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That Carol Lynne, the infamous author of Ben’s Wildflower is on the outs with her publisher, Elloras Cave.

Apparently, The Cavers are refusing to print any of her books, even though she’s apparently one of their best-selling authors.

I wonder how true this is?

It doesn’t really make sense that EC wouldn’t want to put her books in print if she sells amazingly well, unless they believe that her books are so pornographic, that readers would be too ashamed to buy them from a bricks and mortar store? I wonder if another reason could be that EC don’t really believe that her work is technically good enough for print publication?

What other reasons could they have, seeing as the woman seems to have a book out every week?

Hmmm…curiouser and curiouser…

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

Caressed by Ice, by Nalini Singh

Caressed by Ice is the third installment in the Psy/Changeling series. While I certainly recommend reading the first two books before starting this one, it is still early enough in the series, and Ms Singh gives enough background detail in this novel, that a reader shouldn’t get too lost starting here.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kinkaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

The blurb… meh.

But oh, the many lovely things about this novel!

The main conflict in Caressed by Ice stems both from events that happened in Slave to Sensation—such as Brenna’s abduction and torture at the hands of a high ranking Psy—and from the historical linking of Psy abilities to violence and madness. The first killer is dead, so who killed Brenna’s packmate, and why is she having dream/visions of violence? And why is Judd convinced that Brenna is still in danger, even though there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for it? (more…)

Rumour Has It No. 4579…

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Posted in: Rumour has it

…That a former RT regular has been snubbed this year, and will not be appearing on any panels during RT 2009. Not. One. Panel. Unless of course somebody cancels, and they can’t get anybody else to stand in.

Perhaps her reputation as a vindictive freakish rhinoceros proceeded her?

Oh yeah, and also, EC Gropers and strippers notwithstanding, congrats to Jane and SB Sarah, on being asked to run a blogging panel at RT.

I laughed when I received both bits of good news. You gotta smile at how things work out dontcha?

FYI, TTG and I may be going to Florida (again) for our hols that month, so you never know, I may just take one for the team and show my face.

Now wouldn’t that be interesting? *g*

Here are my observations re The Dark Knight:

Christian Bale is hot.

Heath Ledger was the best Joker ever. Ever. God rest his soul.

Christian Bale is hot.

Heath Ledger scared the crap outta me, whenever he came on screen. God rest his soul.

Christian Bale is hot.

I prefer Maggie Gyllenhaal to Katie Holmes.

Christian Bale is hot.

I love Morgan Freeman.

Christian Bale is Hot

Christian Bale is hot.

Christian Bale is hot.

I simply could not have loved The Dark Knight any more than I did.

The best not-a-chick-flick movie of the year, so far.

Bring it on 007!

Hotter Than Hell, by Jackie Kessler

Book three in the Hell on Earth series, Hotter Than Hell is much darker in theme—if not in execution—than either Hell’s Belles or The Road to Hell. Told in the first person by the incubus Daunuan, this novel is both about a game of cat and mouse—in which Daun finds himself as the mouse, for the first time in his existence—and an exploration on the true meaning of feelings.

Let’s start with the warning: this novel has graphic language, creative cursing, a highly irreverent—and funny—way of looking at things like morality and sin, and some (okay, a lot) demon-on-demon violence. Oh and some sex. With graphic language. If you can’t laugh a bit at religion, do yourself a favor and don’t read more.

Back cover blurb:

The incubus Daunuan loves his job: seduce a lot of mortals, bring their souls to Hell, party at the best interdimensional pub this side of the Astral Plane. But when the King of Lust makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Daun has to give up all the tricks of his trade to properly befriend—and bed—Virginia Reed, a woman who’s meant for Heaven.

If he can get her to love him for the incubus he really is, and if he can avoid the rogue demons that are hell-bent on destroying him for reasons unknown, Daun will become the First Principal of Lust, second in line to the King. But Daun learns that love is more than a four-letter word, and that maybe, just maybe, demons really do have feelings after all…

For once, the blurb is pretty close to the setup for the story—whodathunkit?

One would think that tempting a mortal into sex would be pretty much a gimme as far as challenges for an incubus go, but since Virginia is not only inherently good but also still in love with her late husband, Daun’s magic has no hold on her. So our favorite incubus is reduced to doing this the human way: striking up a conversation and getting to know her. (more…)

This guy spoke so much sense.

