Romance Buzz
November 2009 | Edition Seven

Gentle Readers,

As I mentioned in last month's Romance Buzz, November's newsletter is going to be in a shorter, more truncated style... think of it as travel-sized for your convenience! This is even more fitting, given the sheer number of e-readers that have been announced in the last couple of months, led by Amazon's new international Kindle. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'll ever be able to give up the feel, weight, and smell of a print book in my hands! Or, as the case may be at this time of year, underneath my Christmas tree!

Romance authors, publishers, and readers love their Christmas stories - there's something about the magic of the season that is reflected in the magic of a new love. It's just easier to believe in miracles at this time of year. The Christmas titles started in October - there's even more in November, across contemporary, paranormal, and historical sub-genres. Pick one up as a lovely gift, even if it's just for yourself!

This month, for my Book of the Month, I've chosen Anna Campbell's fourth historical novel. Anna's novels are steamy, dark, and sensual, with steamy, dark, and sensual heroes and the heroines they can't live without. At this February's Australian Romance Readers Convention, Untouched, Anna's second novel was voted Favourite Historical Romance of 2008. That's her and me in the photo, all smiles after she accepted her award.

Captive of Sin (RRP: $14.99, Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%) tells the story of Gideon and Charis. Though he's running from a mysterious past, he still rescues her in her time of need. Naturally she's very grateful, but not for a minute is she going to let him have his way. Check it out.

Ahem, and you can't really see it in the picture, but the cover has beautiful embossed roses all over it!

Normally I spotlight an author or a particular series that I've been enjoying. This month, however, I'm doing something a little different and spotlighting a publisher, specifically Harlequin Australia and their very inexpensive, highly useful for hard-to-find-backlists bindups. Check them out too.

What I've just finished: After the fun I had reading Freakonomics, I made sure to get my hands on SuperFreakonomics, by the same authors and addressing such fascinating topics as seasonal prostitution, tracing terrorism, and how to solve global warming in the cheapest way possible. I also just finished Teresa  Medeiros's Some Like it Wild - a lovely, light-hearted, witty novel that was perfect for a plane trip.

What I'm reading now: I'm about to delve into Lisa Kleypas's Tempt Me at Twilight - the third novel in her Hathaway series. Poppy craves normalcy, but she's about to start a very abnormal relationship!

What I can't wait for: There are just so many lovely Christmas stories coming out right now that I'm having a hard time picking which one to start with. I also have it on good authority that Robyn Carr is releasing a new Virgin River story, Forbidden Falls in late December. Won't that be a Christmas treat?

Until then, best of reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz
Double your pleasure, double your fun with a combined Book of the Month and Spotlight section!

First up, let me tell you about Anna Campbell and her dark, sensual, sexy, steamy, seriously spectacular historical romances. She made an enormous splash with Claiming the Courtesan, waaaay back in 2007, and hasn't looked back since, earning a double RITA-nomination for Courtesan and her follow-up Untouched. Tempt the Devil came out first thing this year, and we get to close out the year with Captive of Sin (RRP: $14.99, Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%). She even spearheaded a new subgenre: Regency Noir.

I met Anna before she was published, meaning I get to be the 'oh I knew her way back when...' girl. Or at least I get to say I'm a 'way back when' girl - which is close enough in my books!

The thing that's most striking about Anna (and probably what I love most) if you get the chance to go to a signing or meet her at a book festival (she attends the Brisbane Writers Festival every year) is this: even though her books are dripping in darkness, she's beautiful and bright and bubbly on a near permanent basis. Even when we met for breakfast at this year's ARRA conference (7:30 am, after a very late night at the awards dinner the night before!) she was unfailingly cheerful. Actually, come to think of it, it's vaguely annoying if you want the honest truth ... Only teasing!!

I'm going to warn you, Captive of Sin requires the time it takes to read it. Don't make any other plans. Get something delivered for dinner. Make sure you're wearing something comfortable, and sitting somewhere cozy. You're not getting up. For anything.

I asked Anna about her inspiration. Luckily for us... it comes with photos!

