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There’s a very interesting post over at the All About Romance blog, entitled Drawing The Line.

The columnist, Jane, writes:

I’ve been thinking about Voltaire lately. Specifically, one of his most famous quotations: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Last Monday, my campus newspaper printed a column by a male writer. In this piece, he called feminists and gay activists “a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples,” declared that date rape is an “incoherent concept,” and essentially that drunken flirtation is consent.

Jane then goes on to describe the resulting outrage that those comments caused in InternetLand over the next few days.

For me, the fact that a male writer dared to write those things in a public forum wasn’t the thing that captured my attention the most (after all, he’s a columnist trying to get people to read his musings) no, what perked up my interest was firstly, Jane’s take on the issue: (more…)

Are You Part of The In-Crowd?

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Posted in: Adventures with Blog people

Katiebabs has a really interesting post up at her blog. It’s entitled Don’t Play In Our Sandbox Because You’re Not a Part of the “In-Crowd”.

KB starts by asking a couple of questions:

Does the consensus across book blog land believe there’s an “in-crowd”? Are there specific blogs or bloggers who give off the vibe that they are too cool to associate with or come across like the cool kids at high school who walk down the hallways with their nose in the air, where you don’t have the right to acknowledge them because you’re not important enough to be a part of their group?

Now whenever anybody talks about ‘The Big Blogs’ I automatically assume that they’re talking about the Smartbitches and Dear Author. Oh come on, you know you do too, but for some reason, people seem reluctant to mention them by name.
I could be wrong of course, there could be other Big RomLand Bloggers out there that I’m not aware of.

I did start answering the above questions on Katie’s blog, but you know me, why waste a perfectly good answer on somebody else’s blog when you can post it on your own? Hmmm….Does that make me a bad blogger? Ahhh fuck it.

Anyway, I digress. (more…)

You know, I totally love it when people give me blog fodder. It really makes my day.

Kirk Biglione took exception to my previous post, and didn’t mind saying so:

Wow. Seriously?! Bernie Madoff stole money. Lots of money. Billions. Are you seriously comparing what Madoff did to the failure of a digital publishing startup? If so, you really have no sense of decency.

As someone who was involved in the Quartet “debacle” I can say without hesitation that:

1. No laws were broken.
2. None of the participants behaved unethically.
3. No money is owed (all debts were honored).

Frankly, your attempt to connect the Quartet Press participants to a Ponsi scheme seems actionable. I hope you have a good attorney.

Be still my beating heart. It’s not yet March and I’ve already been threatened with legal action, YAY!! (more…)

If not, then isn’t it just as ridiculous for people who have already tried to launch a digital publishing company and failed, to talk about how to Build A Digital Publishing House? In this case I’m pointing the finger at Kassia Krozser, seeing as Angela James at least already has a proven track record.

Rumour has it that a couple of the other Quartet Press peeps are involved in similar panels. That just seems wrong-headed somehow.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

Once again, I had a load of posts on my Google Reader to catch up on, so here are some of the more noteworthy ones.

1. Apparently Avatar has made it to the top spot for the sixth week, and has now grossed $552m in the US, which means that it will probably now eclipse Titanic ($600m ) to become the biggest box office hit ever.
On the other hand, The Lovely Bones isn’t faring so well. It’s possible that people don’t want to watch a film where the main protag is a little girl who was raped and murdered. Shocker.

2. RRRJessica is back from South Africa, and she has pictures.

3. Dear Author has news of more ‘white-washing’ going on at Bloomsbury. Remember the uproar over the cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, and how the black protag somehow took on a white face on the cover? Well it seems that this is becoming a trend. Bloomsbury seems to hate black people on covers. The book that has been white-washed this time is Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass. (more…)

There’s A New Blog In Town…

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Posted in: Adventures with Blog people

welcome

I’d like to welcome Raven’s Reviews to Romanceland…

Raven is unusual in that she will be reviewing African American romance, so those of you who insist that colour doesn’t matter in romance, be sure to pop along and say hi. :)

Those of you who wonder why we can’t all just play nice, may want to look away now.

I was pointed in the general direction of this SB’s post, (I’m assuming most of you have already seen the post and wondered what my thoughts were? Don’t lie, you know you did!) and I have to say, it made me smile somewhat, then I caught this comment from SB Sarah:

I’m glad so many of you liked the feature about our advertisers. But to be clear, both here and on the ad page itself: advertisements do not constitute an endorsement on the part of Smart Bitches. So while Candy or I have reviewed several of the books or authors featured, advertisements are not endorsements.

