Booktopia Romance Buzz
February 2013 | Edition One
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FEBRUARY ROMANCE BUZZ
Gentle Readers,

It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I tell you that this is my last Booktopia Romance Buzz. It's been an absolutely wonderful four years, and I thank you all for reading, emailing, commenting, and letting me know how much you like receiving the newsletter every month.

I'm very excited to let you know that the Romance Buzz will live on with a new Queen of Romance: Kat Mayo of Book Thingo fame. Kat is a fantastic writer, a tireless advocate of romance, and - you should probably all be made aware - a fairy-killer. (Don't worry about Tinkerbell - that means that she reads the end of the story first!)

**It's Booktopia's 9th Birthday this month and we're giving you the presents! Details at the bottom of this newsletter**

Kat is going to do a fantastic job, and has lots of plans and ideas for ways to make the Buzz even bigger and better. You're in great hands, and I can't wait to see what comes next!

In other news - have you registered for the Australian Romance Readers Convention yet? Why not? Get your butts in gear for the best party of the year. Kat and I will both be there, talking romance, celebrating books, and having an all around good time. You can get more info by clicking on the banner below. Trust me, you won't regret it!


What I Just Finished: I'm finally working my way through Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. I just finished Dreamfever, and, I've got to say, I'm super glad I had the next book in the series to hand. What a cliffhanger!

What I'm Reading Now: I couldn't possibly have picked up anything but Shadowfever after finishing Dreamfever. I need to know what happens!

What I Can't Wait For: There are so many amazing contemporaries out this month, including a new New York Blades book from Deirdre Martin, so I'll definitely be indulging in that!

For the last time - but until next time,
Happy Reading!

Kate Cuthbert

Editor
Booktopia Romance Buzz

NINE NAUGHTY QUESTIONS WITH KATE AND KAT
We're so excited to bring you this joint edition of the Romance Buzz! To kick things off, we thought we'd share this month's Nine Naughty Questions, half for Kate and half for Kat. You're wondering what happened to the last question, aren't you? Read on and all will be revealed...

Kat interviews Kate:

1. It's been four years since you started the Romance Buzz. Tell me about your favourite book discoveries during this time.

Most of my review work prior to Romance Buzz was overseas, so working with Booktopia really opened me up to the Australian romances being published here at home. I can thank the Buzz for finding authors like Bronwyn Parry, Helene Young, and Rachael Johns, just to name a few.

2. Pretend you own a Hollywood film studio. What romance novel would you turn into a movie and which actors would you cast for the lead roles?

Click here for details or to orderThis is one of my favourite pastimes! I think Jennifer Crusie is just perfect for a strong romantic comedy - one that actually has character growth and strong female roles and a lovely ensemble cast. Welcome to Temptation would be fabulous - it's a very visual novel (ahem) to begin with.

Leads - Sophie would need a strong, smart, no-nonsense type - who has the ability to con anyone out of anything. Maybe Marion Cotillard or Rachel Weisz? Amy Adams might work as well.

The biggest thing for me would be the chemistry. I need to screen test :)

Phin has to be wholly charming, laid-back, but with a core of steel. I see Michael Fassbender.  Or Idris Elba, if we were going to go away from the book's character descriptions.

Actually, come to think of it, I really need to screen test. And be there for it. In person. The whole time.

3. You're now managing editor for Escape Publishing. Tell me how glamorous your job is. What do you love most about it? How does it feel to find a diamond in the slush pile?

There are glamorous aspects to my job - going to the Escape Launch Party was something else, with make-up and hair and a limo.

But honestly? Most of my days are spent in as comfy clothes as I can manage (read: trackie daks), in front of my computer editing or blogging or emailing, or on my iPad reading through submissions. Not as glamorous. Though, I do have some pretty snazzy PJs. I'm just sayin'.

My favourite part is two-fold: first, I get to read romance novels for a living. I'm not going to downplay how incredibly cool that is. My second part is finding a great story and a great voice, and then getting to write an email that says, 'hey! I want you!' The author responses I get back (also, I love when authors blog about their 'call stories') are so gratifying. Everyone is pretty excited to be involved in Escape, which is awesome. Because I'm just as excited (if not more) than they are.

4. We're going to miss you! You've always been fabulous at picking books that readers will love. Who should we watch out for this year, and what's the next hot subgenre?

I'm going to miss you! The Romance Buzz has been such a big part of my life for the last four years - I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to move on!

