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Guest blogger: Cate Ellink

19 May 2019

What’s the difference between erotic romance and erotica?

I write both erotic romance and erotica, and my distinction between the two is all about the ending—not with the sex, but with the relationship!

Erotic romance is primarily romance. The components of a romance must be met—a developing relationship between the main characters, and a happy-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. The erotic part means that sex drives the relationship—if the sex wasn’t in the story, the couple wouldn’t be together. The sex scenes are explicit, detailed, and a good proportion of the story. I believe that the orgasm can’t be skimped on—it’s the payoff for surviving the sexual tension and reading the scene.

Erotica does not have to be a romance—which means there is no guarantee of a happy ending, nor a relationship between the characters. For me, erotica can play with words to produce the feeling, as well as there being the presence of explicitly depicted scenes.

Erotica and erotic romance can be contemporary (i.e. man and woman having ‘normal’ sex). It does not have to be dark or hit trigger issues. It does not have to include BDSM or BDSM themes. It does not have to have kinky sex. It does not have to contain a billionaire (or any other hero or heroine). It doesn’t have to be serious; it can be fun and/or funny.

I’ve recently self-published a story for which I have the rights back. I’ve added to the story. A Real Online Fantasy Parts 1 and 2 now contains the story of her erotic fantasy (part 1, which was previously published) and his erotic fantasy (part 2, which is new). This is an erotic romance with a happy-for-now ending, explicit sex scenes, and a developing relationship between the heroine and hero.

I’ve included bonus content of three short stories that have been published in themed anthologies. These are erotica:

Pain Surfer is about sudden sex. There is no relationship between the two people—erotica. They have sex and leave. I tried to play with words to get the feel of the ocean and movement.

Control is about submission, with a BDSM theme. There is a Dominant/submissive relationship between a couple but there is also another person involved, so not exactly a happy ending—again erotica.

Michael’s Moment was written for a cuckold-themed anthology, and is erotica, although this one has a rather happy ending and a relationship, so it could be erotic romance if cuckolding isn’t too taboo!

A Real Online Fantasy Parts 1 and 2 is free for a short time. If you’d like to sample some erotic romance and erotica, Cate Ellink style, then please grab a copy from your favourite ebook seller. You can find buy links here. (If you can’t get it, please give me a yell and I’d be happy to email you a copy.)

Cate Ellink became intrigued by the erotic when her grandfather used to pass books to her father saying, “Don’t let the girls read page X.” Although her mother and sisters never bothered to chase those pages, Cate always did. Invariably, her imagination was better than what she read. While pursuing a career in science, Cate amused herself by writing about ordinary events and giving them an erotic twist. While the events in her stories may have occurred, it’s highly likely that her imagination is far more exciting than the reality. Cate lives near the beach in NSW with a long-suffering husband.

Find Cate on here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub

Release day: Let Me Show You

18 May 2019

Today is the official release of Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour (ebook and paperback, Rainbow Tree Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

When a veterinarian and a construction worker connect, it takes mishaps, mistakes, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Rex to show them they’re made for each other.

Dr Carter Falon is content living a quiet life in a small town caring for his animal patients. That doesn’t mean he’s not looking for a distraction. After finding himself precariously wedged… naked and at the mercy of a drop-dead gorgeous construction worker, Carter hires his savior to renovate his home.

When Tanner Grady’s best friend and new niece needed him, he uprooted and relocated without a second thought. His life has since been centered on work and spending time with his family, but when he comes to the rescue of a cute vet, Tanner finds he’s a lot more interested in the homeowner than the house he’s renovating.

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

I tend to focus on the lighter side of romance, providing wit and humour to guide my characters on their journeys. So, my books—Let Me Show You, especially—tend to be low angst and, I like to believe, uplifting. When writing Tanner and Carter’s story, it took just one idea of their meet-cute and me putting fingers to my keyboard for me to truly appreciate the idea of ‘letting the characters lead you’. I hadn’t truly understood that until Carter led the way and kept changing his mind. I really was along for the ride, and have zero regrets doing so as I adore these guys and their love.

You can find out more about this book at Becca’s website or buy it from books2read.

ARRA newsletter #118

15 May 2019

Purple news

The May 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:

  • a special welcome for new members, and for those about to renew (pg 2)
  • renewals open today (pg 5)
  • a wrap-up from Books and Bubbles (pg 9)
  • author events coming up in June and July (pg 10)
  • Charlotte’s Web Watch column features GabbyReads (pg 11)
  • another Blast from the Past column from Paula Roe (pg 13)
  • 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!

Feature book: The Right Place

15 May 2019

The Right Place by Carla Caruso

Subgenre: women’s fiction
Release date: 1 Sep 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Format: ebook and print
Length: 332 pages
RRP: $9.99 (ebook); $29.99 (print)

Every now and then a very special book comes along, and this is one of them. My first by Carla Caruso, and I guarantee it won’t be my last! What a delight it was to read.

