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Talk about putting the cat amongst the pigeons…

Before I start this entry, let me start by saying that, I have read quite a few Elizabeth Bevarly’s books, and I can honestly say that every single one of her books that I read (especially the ones with those babies in them) was a complete snoozefest. Yes Lizzie darling, I was one of the plebs who read Roxy and The Rich Man, and The Virgin and The Vagabond.

Having read her column on Squawk Radio, it all begins to make sense.

I can’t bring myself to link, but if you want to visit the site, you can find it via this PBW entry.

Her rant starts like this…

“This is the cover for my new Blaze, out this month. It was a totally new endeavor for me. A stretch, even. Because the hardest part of my books for me to write are the sex scenes.

I also think it’s best when the intensity and frequency of the sex scenes are dictated by the hero and heroine, and, to a lesser extent, the story. For INDECENT SUGGESTION, the story and characters had to be dictated by the sex. Lots of sex. Lots of hot sex. In fact, the sex became more important in identifying what the book is than the characters and story were. I’ve decided that’s just not my thang.”

Sex isn’t her thing, got it!

She continues:

“I’m blogging about my Blaze for two reasons. One, it’s out this month. Duh. And two, because there’s been a lot of brouhaha in RWA recently about their new graphical standards stuff.

I’ll get right to my point. Erotica doesn’t belong in RWA, and RWA never should have approved Ellora’s Cave as an RWA-recognized publisher. The reason? Ellora’s Cave doesn’t publish Romance any more than Playboy Books publishes Romance.”

At this moment in time, I’m absolutely pissing myself laughing because I can’t figure out whether she actually means what she says, or if this is a quest for free PR for her new Blaze book. I can’t be arsed thinking about it too much, I’d only give myself a headache, so I just read on:

“Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Erotica. Like Romance, it’s a perfectly legitimate genre. Like Romance, it has its roots in a long literary tradition. Like Romance, it appeals to a basic human need and a basic human response. But the fact is, it’s NOT Romance. It’s Erotica.”

Erm… well for starters she insists on calling Erotic Romance, Erotica, and as any fool and her dog knows, the two are quite different. Has she not seen the fights that have gone on about this?

At least she has nothing against erotica. (g)

But never mind that, there was more:

“I’ve spent my entire career explaining to people that Romance isn’t about sex. It’s about emotion. Romance novels describe the emotional awakening and emotional growth of two people who ultimately make a monogamous commitment to each other.

The sex the hero and heroine have occurs because they’re falling in love. Erotica novels describe the sexual awakening and sexual growth of as many people as the writer wants to include in the story.

The sex the characters have occurs because they are hugely physically turned on. It can be good. It can be very good. It can make the reader want a cigarette after its over. But it’s still Erotica. It’s not Romance.”

Romance books aren’t about sex, they’re about emotion… Got it! The fact that she’s spent her entire career chanting this mantra doesn’t really surprise me.


“A writer acquaintance of mine who writes for Ellora’s Cave fully admits that what she writes is pornography. Yes, that’s the word she uses. She doesn’t consider the books Romance any more than I do. She is as troubled by the shelving of the EC books in the romance section at Waldenbooks as I am.

She has friends? Just kidding, of course she has friends…

She adds:

“I don’t take my eleven-year-old into the section where my books are shelved these days, because I’m afraid of what he’ll pick up to flip through. That used to not be a concern for me. It also bothers me that now someone from the media can pluck an EC novel from the Romance section and say, “See? I told you all these books are only about sex.”

See, I told you there was lots of shame in romance, she’s one of them thar romance authors who wants to be taken seriously by them thar literary sorts, the only problem being that she’s not that good a writer (IMO of course).

She concludes her rant by writing:

“Blaze, I think, is as erotic as RWA needs to get. Although quite sexy, the books still feature a hero and heroine who are monogamous. As steamy as the sex gets, the characters still have an emotional awakening and emotional growth.

Blaze is still Romance, and still has a firm place in RWA. Erotica, not so. It is no more Romance than Letters to Penthouse is. If erotica writers want to form EWA–Erotica Writers of America–they by all means should. Although the RWA umbrella is broad, and the genre claims much crossover and blending of genres, we are still at heart a Romance organization. And I, for one, would like to keep it that way.”

Oh, it’s ok for Blaze to write about cocks, clits and cunts, but not EC? Ok then…
There you have it, the gospel truth as spoken by an NY published romance author. Sigh.

Now I realise that many people probably feel this way, but sheesh, that was harsh. My response is limited due to the fact that this viewpoint is of no surprise to me. I’ve always suspected that NY romance authors think that they are a cut above everybody else, and some of them even have their head up their own arse.

It would be interesting to see how many EC books she has read. The funny thing is, Shelby Reed, who writes for EC has more talent in her little finger than Ms Bevarly does in her whole body. I challenge anyone to read a Shelby Reed or a Sarah Mccarty book, then read any of Elizabeth Bevarly’s and tell me that she is the better author. I think not.

Oh well, back to work, it kept me amused for a while anyway….