The Rigours of Research

I’m really excited right now. My fourth historical romance for Avon came out on 27th October! Captive of Sin is a dramatic emotional story set in the late Regency. It’s a marriage of convenience story with a Regency noir twist.  And I’ve got a massive crush on the hero, Sir Gideon Trevithick.

Mind you, crushes on my heroes seem to be an occupational hazard!

Yeah, I’m about to start talking about gorgeous guys.

And with the title of this piece, you thought I was going to talk about delving around in dusty tomes, checking obscure historical facts. Actually I do quite a lot of that and it’s one of the fun parts of the job – really! But this is about delving around in my subconscious for the leading men in my stories.

My characters come to me as a complete package but it’s always a package that surprises me as I tell the story. It’s also a package that requires a lot of unwrapping on the author’s part. One of the things that helps me ‘unwrap’ – hmm, why am I getting a picture of my hero taking off a loose white shirt here? – is a visual image of the ‘type’ of my hero or heroine.

By the time I’ve finished the book, the character has become very much their own person and the original model doesn’t really matter so much. But in terms of doing a description at the opening of a story or borrowing physical elements or gestures or expressions, a real life image can be really helpful to get the wheels of the story rolling.

So I thought I’d share some of the men who were the physical prototypes for my heroes.

First up, the Duke of Kylemore in CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. He was modelled on Daniel Day-Lewis in THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. That intense, intelligent face, that long, commanding blade of a nose (hmm, all my heroes have big noses – I wonder what that’s all about? Snort!), that long lean body, that passionate nature. Oh, my!

Then the wonderful Christine Wells told me she’d seen a BBC adaptation of NORTH AND SOUTH by Elizabeth Gaskell and the man playing John Thornton, the hero, was Kylemore to the life. “What?” I thought. “Even better than DDL? I don’t believe you!” It turned out that Richard Armitage could have modelled for Kylemore – definitely a similar physical type to DDL but even closer to my vision of the duke. Right down to the dark blue eyes!

Clive Owen was the model for the hero of my second book UNTOUCHED. Matthew is one of my favourite heroes – he’s such a knight in shining armour and, heavens to Betsy, does he go through torments to get his happy ending. Clive Owen’s air of suppressed emotion and brooding passion absolutely suited the Marquess of Sheene.

For my third book, TEMPT THE DEVIL, I branched out and went back to an old heart throb of my teenage years. The Earl of Erith is a sophisticated older man who hides his broken heart under a jaded, decadent exterior. Who better as a model for this notorious rake than Bryan Ferry in the 80s? Bryan has exactly that air of worldly sophistication and sexy indolence that I was looking for.

Now we come to Sir Gideon Trevithick from Captive of Sin. He’s another Richard Armitage guy – the nice thing about this is that you can take different elements and combine them to create a completely new person. Gideon returns to England as a national hero after a year’s imprisonment and torture in India. But he’s tormented by memories of his ordeal and he believes he can never lead a normal life. Enter our gutsy, smart, resourceful heroine Lady Charis Weston who’s determined to show him the error of that belief!

I’ve just handed in my fifth historical romance which will be released next June as MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. I’m going old-school with the appearance of that hero too. The Earl of Ashcroft is based on Dirk Bogarde in his heyday when he was playing all those doctors and historical figures. A very handsome man was our Dirk!

So if anyone ever tells you research is boring, send them over my way. I’ll dazzle them with a hunt through a gallery of gorgeous guys and tell them that I get paid for my pleasure!

- Anna Campbell

Click here to buy Captive of Sin
RRP: $14.99, Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

Spotlight on Harlequin Australia
Normally I save this space for a specific series or author that I find overlooked, but I thought this month I might just mention a publisher who has been working hard to make our back-list searching easier for some of our favourite authors.

Harlequin Australia have, for the last little while, been putting out bind-ups of best-selling authors, particularly Nora Roberts but also Candace Camp in beautiful 2-in-1 packages. They're trade paper, so they're sturdy, but not too heavy, and they're a great (and inexpensive!) way to check out authors you keep meaning to try but haven't yet, or to find old out-of-print stories by your current faves.

