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Guest blogger: Allison Butler

9 August 2020

Connections—Eilean Donan Castle

Have you ever felt a connection with somewhere or something? On the west coast of Scotland there is a certain castle that I feel I have a connection with and as time goes on the connection continues to grow.

Eilean Donan, or island of Donan, is most likely named after a 6th century Irish Saint, Bishop Donan who journeyed to Scotland around 580AD. The first fortified structure was not built on the island until the early 13th century.

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most recognisable images of Scotland. Set at the point on an island where three great sea lochs meet, Eilean Donan draws international visitors who are keen to see this stunning castle in person and snap photos of their own to show their family and friends. How do I know? Because I am one of the thousands who travel from all over the world to Scotland to see this beautiful castle.

My first real-life encounter with Eilean Donan Castle came about on my first visit to Scotland in 2003. A six-week holiday in the UK with three of those amazing weeks spent exploring Bonny Scotland. On the 19th of August, a cold and dreary day—not that we noticed—we drove south from Ullapool and finally stood before this iconic structure. I remember pinching myself. I was not dreaming.

Low-hanging clouds added a misty magical feel to Eilean Donan Castle.

Two years later, in 2005, my husband built a room within our garage to give me my very own space to write. Along with my laptop, desk, and a portable heater, he gave me a Ken Duncan panograph of Eilean Donan Castle to inspire me while I wrote my Scottish-set historical romance stories. (The picture might also have been the perfect size to cover the rectangular hole left by an older air conditioning unit. Clever and romantic!)

The panograph of Eilean Donan Castle now rests on the wall of my new office—inside.

Over the centuries, the castle has expanded and contracted in size. Eilean Donan also played a role in the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th centuries, which led to the castle’s destruction.

For almost 200 years, the ruins of Eilean Donan lay neglected, abandoned, and open to the elements, until Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911. Along with his Clerk of Works, Farquar Macrae, the Colonel dedicated the next 20 years of his life to reconstructing the castle to its former glory. Rebuilt according to the surviving ground plan of earlier phases, Eilean Donan Castle was completed in July 1932.

Many years later, in March 2020, I decided my neglected website needed a professional overhaul. The lovely and talented J’aimee at AusRom Digital Marketing did a superb job and one of the pictures she suggested to use to create a Scottish themed website was a stunning image of, you guessed it, Eilean Donan Castle.

My new website landing page. Eilean Donan Castle inviting you inside.

Now, several months later in August 2020, The Healer, book 1 of my Borderland Brides has been released in print. We did a minor edit to make the story shine and the clever arts department created a new cover for the print edition. It had to be right and had to have a Scottish feel. They could not have chosen a better lass to represent Lynelle. The plaid resting over her shoulder adds a dash of Scottish atmosphere. The colours, the trees, the birds, are all perfect. And the castle they chose was—it really could be no other—Eilean Donan Castle.

Stay safe and well. Happy Reading and best wishes to all.
Allison Butler xx

You can find Allison here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Publisher pitch: Pride Publishing, Aug 2020

8 August 2020

August is all about series at Pride Publishing, and we have some treats for you! Jump back into the vampire action with JP Bowie’s Blood Kiss, revisit the men of Cedarwood with Megan Slayer, and fall for another Captain with Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead. We then start September with a brand-new series from LM Somerton—a Dominant detective, missing jewels, and a submissive caught up in the middle of the action.

Don’t forget, plenty of our favourite series are now available in box sets—with a new one released each week! Find them here.

You can find more of our titles at www.pride-publishing.com. 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 …

11 August

Blood Kiss by JP Bowie (My Vampire and I #10). We revisit some old friends in this new vampire romance from JP Bowie. Daniel was left wondering after co-worker Roger’s disappearance years ago, but when Roger returns and introduces him to Leon, Daniel’s world changes forever.

18 August

Silver Fox in Cedarwood by Megan Slayer (Cedarwood Pride #10). Dr Isaac McLean would never cross a line with his patients … but Len isn’t a patient anymore, and Isaac can’t get him off his mind. Can the two of them navigate the tricky waters of a twenty-year age gap to find their happy ending?

25 August

The Captain and the Baker by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead (Captivating Captains #7). Celebrity chef Jake is the captain of several floating restaurants, the latest off the coast of Cornwall—the last place he wants to be. He soon finds himself torn between the call of Hollywood and the kisses of local baker Lorcyn—surely an impossible decision?

