HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Now, I’m a Millennium gal, so really for me, this question shouldn’t even arise (ha ha, see what I did there?) but I was reading an M/M romance the other day, and without even realising it, I was skim reading the parts where they had sex! Hello, this is surely the best bits I hear you cry. Well, you can imagine how shocked I was to find myself doing that, I mean, I’m a liberated woman of the noughties, thus a little M/M backhole action is par with this age, is it not?

If I’d have been around when the famous feminists were yelling “burn your bra!” I would have been there like a shot… now come to think of it, it probably depends on how much I paid for that particular bra…. Ok I digress again, but seriously now that I look back on past M/F/M,erotic romance’s where there were two men involved, I realise that I actually did the same thing with them, read the parts where they were focusing on the female, but skimmed the parts were there was a little cock-to-cock action, or should I say Cock-to-back-hole, as was usually the case, and if they start to insert each others digits into their respective anus’s, well the whole thing becomes a butt clenching exercise, and I start to wriggle uncomfortably in my chair, so once again, I skim.

In trying to figure out why I just can’t enjoy purely M/M books, I’m plagued by the thought that perhaps… brace yourself for this… Perhaps, I’m a PRUDE!!!!! Aaaaaarghh!!!!! Yech, and Double Yech.

I really hate to think that I’m closer to my mother’s generation’s way of thinking, but then, I stop and think harder, dismissing the above thought and grasping onto a new one…. Brace yourself…. Perhaps it’s the whole ANUS RIDING THING that I’m uncomfortable with!? No, that aint it either. *Carries on thinking*. By jove I’ve got it. IT DEPENDS.

I recall reading a book by an author where the hero inserted a finger into the other hero’s ass (it was a M/F/M story) and I couldn’t help but think that perhaps he should have worn gloves whilst doing this, can you imagine? In the middle of what is supposed to be a mega hot sex scene, and all of a sudden, I visualise the giver, with yellow Marigold gloves on trying to avoid any untimely follow-throughs. Sheesh, it’s enough to kill any sexual moment I tell ya! I promptly moved on and skimmed. Yep, avoidance is sometimes a good thing.

On the other hand, I read Lacey Alexander’s French Quarter, Sin City, and Key West, which had some light M/M scenes, and not only did I not skim these parts, I read them and enjoyed them!!

In Rachel Bo’s first Strength in Numbers book, Double Jeopardy (another M/F/M) once again, I revelled in the M/M action, rather than shied away from it.

So people, I’ve decided that my skimming M/M sex scenes in books is completely the author’s fault. (I refuse to believe I’m a prude.) Now that I think about it, there are some M/F sexual marathons that I skim too, this is either because the sex scene was too long, or it was a complete snoozefest. I know that I can’t be the only one who hates sex sessions in erotic romances that get my eyes drooping sleepily!

So there you have it, I’m NOT a prude, the author just didn’t do a good enough job.

OK, So I Changed Back!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

As my regular visitors will see, I decided to go back to the original format, it took me too long to change, so it will be like this permanently, thanks to Dawn and Paz for your input!!

I’m a member of several group lists, and do you know what I’ve discovered? There are a lot of boring people out there. Shocker huh? Being the intelligent, discerning person that you are, you probably discovered this already.

Now if you happen to be on a list that I actually deign to post on, the likelihood is that, it’s probably not you… actually wait, hmmm… yep, sorry, no, it may be you, but don’t be offended, you probably think I’m a little boring too, and that’s ok..

For the purpose of this blog, we will dub these boring people, Mr /Mrs Snoozefest.

I find myself deleting posts from Mr and Mrs Snoozefest before I even read them, do ya know why? Well, it’s because once upon a time, I was foolish enough to actually make the effort to read Mr and Mrs Snoozefest’s posts, and no matter what the subject matter, their posts were inane, predictable, and boring (hey, stop squirming, the chances are that if you’re on my blog, you are a person of unparallelled taste and style, so this is probably not you), so I learned my lesson the hard way.

The problem I sometimes have (due to the social disease of good manners) is that every now and then, I will actually read, Mr and Mrs Snoozefest’s posts, and do you know what happens? Yep, you guessed it, I respond in the same inane, boring and predictable way. I tell ya it’s contagious.

