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Just in time for NaNoWriMo

Which for those of us who don’t write stands for National Novel Writing Month, a writing thing(?) for writers which is held every November, HuffPo released a post full of (bad) advice for writers.

Number 4 would have been a lot funnier had it not been for Kathleen Hale’s stalking shenanigans:
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We interrupt this program to say...

If you are a citizen of the United States, and you are woman, this 4th of November,

go vote.

(Okay, also if you are a man)

It’s a right and it’s a duty–and it matters. This is why:

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Because it's a very good cause, and a most excellent deal.

Available for one month only.

Eleven stories.

99 cents.

Last Hero Standing antho - Pamela Clare benefit
 We here at KKB really like Ms Clare’s writing, and her, because she truly is a great person.

I was very sad to learn that Ms Clare was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is presently undergoing treatment, but as many of us can imagine, it’s not an easy time for her or her family, on any front.

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Seriously?

Did anyone else laugh at this?

PubNt - self awareness, you're doing it wrong

No kidding.

Who knew? (very brief EC v DA update)

(Updated – again)

Hat tip to Courtney Milan for posting links to the latest filings in the defamation lawsuit that Ellora’s Cave brought against Dear Author and Jane Litte.

Who knew one could outright giggle while reading court documents?

A choice bit, from page 13 (please note I redacted Ms Litte’s legal name):

The public perception of the company, prior to Ms. Litte’s article, was that its founder, Ms. Engler, was notoriously difficult to work with, was a generally offensive person, who mismanaged money, who had a history of being delinquent on her taxes, who maintained an offensive and embarrassing social media profile, who suffers from severe mental health issues,who engages in nepotism at the expense of other employees, and who was generally incapable of running a large successful company

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Drinking the Ellora's Cave Kool-Aid

Reader beware: I am not a writer, I’m just a fed up reader and blogger.

Also, I’m not feeling particularly nice at the moment, as I’m pretty enraged at the utter disregard some people have for the very real risk they put people when they continue to engage an asshole who keeps. doxxing. a person.

A person with a family, the members of which a) have nothing to do with anything, yet b) are put at risk as well. every. fucking. time. that asshole replies to said people.

So if you want measured, impartial commentary, do your blood pressure a favor and go elsewhere.

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Black women and ebola -- let's do something about it.

This evening I received an email from author Roslyn Holcom, which I reproduce as a screen shot below:

Roslyn Holcomb - What about our daughters - black women and ebola
Here are the links: from The Washington Post, “Ebola striking women more frequently than men,” and Gina McCauley’s Africare donation page.

You can also read what she has to say about this huge health emergency, and the impact is has on women, here.

Please tell me, how is it that so many of us don’t know that three out of four human beings who have died of ebola so far are WOMEN?

Please share this, and help do something about this silence and about the desperate need of all these women–and the families they leave behind.

Personhood--what the actual FUCK?

I have no idea how on earth I hadn’t heard of this before–which is scary as hell in and of itself!

No abortion for rape or incest pregnancies? Any pregnancy that doesn’t result in a living birth would be considered a suspicious death and investigated by the cops–including miscarriages???

Are you fucking kidding me?

Please, for the love of sanity, tell me this is a prank.

What the hell is next? Where does it stop? At mandatory burkas and chastity belts?

More of Ellora's Cave authors speak up

It has been a crazy ten days, hasn’t it? Since Ellora’s Cave filed suit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, we have seen people saying, “now you understand why EC authors are afraid of speaking out?” Boy, yes, we do.

Which is precisely why the community rose so magnificently to the occasion, and raised the full $50,000 in less than four days–and the donations keep on coming. And, I believe, it’s that response that’s given more and more EC authors the courage to speak up about their own issues with the company. These authors are but a tiny fraction of the total contracted with EC–someone has mentioned 800 or 900 authors total. (more…)

Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - how low can you fall (pretty low)

As I reported elsewhere, on Saturday out of the blue–and absolutely not connected to Ellora’s Cave, no siree, it says so right in the tag line–a sockpuppet was created.

