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Well, look at what we have here, apparently RWA have found a way to still stay friends with HQN, after taking away their eligible publisher status in a stand-off akin to the one that took place at the Alamo back in eighteen something or other. I can’t believe it took them so damned long:

Taking into account emerging trends in publishing that may offer opportunities to writers, the task force recommended that RWA adopt methods used by other trade shows and conventions and to shift its method of evaluating publishers as a whole to evaluating publishers by divisions, imprints, or lines.

Under this revised method, RWA will extend invitations to a wide pool of publishers. Invitees may only represent their non-subsidy/non-vanity publishing programs (imprints, divisions, or lines) at RWA’s conference. Space for spotlights, workshops, and booksignings will be allocated to lines, imprints, or divisions that best meet the requirements for “Qualifying Markets.” This new process of evaluation will likely increase opportunities for small presses and e-presses that previously have been excluded.

Of course I’m not surprised, I knew RWA wouldn’t be able to stick to their principles, they need HQN more than HQN needs them. In the words of Mrs G:

RWA 0 – Harlequin 1

I hate to say I told ya so, so I’m just gonna post what my cynical self wrote back in November:

I’m with Mrs Giggles, I wonder how long it will be before the RWA change the terms of publisher eligibility in order to welcome Harlequin back into the fold?

Now let’s wait and see how long it takes before they ‘invite’ HQN back to the fold.


Via Dear Author

So sweet…

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

I was *this* close to unleash a couple of bitter rants on all of you, when I get this:

Now I’m smiling. Thank you, V, you mood-saver you!

Once again, I had a load of posts on my Google Reader to catch up on, so here are some of the more noteworthy ones.

1. Apparently Avatar has made it to the top spot for the sixth week, and has now grossed $552m in the US, which means that it will probably now eclipse Titanic ($600m ) to become the biggest box office hit ever.
On the other hand, The Lovely Bones isn’t faring so well. It’s possible that people don’t want to watch a film where the main protag is a little girl who was raped and murdered. Shocker.

2. RRRJessica is back from South Africa, and she has pictures.

3. Dear Author has news of more ‘white-washing’ going on at Bloomsbury. Remember the uproar over the cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, and how the black protag somehow took on a white face on the cover? Well it seems that this is becoming a trend. Bloomsbury seems to hate black people on covers. The book that has been white-washed this time is Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass. (more…)


Last week over here in England, two young brothers were jailed for subjecting two other boys, aged nine and eleven to a prolonged brutal attack. The boys themselves were aged ten and eleven at the time.

This is an excerpt of a news report about the attack from September 2009

Two young brothers are facing life in custody for beating, burning and sexually assaulting two boys aged nine and 11. (more…)

As some of you may remember, I recently opened an Etsy store…

[shameless plug]

banner part nine

[/shameless plug]


Erm… Yes. Anyway…

Naturally, I spend a bit of time over there, drooling over many wondrous and wonderful things. It was during one of these ah… periods of contemplation, that I discovered an amazing store…

Be warned that you are likely to spend a long time there, and as likely to come back repeatedly to admire the stock. Don’t blame me for the time suck, okay?

The store name is abitabite and below is an example of her stock. (more…)

Entitlement: yet another post on it.

Friday, January 22, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Not your bitch, bitch

The following is a non-specific but repeated conversation between authors and their adoring public (aka fangirls of both the crazy and not-so-crazy varieties):

Reader to writer: Oh, I love your work!

Writer to reader: Thank you so much, I’m glad to know that.

Reader to writer: Yes, I’ve read everything of yours—twice—and I’ve been waiting to find out what happens to/with character (fill in the blank)

Writer to reader: Thank you…

Reader to writer: You know, you should write faster, dammit, I want to know what happens in the next book of the series! Now!

Writer to reader: I am writing, as fast as I can!

Reader to writer: Oh no, you are not—look, the last book came out six months ago, where’s the next one????

Writer: …..

The thing is (more…)

In compliance with FTC guidelines, be aware that I bought this book.

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Atlantis UnmaskedAtlantis Unmasked, by Alyssa Day

The latest entry in Ms Day’s Warriors of Poseidon series, Atlantis Unmasked follows Atlantean warrior Alexios and rebel fighter Grace—who just happens to be a descendant of Diana the Greek goddess. If that seems a bit confusing, it’s because this is one of those series where reading previous installments is pretty much required—between recurring characters and on going story arcs, a newcomer to this universe would scratch her head a number of times while reading this one.

