Great start to next year!

Reading: Fivestar by Mardi McConnochie
Watching: Ninjago (Ninja-GO!)
Listening to: The Weekend Whip by The Fold (Ninjago theme song – totally ROCKS!)

Some wonderful things have been happening here in my world.  First, I was asked to join the exciting new Desire six-book continuity series, The Highest Bidder.  Set in the world of the rich and famous, with  a venerable auction house as the backdrop, the series includes scandals, movie stars and lots of secrets.  I’m currently knee-deep in my story, aiming to have it to my editor by end of January (yeah, over Christmas and New Year!)  Mine will be book 4, due out in October 2012 and I’m thrilled to be working with Desire doyens Barbara Dunlop, Charlene Sands and Maureen Child, newcomer Cat Schield and my favorite gorgeous Kiwi, Yvonne Lindsay 🙂

Another fabulous happening for me, this time closer to home.  The Australian Romance Readers Association have asked *me* to be their awards dinner guest speaker!  So very thrilled and humbled and I will definitely try to entertain you all (warning: there will be photos!).  It’s a night where we celebrate the ARRA members’ favourite romance books of 2011 and I’d love to see you all there on the night – 11 February 2012 at Cello’s Restaurant, The Castlereagh Hotel, Sydney.  For more info and bookings, go here. (If you’re an ARRA member, don’t forget to vote for your favourite!)

As part of 2012’s National Year of Reading, I’ll be speaking at Burwood Library (18 February) and Strathfield Library (2 June), talking about writing popular fiction, writing romance, my journey to publication, and giving away an assortment of goodies.  More details on my website when I have them.

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Australian Romance Readers Conference

What a great weekend!  Readers and authors gathered at the Swiss Grand hotel on gorgeous Bondi Beach to talk books, writing, romance and everything in between.  The panels ranged from historical, paranormal, category and outback romance, to publishing ins and outs and informal author chats.  Scads of readers came along to the book signing and the silent auction event raised over $6,000 to help those affected by the recent Queensland floods.

So very, very thrilled (not to mention stunned!) that The Billionaire Baby Bombshell took out Favourite Short Category Romance for 2010 at the Australian Romance Reader Awards on Saturday night 😀  I managed to forget my camera (typical) but many others took heaps of shots that I hope to post soon.

The winners on the night were:

FAVOURITE PARANORMAL ROMANCE

  • Bonds of Justice – Nalini Singh

FAVOURITE SCI-FI, FANTASY OR FUTURISTIC ROMANCE

  • Archangel’s Kiss – Nalini Singh

FAVOURITE SHORT CATEGORY ROMANCE

  • The Billionaire Baby Bombshell – Paula Roe

FAVOURITE HISTORICAL ROMANCE

  • My Reckless Surrender – Anna Campbell

FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

  • Home is Where the Bark Is – Kandy Shepherd

FAVOURITE EROTIC ROMANCE

  • Raising the Stakes – Jess Dee

FAVOURITE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

  • Border Watch – Helene Young

FAVOURITE CONTINUING ROMANCE SERIES

  • Psy/Changeling series – Nalini Singh

FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE AUTHOR OF 2010

  • Anna Campbell

Finalist win!

Checked my email on Valentine’s Day to discover I’m a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers 2010 awards!  I’ve been nominated for Favourite Short Category with The Billionaire Baby Bombshell AND Favourite Romance Author of the year!   Weeee!  The other short category authors are some of my favourite people, like Kelly Hunter, CC Coburn and Annie West.  Fierce competition indeed!

Thanks, ARRA readers, for making my day 🙂

Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year award

Watching: my son play Lego Star Wars on the computer
Listening to: pew! pew!  pew!  Arrrgghhh!
Reading: the Weekend Australian (running behind on my news)

So I finally kicked the current ms from the nest and it’s now being inspected for fleas by my lovely editor, Charles.  It’ll return in about a month so I can do its laundry, cut its hair and dress it appropriately, then out into the wild it goes in March 2011.  Yippee!