There are certain lists, where you can go for months and not see an interesting post, how on earth does that happen? Maybe boring people gravitate towards each other, thus polluting and completely taking over certain lists, and preventing interesting people from actually joining in. Maybe moderators should have a maximum quota on how many Mr and Mrs Snoozefests they let in huh?

On the other hand, there are certain people on the list who you always want to read what they have to say, even if it’s only one of those irritating smiley’s that sometimes get on my tits. Why is that? Well I personally think that interesting people will always be interesting, no matter what medium you use to communicate with them. Boring people will simply always have the ability to make you want to lose the will to live, no matter how and where you meet them. Isn’t that a sad fact of life?

Do You Like The New Look?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

For those of you who have previously visited my blog, what do you think of the new look? Do you like the more girly pink, or did you prefer the dark and brooding black? Don’t be shy, I really want to know, cuz I played around with all the options for ages, and finally settled on this, but I’m still not sure… I may change again next week, so your input is important.

Did This Really Happen?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I was watching the news the other night, and there was a report that a five year old girl was being disruptive in school, so the teacher called the cops, and three fine upstanding policemen, came to the school, put hand cuffs on the screaming hysterical girl and led her away. Apparently this happened somewhere in America, can somebody confirm if this is true?

If this did really happen, WHAT THE FUCK IS THE WORLD COMING TO!!! Since when does it take three cops and a pair of handcuffs to restrain a rowdy little girl? The funny thing is, you can bet that somebody was probably getting murdered or raped or both, whilst these men were ‘fulfilling their duty’. And what kind of teacher calls cops on a five year old kid? I believe this probably says more about the teacher than it does about the kid, sheesh!!! I hope the parents sue the bastards!!

My Fave Read This Week

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I did a little better with regards to my reading this week. The favourite book this week was a romantic suspense by Beverley Havlir called Bodyguard, the story went a little something like this:

Girl Genius Doctor witnesses a murder on her way home from work one night
Girl Genius’s overprotective and very influential father hires Boy Detective to protect his precious baby Girl Genius.

Girl Genius is resentful of Boy Detective cuz she’s afraid he’s gonna cramp her style, especially now that she’s decided to get laid after years of concentrating on being a genius.

Boy Detective is resentful cuz he thinks she’s a spoilt brat, and he has far more important things to do, than to babysit her.

Girl Genius and Boy Detective clash continuously until of course they wind up swapping saliva and doing the horizontal foxtrot.

Meanwhile Mean Murderer is still on the loose, and is closing in on Girl Genius.

As you can probably tell, I hate writing long review-like sentences, so I kept the synopsis to a bare minimum. I’m not gonna get all flowery with my description of the book and why I liked it, cuz you might just hate it, so all that’s left to say is that I liked it, if you wanna buy it, it’s available at EC, if you don’t well, hell, who cares?

Just as long as you don’t waste your hard earned money on Fletchina Archer’s ‘Menage A Spies’, like I did, you’ll be just fine. (And no, I wont go into exactly what I disliked about this book, cuz I can’t be arsed, and let’s face it, there’s no such thing as bad PR… right Fletch?)

Erotic Romance, Part Porn Or Not?

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

Wow, there’s been some ruffled feathers within the Erotic Romance community lately, mainly due to one of our very own authors daring to speak her mind. Who’d a thunk it? Where did Polite Society Hell go? Woo Hooo, I say!!!

Apparently said author described her work as ‘porn’, which as I understand it upset a few people, authors and readers alike. My question is, so fucking what?

I have been on lists where the very same authors and readers who have lambasted the above author, have also described this genre as nothing more than porn, of course it’s been done, in a ‘wink-wink’, tongue-in- cheek way, but does that make it any more acceptable?
It seems to me, that if you’re not one of the celestially revered authors, whom everybody absolutely loves, and adores, it’s not acceptable to offer up such controversial thoughts. Yech!

I understand that authors who eke out a living writing romantica are probably incensed over having what they do downgraded as porn, but hell, is anybody gonna tell me that some of the content within romantica/erotica books is not pornographic in detail sometimes?

Ok. I’ll tell ya what, look at the sentence below, and you tell me that this isn’t in the least bit pornographic:

“You have the most beautiful cunt I’ve ever seen,” he said hoarsely, “so wet and juicy, so tight and swollen”

Go on, try to convince me that the above excerpt from a well known erotic romance author isn’t pornographic…. Go on, I dare you.

It may not be ‘porn’ per se, but it definitely has pornographic undertones.

