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Pope Benedict v Pope John-Paul II…

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Posted in: The Pope

Pope Benedict

I know I’m not a catholic, but I find myself despising the current pope on a daily basis. I know that PJP wasn’t perfect, God rest his soul, but he was so much more…. likeable… than the present pontiff.

Pope John-Paul

From Benedict’s views on condoms and aids in Africa, to the current allegations of him turning a blind eye to child abuse within the catholic church, I’m really growing to dislike him intensely.

I realise that there are catholics out there who feel that criticising the pope is tantamount to criticising the catholic church, but you must admit, he doesn’t have the same aura about him that Pope John-Paul did.

Can’t the church choose somebody else, or does he have to expire first?

My dislike for him could boil down to this comment from a fellow tweeter though:

“Benedict does look a little like Darth Sideous… that might be it….he looks like a man who believed in something all his life, finally got hold of the hotline to God and no one picked up.”

What say you?

Apparently EC are looking to change things up a bit by launching two new lines.

EC is launching two new Lines (genres) of Romantica at Ellora’s Cave!

These are targeted at specific niche markets, to expand our readership to women who might not be current customers, or who may be looking for something not reflected in our existing story types.

The first line is aimed at girls between 18-25 years of age: (more…)

Isn’t Laurell K Hamilton just a little bit…strange? Yeah, yeah, it’s not like we don’t know how ‘quirky’ she can be, but still…

“In my books Anita wakes up nude beside a beautiful man, or men. She rolls over and sex ensues. Not just sex, but really good sex. When she can walk safely, she slips on something silky and begins to get ready for the day.

In real life today, I woke up nude beside a beautiful man. We cuddled, we talked, and then sex ensued, and yes, it was really good sex. When we could both walk safely, Jon threw on a robe and is now in the shower. I cleaned up and put on silk pajamas and a robe, and headed downstairs to start my day….

We haven’t seen Anita work out in a long time in the books. In reality I have to see a lot of gym time to look as good as I do, and it’s not as good as Anita looks. She’s still doing my pre-child, pre-marriage, pre-real job workout.
I’m trying and I’m about to get even more serious about getting fit and healthy, but where Anita just seems to exercise the way she eats, off stage, and magically, it’s a lot harder to fit into my life.

I did show Anita and some of the guys working out in the gym in the June book, Bullet. I wanted to show some of the real effort that goes into staying in that kind of shape. One other difference, I just looked at the clock.”

She seems to be comparing the differences in her fictional life, and real life, but I definitely get the feeling that she feels as if she’s a real-life Anita.

For more weirdness, pop over to her blog.

Thanks to you-know-who for the link.

I’ve not quite managed to go through all my Google Reader feeds, but I’ve made some headway, and the following are some of the more noteworthy posts.

1. Sarah over at Monkey Bear Reviews has a great post up entitled Dorothy Koomson, Book Covers and Black Characters.

Here’s a snippet:

I’m convinced that the conclusions I draw about a book’s content when I see its cover are due years of conditioning through clever marketing. The arguments used for marketing books a certain way is that that is what sells, hence the preponderance of heaving bosoms and bloody knives in romances and thrillers respectively.

But surely the marketeers predictions of what will sell and what won’t become self-fulfilling prophecies? If a reader has only seen romance novels with cleavage, that’s the association they will make when shopping for books, even if they don’t actually like the covers. Similarly, if the only books published featuring black characters on the covers are ‘issues’ books, than that is what readers will expect the story to be about.

The only way to change readers’ assumptions is to change the way books are marketed. It might take a while, but eventually readers will come to have different expectations when they see certain things on book covers.

Sarah then goes on to show Dorothy Koomson’s excellent covers, which seem to be the exception that proves the rule when it comes to reader reactions to black people on book covers.


Sarah over at Monkey Bear Reviews has a great post up called Falling Out Of Love With Romance. It really resonated with me.

