Category Archives: ARRC09

Introducing Yolanda Sfetsos, Tracey O’hara & Erica Hayes

Just wanted to take the time to introduce some Australian urban fantasy and futuristic authors whom you may not have encountered yet. You should already be familiar with Keri Arthur, and maybe Lexxie Couper πŸ˜‰

Yolanda Sfetsos has recently signed contracts with ImaJinn Books and Samhain Publishing, but information about them hasn’t been officially released yet, so stay tuned. She also has a backlist of eBooks with other publishers. I found her via LiveJournal, I think. Newsletter BlogSpot LiveJournal MySpace Bebo

Tracey O’hara has signed a three-book deal with HarperCollins Eos, with the first book of the Dark Brethren series, Night’s Cold Kiss, due out 25th August 2009 (5th in Canada). Nalini Singh wrote the blurb: “Intense, sexy, bold, Night’s Cold Kiss is a superb debut. Tracey O’hara writes in a voice full of passion and power – I’m already waiting impatiently for the next book from this talented author.” Do you trust Nalini Singh’s judgment? You’ll find out soon enough πŸ˜‰ Check out the key selling points. I found her via LiveJournal, and then we met at ARRC09. AuthorTracker LiveJournal MySpace

Tracey O’hara
Night’s Cold Kiss (Dark Brethren, Book 1)
HarperCollins Eos (CA: 5th August 2009; US: 25th August 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

(Official cover copy yet to be released. Here are the basics.)
For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires – until the efforts of the courageous on both sides helped to forge a fair, if fragile, peace. But the rogue, vicious, and half-mad Necrodreniacs will never be controlled – addicted as they are to the death-high…and bloody chaos.

Erica Hayes has signed with St. Martin’s, and the first Shadowfae Chronicles book, Shadowfae, is due out 13th October 2009. Tracey told me about her, so I looked Ez up when I remembered to, and found her on LiveJournal. I think at ARRC09 I may have asked her where the registration desk was, but I didn’t know who she was at the time. Oops. Sorry, lass! Mailing List LiveJournal MySpace

Erica Hayes
Shadowfae (Shadowfae Chronicles, Book 1)
St. Martin’s Griffin (US: 13th October 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Official cover copy yet to be released. Here are the basics.)
In a city infested with psychotic fairies and run by sadistic vampire mafiosi, life as a soul-sucking succubus rarely involves lacy lingerie, hot guys or great sex. Instead, Jade must spend her nights seducing gangsters and murderers, or simpering as a trophy girl for hell’s minions. So when she discovers a forbidden ritual that promises to break hell’s thrall and set her free, she’s got nothing to lose, even if it involves seducing the four most repellent souls in town. But when you’re cheating hell, there’s always a catch. Others are as desperate to trap those same souls and escape. Like Rajah, a 400-year-old incubus whose raw sensuality makes him a formidable adversary, even as his empathy for her plight makes him an unexpected ally. But they can’t both win their freedom, and if Jade wants to beat Rajah to the prize, she’ll need all her hell-cursed charms.

Tez in the City, Part II

-Chatted, signed, photographed with Susan Grant, Liz Maverick, Keri Arthur & Tracey O’hara.

-Liz’s The Shadow Runners is set in Australia in 2176. Not Victoria, but nevertheless I think she was chuffed to be here. And to see for herself if Australia is closer to becoming a penal colony again πŸ˜‰

-Tracey’s Night’s Cold Kiss cover art was revealed, but I’ll wait for her to share it with you first. Go bother her πŸ˜‰

Melanie Milburne‘s surgeon husband sometimes phones her for a chat whilst he’s performing surgery. Who says men can’t multi-task? πŸ˜‰ Melanie also had a trophy on her signing table – I’ll have to check award results.

Amy Andrews has an agent, but looks after her own Mills & Boon business. Her agent deals with Amy’s other works.

-If you’d like to know the mating habits of marine animals and other mammals, consult Lexxie Couper.

Jess Dee has a fabulous South African accent. It’s like the Oz one, only classier. And charming. Makes you want to hug the world. In short: fab.

-Chat and photos with Liz, Sue, Kez, Jordana Ryan, Lexxie, Jess, MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi, and Dianna Love. Didn’t chat with Sherrilyn Kenyon, but had a photo.

-Skipped out early to head to the State Library of Victoria for a free session with Justine Larbalestier & Simmone Howell. Free cupcakes – the icing was so tasty! πŸ™‚

-In times past and present, they’ve made up their own slang. Consult Simmone about the verb “rod”, and Justine the noun “spoff”.

Scott Westerfeld is tall.


