Saturday, July 30, 2005

Drive-By Post...

According to HelenKay, (who’s in Reno with the rest of the world) Kensington are now looking for manuscripts for their new erotica line , so if you sent some stuff to Brava that was a little too hot for them, here’s your chance to find your baby a good home. Apparently this new line still doesn’t have a name.

Here is some additional info from Helen:

It launches in January 2006. The covers are amazing. They're looking for novellas and single titles. The basic word counts are 25,000 for novellas and 90,000 for single title but they are open to anything. They even said that if you have a 15,000 word manuscript, send it and they'll see if they can make it work. They are buying. Let me repeat that, they are buying.

Some folks are talking about getting 6 book contracts. People who tried to get in with Brava but the books were too hot are finding a home with the whatever-we-call-it line. Don't send to Kate Duffy because she said this isn't her thing.

Hillary Sares and Audrey LaFehr are the folks to write to. Don't bother with synopsis and waiting for a response to a query - send in chapters. Unsolicited and unagented - as with all of the Kensington romance lines - are welcome.

For more information on what’s hot and what’s not in romance, you’ll need to read the rest of Helen’s post. Oh yeah, she's giving away free books too.

The Tall Guy and I are going to the gym now, so catch ya later.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Karen Gets Serious...

On the RTB column yesterday, Sharon Long, talked about the on-going fight between Romance and Erotic Romance, but that’s not what I’m gonna talk about.

One of the readers of her column made a comment that I thought was very interesting, as did quite a lot of other people, thus the discussion went completely off topic after this:

There is an underlying dialogue in this issue that is really beginning to bother me. That is the assumption that anyone who is uncomfortable reading erotica is somehow ignorant, closed-minded, or prejudiced.

Consider this: If a person is uncomfortable with interracial marriage, does that make him a racist?”

My answer to this question, is pretty much a resounding yes.

Mostly because in my mind, when something makes you feel uncomfortable, there is usually a reason for it. The discomfort comes from a place that you may have never thought existed, and probably would never openly acknowledge, even to yourself, but it’s there all the same.

As human beings, we constantly make snap judgements on various situations, and sometimes, the conclusions we draw can lead to feelings of discomfiture.

If somebody looks at a black and white couple, and it makes them feel uncomfortable, what other conclusions can be drawn from that?

You can argue that they aren’t racist, that it’s just something they are unfamiliar with, but that’s simply not true.

We just don’t want to admit to being racist, because admitting it would be like saying that we are bad human beings. Which wouldn’t be necessarily true either.

The fact is, all of us, have it within us to be racist or predjudiced towards certain people or certain situations. We may not acknowledge it, but it’s there all the same.

Even I have it, and I’m pretty much perfect:) It’s not desirable, nor is it something I would usually ever even think about, but I know that deep, way deep down inside of me, those undesirable feelings are there, waiting to be triggered. But the difference is, the feelings aren’t strong enough to make me act on them. After all, I’m basically a good person.

Racism isn’t just about looking at somebody and actively or even inactively disliking the colour of their skin. It’s way more than that, and in my opinion, it has many forms.

The key thing is, that not everybody wants to embrace their inner-racist, and rightly so, because that would make you a bad human being.

Karen Gets Historical: Part Three...

Night Fire (nice horse) Posted by Picasa

The posts are in order again

Well, I’m sure you’ll all be just thrilled to know that I managed to finish Night Fire.

I actually finished it last night, and unlike Season of The Sun, I had to look back at the blurb, to remind myself what the bloody book was about.

This is how the story goes:

Girl Abused is sold to Absolute Bastard Husband by her half-brother, without her knowledge.

Absolute Bastard marries Girl Abused, but is too old to get it up, so he subjects her to giving him oral satisfaction. (His dick still manages to stay limp though)

Absolute Bastard Husband treats her cruelly, and constantly whips her when he thinks she’s out of line. (sound familiar?)

The only person in the house that gives a toss about her is Girl- Interrupted Nanny. (actually she’s an old hag)

Girl Abused decides to grow a backbone and runs away to her half-brother, whom she mistakenly thinks will look after her, after learning of her husband’s cruelty.

Greedy Twat Half-Brother pretends to be sympathetic to her plight, but in actual fact, he calls Absolute Bastard Husband, and offers to return Girl Abused to him for a further five thousand pounds.

Absolute Bastard Husband agrees, and whilst Girl Abused is pleading her case to Greedy Twat Half-Brother, he is actually in the back room holding the belt that he usually whips her with.

Absolute Bastard husband drags Girl Abused home and gives her a jolly good beating. She doesn’t try to run again.

Absolute Bastard Husband is desperate to have more children, but as he has a limp dick, he invites his son over to the house with the intention of making Girl Abused have sex with him, and hopefully get her pregnant at the same time.

Absolute Bastard Husband, makes Girl Abused give Randy Step-Brother a blowjob. (Not nice)

That night Absolute Bastard chokes on a herring bone and dies. (Tragic)

Boy Hero Soldier has been in love with Girl Abused for years, but when they first met, she was just a wee young girl of 15, and he was too much of an honourable man to take advantage of her. He decides to wait before he makes her his wife.

Boy Hero Soldier, then gets called away to Toulouse on active duty (something to do with Napoleon), and doesn’t return to England until a few years later, which brings us up to date.

Girl Abused has inherited everything that belonged to her husband, and is now the lady of the manor.

Randy Step-Brother is still at the house, and insists that he will have her, as his father had wished. (shudder)

Girl Abused is having none of it, and orders him out of her house with his tail between his legs.

Randy Step-Brother goes to Greedy Twat Half-Brother, and between the two of them start hatching a plan to get her.

In the mean time, Boy Hero Soldier returns home, to the consternation of Girl Abused, who is very wary of all men, and their animalistic passions.

Boy Hero Soldier tries his best to woo her, but she’s not the same girl that he left all those years ago. This woman is much harder, and less trusting (ya think?)

Realising that Boy Hero Soldier will not give up easily, Girl Abused decides to sell the manor, and run away to Boston, where her sister lives.

