Romance Buzz
June 2010 | Edition Fourteen
Kate's Month Ahead
Gentle Readers,
What a month for events it has been - and we've got the people to tell you all about it.

First Booktopia sponsored the 2nd Annual Australian Romance Readers Awards, presented at a dinner in Sydney last month. I was there, and so were some of the Booktopia crew. There are lots of round ups around the internet, but you can go to the horse's mouth (so to speak!) here with the official ARRA blog, including photos.  It was a fantastic night, and included the world exclusive unveiling of the third instalment of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series - Archangel's Consort. Huge thanks to Tony and Booktopia for sponsoring!

Nalini, by the way, is a delight. If you missed her, she'll be back in Australia in August, at the Sydney RWA conference, and the ARRA-arranged book signing beforehand. Keep an eye on the website for details as they're available.

But the fun doesn't stop there - we've got a correspondant direct from the 2010 RT Convention. Keri Arthur went, and now she's told us all about it - including photos of authors and dessert! Check out the Book of the Month section below.

Did you know you can connect in between newsletters on Twitter? Booktopia's Book Guru is @booktopia and yours truly is @katydidinoz. Talk books all month long, including links to the Book Guru's infamous Ten Terrifying Questions.

What I've just finished: Nobody writes heroines like Christine Wells, and her latest Sweetest Little Sin is exemplary of this talent. Sweet, sexy, sensual, steamy, sensational!

What I'm reading now: I'm in the middle of a Tessa Dare read-a-thon! I've read her first trilogy, and I'm starting in on the second. If you love historicals, check these out - so much fun!

What I'm holding out for: I'm feeling contemporary this month - I think I'll be checking out that new Christie Ridgway.

Until next month, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz
 It's romance reader event month here at Booktopia Romance Buzz, so instead of a book of the month, I've asked wonderful Melbourne-based author Keri Arthur to give us a rundown on the most recent Romantic Times Convention. Keri, as you will all be aware (and if you're not, get yourself aware right now) is the author of the wonderfully complex, always surprising Riley Jenson series, set in urban fantasy revisionist Melbourne. Book 1 is Full Moon Rising.  The penultimate book, Moon Sworn, was released last month. Check them out if you want intelligent, layered urban fantasy with great characters.

Here's Keri, with photos!, on the recent RT convention

One of the few downsides of being a published author is that it's generally a solitary pursuit. Sure, we can twitter, we can catch up with people on Facebook, we can blog, or chat on lists, but in the end, it's us and the computer and the words that have to be written.

That’s why so many authors jump at the chance to go to a conference. It's often the only time we get to mingle with fellow authors, learn the latest industry news or simply catch up on all the gossip. And it's often the one chance we get to catch up with our readers, especially given that, for most authors, book tours and signing events are few and far between.

Believe it or not, authors are as excited to meet readers as readers are to meet their favourite authors.  Readers are an important part of an author's life, and it really is fantastic to be able to talk to you all about what you loved—and yes, even what you didn't love—about our stories.

Which is why I make the long trip over to the Romantic Times Convention every year—it's one of the biggest romance reader conferences around, and there's often well over 300 authors in attendance, including many of the big names in urban fantasy and romance today (Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, J R Ward, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead, Mary Janice Davidson, Brenda Jackson, Lori Foster, etc, etc, were just a few who were at RT this year). And better yet, they’re all ready, willing and able to sign a book or simply talk. There's panels, reader discussions, and workshops for those readers who are also aspiring authors, as well as parties and uh, more parties!

I’ve just returned from the latest RT convention, and thought I’d share some of the pics I took over there.

This first picture features the lovely Kelley Armstrong and Vicki Pettersson getting ready for their urban fantasy panel (complete with cupcakes!). The second pic is Charlaine Harris getting ready for one of her many panels.

Fairies can be found at the bars.  One of the fantastic features at RT are the balls. There’s something major every night, and they’re a whole lot of fun. This year, Ellora’s Cave held their “Paint the Town Red’ celebration on Wednesday night, where every attendee had to wear something red.
Thursday night was the Fairy Ball, and the costumes were amazing! (although for some weird reason, I only managed to take the one pic). Friday night was the Vampire dinner and dance, and again there was some fantastic costumes--mainly vamps and tramps, but there was also the occasional werewolf appearance.