My favourite line?

“I don’t care what you are, I care about what you did”

Thanks to You-Know-Who for the link.

Well, actually that’s not quite right. He just decided to remove a link to a five star review of one of his Mr Monk books from his blog. Apparently, the more a writer spends on advertising with Affaire De Coeur, the better their review. What a total scam if that’s true.

I have removed the positive review that MR. MONK GOES TO GERMANY received from Affaire de Coeur from this blog because I don’t want to lend the sham publication the slightest shred of credibility.

I’ve just discovered that their advertising director, Bonny Kirby, co-owns the disgraced Light Sword Publishing company with Linda Daly (a court recently fined Kirby and Daly thousands of dollars for defrauding authors). This explains why Light Sword titles consistently got positive reviews from Affaire De Coeur and why Daly was the subject of a cover story. No reputable magazine would review books published by their advertising director…or feature her partners on the cover. It’s a sleazy, unethical conflict-of-interest.

I also learned that advertisers get positive reviews and articles written about them depending on the amount of page space they purchase. That, too, is sleazy and unethical.

I’m notifying my publisher that I don’t want the review quoted on my covers nor do I want any of my books sent to the magazine. They aren’t a legitimate publication. They are sleaze bags.

Harsh huh? I totally agree with him though. I hate that ADC is a (mostly) romancentric review site, because this will do nothing to improve the image of the genre to outsiders. Not that I particularly care, but I hear there are people out there who actually give a shit.

I wonder how many romance authors would have done something similar? Pulled a link to a glowing review because they weren’t happy with the source?

Whenever I see an author quote Harriet Klausner’s review of their book, I cringe like crazy. I’ve never understood why anybody would proudly put up one of her reviews on their site. As far as I’m concerned, she has no credibility, and if I was an author, the last thing I’d want is to advertise the fact that she reviewed my book. *Shudder*

Good on Goldberg for sticking to his principles.

(Although, the cynic in me thinks it’s pretty easy to be principled when you’re already a successful author. *g*)


Lee has also very rightly taken a pop at Romantic Times for their policy of getting publishers to pay for ads in exchange for reviews. I’ve always thought this was a dodgy way of doing things, conflict of interest and all, but I guess since nobody’s complained, they’ve just carried on.

Goldberg lists some of the codes of ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists that govern the relationship between editorial and advertising content:

Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. Journalists should:

— Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

He goes on to list the guidelines for publications produced by the Mystery Writers of America:

The reporter or author of editorial content in the newsletter must avoid any conflicts of interest, real or perceived, with regard to the subject of his articles. All potential conflicts should be disclosed (eg: an author interviewing his own publisher or editor).

– The reporter or author of editorial content in the newsletter should refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment related to the articles they are writing (eg: free travel and registration at a conference in return for the article).

Editorial impartiality and integrity should never be compromised by the relationship and the chapter should retain editorial control of ALL content. Selection of editorial topics, treatment of issues, interpretation and other editorial decisions must NOT be determined by advertisers.

Advertisers and potential advertisers must never receive favorable editorial treatment because of their economic value to the newsletter.

Lee has included lots more guidelines, but it seems to me that both Affaire De Coeur and Romantic Times are in breach of quite a number of them already.

I wonder how long it will be before there is a demand for RT and ADC to stop taking money in exchange for positive reviews? Or at the very least, disclose the fact that the reviews have been paid for?

A few weeks ago, Larissa Ione had a great and funny post about this subject here. Of course the first reaction upon reading it is to laugh. Put like that, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Seriously, how often in real life people gasp in the middle of heartfelt conversations? I have a nagging suspicion that the answer would be either “almost no one I know” or “no one I know.”

Most people tend to use some words with greater frequency than others—mea culpa: after I hit post on my very first review I realized that I used the same adjective four times in three successive paragraphs. Picture me wincing—repeatedly. 😀 Brilliant prose it ain’t, obviously. But then, I am not a writer nor do I aspire to ever become one. Further, whatever I write doesn’t go through an editing process wherein three or more other people read through and point out things that need fixing.

(Yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.)

Books are supposed to go through that editing process I mentioned before, wherein typos and grammatical errors and plot inconsistencies and all that good stuff are supposed to be weeded out before the book reaches the reader. So when I read a book—and most particularly a printed book—and find certain things, I get all cranky. For example… (more…)

“The loudest complainers, on any publisher's loop, are the complete failures in the publishing business"

According to NCP at least.