Of course you guys remember the minor lovefest over the SB’s advertising Chancery Stone’s incest-ridden smut, right?

My question is, why now, and not then?

There seems to be something funny happening in Romland, do you feel it too?

You know when you’ve fallen out with a friend, but there wasn’t an actual ‘official’ falling out moment, and all you’re left with is this uncomfortable feeling that things have changed, and you’re not quite sure how to get back to the way they were?

I believe that we here in Romland are currently undergoing a falling out of sorts. I don’t mean the lovefests and blazing blog rows that have been happening for years, and will continue to happen long after I decide that this blogging lark is no longer for me, no, I mean the kind of where one party kinda feels betrayed by another, but they can’t actually pin-point where and how the betrayal occurred.

When I read Wendy’s rather super rant., I was all fired up to post a response, and I started writing, but I then got bored, so I stopped and thought fuck it, I’ll just write about the things that’s been pissing me off instead.

What can I say, I’m a happy-go-lucky type of girl.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my very important list of RomLand pet peeves: (more…)

Go read if you haven’t already, it’s very interesting.

I’ll post my thoughts in due course. Bet you can’t fucking wait.

Oh don’t pretend any of you are surprised. It was bound to happen. When you have a thousand blogs nominated for this, that, and the other, there’s bound to be low rumblings amongst the masses. Unfortunately, one of these low rumblings turned into something akin to the Profumo Affair – erm, minus the affair I guess. Heh.

Anyway, this is the story:

BBAW was conceived by My Friend Amy last year, apparently it was a wonderful feel-good affair, which led to it growing exponentially this year. Blogs can either be nominated or they can nominate themselves. Once they are nominated, they needed to register via email, and present five posts that best represented them in the category that they were nominated in. Still with me? Good.

(more…)

I know I said I couldn’t be arsed posting about #RomFailGate, but it’s currently 5am, and I’m wide awake. Also, I’m fond of assessing Blog Lovefests that have nothing to do with me, once the dust settles. I do so like stepping onto Mount Moral High Ground, from time to time, to see what it’s like.

Anyway, I finally got round to reading the follow-up blogposts and consequent comments by various people in Blogland re Romfail.

Here are my thoughts, and they aren’t in any particular order:

(more…)

Yeah, I heard about the case of the model who successfully sued Google, in order to get them to reveal the name of an anonymous blogger who’d been mean to her.

Here’s the story from The Times Online:

A Vogue cover girl has won a precedent-setting court battle to unmask an anonymous blogger who called her a “skank” on the internet.

In a case with potentially far-reaching repercussions, Liskula Cohen sought the identity of the blogger who maligned her on the Skanks in NYC blog so that she could sue him or her for defamation.

A Manhattan supreme court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to turn it over.

Ms Cohen, a tall, Canadian blonde who has modelled for Giorgio Armani and Versace, went to court after reading the wounding anonymous comments on Google’s Blogger.com.

(more…)

This started off as a comment on Sarah Tanner’s blog, then I decided that if I was going to write an uncharacteristically long-assed comment, then it would serve me better to put it on the blog. Shall I go with numbers too? Yeah, let’s do that.

The question was:

Does Running An Ad Equal Product Endorsement?

1. To the question, my answer is yes. More or less. If there’s an advert on your blog, then I think the implication is that you as the blog owner, whilst not necessarily endorsing the product, would appear to at least not have a problem with the ad. This may not be tacit approval, per se, but conclusions can and will be drawn by others who see the ad in question. No amount of involved ethics ruminations are going to change that.

As a blog owner, you either give a rat’s arse about the speculation or you don’t, but you shouldn’t be surprised if people do question the fact that the ad is there.

2. The SBs may not be The Guardian or The New York Times, but here in Romanceland, they are the equivalent of those two publications, which means that what they do and say are taken notice of. (more…)

wtf

Listen, I know that advertising on one’s blog is all the rage these days, but I must admit to feeling slightly uncomfortable when I saw that Chancery Stone had an ad up at the Smartbitches website.

You remember Chancery Stone, surely? She was the seemingly messed up individual who thought that incest was romantic.

Not only that, but she started that random kerfuffle on Amazon, for no other reason than to try to drum up some publicity for her self-pubbed book. I believe she ended up getting banned from Amazon eventually.

