Ruby Finalists Announced

Drumroll please!  We are delighted to announce the finalists for the reader-judged RWA Romantic Book of the Year contest, better known as the Ruby.


In the ‘Short Sexy‘ division (and please note the description refers to the stories, not the authors, some of whom are quite tall 😉 ) the finalists, in alphabetical order by author, are:

What the Bride Didn’t Know Kelly Hunter
One Secret Night Yvonne Lindsay
Never Say No to a Caffarelli Melanie Milburne
A Price Worth Paying Trish Morey


In the ‘Short Sweet‘ division (again, referring to the stories, although the sweet part is, I’m sure, perfectly true of the authors as well) the finalists, in alphabetical order by author, are:

One Life Changing Moment Lucy Clark
Gold Coast Angels: Bundle of Trouble Fiona Lowe
A Father at Last Julie Mac
Secrets of a Career Girl Carol Marinelli


The ‘Stories with Romantic Elements’ finalists are:

Under the Hood Juanita Kees
Nobody But Him Victoria Purman
Currawong Creek Jennifer Scoullar
Lost in Kakadu Kendall Talbot


Finally, in the ‘Long Romance’ section of the competition, tied entries resulted in six title and five author finalists.  They are:

Holding Out for a Hero Amy Andrews
A Prior Engagement Karina Bliss
Letter from a Rake Sasha Cottman
The Dissolute Duke Sophia James
Mistress at Midnight Sophia James
Her Favourite Rival Sarah Mayberry


Our thanks, as always to all the volunteers who help to make the Ruby possible, especially Annie Lynch, contest co-ordinator for this year’s Ruby and all the reader judges and judge co-ordinators.

It’s wonderful to see a mix of new and established authors in this list and for the blog team, it’s especially exciting to see our own blog editor and Cruisin’ and Events columnist, Juanita Kees, among the finalists!

Congratulations to all of our finalists and best of luck with the final round of judging!

The winners of the Ruby are announced at the awards dinner at our conference in August and will be on this blog on Sunday the 10th of August 2014.


Romance Rocks Presents…



On Saturday 9th August on Track D, Session 1, our presenter Fiona Lowe already sports a Track Record. Who better to deliver a workshop on Emotional Timelines: the key to writing a great character arc than a RITA and R*BY winning author…

Emotional Timelines: The Key to Writing a Great Character Arc

Ever watched a TV show, movie or read a book where the character’s reaction comes out of left-field and you’re thinking, ‘What the?’ It pulls you out of the story.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, movie clips and written examples, this workshop will discuss creating an emotional timeline to give characters their emotional arc so they can get their happy ever after. Writers will leave having learned how to create well-motivated, complex, multifaceted characters that readers care about and understand.
This workshop is suitable for all writers who want to give their work emotional punch.

Your Presenter – Fiona LoweFiona Lowe Rita Photo600

Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*BY award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin , Carina Press and in 2015, Berkley USA. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch with wine. You can find her at her website, facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Author, mother, weekend wife, cat slave & guardian of 80 roses.

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?
YES! I’ve presented at two roadshows and this will be my 4th conference 🙂

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Romance Rocks”?
I ‘m passionate about the craft of writing and I can talk about it for hours! This way I get to do it with people who are interested 😉

What will participants take away from this session?
Writers will leave having learned how to create complex, multifaceted characters that readers care about, root for and understand.

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?
I do! I have been using movie clips since 2008 as it really helps back up the message of what I’m saying. Although not required, attendees might find that reading my Wedding Fever trilogy or one of the three books (Saved By The Bride, Picture Perfect Wedding, Runaway Groom) will help them take more away from the session.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?
Being able to talk with other writers! It doesn’t matter whether they are new or experienced, they totally ‘get’ the writing life and they don’t give me strange looks when I say, “my characters are not doing what I want them to do!”

Any advice for conference first-timers?

Come with a smile! Say hello to the person standing next to you because they are a writer and you already share that in common 🙂

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?Faned covers

My Carina Press Wedding Fever trilogy is available now, with all three books – Saved By The Bride, Picture Perfect Wedding and Runaway Groom. They can be bought where all eBooks are sold!

