Monday, February 16, 2009

Anna Campbell and RWAustralia, GuestBlog: Books After The Bushfires

CONTEST TODAY!!! Michelle will donate a box of books to RWAus Bushfire Book Appeal in the name of one lucky commenting Bella!

From Michelle:
Please welcome Bella Anna Campbell and friends to fill us in on Romance Writer's of Australia's effort to help folks affected by devastating bushfires that swept So. Australia earlier this month. If you're headed to the Aus. Romance Readers Convention next weekend, RWAus has a silent auction going to raise funds. Today, Anna's here to share how
you might consider helping...


From Anna: And a huge hi and massive hug to Michelle who invited me to talk about something that isn’t our usual light-hearted good time.

As you know, Victoria, Australia has been ravaged by the worst natural disaster in Australia’s recorded history, horrific bushfires that have obliterated communities, devastated miles of bushland and left more than 189 people dead. Even in my small universe, I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity, compassion and kindness from people all over the world in response to this crisis.

Romance Writers of Australia is running an appeal for new or pristine-condition fiction for the victims. I’ll turn you over to the President of RWAus, Kelly Hunter to explain:

The appeal came about in response to so many readers and authors on the various loops wondering what they could do to help people affected by the fires. Send money, was most people's first thought, and they did :-D . To the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009.

Then we noticed how people on loops turned to comfort reads for solace as bad news just kept coming. We know romance novels offer a feel-good escape from reality. We figured delivering books to people in these devastated communities couldn't hurt and might well help keep despair at bay, even if only temporarily. Already, donations are rolling in and we're gearing up to roll them out to community centres and relief centres in affected areas.

One of your favorite authors Anne Gracie said this:

To add to what Kelly said, the bushfire victims have lost everything. Necessities will be on their list for a long time to come as people struggle to rebuild their lives, so most won't have money to spare on books. But we, as readers and writers, know that books -- especially feel-good books with happy endings-- can bring comfort and time out from problems. We’re a community of readers and writers so we thought that as well as money, giving books was something special and personal we could do for these people whose lives have been devastated.

The address for book donations is: RWA Bushfire Appeal, 89 Rennie Street, Thornbury Vic 3071, Australia.

Apart from the Red Cross, I’d like to mention two worthy causes because so many people have expressed horror at what these fires have done to the other creatures who share this planet: RSPCA Victoria’s appeal for affected domestic animals, livestock and wildlife (Like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Wildlife Victoria’s appeal .

Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to learn a bit about our project. We appreciate any and all help you’re able to give, especially the thoughtfulness and concern you continue to show us and our fellow Australians.

What questions can we answer for you about the RWAus Bushfire Appeal?
***
Tomorrow: Their visit’s taken a step back from the limelight, and they’re more than happy to do so. But tomorrow, 2.18, you’ll not want to miss, Virginia Henley, Sally MacKenzie, Kristi Astor and Victoria Dahl as they GuestBlog to celebrate the release of their erotic romance anthology, “Lords of Desire!” Note: Michelle'll be guest blogging 2.18 with our pals at Riding With the Top Down, popping back/forth between.
***
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***
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72 comments:

Helen said...

What a wonderful idea I have some books that I will be sending I totally agree that people will be wanting to try and get back to normal and reading will help them I am sure I know it would help me lots.
I am going to Melbourne this week for the Aust Romance Readers Conference and will organize to send some books for the appeal.
Thank you everyone Michelle Anna Anne and Karen.

Have Fun
Helen

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

I've got an office full of like-new books that I'm going to box up and ship over there. Wish I could do more to help--it's absolutely heartbreaking. Thanks so much to Anna, Anne,and Karen (and Michelle, of course!) for telling us about this appeal.

Going to go make a donation to the Red Cross, too.....

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno (in your part of the world!) Bellas! Helen, I'm sooo jealous you'll be attending the ARRC. Rom readers conferences are the best, cause we get to do nothing but talk romance, romance, romance w/out having to talk 'craft.' Not that that's not fun...