Or at least, werewolf legs:

There’s also some rather odd people who turn up at these events, as evidenced this year by the young woman nicknamed ‘creepydoll’ (she could be found freaking out attendees at ballrooms and bars).

And of course, one of the best things about these conventions (besides catching up with your friends and making new friends) is discovering new places to eat and drink. This year, we discovered the worlds biggest dessert - as shown by Rachel Vincent:

Next year the Romantic Times Convention is being held in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonadventure hotel (the hotel that featured in True Lies with Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis!), which means it’s about as close as it’s ever going to Australia! If do get the chance to go, I recommend you grab it. It really is one big party!

Keri Arthur
 It's a big month for paranormals, featuring a new Laurell K Hamilton novel in the world of Anita Blake, the follow-up to Alison Brennan's surprise best-seller, and an anthology that's sure to play into some rescue fantasies!

Do I really need to introduce this latest in the Anita Blake series? Surely there isn't a reader around who hasn't at least heard of this seminal paranormal series from Laurell K Hamilton. And if there is? Go out! Educate yourself! Join the unending debate about whether or not the series is still great, where (and if) it went off the rails, and the all important Jean-Claude or Asher question.

Jean-Claude has power now, thanks to Anita and Richard, and plans for that power. But plans take time, and not everyone is interested in supporting him.

You've got a couple of options for this one: the US hardback or the Australian trade paper. Both are being released at the same time, but they have different covers and different prices. The decision is yours!

Click here to buy the US hardcover version of Bullet

Click here to buy the Australian tradepaper version of Bullet

The first of this series, Original Sin, sent  Allison Brennan storming to the top of best-seller charts and auto-buy lists. This latest promises the same breath-taking pace and more of heroine Moira, set to become the newest queen kick-ass heroine on the block.

Moira and Rafe continue their battle against demons unleased on Earth, this time facing a powerful succubus, both dangerous and deadly.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy Carnal Sin.
  Forget Stockholm Syndrome - it's so much easier (and socially acceptable) to fall for your protector. After all, if you're going to have to spend 24/7 with someone, it might as well be someone dramatically good-looking, with supernatural skills. Bodyguard skills, people! Get your minds out of the gutter!

New anthology with Cherry Adair, Gena Showalter, and Laurie O'Clare. Go ahead. Indulge your rescue fantasies.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy the Bodyguard
Must be something in the water - anthologies abound this month, including a very hot one available for erotic romance readers. 
Looking for a sweet, romantic wedding story?

Yeah, this isn't the anthology for you. Set in New Orleans, this anthology features Nikita Black, Allyson James, and Sheri Whitefeather writing about three nice - but about to turn naughty - bridesmaids exploring the steamy side of The Big Easy. Tossing wishing coins into an infamous fountain opens up a world of possibilities - a bordello, a French Quarter B&B, and a house of dreams. It's gonna be a wedding weekend no one will ever forget.

Booktopia Price: $22.95
Click here to buy Wedding Favors.
 She's a sex columnist with no interest in emotions and he's a Tantra master who chases the spiritual connection. When two such divergent world views meet, you know sparks are going to fly. And, given that it's an Opal Carew book, you know those sparks are going to be red hot.

Booktopia Price: $20.95
Click here to buy Bliss.
  She was good at - and dedicated to - her job, before his betrayal leaves her haunted. Now she has a chance at revenge now, the chance to expose him as he exposed her. All she has to do is ignore the chemistry simmering between them. And with Ava Gray? The plot is about to boil.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy Skin Tight.
 An old favourite trying new things, and an up-and-comer feature in this month's contemporary selection.
It's not a big surprise that Meg Cabot is trying something new: she's already dabbled in YA, Chick Lit, and light romantic suspense. Is it any wonder that paranormal was not far behind?

Meena doesn't believe in vampires, but her boss knows what sells, so that's what Meena writes about. She's not a disbeliever; she just figures she's seen everything. But nothing's prepared her for meeting Lucien, a modern-day prince with a .... well, a bit of a dark side.

Meg does light-hearted better than anyone else in the business. This is sure to be a romp and a half.

