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Oh It’s Here At Bloody Last!

Monday, July 30, 2007
Posted in: High Noon

I’ve been a tad jealous that the world and his mother seems to have read this book already, so I’m just gonna bed down for the night, until the book is done. Who needs Harry Potter, Pffftt!

Gwen honey, just for you:

From Eva Gale and Cindy Cruciger’s Blogs…

On Toxic Criticizim Being Labeled as Snark
A long time ago I read How To Hug a Porcupine: Dealing with Toxic and Difficult to Love Personalities, by Dr. Lewis Lund, and going through all of the recent kerfluffle (or bullshit as it more honestly is) brought some of the book back to mind. Why? Because I was trying to see if how I had felt was disproportionate.

In the book, the author Dr. Lund defines a Toxic Personality [chpt 1:3]


A Toxic Behavior is any word, deed, or action which detracts from you being your best self or hinders others from becoming their best selves.

Ironically, many toxic personalities are well meaning. They sincerely believe they are acting in a loving way, and that the ends justify the means. Frequently these people send the message, “I am doing this for your own good,” or “someday you will thank me for this.”

Compounding the issue is that there are times when people are required to criticize, reprove, or punish. The difference between toxic behavior and non toxic is in the APPROACH. HOW they deal with the negative issue. The MANNER in which they treat others is what defines them as toxic. These people either minimize the detrimental effects of their negative approach upon the person or justify it as necessary. They fail to recognize the magnitude of their negativity. It not only attacks the issue or behavior, but the very essence of the person. In their minds, the intensity of their negativity is appropriate. They lack a fundamental sense of proportionality. They use a twenty pound hammer when a five pound hammer would do. Most of them lack the knowledge and the skills of positive reinforcement. They assume the negative is the only viable approach to them.


Most toxic people view themselves as helpful. They refuse to admit they are toxic. In other words, they live in denial. They are not hypercritical; others are hypersensitive. Their behavior is normal in their eyes and other people are just overreacting. Even when confronted with the truth their blatant excesses of toxic behavior, they will persist in viewing the “real problem” as the inability of others to handle the truth. the irony is that these people feel they should be appreciated, and not resented, for their toxic insights. After all, they are “just being honest,” or “truthful” or “observant”.[pg 4]

On page 7 he numbers 54 examples of toxic behaviors, but I’ll just highlight the ones that I think pertain.

3. Manipulating others by guilt, ridicule, or rejection. [Yes, all three apply. As writers we’ll feel guilty that we don’t measure up, fear the ridicule, and the rejection int he face of ridicule can stop us from writing all together.]

7. Mocking, scorning, or belittling others.

9. Embarrassing others in front of friends, family or strangers. [my bold]

10. Sending persistent messages of incompetence or inadequacy of others. [fucktards, anyone?]

14. An inability to show understanding, empathy, or compassion for other people’s feelings or views. [*cough* Gail Northman debacle *cough*]

18. Easily offended by others. [there are a few]

22. Hypersensitivity to being criticized. [three of the four horseman]

35. Sarcasm

39. Feeling justified in hurting the feelings of others.

41. Fomenting a crisis to to keep people stirred up and on guard.

52. Others are always worried about hurting their feelings. [Sycophants, anyone? Even when they give a hurtful review, those fucktards better not be an Author Behaving Badly. So shut up and write.]

53. Others are always “walking on eggs” around them. [As Selah says, They like you when you stand by your convictions, as long as it happens to be their convictions, too.]

[pg 10] All toxic people share a narcissistic characteristic of being exploitive. This means they take advantage of others to achieve their own selfish ends, regardless of the best interest of others. [it’s called blog traffic-anything for blog traffic.]

Everyone exhibits toxic behavior at times. However, being able to apologize and accept responsibility for one’s behavior is a healthy reaction. Not being willing to apologize and transferring responsibility for behavior to others is one of the signs of a toxic personality. The fundamental attitude of giving oneself permission to continuously act in toxic ways distinguishes a toxic personality from a singular toxic event. The idea that one is justified in acting inappropriate ways is the core belief of toxic people. They believe the other person deserves this treatment. [my bold]

[pg 11] They are fearful of losing power. […] Most toxic people believe they themselves are not sufficient, so how could anyone else be enough?

So, apparently no, I’m not overreacting. Ferfe warned me long, long ago that, “That way there be dragons.” and I poo-pooed her, saying that I thought they were smart, funny, and giving the genre the criticism that it needed. I admit, I was wrong. My ignorance and innocence didn’t for see peers getting eviscerated and bled out all over the web, some unable to write again. And for that, I am sorry. But for standing up to it, never.”

Labels: Dear Author, It’s Not Snark, Karen Scott, Reviews, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books


(continued after the cut)

FerfeLaBat said…
“Wow. You put way more thought into this than I did. I am humbled.

Good post and as I read it I realize that I dance close to many of those edges and cross over myself once in awhile. I blame the four horsemen for spreading badness. 😉 I will try to do better. “

12:04 PM
visualsnark said…

Very nice. I think it will forever be a badminton game of who really has the toxic personality, though. I don’t want to spend eternity playing, either. You’ll forgive me if I stay mostly off to the side taking occasional visual pot shots at the people I think are asshats?

My own toxicity doesn’t bother me–it’s a toxic world and I’m following Mithridates’ game plan.
12:07 PM

Tate said
I have to admit being toxic at times and especially with certain people. They seem to bring out the worst in me. The one thing that struck me the most in your post is this, “They use a twenty pound hammer when a five pound hammer would do.” Dear Lord, does that describe me or what?!
12:16 PM

Eva Gale said…
Nope, not as much as you think. It was all there in the good Dr.s book.