In other words: beware for series spoilage, ye Warriors of Poseidon virgins out there!

(For those readers out there who don’t mind jumping in the middle, you crazy people you, I’ll add a brief primer to the universe after the blurb, as well as linking to my reviews of the previous titles at the end of this one.)

Humdrum back cover blurb ahoy: (more…)

oh, really yeah, really

When a man makes a point of telling you, “I am the most intelligent man/person you’ll ever meet,” he may or may not be right about his intelligence; but the fact that he felt compelled to point it out rather than simply being (show,  not tell) says volumes more about his character than his self-proclaimed brilliance.


This observation may seem a tad sexist, but it’s based on the fact that in 44 years I’ve yet to hear a woman say this, while I’ve met my share of men who have.

Should Gay Romance Be Shelved Separately?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Posted in: Uncategorized

This was a question that Bonnie Dee posed to me the other day, and my answer is…I’m not sure.

Bonnie wrote in an email to me:

… I realize m/m romances haven’t made strong inroads into brick and mortar stores, so the question might not apply there. I actually have no idea where they’re shelved in a regular bookstore. The question arose from my own website. I was redesigning my backlist library, which is separated by genre since I write in many different ones.

I realized I had the m/m books in a group of their own even though the titles could be classified under scifi/fantasy, contemporary and anthology (and soon some historicals). I started to consider whether I shouldn’t shelve them with their correct genre, but it doesn’t seem to make sense since some readers are specifically looking for same sex books. Why make it hard for them to locate them?

Anyway, that’s what brought to mind the whole issue of separation by shelving and what it says about the way we view certain groups, whether it be by race or sexual orientation. When is it all right to group separately as simply a sensible business move and when is it insensitive?

Certainly it would be easier for MM readers to find MM books if they were shelved separately, but isn’t that the same argument that people use in the shelving-by-colour debate? Doesn’t this otherise (made-up word alert!) gay and lesbian relationships, and how is segregating by sexual preference any different to segregating by colour?

I would love to ruminate longer on this, but quite frankly, I don’t have the time right now, so I’ll open the floor to you guys. What do you think? Does it genuinely make good business sense to shelve gay romance books separately?

Comonwealth Antarctic Expedition 2009 small

Seven women skied their way from the coast of Antarctica to the geographical South Pole in 38 days. No guide, no strong man (or dogs) to carry or drag their supplies. Seven women.

Three of the seven where the first person from their country to reach the South Pole,  and two more were the first women from their country. Only the two Brits (one of whom was a last minute replacement for the Ghanaian woman who, sadly, contracted malaria shortly before the date set for the expedition) come from a country where women have accomplished such a feat repeatedly.

From their website:

Marking the 60th aniversary of the Commonwealth, the expedition aims to demonstrate the potential of greater intercultural understanding and exchange, while at the same time highlighting the achievements of women across the world.

So first and foremost: kudos to each and everyone of these women, for braving the gauntlet and succeeding so brilliantly in their mission.

*     *     *

Now… the rant. (more…)

Want To Have A Book Dedicated To You?

Sunday, January 17, 2010
Posted in: Uncategorized


Shiloh Walker is offering to dedicate her next to book to a reader, in exchange for them donating to the Haiti Earthquake fund:

Okay, so I want to do something to help raise money for Haiti.

Here’s the thing… I try to do auctions thru ebay sometimes, but that’s not going to work this time… I’ve only got one ARC in the house and it’s already got an owner-just haven’t mailed it out.

ARCs are the best way to generate money on ebay and it will be months before I have another one.

So how about this instead…

I can dedicate a book to anybody I want.
And if you’ll help out Haiti, you can get a chance to have your name mentioned in the book’s dedication.


Like this…donate a minimum of $5 to your online disaster relief charity of choice. Please note, this is for disaster relief… while I love the polar bear, the polar bear isn’t affected by the crisis in Haiti. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out the charities listed at Charity Navigator:

Helping the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake

I love Charity Navigator-I like seeing how much money is actually going to the programs and stuff-the site is awesome for that.

