August 9, 2012
Bookshop in Paris by paskelius -- via stock.xchng

Photo: Bookshop in Paris by paskelius (stock.xchng)

Why is it so difficult to share books? Readers should be more creative and pro-active about promoting the exchange of books.

I have no idea who declared it so, but today is World Book Lovers Day. No prizes for guessing how I plan to celebrate it!

I’d like to challenge everyone to celebrate World Book Lovers Day by sharing a good book with someone you know.

Yesterday, I listed my ideas on new ways in which the book industry might bring books to readers. Today I’d like to talk about how readers can bring books to other readers.

It occurs to me that outside of lending books to friends, there aren’t many ways that people can share books. Initiatives such as BookCrossing are fantastic, but how many of us have actually done it or come across a book in the wild?

Secondhand shops are great, too, but they seem to be a dying breed. In the past, you were reasonably assured of finding one near a major train station or in a suburban shopping village. Nowadays, unless you live in Newtown or Glebe, you have to make a special effort to find one.

What I’d like to see more of are book exchange corners in office lunch rooms, community centres, common areas in apartment blocks, schools and universities, sporting facilities, transit areas (including airline VIP lounges), supermarkets, places of worship, hotels and other places where people routinely visit or pass through.

How to make a book exchange work

Confession: I made up this list. But please read it and tell me if it doesn’t make sense or if you have more suggestions. I also admit that this will only work for print books.

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Posted by Kat in *Opinions (6 comments)
Keywords: world book day
August 8, 2012
Photo by circulating (via Flickr) -

Photo: circulating (Flickr)

At some stage, I’m hoping to tease out some ideas I have about potential innovations in publishing, but in the meantime, I thought I’d list some things that, as a reader, I’d love the industry to explore.

These are in no particular order…

Booksellers curating self-published print books

While the explosion in self-publishing provides readers with more choices, it’s been mostly in the ebook space. This is fine for those who read ebooks, but readers who prefer print are left out. With on-demand printing becoming cheaper by the day, I’d love to see retail bookshops being advocates for self-published—preferably local—authors whose work would appeal to the shop’s clientele.

Libraries and bookshops sharing space

As bookshops host more and more author appearances, book clubs and other events promoting reading culture, I think they start overlapping with library services. I don’t think borrowing books and buying books are incompatible at all. I’m curious to know how the Readings shop at the State Library of Victoria is doing.

Publishing imprints for readers

The only real market I’ve seen this in is romance—admittedly, I don’t know much about other markets. Outside of romance, when I pick up a book, the publisher and the imprint don’t even warrant a glance.

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August 4, 2012

Lover At Last by JR Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11)If you’re hungry for clues about upcoming books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward, Decadence has put together what we think we know about what’s coming next. Includes excerpts from upcoming releases and dates for Ward’s virtual signing.

For a list of all BDB-related posts at Book Thingo, click here.

Okay, so I’ve been shamefully late with an update, but whenever something big happens like the release of the Lover At Last cover, I’m at work and Kat breaks the news first. But when I received a notification of two upcoming virtual signings, I knew I had to get off my butt and share all the little tidbits I’ve collected.

Lover At Last

The first line of the book will be (pending edits): ‘Now THAT is a motherf**kin’ whip!’

No context was given, but I think we could all guess who the obvious suspect is.


There has already been a quote from Rapture posted on Ward’s Facebook page, in which, although no names were used, I think it’s safe to assume it’s the heroine kissing the hero and wishing she could hold onto the moment but knowing that you can’t physically retain moments, despite the impact they make on you.

I’m sure we’ll see more closer to its release, scheduled for September 25.

Virtual signing news

The Fallen Angels series has been upgraded with a US hardcover release, so it will be included in Ward’s virtual signing program. It will be available for preorder from August 5, 8.30am New York time (August 5, 10.30pm if you’re in Sydney) until September 14. If you don’t like hardcovers, the local publisher will release a trade paperback shortly after the hardcover is published on September 25.

Lover Eternal (Rhage’s book) will also be reissued in hardcover and will available through the virtual signing from October 7, 8.30am (10.30pm in Sydney) until October 26.

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August 3, 2012

Again via the Australian Romance Readers Association loop, Charlaine Harris will be making an appearance at Dymocks Chermside (Queensland) today from 1pm. This will be the last chance for Aussie readers to see Harris on this tour before she leaves for New Zealand.

Posted by Kat in Events (Leave a comment)
Keywords: charlaine harris
August 3, 2012

Blame It On Bath by Caroline Linden (The Truth About The Duke, Book 2)A weak plot, dull characters and lack of chemistry make for a dud romance.

I’ve enjoyed Caroline Linden’s work in the past, so I picked this book up as an impulse buy at Dymocks. Blame It On Bath is the second book in a series involving three brothers who found out that their father could have committed bigamy, which would result in the eldest losing his title and all of them losing their inheritance.

Blame It On Bath focuses on youngest sibling Gerard de Lacey, who is in pursuit of the blackmailer. But before he sets off on his mission, he’s accosted by Katherine Howe, a recently widowed heiress who proposes marriage—to save her from a marriage to Lucien, her puritanical brother-in-law, and to save Gerard from financial ruin should his parents’ marriage prove invalid.