While I was toiling away, the shortlist for RWA‘s RBY award for best romance of 2009 came through.  I am just SO thrilled to see some wonderful books make the final cut, and triple-y thrilled my fabbo writing gals get to shine in some well-deserved limelight.  The nominations are:

Short Sweet Category

Short Sexy Category

Romantic Elements Category

Long Romance Category

Loads of win!!!

Well, I’m not entirely sure HOW I pipped all those other wonderful books at the post (I looooved Colorado Christmas!) but The Magnate’s Baby Promise won the Australian Romance Readers Award for Favorite Short Category Romance last night!  I couldn’t be there (mummy duties) so like me, you can check out the list of winners on ARRA’s website, and read all about the night on ARRA’s blog.  And while you’re there, comment on my post and you could win a book 🙂

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone at ARRA who organizes and runs the awards.  And a big thank you to those who nominated – and took the time to vote on – Cal and Ava’s story.  This author really appreciates it!

Australian Romance Readers Awards – I’m a finalist!

I’m thrilled and delighted to learn that I am a finalist in the ARRA Awards!  I must admit I knew a teeny bit before the official announcement, on account of me being their web designer and all 😀

The Magnate’s Baby Promise is nominated for Favourite Short Category Romance, and I’m up against some truly wonderful books, which include friends Annie West, Kelly Hunter, CC Coburn, Bron Jameson and Melanie Milburne.  And I’m also on the shortlist for “Favourite Australian Romance Writer of 2009” 😆  You can check out the full list of nominations here.

Rubies galore!

Excitement plus here as the announcement for Romance Writers of Australia’s R*BY is now online.  What’s the Ruby?  It’s Australia’s romance writing award for Aussie and New Zealand authors, similar to America’s RITA, but judged solely by readers, not writers.   Some would say the Oscars of Australian romantic fiction 😀

snoopSo my point?  My second book, Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir, is a finalist in the Short Sexy category!  Here’s Snoopy doing a good impression of me when I found out…

This book was the one that got cut by about 30 pages, so I’m absolutely chuffed readers voted it as one of the best.  It was also my learning curve book, one I stressed about writing because I had to write to an actual deadline.  And I had the best Senior Editor in the world, too, Melissa Jeglinski (who is now with The Knight Agency and as luck would have it, on her way to our conference so I can thank her in person!).  Winners will be announced at our special awards dinner on 16th August).

I must admit, it’s a bit of a giggle to be in a ‘short ‘n sexy’ category… altitude-challenged as I am 😉    Congratulations to my fellow finalists, Trish Morey, Miranda Lee and Carol Marinelli, plus my writing buddies and friends in three other categories.  Here’s the full list:

SHORT SWEET CATEGORY:
Claire Baxter – The Single Dad’s Patchwork Family (Harlequin M&B Sweet)
Melissa James – A Mother in a Million (Harlequin M&B Sweet)
Marion Lennox – His Island Bride (Harlequin M&B Sweet)
Fiona McArthur – The Midwife’s Baby (Harlequin M&B Medical)

SHORT SEXY CATEGORY:
Miranda Lee – The Millionaire’s Inexperienced Love Slave (Harlequin M&B Sexy)
Carol Marinelli – Expecting His Love Child (Harlequin M&B Sexy)
Trish Morey – The Italian Boss’s Mistress of Revenge (Harlequin M&B Sexy)
Paula Roe – Boardrooms and a Billionaire Heir (Harlequin M&B Desire)

LONG ROMANCE CATEGORY:
Karina Bliss – Second Chance Family (Harlequin M&B SuperRomance)
Anna Campbell – Untouched (Avon Books)
Anne Gracie – The Stolen Princess (Berkley Books)
Elizabeth Rolls – A Compromised Lady (Harlequin M&B Historical)

ROMANTIC ELEMENTS CATEGORY:
Maggie Alderson – How to Break Your Own Heart (Penguin)
Bronwyn Parry – As Darkness Falls (Hachette)
Suzanne Perazzini – Beneath The Surface (Wild Child Publishing)
Suzanne Perazzini – Crash into Darkness (Wild Child Publishing)