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Warning: The following post is not for the faint of heart. *g*


I’m pretty sure there must be females out there who ‘gush’ when they climax, but really, is this a common thing, because I gotta say, nearly every erotic romance book that I read seem to feature gushing heroines.

These days, it’s not enough that they’re wet, no, no, they have to erupt like fucking mount vesuvius.

What’s that about?

Whenever I come across a ‘gushing’ heroine, I can’t help but imagine a woman with a tap sticking out of her fanny. (a fanny in England is the vagina, not the arse)

You can imagine how that would kinda kill the moment.

Totally makes me want to giggle out loud, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the original intention of the author.

Just sayin’.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

Sir Winston Churchill

And just for the fun of it:

“I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

Sir Winston Churchill

A truly great man.

Thank Oprah For That…

Friday, August 29, 2008
Posted in: random rambling

So, my lil’ sister’s been in the States for the past two months. She went to a Philadelphia camp, to work as a camp counsellor for the summer.

She hated it.

She compared the camp to a cult, actually. Apparently, nobody was allowed to voice a negative opinion, and those who did, were frowned upon. It was all a bit too happy-clappy for her (That’s my girl), but at least she met some like-minded people. (The Australians and the other Brits there, I believe. *g*)

She also hated the camp director, and couldn’t understand why such a person would want to work with kids, when he seemed to despise them. Apparently he was a bit power mad, another thing that grated on my lil sister’s nerves.

She’d only been there two weeks, when she started comparing it to a prison.

Anyway, she left the camp two weeks ago, (not prematurely or anything, so she managed to stick it out), and decided to go to New York, then Canada, then New York again, then Miami, before finally heading back to Heathrow yesterday.

I’m so glad she’s back, safe and sound.

Now, I’m gonna kill her for the £123 bill that she rang up on the mobile phone (that we’re paying for, mind), in July.

Hostage to Pleasure, by Nalini Singh

The most recent addition to the Psy/Changeling series, Hostage to Pleasure once again centers on one of the sentinels of the DarkRiver pack, while furthering the overarching story arc of the series through the introduction of his mate, a high ranking M-Psy whose path had once before crossed that of the leopards during the events narrated in Mine to Possess, the previous novel.

Ms Singh’s command of the world she has created is excellent. Without incurring any inconsistencies, each book reveals deeper layers in the relationships between the different groups of humans in this parallel future, the shifting of power, and the immutability of human nature. Once again, while this novel can indeed be enjoyed on its own merits, I heartily recommend beginning with Slave to Sensation, and reading the series in order, because there are a number of short passages which are more meaningful when knowing some events narrated in earlier books.

The back cover blurb:

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy—cool, calm, emotionless… at least on the surface. Inside, she’s fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper’s embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard’s rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian’s agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules…


Damn, She’s Good…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Posted in: American Politics, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

I love the passion and conviction in her voice. Just love it.

I’ve never felt the need to cry because of a political speech before, but at least one tear escaped.

Maybe she should be president eh?

I can’t tell you how much I disagree with this.

Microsoft officials have confirmed that the company is to introduce a way for users to surf the Web anonymously.

As part of the upcoming Internet Explorer 8 release, Microsoft is incorporating ‘inPrivate’ – a mode that will not record visits to the user’s history and will not allow sites to place cookies on the user’s system. Apple currently offers a similar service with its Safari browser.

Sure it would be great to access sites without leaving a trail, but what about the bigger picture?

What about the fucking paedophiles?

Wanderlust, by Ann Aguirre

The second novel set in the Grimspace universe, Wanderlust starts a few days after the last events narrated in Grimspace. Like Grimspace, Wanderlust is narrated in first person, present tense by the heroine, Jax. While much more self aware at the beginning of this book than she was initially during the previous one, Jax is still very much inherently selfish and a loner by nature. Getting used to caring, and getting used to her own reactions to those feelings for others, take some doing.

Not that there is much space or time for introspection during the chaos that seems to follow Jax wherever she goes.

