Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yummy Sounding Book At Liquid Silver...

This books sounds right up my alley. I’m particularly fond of older woman/younger man romances.

Check out the blurb from Liquid Silver Books:

Let me just go and find my credit card…


Monday, February 26, 2007

European Historicals V American Historicals... What's Your Preference?

As a Brit, I’m not too keen on reading romance novels based in England, Scotland, or God forbid, Wales, but I do have a few authors who I make an exception for.

I only really started reading hystericals a couple of years ago, but I knew right off that anything based in England would usually end up with me gagging in disgust. Most of time anyway.

I love Lisa Kleypas’ books, but she writes hot, and I’m all about those hot books. One of my guilty pleasures, are the seriously one-dimensional Cheryl Holt books, but that’s because she uses rude words in her stories, and I like her slutty slappers heroines.

I like Julie Garwood because she’s a damn fine writer, period, Kinsale isn’t too bad either, although I have to say, her books usually take more concentration than I like to expend, whilst reading.

Judith Ivory’s
Beast, was an amazing book, but let’s face it, any story where the hero is as imperfect as Charles Harcourt was, is bound to be an attention grabber. I like romance books that dare to be different, Skeeving me out with dragon sex doesn’t count, and Beast was certainly different.

I’ve got another of Ivory’s books on my TBR, fuck knows when I’ll get round to reading it, but Sleeping Beauty, seemed like a good read, so I’m sure I’ll read it at some point this year.

I can take or leave Gaelen Foley’s books, but I have to say, I do love her heroines. It’s a shame she’s such a hit and miss author for me.

I hear that Eloisa James is a pretty good writer, but I’ve never read any of her blurbs that inspired me to buy yet. The same goes with Teresa Medeiros.

I’m told that I’m missing out on loads of other good authors who write European historicals, but I’m not convinced about that. I don’t mind reading books about virgins, but I certainly don’t want a steady diet of them, and I know that historicals by their very nature will have a virgin heroine, more often than not.

I just can’t bear the weak-assed, lily-livered heroines that authors such as Catherine Coulter insist on writing about. Blech.

On the other hand, I find that I’m quite partial to western historicals. I realise that in recent years, they seem to have been going the way of regencies, but quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read.

Authors like Catherine Anderson have made westerns a joy for me to read, and of course I can’t mention westerns without pimping my main biatch
Sarah McCarty.

I enjoyed Maureen Mckade’s A Reason To Live, although I must admit, it took me longer than usual to read it.

I think the reason I prefer American historicals over European historicals is because as a ‘European’ I’m not interested in reading the English language of old, get horribly mangled by authors who haven’t done their research properly, and litter their books with stereotypical Anglo Saxon or Gaelic phrases, which a lot of the time, bare no resemblance to the original language.

The other reason that I prefer American historicals, is because, it’s so far removed to anything I’ve ever experienced. Quite frankly, I find the civil war period a lot more interesting than anything that happened during the Tudor era. This is probably a black thing, but I’m not very interested in the taming of the duke, or the runaway duchess. I tolerate The Ton in Kleypas’ books, because she’s a good writer.

I’ve always wondered why European historicals seem to be more popular than American historicals. Are the reasons similar to mine, in that you guys want settings that you’re not familiar with?


Those Guys At Samhain Are Such Jokers...

Mrs Giggles pointed out the tongue-in-cheekiness of Samhain Publishing’s warnings about the degree of sensuality in their books.

My favourite is definitely the
"warning: Explicit, hanging from the chandeliers style sex!" description. Hilarious.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Holy Mother Of God....

Can anybody actually tell what sex the above person is? I'm guessing it's a dude, but by the looks of him, he's on some kind of hormone replacement therapy. It seems to be working just fine too. The bastard's got bigger tatas than I have. Sheesh.

Methinks the guy on the left could do with some sun. Seriously, I can't even tell where his skin ends and his trousers begin. Also, check out the girl's arm...

I'm jealous of her wax job. Nary a hair to be found anywhere.

Jesus effing Christ, this guy sure is U.G.L.Y

Seriously Changeling, could your covers suck anymore?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Currently Reading: Beverly Jenkins' Sexy/Dangerous...

