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So this week, I read two books that I heartily enjoyed. A rare occurrence of late.

Just recently, I seem to have been cursed with a series of DNFs that were so bad, they didn’t even deserve F-type screaming reviews.

The first book that I read was Elizabeth Hoyt’s, To Taste Temptation.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they’re giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn’t know, though, is that Samuel is in Londonbecause of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won’t rest until he finds the traitor.

Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother’s death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood–and Emeline’s fiancé. Despite Emeline’s belief in Vale’s innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel’s investigation?

I much prefer that blurb to the one on the actual book.

The hero was lovely, the heroine was feisty, (but not in a way that made me want to stab her in the eye), and the plot was good. One reason why I suspect Elizabeth Hoyt’s books do so well is because her love scenes are hot as hell, without venturing into skeezer territory.

I also love Hoyt’s habit of including fairy tales in her books. At the beginning of each chapter, Hoyt tells the tale of Iron Heart. I have to say, I found the tale just as engrossing as the actual book.

By the way, isn’t Hoyt’s cover just lovely? The pic on the inside cover aint bad either. Totally hot.

The other book that I read that I didn’t hate as much as I thought I was going to, was Joanna Bourne’s, The Spymaster’s Lady. In actual fact, I didn’t hate it at all. Two historicals read in the same week. What is the world coming to?

Here’s the very brief blurb from Amazon:

She’s never met a man she couldn’t deceive…until now.

She’s braved battlefields. She’s stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She’s played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can’t outwit.

Believe me, the blurb didn’t do the book justice whatsoever.

There were so many plus points to TSML, that it’s fairly hard to know where to begin.

If I had to use one word to describe this book, that word would be ‘smart’. It was the kind of book that I’d be proud of, in terms of representing the romance genre. Yes, it was that good.

In the reviews that I’ve seen of this book, I kept reading that the heroine was remarkable, and honestly, she truly was. She was an actual kick-ass heroine, who managed to keep her faculties in good working order, even when the hero was in the same room . Do you know what a relief it is to read a book where the heroine still retains her brain cells even after meeting the hero?
It’s been a while since I had a heroine that excited me as much as Annique did, but damn, I was impressed.

I must admit to having a bit of a Sixth Sense moment at one point in this book, which delighted me no end, because the unexpected is such a rare occurrence when it comes to romance books.

Bourne’s writing was immaculate in every way. The dialogue was snappy, amusing, and delivered perfectly by two of the most unusual characters that Romancelandia has ever seen.

Annique and Grey were great foils for each other, and I loved how witty they were together. Annique had a dry sense of humour that translated well, and in no way diminished the authenticity of the period and the setting. I’m often amazed by the number of historical romance authors who try to be amusing, using 21st Century humour.

The Spymaster’s Lady was a joy to read, and I look forward to Joanna Bourne’s next offering.

Hopefully she doesn’t do a Lisa Valdez, and make us wait three years for the release of her follow-up book.

Just saying.



Did You Hear…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

The report of the man who kept his daughter locked in a cellar for twenty-four years?

A 73-year-old Austrian electrical engineer has confessed to holding his daughter captive in a secret, windowless cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children by her, police said on Monday.

The case, centred on a nondescript two-storey building in the small industrial town of Amstetten, bears chilling similarities to that of Austrian Natascha Kampusch who spent eight years locked up in a basement before escaping in 2006.

Some parts of the 60 square metre basement in which the family were kept were no more than 1.70 metres (5 ft 6 in) high and officials said the basement even contained a padded cell.

“This is an appalling crime. I know of no comparable case in Austria,” Franz Prucher, head of security for Lower Austria told a news conference.

Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, says her father, Josef Fritzl, lured her into the basement of the block in 1984 and drugged and handcuffed her before imprisoning her.

Three of her children, aged 19, 18 and 5, had been locked up in the basement with her since birth and had never seen sunlight, police said, raising worries about their physical and mental state. The younger two were boys, the eldest a girl.

The victims are receiving medical treatment, said police.

Three other children — two girls and one boy — were brought up by Josef and his wife.

As well as confessing to locking up his daughter for 24 years and siring the seven children, Fritzl admitted to burning the body of the seventh child in the heating system when it died soon after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of criminal investigations in the state of Lower Austria.

So many questions here. Do we really believe that the wife didn’t know? How did the daughter manage to give birth to these children without medical assistance?

