2017 Ruby finalists

Congratulations to our 2017 Romantic Book of the Year finalists!

The official announcement of finalists – with cover art and links! –  is here at the Booktopia blog. Please share with your friends!

The finalists are:

Long Romance

Escaping Mr. Right by Avril Tremayne
Random Romance

The Grazier’s Wife by Barbara Hannay
Penguin/Michael Joseph

The War Bride by Pamela Hart
Hachette Australia

Short Romance

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash
Tule Publishing

The Most Scandalous Ravensdale by Melanie Milburne
Harlequin Mills & Boon Sexy

Unwrapping His Convenient Fiancée by Melanie Milburne
Harlequin Mills & Boon Sexy

Romantic Elements

A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester
Hachette Australia

Legacy of Hunters Ridge by Sarah Barrie
Harlequin MIRA

Mackenzie Crossing by Kaye Dobbie
Harlequin MIRA

Numbered by Amy Andrews and Ros Baxter
Harlequin MIRA

Romance Novella

Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn Hein

Swept Away by Fiona Marsden

Unexplored by Anna Hackett

Winners will be announced at the Love Gone Wild Conference in Brisbane in August.

In addition to the four Ruby section winners – Long Romance, Short Romance, Romance Novella and Romantic Elements – all finalists are now being read by our final judges to decide one overall Romantic Book of the Year winner.


Awards Night Results 2016

Once again, our conference organisers hosted a wonderful conference dinner and glorious award presentation.

Thank you to our conference committee for organising and managing such a great event.  We must also thank our lovely president, Leisl Leighton, who MC’d the evening for us.

We started by congratulating the winners of the Cover Contest, the Ripping Start, Selling Synopsis, First Kiss, Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Awards, all of which were decided and announced during the year.  (If you would like to revisit the winners and finalists, there are links at the end of this post.)  Thank you to Michael Hauge, Erica Hayes, Joanne Grant, Pauline Johnston, Sarah E Younger, Tricia Sargant and Lis Hoorweg for presenting those awards.

Then we moved onto the awards that are saved for the big reveal at the conference, which this year included the ROMA, The Valerie Parv Award, The Emerald, The Emerald Pro, The Ruby (in all its various categories), the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award and a Life Member Award. We also announced the covers from our members’ books that we voted as our favourites in several categories.  Thank you to Leisl Leighton, Valerie Parv, Jo McAllister, Esi Sogah, Erica Hayes, Kerri Lane, Michael Hauge, Annie Lynch, Nikoo McGoldrick, Jim McGoldrick, Amy Andrews and Anita Joy for presenting these awards.  Thanks too, to Anne Gracie for the famous and much-loved ‘stand ups’!

I must also take this opportunity to thank Erica Hayes and all the volunteer members of the contest team of RWA, without whom, our contest season could not happen.

And now, for the results, drumroll please…

The Cover Contest competition, judged by our members.  As authors, we often have very little control over our covers, so we are always grateful when the cover fairies (otherwise known as the artists and publishers who create the art) bless us.  This year, our most blessed books, as judged by our members, were: (if you’d like to see the covers in question, you can find them here.

Favourite Contemporary Romance Cover:

Operation White Christmas – Nicki Edwards – Pan MacMillan

Favourite Erotic/Sexy Romance Cover:

The Veiled Heart – Elsa Holland – Self Published: Artist, Hang Le

Favourite Historical Romance Cover:

The King’s Man – Alison Stuart – Escape Publishing

Favourite NA/YA Romance Cover:

The Finn Factor – Rachel Bailey – Entangled Embrace

Favourite Paranormal Romance Cover:

The Shattered Court – M J Scott – Penguin/ROC

Favourite Romantic Elements Cover:

Pretty Famous – Carla Caruso – Harper Impulse

Favourite Romantic Suspense Cover:

Storm Clouds – Bronwyn Parry – Hachette Australia

Favourite Rural Romance Cover:

Summer and the Groomsman – Cathryn Hein – Self-published. Artist Kellie Dennis, Book Cover by Design.

Congratulations to all these members for having great luck with the cover fairies and to the publishers who commissioned and artists who created these gorgeous covers.


The Roma Award for Media

The finalists for the ROMA Award 2016 were:

Danielle Binks; 

It takes a village to write a romance: the surprising rise of collaborative fiction.”


