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Ok, Ok, I know I was meant to review this book effing ages ago, but better late than never right?

Anyway, here’s the blurb from the Liquid Silver website again:

My Verdict

Loved. This. Freaking. Book.

It always amazes me how some publishers seem to try to pigeonhole their authors into writing ‘safe’ books, thus keeping the risks to a minimum.

This so wasn’t the case with Bone Deep.

I mean, how many romance books can you name where the hero is a tattooed freak of nature, imprisoned by a carnival owner?

Not many I’ll wager.

Originality is the one element that propels the heavyweights of the romance genre into a different stratosphere from the rest. Why do you think J.R. Ward’s vampire series, and J.D Robb’s In Death books have been so damn successful?

What impressed me most about Bone Deep was the way that this beautiful story was told. Good dialogue, and a hellaciously intriguing cast of lead and secondary characters easily solidified this book as one of my fave reads of the year.

Bone Deep is set in the late 1940’s, just after World War II, a period in history that romance writers tend to avoid, with the exception of authors such as Lavyrle Spencer.

I know that some readers believe that if you’re going to set a romance in such a contentious period, then the plot should reflect the times, but I say fuck that, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be reminded of the number of Jews who’d died at the hands of That Crazy Dude, every two minutes.

Bone Deep starts out fairly quietly in my opinion, but I immediately liked the author’s voice, and I was compelled to read on.

For me personally, the author’s strength, lay within her fantastic characterizations, and the ability to emotionally engage the reader. I can’t imagine that anybody who reads this book, would fail to be hugely impressed with both lead characters, especially Tom.

Tom. What an utterly amazing hero he was. It’ll probably be a while before I meet another romance hero such as he, but I can tell you that I fell completely in love with him. He was just the most complex, and richly developed character, that I’ve come across in a good while.

I know that in real life, if I ever met a man who was covered in tattoos, I’d probably run a mile, so I think it was a testament to Dee’s writing ability that I was able to put my prejudices aside, and let myself fall in love with this wonderful hero.

By rights, he should have lost all of his humanity, considering the life he had led, and the way he had been treated by carnival owner, Art Reed. But he hadn’t, not at all. He was the perfect tortured hero. And then some.

Tom’s vulnerability was one of the things that I loved the most about him, but as the book went on, I was gratified to see that the author let him grow as a character.

I loved how Dee handled his innocence, without leaving the reader feeling icky, when it came to the consumation of his relationship with Sarah. I’d found myself wondering how she was going to approach the love scenes, but I needn’t have worried. She did a great job, and even managed to raise my temperature, a degree or two. (g)

Admittedly, I do love a good alpha, but somehow Dee, managed to create this somewhat beta male, without taking away his manliness. He was thoughtful, loving and conscientious, but this reader was left in no doubt that he would have laid down his life for Sarah, if he had to. As a romance reader that’s the kind of belief that I want to have in the hero. I think this is pretty much why I love Linda Howard heroes so much, even the assholic ones.

A special hero like Tom, needed a special heroine to do him justice, and I honestly believe that Sarah was that heroine.

Her first husband, John, had been killed during the war, and what impressed me about the writer was that in no way was her grief downplayed. Very often, authors fall into the trap of trying to make The Ex seem less manly, less attractive, and generally just less in comparison. Bonnie Dee didn’t do that, and for that I was very grateful, because that’s actually always been one of my pet peeves in romance.

Sarah was just lovely. She wasn’t kick-ass, but she was strong in an understated way, much like Sarah McCarty’s Jenna, in Promises Prevail.

She was a wounded woman, who didn’t think she’d ever fall in love again, but when the opportunity and the right man came along, she grabbed them with both hands and refused to let go.

One of the most spine tingling scenes in the book, is when Sarah first catches sight of Tom, and instantly feels the first threads of attraction.
When a writer is able to physically affect the reader in such a way, you know that you’ve found a keeper.

One of the things that I loved most about Sarah, was how protective she was of Tom, it was a nice change to see the heroine rescuing the hero instead of the other way round.