Sirantha Jax doesn’t take chances… she jumps at them.

Sirantha Jax is a jumper, a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster-than-light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and its stranglehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled—which means that Jax is out of a job.

She’s also broke due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax agrees to do it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince its inhabitants to join the Conglomerate.

But Jax’s payday is light-years away. First she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive…

Without further ado, here’s the transcript of Issek and myself’s discussion of Wanderlust. (more…)

Folks, please help me welcome Ann Aguirre for a grilling session erm, interview.

How long have you written—one of those “since forever” or more of a “sudden epiphany” person?

I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer. When I was in first grade, we had Career Day at school. We got to pick what we wanted to do for a living from cards with job descriptions on them. I chose “freelance writer”. My teacher said, rather condescendingly, “That’s not a real job, honey. Why don’t you pick something else?” That should’ve prepared me for the row I had to hoe.

I never did pick anything else. I scribbled stories from age eight onward. In tenth grade, I wrote my first novel, 150 pages on an old typewriter: small-town girl meets a mysterious boy who works as the Winnie the Pooh mascot at Sears. Despite having led a boring life heretofore, our heroine saves the boy numerous times. Even then, I had no sense of what was proper behavior for a heroine.

My next ‘serious’ attempt came in college. I was studying English Lit, which mostly bored the crap out of me. I discovered romance novels about this time. I ate those books like Cracker Jacks, especially the Loveswept line. I was a real sucker for the Romancing the Stone type story, where the city-bred heroine goes into the jungle with a survivalist hero.

And I thought, I can do this! How hard can it be?

Thus was born my deliciously bad would-be Loveswept romance. The heroine, Skye, was a stripper / heiress. She ran away from her father’s tyrannical control to dance topless and make her own way in the world. Her father hired former Black Ops military man, Stone, to retrieve his wayward daughter. I called it Heaven and Earth. Symbolism! Who says I’m not using my Lit degree? To my vast astonishment, Loveswept didn’t buy it. (more…)

Don’t You Just Love It…

Sunday, August 24, 2008
Posted in: random rambling

When the bad guy is made to pay in the end? I really do. There’s nothing more satisfying in a book, than when the good guy, is allowed to exact his revenge on the bad guy.

None of this I’m-the-good-guy-so-I-can’t-kill-him crap, shooting the bastard between the eyes, works for me every time.

Just saying.

“It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory.”

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

F. Scott Fitgerald

I really love that first quote.

Today we welcome the talented Lauren Dane!

Ready to be grilled? :evil 😀 :

How long have you been writing? (i.e., “since before I could write” or “I just started when…”)

I’m one of those, “Oh I’ve always loved to write” people but I’m also a practical girl so while I wrote for my college newspaper and had a ‘zine with my husband and did the odd poem and short story here and there, I never planned to be a writer. I went to law school instead, LOL.

But then through a host of things happening in my life I ended up on a lot of bed rest when I was pregnant with my daughter and thought, “Hey, maybe I’ll give that writing thing a try.” My husband brought home a second hand laptop and I wrote Triad.

That was in 2004 and I’ve been fortunate enough to build something with my writing since.

Would you share your THE CALL story with us? The catch: one paragraph 😀

I had “the email” experience with my earlier books, which was wonderful but when I sold my first single title to Berkley I got the actual “call” from my agent. I hadn’t been expecting it and when I heard it was her, I said, “You’d better be calling to tell me you sold something,” as a joke. She laughed and said, “Well, I am.” I burst into tears and sat on my stairs while my kids milled around wondering why I was weeping like a baby, scribbling details on piece of paper I still have to this day. (more…)

AztecLady speaks: This makes me sad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Mama gorilla mourning her dead baby.Frank Augstein/AP

Yes, there are plenty of human tragedies around the globe that make me much sadder, but there is something so incredibly poignant about this poor creature, mourning her dead baby in the only way she can.

