Booktopia Romance Buzz
April 2012| Edition Thirty-Six
Gentle Readers,
This month  marks three years of writing the Booktopia Romance Buzz, and letting you all know what's new in the genre. It's been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for spending your time with me each month.

It's a big month for romance - the RITA nominations (the Oscars of romance writing) have been announced, and the Aussies have done very well for themselves! Check out the nominated books here, and you can get the whole list here.

We welcome contemporary romance writer extraordinaire Julie James to the Buzz this month, and I'm delighted to have her. You will all be aware of my deep and abiding love for contemporary romance, and Julie writes some of the best! Check out her answers to the Nine Naughty Questions below.

Finally, are you aware of Booktopia's Romance Favourites? I can't feature every book every month here in the Buzz, but I can let you know about them with this handy link - and yes, they are all discounted as well. Enjoy!
Click here for more details or to order...
What I Just Finished: Such a bittersweet joy to finish a fantastic series - and I admit to being a little bereft at having no more Alexia books from Gail Carriger to read. But she's writing some new books in the same universe, so I won't start grieving yet!

What I'm Reading Now: I'm inches away from finishing Christina Brooke's Mad About the Earl, but I admit to reading very slowly. I don't want it to end!

What I Can't Wait For: Readers, go look at the pre-orders for May. Nalini Singh! Charlaine Harris! Julia Quinn! Sherry Thomas! The only downside is choosing which to read first!!

Until next month, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz

Booktopia has a Free Shipping Offer on right now because... well, it's that time of year when the nights get longer and many of us love to spend our evenings buried in a good book.

The FREE SHIPPING promotion code is:

THANKS  --> read carefully below on how to apply this code to your order.

Simply place an order before midnight on Wednesday 4th April, 2012 (wherever you are in Australia) with the promotion code THANKS and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

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THANKS the PROMOTION CODE FIELD ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE CHECKOUT PROCESS. *** please read the next paragraph so you can apply your code correctly.

*** The promotion code field where you enter the word THANKS is just above the section where you choose your payment options like Credit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, etc. This is on the last page of the checkout just before you complete your order. You need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your free shipping discount.

This offer is only available to Australian shipping addresses. If you are overseas and want to ship to an Australian address then you can use this promotional code too.

It is not applicable to free pick up from our warehouse OR eBooks as the discount code applies only to the shipping cost and not to the overall order.

Julie_JamesIt's an absolute thrill to welcome Julie James to this month's Booktopia Romance Buzz . I've been a fan of Julie's since her first novel, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, and I recommend her to any reader who loves smart heroines, sexy heroes, and a bit of legal action on the side.

Julie joins us today to answer our Nine Naughty Questions:

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

I'd have to say "made," for me at least, since I had an entirely different career before writing. I practiced law at a large firm for six years before I left to write full-time.  I started my writing career with screenplays, and after two of my scripts were optioned to producers, I began to think, hmm ... maybe this is something I could actually do for a living. Still, I struggled with the decision for over a year. But as much as I enjoyed practicing law, I loved writing that much more. And I felt that if I didn't take the chance at writing, I'd look back one day and regret it.

My first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, was originally written as a screenplay called The Andrews Project . A producer optioned the script, but unfortunately the movie didn't get made. After the option expired, my film agent suggested that I turn the script into a book. At the time I thought, "A book? But that's, like, 300 pages." But I sat down, wrote the book - no clue what I was doing or if it was any good - and when I was done, I sent it off to my film agent. He liked it and sent it to a literary agent friend of his, who offered to represent me. A couple of months later I had a two-book deal with Berkley. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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?

I think Romance Readers are such devoted fans because there are so many of us, myself included, who enjoy reading quality stories with happy endings about smart, interesting, admirable characters.  As for whether I ever feel exposed . . . no, not really.  Sure, there are part of my books that evolve from personal experience, but when I'm writing I'm living those moments through my characters, not myself.