I’ve decided I can let my anger at watching others be hurt make me toxic. I will endeavor not to. This is my ending. But I will watch and try to ffer a shoulder, or posts of support when I see it happening again.

And I have my person I’m toxic with too, but they are not online.
12:40 PM

Eva Gale’s Blog Monday July 30th

“I always like to begin with an apology ~ To Candy July 30
Filed under Feeding the Beast, Jane’s hyperbole, Define Bully by FerfeLaBat
comments Print This Post

After a review of the previous week I was hard pressed to find cause for me to issue an apology but, here goes.
Dear Candy,

I honestly do not believe that the woman who practically patented the phrase “Man Titty” (poking fun at Romance novel covers that use pictures of live, breathing cover models who can – in fact – read and do surf the web and are aware that their photos are being lampooned) could possibly be offended by the “Power of the rack”. Even though I am pretty sure you secretly loved it and I risk insulting your intelligence by saying this, I apologize. If nothing else having me apologize for doing something you do all the time should give you a good laugh.


Ferfe LaBat” (AKA Cindy Cruciger)

“I knew when Nora Roberts commented that she was drawing back from the blogs toward the end of the monster thread that all hell was about to break loose. Why? Because it was the equivalent of Paris Hilton and the other celebs saying they found God and would not be back to the night club scene. With out the famous people (or the possibility of famous people sightings), ninety precent of the hot venues would shut down in financial ruin. You had to do something. You have a book deal now and the print run and numbers are riding on your continually increasing blog audience. On a business decision level I can respect what you’ve done.

You and the other three Horsemen have paid me a HUGE compliment. Because you seem to honestly believe you are not bullies (insane as that belief may be) by executing your “coordinated blog effort” and throwing the full resources of your audiences and blogs at me, you are showing that you sincerely believe that I and my blog are as powerful as the four of you and your blogs combined. (Bullies pick on people they perceive as weaker than themselves.) Magnificent. Fucked up as all hell. But Holy shit I have never laughed so hard at a group of people losing their minds as I did last week.

Thank You.

To be continued tomorrow … “

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com

Zeek Jul 30
The apology to Candy from the SB’s is spot on if you ask me.

besides they SO don’t know you if they thought the original post was you being spiteful.

mm mm mm

And that’s all you’ll ever hear from me on this matter.

2. Eva Gale Jul 30
I blogged a non apology.

Link Edited by ferfe

Ferfelabat.com 30th July 2007

I’ve read quite a lot of books this week, so I thought I might share some of my thoughts with you guys. I must warn you though, this is a long old post, so you may want to grab a coffee first. *g*

Simon Says, by Lori Foster is part of her UFC series.
Simon Evans is an ex-fighter, who thinks that he’s happy as a pig in shit, until he finds his girlfriend in bed with someone else. Like any self-respecting hero would do, he kicks the bitch to the curb, with nary a tear shed, and goes back into training.

In the meantime, Simon’s twat of a father, who walked out on him when he was a child, wants to see him, and blackmails his step-daughter, Dakota, into trying to set up the meeting.

Simon isn’t interested in seeing Daddy Dearest, but Dakota Dream is another matter entirely (No, please do not mock her name, her horrid father was called Barnaby Jailer, that’s so much worse…)

I liked Simon Says, but then again, I do like Lori Foster books (What? You guys are such book snobs!). Admittedly her heroes are usually uber alpha types, and sometimes her heroines are a tad on the Mary Sue side, but hey, everybody has at least one author they know they probably shouldn’t adore, right?

Fortunately, Dakota is far from a Mary Sue-type character, she has a slightly unsavoury past, what with running away, and being a teen bride, married to an abusive son-of-a-whore, and all. Simon was the stereo-typical Foster hero, but guess what? I happen to love her heroes, flaws and all.

Listen, I know that I said that I’d never read another Catherine Coulter hysterical again, but Rebel Bride was in the library calling out to me, so I picked it up. (Did I just hear somebody say that all my taste is in my mouth? You suck too!)

Anyway, basically, Jules (ok the dude’s name is Julien, but Jules sounds so much better dontcha think?) St Clair sees Kate Brandon and falls instantly in lust with her (crap, that’s all I remember about the plot, so I’m flicking back to see what else happens in the book).
Anyway, Kate and Julien become friends, that is until Kate’s father, who Kate hates like a fat kid hates cabbage, makes her marry him.

Kate who wants to marry for love (crap, I think I’m making half this shit up) feels betrayed by Jules, and refuses to sleep with the cad (I’m still not really sure what he did wrong) because she doesn’t want a carbon copy of her father, somebody who will tell her what to do, when to do it, and tell her to be grateful for doing it in the first place, (if this comes across as one big ‘ole ramble, that’s because it is, I read the whole book, and somehow, I’ve managed to totally forget what the hell it’s about!) erm, or something like that.

Anyway, seeing as I can’t remember the majority of the goings-ons in the book, (how shocking..) I don’t think I’ll be able to even do a simple capsule review, so let’s move on shall we? Sheesh…

The Billionaire’s Bidding, by Barbara Dunlop, was a recommendation by Keishon. If I didn’t know what this books was about, from the cover art, I think I’d probably assume it was a hysterical, Mainly because the heroine looks like a Barbara Cartland throwback, what with all the lace and ruffles. I finally managed to figure out that the heroine is supposedly wearing a wedding dress. Sheesh…

Anyway, I digress, the synopsis? Oh yeah, Emma McKinley is desperate to save her family’s company, and agrees to marry Alex Garrison, who happens to be a bazillionaire, so that the family business doesn’t go tits-up. Anyway, the marriage is in name only, but the two eventually find themselves falling in love.

