Homenalini singh
March 27, 2014

Congratulations to Australian authors Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell and Leah Ashton, New Zealand authors Nalini Singh and Frances Housden, and Australian editor Kate Cuthbert whose books have made it to the 2014 RITA shortlist.

The Romance Writers of America (RWA) has announced the finalists for the 2014 RITA and Golden Hearts awards. The RITA recognises published works of romance fiction; the Golden Hearts are awarded to unpublished manuscripts. The winners will be announced at the RWA conference on July 26 in San Antonio, Texas.

A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell (Sons of Sin, Book 2)The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie (Chance Sisters, Book 1) - US editionWhy Resist A Rebel? by Leah Ashton - US editionHeart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book12) - US editionThe Chieftain's Curse by Frances Housden

The RITA shortlist includes Australian authors of historical romance Anna Campbell (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss) and Anne Gracie (The Autumn Bride), and category romance author Leah Ashton (Why Resist A Rebel?). New Zealand authors Nalini Singh (Heart of Obsidian) and Frances Housden (The Chieftain’s Curse) also made the list, as did Escape editor Kate Cuthbert (for editing Housden’s book).

Australian author Vanessa Barneveld is nominated for a Golden Heart in the Young Adult Romance category.

This year’s list features self-published titles for the first time: Letters To Nowhere by Julie CrossThe Way You Look Tonight by Bella AndreThe Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan;  Sonata For A Scoundrel by Anthea LawsonThe Killing Game by Toni Anderson; and Off The Edge by Carolyn Crane.

You can find the full list of finalists here.

Over to you, readers: who are your picks to win?

March 23, 2014

A night filled with upsets, keynotes for ARRC 2015, murder mayhem, and award-stealing shenanigans!

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) - Australian editionAllegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin (Light Blade, Book 3)The One That Got Away by Kelly HunterUntamed by Anna CowanHolding Out For a Hero by Amy AndrewsSkin by Kylie ScottHalf Moon Bay by Helene YoungA Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell (Sons of Sin, Book 2)

The Australian Romance Readers Awards dinner was sold out this year, demonstrating the increasing importance of this award among readers, authors and publishers. There were plenty of surprises in store for attendees, making for a very boisterous evening, and promising exciting things for the future of romance in Australia!

Kylie Scott was named Favourite Australian Romance Author, breaking Anna Campbell’s streak. Scott also picked up Favourite Erotic Romance for her zombie romance Skin (Momentum Moonlight).

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March 5, 2014

BOOKMARKED is the name we gave to our paper.li journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes paper.li, this is an adhoc round-up on the blog highlighting links and news that might be of interest.

Heart to Heart podcast

In case you missed it, Destiny Romance has launched its new podcast series called Heart to Heart, and I’m sitting in the host’s chair. I’m so excited! I posted about the first episode here, or you can go directly to the Destiny blog for more info. The first episode features Sarah Wendell and a book reading that will have you picking up Georgina Penney’s new book. My favourite bit, though, is the book-wine pairing, courtesy of Destiny editor Carol George!

ARRC2015 accommodation

ARRA has released the link to book accommodation for the Australian Romance Readers Convention at discounted rates. $160 per night is pretty reasonable for Canberra, so if you’re planning to attend ARRC, it’s worth booking early. Voting for the awards ends today, so if you’re an ARRA member and you haven’t voted yet, check your email for the link and vote asap!

Galaxy paranormal romance bookclub

Galaxy Bookshop’s monthly paranormal romance bookclub is on tomorrow from 6.30pm. This month’s theme is around genre—what we love/hate about it, and where we draw romance genre lines. If you can’t make it in person, you can join the discussion thread on their Facebook page.

Anna Cowan reading at The Wheeler Centre

Melbourne author Anna Cowan will be presenting at The Wheeler Centre’s The Next Big Thing, a showcase of exciting new Australian writing talent. The event is free and starts at 6.15pm at The Moat Cafe, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Click on the link for contact details and bookings.

Sarah Wendell, Maisey Yates, Cherry Adair and Marie Force in Sydney

The sessions for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney in August has been released, and based on the panelist list, it looks like we’ll be seeing Smart Bitch Sarah Wendell, Harlequin author Maisey Yates (she of the ‘Congratulations on your penis!’ badges), romantic suspense author Cherry Adair and self-publishing sensation Marie Force in Sydney later this year. If you’re not an author, keep an eye out of the Australian Romance Readers Association’s author signing, which usually takes place on the Saturday afternoon of the conference, for a chance to see your favourite authors.