It's awesome that you'll be sending some books. I like how Anne Gracie and the RWAus folks have said sort of, 'right now, it's about surviving and rebuilding, but once the adrenaline wears off and folks start to need real escape time, the books'll come in handy.' I can't imagine going through something so awful and not being able to turn to a book for a few minutes -- or read to my child for a few minutes -- to turn our attention away from grim reality, or simply to work on a smile or lighter feeling.

Thank you for stopping by. And thanks, too, Anna and Karen and Anne, et al, for joining us today.

Daz said...

Hi, I'm not in Australia at the moment even though I'm Australian. I would like to send books from my vast collection but they are all packed up and locked away in storage. The others are here with me in Qatar. So, what I've decided to do is place an order with Amazon.com and send some books your way via them. It won't be much, but I hope whatever helps.

Much love and thanks for caring.

Regards, Deanna.

ps. Hi Anna, thanks for the heads up on the blog.

Tawny Weber said...

The devestation is heartbreaking. I feel so horrible for everyone involved. We've started a book-collection here in my neighborhood to send over. Romances (naturally *g*) and children's books are the bulk of the box so far. I know its not much, but I hope if everyone can pitch in just a little, it'll add up to make a big difference.

Louise Reynolds said...

Ladies, thanks for your blog. I love the idea of this appeal. Books are things that people can share, pass around and discuss. The affected communities are small towns and villages where relationships are already close, so I can imagine these books being passed from neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend and bringing so much pleasure to people in what will certainly be difficult times ahead.
Louise

Annie West said...

Michelle and Anna, thanks for posting this. A great effort by RWAus to organise this giveaway in addition to the big charity drives via the Red Cross and others, who I have to say seem to be doing a marvellous job.

I'm further up the east coast of Aus and facing huge downpours and flash flooding. Just wish we could send a little of the wet down south where the fires are still burning.

Annie

Kelly Hunter said...

Michelle, hello, and thank you for being such a wonderful host.

Helen, Kristina, Daz, Tawny, thank you so much for the books you bring!

Feel free to pop a card in with them and we'll see that the card is delivered with the books. Pop a contact email in the mix when you box and send to us and we'll let you know as soon as they arrive.

Louise, are you ready? Louise is on the RWAust executive cte and is one of our Victorian based volunteers who'll be helping co-ordinate book deliveries.

Are we ready? I think we're ready.

Best,

Kelly Hunter
President, Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

Alli said...

Hi Michelle, Anna, Anne and Kelly. Thank you all for your fabulous
post. The devastation is heartwrenching. Everyones generosity is amazing.

Best wishes to all
Alli

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks Michelle, Anna, Kelly and Anne for bringing the need for books to everyone's attention.

The devastation in Victoria in huge, and I've had both friends and family lose friends to the fires.

I think escaping into a wonderful book, even for a few hours, is going to be so important to all those affected.

Sharon Archer said...

Michelle, thank you for having Anna, Kelly and Anne to visit your blog to talk about the Bushfire Appeal.

The generosity of people everywhere wanting to reach out and help the bushfire victims is really heartwarming.

I'm off to raid my book shelves for some books and, like everyone else, I hope that they'll give someone who needs it most an opportunity for a small time-out from the tragedy. Thank you for giving us an avenue to provide a contribution.

:)
Sharon

Trish Morey said...

My books are in the mail, Anne and Kelly! Thanks so much to you and RWA for organising this -it's just so great to be given the opportunity to do something practical - and thanks to Anna and Michelle for getting the message out!

ev said...

I just made a donation to the RSPCA- not thinking how American dollars translate over. LOL Oh, well, I just won't write any checks until I know how much is taken out of my account. No biggie.

