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ARRA newsletter #112

15 November 2018

Purple news

The November 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:

  • meet our official bloggers for ARR2019
  • the verdict is in for ARR2019 in Perth, and the news is good!
  • we are looking for hosts for High Tea in Sydney in March
  • Jayne Ann Krentz is returning to Australia for one encore performance—save the date!
  • summary from this year’s romance reader survey
  • photos from the West Coast Fiction Festival
  • Charlotte’s Web Watch column features Ana’s Attic
  • we have Christmas giveaways! Four pages worth!
  • 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 me at arra.editor@gmail.com.

We are looking for authors to do the “Five minutes” Q&A in the newsletter and authors to take part in the #AuthorHour chat. We are also taking bookings for guest blogger spots for 2019. You do not need to be a member to do any of these.

Happy reading everyone!

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Feature book: Fair Game

14 November 2018

Fair Game by Amy Andrews

Subgenre: contemporary/sports romance
Series: Women of W.A.R.
Release date: 1 Feb 2018
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Format: ebook
Length: 164 pages
RRP: A$4.99

The Brisbane Banshees has a new team member, Darcy Clarke. She has longed to play in a women’s footy (read Australian Rules) competition. She is elated when she finds out she has been selected but some of that happiness is dampened when she discovers the new coach is her ex-boyfriend. The ex turns up to her place one night to make amends and ask for forgiveness, and an attitude that she will take him back as he is sure that she still loves him. But no, she doesn’t but she is willing to accept the apology for the team’s sake, and not let on what he is really like.

Levi Phillips shares the house with Darcy, and has for the last few years. He is in love with her but hides it well from her. One night Levi gives Darcy a foot massage and her moans of pleasure really turn him on. Then he accidentally discovers Vlad, Darcy’s new friend. I think you will have to read the book to find out why Levi is jealous of Vlad.

In her first game, Darcy is injured with a corked thigh. Levi takes care of her during the night and holds her, he then has difficulty removing himself with a very painful erection. It is not until later that Darcy realised the implications of that erection as it projects Levi’s feeling and was not the usual morning erection for men. Darcy and Levi do sleep together before a game and she has a blinder. The following week, Levi tells her he loves her, and she can’t focus until she sees him and tells him.

I enjoyed the three books in this series. The women and their men are all different so there is no sameness about them. The connecting factor is the footy. The teams are all in different cities, so it allows for more character stories. It takes a strong man to take on one of the W.A.R. women.

Reviewed by Heather

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

Feature book: Long Game

14 November 2018

Long Game by Catherine Evans

Subgenre: contemporary/sports romance
Series: Women of W.A.R.
Release date: 1 Feb 2018
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Format: ebook
Length: 145 pages
RRP: A$4.99

Cressida Kennedy is a mad keen footy (read Australian Rules) player, and I mean mad keen. Her one dream was to play in the women’s footy competition, when one was created. She comes from the country and has four older brothers, so footy was a natural part of her younger, and adult, years. When she is in the off season, she helps on the family farm. Cress is a physical worker and even found a job while she tries out for the Sydney Sirens. She is determined to make it. When she arrives in Sydney, she is amazed at all the different places and sights, including hanging out of the car to get a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while in a traffic jam. It was nice to see Sydney from Cress’s point of view as we can become somewhat blasé about what we see each day. Quin makes a point of taking her to different places, so she can experience Sydney. But she is determined to make the team and play each year there is a season. Footy is her goal. Footy is her life.

Grong Grong’s best export is Quinlan Fitzpatrick. He was selected to play for a Sydney Aussie Rules team straight from high school. He thinks of Cress, or Watercress as he calls her, as a little sister, mostly. She is staying with him during selection trials and the season. Quin becomes the focus of some of Cress’s team members especially when he does yoga with them. Quin has an issue that in some senses has spooked him and feels he is scarred for life. One date, and a return to the scene, helps him overcome his fear of the place and event.

The relationship between Quin and Cress is a slow burn. Cress liked him from his country days even having his poster on the wall. Quin really liked her family atmosphere and was Cress’s older brother’s best friend. He thought of her as a sister, but he learns that Cress has grown up and he needs to pay attention. The relationship turns from family friends to lovers.

I really liked Cress’s focus to get what she wants, to play footy, and Quin. There are also some interesting characters I hope get their own story.

Reviewed by Heather

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

Feature book: Game On

14 November 2018

Game On by Nicola Marsh

Subgenre: contemporary/sports romance
Series: Women of W.A.R.
Release date: 1 Feb 2018
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Format: ebook
Length: 79 pages
RRP: A$2.99

Angelica Bryant wants to make it. She desperately wants two things, a job and a place in the new women’s footy (read Australian Rules) team. Her father is the owner of a bar called The Scissor Kick, which is reflective of his career as a footballer (read soccer). He never tells his daughter what he thinks of her abilities and she reads this as chiding or non-acceptance of her dreams. Then one night she meets Jack (but really Jaxon).

Jaxon Flint is a sports manager and this time he wants to have the woman attracted to him for himself and not for his job. He thinks that women want him for the contacts he has with some of the top sporting talent. But Jaxon has a secret about why he won’t date sportswomen.

One night the pair meet, there is insta-lust, and they go to his place for ice cream (read sex). She leaves in the morning without saying goodbye and he feels somewhat affronted. They meet later in the day when she turns up at his office to thank him (she doesn’t know it was her ice cream man) for the ability to try out for the Melbourne Muses (women’s Aussie Rules team). She obviously discovers the Jack and Jaxon are the same person. While Jaxon is on the phone dealing with one of his top sports people, Angel is outside his office placating another. He is astounded, and offers her a job.