There was a socially conscious undertone within Bone Deep that was quite difficult to ignore or maybe it’s because I is black? (g), and I have to say that if I had one complaint about this book, it would be that the resolution at the end was just a tad too pat.

In my personal experience, bigots rarely change their minds when it comes to their various prejudices, so it was a bit of a stretch for me to imagine that Sarah and Tom’s life became a bed of roses, just because he did one good deed. But fuck it, this is a romance book, and if I can buy the whole hip-hop loving, vampires-with-spelling-issues thing, I can swallow just about anything.

Overall, Bone Deep, was a deeply satisfying read. The dialogue was well done, the plot was well executed, the love story was extremely touching, and even the villain was believable, however what I loved most about this book, was the fantastic characterisation, and the emotional impact that this story yielded.

If you want to read an original book, look no further than Bone Deep. Seriously, it was fab.

You can purchase the book here and visit the author’s website here.

What are you waiting for? Go buy dammit!

Saddam, and Meg Cabot…

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Saddam’s been hanged, but more importantly, I just read this on Meg Cabot’s blog:

Meg’s happy cuz she knows that this means she’s finally arrived.

Those effing conservatives need shooting though.

Isn’t it funny how time and time again writers insist on bringing up the subject of reviewing? The thing is, how many times do the authors on RTB write complimentary columns about passionate enthusiastic readers who blog about books?

The fact is, there are far more fairly neutral bloggers out there, like JMC and the like, who are generally less acerbic when it comes to their reviews, than the likes of me and the Ja(y)nes, who don’t mind tearing a book to strips if we feel that the book deserves it.

But how many times do we see the authors on RTB toasting their efforts, and thanking them for talking about books?

In fact, when was the last time we witnessed a romance author randomly giving thanks to reader bloggers for encouraging book discussion, period?

The answer? It doesn’t happen. unless said author is promoting a book They’ll bitch and moan about mean reviewers who dare voice their true opinions til the cows come home, but when do they actually give us props for our passion for books?

Wouldn’t it be nice to see an RTB columnist (preferably an author) come out and praise the endeavours of reviewers and bloggers, and no, praising Harriet Klausner doesn’t count without berating us for having the balls to be honest about our opinions?

At the risk of repeating myself, one lowly blogger writing about how he/she thought one book sucked arseholes isn’t going to end a publishing career. It really isn’t. It really isn’t going to affect your sales, if it does, then face it, your book probably sucks big time.

The people who refuse to buy based on the review probably wouldn’t have bought you in the first place. Seriously.

Incidentally have you ever noticed how the moaners are usually of the midlist mediocrity variety?

Just sayin’.

Some authors may hate reviewers they say they don’t but really they do, but as far as I’m concerned, if people aren’t chewing the fat over your books, then you probably aren’t selling so well. (Big name authors not included) so some of these authors really need to get over themselves, and in the words of my pal Indida, stop bitching, and just fucking write.

End of rant.

Coming up, gushing review of Bonnie Dee’s Bone Deep. (g)

R.I.P James Brown…

Thursday, December 28, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

I went to see him once in concert, in 1998. He kept the crowd waiting for two hours before he appeared. He was OK, but I’d been too annoyed that he’d showed such disrespect to people who’d turned up specially, just to see him. Such diva behaviour never failed to piss me off.

I noticed that there’s been very little blogged about his death. I’m wondering if this was because of his colourful past? Or perhaps his death just didn’t affect bloggers?

His death came as a shock to me, I must admit. But then again, I was brought up listening to his music.

He was more sinner than saint, but I still hope he’s able to rest in peace.

And I Hope You All Had A Merry Xmas Too…

Thursday, December 28, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Apologies for the lack of blogging, but I’ve been awfully busy you know, what with eating, partying, getting sick, and shopping, it’s been hard to fit the blog in.

Anyway, normal service will resume shortly, have I missed any flames or good gossip, or random acts of bad authorly behaviour? Go on, you can tell me, I promise I wont tell a soul…

Harriet Klausner

Are they on crack?