She writes:

I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to read a romance these days, even those I’m sure I’ll enjoy when I get around to them. I’ve always read widely, but romance is the one genre to which I turn when I’m looking for a relaxing, uplifting story…

I’m experiencing the exact the same thing.

Despite the large number of romances published each month, I noticed I have just one on my list of six April releases which I’d like to read. With a couple of notable exceptions, I’m just not that enthused about romances featuring Navy SEALs, werewolves, vampires, shifters, etc.

Ditto. I think I hate most Navy SEAL books with a passion, and longtime readers will know how I feel about vamps and wolfie books.

I remember a recent conversation with Keishon (Avid Book Reader) on Twitter. She said that some of the most compelling love stories she’s read recently were not in romance novels, but in mystery series. I agree with her.

And I have to agree with Sarah, agreeing with Keishon. When I think back to some of my favourite romance couples, quite a few of them are featured in books that actually aren’t just about them and their romantic entanglements. I love the subtlety of a burgeoning relationship in the midst of murder and mayhem. Karin Slaughter (Pox on her for killing off Jeffrey), JD Robb, Julia Spencer Fleming, Patricia Cornwell (pox on her for losing her ever-loving mind and trying to kill off Benton) to name but a few.

The last book that I read was actually a Young Adult book by an author called Jay Asher, prior to that, it was Dorothy Koomson’s The Ice Cream Girls, which is as far from a romance as you can get. Coupled with the fact that lots of books that are being published by the bigger houses are also hystericals, my romance reading options, seem to be getting less, and less. Big. Effing. Sigh.


For the full post, pop over to Monkey Bear Reviews.

Over at Mrs Giggles’ blog, there’s a post entitled, Ravenous Romance Critics – What is The Deal Here?

She doesn’t get why there’s still so much hate for Ravenous Romance:

I’m not being facetious, I’m genuinely puzzled. Every time I or someone blogs about Ravenous Romance in an even remotely positive manner, the same slew of Anonymous people will show up saying the following. You can make a drinking game out of it.

1. Jamaica Layne is a bitch.
2. Lori Perkins’s middle names are Conflict of Interest.
3. Ravenous Romance books are porn and smut and crappy.
4. Unspoken implication: Anonymous’s own publisher/company/books are better than Ravenous Romance.

I tweeted to Jane the other day about how Dear Author ironically enough have probably helped RR stay in business, and I honestly think it’s true. It does make one wonder though who is buying their books, and why, if the books are so bad. Mind you, My Friend Carol Lynne apparently is still selling like hotcakes, and I’m willing to bet her writing is on par with some of those really bad RR writers.

It’s a simple fact that some romance readers don’t care about good writing, as long as there’s enough hot nasty sex in the books to satisfy them.

As for the RR Hating, well they kinda brought it on themselves before they even opened, with all their claims of “blowing the competition out of the water” so I have no sympathy for them. Also, some of their more vocal reps are actually arseholes, which in turn leads people to assume that the whole company is full of assholic nutters.

Having said all of that, they’re still in business, whilst Quartet Press never got off the ground, so I guess that means they did a better job during the pre-planning stage.

For the rest of the post, pop over to Mrs G’s blog. You’ll see that Jamaica Lynne is the first one to comment, which will have secretly probably pissed Mrs G off, because although she likes to side with the underdogs of RomLand, she generally hates them polluting her corner of the world *g*

Are You Missing Me Yet?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Posted in: Uncategorized

Sorry for the lack of posts guys, but life keeps getting in the way, and I’m kinda liking it.

On the upside, I managed to read the quite splendid Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

I’m completely out of the loop with all the Blogland gossip so if there’s any, please feel free to fill me in!

I want to know which authors have been throwing hissy fits, which e-book sites have closed down in mysterious circumstances, and which books people are currently raving about, that no doubt I’ll probably hate with a passion.

Oh, and a huge congrats to Katiebabs for finally achieving her dream of being published.

Catch you all later!

Remember this?

Well, apparently I was not the only one struck by the beauty of these spiders’ silk–look at what’s being exhibited right now at the American Museum of Natural History:

Go on, read more about this amazing, amazing textile–and if you are near New York any time soon, go see it in person!