Over the last few years, I think we're finally seeing a slowing down of paranormals and urban fantasy. They're still everywhere, but a few fewer new releases, more continuations of popular series. In contrast, contemporary romances have really started to ramp up their releases. When I started, I used to have to scramble to find some contemporaries to talk about. Now I'm having to pick and choose which ones to include. This makes me really happy, because I love a good contemporary.

It may sound mercenary, but keep an eye on the digital-firsts. There's a fair few in Australia now, and that's where the real innovations are happening: Kylie Scott's Flesh, for example, as an erotic post-apocalyptic novel from Momentum. Ruthie Knox as a contemporary novelist from Loveswept. And Escape has released both multicultural contemporary romance and science fiction romance in the last few months - two areas that haven't had a lot of play.


Kate interviews Kat:

5. When did you start reading romance novels? When did you truly get addicted?

I discovered a Mills & Boon book in my grandmother's garage and it snowballed from there. My addiction was in full force in high school, first via the local library and then, once I exhausted their catalogue and got a part-time job, through Harlequin's subscription service. Harlequin Super Romance was my downfall, and I used to hide them behind my textbooks so I could read in class.

6. Tell me about your blog - why did you start it, what do you love best about it, and what do you hope to do with it in the future?

I won't lie. A friend and I started Book Thingo to: a) talk about local book events and issues; b) get free books because our book buying was sending us broke; and c) to maybe score an advance reading copy of a Black Dagger Brotherhood book. These are noble goals, I feel.

This year I'm focusing a little more on Australian authors and imprints, and I'll probably be dabbling with podcasts. The best thing about being a romance blogger has always been discovering amazing books by new-to-me authors.

7. What's your favourite ever romance novel? And who is your all-time favourite author? And who is your pick for best-ever romance hero?

Click here for details or to orderThese are three questions in one, don't think I haven't noticed. But I love talking about books, so it's not a problem! My favourite author is Laura Kinsale , and if you make me choose just one title, this Buzz will never be done. So let's say For My Lady's Heart with a secret romance readers' wink, which we all know to mean 'plus everything else the author has ever written'.

(At this point, what you all don't know is that I'm sobbing in a corner. No one told me this gig would be so hard!) My favourite hero is...is...is...every hero in a Jo Goodman novel. Quick! Next question before I change my mind!

8. You're now taking over Romance Buzz - how do you feel? How did it happen? And do you have any big plans?

I feel very privileged that Booktopia has entrusted me with the Romance Buzz and inspired by what Kate has achieved over the years. I'm sure I got an email and a phone call about possibly, maybe taking over when Kate decided to move on, but you know how authors talk about The Call and it always sounds a little frenetic? That's how I felt, and mostly I just remember being super excited. (I still am!)

I have quite modest plans for world domination.

Click here for details or to order9. And now for the final question... What are we reading this month?

Kate: Apart from submissions (I'm always always reading submissions :) ) I've got Juliana Gray's debut (A Lady Never Lies ) on the go, Karen Marie Moning's Shadowfever, and the new Ruthie Knox just downloaded on to my kindle.

at: I just finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, a romantic comedy told from the hero's perspective. I'm reading Kelly Hunter's The Trouble With Valentine's, and next up will be Anna Campbell's Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed after I found my missing copy under the bed!
HEART-WARMING HISTORICAL ROMANCE
We're kindred spirits when it comes to historical romance, and we're thrilled that some of our favourite authors have new books out so early in the year.

Click here for details or to order THE AUTUMN BRIDE
by Anne Gracie


Anne Gracie starts a new Regency series featuring Abigail Chantry, her sister, and two unlikely friends.

The women are almost destitute when Abigail breaks into a mansion and finds Lady Beatrice Davenham, who has been severely neglected by her servants. The women take over the household, and Lady Beatrice takes them under her wing, introducing them as her nieces. Needless to say, when Lady Beatrice's dashing nephew, Max, comes home, he's not impressed!

I loved this book so much, but not for the romance. Don't get me wrong, Max and Abigail are all sparks and magic, but the best relationship for me was that between Lady Beatrice and her 'nieces'. Such a fantastic portrayal of friendship and love and charity and empathy and taking care of each other.
Anne Gracie
writes community so well, those oh-so-important outside relationship relationships, and that's the real magic in her books.

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THAT SCANDALOUS SUMMER
by Meredith Duran

ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER
by Sarah MacLean

LORD OF DARKNESS
by Elizabeth Hoyt
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A BRIDE BY MOONLIGHT
by Liz Carlyle

A DUKE NEVER YIELDS
by Juliana Gray

THE TEMPTATION OF YOUR TOUCH
by Teresa Medeiros
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CAPTIVATING CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Some of our favourite authors have books out this month, including Kristan Higgins, who will be at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in March. (Yet another reason to go!)

