We hope you had a fantastic time at the ARRA book-signing event, and got to meet some of your favourite (and soon-to-be famous!) authors. Huge thanks to ARRA for all their support and their tireless work on behalf of romance in Australia.
Kate and the Escape Team
We’ve Got This by Rebecca Morean. A Cinderella story about mothers and movie stars, mud boots and Manolo Blahniks, and dreams that do come true.
The King’s Man by Alison Stuart. The second in a tantalising trilogy from award-winning author Alison Stuart, about warriors, the wounds they carry and the women that help them heal.
Releasing 22 September
Heat Wave by Kate James. From the Wattpad Wonder, Kate James, comes a sexy, sizzling, fun new romance … it may not be The Love Boat, but this cruise is definitely setting sail for sex, adventure and love.
Out of Time by Shona Husk. The fabulous new adult series from Shona Husk continues: he wants to shut out the world; she wants to invite it in …
And a special release!
An all-access pass to sex, love, and rock ‘n’ roll. Because what happens on tour doesn’t always stay on tour…
Chicago. The last stop of their wildly successful US tour sees Australia’s biggest rock band, The Screaming Tuesdays, in sultry, summertime Chicago to play two sold-out shows. But the stage is not where the action is, and no one knows what goes on behind the scenes …
Releasing 3 September: Chase by KM Golland
Releasing 10 September: Josh by Eden Summers
Releasing 17 September: Yanis by Lexxie Couper
Releasing 24 September: Theo by Zaide Bishop
Last week, mostly everyone answered that they would want to thank AND keep all the staff that looked after their billionaire, and presumably now them. Probably that was a no-brainer, but it was nice to know that this was a shared fantasy ;)
This week enquiring minds want to know what your favourite thing is about ebooks. Is it that one click purchase, the immediacy of accessing something you fancy, the ability of getting the next book in the series at 3 am because you HAVE to know what happens next?
Never fear those of the paper only persuasion, there will be a reciprocal poll in two weeks asking about your favourite thing about paper books. In the meantime, if you don’t read ebooks, you can still choose an option on this week’s poll. Enjoy.
We see something or hear something that catches our attention and we can become transfixed by the sensation. That’s what makes romance book covers so vitally important in selling. You can’t tell a book by its cover but you can darn sure become aroused by the image at which you are staring. A gorgeous, muscled, dark-haired, blue-eyed male will catch my attention every time. If he happens to have a nice, furry chest, all the better. (Unfortunately, you don’t see too many hairy-chested romance models posing for covers. Why they feel the need to wax away that virile stamp of manhood is beyond me. I’m one of those women who likes to have some grass for my girls to play in.)
What we see in our mind’s eye can also grab our attention. When we read, we begin to picture what the hero and heroine look like. We’re given the bare bones of how he looks … brown hair, brown eyes, tall, broad shoulders etc … but his facial features are put before us strictly by how we perceive the character. Maybe we see him as a favourite actor or singer. Maybe he’s a combination of several different actors and singers. When I write a hero, I always have a picture in mind of how he looks. The heroine? Not so much. She’s not nearly as important to me as the hero is. I write books for him, not her.
In the past, I’ve place Adrian Paul, Eric McCormack, Antony Starr, and Allan Hawco in the personas of my heroes. These men had the right ‘look’ for the hero in that particular novel. Paul for BloodWind; McCormack for NightWind; Starr for HardWind; and Hawco for Moonlight Rider.
Which brings me back to the sensory premise.
When I began writing Under the Mayhaw Tree, I had Hawco firmly in mind for the part of my tragic hero. Although it takes place in the Deep South and he’s from Newfoundland, he just fit the character of Drew Dunne to a T. In that book, the heroine is watching a movie starring Irish actor Colin Farrell as the highwayman of the Alfred E. Noyes poem. Later as she is dreaming, she imagines herself as Bess, the landlord’s daughter, with the highwayman. When she wakes, she realises it was not Farrell she had cast in the role of the infamous thief but rather the object of her growing affection, Drew Dunne, who looks like Farrell. That Farrell and Hawco bear a striking resemblance to one another in real life was the whole idea behind the dream sequence.
My editors didn’t want to keep the dream sequence in Under the Mayhaw Tree because she didn’t want anything fanciful to take away from the overall drama of that book, which is a tragic hero tale. What she wanted was for me to write another book using my take on the highwayman. Thus was born Moonlight Rider.