May I Borrow Your Knowledge, Please?

I figure that if I have you smart people around, I may as well use you πŸ˜‰

Saturday 21st February, 10AM-11:15AM. Melbourne Victory are having an open training session (and it’s free to come look-see) at Gosch’s Paddock. According to Google, it’s on the corner of Swan and Punt. (Hands up if you want to make a “punt” joke πŸ˜‰ ) And according to Metlink Melbourne, Richmond Station is also on the corner of Swan and Punt. It’s a big intersection, though. So I’m not exactly sure whereabouts Gosch’s Paddock is. Anyone know how to get there, or even want to come along?

If I do decide to attend, I’ll have a few hours afterward to kill in the city, because I don’t have to be at the Jasper Hotel until 3PM. So I’m looking for somewhere indoors, quiet, clean, cool with a nice bathroom and somewhere I can get free water. My budget may only be $10 for a fast food lunch. I was thinking maybe the State Library, but I don’t think I’d fit in with the literary crowd – I tend to think in LOLcat-speak. (oh hai! ur kweery sux. kthxbai!)

Also, if a venue has lots of comfy chairs and couches, that’ll be awesome. So if you know of a suitable place I can chill out in for free, let me know. I’m not all that familiar with the city except for certain landmarks.

P.S. I will have a camera in tow for the day, and will try to capture photographic evidence of a brothel near Richmond Station. It has a sign out the front saying “Enter at Rear”. Double-entendres make the world a funnier place.

P.P.S. Funnier still is the New Zealander accent. My Australian one just isn’t comical enough.

In Praise of ARRC09

As I’ve told you often enough, or in case you’ve forgotten, the Australian Romance Readers Convention (aka ARRC09) will run from February 20-22 here in my own Melbourne. Thanks to all attendees, sponsors, attendees-at-a-distance, organisation committee, and everyone who’s pitched in to make this event happen, and who’ve helped publicise it.

I’m looking forward to this more than I can tell you. I do get rather jealous when my North American and European peeps talk of attending cons, meeting authors, hanging out with writer/reader pals in facetime… Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy that you have all this. I just wish I had it, too πŸ˜‰

Maybe it’s the whole location thing, but even though I follow book news on the Internet as closely as I can (without forking out for a Publisher’s Marketplace membership), I still feel so separated from the book world and the various writing cliques.

So to have a special gathering such as this, in my own country, in my own state…it’s really brilliant. I don’t even have to pay for accommodation, though I will have to use public transport for better or worse πŸ˜‰ And since the con’s on a weekend (I won’t be there for Friday’s events), the train will only cost me $2.50 for each day. Weekend Saver tickets, y’all.

MaryJanice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Stephanie Laurens may pull the crowds, and I’ll be the embarrassed one in the crowd because I haven’t read their work, and aren’t sure that their books will suit my tastes. Nevertheless, it’s wonderful they all will be attending, and MJD will even be bringing her kids. You’re never too young to start learning about the world at large, and not just your little corner. Here’s hoping you enjoy your time here and take home some nice memories, kids πŸ™‚

But really the other major headliners are why I’ll be attending: Liz Maverick and Susan Grant. I’ve been keeping an eye on Liz since the launch of Dorchester’s SHOMI imprint. And though I’ve only read three of the books so far (Michele Lang’s Netherwood, Eve Kenin’s Hidden and Michelle Maddox’s Countdown), I’ve bought the others, and they’re all waiting patiently on my shelf to be read.

Last year I looked up Liz’s backlist, to see what other books of hers I might like to try. And I found that perfect one: The Shadow Runners. It’s a futuristic – SET IN AUSTRALIA. This was at the time I was realising how awesome futuristic fiction is, and I’ll admit it: when I learned of this book’s existence, I started thinking about writing my own futuristic Australia novel. I’ve never had a muse, or whatnot, but in this case Liz unintentionally provided inspiration. So even though I haven’t read the book yet (though I own it), it’s very special to me. Now I just need Liz to sign it (and personalise it, let’s not forget) to cement its awesomeness. I WILL TRACK HER DOWN! πŸ˜‰

The Shadow Runners is actually the third novel in a 5-book miniseries…created by Susan Grant. She also wrote the first and last stories: The Legend of Banzai Maguire and The Scarlet Empress. The series is set in the year 2176, and since it’s Susan’s brainchild…it makes her awesome. If she wasn’t already awesome, but she already was πŸ˜‰

I own signed and personalised copies of these two books, but since she created the whole series, Susan will hopefully deign to sign the other three as well. Such is the responsibility of the author – if you’re in my city, you may as well be useful πŸ˜‰

Then there’s Keri Arthur, of course. It’s no secret that not every urban fantasy series is to my liking. But I’ve stuck with the Riley Jenson series because it works for me. It’s set in my Melbourne. The investigations often deal with things I haven’t come across in fiction before, so Keri has fab originality. I have a scene each from Embraced by Darkness and The Darkest Kiss still in my mind, even though I read them last year – and believe me, my memory’s terribly shoddy, so this is a marvellous achievement.

