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Once again procrastinating (I’m a past master at this) I found an article about a 17 year old girl who used her marching band baton to knock the shit out of two men who tried to mug her.

After reading so often about women and young girls being victimized–either individually or by society at large–this made me cheer. Literally.

Whomever you are, you go, young woman!



I read Robin’s post at Dear Author re the remarks made by Michelle Buonfiglio during the Princeton Romance Scholarship Conference. I really wasn’t surprised by the tone and the passive-aggressiveness of her presentation. I’ve always considered her to be the perfect smiling assassin.

Robin’s column was well thought out, excellently written, and genteel in tone. As was SB Sarah’s.

It’s a shame girls, but I’m going to have to bring down the tone of this gentle discourse, and say what you were probably thinking, but were far too polite and politically clever to say, given her allegation that the rest of Romanceland are made up of vituperative whores. (more…)

Heroes With Potbellies, Anybody?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Posted in: Uncategorized

So would ya?

Would you read a romance book featuring a ‘pleasantly plump’ hero?

Want to win $100 in free books?

To help promote her upcoming release, CHAINS, author Shiloh Walker is doing a dash through some of the blogs in romanceland, leaving behind excerpts.  If you’d like to get entered to win a gift certificate for $100 (your choice from the online booksellers), all you have to do is visit the blogs, read the excerpts and leave a comment.  The excerpts are in order, just go on from here to each of the successive blogs!


An all new novel of erotic suspense

They weren’t friends. They weren’t enemies. The only thing the three girls had in common was the high school they went to in Madison, Ohio-until one tragic night. Now, fifteen years later, they’re returning home where passion-and danger-await…

Renee Lincoln was the homecoming queen-with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. After that horrible night, she rebelled the only way she knew how: by submitting to her wildest fantasies…

Tall, blonde, and athletic, Lacey Talbot was a golden girl with a bright future. She’s found success as a photographer, but no man has ever been able to satisfy her. No man but the bad boy she left behind…

Sherra Salinger has always looked like a princess out of some fairy tale. The books she writes, though, stem from the nightmare of that one night. And she shrinks from any man’s attention-especially the one stalking her…

They’re coming back to Madison-and it won’t be happy reunion. There are three men, all dangerous in a different way. And when each of them surrender their bodies to the heat, when they succumb to desire, they’ll find the safety they desperately need…

Excerpt (part one) (more…)

I was there just a few hours and my ears still ring. Faces and names are swimming through what passes for my brain right now.

And my credit card is crying.


Moral: never let a book worm loose in a room full of authors sitting in front of stacks of their books to sell. Particularly if she has a credit card.

Next: the search for another overlooked hiding spot…


Isn’t it funny how couples in a lot of romance books can have full blown sex in an elevator, without A) Getting caught, and B) nobody else calling for the lift?

I can’t remember the last elevator ride that I experienced that A) lasted longer than 20 seconds, and B) didn’t have a stranger join me in the lift.

Just sayin’.


This week’s dilemma is as follows:

You and your husband (let’s call him Ian) have been married for nearly ten years, and you have two beautiful children.

One day, Ian comes home looking down and depressed. You of course ask him what’s wrong, and he takes a deep breath, and explains:

Apparently, the family is now bankrupt. Ian has been hiding a gambling habit, which has led to him gambling away your combined life-savings. He is in debt to the tune of nearly $300k, which leaves all of you desperate, and possibly homeless.

He begs you to forgive him, and tells you that he will get help for his addiction as long as you don’t leave him.

What do you do? Do you stand by him and help him through his addiction, or do you leave the man who brought you to financial ruin, and concentrate on finding a way back for you and your kids?

What do you do?

My weekly “what the hell?” moment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Procrastinating the morning away, I happened to find this promo article on msnbc’s Today (books) section: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity is Hurting Young Women.

The article mentions many of the things that have made me gag or do a double take in recent years, from purity pledges to ‘born again’ virgins who undergo surgery to re-attach (re construct?) their hymens. All of these topics have been discussed, either in passing or at length, in many blogs–from Michelle Buonfiglio’s Romance B(u)y the Book to the Smart Bitches and others–and, from where I sit, it seems that the consensus is that it’s all fucked up to hell and back.

The thing that stopped me in my tracks, however, was this little bit:

More than 1,400 purity balls, where young girls pledge their virginity to their fathers at a promlike event, were held in 2006 (the balls are federally funded)

Hold it right there.