Boy Hero Soldier scuppers her plan, and pretends to be a highwayman and kidnaps her, in order to prevent her from leaving the country. He takes her to a hunting lodge.

Unbeknownst to them, Greedy Twat Half-Brother, and Randy Step-Brother had hatched the same plan, and was waiting for her horse and carriage to arrive so that they could kidnap her. Of course Boy Hero Soldier got there first.

At the hunting lodge, Boy Hero tries to persuade Girl Abused that he loves her and that he wants her to marry him.

Girl Abused is not convinced and tries to run away from him, but it’s raining and she soon develops a fever that could kill her. (you can but hope… just kidding)

Boy Hero suddenly realises that her husband must have treated her really badly (give the man a badge) during their marriage, and vows that he will treat her well.

Close to death, Boy Hero, orders a minister to marry them, whilst she’s basically in a coma (don’t worry folks, he worked out how to make her say “I do”, whilst she was unconscious… it was a genius plan)

Girl Abused of course gets better, and Boy hero takes her home (she wasn’t too pleased that she woke up married to him).

Boy Hero takes her to his home, and begins the long road of trying to win her heart and trust by fair means or foul.

To cut a long story short, they find out that Girl-Interrupted nanny was the one who actually killed Absolute Bastard Husband, and is as nutty as a fruitcake. When Girl abused and Boy Hero start having consensual sex, she goes even more loopy, and tries to stab her whilst she’s sleeping with Boy Hero. (sigh)

Randy Step-Brother finally succeeds in kidnapping Girl Abused, and takes her back to his father’s old house, where he’s enlisted the help of Girl-Interrupted Nanny. (who escaped after trying to kill Girl Abused)

Girl-Interrupted Nanny kills Randy Step-Brother, whilst he’s trying to hump Girl Abused. She then sets fire to the house. (once again, sound familiar?)

Of Course, Boy Hero Soldier gets to Girl Abused in time, and drags her out of the house, leaving Girl-Interrupted Nanny to burn in her madness.

They rediscover their love for each other, and live happily ever after.

Phew, that was one long sucker!

My Verdict

I’ve noticed that Catherine has a habit of conveniently killing off the evil husbands who wed her heroines. The problem of course is that most of the time, the murder just doesn’t come across as plausible. For instance, the heroine’s evil husband choked on a herring bone. Come on now. WTF?

It could be me, but what’s up with making all her heroines go through the kind of abuse, that would generally guarantee that they would end up in a nuthouse?

Also, the whole making the heroine give her a step-brother a blow job? Totally unnecessary. I could have perhaps slept better if that scene had been omitted.

Night Fire was obviously more interesting than Moonspun Magic, but it was basically the same story as Season of The Sun, but with marginally less drama.

I certainly hope the rest of her historical romances aren’t along the same lines of Abused Child Bride, and Old Fart Husband Who Croaks, as per Night Fire and Season of The Sun. I just don’t think I could cope.

The next story that I’m due to read is Jade Star. I suspect this story will be much of the same muchness. We can but hope that this is not the case… If it is, then absolutely no more reading of Catherine’s historical books. No more. Ever. Again

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

He So Deserves To Be In My Menage...

God Bless America... Posted by Picasa

This photograph of LL was sent to me by Phyllis at Romance Junkies. A gal after my own heart.

I need to take a moment...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Karen Gets Historical: Part Deux

Moonspun Magic. Nice Cover. Not. Posted by Picasa

Well, over the weekend, I actually started the second of the Catherine Coulter books that I’d borrowed from the library. The book I chose was Moonspun Magic. Sigh.

I started reading this on Friday evening. Didn’t manage to read more than ten pages before my mind started wandering. I finally gave up for the night when I got to page twenty-one. Sigh.

On Saturday morning, hubby and I had a lie-in, and once again, I tried to read. This time I got to page 68, before I decided there were better ways of spending my Saturday mornings. I then spent the next three hours cleaning house. Sigh.

Hubby and I had plans on Saturday evening, so reading was out of the question.

Sunday Morning, I tried again with Moonspun Magic. I got to page 104, when I suddenly decided that this was a good opportunity to watch Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines, which Paul had bought on DVD, and I’d forbidden him to watch in my presence. It was actually better than I thought it would be. Sigh.

I was half-way through T3, when I realised what the problem with Moonspun Magic was. It was f*cking BORING as hell. Sheesh.

So in the end, I decided to scrap Moonspun Magic, and fast forward to the next book on the list which was
Night Fire.

Monday, July 25, 2005

They Shot An Innocent Man… He Wasn’t A Suicide Bomber

I was really happy when I heard that the police had shot and killed one of the London Bombers, and even happier when I heard he’d been shot five times in the head. No I’m not blood thirsty, just an eye-for-an-eye kinda gal.

I was happy at least until I learned that he was totally innocent. He was a Brazilian man who’d been at a house that the police had been watching closely.

Apparently they followed him to Stockwell tube station, where they shouted for him to stop three times, but instead, he took off running, and jumped onto a train.

The police chased him, and proceeded to shoot him five times at blank-point range. They were under orders to shoot-to-kill suspected suicide bombers.

Unfortunately, this man wasn’t their guy. Sigh.

I'm not going to blame the marksman for his actions, he was always in a no-win situation.

The intelligence on the other hand was fatally flawed. How did they get it so wrong?

My heart goes out to his family.

Maili Interviews Karen...

For those of you who can be arsed, you can read the interview here

Sunday Night At The Movies...

War of The Worlds Posted by Picasa

Paul and I went to the pictures to see WOTW last night. It was a really fab film, and I have to say, it totally blew me away, even though I was fully expecting it not to live up to the hype.

The only problem was that I spent most of the film on the edge of my seat frightened out of my skull. Damn it was scary, I can’t believe it’s only been certified a 12a. If I had a twelve year old, I wouldn’t let him/her watch this film, that’s for sure. They’d be bed-wetting for a year.

