Booktopia Romance Buzz
December 2011 | Edition Thirty-Two
Gentle Reader,
traceyoharaIt's time - already - to farewell 2011 and greet 2012. What a year for reading it's been! Check out my January 2012 Romance Buzz for a rundown on my personal favourites of the year!

I had the amazing opportunity to accompany Tracey O'Hara on a tour of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary during her trip to Queensland for Supanova. You'll remember Tracey from her award-winning Dark Brethren series. We had a wonderful time wandering through the park, meeting akatelonepinell the animals, and hanging out with tour guide extraordinaire Steve from EcoTerrestrial Tours. If you're in the area, I highly recommend you pay Lone Pine and their 130 koalas a visit. They do some great work, and it was a great day out.

This month, as a gift to you, we offer not one - not two - but three authors, including two of the hottest Aussies around. Check out their naughty answers to our Nine Naughty Questions below.

What I Just Finished: Early San Francisco, a girl without a past, and two brothers vying for her affection - Jo Goodman's Kissing Comfort shows why she's one of the most original writers in historical romance.

What I'm Reading Now: I finally have time to start Meredith Duran's A Lady's Lesson in Scandal, my most-anticipated book of the year!

What I Can't Wait For: The New Year starts off with not one, but two of my favourite Aussie authors. I'm really looking forward to new Anne Gracie and Christina Brooke historicals!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. It has been a pleasure sharing the romance of 2011 with you, and I look forward to seeing you all again in the new year.

Until 2012, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz

Click here for more details or to buy Red Hot Winter It's December - and things are heating up, so what else could I possibly focus on but erotic romance? Lucky for me - and also you - there's a new anthology out this month - RED HOT WINTER - featuring two of Australia's best (and hottest) erotic romance writers, Jess Dee and Lexxie Couper, as well as Delilah Devlin. This title comes with a warning though: you will need to turn up your aircon!

1. I wonder, is a Romance writer born or made? Please tell us little about your life before publication.

: Hmm, I also wonder about that. I can tell you I was born a romance reader. The craving to write only came much later, when I was 21. And even then, I was so busy studying and trying to find out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I never thought about writing seriously. Imagine my surprise, when more than ten years later, I discovered writing romance was my ideal job.

Lexxie : Oh, I was a joker, a smoker, a midnight, wait, that's not right. I was a high school English teacher who always seemed to end up teaching the bottom Year Ten boys class. There's a real art to getting thirty boys to concentrate on Shakespeare. The first thing you do is give them a copy of Othello and explain what "tupping" means.

Delilah : I suppose I'm a little of both. I was born with an imagination that allows me to live alternate lives. While I function well in this world, I have another timeline and persona living in my mind while I constantly revise her adventures until she reaches a satisfying end. My real-life adventures made me a writer with the patience and skill to capture those dream-time stories. 

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of Romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why Romance Readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

Jess: Good question. It's true I write from the heart. I pour all my real life emotion into my books. All the writers I know do the same. Maybe it's the genuineness of those feelings that hooks the reader. If the reader can identify with the emotion, she can identify with the heroine - she can be the heroine.
And yep, it's exactly that genuine emotion that makes me feel exposed. Which is why I NEVER let friends of family read my books.

Lexxie : Never feel exposed (except when I go out to collect the newspaper first thing in the morning...) I've been an open book all my life. I am one of those people who doesn't mind answering any question asked of me, but I do often wonder if my readers think I've done everything I write about (I haven't). And Romance Readers are devoted because their hearts know what their brain wants and needs :)

Delilah : If a writer is any good, she pulls a reader into the world she has created and makes her care about her characters, however flawed. A writer draws on her own emotions and experiences to craft her story. So naturally, some her real-life and feelings spill onto the pages. Do I feel exposed? Yes, but I decided to be a writer. I got over it.

3. Please tell us about your story in this anthology...

: Winter Fire is a contemporary, erotic, ménage romance set in the Blue Mountains. (Yep, it's Australian, and yep, it contains heaps of sex. HEAPS.)

Lexxie: Triple Dare is my contribution to the Red Hot Winter anthology and is, as described by one reviewer, "a scorching ménage". But it's also a deeply romantic story of living life to its fullest, facing death, and the tale of two best friends who have grown up together and now face an uncertain future.

Delilah : Satisfied. Lone Heart was hard for me to write because I wanted Lonny to be alone just a little longer so I could savor him a while in my alternate world. However, he needed to find a woman to cleave to sooner than I was willing. Finding the heart of the story was hard because I didn't want to "see" him with another woman. And yeah, I know just how crazy that sounds.