I liked Emma, she may not have been the ‘pretty sister’, but she was all about designer labels man, what with a Donna Karan jacket and shopping at Saks, she was my kinda heroine. I also liked Mrs Nash, Alex’s housekeeper, she was amusing in that tight-lipped, tightly-buttoned-down matronly way that English HQN housekeepers tend to be portrayed.

Alex was good fun too, a bit too austere at times, but he didn’t suck arseholes. That’s always a good thing, right?

Anyway, glad I read the book, it was quick and easy, and didn’t cause my head to explode, what more can a reader ask for?

I also got round to reading Megan Hart’s Dirty. Do I really have to give a brief synopsis? OK,.. well, Elle Kavanagh is a girl who likes to have anonymous sex, (or at least she wants us to believe that she does), and she does, often, but apparently not in the last couple of years. That is, until she meets Daniel.

Daniel and Elle form a relationship of sorts after their one-night stand, and Daniel finds himself falling in love with Elle. Elle however isn’t about the love-stuff, and acts out in ways that would make any self-respecting male tell her to get lost. Daniel however is made of sterner stuff than that, and stays with her, despite her neurotic behaviour. There is a reason for the way that Elle is, and the reader is given clues early on, that raises disturbing suspicions.

I really liked Dirty, but I have to say, there was nothing erotic about it whatsoever. Normally, manic-depressive heroines like Elle, make me grind my teeth in annoyance, but the hints and suspicions that had been fed to me, regarding her past history, were compelling enough for me to see the book through to the end.

Daniel was totally different from Elle. He was much more well- rounded, and generally, a happier person. I liked the fact that he stayed with her, regardless of her hot and cold treatment of him.

The book was well written, but it did have an oddly, cold and detached feel to it. I think this was probably mainly due to the first person narrative.

From the sounds of it, Broken follows a similar vein. I will read it though, because Dirty was a good read for me.

Set in the 1700’s, Shana Abe’s The Smoke Thief has been recommended by all and sundry in Blogland, so of course I had to read it, going by the premise that a thousand flies around shit can’t be wrong.

Drakons are a race of beautiful people, who live in the North of England, although unseen by mere mortals. They are able to Turn to smoke, and/or shapeshift into dragons (yep, you guessed it, it’s a damned paranormal, or fantasy, or whatever.)

Clarissa Rue Hawthorne ran away from Darkfrith when she was a girl, and went to London to start a new life. Because of her unusual Drakon powers, she’s able to get into locked places, so she uses this talent to form the basis of her career, as a jewel thief.

However, the leaders of the Drakon are nervous because her activities puts the entire clan in jeopardy, if she is caught by the ordinary mortals, so Christoff, Marquess of Langford, and the Drakon leader, goes to London, in an attempt to catch this notorious Smoke Thief, before anybody else does.

Like everybody else, I really liked The Smoke Thief, it was well written, and well plotted out. Rue was a feisty heroine, who didn’t make me want to gag, and Chris wasn’t bad either, but the real beauty of The Smoke Thief was Shana Abe’s splendid way with words, and her ability to literally transport the reader to another time, and place. Whoever knew that purple prose could be so well done? It really was a fantastic book, regardless of the fact that it was a paranormal.

I’m a huge fan of Sharon Sala’s books,.. erm actually, her last few books have been pants, but she’s another one of those authors I still insist on buying regardless of how much they let me down.

If anybody’s ever read Sweet Baby , you’ll know how powerful her writing can be.

I’ve had Out of The Dark on my TBR for at least three years, and I decided to take it along to read, during my train journey to Somerset on Thursday.

Jade Cochrane is a twenty four year old woman who was kidnapped into a cult, when she was just four years old. Her life with The People of Joy was marked by abuse and suffering, that no child should ever have to endure.

During Jade’s twelfth year, things come to a head, and with the help of her best friend Raphael (also a member of the cult who was kidnapped as a child), they manage to run away, and managed to survive the next twelve years living on the streets.

Sam Cochrane had spent the last twenty years searching for his wife and child, who went missing one night, and after some friends report on a possible sighting of his daughter, he hires ex-cop, Luke Kelly, to try to find her.

Luke manages to find Jade and Raphael, and brings them both home, so that Jade can be reunited with her father. In the meantime, word of Jade’s story makes the national news, and the people who have a lot to lose, if anybody ever finds out their involvement in Jade’s dark past, start to get very nervous. Now that they know where Jade is, they know that killing her may be the only option.

Well, I have to say, I totally loved this book. It was flawed in that at times, it almost felt like I was reading two different books. The first books was gritty, deeply emotional and very disturbing, with fantastically developed characters, whereas the second book sometimes bordered on cheesy, and the lazy, disconnected dialogue irritated me beyond belief at times.

My fave character in the book was Rafe, Jade’s best friend. He’d been in love with her forever, but knew that nothing romantic could ever happen between the two of them, not with the abusive history that they shared. He spent more than half his life taking care of her, and putting her needs first, whilst woefully neglecting his own. Jade was his family, and the connection between them somehow managed to transcend the normal bonds of love.

Raphael’s story was so emotional and heart-breaking, that I couldn’t help but wonder if his character had been based on a special somebody whom Sala had known in her real life. You’d have to read the book to know what I mean by that.

The book was very moving, and there were many scenes that brought tears to my eyes, and made me totally forget that I was on public transport, where crying really isn’t appropriate.

