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no she didnt

Apparently Romantic Times has created an award category for ‘Best African American romance’. Yep, it was a big WTF? for me too.

So basically, regardless of whether one’s book is a contemporary, a paranormal, or a regency, if said book has black characters in them, then it automatically goes into the black pot? Hmmm…

I get what RT are trying to do, but for me, this just otherfies AA romance even more.

Mrs Giggles was also bemused by the development, and had this to say: (more…)

There’s A New Blog In Town…

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Posted in: Adventures with Blog people


I’d like to welcome Raven’s Reviews to Romanceland…

Raven is unusual in that she will be reviewing African American romance, so those of you who insist that colour doesn’t matter in romance, be sure to pop along and say hi. 🙂


Jill Noble from Noble Romance posted a link to a new release called The Gingerbread Tryst.

Here’s the blurb:

Meet Marisa, a restless homemaker who spends her time baking, masturbating and dabbling in magic. Happily married, Marisa only wishes her husband Don could keep up with her insatiable need for sex. She craves orgasms daily and her sex drive has become a sore spot in an otherwise happy marriage.

Determined to find a solution to ramp up Don’s libido, she turns to magic. After trying magical amulets and oils, Marisa discovers a book that contains wish spells. Throwing caution to the wind, she decides to experiment with an incantation that could make her naughty gingerbread man cookie a real flesh and blood man.

Taken by surprise . . . literally, Marisa indulges in a delicious sexual rendezvous that ends up going further than she could have ever imagined. This delightfully sexy tale offers up hot thrills sure to please any sweet tooth!

Committing adultery with a Gingerbread Man? Really? (more…)


I realise it’s been a while since I posted, but what can I say, sometimes it’s nice to let one’s life interfere with one’s blogging habits.

Anyway, Christmas was at my house, and it was brilliant. (more…)

in the bleak midwinter

So I’ve been reading Julia Spencer-Fleming’s rather marvellous Millers Kill books, and I have to say, I absolutely adore them. Thanks to Sarah Tanner of Monkey Bear Reviews and Keishon, AvidBookReader, for recommending the series to me.


The heroine is a newly ordained female priest called Clare Fergusson, and the hero, Russ Van Alstyne, the police chief of Millers Kill, a little town in upstate New York that never seems to see much sunshine.

In The Bleak Midwinter is the first book, and our first encounter with Clare, an ex-army helicopter pilot, who’s moved into Millers Kill, as the new priest of St Albans, the local Episcopal church.

Out of the deep I cry

When Clare finds a new-born baby abandoned on the steps of the church, the search for the baby’s mother brings her in contact with Russ Van Alstyne, Millers Kill chief of police, and the man who’s destined to test her strength of will and make her question her loyalty to God. In Russ, Clare discovers her Mr Right, the man that completes her, and acts as a salve to her soul. The only problem is…he’s married.

Yep, not a book for the romance purist perhaps. (more…)

The chocolate run

Rosario has a great review of Dorothy Koomson’s book, The Chocolate Run, up on her blog. She loves it as much as I did.

Dorothy Koomson books

She also wrote a review of Goodnight Beautiful. Once again, she loved it, even though it wasn’t a romance.

Yay for another Koomson convert!

Oh my gosh, you have got to check out this seventy-five year old British pensioner who won the Spanish equivalent of Britain/America’s Got Talent. Meet Paddy Jones!

I really hope she doesn’t put a hip out or something. How amazing was she?

Here’s an email from a KKB regular:

One of the problems with the deal with HQN and their vanity pub, Author Solutions… Author Solutions is already known to have a bad rep and frankly, RWA doesn’t have any business supporting a a business that blatantly lies to potential customers.

And they do.

I know that, for a fact, because I called them, without giving them my name, to see what they had to say.

And slightly off-topic, what if Yog’s Law didn’t exist?

I was given a lot of spin, and sales people are going to hand out spin.

But I was also lied to.

The sales rep said, three times, that the Harry Potter books/JK Rowling had started out in self publishing. I was specifically told that the first Harry Potter books were self published. They weren’t. They were picked up by a small press in the UK and then bought by Scholastic in the states. I know better and I know how to research. But a hopeful writer who doesn’t quite understand the publishing industry? They’ve got no business handing out lies and that’s exactly what Author Solutions is doing. And I do believe it’s Author Solutions. I think Author Solutions offered to do the publishing bit if HQN would ‘lend’ them their name for a cut of the profits.

I wonder how HQN feel about the source of all their troubles recently allegedly telling lies to their customers?


This week’s dilemma is as follows:

You’re an author and you’re a member of a writing organisation that aims to provide advice and support to its members re all issues publishing-related.

You learn from your organisation that they have delisted a major publisher due to said publisher being in contravention of one of their rules. They’ve opened up a vanity press/self-publishing arm. You aren’t published with this particular company, but had hoped to one day be published by them.

The writing organisation is up in arms, the authors are thoroughly disgusted, and you feel that it’s a really bad idea, and you’re very vocal about your annoyance.

You submitted a manuscript to the company in question a while ago, and they finally come back to you offering you a three-book contract with a healthy advance

What would you do? Would you take the contract, even though you don’t agree with their new venture, or do you stick to your principles, figuring that you’re better off waiting for other offers to come through?

What would you do??

Amanda Knox

Maili linked to this very interesting column over at Racialicious.

Basically the columnist, Nadra Kareem talks about some of the American reaction to Amanda Knox’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher. She makes some really excellent points, and some of her comments mirror some of my own thoughts during the trial and my bemusement over the seemingly overwhelming sympathetic reaction to her case.

