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Happy hour with Karen Rose

18 September 2014

Karen RoseWe are absolutely thrilled to announce we have added another author event to our calendar for this year–Happy hour with Karen Rose!

On Thursday 23 October we will be holding this special event in Sydney, starting with an hour of drinks and nibbles, from 5.00 to 6.00 pm, while chatting with Karen Rose. There will only be 30 spots for the happy hour. Tickets for the happy hour are $15 and are available HERE. (All those who attend the happy hour will receive an exclusive proof copy of Karen’s November release, Closer Than You Think.)

Following on from the happy hour, and open to the public, will be a sneak peek from Karen of her upcoming title Closer Than You Think and then a signing until 8.30 pm. If you miss out on a ticket for the happy hour, please come along to the signing at 6.00 pm (bookings not required).

Both events will take place at Dymocks, 424 George Street, Sydney.

Happy hour with Karen Rose_600

Feature book: Red Sand Sunrise

17 September 2014

Red Sand SunriseRed Sand Sunrise by Fiona McArthur

This is an amazing story of three woman in the harsh Australian outback and the setting is just glorious. When Eve Wilson, a midwife living and working in Brisbane, goes to the town of Red Sand in Queensland for her father’s funeral, although she didn’t know him, she finally meets her half-sister Callie and Callie’s mum Sylvia. This starts a friendship and a bond that means so much to both girls. Callie is a GP in Sydney and is estranged from her husband and decides to stay in Red Sand to care for her mother who is not well. This is a very hard time for Callie after just losing her father and the breakup of her marriage.

When one of the matriarchs of the town, Blanche McKay, decides they need a medical centre that will help the town and especially the pregnant women, Callie takes on the role of GP. Eve is persuaded to stay and work with Callie. When Blanche pulls some strings and Eve’s sister Sienna, a gynaecologist from Melbourne, arrives as well to research problems with pregnancy in the area, this will start an amazing journey for all three girls as they get closer and find love and happiness.

The town of Red Sand is a close-knit town and the three girls have led very different lives. Eve and Sienna with their mother and not their father. Sienna is hard and strong where Eve seems to be a bit flighty but is so caring and natural. Callie has been through a lot with the loss of a baby and a non-caring husband. She does have loving parents to guide her even though that was not always the case. Each woman grows into themselves and with the help of each other and a few handsome men in the town, they find much-deserved happiness and peace of mind.

This one will have you crying and smiling throughout and you will not want to put it down. I loved it from start to finish. Thank you Ms McArthur for an amazing story and hours of reading pleasure. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Helen S

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All ARRA members who leave a comment by 1 October 2014 will go in the draw to win the book.

Feature book: Her Irresistible Protector

17 September 2014

Her Irresistible ProtectorHer Irresistible Protector by Michelle Douglas

Tash Buckley grew up in the suburbs of Sydney where people were poor and had hard lives. Her mother walked out on an abusive husband and left Tash behind to cope with her father. Her life was very tough but she could always rely on her best friend, Rick. His life wasn’t much better so he convinced her to take judo lessons and was always there for her. At the age of seventeen Tash falls hard and fast for a young police officer, Mitch King. He is the only man she will ever love but when Tash finds out why he took interest in her in the first place, things change. Tash is a strong independent person and although she does not see him, she never forgets their time together. Eight years on and Tash in managing the local hotel and enjoying life. Rick is still her best friend and she has not had any more boyfriends in her life.

Mitch King has had a very hard and sad life. He lost his parents when he was young and moved from the country to the suburbs to live with his grandparents where he is loved and learns a lot from them. He wants to become a policeman to right the wrongs and is a very determined one. When he sees what a lot of the young kids are doing, he is determined to get the ring leader and put him behind bars. He gets close to Tash with the sole reason of getting his man but he also develops feelings for Tash but does not take them very far. When he gets Rick and puts him behind bars, Tash is so angry with him for what he has done, they do not speak or see each other for eight years. But that does not mean he has forgotten her either.