(Thanks to Dances with Wools for the heads up)

A brief note…

Thursday, March 11, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, rant

to the asshole who,  in the middle of a thunderstorm, swerved towards the sidewalk while accelerating, thus creating the waterfall that blinded me and finished the job of soaking me to the skin:

I hope you get crabs and become allergic to them.

Enjoy your chuckle, asshat.


In other news… still haven’t gotten my reviewing mojo back, and I have no idea when (if? *gulp*) I’ll get it back.

I just started working again–hourly employee in the food service industry. This translates into never having the same schedule two days in a row, let alone week to week. It also means more physical exertion than any other job I’ve ever held (and for less money than I’ve ever earned too).

On the other hand, in an economy where one in ten persons is unemployed, I’m very grateful I’m one of the nine with a job.

According to one of their authors who shall remain nameless, she hasn’t been paid properly for over a year now.

Now either her books aren’t selling well, or there’s a cash flow problem at EC.

Does anybody have any further info?

And actually, when was the last time any of you lot bought a book from EC? I never recognise any of the authors there anymore, apart from the likes of Amarinda Jones who seems to have a book out every week. *g*

Also, my favourite author Carol Lynne doesn’t seem to be as prolific over there as she used to be, I wonder why??

By the way, the pic has nothing to do with this post, I just liked it 🙂

Remember the hooha over Bloomsbury’s decision to whitewash Jaclyn Dolamore’s book, Magic Under Glass? Well they’ve released the new cover:

This was the old cover – Yep, nothing “dark-skinned” about that lady, even with the bad lighting.

This is the new cover. A definite touch of ethnicity there at least.

What do you guys think?

Via Angela over at Save Black Romance.

I’m very fond of Sharon Cullars’ books, and I was pleased to see that she has a new release at Loose-Id.

Here’s the blurb for Gold Mountain:

In 1865, the hope for gold has spurred many to seek their fortunes in California, the place the Chinese call Gum San or “Gold Mountain.” Amidst this backdrop, Quiang, a new Chinese immigrant, works the dangerous rails hoping to save enough money to send home to his parents. In town, Leah and Clara, two enterprising women from New York, have plans of their own to grow a restaurant and laundry business. However, both plans go awry when Quiang and Leah meet one fateful day. What starts as a budding attraction soon grows into tumultuous desire despite the cultural and language barriers between them.

Initially resistant, Leah succumbs to passion following a tragic loss that leaves her vulnerable and alone. With hopes for a future that now includes Leah, Quiang embarks on a perilous path as he leaves the railroad behind for a more profitable position as a courier for The Tong, henchmen for the dangerous Triad. Quiang soon finds that navigating the secretive life of a courier brings more danger than he has ever faced on the railroad, dangers that not only threaten to tear him and Leah apart, but may cost them their lives as well.

Sounds good, yes? Even for a hysterical.

By the way, it has been duly noted that Loose-Id seem to be trying to release more M/F books lately. Long may it continue. *g*

And seeing as it doesn’t happen very often in Romanceland, I’m gonna give a nod to Loose-Id for their wonderful homage to Black History Month. If you’re a reader who doesn’t mind reading books featuring heroines and heroes who aren’t white, you’ll find some decent stories there.

You can find my review of Sharon Cullar’s book, Again, here.

Angela has a really interesting post up entitled Religion and Interracial Romance. I have an idea that using the word ‘romance’ is a bit of a misnomer though, seeing as her column seems to really be talking about religious influence on interracial relationships, period, rather than the bookish side of things.

She starts:

The black church has a history of being the pillar of the black community, and admittedly, most blacks–that is, blacks who consider themselves Christian–are pretty religious and/or spiritual. I have observed, however, in online conversations between black women and the issue of interracial dating, that a few of the black women conversation who are married or who date white men, have mentioned their lack of religion.

So basically, the more religious you are, the less likely you are to enter into an interracial relationship?