstream media, and cocktails at ECQ Bar. Upon entry, attendees were photographed and given an ornate key (in the fashion of Escape’s logo) that may open a treasure chest of prizes. Sadly, I didn’t win the iPad Mini, but everyone also got a USB key with all the launch titles in it. The bar served cocktails tailored to each of the launch titles, the hors d’oeuvres were lovely, and there was even a DJ (although, sadly—or not, YMMV—no dancing).

Michelle Laforest, Managing Director of Harlequin Australia, officially launched Escape’s first five titles and their authors.

In Safe Hands by Lee ChristineChains of Revenge by Keziah HillChaos Born by Rebekah TurnerGrease Monkey Jive by Ainslie PatonChristmas Wishes by Rhian Cahill

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November 9, 2012

Some highlights from GenreCon 2012 at The Rydges, Parramatta. (Skip to the end if you want the bullet points.)

First, the disclaimer: I couldn’t be there for the entire weekend of GenreCon. And in hindsight I regret this so much, particularly that I missed out on a discussion of tentacle porn at the Friday night panel hosted by Rosie Courtney from Fangtastic Fiction, as well as some impromptu dancing by some Very Important Publishing People and a Debut Author Who Shall Not Be Named. In this day and age, for that not to be on YouTube is an utter travesty.

Anyway, I arrived just before the Pistols and Parasols Banquet, whereupon I claimed the best unreserved table and put my bag on the seat offering a free copy of Seven Night In A Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell. The banquet was a chance for me to catch up, reconnect and meet with book folk. I met Sarah Fairhall, commissioning editor for Destiny Romance, and we had a great chat about the imprint. Most of the attendees were writers or people who work in publishing, but as they’re all readers, too, I felt in very good company.

GenreCon - Kate, the masked editor

Kate, the masked editor
(Photo: Kat Mayo)

Kim Wilkins was the banquet MC and she did a fantastic job. I mean, I was really impressed. The format was a lot more informal that the conference dinners I’ve been to—it helped that this was not doubling up as an awards ceremony—but Kim was polished and witty and just delightful, really. She interviewed Escape Publishing acquisitions editor Kate Cuthbert—whose costume was fab, by the way—and Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Sarah also did a ‘live cover snark’ of Australian-themed covers, and if you think you’ve seen hideous covers, I think she went all out for GenreCon. Here are the best of the best (these are all safe for work, but there are worse things than NSFW covers—trust me):

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