Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for this year’s RITA® awards yesterday and we were delighted to see four Australians on the awards shortlists. Congratulations to Beck Nicholas, Bec McMaster, Louisa George and Sarah Mayberry.   *Late correction*  Apparently, the lovely Louisa George is not actually Australian.  She’s English by origin and lives in NZ.  But since she IS a proud member of RWA, we will happily claim her as our own, for the purposes of congratulations!  Happily, they are all shortlisted in different categories. The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner on 25 July, so fingers crossed until then please everyone. (Oh, all right, if you have to edit or write your own book, you can use one hand!)

Here’s a quick look at the four fabulous finalists and their books:

Her Kind of Trouble Louisa George Enemies with Benefits 

Finalist: Contemporary Romance (Short)

Publisher: HMB Modern Tempted/ KISS

Poppy Spencer has discovered that there’s one thing worse than Christmas alone in her flat – and that’s spending it with Isaac Blair, her sworn-enemy-turned-reluctant-flatmate! And it is not just because he knows all her secrets – his sexy-as-sin smile and taut physique are making her all hot and flustered despite the icy cold outside!

Unless a casual hook-up is just the thing she needs…? It’ll certainly break the simmering tension between them. The trouble is, with their history, it will be anything but casual!

Her-Kind-Of-TroubleSarah Mayberry Her Kind of Trouble

Finalist: Contemporary Romance (mid-length)

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

It takes one to know one … the moment Vivian Walker spies Seth Anderson she knows they are a match made in hedonistic pleasure. And they both agree their one night together is all about fun, not forever. Now, years later, Seth remains a favourite memory. Surely the sizzling chemistry has faded, though, right? Apparently not. Because he’s still sinfully attractive, and she likes the man he is. When he suddenly becomes a full-time dad to his newborn daughter, Vivian falls hard. Yet despite the responsibilities, he’s not a good bet for commitment. And she needs to guard her heart before she gets into trouble!

ForgedByDesireBec McMaster Forged by Desire

Finalist: Paranormal Romance

Publishers: Sourcebooks, Casablanca

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner Perry in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…

FakeBec Nicholas Fake 

Finalist: Best First Book

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Seventeen-year-old Kath McKenny has a date to the end-of-term party with her since-forever crush. He publicly messaged her to confirm, but there’s been a recent status update: he’s taking the new girl — giggly, pretty, well-developed Lana Elliot — instead.

After being thoroughly humiliated in front of half the school, best friend Chay talks Kath into revenge: a scheme to create the perfect — and very fake — online guy for Lana. Once she falls for him, they’ll show her what it’s like to get brutally dumped.

Everything is going to plan until Kath starts spending more-than-just-friends time with the other new kid in town — Lana’s dreamy older brother, Sebastian. Kath finds herself getting in deep — in love and drowning in guilt, she tries to put an end to her prank, but it’s taken on an unstoppable momentum of its own, with very real consequences.

You can read the full list of finalists here – it makes a great reading list.



Welcome to our occasional round-up of book news snippets, including some highlights from our members.

Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer, Regency Romance author

UK libraries have just released their report on the most borrowed books of 2012-2013. What I found particularly interesting was that the five most borrowed ‘classic’ authors – Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer and Charles Dickens – would have received the maximum payment of £6,600 each if they were still alive. The top eight most borrowed authors all racked up more than a million loans each. Two hundred authors received the maximum payment and 22,372 authors in total received a share of the £6.1m.

Montana ActuallyCongratulations to Fiona Lowe who received a starred review from Publishers Weekly for Montana Actually, released last month. The reviewer said, ‘The witty conversations, family drama, and accurate (but never maudlin) descriptions of loss and grief will have the reader laughing out loud, wiping away tears, and eagerly awaiting future books.’ Read the full review here.

Annie Seaton’s Coastal Collection boxed set featuring VK Black, Fiona McArthur,Annie Seaton's Collection Maxine Sullivan, Jenny Schwartz, Susanne Bellamy, Darry Fraser, Carla Caruso, Emkay Connor, Elsa Winckler and Wendy Humer reached numbers 24 and 25 respectively in Amazon’s Books / eBooks > Literature and Fiction > Holidays last week and is still sitting in the top 100. As Annie said, ‘You rock, gals!’

Donna Gallagher featured on the February 11th HEA blog of USA Today, talking An Opportunity Seizedabout her three favourite holiday destinations. No prizes for guessing the location of spot #1. However, Donna has also put together an outstanding blog tour with Book Rhythm that includes a $100 Amazon gift card Rafflecopter draw. If you’re feeling the post-holiday pinch on your book budget, check it out.

Trailer-made and Alison Stuart produced this great book trailer for her forthcoming book By the Sword, the first in her Guardians of the Crown series. Alison, like many of our authors, will be at the ARRA conference in Canberra next month.

Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein and Rachel Johns have both featured this month on

Rachael Johns

Rachael Johns

the Booktopia blog, talking about their favourite books. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for additions to your reading lists.




