July new releases

It’s the beginning of the month again – which means a slew of new romance titles to pick and choose from. No matter what your preference – sweet or sexy, contemporary or historical, fantasy or paranormal – you’ll find a romance to enjoy.



RITA winners announced

Ahead of the announcement of the Romance Writers of Australia’s RUBY and Emerald award winners at our 2016 conference in Adelaide, we share the winners of RWAmerica’s RITA and Golden Heart winners. The RITA and Golden Heart awards are for published books and unpublished manuscripts respectively. It is interesting to note that when publishing the shortlist, RWAmerica pays tribute to authors, publishers and editors.

The 2016 winners are:


  • Romance Novella Nice Girls Don’t Ride by Roni Loren
  • Contemporary Romance: Long Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates
  • Young Adult Romance The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  • Historical Romance: Long Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
  • Romantic Suspense Flash Fire by Dana Marton
  • Paranormal Romance Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles
  • Erotic Romance For Real: A Spires Story by Alexis Hall
  • Historical Romance: Short It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
  • Inspirational Romance A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
  • Contemporary Romance: Short The Nanny Plan by Sarah M. Anderson
  • Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
  • Best First Book Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn


  • Contemporary Romance Shelter Me by Gabrielle Luthy
  • Young Adult Romance The Beekeeper by Meg Kassel
  • Historical Romance The Earl and the Pussycat by Elizabeth King
  • Romantic Suspense In the Wrong Sights by Tracy Brody
  • Paranormal Romance Don’t Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets
  • Inspirational Romance For the Love of Termites by Kimberly MacCarron
  • Short Contemporary Romance Rescuing Riley by Carrie Nichols

For further information and links to the books and authors go to the announcement on the RWAmerica website page.

February New Title Releases

February is the month of love. As we look forward to Valentine’s Day, here is a snapshot of some of the new releases available from our members. I’m already poised to click ‘purchase’ on my laptop for several of them!

Remember that we would love the opportunity to hear about your new release and  let all your RWA compatriots know about it too. You can upload covers through the member section of the website. Please login, then go to Published? under the MyRWA drop down menu and choose the ‘send new releases to Hearts Talk‘. Your cover will also appear on the website and be posted to Pinterest.

The deadline for covers is the 8th of the month prior to publication (e.g. If your release is 1 March, your email must be received before the 8 February). This service is available to MEMBERS ONLY. If your cover runs late for any reason, you are welcome to submit it the next month.

February 2016 New Releases

January New Releases

Happy New Year everyone. Isn’t January the most wonderful month in Australia? The skies are blue, the mood is sunny and the books are fabulous! This month our members are offering 37 new releases covering every genre and written by established favourites and hot new authors.

I plan to crack open a bottle of bubbles, peruse this list at my leisure, and then choose at least one title by a favourite author and one by an author I’ve never read before. Why don’t you do the same and help to spread the love?

January 16 New book releases

November new title releases from RWA members

Can you believe it? November already, and the countdown to Christmas is quickening its pace and squeezing 24 hours into 20 hours max. At least, that’s how it feels to me. If you need to take a deep breath and a time out amidst all the mistletoe madness, try one of these new releases. As usual, there is something for everyone. Enjoy.


RWA members new book releases

September new book releases from RWA members

September and Spring is in the air, washed in by the cleansing rain, unlimited ideas and camaraderie of the Get Fresh and Clayton’s conference team organisers, presenters and participators. If you’re looking for some additional inspiration, look no further than your fellow writers. To be a writer is to be a reader and there are plenty of good new books available in all the sub genres this month. Happy reading 🙂

New book releases from RWA members in September 2015

July New Releases

I don’t know what the weather is like in your part of the country, but here in Sydney it is cold and wet, the sun rises late and sets early. Uggh! The only good news is that all the extra hours indoors mean more reading time.

Here are the new books from our members. As always, there is something for everyone. New books from our membersBrowse and enjoy.


There’s a distinct nip in the air these days, which means it is perfect weather for snuggling under a blanket on a comfy chair and catching up on your reading. Here is a selection of great new romance releases from our members, ranging from sweet to sexy and contemporary to historical; from pirate ships to the Outback and on to city streets with a little bit of magic and shape-shifting thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

June New Releases

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Contemporary Romance an Paranormal author Charmaine Ross…

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Charmaine and congratulations on the release of ‘Four Leaf Clover ’! Can you tell us a bit about it please?

A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters. Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running, her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of national bakery chain Upper Crust owner, sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair, who owns the new bakery being built just across the road, she decides that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemy close, rather than leave things to fate.

Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover Loveday a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a Fact Sheet about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay… A sexy, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.

FourLeafClover Cover

What was your road to publication like?

Actually, it all happened pretty fast. I had a few manuscripts written. I’d finish one and then keep on going with the next one (for practise sake – I lacked the confidence to send anything off to any publisher). I usually work on a couple of mss’s at any one time and they all pretty much finish off at the same rate. I approached Destiny with ‘Double Exposure’ and ‘Wild At Heart’ which they accepted. At the same time Crimson Romance was acquiring submissions, so I sent ‘Daman’s Angel’ and ‘Paradise Island’ off to them, which they also accepted.

I met with Kate Cuthbert from Escape Publishing at the 2012 conference and submitted ‘Makeover Miracle’ to her which she liked enough to offer an acceptance to me. Over the past eighteen months I had all five books published in E format which was a whirlwind for me.

Escape Publishing offered an acceptance to ‘Four-Leaf Clover’ which is coming out on the 1st May (I say with fingernail nails between teeth.)

You write contemporary romance, is there any other genre you’d like to venture into?

I write Paranormal Romance. ‘Daman’s Angel’ and ‘Paradise Island’ are both Paranormal Romances. I like writing them as I can really go wild with the characters and the background. I can create whole worlds where my characters live by different rules. Like the ideas of magic, psycic talent and a good old ghost story.

I’m finishing off Book Two of a Paranormal Romance at the moment and will continue on with Book Three., although I have a couple of new Contemporary Romances in my head busting to get out. Too many stories, so little time!

You are a graphic designer. Does being a visual artist help in regards to your writing, for example, describing setting in ‘Double Exposure’?

I can see my husband’s eyes roll into the back of his head when we pick paint – ‘It’s a different white. It’s got too much blue in it. It doesn’t match properly, can’t you see it?’

I usually have a pretty good idea of how scenes ‘look’ before I write them. If I don’t have a clear picture in my mind, I usually have to work harder at it to get it down properly. I guess being a graphic designer, I’m a very visual person and I do rely on it a lot. The hard thing is translating a visual scene into words and feelings.

With Double Exposure, I know the area intimately as I’ve virtually grown up there. When I was a child my parents spent every weekend going to Jamieson, so setting a story in the Victorian High Country wasn’t a hard push for me. In fact, the scenes I have included in the story are the parts of the country I have visited often and love the most!

Double Exposure Charmaine Ross

What would we find on your bookshelf and e-reader?

My e-reader has about 900 books on it and counting! I pretty much cover most romance writers from Sylvia Day to Maya Banks, Ilona Andrews, Kerry Arthur. The list is endless.

Is there one book or author in particular that has been an inspiration to you?

Years ago the Diana Gabaldon series took me away. I DEVOURED those books. I love the Maya Banks series – that girl can write anything! I love the way Keri Arthur has made Melbourne into an alternate world. I wished I lived in her world! All of our local home-grown talent. I take my hat off to you all, ladies.

What is your next work in progress? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m working on three at the moment. One is a paranormal trilogy as I mentioned before. That’s all about ghosts, psychic ability, other worlds, unrequited love and duelling with the Devil.

The next book is more of a thriller, a woman trying to keep her marriage together while grieving for the son she loses. She is a detective who, through making a massive mistake, is put on cold cases, but they’re more hot than cold and she is soon wrapped up in a cult that promises her answers for why her son died. Her world tilts from professional to personal.

The third is a contemporary romance. Elizabeth saves a child from drowning and lands right in the arms of her rather hot father. Phew, I’ll leave it there! (another Bradley Cooper look-a-like — hey, I like Bradley! I can hold him in my mind all day long!)

Makeover Miracle Charmaine Ross

If ‘Four Leaf Clover’ was to be made into a movie, who would be your ultimate cast?

Ooooo. Bradley Cooper would play Liam. The choppy hair, to-die-for eyes, tall, lean frame and the sexy way he can wear a suit. I envisioned Clover to look like Carly Rae Jensen with her thick, brown hair, fringe that is cut just over her eyes and delicate frame. I actually had a picture of the both of them at the end of my ms I wrote Four-leaf Clover.

Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Four Leaf Clover’, please?

Clover was tired. More tired than usual. Lack of sleep often did that to her, compounding the effects of a physical day. She’d been unable to go to sleep because of a kiss she hadn’t wanted or asked for and still couldn’t seem to push from her mind. Clover checked the bread in the covered bowl she’d set aside that morning. She always liked the smell of raising bread in the morning. Made it more earthy. 