#AWW2014 roundup

Marg from The Intrepid Reader has posted her February round-up of romance reviews for the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog.

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February 26, 2014

BOOKMARKED is the name we gave to our paper.li journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes paper.li, this is an adhoc round-up on the blog highlighting links and news that might be of interest.

Book Thingo on Audioboo.fm

After flirting with Bubbly, I’m coming to realise that limiting my audio posts to 90 seconds is, well, a little challenging. So we now also have an Audioboo account, which allows 3 minutes of audio. I’m hoping to do a series of audio posts at the ARRA awards, and I have a feeling that this longer time limit is going to be much easier to manage! At the moment, I’m cross-posting to both—recently, I’ve talked about Aboriginal characters in romance (Bubbly | Audioboo) and shipping LoVe in Veronica Mars (Bubbly | Audioboo).

In the meantime, I’d love your feedback. As a listener, which service is easier and more intuitive to use?

AAR annual reader poll results

All About Romance has published the results of their annual poll of the best romances published in 2013. I think this poll is the first reader-led poll for romance (that I can remember, at least—someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). Among the Aussie authors in the list are:

  • Sarah Mayberry for The Other Side of Us
  • Graeme Simsion for The Rosie Project (Kat’s review)
  • Nalini Singh for Heart of Obsidian (Kat’s review) and for her Guild-Hunter characters Elena and Raphael (look, we consider her an honorary Aussie, right?)

Hanging out with your favourite Escape artists

I had an opportunity to hang out with the ever lovely Kate Cuthbert, Kaetrin from Kaetrin’s Musings, Shelleyrae from Book’d Out,  Meredith Jaffe from The Hoopla, and four ARRA-nominated authors, Sandra Antonelli, Alissa Callen, Juliet Madison, and Kendall Talbot.  Check out the video below (or click here):

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January 13, 2014

Kat’s picks for the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Awards for 2013.

Last week, the Australian Romance Readers Association published its shortlist for the Australian Romance Readers Awards. If you’re an ARRA member, make sure you vote for your favourites!

Here are my picks from the finalists and my winner predictions (though I have to warn you that my batting average for predicting award winners is piss-poor.)

Favourite paranormal romance

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) - Australian editionHeart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book12) - US edition

You can read my review of this book here.

Booktopia | Amazon US | Book Depository | iTunesKobo | Nook | Library

Winner prediction: If this book doesn’t win its category, I’ll be very surprised.

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June 4, 2013

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - Australian editionTwo Psy, each damaged in different ways. Ill-fated lovers. An emotionally repressed virgin hero who moves the earth for his true love. And all the feels. The feels! This one is definitely a keeper.

Before we start, let’s get this out of the way: I’m not going to tell you explicitly who the Ghost is in this review, but it might be guessable. Also, we don’t have a spoiler filter in the comments, so if you haven’t read the book, I’d suggest avoiding the comments until you do.

If there’s any criticism I could level at the last few Psy-Changeling books, it would be that the romances tended to be overshadowed by the worldbuilding. It’s clear that New Zealand author* Nalini Singh has been building up to some big revelations, and many of them culminate in Heart Of Obsidian.

* In true Aussie fashion, I propose claiming her for our own. It’s a long-standing tradition. We have precendents—the pavlova, Phar Lap, Keith Urban. And now Nalini Singh. Let’s start the rumour today and make it happen.

Kaleb Krychek has always been billed as the ruthless Councillor who has had no compunction in assassinating those who stand in his way, but as the series progressed it’s clear that he has his own agenda, which might not align with my first impression of him. (Jane at Dear Author posted this awesome cheat sheet on what we know of Kaleb up to Kiss of Snow.) After seven years, two week and two days, Kaleb has finally found the woman he has been searching for.

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May 24, 2013

Hey, Psy-Changeling fans! So you think you know who The Ghost is? This post might have you thinking again… (Updated 25/5/2013 to add link to Storify.)

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - Australian editionHeart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - US editionThis morning Twitter users got to ask the Ghost some questions directly. He gave us some hints as to his identity, but some of his answers just raised more questions. Berkley will post a Storify link tomorrow (click here), but in the meantime, here is a summary of what we learned:

The Ghost was damaged before the PsyNet began to degrade, but he still does not want to leave. He is a male (not multiple people) who was ‘broken’ as a child, and who got rid of his conscience to survive. It hasn’t and (he believes) will never return. But he bonded with a woman (who is not his lover and is still alive today) during that time, and she is the only one to whom he is loyal and the only one who will keep him from carrying out his plans. He refuses to say what those plans are, only that they will become clear in time and he has been putting them into effect for over 20 years. He doesn’t discuss his plans with anyone except sometimes Judd and Xavier. He suspects Judd may have an idea of his ultimate goal. Sienna is no longer a part of his plan, but he would not answer why (is it because she is no longer a surprise?).