  • Eve Vaughn
    July 15
    1:40 pm

    I wonder how many EC books she’s actually read to come to this conclusion? Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been through EC, Loose-id and Changeling. WTF??? If it weren’t for companies like EC, there would be no Blaze line. Avon wouldn’t have an erotica line. Berkley wouldn’t print erotica. Kensington wouldn’t have an erotica line. Notice she doesn’t say anything about these print pubs who have erotica lines. Angela Knight one of my absolute fav authors, is a New York Times Best Seller and some of her stuff is racier than what’s at EC. It’s easy to take pot shots at the little guy because she doesn’t want to shot herself in the foot with NY.
    Here is what this is really all about, NY wants racier stories because EC has proved that sex sells and it sells plenty. She can’t hang and feels threatened so she attacks the little guy to make herself feel better for not being able to write good sex. Elizabeth who?


  • Selah March
    July 15
    3:00 pm

    Frankly, I doubt she barely knows those other lines, books and authors exist. I get the impression she’s exceedingly ill-informed and poorly-read.

    But she has her OPINION, dammit–ill-informed though it may be. And her OPINION is…EC doesn’t measure up. Hang logic, hang the market, hang everything but what squicks Ms. Bevarly, because that’s all that counts in THIS discussion–that and the pre-pubescent boy she can no longer allow to wander unattended in the romance aisle, and that’s all EC’s fault, too, dammit. And JUST when she thought she could start getting lazy with that whole “supervision” thing…

    When Ladies Who Lunch Lose Their Marbles…film at 11.


  • Dakota Cassidy
    July 15
    4:23 pm

    K–I just gotta mention this particular quote–then, I is shuttin’ UP!

    “I’ve spent my entire career explaining to people that Romance isn’t about sex. It’s about emotion. Romance novels describe the emotional awakening and emotional growth of two people who ultimately make a monogamous commitment to each other”

    Um, my books are strictly monogamous. I write erotica–I display all of the emotions that occur when falling in love and the conflict over getting to the path of HEA, but instead of the bedroom door being cracked open, it’s flung off the hinges 🙂 I also display the emotions of sexual awakening–between two people who are slated to be together and discover the pleasures of one another in a carnal manner. What they discover (in my books), is that this is THE person for them and no one else can satisfy them spiritually, emotionally quite the way this one soul does.

    Don’t know about you–but I gotta say that that’s damned romantic.

    I wonder if she’d liked to be romanced for the rest of her life and just skip the sex part. Last I knew, romance sometimes involved kissing and junk–but I guess that wouldn’t work her up into a nice frenzy so that she might entertain the idea of wanting to have sex. She’d rather just have the flowers, candy and the declaration of love. NO SEX. NONE, nada, zippo, zilch 🙂

    I’d be abe to relate to that if it didn’t make so little sense to me. She can hold hands and be chaste for the rest of her life if she wishes. I plan to have SEX with my romance, thank you very much.

    Dakota 🙂


  • Anne
    July 15
    7:09 pm

    Bwahahaha! What an idiot.. an ill-informed idiot at that! Well, it looks like I won’t be reading any more books from her… and they weren’t all that memorable anyway.

    She tried to jump on the band wagon with a Blaze and obviously didn’t feel successful at it.. so she’s back to bashing the EROTIC ROMANCE.. Not erotica. Dumbass.
    A satisfying beautiful sex scene stems from the ability to draw vivid characters and to have the characterization flow over into the sexual relationship between them. Therefore it doesn’t surprise me at all that Ms. Bevarly doesn’t have the ability to write a successful — MODERN– Romance.

    If these are her types of statements with regard to sex in relationships then I can only venture to guess just how STALE her Blaze really was. Ugh!

    It’s a safe bet that I nor anyone I know will be purchasing ANY of her books anymore when they get wind of her dumbass rant.

    Did she load that gun herself? You know the one that shot her in the foot?

    Oh yeah… dumbass.


  • Marianne LaCroix
    July 16
    3:34 am

    And she wrote a Blaze because….?

    I agree with Dakota, sex is a key part of a romantic relationship. I couldn’t write a book without both. Yes, I said both. Romance and sex go together. Sex wouldn’t be the deep connection between the hero and heroine without the love and romance. Sex is an act to show, not tell, the growing affection and bond between the characters.

    I get the feeling she hasn’t read many EC books. Not all have the same level of content, some are hotter than others. In fact, I wonder if she based her opinion about the company based on something her author friend told her instead of actually READING one of their books.

    To say erotic romance authors should go off on their own instead of having their own place in the RWA is completely offensive to me as an author of the genre. (And yes, there is a difference between erotica and erotic romanceanyone who reads each KNOW the difference.)

    And as a PARENT, she should be watching the books her child picks up in a store. Where is supervision? And if a media person were to pick up the book, they are clearl marked “erotic romance”. Hello! Of course they will be spicier. As if Susan Johnson, Beatrice Small and Thea Divine haven’t been writing erotic romance for years in various NY houses? Why pick on EC?

    No, I don’t think this author researched the industry/genre before posting such coments.