Nella Martini has inherited her Nonna’s market garden in Adelaide, Torrente Blu, and returns from the high fashion world of Melbourne to empty out the house to sell. She’s leaving her failed fashion shop behind (but not the mountain of debt!), and also a failed relationship. But, if she can sell the property and pay off her debts, she’ll be able to start again in the fashion industry. It’s just a question of getting her feet under her again and going about things differently.

Distressingly, she feels guilt about not visiting her beloved grandmother as often as she ought to have done, struggling as she was to fulfil her own dreams in Melbourne. Nella’s mother will eventually join her to help her with the house, but it falls on Nella’s shoulders to start the mammoth job of clearing out. Such a poignant task.

She knows her decision to sell will create terrible conflict with her neighbour, Adrian Tomaso, who is using her land for his market garden. His disdain for her and what he’s seen as her neglect of her grandmother is painfully obvious. It almost cripples Nella and she really doesn’t want to see him again, but she steels herself to visit him as soon as she arrives. Good move, Nella. She’s a lovely heroine.

She and Adrian played together very happily as children, when Adrian’s parents had the market garden next door. But then came the teenage years and beyond. Much to Adrian’s disgust, Nella had a relationship with his difficult and moody twin brother Davide—which made everything very awkward. Then Adrian’s parents separated. Davide left with his mother while Adrian was left at the market garden with his father. Families ripped apart—and twins ripped apart—can never end well.

To Nella’s credit, she quickly realises that Adrian relies on the land he leases from her estate for his market garden. If she sells and the place is developed, like so much land around this old area, Adrian’s business, which is already faltering a bit, might fail. She doesn’t want that on her conscience, and tries to figure out how she can bind any potential buyer so that Adrian can continue to lease the land.

He’s unaware of her plans and is still fairly prickly with her. They’ve never managed to recover their happy childhood days, especially after Davide loved and left Nella. Could it be that Adrian has feelings for Nella, and resented the ‘wrong’ choice she made so many years ago when she chose his twin instead of him?!

Slowly, gradually, Nella and Adrian begin to forge tentative moves to reconciliation. She’s surrounded by overwhelming memories, but it helps that Adrian’s aware how sad it is as she comes to terms with the house and everything. Nella’s grandmother was almost like his own, after all. He’s grieving too. And it helps that Nella is also full of fabulous marketing ideas for his organic produce, dragging him into markets he’s never considered before, and social media!

When Nella finds her grandmother’s old recipe book, Adrian shows her how to cook. Believe it or not she’s never really made the effort, always having her grandmother around to cook for her with traditional Italian recipes. For that alone Adrian can come live with me, please. His skill was amazing, producing mouth-watering meals that sounded divine. It was almost like he wooed Nella with food. Ooh.

The descriptions of the beautiful produce and traditional recipes makes reading this a virtual feast. Carla’s included some special recipes in the book; what a fabulous bonus.

I loved the way the book flashed between Nella’s life and that of her grandmother, bravely following her husband to Australia post WWII. Adelaide seemed like a very alien landscape after Italy, and the true courage Nella’s Nonna displayed is inspirational.

As the story bounces between Nella’s roots and the tentative but deepening romance between Nella and Adrian, you’ll fall in love too. The question is, where is it all leading to? How can they both find the happiness they want when they seem to be heading in different directions? Easier said than done.

This is a lovely book, and a tribute to all those with Italian heritage who arrived in Australia post WWII—and beyond. Thank you, Carla, this is obviously written from the heart.

reviewed by Malvina

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

Guest blogger: Tania Joyce

12 May 2019

The challenge to create powerful emotion

I didn’t realise it was Mother’s Day when I opted for this date to be the guest blogger on ARRA. I hope you are sitting back, relaxing and being pampered. Spending time with loved ones. For me it is a day to appreciate how lucky I am and I will be spending the day with my two wonderful boys and husband. But the reality is, for many people, today is a difficult day. Loss, grief, tragedy and difficult circumstances can cloud any form of celebration. Not just on Mother’s Day, but any day. With my author hat on, I love to draw on harrowing real-life experiences to create characters full of flaws and take them on heartfelt emotional journeys to find their happy ever after.

With every book I write I set myself the challenge to learn something new, improve my craft and delve deeper into my characters’ mindset. To put the words on a page that will take you, the reader, on an emotional journey, feel your heart tear apart, cry every tear and fall in love with the characters is what I aim to achieve. It takes hours, days, a zillion rewrites and edits to complete some scenes. I have literally sat at my computer, bawling, as the story flows from my fingertips.

My latest books, Ripped: The Price of Loyalty and Ruined: The Price of Play (my latest release), in my Everhide Rockstar Romance Series, are not your typical romances. They pack a punch and will tug on your heartstrings.