Tom Cruise was brilliant as usual, and Tim Robbins was scary as the batshit crazy guy whose family had been killed by the ‘visitors’, but I’ve gotta say, Dakota Fanning totally made the film for me.

That little girl sure can act her socks off! Let’s hope she doesn’t do a Mary-Kate Olsen, and Macaulay Culkin when she gets older. Wouldn’t it be great, if she stayed alcohol and drug-free?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Karen Gets Historical: Part 1

Season of The Sun Posted by Picasa

In an effort to widen my reading horizons, I read the first of many historicals last night. The book was Catherine Coulter’s Season of The Sun.

I went to our local library yesterday without taking the list of authors that some of you had recommended, and for the life in me, I couldn’t remember any of the popular authors who write historical books, with the exception of Johanna Lindsey, and Catherine Coulter.

All the Lindsey books were out on loan, so I looked for Ms Coulter’s books instead. I found four of her books, so I borrowed all four:

Season of The Sun
Night Fire
Moonspun Magic

I had no idea what any of the books were about because I didn’t even bother reading the blurbs. (You can do that when you’re not paying...).

Whilst I was there, I also picked up Linda Howard’s ‘To Die For’.

When I got home, I closed my eyes and randomly selected my first read, which was of course Season of The Sun.

So basically, the story went like this:

Girl Orphan’s mother ran away with her lover, only taking Girl Orphans beloved five year old sister with her. (BTW they live in York, England)

Evil Step-Daddy had gone after Girl Orphan’s mother, but apparently found her and her lover dead when he arrived. (Likely story)

Evil Step-Daddy returned with Girl Orphans sister, but not before striking her so hard, she ended up losing her hearing. (What a wanker)

Girl Orphan and her sister end up living with Evil Step-Daddy who wants to shag her, but tries to hide his lust under the guise of fatherly concern. (Perv)

One day Viking Warrior spots Girl Orphan at a well, and instantly knows that he has found the love of his life (yeah, yeah, so I had to suspend disbelief temporarily).

Viking Warrior goes up to Girl Orphan, and tells her that he want to marry her, and he wont take no for an answer.

Girl Orphan realises that this is a chance to escape her Evil Step-Daddy, plus it helps that the Viking Warrior is well packaged, yum, yum...

Viking Warrior goes to Evil Step-Daddy, and asks for Girl Orphan’s hand in marriage.

Evil Step-Daddy is very angry, and vows to never let anybody take his precious Girl Orphan from him. He hates Girl Orphan’s little five-year old sister, so he kidnaps her, and blackmails Girl Orphan into refusing marriage to Viking Warrior.

Girl Orphan pretends to Viking Warrior that the only reason she accepted marriage was because she wanted to sample his cod-piece. (The harlot!)

Viking Warrior’s pride is hugely dented, and soon his love turns to hate.

Evil Step-Daddy weds Girl Orphan, to the fury of Psychotic Daughter-in-law. She fears that Girl Orphan will get all of Evil Step-Daddy's riches, whilst she and her weak-assed husband scratch around for scraps.

Psychotic Daughter-in-law poisons Evil Step-Daddy, and when he dies, Girl Orphan gets blamed for it, and gets hurled into prison.

Viking Warrior comes back, and buys her as his slave, and takes her back to his home in Norway with a slave collar round her neck.

Viking Warrior is still hurt and angry over what he sees as her betrayal, so he treats her like shit and forcefully ‘seduces’ (rapes) her night after night.

If Girl Orphan thought that Psychotic Daughter-in-law was bad, she was in for a real treat with Viking Warrior’s Jealous Raving Lunatic Sister (for the purpose of this blurb, we’ll refer to her as Raving Lunatic Sister) who hates her and feels irrationally threatened by her.

Raving Lunatic Sister whips Girl Orphan with a belt to within an inch of her life for daring to help herself to some porridge, and was going to do the same to her little sister, when Viking Warrior intervenes.

One day, Girl Orphan decides that enough is enough and takes her Little Sister with her, and tries to escape from Viking Warrior in a boat.

Viking Warrior is so angry that he jumps into the water after them. Girl Orphan’s Little Sister, thinks that her beloved Viking Warrior is going to die, and jumps into the water to try to save him (she’s five years old…) but goes under water, and her body is never found.

Girl Orphan is sickened with grief, and blames Viking Warrior for her death.

Viking Warriors son goes missing, feared dead. (Damn bad luck).

Now it’s Viking Warrior's turn to be grief stricken. In their mutual misery, the two lovebirds turn to each other for comfort, and Viking Warrior stops forcibly ‘seducing’ (raping) her every night. Instead he makes wondrous love to her, and they co-exist in relative peace together.

That is, until Raving Lunatic Sister (who is out of favour with the family) runs away to Very Bad Man who had been raping young girls and pillaging and burning nearby villages. (No accounting for taste).

Very Bad Man kidnaps Girl Orphan and attempts to rape her. (At the request of Raving Lunatic Sister)

I could go on forever, but basically Very Bad Man eventually gets his come-uppance, and they all live happily ever after (well, except for Raving Lunatic Sister, who went clinically insane after setting fire to Very Bad Man whom she’d loved like no other)

Phew, that took some doing!

My Verdict…

Well if I’m honest, I actually found this book very hard to put down. I feel like I should go to Confession after reading Season of The Sun, but I can honestly say that it was really interesting. *waits for lightning to strike her down*

I’m not sure what I enjoyed about it, because there were so many improbable situations that occurred in the book, that at times I found myself, laughing out loud.

In retrospect, if I’d been Girl Orphan, I would have probably killed myself long before her happy-ending. Some people are just born damn unlucky! :)

I suspect I liked this story, because it was different to what I’ve been reading lately, although I have to say, I HATED the forced seduction scenes.

So, onto my next book…. To be continued.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Anybody Know Any Good Historical Romance Books?

I know that historicals seem to be a popular genre within romance, (especially with Americans) but apart from a very few select authors, whose books I would always read anyway, I must admit, I mostly try to avoid them, especially the historicals set in England.