My question- since books are so expensive to ship, is it possible to make a donation, ie, buy a gift card through Amazon, and then send it to one of you to purchase the books and hand them out? Postage alone will break me unless someone knows of a cheap way to mail them.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! Hi Michelle! Hi Bellas! Great to see you in your new home and going strong.

Anna, I applaud all you and RWAus are doing for the relief effort. Go you! :> Its a tradgedy, for sure.

So how many copies of Tempt the Devil are you sending? Grins. I'd already posted off some books, but would love to be linked with more. Hahah! Knowing mail from US to AUS they'll get them sometime around Halloween, but hey, they'll get there.

Thanks for highlighting this worthy cause, Anna and Michelle. Prayers and thoughts still winging their way from here to Victoria.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno (from our part of the world), Bellas! ev,, I'd asked the same thing, but Anna said amazon shipping is pretty rough, plus they add a packing fee.

Ok, Yanks. Here's what my super-nice friend, Mark, from my UPS box place found out for me about US Postal Service rates to Australia:

Priority International Rate (up to 20 lbs in PI flat rate box)(I TRIED IT OUT AND GOT 18 SMALL PAPERBACKS/7.5 LBS IN THE LARGE SIZE)

-Large (12x12x5.5): $53.95
-Regular (11 7/8x3 3/8x13.5/8: $41.95

USPS M Bag (MARK SAYS THIS IS THE BEST BUY, CAUSE YOU CAN USE A BIGGER BOX)

-Up to 11 lbs in a box: $55.00
-Each lb after is $5
-You may mail up to 66 lbs
-Someone at USPS will need to help you decide size of boxes to pack because boxes must be able to fit in the "M bag" the post office will ship them in.

Mark also suggested you might contact the Australian consulate nearest you to see whether they've got some sort of shipping arrangement set up already that might include 'relief' shipments.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Your Grace! Very lovely to have you here in the pink! I know everyone in Victoria will enjoy having a peer of your esteemed standing offer her books to them. I don't think they've had such excitement since back in the days of Good Queen Vickie... :)

Trish,, I think you've started a new saying to go along with, "the check's in the mail": "The books are in the mail!"

Very sorry that so many close to you were affected, Nicola. Our hearts go our to you and yours.

Thank you for stopping by, Sharon. I wonder how long your 'raid' will waylay you. I always get stuck reminiscing when I head to the keeper shelves. :)

Thanks for the well wishes, and for taking your time to stop in, alli.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

'morning, Kelly! Thanks for reminding us that we can send along a note. And, yes, I do believe you're ready, even if you all think you're not. Maybe it's Crocodile Dundee's fault (oh, don't you go groaning, this is good), but we Americans just have the impression that you Australian's are very strong and resilient. So you have to listen to us say d'day a billion times when you meet us. It's really a compliment to how we feel about how cool we think you are. We just happen to admire resilience. And guys who wrassle aligators.

Manda said...

So many Australian friends here--my heart goes out to all of you and I will definitely be sending my share of comfort reads your way. Big hugs to all of you and thanks Michelle and Anna and Anne and Kelly for getting this whole thing organized.

Good wishes to you all,
Manda

Monica Burns said...

Say, I like the idea of sending either Amazon straight to Australia

of a gift card. Who can we send gift cards too? That way the determination can be made for specific types of books needed.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Annie, that's very generous in a good kind of twisted way, the offer of the rain. I hope you and yours are safe and sound, as well as folks near the floods, etc.

That's strong imagery, Louise,. And quirky me imagines folks starting to squabble over who gets the 'really good ones' next! That's when we'll know things are getting back to normal, no? :)

Anna, I think we'll need more conciliatory copies of "Tempt the Devil..."

It's awesome that you've got your neighborhood involved, Tawny. I've got to remember the kids' books, cause I know I have some new double copies of stuff my kids got as gifts, etc. that I can toss in.