1 September

The Lucky Cat by LM Somerton (Treasure Trove Antiques #1). The start of what promises to be a riveting series from award-winning author LM Somerton. Detective Gage is on the hunt for stolen jewels—a hunt that has led him to Treasure Trove Antiques, and Landry. As the case turns more dangerous, can they, and their burgeoning relationship, survive?

Favourite reads: Jul 2020

5 August 2020

Books_purpleWelcome to our favourite reads for July. Each month some of ARRA’s members will tell you a little bit about one of the books they’ve recently read and loved.

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 July …

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4) (urban fantasy)

I loved this latest novel in the Psy-Changeling Trinity world. It has an interesting, fast-moving plot, intriguing hints of what is to come in the future, and a fantastic couple. Selenka Durev is a strong, very Alpha heroine, and Ethan Night is an adorable, very wounded, but extremely devoted hero. There are many cameos from favourite characters, but the hero steals the show, and rightly so. I recommend a box of tissues while you read, though, because I found it a tear-jerker, in a totally good way <g>. [Deb, NSW]

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (historical romance)

I recently joined the very new International Heyer Society and this was the first book reviewed in their newsletter; it was also a book that I’d never read. As Heyer’s very first book it was rather impressive, written and published while she was a teenager (!), based on a story she’d written to entertain her younger brother when he was sick. It was an absolute delight to revisit the Grande Dame of Regency romance, and I imagine I’ll now keep reading her. Never too late to become a fan! [Malvina, NSW]

Close Encounters by Katherine Allred (Alien Affairs #1)

Keira Smith is a GEP, a genetically engineered person. She has a host of superior physical abilities but even more advanced than you average GEP, and views herself as a freak among freaks. Told in the first person, the story revolves around her coming to realise and accept these super-abilities. The world-building and the complexities of the external plot were compelling but the characters pulled me in deep. This was a great sci-fi romance! [Kylie, NSW]

Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian (Seducing the Sedgwicks #3) (historical m/m romance)

I know I’m always raving about Cat Sebastian’s books, but her latest release just might be my favourite ever. It is the sweetest, gentlest romance I’ve read in such a long time. Intent on nursing his best friend back to health, Will kindly kidnaps Martin, taking him to the country where they spend their days exchanging heated glances, sharing kisses and trying to imagine a future free of their pasts. [Charlotte, ACT]

Her Cowboy Prince by Madeline Ash (Cowboy Princes #2) (contemporary romance)

Frankie is the head of royal security and Kris is one of the royal princes. They were close friends before Kris found out he was a prince, and now he’s finding out the secrets Frankie has been keeping from him. There’s a lot going on in this book, and Frankie is an intriguing character. Kris just wants to be with Frankie, and convince her that nothing can come between them. He’s got his work cut out for him. A lovely story! [Debbie, ACT]

The Farm at Peppertree Crossing by Leonie Kelsall (rural romance)

What a fabulous debut rural romance from new-to-me author Leonie Kelsall; a beautiful heart-warming story of a young woman Veronica, or Roni as she likes to be called. She grew up in foster care in Sydney, a childhood that was not good, but when she gets a surprise inheritance, the girl from the city with her cat Scritches and her unborn child are off to the country to find some answers about her family, a fabulous journey with lots of lovely baking involved and a very nice hero. [Helen, NSW]

Feature book: A Virgin to Redeem the Billionaire

5 August 2020

A Virgin to Redeem the Billionaire by Dani Collins

Subgenre: contemporary
Release date: 1 Mar 2019
Publisher: Mills & Boon Modern
Format: ebook and print
Length: 256 pages
RRP: $4.99 (ebook); $7.99 (print)

Gisella Drummond has been searching for a separated pair of earrings for many years, intending to reunite them with her much loved grandmother. She can almost feel one earring in her hand as she waits for an estate auction to begin. Then an announcement is made that the entire estate has been purchased putting an end to the auction. Gisella confronts Kaine Michaels, a self-made tech billionaire, who is the purchaser. He refuses to part with anything from the estate and a kiss appears to ignite the sizzling attraction between them.

