While you have all been patiently waiting, we have been very busy behind the scenes with plans for ARRC2017. We are thrilled to announce that we have now signed a contract with our venue, and can reveal the details to you!
The fifth biennial Australian Romance Readers Convention will be held at Rydges Melbourne from Friday 24 February to Sunday 26 February 2017.
We have moved the date back into February as March is an extremely busy month in Melbourne and it was impossible to find a date where we could secure good accommodation rates.
Rydges Melbourne is a 4-star hotel, located on Exhibition Street on the eastern edge of the CBD in what is called the ‘theatre district’. It is also right around the corner from Chinatown.
We have secured a great accommodation rate for our delegates with Rydges, and it includes a full buffet breakfast. A queen room will be $230 per night (with one breakfast), and a twin room will be $250 per night (with two breakfasts). Best of all they have 65 twin rooms available, which means plenty of rooms for those who want to share to keep costs down. (But better grab one while you can!)
To book you will need to call Rydges on 03 9662 0511 and press 1 for reservations. Be sure to quote the code H-ARR2017 to receive the discounted rate.
Our next step is inviting keynotes; the invitations will go out this week. We hope to have our first keynote speaker locked in so that we can announce them at the awards dinner on 19 March. We are excited to start work on the program for ARRC2017; we plan to keep all the very best ideas from previous conventions and we have a few new ideas to incorporate as well.
We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne for ARRC2017!
This month brings the release of Hiding in Plain Sight by Ethan Stone, the prequel to his first What’s his Passion? novel, Vegas Hustle. Set ten years later, Hiding in Plain Sight revisits Adam Brand, comic book fanatic and his now former flame, Javi Campos. Now a personal escort, Javi is terrified when his companion for the evening is killed in the bed they shared. Adam is the only person Javi can trust in Portland, so he calls on him for help. What follows is a story packed with twists and turns, that will no doubt keep you guessing until the very end! And of course, things heat up pretty quickly when the pair realise their chemistry is still red-hot. A thrilling, gripping and incredibly steamy read.
We’re also pleased to announce the release of Pretty Human by Kayleigh Sky, a sexy M/M sci-fi novel. Follow the intriguing, explosive relationship of Ellis Ligoria, King of Planet Xol, and the genetically submissive Xolani, Jem. Having been rescued by Ellis, Jem wants nothing more than to live a quiet life by his side. Things aren’t that simple though, as Jem is running from a powerful monster bent on revenge.
Fans of F/F romance titles will find themselves hooked on Tanith Davenport’s I Wish I’d Never Met You. This contemporary short story surrounds Flick Lindenwood and the girl who broke her heart four years ago, Elodie. Unable to come out to her family, Elodie had destroyed her relationship with Flick. Now that Flick is back from college, it’s Elodie’s change to make things right. A fantastic, sexy coming out story.
Keep track of what else we have coming up by visiting us at www.pride-publishing.com.
Coming up in February:
- Counterfeit Conscience by Helena Maeve
- Comfort Zone by Alexa Milne
- Blood of the Land by Adrik Kemp
- Rattrap by LM Somerton
- Hiding in Plain Sight by Ethan Stone
- Peace by TA Chase
- Blue Moon Rising by Bailey Bradford
- Bondage Rescue by Morticia Knight
- Neat Trick by Jaime Samms
- Leading Me Home by Megan Linden
- The Captain’s Beloved by Scarlet Blackwell
- Pride Under Fire by Elizabeth Coldwell
- Pretty Human by Kayleigh Sky
- I Wish I’d Never Met You by Tanith Davenport
- Stroke Rate by LM Somerton
Today is the official release of Heart of Gold by Lilliana Rose (The Clockwork Mysteries, book 2) (ebook and print, Infinity Dreaming). Here’s the blurb:
Vickie’s husband, George, insists she undertakes self defence lessons before starting her private eye business. George worries about her safety but doesn’t want to stop her from developing her newly found skill of solving mysteries. The training sessions are difficult and Vickie is exhausted. Now that her and George have rekindled their love, Vickie is determined to find the time to keep the sparks flying between them as much as possible. When her trainer is injured, Vickie discovers he isn’t entirely human, and has mechanical parts. But George doesn’t believe her. Vickie insists something untoward happening and she must investigate. Can she solve another mystery while maintaining the renewed spice between her and George?