Hi, Deanna! You win the Cutest Avatar Ever award. I used to live in central Pennsylvania, where there was a chain of restaurants called "EAt and Park." They had and perhaps still have the BEST smiley-face sugar cookies ever. Your avvie reminds me of them. sigh. Great idea to send the amazon books.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Manda [big waves]. I take no credit, just offer my blog so I don't have to think of some low-quality, less-than-entertaining post to bore you all with for the day. Instead, you get to hear from Anna and Kelly and Anne. So, in that respect, I guess you get to revel in the beauty of my generosity. So, yeah, you're welcome. Prego. :)

Hey, Mon!!! So like you to try to figure out ways to be generous. We need to double check on the gift card thing. Anna Says amazon charges Aussies high postage rates plus packing fees that make amazon gift cards not great ideas. I dont know whether RWAus accepts Borders e-cards to be used in stores there.

The one thing I'd want to check before sending items from amazon or borders is whether Aus recipients have to pay customs fees when they receive them. Not sure on that count.

Anna, Kelly, Anne? Thoughts?

Monica Burns said...

I didn't know Borders have eCards. And if we can give them some business, I'm eager to do so. Borders supports romance in a BIG way! Let me know.

I just emailed the DH to let him pick which animal charity to send a contribution for.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Michelle, what a great idea! I feel so bad for the people suffering from the fires in Australia. We worry about the same problem here in California. Fires cause such devastation.

Treethyme said...

When I first heard about this, I posted about it on a couple of email loops I subscribe to. I'll share this reply someone posted because a lot of people had concerns about shipping costs:
I think that using ISAL M-bags is the cheapest way to go. It's a little known way of shipping large quantities of printed matter overseas at a low price. According to what I've read at

http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc2_038.htm#ep2222508
and

http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc2_024.htm

you are charged $3 a pound for International Surface Air Lift mail to Australia. There is an 11 pound
minimum price for postage even if the package weighs less than that. You have to use a post office that accepts bulk mail, not your neighborhood branch office.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

This is from treethyme/becke, who's having trouble commenting agian:

I wanted to pass this on, too -- it was posted on an email loop when I mentioned the fundraising drive:

In addition, I found there's also an Australian Bushfire Etsy site,
which is raising money to go to the Australian Red Cross. If anyone is into buying hand-made stuff, Etsy is the place to go. Here's the
site: http://www.OzBushfireAppeal.etsy.com
Thanks,Becke

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you La Campbell and the entire Aussie contingent for letting us know about this great cause. I have already donated to the RSPCA and I'm off to collect some books to send as well. I know everyone in Victoria will appreciate having something comforting and escaping to read. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful event.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Helen, it's been just awful watching the tragedy unfold, hasn't it? Thanks for sending some books! See you in a couple of days - whoo-hoo!

Thank you so much, Kristina! The romance community is just so wonderful when people are in trouble. It makes you proud to be a romance writer! Hope you're coming to DC - I'd like to buy you a drink to thank you for your generosity.

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, I think this is actually Helen's first romance convention so she's going to have an absolute ball. Helen is a voracious reader. I think she must got through about 20 books a week ;-) Well, that might be a slight exaggeration but I'm sure she does four or five and she loves historical romance.

When I saw that RWA were running this book appeal, I thought what a fabulous idea. I know when I've been through awful times, books have helped me get through. And not the grim and ghastly ones either. I want a happy ending - something to make me smile in the midst of sadness all around me.

Thank you so much to you, Michelle, for letting us talk about the appeal here. You've been such a generous friend!

Kate Pearce said...

Hi Anna, and all! I was wondering if the Australian romance conference would be affected by all this, I sent some signed books down for that a while ago.
My hubby has been to Australia many times and was gutted to see the pictures and quick to contact his friends down under to make sure everyone was okay.
I'll definitely be sending some more books-I have a big pile sitting here ready to go.
Hugs

Anna Campbell said...

