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Booktopia Romance Buzz
November 2010 | Edition Nineteen

NEWS ALERT:The price of romance books have been drastically reduced.

Gentle Readers,
It's a buyer's market out there this month - especially if you like paranormals and historicals . Both sub-genres have bumper crops of top picks out this month for your reading pleasure.

9780143204527 This month, I've been focusing on a more specific area of reading for my own research - all the pregnancy books I can get my hands on. Our first child is due at the beginning of November. So what does a romance reader read when planning for her own epilogue? My favourite book - and the one both my husband and I have found the most useful and the least scary (and that's a big deal!) - is this one from Australian midwife and Harlequin Medical Author Fiona McArthur. The Don't Panic Guide to Birth is fantastic - written in short, 5-minute chapters with all the information and none of the judgement. It's been a great asset in my house, and I'd recommend it for anyone looking at their own epilogue, or as a useful gift for showers.

I'm also introducing a debut author as this month's Author of the Month, so make sure to check out Kieran Kramer as she discusses her novels and Wheel of Fortune!

What I've just Finished: In between pregnancy readings, I've been devouring Julie Kagawa's Iron series. I've just finished The Iron King, a YA novel set mostly in the land of Faery, but with a twist on the traditional Winter/Summer Court tales.

What I'm reading now: Luckily, I thought ahead, and got the second in Julie Kagawa's series The Iron Daughter when I was halfway through the first! This second novel continues with the twists and intrigues of the first - with some first-love angst thrown in for good measure.

What I can't wait for: I really like the premise of Jillian Hunter's new historical novel , so I'll definitely be checking it out!

Until next month, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz
KieranKramerIt's been a long time since I've been as tickled by a debut author as I am by Kieran Kramer . Newly published by St Martin's Press, Kieran publishes light, humourous regency romances with - and you can try and argue with me if you'd like by clicking here - the best titles in romance. She has two releases out in November, one at the beginning and one at the end. She also has a penchant for game shows. She tells you about both below!

Dear Booktopia Fans,

Hello to all my new friends below the equator! I'm thrilled to be on Booktopia's "Romance Buzz" blog, hosted by wonderful romance enthusiast Kate Cuthbert.

We all know stories are made of words, and words are composed of letters, so let's start off celebrating that all-too-obvious but little appreciated fact with some fun from the Wheel of Fortune, a hugely popular game show here in America (I hear you have it there in Australia, too).

Just as they do on the TV show's bonus round, I'll give you the most popular consonants, RSTLN, as well as the most popular vowel, E, and I'd like you to complete this phrase in...hmmmm, ten seconds, just as they do on the real show. Oh, and I want you to pretend there's a live audience staring at you and a huge camera trained on your face. Mind you, the camera's got a bright red light beaming on top of it, which means you're on the air in front of 30 million people. You're also not allowed to think about your family and friends back home, none of whom you want to embarrass. And please, don't even contemplate the shiny new car or large amount of cash you might win if you answer correctly!
Brains ready? Let's go!

_ _ _'R E  _ E _ _ _ _ E

All right. That's ten seconds. Some of you got it right away. That apostrophe helps, doesn't it? Others of you, however, might have got nervous and balked. Don't worry, it's all right if you did. Now you won't be as tempted to throw a banana at the TV screen next time you see someone on the actual game show mess up a seemingly simply puzzle!

We'll come back to the phrase at the end of this note, shall we?
Meanwhile, it's no surprise to people who know me that my very first book includes a contest. After all, I've been on two game shows-yes, The Wheel of Fortune, but I've also been on Family Feud (and I'm happy to report I won on both of them).

WhenHarryMetMollyNothing gets my competitive blood stirring like a bold challenge, which is why I chose to write about one in my debut novel, When Harry Met Molly , the first tale in my Regency-set historical series from St. Martin's Press. In this lighthearted  quartet of books, four hot Regency-era bachelors-Harry, Nicholas, Stephen, and Charlie-are dubbed impossible catches on the Marriage Mart by the Prince Regent, and with good reason. Not a one of them wants to get married, as evidenced by the fact that they're skilled at avoiding the haute ton's matchmaking mamas and their silly debutante daughters. Little do they know they'll encounter four unforgettable women who'll cause them to change their minds-but not before a lot of hijinks, hot kisses, and hilarity ensue!