Like I said, it wasn’t a perfect read, but I was able to look beyond the flaws, to the powerful story beneath the crap. By the way, just in case it wasn’t clear, Luke was the actual hero, not Rafe.

All in all, not a bad reading week, I guess. What are you guys reading that I should be?

Oh look, RWA has redefined ‘vanity publishing’. I guess they must have finally found a lawyer with a higher IQ than a tadpole. *g* Just kidding of course. *g*

*Ahem* I digress…

As a lowly reader, it makes perfect sense to me. Seriously.

I think E-pubs should pay advances, because if they did, they’d be less likely to accept any old drivel.

Don’t faint, but this part of the RWA statement got a big old Yay! from me:

On an earlier blog post, Angie opined that if Samhain did start paying advances, they wouldn’t be able to take the risks they do now, in terms of the wide variety of books and genres that they currently accept. I’m not so sure that’s altogether a bad thing.

I think Samhain are pretty savvy when it comes to signing authors, but I know that there are plenty of e-pubs out there who seem to take any old crap (I think a lot of us know who they are). I think this happens because some of these publishers don’t have the same level of investment or risk factor, that an advance-paying publisher does. Look at Triskelion and Venus Press, as prime examples. Those buggers totally sodded off, and left their authors high and dry as a nun’s c*nt.

As per usual, I’ll completely ignore the bigger picture, e.g., what it means to publishers like EC and Samhain, and concentrate on the only bit that interests me. *g*

So, waddaya think, should e-pubs pay advances or not?

And actually, do you truly give a crap either way?

Holding one’s self up to a higher standard than others is always a difficult path to tread, especially when one is far from perfect. Check the halo at the door, if you’re going to sling mud…

Taking The High Road only works if there’s nothing in your way…

Some people really should go and look up the true meaning of ‘libel’ and ‘defamation’…

Book editors, agents, and publishers know how to use Google…

Stalkers are sometimes the very people who accuse other people of stalking them…

Disabling comments can be very liberating…

People are often judged by the company they keep…

Google cache is a Blogger’s best friend…

Some people really should utilise the Spellchecker option in Word…

Don’t visit the blogs that you know will induce high blood pressure, that way leads madness…

I actually missed talking about book stuff…

Turn The Other Cheek, is a phrase that should only be used during the application of make-up…

I’ll never take The High Road again, too many potholes…

Private e-mail and IM are good friends, people should use them more, especially for those not-fit-for-the internet type discussions…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do rants, rarely ever go down well with the masses…

No matter how shaky my belief in God is, childhood bible classes still come in useful…

My Authors Not Behaving like fucktards list reduced by one. That didn’t take long…

Jane, Candy, and Sarah are good people…

Blogflames aren’t characterised by the sheer number of posts and comments, they are characterised by the fucktards who forget to take their meds before posting their comments…

My quote of the week, “The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.” – Sophocles (Gwen at the SB’s blog)

“It’s all about the comment count right Karen? You stir shit but never smell it. You don’t moderate or join the discussion you start. Those are human beings posting there on your blog some of them genuinely trying to understand and to be understood. As hostess you have a responsibility to your guests, even the rude ones.

And yeah – this last go around you have slam dancing unattended now over there pretty much ended my interest in anything you might have to say in the future. You are absolutely right. I don’t like it and I won’t be checking back again. No loss to you so it’s all good.

You are brave and wise Sara. I stopped posting there because Karen starts an issue and then sits back quietly letting her guests get hammered. Kate otoh always actively joins the discussion. That’s the difference between a discussion blog and a flame fest. Took me awhile to figure that out.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat, Kate Rothwell’s blog

“For some reason I always pictured Sarah as a dishwater blond and tall. Of them all I have to say Jane doesn’t even come close to what I thought she looked like. I was guessing mid 40’s, WASP. Was I WAY wrong. Sybil looks like a cross between Renee Bernard and Sherilynn Kenyon.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat, Ferfelabat.com

“51. Selah March Jul 17
Oh, look, gang. Apparently Jane thinks that because Ferfe asked the question “bloggers and fans don’t usually show up at RWA, do they?” (although she SAYS RT, I’m assuming she means RWA National, since that’s what her whole post is about, but God only knows, I guess) that means she/we don’t WANT bloggers and fans at our writing conferences. Could someone point me to where any of us said that? Please?

(insert Dear Author Link)

Methinks it must be one more instance of poor reading skills on someone’s part. Or assuming facts not in evidence. I’ve seen this phenomenon before. Recently, even.

(Insert Avidreader’s link)

Reading comprehension: It’s not just for third graders anymore.”

62. FerfeLaBat Jul 17
“It’s comments like that that made me think she was a 40 yo WASP. Classic disdain. You can’t buy that. You have to be born with it and it takes years to perfect. Also one of the reasons she makes my top ten scarriest blogger list.
Oh sure. She looks all harmless and cute. But pretty soon she’s gonna get mean and then there’ll be a million more of her.”

“Sigh. What does it say about me that this seems to be the only blog where a discussion of Candy’s cleavage can be carried on for over two days? Nothing good, I’m sure. I’m seriously hoping Karen exceeds that so I can pretend that this started there and then whistle off into the sunset all innocent like.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com, 17th July 2007

“I have said this before but now I am going to organize it. Snarky and bitchy are not interchangeable words. Snark is humor. Bitchy is just mean. Bitchiness indicates the person is in ill humor. Snarkiness indicates the person is finding humor in just about everything. There are quite a few bloggers and websites claiming to be snarky. They are bitchy. Huge difference.