I love Regency heroes who find themselves on the wrong end of a marriage proposal. It’s just so amusing and delicious, and Linden certainly got my attention. Katherine is trying to escape an untenable family situation—she endured her first marriage and a fleeting encounter with Gerard a long time ago has convinced her that he would be more suitable than Lucien as a husband. Gerard knows he must marry an heiress, and with scandal nipping at his heels, Katherine would provide him the security he needs, should he and his brothers lose their estates.

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August 1, 2012
Charlaine Harris -- Photo: Sigrid Estrada --

Photo: Sigrid Estrada

Last week, Hachette Australia hosted a meet and greet with Sookie Stackhouse author and True Blood co-creator Charlaine Harris. Guest blogger Zja Noir attended for Book Thingo, and here’s her recap of the event.

Zja tweets as @obsidiantears83 and blogs at Book Bites and the Book Bites Facebook page. She reads urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romance, dystopian fiction, epic fantasy and classic literature.

Charlaine Harris is a darling. She has this thick southern accent, a sense of humour, and a magnetic draw to her. But I guess realistically the magnetic draw was because I was in the presence of one my favourite authors.

Book Thingo was invited to a small, exclusive cocktail party hosted by Harris’s Australian publishers, Hachette. The event was small and select, and each representative had a chance to shake hands and chat (grill or gush, depending on the personality type) with Charlaine.

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Posted by Guest in Events (1 comment)
Keywords: charlaine harris, hachette
July 31, 2012

For Charlaine Harris fans down under, here’s her schedule of appearances for the rest of her A/NZ tour. Her schedule seems extremely demanding, and I’m not sure how she’s managing to get any sleep on this tour!


TODAY — 6.30 to 8.30 pm
Perth Ballroom, Parmelia Hilton
Tickets: $28pp
Bookings: Dymocks Garden City — 08 9364 7687 or 08 9364 7387 or


Wednesday, August 1 — 6.30 to 8pm
Burnside Ballroom, 401 Greenhill Road Tusmore, Adelaide
Tickets: $10pp
Bookings: Dymocks Adelaide — 8223 5380 or Burnside Library — 8366 4280


Thursday, August 2 — 6pm
Event Cinemas at Myer Centre (cap 294)
Tickets: $20pp
Bookings: Visit Dymocks on Albert Street or call 07 3007 2800


Sunday, August 5 — 3.30pm (doors open at 3pm)
The Dominion Post Write Stuff Event, Amora Hotel
Tickets: $20 for Dominion Post subscribers or $25 for non-subscribers (including a glass of wine/beer)
Bookings: Online


Monday, August 6 — 6.15pm
A Night with Your Maker, Rialto Cinemas, Newmarket
Tickets: Free (ticket required)
Bookings: Dymocks Newmarket

July 30, 2012

One of the major advantages of being a member of the Australian Romance Readers Association is that when there’s a romance-related event happening, it’s pretty much guaranteed that someone on the loop will let everyone know. (See? This is why you should join if you haven’t already!)

Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels on which the TV series True Blood is based, will popping it at Dymocks Melbourne at noon today to meet readers and sign books. You can read the announcement on the Dymocks page on Facebook.

Posted by Kat in Events (Leave a comment)
July 29, 2012

Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe -- Australian editionCongratulations to Australian author Fiona Lowe for her 2012 RITA win for Boomerang Bride! 

Australian author Fiona Lowe has won the romance industry’s top accolade with her debut single title, Boomerang Bride, winning the 2012 RITA for Contemporary Single Title Romance. This is Lowe’s first RITA win as well as the first RITA for Boomerang Bride publisher Carina Press, the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Books.

Although not set in Australia, Boomerang Bride features an Australian heroine, Matilda, who travels to a small Wisconsin town to meet her fiance—only to find out that she has been scammed. Matilda’s frequent use of Australian slang—and the comments and confusion it causes—is one of the book’s unique selling points.

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July 27, 2012

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller (Parable, Montana, Book 1)I was over halfway through this book when I realised I didn’t really care what happens to the characters. This one is DNF for me.

Joslyn Kirk returns to her hometown to make restitution to victims of her stepfather’s crime. Years ago, he defrauded a lot of people and Joslyn finally has the means to repay the debts that her stepfather couldn’t. Not everyone in the town has forgotten or forgiven.

Town sheriff Slade Barlow finds himself the heir to one of the most successful ranches in town, thanks to his estranged father who never once acknowledged his illegitimate son when he was alive. This puts Slade at odds with his half-brother, Hutch, who feels that the ranch is his birthright and can’t understand why Slade refuses to sell Hutch his half of the property.

Joslyn conveniently finds herself living next door to Slade. They’re attracted to each other, but there’s tension because she’s also good friends with Hutch, who was her high school boyfriend. Meanwhile, Joslyn’s best friend, Kendra, seems to have some kind of history with Hutch.

And that’s where I got up to before I gave up.

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