Oh I get it, she’s a representative of the online reading community.

I ask again, are they on crack?

The woman loves every single freaking book that she reads. How is that a good thing? Does anybody actually care about her opinion on books, or like me, do you read them just for the blurbs when she gets the storyline right, anyhow.

I got this article via the SB’s.

I think the piece is basically saying that professional reviewers suck arse, and that us amateurs are the bees knees.

That’s just my take on it, obviously. (g)

Incidentally, not being mean or anything, but am I the only person who thinks Klausner looks way older than 54?

Just sayin’.

How fab is this cover?

I meant to review
Bone Deep eons ago, so tomorrow, I’m gonna finally get to it. In the mean time, here’s the blurb taken from the Liquidsilver website:

Now how fabulous does this book sound? I wont be reviewing Bone Deep until tomorrow (or perhaps the day after seeing as I’m partying tomorrow evening), but if you can’t wait that long, then take it from me, you will love this book, so just go and buy it from here.

Your Best And Worst Of The Year…

Monday, December 18, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve read plenty of books this year, some of them have been utterly forgettable, some have moved me to tears, and others have moved me to contemplate chewing off my own arm.

So in celebration of the books we’ve read this year, good and bad, I want to know the following from you guys:

1. The Book That Everybody Else Loved That You Thought Was Wank (A.K.A the most over-rated book you’ve read this year)

Mine was Anne Stuart’s Cold As Ice.

2. The Book that Made You Cry So Hard That You Had Big Gobs of Snot Running Attractively Down Your Chin (A.K.A, the biggest tear jerker)

Mine was Audrey Niffenegger’s
The Time Traveler’s Wife

3. The Book That Nearly Made You Pee Yourself With Mirth (A.K.A the funniest book you read this year)

Mine was Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Match Me If You Can

4. The Book That Made You Realise That Some Writers Should Never Get Published (A.K.A the worst book you read this year)

Mine was Karin Tabke’s Good Girl Turned Into a Big Old Ho Gone Bad

5. The Book That Made You Realise That Your Fave Auto-Buy Author Wasn’t On The Same Planet Anymore (A.K.A, Auto-buy authors that you finally binned after years of abuse)

Mine was Patricia Cornwell’s Predator

6. The Book That Lead To A Humongous Glom

Mine was JD Robb’s Judgement In Death

7. The Book That Made You Realise That Not All Paranormals Are Crap (A.K.A the best paranormal you’ve read this year)

Mine was Nalini Singh’s Slave To Sensation

8. The Book Cover That Made You Want To Shoot The Artist (A.K.A as the suckiest book cover of the year, please provide links)

Mine are most of the Changeling Press book covers (g) come on, did you really expect me to say anything else?

9. The Book That Made You Realise That Romance Isn’t The Same Old Same Old All The Time (A.KA the most original romance book read this year)

Mine was Bonnie Dee’s Bone Deep

Ok, that’s enough from me, now it’s your turn!

For Dee Tenorio…Betting Hearts Redux

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

As an apology for not having read Midnight Sonata, even though I said I would, here’s the review for Betting Hearts that I wrote a while ago. Enjoy.

So, I finished reading Betting Hearts last night.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb

My Verdict

I. Loved. This. Book.

I don’t ask for a lot in romance. Seriously, I don’t. I don’t give a fuck about dangling participles, definite articles or prepositions. I’ll leave those worries to editors. As long as the book is written in plain common-sense English, I’m happy. I want good characterization, an interesting plotline, and a writing ‘voice’ that doesn’t compel me to hang myself from the nearest lampost.

This book met all my requirements, and so much more besides.

Betting Hearts was an extremely well written book. I loved the dialogue between the hero and heroine. I loved that Tenorio had put a different spin, on a much re-hashed plot device, and she also had some cracking characters.

It’s been absolutely ages since I laughed so much I nearly wet myself, (not literally of course because I do actually have excellent control of my bladder) but Betting Hearts had me laughing from the first paragraph, to the last.