When Officer Mitch King shows up on Tash’s doorstep and tells her she needs to be in protective custody with him for a few days to protect her from her best friend, Tash’s heart starts bouncing around. Although she does not like Mitch, she has never gotten over him but she goes with him to his secluded cabin by the beach. This starts four days of tension, sensual attraction and a lot of truths coming out but trust is very hard to come by after their past and Tash is really struggling with her emotions. The pull towards Mitch get stronger but the angst of trying to convince Mitch that Rick would never hurt her or any female becomes agonising for her even after she has told Mitch a lot of what had happened back then. Mitch is so determined to keep her safe after what his childhood was like that when they return to the city and Rick is freed, Mitch is still not convinced that Rick in innocent and with him wanting to change her life so he can protect her, things are still up in the air.

This is an awesome story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and grabbing tissues and cheering Tash and Mitch on as she convinces Mitch they can love and respect each other, especially when Mitch comes close to losing Tash. I loved this one—it is so moving and heart warming. Don’t miss it. Everyone, if they have the will and right friends, can have a HEA no matter what they have been through in the past. This one is beautifully written and the setting by the beach is wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Helen S

A review copy of this book was provided by the author. All ARRA members who leave a comment by 1 October 2014 will go in the draw to win the book.

Feature book: Chaos Bound

17 September 2014

Chaos BoundChaos Bound by Rebekah Turner

Lora Blackgoat is the adopted daughter of Gideon, who owns and runs Blackgoat Watch. She is a Runner working for Gideon and can cast magic and use weapons from The Outlands (normal earth) when others can’t. She walks with a limp and carries a sword cane.

Seth, Captain of the City Watch, is handsome and always there for Lora, watching her back, helping her, putting her back together after her adventures. They enjoyed a friends-with-benefits relationship until Lora found out he hadn’t told her of his suspicions of her heritage, and also that he used to be a hell spawn and had been ejected from The Pit (more or less hell). He’s flexible with the law where Lora is concerned.

Roman is a nephilim (half human/half angel), a Regulator, a Sergeant in the Order of the Guides and commander of a Witch Hunter unit, charged with hunting ‘heretics’ for the Grigori priests. He’s strict, devout and sure of his purpose. His Grigori priest superior has an interest in Lora.

There’s an open triangle type relationship between Lora and Seth and Lora and Roman. She likes both men, Seth has been her rock, is cheeky and is a some-time bed partner whereas Roman believes they are meant to be together along the lines of ‘fated mates’. The relationships play second fiddle to the storyline running through the book (hence urban fantasy rather than paranormal).

Chaos Bound is the second book (Chaos Born the first) of an urban fantasy series with a romance woven through. The books are enjoyable and the wonder is that Lora always gets up, usually after being beaten black and blue, to face off with the bad guys. For those who read UF/PNR, Lora is a blend of the Raine Benares character of Lisa Shearin’s books and Kaylin from the Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara. My one gripe is the use of the name Marrock for a family in the story. While authors don’t own names, the English name of Marrock (meaning knight thought to be a werewolf) is well established as the title for a significant character in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series. It’s an unusual name and as such its use stands out in this book in a jarring manner.

If you enjoy urban fantasy or a tale that includes magic users, nephilim, demon spawn and various other otherworldly creatures, and don’t mind a little violence and enjoy a good story, you will like these books. Start with Chaos Born; although the story in Chaos Bound stands alone, the first book will give background to Lora’s various relationships.

Reviewed by Gina G

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.


Release day: The Bouquet List

16 September 2014

Today is the official release of The Bouquet List by Barbara DeLeo (Book 1, Weddings in Westchester) (ebook and print, Entangled Bliss). Here’s the blurb:

The Bouquet ListHe’s #5 on her Bouquet List. Tall, dark…and completely forbidden.

After a too-close call with death, Yasmin Katsalos is checking some things off her Bouquet List—things to do after you thought you were going to die. Fun fashion choices? Check. Purple hair and a cute diamond nose stud? Check, check. Now she’s on to item #5: a flirty fling with a man who’s tall, dark, rich…and totally out of her league.

And restaurateur Lane Griffiths definitely fits the bill.

Lane isn’t just out of Yasmin’s league. He’s also her brother’s best friend and therefore off-limits. Now that they’re working together on renovations for her family’s wedding hall, however, Yasmin has plenty of opportunities to bewitch, bother, and boldly seduce. He’s reserved. She’s relaxed. The only thing they share is a spark of attraction that’s too strong to resist. But is Lane just another item on her bouquet list… or has Yasmin found something on her list that will last?

