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It’s official, those gals (Jane) at Dear Author and Sybil are geniuses!

Romantic Advances opens its doors today, and I can only imagine the amount of work that they put in to get it off the ground.

Basically, this is a dedicated site for upcoming romance releases, so no longer will you have to scrabble around searching for news on new books, you can just pop along to Romantic Advances, and build your TBR mountain that way!

Anyway,pop along to DA to congratulate them on a job well done!

I’m exhausted just imagining the amount of work it took to get this organised!

Just In Case You Thought There Were No More Good Books Left At Elloras Cave...

Little Known Favourites Meme…

The Rules:

List and describe 3 of your favourite books that other people may not be familiar with, then tag five people to do the same.

I got tagged by Elizabeth.

I usually avoid these things like the plague, but what the hell…

Incidentally, seeing as e-book publishers have been going through a difficult period just lately, I thought I’d highlight some of my fave e-books, that maybe aren’t as well known, as others.

First up, is Kathy Allred’s, The Sweet Gum Tree (more…)

I wonder what this will ultimately mean for this e-publishing house? They seem to be losing people hand over fist. Lynne Connolly’s gone too.

If I was a Trisk author, I’d be feeling pretty nervous right now, what with reports of bouncing cheques, unpaid royalties, being disinvited to the RWA, and now one of Trisk’s longest serving people has jumped ship, after showing severe signs of stress, and mental fatigue.

It all seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. Authors, you may want to start running towards the door… erm, don’t forget to take your rights with you…


Another One Bites The Dust…

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Posted in: Venus Press Is Dead

So Venus Press is defunct and not so much as an eyebrow raised within the e-book community?

I got this from Piers Anthony’s site:

“April 2007 update: the bad news just keeps coming, questioning the motives of the proprietor, whose own books may have received better treatment than those of other authors. Meltdown.

I say this with regret, as I was generally satisfied with the treatment of my own book: this answers the description of what in erstwhile science fiction fandom was called GAFIA, pronounced GAH-fee-a. That is, Getting Away From It All. When a fan got overwhelmed, he/she might simply abdicate, disappearing from the scene, letting obligations fall where they might. The proprietor seems to have gafiated. And finally, as March ended, the site went off the Internet. This looks like death.”

Apparently the owner just decided she’d had enough? Wow…

Not that I’m surprised, it was only a matter of time.

I have to say, it’s a shame for the authors who stayed with them out of misguided loyalty. Talk about being royally shafted.

When Four Worlds Collide…

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Posted in: When cyber pals meet

I spent most of yesterday with Eve Vaughn, Shara Cooper, and Lynne Connolly. Oh what fun we had.

Saturdays are usually busy days for me, but I foolishly agreed to meet them at 12pm, so that I could have lunch with them. Like that was ever gonna happen.

Anyway, I eventually got to the quaint pub where we were meeting round about 1530hrs.

I entered the pub, and there they all were, sitting and chatting. Totally weird.

I immediately hugged Eve, my long time cyber pal. I was so chuffed that she’d come over from Philadelphia.

Five minutes after our initial ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re really here!’, greetings, we of course start talking about online stuff, and publishing in general. It was fun.

Although, I must confess, I did have a surreal moment when I sat back, and realised that we were loudly, and frankly discussing sex toys, and different erotic romance sub-genres. I looked around the pub, and noticed that people were actually listening to us discuss the vagaries of BDSM books. Heheh.

Anyway, we talked about lots of things, including online people we liked and actively disliked. I think I had a pretty short list, although there is really only one person in Blogland I would happily send to Iraq for a holiday. During an air strike.

Lynne Connolly was fun, although I have to say, I’ve always liked her online persona, so I wasn’t in the least surprised that I liked her in the flesh as well. We Brits are quite cool anyway methinks, but then again, I am biased.

Shara Cooper was all sorts of crazy, but she had me laughing out loud on several occasions, and this was without the benefit of alcohol. I also loved her crazy collection of romance books. I’m still in awe over the 600 Mills and Boon books gracing her shelves.

I’ve known Eve Vaughn since before she became an author so I knew she’d be a blast.