The problem that authors have with being lumped in the same genre as porn, is that the word itself, has negative connotations. You can’t help but think of bad movies, with silicone enhanced barbie dolls, giving somebody as mortally UGLY as Ron Jeremy a blowjob (that’s right folks, I know who he is!). That happens only in porn movies right?

In my mind, erotic romance evokes a more sensual vision of sex, and incorporates love and romance, whereas, porn is just sex, nothing more, nothing less. This is why I believe, authors are so upset about one of their own apparently ‘rubbishing’ the entire genre.

Hell, I’ve read books that were supposedly erotic romance, but in reality were nothing more than porn-with-a-story-line. I know you’ve all read at least one of these kinda books, you know you have, so don’t deny it.

This whole argument is as bad as romance writers trying to tell the world that they don’t write romance books, they write stories about relationships (what a load of bollocks.) Denial is not just a river in Africa people.

As far as I’m concerned, if somebody tells me that what I read is porn, am I gonna go crazy? Am I gonna list the main differences between porn and erotic romance? I don’t think so, do you know why? Because I don’t give a shit that’s why. Is it gonna stop me reading erotic romance, just because somebody called it porn? Yeah, whatever!

Do I myself view erotic romances as porn? Not really, but erotica has it’s own name, so out of respect for the genre and the authors, that’s the name I use, but do I think said author should be hauled over the coals for telling it how she thinks it is? DO I BOLLOCKS!!! Translation for you Americans out there ‘Hell, no, and find another soap box to stand on!!’

Book Plots: The Same Old, Same Old?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

I am bored.

Do you know why I’m bored?

Because there seems to be a dearth of interesting and original story lines, THAT’S WHY!!!!

A while ago I read a book from an EC author, now I really liked the story, the plot went something like this:

Girl meets Boy, who really isn’t a boy, but is a lot older than her
Boy is super rich, as is his family
Girl currently works for Boy’s mother, so of course Boy is suspicious of Girls Motive
Girl has ‘huge’ breasts and Boy likes this.
Girl and Boy can’t keep hands off each other, and swap saliva constantly
Boy continuously refers to Girls breasts as ‘tits’, or ‘melons’ and forever “bounces her jugs up and down”
Girl and Boy are overwhelmed by their feelings for each other and end up in Bed
Boy has a thing for shaved pussies, so they indulge in a shaving sex fest
Girl gets pregnant by Boy, and doesn’t notice even though they quite clearly did not use contraception
Girl and Boy live happily ever after, when Girl eventually notices that she is pregnant and tells him

Now, obviously there was a little more to the story, but the above were the basics, and to be honest, I quite enjoyed it, so I went and purchased about five more books that were written by this author, hey what can I say, I’m an impulsive buyer!

Now then, I read second story from this author, and the plot went something like this:

Girl meets Boy, who really isn’t a boy, but is a lot older than her
Boy is super rich, as is his family
Girl has ‘huge’ breasts and Boy likes this
Girl and Boy can’t keep hands off each other, and swap saliva constantly
Boy continuously refers to Girls breasts as ‘tits’, or ‘melons’ and forever “bounces her jugs up and down”
Girl and Boy are overwhelmed by their feelings for each other and end up in Bed
Boy has a thing for shaved pussies, so they indulge in a shaving sex fest
Girl gets pregnant by Boy, and doesn’t notice even though they quite clearly did not use contraception
Girl and Boy live happily ever after, when Girl eventually notices that she is pregnant and tells him

Hmmmm, a bit familiar you might say, but fear not, the third story went something like this:

Girl meets Boy, who really isn’t a boy, but is a lot older than her
Boy is super rich, as is his family
Girl has ‘huge’ breasts and Boy likes this
Girl and Boy can’t keep hands off each other, and swap saliva constantly
Boy continuously refers to Girls breasts as ‘tits’, or ‘melons’ and forever “bounces her jugs up and down”
Girl and Boy are overwhelmed by their feelings for each other and end up in Bed
Boy has a thing for shaved pussies, so they indulge in a shaving sex fest
Girl gets pregnant by Boy, and doesn’t notice even though they quite clearly did not use contraception
Girl and Boy live happily ever after, when Girl eventually notices that she is pregnant and tells him.