I also have some bundles of past medical romances being re-released in April and August, which is exciting. These books have been out of print for a few years so it will be great to see them with new covers

My website has a complete list of my 25 novels, buy links and a heap of other information about me, the writing life and photos. You can also find me at Facebook and Twitter


Ruby Finalists

It’s that time of year again! Time to announce the finalists in RWA’s Romantic Book of the Year (Ruby) competition for published novels.  We have four sections, each with four finalists and the winners will be announced at our annual conference, this year to be held in Fremantle, WA.

This year’s batch is a wonderful microcosm of our membership, including some of our most established and loved author members and some who have entered the finalist list with their first book.  Obviously, if you are a romance writer, RWA is the place to be!

So, without further ado, congratulations and best of luck to:


Long Romance
Anne Gracie Bride by Mistake
Helen Lacey Marriage Under The Mistletoe
Sarah Mayberry More Than One Night
Stephanie Laurens The Lady Risks All
Romantic Elements
Elise K Ackers Small Town Storm
Fiona McCallum Wattle Creek
Helene Young Burning Lies
Tricia Stringer Queen of the Road
Short Sexy
Anne Oliver The Morning After The Wedding Before
Melanie Milburne Enemies at the Altar
Nicola Marsh Marrying the Enemy
Yvonne Lindsay A Forbidden Affair
Short Sweet
Alison Roberts Sydney Harbour Hospital: Zoe’s Baby
Emily Forbes Sydney Harbour Hospital: Bella’s Wishlist
Fiona Lowe Newborn Baby For Christmas
Madeline Ash Uncovered by Love


Thanks go to our new Ruby co-ordinator, Dorothy Bramich and to Louise Reynolds, our erstwhile Ruby co-ordinator, for mentoring her through her first year in this role.  We would be helpless without our stalwart volunteers!  Thanks too, to our wonderful reader judges.


Cruisin’ with RWA

We’re back with some more great blogs and good news. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to


Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members on their achievements this week.

Good News

Catherine Evans, writing as Cate Ellink, has signed a contract with Escape Publishing for THE VIRGINITY MISSION, an erotic new adult story, coming out in June.

Will be the next Writer in Residence at the SA Writers Centre.

Was thrilled with her review of IRISH SEDUCTION from Reviewing Vixens

Is celebrating the release of her latest novel SAVED BY THE BRIDE, part of the Wedding Fever Trilogy.


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint had another busy week cruisin’ the web and inbox. Hope you enjoy his scoop. Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at:

  • RWA Blog

April 21 – Event Announcements – Juanita Kees

April 23 – Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight on Anne Gracie – Eleni Konstantine

April 24 – Author Spotlight on Elize Ackers – Sarah Belle

April 25 – Cruisin’ with RWA – Juanita Kees

Sunday 21st, debut author Whitney K E makes her appearance.

Chuck out those scales because this week on Friday Feast, Australian author Kandy Shepherd has a triple treat for us. We take a look at Kandy’s latest release, REINVENTING ROSE, discuss food from her other gorgeous romances, and to top off the trio Kandy shares her luscious (and seriously naughty) Triple Chocolate Brownie recipe. Treble the fun!

April 18 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Looking after yourself with Eleni Konstantine

April 19 – WHAT WE ARE READING compiled by Shona Husk

April 23  – GOOD NEWS DAY compiled by Kylie Griffin

 April 24 –  A BITE OF…Betrayed by Christina Phillips

April 24 – MAGIC THURSDAY with CT Green

What are your dreams? What are doing to make them come true?

Musa Monday – Wench, Sara Daniel

Writing Buddy Wednesday – Riding the Waves conference team member, Rachael Johns

Jenn J McLeod – has a special Mums Day book giveaway with Monica McInereny on her blog. Monica will send a signed copy directly to your mum (or you).

Jennie has a new blog called ‘Knocking on the Manor Door‘. Her first guest gave her a look Under the Hood.

April 14 – Spotlight on Writers featured a segment on Juanita Kees and her interview with her hero of  UNDER THE HOOD, Scott Devin.

April 21 – the Spotlight will be on historical romance writer, Suzi Love.

S E Gilchrist was featured on Melissa Wray’s blog, Dream Big…Read Often.

April 18 – Has a guest post on Paranormal Lounge.

April 20 – CAT-URDAY: Paying out on dogs again…

April 23 – CRAFT: Where to Start Your Story – guest blogger Paula Roe shares some crafting skills…

MRWG have a great post from Louise Reynolds. She’s sharing her newly published wisdom with us in her post titled “The Writer’s Diary” It’s an interesting snippet of the working life of a newly published author.