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May 21, 2013

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - Australian edition Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - US editionAt some point, I’ll catch up on reading, reviewing and blogging and we’ll be back to our regular posting schedule. In the meantime, this is way too exciting for me not to mention!

If you haven’t already pre-ordered the book, you can do so at BooktopiaGalaxyFishpondAmazon and Book Depository.

If you’re a fan of NZ author Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series—and who isn’t?—and you’re dying to know which main character will feature in her June release, Heart Of Obsidianand who isn’t?—then you need to head over to her blog and find out!

Yes, after months of secrecy and that oh-so-coy blurb, we finally find out that…

(Look away now if you don’t want to know!)

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Posted by Kat in Lucky dip (2 comments)
Keywords: nalini singh, psy-changeling
March 13, 2013
Australian Romance Readers Convention 2013 - australianromancereaders.com.au

Some highlights from the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Covention (The Mercure, Brisbane — March 1 to 3, 2013).

I apologise for not posting detailed recaps of the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. Allison (Decadence), Jen and I attended the event, but we did so as readers first and bloggers maybe second or third—we all wore different hats over the course of the weekend—so I haven’t wanted to put pressure on us to record the event. (You’ll notice that even our tweets weren’t as extensive as they’ve been in previous ARRCs.)

Nevertheless, I know many readers who wanted to come along to ARRC but were unable to do so, and I wanted to share some of the highlights of the weekend with you. Bear in mind that I didn’t go to all the panels and keynotes, so I’m using my Storify stream to fill in some of those blanks. If you’re after a panel-by-panel recap, check the next issue of the ARRA newsletter. I believe a few of the sessions were recorded, so you can also email ARRA to check if they’re releasing an audio CD.

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February 12, 2012

Proud member of the Australian Romance Readers AssociationAnna Campbell has once again been voted Favourite Australian Romance Author at the 2011 Australian Romance Readers Awards, held last night at Cello’s Restaurant in Sydney.

Campbell also retains her undefeated status in the Favourite Historical Romance section, the award going to her Avon Regency book Midnight’s Wild Passion. A representative from HarperCollins accepted the awards on Campbell’s behalf, reading a prepared acceptance speech that, in true Campbell style, had the audience smiling.

New Zealand author Nalini Singh picked up the most awards, winning  Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance for Archangel’s Blade and Favourite Paranormal Romance for the much-anticipated Kiss of Snow, the latest book in the Psy/Changeling series, for which Singh was awarded the prize for Favourite Continuing Romance series for the third year in a row. Singh’s awards were received on her behalf by selected ARRA members. Singh had also pre-recorded her acceptance speech, which was shown to the audience after her final award was announced.

Favourite Romantic Suspense 2011 - Shattered Sky by Helene Young

Helene Young (photo by Kat)

Shattered Sky was named Favourite Romantic Suspense. Queensland author Helene Young was the only winner who was able to personally accepted her award. Young’s next book, Burning Lies, with be released in July by Penguin Australia.

Australian authors Kelly Hunter and Denise Rossetti won Favourite Short Category Romance for With This Fling… (see Kat’s review here) and Favourite Erotic Romance for The Lone Warrior, respectively. Julie James won Favourite Contemporary Romance for A Lot Like Love.

The Member of the Year award when to Amy and the Bling Off culminated in a mini-parade, with authors Melissa Craig and Travey O’Hara sharing this year’s Queen of Bling title. They will be time-sharing the tiara.

Guest speaker Paula Roe spoke about the the books that shaped her love of romance reading and, eventually, led her to try her hand at writing romance fiction. Her passion and enthusiasm for the genre had the audience smiling, at times laughing, as she described some of the earlier novels she loved (and loved to read out loud to her friends in high school).

The annual Australian Romance Readers Awards are  managed by the Australian Romance Readers Association. Nominees are shortlisted from member nominations and winners are decided by popular vote among ARRA members.

The event was sponsored by Australian online bookshop Booktopia. The awards were sponsored by Galaxy Bookshop, Carina Press, Harlequin Australia, Rosemary’s Romance Books and Temptation the Romance Bookstore, Romantic Reflections, Romance Direct, Penguin Books Australia and Booktopia.

Check out the photos from the event via Flickr. I plan to write up a longer post on my observations from the night, so watch this space.