If you want to sit back and relax and read a ‘clean and wholesome’ romance, my books may not be for you. But if you’re after heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, powerful stories that touch some very real and often heartbreaking topics, get reading.

I’m super proud of these books. The reviews, and incredible feedback, have made it all worthwhile.

What inspired my latest release, Ruined: The Price of Play?

I wanted to write a tear-jerker, a book that will make you #UglyCry. A good cry is always cathartic. With today being Mother’s Day, it’s a reality check that not all mums’ experiences of having children are wonderful, not everything is covered in glitter and unicorn-coloured rainbows, and not every day is easy. I drew on my own experiences of having a premmie baby, try to handle autism with grace and channelled my own losses into the grief. It was very therapeutic.

Set in a rockstar world, music, fashion and life in the limelight push my characters, Hunter and Kara to their limits.

You can find Tania here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | FB Group


Ruined: The Price of Play

He wanted one night. She wanted forever. Time doesn’t always play nice.

The news I received from my doctor today changed the course of my life.
Altered every dream I ever wanted to pursue.
For one night I didn’t want to not think about being newly single, broken-hearted and never being able to have a baby.
It was my best friend Gemma’s engagement party.
Champagne, dancing, hanging out in a world where I didn’t belong. Far away from the uptown elite.
It was bliss.
“Kara, promise me you’ll have fun,” Gemma had said.
I had my reservations.
Then Hunter appeared. Arrogant, full-of-himself, rock star.
He was intoxicated, so was I.
He promised to make me forget my worries … just for a little while.
I couldn’t stand him. Egotistical jerk.
But he was hot. Sexy, tall and handsome as hell.
So why not?
Half an hour in bed with him was the most amazing time of my life.
Now … it’s turned into my worst nightmare.
I’m pregnant.
It shouldn’t have been possible.
He’s away on tour.
What the hell am I supposed to do?

This is a powerful, heart-wrenching romance. If you like stories with rugged heroes, strong women, and has the potential to cause tears—yes, this may make you ugly cry—you’ll love Ruined: The Price of Play. This enemies-to-lovers, tragic, rock star romance has all the feels. Grab your copy today.

Ruined: The Price of Play can be read as a standalone or as a follow-on to Ripped: The Price of Loyalty, book 1 in the Everhide Rock Star Romance Series.

Ruined: The Price of Play is exclusive to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited: Amazon US | Amazon AU

Feature book: The Conspiracy

8 May 2019

The Conspiracy by Kat Martin

Series: Maximum Security #1
Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 22 Jan 2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: hardcover
Length: 432 pages
RRP: $49.99

She needs help to find her brother. He is her brother’s former friend. Then he discovers she is in danger. Can he help her what happened to her brother, and keep his hands off her?

Harper Winston is a successful businesswoman. She created an upwardly mobile company despite her father. Her father is something akin to a mobster who wheels and deals in the shadows. She has been kept in the dark by her father about what he does, and it comes as a shock to her when she discovers aspects of his business empire. Harper is close to her brother, and while her brother has had some rough times, he has found a way through. He takes a trip, and when Harper doesn’t hear from him for a few days, she wants to go and find him.

Chase Garrett is the owner of Maximum Security. He was originally in law enforcement but has branched out to create his own style of private investigation company. He was close to Harper’s brother, and had a certain longing for Harper when she was younger, something he never acted upon.

Michael, Harper’s brother, heads off on a trip the leads to him being kidnapped along with, Pia, the woman he was with. The trail leads Harper and Chase to the jungles in Columbia, South America, and as soon as it was South America I knew it would be a tense situation. Her brother is rescued but then Harper is the one in danger.

This story is a page turner. I absolutely had to find out what happened next! This story has all the lots of suspenseful moments and as a reader I did speculate as to where the story goes next. Sometimes I was correct, sometimes things happened that I wasn’t expecting. There was also one very disturbing scene in the book that takes place in the jungle between Michael and Pia that I found a little disturbing even knowing that this type of thing did happen in this particular circumstance.

reviewed by Heather

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

Feature book: Wait Until Dark

8 May 2019

Wait Until Dark by Kat Martin

Series: Maximum Security #0.5
Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 1 Nov 2018
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: ebook
Length: 86 pages
RRP: US$2.99

Jonah Wolfe was an undercover policeman but now works for Maximum Security. He is intrigued by April Vale when she first walks in the door. Jonah believes April when she tells her story as some of the aspects had been careless mistakes by the killer.

April is working with the Mayor on his electoral campaign. She is found in a co-worker’s home with him beside her, dead. April doesn’t remember how she got there. She knows she didn’t do it, but needs to find out who did, and if she is the real target. When there are further attempts on her life, Jonah and April know that she is the real target and they really need to find the reason why.

This is a short story from the Maximum Security series. The story is not long, but it will have you turning the pages to find out who the killer is and the reason why. I was a little disappointed when I got the end as I wanted the story to last longer!

reviewed by Heather

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