When we got back to Shara’s house, (minus Lynne Connolly) Eve was a total doll about us telling her that she had some of the cheesiest character names evah. She of course denied it, so we looked up all her books, and pointed out some of the craptacular names in them. Charlie Brown, notwithstanding. Her defense was that she loved all things cheesy. Eve, ya don’t say? *g*

The conversations turned to really bad book covers, and we had a hysterical time discussing these.

I finally left at 10pm, and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed my first meeting with Eve, Lynne, and Shara.

Now, I just need to make 2008, the year that I meet Sybil, Jane, and Bam. Can you imagine the carnage? Heheh…

“Can you take me back to the nursing home now please, I think I’ve just peed myself.”

Eeeewwww, that’s so gross. Who the fuck ever thought this cover was a good idea? More to the point, who the flamin’ hell thought that writing this kind of story would appeal to romance readers?

Check out the blurb:

That is so nasty. I’ve heard of May to December romances, but this is ridiculous beyond belief. The man looks about frickin eighty years old, whilst she’s not even twenty yet.

AND HE HAS LIVER SPOTS!!! Yuck, yuck, and fucking YUCK!

This book cover is from Amira Press, and positively makes Changeling Press covers look worthy of hanging in The Tate Gallery, in comparison.

By the way, has anybody else noticed that the old man hero looks like The Queen’s husband, Prince I’m-An-Absolute-dick Phillip?

You know one thing I’ve noticed? Everytime a black author talks about feeling marginalised, (Monica doesn’t count) nobody ever comments, also whenever a black author is interviewed, people just don’t seem to respond, or show any interest whatsoever.

The silence is often deafening.

Just sayin’.

Apologies for the lack of posts, but I’ve been travelling around, thus no time for blogging. I’m back home now, so all’s right with the world. Although as we speak TTG seems to be taking my bicycle apart in the backyard, and he’s cussing a blue streak.

Anyway, I decided to start Lover Revealed on the train, and I’m glad I did. I really like it so far, although, there’s far too much blood sucking going on (yuck), and Vishous is definitely showing some gay tendencies… OK, he’s showing some major homosexual tendencies, but hey, nothing wrong with a bit of man-on-man love…

The hypocrisy of organised religion never fails to amaze me…

I got this via Rosie, and it was written by Joss Whedon.

It’s one of the most amazingly passionate essays I’ve come across in a long time. Every word he wrote was totally righteous.

I gotta go, cuz I’ve got a letter to write, and I urge all of you out there to do the same. Rosie says inch by inch, I say one person at a time…

Amended To Add

Bam just sent me this. It’s long, but you should read it.

Watch the film, it’s gruesome, but it’s a reality that women in the Middle East, and right here in my own country, have to endure.

I had a Muslim friend who ran away from home 16 years ago. She’d fallen in love with a boy from a different caste, and she was afraid that her father would kill her if he ever found out. I haven’t seen her since. I hope she’s still alive.

I hope every single one of those men burn in hell for what they did to that girl, especially those who took gratuitous pleasure in filming such an evil, and vile act.

I’m not really interested in debating this any further, other than giving my official stance on The Northmangate Scandal, hence why I’ve turned off the comments.

But you and I wouldn’t know about it without “The Leak”.

Somebody wrote that on the SB’s site, and I have to say, that’s simply not true. Quite a few of us were sent that e-mail, and I believe it was being forwarded to many others, via different channels.

It was simply a matter of time before it became blog fodder.

When I read the original e-mail, my first thought was, “What an absolute numpty! This was then followed up by, “What kind of fucktardly cabbage would write such personal shit about her children on an author loop?”

I pretty much still think that.

One thing I found interesting was that people were more than happy to blame the SB’s for posting this ‘private’ email, for various nefarious reasons, but not many people questioned the motivation of the person who had forwarded the e-mail in the first place.

What was their agenda?

Pissed off author? Seems likely. Maybe they were after revenge for some perceived/actual slight against them, wrought by the e-mailer, or Triskelion? Again, another possibility.

I’ve heard a lot of garbage about morals and ethics, but who the hell are we kidding here?

