April 29, 2012

Kate and Kat talk about their favourite Australian romance authors. Part 5 of a series of vodcasts for Aussie Author Month 2012.

In this series, Kate and I talk about some of our favourite Australian romance authors, with some digression into my to-be-read pile. This time we look at category romance.

If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it directly on YouTube. It runs for just over eight minutes.

Read the rest of this post.

April 28, 2012

Kate and Kat talk about their favourite Australian romance authors. Part 4 of a series of vodcasts for Aussie Author Month 2012.

In this series, Kate and I talk about some of our favourite Australian romance authors, with some digression into my to-be-read pile. This time we look at paranormal romance and urban fantasy—another subgenre where you can find some fabulous Aussie romance authors.

If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it directly on YouTube. It runs for just under ten minutes.

Read the rest of this post.

April 28, 2012

Kate and Kat talk about their favourite Australian romance authors. Part 3 of a series of vodcasts for Aussie Author Month 2012.

So now we get to the fun part. In this next series of vodcasts, Kate and I talk about some of our favourite Australian romance authors, with some digression into our—okay, my—to-be-read pile.

We’ve grouped  our chats into romance subgenres and this first one is our favourite—historical romance. See if you can guess our favourite authors!

If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it directly on YouTube. It runs for just over 13 minutes.

Read the rest of this post.

April 26, 2012
The Lone Warrior by Denise Rossetti (Four-sided Pentacle, Book 3)

The Lone Warrior by Denise Rossetti (Four-sided Pentacle, Book 3)

Despite some poignant moments, too many inconsistent elements may prevent you from fully enjoying the story. Best enjoyed as part of the series in which it belongs.

This review is part of the AWW2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge. Click here for a list of books I’ve read so far.

When Denise Rossetti this year’s Australian Romance Readers Award for The Lone Warrior for Favourite Erotic Romance, I knew I had to read this book. I’m not sure who categorised this book for the awards, but it’s more fantasy romance than erotic, and the publisher label at the back of the book says ‘paranormal romance’.

When Mehcredi’s attempt to do the Necromancer’s bidding goes awry, she’s bound to the service of earth shaman Walker. Abandoned as a child, Mehcredi doesn’t know how to be with people, and effectively being trapped into dealing with a bunch of strangers brings old insecurities to the surface.

Mehcredi gradually finds some peace within Walker’s circle of friends, and some measure of self-confidence. When Walker frees her from her bond so he can pursue his quest to avenge his slain kin—he’s the only one left after they were wiped out by demons—Mehcredi insists on coming along, disguised as Walker’s apprentice.

The beginning of this story had me hooked. Until Mehcredi and Walker set off on their journey, I was invested in her story—of her awful childhood and how she makes new friends, gains self-esteem and, at times, loses progress. I was particularly moved by her description of masturbating, as a child, in a closet:

Read the rest of this post.

April 24, 2012

Canberra’s beloved romance bookshop to close its doors in August, but it’s business as usual online.

Earlier today, readers on the mailing list for Intrigue, The Romance Bookstore mailing list would have received an email from the lovely Margaret Bell announcing that she will not be renewing the lease on the shop premises at Garema Centre. She cites general challenges in the retail market and the popularity of ebooks as contributing factors to the decision.

Doors will shut on Saturday, August 4.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

This is the most difficult email I’ve ever sent. We’ve loved running the store and after eight years, are sad to see it end; however- on the up-side – it will give us the opportunity to devote more time and concentration to expanding and improving our e-commerce website and looking after our customers. The website is operating well and we are gradually working through the store shelves, to ensure that every book in the store will be available on the website; customers will be able to browse our entire stock at their own convenience.

Read the rest of this post.

April 24, 2012

Starts off beautifully, but sizzling chemistry can’t save a couple that feels like they won’t last six months, let alone a lifetime.

This review is part of the AWW2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge. Click here for a list of books I’ve read so far.

It’s no secret that, despite discovering her work only last year, Kelly Hunter is one of my favourite category romance authors. Flirting With Intent doesn’t disappoint in the writing department—it includes some beautiful, subtle scenes—but there’s just something lacking between the couple in this book.