Click here for details or to orderMAN DROUGHT
by Rachael Johns


We love a good outback romance, and with Rachael Johns making it to Booktopia's top ten favourite Australian novelists , we think you can't go wrong with her latest book, Man Drought.

I liked that this novel is rural, but not land-based. Also, I've never gotten over my fascination for the rural Aussie pub, so reading about one was a lot of fun for me. This novel wasn't as emotional as Jilted , but I liked the dynamic of city vs country, as exemplified in the three friends. I also liked how the 'big scary secret that is a total spoiler and so won't be revealed' was dealt with in a realistic way, with no miracles to solve it.

Kate: Hey, Kat? Truth time - would you take part in a Man Drought weekend?

Kat: Isn't that every weekend in Sydney? Heh. I might consider it if I were single. (But I confess, even in the country I'd probably bring my hair straightener. Some things just cannot be left to chance.)

THE BEST MAN
by Kristan Higgins

ALL HE EVER DESIRED
by Shannon Stacey

THE HUSBAND LIST
by Janet Evanovich
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PULSE-POUNDING PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Rachel Vincent doesn't have a book out, but I thought I'd mention her as she, too, is a guest at ARRC 2013. And you all know how much I love love love her Soul Screamers series. You should all come along just to watch me try not to turn into a blithering fangirl when I finally meet her!

Now is the time to catch up on your paranormal romance reading because there are some big titles coming out in 2013. Trust us: you won't want to fall behind!
EDGE OF DAWN by Lara Adrian

DREAM EYES by Jayne Ann Krentz
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In this pulse-pounding and thrillingly sensual novel, "New York Times" bestselling author Lara Adrian returns to the mesmerizing world of the Midnight Breed, following new characters into a dark future where an uneasy peace can unravel into war--and a great betrayal can mask an all-consuming love.

Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn--when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them--the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost. more..

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The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years earlier, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger's research studies - including Gwen. And though she survived while two others didn't, Gwen knows that Ballinger's death is related.

Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception, and into the more..

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WINTERBLAZE by Kristen Callihan

BEAUTY AWAKENED
by Gena Showalter
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Struggling with disillusionment and anger, as well as recuperating from his injuries, Winston Lane is desperate to put as much distance between him and his estranged wife as possible. Bound for Egypt, all Winston wants is to mend his broken heart and start a new life - without paranormals. Poppy is heartbroken without Winston but she must put her emotions aside and attend to her duties as the head of the SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals) but a massive demon orchestrated disaster causes Mount Krakatoa in Egypt to erupt, she has no choice but to go to Egpyt and hunt down the demon before he destroys everything she loves in the world. The last person Poppy expects to see on the steamer is Winston - and he's in grave danger. Poppy must more...

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New York Times "bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with another captivating Angels of the Dark tale, as a tormented warrior is brought to his knees by the most delicate of humans...."

His name is Koldo. He is scarred, powerful, his control legendary--and he lives only for vengeance against the angel who viciously removed his wings. But if he yields to the forces of hatred, he will be eternally damned.

Nicola Lane was born with a defective heart, yet this fragile human shows surprising strength as demons stalk her every move, determined to end her. She is the key to Koldo's deliverance...and his downfall. Though he fights duty, destiny and more...

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SPINE-TINGLING SUSPENSE
SHADOW WOMAN
by Linda Howard

WHEN SUMMER COMES
by Brenda Novak
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From perennial "New York Times" bestselling author Linda Howard comes a thrilling and sensual new novel of romance, suspense, intrigue . . . and memories that can kill. Shadow Woman Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn't recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else's. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.

Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn't a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she's being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What's more, she can elude surveillance--like a more...

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Welcome to Whiskey Creek - Heart of the Gold Country!

One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news...

She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren't good.

Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents' farm. She's always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn't been worked in years and she begins to fear she can't manage it, that she'll have to return to town.

One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door...

He's an attractive more...

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KILLING TIME by Cindy Gerard

DIE FOR ME by Cynthia Eden
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"We can do this easy," she whispered close to his ear as he groaned in agony, "or it can go real hard on you."