  • Angela James
    July 16
    2:08 pm

    I’m laughing karen, because I saw this blog earlier in the week and wondered how long it would take for it to come to your attention. I almost sent you the link because I just knew you’d have a scathing retort. And, as always, you didn’t disappoint 🙂

    And perhaps you heard some of the EC authors laughing as they read the comments about their supposed “$25/$50” royalty checks. Yep, that was them you heard laughing…all the way to the bank.


  • Marianne LaCroix
    July 16
    2:47 pm

    I can tell you, it isn’t just EC authors making more than $25 a book. Sheesh, why would any of us write for such a small royalty?


  • Karen Scott
    July 16
    11:26 pm

    Eve, she admitted in one of her comments that she hadn’t read many EC books, As Anne eloquently put it, WHAT A DUMBASS!

    Selah, One of her amigo’s commented that they all write amazing books, sorry Terry, I have to disagree with ya, Lizzie’s books stink big time in my opinion, and I can say that cuz I actually read them when I didn’t know any better (thank God, I only borrowed them from the library!)

    Dakota, I think she was smokin sumthing when she wrote that blog…

    Anne, I can’t help but agree with you, she says she’s quitting Blaze cuz she doesn’t like writing about sex, well I think the real reason is probably because she sucked at it, and she wasn’t selling a whole lot, I could be wrong tho, it has been known to happen a time or two… and you’re right, she is a DUMBASS!

    Marianne, you and I know that sex is a key part of a relationship, the people who say otherwise are just in denial. I agree, as a parent, what’s she doing letting her 11 year old go into the erotic romance section anyway?

    Angie, you know me, I just gotta have my two cents worth, tee hee hee!!
    Yeah, I saw the comments about how much ER authors get paid. Some people should learn to use Google properly…


  • Desiree Erotique
    July 18
    12:02 am

    Firstly, I’d like to comment on the books in the aisles business. I have two small children. If I don’t want them to get burned, I don’t let them near a hot stove. I don’t remove the stove from the house; I use supervision. Its called parental responsibility; something this woman evidently isn’t too keen on.

    Secondly, unless she’s living under a veil in a Far Eastern country, what’s her “thang” against a romantically involved couple actually having sex?? Sex and more sex even? Sheesh. I’ve stomached all the sexless romance books I can handle. So I avoid them. She has the same choice in reverse.


  • Maven
    July 18
    12:11 am

    Someone is spouting sour grapes because she can’t join the wave…
    I liked _Her Man Friday_, but her last few seemed ameturish and flat to me.


  • Jaynie R
    July 18
    4:08 am

    lol, I should have know you would jump on this one too *g* When I wrote my rant, I kept thinking – hmmm, wonder what KarenS will say lol


  • Karen Scott
    July 18
    9:02 am

    Des, I suspect she was on magic mushrooms when she wrote that column, and I also suspect that she’s since thought about it, and decided that possibly she shouldn’t have written it in the first place.

    Maven, how she got the Best Seller status, I’ll never understand!

    Jaynie, I got the link from Jordan’s blog, I knew it had to be bad if it pissed her off!

    Of course I had to have my say! (g)


  • BitterMoodyMaven
    July 20
    9:02 pm

    OK, I went and read the whole thread on her blog and I gotta say;
    WTF is she thinking?!? How can she make a blanket statement that EC should not have recognition by RWA because it publishes erotica? Granted, I’m not too keen on EC due to the whole women’s submission direction they seem to be wallowing in, but I haven’t tried to say that they aren’t romances. Hero(s) and heroine(s) find their happily ever after with each other, they grow as people…how does that not qualify as romance? Too much sex?? Has she READ Stephanie Laurens’ last book?? Sheesh, so much sex I got bored and skipped to get to the action. Explicit terms? Has she read others in the Blaze line she just wrote for? (well, I don’t blame her there, with a few exceptions, alot of the Blaze line are poorly written) Oh yes, MONOGAMY…the couple must be heterosexual and monogamus to qualify as a romance in her eyes, ’cause as we all know, three’s a crowd.
    God Forbid she read anything by Jules Jones or Alex Woolgrave by mistake ’cause it was labled “Romance”.

    So to round it all up,
    She’s ok with explicit terms, inter-spiecies sex, necrophillia(werewolf and vamp), and gratuitous sex as long as it makes HER or her buddies pocket money Aaaaaand, the protagonists are hetero and exclusive – so not to offend her moral fiber…at least she was smart enough not to mention the bi-racial issue in there…you know she was thinking it…


    If I was still buying her books, I would stop.


  • Charlie Horse
    November 10
    9:11 pm

    I see what you mean Karen. I really stumbled upon a soar spot in the Romance literary community. I bought an erotic romance novel at Elora’s Cave and loved it.

    My personal opinion, erotic romance should be part of RWA. If it meets the criteria of a loving hero and heroine in a commited emotional bond why should it matter that the two characters go at it like rabbits?

    And who cares what other people think of the romance genre? Traditional romance writers should have the courage to proudly stand up in defense of their writing and not worry that those smutty romantica authors are besmirching their reputation. I think the Romance genre is big enough for both.


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