I can’t even tell you how sick I felt hearing this story. Those poor children.

This to me perfectly illustrates why daddy/daughter play books skeeve me out. Slippery slopes and all that. And don’t get me started on so-called romance books with incest themes. Blech.

I hope he gets what he deserves in prison. A great candidate for castration and other methods of torture, if you ask me. Sick f*ck.

My pals over at C’um Hither Global have a poll up, and it’s up to you guys to decide who wins the coveted title of Romance World’s Controversy Queen of the Year 2008.

The options, along with the votes so far, are as follows:

Amazon Dot Com – Book seller 1 (3%)

Anne Rice – former erotica writer & outspoken Bill Clinton defender 1 (3%)

Cassie Edwards – author & rumored plagiarist 8 (25%)

EPIC – Electronically Published Internet Connection 2 (6%)

Madris DePasture – Publisher and President, New Concepts Publishing 7 (21%)

Some woman at the RT convention who reportedly ran around with cherries between her boobs 2 (6%)

The RWA – Romantic Writers of America 3 (9%)

Tina Engler/Tina Keen/Jaid Black – Author, publisher & wife of convicted murderer 7 (21%)

Dumbledore – former lover of Grindelwald 1 (3%)

I can’t believe they left out Deborah MacGillivray.

Anyway, it was a toss up between the crazy Madris DePasture, and Cassie Edwards. I had to go with Cassie Edwards, just because of the sheer amount of column inches that were used up, when the plagiarism story broke.

Who did you vote for, and why?

Apparently Ann Jacobs, EC author, has taken it upon herself to berate JC Wilder for daring to be critical of the EC cover models behaviour at RT.

Ann (on her blog) writes:

Sure, there were some possibly newsworthy happenings…the kinds of things that always draw the attention of vultures of the tabloid press and their readers alike. If you’re interested, you can learn all the dirty details, fully embellished, at blogs like smartbitches and JC Wilder’s to name just two.

Hey, I think she’s calling us readers and bloggers vultures. How do you like that? What gratitude.

Anyway, JC Wilder then puts up a post entitled, When Good Authors Go Bad:

As the stomach turns…

I have been removed from one of my publisher’s email list entirely. Once again, I’m pretty sure it was just me that was removed – but what about the other authors who work for other publishers? Chances are they weren’t booted…just little ole me.

The last instance of removing an author from their lists (without telling her by the way) was an author who complained about the publisher’s bad behavior. They too were removed from the lists without any contact from said publisher.

Now THAT is professionalism.

So basically the mods at EC booted her off their group list. Charming.

Anyway, this is a comment from Ann Jacobs in response to the above post:

My guess is, no other EC author who writes for more than one publisher has gone out of her way to diss the rest of us, our mutual publisher and the cover models who grace the covers of our EC books.

About professionalism: people who live in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones. If an author is displeased about something she feels reflects badly on herself as an author, she should take her concerns up with people who can do something about valid complaints. That would not be her fellow authors, blog readers or the world at large.

I get the feeling that Ann’s the type that would defend her publisher even if they were shafting her fellow authors blind. I’m really starting to intensely dislike those types.

I bet she’s the black-balling type too. From the tone of her e-mail, I’m pretty sure she’d be all for ostracising any of her fellow authors who she felt spoke out of turn.

And people wonder how the Madris DePastures and the Deb MacGillivrays of this world get away with treating their authors like crap.

From a reader’s point of view, I think Ann Jacob’s response reflects far worse on her, than JC Wilder’s, especially in light of the recent e-publishers behaving like fucktards episodes.

It seems to me that not only was Jacobs trying to gag Wilder, but the above response seemed a tad threatening too. A kind of ‘Behave, or else’ message.

She obviously learned those intimidation tactics from the higher ups at EC. Did I just say that out loud?

Thanks to you-know-who for the tip-off.

Beyond His Control, by Stephanie Tyler

(With major thanks to Beki, from TEAS’s BB—when I mentioned that I wanted to read it, she sent me her copy.)

Beyond His Control is one in a loosely connected series of books about members of a SEAL Team (previous books are Coming Undone and Risking It All). This one is a friends to first love and, eventually, friends to lovers story.