I bought this book after reading Rosario's review of it, and I have to say, so far, so damn good.

Check out the back cover blurb:

Sounds fantabulous doesn't it?

What am I loving? A kick-ass heroine with two of the cutest (and meanest) rottweilers EVAH. (and I am so not a pets-in-romance gal.)

What else am I loving? A heroine who is able to protect herself and her charge. A heroine who isn't afraid to laugh at herself, and a heroine who knows what her vagina is for.

Just my kinda book... *Happy sigh*


Monday, February 19, 2007

Bald As A Coot...

Poor Britney. A psychologist would have a field day with this.

I'd probably agree with their assessment.

This is a cry for help, as well as a way to gain some control in a life which seems to be spiralling downwards at a zillion miles an hour.

In reality, she probably has more in common with the late Anna Nicole Smith, than anybody would ever imagine.

I wish she'd let somebody help her, but it seems like she's hell-bent on making a mess of her life. She really ought to get a grip, because she's got two babies to look after.

She should have stuck with Justin. At least he wasn't a total dickwad.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

What The Hell Is Up With Elloras Cave These Days?

Has anybody else noticed that EC’s authors seem to have become One-Book-Wonder specialists?

When I first discovered EC, authors like Lora Leigh, Jaci Burton, Shiloh Walker used to have books out constantly. But for some reason that’s changed. As far as I can gather, the only ‘original’ EC author who seems to churn out lots of books for them still is Lorie O’Clare.

The new authors seem to write one book, then we never hear from them again. I wonder why this is? I wonder if like me, many previous EC faithfuls aren’t buying them?

I’ll read anybody as long as the blurb sounds interesting, but for some reason, the blurbs at EC just do not inspire me to go buy. It never used to be like that.

On the other hand, I’m buying more books from
Liquid Silver Books, and Samhain. At least they’re not over-egging the whole BDSM thing. Have I told anybody lately how much I hate BDSM books? Well I do. They suck in the worst way.

It would be interesting to know if the profits at EC have been in decline this past year. With so many new authors who only seem to write one book before disappearing into EC’s Great Hole, surely that must tell its own story? After all, if they were selling, then surely they’d be writing more books for them?

I have tried the new authors, but most of the newbies that I’ve read, have
sucked in a big way, so I’m less eager to try them in the future.

It seems to me that the NY publishers have lured away the cream of crop, and just left the dross.

By the way EC, the website needs a major facelift. I’ve always hated that shitty mustard colour anyway, but three years of looking at the same ‘ole crappy design is just a bit much.

Samhain’s website looks better in comparison, as does LSB’s.

It’s about time you guys made some improvements. Seriously.

Oh yeah, and stop accepting so many BDSM books for fuck’s sake.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thank Oprah Valentine's Over...

Me and TTG spent it apart. I had a business meeting up in the North East, and he had a meeting down south.

I treated myself though and booked a luxurious hotel, which was heavenly. It helped that I could claim the tax back, on the hotel. (g)

TTG sent me some tulips at the hotel to mark the day. They were really lovely, but I didn't need them, flowers just aren't my thing, and never have been. I do like tulips though, if I was a flowers girl, they would be my flower of choice.

Whilst I was luxuriating in a bubble-filled bath tub, TTG was having dinner with a work colleague, and because it was Valentine's day, the waiter assumed they were gay. He even insisted on taking a photograph of the happy couple. Too funny. I can imagine how much The Tall Guy played on this. He can camp it up with the best of them if he puts his mind to it. His campness always reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cops though, over the top, but funny as hell.

It's the first time in a long time time (if ever) we've spent Valentine apart, and you know what? It didn't feel strange at all. Not that I really thought it would, we've both always kind of resented the commercial side of Valentine's Day. I read somewhere that there are usually more fights on V day than on any other date in the calendar year. I don't know if that's accurate, but I bet it's not far off the truth.

Anyway, what did you guys do? Anybody do anything wildly romantic and sickening? Anybody get a proposal?


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Great (Or not So Great) Racism In Publishing Survey...