The reasons I avoid historicals set in my country are because, A, the heroes are always bastards who make me want to shove an arrow up their arse, and B, the heroines are always so damn flaky, and virginal, and stupid.

In an effort to combat this predjudice, I would like some recommendations of good historical writers. Apparently Johanna Lindsey is a good writer of historical romances, but I can honestly say I’ve never bought any of her books. I think this is mostly because her covers are somewhat cheesy, so being somebody who generally does judge a book by it’s cover, it’s not surprising that I haven’t picked up any of hers yet.

When I was in Borders last week, I did actually pick up a historical, with the intention of buying it, for the life in me, I can’t remember who the author was, but then I spotted some Jeffrey Archer books that I hadn’t read yet, so back on the shelf it went.

So what are your recommendations then?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Step-Siblings Falling In Love In Romance Books.. Is It Yucky For You?

I’ve read many books where the step-brother and step sister got it together, and I must admit, I’ve never really had a problem with any of them. The Mills and Boon Modern and Tender Romances that I sometimes read are littered with this particular plot device (as well as the dastardly secret baby plots *g*).

I was reading a story in an EC anthology called Passionate Hearts last night when I came across such a story. Apart from the fact that the heroine was called Vicky Vale (spooky Batman connection), the story was ok, it didn’t blow me away, but I certainly didn’t want to toss it either.

I think the author handled it quite well, because the two step-siblings had never met before, so it never actually entered my head that it could be considered incest by people, less liberal than myself.

That is, until I saw a a programme advertised on TV about step-siblings falling in love in real life. I think the programme was dealing with the issue of what the future would hold for such unions.

It got me to thinking, what if the step-brother and step-sister featured in the romance story, were actually brought up together? Does that make for a higher ewww factor, or would it not bother you either way?

I recall reading Christine Balint’s ‘The Salt Letters’ a few years ago. The book featured a romance between Sarah, the heroine, and Richard, who was her first cousin. I remember constantly skipping the parts where they kissed. The intimate scenes totally icked me out.

Personally, the step-brother/step-sister romance has never been an issue for me. I think this is due to the lack of real blood connection.

As for kissing cousins, yuck, yuck, yuck! Historically I know that it used to happen a lot, but knowing that doesn’t make it more palatable for me to digest.

So what are your thoughts on the matter?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Britney To Be Filmed Giving Birth For Reality TV Show...

The Trailer Trash Two Posted by Picasa

Say it with me folks... WTF?

Who's Been Having An Affair With His Nanny Then...?

The Beginning of The End Me Thinks... Posted by Picasa

I’ve always intensely disliked Jude Law, I avoided seeing ‘Closer’ even though it had Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in it, purely cuz of the Jude Law factor.

I hear he’s cheated on Sienna Miller, wasn’t she the chick who he had an affair with whilst he was married to Sadie Frost? (I bet she’s jumping round with joy after hearing this news)

He decided to do the horizontal foxtrot with the children’s nanny of all people, she must have thought that all her Christmases had come at once..

He publicly apologised for the affair, and said that he was "deeply ashamed”

That’s ok then..

Why wont celebrities learn that if they have affairs with people who don’t have the same amount of money as they do, sooner or later that person will sell their story to the highest bidder?

Oh well Sienna, what goes around…

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Is It Wrong That I Find Him Totally Sexy...?

Ooooh I do Like a Man In Black.... Posted by Picasa

The Tall Guy and I just got back from seeing Batman Begins at the cinema... It's official, I'm in love with Christian Bale, my very own tortured hero... He can be in my menage with LL Cool J and his abs, sorry Tom, the whole Scientology thing kinda freaked me out...

I think I must have a penchant for good vs evil anti-heroes in black rubber outfits, the Batboy totally made me want to shuck my clothes and run nekkid whenever he donned his batsuit, meowwwwwwl!!!

Definitely the best Batman, and you know Morgan Freeman always adds credibility to any film... If I was a few years older, I'd do him too....

Friday, July 15, 2005

NYC Author, Elizabeth Bevarly Disses Elloras Cave, And Calls It Erotica… AGAIN

Talk about putting the cat amongst the pigeons…

Before I start this entry, let me start by saying that, I have read quite a few Elizabeth Bevarly's books, and I can honestly say that every single one of her books that I read (especially the ones with those babies in them) was a complete snoozefest. Yes Lizzie darling, I was one of the plebs who read Roxy and The Rich Man, and The Virgin and The Vagabond.

Having read her column on Squawk Radio, it all begins to make sense.

I can’t bring myself to link, but if you want to visit the site, you can find it via this
PBW entry.

Her rant starts like this…

“This is the cover for my new Blaze, out this month. It was a totally new endeavor for me. A stretch, even. Because the hardest part of my books for me to write are the sex scenes.

I also think it’s best when the intensity and frequency of the sex scenes are dictated by the hero and heroine, and, to a lesser extent, the story. For INDECENT SUGGESTION, the story and characters had to be dictated by the sex. Lots of sex. Lots of hot sex. In fact, the sex became more important in identifying what the book is than the characters and story were. I’ve decided that’s just not my thang.”

Sex isn’t her thing, got it!

She continues:

“I’m blogging about my Blaze for two reasons. One, it’s out this month. Duh. And two, because there’s been a lot of brouhaha in RWA recently about their new graphical standards stuff.

I’ll get right to my point. Erotica doesn’t belong in RWA, and RWA never should have approved Ellora’s Cave as an RWA-recognized publisher. The reason? Ellora’s Cave doesn’t publish Romance any more than Playboy Books publishes Romance.”

At this moment in time, I’m absolutely pissing myself laughing because I can’t figure out whether she actually means what she says, or if this is a quest for free PR for her new Blaze book. I can’t be arsed thinking about it too much, I'd only give myself a headache, so I just read on:

“Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Erotica. Like Romance, it’s a perfectly legitimate genre. Like Romance, it has its roots in a long literary tradition. Like Romance, it appeals to a basic human need and a basic human response. But the fact is, it’s NOT Romance. It’s Erotica.”