I got this e-mail from an NCP author:

A couple of NCP authors conveyed Sydney Somer’s blog post to the NCP public loop (one in response to a reader, who wanted to know if her latest book was authorized or not). A reader then asked on NCP’s public loop why Sydney Somers had been placed on moderation. NCP responded simply:


These people are complete morons. One has to wonder how they ever became as successful as they are/were.

Apparently, a couple of hours later, NCP then post the following on the loop:

“The loudest complainers, on any publisher’s loop, are the complete failures in the publishing business. This is WHY they are complaining, because they’d like to blame everyone else for their failure instead of actually working to become a success.

Professional much?

Authors focused on building a career in the publishing industry should take note of their irrational/unprofessional behavior and make certain that they do not model their behavior after the failures in the industry.

You should also study their ‘offerings’ to the public and their writing style to learn what NOT to write and what elements are least desirable to readers. These books are perfect examples of what does not market well and will not make sales for you–which a savvy author can utilize to their advantage.

Oh wow, that’s just low. Mind you, they signed her in the first place, so does that not say more about their poor judgement, rather than Somers’ purported inability to write a book that markets well?

These authors are a perfect example of people who will NEVER find success because they’re too focused on running thier mouths and not nearly focused enough on actually writing and improving their work.

That being said, this author loop was set up to be used solely for networking with your fellow NCP authors and gathering marketing tips–working together to promote one another, etc.

Talk about showing their knickers in public.

The loops are the property of NCP, and you can use private messages or other boards to complain–like those who’ve been doing so all along, but it won’t be allowed on the NCP reader loop–which was designed for you, the author’s sole benefit to market your work to
readers. If you cannot respect that, having a place to market your NCP books, then we will be forced to delete the loop, and you will have no place to promote yourself other than other people’s loops. I hope it won’t come to this. It’s a shame to make everyone suffer because of a few.

The READERS loop was set up specifically to give you authors a place to promote your NCP books–Not as a COMPLAINT department–and NOT as a place to promote books with other publishers.”

God, I hope they go bust soon. The lunatics running the NCP asylum seriously need to be caged.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is Ms Viera Rigler’s debut novel. I suspect that having a better education on all things Austen would increase the reader’s enjoyment of this book, since the author sprinkles quotes and bits of dialogue and all sorts of references throughout. Be that as it may, though, I find it generally charming and enjoyable all the same.

The story is narrated in first person, present tense (the second one I’ve ever read using this technique, the first one being Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace). The story flows easily, aided perhaps by the structure—the chapters are extremely short.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth century-England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who most fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however. There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all. But when Courtney’s borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues. Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to?

The basic set up is close enough to the blurb: Courtney Stone falls asleep in twenty first century LA and wakes up in the body of Jane Mansfield in 1813 in England. Cultural shock ahoy! (more…)

Retail Therapy…

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Posted in: shoes are a girl's best friend

You know you want them…

Via Sydney Somers’ blog:

25.07.08 – Again, I first want to apologize for having to take a publisher grievance public. Unfortunately New Concepts Publishing isn’t leaving me much of a choice. They have released another unfinished partial of mine, One Dark Knight, as part of a round robin anthology I did not authorize. I want to be clear that there is no clause in my contracts that gives NCP the legal right to finish my work or have any other author infringe on my copyrighted material. Yes, NCP knows is aware there is no clause as the owner admitted to that in a previous e-mail to me.

I can’t pretend to understand why they went ahead with both releases knowing this, but I once again ask my readers not to buy this book. I had hoped to see this matter resolved through the formal complaint process with the RWA, but at this time it appears as if NCP plans to disregard the complaint sent on my behalf. Also, it seems I’m now on moderation on the NCP reader loop and am unable to post to let readers know about this new development.

How these people are still in business, I’ll never know.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up

Hey it happens.

The ticking off was in response to one of my pet peeves about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail:

At Genesis 9:3, 4, God made his view on blood’s sanctity clear when He said: “Flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat.” Later, this directive repeats at Acts 15: 28, 29: “Keep abstaining from…blood…If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!”