I’m somebody who likes to get the true tale straight from the horse’s mouth, so with this in mind, I decided to conduct a poll based on African American authors experiences within the publishing industry.

I want to know how other AA authors feel about the current shelving policies, I want to know who they feel is to blame for the current problems that they face. I want to know if they feel that their work is considered inferior in comparison to white romance authors. I want to know their thoughts on what needs to change.

I already tried doing this the discreet way, by sending out an e-mail to all the AA authors that I’m familiar with, but so far I’ve only had 9 responses (I sent 50 e-mails out thus far). Two of the authors were too busy, one person didn’t want to be involved, because they thought I was affiliated to All About Romance, and one author decided to forward the supposedly private e-mail and private e-mail address, to a whole host of Yahoo groups. Thanks for that, I do so love getting spam. Incidentally, she didn’t want to particpate.

Now here’s the hard bit, to get this news out, I need help from you guys. (Yes you need to do some work!)

I would like for all the reader and writer bloggers out there who frequent this site to cut and paste the following message onto their blog:

I’d be really grateful if you guys could help me to spread the word, and fingers crossed that I get a better response this way.

Please note that this post will remain at the top of the blog for the next month. For my regular *ahem*, daily posts, please look below.

Thanks to the following AA authors who have agreed to particpate so far:

Lynn Emery

Evelyn Palfrey

Marcia King-Gamble

Niqui Stanhope

Gwyneth Bolton

Beverly Jenkins

Monica Jackson

MJ King

Raine Weaver

Kayla Perrin

Kymberlyn Reed

Angela Henry

Seressia Glass

Kyra Hicks

Eugenia O’Neal

Shelia Goss

Millennia Black

Bettye Griffin

Harrine Freeman

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that these ladies also have great websites. (g)


Karen Does Again, By Sharon Cullars... Again...

I wrote this review last year, but I thought I'd repost it because I happen to like Sharon Cullars and I think you should all go and buy her book so that she can keep writing. *g*

How yummy is this book cover?

So I recently read Again, by Sharon Cullars. Here’s the blurb:

My Verdict

I liked this story. I really did. However, it wasn’t perfect, but before I go on about the things that made me want to growl like a lion on steroids, I’ll tell you what I did like about it.

I thought Cullars had a good voice, she was easy to read, and the book was compelling enough to keep me amused during the horrendous landing that me and The Tall Guy experienced on our way back from Dusseldorf. (I’m still convinced that the pilot on that flight was on some sort of a training scheme).

I liked the heroine because she didn’t piss me off. I liked the hero, because he didn’t piss me off. You may think that this is an odd thing to point out, but trust me, I’ve read some right duds lately, but thankfully, this wasn’t one of the legions of shitty books that have come my way in the past few weeks.

Although Tyne was having a hard time at work, and things hadn’t gone quite as she had planned, she didn’t sit around bitching and moaning like a crack addict going cold turkey. She was a woman in control, and that’s how I like my heroines. There aren’t many authors(IMO) who can pull off strong heroines, that don’t end up pissing me off, for one reason or another. Cullars managed to do this rather nicely.

David, the hero, was very appealing, even though he had some issues. It was easy to warm to him, because I’m a romance reader who prefers the hero to be more gaga over the heroine, than the other way round.

There was a point in the story where David did start to get a leetle annoying, but I got over that, quick sharp.

Now, let’s talk about what I didn’t like about the story.

There were just too much jumping about between the different times, and the constant head hopping between the different characters did my head in . At one point, I’d read a full page before I realised that David was no longer David Carvelli in modern day Chicago, rather he was Joseph whatshisface from the year 1879. This happened more than once, and it frustrated the tits off me.

Again was unpredictable in parts, mostly due to the fact that at one point, you couldn’t work out how Cullars was going to give Tyne and David a happy ending. She gave them a HEA, but to be honest, it wasn’t as satisfactory as it could have been , considering everything that had gone on.

Something else that I didn’t particularly appreciate about the story, was the sub-plot involving David’s mother’s ESP abilities. Totally unnecessary, and just took up precious pages that could have been dedicated to David and Tyne’s evolving relationship.