Tenorio’s voice appealed to me because she kept it simple. She didn’t try to wear her brains in her book, as so many authors try to do, and she had the ability to let me (the reader) come to my own conclusions, rather than insulting my intelligence, and explaining everything from the thread to the needle. She was able to draw me in from the very beginning, and kept me reading until 3am in the morning. It’s been a while since I loved a book that much, I can tell you.

I loved the two central characters in this book.

Cassandra Bishop was a woman who I could be friends with if she’d been a real person. She was laugh out loud funny, and regardless of her bad choices when it came to the BEF, she was actually a woman in control of her own life.

Although she was a tomboy at heart, I could relate to her. She wasn’t a Mary Sue-Goody-Two-Shoes type heroine, far from it in fact. She could be very manipulative, especially when it came to pushing Burke’s buttons. She also had a wicked temper, but she was very funny, and hugely endearing.
I loved the fact that when she realised that Burke was the man for her, she didn’t waste any time pontificating, and instead, just went for it. My kind of heroine.

Burke Halifax was also my ideal hero. Rough around the edges, but loyal as hell. I’m partial to male leads who make me envious of their heroines. He was manly, without being an asshole. His obvious feelings for Cassie was one of the most attractive things about him. I loved his reaction to discovering that his best friend had breasts, and the guilt he harboured over his new, lewd, and lascivious thoughts about her.

Cassie’s friendship meant a lot to Burke, and this is something that Tenorio managed to convey brilliantly within the opening pages of this story. It’s not often I go all girly over a book, but I did find myself tilting my head to the side, placing both hands on my cheeks, and sighing in appreciation at Tenorio’s ability to mentally and emotionally, take me along Cassie and Burke’s tentative voyage into previously uncharted territory.

The secondary characters in this book included, Cassie’s brother, Hayne, who was sweet, if a little dumb, Bastard Ex Fiance’s new fiancee, Sally, and Cassie’s father. They all had their part to play, without taking anything away from the central characters. I do hate it when authors present you with so many secondary personalities that you forget who the main squeeze’s are.

What I loved most about Betting Hearts was how romantic it actually was. I know that this should be a given in a fictional romance story, but I’ve read a fair few books in the past, which although were romance books, were actually not very romantic. I know that you guys will know exactly what I mean.

My one and only complaint about Betting Hearts, was the feeling that the ending had been slightly rushed, in an attempt to meet the deadline and the word count, but fuck it, I’m not even gonna go there, because I was still able to totally look beyond that, and enjoy the story.

I’ve always loved the friends to lovers theme, when written well, and Dee Tenorio certainly did herself justice with this book

Well Dee, I had no idea who you were, before I read your book, but if you keep writing stories as good as Betting Hearts, then I’m gonna keep buying. Unless of course you do an Elizabeth Bevarly. Then all bets are off. *g*

*Karen selflessly steals Hawaiian Surprise ice-cream back from Dee, in an attempt to save her from expanding hips*

PS, the cover sucks Big Fucking Hairy Rhinoceros Balls.

You can visit Dee Tenorio here, and buy Betting Hearts here.

I was in the car the other day listening to a news update re the serial killer in Ipswich, when this priest/pastor/religious freak comes on air, and tells us that we should pray for the killer and hope for his salvation.

I can’t tell you how much that kinda sanctimonious forgive-their-sins shit fucks me off.

Pray for him? I think not. Castrate the fucker, and tear strips off his chest with a burning hot garden rake, soaked in acid sounds more like it to me.

Religious preachings drive me wild. Sheesh.

I was truly touched that you still sent one to me…

Isn’t Blasphemy Fun?

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

The folks over at Dear Author are remembering the good old days of peace on earth, and goodwill to all men, as rehashed by The Bible.

Why dontcha go and join ’em for some lighthearted and totally blasphemous fun.

Here’s a taster from Queen Nora:

Tee hee hee!

God-fearing Christians need not venture over there. You’d only get a nosebleed at the number of times His name is taken in vain. (g)

The Funniest Granny Evah…

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

God I love Catherine Tate, she’s an absolute fucking legend. If you’ve never heard of her, check these sketches out.