Click here for more details or to order...3.    Please tell us about your latest novel...
Happy to!  About That Night is a fun, sexy contemporary romance that hits bookstores on April 3rd.  It's about an ex-con, Kyle Rhodes, (who also happens to be a billionaire heir) who was convicted for hacking into Twitter after his super-model ex-girlfriend broke up with him via a tweet.  He's just been released from prison and wants to put the past--and his mistakes--behind him.  He's therefore quite irked when the U.S. Attorney's office, the very prosecutors who threw him in prison, want his help in a high-profile homicide investigation involving a corrupt prison guard.  But the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the case just so happens to be a woman from Kyle's past, and may be the one person Kyle can't say no to... 

More information about the book, and an excerpt, can be found at

4.    Is the life of a published romance writer... well... romantic?
I like to think that the life of a published Romance writer is whatever she makes of it.  We're all the heroines of our own stories. : )

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?
How about a fun, romantic moment? For my thirtieth birthday, I went to New York with some girlfriends.  We went on my actual birthday, and before I left for the airport my husband gave me a birthday card and told me not to open it until the plane landed.  I did, and inside the card were clues to the location of my birthday present, which was somewhere in New York City.  My girlfriends and I had a lot of fun walking around Manhattan for that!

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 on I can see a thing' mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?
I think that what's important in a romance novel is to show the evolution of the relationship between the heroine and hero.  Sex can be a part of that, but I don't think it has to be.  In my first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive , the heroine and hero don't get together until the end of the book-because that's what was right for the story.  That being said, my more recent books have been steamier, and readers seem to be enjoying that. :)

Click here for more details or to order... 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?
I'd say the novel that has most influenced my work is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice .  I love that book-it's one I re-read every year.  Beyond that, because my writing career began with screenplays, I'd say that most of my influences come from romantic comedy films: An American President-the scene where Annette Bening tells off the President while standing in the Oval Office, after he's asked her if she wants to grab a doughnut, is just fantastic.  Pretty WomanThe Princess BrideLove, Actually.  Can I count those as my five? : )

8.    Paranormal Romance writing is 'so hot right now', do you have any thoughts on why?
Hmm.. . perhaps because, to the extent readers want to escape into a different world when they pick up a book, paranormal romance is a good sub-genre in which to do that?  Although from what I'm seeing, contemporary romance is hot right now!

9.    Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?
Not to give up. To keep plugging away on that manuscript.  I completely understand how busy life can get, but if you can find the time to write at least a page a day, in a year you'd have a finished book.  Be open to feedback-very few people get a book right on the first draft.  (Myself included.)  Work on your dialogue-no one will ever tell you that your dialogue is too good, and it's something that can really elevate a good story into a great one. 

Erotic romance comes in one shade this month: grey!
Click here for more details or to order... Whether you love it, you hate it, or you haven't decided yet whether to read it, you've certainly heard of it: and now 50 Shades of Grey is available (edited) in print.

From fan fiction to best-seller to feature motion picture, this is the novel the world is talking about. Make up your own mind:

Ana is a quiet college student pursuing a journalism career. Her campus magazine sends her to interview the enigmatic Christian Grey, a successful young entrepreneur with some secrets that he's willing to teach Ana, but only on his terms.

Booktopia Price: $14.95
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Click here to buy 50 Shades of Grey

Can't get enough? Scroll down for books 2 and 3!


Click here for more details or to order... Ana and Christian's relationship went too deep and dark for Ana to handle, so she runs away to Seattle, a new job, and hopefully a new life. But Christian continues to dominate her thoughts, and when he contacts her with a new arrangement, she is powerless to resist.

But things aren't easy: Christian has the demons of a tortured past to confront, and Ana has a few confrontations of her own.

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Click here to buy 50 Shades Darker

Click here for more details or to order... Ana and Christian have finally come together in a relationship perfect for them. Sensuous, intimate, infinite: there is nothing that they can't conquer. Except, maybe, Ana's worst nightmare come to life - and she has to face it alone.

Loving Christian was never going to be easy, but Ana didn't know that it was going to have to be this hard.

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Click here to buy 50 Shades Freed

 It's always such a pleasure having something to write about in this category - and this month, we've got one of each!

Click here for more details or to order... Lynn Kurland's latest novel takes her readers tumbling through time again - from present day to a medieval castle and a whole lot of danger.

Peaches is thrilled to be on the Duke of Kenneworth's guest list, and not even snobby, stuffy Stephen can ruin her night. But, hurtling through time can. And does. And only Stephen, with his secret double life, can save her.

