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ARRA newsletter #120

15 July 2019

Purple news

The July issue of the ARRA newsletter is out today. Members should have received the download code via email.

Here’s a quick run down on what you can find in the newsletter this month:

  • more ARR2020 announcements—this month we have venues and a preliminary list of signing authors
  • some photos from WillyLitFest
  • did you hear MWF has a Day of Romance? See page 8 for details
  • giveaways! Two of them! With thanks to Kylie Scott and Fiona McArthur
  • Charlotte’s Web Watch column features AfternoonBookery
  • another Blast from the Past column from Paula Roe
  • win a $10 gift card if you can Find the Heart!

Plus our regular columns—romance roundup, publisher news, self-publishing highlights, weekly musings, events, reviews, freebies, author interviews and upcoming releases.

If anyone has any publishing news or deals to report, please send information through. And we are always looking for authors to do a Q&A for the newsletter. If you haven’t done one yet, please contact us at

Happy reading everyone!

Guest blogger: Elsa Winckler

14 July 2019

Let’s talk about love

My husband and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary this year. I adore him and I still get those stupid butterflies when I see him enter a room. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s always been an easy road. Life, as we know, is messy and when two stubborn people share a house sparks are bound to fly, especially when you add three stubborn kids to the mix.

In the midst of ‘doing’ life, we rarely think about why, despite the bumpy road, the many, many hills, the curve balls, the scorching winds, our marriages/relationships are actually working. I was recently asked to give a talk on love, life and marriage and was forced to sit down for a moment to think about the why.

How do two people, each with their own background, their own set of ‘rules’, their own way of doing things, their own belief system, their own idiosyncrasies, manage to stay together for 30, 40, 50 years or longer?

In Greek there are four words for love: storge, philia, eros and agapé. CS Lewis gave a series of talks about these words way back in 1958. Storge is the empathy bond (liking someone through the fondness of familiarity), philia is the love between friends, eros is the romantic love and agapé the unconditional ‘God’ love, the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances.

Eros is the love we as romance writers love to explore. The meet cute, the agony of not knowing why suddenly the whole world is upside down until our hero and heroine finally realise they’ve found ‘the one’, when they’ve fallen in love.

We are told the buzz eros creates only lasts twelve months (although I have to add here, I don’t quite agree), so there has to be more to the relationship than mere physical attraction for it to last over decades. Lewis describes it so beautifully: ‘Falling in love is something that happens to us, staying in love is something we do.’ And he goes on to explain: ‘Eros needs a nest of storge.’

I also came across an article by Liz Steelman titled 8 Secrets of Long-married Couples, in which she discusses the findings of the gerontologist, Karl Pillemer’s research. He interviewed 700 couples and asked them how they managed to stay married for 30, 40 and 50 years. Do go and read the article—interesting stuff.

What tickled me was the very first piece of advice—‘Don’t settle. Only get married if you’re in love. Like, butterflies in your stomach love.’ This is, of course, eros.

I love this, because I firmly believe if you marry the one who gives you butterflies, you have a great chance to be one of the lucky ones—you’ll have a lover who is not only your friend, but also your soul mate.

This is exactly the kind of love Dale Cavallo (An Impossible Attraction), David Cavallo (An Irresistible Temptation) and Darryn Cavallo (The Ultimate Surrender) are looking for. Not consciously, mind you. They’re much too in control of their feelings, too busy with the string of boutique hotels they own to admit what they really need.

They’re successful, passionate and they have the ability to love deeply, but they’re busy, they’re successful and when they need a woman, they never have a problem finding one. It is only when their brother Don marries Caitlin Sutherland that they meet the women who would bring them to their knees.

And I’d like to think these are relationships that will last—all the ingredients are there: storge, philia, eros and agapé.

Thanks to Tule Publishing for the re-release of these three stories. I hope you enjoy reading each brother’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

You can find them here:
An Impossible Attraction | An Irresistible Temptation | The Ultimate Surrender

You can find Elsa here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Release day: Fleeting Moments

11 July 2019

Today is the official release of Fleeting Moments by Rania Battany (ebook and paperback, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Maya is floundering. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, is isolated from family and friends, and her father—the only person that ever truly understood her—has been gone four years. When her boyfriend leaves her for another woman, the rocky foundations of Maya’s life crumble to dust, and she sinks even further into the pit of grief and despair.

