April 2, 2012

To kick-off #AWW2012, I thought I’d post a list of reviews we’ve previously posted for books written by Australian women. I’ve included a short except from each review to give you an idea of what we thought of each book.

If you’re on Twitter, I’ll also be retweeting links to these reviews because, in the era of e-publishing, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy of their books and try them yourself! Click here for a full list of our #AWW2012 reviews.

Blue Noise by Debra OswaldBlue Noise by Debra Oswald

Despite its straightforward storytelling style—or maybe because of it—there’s something rather charming about Debra Oswald’s latest young adult novel about a group of high school students who form a blues band. This isn’t the most sophisticated young adult novel I’ve read, but it has an accessible style and uplifting message that may well suit young teens or older reluctant readers.

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April 1, 2012

Look, I know you’re all googling it, so to put you out of your misery, our resident Black Dagger Brotherhood expert has tweeted yes.

According to Decadence (@my_lheage):

@my_lheage - BDB book after Lover Reborn

So there you go. In case you can’t see the graphic: There is a BDB book coming out next year, and it will focus on Qhuinn and Blay.

And according to @sheepangel, it comes out in hardback.

Both of them are the most avid BDB fans I personally know, and I’ve never known them to be anything but accurate when they pass on BDB news.

If you really have to know their source, you can ask them yourself. :D

April 1, 2012

2011 Aussie Author Month - MapWe’re back for another month-long celebration of some of our favourite local authors!

After last year’s success, we’ve decided to participate in Aussie Author Month again. For all of April, we’ll be focusing on Aussie authored books with a (mostly) romantic bent. The event ties beautifully with another huge initiative we’ve been supporting—the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

So if, by the end of April, you still haven’t discovered some great new Aussie romance authors, it won’t be for lack of trying on our part!

(Note: BDB fans need not despair. We’ll still be updating the cheat sheets and posting and reviews of Tohr’s book. I’m reading it now!)

Official site

There’s now an official blog for Aussie Author Month. Or you can follow us on Facebook. The Twitter hashtag is #ausbooks.

Fundraising (not for us!)

As part of Aussie Author Month, we’re hoping you’ll consider donating to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF). The ILF provides books and resources to indigenous communities in order to improve literacy among those in remote and isolated regions.

You can make a donation via GoFundraise.

Please note that none of the Aussie Author Month participants will be collecting money directly. All donations should go through GoFundraise, who will send the donations directly to ILF. You can read more about their process here.

Blogging schedule

Believe it or not, we’re a little bit more organised this year and have already scheduled at least two reviews per week for this month. This means there will be an increase mail notifications and Facebook activity for those of you who subscribe via email or follow us via Facebook.

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March 30, 2012
Rhys Muldoon at Raunchy Romance Storytime (Customs House Library, 7/3/2012)

Photo: Decadence

How could I possibly turn down an evening of romance chosen by Kat and read by Aussie media personalities? Especially when it’s all in support of International Women’s Day.

Alison from Customs House Library introduced the evening’s players: curator, blogger, freelance writer and romance expert Kat; entertainer PJ Lane; lawyer and alter ego of Elle McFeast, Libby Gorr; and actor Rhys Muldoon turned out to support International Women’s Day.

During Rhys Muldoon’s introduction, it was revealed that he has a passion for crime writing. ‘Not romance?’ Alison asked. He got a few laughs when he replied that they are two sides of the same coin.

Kat asked who has read a romance and enjoyed it. Most of the audience raised their hands. When Rhys got Kat to allow Jane Eyre as a romance, he raised his hand. Libby joked that hers come in a paper bag and PJ was ‘noticeably silent’.

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March 28, 2012
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant (Blackshear Family, Book 1)

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant (Blackshear Family, Book 1)

Sweet and well written, but requires a lot of patience.

Martha Russell is recently widowed. If she is not pregnant with an heir, she loses control of her beloved estate and the accompanying servants to her brother-in-law, who is not known for being kind. She decides to contract her hunky new neighbour, Theopilus Mirkwood, who has been exiled to the country by his father, into being her sperm stud. And this is where our story begins.

I had been looking forward to this book for a long time. Other readers absolutely raved in their reviews—lyrical, romantic, well-written, etc.  Then I got the book and it took me two months to read it.

While I will agree that A Lady Awakened is well written and lyrical and thoughtful and beautifully done, I did not like it. I would, however, give Cecilia Grant a second chance and try her next offering, and hopefully it will not try my patience as much as this book has done.

For starters, while I get that this is the whatever ages (Regency? post? pre?) and that women enjoying sex is not the usual and doesn’t really happen and I understand the lead character’s moral qualms are at the root of her not being able to orgasm, did the author have to make Mary frigid for two-thirds of the book? This is a romance novel, for god’s sake—could Grant not have made her enjoy the sex and end her suffering somewhere along the halfway point? Does it really take that long to get an orgasm in a romance novel? (Note: This is not real life.) There are no sweet scenes to build you up to the sex, either, because I’ve read books where there’s one sex scene in the end and something has usually happened before that.

