Booktopia Romance Buzz
June 2012 | Edition Thirty-Eight
Gentle Readers,
It's a great month for Aussie-authored romance this month! Whether your tastes run to historical, paranormal, or fantasy , you can try some of our local talent and support your home-grown writers. If you're not sure where to start, may I suggest the R*BY nominees? The Romance Writers of Australia have released the short list for the best romance novels by Australian and New Zealand writers in four categories, and they're listed on the side. This is a great way to discover new authors and see the amazing talent Australia has to offer.

I'm particularly excited to welcome Christina Brooke to the Romance Buzz this month. Christina is a RITA-nominee for her novel Heiress in Love, and she can tell you about the third book in her Ministry of Marriage series.

What I've Just Finished: I just put down Sherry Thomas's May release Beguiling the Beauty - and it has me hankering for her (connected) July release! Luckily July's novel is available for pre-ordering, so I'm just going to make my way over to the side bar.

What I'm Reading Now: I just started MJ Scott's Blood Kin : I love how easy it is to support our local authors because their books are so darned good!

What I Can't Wait For:  I've definitely got my eye on the new Larissa Ione. I just adore her Lords of Deliverance novels. Also her Demonica novels. And her short stories. And... pretty much everything that woman has ever written ever.

Until next month, happy reading!


Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz

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Christina Brooke smallWhether it's as Christine Wells or Christina Brooke, she is still one of our best and brightest - and has the award-nominations to prove it! I'm so pleased to have Christina join us this month to answer our Nine Naughty Questions, and talk about her latest Ministry of Marriage novel, out in June!

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

A romance writer must be born if my experience is anything to go by. I'm a romantic from way back-I'm always drawn to the romantic thread in any story even though I didn't start reading modern genre romances until my twenties.

I grew up reading Austen and had a mild obsession with Georgette Heyer . When I started writing, I took the advice 'write what you love to read' to heart and found my niche. It wasn't until I was looking at selling my first book that I discovered amazing romances published in the United States that I'd never heard of before. My growing addiction was ably supported by Anna Campbell, whose tastes are very similar to mine.

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?

Readers love to go on that emotional journey with the characters. If they think too much about the writer's personal life during that process it probably means the author isn't doing her job!

As for feeling exposed, I don't really. Writers are like actors-we draw on our own emotional experiences to show how our characters feel but we don't often use events from our own lives. Romance is most often larger than life. I think devoted romance readers understand this. It's usually journalists and other people who don't often read romance who believe our books are autobiographical. Of course, they seem to think it gives them permission to ask about our sex lives, unfortunately...

a-duchess-to-remember3. Please tell us about your latest novel...

Coming up on June 26 is A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER , the third instalment in my Ministry of Marriage series. This is Cecily's book. She's determined and quick-witted and she thinks she has organised life just how she wants it. Until she meets the enigmatic Duke of Ashburn, that is! You can read more about the story and an excerpt on my website:

I'm also very excited to have secured a deal for another three books featuring the Westruther men.

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

HAHAHAHA!! Ahem. Next question? Actually, it seems to be my lot in life that any moments of career success-selling books or being nominated for RITAs and so forth-are swiftly followed by having to clean up dog vomit or various bodily excretions from young children. Keeps me grounded!

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?

One of the most romantic evenings in the conventional sense was dancing with my husband at the Magdalene College ball at Cambridge University. It was magic, just like a scene out of a romance novel, a night I'll remember for the rest of my life. I try to get that kind of magic into some scenes in my novels. Of course there are more significant moments that are dear to me, but I won't go into those here.

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?

Sex is integral to the romances I write. A writer can explore a lot about the characters and the relationship in bedroom scenes and I don't want to miss out on that opportunity. The story doesn't stop at the bedroom door-everything changes after a couple first goes to bed together and each subsequent love scene shows the progression of the relationship. I love sexy books when they're well-written and the characterisation is spot on. Having said that, some of my favourite all time romances stop at kissing -- Georgette Heyer's, for example.

devil-s-cub7. 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?

You know I'm going to find it difficult to stop at five!

