ARRA Nominee – Sandra Antonelli

As an author, I really I like the idea of having a cult following. The word cult comes from the latin ‘cultus’ meaning worship. But let’s get this straight out in the open now. There is no religious, political, or aliens-are-coming-for-us doomsday slant to the type of cult following I mean.

There is no brainwashing.

In the cult I have in mind, there are cookies and coffee and the only thing we’ll worship is books, lots and lots of books with happy endings. Everyone will be welcome and we will worship romance fiction in every form!

8876I bet you like that idea.

I bet you like that idea as much as I do. It thrills you. It thrills you and relaxes you.

Sit back and think about romance. Think about how thrilling romance is. Think about A Basic Renovation.

Go ahead. Let yourself slip into a relaxed state of mind and think about reading romance.

You are more and more relaxed as you think about reading romance.

Yes, your desire to read romance is getting greater and greater with every sentence you read in this paragraph. You notice it feels totally natural to you that you want to re-read Sandra’s fantastic book A Basic Renovation. You remember that lighter than air feeling you had after finished A Basic Renovation the first time. You enjoyed reading the smartass. You laughed out loud.

Go ahead and laugh again. Laugh, laugh, laugh until you cry…and then laugh again.

For some inexplicable reason you want a cup of coffee and a cookie. You want to drink that coffee and eat that cookie as you think about what a fabulously quirky and fun book A Basic Renovation was. Have that cookie. Sip your coffee. And notice you are totally relaxed. You have never been so relaxed before.

Close your eyes for a few moments. You deserve it. Have a little rest.

Have a little sleep. Five minutes no more.

When you awaken you will feel quite refreshed. You will, quite happily, vote for A Basic Renovation as Favourite Contemporary. You will vote for me as Favourite New Romance Author for 2013. And voting will fill you with so much joy you will have another cookie.

cookiesWelcome to The Cult of Antonelli.

Sandra AntonelliList of finalists:

Join ARRA to vote:

ARRA Nominees – Sarah Belle

Why Hindsight should win the ARRA for the Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance Novel of 2013

I’ve been a stay at home mum ever since I had my fourth son, almost five years ago. But next year he will be joining his three older brothers at school, so the time has come for me to think about my career options, post-stay at home kids.

I’ve put together a photo-resume of some of the jobs I’ve been doing around the house, in conjunction with usual mum stuff like cooking food that no one wants to eat because it has a vegetable in it, picking clothes up off the floor, and constantly wiping urine splatter off the toilet seat (because apparently it’s sooooo hard to remember to lift it when they pee!).

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

Covering school books with contact paper. No, I wasn’t drinking at the time. A friend asked me if I threw the book at the contact paper. Of course, I didn’t, but I may as well have. At least my son won’t get his book confused with anyone else’s…

book covering
Making baked goods for morning teas and birthdays. This particular concoction was meant to be a brownie so rich, decadent and fudgie that no icing was required. It looked so much more appealing in the recipe book though.

cake bakingOrganising family holidays – like this one last year where we were caught in a cyclone and then flooded in for an extra three days when the road out of town turned into a river. We missed the first two days of school for the new year. (Love the billboard in the background though!)

holiday disasterThis year on our annual family get away, we all came down with Gastro – you know the saying, the family that vomits together stays together… (I won’t show you pictures of that one!)

And finally, costume designing for special school occasions…

This, believe it or not, is my son dressed up as a star. He refused to surrender to my grand ideas and the closest I could manage was a t-shirt with the word ‘universe’ on it, and a glitter hat sprinkled with purple stars. See, you’d never know the difference!

costumeBelow is my very creative interpretation of Spiderman face-painting. Look at how overjoyed my youngest is at my skill! (Yes, I am aware that the spider has a pair of legs coming out of its head. Like I said, it’s an ‘interpretation’).

spidermanMy husband says I should stick to writing…so do my kids…and their school teachers.

9689So, if you vote for Hindsight, you will actually be doing the world a huge favour, because if I don’t succeed at this writing gig, I will be forced to open my own business catering for children’s dress up parties. Yep – I’d do the costuming and catering for families. I am even thinking of a sideline of holiday/event organising.

Do the world a favour and spare the unsuspecting population of my crap baking, costuming, and holiday planning skills and Vote 1 for Hindsight in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Futuristic Category at this year’s ARRA Awards! Generations of children will thank you.

List of finalists:

Join ARRA to vote:

ARRA Nominees – Jennie Jones

Cast a vote for The House on Burra Burra Lane and save my bacon!


Ruby pig here reporting from Swallow’s Fall with trotters a-tremble.