Kaine is pleased his actions have caught the attention of Gisella, but his final target is one of her cousins, who seems to have disappeared. Kaine has been fooled once by a woman and refuses to succumb to any woman’s charms again. As a result, he is convinced Gisella is trying to use her sexual appeal to achieve her goal. He then proceeds to explain to her he has done his homework on her and her family, one of New York’s most influential families, so if she refuses to help him locate her cousin, there are a number of ways he can cause her and her family pain.

Gisella is stunned when he proposes she act as his latest lover in order to repair his damaged reputation until her cousin can repair it permanently. She accepts, hoping to convince him to sell her the earring eventually. Her confidence is soon shaken when he reveals a family secret his investigators discovered.

Kaine is also the recipient of a shock when their physical attraction explodes, and they make love. He discovers she was a virgin, and this causes him to question everything he thought he knew about her. Then her best friend and cousin calls Gisella for help. Kaine and Gisella come to her aid as their relationship undergoes a complete change. Where do they go from here? What will happen when they find her missing cousin? Will they even find him?

At the beginning of this book the storyline appears to be simple and one that you suspect you may have read before. However, I suggest you keep reading. Soon you will discover the twists and turns which will hook you into the story. The characters are well drawn and will soon have you cheering them on. Another bonus is the fact that you can read the story of Gisella’s cousin as she seeks the other earring too.

reviewed by Tracey

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

Feature book: The Secrets of Palmerston House

5 August 2020

The Secrets of Palmerston House by Phillipa Nefri Clark

Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 30 Nov 2018
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook and print
Length: 336 pages
RRP: $3.99 (ebook); $27.45 (print)

This is book three of the River’s End mystery series and I haven’t read the first two and I sense there’s a link, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

We start the prologue with Christie excitedly peering through the window to the gardens of Palmerston House on the evening of her wedding to Martin. She’s going through the list of all the people who are there for the nuptials—all the people important to her and her fiancé, Martin.

We cut suddenly to Christie being told that Martin can’t be located and hasn’t turned up for the wedding! We all know something has gone terribly wrong because he’s been hanging out for this day …

Then we go back in time about a week maybe and to the secrets and the history that lead the story.

There’s a baddie who has plans for Palmerston House who turns up unexpectedly again in the life of one character. There are elder lovers reunited after a long period apart, good friends and that lovely village feel, well, it’s Australia so more correctly, small-town feel.

Christie has baggage—an awful ex who I think is in book two of the series; Bernie and Charlotte have secrets of their own, together and separately, and there’s a whole back story to Martin’s grandfather and his wife.

A beautiful English trunk, a wonderful old clock, a leather diary from 1853 and some old, old, keys are all part of the clues that lead us on the merry chase.

A long-held belief in ownership of a property after theft and the way history weaves through the story made this a good read. While a little slow in parts, the book has good characters, lots of goodwill and romantic love throughout. I also really enjoyed that Phillipa had older lovers, not just the young and gorgeous. Some lovely examples.

Palmerston House’s secrets aren’t confined to the house itself and as the threads all pull together you know you want the happily ever after (there are a few of them to wish for) and the baddie is a baddie but a little unhinged with a wagon-train of baggage. Not once did I really feel sorry for him.

I enjoyed the book and, even though I now know some of what went on in the previous books, I think I want to start at the beginning of the River’s End series and see exactly how we got to book three.

reviewed by Sharon

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

Release day: Ash

4 August 2020

Today is the official release of Ash by Suzy Shearer (The Silk Rope Masters, book 3) (ebook, Evernight Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

They ooze power, control, natural dominance—and sex. They are The Silk Rope Masters.

None have ever found love but watch out! When they fall, they’ll fall fast and hard!

Sophie Laurent, 51, is filling in for her chef brother at Silk Rope when she comes face-to-face with Master Ash. A natural born Dom, Ash (Reyansh) Siddiqi, 53, is club co-owner. A confirmed bachelor, never been in love, never been in a relationship. He takes his pleasures without romantic involvement, and always only at the club.

But when Sophie stepped into the club chef’s shoes Ash was caught and he fell hard and fast. He was besotted and acting like a teenager instead of the strong dominant man he was.

Unfortunately for Ash it was obvious Sophie disliked him. His heart broke as he tried to accept her rejection of him.

Ash decides he needs to be the Dom he is – strong and confident, then all he has to do is come up with a way to change her mind before her brother returns and she’s out of his life forever.