4. Is the life of a published romance writer... well... romantic?

: Oh, yeah. I live an idyllic life, where my husband caters to my every whim. He brings me flowers every day and wines and dines me every night. Not to mention the breathless moonlit walks along the beach and the exquisite gondola rides through the Venetian canals...
Oops, no, sorry. That's not my life. That's my fantasy. Sigh
Truth is, I live a very ordinary life, where I still have to worry about cooking, cleaning, washing and naughty kids. (But my hubby is wonderful.)

Lexxie : Oh good golly molly, no. Well, not all the time. Not when there's a seven year old and a four year old under the same roof, and laundry and washing get the idea. But on the flip side, my husband still surprises me with foot rubs and impulsive nights out and doing the washing up and random acts of PDA (Public Displays of Affection) so yeah, it's romantic. :) Click here for more details or to buy Red Hot Winter

Delilah: Ha! I spend most of my days writing in jammies or sweats, a cup of coffee on my desk, while I slam through pages-alone! Although, meeting the sexy men in my dreams could count as romance, right?

5. Of all of the Romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the Romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

Jess: I have the best romantic moment of all. Before we were married, before we were even seeing each other, my hubby took me on a very special date. He...wait for it...hired a two seater plane and flew me to a private game lodge for lunch. (I know, I'm spoiled rotten. No wonder I married the man.:)

Lexxie : The night my husband asked me to marry him. We'd spent the weekend in Sydney, staying at a swish harbour-side hotel, doing all the touristy, romantic things like visiting the Rocks and strolling through the Botanical Gardens, visiting art galleries...I kept asking him why he didn't take his jacket off and he kept saying he was fine. When we came home Sunday night, I climbed into my daggy old PJs, my hair was a mess, my face was devoid of makeup and, from the other side of the living room he tossed me a little red velvet box and said "How bout it?" It's the most romantic moment because, despite the entire weekend where we doing all the "things" you're meant to do for the perfect proposal, he asked me when I was looking my most real, in the place I truly felt most relaxed...our home. That, to me, says real love and I try to make sure my characters always reflect the "real" of real life romance in all my books.)

Delilah : When I was a young, single Army officer stationed in Germany, I drove to another town to explore. I was walking down a busy street when I passed a very handsome, dark-haired man. After I passed him, I glanced behind me to see him staring back. I paused. He approached me. We were standing in front of a cafe, and he invited me to have coffee with him. We spent two hours talking about our lives. He was from Greece, somewhere on the Plain of Marathon. I don't remember his name, we didn't make plans to see each other again because we were too distant for it to make sense, but it was one of those "ships passing in the night" moments. We connected, and when we parted I felt as though my life had been enriched. I still think about that afternoon and wonder, what if?

6. Sex in Romance writing today ranges from 'I can't believe they're allowed to publish this stuff' explicit to 'turn the light back I can see a thing' mild. How important do you think sex is in a Romance novel?

Jess: Sex in romance? Really? They allow that nowadays? ;)
Will it shock you to hear me say it's only important if it suits the story? As an erotic romance writer, sex is an integral, essential part of my stories. But there are heaps of wonderful books out there (like Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series) where the (almost) closed door approach is just as sexy and appealing as a romance with fully described love scenes.

Lexxie: LOL do know I'm an erotic romance author, right?

Delilah: It depends on the story.  For my stories, sex is where the characters reveal who they are--no barriers.

7. Romance writers are often romance readers - please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

Jess: Although I consume hundreds of romances a year, I don't often reread books. Karen Marie Moning's Kiss of the Highlander is a definite exception to that rule. I've read it countless times, and every time, I'm inspired to write another book. (I'm also inspired to read another Karen Marie Moning, so I wait desperately for her next release.)  In my youth I read Sweet Dream romances, which solidified my love for the genre, and I followed that up with thousands of Silhouette Romances and Mills & Boons. It was more the idea of category romance that guided my desire to be a writer than individual authors.

Lexxie: Top Five Romance Novels? Five? Just five? Damn...okay... Julie Garwood's Honor Spendor, Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series, Zoe Archer's Warrior, Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation and Stephen King's Bag of Bones (I know the last one seems totally out of place, but trust me, that scary book contains one of the sweetest love stories I've ever read)

Delilah: 1) Mackenzie's Mountain -- Linda Howard
2) Saving Grace -- Julie Garwood
3) Warrior's Woman -- Johanna Lindsey
4) Desire -- Amanda Quick

The one book and author that inspired my work is Jane's Warlord  by Angela Knight.