A pig, you ask? Well you see – I’m in the story (along with horses, chickens, some cute kids and a couple of hopeful lovers) and Jennie Jones is unashamedly using my glamorous good looks and delicate temperament to woo you into voting for her book in the finals of the Australian Romance Readers Awards category for Favourite Contemporary Romance.

At stake: a dilapidated house on Burra Burra Lane, the dreams of a man and a woman – and my hide.

I’m hoping you humans will help me out (trotters crossed). If The House on Burra Burra Lane doesn’t get enough votes I may be meeting you in a manner I’d prefer not to – slapped between two slices of white bread on your breakfast table.

Why? Because without voters – there might not be a need for me in book two.

Me as a cute piglet. Honestly – could you eat this?

pig2And how can I tell you what happens in book two IF I’M NOT IN IT.

I’m still young, I only weigh 300 pounds – my life is ahead of me. I don’t want to be a homeless, has-been animal character from a rural romance story on her way to the butchers chop. I don’t want be a sausage either – I want to be a 400 pound pig with a home to call my sty.

And I have feelings. Swallow’s Fall is my home town. I know all the little children and what they want for their birthdays. I know all the secrets (including the apple-saucy ones). I know how this story ends, and I know what Jennie Jones has cooked up for book two …



List of finalists:

Join ARRA to vote:

ARRA Nominee – Juliet Madison

Welcome to ebookHARMONY, where we match readers with compatible authors.

In the lead-up to the Australian Romance Reader (ARRA) awards, we’re featuring one of the nominated authors in a special online dating voting profile. You can review this profile for free and see if you’re a match, and if so, you may choose to vote for this author in the ARRA awards (voting closes 5th March!).

Today’s featured profile is from author: JULIET MADISON

Juliet has been nominated in the Favourite New Romance Author category in the ARRA awards. Members of ARRA can now vote, or if you’re not yet a member, you can join here.

JULIET MADISON <insert best available photo that sets high expectations and probably looks nothing like you do in everyday life>:

About: Single, female, thirty-something, newly-published author seeks votes for Favourite New Romance Author in the Australian Romance Reader Awards.

Occupation: Author of humorous and heart-warming fiction – ro-magic comedy, coastal romance, and women’s fiction.

8875What I’m looking for in my ideal reader/voter:

  • enjoys long, romantic walks on the beach (sorry for the cliché, couldn’t resist).
  • forgives the occasional cliché (in blog posts at least).
  • enjoys a good belly laugh.
  • likes books with uplifting endings.
  • is open to a few magical twists in their stories.
  • is tolerant of numerous Dirty Dancing references in books.
  • thinks sweet, heart-warming stories never go out of style.
  • likes their authors to be prolific and versatile.
  • falls in love easily with fictional heroes (monogamy not required).
  • bonus points if you know what an e-pad is and which version of the SlimFX Magic Suit has the expandable release valve to ensure the continuation of the female race.

What to expect from an author-reader relationship with me:

  • 19908More than one book a year. For example, the last 12 months has resulted in five books ready & eager to be read, and there are more on the way.
  • Variety.  I write a few different styles including fun & wacky romantic comedies with a touch of magic (ro-magic), sweet emotional contemporary romance and uplifting women’s fiction, and have started branching out into supernatural YA (watch this space).
  • Lots of social media interaction. I reply to readers on twitter, I comment on Facebook, I share links & pictures of vitally important things like Dirty Dancing trivia, cute things, & bookish quotes that only authors and avid readers really understand. I also have a new readers group for my Tarrin’s Bay series with exclusive sneak peeks and fun.
  • Lots of competitions. Regular book giveaways from myself and other authors, and other prize give-aways, freebies, and goodies. Basically, I love to give away free stuff. It’s fun 🙂
  • Lots of uses of the phrase ‘lots of’.
  • Fun online events. Facebook parties with no-calorie virtual food & drinks, prizes, chats. At my last event there was a wishing fountain! And if there’s a celebrity you’d like to visit, just say the word.
  • Excerpts from current & upcoming books. I’m not shy, I love to share my work with readers & give little sneak peeks. Sometimes I’m too impatient waiting for a book to release so I’ll share some bits with you 😉
  • A chance to collaborate. Want your name to be a character? There may be a chance! Want to help me name businesses in my small town series? I’ll be asking! Help me create the foundation of my stories.

Overall, I’m not interested in a one-book-stand. No flings for me. I’m committed to you, my reader, and promise to love writing, honour readers, & disobey any rules that say I should be doing housework instead, till death do us part.

I do. Do you?

You may now kiss the bride vote for the author.


List of finalists:

Join ARRA to vote: