September 2, 2011
Storm's Heart by Thea Harrison (Elder Races, Book 2)

Storm's Heart by Thea Harrison (Elder Races, Book 2)

My new auto-buy author. Even if the hero had turned out to be a wimpy web-footed shapeshifter from outer space whose non-human form was even weirder looking I’d probably still buy it.

Tricks, former head of PR for Culebre Enterprises, has come out of hiding after the death of the Dark Fae King to reveal herself as the heiress to the throne. Not surprisingly, people are trying to kill her. Enter Tiago Black Eagle, wyr sentinel sent by Dragos, her ex-boss who gave her refuge (see previous book), to make sure she’s okay and find out who tried to kill her. They haven’t had much interaction until now, but they make up for lost time pretty quickly. Can Tricks and Tiago find out who’s trying to kill her before she ends up dead, and still have time for some nookie?

I think I’ve written a similar summary before. Hell, I think I might have done it for Dragon Bound, the first book of this series. But hey, why ruin something that works?

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August 30, 2011

Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 10)If you’re hungry for clues about upcoming books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Decadence has put together what we think we know about what’s coming next.

Part 1 | All BDB-related posts on Book Thingo

Some you may have seen this cover for Lover Reborn on Amazon, Goodreads and other bookish sites, but I’m not convinced it’s the final official cover because I haven’t seen Ward release it herself on her Facebook page, and it’s not in her photo albums or on her website. But the cover for Envy appeared suddenly as her new profile pic.

There are small excerpts from upcoming releases on Facebook from Qhuinn where he’s jealous of his cousin for being with Blay (Lover Reborn), Rhage’s love for Mary (their novella) and the size of a male’s (presumably Veck) appendage in Envy.

Envy by J. R. Ward (Fallen Angels, Book 3) - US editionEnvy by J. R. Ward (Fallen Angels, Book 3) - UK/Australian editionWith Envy coming in less than a month, Ward has been devoting her efforts to promoting the next Fallen Angels instalment, with daily quotes and weekly videos posted on Facebook.

But the recent Envy signing also produced some amazing BDB spoilers, with highlights from The Obscured Vixen (Click on the link to find out about Layla’s talent. I swear it’s worth it!) and My Secret Private Playground:

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August 20, 2011

Free books at Ultimo LibraryToday is National Bookshop Day, celebrating the contribution of local booksellers and suppliers to the community and to literacy. Although most romance readers probably won’t have a romance specialist in their local area, most Australian romance bookshops are pretty great at taking orders over the phone or online.

I’ve put together a list of Aussie bookshops that are romance-friendly. I’ve highlighted those that have been particularly supportive of Australian romance readers by sponsoring reader and author events and conventions and the ARRA newsletter. If you’re thinking of buying a book today, I encourage you to support them.

Did I miss your favourite romance-friendly shop? Let me know!

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Posted by Kat in Events (4 comments)
Keywords: booksellers
August 19, 2011

Last weekend I went to Melbourne for the R*BY awards, but I thought I’d let you in on some of the things I heard and experienced which I think would be of interest to other readers. You can find all my photos on Flickr.

Anna Campbell now with Grand Central

Anna Campbell has changed US publishers. Her next book will be published with Grand Central, which is part of the Hachette group. She will still be published under HarperCollins in Australia. I had a chat with her about the Australian format for her books (C format, which costs about $30 retail), but I’m not sure if the change will have an impact on the Australian editions.Anna Campbell display @ Dymocks stall

Dymocks trade stall

The trade stall by sponsor Dymocks (234 Collins St), managed by the lovely Helen, was fantastic. They arranged books in bookshelves and had couches and seating set up for browsing. It was lovely and cosy and so entirely appropriate for a romance convention.

Plenary session – Publishing panel

I heard separately from two people who attended the Saturday morning plenary session featuring representatives from various publishers. The impression I got was that the Australian (non-romance specialist) publishers were very reluctant to even say ‘romance’ and that they didn’t want to know who ends up with whom in the first page.

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August 18, 2011
Maria V Snyder at Ultimo Library -- 17/8/2011Photo: Kat

Last night, as part of National Science Week, Ultimo Library hosted a talk by fantasy author Maria V. Snyder on ‘Storms & magic: controlling the forces of.. fiction’.

Around twenty people ducked out of work early and braved the rain to attend, with library patrons stopping by once in a while to catch snippets of the talk. Although Snyder’s presentation—which she had previously given at the Library of Congress—focused on writing craft, her personal anecdotes made it an interesting albeit rather nerdy hour.