It’s not chemistry, because from the moment Ruby Maguire and Damon West meet, the pages fairly sizzle. They embark on a high intensity, high risk affair after their attempts to flirt without intent dissolve in a blaze of kisses and hot limo sex—mostly off-page, but that doesn’t diminish Hunter’s ability to convey the passion between them.

Read the rest of this post.

April 23, 2012
Carol Marinelli - www.carolmarinelli.com

Photo: Morey Media

I first met Melbourne-based author Carol Marinelli, best known for her category romances (Medical and Sexy), at ARRC09. Her 2011 sheikh romance, Heart Of The Desert, joined my keeper list this year—I was so amazed at how good this story was.

Carol’s latest book, released last month, is a departure from her usual work. Putting Alice Back Together is her debut novel under Harlequin’s MIRA imprint, and it tackles issues such as depression, substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships and debt. It’s a story of self-acceptance as Alice ‘comes to the harsh realisation that there’s only so much sex, valium and red wine can fix.’

Website: www.carolmarinelli.com
Social networks: Blog
Genre: Category romance (Medical and Sexy) and women’s fiction
Latest release: Putting Alice Back Together

Read the rest of this post.

April 20, 2012

Kate and Kat chat about romance fiction in Australia. Part 2 of a series of vodcasts for Aussie Author Month 2012.

So we’re hoping you enjoyed our first vodcast enough to listen to the rest of our conversation on romance fiction in Australia.

This time we chat about the publishing and marketing side of romance fiction, though still very much from a reader’s perspective. We talk about where we buy our books, reminisce about our first Mills & Boon, and whinge about discuss how we think Australian publishers are doing when it comes to romance fiction.

If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it directly on YouTube. It runs for just under ten minutes.

Read the rest of this post.

April 19, 2012
Two Against The Odds by Joan Kilby

Two Against The Odds by Joan Kilby

This book takes risks and touches on issues not often found in the romance genre, but the lack of chemistry between an unsympathetic heroine and a hero who doesn’t seem ready for a long-term commitment make this one a DNF for me.

This review is part of the AWW2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge. Click here for a list of books I’ve read so far.

I wanted to like this book. There are too few older heroines in romance, and this book deals not only with a twelve-year gap between the heroine and the hero, but it tackles issues not normally found in the genre—abortion, miscarriage and tax evasion.

Rafe Ellersley is sent to audit Lexie Thatcher, an artist who hasn’t paid her taxes in four years and has so far ignored all communication with the tax office. He’s not overly enthused about his job, but he needs the money to be able to fulfil his dream of owning and running a fishing charter.

Lexie Thatcher is in the middle of a painting that she plans to enter in the Archibald Prize, but she’s experiencing painter’s block. The last thing she needs is the tax man hanging out at her place, asking her for receipts, and worrying about how much she may have to pay in back taxes and penalties.

Read the rest of this post.

April 18, 2012

Kate and Kat chat about romance fiction in Australia. Part 1 of a series of vodcasts for Aussie Author Month 2012.

So the lovely and extremely knowledgeable bookworm Kate (@katydidinoz) and I have joined forces to do something a little different for Aussie Author Month. Look, mum, we’ve made a vodcast!

I’ve been thinking about doing vodcasts for a while, and sharing camera time with Kate seemed a lot more fun and a lot less talking-to-a-wall-ish than doing it on my own, so I’m chuffed that we’ve been able to do this.

In this video we touch on what it’s like the to read romance books in Australia, our experiences with local romance communities, the general awesomeness of Australian romance authors, romance in the broader literary community and, most important of all, what we’re currently reading.

It’s our first attempt, so please forgive the shady (ha!) lighting and dubbing problems. I would fix these if I could but, as you will come to realise from my over-enthusiastic use of iMovie themes, this was my first time. (Vodcast deflowering, yay!) Getting this up on YouTube almost broke me.

And now I have run out of stalling tactics, so here goes. Enjoy!

If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it directly on YouTube. It runs for just over eight minutes.

Read the rest of this post.