And then there’s the matter of the Wolfsbane and Mistletoe anthology I’m currently reading. So far Keri’s contribution has been the only story to properly hold my attention. I quickly gave up on the preceding stories after a few pages each, because they just didn’t work for me. This one is. So this proves that not only can Keri write a cracking novel, but she’s far and above other short story writers, too. Well, in this anthology at least. Much applause. Anthologies on a whole are often disappointing, but stories like Keri’s are the reason I at least try to give anthologies a chance.

And Tracey O’hara will be there πŸ™‚ I only learned of her recently – she’s a Canberra-based urban fantasy author whose first novel, Night’s Cold Kiss, will be released in September 2009 by Harper Eos. So she’s sharing a publisher with the likes of Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson and Jocelynn Drake – and she shares an agent with Jocelynn, too. Tracey clearly has great credentials, and she’s a nifty person too – she’s replied to my emails and blog comments πŸ˜‰ Seriously. Often I’m too intimidated or whatever to comment or email an author, so when I do, that’s when I’m comfortable.

I’ll be travelling to the con alone, and won’t know anyone (in person) there, so to anyone who’s attending: say hi πŸ™‚ I think we’ll all be wearing name tags, so I’ll be the Tez with frizzy brown hair and no make-up. And a deer-in-headlights facial expression. And if it’s skirt weather, bruised knees πŸ˜‰ (Keep banging them on the table I work at. Dude, I so need an ergonomic desk-and-chair combo. And a hard drive and working monitor in the same machine, as opposed to the laptop system and computer monitor I currently use.)

Respect, admiration and love to ARRC09, and have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

From Oz, With Love

(The image has nothing to do with the rest of this post. I just wanted to share my status.)

December’s just around the corner, and I have no idea how long international postage takes, so I’m posting this now…

I don’t send like to Christmas cards, as I prefer postcards – something that anyone can enjoy at any time of the year. Want a handwritten, personalised message from me? Can do πŸ™‚ Choose one of the following postcards:

-Places: Melbourne, Victoria or Australia
-Animals: Koalas, kangaroos, other (please specify)
-Tacky (looks like it was made in the ’80s)
-Crude humour
-Australian Christmas (roos in Santa hats; Santa surfing or having a barbecue on the beach, etc)

Just email me with your name, address and preference. I have eBay auctions set to end on Monday, so I’ll be sending postcards then, or during the following days. Let me know ASAP. Open to all countries, but particularly to those of you NOT in Oz (considering you encounter postcards and cards like these on a daily basis). And truth be told, I’d rather post to my regular readers (not just the ones who’ve stopped by for NaNo or Thursday Thirteen – sorry).

Newly Confirmed for ARRC09

Quoth Futurama‘s Professor Farnsworth, “Good news, everyone!” Remember when I was fangirlying over (though having never read) the 2176 series? That was my introduction to Susan Grant (who created the series), and she’s just been confirmed for ARRC09. So that’s someone else I plan to track down at the book-signing sessions…

Unless, miraculously, all the people I want to meet will be at the one session, I’ll probably buy a ticket for each signing session. $17 for each, though $10 extra for each if paying by PayPal. Signing sessions go on sale November 1st, I think, so I’ve still got time to put away cash…

Because We Could All Do with a LOL

This is not my cat, and not my photo. But it is my LOL – after all, how could I see this image and not LOL it?

We’ve all been there. We’ve all ran out of dance.

Oh, and the photo was blurred before I got to it, so I wasn’t deliberately trying to conceal the cat’s identity. Just so you know.

