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Update: Jesus is not a homophobe!

Remember this? Well, a student in Ohio won the legal case and can now wear the t-shit proclaiming so!

Here’s the finger to assholes:

Willaful Review: A Gentleman Undone

Sensuality rating: Torrid and Most Ungentlemanly


I’m envisioning Grant sitting down to work on this and musing to herself, “Hmmm, what romance convention shall I skewer today?” Our heroine Lydia is a courtesan, formerly a prostitute. She’s a courtesan who enjoys her work — or at least, some aspects of it.

With all the insolence she swallowed, it was a wonder her corsets still laced. Retort after rejoinder after sharp-edged remark: Why do you address me? What can I possibly have to say to a man who would split a pair of fives? Be quiet. Go to sleep. Go away. Come back when you have another erection.

And she’s a courtesan who is currently employed. Yes, for a good portion of this story, the heroine is having sex with a man other than the hero. If the uncomfortable sex in Grant’s A Lady Awakened was too much for you, this one is going to tie you in knots. We even have a reversal of the classic bodice ripper scene in which the innocent heroine spies on the hero having sex with another woman — except in this case, it’s Will spying on Lydia with her “protector.” (more…)

Aren't People Just....Strange?

I was checking out some of the search terms that land people onto KKB, and the following were some of the most popular: (more…)

Give Them The Same Hair Colour?

This is Lana Parilla from Once Upon A Time:

This is Megan Hilty from Smash.

Tell me I’m not the only person who sees the resemblance?

Ok, here’s an interview with Lana Parilla (and Josh Dallas):

And Megan Hilty on Ellen:

Surely they were separated at birth? Admittedly, Lana Parilla is a tad older…

Fertile Grounds for Discussion

Fertile Grounds for Discussion

Saturday, May 26, 2012
Posted in: willaful

(I originally wrote this post without mentioning specific books, thinking it was more fair to the authors. Then I realized that it’s really unfair to the readers not to mention the books, because how else can they argue with me?  So be aware that while I don’t think I say anything about A Gentleman Undone that isn’t revealed early on, there is at least one spoiler here for About Last Night.) (more…)

An entire romance genre goes bung

An entire romance genre goes bung

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Posted in: willaful

I’m listening to Helen Keller in Love, an audiobook I downloaded on impulse, and got curious about whether it was completely fictional or based on reality.  Some googling turned up that Keller did indeed fall in love with her secretary Peter Fagan, but their intended marriage was thwarted by Keller’s mother. I found this interesting comment by the author:

After writing the book, Sultan said that perhaps Keller’s real untold story is how “her triumph over multiple disabilities and her enormous celebrity had trapped her within a constricting saintliness and an image of purity. Though she could speak up about equality, the rights of others – even, occasionally, sexuality – she was not granted the rights she sought for others.”

Apparently some things never change. I also turned up a fascinating thread in Yahoo Answers, titled “Did Helen Keller Get Laid.” which ends with the comment — which three people have bothered to rate as “good” — “That’s not even a place I can take my mind about such a courageous person! ”

What the hell does that even mean? I suppose astronauts shouldn’t get to have sex, then. Or police officers. Or Navy Seals. That’s going to be a tremendous shock to any number of fellow romance fans I know.

For “courageous,” read saintly. Inspirational. Untouchable. Anything but a human being with normal feelings and desires.

Azteclady reviews, Nalini Singh's Bonds of Justice

A couple of years ago I started reviewing every book in Ms Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, in order of publication. What with one thing and another, the last such review I posted was of Blaze of Memory1 Now that I’m awaiting the imminent release of the latest book, A Tangle of Need, I embarked on a re-read of the whole series. (Yes, I know I’m a bit obsessive, thanks.) Since I’m reading them, why not review them? And here we are.

Bonds of Justice, by Nalini Singh

Sensuality rating: Steamy.

The eight installment in Ms Singh’s successful Psy/Changeling series, this is the first one where a changeling—or even a human member of a changeling pack—isn’t a protagonist. With this novel, Ms Singh shifts the focus to humans in a very different manner than she did with the secondary plot in Branded by Fire.

But first a disclaimer: if you haven’t read any of these novels, you will probably be lost. Not only are a number of characters from as far back as Slave to Sensation mentioned, several have key (if minor, page count-wise) rôles in this novel. Beyond that, there is an overarching plot thread noted in a number of passages (some of them one paragraph chapters) that will make a new-to-the-series reader go, “Huh?” repeatedly. So, if I were you, I would just start at the beginning.