Can you see the pattern here folks? Now I liked the first story, because it was quite touching. Hey I can even live with the fact that the hero constantly refers to the heroine’s breasts as jugs, and tits, and any other slang adjective, he could find to describe her mammaries. But really, did she have to write the same story five times? This author may have changed the title several times, but sheesh, we’re not stupid, we notice these things!

Now, I realise that there are a huge amount of authors out there who have their ‘thing’ and if you read any of their books, you know that sooner or later, their ‘thing’ will show up, for instance, Lora Leigh, and Anal sex. You know that whenever you pick up a Lora Leigh book, there is ALWAYS gonna be a little back door lovin’, but I personally don’t mind this, because generally her stories are very entertaining, a little on the dark side, but very interesting and original all the same.

This is in complete contradiction to the above author, as far as I’m concerned, having the same plots running throughout all of your books is JUST PLAIN LAZINESS!!!
As a reader, I have paid for a book that was just the same as the other four books that I just read, isn’t that a tad unfair? What do you think? Has this ever happened to you? Indeed do you recognise the signature of said author?

Was I the only person who rolled their eyes at the news that Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were expecting their first baby?

What is it with these Hollywood fools, they are all in such a darn hurry to do everything. Britney is nothing more than a baby herself, why oh why did she have to get herself her very own ball and chain. We all know it’s not going to last, I’ve given them till next year before news paper reports appear on how he’s suing her for half of her earnings.. (Liza Minelli, and David Gest anybody…?)

I bet by the time she gets bloated with child, he’ll be looking for his next meal ticket, and we’ll be left with the refrain of “Ooops She did it again, but now she has a baby”.
Did she learn nothing from Jennifer Lopez? if you’re rich and famous, never marry anybody with less money than you, especially if they have a bad hair cut, and they dance for a living.

Jlo I’m sure would be the first to tell Britney, that her love, far from not costing her a thing, took her to the cleaners, told the world about her most intimate secrets, then to add insult to injury started dating Samantha Mumba.

Britney will surely realise that she was probably better off with Justin Trousersnake, once it dawns on her that it wasn’t just her wit and charm that first caught Kevin’s eye. Lets hope that she has a good divorce lawyer waiting in the wings, because this is gonna cost her an arm and a heart.

Just in case you Americans are wondering, chavs is just another way of saying trailer trash…with money.

The subject of reviews, and their influence with readers, is a discussion point that always manages to make it’s way into various group lists. Do we trust them? Do they effect what book buying choices we make? What are they for, apart from either stroking an author’s ego or sending said author straight into therapy, after reading a bad review on one of their offerings. Probably the very same book that they shed, blood, sweat and tears over whilst writing it.

As you can probably tell, I’m very cynical when it comes to book reviews, there’s been too many reviews that I have disagreed with in the past for me to take them seriously.

With the e-book community being as incestuous as it is, it makes it even harder to trust reviews and reviewers. This is mainly due to reviewers interacting with the very same authors that they will probably have to review at one point or another. How do I know that I am getting an objective unbiased review? Well, I don’t.

As human beings, it’s hard to criticise someone you personally like, and to do it in a public arena is even worse, so I do think that from time to time it’s almost inevitable that objectivity would become a huge issue for some. I say this because I have read some work that was truly awful, both technically, and plot-wise, that were given high plaudits, and when you find out or know, that that reviewer happens to be on the authors group list, it sure makes you wonder…

I didn’t realise how necessary foreplay was in a story, until I read a couple of books, which didn’t have any during the sex scenes. Don’t get me wrong, these weren’t crap stories or anything, the build up to the act was always good, and always promised so much, but like a bad lover, one thrust and it was all over.Yech! It would seem that the problem of premature ejaculation does not only affect men!

I was trying to figure out why some authors are extremely good at creating fantastic sex scenes that can have you wriggling in your chair, whilst some promise a lot, but in the end leave you feeling as dry as a nun’s c*nt.

There was one romantica book that I read where each sex scene barely lasted a full page, what’s that about? Unless you’re extremely blessed (either that or you’re a nympho) that barely leaves you enough time to get wet! I can honestly say that it takes me longer than a minute to reach the orgasmic state, and if there’s no foreplay, well hell, you may as well bring along some magazines, cuz this could take a while, and you know I aint leaving till I get mine!

Having said that, I have read some books where the foreplay lasted so long, that if that was real life, I probably would have slapped the man upside the head for taking so damned long, and maybe finished the job myself!

So that begs the question, do you feel cheated when an author writes a sex scene that’s all thrust and no foreplay, or do you not mind as long as the story is a good one?

