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Release day: Where the Sad Roses Grow

15 August 2019

Today is the official release of Where the Sad Roses Grow by Tee Smith (ebook and paperback, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Lilac was born into a world of privilege… or so she was told. Life inside the compound is safe, protected, where only the good preside, and the evil are discarded.

Forced to marry a man, more than twice her age, one of four wives, she spends her time pining for the boy she lost and the life she could have had.

The Master may control her life, but he can’t control her mind.

When her child is ripped from her arms, she’s determined to find the answers. But perhaps the truth is more sinister than she can allow herself to believe.

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

Where The Sad Roses Grow is a novel close to my heart. Whilst it is my sixteenth release, it is a story that has grown from its inception a long time ago, following the story of Lilac, growing up in a cult, believing everything she is told without questioning. I hope you will enjoy this romantic suspense novel and check out my other works.

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

Australian Romance Readers Survey 2019

15 August 2019

It is time once again for our annual Australian Romance Readers Survey. We started the survey in 2009 so that we could collect statistics that are about Australian romance readers. This is the eleventh year that we have run the survey, with the questions refined slightly each year in light of feedback from survey respondents.

If you would like to be involved, just click on this link and follow the prompts:

The questions are pretty straightforward, but please let us know if you have any questions.

Anyone who reads romance and lives in Australia can answer the survey, so please feel free to pass the link along to anyone you know who reads romance. But please mention it is for Australian romance readers only.

The survey will close on 30 September and we will let you all know the results soon after that.

Thanks in advance.

ARRA newsletter #121

15 August 2019

Purple news

The August 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:

  • ARR2020 Ticketpalooza competition announced – plus an updated list of signing authors
  • it is time for our annual romance readers survey
  • more giveaways! Two of them! With thanks to JC Harroway and Fiona Palmer
  • Charlotte’s Web Watch column features a look back at her reading so far this year
  • another Blast from the Past column from Paula Roe
  • win a $10 gift card if you can Find the Heart!

Plus our regular columns—romance roundup, publisher news, 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: One Night Only

14 August 2019

One Night Only by JC Harroway

Subgenre: Mills & Boon Dare
Release date: 1 Jun 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: ebook
Length: 224 pages
RRP: $3.99 (ebook)

Essie Newbold is an optimistic romantic, who has always searched for a place of belonging. She found out she had a half-brother when she was a teenager, that her dad had a whole other life. She’s determined not to let anything ruin her shaky new relationship with her brother, even a one-night-stand who turns out to be her brother’s best friend.

Ash Jacob is a New York lawyer who has been burned by a past relationship and is hiding in London from a media nightmare. He’s done with relationships, choosing only to partake in one-night-stands, nothing more.

This book covers a few tropes that I absolutely adore—best friend’s sibling, workplace romance, opposites attract. Essie is a lovable and fun character, who brings out the best in Ash. Essie has just completed her PhD in psychology, and is working for her brother, whilst she searches for a job in her field. On the side she runs a blog about relationships and having never partaken in a one-night-stand before, she blogs about it prior to realising who Ash is.

The conflict is clear, and the reader is left devouring pages whilst waiting for the proverbial penny to drop. The attraction between Essie and Ash is intense, and their character growth is strong, emotional and very believable. Both have father figures who are less than savoury, yet they deal with their situations in different ways. Essie is fighting for a stable family relationship; Ash just wants to hide away and pretend he has no family. Both come to terms with their situations through finding love.

I’ve read a few of JC Harroway’s Dare novels, and this one does not disappoint! Sexy hero, delightful heroine, steamy sex scenes requiring an ice-cold drink to cool the reader and loads of entertaining banter.

Reviewed by Jayne

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

Release day: Shadows at Dawn

12 August 2019

Today is the official release of Shadows at Dawn by Kat Martin (ebook, Harlequin). Here’s the blurb:

Private detective Jaxon Ryker swore to himself he would keep his hands off Mindy Stewart. No matter how much Jax might secretly wish otherwise, his colleague at The Max is strictly off-limits. But when Mindy is the victim of an attempted kidnapping, everything changes. With both of them thrust into danger, Jax swears to protect her. As they work together in search of answers, it becomes clear Mindy’s life is on the line, so a trap is set—with Mindy as bait. Jax and Mindy have to put aside their overwhelming attraction, but if they live through this, all bets are off…

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

This novella was fun to write. I loved Jaxon Ryker, who made an appearance in my soon-to-be-released hardcover, The Deception, out 10 September. He and Mindy were an interesting couple, so different and yet together they forged a very strong bond.