That highly unprofessional e-mail was sent by somebody obviously undergoing some emotional stress, and people have been very quick to point that out, but who’s to say that the person who forwarded the e-mail off the loop wasn’t going through their own mini trauma?

I tried to put myself in Gail Northman’s shoes, and wondered if I’d have possibly reacted similarly to her. In a word, no, I wouldn’t have.

Some people would argue that I couldn’t possibly know what I would do under similar circumstances, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s such a crock of shit. I’d have never sold my child down the river, by basically calling her a prostitute, on a group with over two hundred members. Never. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even call her that in a private one-to-one with my best friend. But that could just be a me thing.

I then tried to put myself in The Leaker’s position, but this was a lot trickier, because I simply don’t know what her motivation was.

Somebody asked at Dear Author if any of us would have personally forwarded the e-mail ourselves. Foolish, foolish question. The true answer? It depends.

Let me say this, If I felt I had been screwed over by the company I happened to work for, or shafted by the person who sent the e-mail, not only would I have forwarded the e-mail, (yes, probably anonymously) I would have made damn sure, that it got on every news channel going. Vindictive much? With the right provocation? Damn straight.

Would this have been the right thing for me to do?

Probably not, but then again it’s easy to have a high moral standpoint on these things, when you have no emotional investment in the situation. In the same way that Gail’s stress may have led to her idiotically posting that rant, The Leak may have also felt at the end of her tether. Who’s wrong? Who’s right?

As for the whole ridiculous issue of whether or not The SB’s should have posted the e-mail, why shouldn’t they have?

It was a very newsworthy item, gossipy even, but I can tell you that, had the bit about Northman’s children not been in there, the discussion would have been very different. Triskelion itself, would have been put under far more scrutiny, than they were.

The crux of the argument seems to be that the SB’s had a moral obligation to not publicly post the e-mail.

Total bullshit.

The original leaker of the e-mail was the person who had the moral/possibly contractual obligation to not forward the e-mail outside that loop. Once she failed to live up to that obligation, and sent the e-mail out of the jurisdiction of the loop, that e-mail was fair game.

Fair. Game.

The SB’s didn’t owe Northman a damn thing, whereas, she on the other hand, owed her soon-to-be team, the courtesy of A, behaving with some decorum, and not sounding off like a rhinoceros with an arrow up its arse, and B, not resorting to high school jinks, by giving her authors the middle finger, and trying to insinuate that they had no right to take their issues with Triskelion to the RWA. If promises were being broken left, right, and centre, I’d have been pissed with the publisher too.

The loop had over two hundred members, a few of which had obviously demonstrated their dissatisfaction with in-house events, by officially complaining about Triskelion.

That’s like me finding out that somebody had been leaking secret company documents, which were potentially damaging to me, then me sending them an e-mail telling them I’d kill them if they didn’t quit.

Does one really need a Masters degree in astrophysics to work out all the reasons why that would have been a really bad idea?

Bottom line, Northman shouldn’t have posted that e-mail on the loop in the first place. Also, The Leaker shouldn’t have forwarded the e-mail, but once she did, it was then up to the recipients of that e-mail what they did with it, and in my opinion, publicising it was well within the SB’s remit. They didn’t owe Northman or Triskelion a damn thing. End of.

I think Corinne Bailey Rae rocks, and this song always makes me want to swing my head from side to side and sing out loud. It also reminds me of happy summer days…(Look out for the acrobatic kid at the bridge of the song, utterly fantastic!)

I just nabbed this from Monica, who in turn, nabbed it from the awesome Mrs G

Cast Of Characters:

“Anonymous” – 1 sip per appearance.

Someone who posts her alleged full name and then berates everyone else for being a cowardly anonymous cur – 2 sips.

The “Why Can’t We Get Along?” Pollyanna – 3 sips.

The angry woman who uses a cuss word at least five times in a six-word sentence – 2 sips.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion and makes snide comments about fighting bitches – 1 sip.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion and proceeds to launch into a completely unrelated diatribe about what trash romance novels are – 2 sips.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion to tell everyone to read “real” literature… like Clive Cussler – 5 sips.