Georgette Heyer Devil's Cub
Elizabeth Peters The Falcon at the Portal
Mary Jo Putney Shattered Rainbows lord-of-scoundrels
Mary Balogh A Summer to Remember
Loretta Chase Lord of Scoundrels
Susan Elizabeth Phillips Match Me if You Can

Oops, I can't count!

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

I suspect it's to do with a lack of ambivalence, particularly on the part of the heroes. Heroes in paranormal romance are allowed to be powerfully, overwhelmingly masculine or 'alpha' because they are supernatural beings. Few contemporary romance writers can get away with that kind of thing in a credible way any more. Plus, there's the good versus evil, life and death struggle that adds to the thrill.

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

Establish a writing practice so that you sit down at the same time every day to write.

Paranormal readers: have you got a month of reading ahead of you! Funny, dark, sexy, steampunk: it's all on offer!

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She's the original kick-ass heroine, and, yes, some would say she went a bit ... off ... in the middle there, but you can't keep Anita Blake down forever. In Laurell K Hamilton's 21st novel in the series, Anita is back doing what she does best - protecting the innocent from the monsters around them. As executioner, only she stands between vampires gone very bad and the people they will try to take along with them.

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She's the original funny vampire, the light-hearted heroine who launched a million accolytes. Along with her motley crew of paranormal friends (and, let's face it, frenemies), MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Vampires finds herself in one situation after another, each more dire than the last, and sometimes, not even the right pair of shoes can make everything turn out alright.

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Undead and Unstable

Click here for more details or to orderGet behind Risa, Keri Arthur's latest kick-ass heroine in her Dark Angel's series, the tangential spin-off from her best-selling Riley Jenson series. She's everything you didn't know you were missing. Or maybe you knew what you were missing, but didn't think you'd find it again. It's here, for your reading pleasure. This is book 3. You want to start back at book 1 . But get all three, because you're not going to want to wait.

So Risa is half-werewolf, half Aedh, which means she has the ability to get into that place between life and death and deal with reapers. She works for the Vampire Council, but it's an uneasy position, what with a good half of them wanting her dead. Still, she's got powers and skills, and if she can use them to solve the Vamps' latest problem, maybe she'll live to see another day.

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From Jeaniene Frost, the Night Prince series book 9.

He's the world's most infamous vampire, but he's helpless against her distress. She's a mortal with a terrifying gift that guarantees her a life of solitude - until he answers her call.

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Once Burned

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From Lauren Dane, the Bound by Magick series book 2.

Her life has always been defined by violence - and there's no reason that should change. He is a warrior from another world - the only man who can match her. It is an ancient entity that is about to return, and bring an unsatiable hunger.

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Chaos Burning

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From Karina Cooper, the first of the St Croix Chronicles.

She's a well-bred, well-behaved lady by day (though with an unfortunate family reputation). So no one suspects that by night she descends to London's underbelly to track down the evil that makes its home there.

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Click here for more details or to order Aussie author MJ Scott released her first dark fantasy novel last September, introducing readers to the Half-Light City, and its potent mix of vampires, Beast-kind, fae, and humans - and the uneasy peace in which they all operate.

As the time for the treaty renewal approaches, information is key - and that's a good thing for Holly. She deals in information, collects it, sells it. A Fae half-breed, she's had to fight to earn her way in the world. A chance meeting with a Templar Knight, Guy, is about to change everything though. They may live in separate worlds, but violence and treachary observes no borders, so those separate worlds are about to collide.

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Whether it's funny suspense, paranormal suspense, or erotic suspense, we've got what you want this month, from some of the best writers in the business.


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From Shayla Black, the 6th book in her Wicked Lovers series.

She was his best friend's wife, like a sister, until one naughty suggestion - born of pain - sent them both careening over a cliff's edge. Now she's come to find him, alone and scared, because he's the only one who can save her.

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Mine To Hold

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Janet Evanovich
is back with the long-awaited second book in her Diesel and Lizzy series. Prepare to laugh!

Diesel is on the hunt for the Seven Deadly Sins - in stone form. Lizzy had a nice quiet life until he showed up. But her special power coincides with his own, and saving the world is much friendlier with two.

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Wicked Business

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Hollywood glamour and grisly murder mix in the latest Krewe of Hunters novel from Heather Graham.