Bitchy: Did you dress in the dark this morning?

Snarky: [Wouldn’t say jack about a friend’s clothing unless the friend asked how they look and then … THEN they would simply ask the friend:] “What kind of” or “How many” looks were you shooting for?

Bitchiness requires the IQ of a gnat. Snarkiness requires a few more brain cells.
There is an art to Snark. Anyone who enjoys Hamster Time and Television Without Pity understand this. But what makes it snark and what makes something else mean and bitchy. I’m going to build the list here.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA FerfeLabat.com

Blog Etiquette 101 ~ Careful commenting April 1

III. Be ready to apologize.

I do not believe there is a point in any career, writing or something else, where polite consideration for others is optional. You would be surprised at how quickly a bad situation can end by offering a simple, sincere apology. You don’t have to say you were wrong if you don’t think you were. But if an apology seems in order for allowing a debate to get too heated, offer it. When faced with extremely rude behavior from other bloggers, drain the poison. There is no subject online worthy of stress, a sleepless night or taking a day off from work. See the train coming and step off the tracks.

IV. Don’t make it personal.

Use the word “You” very carefully. Whether you mean to or not, when writing to a reader, using the word “You” is speaking directly to the reader. Used indiscriminately or incorrectly, “You” can end up putting the reader on the defensive and the conversation can get ugly very quickly. If you mean to address another poster personally, be clear who you are talking to. Otherwise, reread your posts and strip the direct references.

V. Take a break from the harsh blogs and boards.

Disagreements can be fun and in many cases creative, but too much of it can make you sick. An overload of it can turn you mean. If you find yourself carrying an online debate into your everyday life then it’s time to take a break from the blogs. This is hard to do because for some, online attention is an adrenaline rush. They get addicted to the instant gratification. It’s the same with authors who compulsively check their Amazon.com rating. There’s some weird kind of validation there and they crave it. Break away from it the instant you find yourself hitting refresh more than five times on a subject. Get out of your chair and go out.

If you are blogging for the long haul, pace yourself and keep your ego from expanding into infinite space. No one is handing out rewards for the worlds most brilliant blog comment.

Cindy Cruciger, AKA Ferfelabat.com April 1st 2007

I am deliberately fucking with Jane, Candy, & Sybil (as god is my witness I did not mean to upset Karen again). They know it. I know it. We are professional snarkers and in no way shape or form should you take anything we say or do when we go at it seriously. It’s fun. I respect them all. But sometimes someone has to fuck with them to keep them on their toes. It’s a tough job, sometimes dangerous – well always dangerous – and I am just the bat to do it. Do not do as I do.

Cindy Cruciger, AKA Ferfelabat.com – May 20th 2007″

“So. There I was reading the latest publisher smack down over at DearAuthor.com (Hey, I love a good train wreck as much as the next person when work gets boring. Where do you think I get characters for my books?) and wondering if Heebie Jeebies really is a horrifically racist term (but not enough to Google it) while admiring the similarities to the Imus vs Al show a few weeks back …”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com

“I rarely link over to this blog (insert KarenS link) in public posts anymore, though I fully admit to a handful of private online conversations trying to figure “WTH is she up to now?”. But recently she’s been posting some interesting, soul searching, personal Q & A type sessions and I think she deserves some answers that are more in depth than just “I just LOVE your blog because you are Oh so honest” lip service.

I could be completely wrong, but it’s possible some past dust ups could be laid to rest while mecury is in retrograde over there. Not on my part because she never slam danced my work or pilloried me personaly in a post, but the rest of you may want to check in and see if fences could be mended by a little online honesty.

It could also be a calculated lure in prelude to another slam fest, but maybe not.

If you are timid then wait and see how badly I get flamed (or just ignored) before dipping a toe in over there. No risk, no gain, right? And maybe you can check that niggling itch off your “Shit I wish I never had to deal with” list and use that segment of your brain for positive, productive projects. Oh. And don’t go there if you are still pissed as hell.

That never works out. Be prepared to state your piece in a constructive way and step off. Also be prepared for the fangirl backlash because it’s still not a moderated blog. Only been blogging for 2 1/2 years? Damn. She’s done some amazing damage in a really short time. I bow.

Anyway. That was how I wasted thirty minutes today. Boredom is going to be the death of me someday I swear.

eta – false alarm. She’s just looking for absolution and encouragement to continue. Hard to read the crazy mean ones sometimes.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com

• FerfeLaBat Jul 21
“Oh and FWIW Goofing on Candy’s cleavage and saying that two women in cute costumes brought down the entire romance writing community are very different things.”

Selah March Jul 19
“This is the thing: I can’t imagine either Candy or Sarah writing a review like this. Making fun of plot inconsistencies, stupid characters, word misuse? Definitely. Saying the book put them to sleep it was so dull, or made them laugh out loud at the overly dramatic prose? Absolutely. Mocking to the razor’s edge of cruelty? Sometimes.

But doing everything but calling the author a soulless monster because she killed of a character they liked? Not if the book was well-written. They might express disappointment, but that’s not this. This is, in fact, the personal attack on an author that Jane insists she doesn’t do.

• And it seems to be just peachy-keen with almost everybody, doesn’t it?
I’m disillusioned yet again by our peers. I think I might need to take a break from the bloggage.”

Yo ANYTHING that makes Karen Scott cry is fine and dandy with me. High Five Ms Slaughter. Now all we need is for Scott to repost snippets from the spoiler letter and see if the Slaughter curse kicks in. Not the first part, obviously that barn door was left open ages ago, but the Herpes …”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com

“eta – I worked very hard at pissing off Jane, Candy, Sarah and Karen so they would never EVER mention me or link to me. It would be beneath them. Where did I fail? A year and a half of carefully timed contrary comments down the drain.”