Back cover blurb:

She’s always been beyond his control…
Assistant District Attorney Ava Turkowski knows about leading a dangerous life—her father was a risk taker who died in the line of duty and her beloved brother is taking just as many chances. Now a high-profile case has landed Ava herself in the crosshairs—and the only man standing between her and certain death is the one she can’t forget.
Justin Brandt was Ava’s brother’s best friend, her protector during her wild-child teenage years… and the object of her hottest fantasies. Now he’s a highly trained Navy SEAL with a body to die for and he’s been tasked with keeping Ava alive. Which means keeping her close—the closer the better…

Ava’s brother, Leo, calls Justin out of the blue and asks him—not for the first time—to help him protect Ava. The difference is that, this time, it is a life and death situation. Leo is undercover and one of Ava’s cases is about to blow his cover up. Much against his wishes, yet with commendable alacrity, Justin drives to Ava’s house just in time to get her out of the way of a car full of hired thugs, and now both are on the run.

For her part, Ava has a secret. She is a successful, if young, ADA involved in one of the biggest cases of her career, and a member of an underground railroad for abused women whom the courts have let down. Ava got involved in this secret endeavor through Callie, one of the social workers with whom she’s worked on domestic abuse cases. On top of that, she’s been in love with Justin pretty much since she met him, back in high school, nine years ago. (more…)

Apparently Excessica (you remember them, they’re the publishers who promise “to publish stuff other publishers wont” i.e taboo stories involving incest, Daddy/daughter play, etc) are spamming soliciting readers via Bebo.com.

A concerned reader sent me this e-mail:

Hey Karen, I checked my gmail this morning to find this message in my inbox. I think I’ve visited this publisher (Excissica) once when you did a blog post on them a little while back. But I certainly never gave them my email address or any other information, just browsed around a bit, and I’ve never heard of this bebo.com.

I know your blog requires an email address in order to leave a comment, but IIRC, I took one look at the Excissica thread and said “Not touching that with a ten-foot pole”. …

I’d like to know 1. if anyone else has gotten this unsolicited “invitation” and if they’re regular commenters on your blog (I read every day, but only chime in occasionally) and 2. if they collected my email when I visited their site (which isn’t possible as far as I know) or if they’re scouring your blog for email addresses (do they show up in comments? I didn’t think so). Oh, and if they’ve collected info from commenters on other blogs, if that is indeed what they’re doing.

This is the e-mail that the above reader received:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Excessica Publishing
Date: Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 10:55 AM
Subject: New invitation from Excessica Publishing
To: —@gmail.com

You have been invited to connect as friends with Excessica Publishing

Please accept or reject this invitation by clicking below:

Please do not reply directly to this email.

This email was sent to you at the direct request of Excessica Publishing
. You have not been added to a mailing list.

If you would prefer not to receive invitations from ANY Bebo members please click here – http://www.bebo.com/unsub/6483185013a144877234

Bebo, Inc., 795 Folsom St, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.

So, have any of you had this e-mail, or was this just a one-off?

I was over at Racialicious when this post about the re-publishing of the Sweet Valley High books caught my eye:

The columnist writes:

But the most controversial change is that the Wakefield sisters will now be a Size 4 instead of a Size 6. The downsizing of the girls’ much touted tan frames has sparked debates on Feministing.com, as well as at the Dairi Burger site, a blog named after fictitious Sweet Valley’s favorite teen hotspot.

I’ve been unsettled to read comments from visitors to these sites who say that the Sweet Valley series is to blame for their development of eating disorders. The readers say that the books ingrained in them the notion that Size 6 was the ideal. This isn’t surprising because, in each book in the series, the twins’ size and height (5 feet 6) are emphasized. What I’ve forgotten in adulthood, however, is that the books actually contain character after character with dietary habits that fall under the umbrella of bulimia or anorexia. One mother’s use of diet pills during pregnancy is responsible for her daughter being born deaf.

Now I read Sweet Valley High books back in the day, and I must admit, although the whole size six thing was always emphasised to the nth degree, I can’t remember it ever driving me to stop eating. I think I just assumed that a size six was a size ten, which is what I wore in my teens, so I guess it didn’t occur to me that I should try to be like Elizabeth or Jessica.

Now I know that everybody reacts differently to things, but I must admit, I really don’t get the becoming anorexic-because-of-SVH thing. Although apparently, some kids did indeed become anorexic after reading the books.