It had been a nice kiss, well, a great kiss. She rolled the risen dough onto the floured surface and started kneading. Hell, it had knocked her socks off. Left fist. Exactly what she hadn’t wanted. Right fist. Clover blew a strand of hair from her face. Making dough usually let off steam, but this morning it didn’t have the desired effect. 

She rolled the soft dough into a long sausage. The dough would make great lunch rolls. She’d add them to today’s menu. Take the rest to the shelter at finish time. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be. No diversions. 

She’d never got so caught up before. Now the sausage was too thick, so she had to start again. This time less force. She just didn’t need a man in her life, no matter how good he was at kissing. She certainly didn’t need to feel so damn good because of it. She picked up a broad-bladed knife and chopped the sausage into sections. Chop. Chop. Chop. The blade made a satisfactory thump on the cutting board. What was it about Liam that had her all confused about her simple life’s rules? 

‘Man trouble?’ 

‘Huh? Clover looked up to see Holly lounging on the doorframe. Holly looked from the knife in Clover’s hand to the small blobs of dough scattered over the bench. ‘Are you planning to make rolls for dwarves?’ 

Clover kept in the sound of frustration as she gathered the bits of dough and started kneading. Again. 

‘I’m okay. Just couldn’t sleep last night,’ Clover said. 

Holly locked her arms over her chest and rested a hip on the bench. ‘Ah-huh. Any reason you want to particularly share?’ 

‘No reason.’ The kiss wasn’t the problem. It was the fact she’d let him do it. Just stood there, waiting for him to plant his mouth on hers. She hadn’t the will power or the inclination to stop him. And it had been so nice to let him do it to her. So nice to feel desired, wanted. Nice to give in to what she craved. Just for a moment. A nano-second of bliss. 

Then reality had stepped in. Knew where a kiss could lead and that she couldn’t let it pull her into its sweet embrace. The nagging weight of responsibility pushed on her shoulders and she had listened, like she always did. Responded by letting him walk back out her door, angry that she had let it happen in the first instance. Besides, she’d be getting into bed with the enemy. She just couldn’t do that.


Web links




Buy link


To be in  the running to win an E copy of Four-Leaf Clover, Charmaine’s latest contemporary romance set in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges just leave a comment below. This competition is open world wide and the winner will be drawn on May 7th, 2014. He/she will be notified by email.






Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. More good news and great blogs for you again this week.


Cruisin’ the News

We love celebrating success. Our members are encouraged to send in their New Release news for publishing in Hearts Talk and the New Releases blog. Don’t miss the deadline! Send in your new releases by the 8th of every month to:




Of course, the Cruisin’ Crew don’t want to miss out on the celebrations, so drop Clint and Enrico an email with your blogs, new contract, first sale, new cover or release news at cruisin@romanceaustralia.com. Don’t forget to come back on Sunday for a list of exciting writing-related events delivered by our members.

Good Newsoutback-dreams-cover

  • Rachael Johns is thrilled to announce the arrival of her friends to lovers story, OUTBACK DREAMS, the first in her Bunyip Bay series.
  • Elisabeth Rose invites you over for a look at the cover of her November release with Escape Publishing. MANGO KISSES is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

RWA Competitions

Selling Synopsis 2014

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: 22 November 2013, midnight Sydney time
 (entries sent outside these dates cannot be accepted)

Enter – via email only
Short manuscript (10K to 65K): maximum 2 pages single spaced
Long manuscript (65K and over): maximum 3 pages single spaced
Check the formatting guidelines on the entry form

Entry fee per entry
$22 (entries within Australia. GST incl.)
$20 (entries outside Australia)

Two entries per member are permitted. RWAustralia members only.

Final judge – Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum, Pan Macmillan Australia

Prizes – 1st – $200, 2nd – $100 , 3rd – $ 75 (plus certificates)

Entry form/conditions
Sample scoresheet
Formatting sample

Queries – Selling Synopsis Contest Manager, Leisl Leighton sellingsynopsis@gmail.com

The Emerald Award 2014

The Emerald Award has two major points of difference from the other RWA contests.

Firstly, it is judged by keen romance readers, not writers. This gives an indication of the marketability of your story but won’t necessarily provide the sort of feedback that helps improve your writing technique.

Secondly, you must have a completed manuscript should your story make it to round 2. The turnaround time between rounds 1 and 2 is one week (5 working days) so there is no time to finish your book then.

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: Midnight Sydney time, 22 November 2013

Enter: The first 10,000 words of your unpublished romance or romantic elements manuscript (10K+). Entries are by email. Entrants who reach the second round will need to submit their full manuscript.

Entry fee: $38.50 incl GST per entry.