Well, of course he wasn't going to go easy.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cindy Gerard plunges readers into the heart of a seductive contest of wills between a hard-living hero and a beautiful rogue operative who is on a mission to dig up the secrets of his past. Tension sizzles in this pulse-pounding first adventure in Gerard's action-packed new series as Eva Salinas lures Mike Brown from the sultry streets of Lima, Peru, to the desolate Idaho wilderness on the hunt for the cold-blooded traitor behind a fatal military operation that haunts them both.

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She thought her fiancé was the perfect man until he turned out to be the perfect killer.

Katherine Cole is running for her life, desperate to escape the Valentine Killer so-called because he stabs his victims through the heart and leaves them holding a telltale single red rose. Still he tracks her to New Orleans and begins carving a bloody path to her door. But this time, Katherine refuses to run any farther. This time, she'll do anything to stop the madman she once loved, even trust the sexy cop promising to keep her safe.

Detective Dane Black never lets his emotions interfere with his job, even as the Valentine Killer surfaces in New Orleans to stalk his prey. But when Dane agrees to protect the killer's ex-fiance, Katherine Cole, he can't ignore the passion kindling between them. After a single unforgettable night binds more...

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HARLEQUIN KISS
This month, Harlequin launches a new category romance line called KISS. This line features independent heroines and modern alpha heroes. Look out for these titles - there will be four released each month.

Click here for details or to order THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
by Kelly Hunter


Kelly Hunter is one of our favourite category romance authors, and she doesn't disappoint with The One That Got Away.

Despite those balloons on the cover, this is an angsty read, and the chemistry between Evie and Logan will make your toes curl.

If you love second-chance romances and tortured heroes, you'll love this book!



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HOW TO GET OVER YOUR EX
by Nikki Logan

HITCHED
by Jessica Hart

THE DOWNFALL OF A GOOD GIRL
by Kimberly Lang
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AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE READERS' FAVOURITES
How do we know these books are great? Because they're finalists for the Australian Romance Readers Awards! These books have been nominated by other readers as their favourites from last year. The winners will be announced at ARRC 2013. How many have you read?
FAVOURITE PARANORMAL ROMANCE

FAVOURITE EROTIC ROMANCE

  • Blind Lust - Annie Seaton
  • The Final Wish - Tracey O'Hara

  • Chains of Revenge - Keziah Hill
  • Red Hot - Ann B Harrison
  • The Dark Rose - Denise Rossetti
FAVOURITE SCI-FI, FANTASY OR FUTURISTIC ROMANCE

FAVOURITE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

  • Chaos Born - Rebekah Turner

  • Drive Me to Distraction - Caitlyn Nicholas
  • Wild Encounter - Nikki Logan
FAVOURITE SHORT CATEGORY ROMANCE

FAVOURITE CONTINUING ROMANCE SERIES
  • Her Best Worst Mistake - Sarah Mayberry

  • Affair series - Annie Seaton
  • Black Knights Inc - Julie Ann Walker
  • Guild Hunters - Nalini Singh
  • In Death series - JD Robb
  • London Steampunk - Bec McMaster
  • McCormack Security series - Shannon Curtis
  • Ministry of Marriage - Christina Brooke
  • Party Games - Lexxie Couper and Rhian Cahill
  • Psy-Changelings - Nalini Singh
  • Speed series - Jess Dee
FAVOURITE HISTORICAL ROMANCE

FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
  • Deadly Affair - Lucinda Brant
  • Gather the Bones - Alison Stuart

  • Rules are for Breaking - Imelda Evans
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF US
The $9 OFF if your shopping cart is greater than $50  code is:

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

Simply place an order before midnight Sunday 10th February (wherever you are in the world) with the promotion code NINE and you will receive $9 OFF 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.

To receive $9 OFF your shopping cart on any order YOU MUST TYPE the WORD:  

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...in 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 NINE 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 may need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your $9 OFF discount if it has not automatically applied it.



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Archives
In This Issue

Nine Naughty Questions

Heart-warming Historical Romance

Capitivating Contemporary Romance

Pulse-pounding Paranormal Romance

Spine-Tingling Suspense

Harlequin Kiss

Australian Romance Readers' Favourites


BESTSELLERS

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MARCH TITLES

Here's a sneak peek at some of the titles coming out in March.
Make sure you pre-order for the best chance of getting your books as soon as they're available!

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FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE AUTHOR OF 2012
(proudly sponsored by Booktopia)

Anna Campbell
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Anne Gracie Click here for details or to order

Bec McMaster

Christina Brooke

Fiona Lowe

Kelly Hunter

Lexxie Couper

Margareta Osborn
                
Sarah Mayberry Click here for details or to order

Shona Husk Click here for details or to order