From reading the site’s revisionist retellings of the books, not only does the Sweet Valley High series promote dysfunctional eating, they are also filled with episodes of attempted rape and sexual abuse that are completely forgotten about later. As if that weren’t enough, the books are filled with classist/racist/heterosexist rhetoric.

“I don’t know how she can date him,” a character says about a classmate who is dating a Latino student. “He’s so ethnic and working class.”

Good grief. My secret little teen heart is breaking as I read on.

Later, the series explores the romantic relationship of the twins’ older brother, Steven, and the one black girl in town. In the end, however, Steven and the girl decide that there is no real chemistry between them and ultimately end up—where society dictates they should be—with their own “kinds.” Seems they were only together to make a social statement. What an enlightening commentary on why people enter interracial relationships. They do so to rebel, not because they actually care about each other.

I guess this was their first effort to include an interracial relationship, token or otherwise, and apparently the writers have messed that up royally. Dare I read on?

In addition to the lone black girl in town, there is a Latina who passes for white. So ashamed is she of her Mexican heritage that she tells her white friends that her grandmother is her cleaning lady. This sounds like it was lifted straight out of the 1959 film “Imitation of Life.” Anyway, the character ends up revealing her heritage after she is forced to speak Spanish in a life or death situation. Not to worry, though, her friends tell her that they will overlook the fact that she’s a Mexican.

Jesus. This is why growing up is no fun. Back in the eighties, I wouldn’t have noticed the racist undertones of such a storyline.

Apparently, the gays don’t fare any better:

The treatment of sexual orientation in the Sweet Valley series isn’t much better than the treatment of race, as the blogger over at Dairi Burger observes with delicious snarkiness.

“Enid’s cousin Jake comes to visit, and everybody loves him, and Jess and Lila try to get with him. And Tom plays tennis with him and when he is with him, he feels warm and fuzzy …down there. Alas, Jake is GAY!!!! I didn’t think that gays existed in Sweet Valley. Or were allowed to set foot in the town. Enid is a big ol’ homophobe when Jake tells her and Tom gets all weird when he finds out because BAM! suddenly he realizes he is gay.”

Oh wow…

The columnist concludes:

…Can we expect a new crop of girls to take up bingeing and purging after their initiation into the series, where Size 4 is now the standard of beauty? And how will the new generation of readers counteract the suggestions about the superiority of blue eyes, that it’s only natural for guys to want to date rape their attractive classmates and that anyone who is queer or of color is destined for a life in the margins?

Seems to me these books need to contain updates that address more than technological advances. They also need to reflect the advances that have been made in the realms of race, class and gender.

She has a point. Dammit.

Growing up sucks great big hairy ones sometimes.

You’d think the writers would have gotten a clue by now though. Big effing sigh.

RT 2008 Fairy Court Seating…

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

Blatantly stolen from Eve Vaughn’s blog.

Anybody else notice that Kathryn (sp?) Falk’s reception was noticeably muted?

Just sayin.

Rules of Engagement, by Ann Bruce

By now, anyone who reads my reviews knows that I have a *ahem* slight *ahem* bias against short stories—particularly when these are romances. Mostly because, in my experience, very few writers can pull off the character development that I, as a reader, need to see in order to believe in any sort of future for the characters.

As far as I’m concerned, the only rule an author cannot break in a romance of any stripe (historical, erotic, suspense, sweet, what-have-you) is having the characters reach the point, by the end of the story, where they could go on and be happy together. There doesn’t have to be a wedding, babies, picket fence nor rose-colored-glasses happily ever after—but I must be able to believe that these people have worked through enough of their issues, individually and together, that a future together is not just possible for them, but highly likely.

Not much to ask, right? But it usually takes a few hundred pages for me to reach this point.

Well, I’m happy to tell you all that this is a short story that completely turn my preconceptions about length and character development upside down. “Rules of Engagement” is a contemporary erotic romance, only some 65 pages in length, and the author sets up the hero’s character in less than two of those pages. Can you tell I’m impressed? and happy?

But I won’t gush (much).


After being shot three times in the chest and left for dead by his last lover, Jake Duquesne decides the middle of nowhere is a good place to recuperate. And it’s perfect… until someone decides to sneak up on him, gun drawn and cocked. Unfortunately for his would-be assailant, Jake’s ability to overpower is legendary — in more ways than one.