Final judges
Joanne Grant, Executive Editor, Harlequin UK
Long: Charlotte Ledger, Editor and Content Developer, Harper Impulse

Prizes: 1st prize in each section – $500, 2nd – $250 3rd prize – $150.

Entry criteria: unpublished RWA members only.

Questions? Contact the applicable contest manager:
Long: Gemma McBride
Short: Marnie McLane

Formatting sample

Sample score sheets:
First round (shortlong)
Second round (shortlong)


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. Are you an RWA Member? Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Changing genres – how and what is important? Annie Seaton talks about the experience of writing Steampunk, paranormal, suspense, contemporary romance – both sweet and sexy and historical

Looking for simple, healthy way to feed your hungry horde? Then Friday Feast is the place to go! Australian coastal lit author Victoria Purman is sharing her recipe for easy chicken stock and the endless delicious uses you can put it to. One pot, a hundred meals, and lots of time to kick back with Victoria’s debut release NOBODY BUT HIM. Plus reveal your favourite summer past-time and you could win a copy of this beachy bronzed Aussie book!

September 28 – ENCHANTED ORB with C.T. Green

October 1 – GOOD NEWS DAY compiled by Kylie Griffin

October 3 – MAGIC THURSDAY with Eleni Konstantine

Fantabulous Friday – Besieged Cover shorlisted

October 1 – Tuesday Tales – This week’s prompt: DIRTY

October 2 – Juliet Madison’s release of STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE

October 3 – This Week’s Book Choice: Brenda Maxfield SOMEDAY YOU’LL LAUGH

October 10 – May I introduce: Aussie Author Rachael Johns OUTBACK DREAMS

In celebration of the new-improved, stain-free, all-organic, digitally-enhanced, low-carbon, user-friendly, top-rated, whizz-bang, ULTRA-SEXY Ecstasy Files website, I’m having a GIVEAWAY. Everyone who subscribes to The Ecstasy Files by Friday 4th October goes into the draw for a limited edition tote bag prize pack worth $45. Full prize details and entry here

October 5 – SATURDAY SEVEN (Caged Warrior) – Seven paragraphs from a favourite book from my shelves.

October 8 – DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER SERIES: Rowena May O’Sullivan – come meet our Aussie & New Zealander Dark Siders!

October 12 – CAT-URDAY! – Grumpy Cat 2 – More favourite one liners from GC!

Some of our members are sharing their favourite first lines with M A Grant.

October 1 – Jane Godman

October 2 – Elsa Winckler

October 3 – Juanita Kees

October 4 – Magen McMinimy

October 5 – Susanne Matthews

October 6 – Ros Baxter

October 7 – Sarah Daltry

October 8 – Melinda Lane

October 9 – Sofia Gabel

October 10 – Stefanie London

October 11 – J.M. Bray

Australian author Lilian Darcy will featured on Momentum Moonlight  and Romance Book Haven with her  Montana Born Books

Queensland writer Jenny Brigalow will be talking craft on Revisions & Editions

October 7 – Lilian Darcy on Spotlight on Romance Book Paradise

October 11 – Jenny Brigalow talking about her latest release from Escape Publishing on Romance Reader

October 13 – Jenny Brigalow on her YA Paranormal on Fresh Fiction

Part 2 of a ‘How to’ post on opening hooks when writing a book. 15 tips on the various elements/aspects to this skill.

Part 1 is also gives a good definition of what a hook is.

TBA – What A Character – with Maggie Mundy

September 29 – Seanna Smythe talks Harleys and chocolate sundaes. Come and find out why Evie could never say no to Aidan in NEVER ON A SUNDAE, Edible Delights Vol 2 from Secret Cravings Publishing. Win an EDIBLE DELIGHTS VOLUME 2  gift pack.

October 6 – Spotlight on Writers with Simone Cooper

The Ecstasy Files this week features an eye opening and invaluable resource for writers of sexy and erotic romance. In erotic fiction, as in romance, it’s all about position, position, position (warning: 18+ only, sexual references and content)

September 30 – In the Armchair with Nora James, author of DARK OIL1013 Dark Oil_1400

October 1 – In the Armchair with Carly Drake, author of WORDS ONCE SPOKEN

October 2 – Juliet Madison is celebrating the release of her third book with Escape Publishing, STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE, a contemporary romance novella with a touch of magic (RoMagic) plus bumper giveaway

Enrico’s Pick Six

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

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Michelle Diener
  2. Sara Hantz
  3. Teen Fiction Cafe
  4. We Love YA
  5. Yvonne Lindsay
  6. Wink Girls


Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

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