As a writer, I am more than willing to share my imagination and tales with likeminded readers. I loved the poem the moment I began reading it and it has remained my favourite poem all these years. There have been some lacklustre movies made of the tale … it really lends itself to that medium … but never one that caught and held my attention. There have also been a few books written with the poem in mind but none of them really did it for me. When I began writing my version of the poem, my fingers literally flew over the keyboard. I began putting down all the images and emotions the poem had instilled in me for … dare I admit it? … fifty years. (Yes, I am older than dirt.)
I love to put twists and turns a reader can never imagine into all of my books. Reviewers have often mentioned that it is my penchant for writing twists and turns that makes them like my work so much. There are several major twists and turns in Moonlight Rider that should keep readers on their toes. There are also some very vivid scenes that should satisfy even the most jaded appetites. I believe I painted a rich picture of the four main characters: Declan, Bess, Lady Althea and the villain well enough that a reader can see them clearly. I hope I’ve written it in such a way that the book will unfold like a movie in your mind. At least that was my intent.
If you’d like to see a book trailer of the book, you can find it up on my website at www.windlegends.org/moonlightrider.htm. If you’d like to follow me on Facebook … and I would LOVE to have you do so … the URL is www.facebook.com/windlegends. I have written over 100 novels so I hope there is something there to interest you.
Our authors have been nominated for and won many RWA chapter awards, and received glowing praise from romance stars like Debbie Macomber, Kat Martin, and other USA Today bestselling authors.
Our books have received starred reviews from Library Journal, and glowing praise from Publishers Weekly, USA Today, RT Book Reviews and Heroes & Heartbreakers.
Thanks for taking a look at our new releases this September!
A Widow’s Salvation by Becky Lower (historical)
In book eight of Becky Lower’s Cotillion Ball saga, it’s 1862 and the American Civil War has raged for twelve months. Young widow and mother Pepper Fitzpatrick honors her soldier husband’s sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital once her mourning period ends. But there she meets handsome head surgeon Colonel Elijah Williams. Elijah’s plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again. Can they find happiness in a war-torn country?
Flame Unleashed by Jillian David (paranormal)
In the thrilling conclusion of the Hell to Pay trilogy, Jillian David introduces an unforgettable couple. Civil War nurse Ruth Blackstone sacrificed her soul to save her husband’s life, but he utterly betrayed her trust. Now, 150 years later, she’s still stuck killing depraved souls to feed her devil of a boss, Jerahmeel. Cajun rogue Odie Pierre-Noir has a plan to overthrow Jerahmeel and win freedom for all Indebteds … if Ruth will act as bait. With charm on his side, he shows Ruth an intense passion she’s never experienced before. Now Ruth must make the hardest decision of her long, damned life: continue in relative safety as an Indebted with Odie as her lover, or risk their eternal souls for one chance to break the curse. Will she choose the lesser evil?
The Cougar’s Trade by Holley Trent (paranormal)
Holley Trent’s second Desert Guards novel catches readers up with the sexy, charismatic were-cougars of the Foye Gang. After being taken hostage with her friends on a camping trip, quiet nurse Miles Bennett is itching to be able to leave the Gang’s isolated ranch. But were-cougar second-in-command Hank Foye discovers Miles is his one and only chance for a mate. Too bad protecting the meek young woman is a liability in a world where shifters fight to lead and roam. She deserves to be loved unconditionally, but he sees her as the embodiment of everything he can’t have. Can he get his house in order to lead a group of restless Cougars and earn his mate’s trust?
Heath’s Hope by Alicia Hunter Pace (contemporary)
USA Today best-selling author Alicia Hunter Pace takes you back to charming Beauford Bend, Tennessee in this delightful novella. Talented glass artist Heath Beckett moves his business back home, only to find his former flame Hope Mackenzie has also returned. Practical-minded financier Hope broke his heart when she couldn’t believe his hobby would ever amount to anything. When Hope and Heath must work together on a business plan for the local knitting shop, will they discover it’s not too late for a second chance at love? This novella also includes a free knitting pattern from Interweave Knits.