Waking up handcuffed to a strange bed wasn’t part of Katarzyna Delaney’s plans to heal after being jilted at the altar for the third time. Jake’s dark sensuality, however, makes her realize plans should be flexible. Even without a wedding, she decides she can still have all the intense sexual perks of a honeymoon — and there’s no one more intense than Jake.

Right away, there’s a huge hot button for me here. A woman who is in her late twenties, who has been engaged (and jilted) three times, yet is still a virgin? No matter how many older brothers or how intimidating they turn out to be (for the record: I happen to have three older brothers myself) a woman doesn’t remain a virgin that long unless she wants to. Which is perfectly fine, please don’t get me wrong, but which in this case conflicts with Katarzyna’s actions during the story.


I’m currently reading Toni Blake’s Tempt Me Tonight and I’ve got to the part where the heroine, who’s a successful attorney (she’s a shoe-in to make partner) living in Chicago, is contemplating moving back to her hometown of Bumfuck to open up her own little diner, and to of course be with the hero, who’s a car mechanic.

I haven’t gotten to the end of the book yet, but I suspect that Trisha (our heroine) will eventually end up giving up her job, and moving to Hicksville to be with Joe (our hero).

Whatever happened to the hero making the ultimate sacrifice and moving to Chicago to be with the woman of his dreams? Not just saying it, but actually doing it?

One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever there’s a question of distance between the hero and heroine, it’s always the gal who has to give up her apartment, and her job. What annoys me is that it usually turns out that the heroine wasn’t happy being an accountant/lawyer/doctor in the first place, and was just waiting for the right man to come along to rescue her from the drudgery of putting bad guys in jail, being able to afford Manolo Blahniks and healing the sick.

Honestly, it’s enough to drive my borderline feminist senses crazy.

I jest not.

All over one post that Jane wrote. A post that pointed out that perhaps Tess writing something as asinine as the following, wasn’t the brightest thing in the world to do:

Now, I’m not saying that Ms. MacGillivray wasn’t out of line here. But her major foolishness was that she got caught at it.

Well, Jane had a point methinks.

A commenter over at DA pretty much summed up the situation for me:

Tess’ opinion is fine, so is mine. I don’t get upset with any reviews, she gets upset with bad ones. Though fair warning that quite a few readers and authors tend to get just as pissy with authors who don’t know how to take reviews.

Right on.

Hopefully Gerritsen will get her Big Girl Knickers and put them on, because there are worse things in life than being criticised, especially when you inserted your own foot in your mouth in the first place.


Oh apparently her blog hiatus or whatever it was, didn’t last very long, she has another post up telling her readers that Dear Author are calling them ‘Flying Monkeys’, and urging her sainted followers to stop bashing in the comments section. Oh yeah, and she also thanks Nora Roberts for being supportive.

At this point, one commenter used the term flying monkeys, not Dear Author. She should at least get that right. But I guess she’s too busy crying in her cornflakes to at least check her facts.

If you guys don’t really believe that there’s a Reader v Author disconnect here in Blogland, well I just see this as further proof. Because unless you’re fawning over authors, deep down, a lot of them just aren’t that interested in hearing your opinion as a reader. I could name a few who belong in that bracket, but I just don’t have time for the drama or the RFGs.

Oh wow, I haven’t laughed so much since Mrs Giggles’ Trixy Lion Publishing website.

Lisa Charlton a newly self-published writer, put the following post up on Lulu.com:

My new book is called in a childs heart and i am really very interested to know what everyone thinks about it. If you’re interested then please feel free to visit my link at http://www.lulu.com/content/2122930 Thanks for your time reading my post guys i do really appreciate it.

Now, what was I saying about authors and coherent writing in public?

For you lazy buggers who can’t be arsed to click on the link, here’s how the first few responses went:

(David, a regular at the forum speaks up first)

You have numerous English language usage problems on that page–too many to make me want to review your work. (Right at the beginning, “Hi guys welcome to my storefront i do hope …” should be at least corrected to “Hi guys, welcome to my storefront.

I hope …” ‘Guys’ is also a little too impersonal and unprofessional a term to greet with, in my opinion. And your English doesn’t improve later in the page.) The giant Forex add is also a giant turnoff. Are you selling your writing, or multi-level-marketing stuff? Focus the topic of the page to one or the other, not both–you lose the message in the forest.