Post HERE that you donated…all you gotta say is I DONATED! Or along those lines…*G* It helps stir up fun when people see who all is getting involved. But you also need to email me the info at contest4shiloh(at)gmail.com. A PDF of the receipt or a screen cap works (block out sensitive data) or you can XXX out the personal data and forward the email receipt to me, however you prefer. I don’t share emails and once the contest is over, I delete them. Please put Help out Haiti in the subject line.

Everybody who donates and follows the above guidelines will entered into a drawing and if your name is drawn, your name (first name only if you wish, first and last, first name, last initial-we’ll discuss that with the winner) will be mentioned in the dedication of Hunter’s Fall, and the winner will receive a signed copy when the book comes out. But since it’s going to be a while before Hunter’s Fall is out and I think the winner should get something a little bit sooner, I’ll also send the winner 2 signed copies of Broken-one of the winner, and one personalized for the friend of their choice, once I get my author copies.

Reader beware: In compliance with the FTC guidelines, be aware that I bought this book.


Parallel AttractionParallel Attraction, by Deirdre Knight

The first in the Midnight Warriors series, Parallel Attraction is also Ms Knight’s debut novel. And boy oh, boy, talk about starting out with a bang! This is very much a romance novel (and there is some sexxoring in it, if you are wondering), but it is also a science fiction story, in which the author takes a well-known twist and… well, twists it some more. 😀

The world Ms Knight creates seems quite simple at first, but pretty soon into the story the reader realizes that there are layers of complexity there, many of which are hinted at almost carelessly—one phrase, one short passage—until their time to shine comes. Here’s the back cover blurb:

It has been years since exiled alien king Jared Bennett thought of anything other than his people’s fight for freedom. Now his rebel force has the one weapon that can turn the tide against their enemy: the key to the secrets of time. Victory has never been closer, but one woman has the power to change everything.

Kelsey Wells can’t deny that there is something unearthly about her fierce attraction to Jared Bennett. His revelations about alien wars and time travel can’t possibly be fact. Yet with every seductive touch, every searing kiss, Kelsey circles closer to the truth: Although Jared is exactly what he says, he hasn’t told her everything. And when the future crashes into the present, Kelsey must decide if Jared’s deception will cost them the love that should have been their destiny.


Haiti: we ALL can do SOMEthing.

Friday, January 15, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, Helping out

It doesn’t have to be big. As incredible as it may seem, five dollars (less than a fast food meal) can and do make a difference.

It is also made easier by technology–from the Red Cross taking accept $10 donations, charged to your cellphone bill, by texting HAITI to 90999 to bloggers like the DailyBeast compiling lists of trustworthy non-governmental charities, to the ability to confirm any one charity’s bonafides by looking it up at the Charity Navigator’s Haiti page or The Foundation Center.

Five dollars, ten dollars–most of us can afford it, right? Let’s help out, just a bit.

* * *

(thank you for the Discriminating Fangirl and to LifeHacker for links)

* * *

Edited to add: or you can go check out what Shiloh Walker is doing to help.

(gotta love Zazzle)

(gotta love Zazzle)

I’m a geek.

Not one of those really well educated geeks, I admit, but a geek nonetheless.

And this geek is always fascinated by how science is catching up to fantasy (no wonder we call it science fiction now 😀 )

For example, when reading Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, I had some issues with Hostage to Pleasure because it posits that DNA manipulation would have effect within one generation. I’m all, “no way in hell, dammit!” and feeling pulled out of the story because, well, not possible.

(Yes, I know—I have trouble accepting that but I’m happily overlooking little impossibles such as, say, shapeshifting. So I’m inconsistent, sue me 😛 )

Anyway, the whole DNA manipulation part of the storyline bothered me—it seemed a bit like a cop out, frankly—and then I see this cool little article and wham! “Objection overruled, counselor.”

These little critters are a) stealing DNA and passing it on to their offspring, and b) stealing cellular structures into their own cells and using them successfully.

Looking at this, I’m suddenly much happier about Ashaya Aleine’s work 😀

*    *    *    *    *

Random PS: Who is your favorite geeky chick? Personally, I’m torn between Abby from NCIS and the amazing Kaylee from Firefly.

Katie Price
Katie Price

Have any of you ever attended a wedding full of lapdancers and strippers?