Cindy Cruciger AKA Ferfelabat.com

“In the rush to trample down everyone in their paths who did not hold similar beliefs, Cindy Cruciger and a group of e-published authors such as Selah March and Eva Gale engaged in the very acts that they purportedly despise: name calling, condescension, discussing personal appearance as if it had anything to do with ability or content. Cruciger engaged in a wholesale deletion of posts and comments.”

“Point being though – woven in with the reviews she’s accused authors of being racist when they are not and they can’t defend themselves because she is a “reviewer”.

That was the first ugliness I noticed. Since then I’ve seen her say a LOT of personal things about authors with no basis for the accusation other than “it’s her opinion” and “free speech”.

It isn’t free speech. It’s libel and defamation of character and has nothing to do with reviewing a book. Calling author’s “Fucktards” and worse is not a fucking book review. When that gets pointed out they usually fall back on the author “deserving it” or some lame assed justification for abuse. I’ve heard wife beaters give better reasons for why they do what they do.”

Cindy Cruciger, Ferfelabat.com

• ann vremont Jul 9
You are really trying to yank her chain now, aren’t you? I sent her a link to the red version of Bride of Rove. The timing just seemed so cosmically appropriate that I felt the need to share. No response. I guess being ignored is better than an attempted filleting.
P.S. when are you going to register my new URL suggestion?

• FerfeLaBat Jul 9
Ya know. The only way in which my version of this type of blogging is different, is my selection of targets. Unlike others I only choose bloggers who are actively, and unfairly, slamming people who cannot fight back. Sort of like Dexter’s Code of Harry. I’m not doing anything they aren’t, other than keeping it amongst us fiends.
Someone has to do it.

• FerfeLaBat Jul 9
Ahhh this one. You don’t know how many and which of my friends she’s libeled and defamed. I keep track. Is there a movement underfoot that I am unaware of that is on the attack behind firewalls? If so, very cool. But it doesn’t appear to be stopping her from selecting new victims.

• FerfeLaBat Jul 9
Also – this quest of mine for at least an apology from Karen to the people she’s hated on without provocation has been going on for at least a year now(?). It’s not new.

• Eva Gale Jul 8
She has to justify herself with the seperation of authors and their work, otherwise she’d be faced with realizing that she’s a Mean Girl. Disconnect. That’s all it is.
Maybe someone with the extra cash will eventually sue her.

• FerfeLaBat Jul 9

“There are harsh review sites that do not address anything but the book and that author’s body of work. You know, real reviews and opinions about what they are reading. Karen Scotts site does not fall into that category. When she goes after a book she eviscerates the author along with the book and invites everyone in to take their free hit.
Oh well. Won’t be the first time I mistook a post requesting ass-kissing for a genuine dialogue opener. My bad.”

Cindy Cruciger, Ferfelabat.com

“Tenets of Good Blogging

I ~ Take an active interest in what is being posted on your blog. I don’t believe you need to go so far as to delete posts or ban people but if you are going to introduce hot topics online in a public forum you have some responsibility to your guests and you should check in and keep things civilized.

The critical element is whether or not the people moderating the board or hosting the blog genuinely respect and appreciate the guest participants – regardless of their personal like or dislike of them. One of the ways they demonstrate that is by keeping somewhat abreast of the discussion. They post periodically to steer discussions into saner waters when they go off course.”

Ferfelabat.com aka Cindy Cruciger

“What Karen does is not snark. There is absolutely nothing self-effacing in her style of writing. I have never seen Dear Author snark – rant – yes – snark – no.

BAMM snarks. Smart Bitches snark. Television Without Pitty snarks. Mrs. Giggles snarks.

If it’s mean, it isn’t snark.
Snark is not bitchiness or personal attacks. The primary rule of snark is that the first target of snark is the snarker herself.”

By FerfeLabat AKA Cindy Cruciger on thenewjaynier.blogspot.com

“Where did Karen Scott say she went on vacation again? I think someone saw her …”

Weird-Looking ‘Lake Snake’ Sought by Illinois Authorities
Sunday, July 01, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Loch Ness Monster it’s not.
But an unusual-looking snake spotted in a central Illinois lake has prompted excited speculation, as well as a search in advance of the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
A woman who lives near Lake Springfield took a photo in April of what appeared to be a large, yellow snake — its head above the water and its body beneath it.

FerfeLabat.com AKA Cindy Cruciger

“My fellow bloggers, do you not have enough people treating you like hammered shit in your daily life off line? Do you really need to hang out on faux snark blogs dedicated to shit stirring topics, random abuse of people and subjects, about which, they know nothing? Under thier skirts they are unmoderated flame fests designed to ramp up comment counts.

You’re feeding your sanity to monster egos when you should be zen’ing out in your own space. You should be getting a better job or promoted at your current job, enjoying a day off or just eating your lunch without hurling. There are blogs that cover the subjects near and dear to your heart that are hosted by men and women who know how to keep the discussion civil and flowing.

I realized a few weeks back that I was completely wasting my time talking to anonymous ghosts on abusive blogs. This seemingly pointless activity used to entertain me. I’m not certain what the tipping point was, but somewhere in there I dropped off the edge, whapped the hell out of my head and realized I was wasting valuable time. I realized that:
My own blog needed serious revamping.

My job is fabulous and even though I put in over 50 hours a week of honest work, I knew it could be more focused work.

