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White privilege?

White privilege?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

So I see this headline on the main page at nbcnews.com: “I was fired because of my race”

When I click through to the article, I see the actual headline is “Wendy Bell Sues TV Station, Says Firing Was Because Of Her ‘Race'” (square quotes included).

It so happens this woman is white, and was fired after writing some pretty racist, paternalistic, and condescending bullshit about an entire community, in the wake of a shooting that left five people injured; to whit:

What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?

Listen to a smart, compassionate man.

Imbue your children’s lives with love, not with hatred.

Keep on dancing.

Do you know the difference between...
(update at the end)

Torquere Press LLC and Ellora’s Cave? (now, stupidly enough, “EC for Books”–because nothing says “publishing empire” like a generic, forgettable name, hemorrhaging authors, and piss poor service)


Well, the former are not only amateurs in the ‘let’s not pay royalties and give trite, tired, unbelievable excuses for that’ field. They are also criminally stupid–as in, ‘let’s write a fraudulent check for those royalties, see if that’ll shut the unpaid authors up!”

Say what you will about Jaid give-readers-the-finger-I-despise-romance-professional-victim Black, she’s too cunning for that.

She’ll just never write checks for those royalties and other bills.

Update: Julia Talbot, former owner of Torquere, has her say on this mess (as of today, only dog knows what’s next)

Look who's trying to crawl now...


I can’t believe that she’s just over 4 months old. That just went by so fast. She’s beyond cute though and I’m totally obsessed!

OMFG--are you serious?

I really need to stop following #notchilled.

For one, the implosion of EC is never ending, and after a full year and a half of this bullshit, I’m tired of the repetition. It’s same shit, different day, again and again and again–and as a reader who really has no dog in this fight? Not really worth the effort.

On top of this, some of the things said there¹ by EC’s authors/former authors make me want to screech.

Take this one, for example:RobinLRothamonbusinessethics (more…)

Ellora's Cave -- once more, with feeling

For the past year and a half, a number of authors with books published by Ellora’s Cave have publicly asked their readers to refrain from purchasing those titles.

The latest is Em Petrova, who writes on her blog that she’s been waiting for royalty checks since December 2015 (that’s five months, for the calendar-challenged among us), and that that last check was for royalties for March 2015 (that’s a full nine months behind).


PSA: Ellora's Cave website

PSA: Ellora’s Cave website

Monday, May 9, 2016
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

(Edit after the cut)

Customers, beware!

Apparently the security/trusted website certificate for Ellora’s Cave main website has expired.¹ What this means for customers is that, if you provide your credit card information to the website, in order to purchase books there, you have no guarantee that said information is secure.

I don’t know, nor care, what companty is the IPS for that site, but just as an example, right now GoDaddy has an offer for one-year certificates for $62.99, so it’s not as if it’s a terribly onerous expense.

Mind you, one would think that anyone who runs an online business, understands that, even if the cost was significantly higher, this is not a luxury, but an essential component thereof.

~ * ~

¹ I’m not linking, for obvious reasons. Then again, I wouldn’t link even if the SSL was there :shrug: (more…)

Samhain update of sorts

Samhain update of sorts

Friday, May 6, 2016
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Some of you may remember that, earlier this year, Samhain announced that they are starting to wind down operations, and that this process will likely take at least, and likely longer than, six months.

I have kept my ears open for news on this regrettable development; as a reader, I had never heard/read anything negative about them. If there have been rumbles over the years, they have been pretty quiet.

However, after the announcement came out back in late February, I heard some vague rumors that things weren’t going quite as smoothly as Ms Brashear might have wanted. Not being privy to industry scuttlebutt, I really didn’t know anything concrete, so I kept quiet.


"My models are my children" -- sounds familiar?

There’s a…well, I guess we can call a sort of exposé on ‘the dark side of modeling’ over at cnn.com.

For my purposes here, the short version is that, as happens with writers and publishers, models are suing a number of ‘talent agencies’ for everything from withholding payment (gee, sounds familiar to anyone?) to micromanaging the models’ lives, down to what they eat.

Apparently, very few modeling agencies are willing to disclose how they conduct their business to reporters, but a few had things to say. The one soundbite that made my mental alarm go was this one, made by one of the principals at one of the agencies named in the lawsuit:

“My models are my children. I care about all of them. This business is not all about money, but about people.”

Many years ago, in this very blog, author Shiloh Walker commented that she doesn’t want her publisher to be her family, but a properly run business. A couple of months ago, Courtney Milan tweeted that very often, it’s family who commits the worst abuses against vulnerable people (sadly, I don’t have a link to that tweet).

Further, anyone reading this blog for more than a couple of years, has seen this pattern of behaviour repeat itself with at least a half dozen publishers.

Anyone want to place bets as to when those models who work for that agency, and who are part of the lawsuit, stop being this person’s ‘children’ and transform into ‘bad apples’?

Mundania Press...apparently, still around?

This comment was posted yesterday to this (very old) thread:

It would be nice to have received at least one royalties statements in the last 9 years. Additionally, I’ve never received a royalties check, although their records indicate I have royalties due me. Any attempt to contact them has been ignored. One must presume that they receive so many complaints they do not release their phone number. The only way to get a local phone number is to contact the Better Business Bureau and that number they do not answer. Meanwhile, no allowances have been made to leave a message.