The Black Box Cinema immortalises the golden age of cinema in a series of tributes. But there's something... unusual about the mannequin of the Egyptian Priest. Something deadly. And it's about to strike again.

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The Unholy

Erotic Romance - keeping you warm on these cold winter nights!
lethal-riderI know I've raved about Larissa Ione before, so hopefully you're all ignoring what I'm writing here and are just clicking through on the link. If you're not, however, here's a fun fact: Larissa is one of those rare authors who can write not only fantastic erotic novels, but fantastic erotic short stories as well. I first found her through the Secret anthologies, and, trust me, Larissa's stories are worth a read. You can get your hands on them here and here.

If novels are more your speed, may I humbly suggest this, the third book in Larissa's Lords of Deliverance series?

Of the four horseman of the apocalypse, Thanatos is the most dangerous. Centuries of abstinence has pushed back the end of days, but one sexy demon-slayer has put the whole world at risk.

What could be worse? Well, it turns out their night of passion had consequences - in the form of a tiny little baby.

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Maya Banks
returns to her Colter's Legacy series to continue the story of Lily and the three Colter brothers who have found a way to heal each other.

Lily has found her new life, new ways to love, and a new hope for the future. It's time to celebrate, and reunite everyone in a home-coming for the ages. There's just one more thing Lily needs to reconcile with - her past.

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Erin McCarthy
brings high octane thrills to her erotic romance novels set in and around the race-car world. This is book 6 in her loosely connected series.

After a wardrobe malfunction on track, he's getting attention in a whole new way. It's her job as PR rep to put a positive spin on it. Of course, things get a bit more complicated when they both end up drunk. And married. In Vegas. How to spin that?

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A former Romance Buzz feature author is back this month for a two-fer, along with three other authors, sure to fulfill your contemporary needs this month.
If you've been enjoying Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbour series, you're in for a treat this month: two releases, back-to-back!

lucky-in-loveLucky in Love
Mallory is quite through with playing it safe. As a nurse she takes care of her patients; as a daughter, she takes care of her parents; now she'd like to take care of herself. And that means eschewing Mr Right for a bit of fun with Mr Wrong. Mr Very-Hot-And-Very-Mysterious-Wrong. Except Mr Wrong, once known as Mr Just-Passing-Through, seems to be settling in. Staying awhile. Becoming more than just a memory to hold on to. Mr Wrong is looking more and more like her Mr Right.

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at-lastAt Last
Her grandmother found Lucky Harbour a life-altering experience many years before, so when Amy needs a dramatic change and a new beginning, that's where she heads. The Pacific Northwest rain forest helps her see clearly - and the Pacific Northwest forest ranger has her seeing stars. It's a life-altering experience all right, just not quite in the way she expected.

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Kate Angell
takes her baseball series down a notch from the professional leagues to a seaside kid's team.

She's a laid-back kind of woman, happy to work on a laptop on the beach. He's an uptight kind of man, with business on his mind and results in his sights. But you know what they say about opposites attracting.

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No Tan Lines


Molly O'Keefe
mixes a woman with a past and a man without a future and finds them a place to meet in the middle.

She has to fight for her opportunities, and she's not going to turn down a good one - especially if it helps a dying man reunite with his selfish, spoiled, estranged children. He's one of those children - and he's not about to let a lying gold-digger get her claws on the family business.

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Can't Buy Me Love


Susan Wiggs
takes us back to the Lake for her latest Lakeshore Chronicles novel.

He's about to get his shot, but life has a way of derailing plans. Now his priorities are completely different, and he's out of his league. She was hired to help smooth his rough edges, but it's looking like there may be a new role in his life that she might just be perfect for.

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Here's a fact: even though it's cold and wintery here in Australia, in London and Scotland, it's summer! Ergo, reading UK-based romances will make you feel warmer. And I don't even mean that as a double entendre.

Well, now I do. But I didn't when I first wrote it.


Loretta Chase follows up her wonderful Silk is for Seduction with the next tale of the Noirot sisters.

Readers, this book takes a little longer to get in to than Silk, but Sophie Noirot is a character well worth getting to know - and so much fun to watch as she uses all her powers of manipulation and disguise to save the Noirot fashion house - and thoroughly beguile the Earl of Longmore in the process.

