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I wrote this rambling Ode to Jaid Black back back in August 2005, when I obviously didn’t know any better. I considered deleting it, following her reaction to my EC posts, but then I thought, why the hell should I? It serves to remind me that I’m not always right about people.

It also serves to remind me that most authors will always be happy to be your friend, and laugh at you dissing other people, as long as it’s not them or their company that you’re taking the piss out of. Lesson learned.

“I’ve just realised how much I admire Tina Engler AKA Jaid Black, the legendary ‘Queen of Steam’.

How could anybody fail to admire a woman who has achieved as much as she has, when she had so little to begin with?

Here are some facts about Tina that some of you may, or may not have known.

1.Tina is the owner and founder of Elloras Cave, Cerridwen Press, and the newly launched Lady Jaided Magazine.

2.As well as having over twenty books with EC, she also has novels with Berkley/Jove and Pocketbooks.

3.In addition to her publishing background, Tina also has controlling shares in the following companies:

Jasmine-Jade Enterprises,
Gothic Grounds (a coffee store chain),
Brannon-Engler Properties
Awbridge, Hanwell, & Hartley books and curio shops

4.By the age of thirty, she was a self-made millionaire. Two years later, she was a multi-millionaire.

5.She was recently on the Montel Williams Show, talking about her rise to the top.

6.She also donated $10,000 to the Montel Williams Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and EC are currently donating 15 cents to the charity for every book that is sold via their Ebay Store.

The reason that I admire Tina so much, is because she literally built her empire up from scratch.

She got pregnant at the age of seventeen, and was forced to raise her baby alone when the father of her child abandoned them both. She was on welfare for a number of years, but somehow managed to put herself through college, and worked towards a better life for herself and her child.

Not only was she on welfare, and let’s face it, there is a lot of snobbery towards single mothers who live off the state, but her children are bi-racial, and I recall reading a piece that she wrote, about the racism that her children had to endure, because of this very fact.

In my opinion, she has helped change the way that people look at the romance genre. She dared to push the envelope, and by doing so, opened up a brand new world to romance readers who were just a little bored by the same old, same old.

I admire the fact that she was forward-thinking enough to realise that as Millennium women, some of us are looking for more than virginal heroines with ‘perking nipples’ and dastardly heroes with ‘throbbing members’.

Never mind the romance v erotic romance catfights that seem to happen in blogland on a daily basis, the fact is, without Tina’s influence, we probably woudn’t even be having the debate in the first place.

Personally, I view Tina as a pioneer. She may not have invented electricity, or found the cure for the common cold, but she exemplifies the determination and the self-sacrifice that is necessary in order to reach beyond one’s wildest dreams, regardless of the obstacles that are placed in one’s path.

Tina’s lead a very interesting life so far, and I know that if she ever decided to detail her memoirs in the form of an autobiography, I would certainly go out and buy the book.”

Oh the irony. What can I say? I meant every word I wrote at the time. Every word. How things change eh? *g*