April 15 – Kate Belle lifts the dark veil and asks “Why Erotica?”

April 18 – Zombie lovers will enjoy debut author Adrian Mallabo’s THE FIRST TWO, a tale with a twist.

April 11 – Kylie Griffin’s blog: Torn between two worlds

April 12 – Sami Lee’s blog:  The story behind the story 

April 15 – Nas Dean’s blog: Blog and giveaway

April 29 – Love Cats Down Under: Sisters and Books


Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week.

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Monique Wood
  2. The Pink Heart Society
  3. Whitney K-E
  4. Tima Maria
  5. Dark Side Down Under
  6. The Ecstasy Files


Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times

Things are heating up here in the west with the 22nd annual RWA conference approaching fast. So do keep an eye out for blogs and information here on the blog, on Facebook and on the Romance Writers of Australia website. If you’re planning on Riding the Waves in Freo this year, why not keep up to date and subscribe to the newsletter via email.

August 16 – 18 2013 -The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia

In August 2013, for the first time, our annual national conference is heading to Western Australia. With a gorgeous heritage hotel, sunshine, sea-breezes, alfresco dining and history – Fremantle has it all. And now it has romance!

Take advantage of the Early Bird Savings and register today!

Regards Juanita


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

Cruisin’ with RWA

Cruisin’ will be taking a break next week as Enrico, Clint and I attend our very first RWA Conference, but we will be back on August 23 with loads of post-conference news. Don’t forget that you can share your good news and blogs with us at


Claytons Conference 2012

Registrations for Claytons 2012 close Saturday 10 August.

Information on this fun, free and informative online conference is available here. To register, click here.

If you’re already signed up, you should have received a welcome email and a Claytoneering Guide. On Saturday 4 August you should also have received a Claytons Update email. If you’re a registered Claytoneer and haven’t received these emails, please email Jenny at claytonsconf12 [at] gmail [dot] com.


Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members this week. Share your new release, new cover, contest win, new contract, new website and more good news with us at

Contest News

  • RWAm conference Anaheim

Fiona Lowe has won a RITA for BOOMERANG BRIDE

Alison Stuart won the Historical Chapter’s Romance through the Ages – the RTTA

  • Passionate Ink’s Contest – Australian Finalists:

In the Passionate Plume (published):
3rd – Denise Rossetti’s with GUILTY OF SIN.

In the Stroke of Midnight (unpublished):
Paranormal/time travel
1st – Daniel DeLorne with THE BECKONING BLOOD
2nd – C.T.Green with THE ANGEL LORD

Fantasy/futuristic/sci-fi section
1st – Kylie Scott with FINAL GIRL
2nd – Suzanne Hamilton writing as S.E.Gilchrist with BOUND BY LOVE

New Contracts

  • Alison Stuart has a Time Travel to publisher Lyrical. SECRETS IN TIME should be out in April next year.
  • Imogene Nix is thrilled that her final novel in the WARRIORS OF THE ELECTOR Trilogy was contracted to Secret Cravings Publishing, with a projected erelease date in Feb 2013 and Print in August 2013.
  • Suzi Love is very excited to announce a two contract deal with Crimson Romance with an historical erotic romance and an early Victorian historical romance.
  • Allison Rushby and Allison Tait writing as Allison Dobel have contracted ALICE’S WONDERLAND to Avon Red, for publication in 2012.

New Releases

  • August 27, 2012 A STOLEN SEASON by Tamara Gill A Regency time travel romance from Crimson Romance
  • September 3, 2012 – GATHER THE BONES by Alison Stuart – Watch the trailer here
  • Pam Collings has published a collection of poetry called KALEIDOSCOPE.

Good News

  • Astrid Cooper’s MONSTERS INK paranormal romance released on August 1 debuted on the publisher’s best seller list at no. 4. Older titles in the series also returned and are on the best-seller list at nos. 11, 12 and 13.

New Cover

  • Evonne Wareham is excited to reveal the cover of her second book, a paranormal romantic suspense, from Choc-lit in the UK. Release date is expected in March 2013.