From where I sit–hey, Tina, this opinion, savvy? ergo, protected speech–said account is a sockpuppet for Tina Engler/Jaid Black, created strictly to try to intimidate those EC authors and other contractors so they won’t help Jane Litte fight the vexatious defamation suit that Ellora’s Cave filled against her and Dear Author.

It’s not working–donations, which had slowed down a bit, saw an uptick as soon as the toxic egg started posting how the authors had sued Ellora’s Cave (have screenshots, will share). As I type, the amount raised for Jane Litte’s and Dear Author’s legal defense is $47,503. Not bad for a relatively small online community to raise in less than three full days, huh?

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Words to sign contracts by

As many of you know, I have been following the Ellora’s Cave v Dear Author thing closely–and quite likely will until it is resolved one way or another.

On the one hand, it is absolutely popcorn worthy entertainment. In a much smaller scale, it brings to mind Charles Carreon v The Oatmeal (beware, this is an utter time suck–don’t go too far down the rabbit hole unless you have a day or two to spare).

On the other hand, the resolution of this case will help set a precedent for book bloggers, reviewers, authors, editors, etc. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by threats of vexatious lawsuits by the bullies of the world.

I do pray rather fervently that the court forces EC to show its books and explain why they are sending checks through the mail in a way that violates USPS rules (undated metered mail–see this post)

*

On that note, isn’t romance a beautiful thing? The fundraising was made public in the morning on Friday October 3rd. Not even 12 hours later, the community had raised over $38,000.00. People, learn from TC/JB delusions and do not piss your target market off. They’ll band together and bitch-slap you. Hard.

*

But, back to the point of this post.

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Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund

Edited to add alternatives to contribute to the Dear Author/Jane Litte legal defense fund for those who are boycotting GoFundMe.

Yes!

Since the news that Ellora’s Cave has sued Dear Author and Jane Litte broke out, many of us in the romance reading community have asked for a way to help Jane financially–because lawsuits are used as a threat, to silence critics, precisely because they are expensive. And usually more expensive to the defendant, particularly in states where there is no provision to refund them even if the court rules in their favor.

Well, now we can.

Smart Bitch Sarah created the Dear Author / Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Here’s the text on the donation page:
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Ellora's Cave v Dear Author - wanna help?

The saga continues. Jane posted a brief update on the suit today:

Today there was a temporary injunction hearing.  During the hearing the judge did not grant the injunction, but did request that we come back for a more thorough hearing, where we would be able to provide evidence  in our defense.

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.

Therefore, If you are willing, I need help with the following:

Individual authors, editors, cover artists willing to testify, either in person, via telephone or in an affidavit to payments made/not made.

It would be best if you could testify in person, but a sworn written statement will be adequate.

Additionally, if you have any Screenshots of any public statements regarding Ellora’s Cave, those would be helpful too.

You can reach me at jane@dearauthor.com.

Thank you in advance.

Now, I know that there are a lot–quite a lot–of current and former EC authors who follow this blog. Just this past February one of you reported, anonymously, on shenanigans there. So, hi there, still not getting paid?

I hate being harsh, but chances are you are not going to see much–if any–of that money (see this post by Carolyn Jewel explaining what’s likely to happen here).

In the meantime, many of you feel gagged by a confidentiality clause in your contract with Ellora’s Cave–plus, scared of a defamation lawsuit for say, reporting on matters of public record and imminent interest.

Well, never fear–there are still ways you can help Jane. First of all, the screenshots of public statements? You, those who have worked for EC in any and all capacities, are the most likely to know where those might be, and snap them up. Go, hunt them down, email them to Jane.

Or, if you want to put a second layer between you and her, let me know in the comments and we’ll figure a relay system.

But if you really, really want to speak up and say your piece, both because you are frigging tired of the injustice of having the company that hasn’t paid in you however long, spending money in retaining an attorney to sue a blogger for speaking out for YOU…well, there’s a chance you can.

