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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July 20, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnA tightly plotted and fast-paced book that’s difficult to put down—even if I knew it would not necessarily end very happily.

Nick Dunne comes home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife gone. Amy appears to have been abducted in suspcious circumstances. The police immediately suspect him—did he or didn’t he?

Amy has left detailed diaries implying that she may have had a certain fear of her husband. Nick seems like a really nice guy—like he could never have done it despite the cracks in their marriage—but external evidence and his secrets—like why does he keep thinking, in great detail, about his wife being bashed on the head in the kitchen?—may prove this wrong. But what really happened?

This summary gives no justice to what this book turns into over the course of a riveting story. I really can’t say anything more without giving away spoilers. This is one cracker of a book that lives up to all its hype.

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July 13, 2012

Enchanted by Alethea KontisA book for people who enjoy fairy tale retellings with a twist.

Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. In a large family she is much overlooked, and she spends her time writing stories, which have a tendency to come true. Sunday can only write about the past, because she’s afraid of what may come true if she writes about the future.

She meets an enchanted frog in the wood behind her house and begins to share her stories with him. She and the frog become fast friends, and one night, when she kisses him goodbye, he turns back into a man. Except he’s really the prince of the kingdom, and when she meets him, she doesn’t know who he is. How will he ever get her to fall in love again?

This story is more than it seems. Alethea Kontis builds a world where every fairy tale you’ve ever heard of exists and has been integrated to the story in such a way that even the characters themselves know about it. (Oh, it’s a talking frog. It must be enchanted. Or remember that girl who pricked herself on a needle? Well actually…) If it were not for the richness of the language and the way the stories are told by Sunday, the narrator, you could almost feel like you were gossiping with the neighbours about the girl down the road who got pricked by the spindle. I quite enjoyed Kontis’s fresh spin on fairy tales, where everyone is aware of what might happen and takes care to make sure it doesn’t…although that doesn’t always work either.

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July 10, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

If you don’t understand the appeal of the Fifty Shades trilogy, then please stop pretending to recommend books to FSoG readers when you’re actually recommending books to readers who are not them.

Here are some of the most frustrating things about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon:

1. The term ‘mommy porn’. Enough said.

2. Booksellers who snigger about how terrible it is while promoting it to within an inch of Christian’s, um, tie.

3. ‘If you like Fifty Shades of Grey then you’ll like…’ reading lists that demonstrate how badly genre fiction is understood by the literati in Australia. (Or I could be less gracious and say it’s snobbery, but I’ll give them the benefit of doubt.)

Look, I get it. I’m stuck on chapter two of my 50 pages of Fifty Shades challenge because of the awkward prose, vacuous heroine and creepy hero. I get that this book isn’t going to win literary awards. I get that there are a bajillion better written books out there that booksellers, publishers, editors and authors would love to foist on readers.

Believe me, I get it.

But the thing is, the people who love the Fifty Shades trilogy aren’t in it for spectacular writing. They’re not even in it for salacious bondage scenes.

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