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

After I wrote the first two books in the series I knew I had to write Ash’s story. He is such a Dom and throughout the previous books we see him as this forceful, strong man. A dominant who has subs cowering and even the other Masters defer to him. A man who dearly loves his family and his friends but never had a romantic relationship. I thought ‘how would it be if he fell in love’? What if all his confidence flew out the door on meeting someone? I wanted him turned upside down and completely out of his depth. Unable to convince the woman he’s falling for to even go out on a date. So will he finally make her change her mind? Will the path ahead be sunny or filled with thunderstorms?

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

All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go in the draw to win one of two copies of the ebook. The giveaway will close on 18 August.

Publisher pitch: Tule Publishing, Aug 2020

3 August 2020

Tule PublishingTule Publishing brings you the best in commercial fiction, from romance to chick-lit to compelling women’s fiction. Whether you’re in the mood for sexy or sweet, Tule brings you fresh, modern and exciting plots and beloved classic romance.

Tule has over 130 authors who have unique styles, terrific voices, and have helped us grow to house over 600 titles, and garner 13 RITA® nominations and one win in five years.

We love our readers and acclaimed authors! Visit us at www.tulepublishing.com or subscribe to our newsletter here.

This August, enjoy Tule Publishing’s newest releases from our Holiday, Texas Born, American Heart and Southern Born imprints:

  • Matilda Next Door by Kelly Hunter
  • Falling for the Texan by Nicole Flockton
  • Maeve’s Baby by Fiona McArthur
  • Dangerous Water by Charlee James
  • Welcome Me to Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt
  • The Talk Around Town by Dakota Harrison
  • The Way Forward by Eliana West
  • Red Hot Texan by Katherine Garbera
  • Serenity’s Song by Cathryn Hein

 

Guest blogger: Kat Martin

2 August 2020

Setting the stage

I love to read novels set in interesting places. Currently I’m reading an historical romance that takes place in Nazi-occupied Paris during WWII. I’ve always loved Paris, which makes the book even more fun to read. I love being able recognise the settings where the action takes place, as well as the names of restaurants and streets I have visited.

As a writer, going to the place your book is set, or choosing a place you have actually been, is the best way to make your book seem real.

In The Ultimate Betrayal, the novel takes place in Colorado, a state I love to visit. After I’d concluded my second Maximum Security novel, The Deception, which was set in Texas, I was looking for someplace different for book number three. Colorado, with its wide variety of landscapes and extreme climate conditions seemed perfect.

Having been to Denver a number of times, street names were familiar, parks and airports, locations of smaller towns and rural mountain communities.

Since this was a Maximum Security novel, a romantic thriller, I began by researching crime in the state. I had been digging and digging and finally stumbled onto an article about the US Army chemical weapons depot near Colorado Springs. As Brandon Garrett, the hero of my story, was a former army officer, I loved the idea of Bran interacting with his military past.

The idea of stealing chemical weapons from a storage depot gave me all sorts of plot ideas. In The Ultimate Betrayal, when investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, she’s determined to clear his name. Afraid for her life, Jessie turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett. But time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie risk everything to solve the riddle and stop the threat—before it’s too late.

Because of the military setting, this was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written. I think it turned out to be one of my best. I particularly love the interaction between Bran and Jessie and I hope readers will, too.

I hope you’ll watch for The Ultimate Betrayal and that you enjoy Bran and Jessie’s story.

Till next time, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in anthropology and also studied history. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana, with her Western-author husband, LJ Martin, Kat has written sixty-five historical and contemporary romantic suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next romantic suspense.

You can find Kat here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Excerpt from The Ultimate Betrayal

She yawned as she closed the door, more exhausted than she had expected. She fell asleep quickly and slept far better than she had the night before, then rose at the first gray light of dawn. She went in to shower and get ready for the day, dressed in a conservative dark brown skirt suit and heeled pumps, then quietly cracked open the door to the living room.

Bran was already up, standing with his back to her, one hand on his hip, the other pressing his cell phone against his ear. A pair of white cotton briefs that hugged his round behind was all he had on.

Jessie’s mouth went dry. His suntanned back was smooth, except for a jagged scar on one side, and ridged with solid muscle. Bands of muscle defined his shoulders and arms, and long sinewy legs tapered down to narrow feet.