With that out of the way, here is the back cover blurb: (more…)

So. On that plagiarism, apology, forgiveness thing? I'm more of a cynic than I thought.

Yes, I’m sure many here are tired of the topic, particularly since it seems to crop up regularly, all over the place.

Me, I’m one of those who believes that talking about it, keeping the perpetrators and their victims clearly separated, is the only way to reduce the instances of plagiarism. (Like racism, there are some people who don’t realize what it is–or that they are indulging in it¹–until someone points it out to them.)

But, onwards with today’s post.

Yesterday Jill Sorenson commented on my latest post on Kristi Diehm, plagiarist.

My own reply to Ms Sorenson took me back to RRRJessica’s awesome post on the scandal (seriously, go and read the whole thing; it’s wonderful and full of win. The part about moral autonomy and women? Win, I tell you).

Upon re-reading the post, my mind, that horrible, suspicious, cynical fiend, fixated on the following bits: (more…)

No, plagiarism doesn't just "happen"

Back when the shitstorm surrounding Kristi Diehm, plagiarist, aka The Story Siren¹, broke out, I posted about apologies, and how I think it’s useless to expect–or indeed to receive–an apology from a plagiarist. Like many other offenders, said apologies tend to be of the “fuck, I’m sorry I got caught” variety. Or, much worse, they include so many excuses, explanations, rationalizations and justifications that in the end, to many an uncritical follower/fan, they read like a justification to hate on the victims of the plagiarist.

Well, that queen of chutzpah, Kristi Diehm, is at it again. The short hand for those who don’t go to the SmartBitches: apparently this plagiarist, who has still to apologize properly (as in, without excuses) to her victims, and who has failed to address her fans outright hounding of said victims, has decided to organize a week long event on plagiarism, designed to ‘educate herself’ (yeah, because that very pointed post she wrote on the topic, after allegedly being plagiarized herself, shows that she reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly didn’t know what the fuck she was doing when she stole Beautifully Invisible and Grit and Glamour. Right.) (more…)

"I love my half brother, and he loves me. We are practically boyfriend and girlfriend"

I know that it’s best to live and let live, but blood incest is just something I find hard to understand. I wrote this blog post about step-siblings falling in love a while ago, and every now and again, I get somebody posting, defending incestuous relationships.

This is the latest comment from somebody called Mel:

I don`t really see what`s so bad about loving your half brother or sister. Like, father and daughter or mother and son is crossing the line. But, brother and sister (fully related or not.) is not wrong in my eyes. Like Hannah said, love is love. Everyone has the right to love whoever they like and the people who are disgusted by it all i have to say to you is you can`t change the way people feel and if you have such closed minds you are the reason why some people are bitter; it`s because you don`t understand love. love makes the world go round. I say, if you love your sister, brother, teacher or anyone older of younger than you, go for it. it`s your choice who you want to love and you never know they may have mutual feelings.

I love my half brother, and he loves me. We are practically boyfriend and girlfriend. I was the one who gradually made the moves on him and now were still together and through all the hardships we face, we still love each other.
So love who you want to love. :)”

Seriously, I don’t get it.

Oh my good lord, how did I miss this?

I love videos of flash mobs dancing something everyone (or most everyone) has heard and at least tapped his/her toes to. But this? Absolutely amazing.


To celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday, some 50,000 people (give or take a few hundred or so) gathered near Mexico’s City historical center on August 29th, 2009 for a flash dance to the choreography of the original Thriller video.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bonus points: the actual dancing crowd broke the Guinness Record–by a mere 13,300 or so.

A Yummy Sounding Book - See Me By Pauline Allan

“What the fuck had just happened? The sight of her all huddled under the covers made him want to beat the shit out of her bad dream. He wanted to put on the fucking cape and wear the damn S on his chest. Yeah, he wanted to be everything for her that no one had been for him. He wanted to take all the bad away and replace it with silky kisses and hot showers. Something had screwed with her brain. She’d been hurt. Seriously.”

Mad posted this excerpt on Goodreads (got the link via Twitter) from a book called See Me, and after reading the blurb below, I kindled it straight away.