The woman even has a full Wiki page on Fandom Wank dedicated to her.

I don’t know, I guess I have my judgemental (yes, there’s an e in judgemental!) head on, but I’ve always been hugely against books that glorified incest, so to see such a book advertised on the SB’s website, was bad enough, but for the incest book in question to be penned by none other than Miss FUBAR herself, well….

Listen, the girls can advertise what the hell they want to, but I’d have thought they’d have been a bit more choosy.

But we’re all different I guess. I admit to feeling a tad disappointed by their willingness to display Chancery Stone’s wares on their website though, I don’t care how much money was involved.

Judgemental much? Hell yeah.

Edited to addAzteclady here.

When I saw the ad late last night, I sat there in shock for a bit.

Why the shock, you ask? Because my feelings about Ms Stone and her oeuvre are pretty much the same as Karen’s and I wondered about the SBs choosing to advertise this stuff.

And perhaps shock is too strong a word–what I am is puzzled. I may be indeed doing them an injustice, and if so I apologize, but I find it unbelievable that they could be ignorant of what Ms Stone writes.

owl-reading

Jane had an excellent post up last week, entitled Past is Prologue, A Brief Look at History of Romance Communities on the Internet.
In this column, Jane talks about the early pioneers of online romance communities, paying special homage to the agitators who came before.

In conclusion, she asks what brought us (readers) into the romance community. She asks about our earliest memories, and our likes and dislikes as far as The Community is concerned.

I did start leaving a comment on the DA blog, but the computer ate it when I hit ‘submit’, which pissed me off no end, so I decided to just turn it into a post.

Back in late 2004, I discovered and joined the Elloras Cave Yahoo list. I’d been reading romance books for as long as I could remember, and Silhouette Desires were always my favourite category romances, because the heroes and heroines used to get down and dirty, in a way that the characters in Mills and Boon Tender romances never could.

When I discovered EC, I was amazed that there were romance books that actually had words like ‘cock’ and ‘pussy’ in them. I was totally in seventh heaven.

I discovered quite a few other Yahoo groups via the EC list, but unfortunately, most of these lists were of the Fake McFake Mary Sunshine variety, which really wasn’t my bag at all. Criticisms of books were very much frowned upon, and everybody was so cheery, it made my teeth hurt. (more…)

asshole2

I read Robin’s post at Dear Author re the remarks made by Michelle Buonfiglio during the Princeton Romance Scholarship Conference. I really wasn’t surprised by the tone and the passive-aggressiveness of her presentation. I’ve always considered her to be the perfect smiling assassin.

Robin’s column was well thought out, excellently written, and genteel in tone. As was SB Sarah’s.

It’s a shame girls, but I’m going to have to bring down the tone of this gentle discourse, and say what you were probably thinking, but were far too polite and politically clever to say, given her allegation that the rest of Romanceland are made up of vituperative whores. (more…)

aaarggh

You know, if there’s one thing guaranteed to annoy me no end, it’s people who enjoy moaning and bitching about the number of flame-ups that erupt within the romance community (You know who you are).

Oh noes, why are people falling out? Oh noes, why can’t we get along? Oh noes, why are blog people so mean?

I say, belt the fuck up.

I probably wouldn’t be so annoyed if it wasn’t for the fact that so many of the complainants usually have no problem getting involved and slinging a bit of mud themselves.

The fact is flame-ups don’t actually happen that often. Seriously, they don’t, and the ones that do, generally only happen on a few blogs. This makes it pretty easy for people who hate blog spats to avoid them.

So yeah, you don’t like flames, and lovefests? Then don’t visit the blogs where they are more likely to happen.

Simple, no?

It’s hilarious. I’m guessing it’s either a rabid fan, or a disgruntled author being ironic. Hehe.

Via The C’um Hither Blog

frustrated.gif

Please note that I am not naming any names because I’m trying to address a general issue. It’s neither about pointing fingers nor embarrassing someone {K: Dammit, has she learned nothing from me!?}. Perhaps naïvely, but I hope what you are about to read may help authors maximize their promotion efforts.

First, allow me to present three different scenarios, all seen around the blogosphere in the past month or so:

Scenario A

A couple of days after I wrote this piece, I happened upon one of the blogs where I won—and never received—a couple of books last year. I have learned since that this is one of the biggest multi-author blogs around. Being intrigued by that, I started following the blog again for a few days. (Yes, I know I have too much free time.)