She told herself to close the door before Bran caught her staring at him like a juicy piece of meat, but instead she just stood there, her heart pounding, her breathing a little ragged.

She was just pulling herself under control when he turned, the phone still pressed to his ear. Jessie froze. Her gaze shot to the heavy bulge at the front of his briefs and she felt a rush of heat so hot it made her dizzy. Muscular pecs and six-pack abs. A lean, hard-muscled chest and amazing biceps. Desire hit her so hard she swayed on her feet.

She didn’t move till Bran jerked the blanket off his make-shift bed and wrapped it around his waist, knocking her out of her self-imposed trance and flushing her face with embarrassment.

“Sorry,” she managed to breathlessly whisper, stepped back and slammed the door. Ohmygod, ohmygod. She hadn’t felt the least attraction to a man for so long she’d forgotten what it was like. Correction, she had never felt the jolt of desire she had felt looking at Brandon Garrett. Ohmygod.

She told herself he was probably used to that kind of reaction from a woman, or at least the women who had seen him nearly naked. Jessie sank down on the bed. What could she possibly say to him? How could she explain?

But no words of explanation popped into her head.

Since she couldn’t hide in the bedroom all day, and because Bran undoubtedly wanted to take a shower, she inhaled a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out into the living room.

“Sorry about that,” she said.

He had pulled on his jeans but the rest of him was still gloriously bare. “No problem. I should have grabbed one of those terrycloth robes in the bathroom.”

She just nodded. “Yeah.” Her fingers curled into the palms of her hands as she walked past him toward the counter where he had brewed a pot of coffee.

“Mind if I use the shower?” he asked.

“Of course not. You’re paying for the room.” When he opened his mouth, she held up a hand. “Sorry, no more talk about money.”

“Exactly.”

She took a mug down from the cabinet above the sink and filled it with coffee, her hands still a bit unsteady.

“Why don’t you order us something to eat?” Bran suggested as he crossed the room toward the bedroom. “I won’t be too long.”

“Bacon and eggs?” she asked.

“Sounds great.” As he disappeared through the door and closed it behind him, Jessie sank down on one of the chairs at the dining table, coffee mug gripped tightly in her hands. At least now she knew the abduction hadn’t completely destroyed her desire for the opposite sex.

Or at least one member of the opposite sex. She grimaced. She just wished the man who had rekindled her long-dead fire wasn’t Brandon Garrett.

– –

Bran turned on the shower, set the nozzle to cold, and climbed in beneath the icy spray. He clenched his jaw, fighting to block a memory of the look on Jessie’s pretty face when he had spotted her in the bedroom doorway. Trying to block the erection he got every time the image reappeared in his head.

Bran knew women. He knew when a woman wanted him. He swore softly, cursing the fate that had brought the two of them together, putting them both in a situation that could only get worse.

So far he had managed to suppress the desire he’d felt from the moment Jessie had walked into his office. With her fire-touched blond hair and fine features, she was beautiful. He liked her body and admired her brain. In a softly feminine way, she was sexy as hell, and he wanted her—no doubt about it.

But aside from the erotic dream he’d had about her last night, he’d been doing an admirable job of controlling his lust.

Until this morning. When the flush in her cheeks and the heat in her eyes had made it clear that the desire he felt was returned. She wanted him. Which meant he had to be the strong one because no way could he have her and just walk away.

Jessie wasn’t the type he usually slept with, women who didn’t require exclusivity and didn’t expect to give it in return.

He was fairly sure Jessie hadn’t been with a man since she was abducted. He sure as hell didn’t want to be the first, didn’t want to deal with whatever trauma she had experienced, maybe make it worse.

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Google

ARRLD: Sunday pm

2 August 2020

And here are all the sessions for this afternoon:

Collaborations: Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan

Bestselling authors Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan team up once again to talk about their writing careers and the art of collaboration. Their 2020 release Love Under Quarantine was written during COVID and explores love during a global pandemic.

Ask Me Anything: Julia Quinn

Coming to us all the way from sunny America, Julia Quinn takes questions from some of her Australian fans about her upcoming Netflix series, her writing process, her last visit to Australia and, of course, her books. Julia is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and in 2020 Netflix will premiere the Bridgerton series, a TV series based on Julia’s popular Regency novels.