Nadra starts: (more…)

Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. SayersBusman's Honeymoon

The last of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels, Busman’s Honeymoon is as much a detective story as a romance. It is also the fourth and last story in the Harriet Vane story arc***. What with one thing and another, it also happens to be Lord Peter’s readers’ last opportunity for years to see these beloved characters.

Here is the brief blurb from the back cover of my copy:

Murder is hardly the best way for Lord Peter and his bride, the famous mystery writer Harriet Vane, to start their honeymoon. It all begins when the former owner of their newly acquired estate is found quite nastily dead in the cellar. And what Lord Peter had hoped would be a very private and romantic stay in the country soon turns into a most baffling case, what with the misspelled “notise” to the milkman and the intriguing condition of the dead man—not a spot of blood on his smashed skull and not a pence less than six hundred pounds in his pocket.

As a first class nitpicker, I’ll say that the mystery plot in this novel is one of the best out of the eleven Wimsey books—up there with Whose Body? and Unnatural Death. What sets this book apart is that, indeed, some of the most intense exchanges between the main characters occur after the how and the who have been revealed.

But let me start at the beginning… (more…)

eff off

…Comes courtesy of Mrs Giggles:

At this point, I’m hoping that Harlequin will come out with its own statement – “Yeah, yeah, delist us, whatever, LIKE WE CARE!” – so I can watch the lulz that results and laugh.

Man, I totally feel the same way. I would love for Harlequin to tell RWA, MWA, and all the other WAs to fuck right off.

Giggles is right, HQN will go on with or without the MWA and RWA, because guess what, writers are more desperate to be published, than they are to be accepted into author cliques, and that’s pretty much all that the RWA seems to be. One big fat clique, where if you mind your Ps and Qs, you might get a merit badge, and an invitation to the ball.

I’ll be impressed when authors who insist on bitching about the self-publishing/vanity press ding dong actually start leaving HQN on account of their principles and all.

But I’m guessing that’s not going to happen any time soon. Not unless they’re offered a better contract at least.

As far as I can tell, the RWA needs Harlequin more than Harlequin needs the RWA, and they should just stick to their guns and ride this thing out.

Bullying tactics annoy the shit outta me.

So I hear that MWA (Mystery Writers of America) delisted the much-maligned Harlequin over the whole self-publishing/vanity press hoopla.

Lee Goldberg writes:

Any author who signs with Harlequin or any of its imprints from this date onward may not use their Harlequin books as the basis for active status membership nor will such books be eligible for Edgar® Award consideration. However books published by Harlequin under contracts signed before December 2, 2009 may still be the basis for Active Status membership and will still be eligible for Edgar® Award consideration (you may find the full text of the decision at the end of this bulletin).

Although Harlequin no longer offers its eHarlequin Critique Service and has changed the name of its pay-to-publish service, Harlequin still remains in violation of MWA rules regarding the relationship between a traditional publisher and its various for-pay services.

Poor Harlequin, I wonder what action they’re gonna take after this? There’s a letter from Harlequin too if you can be arsed to pop over and read it.

Moving on, (more…)

Love is…

Sunday, December 6, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

There was a spell of bad weather a couple of days ago–strong gusts of wind all day, tornado warning ’till the early hours, a weird feeling that things were not as they should be, even though no rain fell.

Shadow, having lived on her own for about a year, doesn’t like weather like this, and has an uncanny way of knowing it’s coming. She cries piteously and scurries about, seeking shelter. Alana, having never known anything but the safety of home, doesn’t understand Shadow’s fears.

But that is, in the end irrelevant, isn’t it? What matters is that Shadow is afraid and that Alana loves her.

Sisters in a storm

(Apologies for the eerie flash eyes–I’m not a good photographer at the best of times, let alone coming back from a bathroom trip in the middle of the night)

Contrary to my habit, there will be some spoilers within this review—reader, beware. Oh, and I got the book as a gift from my beloved, if anyone cares.

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken FollettThe Pillars of the Earth

This mammoth work of fiction is my very first exposure to Mr Follett’s writing—late as ever, aren’t I? Anyway, considering the length of this novel—close to a thousand pages, nacht!—the back cover blurb is woefully inadequate, in my opinion:

As a new age dawns in England’s twelfth century, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral sets the stage for a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal. It is in this rich tapestry, where kings and queens are corrupt, that the common man shows eternal promise—and one majestic creation will bond them forever.

The first thing I need to get off of my chest is that I am a bit sorry I made the re-read a relatively negative experience for my beloved Issek. Perhaps it was the fact that reading out loud made it easier to catch all the annoying aspects of the writing, or perhaps it is my annoying—if lovable, ahem—ability to retain odd bits of the narrative for hundreds of pages. Either way, I spent more time that it’s probably seemly pointing out my issues to him.

Sorry, love!

No, really, I’m sorry. See?



no she didnt

Four years on, I wonder how many traditional romance authors still feel this way?

“I’m posting anonymously. I write traditional romances for a traditional press. My only deal with erotica is simple and market driven.

I do not want to sit by an erotica author or an erotic romance author at booksignings or attend events that publicize her books because WE DO NOT ATTRACT THE SAME READERSHIP *AND* (and after reading this thread I figure I can count on some people ignoring this second part and this is the most important part of my note so if you reply to this post please address the following aspect of my post)


Just try to tell me that isn’t so

That was a comment by an author on that old Elizabeth Bevarly hates erotic romance post that she wrote back in the summer of 2005. You guys remember it right?

If not feel free to click on the link, it makes for very interesting reading, hehe.