Now back to that bold challenge I was telling you about: In When Harry Met Molly, a stubborn bluestocking named Molly has to participate in the scandalous "Most Delectable Companion" contest with four lightskirts if she wants to get home with her reputation intact. And Harry, a notorious rake (with what I like to call Second-son Syndrome) must do his best to help the fiery, fabulous Molly win-or find himself at the marriage altar with a prune-faced ninny.

It's difficult for Harry and Molly to act as if she's his mistress when the two can't stand each other. Good thing those kisses they're forced to share don't matter a whit-nor the, erm, scintillating tension arcing between them every time they act cozy in front of the others at the hunt party to keep their cover during the competition. Harry and Molly think they want her to win the contest at all costs, but are they willing to make that cost their hearts?
Yes, dear readers, we know what's bound to happen. And as for Harry and Molly? They've got a long week together, complete with all sorts of conflict and colorful friends, to find out!

DukestotheLeft I had such fun writing this story. I hope it brings you as much joy in the reading of it as it did me in the writing. And after you're finished, I hope you'll go on to read Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right, the story of Nicholas and Poppy, which comes out a month later. Nicholas wants nothing more than to keep being a solitary man of mystery, but it's difficult when your annoyingly gorgeous and imaginative Spinster fiancée (who doesn't want to marry you, either) is always poking about in your business!

Okay, then, let's pull back from lovely stories that will help you forget all your stress and the words that compose them and focus once more on the true building blocks of books: the letters of the alphabet. In the puzzle at the top of this note, the answer is: "You're Welcome." It was the actual phrase I completed correctly on The Wheel of Fortune in the bonus round.

Easy, right? But at the time, dear readers, I was sweating bullets for all the reasons I listed earlier. In those tense moments on the studio set, it felt like winning that puzzle would mean everything in the world to me--until I looked into the eyes of my husband in the audience and saw that he would love me no matter how well I did on the show.

And I calmed down. At that moment, I understood that love is the true prize. It's the currency we can all share freely, knowing that the more we give away, the more we'll get back. Winning a game show is fun, but that sort of glory is fleeting. Love lasts forever.

So on that note, I'd like to leave you, my new friends at Booktopia, with a more appropriate phrase (with RSTLN & E provided, of course):

_ _ _ N _   _ _ _.

It spells T H A N K  Y O U. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your precious time with me, an American romance writer who is incredibly excited and happy to spread a little cheer around the world with my stories of love and laughter.

Hugs to you all,
Kieran :>)
Haven't had enough holiday cheer yet? Three more titles for your reading enjoyment!

Wicked Wonderland

An erotic anthology about couples who definitely top Santa's naughty list!

Booktopia Price: $16.75 (large paperback) - SAVE 40%
Click here for more information or to buy Wicked Wonderland

His Christmas Pleasure
A sweet story about a woman and a man who think they know what they want - until they get it, and realise they need something else altogether.

Booktopia Price: $9.50 - SAVE 37%
Click here for more information or to buy
His Christmas Pleasur

A M idnight Clear

Intense, sensual story about a man, his muse, and coming to terms with the past - just in time for Christmas.

Booktopia Price: $6.95 - SAVE 42%
Click here for more information or to buy A Midnight Clear

We pay tribute this month to Jennifer Rardin as her 7th Jaz Parks book is released, as well as the other titles available in November.
smaller_website_photoThe romance community were saddened by the loss of Jennifer Rardin on September 20th of this year. A talented writer, Rardin created the Jaz Parks character, a kick-ass heroine with a nose for trouble. The seventh book in this series is available this month, and the last book in the series, completed before Jennifer's passing, will be available in 2011.

Jennifer's family have asked that all memorials be made to the Riley Children's Foundation.

Meet Jaz Parks.
Pay tribute to Jennifer.


9780451231604Like your paranormal light? Three books on offer this month that finds the funny in fangs including 2 from Katie MacAlister.

