June 29, 2014

A commitment-free way to ‘meet’ new books!

Galaxy Bookshop will be holding their second ever Book Speed Dating Session from 6pm on Thursday, 10th July! It’s similar to traditional speed dating where you get a short amount of time to decide whether you want to get to know someone better, only this time, you’ll get to check out some books you may not have noticed. Most of the books offered on the night will be paranormal romances, but they may also introduce you to some possibilities from other genres. If you’re looking for something new to read, this is a great, commitment-free way to check out some books you may not have come across previously.

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Posted by Decadence in Events (Leave a comment)
Keywords: galaxy bookshop
May 31, 2014

2014 National Book Bloggers Forum by Penguin Random HouseSome books, a few authors, and a lot of navel gazing. Oh, and the Gayle Forman film comes out August 28 in Australia.

The National Book Bloggers Forum was a free event hosted by Penguin Random House Australia. Disclosure: Kat hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia.

Last week, I attended the inaugural National Book Bloggers Forum hosted by Penguin Random House. Blogger events are few and far between in Australia, let alone book blogger events, so this was somewhat exciting for me.

Random House hosted the event at their North Sydney office. Despite being held on a Tuesday during the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the event was relatively well attended, with a number of bloggers traveling from various states to come along. Compared to last year’s Harlequin Summit, NBBF attendees probably got a little bit more out of the day, given that the program went from around 9am to 4pm. That said, it’s still quite a trip to make for a one-day event that was, yes, fun and interesting, but still largely a promotional activity.

Blogging things

The event was kicked off by Random House marketing and publicity director Brett Osmond, who set the tone for the rest of the day. Osmond was very supportive of the role that readers and bloggers play in the world of books. I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, but I remember receiving an email from him way back in 2011 when Marg, Zja, Rosie, Ali and I were organising a blogger meet-up in Sydney. I’ve never forgotten that first attempt to reach out and get to know bloggers, and Brett’s enthusiasm for connecting with bloggers doesn’t seem to have waned in the interim.

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April 11, 2014

A round-up of 2014 Sydney Writers’ Festival panels that could have featured romance authors…only they don’t.

2014 Sydney Writers Festival

I’m thinking your romance programming (or lack thereof) sucks.

If you’ve been following our Twitter feed over the last few days, you’ll know that romance readers have been let down—yet again—by the Sydney Writers’ Festival, which features a program that completely ignores romance authors. If you haven’t read Gabby’s open letter to the SWF, it’s a great place to start. The amount of support we have received on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog tells me that the support for romance is strong.

We’ve been brainstorming ways to increase the level of awareness for romance at SWF. There would be no compelling reason for SWF to incorporate romance panels if the organisers feel that the audience would not support them. So I think one of the easiest and most effective things we can do as romance readers is to attend the festival and be visible. And the easiest way I can think of to be visible at the festival is to attend panels and ask questions that speak to the romance genre. We don’t have to be obnoxious about it—we just have to demonstrate that we’re there, we’re listening, and that romance fiction is relevant.

I’ve put together a selection of festival events that I think would intersect very easily with romance. If you’re a romance reader thinking of attending the SWF, these panels and workshops might be of interest. Some years, we take what we can get, and 2014 seems to be one of those years.

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April 1, 2014

Hope to see you guys for books after work today! For more details, click on the poster below or add it to your Facebook events here.

2014 Book o'clock - 1/4/2014 at Small Bar, Sydney
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March 23, 2014

A night filled with upsets, keynotes for ARRC 2015, murder mayhem, and award-stealing shenanigans!

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) - Australian editionAllegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin (Light Blade, Book 3)The One That Got Away by Kelly HunterUntamed by Anna CowanHolding Out For a Hero by Amy AndrewsSkin by Kylie ScottHalf Moon Bay by Helene YoungA Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell (Sons of Sin, Book 2)

The Australian Romance Readers Awards dinner was sold out this year, demonstrating the increasing importance of this award among readers, authors and publishers. There were plenty of surprises in store for attendees, making for a very boisterous evening, and promising exciting things for the future of romance in Australia!

Kylie Scott was named Favourite Australian Romance Author, breaking Anna Campbell’s streak. Scott also picked up Favourite Erotic Romance for her zombie romance Skin (Momentum Moonlight).

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February 28, 2014

Harlequin author Victoria Purman alerted me to a last-minute change in the Adelaide Writer’ Week program. On Saturday, March 1, Phillipa Fioretti will be chatting with Victoria and Fiona McIntosh in an ‘All Talking Romance Genre’ panel. It looks like this panel will be replacing the Kimberley Freeman session. The panel will be on at 10.45 am on the West Stage at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

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Keywords: adelaide writers week
August 28, 2013

Cheaper than a movie ticket, a trade paperback, or a big tub of ice cream…and yet so much more fun! Also, Gabby has promised us a literary meat tray.

Are you suffering from post-RWA blues? Do you wish your life was filled with even more romance? Well, four girls have come together to make sure that Sydney is host to another romance event this year!

Orchid & Peach Cocktails is a blog hosted by myself (Gabby), Rudi (creator of The Most Awesome Shoes in the Universe), Sam, and Sarah, UTS students (and one graduate) who meet every week to talk about the books we love and the books we love to hate.

Upon attending the Sydney Writers’ Festival this year and sitting in on a less-than-informed panel of not-quite-romance authors, we decided to act. We would no longer sit by the wayside and yearn for events to come to us! Nay! We would host the events ourselves!

Thus, Throbbing Hearts was born.

Posted by Gabby in Events (2 comments)
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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