Again was a beautiful story, and although it wasn’t totally flawless, I do think that a lot of readers would be able to look beyond the not-so-good things, and still manage to enjoy, what definitely was a better than average story.


Hmmm... Honeysuckle...

This paragraph totally threw me out of the story I was just reading:

Honeysuckle? I laughed out loud when I read the above paragraph. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, I had visions of brightly coloured shrubs growing from the heroine's lips. Yes I realise that that's weird.

Carry on.


All About Virgins...

There’s been the most terrifically funny thread over at the AAR group list.

We’ve been talking about virgins in books, and why a lot of romance readers seem to hate them. My thing is, I don’t mind virgins, as long as the hymen isn’t a replacement for their brains, and they’ve at least dated.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had sex, unless you’re living in outer Mongolia, you will know that the vagina isn’t just for bleeding out of. Or at least you should.

I’ve read lots of Linda Howard books that featured older virgins in them, but they never bothered me at all, but then again, she’s a good writer.

This question from one of the AAR posters, caught my eye:

This was part of Lynne Connolly’s answer to the above question:

That woman seriously cracks me up.

I’ll tell you how I’d feel, I wouldn’t effing read it, no matter who it was written by. I hate too much virginity-based drama in a book, and if a contemporary woman had gotten to the age of 32 without so much as a sniff of a man (without the benefit of being a nun) then you could safely assume that she would have some deep issues to resolve first. apparently there are 30 year old virgins who have never dates, who are fully adjusted, but I simply don’t want to read about them in a romance I’m not interested in reading a romance book with that amount of emotional baggage. Does that make me shallow? Possibly.

I found this comment quite amusing:

Come on guys, some of you must have examples that you can cite. Our Mills and Boon, Tender and Modern romances are just full of those kind of heroines. Which is why I stopped reading them years ago. Although every now and then, I do get sucked in by Emma Darcy, who’s books I generally hate, but for some reason still read. I’m sure there’s a name for this affliction.

This comment incensed a couple of people:

This poster wasn’t overjoyed by that comment, she responded:

I’m sorry, but was it bad that I laughed at this point? Tee hee.

Anyway, the conversation then moved onto Pseudo Virgins, you all know the type right?

This was my contribution:

God, I can’t tell you how much ‘virgin’ widows/divorcees annoy me.

Anyway, the conversation went slowly downhill from there. One of the AAR regulars commented that she was offended by the fact that people would dare call contemp virgin stories stupid, just because she liked them. She insisted on taking every comment personally, like a few AAR readers are wont to do, every now and then.

This is what she had to say after I posted that I personally hate virgin stories with heroines who had never even so much as dated:

Talk about oversensitive. I’ve been hating vampire stories for a while now, and don’t mind saying so, I certainly couldn’t give a flying fuck if anybody decided they totally disagreed with me.

I love best-friend-to-lovers romance books, but it wouldn’t occur to me to take offence if somebody else thought they sucked hairy balls. Does that make me a freak?

It still amazes me that people get so het up about these things, when there are so many other things to take umbrage with. Like racism in publishing for instance… *g*

Anyway, for anybody who’s unsure about my stance on this, let me clarify: I hate contemporary storylines with thirty year old virgins who have never dated, and don’t know what their vagina is for.

Dontcha just love the romance community?


I Can't Believe She's Dead...

Anna Nicole Smith is dead?

How absolutely terrible. First her son and now her. What a waste.


Nothing Worth Having...

I just read this on the blog of an AA author that I asked to participate in the survey.

Check this out:

You know, I’m not a writer, I’m a reader. Just a plain 'ole reader.

Monica’s stance on this issue, although sometimes abrasive, is much better than the apathy I see coming from the other authors who are effected the most.

To say that I’m thoroughly disgusted by the lack of response from the very authors that I sincerely want to aid, is a total understatement.

A lot of you guys may feel that the likes of Monica should shut up, and stop bringing negative attention to the AA writing community, but you know what, she’s made far more of a difference than you, or those like you who simply want an easy life, or a quick fix.

To say that nothing has changed, is such total bullshit that I can’t believe anyone would make such a ridiculous statement.

Granted the changes may not have been to the extent that some of you may have hoped, but the changes are there.