Deanna, when I went to Facebook and saw your incredibly generous gesture, it made me want to cry. Deanna, who is current in Qatar, bought eight books on Amazon and is having them shipped to the appeal. Seriously, that's above and beyond! THANK YOU!!!!

Thanks so much, Tawny. I think romances and children's books will be just what the doctor ordered. The kids must just be feeling so lost and bewildered. A lot of people are still living in tent cities - believe me, I'd want to read a nice hot Tawny Weber Blaze if I was living in a tent!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Louise, an Aussie buddy! Nice to see you. Do you get choked up to think of people all around the world rallying to help us through our tragedies? I sure do. I agree about the books being something that will really help.

Annie, it really does match the Sunburned Country song at the moment, doesn't it? It's one of our national poems - and it doesn't pretty up the extremes of climate in Australia. Killing drought and flooding rain. This appeal is a wonderful idea, isn't it? Thanks so much for coming by!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Louise, I didn't know you were in the firing line! No sitting in the corner and reading the naughty bits while everyone else packs up the books, my girl! ;-)

Kelly, isn't it wonderful of Michelle to publicize this cause? And thank you to you for being the public face of the appeal! And such a NICE face!

Thanks, Alli. It all makes you realize we do indeed share one world, doesn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Nic, thanks for popping by! You're right - books probably aren't high on anyone's list at the moment but they'll end up being enormously important in the long run.

Sharon, having an avenue to help is great, isn't it? I must say the minute I saw the book appeal, I thought, "YES!" Thanks for coming by.

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, I actually think you're a book junkie, as we are, being at the receiving end of all this will be huge fun!

Ev, thanks so much for the donation. Actually at the moment, your dollar is considerably higher than ours so donations from the US end up being VERY worthwhile. I hear you on postage - I'm not sure how the Amazon card thing would work. I suspect as Michelle said yesterday, it would be a problem because of not for profit legislation. Perhaps one of the appeal admin people know. I'm suggesting to people who want to go the Amazon route that they choose one of the other appeals instead. All donations are welcome and all will help these poor people rebuild their lives.

orannia said...

I think this is an amazing idea! Will see what I can do :)

And hopefully, the books will also help the local libraries re-stock!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Jeanne, for your generosity! It's much appreciated!

Actually, Ev, that's another problem with Amazon. They basically double the price of the book with postage and packing so a lot of your donation won't actually end up buying books but packing for books ;-)

Michelle, thanks for re-posting the shipping information.

Anna Campbell said...

For those not in the know, Michelle is talking to Jeanne who has the nickname Duchesse over at the Romance Bandits lair where we hang out and cause far too much mayhem. Jeanne, I've forgotten how you ended up with that nickname! Anyway, it's stuck! And you're right, Victoria is lucky to have your royal attentions! ;-)

Michelle, I had to laugh - I haven't wrassled a croc in, oooh, a good ten minutes! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Manda! It's always great to see you!

Monica, thanks for the offer of Amazon cards but I'm not sure they're practical - for the various reasons outlined. I'm hoping one of the girls involved in the actual appeal (I've just been acting as one of many town criers and getting the news out) will pop by and give us a definitive answer on this. My suggestion is that maybe if you'd still like to donate, you choose either the Red Cross, the RSPCA or Wildlife Victoria. That way all the money helps the victims rather than going to Amazon's shipping department ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Michelle, I think low-quality boring posts at your blog are about as rare as crocodiles at my place (yeah, sorry to disappoint you guys who imagine me as a female Crocodile Dundee - although I do own a couple of very impressive carving knives!).

I've emailed Anne and Kelly about the gift card idea. Something that complicates things is that Borders here has recently been sold to a local chain - part of a global asset shedding program. I have my doubts if cards would be transferrable from country to country. But I'll let you know when I get a definitive answer.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Monica. The animals are in an absolutely tragic situation down there.

Actually, there's an auction going on at the moment with some great prizes and Astrid is going to split the proceeds between Wildlife Victoria and the RSPCA. My computer's just gone funny but I'll grab the link.