RWA Merry Webber Blogs

August 11 – Conference Spotlight on Harper Collins – Eleni Konstantine

August 12 – Event Announcements – Juanita Kees

August 13 – Conference Spotlight on Choc Lit – Eleni Konstantine

August 14 – Conference Spotlight – See You at Conference / Author Cafe update

August 15 – HT Archives – Sandra Harris


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at:

August 10 – This week on Friday Feast:

This week on Friday Feast I’m delighted to host Romantic Book of the Year and Australian Romance Readers Award winner Helene Young. Helene’s celebrating the release of her latest romantic suspense, BURNING LIES, and discussing the joys of airline food. Given Helene’s an accomplished pilot as well as an award-winning writer she knows her stuff! Plus share your best or worst airline food experience and Aussie commenters could win an e-book of BURNING LIES!

We will be on hiatus from August 7th to September 1st. Conferences are a-calling and we are heeding the call!

August 11 – SERIES: The Paranormal DownUnder – Christina Ashcroft – Aussie/NZ authors who live the paranormal life and love it!

August 14 – CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with…Tamara Gill  – members of RWAustralia & New Zealand fill you on what to look forward to at the annual conferences.

August 18 – SERIES: The Paranormal DownUnder – Emily Gee – Aussie/NZ authors who live the paranormal life and love it!

August 21 – CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with…Anita Joy – members of RWAustralia & New Zealand fill you on what to look forward to at the annual conferences.


Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week.

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Kees2Create
  2. Sara Hantz
  3. The Pink Heart Society
  4. Sue Moorcroft
  5. The Roses of Prose
  6. Word Wenches


Enrico’s quote of the week

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.  ~Logan Pearsall Smith, “All Trivia,” Afterthoughts, 1931

Have a great week!

Regards Juanita


Conference Spotlight ~ Fiona Lowe

We have another sneak peak into a workshop for our DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER conference on the Gold  Coast (16-19 August, 2012) .

Fiona Lowe is a multi published author with eighteen Mills & Boon Medical Romance novels to her name as well as a single title novel with Carina Press, and plans for more to come.  A previous R*BY, RT and ARRA finalist, no matter whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the Midwest of the USA,  they all feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, the servant of a ginger cat who thinks she owns the house, guardian of 80 rose bushes and she’s often found collapsed on the couch.

She hangs out at her website, FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

At Diamonds Are Forever, Fiona is presenting a workshop aimed at all writers called  PUTTING SIZZLE INTO EVERY SCENE.



From sweet romance to sex on a stick, it’s the emotion in romance novels that knocks readers’ socks off and has them wanting more. Using film clips, excerpts and her sexual health counselling experience, Fiona Lowe will show you how to ramp up your book so the emotion and tension is on every page and your love scenes sizzle.


Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Author, wife, mother, reader, champagne-drinker, rose pruner, & iPod devotee.


Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations? 

I LOVE giving workshops and I’ve presented at the 06, 08  & 11 conferences, and at the ’10 Perth Romance Roadshow. I am feeling very excited about 2012 because I’m giving workshops at the Tassie Roadshow and the conference, although on totally different topics. The Melbourne Romance Writers’ Guild are always very kind and let me ‘road test’ a new workshop on them before I’m let loose on the general RWA populous!


 What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Diamonds are Forever”?

Often writers get so focused on the body parts they forget that it’s the anticipation, the tension and the emotion that is the most powerful part of a romance novel.


What will participants take away from this session?

How to get emotional sizzle on the page. Oh and a bit of physical sizzle as well if that’s what they’re writing, but that said, this workshop works for all levels of sexuality.


Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?

I do.  I find following the theory with an example is a great way to teach and movie clips can really help an attendee get that, ‘Ah-ha!’ moment.


Anything you’re particularly looking forward to at the 21st RWA conference?

Talking books for four days— the craft of writing, the business of writing, brainstorming with other authors, teaching, learning, meeting new and old friends. Oh, I’m excited just writing about it!


Any advice for conference first-timers?

 You’re not alone. Everyone was a conference newbie once and even as a veteran I have moments of feeling overwhelmed. The thing to remember is that everyone there shares the love of writing. One of my favourite things to do at conferences is to say hello to the people on either side of me in the food or bathroom queues.  I have met the BEST people that way! So don’t be shy; smile and say hello….read nametag…Fiona, what do you write? Guaranteed; they’ll have an answer.



What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?  

I have written my first series book for Mills & Boon Medical romance, Sydney Harbour Hospital: Tom’s Redemption and it’s out in April and then, just in time for conference, I have my Argentine book, “Letting Go With Dr Rodriguez” …(polo horses,  a gorgeous tall, dark and handsome hero with a Spanish accent…what’s not to like, right?) and then later in the year a Christmas medical romance. I’m working on another single title bride book after the success of my Carina Press novel, Boomerang Bride.