By any other name: the secret lives of romance authors.

 The Wheeler Centre

“The F word: A live podcast, featuring Kate Bell, Kat Mayo and Beth Driscoll”

The ROMA is an award to recognise professional, positive media coverage of the romance industry. It was launched by Romance Writers of Australia (Inc) (RWA) to help recognise and acknowledge those members of the media who reach beyond the cliché in their reporting on romance writers, releases or industry. In determining the winner, the award selection panel look at the angle of the article, the quality of research, the representation of romance and the ‘reach’ of the piece.  Any RWA member can nominate a media piece that they feel stands out as particularly worthy.

And the ROMA was awarded to:

Danielle Binks, for BOTH her pieces – they tied!



The Valerie Parv Award (VPA) 

Highly Commended:

Bloodlines – Jess Langhorne

By Love Undone – Samara Kelly

His Bargained-for Bride – Jodie Morphett

3rd Place: Starborn – Samantha Wicks

2nd Place: Demon Curse – Raewyn Bright

And the winner and the new minion is…

1st Place, VPA – Fighting Spirit – Chris Weston



The Emerald Award

3rd Place: The Shooting Star – Frances Dall’Alba

2nd Place: Alpine Kisses – Laura Boon

1st Place: Island Redemption – Suzanne Cass



Emerald Pro

1st Place: A Suitcase, a Smile and a Lie – Katy Scott



The Lyn Wilding Meritorious Service Award.

The LWA is named in honour of RWA’s first president, Lyn Wilding, and honours our wonderful volunteers.  In this sense, it is not won, but awarded, as all our volunteers and all the nominees are winners in our eyes.  This year, those nominated included Linda Brown, Daniel DeLorne, Imelda Evans, Erica Hayes, Delwyn Jenkins, Jillian Jones and Vicki Vuat.  We would like to thank all of them for their service, and the members who took to the trouble to nominate them.  We appreciate all your efforts.  But the award can only go to one and this year the recipient is:

Daniel DeLorne



New Life Member

In honour of her long history of sharing her expertise and experience with RWA, we are delighted to announce our newest Life Member:

Valerie Parv



Ruby Award for Romantic Book of the Year

Ruby Novella Finalists:

Misletoe Maverick – Shannon Curtis – self-published

Silk and Scars – Cassandra Dean – Decadent Publishing

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

Pursued by a Rogue – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing

And the Ruby goes to:

What a Bachelor Needs – Kelly Hunter – Tule Publishing



Ruby Short Sweet Finalists:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing

You for Christmas – Madeline Ash – Tule Publishing

Still Married to her Ex – Lucy Clark – HM&B Medical

Home to Bindara Creek – Juanita Kees – Self Published

Reach for the Stars – Kerrie Patterson – Self Published

And the Ruby goes to:

The Secret Son (Retitled as The Montana Son) – Joan Kilby – Tule Publishing



Ruby Short Sexy finalists:

Tribal Law – Shannon Curtis – Australian Romance Readers Association

The Wedding Bargain – Yvonne Lindsay – Harlequin Desire

Pretend It’s Love – Stephanie London – Entangled Lovestruck

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite

Seducing His Enemy’s Daughter – Annie West – HM&B Sexy

And the Ruby goes to:

Never Surrender – Rosie Miles – Entangled Ignite



Ruby Long Romance finalists:

Rise – Karina Bliss – Self Published

The Spring Bride – Anne Gracie – Berkley/Penguin Random House

Kakadu Sunset – Annie Seaton – Pan MacMillan Australia

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia

And the Ruby goes to:

Lethal in Love – Michelle Somers – Random House Australia



Ruby Romantic Elements finalists:

A Dangerous Arrangement – Lee Christine – Escape Publishing

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA

Pay the Piper – Mary Brock Jones – Self Published

Between the Vines – Tricia Stringer – Harlequin MIRA

And the Ruby goes to:

The Patterson Girls – Rachel Johns – Harlequin MIRA



Finally, here are the links for the previously announced competitions:

Ripping Start Results 2016

Selling Synopsis Results 2016

First Kiss Results 2016

Little Gems and Little Gems Cover Results 2016


And then we all boogied our celebrations at the Escape after-party till they kicked us out!

Congratulations to all the winners and recipients and to all those admiring them from afar, make sure you enter next year.  You have to be in it to win it!