Genre: BBW Contemporary

Abigail Swanson’s spirit has been battered, a body left for dead, only to recover to find fear and loneliness. Due to an abusive relationship, she is unable to feel the one thing she longs to have again. She builds a lucrative business specializing in the commodity she can’t afford to experience. Passion.

Sean Drennan traded his fists for a portfolio, but the cost was too great. Now, considered damaged goods, he’s unable to find employment. Desperate to gather some quick cash, he reluctantly agrees to take a job in the field guaranteed to make him sell his soul.

So what does a successful pornography entrepreneur do when her clients are demanding a tattooed hunk and her performers don’t fit the bill? She puts all her trust in an ex-con who has nothing to lose. For one voluptuous, scared woman it’s love at all costs. For one man it’s a new experience he’s more than willing to fight his way into. Can he save her business and her heart at the same time or will his fighting ways leave him cold and lonely yet again?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: Exhibitionism/voyeurism, flashback to violence.

Now doesn’t this book sound like it would provide a totally different reading experience?

I’m so excited to read it!

You can read the first Chapter here, Kindle it from Amazon.com here, and Barnes and Noble here.

Willaful Review: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

 Sensuality rating: Delightfully Torrid

I wanted to read this because I’ve loved Ruthie Knox’s posts at “Wonk-O-Mance,” a blog about addictively offbeat romance novels. I wouldn’t call About Last Night wonky, though it does break a number of unwritten romance rules; I actually felt a tad… disappointed isn’t exactly the right word, but I was just a touch let down at first because the story seemed fairly conventional. But I was sucked in by the terrific characterizations and by the end, my mind was fairly well blown.

Cath, a people-watcher, has admired the man she thinks of as “City” from afar for months.

She’d given him the nickname as a nod to his profession, because everything about him announced he worked in the City of London, the square-mile financial district at the center of the metropolis: the dignified wool overcoat and scarf he’d worn all winter, the shined shoes, the ever-present newspaper. Aristocratically remote, he was Prince Charming in a suit.


Yes, he's an asshole, but what where *they* thinking?

A Tennessee man is asking for government aid–to pay child support to the eleven (11) mothers of his thirty (30) children.

Your mind boggled yet?

I see people crying that he must be stopped–no argument here–but what about the women? (more…)

RIP Monica Jackson, Author, Warrior...Friend

The one thing that I’ve long since taken for granted here in Romance Land is that the people who I ‘meet’ and talk to, argue with, and discuss common interests with, will always be around.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that one of the stalwarts of our little world had passed. My heart goes out to Monica’s family, especially her daughter.

I’m still in shock now. I feel like my heart is breaking because I know that this great friend that I’d never even met, will no longer be part of our little corner of the world. And this world is a little less luminous because of her absence from it.

Monica Jackson was one of the most fearless woman I’ve ever known. She was bold, and brash and wonderfully honest. She spoke her mind, and I loved her for that.

Long after Romance Land had tired of the Racism in Romance discussion, she was always there, ready to bring this conversation that many readers and authors alike found uncomfortable, to the fore. She loved this discomfort, because it was proof to her that at last the issue was in the psyche of those readers, who subconsciously avoided those otherly books.

She was passionate about the Racism in Romance issue, and her tenacity and willingness to fight the long and good fight was inspiring. (more…)

Azteclady reviews Cheryl St. John's, Heaven Can Wait

The pressure of commitment!

Being almost too late for this month’s TBR Challenge, I quickly checked the mountains and piles and shelves of unread books for something appropriate—a book published before 2000. After a few frantic moments—have I really read all my old skool books already???—I found the perfect tome. I give you:

Heaven Can Wait, by Cheryl St. John

Sensuality rating: Steamy

This is Ms St John’s second published novel, prequel to Rain Shadow¹. Both novels were published by Harlequin Historical back in the dark ages (1994).

 Please be warned that there’s a lot of religion as part of the story, though not in the way that usually annoys the bejesus out of me.

The novel is set in 1888 Pennsylvania. The heroine, Lydia Beker, is a member of the historical religious commune known as the Harmony Society. The hero, Jakob Neubauer, is also of German descent, but a farmer, one of the Outsiders whose heathenish ways the Colonists abhor.

This premise would be conflict enough for me, to be honest—how do you reconcile such different views of the world? It’s all good and well to long for freedom from drudgery, but the cultural shock would still be there, even if Jakob is not rich and life on a farm is no ride on the park with grooms and maids in attendance.