Check out a couple of the titles that have come out in the last couple of months:

Kiss of an Angel - 2 stories from Nora Roberts
RRP: $29.99, Booktopia Price: $23.99 SAVE 20%
Treasures Found - 2 stories from Nora Roberts
RRP: $29.99, Booktopia Price: $23.99 SAVE 20%

And be sure to keep your eyes out for more!


Along with my lovely choice for Book of the Month, November is just teeming with historical choices from some big name authors - Gaelen Foley and Lorraine Heath both have new novels out, as does Stephanie Laurens. And is that an Iris Johansen medieval? Be still, my heart!
  •  In order to restore his reputation, he needs to marry a woman who's spotless in hers. It's a shame the one woman he can't forget comes just a little tarnished. Gaelen Foley's My Wicked Marquess
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • Songs have been written of her beauty, so why is she sitting all alone awaiting a wayward fiance? Surely one man can help her find another. Edith Layton's To Love a Wicked Lord
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

  • It's not that she didn't want to kill him, it's just that someone else got there first. Pity his cousin doesn't seem to believe her. Nicola Cornick's Unmasked
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

  • Her family sold her into slavery to the wildest man in town. But being a servant doesn't mean she has to submit. Hannah Howell's Wild Conquest
    RRP: $12.95  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 31%

  • He's faced untold dangers without flinching. So why can't he control her? Stephanie Lauren's The Untamed Bride
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She needs to ruin his father's reputation in order to salvage her own. But after meeting him, can she really destroy his world? Jenna Petersen's What the Duke Desires
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 33%

  • He may have located the legendary Pandora's Box - and the one woman willing to open it. Robyn Dehart's Seduce Me
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

  • He's worked hard to atone for his sins, but could helping her be his ultimate redemption? Lorraine Heath's Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel
    RRP: $12.95  Booktopia Price: $10.36 SAVE 20%

  • She was nothing more than a harem slave when he rescued her, but her nightmare isn't over yet. Iris Johansen's The Treasure
    RRP: $16.95  Booktopia Price: $9.95 SAVE 41%

What's that? I can't hear you over the sound of a brand-spankin' new JD Robb title!
  • Eve is specially requested by the captain to investigate the brutal slaying of his daughter. Will the killer's overconfidence get him caught? JD Robb's Kindred in Death
    RRP: $ 32.99 Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%

  • A dangerous ice storm is rolling in,  but that's not why she's suddenly out of contact. Can he get to her in time? Linda Howard's Ice
    RRP: $45.99  Booktopia Price: $29.95 SAVE 40%

  • She needs him to move into her boarding house for financial stability. She just can't start to rely on his kindness. Sandra Ryan's Rainwater
    RRP: $39.95  Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 36%

  • Four top suspense authors combine in an anthology about finding and being found, including an Eve Dallas story from JD Robb. The Lost
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

As the weather steams up, so too, apparently are our choices for reading material! Hold on for some hot summer nights.
  • His gift is as much a curse as a blessing, especially to the woman who doesn't believe in its magic. Denise Rossetti's Thief of Light
    RRP: $29.99  Booktopia Price: $19.99 SAVE 33%

  • He's returned back to where he grew up - and the girl he left behind. But his intentions to pick up where they left off are put on hold by a deadly stranger. Lora Leigh's Nauti Boy
    RRP: $16.95  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 41%

  • She's learned the hard way how to look after herself, and that includes remaining immune to sweet-talking Yankees. Dianne Castell's Hot and Irresistable
    RRP: $27.99  Booktopia Price: $18.95 SAVE 32%
  • He saved her once, but that doesn't mean she still needs his protection. But as her bodyguard he needs to stay close. Very close. Stephanie Tyler's Hard to Hold
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She's the author of an award-winning series, inhabited by her very own personal hero... err... creation. But her fictional love might be more real than she thinks. Diane Whiteside's Captive Desires
    RRP: $29.95  Booktopia Price: $19.95 SAVE 33%

  • She's a thief and a con woman with a very useful little talent. But when he's hired to take her out, neither of them will be able to hide. Ava Gray's Skin Game
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She never expected a priceless piece of art to land in her office. His job is expecting the expected - in this case, an art restorer making off with the prize. Now all he has to do is catch her. Karen Kendall's Take Me For a Ride
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