As with most people round the world, I have been listening to details from the Michael Jackson child molestation case, and I’ve got to say, as a huge MJ fan, my faith is slowly but surely fading. If you’d have asked me two months ago, is Michael Jackson guilty, I would have said hell no, no way, not Michael Jackson, somebody as great as he is cannot have committed this most disgusting of crimes, nah not possible. Yet everyday there seems to be little tidbits of information that wear away at my belief in his innocence.

I’m at a loss to understand why a grown man prefers to be in the company of children, rather than adults. Once upon a time I would have trotted out the common line of ‘well ya know he’s trying to regain his childhood ‘, but is he? From my rose coloured glasses, I used to think that this explanation made perfect sense, but now I really have to question what my beliefs about this are. My sister and I have always been staunch Michael Jackson fans, and I used to always say, if I was his sister, I would make it my life’s work to protect him from all who wanted to hurt him, including if necessary, himself. The irony, is that perhaps it is us that needs protecting from him.

I don’t want him to be guilty of this crime. It probably sound s a little silly, but I would rather he was found guilty of murder, than be somebody who was capable of violating innocent children. Who says humans are logical creatures?

Whilst at university, we covered psychological profiling, and one of the groups of criminals we studied were indeed paedophiles. I’m not gonna go all amateur psychologist on you, but I remember that the one thing that stood out in my mind was that paedophiles come from all socio economic classes, and that many convicted paedophiles were respected members of the community.

I still remember tossing and turning for weeks after one particular lecture that dealt with a specific child molestation case. I don’t want to imagine, that somebody whom I have admired as long as I can remember, and indeed somebody who has provided the soundtrack to my life, could be guilty of a crime such as this. The memories of my life that I associate with certain songs of his, would be forever tainted with the knowledge of his misdeeds.

Somebody recently said to me, “Michael Jackson is either A-sexual, or he is a paedophile” God, I so want him to be A-sexual! Is he a genius done wrong, or a predator that’s been on the loose for too long, did he do those things? I’d like to think not, but as I said at the beginning of this blog, my faith is slowly but surely being worn away by the daily revelations from the trial. If he’s guilty, then he should burn in hell, but then, what if he isn’t?
What’s your opinion?

I just saw something that made me laugh out loud, bless her heart, but an overly enthusiastic reader just sent a generic e-mail to a whole lotta groups, selflessly promoting a certain author, I read the e-mails (which I received several times, as I’m member of most of these groups) and silently wondered how long it would be before somebody told her off for shamelessly promoting another author on other people’s lists. I did wonder if anybody would dare break the ‘I’m far too Polite to Rock the Boat’ trend, and say something to her about it. Well not five minutes later, an e-mail came through basically telling her that they had deleted her post, and verbally smacked her wrist for not following the cardinal group rule, NO PROMOTIONS OF ANY KIND ON OTHER PEOPLE’S LISTS!!! Oh how I laughed!!

Poor reader, gaffes on these group lists haunt you for a very long time, I know, I’ve made several at one point or another!!

I read a book a while ago that I absolutely hated, I mean, honestly, I have never hated a book so much in my life. Usually, when I read a really bad book, I shrug my shoulders and move on to the next one hoping that it will be better, but in this case, I could not possibly let this go without comment, so I sent an e-mail to the author of this book. Most of you will read this e-mail, and gasp in horror, it was very harsh, and I don’t doubt that the recipient of this e-mail, probably went into a psychotic episode shortly after they received it, I know I would have, had it been directed at me. The following is an excerpt from the e-mail that I wrote:

Dear Ms Author

“I recently read your book “Book1”, and I would like to congratulate you on writing, what for me personally, had to be the worst book I’ve read in over ten years. I like to think of myself as someone who is completely open minded about different genres in books, but I have to say, even I was at a loss to find something positive to say about this story. If your aim for the story was to shock, you certainly achieved that, in spades.

This book was written as a romance, and I for one fail to see how you could classify this story as such. Even the happy ever after tidbit at the end was completely unconvincing, and felt rushed. The entire book seemed to be completely anti-female, and I must admit, I was amazed that this story was ever published as a romance, and more so that it was written by another woman. You seemed to have ignored the whole premise of a romance, which in it’s most basic form is boy meets girls, boy and girl have issues that they must deal with and they fall in love, and live happily ever after. “Book1”, in no way came close to fulfilling any of those requirements.

