Booktopia Romance Buzz
December 2012| Edition Forty-four

Gentle Readers,

The silly season is upon us - which, ironically enough, means no more Christmas titles! Instead we have a fantastic selection guaranteed to make sure that whatever it is you celebrate at this time of year, it's sure to be happy.

Click here for detailsThe New Year is fast upon us, so make sure that you're organised and ready for the Reader Event of the Year: Australian Romance Readers Conference 2013. Booktopia is the major sponsor, so I hope to see all of you there. With Rachel Vincent, Kristan Higgins, and Nalini Singh coming from overseas, and all of your favourite Aussie authors, it's sure to be a fantastic event. You can get all your information by clicking on the the banner to your right.

As always, it's been my pleasure and my privilege to talk to you this year about the books we all love to read. I wish you all the best for the season, and I will see you next year!

Until 2013, happy reading.


Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz


I am so delighted to welcome best-selling author and all around lovely person Alyssa Day to the Buzz this month! Alyssa has a new Atlantis title - the title we've all been waiting for - out this month, and she has kindly agreed to drop by to tell us about it - and, of course, answer our Nine Naughty Questions!

Take it away, Alyssa!

Thank you for inviting me!!  I adore my Australian readers!!

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

I was always a writer. My grandmother sent me a trove of stories I'd written for her when I was 4 or 5, and I had to laugh to see that I was VERY imaginative even then! And then I found my 2nd grade school report card, which said "she's such a creative writer!" - so I guess I was born!  Although I had a brief foray into a PhD program in Psychology and then law school and 8 years as a trial lawyer before I began to write for publication.

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?

Oh, I am laughing so hard. My glamorous life is very glitzy indeed.  Just five minutes ago I took a load of laundry out of the dryer after I finished giving the pug a bath.  Oh and the grocery shopping this morning.  WHEE!!  (I should do it all in sequins, at least . . .)

Writing is very personal, or at least it should be, and of course you can tell so much about an author's heart, ideals, beliefs, and worldview from her books.  I do feel very exposed, sometimes, but the more honest I am with the truth of emotion in my writing, the more those stories touch the hearts of readers.  I have had so many letters thanking me for lending a little escape during a difficult time-I am honored Click here for details or to orderand humbled by this.

3. Please tell us about your latest novel...

HEART OF ATLANTIS !!  Alaric and Quinn!!  The book everyone has been waiting for since the very first book in the Warriors of Poseidon series came out in March, 2007.  Atlantis will finally rise-or be destroyed during the attempt-and the most explosive relationship in the history of Atlantis will finally be consummated, whether it destroys the entire world or not!!

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

Oh, dear.  My life is very . . . interesting.  I'm a Navy wife, so I've lived in several different states and one foreign country (Japan-we were there during the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster) during our 16 years of marriage.  I've been writing full-time since 2003, and a good half of that time has been as a single mother while my husband was on deployment.  My book Email to the Front, a nonfiction memoir about military life while your spouse is deployed during wartime, gives an insider look at how hard this is.  The reunions are romantic!

For me, romance is more about the depth of commitment and enduring love that comes along with the breathtaking passion, so I'd have to say yes, my life is very romantic!

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?

Life is never about only one moment.  I have so many.  The look on my tough Navy flyer husband's face when our children were born.  The time he said, "Of course I love you, I changed the oil in your car!"  LOL.  The weekend he drove 7 hours each way to see me for only a day just because I was lonely.  The time he drove around the city at 3 a.m. to try to find pumpkin pie because I was pregnant and dying of cravings.  The moment he showed me the ring and asked me to marry him . . . I could go on and on.

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't see a thing' mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?

Sex is wonderful! I think sex in a novel is exactly as important as the reader of that book wants it to be!  In other words, we are lucky to have books written at every level of sensuality so readers can find the authors who write at a heat level appropriate to what they want to read.  I have to smile sometimes because I get reader letters on the very same book that say "there's not enough sex in your books!" and "there's too much sex in your books!"  It's a very individual thing.

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?

Oddly enough, I was never a romance reader before I started writing, and as you can tell from my books, I tend to write hybrids with as much action and adventure as romance.  So many of my favourite writers write in the urban fantasy genre, such as Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, and Eileen Rendahl. I do love a classic Linda Howard book, adored Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters, and read so many of my friends' wonderful books that it would be far too many to list.

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

Terrific erotic romance has always been popular, but I think the success of the 50 Shades phenomenon has brought it out into the mainstream.  My friends Lauren Dane and Sylvia Day write amazing erotic romance.

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

I give tons of advice to aspiring authors; I do a periodic Dear Aspiring Authors thing on twitter ( - follow me! We'll chat!), but the most important is NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!!  The world needs more great storytellers; never give up on your dreams. (ED: the world also needs more people who spontaneously quote Galaxy Quest!)