I guarantee that the reasons that the changes haven’t been as extensive as you would have liked, is due to the lack of support and solidarity amongst you. One person can make a difference, but in order to effect change, you guys need to stand together, if you can’t do that, then you really shouldn’t be surprised when the status quo remains as is.

Racism has always been an issue in the US, but that hasn’t stopped black people from being successful. In your country, you have judges who are black. You have a strong presence within the police force. You have black lawyers, black doctors, black people in key political positions.

Now compare that to where I live. Do your research, and you will know that in comparison, you guys have it much easier.

All the above was made possible by people who didn’t pansy out because they were tired of the fight. All these things were made possible because those who came before you wanted a better way of life for them and their children. They stood up, and refused to be dismissed.

Why pour scorn on somebody who’s actually trying to help? I have nothing to gain by doing this, and quite frankly it seems to me that if the people who are affected the most don’t give a flying fuck, then why should I?

This attitude is a slap in the face to the whole host of people within the online romance community who have supported this endeavour. Monica’s refusal to lie down and die spurred this on, not you. All you did was scoff at the effort, and for that alone, you deserve to languish in midlist mediocrity. (You know who you are.)

To simply give up because you’ve been here before has got to be the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for taking such a negative stance.

MLK and Rosa Parks would be rolling over in their graves, if they knew that their legacy of strength in the face of adversity has almost become an urban fucking legend.


Mrs G Has Her Say... Again

Mrs G has her say over the whole Racism in publishing/Monica/Sybil debate and as usual, makes a lot of sense.

Monica come back, and stop being so daft for fucks sake. I still admire your spirit and passion, and were other AA romance authors as brave and forthwright as you, maybe things might have changed for the better by now. Those are the ones who need to look at themselves for not speaking up, you just need to lighten the fuck up sometimes.


Yummy Sounding Book...

Normally when there's a yummy sounding book that gets added to my TBR list, I usually do so without any fanfare, but seeing as I'm trying to save the world from racism, one book at a time, I thought I'd promote Eve Vaughn's new book out at Samhain. Here's the blurb:

Sounds good ja? If you haven't tried an IR book before, here's your chance to go buy. (Only if you like the blurb and it seems like your kinda book.)


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Racism In Romance... Who's To Blame?

Monica and I had a *ahem* a heated debate yesterday about racism, and what it was, and what it wasn’t.

As most of you know, she’s very vocal about her thoughts on the whole race issue, especially with regards to publishing.

I can’t blame her for that, because at the end of the day, these things effect her personally.

What I was objecting to, was the fact that she used the race card in a situation where it was clearly more of a personality clash than racism.

Racism in publishing is alive and well, and probably will be until Penguin employs a Rosa Parks to head up its Racial Equality department.

I think
Millennia Black’s plight proves that publishing companies just don’t look at African American works the same as they do, white authors, but is that the reader’s fault? How does aiming the race card at an individual help the overall cause? It doesn’t. It really doesn’t. But anyway, Monica knows my feelings on this issue, so I wont belabour the point any further.

Monica argues that AA books shouldn’t be marketed based on colour, I totally agree with her. I’ve never seen the point in some of the shelving policies that are undertaken by certain book stores.

A romance book is a romance book is a romance book. And as such, should be shelved in the romance section, regardless the colour of the author, or the colour of the characters.

I think that segregating books based on the colour of the author is no better than the segregation of whites and blacks. I was always more about the MLK way of doing things than the Malcolm X method.

Niche marketing does work for some black authors, but how does it help to solve the problem that Monica continually rails on about?

I don’t believe that the only reason white readers wont read AA romancebooks is down to race, if that were true, then how come so many whites read Brenda Jackson books? Or do they? Has Brenda Jackson really only achieved success through mostly black people buying her work?

Is it all about the publisher, or does the authors themselves have to bear some responsibility for their own promotion?

I’d say it was mostly about the publisher, but some of the AA authors who are out there don’t help themselves any.

A few weeks ago, after reading
Enchanted Heart by Felicia Mason, I went to look for her website, to see what other books she’d written. Could I find her website? Could I buggery.