Erm… well for starters she insists on calling Erotic Romance, Erotica, and as any fool and her dog knows, the two are quite different. Has she not seen the fights that have gone on about this?

At least she has nothing against erotica. (g)

But never mind that, there was more:

“I’ve spent my entire career explaining to people that Romance isn’t about sex. It’s about emotion. Romance novels describe the emotional awakening and emotional growth of two people who ultimately make a monogamous commitment to each other.

The sex the hero and heroine have occurs because they’re falling in love. Erotica novels describe the sexual awakening and sexual growth of as many people as the writer wants to include in the story.

The sex the characters have occurs because they are hugely physically turned on. It can be good. It can be very good. It can make the reader want a cigarette after its over. But it’s still Erotica. It’s not Romance.”

Romance books aren’t about sex, they’re about emotion… Got it! The fact that she’s spent her entire career chanting this mantra doesn’t really surprise me.


“A writer acquaintance of mine who writes for Ellora’s Cave fully admits that what she writes is pornography. Yes, that’s the word she uses. She doesn’t consider the books Romance any more than I do. She is as troubled by the shelving of the EC books in the romance section at Waldenbooks as I am.

She has friends? Just kidding, of course she has friends…

She adds:

“I don’t take my eleven-year-old into the section where my books are shelved these days, because I’m afraid of what he’ll pick up to flip through. That used to not be a concern for me. It also bothers me that now someone from the media can pluck an EC novel from the Romance section and say, "See? I told you all these books are only about sex."

See, I told you there was lots of shame in romance, she’s one of them thar romance authors who wants to be taken seriously by them thar literary sorts, the only problem being that she’s not that good a writer (IMO of course).

She concludes her rant by writing:

“Blaze, I think, is as erotic as RWA needs to get. Although quite sexy, the books still feature a hero and heroine who are monogamous. As steamy as the sex gets, the characters still have an emotional awakening and emotional growth.

Blaze is still Romance, and still has a firm place in RWA. Erotica, not so. It is no more Romance than Letters to Penthouse is. If erotica writers want to form EWA--Erotica Writers of America--they by all means should. Although the RWA umbrella is broad, and the genre claims much crossover and blending of genres, we are still at heart a Romance organization. And I, for one, would like to keep it that way."

Oh, it’s ok for Blaze to write about cocks, clits and cunts, but not EC? Ok then...
There you have it, the gospel truth as spoken by an NY published romance author. Sigh.

Now I realise that many people probably feel this way, but sheesh, that was harsh. My response is limited due to the fact that this viewpoint is of no surprise to me. I’ve always suspected that NY romance authors think that they are a cut above everybody else, and some of them even have their head up their own arse.

It would be interesting to see how many EC books she has read. The funny thing is, Shelby Reed, who writes for EC has more talent in her little finger than Ms Bevarly does in her whole body. I challenge anyone to read a
Shelby Reed or a Sarah Mccarty book, then read any of Elizabeth Bevarly’s and tell me that she is the better author. I think not.

Oh well, back to work, it kept me amused for a while anyway….

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Well I Finally Did It, I Bought The Bloody Da Vinci Code…

I Finally Succumbed... Posted by Picasa

I’ll be so mad if it’s a load of shite. God I hate being a sheep.
Anybody read it yet?

Oh Well, I resisted For Long Enough, But Anything For Charity Right?

Here’s MJ Rose’s Vidlit for the Halo Effect Apparently she will donate $5 for every link. PR and marketing genius she is.

By the way, the charity is Reading Is Fundamental.

Evil, Evil, Evil

May he burn in hell.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Romance Writers And Their Shame... Why?

You know what, I get sick and tired of some romance writers having this almost obsessive need to be taken seriously by the literary world.

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be some author or other moaning about how they are ashamed to write romance books, because of this reason, or that reason. I suspect this is mainly because they feel that the Chuck Palahniuks of this world will probably never read what they write. And so what?

Some even have the gall to blame it on other authors who don’t act maturely enough! According to Brenda Coulter anyway, (sorry, not linking) who in one of her blog entries, lambasted authors at a convention who were ogling a bunch of firemen like teenagers. Apparently she thought this mode of behaviour was one of the reasons why romance writers can’t be taken seriously. Go figure.

But she does write inspirational romance, so perhaps this viewpoint is par for the course anyway.

Of course Brenda isn’t the only 'bah humbug' romance author out there, it wasn’t that long ago that Kassia Krozser had her little
Rant about being ashamed of reading and writing romance. I had my little say on that of course, and suggested that maybe she find another career that didn’t shame her as much.

Yesterday’s Romancing The Blog column was written by the
Two Scott’s, Scott Pomfrett, and Scott Whittier. They are the pioneering authors of gay romance stories.

It was gratifying to see that instead of whinging about how they would never make it onto Oprah’s book list, they wrote about the pride they experience as romance writers, in a genre that seems to be full of shame and blame.

Why can’t all other romance writers have their attitude?

This is what I wrote in response to their column:

Bravo guys!!! At last, romance authors who aren’t ashamed to write and read romance books!!

As a reader, I’ve gotten quite sick of the sometimes self-absorbed, woe-is-me attitude, of some of the romance authors (yep some of them are columnists here) who are quite happy to tell us that they are ashamed of the genre, and that A, it’s the fault of other romance authors behaviour, B, It’s the fault of some of the Barbara Cartland type books that still exist today.

I’ve never understood the need for romance writers to gain acceptance from the literary world.

We all know that there are critically acclaimed authors out there, who just can’t sell their books to the average joe, despite the proclaimed brilliance of their work. Their books may tap into the social consciousness of the world we live in, but in reality, their sales figures sucks ass, thus they starve.

As a British woman, in the aftermath of the London bombings, what kind of book am I likely to pick up? Am I likely to pick up a book about people getting murdered, or will I want to escape the harsh realities and indulge in a good old fashioned romance? For me personally, the romance novel wins every time.

Some romance authors need to learn that the books that they write can impact people on a more fundamental level, than the latest Tom Clancy blockbuster.