Feature interview: Jodi Thomas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas joins us from Texas to talk about her books, her writing journey and the people who read her books, as well as so much more. Jodi is a five times winner of the RWA RITA award and the eleventh writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Over the years, she’s written both historical and contemporary romance, and there are millions of copies of her books in print.

Panel: paranormal with Darynda JonesNalini SinghAmanda Bouchet

Coming to us from the US, New Zealand and France, bestselling authors—Darynda Jones, Nalini Singh and Amanda Bouchet—gather together to talk all things paranormal romance, including answering questions from some of their Australian fans.

Fangirling: Lori Foster with Alli Sinclair

In this episode of ARRLD, author Alli Sinclair fangirls over fellow award-winning author Lori Foster. Together they talk of Lori’s passion for all things romance, her books and her writing as well as so much more. Lori is a New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 120 titles. She’s even been a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Reading: Jennie Kew

Coming to us from regional New South Wales, Jennie Kew joins us in this episode of ARRLD to read from His Own Heaven, which is the third book of her Bennett’s Bastards series. Jennie writes contemporary erotic romance novels as well as contemporary and paranormal short erotic stories.

Feature interview: Suzanne Brockmann

USA Today and New York Times bestseller Suzanne Brockmann joins us from the US to answer questions from some of her Australian fans. Over the past 25 years Suzanne has written more than 55 novels, including her award-winning Troubleshooters series. Suzanne also has a small movie production company called small or LARGE Productions, which makes SAG ultra-low budget LGBTQ indie feature films.

Reading: Alexandra Ivy

New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy joins us from the US to read from her novel When Darkness Comes, which is book 1 in her popular Guardians of Eternity series. Over the years Alexandra has written across multiple romance subgenres, including Regency, contemporary, paranormal and suspense.

Up and comers: Maria Vale and Adriana Anders

Maria Vale and Adriana Anders, along with moderator Amanda Bouchet, talk about their books, their research, their romance journeys and much more. Maria’s first book, The Last Wolf, was the Library Journal and Amazon Best Book of 2018 and an RWA RITA finalist. Adriana writes both romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Her first book, Under Her Skin, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 and a double recipient of the HOLT Medallion award.

Reading: Laura Boon

Australian award-winning author Laura Boon joins us in this episode of ARRLD to read from her upcoming release On the Edge, which is the second book in her Romance the Alps series. Laura was the 2018 winner of ARRA’s Favourite Debut Romance Author Award.

Book club: Charlotte NashAlly BlakeAmy AndrewsBernadette Rowley

Join Charlotte Nash and author friends Ally Blake, Amy Andrews and Bernadette Rowley as they gather together book-club style to chat about their first encounters with romance fiction, and which authors and books inspired them to become dedicated fans.

– –

You can find all the videos on the ARRA YouTube channel. The authors will be dropping in, so be sure to leave comments. (Sessions will remain on our channel if you want to watch at a later date.) Don’t forget to collect code numbers from each session for our Treasure Hunt competition.

ARRLD: Sunday am

2 August 2020

Welcome back to day 2 of our Romantic Rendezvous (Locked Down).

Please note that the video quality will vary from session to session. For many authors this was the first time they had used Zoom. We learnt a lot as we went along, so our technique got better, but we were also dealing with unreliable internet in some areas. The videos are raw and real, COVID hair and all.

Coming up this morning:

Ask Me Anything: Ilona Andrews

All the way from hot-summer Texas, wife and husband team Ilona and Gordon—writing as Ilona Andrews—answer questions from some of their Australian fans about their books and their writing process. Between the two of them they have five established fantasy/science fiction worlds and have published more than 40 stories. There’s also a guest appearance from their three beautiful dogs.

Reading: Alison Stuart

In this episode of ARRLD, award-winning author Alison Stuart reads from her new release, The Goldminer’s Sister. Alison writes historical romance for both Harlequin MIRA and Escape Publishing—as well as publishing independently. She also writes historical mysteries as AM Stuart, published by Berkley Publishing. One of her previous books, The Postmistress, was a finalist in the 2019 ARRA awards.