I read a few of the posts and posted a few comments, etc. and started noticing what I perceived to be a pattern. Some authors would post a contest but not determine an end date, or if they did, said date would come and go without announcement of the winners. Since this was related to the issues I wrote about before, I mulled it over and finally, the light bulb flashed! So I emailed this to the blog admin:

Hi, there.

I posted something about this at (link to post at Karen’s), but I’ve been thinking about it some more. I didn’t share, and won’t, that two of the prizes I never got last year were from authors who still blog at (blog in question). I *did* stop reading the blog for a rather long while after that, though, and only recently came back as a reader and commenter.

Yet I can’t help but notice that—as of (date)—there are two posts with contests (posts in question) to which winners should have been announced but nothing from either the authors themselves, or the blog itself.

When these things happen at an author’s blog, or at readers’ blogs, the potential PR fallout is to those specific author/blogs. In a large multi authors blog like (blog in question), the damage affects the other authors. Fair or not, it’s inevitable.

I’m wondering if perhaps (blog in question) should consider having someone following up on these things and making sure the authors follow through (with announcements and prizes). Or perhaps, have some sort of contest policy stating that only commenters who leave their email can participate and that the winner will be announced privately, or something.

I hope this email is taken in the spirit it is intended: an observation and a suggestion for improvement.

Thank you.

I honestly didn’t expect a reply, but got one. And what I got, I’m sad to say, wasn’t at all what I would have expected: (more…)

Mrs G had an interesting post called The Great Porn and Erotica Divide on her blog yesterday.

Now I read it, and didn’t feel that she was bashing Phaze, and the first few comments from some of the Phaze authors (for some reason I keep wanting to write ‘Litrats’, but I’m not sure why, I guess I must have read it somewhere) were fairly reasonable, and well thought out.

But as you know, there’s always one person who comes in and ruins the good work of his/her colleagues/peers. This time it was Daniel J. Reitz Snr, owner of Mundania Press and Phaze:

As owner of Mundania Press and Phaze Books, I can assure you that neither I, nor Phaze Books, has any connection with Literotica, now or in the past. At no time does this group enter into our picture. To be honest, prior to your labeling Phaze as connected to it, or part of it, or derived from it, I have never even heard of this group. {K: Really? Well at least one of the authors there is quite vocal about her association with Lit. By the way, that link features a woman with a finger stuck up her anus, so you probably don’t want to click on it… or maybe you do, who knows?} It has never been discussed on Phaze forums and lists, and has no influence over us at all……

I am beginning to question your motives for againing singuling out Phaze to show us in a bad light, while blatantly ignoring the dozens and dozens of other erotic romance publishers that publish similar books. Please do us, your readers, and yourself a favor and cease painting Phaze Books as some supposed spin-off of some other erotic group out there in the world. It does everyone involved an injustice and is simply not true. Thank you.

When I read Mrs G’s post, my take on it was that she was wondering how authors who write ‘traditional’ (hehe) erotic romance, and those who write for places like Literotica and who are quite open about their somewhat unorthodox sexual lifestyles, will get on in the future, seeing as some of the Lit Authors are being published by mainstream houses, like Harlequin, etc.

By the looks of things, somebody told Daniel J Reitz Snr that Mrs G was bashing Phaze again, so he came in with his size twelves, having not read the post properly. You’d think the beginning of Mrs Giggles’ post would have given him a clue:

Let me begin by clarifying to the usual oversensitive suspects at Literotica – whom I know are reading this blog despite their public declarations to the contrary – that this is not an attack on their sensibilities, moral, past lives, lifestyles, choices, lingerie, diet, or anything even remotely related to their selves. Got that?

Anyway, Mrs G followed it up with this post, and of course at least one of the usual suspects came out to play, as well as Daniel J. Reitz posing as a sock puppet and posting under ‘Anonymous’. Unluckily for him, Mrs G responded to this:

“I find it amusing when bloggers post stuff slamming people, then get all confused when people get upset with them.”

With this:

“To the Anonymous above, given that you have exactly the same IP number as Danny Boy (24.29.27.134), maybe you should just quit while you are ahead. You’re really doing Phaze no favors.”

Oh well, it amused me for at least ten minutes. What would life be without a kooky Phaze author or two eh?  Shoot, even the owner is a bit ‘special’.