8. Paranormal Romance writing is 'so hot right now', do you have any thoughts on why?

: Don't we all love a bad man? Don't we all dream about being the one to tame that bad man. And who is bigger or badder or more deadly than an invincible wolf shifter or an immortal vampire? Click here for more details or to buy Red Hot Winter

Paranormal romances are always my first choice. My personal reason for loving them so much? I could never write in the genre. So when I want to escape, I pick one up.

Lexxie : The forbidden, the unknown, the mystery, the danger and the power. A woman can forgive a man being savage with her if he's inclined to grow fangs or turn into an animal ;)

Delilah: Readers like to escape their everyday lives. Books that take them into a different world provide the perfect get-away.

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?

: Write the story in your heart. Just shut out the world and let the words pour out. Oh, and enjoy it. Love what you do.

Lexxie: Oh lordy. Watch people. Become a voyeur. Carry a note book with you all the time and write write write. Remember, the words in your head will never become the book on someone's shelf (or in their e-reader) if you don't believe in yourself.

Delilah : Write. Submit. Write some more. I know that sounds simplistic, but you get better the more you practice. The feedback you get, either through rejection or critique will help improve your skills.  Oh, and read the kinds of books you want to write so that you can see what works.

It's not only the family get-togethers that will send chills down your spine this Christmas - check out the romantic suspense titles on offer!


9781402244988 A Master Sergeant with a noble goal. A beautiful attorney with dangerous secrets. An earthquake, a kidnapping, and a desperate flight. Impressive abdominals on the front cover. New military suspense from Catherine Mann!

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Hot Zone

9780345524096 A loner with an adrenaline addiction. A loose cannon who plays too far outside the box. A missing child, a wealthy philanthropist  with things to hide,  mounting tension, sparking tempers. The latest Last Chance Rescue novel from
Christy Reece

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Sweet Reward

Click here for more details or to buy... A thief caught in the act. A rookie cop with everything to prove. A mob boss, an explosive crime, killers on the hunt, and an unlikely alliance. The latest high-octane thriller from super-author Karen Robards!

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It's all about the big names and big series in this month's paranormal selections. Reconnect with your favourite authors and your characters...

9780515149562 She's ethereal and mysterious, and breathtakingly beautiful. He's dangerous, lethal, and jawdroppingly sexy. His mission is to insinuate himself into her life, but she's not going to make it easy. Can't get enough of Christine Feehan? Hop on board with this second book in her Sea Haven series.

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9781937007188 The demons have been tattooed on her skin for thousands of years, and breaking the bond has unexpected consequences - for her and the demons. She needs them - and she needs to stop them before they give in to the temptation to unleash Hell on Earth. The Hunter's Kiss series continues from Marjorie M Liu.

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Click here to buy The Mortal Bone


9780425243411Robin D. Owens gives her readers a little Christmas gift of her own with this collection set in the Celta verse of her perenially popular Heart series.

Featuring new content, including three novellas and a story, this collection fleshes out the world of Celta, including how the world was discovered.

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Hearts and Swords

9780425244937Michelle Rowen mixes a little humour into her magic in her Living in Eden series. This is book 3.

Co-dependent relationships aren't the healthiest - so Eden knows she shouldn't be lusting after the demon possessing her. But the urge is growing stronger - and so is her desire to mess with black magic.

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That Old Black Magic

9780425243954Lovers of erotic paranormal author Lora Leigh are the luckiest in the romance reading world - this woman is a machine! This is book 26 in her Breeds series .

She's left at loose ends when her sister finds a mate, but that doesn't mean she wants to work with him - a lion with attitude.

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Lawe's Justice

Contemporaries are perfect beach reads - and we've got your summer covered!
9780373776788A digital-first book from Harlequin's Carina Press, Shannon Stacey's wonderful Kowalski-introducing novel Exclusively Yours is now available in print! This is the kind of novel that reminds you why you read romance!

When Keri Daniel's sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued, ambitious editor discovers her past history with super-recluse author Joe Kowalski, she delivers an ultimatum: an interview or a new job. Keri broke Joe's heart, so he's intrigued when he hears she's back in town - and looking for him. So he issues an ultimatum of his own. Keri's just drowning in ultimatums. And pretty soon she's drowning in Kowalskis. And nostalgia. And the tantalising possibility of a second chance at love.