I have been with Mundania since 2008/2007. I first contacted them about a U.S. reprints of a trilogy originally printed the U.K. At the time, the contracts covered not only the fantasy trilogy, but one additional horror novel. Books 1 & 2 of the trilogy were released. The third book in the series never was; neither was the one stand-alone novel published. I contacted them again in 2014 to try and get the rights back on all books since the third in the trilogy and the singleton were never released. They apologized profusely and said they would re-release the first two in the series, and those that had never been released. The first two appeared in 2015.

They have never released book three and the one horror novel. Their editing is abysmal. The editor deleted 29 pages of one book and then said the books (all reprints of books successfully released previous) needed to be rewritten. I pointed out that the books were contracted as reprints and reprints required no revision unless a typographical or spelling had escaped the Pocket Books editions. Since then they have stonewalled me. E-mails go unanswered.

I personally believe a class action lawsuit should be brought against them. I contacted them because I support small press, but what I have received is equivalent to “restraint of trade.” I cannot sell these books elsewhere. No reader will buy books 1&2 of a trilogy if book three will never appear. Book three of the trilogy is so rare that it has been selling for hundreds – thousands of dollars (pounds), but my hands are tied.

Please note that I cannot vouch for what Jessica says there, but both Absolute Write and Piers Anthony (you gotta scroll down a fair bit), have been reporting on issues with this press for years.

My First Mother's Day...

My First Mother’s Day…

Sunday, March 6, 2016
Posted in: Baby KKB


She’s already six weeks old. Where did that time go?

Leap Year One Day Sale at Samhain (and other important PSA)

Today only, everything in digital is 40% off at Samhain Publishing. Go here and get something good to read!

Remember: Samhain announced on Friday that they are winding down–it will be months before they shut their virtual doors. In the meantime, all those authors who have books out, or slated to be released, will still get royalties for every copy sold. Go complete your library of favorites. Go try new to you authors–who may have long backlists, either with Samhain or elsewhere.

Compare and contrast 2.0

Oh my good lord, can Jaid Black be any more delusional?



Compare and contrast: Samhain is closing its doors.

I just saw a couple of tweets about Samhain Publishing that confirmed what some people read between the lines in a news bits posted a while back at Dear Author; they had closed submissions at the time, and now they have confirmed that they are closing their doors.

The email is here, but I’m keeping screenshots at KKB for posterity.

This news hits me and many other readers hard, for many reasons. Samhain Publishing has always had a stellar reputation, and people like Angela James (Carina Press editor) started there. Best wishes to all the authors, editors, staff and all subcontractors at Samhain. May you land on your feet, at a good place.

edited to add: Bree Bridges (writing half of Moira Rogers and Kit Rocha) has stepped up with this offer:

For those not aware, most epublishers, and at least one traditional publisher, that have gone out of business in the past decade or so, do not, by far, do it in so professional, classy, and direct manner. If I started listing publishers who have imploded in disgraceful and hateful ways, on the way to shutting down, it would take a long while.

The opposite list only has one name: Samhain.

Full text after the fold (bold emphasis mine, red text from original) (more…)



Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Some of our readers may know that Torquere Press LLC is having…issues *cough*

However, when I saw this tweet:

my first reaction was, “Amateurs! Ellora’s Cave owes several authors royalties from the beginning of 2015


And baby girl makes three!

And baby girl makes three!

Saturday, January 23, 2016
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks
Tags:, , ,

I don’t know any details, but here’s what popped up in Karen’s twitter account a bit ago:

Huge congratulations and best wishes to the family!

Finally! (aka, Bill Cosby charged with rape)

It’s taken decades, and the outcome is still uncertain–despite Cosby own words in a deposition, juries and the public tend to blame rape survivors for their attackers actions–but finally! Bill Cosby has been charged with rape.

Cosby has sued several of the dozens–dozens!–of women who have come forward to accuse him of sexual assault, and his lawyers are fighting a subpoena for his wife, who has publicly supported him.

I wonder how many more women have yet to speak up…

Nursery Room Reveal...

This room used to be my library room and TTG’s trophy room, it looks sooo different now. As you guys can see, I had to make a lot of concessions regarding the amount of pink in the room. There just aren’t that many pretty things in other colours that I like. I still managed to have three walls painted with my buttercream. TTG got the one pink wall.


TTG originally wanted her to have the big room that we normally reserve for guests, but I wanted something much cosier. I just didn’t like the thought of her in a huge room. When she’s older, we ca move her. Also, you can’t see during the day, but there are stars and all the planets in the solar system on her ceiling. They light up at night and I love them! All that’s left to do is to put up my collage of strong women, including Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Amelia Earhart, etc… Waddaya think?


20151221_093525  20151221_083147  20151221_093426_1  20151221_083056  20151221_083042  20151221_083147  20151221_103434  20151221_103519   20151221_105931  20151221_104548

Furry friends...

Furry friends…


Yet another update - EC v DA

Brief comments, some numbers, and a couple of links in the comments, here.

Also,  I recommend checking out this post at Zenobia Renquist’s blog. I hope she continues to update with more links–I’ve seen at least two more requests in that vein by EC authors.

EC v DA: it's over--for Dear Author and Jane Litte/Jen Frederick

Ellora’s Cave settled with Dear Author and Jane Litte, on the defamation suit the former brought against the latter.

The suit, you may remember, came about because Ellora’s Cave’s principals didn’t much like the fact that The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave put together, cohesively and succinctly, the many bits of evidence, statements, and rumors, that have been hinting at deeply troubling going-ons at the company for the last decade or so.

I have thoughts on this, and go on and on about them here.

Good luck to all the many authors who are still owed royalties, and to those who only want to finally be free of their contracts with Ellora’s Cave.