Check out this post on confidentiality clauses by the ever amazing Courtney Milan, where she says in part:

If you are an author, an editor, or a cover-artist who would testify as to the truth of the statements Jane made, but for the confidentiality clause, contact me. If there is enough interest from those who would testify but are afraid for confidentiality reasons, I will look into finding a lawyer to accompany you to the hearing–someone whose job it is to represent your interests, and to make sure that you’re speaking up to the maximum allowed without putting yourselves at risk.

And to all of you who are already speaking up, boosting the signal, and standing strong against this effort to silence us and chill our speech…Thank you.

I would now like to direct your attention to...

this cool Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support thread, created and maintained by writer Deirdre Saoirse Moen.

See, a number of authors currently under contract with EC are asking their readers NOT to buy those books. Apparently, they are either not receiving royalties, or are not convinced those royalties actually reflect their sales, or quite simply want the rights to their books back (for which they need sales below a certain number for a period of time). For whatever the reason, these authors are publicly–and quite courageously–asking their readers to support them by NOT buying any books of them currently published by EC.

However, many of these authors have books elsewhere–either under a different pen name with another publisher, or perhaps even self published–and those books? Oh yeah, they would love it if any of their readers were moved to purchase those other books.

So what are you waiting for? Go on over there, check that list. I’m betting you’ll find something there you’ll want to read.

*

If you are a book blogger, I ask you to consider posting this information for your readers as well.

*

And for those of you who are on Twitter, Courtney Milan of the iron cast balls and awesomesauce writing is exercising her right to speak about Ellora’s Cave using the hashtag #notchilled, and she invites all of those who want to continue to be free to express their opinions about facts to participate.

Dear Author / EC suit update

Dear Author posted an status update regarding the lawsuit filled late last week by Ellora’s Cave: Jane Litte has retained the services of Marc Randazza, First Amendment Badass. You can visit Mr Randazza’s website to check out his credentials, or follow the previous link to see what Ken White of Popehat’s fame has to say about him.

I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one online, but I do have a feeling that this example of legal thuggery will be stomped in short order like a disgusting New York cockroach.

I also believe that this whole thing is a blatant attempt at intimidation of Ellora’s Cave authors, editors, cover artists, and any other contractors and employees who have not been paid–either at all or in full–so that they keep quiet about it.

Which is why I applaud all the different authors and bloggers who are actually doing their bit to stand up against EC, to speak out, and to spread the word about what is going on–both right now with the defamation lawsuit against Dear Author and Jane Litte, and generally within Ellora’s Cave.

Particular kudos to Courtney Milan, who is going a step further. Madam, you have stones.

 

Edited to add: I just learned that The Los Angeles Times has picked up the story.

The Streisand Effect in all its glory, baby!

I Heard That Dear Author Was Getting Sued, So I Thought I'd Remind Everybody That Tina Engler Married A Convicted Murderer

Elloras Cave get worse and worse. What fuckery is this?

The following was originally posted on KKB on June 15th 2007: Here’s the link.

_______________________________________________________________

JaynieR posted an interview with Tina Engler, AKA Jaid Black on her blog earlier today.

The purpose of the interview appears to be two-fold. Firstly, it seems to be an opportunity for Black to give her side of the story, in terms of her marriage to a *convicted felon, (if the link is broken, search for a David Roy Keen) serving time for shooting, and killing an ex-girlfriend; and secondly, to discuss her feelings, on the failings of the current U.S penal system, and its bias towards the poor, and the uneducated.

Ms Black’s decision to marry a prisoner, serving a life sentence for murder is her affair, and I feel that it would be remiss of me to publicly comment on my personal feelings relating to this matter.

In actual fact, what disturbed me most was Black’s assertion that locking up prisoners is tantamount to human trafficking, and that a person who deliberately takes a life, cannot be blamed for their actions.

When one reads the interview in its entirety, the delivery of her message is staunch, and unflinching, whilst her belief that she speaks a universal truth, appears to be unshakable. (more…)

Ellora's Cave--oh dear!

Karen has often sounded the alarm when it comes to digital publishers screwing their authors, editors, cover artists, etc.

Ellora’s Cave, and its founder Tina Engler / Jaid Black, have often come up in these discussions, for obvious reasons.