I have half a novel written in long hand that needs typing and editing.
I have a Himalayan cat and a Persian cat, both of whom now have knots in their fur. I need to don Kevlar gloves and a shark suit to deal with that because they know what the scissors mean. Blood will be shed on both sides.

The todo list of my life is long and it is all stuff that is a hell of a lot more fun than hanging out on abuse blogs getting my ass handed to me by complete strangers.

I made a decision and I am posting that decision here on the new and improved FerfeLaBat.com. From here on out I am sticking with sites that make me think without requiring me to stand in a pile of shit while I’m doing it.”

FerfeLabat.com March 17th 2007

Some Definitions of ‘Hypocrisy’…

Monday, July 23, 2007
Posted in: hypocrisy

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source

1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
3. an act or instance of hypocrisy.

American Heritage Dictionary – Cite This Source hy·poc·ri·sy (h?-p?k’r?-s?) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies

The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
An act or instance of such falseness.

Bloody Paranormals…

Sunday, July 22, 2007
Posted in: What the hell does that mean?

One of the main reasons I’m so resistant to paranormal romances, is my difficulty in getting to grips with some of the world-building, and the jargon. One of the reasons why I think I was able to get into J.R. Ward’s BDB books, was because she had a glossary explaining the BDB speak.

I wish other authors would do this, because it would save me from getting a headache, trying to figure out what they’re actually talking about. It also totally kills all reading pleasure…


Sunday, July 22, 2007
Posted in: Love is a battlefield, Pat Benetar

We watched Thirteen Going on Thirty last week, starring Jennifer Garner. The best thing about it was that it reminded me how much Pat Benetar’s Love Is A Battlefield rocked…

This probably wont mean much to the people who have never read any of Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series, but I’ve just read a letter from her, addressed to her fans, giving away spoilers in her upcoming G.C book.

I’m in shock.

Seriously, I haven’t felt this bad about a book since Watership Down.

I’ve always loved Karin Slaughter books, because she is a master story-teller, who has this wonderful ability, which enables her to write gritty, hard-hitting fiction, in addition to having a plethora of fantastically developed characters.

Jeffrey Tolliver and Sara used to be married, then he cheated on her and she divorced him when she found out. A big part of the series has been about the two of them finding the path back to love and trust again. These two characters, and their relationship were central to my enjoyment of the Grant County books.

Which is why I just can’t believe she’s done this to her faithful readers.

Well, fiction or not, I’m not a happy bunny. It was a cheap trick meant to cause maximum emotional impact on the readers who have bought this series faithfully over the years. Cheap and crappy, and I’m not having it. Screw it, I’m with Jane.

Just one question, if we somehow manage to turn the tide, and get the respect we so desire from outside the genre, what would we actually gain?

More reviews in serious newspapers? Didn’t I hear something about newspapers trimming down their review pages anyway?

More readers? Somebody remind me how we compare sales-wise to other genres again?

More younger readers? Why, and how young? I started reading romance books when I was eleven years old, I believe quite a lot of romance readers started young. How old were you when you started?

Would it help banish the image of Barbara Cartland lying on a couch stroking her pussy cat, wearing a big assed dress, and looking like that actress from Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Would it help settle the debate as to whether or not Gone With The Wind was a romance or not? What do you mean what debate? Heathens!

Will the war in Iraq finally come to an end? What do you mean what war? Heathens!

Will that stupid bint who married Osama Bin Laden’s son, finally come to her senses?

Will Victoria Beckham finally admit that she had a boob job?

Will Tom Cruise finally let Katie Holmes speak in public?

Will Ugly Betty finally get with Henry?

Sigh…So many questions, so few answers…. *g*

What say you?

Random Photographs…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Posted in: random photos

I’ve been meaning to download the pics on my camera for a while now, and today I finally got round to it. These are just random photographs from the past couple of months:

The Ben De Lisi dress I bought recently, shame you can’t see the detail…

Neat and tidy home office… A novelty

It’s The Adorable Nephew’s 1st Bday on Saturday, so I paid a visit to Toys R Us…

Beyonce in concert last month, loved this dress…

Beyonce again, loved this performance…

T.A.N holding up Shana Abe’s Smoke Thief, fabulous book…

T.A.N trying to escape, he needs to grow a bit first methinks

The Kylie Minogue exhibition that I attended last month, loved the 101 Dalmatians dress…

Yeah, yeah, I like sensational post titles, so sue me. *g*

Anyway, I read KateR’s blog earlier, and apparently, there were some authors who attended RWA, who were uncomfortable at having to share space with readers and those bastardly reviewer-types at the conference this year. These authors were also among the few who didn’t think much to their peers dressing up as characters from their books, and thought it gave the whole conference a slightly unprofessional feel. and this would be different how?

Kate posted a couple of excerpts from e-mails from some of her author pals.

I thought the dressed up peeps were kinda cool actually, and let’s face it, people probably remembered them far more than those profesh types, who’d come suited and booted, and fully armed with their Wear-At-Every-Official-Event string of pearls.

I wonder who they meant by blog reviewers? Jane? Sybil? Candy? Sarah? Kristie? Wendy? From what I saw, they all behaved themselves pretty good. Apart from that Candy though, she was such a slut, did you see her cleavage hanging out for the whole world to see? How dare she expose her boobage at such a grand event? Some people have no shame. *g*

This author sounds VERY uncomfortable at the thought of meeting people other than fellow writers at the conference. I don’t really understand why though. I get that some authors are introverts, and prefer to stay at home with their cats, their typewriter, and their hair in rollers, eating chocolate ice-cream straight from the tub, but it seems a bit daft to worry about people who are there to do nothing but gush over their fave authors, and buy books.