Lilliana dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
Before Vickie can start her private eye business, George insists she undertakes self defence lessons. When her trainer, Julio is injured, a mystery is brought to her attention which she can’t ignore. George thinks she is on a wild goose chase and her friend Ruby is in love with Julio, leaving Vickie to solve the mystery by herself. This leads Vickie into a situation where she needs more than just her self defence training to help her escape.
When I was a kid I’d study the world map and dream about adventures in exotic lands. I’d immerse myself in books—fiction and non-fiction—and discover destinations that ignited my imagination and spoke to my heart. As I grew older I sought books that combined foreign destinations and romance and, thankfully, there are many out there to choose from.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced some amazing places—Argentina, Peru, Canada, Turkey, Egypt, Belize, Guatemala, Ecuador … the list goes on—and I love to use my knowledge of a particular destination when choosing a setting for my stories. My first book, Luna Tango, was set in romantic Argentina and my short story ‘Song of the Sea’ (Hot Stuff: Surfing Love surf anthology) was set on the sun-drenched beaches of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. My recently released book, Under the Spanish Stars, and the prequel Dreaming of Spain, are set in one of the most gorgeous regions of Spain—Granada.
Nestled at the feet of the picturesque mountains of Sierra Nevada, Granada is rich with cultural heritage and has been heavily influenced by the Romans, Moors and gypsies (originally from India). With centuries old buildings, intricately carved window frames and doorways, flamenco caves on the hillside and aromatic spices wafting along narrow cobblestoned streets, it’s impossible not to be taken by the romance of this city. Add in the Alhambra, a magnificent palace that sits high on a hill and contains magical gardens full of orange blossoms, Cyprus trees and hidden fountains and ponds, and you have the perfect location to set a romance. What’s not to love about a city that has as many secrets as the characters I write about?
By choosing the right destination for a story, it can add complex layers and take on human attributes—places can have flaws; shady pasts; evoke love and longing as well as influence the actions and feelings of the human characters. Whether it’s a beach, ancient city, or far-off exotic land with a fascinating culture, the perfect destination can transport readers to an unforgettable world that enhances the romance of the story.
With so many amazing places and cultures all over the world, I doubt I’ll ever run out of destinations to write or read about. What about you? Have you ever been to, or read about, a place that has captured your heart? Where would you like to go to next—even if it’s between the covers of a book?
Under the Spanish Stars
An Australian woman’s life-changing journey, a secret from the past, a passionate encounter …
Charlotte Kavanagh’s beloved grandma Katarina Sanchez is gravely ill, so when she begs Charlotte to travel to her homeland in Andalucía to uncover the truth behind a mysterious painting, Charlotte agrees. Taking leave from her soul-destroying job and stalled life in Australia, Charlotte embarks on a quest through Granada’s ancient cobble-stoned streets and vibrant neighbourhoods. There she meets Mateo Vives, a flamenco guitarist with a dark past, and quickly becomes entangled in the world of flamenco and gypsies that ignites a passion she had thought lost.
But the mystery surrounding the painting deepens, reaching back in time to the war-torn Spain of the 1940s and Charlotte discovers her grandmother’s connection to the Spanish underground. Who is her grandmother, really? What is Mateo’s connection to her family history? And why is finding answers to a family mystery turning into a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte?
Weighed down by secrets, betrayals and shattered relationships, Charlotte finds herself questioning the true meaning of heritage, family and love.
Published by Harlequin MIRA (Australia). Under the Spanish Stars is available in-store and online in print and ebook.
Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author of books that combine travel, mystery, and romance. An adventurer at heart, Alli has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains and immersed herself in an array of exotic destinations, cultures, and languages. Published in Australia and overseas, Alli writes stories that capture the romance and thrill of discovering new destinations and people. Luna Tango was Alli’s debut novel and Under the Spanish Stars will be released in February, 2016. Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes, promoting literacy and reading amongst young Australians.
These are not full reviews of the books, just honest opinions on why they enjoyed the book so much. Hopefully one of these will strike a chord with you.