Jaxon follows Angel’s season and finds that he is really scared when she suffers a concussion. It brings back too many memories of his sister and how she died. He goes back to the place where his sister died and he reflects on what happened and what cannot be. As with all good modern romances, the couple do get together.

I’m not a keen sports watcher. But I did like this story, and the series, even though it was about football (sorry about the back-handed compliment). I liked that Angel was prepared to go to almost any length to achieve her dreams of playing sport and working in the sports industry. Although she has a fractured relationship with her father, in the end, her father does admit his admiration for all that she has achieved. Naturally, Jaxon is able to resolve how he feels about his sister’s death and Angel playing sport, so they can be together.

Reviewed by Heather

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

Release day: The House at Flynn’s Crossing

12 November 2018

Today is the official release of The House at Flynn’s Crossing by Elisabeth Rose (ebook, Escape Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

She’s been through hell, so risking her heart should be easy …

Anxious to rid herself and her twins of the dark memories from their past, twenty–three–year old Antonia moves to the small rural town of Flynn’s Crossing. Antonia is frightened but determined to be independent for the first time in her life, so she rents Mango House and settles in to the community to begin the process of healing.

Town councilor and local real estate agent Flynn has secrets. Guilt–ridden over a tragic childhood event, he fled the city and devotes his life to assisting others. He has big plans for Flynn’s Crossing. Without change, the town will shrivel and die. But the townspeople are resistant to his ideas, and his discussions with a luxury resort developer.

When Flynn first meets Antonia, he doesn’t know her sensationalised past, and Antonia feels normal for the first time. Slowly, as they get to know each other, to trust each other, Antonia begins to consider the possibility of something more. But when tensions over the resort development reach breaking point, she discovers that Flynn hasn’t been entirely honest, and her new beginning is at risk of ending. When Flynn has to choose between the town he’s devoted his life to and the woman he barely knows, can she trust that the man who healed her heart will treat it with care?

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

The House at Flynn’s Crossing is the standalone sequel to Find Her, a romantic suspense. This new book deals with the aftermath of the earlier events, a year later, and is a straight ahead romance set in a small country town. I felt there was more story to be told and that my heroine Antonia deserved a happy ending. So here it is.

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

Guest blogger: Amy Andrews

11 November 2018

Random thoughts from a road tripping romance author

I’m currently holidaying in Western Australia with the hubster and close friends. There have been hundreds of pics snapped and bottles of wine consumed (no, not all by me!) so this blog is random cos being organised and methodical is for when I’m sitting back at my desk—so strap in!

I’ve just attended the West Coast Fiction Festival, which was all the awesome and it was fab to see the women of ARRA there representing!

It’s very wild and windy here on the WA coast!

My favourite farms are grape farms.

WA has a pink lake! It’s ah-mazing!

 

I love jetties!

Pumpkin scones are awesome. Pumpkin scones just out of the oven at an outback cafe in the middle of nowhere are stupendous!

Quokka selfies are the best. Here’s my bestie with probably the best pic taken this holiday.

  

Straya! Where even the beaches try to kill you a bunch of different ways.

Okay … I could go on all day so I won’t 😉 but thought I might mention, given how it’s that time of year, I have two sexy little Christmas novellas out in the world. ‘Tis the Season to be Kissed is a snowed-in story featuring a returned vet, a case of mistaken identity and a game of strip scrabble. And, Hanky Spanky Christmas is a little kinky and a lot quirky featuring a bunch of meddling oldies and a chick who’s looking for a guy to indulge in a little bit of harmless spanking.

Happy reading to you all!

Amy Andrews

You can find Amy here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

‘Tis the Season to be Kissed

A tipsy kindy teacher. A soldier home for some R&R. A snowed in cabin. Twelve hours until the ball falls on another year. However will they fill in the time?

Hanky-Spanky Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas …

With a sudden hankering to be spanked, Darcy Henderson figures Mitch Callaghan is the man for the job.

But is she woman enough to take it?

Release day: Wedding at Mistletoe Chalet

8 November 2018

Today is the official release of Wedding at Mistletoe Chalet by Dani Collins (ebook and paperback, Tule Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

Eager for a home-style Christmas while she considers a career shift, Kristen Benz leaps on the temporary job at Mistletoe Chalet. Soon she’s wrapping presents, trimming the tree, and helping her new boss’s tween daughter plan a Christmas Eve vow renewal for her parents. The holiday is imbued with a magical glow—especially when Kristen’s high school sweetheart appears on the doorstep.

After years of medical school, Finn Garrett has promised his parents he’ll be home for the holidays. His detour to see his first love is supposed to provide closure, not rekindle their long-ago romance.

Can a matchmaking tween and the magic of Mistletoe Chalet spark the happily ever after that eluded them in the past?

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

I’ve written a few Christmas books. One was quite sexy and full of family drama. One was sweeter, but quite heart-wrenching with a little boy who had lost his mum. This time I wanted to write a very uplifting, sweet story that is light on angst, heavy on humor and holiday cheer. Kristen is in the middle of making a career shift when she takes a temporary job running Mistletoe Chalet. Finn was her high school sweetheart and he’s worried she’s stuck spending the holidays alone. He checks in on her and soon gets caught up in a vow renewal that the chalet owner’s tween daughter is planning for her parents. There’s maple syrup taffy, a messy sheepdog, lively games and silly stories about a moose. Also, Finn and Kristen realise they’re still deeply in love. I hope you enjoy it!

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