Kudos on being pioneers who show no shame. You are a great example to other romance writers out there.

For me it’s simple, if you don’t like what you read, either don’t read it, or write something better. If you’re ashamed to be a writer of romance, then how about trying your hand at accountancy?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

US Military Ban American Servicemen and Women From Entering London...

What the f*ck? We have had days of rhetoric from US officials about how they think that the British resilience is remarkable, and how important it is for the people of London to show that this atrocity will not stop them from continuing to live their lives as normal, so what the hell kind of message does this send out?

I don’t recall any such directive being issued here in England in the aftermath of 9/11.

Was I the only one who watched President Bush give an impassioned speech at Gleneagles about the bravery of Brits?

It seems a little contradictory seeing as there are thousands of US service people still in Iraq. Of all nations, I would have thought that the Americans would have understood the need to show solidarity in the face of terrorism.

Had this been France, I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least, we all know that they are fence sitters of the worst sort, but the Americans? I’m absolutely staggered.

Apparently the US Embassy are currently reviewing the decision to ban all American servicemen and women from entering London, I should think so too.

Monday, July 11, 2005

To Each His Own, But Not When It Involves Children

Dakota has a great rant on a real life BDSM master’s predilection for young girls… Yep I said young girls. I’m not going to actually post a link to this person’s site, because I certainly do not want to generate more traffic for him, and his sick habits.

Having gone onto this person's site (yeah, I’m nosy) and read some of his journal entries, I have to say, I felt physically sick. Here is one of his less offensive entries in it’s entirety:

“Well as of lately I have been trying to talk on a more personal basis to the owners of the various blogs I link to. Well last night was no exception when I started talking to the owner of rotten broccoli (who says he will blog mor about sm in the comming days but he ultimately blogs about what he wants).

We started talking about why he started his blog when he asked me "you know about the Paraphilia field? ". Well I didn't. Hadn't the slightest clue. So I went and did a bit of research on the topic.

It seems paraphilia is a mental health term used (as of 1925) to indicate sexual arousal in response to sexual objects or situations which may interfere with the capacity for reciprocal affectionate sexual activity.

The above defintion was a bit hard to follow so the following definition is taken from

A paraphilia is a condition in which a person's sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme. A paraphilia can revolve around a particular object (e.g., children, animals, underwear) or around a particular act (e.g.,inflicting pain, exposing oneself).

It seems in recent times the definition has a bit more broad of a meaning though. It seems now that in psychology and sexology it is a term used to cover a wide variety of non-typical sexual interests.

From what I am gathering the word is used to explain people whose sexual interests vary greatly and have no relation to one another. The most common ones seem to be pedophilia, sadism (not masocism), fetishes (scat, pee, transvestite, etc.), and voyerism.

There are others however. It seems that biastophilia: sexual pleasure from committing rape, lust murder: sexual arousal through committing murder, necrophilia: sexual attraction to corpses, necrozoophilia: sexual attraction to the corpses or killings of animals, or necrobestiality are signs often found in serial killers.

There is a really nice list available of the different fetishes that fall into paraphilia at

My problem with this, is as usual everything is labeled as a disease. I don't believe that such a thing as a sexual disease exists. Well this is not actually true there are a few sexual diseases, but few and far between.

The point is, just because society see's something as being drastically different, doesn't make it a disease. Ultimately we can pick anything to death until we have a reason. Chances say every sexual kink that exists could be blamed on a disease.

In the western civilization we have deemed pedophilia a disease, other cultures consider it a normal sexual desire as a man. Our culture says bestiality is immoral and cruel, other cultures consider it sacred and beautiful.

Western society is quick to blame anything they don't agree with as a disease. Murders could have a cromizonal disorder, did you know that resent studies say murderers actually have a disease? Ha! This disease is as old as man because there is not a single trace of ever not having murderers in mans world.

Blaming everything on disease is silly in my opinion. We cannot fix the world, we can only work within the flow of its existance.

So here we are with this disease that covers basically, anything sexual and considered "not of the norm". I think much of the bdsm world fits into it. I think a great deal of us, myself included, have stories involving a great many of the different philia's covered by the topic. So you know what I say? Screw it, I am what I am.”

So does anybody else get the feeling that he doesn’t see some of these activities including paedophilia, as a problem? As an example of a real life BDSM Master, he certainly makes it easier for me to stop reading such books altogether.

BTW, he also has a thing for incest stories, plus he's got two children of his own.

Dakota has a point, maybe he should be investigated...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

We're All Going On a Summer Holiday...

Orlando Here We come! Posted by Picasa

The Tall Guy and I finally decided on where to go for our proper holiday this year... We went to our local holiday hypermarket today, and booked to go to Orlando, Florida for two weeks. Yay!!

We'll be flying on Sunday Sep 18th... Can't wait!

Friday, July 08, 2005

BDSM, BDSM, And More Bloody BDSM!!! Blech!!

Why, oh why, are there so many BDSM books being released from erotic romance publishers at the moment? (Yep EC, that means you too...)

Everybody I speak to tell me the same thing, they don’t really do BDSM, unless it’s very, very, light! Yet it seems that every other book that is released just lately, seems to be a frickin BDSM story! Blech!

I used to be able to read light BDSM, but because of the number of BDSM books that are constantly being churned out, I’ve completely lost my appetite for any of it.

Having come across the Just Slave girly who does nothing but live for her master, my tolerance for anything BDSM has gone down to zero!

No, I’m not interested in hearing the differences between Dom/subs and Slave/Master. The small minded person that I can be, will continue to lump these alternative lifestyles in the same boat as BDSM.

I’m almost tempted to boycott Elloras Cave due to the amount of f*cking Bondage, Dominant/Submissive books. (Yeah, yeah, I wouldn’t make much of an impact I know.)

I can read just about anything, but I’m getting to the point where I hate, yes hate, Bondage, and Dom/Sub books. Am I missing something? Do women actually like heavy BDSM? Am I alone in my growing dislike of this genre?