Nan meets grandson’s girlfriend…

Nan goes to the Doctor’s office…

Seriously, can anybody give me a good reason why prostitution shouldn’t be legalised?

Here in England, we have a serial killer on the loose. He’s killed five prostitutes within the space of ten days Historically, our most notorious serial killer was Jack The Ripper, and he too killed five women, the main difference being that he at least took his time.

This guy seems to have gotten to the frenzied stage quicker than any of the other serial killers in our history.

I’ve always been an advocate of legalising prostitution. It’s the oldest profession there is, and as long as humans inhabit the earth, there’s always gonna be women (and men) who are willing to sell their bodies.

I truly believe that by legalising it, we cut down the risks to the women. Make it so the pimps have to obtain a license, charge them income tax, I don’t care, just get them off the fucking streets.

I know that a lot of these women are prostituting themselves to feed their various drug habits, but is that a good enough reason to throw them to the wolves? Sometimes shit happens, and yes, sometimes this way of life is a choice that the women make, but is it really fair to shrug our shoulders and secretly think to ourselves, that they deserve what they get?

That’s just not fucking cricket.

These women, girls even, are somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s grandchild. These women could be related to you.

One of the girls who was murdered, was actually interviewed on a radio station last week. The presenter asked her if she would be staying off the streets, knowing that there was a mad man targeting sex workers. The woman (who looked very frightened) despairingly told the presenter that she had three children, so she had to work.

I heard that interview on the radio this morning, and it sent chills down my spine. Oh the irony.

I just don’t think there’s a good enough reason not to legalise prostitution, thus ensuring that it’s cleaned up, and made safer for the workers. If there is, then I want to hear it.

What say you?

The Voice Within…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

I read a Nora Roberts books yesterday called A Will And A Way. Ever heard of it? No? Neither had I.

I enjoyed it though, despite its many flaws. Hey, it was written in 1986, waddaya expect?

Anyway, this isn’t a review of the book though, it’s just that whilst I was reading it, I found myself trying to ‘hear’ Nora Roberts voice, or at least what I identify as her writing voice.

I said I tried, mainly because I couldn’t. It struck me that N.R doesn’t have a specific voice. She’s a good weaver of stories, and somehow, she’s able to individualise (is that even a word?) her books.

When I read a Linda Howard book, I know it’s her. Although still a fantastic storyteller, her heroes are often very similar, as are her heroines. In my opinion at least.

The same can be said about Catherine Anderson books. She has a certain way of telling a story and developing her characters. Also, her themes are usually very similar. She does love her physically impaired characters doesn’t she? (I love ’em too though, so it’s all good.)

Having read both J.D Robb books, and a Nora Roberts books, there’s no way I’d be able to tell that it was written by the same author, had I not already known. I find it simply amazing that an author is able to hone her craft to such a degree that she can take on different writing voices, and make it work.

It probably seems kinda obvious that if an author is to have a long and prolific career, they should be able to adapt their voice when necessary, and I don’t know about you guys, but it seems to me that there are plenty of authors out there who have their own definitive voices. Voices that rarely change even when writing in a different genre.

I know that this doesn’t sound very progressive of me, but I think I prefer being able to recognise the voice of a fave (or even not so fave) author.

Sharon Sala used to be on auto-buy author for me, but she started getting too hit and miss for me to cope with. Her writing voice seemed to change dramatically from one book to the next. I can’t believe that an author who can write amazing books such as, Sweetbaby, and The Way To Yesterday, can turn round and write the snoozefests that were Rider On Fire, and White Mountain.

I like the comfort of knowing what I’m gonna get, before I open the pages of a book. Sure I like surprises, but the thing that draws me to particular authors in the first place is usually their writing style and voice, so why would I want them to change?

What say you?

Holly Lisle Gets Her Knickers In A Twist…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Damn, I always miss out on the juicy stuff!

Why start a war with a reader? She was never gonna win.