Booktopia Price: $35.95

Click here to buy Insatiable

Christie Ridgway put herself on the map making knitting sexy, now she's tackling dilapidated wineries, reality tv show stars, sisters on a mission, and boys next door.

Alessandra has booked a wedding at her family's vineyard - the first step to finally turning the place around and making it profitable. She's made a promise, and she has her sisters, and she'll do anything to make this work. So she's going to make a call to the vineyard next door, the competition, the rival - the dangerously sexy Penn. It's a completely selfless act. Only for the good of the vineyard. Nothing personal. At all.

Booktopia Price: $13.40
Click here to buy Crush on You.
 Spine-tingling month for suspense readers - and is that a new Janet Evanovich??

Elizabeth Lowell's
romantic suspense novels are strong, spooky, and soooo good. This is her latest, featuring a heroine looking for a quiet life after one too many cases with the CIA, and a hero who's walked away from life or death situations in the military. But life is about to catch up with them both.

Booktopia Price: $38.95
Click here to buy Death Echo.
 She's technically new on the scene, but Karen Rose might have well been on the romantic suspense landscape for decades if you take into account her talent, accolades, and influence. Her latest novel features a haunted fire fighter, a homicide detective, and a blackmailer who's as patient as he is dangerous.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy Silent Scream.
Were you aware that they've cast One for the Money? Katherine Heigl (Izzie from Grey's Anatomy) has been cast as Stephanie Plum. Thoughts? ... or do you care? Yeah, that's what I thought - here's the information you really want: Jason O'Mara is Morelli and Daniel Sunjata is Ranger. I don't know that anyone could live up to the characters we all had in our head - what do you think? Personally, I always sort of had Hugh Jackman in mind for Morelli.

Everyone's back in this, the  sixteenth installment, ready for more outrageous secondary characters, adventures, and mishaps. Hold on to your hamsters!

The US hardcover is available in June, but if you can hold out for a month, the Australian trade paper is cheaper - and coming in July.

Click here to buy the US hardcover. Buy now for $42.95

Click here to pre-order the Australian trade paperback. Buy now for $25.95
 Oooh! New instalments in lovely series, and is that a new release from one of my new favourite authors?
There are just so many different directions I could take with this title...but I'll spare you the afternoon delights, and just let you delve into this, the latest of Lisa Kleypas's delightful Hathaway series.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy Love in the Afternoon.

 No one knew who Tessa Dare was before the beginning of this year, and now you're no one if you don't know who Tessa Dare is. This is the second in the second of her trilogies, and utterly lovely.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy
Twice Tempted by a Rogue
 Joanna Bourne wrote The Spymaster's Lady and My Lord and Spymaster. If you consider yourself a historical romance reader and you haven't read these novels, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to kick you out of the club.

If you have read the novels and recognise their utter brilliance, then I don't need to sell Forbidden Rose to you. But here's a plot summary anyways: France. 1794. (I'm getting shivers already!). Spies, civil war, and Adrian - yes, Adrian. Can I just say yay!? 

If you haven't, check out Joanna Bourne's website. Bourne has a great sense of humour and it shows.

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy The Forbidden Rose
Guys - Jane Feather. New Jane Feather historical. This is the first in a new trilogy set in the Georgian era. The premise of this trilogy? Each of three noble sons will only inherit his portion if he saves a fallen women. By marrying her. Whole new twist on the Pretty Woman theme, huh?

Booktopia Price: $11.95
Click here to buy Rushed to the Altar
  I don't know if Shana Abe was the first historical / paranormal hybrid, but she was my first historical/paranormal hybrid - and my first dragons. This is the latest in her Drakon series, which is just beautiful, and remains one of my very favourites. I even buy it in hardcover - see how committed I am?

Booktopia Price: $36.95
Click here to buy The Time Weaver
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Book of the Month


Erotic Romance



Want More Buzz?
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Clicking on the links below will take you to the book page with more info and pre-ordering details.
Suzanne Brockmann
Nora Roberts
MaryJanice Davidson
Christine Feehan
Christina Dodd
Mercedes Lackey
Chloe Neill
Cherry Adair
Jessica Bird
Lauren Dane
Kristan Higgins
Sydney Croft
Victoria Dahl
Carly Phillips
Tessa Dare
Meljean Brook
Eileen Dreyer