BOOKMARKED is the name of our journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes, this is a round-up of links and news that might be of interest.

Bookworld prize pack winner

Congratulations to Dale, who has won the Bookworld prize pack featuring books by some of our favourite Australian romance authors! This is how Dale plans to get through the prizes:

Close front door. Open book. Walk. Read. Sit on bus. Read. Exit bus. Walk. Read. Don’t walk. Read. Walk again. Read. Enter building. Read. Smile at security. Read. Catch lift. Read. Arrive at office. Close book. Work. Leave. Open book. Read. Repeat.

I believe this is a method of reading that all the Book Thingo bloggers are very familiar with. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway—we had a lot of fun reading your comments.

Heart to Heart with Anne Gracie

The second episode of Destiny’s Heart to Heart podcast is out, and our guest is Australian author Anne Gracie. We chat about the the romance genre, and Australian romances. I also review Kathryn Ledson’s Erica Jewell series. If you’re not an iTunes user, Destiny now has an embedded player on the blog—click on the link above.

Book shopping

The first book (actually, it’s a novelette) in Mia West’s Tell Me When series, Initiation, is free on Amazon (and other ebook retailers). The heroine is a time-travelling art thief, and the hero has to give her an orgasm to launch her into the past. I haven’t read this, but I’m going by Cecilia Grant’s recommendation, whose books I love.

Booktopia’s moving sale is still on. Click on the banner for titles. I had a quick look at the romance bargains (these are all print editions), and these are a steal: 

  • The first three Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs are $3.90 each — Moon Called, Blood Bound and Iron Kissed. This is one of the few series still on my autoread list, and the hero is so extremely swoony.
  • Erica Hayes’s second Shadowfae Chronicles book, Shadowglass, is $4.95. This is paranormal romance at the edge of urban fantasy set in Melbourne. Think Underbelly with trippy fairies and dark magic.
  • Written On Your Skin by Meredith Duran is $3.90. I love the way this story begins, and Meredith Duran is one of my autobuy authors. The couple in this story have secrets within secrets, and their unravelling is heartbreaking and wonderful.
  • There are also stacks of Mills and Boon titles for $2.95 (singles) and $4.50 (duos), including  The Sheikh’s Prize by Lynne Graham. This book isn’t perfect, but the hero’s emotional journey is really quite beautiful. There’s also Carol Marinelli’s Bedded For Pleasure, Purchased for Pregnancy, which I haven’t read but I reckon it’s worth buying just to have that title sitting in your bookshelf.

Carina Press is offering 20% off their fantasy titles. You can find the coupon code on the website, and the offer is valid until the end of April (via @Regan_Summers).

The Reading Hour 2014 - Reading Hour

The Reading Hour is happening again this year on Tuesday, August 19, from 6pm to 7pm. This is an initiative that promotes sharing a book with your child to help foster a love of reading.

The Guardian prize for self-published books

The Guardian, in partnership with Legend Times, has launched a monthly prize for self-published books, called the Guardian/Legend Self-Published Book of the Month (via @WritersCentreAU). Entries must be at least 40k words, and the prize is a feature in The Guardian. Click here for more information on how to enter the contest.

Blog hops

Author Olivia Waite wrote a scathing review of Frankly, My Dear by Sandra Hill (via @eilatan). Waite’s review is part of her series on intersectional feminism in romance. Suffice it to say, this book doesn’t stand the test of time, and Waite points out the all many ways in which Hill gets it so wrong. It’s worth reading the entire post, which starts off as a review and then stands back to look at how the problems in this book reflect some of the broader problems in the romance genre:

This is the petty tyranny of inconvenience — just as the heroine believes that her individual comfort somehow justifies the enslavement of roughly a hundred other human beings, romance readers feel it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to reflect on the ways the genre not only has marginalized but continues to marginalize not only characters, but also readers and authors of color.

I particularly love that Waite isn’t afraid to review a fellow author’s work. Here’s here post on why she chooses to ignore the advice that authors ought not be reviewers.

I know I’m getting old when the daggy 80s are now retro cool. Check out Mike Wrobel’s illustrations of Game of Thrones characters in retro (via @MeredithFrost).

And finally, I love this comic strip: Unshelved by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, which I found via @willaful on Twitter. Mind you, I’ve noticed that bookshops are a lot less snooty now.

Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, podcaster, Twitter tragic, and compulsive reader. Her reviews have appeared in Books+Publishing, and she was the winner of the 2014 RWA Romance Media Award. She believes in happy endings, and kills fairies with glee.

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