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


Guest blogger: Annie Seaton

11 August 2019

Loving to travel this beautiful land of ours and setting off for our first extended trip in 2013 has had an unexpected, yet happy, outcome. That first trip to the Northern Territory resulted in my falling into a new genre and Harper Collins have now tagged me as an author of eco-adventure romance!

I still remember the moment when I had my first idea about using Australian landscapes as a character in my stories. I was in a boat on the South Alligator River in Kakadu National Park and saw the most spectacular sunset … a Kakadu Sunset. As many of my readers will know that was my first book that explored environmental issues. It’s been followed by books set in the Daintree, the East Kimberleys, the Whitsundays and more recently Undara. My next book involved research on a commercial fishing boat, and we have recently been to Alice Springs to research the book after next.

Being a historian, I have really enjoyed including a historical timeline in my most recent books, and the joy of travelling to these locations, and then indulging in my passion for historical research makes for a wonderful author life.

Raising awareness of contemporary issues that threaten these locations is another positive outcome from my stories. I also love taking my readers on an armchair journey to these settings as they may never have the opportunity of travelling to these remote locations.

Undara was another location that I fell into accidentally … woops, am I giving away a part of the story there?

We were travelling along the Savannah Way and heading for the Daintree (in between the research for Daintree and Diamond Sky) and stopped at a caravan park for the night. We discovered that the park ran tours to Undara and signed up for one.

Wow! What an incredible, amazing place that is not well known in Australia! The lava tubes are the result of a volcanic eruption over 130 million years ago. When the guide mentioned that many of the tubes have never been entered by humans and may house all sorts of undiscovered plants and species my story was born. Another book was on the way.

When I plan my stories, I begin with a landscape, then I find an issue that threatens it, and then I populate with my characters who are on a journey of self-discovery, solving a problem or, in Emlyn’s case, recovering from a tragic incident.

I loved writing this story, and it has had a wonderful reception in its first weeks out in the reading world. The word is spreading about Undara, the place, to the point that the Undara Experience have donated a prize to celebrate the release of the book. It will be drawn in October and they have kindly offered:

  • 1 night’s accommodation for 2 adults in a railway carriage room
  • 1 Wildlife at Sunset tour for 2 adults
  • 1 Archway Explorer lava tube tour for 2 adults
  • bush breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 adults

You can read a sneak peek here and contest details will be posted there soon!

Thank you, lovely readers. Comment below and tell me where you would like to see a story set in the future.


Within the treacherous caves of Undara, a betrayal will test the bonds of friendship and family. A page-turning new eco-adventure for readers who love Di Morrissey.

When entomologist Emlyn Rees arrives at Hidden Valley she wants nothing more than to escape her marriage breakdown by burying herself in the research team’s hunt for new species of insects in the depths of the dramatic Undara lava tubes. However, little does she suspect she will be the key to solving a mystery that’s more than one hundred years old.

Travis Carlyle is initially resistant to letting some city folks tramp over his cattle station, but soon the researchers’ findings and a growing friendship with Emlyn bring opportunities to turn around his struggling farm. With a broken marriage behind him and children to care for, Travis needs to plan for the future and this could be his family’s best chance.

But when things start going wrong for the farm and around the dig site, Emlyn and Travis are at a loss to understand why. Are they cursed with bad luck, or is there a more sinister force at play? Are the tall tales of enigmatic stockman Bluey turning true? As the unseen saboteur grows bolder, Emlyn and Travis are caught in a race against time to save the station … and their lives.

Release day: Follow Me

10 August 2019

Today is the official release of Follow Me by Afton Locke (ebook, Amazon). Here’s the blurb:

Where were you in the summer of ‘69? Picketing, peacemaking, or falling under the spell of a magic man?

The day Adele Robbins turns eighteen, she flees her mother’s house to escape her lewd stepfather. She aspires to help people, but for now she simply needs a roof over her head. When she stumbles over a generous—and sexy as all get-out—hippie playing guitar on the street, she grabs at the chance for a temporary refuge.

While replacing the family he lost to tragedy as a child, Jeremy Dobson also plans to make the world a better place. Recruiting new followers should be easy, but one headstrong woman threatens to upset all his plans.

Unpeeling the layers of this unusual man makes Adele wonder if she’s jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire. She refuses to be a doormat like her mother, but Jeremy’s magnetism is a force not to be trifled with. When he beckons her to the edge to pursue their mission, will she follow?

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

The summer of 1969 was an exciting time, which I didn’t really appreciate because I was just a toddler. Besides the landing on the moon, large social shifts were happening. Watching some 50-year documentaries about the hippie movement (rethinking ‘society’) stirred my muse to write about a guru. If a charismatic, mesmerising man set his sights on you, would you be able to resist? Adele faces this very challenge when she casts her lot with Jeremy. Is she strong enough to resist, or will their love make them both stronger?

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