Federally funded? Federally funded????

Like,  you know, with my taxes and your taxes?

What the everloving fuck?

Comprehensive sexual education has been downsized, pretty much into non-existence, in many public schools because of budget restrictions, but there is money to fund purity balls? and for schools to hold abstinence rallies?

Pardon me while I go have a cow.


You know, if there’s one thing guaranteed to annoy me no end, it’s people who enjoy moaning and bitching about the number of flame-ups that erupt within the romance community (You know who you are).

Oh noes, why are people falling out? Oh noes, why can’t we get along? Oh noes, why are blog people so mean?

I say, belt the fuck up.

I probably wouldn’t be so annoyed if it wasn’t for the fact that so many of the complainants usually have no problem getting involved and slinging a bit of mud themselves.

The fact is flame-ups don’t actually happen that often. Seriously, they don’t, and the ones that do, generally only happen on a few blogs. This makes it pretty easy for people who hate blog spats to avoid them.

So yeah, you don’t like flames, and lovefests? Then don’t visit the blogs where they are more likely to happen.

Simple, no?

From the wayback machine, Issek and azteclady bring you…

Left at the Altar, by Justine Davis


An older category romance published by Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line back in 1994, Left at the Altar is still one of my favorites of Ms Davis’ earlier titles. While written under many of the constraints of a category romance (length, language, etc), it features one wonderfully fresh hero.

Physically, Sean is not a perfect man. He is an amputee, having lost his left leg in a car crash that also put finis to his ambitions to play football professionally. But where Ms Davis strikes gold is in depicting Sean’s self awareness and growth, from the events in his past to the events narrated during the novel. (more…)


Katiebabs is currently writing an F/F romance, and over on her blog, she’s talking about the decision to step out of her comfort zone in order to navigate those wildly risky waters.

She writes:

few weeks ago while I was on Twitter some editors and agents were discussing the need for more gay romances. From that moment I decided to try my hand at writing a gay romance…

Why the need to write a lesbian romance? I feel that the M/M romance market has become so big and close to mainstream that I wanted to prove that lesbian romances can be just as popular as the M/M romances I have read. I have wondered why there aren’t more F/F romances on the market, and I was told they simply don’t sell well. I am here to prove that I can write a F/F romance that people will want to read. Reading a romance whether it be gay or straight is about the connection a reader will have with the characters. If your two main characters connect emotionally with the reader, you have accomplished something. And perhaps I can write some nice hot and steamy girl on girl action.

Now I admire Katie’s efforts to write outside her comfort zone, and I applaud her for having the balls (or should I say vagina?) to dare to be so bold, but I think that she’s onto a loser before she even starts.

Wanna know why I’m of this opinion? (more…)

From the brilliant Nice Mommy / Evil Editor:

Now, I was left off the official RT schedule for my Wednesday panel, so if you have a moment, please help me spread the word to anyone you know going to RT. Blogs, facebook, twitter, yahoo groups, it’s all appreciated!


Join Angela James and Ron Hogan at RT this Wednesday from 11:45-12:45 to “Polish Your Pitch”. Angela got left off the official RT schedule so please help spread the word!

“Samhain Executive Editor Angela James and publishing industry commentator Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com lead an interactive workshop on creating a great story pitch. Come prepared to tell us what your novel’s about; we’ll take your description apart then help you rebuild it better, stronger, faster. Don’t be afraid…we’ll be gentle.”

Ron Hogan is well known as a savvy,fair book reviewer and knowledgeable commentator on all aspects of the publishing industry, both digital and print.

Angela James is the Executive Editor of Samhain Publishing. Her mission is to drag readers (and authors) to the digital dark side, one reader at a time.

The hunt for the Bosoms!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Challenged by the Smartest Bitches in the intrawebs, I engaged in a perilous expedition to find their most mahhhvelous Beyond Heaving Bosoms.

The first step, obviously, was to call Borders and make sure they were getting copies. Which I was told they would–one of them with my name on it. So  (after a failed attempt to buy it early on Sunday) the s.o. and I headed back to the store bright and early on Tuesday April 14th, wherein we engaged the manager in a search, high and low, far and wide, for the book.

The computer said it would be stocked in the trade size/hardback shelf in the romance section, but alas! nary a bosom to be found there. A look behind the counter at the register showed that there was no bosom held for ransom with a note for me, more’s the pity! Finally, an expedition to the bowels of the back room yielded evidence (in the form of a packing slip) that the bosoms had indeed arrived to the store.