Speak to me people, tell me what your thoughts are on BDSM, and whether you too have noticed the new wave of authors who seem to write nothing but BDSM, and if so, are you happy with this status quo?

The Morning After The Day Before...

  • At least 38 people dead
  • More fatalities expected later
  • 700 people injured
  • £50billion wiped off the London Stock Exchange
  • G8 Summit disrupted

How have the people of London dealt with all this?

They are getting on buses, they are entering tube stations. People have gone back to work, they have resumed their lives, determined not to let yesterday's terror attacks change their routine.

The people of Britain are shaken, but we remain resolute. Historically, mankind have always paid a high price for freedom, it seems that nothing has changed, but we are still free, and for that I am proud to call myself a British Citizen.

My friends and family are safe, but my heart goes out to the people whose lives will be forever changed by the events of yesterday.

Thanks for all of your heartfelt concern, they were very much appreciated.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blasts Hit London Bus And Underground

Not another terrorist undertaking. We have friends in London who we're trying to get hold of right now, but we haven't heard anything back from them yet... Please God, don't let there be any more fatalities...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fave Book of The Week: Shelby Reed’s 'Seraphim'

Seraphim, by Shelby Reed Posted by Picasa

Read this book last night and all I can say is, WOW!!

It was an extremely complex story, so if you’re after a light read, you’ll be bitterly disappointed.

I’ve read Shelby’s other books, my favourite being A Fine Work Of Art, which was just a tremendous example of great writing, but Seraphim was just in a class of its own.

Once again I can’t bring myself to do a typical KarenS stylie lazy blurb, so putting my serious head on, here goes.

Gia Rossi’s life changes one afternoon when she is kidnapped by men who seem to materialise out of nowhere. Frightened and confused, she is afraid that her husband’s shady business dealings have come home to roost, with her being used as bait.

Gia fears for her life, but the people who have kidnapped her, do not mean her any harm, on the contrary, they have been assigned to protect her, but Gia doesn’t believe them, and fights them tooth and nail, fearing that she will soon be killed.

The men who have kidnapped Gia, are celestial beings known as Seraphims. They are guardians who have travelled through time and space, and their main responsibilities lie in protecting humans from the evil elements that have entered earth. You and I would know them as Guardian Angels.

Gia, frightened and angry, demands an explanation for her kidnapping, which she is given by Joachim (our lovely hero), who is the mission leader of the seraphic group who have kidnapped her.

Joachim tells Gia that her husband is actually dead, and that a malevolent entity has overtaken his body. This evil entity is a Nephilim, who are the dark angels who leapt with Lucifer in the Great Rebellion. They have the ability and a driving desire to attain human bodies and walk amongst men. The one who took Vincent Rossi’s body is called Therides. He sits at the left hand of Lucifer, more powerful than any other evil spirit. Therides had planned to kill Gia as soon as she had outlived her usefulness.

Joachim also tells her that she is the key to ridding the world of this foul creature, it is her destiny to lead the Seraphims to victory over the Nephilims who have inhabited earth. Gia is told that she has in her possession, a Medallion, that only the true daughter of Longinus (Roman Centurion who drove a spear into Christ’s side at the Crucifixion) can wear.

When Joachim gives Gia this information, she is obviously sceptical, and at first refuses to listen, until she is presented with evidence proving the truth about her husband.

From the moment they meet Gia and Joachim have the most amazing chemistry.
Joachim’s body is one that he has inhabited for this particular mission, and fights against the temptations of the flesh that humans experience, especially when it comes to Gia. These feelings are totally alien to him, and he is confused as to what is happening to his body

With this book, Shelby Reed has created a wonderful love story, and without littering the book with inappropriate sex scenes, managed to convey the depth of feeling and the struggles that these two people go through.

Readers will love Joachim, because he is the embodiment of all that is good. His heart is pure (and for all intents and purposes he is a virgin), and he truly only lives to protect those that need him. He falls in love with Gia, but he knows that this is a union that cannot be, so he fights the feelings he has for her.
Joachim feels that his feelings for Gia will ultimately make him weak, and as the great Mission Leader, this is something that he cannot afford to happen.

Gia knows that she and Joachim will be parted forever after this mission is over, and she wants the opportunity to love him at least once, but is afraid that his guilt over their shared feelings will prevent him from being with her.

I loved this story because Ms Reed managed to balance out the sometimes perilous task of trying to achieve good characterisation as well as having a strong plot.

The lead characters were particularly cohesive, and their interaction with each other left me sighing with satisfaction. This book had very few sexual scenes in it, but I have to say, the chemistry was so amazing that it wasn’t necessary for them to be hitting the sack every two minutes. I enjoyed the anticipation of waiting for them to consummate their passion for one another.

Shelby Reed can do emotion in a way that very few erotic romance authors are able to. At one point, I even found myself reading this book with my head tilted to one side, my lips turned downwards and tears trying to sneak out of those pesky ducts.

I love stories that stimulate the brain as well as provoking sensory reactions, and this book was able to do both…in spades.

Once again, Shelby Reed, has delivered a fantastic story, and I can only urge those of you who love a good romance, to go and purchase this e-book, post- haste.

Shelby, you did a wonderful job, well done, and I can’t wait for Seraphim to come out in print.


We beat the French for the games!!!!!!!!

Bloody Fantastic!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I Learn Something New Everyday...

Is this for real? Apparently this girl is some kind of sexual slave…

I got this link from
Indida’s blog...

Reading through this girl’s blog entries gave me the heebie geebies. I forget that there are people out there who choose to live this kind of life. Women whose only objective in life is to fulfil the wishes of their master…

A part of me sincerely hopes that this girl is just making this stuff up, because as a borderline feminist, it grates on every last nerve to think that a woman would cater to a man in such a way. I realise that people are free to live their lives how they wish as long as they don’t hurt anybody, but geez, it’s my blog and I don’t have to be politically correct. My opinion is that it sucks ass.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Functioning Once Again...

Yay, I got my va va voom for reading back!! The story that did it was an EC release called Diamond In The Rough by Ruby Storm. This story was actually part of an anthology called Diamond Studs.