The heroine was tortured, beaten and subjected to intolerable cruelty during most of the book, and she actually didn’t get to meet her hero until near the end of the book. During the first half of the book, the reader is asked to believe that the heroine actually enjoys this treatment, when in fact, at the beginning of the book, you created a heroine that would not have tolerated such cruelty. She obviously went through rigorous training in order to be the perfect sub, but I must say, I was completely unconvinced by the change in personality. You then validated my scepticism, and contradicted the premise of the book by giving her an ending whereby the heroine gets her revenge on the people who ran this operation (this is the same heroine whom you had tried to convince us enjoyed being treated no better than an animal at the hands of these same people)

I felt that you had run out of ideas and of word count by the time this book ended. In all fairness, I tried to get a second opinion on this book by looking for reviews, on the popular review sites, but I was unable to find more than one review, and I believe that review was done by a fellow author, so I was in no way convinced. I then asked other people who had read this book what their opinion was on it, and let me tell you, as many fans as you may have, there are as many people that would have read this story, and judged the rest of your work on the basis of it.

‘My books don’t aim to be cruel or to torture women’ This was a direct quote from your website, but honestly if that’s the case, you could have fooled me! I even went as far as to read another of your stories that happened to be in an anthology that I had purchased. The story was called “Book 2″, and by the time I’d finished this story, I was convinced that I would never read another Ms Author story ever again.”

No doubt most of you will read the above e-mail and be absolutely horrified that I sent it, but I have to say, I have absolutely no remorse in sending it, I wanted to know why this author had written this book and classified it as a romance, because believe me, it may have been erotica, but it wasn’t a romance by any stretch of the imagination.

Believe it or not, I got a letter back from this author, which impressed me hugely, because let’s face it, many authors would have been too mad to write back, so my hat goes off to this author for bothering to write back (I can imgaine the number of swear words that were deleted when he came to edit this). The following is an excerpt from said author’s e-mail reply:

“Karen: I’ve thought a lot about how to respond to this clearly thoughtful letter. First, I want you to know that I appreciate hearing from my readers — even if they have some critical things to say. My fear in responding is that I might come across as sounding whiny or defensive. (I rejected my first reaction, which was “Oh yeah….? Oh yeah…?”) So at the risk of sounding like I’m being defensive, let me see if I can respond, so that at least you’ll know that I read your email.

“Book1” was my first real novel with “publisher1”. “Book2” was my first short story. I don’t consider either one to be a romance — I really didn’t know what a true romance was back then. They were really more of an erotica, with some romance welded on. I was trying to find my voice, I suppose. I’ve learned quite a bit about what readers expect from “publisher1” stories in the years since. I like to think that my later books, especially “______” or “_____” are much closer to a true romance, although they might have a bit harder edge than romantic readers might expect. I’ve also found an outlet for my strict erotica — selling it to “Publisher2″or “Publisher3” — so that I can stick with romantic erotica for “Publisher1” and not confuse genres — or readers.

I know there are women out there who do harbor some fantasies along those lines. If I had “Book1” to do all over again, I think I would’ve found that middle ground that satisfies those fantasies without going to extremes. And I would’ve strengthed the romance part by introducing the hero much earlier. I state on my website that I don’t degrade women and I suppose those two books violate that philosophy. Perhaps I should give a better warning. My later books I think empower women, even if the characters in them like to be submissive.

I think I was fortunate to have begun with “Publisher1” back when they were first launching in the U.S. I’m sure “Book 1” and “Book2” would’ve been rejected today. I’ve learned a lot from my editors and readers since then. I’m sorry you didn’t like “Book1”, but I hope you don’t give up on me entirely. I think you’ll find my writing has matured since then.

Thanks, Ms Author
My new marketing slogan: “Book1″ – Worst Book in Ten Years! Read it and see if you agree!”

As you can see, Ms Author handled my ultra critical e-mail remarkably well, and gave a detailed and honest account of how this book had come to be. For that alone, I have to admire them, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I sent this author an e-mail telling them as much.
Just in case anybody’s wondering, If I could go back in time, I would still send that e-mail again. The books were truly awful in my opinion.

Barbara Cartland may not be wholly responsible for the way the whole romance genre is perceived, but I don’t think that her brand of romance helped. I think her legacy of bodice rippers and quivering maidens, will forever remain in the psyche of non-romance readers.