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Click here to buy All For You

Click here for more details or to order...Further evidence that life isn't fair: the covers to these books are awful. Truly dreadful. Yet, as with all things, it's what's inside that counts. And the insides of these books are awesome. This is book five. If you love sci-fi, kick-ass heroines, cool moms, and hot aliens, this may be the series for you.

Kitty may not be as smooth as her hubby, Jeff, but is there really anything a well-stocked iPod can't fix??

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Click here to buy Alien Diplomacy
Lots of diversity in our paranormal options this month - check out a new Aussie novel and continuation of some long-running series.


Click here for more details or to order...Mega-prolific author Shiloh Walker continues her Hunter's World series this month.

He's an amnesiac werewolf, an enigma, a mystery, a man with no past. She's a vampire bounty hunter with no code of conduct bar getting her quarry and making her money. They're about to complicate each other's lives.

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Click here to buy
Hunter's Rise

9Click here for more details or to order... Lynsay Sands reminds us that, while they  may be technically dead and also drink blood, there's no reason vampires can't be funny. (it helps that, in the Argeneau series, vamps aren't actually dead)

She's on vacation - from her life and men. He's too controlled to fall in love, let alone with a mortal women. Sun, sand - true love?

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Under a Vampire Moon

Click here for more details or to order... Why limit yourself to one paranormal being, when you can be three? Sandra Hill brings her vikings into the paranormal age.

She's an intrepid reporter who does not believe that he is a vampire/angel/viking/lone wolf on the prowl. Until he does something that changes her world forever.

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Click here to buy
Kiss of Pride

Click here for more details or to order...Aussie author Karin Tabke revisits her Blood Moon Rising series for book 2.

The Blood Moon is coming, and it will change everything. Alpha Lucien stands ready to take his revenge on his brother Rafael by claiming his one true love, Falon. But rather than kill her, Lucien is drawn to her fiery nature. In turn, Falon cannot resist Lucien's primal strength, though she yearns for the love she knew with Rafael. Claiming her life mate may complete her destiny - but destroy the Lycan's to extinction.

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Click here to buy Bloodright

Click here for more details or to order... Christine Warren's Novels of the Others series hits book 6 with On The Prowl.

Sure Saskia may accept her arranged marriage for the good of her family and her race of shape-shifting tigers. But mostly, it's because her intended, Nicolas, is the sexiest man she's ever seen. But claiming an alpha is easier imagined than done, especially with assassins on your tail. Saskia is up to the Nicolas?

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Click here to buy On the Prowl
Contemporaries go small-town this month...and just a little bit country.


Click here for more details or to order... Two more happy customers in Robyn Carr's Virgin River - this is novel 19.

Tom leaves the marines for his family's apple orchard in Virgin River, and a nice, uncomplicated marriage to a nice, uncomplicated girl. But it's tough, single mom Nora that has him captivated with her own ideas of what family means.

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Click here to buy Sunrise Point

Click here for more details or to order... From the West to the East - Kristan Higgins latest romance is set in small-town Maine.

Her father loses everything, leaving Parker financially responsible for her family for the first time in her life. A trip to Gideon's Cove sheds a new light on everything - including the glib lawyer, James, a man learning some life lessons of his own.

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Click here to buy
Somebody to Love

Click here for more details or to order... And then down to the south for some good ol' country charm from Carolyn Brown's latest cowboy.

It was supposed to be a quiet wedding followed by a quickie divorce - with both parties getting what they wanted out of the deal. But an unexpected contest leads to unexpected consequences - and the chance at happily-ever-after.

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One Hot Cowboy

It's all thrills and chills with a new novel from La Nora!

Click here for more details or to order... What introduction to the Grand Dame of Romance? Perhaps just a note that this is a stand-alone suspense thriller, and leave you with a plot summary!

She witnessed a murder as a teenager, and had to leave her old life behind. Now a semi-recluse in a small town, she is finally beginning to feel safe. But the sheriff knows she has walls - and he's determined to break them down, though he doesn't know that his persistence could cost them both their lives.

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Click here to buy The Witness

Click here for more details or to order... Christina Dodd received a RITA nomination for the first book in this romantic suspense series. This is book three.