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Posted by Kat in Events (2 comments)
Keywords: maria v snyder, ultimo library
August 16, 2011
Lauren Kate and Decadence -- Photo by Decadence -- www.flickr.com/photos/bookthingoPhoto: Decadence

A quick recap of Lauren Kate’s book signing event at Dymocks, Parramatta on July 30, 2011.

I actually showed up at Dymocks before 2pm in preparation for Lauren Kate’s 2.30 book signing, and there was no sign of a crowd or a queue in sight. In the time it took for me to get a juice, I found myself at the end of a line extending all the way across the clothing shop next door. It was a rookie mistake, and I have only myself to blame.

I was chatting with people in the line, one girl had already read Passion, and she told me that it has a few answers and hints at more, but won’t be the answerfest I was hoping for after Torment.

I’d been standing in line for almost an hour, thanks to my untimely need for pineapple juice, before it was my turn.

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August 15, 2011

2011 Romance Writers of Australia conferenceLast Saturday, the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) held their annual R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year) awards dinner to honour the best books written by Australian romance authors.

Historical romance author Anne Gracie was given a standing ovation as she accepted her honorary life member award.

The R*BY in the Short and Sweet category went to Melanie Milburne for The Doctor’s Rebel Knight. Lindsay Armstrong took out the Short and Sexy category for The Socialite and the Cattle King. The R*BY in the Long Romance was awarded to Sophia James for her historical novel One Unashamed Night, featuring a blind hero. Romantic suspense author Helene Young won the R*BY for Romantic Elements with her debut novel, Wings of Fear.

The Doctor's Rebel Knight by Melanie MilburneThe Socialite And The Cattle King by Lindsay ArmstrongOne Unashamed Night by Sophia JamesWings of Fear by Helene Young (formerly called Border Watch)

The ROMA Award (Romance in the media) was awarded Simon Royal for The Changing Face of Romance (Stateline, ABC South Australia, 28/8/2010), featuring various Australian romance writers and interviews with people in the romance industry.

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August 8, 2011

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (Australian edition)

I’ve made up my mind. This is my favourite Melina Marchetta book. If my house caught fire, I’d probably grab it on the way out.

We have a signed copy of The Piper’s Son to give away. We’ll post details of the giveaway this week, so watch this space!

Last year I declared Saving Francesca as my favourite young adult book, but that’s not totally accurate. It’s my favourite teen novel. The Piper’s Son is a little more grown-up, and in this book, Melina Marchetta moves more firmly into young adult territory.

I was crying before I got to the end of chapter one, right through to the end, and I loved every minute of it.

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August 3, 2011
Love Is A Four-Legged Word by Kandy Shepherd

Love Is A Four-Legged Word by Kandy Shepherd

Despite all the perfect ingredients for a great contemporary romance, the plot and both characters are so predictable that the synopsis at the back of the book is a good two-thirds of the entire novel.

Chocolate, dogs and a hot alpha hero—need I say more?

Professional chef and food editor Madeline ‘Maddie’ Cartwright has just inherited a fortune from her secret multi-millionaire landlord and appointed guardian to a very wealthy Brutus Stoddard. That he has four legs, barks and defecates where he shouldn’t makes it a rather unusual case for his lawyer, Tom O’Brien, who’s more than a little suspicious of his pretty new owner.

It wouldn’t be out of place to start this review by mentioning that I have three dogs and I love them to pieces, but living with animals requires hard work and patience (now that I think about it, what doesn’t?!). This book had the perfect formula guaranteed to reel me in—a hot hero and cute dogs! Notice I didn’t mention the chocolate.

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August 2, 2011
Chasing the Devil: On Foot through Africa's Killing Fields by Tim Butcher

Chasing the Devil: On Foot through Africa's Killing Fields by Tim Butcher

Someday, when these countries have become whole again and the world remembers that they can be beautiful, I might find myself there, gazing out of their harbour, chilling with a beer. In the meantime, I’m content to let Butcher do all the walking.

In 2009, Tim Butcher set out to retrace Graham Greene’s journey, from his book, Journey without Maps, wherein which he walked from Sierra Leone to Liberia (with a bit of Guinea in between). Through his travelogue he recounts the history of both countries, the effects of war, as well as some vignettes from his time as a war correspondent.

I first discovered Butcher years ago, when I read his book, Blood River, about journeying to the mouth of the Congo. I was, at that time, looking for more books/travelogues on Africa and was happy to try his book out. I thought it was extremely well written and was moved enough to buy the next one when it came out.

The thing about Butcher’s books is that they don’t make you want to travel to where he’s been. On the contrary, they usually make me want to do the opposite.

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