For all information about me and my books  go to

Thank you, Fiona.


Please keep an eye out for more conference spotlights in the coming weeks.


February Hearts Talk Wrap Up

The February edition of Hearts Talk is out now.

Here’s a sneak peak of our member-only news and views.

Our Keynote Speaker Eloisa James chats to Hearts Talk

New York Times bestselling author of historical romances (Harper Collins) and Fordham University, Shakespeare professor, Eloisa James is our keynote speaker for Diamonds are Forever (our 2012 National conference  on the Gold Cost in August 16-19).

Read more about Eloisa James and her views on writing, sleep and having a thick skin in Helen Katsinis’ interview.

Monique Patterson confirmed as Conference Special Guest

Get your pitch patter ready.  Monique Patterson, Executive Director of St Martin’s Press will be joining us on the Gold Coast. You’ll never guess what Monique’s favourite activity is – yes, that would be reading.

St Martin’s acquires contemporary, historical, paranormal and erotic romance.

Alex Miller Admires Romance Writers

Miles Franklin Award Winner and literary author Alex Miller talks to Hearts Talk about his career, his writing technique and his admiration for what romance writers do. Read more about Alex’s methods and books.

Wondering what to do while on the Gold Coast?

When you’re not attending one of the fabulous sessions or pitching your latest novel there are lots of amazing things to do on the Gold Coast.  Helen Katsinis gives us the low down on what you can expect.

Vale Leonie Knight

Claire Boston writes about the life and career of Leonie Knight, a member of the Fine Print critique group in WA and Harlequin Mills & Boon medical author.

The Fabulous World of the RWA Forum – Everything Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

Kerrie Ptolemy provides a guided tour of the RWA Forum, designed to give Newbie users a heads-up on how to use forums and navigate the site.

If you’re not yet registered –  what are you waiting for?  Read our ‘How do I’ and sign up today.

Member Spotlight – Sue Price

Fantasy/sci-fi and contemporary romance author, Sue Price, comes from the foothills of Adelaide and has been an RWA member for 12 months.  She talks to Suzanne Brandyn about her goals for the year, including getting those query letters out.

Grammar with Anna

Language is a dynamic force but when it’s mangled, Anna Jacobs isn’t happy.  See why she’s hot under the collar about past continuous tense.

Technique with Auntie Fi and MJ Scott

Life is complicated and then there is exposition.  What do you do when you need to explain a whole new world to your readers?  MJ Scott has the answer in four easy steps.

Meanwhile Auntie Fi is finding POV  a slippery fish.  Do you head hop or scene and sequel, get the low down on both styles this month.

Guilt Free Reading – But of Course

In A Writer’s Life, Sarah Mayberry talks about refilling the word well, her internal Nag and the towering pile of books on her bedside table.

Fiction is a business

Beverley Cousins of Random House talks to Phillipa Fioretti about the business of publishing women’s fiction in Australia.

According to Beverley, anyone can write a novel, but not everyone can write a novel good enough to be published.  Read more about the publishing industry and what you need to know to succeed.

High Five Contest Report

Deb Bennetto reports that this battle was closely contended and that the quality of writing was solid across the board.  Read more about the impressions of the 40 judges involved.

And all our regular features:

  • From Rachel’s desk
  • Contest update:
    • Get those First Kiss entries in now.  Closes Feb 17
    • Changes to the Valerie Parv Award
  • Market Watch with Sami Lee
  • Member News and New Releases with Bronwyn Stuart
  • Events with Doreen Sullivan
  • Online Events:  Can this manuscript be saved –  with Susan Meier

For full articles and regular columns, go to our website


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Conference Session Spotlight: FIONA LOWE

Today’s Conference Session Spotlight is on multi-published Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Fiona Lowe. A previous RBY finalist, Fiona recently sold a single title contemporary romance to Carina Press.  She will present a Sunday morning workshop titled WRITING THE MALE POINT OF VIEW. 

Workshop Blurb:  “Men are from Mars”, so the famous book states and although they are here on planet earth with 52% of the population, they think and talk very differently.  Creating vivid heroes requires female writers to step into some size 13 boots and take a walk on the XY side!  Using a multimedia presentation with examples from the BBC television show, ‘Coupling’ , along with excerpts from books, Fiona Lowe will take participants through a variety of steps to create vivid, compelling  male characters who walk, talk and think like men but are true heroes who capture readers’ hearts.