I like the fact that some of my fellow bloggers went this year, it made it a lot more interesting for me as a reader to hear their gossip feedback.

This RWA conference, apart from the whole, ‘We Hate Effing E-pubs’ hoo ha, seems to have been pretty much a love-fest. Surely that’s a good thing?

Anyway, onto the important stuff, how freaking amazing was the back of Nora’s dress? I am loving this design to the max, I’m also impressed that she has no visible Back Fat…

Photo stolen from The SB’s blog

Hey Nora Roberts…

Monday, July 16, 2007
Posted in: Uncategorized

If you’re reading this, Rosie’s got something she wants to tell you…

My Verdict

Loved. It. I really, really did.

The Heroine

Angela was exquisitely neurotic, and had me teetering forwards and backwards in terms of how I felt about her, throughout the book.

In the beginning she was a stuck up, selfish bitch who needed a good kicking, but as the story went on, I realised that the one thing I liked about Angela was the sense of ‘realness’ that I got from her character.

She wasn’t perfect, at times she could be downright selfish and self-absorbed, and ordinarily, this type of heroine would usually have me running for the hills screaming blue murder, wielding an axe, but as the story develops, the reader sees less and less of the self-indulgent Angela, and instead is introduced to a woman who wants to do the right thing by her niece.

The reader sees a woman who’s plagued with insecurities, desperate to change, but doesn’t really know where to start. A woman who every now, and again is willing to unbend enough to try something that takes her out of her comfort zone. I liked this Angela, I got this Angela.

The Hero

Justus was wonderful. Decent, and honest, and kind. He really was.

He was a red-blooded, charismatic, successful man, who’d had his share of beautiful women, and wasn’t ashamed to admit it, but his fateful encounter with Angela ten years ago, had made a huge impression with him, and left him with feelings that he’d never been able to explain away.

He wasn’t as complex as Angela, because I didn’t find myself in the same tug-of-like conflict with his character. He was fairly consistent all the way through the book, and actually, that was quite nice, especially in light of the fact that Angela’s character was as mercurial as the weather.

The thing that I loved most about Justus was the way he was with Maya. I love stories where the hero is able to interact in a normal way with children, without giving me a sickly sweet, sugar overdose, or channeling The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

I could tell that he loved Maya, and that his relationship with her was one of the most important things in his life. That says a lot about a man, and it made me as the reader more willing to trust that for all of his male-slut ways, when he eventually fell in love, it would be for real, and forever.

Although the two of them didn’t actually consumate their relationship till much later in the story, the build-up was so tension-filled, that I started looking forward, in desperate anticipation, to their next chemistry-fuelled scenes, together. The pages fairly smoked with all of the sexual tension, between the two of them. It’s great when an author is able to harness that, and bring it to a story.

Secondary Characters

One of the main secondary characters in the story, was Vincent, Justus’ cold, super-driven, super-snobbish father. Justus and his father had never seen eye to eye, and Justus had always felt that he was a bitter disappointment to his father. A point which Vincent had no qualms about harping back to, time and time again.

There was a particluarly powerful scene in the book, where Vincent spurns Justus’ attempt to help him, after his heart starts troubling him, and he intimates that if he had to have a son die, it should have been Justus. At that point, I must admit to actually wanting to seriously injure him in some way

I feared that Ann Christopher was going to go the route of turning Vincent into a one-dimensional, evil-bastard character, but luckily, as the story unfolded, we got to see a gentler, less reprehensible side to him. I like characters in books, who make me question my feelings towards them. I like the uncertainty of not knowing how I feel about a character from one minute to the next, it makes things a little more interesting.


Maya was the thread, that not only brought Justus and Angela together, but she was the common ground that Justus and his father desperately needed to reach a place of compromise and conciliation.

I loved how Christopher didn’t turn her into the model child, fully equipped with a halo on her head, and angel wings sprouting from her back. She was sometimes, naughty, and she was sometimes nice, but she was always an interesting character, for one so young. The scenes with her and Angela were bittersweet. Angela’s inexperience with children shining through, every time Maya behaved like a typical three year-old. There were a few heart-warming scenes, between Maya, Justus, and Angela, but at no point did Christopher wade into Corny As Hell territory. I liked that.

The Story

I loved how Christopher was able to weave such a beautifully intense story, without making me feel like I’d been put through an emotional wringer. She didn’t waste time with extraneous plots, and a multitude of secondary characters, and instead concentrated on developing multi-dimensional leads, who fairly jumped off the page for me. The pacing was good, and at no point did I feel the need to go and watch my grass grow in the garden.

Risk wasn’t quite the perfect read, I wasn’t overly enamoured by the fact that Justus was just 17, and Angela 24, when they first met, I think I would have felt a lot more comfortable if he had been at least twenty years old. Also, I noticed that Christopher really liked using the word ‘cried’ a lot. Had she kept this particular verb to just the females, (e.g. “My God Angela, he cried”) I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have noticed her over-use of it.

I was able to get past the imperfections, and as minor as they were, they certainly didn’t stop me from being enchanted by Christopher’s version of love at first sight. I loved the way she made me believe in the possibility that love can start with a single glance, and a single dance, and that those feelings can be strong enough to transcend time and tragedy.

This was romance in the truest sense of the word, and so often, authors fall short of providing that very necessary ingredient. I certainly take my hat off to Ann Christopher, she wrote a wonderful story, and one that was very hard to put down.

You can buy Risk here, and visit Ann Christopher’s website, here.

Thanks to Linda for reccing this to me, you were soooo right.