Francesca has a lot to do today - save her mother from a Norse trickster god, deal with an ex, and battle a power-hungry group intent on ultimate control. All in a day's work, right?

Our Price: $9.50
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In the Company of Vampires

9780061894572Lynsay Sands' Argeneaus have been keeping readers in stitches for a number of years - and novels. This is her latest in the series.

Alex's dream restaurant is turning into a nightmare. Still, her sister has sent her the gift of a French chef - who for some reason doesn't seem interested in food...

Our Price: $9.50
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Hungry for Love

9780451232595Together in one volume for the first time, here are Katie MacAlister's YA books, plus a glossary and some new author's notes.

Set in the world of GothFaire, a travelling band of psychics, magicians, and other oddities, these novels follow Fran, who lives for the day she'll be normal.

Our Price: $11.95
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Confessions of a
Vampire's Girlfriend



9781596063280Been missing Paige from Kelley Armstrong' s Women of the Otherworld series? Fret not! She's back!

Paige and Savannah are called to California's supernatural fight club scene to investigate the deaths of prize fighters. It's just the thing Paige needs to reinstate her sense of self while Lucas figures out his role in the Cabal. Finally, some excitement of her own!

Our Price: $29.90
Hardcover Edition
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Counterfeit Magic

9780425237793Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series is moving into hardcover next year - so take the opportunity to get her latest novel at paperback prices!

Being a tracker for the pack means he has to make tough decisions about changelings who've lost control of their animal halves. But nothing prepared him for dealing with her.

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Play of Passion

9780425236772'Tis the season for bind-ups as well as holiday stories, so be sure to take advantage of bonus stories and two-for-one offers on series from favourite authors - either for you or for gifts. It's up to you!

Christine Feehan's Drake Sister have captured readers from the beginning with their magical gifts and beautiful home. Sea Storm combines two of their stories.

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Sea Storm

2 big names, 2 continuing series on offer this month!

9780425236758Nora Roberts finishes off her Bride Quartet with - what else! - Happy Ever After, Parker's story.

She's always taken business risks, but will she do the same with her heart? He loves figuring out how things work - including prickly wedding planners. Pure Nora magic.

Booktopia Price: $18.95 - SAVE 41%
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Happy Ever After.

9780312366063Susan Donovan's latest series is as much (if not more!) about the dogs than it is about the people. But I don't hear anyone complaining.

So she may have influenced her dog to be ... wary of men. Surely sensitivity training with the city's top canine expert is a bit over the top?

Booktopia Price: $9.50- SAVE 41%
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Not That Kind of Girl

The heat is on this month, with three very hot titles - two set in fantastically hot fantasy worlds, and a new erotic contemporary from Australia's favourite Erotic Romance author Lauren Dane.
9780425236864So, not having anything to do with this particular title (from the very talented Anya Bast , set in the erotically charged Court of Edaeii, and featuring a sapphire-imbued heroine, her enigmatic rival, and a revolutionary mastermind in what might just be the hottest menage book of the season) but it's a personal pet peeve of mine - American spelling in titles. I really want to add another 'l' into the title up there, but the cover spelling would make me a liar. Just the little things that make my job more difficult from time to time. Luckily, it doesn't detract from the heat and magic of the book!

Booktopia Price: $17.95
Click here for more info or to buy

9780373605507Victoria Janssen is a new author to me, so I took a curious little sneak peek at this novel - coolest little non-plot revealing detail? The men have long (well, shoulder-length) hair, and the women shave their heads to display their cultural tattoos. Plus? She's a pirate. Kind of. Set in a fantasy world with some inspiration from an Italian-style medieval backdrop, this erotic fantasy novel offers some enjoyable twists on convention, some nice characterisation, and ... did I mention that she's a pirate? Give a new author a try.

Booktopia Price: $16.50 - SAVE 41%
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The Duke and the Pirate Queen.

9780425236888Stepping away from her paranormal/fantasy erotic romances, Lauren Dane goes all suspense in her latest novel Inside Out.

Ella is completely focused on getting over a terrifying attack, and putting her life back together. She's not interested in relationships or romance, but she's a woman, and she can't help admiring the view now and again. That view comes in the form of Andrew, a self-defense expert who's teaching Ella what she needs to know. But he's got motivations of his own...