I get to include a SF romance in this category this month, along with some fab new additions to a favourite series.


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Kim Harrison releases book 11 in The Hollows this month.

Readers won't be surprised to know that Rachel Morgan has accidentally set off the apocalypse. The Ever After is in danger, and if it goes, so too does all the magic in the world. Now she - and only she - can stop it with her unique set of gifts.

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Gena Showalter kicks off (yet another!) series this month. Her fans are the luckiest in the world - she's so darned prolific!

He's caged like an animal in a zoo of otherworld curiousities. She's the keeper's daughter, tasked with his care and feeding. She's also the key to his escape, if he can just convince her to see him as a man.

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Last Kiss Goodnight

Click here for details or to orderI really think Gini Koch should have called this, her sixth book in her Kitty Katt series, Alien on Alien, but she never called, so I didn't get to tell her, and now she's named it Alien vs Alien.

Mine was funnier.

So Kitty is back - and now she's imbued with powers she inherited (backwards) from her daughter. She may be stuck in DC playing diplomat, but she still knows that hairspray, a well-stocked iPod and a glock are always the best accessories a girl can have.

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Pamela Palmer introduces some new members into her Feral Warriors brotherhood, which extends the series, which is excellent for readers!

He's determined to prove himself to his new brothers on the front lines of the war they wage against the Daemons. He's equally determined to see his counterpart Ilina warrior fall prey to his charm. To his chagrin, she doesn't - and then proves herself his equal in every way. It's time this pup learned a lesson about appearances - and love.

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Admit it - you've got the I Dream of Jeannie theme song in your head right now. Luckily for readers, Dakota Cassidy isn't bound to the 60s censorship rules: she can push the boundaries beyond a bit of midriff-sans-belly-button...

Jeannie is a pro at her catering job, but she's a little nonplussed when, on opening a rare bottle of gin, a guy in puffed pants pops out, and she gets sucked in! Sloan isn't big on the ol' damsel in distress, but when he takes Jeannie's call (to the Open Paranormal Support helpline) he gets sucked in to her spell.

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The Accidental Genie

Lots on offer in contemporary romance this month, which you know makes me a happy reader - including a new Shannon Stacey Kowalski novel!
Click here for details or to orderLinda Lael Miller finishes off her Big Sky trilogy, set in Parable, Montana, this month.

Sheriff Boone Taylor has already loved and lost enough for a lifetime. Now he has his friends, his job, and his run-down ranch. His in-laws are taking care of his kids, so he can go ahead and live the loner lifestyle that suits him now that he is a widow.

But his solitude is interrupted by a city woman who moves in next door, on the run from her marriage and her career and her previous life. She wants quiet too, but she can't run her spread without a little help. That doesn't mean she wants more from her handsome neighbour. She's had just about as much from men as she can handle.

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Carly Phillips returns to Serendipity in her latest novel.

He wanted to live his life out of his father's shadow, but fate has conspired against him, and now he's back at home and in his father's old role. Only she can snap him out of his loner, brooding state.

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Perfect Fit

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Carolyn Brown brings romance down home to the rodeo.

He's a top bronc rider, rough and tumble, hell-on-wheels - and the guardian of a new baby. Only she can help him, but she's always been able to resist his smile and swagger. Can she resist a baby?

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Just a Cowboy and His Baby

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Interested in Jennifer Bernard's Fireman series, but not willing to fully commit? Check out this prequel novella at a special price this month.

 All the women want him, but he only wants one - the sweet, shy Maribel who has no idea the town's hottest hunk is pining away for her.

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One Fine Fireman


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Guys, I love the amazing Shannon Stacey like whoa and damn. Embarrassing amounts. Stalker fangirl amounts. Really, it's almost become an issue in my daily life. Luckily, I get a fix this month as she kicks off a new trilogy. If, like me, you worship and adore her past books, don't worry - the Kowalskis aren't going anywhere. In fact, get ready to meet a new branch of the family...

He travels all the time - it's a work thing with the added bonus of putting expiration dates on all his personal things. But even he can't resist the call of his family and a six-week stay to help fix up the lodge is suddenly on the cards. How better to spend the time than with the new girl in town - a perfect, no-strings-attached, naughty holiday between consenting adults...

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Suspense readers get some shades of grey this month - not those shades: a new novel from Maya Banks!



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Not those shades - new shades! Courtesy of Maya Banks and her KGI series.

PJ and Cole were co-workers, rivals, and - one hot night - lovers. But working together jeopardises their relationship when they are called out on a mission that goes terribly wrong. Cole knows PJ belongs with him - but can he convince her to return home?

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Shades of Gray

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Kat Martin interjects a bit of the otherworldly into her new novel.