Until she meets him. Sam. The one with the animated smile and gentle eyes, who always sees the positive no matter how bad the negative. And the one who reignites Maya’s passion through his enthusiasm and zest, helping to rebuild her life, piece by piece.

But when ghosts from Maya’s past resurface, her decisions almost destroy the few important relationships she has left, and the happiness she’s so recently found is threatened. She must overcome her demons and decide what matters most—the familiarity of the past, or the hope, love and possibilities of the future.

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

When I wrote Fleeting Moments, I wanted to create a heroine that was flawed, and Maya is seriously flawed. I often read stories with strong, independent and powerful women, and while these characters may empower others, I can never relate. I wanted to create a character who had to fight her way to happiness after loss, not only the loss of a loved one but the loss of connection with themselves and others—the loss of self-identity and relationships. Regardless of each personal journey, the struggle of fighting through a period of darkness is a universal one, and I believe Maya’s journey is one a lot of women will be able to identify with. I hope that through her story I have shown that healing is possible, no matter how deep the pain is.

You can find out more about this book at Rania’s website or buy it from Amazon.


Feature book: The Duke I Once Knew

10 July 2019

The Duke I Once Knew by Olivia Drake

Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 10 Jan 2019
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Format: ebook and print
Length: 336 pages
RRP: US$7.99 (ebook); A$15.99 (print)

Lady Elise Desmond wants to marry the duke. And she will go to any lengths to achieve that aim.

Abigail Linton just wants a break. She is about to turn thirty years old and is still unmarried. She wants some freedom from family obligations. Being the youngest by many years, she cared for her parents before they died. She has cared for her siblings’ children, she just wants to experience something different. Abby has decided she wants to be a governess for the duke’s sister. Her family has many objections like how will they care for, or really control, their numerous children, and the other tasks around the village where they live. Abby is adamant, she will take on the role.

Maxwell Bryce, Duke of Rothwell, left Rothwell Court when he was sixteen years old. He has returned only once, when his father died. He is now back, with some hangers on, and a boxer who is competing in a match, and Max is training him. What he doesn’t expect is to find Abby as his sister’s governess. Abby, the girl he cared for fifteen years ago.

Naturally Abby and Max re-connect and during their discussions they discover letters they had written when they were fifteen and sixteen, respectively. They do talk about what may have been in the letters but there are other issues to overcome before their HEA. Abby also becomes the target of Lady Elise, who desperately wants the duke. So, there are many ways in which this manifests itself, culminating in Elise having herself banned from the duke’s presence.

One of the parts in the story I like has some similarities to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and I have noted this a few times in some of the historical romances. It is the bungled marriage proposal. Our hero says something along the lines of ‘You have to marry me now,’ and she says no, which to the hero is totally unexpected. And yes, I do actually like this as I try and speculate as to where and how the second proposal will be done, and how he will actually convince his heroine to marry him.

A great read.

reviewed by Heather

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

Release day: Valor

9 July 2019

Today is the official release of Valor by Mel Teshco (Dragons of Riddich, book 6) (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate…

As a breeder, Rebel Mayfield attracts Riddich dragons like bees to honey. But to guarantee her next dragon capture, she has no choice other than to lay a trap for sharp-witted, blond-headed Valor. She waits in a dark alley, and when her breeder instincts sense Valor near, she signals to her male colleague to approach and pretend he’s hurting her. Valor falls for the ruse and is so enraged he nearly kills the male operative. Until the Paranormal Detection Agency—Rebel’s team—step in and take Valor as their prisoner.

As Valor lays chained on a gurney, his body bloodied and bruised, and the air too frosty to call on his dragon, he dreams of escape along with hundreds of ways to kill everyone in the underground facility. Everyone except Rebel. He’s got a special kind of hell for her. He’ll use her body again and again before taking his ultimate revenge. That it’s Rebel who gives him the opportunity to escape might be her only salvation … but only if she can handle his dragon’s physical demands.

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

Valor is book 6 of a seven-book series. In this story the action and adventure, not to mention the romance, is still as strong as ever. We also finally get to meet Kadin (he’s the dragon hero in book 1, a prequel, which is free) who has been working hard behind the scenes on Earth gathering an army to defeat their enemy, the Tantonic queen. Meanwhile Valor, the hero in this story, has been held prisoner by the Paranormal Detection Agency after trying to save a female operative from her attacker. Little did he know at the time it was a set-up to capture him. Now vengeance is all he thinks about until the moment he breaks free and becomes dragon, then tracks down the woman he loathes and lusts in equal measure.