To the person who typed tez miller arrc into Google to get to my WordPress – say hello πŸ™‚ I haven’t booked my ticket yet (signing session tickets don’t go on sale until November), but drop me a message here.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen
Random Thoughts Circa 11:20PM on Wednesday Night
(Edition #14)
1. Tooth no longer aches. Karma is no longer punishing me.
2. Really should wash my hair tomorrow.
3. Just read a published short story with Elvis Presley as the narrator. Is that even legal? Can the Presleys sue the author for fictionalising their relative without consent?
4. Does that mean Jean Plaidy got her arse sued for writing all those books about dead royals?
5. Disappointed that signing-session ticketholders at ARRC09 won’t be allowed into the goodie room. Do you reckon a delegate could get a free Goodie Room Guest pass for me?
6. After I finish this ARC, I might re-order my To-Be-Read pile.
7. Coldplay’s “Lost!” has great percussion (take a bow, Will Champion), but I still wish they’d released “Yes” as a single instead.
8. Must research bio-stasis at Wikipedia sometime soon.
9. Must check what Family Guy episode Channel 7’s showing at whatever bloody time tomorrow night.
10. Joe R. Lansdale’s contribution to the Blood Lite anthology is the best of the bunch so far.
11. Weenie pull! (See 10.)
12. Yawny. Think I’ve ran out of thoughts.
13. kthxbai

More ARRC09 Info

Firstly, visit ARR and sign up to their mailing list. Today we received some details on scheduling. I’m thinking Sunday will definitely be my day – Keri Arthur and Liz Maverick will both be panelling, unfortunately not together.

Saturday morning

The immortal who loved me–why vampires, shifters and demons are so sexy
(MaryJanice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sara McKenzie)
1B–Romantic suspense
Love and suspense on the edge of our seats
(Dianna Love, Bronwyn Parry, Sandy Curtis)
1C–The Aussie voice
Why the whole world loves our accent
(Paula Roe, Michelle Douglas)

Saturday afternoon
2A–Future of romance

Where to from here?
(Glen Thomas, Bronwyn Parry, Bernadette Foley)
Get down and dirty with erotic romance
(Sasha White, Helen Woodall, Cathleen Ross, Destiny Blaine, Amarinda Jones)
What’s so great about rakes and assorted historical heroes?
(Anna Campbell, Stephanie Laurens, Alison Stuart, Sara Bennett, Kinley MacGregor)

Sunday morning

What are these things called ebooks?
(Helen Woodall, Jordana Ryan, Jess Dee)
3B–Cross genre
Crossing the line–combining genres and making it work
3C–This one time…
Authors share anecdotes about where some of their story ideas come from
(Liz Maverick, Sherrilyn Kenyon, MaryJanice Davidson)

Sunday afternoon
4A–Series romance

Reader expectations and market forces
(Yvonne Lindsay, Annie West, Carol Marinelli)
4B–Urban fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic
Love and alternate realities
(Denise Rossetti, Keri Arthur, Angela Verdenius)
4C–Romantic comedy
Romance with attitude–fun, humour and sass, a winning combination
(Ally Blake, Liz Maverick, Jane Tara)

From ARRC committee: The program is still a work in progress — as we send out speaker invitations and receive responses we might change or shuffle some sessions. But this will give you an idea of the amazing line up we have so far. There will also be two book-signing sessions of 1.5 hours each — one on Saturday afternoon and one on Sunday afternoon.

Time to start building your bank accounts in time for February, Melburnians!

Dog Felt Me Up, Midnight Brunch & RWA

A Dog Felt Me Up Today
I was delivering pamphlets (actually, just half a sheet of paper for each mailbox), when an unleashed dog with no person in sight started following me. Bumping against my legs. Trying to knock me over? That’s not very nice. Paws on my arse? Excuse me, that’s not appropriate… Sniffing my arse? You’ve got some problem, dawg!

Oh well, at least it didn’t bark at me. Dogs tend to bark when I walk past their homes. They’re behind fences so they can’t molest me.

Amendment to Yesterday’s Review
Remember when we realised the same stock photo was used on Keri Arthur’s Embraced by Darkness and Marta Acosta’s Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula? It may not be used after all. Simon & Schuster (well, the US division, anyhoo) has postponed the book’s (originally titled Midnight Brunch) re-release, thus it’s no longer on the S&S site or Amazon. However, S&S Australia have still got the re-release scheduled for July 1st, according to their website. So my review has been edited to show both covers – but the release date listed is only for Australia. The book was originally published in 2007.

Romance Writers of Australia Conference (August 2008)
I was planning to attend (it’s in Melbourne this year) so I could meet Keri Arthur, but I didn’t know the pricing system. Because you can’t pay for just one workshop – you have to pay for the whole day. This sucks. I much prefer the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, where you only pay for what you attend. (Speaking of MWF, it’s also in August, and Rachel Cohn’s coming – yay πŸ™‚ )

Since Miz Keri was the only author I wanted to meet there, there’s no point going if I have to pay for extra stuff – I don’t have that kind of money to spare. But hopefully if the conference holds a signing session (here’s hoping it’s free), I might get to meet her. I’ll investigate more closer to August.

However, I still plan to attend the Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in February 2009 (also in Melbourne). Then again, prices may put me off.