In my opinion, ‘hedonism’ is not a good term to use to use in conjunction with the title, “in a child’s heart” (it should be capitalized to “In a Child’s Heart”). I’m not interested in reading about the perspective of a spoiled brat, and that is what your quotation seems to imply the book is about.

If it really is, why would I be interested in that? Does the child change? What is the catharsis that brings them to a greater understanding of humanity? The portion of the blurb I read doesn’t give any clues about such an event taking place.

I sincerely hope that this brief critique is helpful, and is useful on your quest to make the writing appealing to a wide audience, and a commercial success. If it isn’t, respond accordingly, and I will remove the body of this post if possible.


Lisa, (bless her cotton socks) then replies with:

It is my very first time writng a novel and i obviously know that i have alot of learning to do where this subject is concerned. Did you actually read what it is about or just jumped to conclusions before you carried on?

The charactor in the book is fighting an illness called obsessive compulsive disorder. You would do well in getting your facts right before getting insulting towards another persons work. And read carefully about what the charactor is going through in the stages of her life coping with a mental illness.

David then writes back in response to her unintelligible comments:

I read this:

…Having tantrums on occasions suits me fine, for my folks on the other hand, its either respiratory problem, angina or manic depression, anxiety attack and a generous helping of stress and high blood pressure. And I haven’t even started yet!…

I said what I said hoping that it might help fix the problems. If you don’t want input towards improving your work, I’ll remove the body of these posts.

Best wishes,

Lisa, poor deluded Lisa (what was I saying about authors and public writing?) responded with this rant:

Help is one thing insults are another thing entirely. Did you actually read the novel, or does the fact that i written about a mental illness insult you enough not to read about the subject? You, clearly have chosen to be out of “context” about my work over two paragraphs i have written in my book.

I do take constructive criciticism very well and appreciate a wide variety of comments, what i do find insulting is people whom find themselves being called a professional is when they don’t even try to read what the author is promoting, instead only finds that a critic has not done the job properly by not reading the material that is available to them and still thinks that they can comment on something they have no idea about what the subject the book is based on. Does this sound familiar to yourself?

oh and by the way, you didn’t read this ” I am here to do something very obsessive, very compulsive and very much needed advertising for my new hedonistic novel In a childs heart! it is based on my charactor aisling who is having to live with both of parents whom personalities match those of a mis-guided missiles, whilst having to deal with fact that she has obsessive compulsive disorder.” Meaning that obsessive compulsive disorder is known as a serious mental illness.

Emily Veinglory then chimes in with what most people are thinking at this point: (more…)

So asks author JC Wilder, during an interesting account of some of the stuff that’s been going on at The Romantic Times convention this year.

She writes:

And then there are the cover models…displaying very ungallant behavior. Well, let me rephrase that…some of them are lovely. Well mannered, courteous – exactly what one would expect in someone who hoped to portray one of our fabulous heroes.

I wonder who those models were? I’d have assumed that most male models would be up themselves regardless. Did I just say that out loud?

The others, a motley gaggle of strippers (K:I think she’s talking about the Elloras Cavemen here) and one triple X rated porn star – yes, a porn star – groping people and generally offending a great many attendees. Of course when a few of these gems stage a 9/11 tribute at the EC Party (it was during an SOS military salute – a cause that Kathryn Falk, the founder of RT, has thrown her voice and cash behind) came on stage in military regalia and proceeded to strip and grope themselves. What does grabbing your dick have to do with a tribute to those fallen on 9/11?

Is it wrong that I chuckled at the images that this evoked?

First off, dressing in a faux military outfit and stripping could be sexy and over the top – but during a TRIBUTE to the soldiers? A TRIBUTE to 9/11?


Of course if that weren’t enough to turn the stomach – the X rated simulated sex on stage was enough to send people out in droves. A woman (can’t call her a lady!) was stretched out on the stage with a stripper simulating sex with his dick positioned over her mouth. It just so happened that while this was going on…her top came down.

Oh dear.

So I guess nothing’s changed from previous years then?

Oh, apparently she’s (JC Wilder) received rapped knuckles from other authors for objecting to having her arse groped, and publicising her disgust at the Cavemen paying tribute to the 9/11 soldiers by grabbing their crotches. Stellar.

Authors Who Can’t…Write?

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Posted in: random musings

One thing I’ve noticed in Romancelandia is the number of authors who not only struggle to get their points across coherently, but who also evidently see no benefit in using spell-checker, or just plain editing themselves.