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9780778313007For a small mountain town, V irgin River has an awful lot of young singles . Lucky for readers, Robyn Carr always has a new way to bring them into town - and give them a happy-ever-after ending.

Having an ex-husband is bad enough; watching him parade his new wife around town is too much to bear. So Leslie jumps at the chance at a new start in Virgin River. The company needs her help, and she's happy to pitch in. But when an extra set of hands come attached to  Connor Danson, Leslie's heart is at risk again.

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9780821774182Jo Goodman has built a loyal fan base with her dense, rich historicals. Now she explores some exciting new territory with her first contemporary romance.

Thea and Mitchell have careers, relationships - with other people - and lives of their own when they are called to take guardianship of their late friends' three children. But working out their arrangements - and solving the riddle of their instant family will throw their previous lives into sharp relief, and show them where they really belong.

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Click here to buy A Place Called Home

The Historical Heavy-Weights have come out to play this month - and we readers have all the fun!
9780061885693 Readers, it has been a bumper year for historical romance this year, but this one - well this is the one to beat in my opinion. Fresh, funny, romantic, with unforgettable characters - this novel shows why Julie Ann Long is the writer to watch. And read, of course.

He is Lord Ice - the trendsetter in the ton who only tolerates the best. The best horses, the best clothes, the best clubs - the best women. He's found his perfect wife in heiress Lisbeth Redmond...but it's her paid companion Phoebe who catches his eye. Too poor to be of notice - and therefore have to worry about the rules, Phoebe is witty, intelligent, with ambitions of her own. Who knew that disregarding the rules could be so dangerously addictive?

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Click here to buy How The Marquess Was Won



9780062075918Gaelen Foley returns to her Inferno Club series this month.

He's wildly notorious, a peer of the realm believed to have turned traitor. She's wildly romantic, and knows that her love can save him.

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My Ruthless Prince

9780061963179Laura Lee Guhrke
returns to her Abandoned at the Altar series, set in the US.

She's nouveau riche, and determined to marry into the peerage to gain some respect. He's hired by her family to distract her from her unsuitable choice - with unexpected results.

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Trouble at the Wedding

9781439157893Teresa Medeiros returns to historicals - from a sultan's palace to a London ballroom.

She broke his heart and set him on a ten-year journey to get over it. Now she's engaged to his brother, and in trouble from which only he can save her.

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The Pleasure of Your Kiss

9780062021281If you're looking for wit with your historical romance, it's hard to go past Eloisa James. She's been playing with fairy tales for her last few books - this one is based on The Princess and the Pea.

Tarquin knows the precise qualities that will make him a suitable duchess. Unfortunately Olivia doesn't have any of them. She's curvy and headstrong and unrepentantly unconventional - and engaged to another man. Her sister, though, is perfect. So why is it that he can't get Olivia out of his head?

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Click here to buy The Duke Is Mine

 As if the weather wasn't bad enough - here are three novels destined to keep the temperatures rising!


9780425243398Can't get enough of Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton? Lucky you - they've teamed up again in this sequel to their last collaboration. Now more nauti-ness, more wildness, more motorcycles, more sensational men, and definitely more steam!

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Nautier and Wilder

9780425243442Joey W Hill keeps it dark with her Vampire Queen series. Jacob is Lady Lyssa's servant with all that entails - obedience, loyalty, damnation for betrayal. But can he help Lyssa through the trials she now faces?

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Bound by the Vampire Queen

9780425241394They're cowboys. They're vampires. They're a delicious combination of both in Sarah McCarty's latest. He needs to find a cure, but the woman who holds the key is his sworn enemy - and maybe his mate.

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Click here to buy Slade
Prices displayed in Booktopia Romance Buzz are correct at time of publication. Website prices are subject to change at short notice. In these circumstances, the price listed in the newsletter may not be correct. In the event that a price conflict between the newsletter and website does occur, website prices will override prices listed in the newsletter.
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Nine Naughties with...





Erotic Romance
The holidays are a stressful time for a lot of people - so take the pressure  of remembering which books you wanted to buy in January off completely, by pre-ordering now. There are so many great novels coming out - I would hate for you to miss one!

Anne Gracie
Christina Brooke
Stephanie Laurens
Leigh, McCray et al
Cindy Gerard
Jennifer Ashley
Lara Adrian
Carly Phillips

More pre-orders!
January is chock-full of romance goodness!

Janet Evanovich
Jayne Ann Krentz
Kresley Cole
Maya Banks
Shiloh Walker
Sarah McCarty
Stephanie Rowe
Shannon Stacey

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