Jane over at Dear Author has a post up on this digital publisher that it’s a must read. Sadly, it doesn’t bode well for current authors and contractors to Ellora’s Cave, but it may act as a cautionary tale to writers who wonder where to submit their books.

Good luck to all of Ellora’s Cave currently indentured authors, etc.

Rock Addiction, by Nalini Singh

As a participant in the release tour, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Nalini Singh’s new contemporary romance, Rock Addiction, the first in a five-title series called Rock Kiss, that she’s self publishing. As most of you know, part of the deal, when participating in an author’s release tour, is to write and publish a review of the book in a timely manner. Please note that neither the author nor TRSOR Promotions, who organized all the blogger events related to the release, have asked for anything but a review, period.

However, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am a fan of Ms Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. I am not a fan of her Guild Hunter series, and up to now I have only read one of her previously released category contemporary titles, Desert Warrior–and I confess that I wasn’t terribly impressed with it.

With that in mind, this is my (quite long) review:

Rock Addiction, by Nalini Singh

A few years ago, Sarah of the ever Smart Bitches and Jane of the wonderful Dear Author created a campaign to Save the Contemporary! Why, you may ask. Well, because for a while there it seemed that single title contemporary romance had disappeared off the face of the earth. We had–and still have–plenty of contemporary category length romances, but they are problematic in their own way, as they must conform to stringent requirements specific to their publishing line. And most single title, full length contemporaries for a good long while seemed to be required to include a thread of suspense–there was a stalker, an unsolved murder, a conspiracy, a ghost, vengeance…you name it. It seemed that there could be no romance without external conflict.

(Feel free to tell me my reading is limited and list all your recommendations for good, straight up contemporary romances in the comments.)

And so, imagine my utter delight in reading a contemporary romance about two adults, with nary an external conflict or contrived plot point! Yes, reader heaven indeed.

Mind you, there is conflict, and these two people have plenty of baggage, but they deal with it, both their own and each other’s, by talking–whodathunkit, right?–and by valuing and respecting the other’s feelings as much as their own.

Here’s the blurb provided by the author:
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And just to ice the cake of awesome...

we have yet another Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate the release of Rock Addiction.

(I do apologize but I am unable to make the widget work for me. However, just follow the link above and you’ll be able to enter and get a chance to win a $100 gift card. Sweet, yes?)

Also, in case you didn’t know, you can get your very own copy from amazon by following this handy, dandy little link.

There, don’t say we don’t make it easy for you :wink:

KarenS Capsule Review: Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. Maxwell...

tempting

Sensuality Rating: TORRID: Sex is explicit, but it doesn’t take over the whole damn book. There may be some kinky stuff too, but not much.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads.com;

Alyssa Miller is tired of waiting for her next-door neighbor to see her as more than just his best friend. Ready to let off some steam, she heads to Las Vegas for a romance book convention where, if she’s lucky, she’ll get down and dirty with one of the sexy cover models.

Dillon Alexander doesn’t do commitment—especially not where his best friend is concerned. She deserves a man who can give her the world, not damaged goods. But when he realizes Alyssa intends to have a one-night stand on her vacation, he hauls ass after her to make sure he’s the one to scratch her itch.

Neither of them expects their explosive chemistry to burn hotter than the lights on the strip, but with a little help from Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, a flamboyant matchmaker, and TSA, what happens in Vegas might not stay in Vegas…

I never met a friends-to-lovers book that I didn’t like, and Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. Maxwell was no exception. I read this book in about an hour and a half and I really liked it. There were some really sweet moments, and it was great to have a heroine who knew what she wanted and went after it – ish. For such a short story, it had surprising depth, but it was also amusing in parts, as the following quote from one of the secondary characters trying to help Alyssa win back her man, can attest to:

A spark of hope flared in her chest. “Can you?”
His eyebrows hitched arrogantly as if to scold her for even doubting him. Holding the door open, he said, “Honey, as far as you’re concerned, this is Oz, and I’m the motherfucking Wizard.”

The best thing about the book was that it was only £.99, so if you fancy a really sexy and lovely friends-to-lovers story, you can Kindle the book from Amazon.com here.