I liked this book because the heroine was blind, and the hero was a former fireman who was badly injured and disfigured in a fire. I can't be arsed doing a full review, but it was really good, so I'll start on the other books that I purchased that I haven't been able to read due to my funk!! I'll try MJ Rose's, The Halo Effect tonight!

Yay, I feel whole again!! (sorry about the lack of linkage, but honestly, I couldn't be arsed!)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

R.I.P Luthor Vandross: April 20th 1951 - July 1st 2005

A true legend Posted by Picasa

You will be dearly missed...

Tut Tut, Venus Press, What Have You Been Doing?

So… what the hell is going on at Venus Press? (Sorry, I can’t bring myself to link to them, but their address is It seems that every time I go onto a blog, there’s an announcement, stating that the blog/web owner has decided to quit the e-publishing company. Authors and admin staff seem to be leaving Venus in droves.

I happened to go onto Jeya Jensen’s website (one of their more popular authors from what I can gather) to see if she could shed any light on the matter, and I found this announcement on her site:

"I am officially handing in my intention to dissolve ties with Venus Press. I will no longer publish through this entity. The 30 day notice to remove _ALL_ my titles has been sent via registered mail. I wish my fellow authors all best, however I have not managed to reach workable terms with the present administration. I was brought into Venus Press by Marianne LaCroix.

Now that she is no longer on staff, certain promises I was made as an author back in December 2004 are not being fulfilled in the terms and manner we agreed on when I agreed to leave my former publisher, Extasy Books, and move all my titles to Venus Press. In short, I have been deceived and misled. Therefore, I am choosing to end my association as an author with Venus Press and Scarlett Chambers/ aka Deborah Taylor. My books will be returning to Extasy Books as soon as possible. This includes print and e-book versions. Keep checking back for details of the rerelease.”

Curiouser and curiouser. What are the management team doing that’s pissing everybody off? Obviously not managing…

Am I surprised that things are falling apart? Not really. You just need to take a look at the website to see what I mean.

I’m guessing that their stories must have a market, but honestly, who can be satisfied by a book that only has 17 pages in it? That’s right, 17 pages. These particular stories are described as shorts, but you would expect a little more for your $3.98 wouldn’t you?

These types of books just play into the hands of those reviewers who like nothing more than to turn their nose up at authors from small press companies. I can almost hear them throwing the books against the walls from here…

I’m sure that some of the authors must be talented, but why would they want their work to be showcased at Venus Press? As far as I can tell, whoever runs the ship there, isn’t doing such a hot job.

My first impressions of their website wasn’t positive, and I have to say, I’ve had no reason to change my mind since.

The website screams ‘unprofessional’ in every way possible. They have a Yahoo group that has perhaps one post every two weeks, so I’m left wondering where their readers are.

I’m fully expecting to hear that the company has dissolved, in the near future. As far as I can see, the owners seem to have totally mismanaged the company, and will probably be paying for their bad handling of the business, for a while yet...

BTW if anybody wants to sue me for libel, I'll be more than happy to give them the name of my brief...

So, have any of you ever purchased a book from Venus Press, and if so, what did you think of it?

UPDATE: Check this out, this was also on Jeya Jensen's website: She sent this to the owners of Venus:

"Dear DL Taylor,I am handing over your contracts to the SFWA's Writer Beware, along with your email about hiding your identity. I am also sending copies of your contracts to Professor Jim Fisher of the Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. Professor Fisher, formerly of the FBI, and the SFWA is committed to an ongoing investigation to shut down fraud publishers and literary agents.

Since your contracts contain errors, including the state you live in and no address, I am sure they will be quite interested to look into this for me. If you look on Amazon, you can find a copy of Professor Fisher's book, Ten Percent of Nothing.

My name is mentioned several times in the index as one of the investigatory sources Fisher used to bring down several publishers and agents. He might be interested in using this material for his latest book. By the way, author AC Crispin is a good friend of mine and I'm asking her to look into this personally as a rep of Writer Beware. A search will reveal her novels as well.Here are the links for your FYI:

I want my books off your website in 30 days or I will be pursuing action through the BBB and other Writer's organizations and every other legal venue at my disposal. If you think you have nothing to fear, well, you won't mind a little legal investigation, will you?

Jeya Jenson"

Wow! How gloriously scandalous!!!! (g)

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's Official....

I'm in a reading funk. All the books I read seem to be much of the same muchness lately, nothing excites me anymore... it's a sad state of affairs, so I'm gonna quit reading for a while until my va va voom for reading returns...

Sometimes I Wonder What The World Is Coming To...

Three men were convicted today of the murders of business man, Amarjit Chohan, his wife, his mother-in-law, and his two sons.

The ringleader was a man called Kenneth Regan. Mr Regan worked as a forklift driver in one of Mr Chohan’s freight companies.
Basically, the men kidnapped Mr Chohan, and held him captive until he signed over power of attorney to Kenneth Regan. He was also made to sign a bunch of other documents. They then killed him, and buried him in a trench on the grounds of a farm.

Kenneth Regan wanted it to look like Mr Chohan had fled the country with his family, to avoid paying a huge tax bill. In order to make the story seem plausible, he also had to kill all the other members of his family. So he did, with the help of his accomplices.

The reasons as to why Mr Regan committed this heinous crime? So he could take over Mr Chohan's freight company, and use it as a front for drug running...

The bodies of Mr Chohan’s two babies have not yet been found.

Evil really knows no bounds…. Let's hope Regan becomes somebody's 'special bitch' in prison...

Ben 'n' Jen Finally Wed.. No Not Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez... Ben And Jennifer Garner...

Ahhh... Aren't They Cute...? Posted by Picasa

OK, we've determined that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (or Kate as she's now known) probably wont last beyond her puberty, but how long do we give this loving couple? I mean come on, she's pregnant and everything, so that must mean they'll be together like... forever...right? Ok, maybe till next year...

Random Linkage...

Just came across a really interesting blog entry. Check out Indida’s blog…