Fated Hearts (romantic suspense)
Psychiatrist Henley Elliott fled her quiet life in Cleveland for a gypsy lifestyle, trying to stay one step ahead of her painful memories. When she breaks down in quirky little Trappers’ Cove, Minnesota, she meets Sheriff Carter McAlister—a man healing from his own share of hidden heartbreaks. At the request of a friend, Carter offers Henley a job to help her get back on her feet … but soon he can’t resist trying to sweep the intriguing woman off them. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and to make matters worse, a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. They must learn to trust in each other in order to keep her safe.
Fated Hearts is due out on 21 September.
Crimson Romance are kindly offering ARRA members the chance to win a copy of this book. To go into the draw leave a comment below. The giveaway will close on 10 September 2015.
Today is the official release of The Arrangement by Nicolette Hugo (ebook, Momentum Books). Here’s the blurb:
Build a successful law career, find Mr. Right, then have 2.3 kids and a white picket fence. Everything is going to plan until a handsome stranger stops her from stepping in front of a speeding car.
Vincent Mason, rising politician, not only rescues Nell from death but from her safe but predictable life as he introduces her to the darker pleasures of domination and submission. What starts as a six month arrangement of sexual liberation turns into a deeper emotional exploration and Nell soon finds herself letting go of preconceived ideas of love and lust.
But can Nell trust Vincent enough to truly surrender herself? And can she trust herself enough to listen to what her heart truly wants?
Nicolette dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
There are so many BDSM books out there with vanilla girl meets Dom boy and the story revolves around “welcome to my world.” I wanted to twist that, I didn’t want to explore his dungeon. I wanted to go deeper, and it turns out sexual discovery is also an exploration of self. What happens if the person you fall in love with doesn’t tick any of the boxes on your list? What if loving this person means you have to confront pre-conceived ideas of who are and what you want? What if, despite everything, you tell yourself it still feels right? To get to the heart of these questions, the story in The Arrangement starts in the final month of Nell and Vincent’s sexual contract where emotional lines start to blur, driving deeper issues and darker desires.
This book has wonderful steampunk elements starting with Dr Jekyll’s various instruments, her ingenious assistant Hippocrates, the Royal Society’s peacekeeping automatons and the large-scale reanimation machinery à la Dr Frankenstein. Imagine Dr Eliza Jekyll (using pop culture analogies) as a buttoned-up, less manic, more approachable Sherlock Holmes, with Miss Lizzie Hyde as a sassy but more wench-y Irene Adler of the recent Holmes movies dressed in steampunk finery—phew, it deserves girly squees.
Tending a little to the dark side, the book keeps you on edge, guessing who will find out Eliza/Lizzie’s secrets. Hippocrates, in keeping with the pop culture analogies, is a delightful steampunk version of a semi-intelligent assistant—a walking iPhone with a dog companion personality or possibly a forerunner of K9 for those of a Doctor Who bent. The story has a BBC medical examiner drama feel with Dr Eliza investigating murders in her police doctor persona in the vein of an emerging forensics science. Think Ripper Street. There are sly and not-so-sly nods to Dracula with the blood-craving Miss Lucy in the mental asylum and Doctor Frankenstein in an ‘animation’ machine using the new fangled electricity, which is displayed at a public event.
The, pardon the expression, shades of grey of the female protagonist are enjoyable. She’s a complex character with a public past due to her parents and the usual problems of an intelligent woman working in an occupation generally considered male in nature. The world has that feel where the advancement of knowledge is restricted and controlled by the powerful, and it is illustrated by the automaton police units of the Royal Society, disciplining science heretics. And that threat looms large over Eliza’s dual nature and some of her tools and methods.
The book falls more on the mystery side with romantic elements rather than a straight romance. However, there’s plenty of staring at and into each other’s eyes, especially with the frisson (love that word) between Eliza/Lizzie and at least three gentlemen, which sounds excessive but isn’t really—you’ll just have to read it to find out why. ;) The gentlemen are all interesting and compelling characters. Wild Johnny is fae and charming, Captain Remy Lafayette hides a hairy side under his suave, handsome exterior, and Mr Malachi Todd, well, he has the knife addiction of Jack the Ripper with the superior intelligence, charm and joie de vivre of Red from The Blacklist. I have one very small nit-pick. Enjoying the steampunk machinery so much, I thought it would have been nice to have a little more information about the device leaving the melted stone.
However, there’s nothing more fascinating than a book with a seemingly simple surface but rife with a seething underbelly that makes you think, especially about the nature of attraction, addiction and compulsion. This is my favourite book in this genre and one of the best books that I’ve read this year. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.