Sometimes discretion is truly the better part of valour, unless of course you don’t have books to sell. (g)

Listen up guys, these photo’s are graphic, so if you don’t want to bring up your lunch, please don’t click. Seriously, you have been warned.




Female syphillis

I was just reading yet another Linda Howard book where the hero and heroine kept forgetting to use condoms, so I thought I’d post these pictures as a reminder as to why condoms are such a good idea. (g)

Vote Leona!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Leona Lewis…

I just discovered that my blog made it on a shortlist for the best UK blog. Muchos thanks to whoever the hell nominated me in the first place.

The blog with the highest tally of votes so far is called EU Referendum. WTF? Who the hell nominated such a dull blog? Some people seriously ought to get a life.

I’d ask you guys to go and vote for me, but I don’t really give a shit either way, so I wont. And no, I can’t be arsed linking.

Besides, the crappiest blog is bound to win. That’s what happens when mostly British people vote. We just don’t have any taste Michelle McManus anyone?, which is why our X Factor and Idol winners haven’t been up to much so far. Case in point, Eddie Munster Ray Quinn made it to the X Factor final tonight. How the f*ck did that happen? Big effing sigh.

Oh well, I’m just grateful that Leona also got into the final, although I suspect she wont win, cuz A, she’s a girl, and B, she’s a pretty girl. Ray will no doubt get the teeny bopper girly vote, as well as the Blue Rinse Brigade vote. Big effing sigh.

Go Leona, Go!! (check out this performance, even Simon gave her a standing ovation.)

Off topic, congrats to my football team, Manchester United! We spanked Man City 3-1 in the local Derby, putting us nine points clear of our nearest rivals, Chelsea. This nicely continues a 32 year unbeaten derby record at home. And long may it stay that way. Up the Reds!

By the way, we watched X-Men, The Last Stand at last. Totally loved it of course.

And So It Starts….

Thursday, December 7, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

So, we, or should I say I, finally began the first phase of our Christmas shopping today.

Each Christmas, TTG and I try to avoid shopping together, so he buys for his family and friends, and I buy for my family and friends. Works out pretty well most of the time.

I went into Manchester today, and bought a few things. After 3 hours and 20 minutes spent shopping, this is what I got:

The really sad thing is, this is only the beginning.

I bought:

2 x Sean John smellies
1 Estee Lauder Sheer Beautiful
2 X red Christmas slippers
1 x purse
1 x cute stripey Next top
1 x Davidoff The Game perfume set
1 x G-Shock watch
1 x glow in the dark kiddies pyjamas
1 x Trinny and Susannah’s What Not To Wear
1 x Next Perfume (cheap shit)
1 x Sarah McCarty book (received from Amazon yesterday)
1 x Nalini Singh book (received from Amazon yesterday)
1 x Gillette Fusion blades

I also purchased two tickets to see Beyonce Knowles in concert next June, two tickets for the Lionel Richie concert (for my mum), two tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert, and I already had two tickets to the Kylie Minogue concerts in January. I love being an MEN arena corporate member.

Unbelievably, I managed to spend £280 ($532) (excluding the cost of the concert tickets) and didn’t even put a dent in my Christmas list. Big Fucking Sigh.

The books are for some heathen friends of mine who don’t read. I’m off to Borders tomorrow to get some more books. I think I’ll get another copy of my two fave Kleypas books. I know exactly who to buy them for.

Also on the agenda tomorrow, is another visit to the Jeweller’s for a DKNY watch for my sis, a highchair for my oldest brother and SIL, some power tools for TTG, and lots of cute baby clothes for my wonderful nephew, and the Corinne Bailey Rae album, for a friend’s daughter.

After that, we’ll make our annual visit to Toys R Us. Oh joy.

Dontcha just hate Christmas? It’s so effing commercial these days. (g)

Romance Stinks And You All Know It…

Monday, December 4, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

I came across this blog earlier today, and I thought this particular post was interesting enough to post snippets from it.

The Blogger starts by writing:

I touched on the issue of bodice rippers over the summer, but digging through some old emails in my computer reminded me of a few other points I wanted to make about a literary genre that does a lot of crying about no respect, but precious little analysis about why that is.