Image: Frank Augstein/AP

 Warning: Spoilers galore

After the utter bollocks that was The Second Husband, I stupidly decided to read Meg Hutchinson’s The Wanton Redhead.

This is a historical, by the way.

Basically, the sister (Thea) of our heroine, (Alyssa) gets pregnant when the bloke she’s having an affair with, refuses to marry her.

Three years later, she dumps the child on Alyssa, to be with some other guy who promises her riches beyond her imagination. (Yep, she was a grade A twat) At first Alyssa refuses, until Thea threatens to throw her own son down a mine shaft if Alyssa doesn’t keep him. Nice.

Anyway Alyssa ends up not only looking after her mother, (who’s mind departed with the fairies when her husband and four sons got killed in a mining accident,) but also raising a child that isn’t hers.

A few years later, Alyssa is walking home, when she hears Thea’s son, David (a boy who she loves more than life) cry out. She runs to his aid, only to find two men cracking a whip over the little boy’s head. Alyssa grabs him, and tells him to run, leaving her to face the men on her own. The drunken bastards then rape her, just because in those days, they apparently could.

Anyway, by now I’m suitably appalled, and I begin to get that sinking feeling that this book is going to go along the same lines as Louise Candlish’s book. Fucking hell.

Anyhoo, as if things weren’t bad enough, Alyssa, David (who’s blind by the way, sorry, did I forget to mention that?) and her mother are then kicked out of the house they’ve lived in most of their lives, by the ex-owner’s greedy nephew.

They are taken in by a friend’s brother, and things seem to be settling down, when David gets sick. He of course dies, (Seriously, did you expect anything less?) so that Alyssa is left to take care of her loony mother, who’s never once showed her the love and affection that she used to heap on her slut of a sister.

Alyssa is broken hearted because she loved David like her own, and also because she realises that there is no longer anybody in the world who loves her unconditionally. Her own mother’s neglect and lack of feeling towards her has been a source of pain for her, over many years, and now that David is dead, she feels the lack of a mother’s love, even greater.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, not long after, Alyssa’s mother wanders off, and ends up drowning. So now Alyssa really is on her own. She then discovers that The Greedy Nephew (who threw them out of their home) is one of the men who attacked her.

Anyway, the upshot of the story is, Alyssa discovers that her sister might not be living happily ever after, but may indeed be the victim of white slave trade, so goes off on a boat to Jamaica, where once again, she’s nearly attacked by the man who paid for her passage.

At this point, I was exhausted, but I managed to finish the story, and Alyssa did manage to get her happy ending, but I was so not convinced.

This book was a slight improvement on The Second Husband, but only because the heroine did end up with somebody who loved her.

With all the stuff that had happened to her, I just wasn’t convinced that she would be able to live a normal happy life.

The book was written well enough, but I just couldn’t deal with so many bad things happening to one person. From now on, I’ll stick to good old crime books, and romance novels. At least I kinda know what to expect with both of those genres. Sheesh.

Rumour has it, that the most vicious and spiteful blogger in Blogland, Vindictive Rhinoceros, is currently frothing at the mouth, over Giselle The Gossip Queen’s not-so-innocent post, yesterday.

Apparently VR used words like, (ooh let me just re-check the e-mail) oh yeah, words like, death threats, anonymous blogging, I-know-who-you-are-and-where-you-live, apology, and revenge. Oooohhh.

She’s such a drama queen isn’t she?

I guess Giselle must have hit a nerve right? I thought she was pretty subtle myself. It’s not like she sent Vindictive Rhinoceros’ authorly friend, an e-mail, basically saying, I know who you are bitch. Oh no, that’s much more Vindictive Rhinoceros’ style methinks. Here at Karen Scott Central, we have waaay more class than that. (Mind you, that’s not too hard, snakes are generally classless creatures.)

At this point, Giselle wants to say to Vindictive Rhinoceros, Bring. It. On. Bitch. Please.