Anna Campbell said...

OK, it's not an auction, it's a raffle. Here's the details:

http://www.astridcooper.com/bushfires.htm

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I remember being in California last year when there were bushfires around San Francisco. Like us, it's a seasonal hazard. But the scale and devastation of these is just completely off the scale in comparison. I just heard this morning, the confirmed death toll is now 200 and they're expecting it to go higher. Absolutely tragic.

Becke, thanks so much for posting that shipping information. I particularly think that option would be great for donations where a couple of people were involved, like Tawny's where she's asking the neighbourhood to help.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Becke and Michelle, for posting that extra information! And thanks to Etsy for getting involved.

Thanks, Louisa, you're a darling!

Hi Kate! Thanks so much for sending some stuff down. The Australian Romance Readers Convention is still going ahead - I leave home tomorrow for it, actually, and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone. They're having an amazing silent auction to raise money for bushfire relief. Michelle has donated a couple of absolutely fantastic prizes.

http://www.australianromancereaders.com.au/2009/02/silent-auction-for-victorian-bush-fire.html

Anna Campbell said...

Orannia, thanks so much! And you're just posting across the ditch so shipping isn't such a big deal for you.

Portia Da Costa said...

I made a donation to the Victoria RSPCA, and hope to send some books too, a bit later on.

I can't get over the sight of that koala with his little paw on the firefighter's arm as he was given a much needed drink of water....

Male Perspective Guy (MPG) said...

This is a truly wonderful initiative. My best wishes to all who give and all who may need now the help.

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

I just donated to the RSPCA, too, and posted a link for others to do so on my Facebook page! It's so heartwarming to see the romance community come together in a meaningful way to make a difference--romance readers/writers are THE BEST!

Christine Wells said...

From another Aussie--Thanks so much for highlighting this issue, Michelle and thank you to everyone who supports this cause.

Anna Campbell said...

Portia, I suspect that picture touched absolutely everyone. I hadn't seen the video until Michelle put it up yesterday - that guy is such an Aussie bloke and he's fantastic!

Thanks, MPG. It's wonderful we're getting a chance to talk about the initiative in places like RBTB.

Thanks, Kristina! Often in the face of these huge disasters, people feel so overwhelmed. I know I do. But word is definitely getting out on how to help. And thanks for donating to the RSPCA!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Christine! It's fantastic the way everyone has supported the bushfire victims, both human and animal, isn't it?

Michelle Douglas said...

Thanks Michelle and Anna (and Kelly and Anne) this is such a wonderful initiative. Like everyone, I was shocked and horrified by the ferocity of the bush fires. And like everyone, I've been warmed by the amount of support that's been shown. As another Aussie, I just want to say thank you.

Michelle D

PJ said...

Hi Everyone!

This is such a terrible tragedy. Anna, thanks for posting appropriate links so that we can help and thanks to all of you for letting us know about the book project. Romance books have always brought me comfort during the lowest times of my life and I pray they will bring comfort to those affected by the fires.

I've put out the word to my book club and neighbors and hope to have a box to send in a couple weeks.

Hugs,
~PJ

Kelly Hunter said...

Hi Ladies (and Duchess)

It's just turned business hours here DU so we're about to query Borders about how os people can purchase, and we can use, the Borders gift cards. We'll let you know how we get on.

Postage can be hefty - we know!
Which is why donating to the Red Cross and the various other aid agencies that Anna and others have listed are such good alternatives to sending books.

Best,
Kelly Hunter
President, Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

Cassondra said...

Thanks Anna and crew for doing this blog--and Michele for hosting. The devastation is just so huge, it's hard to see around it. But if we all chip in a little, perhaps the joint effort will be a real help! You're right for certain that books won't be in the budget for a lot of folks for a while, but people don't stop needing books. Kudos to whoever came up with the idea!