Feature interview: Eloisa James

Historical author and Shakespeare professor Eloisa James joins us from New York during COVID lockdown to talk about her books, her writing process and her love of Shakespeare. A prolific and keynote author of the Regency genre, Eloisa is beloved by readers across the world. She has published more than 40 books as well as novellas, short stories and anthologies.

Fangirling: Jennifer Crusie with Amy Andrews

Australian romance author Amy Andrews fangirls over New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jennifer Crusie. Together they talk of Jennifer’s books and writing, her previous collaborations, her current projects and much more. Jennifer’s writing career has so far spanned more than 30 years and 20 books, and she has won two RWA RITAs. Amy herself is a US Today bestselling author who writes across multiple romance subgenres.

Feature interview: Kennedy Ryan

Coming to us from Atlanta, in this interview award-winning and top 25 Amazon bestseller Kennedy Ryan talks of being the first black woman to win an RWA RITA for her book The Long Shot. She also talks about her other books, her readers and so much more. With a background in journalism, Kennedy enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness.

Panel: creating Marietta with Jane PorterAlissa CallenKelly HunterSarah Mayberry

Jane Porter, Alissa Callen, Kelly Hunter and Sarah Mayberry, four contemporary romance authors, join forces to discuss their contributions to creating Marietta, a fictional town in Montana, for Tule Publishing. The first book set in Marietta was published in 2013, and there are now a total of 80 series! While the books are written by a variety of authors, they often feature a common cast of well-loved characters.

House party: Alyssa J Montgomery with guests Meg TillyDani Collins, Sabrina Jeffries

Alyssa J Montgomery is joined by three overseas romance authors, Meg Tilly, Dani Collins and Sabrina Jeffries, to discuss their writing spaces and their upcoming releases. At this writers house party, after the tour some of their Australian fans ask the four authors a variety of questions on their books and their writing.

Ask Me Anything: Leonie KelsallSandie Docker

Australian contemporary authors Leonie Kelsall and Sandie Docker join forces to answer questions from some of their fans in this episode of ARRLD. Leonie also writes under the pen name Laney Kaye, while Sandie’s debut was released in 2018. This session is hosted by fellow contemporary romance author Laura Boon.

Reading: Ally Blake

Award-winning Harlequin author Ally Blake joins us in this episode of ARRLD to read from her novel Hired by the Mysterious Millionaire. Ally’s first romance novel, The Wedding Wish, was published by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 2003, and since then she’s had more than 30 novels published, of which there are four million copies across 25 countries.

Feature interview: Keri Arthur

Australian paranormal author Keri Arthur joined us during COVID lockdown to talk books and writing, including about her New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series. With more than 48 books, she’s won three ARRA awards and a Romance Writers of Australia award for speculative fiction.

Panel: historical romance with Elizabeth BoyleCathy MaxwellLorraine Heath

For this episode of ARRLD, romance authors Elizabeth Boyle, Cathy Maxwell and Lorraine Heath come together to talk all things historical. They discuss why they love setting their novels in history, the pros of particular time periods, their research, their books, their writing and much more.

Reading: Maya Linnell

Maya Linnell, an Australian rural romance author from country Victoria, treats listeners to a reading from her second book, Bottlebrush Creek. Her debut novel, and the first in the series, Wildflower Ridge, was shortlisted as an ARRA 2019 Favourite Debut Author, and Maya herself was shortlisted as a Favourite Australian Romance Author.

Panel: Rural romance with Cathryn HeinFiona McArthurKarly LaneSarah Williams

For this episode of ARRLD, Australian romance authors Cathryn Hein, Fiona McArthur, Karly Lane and Sarah Williams talk all things rural romance, including their upcoming books, their writing processes, their love of the outback and much more. Afterwards they take questions from reader fans. This panel is moderated by Jaye Ford, author of crime fiction (and romantic comedy under the pen name Janette Paul).

Readings: Maya RodaleCaroline LindenVanessa Riley

Maya Rodale, Caroline Linden and Vanessa Riley, three great historical authors, come together to read short sections of their latest releases—An Heir to Remember by Maya Rodale, About a Rouge by Caroline Linden and A Duke, the Lady and a Baby by Vanessa Riley.

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You can find all the videos on the ARRA YouTube channel. The authors will be dropping in, so be sure to leave comments. (Sessions will remain on our channel if you want to watch at a later date.) Don’t forget to collect code numbers from each session for our Treasure Hunt competition.