There ya see, such a polite girl.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Posted in: Helen Mirren Rocks

Meet Dame Helen Mirren, she is 62 years of age.

If I was that way inclined, I sure would.

Please God, let me have that body when I get to 62.

Apparently, the most vicious and spiteful blogger in Romanceland, Vindictive Rhinoceros, is redoubling her obsessive efforts in terms of trying to use one of Romancelandia’s most popular lawyer bloggers, as target practice.

Yeah, I know, nothing new there, I hear you cry.

It sure would be interesting to see if Vindictive Rhinoceros’  authorly best friend, Batshit Crazy Butthead, would be as willing to out herself, like a certain popular romance blogger did.

I hear that Vindictive Rhinoceros is keen on trying to out people, (That VR, is one sly/sneaky wench)  so perhaps she’ll advise her bessie mate, to come out, and be proud too???

Karma, she may be a bigger bitch than one realises. 

Giselle The Gossip Queen!

Marcus, who over at Dear Author has said–and I quote, because it’s just mind boggling–all of the following:

Starting on comment 32:

If you absolutely feel that you have to buy some DRM-restricted ebooks then you should at least have the decency to crack it and upload it to some file sharing site, just to hasten the end of such anti-progress, anti-mankind shenanigans that DRM is.

Anti-mankind? Hyperbole much? But he continues (comment 68)

Think, please. If I make a copy of a chair I’m not stealing the chair, I’m copying it. See the difference? The same applies for ebooks. However, it’s not the ebook (or even the contents of it) that is claimed to be stolen, but the monopoly of copying it. However, after you’ve “stolen” the copyright you still don’t have the copyright, so the whole idea of “stealing copyright” doesn’t even make sense any which way you look at it. So, no matter how you try to look at it copyright infringement simply can’t be compared to “stealing” as the word commonly is used.

To which I asked,

Please. Copyright infringement is not stealing?Intellectual property is not property, then?

Talk about not having the same definition of decency, stealing, and a host other things.

and got this little gem from him (comment 72)

Exactly. No matter how many times I “steal” some copyright I’ll never have it, so it obviously can’t be taken and thus not stolen.

Not inherently, no. It’s “property” only because it has been redefined as such for some (but not all) legal purposes, but it’s not “property” in the same way as is understood by the common man. (E.g., you don’t pay any property tax on “intellectual property”.)

Well, then. Let’s chuck some laws out the window, and have authors work at something else for a living, since they can’t make money off their writing.

Or we could say that there are people who’ll claim anything, no matter how irrational, to justify their lack of ethics.

Either way, what a fucktard.

First off, please keep in mind that the following rambling reflects only my internal dialogue, and as such, it is not meant to set down parameters for anyone else’s behaviour—just mine.

(If you wonder why on earth I bother to blog about it then, I’ll just say: ‘cause I like to hear myself talk, that’s why. And obviously, no one forces you to read 😀 )

Now that it seems I write reviews with a *cough* certain *cough* regularity, I have been pondering even more what reviews themselves mean, in terms of responsibility for me as reviewer.

As far as I am concerned, a review’s purpose is to provide information to other readers—information beyond the often inaccurate and occasionally spoiler-ridden back cover blurb, or the well chosen excerpt on the author’s or publisher’s sites—so that they, the readers, can make a more informed decision to buy, or pass on, a particular book.

To me as a reader, any review that consists exclusively of “great book! highly recommended!” is completely useless. Unless I know the so-called reviewer’s reading tastes really well, and how they mesh or differ from mine, I’m left with exactly the same frame of reference I had before reading that praise. And even if I do know that person’s tastes, I’m likely to ask a couple of pointed questions before buying the book. In my experience, blind words of praise are probably worse than nothing. (See Street Teams at Dear Author) (more…)

Getty Images

AztecLady sent me this very interesting opinion piece by MSNBC’s Michael Ventre.

Basically, he’s questioning whether Michael Phelps can really be called, the greatest athlete ever. One of the greatest, perhaps, but the greatest?