Now, she either doesn’t have a website, or she updates it so rarely that even Google isn’t able to pick it up. What’s that about?

I finally had to bob over to Amazon to check out reviews of her other books, (I was actually only looking for the synopsis) and do you know how many I found? Honestly? Not many. At least not as many as I would have expected from somebody who’d published so many books.

I’ve found in recent years that this is a trend amongst a lot of AA authors. They either don’t have a website, or it’s one of those Geocities crap. God I hate them.

There only seems to be a handful of black authors who have decent websites, and actually update them frequently. I wonder why that is? Even if one doesn’t believe that websites help sell books, what cheaper way is there to market to the whole world?

It seems awfully silly to complain about lack of promotion and marketing from their publishers, when they themselves have failed to take those first crucial steps towards getting their name out there.

I suggested to Monica that instead of bleating on about the unfairness of it all to us readers, her and her fellow authors really should be trying harder to form some sort of a solidarity. Lobby the people who matter, the people who have influence. (Yes, our influence extends to buying the books, but methinks that this is where marketing comes into play.)

The problem is, how many AA authors are as brave as Millennia Black, and are willing to risk their very livelihoods for the cause? Not many. Most of them would rather pay lip service, than actually go out and do something constructive.

At least that’s how it seems to me.

I’m not saying that Monica shouldn’t speak out about the injustices that she’s experienced within her industry, far from it, but in my estimation, it needs to be aimed at the right audience.

Bitching at Joe Reader isn’t going to help the cause, it’s more likely to alienate those amongst us, who want to support you by buying your books, as well as those who only want to know what book you have out. Tell us that, and we’re happy, everything else is just a headache that we could probably do without.

Some of us are shallow that way.


January Search Phrases...

I haven't published my most popular search phrases in a while, but here goes.

There were lots of the obligatory 'sperm in mouth' and 'ejaculating on face' searches, as well as some lovely new ones. Have a gander at these:

Latinabuse – this is a very popular serach phrase for this blog, does anybody know what it pertains to?

How did Shelly dorgan die? – Who’s she then?

how does a guy keep his cum coming and coming? -

ejaculating in a woman's face – I wondered how long it would be before this came up.

well endowed penises – Hmmm

why does a man like to cum on a womans face – no effing idea.

i cant swallow sperm but i want to – sick arse

What is it like to have a cock in your vagina? – No idea, I’m a virgin. *g*

karen blog cover changeling press – tee hee hee

karen scott the slut – nice.

Are there any black people in Mensa? – no idea. Anyone?

Has anyone been to venus – what a funny question.

Lauren Dane (another author I read EVERYTHING – That’ll be Chantal Googling that negative review rant porn – again

what counts as large penis girth – 12inches

"sperm in my mouth" – I think not.

it's my body i'll eat it if i want too – Wrong blog dear.

big cock" "9 inches" – no dear a big cock is 12 inches.

sister shagging – sick bastard.

husband is a twat – Awww he’s ok really

bonnie dee's pussy – They are talking about the feline variety aren’t they

nora roberts racist – Monica, is this you? *g*

Karen Knows best – She certainly effing does. *g*


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ten Things That Pissed Me Off Today...

1. Taxi drivers with no sense of direction.

2. Mothers who stupidly let their toddlers run riot on train platforms, without the benefit of a harness to prevent them from falling onto the train tracks.

3. Scum bags who insist on smoking, even when there are ten million no-smoking signs posted about the place.

4. People who sit next to you on a train, when there are other seats to be had.

5. People who insist on making conversation during a five-hour train journey. What part of ‘I’m working’ didn’t you get?

6. People who talk loudly on mobile phones on the train. The entire fucking train didn’t need to know what you’re doing for Valentine’s day, you arse.

7. People with no sense of personal hygiene. That fishy, foisty smell wasn’t coming from the sea my dear. Changing one’s knickers would probably help.

8. People who insist on phlegm-coughing their guts up, whilst sitting next to me. That shit’s just fucking wrong.

9. Train drivers who think they’re Michael fucking Schumacher. Fucking schmuck.

10. Public fucking transport. 'Nuff said.