The number of author-penned comments that I struggle to make sense of,  is quite startling.

Now I’m not talking about the odd typo here or there, because God knows, I’m pretty sure Robin is the only person I know who can write a ten thousand word post without making a single grammatical mistake.

No, I’m talking about shitloads of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and just an overall poor grasp of the English language as I know it.

I’m sure you guys will have noticed that an incredible lack of grammatical finesse is something that a lot of the publishers/owners of the e-publishers that have gone spectacularly belly-up, have in common.

Of course I’ve seen my fair share of readers who seem to think that using spell-checker is an out-of-date fad, but seeing as they don’t write for a living, it doesn’t really matter.

As a writer, isn’t it important that everytime you use your keyboard to comment in a public arena, that you make sure people aren’t questioning whether you learned anything in kindergarten, due to the incoherency of your post?

Self-editing isn’t foolproof, but hopefully, it will stop the majority from looking like total numpties in public.

Just sayin.

I Forget…

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Posted in: My Favourite romantic films, romance heroes

Just how much I love Bridget Jones’ Diary, until I unearth it from my DVD collection and watch it all over again. The ending scene was just so wickedly funny, and romantic.

Living In Timbuktu…

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

Wow, I only just realized that the Romantic Times convention has been going on this week.

Is it me or has there not been much buzz about it this year?


After writing the contest series, I have been thinking about whether they are a form of promotion that really works or not—for the author.

In this case, I’m wondering what promotional efforts will gain the writer a new reader. More specifically, to newbie or mid-list authors—not the bigger names, who already have name recognition and a larger promo budget from their publishers.

From reading these posts at Emily Veinglory’s ERECSITE, I have come to see that many mid-list and newer authors wonder how to use their promotion dollars most effectively. What works best? Is it swag? Magnets, postcards, bookmarks, pens, etc. Or is it free content online—book giveaways, excerpts, free short stories? Or is it time spent interacting with readers and potential readers—which is time away from writing, which in turn is money—blogging, chatting, guest blogging, booksignings, etc.?

I know that contests and giveaways work for me—if I get a free book by an author with whose work I’m unfamiliar, I get to try it for ‘free’ (aside from the commitment to write a review). In several cases, that has translated into a new fan for the author and a vocal pimp for their work (you know who you are).

Even when I don’t end up with a free book, by participating in the contest or giveaway, I have been drawn into interacting with the author and her fans, reading more reviews, excerpts, short stories, what have you. Sooner or later I will likely be trying at least one of her books—and again, if I like it, that author has gained a new reader and vocal pimp.

However, I am only one reader, and my experiences and reactions may well be at one end of the curve. Which brings me to the question…

What promotional efforts work for you, the reader? What makes you try a new-to-you author?

I would like to get as many responses as possible, in order to compile a *cough* über-scientifically-controlled *cough* chart tracking the different successful methods of promotion. (Chart or something, I’m not very good with graphics—no need to cackle, Karen, really.) For those lurkers who are shy and don’t want to post, you can reach me at azteclady1 @ gmail dot com (no spaces).

Who knows, it may even help some authors decide where to direct their promotional efforts.


You don’t think I’m all altruistic like that? {K: Nope}

I am too.


Okay, okay! I am just very opinionated, {K: Ya don’t say? *g*} and want some anecdotal proof that I’m right and contests rock.

Happy now?

{K: Geez, she’s grumpy today, I totally blame Giselle Bundchen.}

Petition For Amazon To Change!

Friday, April 18, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

I’m not a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination, and I rarely sign petitions, but in light of the whole Deborah MacGillivray scandal, I want Amazon to make a change that prevents this kind of crap from ever happening again.

Jane at Dear Author has organised a petition, and we need as many people to sign it as possible, so that she can take it to Jeff whatshisface, who can hopefully do something about the current reviewing system.

For those people who have been living in Timbuktu for the last week, Jane gives a great summary of the events here.

So what are you waiting for? Go and sign!

Do You Know…

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

The name of the current British Prime Minister?

This is a serious question. Without the aid of Google, would you know what his name is?

The reason I ask is because he’s currently in the US, and nobody there seems to have a clue as to his identity. I daresay The Pope got a better reception (which I guess is par for the course anyway, seeing as he isn’t a politician) than he did.

It has to be said though, he’s just been voted the most boring man in England. Ouch.