Event Announcements

Do you have an event or workshop you’d like to share? RWA Members, email your event news to cruisin(at)romanceaustralia.com.

Keeping Up Appearances

January 26, 2014, Radio Interview – Air on The Authors Shelf – Station: 2SSR 99.7FM and tune in radio 12-1.00pm EST.

February 12, 2014, 7:00pm – Arana Hills Library, Meet the Author

February 15, 2014, 10.00am – Caboolture Library, Meet the Author

Date: Tuesday 11th February

Time: 6.30 -8.30pm

Venue: Warnbro Community Library, Swallowtail Parade Warnbro

RSVP: Please email Claire on claire(at)claireboston.com if you are attending. Places are limited and numbers are essential for catering purposes.

Writers Festivals 2014

Perth Writers Festival
February 20–23

Adelaide Writers Week
March 1–6

Newcastle Writers Festival
April 4–7

Sydney Writers Festival
May 19–25

Word Storm, Darwin
May 29–June 1

Bellingen Writers Festival
June 7–9

Mildura Writers Festival
July 17–20

Byron Bay Writers Festival
August 1–3

Melbourne Writers Festival
August 21–31

Brisbane Writers Festival
September 3–7

Ruby Award

The Ruby opens on the 6 January and closes on the 7 February 2014. For more information, email the contest manager,Print
Annie Lynch at rby@romanceaustralia.com

Ella Award

The Ella opens on the 6 January and closes on the 7 February 2014. For more information, email the contest manager,
Raewyn McGill at ella@romanceaustralia.comPrint
As always, please check the website for guidelines, previous winners and the most current information.


Cruisin’ with RWA

Happy 2014 from the crew at Cruisin’. Enrico and Clint are excited to be back to share your good news and great blogs for another year. 2014 is tipped to be a good year having started out with not only a new moon but a Supermoon. I hope that brings you all a happy and lucrative writing year. Clint is our chauffeur today, so put on your seatbelts and let’s go Cruisin’!

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: newreleases@romanceaustralia.com htgoodnews@romanceaustralia.com 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.

RWA CompetitionsPrint

Get your entries in! Competition Fever is here. RWA’s competitions are a great sounding board for your writing. We love romance and what better way is there to get your hard work out there to be read and critiqued by romance lovers. Both the Ruby and the Ella are now open for entries and close on February 7.  So don’t delay!  Our Little Gems competition for short stories opens tomorrow January 10 and closes on January 31.  For further details and entry forms, click on the links to be taken to the RWA website.

Ripping Results

Ripping into the new year with the results of the Ripping Start! Congratulations to all and best of luck with your stories! Thanks to Clare Forster from Curtis Brown for being the final judge for this contest and, as always, our RWA volunteers, without whom our contest season couldn’t run.  In particular, for this contest, thanks to Sandra Harris, Leisl Leighton, Margaret Midwood and all our volunteer judges.

First: Victoria Steele

Second: Kerrie Ptolemy

Third: Jo McAlister

Equal Fourth: Elvina Payet

Equal Fourth: Cassandra Pennington

Sixth: Sarma Burdeu

Seventh: Jennifer Ensor

Australian Romance Reader Awards

Would you look at all those RWA member names in this year’s ARRA Awards! Congratulations 🙂

**Ed’s Note: I might have missed a few, my apologies if I did. The full list is available here: http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/2013-arr-awards-finalists-announced/

Favourite Paranormal RomanceFish Out of Water

A Warlord’s Lady – Nicola E. Sheridan

Fish Out Of Water – Ros Baxter

Secret Reflection – Jennifer Brassel

Favourite SF, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance

Chaos Bound – Rebekah Turner

Hindsight – Sarah Belle

White Christmas – Ros Baxter

Favourite Short Category Romance

What Love Sounds Like – Alissa Callen

Favourite Contemporary RomanceBB Print Cover with sparkle 311.475 pixels

A Basic Renovation – Sandra Antonelli

The House on Burra Burra Lane – Jennie Jones

Favourite Erotic Romance

The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley – Viveka Portman

Favourite Romantic Suspense

Lost in Kakadu – Kendall Talbot

Favourite Cover from a 2013 Romance

Lost in Kakadu – Kendall TalbotLostInKakadu

Sexiest Hero from a 2013 Romance

Alex from Mistaken IdentityAlyssa J Montgomery

Favourite New Australian Romance Author

Sandra Antonelli

Juliet Madison

Alissa Callen

Kendall Talbot

Australian Love Stories Anthology

Inkerman and Blunt, who published an anthology of Australian love poetry last year, this year want to do one of Australian love stories and would love to have our members represented.  There are details on the blog, if you are interested: https://romanceaustralia.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/australian-love-stories-do-you-have-one-to-share/. The closing date is February 28