You can find out more about this book at Mel’s website or buy it from Amazon.

Publisher pitch: Pride Publishing, Jul 2019

8 July 2019

July is packed full of new releases from Pride Publishing! We’re jumping into a new series with CF White, Pink Rock, and revisiting some favourites with Morticia Knight, JP Bowie, LM Somerton and more!

You can find more of our titles at, where we’re also releasing box sets of some of our favourite series, so you can binge the whole series in one sitting! (Series of six or more books are split into multiple box sets.) Take a peek at our upcoming releases on the Coming Soon page and sign up to our newsletter—we’d love to see you there!

Here’s what we have releasing over the next few weeks:

9 July

Enough by Matthew J Metzger. Firefighter Jesse can’t believe his luck when he lands Ezra, and he’s determined to make the most of it. After all, he can’t ever be enough … can he?

16 July

Love and Tea Bags by CF White (Pink Rock #1). Tea has never tasted so good! A British sea-side romance with stuck-in-a-rut Mark and Bradley, the Australian taking over the village Tea Shoppe.

23 July

Windows in the Mist by Trina Lane (Heart of Texas #2). Kidnap and torture survivor Javier works to rebuild his life with the help of his physical therapist Malaki.

Into the West by JP Bowie (The Journeyer #4). We continue Jamie and Tanaka’s journey and, in this instalment, see them join forces with an English captain and a Choctaw chief.

30 July

Held Hostage by Morticia Knight (Sin City Uniforms #4). We revisit the men of Sin City in this expanded version of an earlier published book. Cole, lead sniper on the SWAT team, doesn’t do relationships, and Brett’s heard that before. But can a life-or-death situation change that?

Helter Skelter by LM Somerton (Fairground Attractions #3). We’re heading back to the fairground and contract killer Harlequin is still on the loose. Now they’re no longer professor and student, can Daniel keep Zach out of danger?

6 August

Searching for Home by Megan Linden (Harrington Hills #5). Patrick and Ollie are used to being different. One an alpha’s son, cast out for being gay, the other the lone human in a shifter pack, will they find their home in each other?

Guest blogger: Kaye Dobbie

7 July 2019

Hello to everyone!

My book The Bond is being released today (or thereabouts depending on your time zone). This is one of my older books, and I now have the pleasure of reissuing it with a new cover and an edit.

The edit was mainly because, when the book was first published, I was in the middle of moving publishing houses and my editor had also moved on. I was never entirely happy with the finished book and it was great to make the changes I had been wanting to make for 20 years.

That aside, reading through this book was such a joy. I had forgotten how much I loved the romance between Will and Rachel, and how much I wanted them to get back together again after Will’s dark secrets tore them apart. And they are dark secrets! When you open this book don’t expect a light and easy read. The early days of white settlement in Tasmania and Victoria were no picnic, but fascinating all the same.

I do hope my readers will enjoy The Bond, whether they are revisiting it or diving in for the first time!

I’d love to send one of you a free copy of the book, your choice of either ebook or paperback. Just make a comment on this blog to go into the draw. The giveaway will close on 21 July.

Visit Kaye’s website for information on latest releases and to join up for her newsletter.

The Bond

A love so strong it will bind them together forever …
or tear them apart.

1835. It begins with a wish made on Midsummer’s Eve, Richmond Bridge, Van Diemen’s Land.

Orphaned Rachel, daughter of a bushranger, doesn’t know that the man she falls in love with isn’t the hero she believes him to be. After they marry, their happiness is torn asunder when Will’s terrible secret is revealed.

With Will gone, Rachel travels to the Port Phillip District to make a life there. As the years pass, their lives separate and intersect, but always there is the bond. Like an unbreakable thread, it stretches between them, holding the promise of a happiness that seems just out of reach. In her loneliness, Rachel turns to another man, while Will returns to his origins, hunting down criminals and bringing them to justice.

Eventually fate brings them together again. Rachel, once more by Will’s side, longs to regain the love she once lost. But Will may never be able to put aside his hurt and forgive her, no matter how much he wants to. Can they resolve their differences at last? Can the wish Rachel made on that long ago evening finally weave its magic?