All they do is talk about crops.

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March 27, 2012
Dark Lover by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) - US editionLover Eternal by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) - US editionLover Awakened by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3) - US editionLover Revealed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4) - US editionLover Unbound by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) - US editionLover Enshrined by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6) - US editionLover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) - US editionLover Mine by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8) - US editionLover Unleashed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - US editionLover Reborn by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 10)Lover At Last by JR Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11) - US editionThe King by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 12) - US editionThe Black Dagger Brotherhood - An Insider's Guide

The cheat sheets have moved! For the latest information, use these links: Cheat sheet overview | Scribe Virgin | The Brotherhood | Wrath | Class structure Spoilers for the next book

(Note: The information below was last updated on 27/3/2012.)

The Scribe Virgin and her single act of creation

We’re not sure exactly who the Scribe Virgin is, other than the mother of the vampire race. Her father (don’t know who he is either) gifted her with a single act of creation, which she used to create a race of beings who:

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March 26, 2012

To kick-off #AWW2012, I thought I’d post a list of reviews we’ve previously posted for books written by Australian women. I’ve included a short except from each review to give you an idea of what we thought of each book.

If you’re on Twitter, I’ll also be retweeting links to these reviews because, in the era of e-publishing, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy of their books and try them yourself! Click here for a full list of our #AWW2012 reviews.

Night's Cold Kiss by Tracey O'Hara

Night’s Cold Kiss by Tracey O’Hara (romantic elements)

A good debut effort. Does it stand out from the many vampire romances in the market? I’m not sure, but O’Hara has a way with words when it comes to vampire seduction that should appeal to readers who like their urban fantasy with a decent romance.

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March 21, 2012
Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl (Tumble Creek, Book 3)

Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl (Tumble Creek, Book 3)

The heroine’s struggle for self-acceptance may get a little dull, but a sexy hero, some hilarious dialogue and the snappy writing make this book a delight to read.

Lead Me On is the third book in a connected series set in Tumble Creek, Colorado, although the plot and characters stand alone and there’s absolutely no reason you couldn’t read them out of order.

Jane Morgan has changed her name and appearance to shed any trace of her troubled childhood, and the last thing she wants is a man like Chase—not only does he blow things up for a living, he’s inked and clearly so far away from the conservative, suited up man she’s looking for that she really should never have called him while tipsy.

Chase agrees to be Jane’s birthday present to herself—despite the prim demeanour, she’s completely uninhibited in the bedroom—he’s outraged when she sneaks off while he’s in the shower.

I love the way Victoria Dahl sets up these two characters. Jane, with her insecurities and snobbiness, could have been irritating if not for the humour and passion that Dahl provides. Chase is a hero to swoon over. He looks like a bad boy and used to be somewhat of a bad boy, but by the time the story starts, he’s in the right place in his life to be the dependable and patient guy that Jane needs.

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March 19, 2012

To kick-off #AWW2012, I thought I’d post a list of reviews we’ve previously posted for books written by Australian women. I’ve included a short except from each review to give you an idea of what we thought of each book.

If you’re on Twitter, I’ll also be retweeting links to these reviews because, in the era of e-publishing, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy of their books and try them yourself! Click here for a full list of our #AWW2012 reviews.

Remastering Jerna by Ann SomervilleRemastering Jerna by Ann Somerville (romantic elements)

If, like me, you’re frustrated by the lack emotional depth in many BDSM romances, I’d strongly recommend this book. Forget about any ick factors—if this book doesn’t help you see past those, I’m not sure anything will. The plot and characters are carefully developed, and the book’s underpinning ideas of consent, submission, domination and, to some extent, love are explored from different perspectives, giving the story layers of meaning that I don’t feel I could fully appreciate from just the one read. This is definitely a keeper.

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March 16, 2012
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

A well written and somewhat heartbreaking story that explores how we understand our relationships. It’s also a film.

Matt King is descended from Hawaiian royalty and one of Hawaii’s largest land owners. His wife, Joanie, was injured in a sailing accident and will soon be taken off life support. Matt will be left with the care of his two daughters, Alex, 17, and Scottie, 10.

Matt decides to give his wife’s friends and family a chance to say goodbye and in the process finds out that his wife had been having an affair. He decides to find her lover, so that he can let him have a proper goodbye.

Matt is an interesting character. He’s well-meaning, but as his wife has taken care of their kids all his life, he has no idea what to do and is somewhat shocked at how different they are from what he perceives them to be. He has no idea how to be a parent, despite being a parent for almost 18 years. The book, to me, is less about his wife’s affair, but more about Matt’s relationships, especially with his daughters, and how his journey to find his wife’s lover turns into a journey for his own growth.

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