Booktopia Price (trade paper): $17.95  - SAVE 40%
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9781420106817REBEL is the latest novel from full-on romance-writing goddess Zoe Archer . I cannot stress enough how important it is, if you believe in magic just the teeniest, tiniest bit (clap your hands for the fairies!) that you read her immediately. This is a great book to start - it twists a taste of Western historical with Native American spirituality, a strong warrior heroine, complex characterisation, magic, and love. Archer is the kind of writer you thrust on everyone you know, just so they understand how wonderful she is. So I'm thrusting her on you - go! Read!

Booktopia Price: $8.40 - SAVE 40%
Click here for more info or to buy Rebel

Two single-titles, and an anthology featuring a new JD Robb story makes November a spine-tingling month for suspense lovers!


9780440245971The first in this new Stephanie Tyler series was previewed in our Book of the Month last month, so if you haven't checked it out (and Stephanie's great piece on her inspiration!) then get thee there now! And while you're at it, pick up Promises in the Dark - the second novel in the series and save yourself the wait!

Our Price: $9.50
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Promises in the Dark

9780515148671This anthology may be anchored on a new JD Robb Eve Dallas short story, but it features some of the strongest writers in the romantic suspense genre at the moment. If you're not sure if you'd like suspense, or if you're looking for a new author to try (or a gift for the suspense lover in your life!) this anthology is perfect!

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The Other Side

9780778328346Tara Taylor Quinn has been nominated four times for the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for her emotional romantic suspense novels. This latest is a great example, with her signature complex storyline dealing with the morally ambiguous grey area between good and evil.

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The Third Secret

 Tons on offer this month if you love a good historical (and you know I do!) and lots from new or emerging authors. So if you're looking for a new voice, this is a great place to start!

9780373774883Other historical writers should find out exactly what Nicola Cornick offered to the gods of covers and try and top it, because this woman gets the most amazing cover art for every one of her novels. Do you really need a plot synopsis when you could have this cover on your bookshelf?

Just in case, in brief, she wants to ruin him as he ruined her, but in the process they both get trapped. Scandalous marriage ensues - and maybe a change of heart?

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Mistress by Midnight

9780061491030In comparison to the cover over there to the left, poor Kathryn Caskie's latest cover features a hero who looks a bit like Jesse off Gilmore Girls. Am I wrong? Luckily we romance readers are well aware that it's what's between the covers that counts!

She fled to Bath to escape her ruin, but she can't forget the man who tempted her. He never saw her face, but can't forget the woman who enticed him. Coincidence will re-introduce them - let the battle of wills begin.

Booktopia Price: $9.50 - SAVE 41%
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The Duke's Night of Sin



9780061986048 It's all very romantic when Colin Firth plays the love interest, but women in the regency era had a tough go of it - everything was tied up in their reputation. So you can imagine how fiercely an independent woman would guard hers to maintain her freedom. Find out what happens when it's threatened in Lavinia Kent's latest.

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Taken By Desire

9780061852060Gossip mags are hardly contemporary inventions  - the ton loved the latest on dit. So if a scandal sheet stated that you were a lord to land - and all the ladies took it as a personal challenge, what exactly would you do? Ask Nicholas from Sarah McLean's amusingly-titled 2nd novel.

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Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord

9780451413000 I think it's a choice every romance reader has to make for herself - do you like reading romance novels about romance novelists? For me, there has to be more to it than just the inside joke (ha, ha) - like, say the novelist being arrested for corrupting public morals. Intrigued? Check out Jillian Hunter's latest!

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A Duke's Temptation
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Author of the Month

Holiday Titles



Erotic Romance





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PRE-ORDERING: it's what organised readers do...

December isn't a huge month for new releases in the publishing world, but lack of quantity doesn't mean lack of quality. Here are some of the most exciting titles coming out - the last of 2010!

Christine Feehan
PC Cast
Jayne Ann Krentz
Allison Brennan
Teresa Medeiros
Jo Goodman
Jill Myles
Opal Carew