Two brothers inherit more than just land when they inherit a plantation - and Kendall is happy to use her tarot-reading skills to tell them all about it. But Flynn, the eldest, isn't interested in ghost stories, until very real people begin to disappear.


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Against the Odds

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A ripped shirt, a ripped stomach - and that's just the cover of Shannon K Butcher's new novel.

Clay thinks he can handle anything - until he wakes up with blood on his hands and no memory of how it got there. He needs Dr Leigh, and help, and he has never needed either before. Leigh treats Edge employees so she thinks she knows what to expect. Until Clay walks through her door.

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Edge of Sanity

Click here for details or to order This might be the perfect book for the long, hot, Aussie summer. Just looking at this cover makes me cold. And you know that Karen Robards is going to ramp up the chills from page one.

Samantha is a single mom, doing the best she can for herself and her son by repossessing cars. But what looked like just another BMW bought by someone whose eyes were bigger than their bank balance turns into something more when she discovers a man near death in the trunk.

Danny is very grateful that Sam finds him before he dies, but that doesn't stop him from taking her hostage and putting her life - and that of her son - in danger as well. Now, with all three targets, Sam has no choice but to throw in with Danny and hope that he can protect her and give her back the life that he stole.

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Click here for details or to orderJust one title to spotlight this month, but as a home-grown talent, Karen Tabke is worth your full attention!

Falon is the Alpha female of her pack, marked by both Lucien and Raphael as their mate. It's not easy sharing her heart between the two rival brothers, but as a mix between Slayer and Lycan, Falon has the kind of strength that makes the relationship work - until a revelation throws her whole life and everything she knew into chaos. Her relationship - and her life - is at stake. Can Lucien and Raphael put aside their pride and accept their unusual triumverate?

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It's like Kate-celebration time in Historical Romance this month - all my favourite authors, together at last - including the reclusive Susan Carroll.
Click here for details or to orderJulia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway have teamed up again for a 'novel in three parts'. I don't know if you've read the previous collection: The Lady Most Likely, but here's a tip: it's not a novel. It's really just three short stories based around the same plot/people. I'm not suggesting it's not fun - it is! - but I don't want you to be all upset at me if you are vehemently opposed to short stories or allergic or something. Consider yourself informed!

Our authors extraordinaire have moved north to Scotland for this year's offering: a Laird with unwilling nephews, a house party, four kidnapped potential brides, and a decrepit castle full of captive guests. Sounds like our authors have their work cut out for them to find the happy ending in this mess!

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I love Susan Carroll's novels - they are historical romance heavy on the history, heavy on the romance, set in an unusual period, with a heavy dose of magic realism, and they're just gorgeous. Her Dark Queen series is among my favourite novels ever. And the books themselves are gorgeous too. Perfect for a bookshelf.

Ding dong, Catherine de Medici is dead, but so are Meg Wolfe's hopes of a quiet life. She is summoned to the court of King James to save him from insidious treachery. Far away from her home, Meg finds she can't trust anyone or anything. Not even her own heart.

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The Lady of Secrets

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I think this is our only proper six-pack cover this month! Thank you Jennifer Ashley - and also thanks for the MacKenzies. And now the McBrides. And also the hot cover.  I think this guy has an eight-pack!

 Juliana did everything right - the proper, appropriate way. However, being proper landed her jilted at the altar, humiliated and ostracised. So being proper suddenly doesn't seem to be all that important. After all, Elliot - her improper first love - never did anything the proper way. And now that he's suddenly in front of her, maybe it's time to be improper together.

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The Seduction of Elliot McBride

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In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Nine Naughties with...

Paranormal Romance

SF Romance


Romantic Suspense

Erotic Romance

Historical Romance


So if you're anything like me, your New Year's resolutions will probably go something like this:

  1. Prune existing books
  2. Stop buying bookshelves
  3. For the love of God, be more selective with book buying choices!

Now, you know, and I know, that these things will never actually happen. But it's important to feel positive when facing a challenge. So it's probably best to get all your book buying in order now - that way you're technically not buying new books. Past You did it! Present You is sticking to your guns! You can't be held responsible for Past You's bad behaviour!

And then you get to read your new book guilt-free.

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Jayne Ann Krentz

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Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

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Jude Deveraux

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Linda Howard

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Brenda Novak



Teresa Medeiros

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Diana Palmer

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Lilith Saintcrow

You didn't think I'd leave you hanging?
If we're quitting book-buying cold turkey for at least a week, I better give you more of a buffer...

Behold the buffer:

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Cindy Gerard
Beverley Jenkins

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Sarah Maclean

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Karen Robards

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Molly O'Keefe

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Meredith Duran

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Jennifer Bernard

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Christie Ridgway


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