Clueless feminist who shows up and proceeds to launch into a completely unrelated diatribe about how romance set back the movement – 7 sips.

Jayne and Jane from Dear Author join the fray – 11 sips.

Karen Scott joins the fray – 11 sips.

Dionne Galace (Bam) joins the fray – 11 sips.

Emily Veinglory joins the fray – 11 sips.

Jayne, Jane, Karen, Bam, and Emily Veinglory in the house – 50 sips.

Those ladies and Nora Roberts in the house – drink until everything turns dark.

Absolutely effing hilarious.

The Plot

“When confronted with accusations of wrong-doings, the accused starts going TMI about the house that burned down, the crossdressing alcoholic pedophile husband who needs bail, the kids who are on drugs, the IRS that stole all their money, and more – 19 sips.

Or she can be less dramatic and says that she’s had a heart attack or something which is why she couldn’t get back to everyone – 25 sips.

Which culminates in a post by a “friend” telling everyone that the poor dear died in some kind of accident – 28 sips.”

Go read, it’s so accurate, it’s quite scary!

I was reading the comments over at the SB’s site, when I came across a link that lead me to a snarky take of Anne Rice’s Amazon Meltdown.

I didn’t know anything about it, so reading it was a real treat.

This is definitely how NOT to respond to a review:

“Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon’s willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you’ve said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul.

Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people’s books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren’t even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words “wide readership.” And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max.

I’m justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material.

The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written — every word of it — by me. If and when I can’t write a book on my own, you’ll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself.

I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I’ve ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes. What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives.

For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels — the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp’s party — and the late night foray into the slums –stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don’t get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art.

Now, if it doesn’t appeal to you, fine. You don’t enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I’ll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I’m answering you, but for what it’s worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.

Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat’s wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age. If you can’t see that, you aren’t reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius’ observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned.

The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat’s comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear.

There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention — the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn’t “exist” in the eyes of the world is a case in point. There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out. But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are.

There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response. Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road — these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough.

If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I’ve served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn’t much like being around either one of us. And you don’t have to be. If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at Anneobrienrice@mac.com. And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I’m not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!”

Classic. I wish I’d been around when she went batshit crazy. I would have had a field day reading the ten million blogs that would have taken the piss out of her.

Talk about Abilify withdrawal.

Ahhh, the good old days, they sure don’t make authors like they used to. Oh wait, LKH is still carrying the flag isn’t she, so all is right with the world.

Well, I for one was very sad to hear about Sarah McCarty’s parting of ways with e-publisher, Elloras Cave.

I love her books like a fat kid loves cake.

Did I buy the amicable split line? Hell no, all things being equal, if there hadn’t been problems and issues, the split wouldn’t have happened.

Shall we examine the evidence?

Well, apparently a couple of books that Sarah was contracted for wont ever be published now. She basically said so, on her group list. An amicable split, would surely mean that she was free to take her books elsewhere, at some point, wouldn’t it?

Also, apparently, her N.Y Promises Books will continue with The Reverend’s story, which was never the original plan, at least not with EC. I should know, I’ve been panting after more of her books from EC, for ages.

I can’t believe that they would be foolish enough to let one of their best-selling authors go. Apparently, “a compromise couldn’t be reached”, read: It’s The Elloras Cave Way, Or The Highway. Can we say, Nora Roberts and Harlequin?

Foolish, foolish, foolish. Now I’m just waiting for Lora Leigh to announce that she too will be leaving. Don’t look at me like that, you know it’s bound to happen at some point, and let’s face it, when was the last time she released a new book at EC?

Yeeess, I think there’s something definitely rotten in Denmark.

Oh well, I guess I can look forward to more of those kind of books in the future. Big effing sigh.

On the bright side, I’m really looking forward to visiting Sarah’s new books, at her new publishing home. So you see, it aint all bad.

Black Thursday…

Thursday, May 17, 2007
Posted in: Uncategorized

There are some days, when I wish I hadn’t gotten out of bed. Today was one of those days. It really was.

Today, a very close family member was diagnosed with cancer.

It shocked me no end. I think I’m still numb.