Barbara dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

One of my favourite movies of all time is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I loved the fun and the big, noisy family and the wonderful romance that unfolded. Mostly, I loved it because I had a big fat Greek wedding of my own and so much if it was gorgeously, beautifully, hysterically accurate. My parents were the quietly spoken Church of England ones and my husband’s family were the ones serving the vegetarian lamb. The Bouquet List is the first in a series about the Katsalos family who own a wedding hall business in upstate New York, and they encompass everything I love about the Greek culture, weddings and falling in love.

You can find out more about this book at Barbara’s website.

Release day: Long Gone Girl

15 September 2014

Today is the official release of Long Gone Girl by Amy Rose Bennett (ebook, Steam eReads). Here’s the blurb:

Long Gone GirlThe girl Ginny Williams used to be is long gone…

After returning home from the Korean War a widow, former MASH surgical nurse, Ginny Williams, heads to the Jersey Shore for a weekend of much needed R&R. But her plans to do nothing more than relax on the beach go seriously awry when the boy who broke her heart on Prom night nine years ago—the now hotter-than-hot ‘fly-boy’ Jett Kelly—shows up on her patch of sand. To make matters worse, Captain Kelly seems to be on a mission to win her trust, and maybe even her heart again. But the last thing Ginny wants is a man—especially one like Jett—in her life. She’s a career nurse now, and that’s that. If only Jett wasn’t so damned charming and attractive…

US air force pilot, Captain Jefferson ‘Jett’ Kelly Junior is blown away to have stumbled across the beautiful yet shy and bookish girl he used to have a huge crush on in high school—especially now that Ginny is all grown up and sexy as hell. Problem is, she’s also not backward in coming forward when letting him know she hasn’t forgiven him for the Prom-kiss-gone-wrong incident. Even though Jett knows he’ll have his work cut out for him to get a second chance with her, he’s definitely going to give it his best shot…

Despite Ginny’s determination to keep her head—she’s certainly not the naïve girl she used to be—when Jett starts to unashamedly woo her, she soon realizes that maybe her heart didn’t get the memo…

Amy dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Long Gone Girl was such fun to write. It’s a light, flirty read—with a dash of bedroom spice—featuring a second chance romance. I write historical romance, so I guess a 1950s/vintage novella just fits into the realm of historical! Earlier this year, I’d noticed that there seemed to be an emerging interest in romance stories set in this era, and as I’ve been a long-time fan of movies from the period, I thought I’d experiment and write something a little more ‘modern’ and light-hearted (compared to my two previous releases that were rather racy Regencies, one of which is very ‘Regency noir’). I love research and had a great time looking into the glamorous fashions and the popular culture of 1953—the movies (such as From Here to Eternity and Roman Holiday), the novels (my heroine, Ginny, reads Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel while she’s sitting on the beach; it was published in 1951) and the music. The action in Long Gone Girl takes place just after the end of the Korean War, in the US—Point Pleasant on the Jersey Shore—and as it focuses on the love story between a MASH nurse and an air force pilot, I also needed to do a little research into nursing and military aviation … I will admit it also helped that my husband is a military pilot!

You can find out more about this book at Amy’s website or buy it Steam e Reads or at Amazon, Kobo and All Romance eBooks.

All ARRA members who leave a comment will go into the draw to win a Kindle copy of this book. The giveaway closes on 6 October.

ARRA newsletter #62

15 September 2014

Purple newsThe September issue of the ARRA newsletter is out today. Members should have received the download code via email.

Our lead story this month is about a new event we have organised – calling all Karen Rose fans! How would you like to spend an evening with Karen Rose in Sydney in October? Be sure to read the lead story, as there are only 30 tickets available. Ticket sales will open to the public tomorrow, but members can buy a ticket TODAY.

And in case you haven’t been keeping track, ARRC2015 registration is now open, plus we have a competition running to meet Maya Banks and Nalini Singh in Melbourne. More details on both in the newsletter.

This month we have a wrap-up of our book-signing event in August, as well as Book Expo, the Byron Bay Writers Festival, and Alli Sinclair’s book launch.

We also have a special article from Carla Caruso on trends in romance fiction, looking back at some of the ‘big things’ over the past 5 years. Carla will continue with a regular column next month.

And of course the romance roundup, plus news, reviews (another bumper crop!) and author interviews.

Happy reading everyone!


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