Kelly Hunter said...

The Verdict:

Ladies, we're not taking Borders gift cards in lieu of books as we do run into problems there.

What you can do, if so inclined, is purchase books from an Australian Borders Online website
http://www.borders.com.au/home.asp
and have them sent to the appeal address. Alas, this too will attract a postage fee and also an international transaction fee for those outside Australia. I'm afraid postage costs of some sort or another are simply part of our Bushfires Book Appeal package.

Thanks again everyone, for your support. Michelle and Anna - bravo for letting us elbow in on your blogtime.

Kelly Hunter
Presdent, Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

Beth said...

This is such a terrific idea. My daughters and I are going to go through our books tonight. We'll get them boxed up and shipped asap!

My heart goes out to all the people and wildlife affected by the fires. I'm so glad we have a way to offer a bit of help!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Michelle, lovely to see you here. Actually I'd like to join you in saying thank you to everyone too!

PJ, thank you so much for putting a box together. And please thank your friends and neighbours for contributing to this wonderful cause!

Hey, Madam Prez! Lovely to see you here. Isn't Michelle a stellar example of Cross-Pacific help with all this? We should try and organize her an Order of Australia medal or something ;-) I can certainly understand people baulking at the postage - as you said, perhaps a better alternative if sending books isn't possible is for those people to contribute to the Red Cross or one of the animal charities.

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, I think it's a wonderful idea too. I suspect Anne and Kelly might get the credit for that. Anyway, whoever thought of it is a genius. You're right - a good book will be a lot of help to these people over coming weeks. Right now, I suspect everybody's shellshocked and just living day to day but the effects of this will linger for years.

Kelly, thanks for checking with Borders about sending locally. I can't emphasise enough that the Red Cross fund is a fabulous place to donate to. They're not taking any administration costs out of the donations and they'll use the money where it is most needed.

http://www.redcross.org.au/default.asp

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, my Bandita friend! Thank you so much to you and your family for putting together a shipment for us. It's so heartwarming how people have rallied to help us!

Kelly Hunter said...

Apparently Australia has taken possession of 100 or so crack US Firefighters. They'll be on duty here for a month or more, helping to put out the fires that are still burning (some of those blazes are so huge).

I wonder if we're planning on giving them back? ;)

ev said...

Thanks for the heads up about the Borders gcerts. I knew that we were selling off the overseas businesses, but that hadn't happened before I left the store.

As for contacting the consulate, I imagaine for me that would be NYC. Anyone in that area have any knowledge of how to contact them?

Monica Burns said...

Kelly, We'll give you our hearts, our money and our love, butz we nots given yous our firefighters for good. Theyze tooo hotz to let go permanently. LOL

Too bad about the gift cards, etc. but no problemo, I've already donated to the Wildlife fund and the SPCA site. I also contacted Astrid about donating to her auction. So all that's left is to pack up a few books I have laying around. I'll see if there aren't some kids books I can find too. Although Oldest doesn't read that much. *GASP* *CHOKE* Read that as devastated. *sigh*

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, Kelly, not so sure if we should give them back! I think they'll fit into my sock drawer very nicely ;-)

Monica, I feel your pain on your oldest not being a reader. Perhaps they'll see the light before they're done! Thanks for your donations.

Anna Campbell said...

Just to let you know the fabulous Anne Gracie has come up with an idea for avoiding paying US postage. The Book Depository in the UK sends books anywhere POST FREE:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/WEBSITE/WWW/WEBPAGES/homepage.php

These days, I do a lot of my shopping with them for obvious reasons, especially since the pound has gone down a bit against our dollars.

Prices are in UK pounds but it still may be a more economical way to send books.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK, so, since Kelly brings it up...and Anner (i'm using the New England enunciation of her name) said the 'aussie bloke'thang...Can I just point out how nobody else is talking about how romantic the ideer of these valiant Aussie (and now American) firefighters are? I mean, really. The rugged Aussie guy with the curly hair and 'I've been working really hard and am exhausted and could use a beer" attitude w/ the widdle koala paw? And then he let's the f-bomb fly? That's what many of us think of when we think brash Australian male.

