Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Australian Romance Reader Association Awards

by Anna Campbell

Do you know about the Australian Romance Readers Association? They're a great bunch of girls (and the occasional guy) who have united to lift the profile and prestige of romance fiction in Australia and also to have a great time together as romance fans. It's a reader association and I'd highly recommend joining - it's great value and you'll hook up with some lovely people and get together for lunches and conventions and awards dinners. Their website, including joining information is:

It's specifically the awards I'd like to talk about today. On Saturday, 11th February, ARRA held its annual awards night at Cello's restaurant in Sydney. The list of nominees this year was amazing - ARRA members vote for their favorite books each year, not just Australian, although it's always wonderful to see how many Aussie and New Zealand authors make the list. You can see the finalists for 2011 here:

Sadly, I couldn't be there, but I watched the Twitter updates like you wouldn't believe. Or perhaps you would, LOL!

I'd been nominated in two categories, favorite historical romance of 2011 for MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION and for favorite Australian romance writer of 2011. And I'm delighted to say that I won both awards. Huzzah. I'm completely beside myself by these honors. It's my fourth year in a row for favorite historical and my third year in a row for fave Aussie author. Needless to say there were shrieks of joy from my office whenI saw the announcements!

Here's a shot of my lovely editor Anna Valdinger from HarperCollins Australia accepting an award on my behalf. It's wonderful how the local publishers support the ARRA Awards too.

Congratulations to all the other winners:

Nalini Singh collected three awards, Favourite Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy or Futuristic Romance of 2011 for ARCHANGEL'S BLADE, Favorite Paranormal Romance for KISS OF SNOW and Favourite Continuing Romance Series of 2011 for the Psy/Changeling series.

Kelly Hunter collected the award for Favorite Short Category Romance for WITH THIS FLING...

Denise Rossetti won Favorite Erotic Romance with THE LONE WARRIOR.

Helene Young, who collected Romance Writers of Australia's Australian Romantic Book of the Year last August, won Favorite Romantic Suspense for SHATTERED SKY.

Julie James collected Favorite Contemporary Romance for A LOT LIKE LOVE.

So let's have a mini awards night now. What were your three favorite romantic reads from last year, no particular genre? Off the top of my head, I think my list would have to include SOULLESS by Gail Carriger, THE DOUKAKIS APPRENTICE by Sarah Morgan and TEMPTED BY TROUBLE by Liz Fielding. But if you asked me tomorrow, I'd probably give you a different three!


Helen said...


What a lovely post I was at the awards and I have to say what a great night it was and you were missed although we knew you were there with us in spirit and huge congrats on the awards again well deserved.To all of the finalists and winners huge congrats as well so many great reads.

Anna this is one of the hardest questions to ask me LOL but here I go

Midnight's Wild Passion Anna Campbell
Reedeming The Rogue Donna MacMeans
Girl In The Bedouin Tent Annie West

Yep and there are lots more I could think of LOL

Have Fun

barb said...

Anna Had a great time at the awards night ... congrats on the awards

you are asking a lot just to pick 3, of course
MWP by Anna Campbell
Shattered Sky by Helene Young
Heiress in love by Christina Brooke

that was hard tp pick


Michelle Bledsoe said...

Congratulations on your awards Anna.
Here are 3 of my favorite reads:
New York to Dallas by JD Robb
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones.
Of course there are many,many more on that list, but these are the ones that came to mind first.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I was gutted to miss out on being there. Really hoped I'd make it and then a deadline changed and I was stuck here writing instead. Thanks so much for including Midnight on your list - loved Donna's Rogue and Annie's Girl too!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Barb. I was dusting them yesterday and felt a nice glow! ;-) Thanks for including Midnight in your list too. I loved Helene's Shattered Sky and Christina's Heiress. I liked Mad About the Earl even better, I think, and that's saying something!

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, favorites lists tend to change, don't they? As I said, if I were writing this blog today, I think I might have a slightly different choice. So many good books out there - although the three I picked really are great! Thanks for sharing your choices! They sound great.

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

Huge congratulations on the double awards. Wow, you're on a roll! Like you I was so disappointed to miss the awards this year. They're such fun and, as you say, a great line up of books and authors.

Oh, faves are too hard, especially for a whole year. Instead I'll list my 3 fave books from recent days. There's Sarah M's 'Doukakas Apprentice', Maurissa Guibords' YA 'Warped' and your latest ms that I was lucky enough to read in draft form - 'Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed'. Faaaantasic reading there.

Annie West said...

Helen, how lovely to think of 'Girl in the Bedouin Tent' being in your top pick 3 romances. Wow! Thank you so much.

Debbie J said...

I'm very jealous of Annie West right now - a draft of the new AC book, I want, I want!

Thanks for blogging about ARRA, they do a fantastic job of bringing readers together from all over Australia, and raising the profile of romance reading in Australia. I'm really looking forward to the convention in March next year, it's going to be a hoot!



Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Annie, aren't you a darling putting Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed on your list? by the way, I blogged about this over on the Romance Bandits yesterday, you can see the cover and the blurb and hear about some of the inspirations -

I know we both love Sarah's writing and I think with Doukakis she knocked the ball out of the park. I must check out Warped. Sounds interesting!

Anna Campbell said...

Debbie, Annie is such a wonderful critique partner. So glad you envy her (bwahahahahaha!). I love ARRA. It's a great friendly place for romance fans to interact. I'm so looking forward to next year's convention too!

Unknown said...

Anna, congratulations on your wonderful wins! How frustrating not to be there on the night... but I'm sure you were doing other lovely things. My three favourite romance reads from last year were (oh gosh, only 3?!:
Molly Cooper's Dream Date - Barbara Hannay
The Twelve Nights of Christmas - Sarah Morgan (a surprise new author to me)
Heir - Grace Burrowes (also a new author to me).
Always open to new authors and good reads!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Malvina! Thanks for the congrats! I was ecstatic when I collected two awards. As you know, it was a very strong field this year. Can't go wrong with Barbara's books. And so glad you're another SM fan - loved the 12 Nights of Christmas too. Grab Doukakis, you won't be sorry. Another Harlequin Presents author who's fairly new to me but an auto buy is India Grey. Like Sarah, it's that absolutely classic, hit the bullseye Presents. Haven't read GB yet but I've heard a lot about her. Sounds great.

Anonymous said...

ARRA is such a great organisation. And how fab to see your name up in lights again, Anna. Well-deserved, of course!

I can't recall all I read last year (really must keep some sort of a list!) but I do remember thinking that Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson was completely gorgeous.

I'm definitely going to the ARR Awards night next year. It just looks too much fun to miss!

Anna Campbell said...

Cathryn, how wonderful you're coming to the next ARRA conference. It's an incredibly friendly event. I've been to both the conventions they've held and they've been utterly fab. Thanks for the congrats! I must say I LOVE my ARRA awards! ;-)

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, I was there on the night (as a finalist in the Favourite Contemporary Romance category with The Castaway Bride) and be assured you were sadly missed! The level of applause when you won your two categories was deafening.
ARRA is a wonderful, highly professional organization. The venue was beautiful--perfect for romance readers and authors-- the dinner delicious and the company warm and welcoming. In short, an excellent night!
My favourite romances of 2011 would definitely include MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION, I think it is one of your best. I also loved Annie West's THE SAVAKIS MERGER, HM&B Presents at its most passionate and romantic. Another story I really enjoyed was MIranda Neville's NEVER RESIST TEMPTATION, though I'm not sure if it was a 2011 release.

Sharon Archer said...

Oooo, Anna! Only three books! That's so hard when there are so many awesome authors out there!

I adored Midnight's Wild Passion - it was such a thrill to be at the dinner to see your win. Such a shame you couldn't be there too!

And then there's Annie West's Girl in a Bedouin Tent. And then there's Sarah Mayberry's The Last Goodbye!

And then... but you you did say three...

Congratulations on your well-deserved success, Anna!

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, it sounded like it was a brill night! Hey, thank you for picking Midnight as one of your faves from last year. And I agree with you about Annie's Savakis story being one of her best. Have you read her GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT? Magnificent! I love Miranda Neville's books. The new one, Confessions from an Arranged Marriage, isn't far away. Try her The Dangerous Viscount, one of my fave reads from 2010!

Anna Campbell said...

Sharon I know Im mean saying only three but otherwise we'd be here all year. Thank you so much for picking Midnight too - I'm just chuffed. I had such fun writing that book. And Annie's Girl is wonderful too. Everything by Sarah Mayberry is great - do you know you're the person who turned me onto her writing? Thank you! I have hours of reading pleasure to thank you for.

Helene Young said...

Anna, you were very much missed!

Congrats on your much deserved awards - I loved Midnight's Wild Passion. Now I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (and being very jealous of Annie W!!)

Next year will be fabulous in Brisbane:-)

Anna Campbell said...

I can't wait till next year in Brisbane. Been too long since I've seen you. And congratulations on your wonderful SHATTERED SKY winning too! Thanks for saying you loved Midnight. I'm really excited about Seven Nights being ready to go!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everybody, for swinging by. I've enjoyed reading your recommendations! See you next month!

Pat Cochran said...

My 2011 favorite reads: MWR by Ms. Anna,
The Past Came Hunting by new author Don-
nell Ann Bell, and Redeeming The Rogue
by Bandita Donna.Just wanted to add that
I join all your fans in congratulating
you on winning the ARRA awards! Yay you!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks for the congrats, Pat. As you can imagine, I was jumping around like a loon with excitement when I saw the announcements! Ooh, haven't read Donnell's books although I've seen the buzz about them. Must check it out. And thanks for picking MWP and my fellow Bandita Donna's Rogue. You have wonderful taste, LOL!

Michele L. said...

Hi Anna,
Wow! A big congrats on your books! I am so proud of you!

My three favorite books from last year would be,
Tempted By Trouble by Liz Fielding
Sweet Kiss of Summer by Sophie Gunn
Girl in a Bedouin Tent by Annie West