Have you received any great publicity or international reviews recently? I try to pick up as much news as I can, but if I have missed any of yours which you would like to share with us, email me at, and I’ll do my best to include it in the next Bookmarks post.


A couple of weeks ago I asked the question: where are all our Aussie Christmas romances? And the answer is HERE, amongst the December  new releases. Happy reading and merry Christmas everyone. Wishing you a stocking full of books, another stack under the tree and and many hours of holiday romance.

December 2014 new releases

New Title Releases October 2014

Congratulations  to all our members who have a new book out this October! Summer holidays will be here before you know it, so now is the time to start planning your To Be Read holiday pile and to drop ‘hints’ to friends and family about which books  you would like to see in your Christmas stocking.

October 2014 new title releases from RWA members.

October 2014 new title releases from RWA members.

New releases August 2014

And here  they are … the August selection of new title releases from our members just in time  for the RWA Conference. Romance Rocks!

New  books from RWA members in 2014

New releases August 214

New title releases July 2014

Congratulations and thanks to the 26 RWA members with a new book out this month.  They have given us a wide variety of genres to choose our next read from!

July new title releases

New titles from RWA members

New Releases (or, RWA members rock)

Due to some volunteer emergencies, we have been remiss in posting our member’s new releases for September and October.  Let me remedy that now, as there is a great deal of romantic goodness here that we wouldn’t want you to miss!  To save space, I have posted them here as a group, but if you would like to see each cover in all its glory, you can find them on our website each month.  (You can also click on the group picture to see a larger version.)

Happy reading!

SeptemberNewReleases (2)

OctoberNewReleases (2)


What is the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service award?

For our newer members, Lynne Wilding was RWA’s inaugural (and longest-serving) president two decades ago and we remember and honour her by awarding a meritorious service prize in her memory.

RWA wakes and sleeps on the efforts of its volunteers: some have carried out their role for years; some have just taken on a role for the first time and are working like Trojans; others swap roles regularly to get a strong understanding of how RWA runs; and some give as much time to the running of RWA as they do to their own writing and families.

An award for volunteers in an organisation that could not run without them must surely be our most important. Yet, every year the contributions of some fantastic individuals go unnoticed, perhaps because everyone thinks that someone else will nominate them.

The Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award is a member-nominated award. If no-one tells us how great they are, they may never be nominated. So if there is someone who you know who is a brilliant ambassador for romance and for RWA and who gives much of their time to the organisation we all love, please take a moment to sing their praises to the official nominations committee this month. Nominations are confidential so you don’t need to worry about whether they’ll growl at you for singling them out for attention. They absolutely deserve their moment in the spotlight!!

By now, you are no doubt thinking, ‘I know someone who gives generously of their time. How do I nominate them for a LWA?’

Here’s what you do:

1.  By 1 June 2013

2.  In a letter or email, write your nominee’s full name and why you believe they should be considered for this very special award. Also include your own name and address details (you must be a current, financial member of RWAustralia to make a nomination). Feel free to wax lyrical to communicate exactly what it is that makes their contribution so special.

3.Post your nomination to:

Lynne Wilding Service Award,
PO Box 1236 Neutral Bay NSW
2089 Australia



It’s that easy.


RWA and the ARRA Awards

Yesterday the wonderful Australian Romance Readers Association published the list of finalists in their 2012 awards.

We are thrilled to see so many Romance Writers of Australia members among the finalists.  In some categories it’s ALL RWA members!  There are many well-loved authors here and quite a few appearing for the first time with their first book.  We’d like to congratulate all of them.

We’d also like to offer a big fat thank you to ARRA for supporting our Australian writers and readers of Romance.  Long may you flourish!

The list of finalists is below, but if you want to see the full post, including closing dates for voting and the covers in the cover competition, the post is HERE.

Here are the finalists. Congratulations everyone!

Favourite Paranormal Romance – proudly sponsored by Galaxy Bookshop

  • Archangel of Mercy – Christina Ashcroft
  • Archangel’s Storm – Nalini Singh
  • Blind Lust – Annie Seaton
  • Dead, Actually – Kaz Delaney
  • Kiss of the Goblin Prince – Shona Husk
  • Lothaire – Kresley Cole
  • Lover Reborn – JR Ward
  • Tangle of Need – Nalini Singh
  • The Danger with Sinners – Charity Parkerson
  • The Final Wish – Tracey O’Hara

Favourite Sci Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance – proudly sponsored by Choc Lit

  • Alliance Forged – Kylie Griffin
  • Blood Kin – MJ Scott
  • Chaos Born – Rebekah Turner
  • Dragonfly – Erica Hayes
  • Fair Game – Patricia Briggs
  • Gunmetal Magic – Ilona Andrews
  • Lord’s Fall – Thea Harrison
  • Night Forbidden – Joss Ware
  • Shadow Bound – Rachel Vincent
  • Sin’s Dark Caress – Tracey O’Hara

Favourite Short Category Romance – proudly sponsored by Harlequin Australia

  • A Precious Inheritance – Paula Roe
  • Bed of Lies – Paula Roe
  • Cracking the Dating Code – Kelly Hunter
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Deserving of Her Diamonds – Melanie Milburne
  • Her Best Worst Mistake – Sarah Mayberry
  • Innocent Til Proven Otherwise – Amy Andrews
  • Suddenly You – Sarah Mayberry
  • The Cattleman’s Special Delivery – Barbara Hannay
  • Undone By His Touch – Annie West

Favourite Historical Romance – proudly sponsored by Carina Press

  • A Duchess to Remember – Christine Brooke
  • A Rogue By Any Other Name – Sarah MacLean
  • Bride By Mistake – Anne Gracie
  • Deadly Affair – Lucinda Brant
  • Gather the Bones – Alison Stuart
  • Keeper of the King’s Secrets – Michelle Diener
  • Mad About the Earl – Christina Brooke
  • Rake’s Honour – Beverley Oakley
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • The Ugly Duchess – Eloisa James

Favourite Contemporary Romance

  • Bella’s Run – Margareta Osborn
  • Heart of the Valley – Cathryn Hein
  • Hot for Fireman – Jennifer Bernard
  • Jilted – Rachael Johns
  • Rules are for Breaking – Imelda Evans
  • Sister Pact – Ali Ahearn and Ros Baxter
  • Somebody to Love – Kristan Higgins
  • Taming the Outback- Ann B Harrison
  • The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots – Loretta Hill
  • Zoe’s Muster – Barbara Hannay

Favourite Erotic Romance – proudly sponsored by eXtasy Books

  • A Touch of Confidence – Jess Dee
  • Ample Attraction – Melissa Craig
  • Bared to You – Sylvia Day
  • Chains of Revenge – Keziah Hill
  • Galactic Inferno – Mel Teshco
  • Love’s Rhythm – Lexxie Couper
  • Office Affair – Jess Dee
  • Red Hot – Ann B Harrison
  • The Dark Rose – Denise Rossetti
  • The Siren – Tiffany Reisz

Favourite Romantic Suspense – proudly sponsored by Love Books

  • Burning Lies – Helene Young
  • Celebrity in Death – JD Robb
  • Dead Heat – Bronwyn Parry
  • Delusion in Death – JD Robb
  • Drive Me to Distraction – Caitlyn Nicholas
  • Guarding Jess – Shannon Curtis
  • Hell on Wheels – Julie Ann Walker
  • Suspicious Ways – Lexxie Couper
  • The Witness – Nora Roberts
  • Wild Encounter – Nikki Logan

Favourite Continuing Romance Series – proudly sponsored by Harlequin Australia

  • 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 Australian Romance Author 2012 – proudly sponsored by Booktopia

  • Anna Campbell
  • Anne Gracie
  • Bec McMaster
  • Christina Brooke
  • Fiona Lowe
  • Kelly Hunter
  • Lexxi Couper
  • Margaret Osborn
  • Sarah Mayberry
  • Shona Husk

And for the Members’ Choice categories …

Best First Meeting Between Couple in a romance published in 2012

  • Bear Meets Girl – Shelly Laurenston
  • Crazy Love – Nicola Marsh
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Portrait of A Scandal – Danielle Lisle
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • Taming the Tycoon – Amy Andrews
  • Undone by His Touch – Annie West

Best Love Scene from a romance published in 2012

  • A Touch of Confidence – Jess Dee
  • Bride by Mistake – Anne Gracie
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Portrait of a Scandal – Danielle Lisle
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • Suddenly You – Sarah Mayberry

Favourite Cover from a romance published in 2012

  • Blood Kin – MJ Scott
  • Firelight – Kristen Callihan
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Lusting the Enemy by Mel Teshco
  • Office Affair – Jess Dee
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell

Choc Lit Announce Winner!

A while ago, we shared on this blog Choc Lit’s search for an Australian Star.  We’re delighted to announce that they have found one and it is our very own Beverley Eikli!

Choc Lit’s press release is below, with details of The Reluctant Bride, Beverley’s winning entry.

Congratulations to all our members who were shortlisted and especially to Beverley!

Choc Lit Signs First Australian Star

Award winning UK publishers Choc Lit have acquired world rights for the novel of their first Australian author, Beverley Eikli.

Beverley’s book The Reluctant Bride was chosen as the winner, ahead of some stiff competition, by the publisher’s Tasting Panel, a group of independent readers and editors tasked with choosing the champion. Beverley has signed a contract directly with the publisher giving them world rights.

Choc Lit’s distributor in Australia is Alpa Books. Their Director Andrew Easton said, “Alpa Books are delighted to be involved in the launch of Beverley’s new book. Since Choc Lit first came to Australia we have been looking forward to promoting an Australian author and hope that Beverley is the first of many local authors published by Choc Lit.”

The Reluctant Bride is a Regency romance with plenty of intrigue.  Beverley initially wrote the book some time ago, but has spent many years honing the second half of the novel.  The Reluctant Bride will be published worldwide in paperback and ebook format. It will be available in Australia from May 2014.

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