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Dee’s sister Daphnee died unexpectedly just a week ago, orphaning four children under 16 years of age.

As Dee explains over at her blog, a death in the family not only wrecks emotional havoc–more so when it’s sudden–but also upsets the often precarious financial balance of a household.

We all know that it is not easy for the immense majority of us right now, but you can help Dee and her family, even with just a little bit.

Godspeed, Daphnee, we are keeping you in our thoughts and your family in our prayers.


There are probably hundreds of help initiatives out there, focusing on many different aspects of the losses so many people are facing right now, consequences of both the horrible bushfires and the floods.The romance community is also doing their part. We can help through donations of books (see note at bottom) and donations of items (including books) for the Bushfire Silent Auction organized by author Stephanie Laurens. Follow this link for more information on this one.

Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal:

I’m just popping in briefly to thank all of you who’ve expressed concern about the bushfire disaster we’ve had here, and to tell you that Romance Writers of Australia are launching a book appeal. We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their list of necessities for some time to come.

But… We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough.

So… With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we’ve put together a Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal.

What we need?

FICTION BOOKS! Romance books, children’s books, genre books, whatever – either new or in sparkling condition.

Please send them to:

RWA Bushfire Book Appeal
c/o 89 Rennie St
Thornbury Vic 3071

When to send them?

Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate neighbourhood centres/community centres/libraries in batches as soon as practicable.

Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you’re the author, sign the book.

With thanks

Anne Gracie

Forwarding this message on behalf of Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

(Above information taken from the comments at Michele Buonfligio’s blog)

(Via Ramblings on Romance, etc and with a nod to Katiebabs)

An Open Letter to Romance Readers:

If you are like me, you have a multitude of romance novels sitting on the bookshelf, doing little more than offering fond memories, looking pretty, and gathering dust. As I tried to make room for my newest purchases one day, I thought there had to be a better use for all these wonderful books.

After all, they are not merely love stories and are certainly not rescue fantasies. They are rich narratives of women overcoming conflict, discovering their own power, falling in love, and being rewarded with optimistic, emotionally satisfying endings. And shouldn’t all women enjoy the same treasure of words filled with inspiration and empowerment—or, if nothing else, a pleasant diversion from day to day life?

Of course they should.

Then it occurred to me: why not donate romance novels to women in crisis? Mass-market paperbacks are considered to be inexpensive but are still not in the budget for everyone who might enjoy them. How better to encourage literacy—an incredibly valuable skill that benefits not just women but the families they support—than by providing engaging reading material? Doesn’t everyone deserve the pleasure of a good story with a happy-ending?

With the help of Ann Bleakley, my friend and co-founder, Share The Love was born.

It’s simple: we will collect gently used romance novels and pass them onto non-profit organizations that provide assistance to women in transitional periods of their lives—homeless and domestic violence shelters, prisons and recovery half-way houses—and that help them establish independent lives.

We hope you will join us —one story at a time—in offering encouragement, inspiration, and enjoyment to women.

Thank you,

Maya Rodale
Ann Bleakley

Right now, there is only one organization receiving their donations, Women in Need (WIN, see below) but as they grow so will the list of recipients.

“Founded in 1983, today serves over 8,500 people including 5,000 children who are homeless and disadvantaged. We strive to restore dignity, promote independence and provide stable housing to vulnerable families who face major obstacles that threaten to destroy their lives. When families find themselves without options, we provide them with housing, skills, knowledge, understanding and support.”

So let’s go forth and clear some shelf space for a great cause!

We all love drama. The more convoluted, drawn out, ridiculous it is, the more we love it.

Some of us love it behind closed doors—or in the case of these here intrawebz, by lurking quietly in the background. And some of us have to be on hand wherever pieces of the wreckage happen to fall. The majority of us, like any good normal distribution, fall somewhere in between these extremes. And more power to us, really.

But occasionally, even the most stalwart among us get a tad fed up with all the screeching of “mean girlz” and the batshit crazy, so today I would like to list some of the amazingly cool people I’ve met around blogland this year. I say some because I’m liable to forget one or more (please do forgive me if your name isn’t mentioned—I’m having a CRS* day) (Perhaps I shouldn’t write this now…) (But then, there’s no guarantee I’ll ever get over the CRS*) (more…)