Rather than considering the validity of allegations of being lightweight prurient fluff, romance fanatics lash out at any and all critics, even those offering constructive criticism. I have so many examples of this, it’s not even funny. Let’s start with my favorite:

I think we all know of a few authors who have gone haywire over a bad review or two, I’m sure we don’t have to name names now do we?

Anyway she goes on to talk about everybody’s fave reviewer Harriet Klausner. Methinks she’s not too fond of the great dame herself. Who is?

This bit had me a bit confused though:

Anyone who ever tried to speak out about Klausner’s incompetence in a romance forum immediately heard howls of dissent. “She’s wonderful, what’s wrong with you?!” It didn’t take long for things to get personal. “You’re just jealous of her success!” is a frequent battle cry. Sorry, I’m not jealous of her success–I’m disgusted with it. Klausner is proof that it’s not talent, but literary diarrhea, that succeeds (a la Robert Jordan).

I must admit, I’ve never seen anybody defending Harriet Klausner since I’ve been online, and I can’t think of any romance forum which would defend her so fastidiously. The woman is a crock, and I should think that most romance readers know this by now. The intelligent ones anyway.

This was the most interesting point that she had to make:

At the risk of sounding sexist, I believe it has everything to do with the way most women interact in large groups, on the surface. They’re nice. They’re polite. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They don’t like ugliness and conflict. They want to give the impression of being hospitable and inclusive. We were all taught that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, at least not in front of a group. And this is where the dark side of women comes into play

You don’t say nasty things about a sister to the group…you do that one on one, A tells B who tells C who tells D, and so on. If you do say it publicly, boy, does that “don’t say anything if you can’t say anything nice” get abandoned faster than a politician’s campaign promises.

Even though, she’s obviously dissing the romance genre (yes she is) I gotta say, I agree with most of the above points. Although, I must also point out that, she’s obviously never been to an AAR message board. Those ladies are happy to rip you apart if they think your book stinks, best selling author or no. (g)

Apparently Stephanie Bond got ripped to bits by readers when she included a phone sex scene in her book, Too Hot To Sleep. Is that true? Did readers really go crazy over a little dirty talk on the phone? Surely not?

Anyway, the blogger continues:

The Bond controversy raises another interesting point: The average romance reviewer is leery, if not downright frightened, of brave new ideas, such as phone sex. A writer who is TOO daring, TOO original, is cause for alarm, not celebration. Reviewers are also hypocritical. It’s okay for Catherine Coulter to write book after book with a marital rape plot device; it’s okay for Susan Johnson to have a hero use knitting needles as a sex toy on the heroine. But phone sex? Oh my goodness gracious, cover the children’s eyes!

The average romance reviewer is leery, if not downright frightened, of brave new ideas, such as phone sex? Hmmm I’m not sure if that statement is quite right. You’d think she’d know that the average reader is no longer all about keeping the bedroom door shut, and that phone sex is down right virtuous in comparison with some of the freaky shit that goes on in books these days.

She concludes:

The Romance industry craves respect. Unfortunately, they paint themselves into a corner by not realizing that what will get that respect is looking at their books and authors honestly AND objectively. I won’t even go into the near-incestuous relationships that reviewers have with authors in romance, rather than the invisible wall that needs to separate them. As it is, without honest feedback, romance cannot aspire to more, in a literary sense. The books will never become good enough to win over opponents. Until these problems are resolved, too many readers look at romance and find it lacking.

I know I like to have a pop at romance authors for sport, but it kinda grates on my nerves when other people do it. I’m ornery like that

As for winning over opponents, authors shouldn’t really care about what people from outside the genre think, but I think we all know by now that actually, they do care. A lot. Some have even gone to the length of distancing themselves from the genre that made them famous in the first place.


Oh, by the way, the bit where the blogger talks about incestuous relationships within the romance genre, sounds remarkably like something I once posted on the AAR group list when I was feeling particularly feisty

Just sayin

Right, enough pontificating, I’m off to bed. Night all.