So, no, Kelly, I don't expect we'll be seeing those American firefighters back stateside anytime soon, not if Australian women have heard tales of our rugged guys like we've heard of yours.

Oh, please RWAussies, write us some Mills and Boons on this after things calm down to honor the courage of Australians and, well, ok, hot firefighters.

OK. Now everyone can go back to being appropriately serious. You didn't expect I'd be appropriate a whole day, did you? A girl can only go so long, you know?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yeah, Mon, sometimes it just takes the right book or the right incentive. MPG aka Male Perspective Guy aka Dave, my husband went a long period of time w/out reading for fun. He did so much of it at work. I think some kids get overloaded by how much they do at school and don't g3et turned on to it til they're older. Dave's reading some Portia Da Costa right now. See? The right incentive... :) (You're so awesome for being so supportive of this, mon).

Anna, thanks for the info on the book depository.

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, Michelle, for a moment there, we were getting so serious I wasn't sure if I really was hanging out with the Bellas! LOL! Actually I've got to say my heart melted when that guy gave the koala a drink and when he let out the F bomb. Made him such a guy! Swoon!

Actually, Michelle, the Book Depository is absolutely fantastic and you can get those great UK books that aren't necessarily available in the States like M&B Medicals and historicals. And wonderful research books. With the current exchange rate, it's a lot cheaper for me to order from them than from Amazon who as I say really pile on the postage and packing charges. Free postage makes a huge difference. They don't have the range of Amazon but these days I always check TBD first to see if they've got what I want.

Hey, how cool your husband pops on to give a guy's perspective. Over on the bandits we have the infamous P226 who has a wit sharper than a razor. And it's wonderful just to get a masculine take on some of the things that exercise we gals!

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for hosting us and for drumming up enthusiasm and just for being an f-bombing great friend. And thank you to everyone who has come on here today to express solidarity with these poor people who have lost so much thanks to the ferocity of nature and also those people who have made donations or are collecting books. Seriously you guys are the BEST!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

It's my humble and great pleasure to do an insignificant bit, Anna and RWAus members and friends. And may I apologize that in my fatigue I've used more incorrect, uncorrected blogrammar inthe last 24 hrs than possibly ever before (especially the posessive "'s"? You must be mortified).

I'm not surprized that everyone's so concerned and generous withtheir time, talent, prayers and well wishes. And neither am i surprized I'm not the only one to crush on the rugged firefighter guys. They deserve it! I'll be lookin forward to those M and Bs! If you write em, we'll do a HUGE feature!!!! Not that I'm being selfish about wanting to read em. But since there are all those "Outback Doctor," Outback Bride, etc, now there can be, "Vic Victorious," Victoria Blokes, Victoria Firefighter rakes... :)

Thank you Anna , Kelly, Anne and RWAussies and DU friends, and Bellas and romancelandia pals for stopping in, lurking and commenting...As always, your concern is humbling and invigorating...

ev said...

My $25 donation translated to only $16 and change Australian. I need to go donate some more.

Alison Stuart said...

I have just returned from the Australian Romance Readers Convention and I was blown away by the generosity of our American friends in their contributions towards the Bush Fire appeal.

As a Victorian, I have lost friends and places that I loved in the terrible bushfires (see my blog at http://www.alisonstuart.blogspot.com) and the response from not only our community but from far afield has been overwhelming.

I watched the memorial service today and reflected once again on the words the Australian High Commissioner in Singapore used following the Bali bombings. In times of trouble, there is an instinctive need for the "tribe" to come together for support.

Thank you everyone!

Alison Stuart
http://www.alisonstuart.com

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, Alison. I'm sure the readers' convention had an even more special tone to it this year.