So, we asked our members to tell us about some of their favourite reads for January …
Vampire Mistress by Joey W Hill (book 5, Vampire Queen series) (paranormal romance)
This is a three-way romance, not just a ménage story. It is brutal in content given the inciting event that throws the characters together (a rape) but I like the hints that their trinity is going to save/give each of them their heart’s desire. Hill’s characters have incredibly complex histories, opposing yet complimentary, attitudes and views so set yet evolving. They’re trying to discover who they are as a group and also as individuals. A powerful read. [Kylie, NSW]
Untamed by Diana Palmer (contemporary romance)
This is Tat and Rourke’s story, along with a few familiar characters popping in from previous books. This seemed a welcome return to the Diana Palmer of old, with a sweeping, over-the-top he-man for a hero, and a heroine who shows a lot of dignity, intelligence and backbone. I can’t wean myself off Diana Palmer; I’ve been reading her for years. Some are a bit hit and miss, but Untamed is a nice romantic hit for me. [Malvina, NSW]
Learning to Fall by Mina V Esguerra (contemporary romance)
This is a fab new adult romance featuring a rugby playing hero and a heroine who is a book blogger. Normally I’d avoid something so meta but it’s done so well here. Romance tropes and book blogging hashtags are used to maximum effect and there is even talk of “magic peen”! The hero is a leader but he’s no alphahole. Recommended for anyone who enjoys new adult romance. [Kaetrin, SA]
Eloping with Emmy by Liz Fielding (contemporary romance)
Because of her controlling father Emmy has learnt to be sneaky—very very sneaky. Hero Tom works for Emmy’s father and has been given the job of fixing her latest problem. Yeah, good luck with that Tom! They met when she climbs down a drainpipe and hides in his car. She then leads him on a chase across England and France until finally she catches him :) Emmy is a quirky heroine and Tom is determined to work out the mystery of Emmy. A fun and entertaining read. [Debbie, ACT]
City of Light by Keri Arthur (book 1, Outcast series) (urban fantasy)
It’s always a good day when there is a new Keri Arthur book to read. This one is set in a dystopian environment, has a kick-ass heroine, hot guys and a rescue mission. There are magic users, vampires, weres, ghosts and super soldiers, none of them quite like you’ve seen before. The characters’ motivations are complex, there are plenty of shades of grey and nothing is quite what it seems. Loved the heroine, the story and even enjoyed the dystopian aspects (not usually my thing). Thoroughly recommended. [Gina, NSW]
Escaping Mr Right by Avril Tremayne (contemporary romance)
This is a story that has so many emotions flying off the pages from the start. Big football hero Nick has craved TV reporter Chloe for some time but she is already in a
relationship with supposedly Mr Right. I laughed out loud, shed a few tears and was ready to smack someone during this story; it really is a fabulous story. Set in Sydney and The Philippines and with secondary characters who add so much to the story. Don’t miss this one. [Helen, NSW]
Today is the official release of April’s Rainbow by Cathryn Hein (ebook and print, self-published). Here’s the blurb:
From the spectacular beauty of Victoria’s lush western districts comes this deeply emotional story of grief, courage and love.
When shy farmer Tristan Blake is given free rein to manage iconic local property Rainbow, he soon finds himself living his dream. Even more so once the farm’s dark-haired artist owner April Tremayne arrives. April is mysterious and slightly wild, with an air of tragedy, and Tristan is captivated. The more involved he becomes with April and her eccentric projects, the harder he falls for her. April might believe the price of love is pain, but Tristan vows that is one thing she’ll never experience with him.
But even the sweetest dream can turn dark. April is haunted by the very heartbreak she’d come to Rainbow to heal, and as her demons tighten their grip, Tristan is torn between keeping his promise or betraying the woman he loves. And the risk of either choice is losing her forever.
Cathryn dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
April’s Rainbow is the book of my heart. I’ve had this story floating around in my head for over 20 years and just adore it. It first came to me when I was working as a sales rep for a pasture seed company and spent my days driving around New South Wales, talking to farmers, agronomists and agricultural suppliers, and manning field day stands. Lots of driving means lots of thinking time and I lost myself in many stories. Some amused me for a trip or two, others a bit longer. But April’s Rainbow proved so powerful I could never let it go. I’m very, very proud of this story. It has everything I adore—a kind, gorgeous hero to fall in love with, a bright, talented heroine with a tragic secret, a vivid Australian setting, and a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting romance. Plus a clever dog, just to round things off. I hope you come to love April’s Rainbow it as much as I do.