Ms St. John, however, added extraneous conflict in the form of a mentally unstable sister-in-law who is obsessed with Jakob.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is the back cover blurb: (more…)

Willaful review: Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce

Sensuality rating: steamy

The theme for this month’s TBR challenge is “Old School.” The definition is a book published before 2000, but I say if you’re going to kick it old school, you might as well go for the real thing. But I can’t deal with hardcore bodice-rippers like Kathleen Woodiwiss or Bertrice Small, so my go to gal is Brenda Joyce. I picked Scandalous Love, which I believe finishes up the Bragg Saga for me, except for the hard to find/expensive Dark Fires.

As it turned out, Scandalous Love is fairly mild, as befitting a book with the single most boring cover in romance history. (I suppose it could have been worse.)  It does start with a classic misunderstanding: Big, sexy Hadrian, the Duke of Clayborough, meets big, sexy Lady Nicole Bragg Shelton at a masquerade ball, and assumes she’s someone’s promiscuous and available wife. (Which could not actually have happened, because her correct title would have clued him in immediately that she was single.  This is not even the most ludicrous example of disregarding accuracy for the sake of plot in the book.) (more…)

Undead Press Behaving Badly...But I Blame The Author For Being Stupid...

Woohooo! It’s been a while since I wrote a Publisher’s Behaving Badly blogpost, but this one’s a doozy!

When publishing goes wrong…Starring Undead Press

Author, Mandy Degeit had been waiting for her first ever publication to be sent to her, her story was part of an anthology and was called She Makes Me Smile.

When the copy of the book finally came, she found that they had fundamentally changed her whole story.

Mandy writes on her blog:

You all know I’ve been ranting about my first ever publication coming out for the last little while… “She makes me smile” was picked up by Undead Press (Anthony Giangregorio) to be published in their anthology called Cavalcade of Terror and the book was released May 1st 2012.

I waited… and waited… I was SO excited to see my story and name in print.

One of my friends even went as far as to pay 40$ to Expresspost me a copy of Cavalcade, I waited around two days for the delivery. (Apparently I’m dealing with a buzzer issue here at the house.)

It finally came in and believe me, I didn’t waste any time ripping into the package…

Wtf? There’s a spelling mistake in the title of my story. *(Not from my submission however… They changed it to wrong.)

“She Make’s Me Smile” by Mandy J. De Geit (more…)

Willaful Review: Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

Sensuality rating: Torrid, but vanilla.

Warning: there are some necessary spoilers for previous books in the series in this review. I’d highly recommend reading them in order, in any case; each book builds on the events of the previous books.

The third in the “Lords of Deliverance” series is the best story I’ve read by Ione to date.  Like the others, Lethal Rider is a hell of a ride: sexy, funny and exciting.  But it’s also poignant: the ass-kicking main characters are touchingly emotionally vulnerable, and their HEA really has to be worked for.

The story opens a significant eight and a half months after the events of Immortal Rider, in which female Aegis Guardian Regan raped Horseman of the Apocalypse Thanatos while they were both drugged.  Thanatos, who is destined to become “Death”, has been immobilized by his sibling Horsemen ever since, to prevent him from going on a bloody rampage. Meanwhile, Regan is almost ready to give birth to a son she is planning to give up for adoption, for his own good. She fully expects to die as soon as Thanatos finds her.

When Thanatos does manage to escape, he has serious plans: (more…)

A bit of glee...

A bit of glee…

Monday, May 14, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Remember last week how there was a reader who disagreed with me about censorship?

The quick recap: the Brevard County Library system purchased 19 copies of that book I won’t read (Karen’s review here) then pulled from circulation when someone heard that it was being labeled “mommy porn” in the media.

Well, Galley Cat got wind of it, as did SBSarah, who checked out the library system’s collection. Guess what she found in it?

A very healthy portion of the Longarm books–so-called ‘adult western’ (for Beverly‘s benefit: badly written sex, clearly intended to titillate) along with titles by several well known erotic romance authors (Lora Leigh, Laurell K. Hamilton and Emma Holly, just to name three).

As several readers asked here, what’s different about this book, other than public outcry–and the abominable “mommy porn” moniker?

Nothing, that’s what.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(The glee part: I posted about this before both the Bitches and GalleyCat–heh)