In accord with these commands, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a sincere desire for the best medical treatment. That includes transfusion alternatives offered by more than 100,000 doctors worldwide. These alternatives, unlike transfusion, don’t carry the risk of blood born pathogens, AIDS and HIV, Hepatitis C and B, or death that results from receiving incompatible blood.

Yeah, thanks for that love. I feel much more enlightened now.

By the way, is it me, or does 100,000 doctors who offer transfusion alternatives sound like a relatively low number?

I still hate organised religion like Amy Winehouse hates make-up remover.

Short stories round up—some available free online, some part of anthologies. (Alphabetical by title)

Nota bene: I very rarely read anthologies in one sitting, particularly because I often buy them for one author/story, and have no curiosity about the others. My choice of stories to review, therefore, has nothing whatsoever to say about the quality of the other stories. After all, I haven’t read them. (more…)

It impressed the hell out of me.

Can’t Be Arsed To Read…

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Posted in: random rambling

I haven’t read a new book in two weeks. The last book I read was a Heidi Betts Silhouette Desire. It was ok, but not amazing.

The truth is, I just can’t be arsed tro read at the moment. I think I’m going through yet another mini reading slump. All it’ll take is just one fabulous book to grab me I’m sure.

Any suggestions?

All U Can Eat, by Emma Holly

I had read only a couple of short stories by Ms Holly (“The Night Owl”, in the Hot Blooded anthology, and “The Countess’ Pleasure” in the Hot Spell anthology) before reading this novel, so I had an idea what to expect from her writing. Still, I was nicely surprised by the reality of it.

The usual warning though: This book, considered more erotica than romance, is funny and graphic and definitely not for the faint of heart—or at least, not for the prude and faint of heart. Did I mention graphic? Minors, this is not for you.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Frankie Smith’s longtime boyfriend just left her for another woman, but she doesn’t have much time to nurse her broken heart. Her diner, All U Can Eat, is as popular as ever, and the people of Six Palms want their appetites satisfied…

When the body of a wealthy local woman is discovered in a nearby alley, it’s Frankie who falls under suspicion. But the truth is, chief Jack West has an all-consuming attraction to the sexy proprietor—and he knows placing her under arrest isn’t going to improve his chances of winning her.

Determined to clear her name—and to get to know the ultra-responsible police chief better—Frankie joins Jack on a roller-coaster ride of an investigation, uncovering Six Palms’ raciest secrets. And as the twists and turns are revealed, letting go of their inhibitions begins to seem like the most natural thing in the world…

For those keeping track: this blurb isn’t more than half way accurate. Frankie is not the only suspect and she doesn’t investigate the murder. (more…)

Love is a man who will open his mind to read the books you like**, and then tells you, and everyone within hearing distance, “this is damn good writing.”

Deeper love is a man who will read those self same books out loud to you–from first page to last, over the course of a few days.

True love is a man who hears you sighing over Roarke and Navy SEALs, and then has this and this shipped to you.

**And yes, I do mean romance novels 😀

His Books…

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Posted in: random photos

TTG has to have the dullest collection of books ever.

He can’t even claim the David Beckham autobio, cuz that’s mine.

Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Even though I’ve had a number of Ms Sayers’ books in my TBR mountain for a while now, this novel is the first of her books that I’ve read. And now that I have, I’ll be sure to remedy the lack in my reading post haste! Strong Poison is actually the sixth Lord Peter Wimsey book published.

Lord Peter is the youngest sibling of the current Duke Denver, and he has developed a few unusual habits as he grows older. He collects first editions and books printed before 1501, and spends the rest of his spare time investigating (and solving) crimes. Most often, Lord Peter works with the police, in the person of his close friend Chief-Inspector Charles Parker, but in this case he has to prove the police made a terrible mistake.

The (very short) back cover blurb gives us the bare bones of the story:

Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her fiancé died in the manner described in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangman’s noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent—as determined as he was to make her his wife.

The novel starts, perhaps a bit slowly for some readers, with a judge giving the jury his summation of the evidence in the trial of Ms Harriet Vane for the murder of one Philip Boyes. If the language weren’t enough of an indication of the time during which this novel was written, the tone of the summation would make it clear. The year is 1929, and Harriet Vane is on trial as much on circumstantial evidence as she is on moral grounds—after all, for over a year she lived with the deceased as a married couple without the benefit of a ceremony. Egads, the horror of it all. (more…)