Plenty of beach reading in this little category this month - three Nora Roberts titles and a novel I've had my eye on for some time in the 'coming soon' category - Susan Donovan's Ain't Too Proud to Beg.
  • She's sworn to forget men and devote herself to her four-legged friend. He looks like the real deal, but has a shady past. Susan Donovan's Ain't too Proud to Beg
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

  • She's completely surrounded by men, but can't find Mr Right. How can he prove to her he's been right under her nose the whole time? Nora Roberts' Bed of Roses
    RRP: $22.99  Booktopia Price: $19.99 SAVE 13%

  • She's got enough on her plate without dealing with a stranded burn-out. But now that he's seen her, he's not going anywhere. Stef Ann Holm's All That You Are
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • He's just committed a rookie's mistake, and now he has to find a way to make good. If only he didn't have to contact her to do so. Susan Andersen's Skin Tight
    RRP: $16.99  Booktopia Price: $13.59 SAVE 20%

  • She saved her from loneliness as a little girl, now she's left her all her possessions - and the promise of hte perfect man. She just has to have the courage to go find them. Jude Devereaux's Lavender Morning
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • A Christmas anthology featuring some of romance's best loved authors, headlined by Fern Michaels. Snow Angels
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • Two stories from the undisputed queen of romance. Check out the spotlight on section for more. Nora Roberts' Kiss of an Angel
    RRP: $29.99  Booktopia Price: $23.99 SAVE 20%

Long-running and beloved paranormal series get a boost forward this November, with new additions from some of romance's hottest writers. You're in for An Enchanted Season, all right!
  • Nalini Singh, Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Jean Johnson - come on, you don't need more of a description than that! An Enchanted Season
    RRP: $ 12.95  Booktopia Price: $9.99 IN STOCK: SAVE 23%

  • He's known as the Betrayer, destined to doom his kind. But she can't help but wonder if there's not more to the story. Katie MacAlister's Sex, Lies and Vampires
    RRP: $19.99  Booktopia Price: $16.99 SAVE 15%

  • She's been tagged to bring him in, but their past gets in the way. Will she risk both their lives to protect him? Sherrilyn Kenyon's Born of Fire (IN STOCK). And look out for the December release of the third in this series, Born of Ice
    Both RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She remembers nothing but the danger she poses to others. She wants to trust him, but what if her mission is to harm him? Nalini Singh's Blaze of Memory
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She's finally managed to conceive and now she will do anything and stop at nothing to make sure her babies survive. Laurell K Hamilton's Swallowing Darkness
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She is locked into a serial killer's mind, watching as he commits atrocious acts. Her only chance is to join forces with him, even though he clearly wants nothing to do with her. Pamela Palmer's Obsession Untamed
    RRP: $14.99  Booktopia Price: $8.99 SAVE 40%

  • She travels the world, guided by her gift, but in order for her powers to truly awaken, he has to take her innocence. Rhyannon Byrd's Edge of Danger, and book three in this series is also out now, Edge of Desire.
    RRP: $12.95  Booktopia Price: $10.95 SAVE 15%

  • His honour is everything, and has seen him through many battles. But she threatens to become his only weakness. Brenda Joyce's Dark Rival
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She didn't ask to become a vampire, but now that he's turned her to save her, she doesn't see why she should be anyone but herself. Gerry Bartlett's Real Vampires Get Lucky
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She flies in from London to help her cousin with wedding planning. But she can't help but notice that the new in-laws are a little... different. Lynsay Sands' Tall, Dark and Hungry
    RRP: $15.99  Booktopia Price: $9.99 SAVE 38%

  • She has finally come into her own, but now a threat against her homeland will test her every skill - and force her to risk everything she's fought for. Maria V. Snyder's Fire Study
    RRP: 19.99  Booktopia Price: $16.99 SAVE 15%
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead
Book of the Month
Spotlight on Harlequin Australia
Erotic Romance
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Worth being good for!
Elizabeth Hoyt
RRP $14.99, Booktopia $8.99
Sherrilyn Kenyon
RRP $15.99, Booktopia $9.99
Caroline Linden
RRP $14.99, Booktopia $8.99
Laurell K  Hamilton
RRP $32.95, Booktopia $25.95
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