Fiona, tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Writer, wife, mother, reader, champagne-drinker, rose pruner, & iPad devotee.

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?

I LOVE giving workshops and I’ve presented at the 06 and 08 conferences, at the ’10 Perth Romance Roadshow and I’m always begging the Melbourne Romance Writers’ Guild if I can come talk to them!

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “From Here to Eternity”?

Writing in the male point of view isn’t something that comes naturally to women and it’s a skill we all need to hone. It’s a fine line between writing a wimp and a jerk and someone suggested the topic and I thought, ‘that would be fun!’

Which members will benefit most from this session?

From beginners to experienced authors will be able to pick up at least one useful tip and hopefully a whole bunch of them.

What is the best aspect of conference for you?

The time to catch up with fellow writers and talk writing, and the biz. Unlike most people, they truly understand the crazy world of writing.

Any advice for conference first-timers?

You’re not alone. Everyone was a conference newbie once and even as a veteran I have moments of feeling overwhelmed. The thing to remember is that everyone there shares the love of writing. One of my favourite things to do at conferences is to say hello to the people on either side of me in the food or bathroom queues. I have met the BEST people that way! So don’t be shy; smile and say hello….read nametag…Fiona, what do you write? Guaranteed; they’ll have an answer.

What current and upcoming books can we look forward to?

Single Dad’s Triple Trouble, a Mills & Boon Medical is out in Australia in mid March. My Carina Press single title contemporary romance which is still waiting on a title but will feature the word ‘bride’ in it, will debut in August! I plan to celebrate at the conference. For all the goss on my books, me, writing tips and a heap more head to my website.


Cruisin’ the Blog & Member’s News

Welcome to back to another fun week of news and blog spots with ‘Who’s Where and When and Who did What’. If you have any news you would like to share or have a blog event coming up you can email me anytime –


Last week an email notice with a survey link went out to all our RWA members with an email address recorded on the members’ register. Your participation in this survey will help the conference committees plan the 2011 and future conferences. Closing date for responses is December 6, so you still have time to have your say. If you have any questions regarding the survey or the Melbourne conference, please contact


Where Our Members are Blogging ~

Anna Campbell ~

SAT 11th December – Catch up with Anna and her regular post on Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs next Saturday.

Bootcampers 101 ~

Check out Fi’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom on the Little Black Book

Super Sundays offers a quote and funny cheez picture.

Dark Side DownUnder ~

Join us Tuesdays for our Good News Day

On Magic Thursday we have Tracey O’Hara with an E-ARC copy of Death’s Sweet Embrace

Saturday’s Darklight On….will feature Jess Anastasi – with a giveaway of her debut, Sanctuary

Jenn McLeod ~

Read Jenn’s Ode to Contest Entrants, Managers and Judges

On the RWA Blog there’s a new monthly blog post. F2F will feature registered RWA face-to-face writers’ groups from around the country.

Tamara Gill ~

MON 6th December – Author H.C. Brown is dropping by Tamara’s blog and giving away her latest book, Flogger Holiday Anthology or any of her previously published books with Noble Romance.

RWAus Blog ~

FRI 4th December – Eleni Konstantine – Hearts Talk Wrap Up

WED 8th December – Jenn McLeod – F2F – featuring 4 Points Author Network (NSW, Mid North Coast)

FRI 10th December – Suz Hamilton – A Day in the Writing Life of … Vanessa Barneveld

Members who Blog Regularly ~

Christina Phillips

Dora Braden

Elisabeth Rose

Eleni Konstantine

Fiona Lowe

Jess Anastasi

Blogs of Interest ~

NOTE: If you come across a blog you think will interest our members drop me a line with the details.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management ~

Lauren from DGLM answers questions related to the query process with ‘You’ve got questions, We’ve got answers’.

Rants & Rumblings ~

On Wednesday Rachelle Gardner had an interesting post about ‘Royalty Rates’. On Friday she had a post about what turns her off a blog with ‘Blogs We Don’t Like’.


Annie West ~

Annie is joining forces with six other great Australian author for her contest this month. For your chance to win:

BEYOND THE SUNSET by Anna Jacobs – historical single title saga*

CHRISTMAS AT CANDLEBARK FARM by Michelle Douglas – Harlequin Sweet (category)

TEMPT THE DEVIL by Anna Campbell – historical single title

THE BILLIONAIRE BABY BOMBSHELL by Paula Roe – Silhouette Desire (category)

THE CATTLEMAN’S RUNAWAY BRIDE by Karly Blakemore Mowle – contemporary rural romance single title

THE MOST MAGICAL GIFT OF ALL by Fiona Lowe – Harlequin Medical (category)

Plus 3 Annie West titles not in current or planned release.