As a romance reader growing up, I was pilloried by my peers for reading ‘those’ kind of books. Of course I didn’t help matters by acting ashamed of what I was reading. Sure I read books like, Anne of Green Gables, or even Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, it didn’t bother me that people knew that I read these kind of books. I was proud to hold them aloft, and let the world see what they were. I knew that I wouldn’t be judged for reading them, whereas my Silhouette Desire offerings, which generally depicted a man and a woman in an amorous clinch on the front cover, were something to be ashamed of as far as I was concerned.

Things have changed since then, but I wonder how many women still hide the cover of their romance books, when in public? I mean really, if you think about it, how many times have you sat on a train and seen somebody actually reading a romance book, with the cover showing so that the other passengers couldn’t help but see it?

I travel by train a lot when I visit London, which from my town is generally a 3 hour journey, and I can honestly say, that I never have. I’ve seen plenty of people reading Tom Clancy and John Grisham-type books, but not ‘obvious’ romance’s. I think that’s really sad, and as long as readers, and authors alike don’t stand up, and say, “yeah, I read/write romance books, so what of it”, we’ll continually have the so-called ‘serious book readers/writers’ looking down their noses at us, even though we all know that romance books account for something like 50% of overall readership.

You know what, I love my hubby, I really do, I mean, I love him so much, I would give him one of my lungs if I had to…. erm well you know, eventually…. erm, if there were no other choices….and if his family were unavailable for a REALLY good reason… and if I didn’t actually have to experience any pain…. lungs… hmmm, ok maybe not my lungs, but certainly a vital part of my body, maybe a kidney…? Erm how many of those do we have…? Anyway, I digress, my whole point is, I would be willing to give up one of my vital organs for him, but when it comes to the channel changer? Are you kidding me? Seemingly I would rather gnaw off my own arm than give that baby up to him!

I can see ya thinking, ‘Hello, give it up already for the sake of world peace’, but the words, hell, freeze, and over, instantly spring to mind, when I think about giving up the power button!
Is this a power thing, or did something go wrong in the womb, that led me to this very point in my life. I can assure you, I was breast fed, so it’s not that. It is definitely puzzling.

Wednesday nights are my best TV nights, what with the fantastically trashy TV offerings such as, Desperate Housewives, The Apprentice (The English Version, which is where I believe the Donald got the initial idea from) America’s Next Top Model (shallow I know, but I still love it) and Will and Grace! Hubby wanted to watch Discovery Wings, I mean, not even just the Discovery Channel, HE WANTED TO WATCH DISCOVERY WINGS! What’s that about? He expected moi to give up DH and Will and Grace, in order to watch flying planes? Ooookay, you know that that wasn’t gonna happen right?

Well folks, you’ll be pleased to know, we came to a compromise. I mean, I would really hate for my marriage to dissolve just because we have different taste in TV, so ya know what, we’re getting Sky Plus! We will now be able to watch Satellite TV upstairs and downstairs, so if there’s something on TV that he really wants to watch, that conflicts with what I want to watch, he now has the option of going upstairs! Talk about compromise huh, now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
So is it just me, or do you go through this very emotional upheaval too?

Yeah, I know, it’s a little early to be having this conversation, but what the hell, humour me!
Hubby and I have been watching Cosmetic Surgery Live on the TV over the past few days (and I thought Nip/Tuck was gruesome!), it’s been a revelation, to say the least! There was a lady on whose labial lips were,… erm shall we say, less than perfect? In other words, they were hanging out like John Wayne’s saddle bags, I mean they were ugly, but ladies, lets face it, THE VAGINA IS AN UGLY-ASSED PART OF THE BODY!!

Every now and then, for health reasons obviously,(g) I have to check that part of me, and I can never really get over how really nasty it looks (maybe this is just me?), and I’m always grateful that I don’t have to look at it more than once a month. Apparently my labial lips are in great shape, (no, that’s not just the hubby’s diagnosis) they are compact, and nothing hangs, but this is probably because I haven’t had the pleasure of squeezing a melon sized being out of that itty bitty hole.
This begs the question, if you’re nether lips were less than perfect, would you shrug your shoulders and think, well, that’s how God meant it to be, or would you have them surgically improved? Indeed would you consider cosmetic surgery period?

Group Lists – Author Absenteeism

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

What is the god-damned point of having a group list when the owner, usually the author, is never around?