The hunt, as they say, was on! Much walking about looking lost ensued until, in a rather interesting twist, the bosoms were located! (more…)

Amazing Voice…

Saturday, April 18, 2009
Posted in: Britain's Got Talent Rocks

And only twelve years old…



This week’s dilemma is as follows:

You’re walking along one day, when you notice a lottery ticket on the floor. You pick it up and take it home to check the numbers. You are stunned to discover that all the numbers match, and that it’s worth $100k. A life changing sum of money.

What do you do? Do you cash the lottery ticket in, knowing full well that you didn’t buy it, and that whoever did buy it, would probably be desperately looking for it, or do you do the decent thing, and hand it in to the lottery company, explaining where you found it?

What do you do?


I have a confession to make – my name is Karen Scott, and I worry constantly about giant corporations with too much power.

So much so that when I learned back in 2003 or 2004 that Tesco was taking £1 of every £8 spent in the high streets, I started shopping at Asda and Morrison’s. I still do the odd shop at Tesco, but not as exclusively as I used to.

When Princess Diana was killed back in 1997, I stopped purchasing tabloid newspapers. Why? Because I’d been very uncomfortable about some of the methods that were used to gain information about public figures, prior to her death, but when I learned about the part the paps played in her death, I decided that I couldn’t in all consciousness endorse people who would stop at nothing to get a story.

Of course I don’t mind reading the odd tabloid paper, but it’s been years since I actually purchased one, and I intend to keep it like that for as long as possible.

My latest worry is over the fact that Google pretty much owns the internet, and that nobody else seems to think that this is a problem.

Hasn’t anybody noticed how great they are at acquiring start-up companies that have great innovative products? Blogger anybody? Youtube? Keyhole Inc? Has anybody taken any notice of their partnerships lately? Microsoft? AOL? Nokia?



Well, another day, another mass shooting in the US.

A US man has killed himself after shooting dead his estranged wife, his daughter and two other relatives in rural north Alabama.

The body of Kevin Garner was found near his home in Priceville, according to Lauderdale County’s chief investigator, Travis Clemmons.

The house had also been burned to the ground.

The bodies of Garner’s estranged wife Tammy, their 16-year-old daughter, his sister and his sister’s 11-year-old son were earlier found at a house in Green Hill, near the Tennessee Line.

The Garners are said to have been due to divorce with court proceedings set for Wednesday.

I don’t think that the correlation between guns being readily available to any Tom, Dick and Harry, and the high level of gun crime in the US, is an accident.

Personally, I hate guns. Yeah, you should be able to protect yourself in your home, but I don’t see why that has to involve keeping a gun. I know that owning a gun is part of the US constitution, but in my mind, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And don’t get me started on people teaching their kids to shoot guns.

When I was in the States a couple of years ago, I was appalled that guns were sold in the same place as a tin of baked beans. I just couldn’t get my head round it.

The sad thing for me is that gun crime in Britain seems to be growing exponentially, but I’m guessing that if we started arming our police as a matter of course, those numbers would probably increase tenfold.

Every time I hear about a shooting incident, especially one that takes so many lives, my stance on guns is strengthened.

Guns are dangerous, and yes, they kill people. If there was ever a vote in this country to decide whether to make guns accessible to the ordinary man on the street, I would definitely vote no.

What say you? What are your thoughts on gun ownership? Do you in fact own a gun? If so, what are your main reasons for having one in the house?


Read thusly:


Thank you for contacting Amazon.com.

This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.

Thanks for contacting us. We hope to see you again soon.


Customer Service Department

Hmmm, maybe it was an error, maybe not. Who knows?

Are all the sales rankings restored now?


Then let’s help The SBs Googlebomb Amazon. Commence, Amazon Rank, because Amazon really are fucking rank.

Full instructions on how to Googlebomb can be found at this Smartbitches Trashy Books site.


Dear me.

When did Amazon.com turn into a bunch of right-wing lunatics? How the fuck did that happen?

Smartbitch Sarah tweeted earlier that Amazon have begun systematically stripping all gay & lesbian fiction, and erotic fiction of their Amazon sales rankings.

Jaci Burton, Shannon Stacey, Maya Banks and Larissa Ione have reportedly lost their Amazon rankings on some of their books.

They’ve also targeted gay non-fiction. WTF?