They shared an intense, passionate summer together, but then he walked away with out a word, never sharing the secrets of his past that made him leave. Now she's returned to town, and their mutual attraction has flared again. But trust is hard-earned when it has been betrayed, and she has more pressing concerns.

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Click here to buy Betrayal
Amanda Quick introduced me to historical romances - she has a new book out this month, as do many others. Maybe your gateway book is here?
Click here for more details or to order... Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz, aka Jayne Castle) has created a multi-genred, multi-pseudonym series about a secret society who spans generations. Amanda Quick continues to write the historical stories of the series.

Evangeline knows the streets of London are dangerous, so she finds herself a secure little cottage far from danger, but still close to the Crystal Gardens - a place Evangeline is inextricably drawn to, and can't resist. Lucas own the Gardens, but he finds himself allowing the strange woman access. But when she is attacked, he can no longer keep his distance, and the two start on a race against time to protect the garden's secrets - and their own lives.

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Click here for more information or to buy Crystal Gardens

Click here for more details or to order... Spotlight on a couple of up-and-comers with the RITA nominations to prove it! Stefanie Sloane only released her first book last year, but she's no lightweight - here's book four!

She's a reclusive bluestocking, only braving London for the lure of rare books. He's a brilliant young spy, affecting a disguise of stupidity to catch a notorious killer. Neither are what they seem, so how do they know that their feelings are real?

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The Saint Who Stole My Heart

Click here for more details or to order... Vicky Dreiling has three RITA nominations, including Best First Book, which means she was only first published last year - what a start! Jump on the bandwagon now!

It always happens in the library: she has one last season to shed her caterpillar chrysalis and emerge a social butterfly or settle for a secure, if loveless marriage. He seduces London's shyest miss in the library - and changes both their lives forever.

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Click here to buy
How To Ravish a Rake



Click here for more details or to order... Readers, here's a hint: there's no such thing as a perfect wife. What's important is that she is his perfect wife - and that's what romance teaches us.

He needs a wife to help him up the social ladder. She's been burned by him before, and is not going to come to his aid. Unless he can convince her otherwise.

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The Duke's Perfect


Click here for more details or to order... Kate Noble may be new to the historical romance scene, but she's making a mark for herself for her strong, flawed, likeable heroines.

Sarah endures a devastating betrayal, but builds herself back up - now she's the life of the party and no one can see behind her mask. Except for an old friend, determined to find the Sarah he once knew.

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Click here to buy If I Fall

Click here for more details or to order...The Lost Lords series from historical romance institution Mary Jo Putney becomes a quartet this month.

A casual mistake in the course of espionage changes the course of his life forever - and leaves him a shadow of his former self. Only one woman can heal him, a spy in her own right for whom his rescue holds deeper meaning that he knows.

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Click here to buy No Longer a Gentleman
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In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Nine Naughties With...

Erotic Romance

Science Fiction






RITA finalists


Readers, May is stacked with amazing new releases, so get in early, get in often, and maybe book a couple of long weekends - it's the only way you'll get through them all!

Here's a sneak preview:
Charlaine Harris
Nalini Singh
Julia Quinn
Nora Roberts
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Rachel Gibson
Sherry Thomas
Rachel Vincent


Not reading the Booktopia Blog? You are missing out on some daily breaking news, exclusive author interviews, funny observations, fascinating insights, titbits, gossip and a whole lot more.
Click here for author interviews, news, reviews, book-talk and more...

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Support your Aussies! (and a Kiwi!)
The Romance Writers of America announced their RITA finalists for 2012, and more than a few of the nominees are antipodean. Missed out on some of the best-of-the-best last year? Here's your chance to catch up:

Best Contemporary Series Romance:
Barbara Hannay, Rancher's Twins: Mom Needed

Click here for more details or to order...

Best Contemporary Single Title Romance:
Fiona Lowe, Boomerang Bride

Click here for more details or to order...

Best Paranormal Romance:
Nalini Singh,
Archangel's Blade

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Nalini Singh,
Lord of the Abyss

Click here for more details or to order...

Best Regency Historical Romance:
Christina Brooke,
Heiress in Love

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Best Romance Novella:
Trish Morey,
The Storm Within

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