I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t just join groups, so that I can become bestest pals with the sometimes irrelevant people who are on them (harsh you’re thinking, but I too may be considered irrelevant by others), so imagine how annoyed, and irritated I get, when I join a group, with the hopes that I get to ‘meet’ said, esteemed author, and maybe get the lowdown on what they are like, whether they’re emotional cripples, or well balanced individuals , only to find that if they post once a week, you’re lucky. By this time, I have gone to the trouble of introducing myself to the group, hoping for maybe a kind word or two, from the author, whose books I have become obsessed by.

A little time goes by, nothing, then a little more time goes by, nothing still, you wait and wait, but still nada, then finally one day, when you are not expecting it, suddenly there’s the long awaited post sitting in your in-box, your heart races with excitement, at last, word from your esteemed author. You open it up to find this:
‘Dangerous Desires, by Ivor Biggun releases today , get your copy from Shoddy Books now!!’

Hello!! It’s great news that they are releasing a book today, after all, it’s their books, that brought you to their loop in the first place, but give me a break, this is not what you visualised when you thought about getting to know them better, *sigh*, impersonal generic announcements, that could have been better served being on a newsletter only group!
The thing is, we are just so danged loyal. When the author finally decides to grace us with their presence, do we say “where the heck, have you been, we’ve been waiting for ya?” Do we hell, we salivate, whilst chanting ‘we are not worthy’ and go into that sycophantic mode, I so detest. Hey, I’ve done it myself, so I know!

I’m not completely heartless (no dessent amongst the ranks please) I appreciate that these authors are incredibly busy people, what with conventions, book signings, family life, and one thing or another, but as loyal readers, and in a lot of cases, the people who made it possible for said author to be so busy in the first place, don’t we deserve a little more attention? Don’t we deserve to be treated better than a cast off lover, who you no longer bother try to keep happy, because they’ve outlived their usefulness? Is this just me, or does anybody else feel this way. Authors, feel free to comment.

My Book of The Week

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

So far this week, I’ve read 3 books (I know, I know, what can I say, I’ve been busy building my empire!!) And as I sit here, I’m struggling to recall what they were, how bad is that? *tapping fingers, giving this serious thought* Oh yeah, I remember now…. two of the books that I purchased this week were anthologies. Dontcha just hate the fact that you have to have to pay so much money for a book, when really, you were only ever buying it because there was a particular author that you like, who has a story in the anth? Sigh, this could be just me, but I resent the hell out of it! It would probably help if the other stories weren’t too bad, but three good stories per anthology is generally the exception rather than the rule. Sigh. Having said that, I have discovered some real gems that way, Jaid Black being one of them.
It looks like this week, I have no outstanding books to tell you about, but no fear, hopefully by next week, I would have resumed my usual frantic reading pace!

I have heard this mantra most of my life, and I’m wondering if I necessarily agree with it? How boring would life be if people never fell out, never made up, were always unscrutably polite to each other, and the whole world was all raindrops and roses? HELLO? THIS IS NOT LIVING!!! Falling out, being bitchy, and generally misbehaving, is part of life, and I realise that there will be bleeding heart liberals out there who may (or may not) read this post and think, ‘what the f*k, but hey this is just the way I think, life would be BORING if everybody was nice to everybody else, all of the time, yech!!!

On most of the lists that I’m on, everybody is sooooo polite, I mean come on, I cannot be the only one who sees certain posts and think, how lame is that? I know you do too, you’re just too polite to say so, and most of the time I have to admit, I too suffer from this social disease called good manners, yech!!

However, having said that, what I absolutely will NOT do is to extoll the virtues of a book that I thought was absolutely rubbish, just because I’m familiar with the author. This is where, the above rule comes into play, I say nothing! Why lie, and give platitudes that you know you don’t mean? I hear ya thinking well if you voice your opinion in a diplomatic way, you can get away with it, but really, who the hell believes that? Having been in contact with a lot of authors, I know that this bunch, are some of the most insecure people in the world, so no matter how nicely you word a negative, it’s still a negative, and will sometimes have said author crying and going through huge bouts of self doubt for the next year or so!

But by keeping quiet, am I really doing that author a favour? Would he/she not be better off, if I explained what it was about the book that I didn’t like? After all, without readers and their input, where would they be? In Unpublished Hell, that’s where! Authors feel free to comment!