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Been curious about the Ghost of St Giles? Elizabeth Hoyt's latest Maiden Lane Series novel reveals all - including the woman made to love a ghost.

He's leading a double life, but an attack brings his two worlds crashing together. She loves a challenge - and takes the risk of nursing a fugitive. She just can't figure out why he seems so familiar - or so darned tempting.

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Love a romance north of the border? The border between England and Scotland, that is...

conquered-by-a-highlanderPaula Quinn - Conquered by a Highlander
He is desperate to return home to his native Scotland and its lush, green landscape. Only one things stands in his way - his duty to the king. One final mission to flush out a traitor, and he can return home with honour. So he infiltrates his enemy's home...and meets her.

She's a captive, along with her illegitimate son, and she has only freedom on her mind. And she's willing to deal with anyone who can help her in her quest, even a mysterious highlander with some shady secrets and an agenda of his own.

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a-scandalous-scotKaren Ranney - A Scandalous Scot
From honour to dishonour - and a man returning to his Highland home with his reputation in tatters. He doesn't mind too much; all he wants is peace and quiet and a retreat from his problems. However, his new, outspoken, opinionated maid is an obstacle to his much-desired plans.

She's got her own past to contend with, and running to Ballindair Castle seemed like a good idea at the time. But he keeps getting in the way, being all big and manly and distracting. Hot. Passionate. A magnificent specimen of manhood...where was I again?

Oh right...

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Carrie Lofty
, guys. Carrie Lofty - I can't express just how much you have to read her. Just do it! (all trademark rights to Nike)

We have Alex, the oldest Christie, and a man desperate to protect his son - desperate enough to take on an unwinnable challenge. She refuses to put one life before the well-being of a whole community, even for a love powerful enough to smash class boundaries.

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One of the Grand Dames of historical romance: Johanna Lindsey returns to give a beloved secondary character a happy-ever-after of her own.

Amanda Locke needs a husband, and her interfering family hires London's notorious-but-effective Devin Baldwin to use his theories on animal magnetism to help things along. But what happens when the matchmaker wants a match of his own?

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Let Love Find You


I haven't read Katharine Ashe yet - and I've been roundly chastised for this oversight. Shall we make a pact? Let's all give her a try and report back next month.

Viola isn't one to be bound by the rules, particularly when they stand between her and the man she's loved since childhood. But Jim only sees her as a debt to be reconciled. Can Viola show him she is so much more than red in his ledger?

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How to be a Proper

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 Questions
Paranormal Romance
Fantasy Romance
Romantic Suspense
Erotic Romance
Historical Romance
R*BY Nominations

The chance for you to show your mum/boss/significant other that yes, you really are an organised person, on top of all the details in your life, and have no need for their interference whatsoever, thank you very much.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Christine Feehan
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Keri Arthur

JR Ward
Kelley Armstrong
Sherry Thomas

Sylvia Day
Maya Banks


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The Booktopia Romance Buzz would like to congratulate all the Romantic Book of the Year (R*BY) nominees. The Premiere Romance Award in Australia will be handed out on Saturday, the 18th of August, at the RWA's Annual Conference Awards Dinner, held this year on the Gold Coast.

If you want to get a look at the nominees, read on!

Short Sweet

- Barbara Hannay

how to save a marriage in a million

- Leonie Knight

abby and the bachelor cop

- Marion Lennox

single dads triple trouble

- Fiona Lowe

Short Sexy

the fearless maverick

- Robyn Grady

the man she loves to hate

The Man She Loves to Hate
- Kelly Hunter

the wedding charade

The Wedding Charade
- Melanie Milburne


Her Not-So-Secret Diary
- Anne Oliver

Long Romance


- Anna Campbell

BoomerangBrideAUS small

Boomerang Bride
- Fiona Lowe

the best laid plans

- Sarah Mayberry


- Mardi McConnochie

Romantic Elements

- Anna Jacobs

shelly beach writers group

The Shelly Beach Writer's Group
- Jane Loves


Busted in Bollywood
- Nicola Marsh


Shattered Sky
- Helene Young