Well, TTG and I did last night.

The bride was a lapdancer, and she invited a whole host of her lapdancing friends and colleagues.

It was certainly an eye-opener.

It was so clichéd.

We were invited by the groom, who was TTG’s friend, and neither of us had met the bride before, so this entitled us to be as mean and two-faced as we liked. So we indulged.

I’ve actually never seen so many botoxed cheeks, enhanced lips, fake double D boobs, and orange peel-looking skin in one place. The bride, bless her cottons looked like her lips were hurting, and her black Katie Price styled hair extensions kept getting caught in the train of her dress.

TTG and I spent most of the day with our jaws on the floor, and we were mean and totally judgemental, and after attempting to converse with a few of the lapdancers, that didn’t change.

Anyway, we had a good time, even though I was the designated driver as per usual.

At the end of the night, we came home and cackled like the bad people we are, hehe…

Reader beware: In compliance with FTC guidelines, please be aware that I was given a digital ARC of this novel by Ms Singh for the purpose of writing a review. In the end, I bought my own, dead-tree copy of the novel anyway.


Blaze of Memory, by Nalini SinghBlaze of Memory

Part of Ms Singh’s very successful Psy/Changeling romance series, Blaze of Memory picks up the trail of two characters introduced in the fourth and fifth novels in the series (Mine to Possess and Hostage to Pleasure, respectively): Devraj Santos, apparently human and director of the Shine Foundation, and Ekaterina Haas, psy and erstwhile assistant of Ashaya Aleine in her research for the Council.

While this novel could be read as a stand alone title, I definitely would recommend reading at least the two mentioned. Not only are there a number of secondary characters whose presence in this story will make more sense to a reader familiar with the series, but the relationships between the different human groups are also rather complex at this point in the main story arc. Beyond those two reasons, the intricacies of the psy vs changeling and/or human physiologies will probably be easier to digest to people who already know Ms Singh’s psy/changeling universe.

Here’s the back cover blurb: (more…)

question mark

The setup for this dilemma should be entirely hypothetical but, sadly, it may become reality for millions of people soon.

In Uganda there is currently under consideration a bill for a law that would make being homosexual illegal (those interested can read the entire outrageous document here [and keep track of the typos while you are at it—it’s sad])

Two points of interest for the sake of this dilemma:

A)    A person who knows of someone else’s homosexuality is criminally liable (up to three years in prison, in fact) if he or she doesn’t report the crime/criminal within 24 hours of coming by the knowledge of that second person’s homosexuality.

B)     Promoting homosexuality is punishable by no less than five years in jail. While there is no precise definition of what “promoting homosexuality” is, the tone of the document leads me to believe that any positive statement or observation of homosexuality would be considered criminal under the law.

Today’s dilemma:

You are a resident of Uganda. The anti-homosexuality act in question has been passed and is now law. Your adult child comes to you and tells you that s/he is homosexual. Further, s/he tells you that s/he has been reading about homosexuality, gender identity, human rights, etc. online—exchanging information with other homosexual individuals inside and outside of Uganda—and then offers to share with you some of that literature, to help you understand that homosexuality is not unnatural nor a choice.

What do you do?

To clarify the question: would you report your adult child for the ‘crime’ of being homosexual and/or the crime of ‘promoting’ homosexuality through his/her reading and online activity?


You can read a bit more about how this bill came about here.


OK, so I read The Gingerbread Tryst, a book by Nichelle Gregory, that Jill Noble very kindly sent to me after I erm, questioned the wisdom of using a much-loved, innocent fairytale character in an erotic book.

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!

Where do I begin? (more…)

Reader beware: In compliance with FTC guidelines, readers should be aware that my copy of this novel was obtained directly from Ms Milan in a multiple-title drawing she held at her blog in early December. Thank you.


Proof by Seduction, by Courtney MilanProof by Seduction

Published by Harlequin Historical Romance, this novel is Ms Milan’s full length debut. Set in London during the late 1830s, Proof by Seduction follows the story of one Jenny Keeble—aka Mme Esmerelda, soothsayer and future diviner—and a marquess.

Here is the (much hated) back cover blurb: (more…)

around the blogs

So I finally managed to take a look at my Google Reader and here are some of the more noteworthy posts highlighted for your delectation. (more…)