New Releases

Grab a pen and paper or your reading device, and have a look at these awesome new releases:

is celebrating the release of her Medieval Scottish romance called IN THE WILD HIGHLANDER’S BED.

IN SAFE ARMS Lee Christine



TANGO LOVE Nicole Flockton



Kaz is back with her January release of ALMOST DEAD

is proud to reveal the cover of her her new release THE BILLIONAIRE’S PURSUIT OF LOVE  from Destiny Romance

FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN released on January 8 on Smashwords and Amazon. Are you up for a little ‘bunker play’?

has a new release coming up on January 22. This Historical Romance, CLAIMING THE REBEL’S HEART comes to us from Oportet Publishing.


has been offered a publishing contract for her novella, the publishing date aimed at early 2014. You can find a sample of Louise’s work on Smashwords with her novel BENEATH SOUTHERN STARS.


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

While Clint takes a break and puts his feet up after that mammoth run of good news, Enrico will take the driver’s seat to bring you our Member Blogs. 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.

Kariss Stone was inspired by Fifty Shades to resume her erotica writing and has a hot excerpt and some great eye candy on All the World’s a Page. Looking for an opening (from February) to blog about your new book or project?

Check out my latest guest, Lee Christine. Lee Christine shares background to, and an excerpt from, her new novel, IN SAFE ARMS. I love the premise, and the real life setting. Who’d have thought a ‘bikie’ could be a hero in this current political and social climate? Don’t miss the excerpt–you’ll definitely want your own wine cellar after this!

Susanne Bellamy is hopping this month. January 1 with Fiona Mcvie and join us on the Coastal Romance Australia Day Blog Hop. Every day until January 26 there’s a new post and more chances to win $100 gift voucher and e-books.

Need refreshment after all those birdies and eagles? Join me at The 19th Hole Bunker Play Blog stop (with Lily Malone) on

Another sort of immigrant–my ‘boat people’ past! Coastal Romance Australia Day Blog Hop hits my website this weekend $100 gift card and more prizes. Are you in with a chance?

Anna discovered a great article from Independent News (UK) on why reading is good for you.

Clear your palates! Friday Feast will be back soon.

Pop over to the Darksider’s blog for more

Visit the Taverna to see what Eleni has on the list for you.

Jenn J McLeod has Juliet Madison at the bar for a yarn with her latest, THE JANUARY WISH  and there is a give-away.

Margaret’s new release, VALENTINE MASQUERADE, was hosted by ARRA on their blog on Wednesday. The book is the second in her ‘romance with dogs’ line, and has a cover described as ‘whimsical, intriguing and beguiling all at the same time.’ Wander over and take a look at Charley the homeless dog who has some lessons to teach his two star-crossed friends.

My romance blog, Adventurous Hearts, features a mini interview with a romance/erotica writer every Friday. The posts feature five short questions (three about whatever the subject’s current book is) and the last question is always about a song that makes the writer cry. 🙂 If you’d like to participate and promote your latest work, I’d love to feature you! You can email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com to get the list of questions and I can then schedule you in.

Join in the Bunker Play Blog Hop and celebrate the release of Lily Malone’s FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. For details, visit Rhyll’s blog. There is a great give-away up for grabs.

is running a blog series this year called ‘Look Who’s Talking’

I wonder what those Sassy ladies in the South are up to?

A Hole in One – It’s golf. But not as you know it. What do Gary Player and Lily Malone have in common? Grab that five-iron, hop over to the 19th hole and find out.


Enrico’s Pick SixEnrico

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. Anne Gracie
  2. Christina Phillips
  3. Historical Saga Novels
  4. Jane Quick
  5. Lily Malone
  6. M J Scott

And there you have it, all the news from over the Festive season. Our chauffeurs are off for a cup of tea. Have a great week and happy writing!

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