Ventre writes:

Questioning an American institution as beloved as Michael Phelps has its pitfalls. Picketers may gather. Boycotts may be organized. French fries may once again become Freedom Fries, although from what I gather about Phelps’ diet he’d eat a few bushels of them anyway no matter what they were called.

This is not to find fault with a hero, but rather to better place him in context.

During Phelps’ astonishing performances in the Olympic Games in Beijing, a rush to judgment has taken place. Instead of labeling him as the greatest swimmer ever, or as one of the greatest athletes ever, a faction has taken to proclaiming him as the greatest athlete ever.

I think that the media are always too quick to label people. It seems to be part of their whole, build ’em up to knock ’em down strategy.

Ventre continues:

The essential problem with Phelps’ candidacy is his sport. He is a swimmer, and he trains like a madman. He devours those 12,000 calories per day because he burns them off in five hours-plus of daily training. Swimming is superb exercise, and anyone who can dominate the sport like Phelps has done is worthy of laurel wreaths, parades and an appearance on “Letterman.”

But swimming happens to be a sport that provides numerous opportunities to win gold medals. Phelps won eight gold medals because he was able to enter eight events. The fact that he is capitalizing on all his chances, and in record times, is indeed cause for celebration and adulation.

But consider the poor amateur wrestler. His training regimen is no less fanatical. He has to cut weight and endure injuries that accompany such a physically bruising endeavor. He gets little or no love from the American masses, because swimming is a gleaming spectacle for network television while wrestling is a gritty, sweaty and sometimes ugly grind.

And what is the wrestler’s reward after months and years of training and after persevering through a brutal tournament bracket? ONE gold medal.

How about the marathoner? Not only is his chosen sport lonely and grueling — Jim McKay’s famous description still resonates: “You must run the marathon by yourself, or not at all” — but this year it takes place in Beijing, which means a runner’s experience in the Olympic marathon is akin to placing one’s mouth over a factory smokestack.

He makes some very valid points methinks.

Look, it’s great that Phelps has won all these gold medals, but surely his achievement needs to be put into the right context?

Greatest athlete ever? Not for me I’m afraid. I’d rather put him in the category of greatest swimmer ever. But then, I’m a cynical Brit.

What say you?

So I have converted my significant other to romance novels. Of course, he was open minded enough to give them a chance, but hey, I started the process. Just recently we read the In the Garden trilogy out loud to each other *pause for incredulous stares* Yes, we do this. We read alternate chapters to each other. Deal.

Anyway. I had read the books when they came out first, and had re-read the first two a few times since, but this was the first time I read the three of them one after another. And of course, I had a terrific idea: a joint review of the trilogy.

Please brace yourselves, as it’s a tad longer than usual–after all, it’s three books. Have some coffee, and enjoy.

In the Garden trilogy (Blue Dahlia, Black Rose and Red Lily), by Nora Roberts

The In the Garden trilogy by Nora Roberts centers around Harper House – a stately mansion in Memphis that has been in the Harper family for more than a century – and those who live in it. The novels mix contemporary love stories with the Southern belief in the supernatural as well as the charm, connections, traditions of more genteel times. Each novel follows the development of the love story between two main characters, while advancing their quest to discover the full story of the entity known as The Harper Bride, who has shared the house and grounds with the Harpers for at least a century.

Three women meet at a crossroads in their lives, each searching for new ways to grow—and find in each other the courage to take chances and embrace the future.

Part of the hallmark of Ms Roberts’ writing is her ability to create a sense of community by introducing characters and allowing the reader to participate in the evolution of their relationships—be these friendship, romantic, working relationships, what have you. These three books show the reader how a disparate cast of characters develop into a family in the best sense of the word.

In order to write a cohesive, comprehensive and coherent review of the trilogy as a whole, we will first offer a brief overview of the three novels, followed by a more detailed discussion of each character, overall plotting, pacing, and writing style. At the end we will both give our grades for each book and for the trilogy. (more…)