Friday, October 29, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Harry Wallett

Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing based in the UK. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create and publish books. He oversees the creative direction of the company and works to develop an excellent collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within. When he isn’t drawing up Relay’s next title, he can be found on the basketball court or trying to catch up with Tamar’s ever-growing list of countries to visit.

Don't miss his presentation on Ghostwriting at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Therese Beharrie


Therese Beharrie 2021 ROSACon Speaker

Therese Beharrie is a South African romance author of several acclaimed novels, including her One Day to Forever series. She takes pride in writing diverse characters and settings, and her books are often recommended for their heart and banter. She lives in Cape Town with her husband, her inspiration for every hero, and two adorable baby boys. You can follow her on social media or visit her at

Don't miss her presentation Writing Category Romance at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Collette Merritt


Collette Merritt lives in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa with her husband, two daughters and two feline furbabies.

Collette is passionate about life, people and words, she divides her time between coaching work and writing, where she flirts with fantasy and fiction in her novels, indulging in unspoken secrets and embracing wanton fantasies … all before parents-teachers’ meetings.

Don't miss her presentation Self Care for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Ashleigh Giannoccaro

Bestselling author Ashleigh Giannoccaro writes edgy dark romance and erotic horror, self-published by choice she writes the stories others don’t dare. Currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa with her two daughters and a menagerie of pets, Ashleigh enjoys writing stories that make you fall in love with the unlovable and leaves you asking questions. When not writing she can be found with her Kindle in a sunny spot reading or taking long walks to nowhere.

Don't miss her presentation BookTok for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Tamryn Iyer


Tamryn Iyer is a graduate in Social Sciences from Rhodes University. She’s experienced working as an intern at a rape crisis centre – handling social media and doing empowerment talks.

She worked as an English teacher (educational rockstar) in Vietnam and is part of the Global Shapers Community (a division of the World Economic Forum) and more specifically, the Durban Hub.

Her time and energy is devoted to her startup, Impact17. Impact17 is a startup that utilizes social media as a tool of empowerment and facilitator of social change. From helping an entrepreneur launch their brand through Instagram to working with organizations and giving them content direction, she enjoys the ever-changing interwebs and how we can make the best use of it!

She’s passionate about three fields: CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP and TRAVEL. 

Don't miss her presentation DIY Social Media for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Monday, October 18, 2021

In Character - The First Kiss


In Character - First Kiss Title Image

Welcome to our first official In Character chat! We got together with a few ROSA members and their characters to find out about that all important romantic moment – their first kiss!

Our thanks to Tanya Wilde, Marianne Lomberg, and Peter Barker for letting us get a glimpse of their characters’ lives!

Tanya Wilde writes fun, sassy historical romances inspired to ignite your inner heroine. As we all know, every heroine deserves an adventure! You can find more characters like Ophelia at

Marianne Lomberg published her debut novel, Through Your Eyes, in 2021 and hasn’t stopped smiling since. She writes stories about strong, imperfect women with exciting careers and deep longings who find the love we all deserve. You can find Marianne on Facebook at

Peter Barker has been a member of ROSA for the past five years. He has served on the Executive committee as treasurer. His publications include Cupid Mislaid, a full-length romance novel, and has contributed three short stories to Flambé, A Silk Tie murder, and the Rooibos Baby, a mixed genre anthology that was put out by the Sharp Pencils Writers group. Peter embarked on a writing career after retiring as an accountant in the travel industry. He is married to Audrey.

Who Are You - Character Introductions

Hello, I’m Lady Ophelia Thornton, heiress and only daughter of the Earl of Rhodes. By far, my most favorite pastime is to put skirt-sniffing fortune-hunters in their place. I never miss an opportunity to do so!

You can read about my attempts in Not Quite A Rogue.


Hi! I’m Akheela. Akheela Edwards. Evolutionary biologist in the sci-fi romance, Where The Light Rests, due for publication in 2022. As you read this, I’m on the moon. Yes. I just said that. I am part of the world’s first civilian mission to the rock that reflects our sun, spending my days studying the tardigrades, tiny, prehistoric animals, found trapped in the lunar ice. And my nights trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I live with a fucking humanoid robot butler who can see everything I do.


Hi Penelope, this must be a bit unusual for you, as a journalist. Usually you’re the one asking the questions. Now you’re answering them.

Yes, it does feel a bit strange. I was created in the imagination of Peter Barker or PG Barker as he calls himself. Peter used to work as a freelance journalist while still a high school and university student, so my life experiences are based on that. His genre is romantic suspense. This WIP is slightly different. He has me dealing with the subject of corruption which is quite endemic in this country.

First Kiss - The Past

Everyone has a very special, sometimes awkward, occasionally bittersweet first kiss memory. Let’s find out about Ophelia's, Akheela's and Penelope’s! 

When and Where did the first kiss happen?

My first kiss was, dare I say stolen, on the most trafficked street in London. I, for one, never saw it coming. Had I an inkling of that man’s intention, I’d have surely dashed for the Thames!

Then again, what can an unattached lady do at the callow age of twenty?


Peter doesn’t mention anything about my high school love life other than someone I had a crush on. In my back story there is David with whom I had an idyllic romantic relationship.

David was special to me. He was someone I fell deeply in love with. Unfortunately, once campus life was over, David went home to Livingstone in Zambia and I returned to the fictitious town, renamed Amagquma on the East Rand.

Who did you have your first kiss with and why were they special?

Wow, you jump right in, don’t you? It’s okay, Marianne warned me about this.  My first kiss was with the class hunk in 6th grade. His name was Patrick. He was tall and, well, I mean, he was sweet enough, but I only liked him because all the girls were supposed to. Susan kissed him, and so I had to, you know? I mean, my mom always told me the only way a girl with an afro was going to get the same things as the pretty, white girls, was by taking them. So during Shelley’s birthday party, while the movie was playing on the TV in her parents’ lounge. I just slid over to him on the couch and slapped my lips on his mouth. Then I froze, until he put me out of my misery by kissing me back. I mean, that’s the story of my life, really. Jumping in, then freezing and thinking shit.

The kiss wasn’t bad, I guess, as twelve-year-olds’ first kisses go. And I did end up living with a guy who looked a lot like Patrick. So, you know. Maybe he was more than just the boy I kissed because Susan did, after all.


That would be Harry Spencer, the rogue Earl of Avondale. By Jove! That jackanape kissed me on St. James Street in broad daylight! Had I not been disguised as a gentleman myself, I might have been thoroughly ruined! And therein lay the shock of it all. He kissed me while I was disguised as a man. Caught me quite off guard!

To this day, the tips of my fingers still go numb whenever I recall that scandalous scene. Though, between the two of us, who was more scandalous at the time, is still up for debate.

First Kiss - The Present

Although there can only ever be one very first kiss, every romantic relationship has a moment where you share your first kiss. Let’s explore your present romantic interests! 

Who is your romantic interest now and how did your first kiss go?

I married that scoundrel Avondale. God forbid another reckless youth tries to steal a kiss. I’ve run out of places to hide the duelling pistols!

Any suggestions, dear reader?


His name is Geoff Brickhill. My boss sent me to interview the head of the Department of Health procurement division which had been set up in our little town. That person was in a meeting so I got passed on to Geoff who was an official there. I was blown away by his good looks as soon as I met him. He was very passionate about rooting out corruption, and that became the focus of our relationship at first.

After one of our meetings I asked him out of a date. That was something I’d never done before. He was impressed. He thought I was progressive and he liked that. I took him to a new restaurant and at the end of the date he walked me to my car, hugged me and kissed me as we were saying good night. I was surprised to find how electrifying his kiss was, particularly as I had been in a relationship before.

What made it special?

Avondale has been my only kissing partner. That’s not to say we don’t keep matters of the lips thrilling. These days, I have been fantasizing about kissing Avondale while riding atop a horse. I suspect, however, that for the position that I have in mind, I’d be wearing breaches again or drag my skirts above my knees. . .

Heavens, my cheeks suddenly feel quite hot! In any event, the likes of this scene ought not to be painted for the eyes of others! Not from my lips. Let us leave the details to the author.


Ugh. You had to go there. Fine. Tom. I kissed Tom. And no, not only because I’m a Star Trek fan and he has dimples and has the same name as Tom Paris from Voyager. Here’s the rub though: our kiss should have been perfect. It should have led to seriously good sex. Because maybe it’s the purified air, or maybe it’s the slightly lower air pressure out here, but orgasms are pretty intense. I was kinda looking forward to sharing one with someone else.

But I couldn’t do it with the bloody android staring at me. I couldn’t even focus enough to tell you if I enjoyed the kiss we’d been building up to for eight weeks when it finally happened.

And the fact that both Tom and the android looked at me as if I was the delusional one, and asked what worried me about a computer with a human shape being in the same room, when I was surrounded by computers while having sex on earth, didn’t warm me to either of them. Arseholes.

Saucy Secrets

Would it be that I had more love interests to compare my husband’s ki—

“More what?”

“Harry? When did you arrive? Why are you glaring at me? Have you been hiding there the whole time?”

Forgive me, dear reader. I should have foreseen Avondale lurking in the shadows of this interview. He put on quite the sulk when I did not invite him to join me today. I’d not have gotten a word in otherwise!

As for the matter of more kissing partners . . . I’ll just leave that for your interpretation.

Not at present, no, but I do declare today has been a delight! Next time, I shall be sure to arrange for a more private setting. For now, I shall be off. A brooding male is waiting to be appeased. And what better way to soften one's spouse than by demanding wanton kisses!


YES! I’d like to be able to park the fucking robot butler in a deep, dark closet, preferably one where its energy cells would deplete totally. I never asked to be watched twenty four hours a bloody day!

Although. The thing is, my android understands me in a way I have never experienced with any human romantic partner. And no, we haven’t kissed. We can’t. It has sensors for a mouth. But in the middle of the night, when my demons wake me, its arms surrounding me and its solid, humming warmth behind my back makes me wish that we could. That someone who spends every moment of their existence working to understand me, could be human enough for me to be allowed to fall in love with them.


I have feminist sympathies and I felt quite proud of myself for initiating the first date. However deep down in my girly of girly heart, it would have been nicer if he had initiated the first date.

Geoff has made up for it. The hugs and kisses are coming at full tilt.

Chit Chat

Now that you’ve met some of our ROSA members’ characters and learnt all about their first kiss experiences, share your thoughts in the comments and if you’re feeling brave, share your own experiences of first kisses! 

If you'd like to find out more about creating characters with sizzling chemistry, writing romance that leaves readers wanting more, and have an opportunity to network with industry professionals, join us at ROSACon 2021.

ROSACon 2021