The sad thing? She kept the news to herself for over two months. She was afraid to tell, and just hoped that it would go away. Well, it didn’t.

We take so many things for granted, and often think that these things wont happen to us.

This will officially be the third thing that couldn’t possibly happen to my family, that actually did happen.

If you’re a woman of any age, do yourself a favour; check your breasts as often as possible. It may just save your life.

Saw him last night, and he was brill, but still not a patch on Lionel…
(Click on photos to view full-size)

Ooh… er… missus…

Justin and special guest, Timbaland

Words. Fail. Me…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Posted in: Laurell K Hamilton, promotional advert

I got these delicious ad photos of LKH here. They are too funny for words. Not everybody is model material, some people need to understand that.

Can anybody confirm if that’s Darla at the back on the second photo? Dearie, dearie me…

LKH, doesn’t look too bad here, shame about the funny looking men on the left, and right of her. I’m not sure which of her characters they’re meant to be, anybody wanna guess? *g*

Thanks to Bam for pointing me in the right direction.

Angie had an interesting Romancing The Blog column up yesterday. It was all about the the pre-conceived notion that e-book publishers produce sub-standard work, in comparison to the big New York houses.

She writes:

I can honestly say that I’ve never started reading an ebook expecting to find errors. It never occurs to me that I’ll find errors in any of the books I read, period. Seriously.

I was reading Nora’s Born In Death a few weeks ago, when I came across a minor typo. I noticed it, but it didn’t bother me in the least. Why? Because the book was bigger than that one error.

I can forgive typos, imperfect grammar etc, if the story pulls me in enough. The problem is, these things become a lot more noticeable if the book sucks ass.

I remember reading an e-book a few years ago that had spelling mistakes virtually on every page, bad punctuation, bad grammar, the works. You name a publishing no-no, and it was there.

I found out later that the author was dyslexic, so I let it go, but surely, her editor should have spotted these mistakes? There were so many mistakes in that one book, that I found myself wondering if the book had been edited in the first place.

It seems to me that editors should probably be held up to closer scrutiny, than they currently are.

Like I intimated in that now infamous review, as far as I was concerned, the problems in the book should have been picked up by the editor. She should have understood the distinction between porn and erotic romance. The authors of ER have been arguing about the distinction for long enough, but let’s face it, all it takes is one poor editor, to blow holes in the “It’s not porn, it’s erotic romance” mantra.

But then, there’s the argument that the publishing company should be more discerning about who they hire as editors, so in the end the buck should probably stop with them.

Why? Because the publishers are the ones who hire the crap editors who take on the crap authors, who write the sucky books. Seems simple enough to me.

What say you?

Candlelight vigil for Madeleine

A host of well known celebs, including J.K. Rowling, Virgin boss, Richard Branson, and Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney, have offered a combined reward of £2.6m to anybody with information leading to the safe return of four year-old Maddy McCann, who was abducted in Portugal over 10 days ago.

Apparently it’s her birthday today.

I’m praying that she’s found safe and sound.


So, mum and I saw him last night in Manchester. He was fantastic, bloody fantastic.

I loved how down to earth he was, and how much fun he made his concert last night.

The second (or was it third?) song that he did was Still, and he did an amazing job. (Listening to it as I type this)

He also did Penny Lover and All Night Long, and loads more of his other hits. (Yes, he did Hello too)


When he did Three Times A Lady, he basically let the audience sing the song most of the way through. A total goosebumps moment. I also loved this rendition of Stuck On You:

Stuck On You…

I loved how well he worked the audience. I haven’t danced so much during a concert, evah!

I was also amazed at how varied the age group of the audience were. Ranging from early teens to octagenerians. It was fantastic to see. Talk about the soundtrack to so many people’s lives.

Definitely a concert that I would recommend to anybody, regardless of age.

And as a treat for those closet Lionel Richie fans out there, here’s a vid of him singing with the fantabulous Beverley Knight last year:

Endless Love…

Effingg glorious… The king of timeless love songs for sure….

You can find details of his tour dates here.

Next up, Justin Timberlake on Tuesday. Can’t wait!