This contest runs till 29th December 2010 Australian Eastern Standard time. For more information drop by Annie’s contest page.

Mel Scott ~

Mel Scott is running a monthly contest on her blog this month’s contest prize is Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold


Selling Synopsis Winners ~

We have the first winners of our 2011 contest season as chosen by Final Judge, agent Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill & Associates. Congratulations to:

First– Fiona McKenzie

Second–Fiona McKenzie

Third–Kay Dunne

Well done ladies.

Anna Jacobs ~

Anna’s first ever novel published regency romance ‘Persons of Rank’ is No 33 on the UK’s top 100 Kindle historical romances. Way to go Anna, congratulations.

Janet Woods ~

Janet has signed contracts for two more novels with Severn House. Congratulations Janet. Awesome news.

Jennie Brumley ~

Jennie has just had her second full length novel accepted by Ravenous Romance. Fantastic Jennie, congratulations.

Jess Anastasi ~

Jess has received her second contract from Noble Romance Publishing this time for her Romantic Suspense ‘Dead Reality’. YAY Jess, congratulations, well done.

Michelle de Rooy ~

Congratulations go out to Michelle de Rooy who has finalled in the Paranormal section of the West Houston RWA Emily Contest.

Tamara Gill ~

Tamara has been offered a contract with Noble Romance Publishing for her Regency Novella. Super congratulations Tam.

CONTESTS for 2011 ~

One contest season has come to an end. The good news is the RWA 2011 contest season kicked off in August. If you are thinking of entering any of our contests for 2011, now is the time to start writing, editing and polishing.

Little Gems ~

Theme Gem for 2011: Garnet

Opens: 25th Dec 2010

Closes: 4th Feb 2011

First Kiss ~

Opens: Friday 31st December 2010

Closes: Friday 11th February 2011

Valerie Parv Award

Opens:  Friday February 25, 2011

Closes: Friday April 8th, 2011

See website for details.


Friday 10 December

ASA Building your Online Presence ~ Michael Cairns

When: 10:00am–4:30pm

Where: Sydney Mechanics’ School of the Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Cost: $100 M, $232 NM

Booking deadline: Thursday 2 December

FMI + Bookings: Sydney Mechanics’ School of the Arts OR phone Emma on (02) 9318 0877 OR Email

Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 December

Everything you need to know about Publishing ~ Jude McGee, Nicola O’Shea & Others

When: 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: NSW Writers’ Centre

Cost: $165 M, $190 MC, $270 NM

FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Monday 17 January, 2011

Summer School: Summer Seduction ~ Marion Lennox

When: 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Victorian Writers’ Centre

Cost: $120 M, $110 MC, $170 NM

Booking deadline: Monday 3 January, 2011

FMI + Bookings: Victorian Writers’ Centre OR (03) 9094 7855

Tuesday 18 January, 2011

Summer School: Novel Writing – Things I Wish I’d Known ~ Sonia Orchard

When: 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Victorian Writers’ Centre

Cost: $120 M, $110 MC, $170 NM

Booking deadline: Monday 3 January, 2011

FMI + Bookings: Victorian Writers’ Centre OR (03) 9094 7855

Saturdays 22 January to 26 February, 2011

Writers Café ~ Carol Lefevre

When: 9:30am–12:30pm

Where: SA Writers’ Centre & Cafes

Cost: $330

FMI + Bookings: Email OR SA Writers’ Centre & Cafes


Wednesday December 8 for six weeks

Romance Writing Secrets ~ Lori Wilde

Cost: $195 (AUD)

FMI + Bookings: Romance Writing Secrets

Julie Rowe, a 2006 Golden Heart double finalist, moderates the Announce Online Writing Classes list.

The Announce Online Writing Classes list notifies subscribers of around 25 to 35 workshops available each month. Most tutorials are sponsored by Romance Writers of America chapters, but on occasion other reputable teachers are handpicked too.

Interested? Subscribe by sending an e-mail

That rounds it up for another week. Congratulations to everyone who had good news to share this week. Don’t forget to support our bloggers.

Happy Reading


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