Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Romantic Advances Is Unveiled...

It's official, those gals (Jane) at Dear Author and Sybil are geniuses!

Romantic Advances opens its doors today, and I can only imagine the amount of work that they put in to get it off the ground.

Basically, this is a dedicated site for upcoming romance releases, so no longer will you have to scrabble around searching for news on new books, you can just pop along to Romantic Advances, and build your TBR mountain that way!

Anyway,pop along to DA to congratulate them on a job well done!

I'm exhausted just imagining the amount of work it took to get this organised!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just In Case You Thought There Were No More Good Books Left At Elloras Cave...

Little Known Favourites Meme...

The Rules:

List and describe 3 of your favourite books that other people may not be familiar with, then tag five people to do the same.

I got tagged by Elizabeth.

I usually avoid these things like the plague, but what the hell…

Incidentally, seeing as e-book publishers have been going through a difficult period just lately, I thought I’d highlight some of my fave e-books, that maybe aren’t as well known, as others.

First up, is Kathy Allred’s, The Sweet Gum Tree

People, this book is wonderful, wonderful, and wonderful. Allred is such a talented author, she really is. Anyway, here’s the blurb:

This was one of those books that was very hard for me to put down once I started reading it, so I didn’t. Put it down, I mean.

Fabulous characterisations, fantastic setting, great plot, finely woven story, and flawless prose. I’d recommend this book to anybody. You can find my original gushing review here.

Shiloh Walker’s, Her Best Friend’s Lover

Basically, this is a friends-to-lovers book (my favourite plot device).

Lauren’s been in love with playboy Dale for about ten million years, but he just sees her as a friend… until one night when he gets completely pie-eyed, after learning that the ‘love of his life’ is expecting another baby with her hubby.

Anyway, he gets drunk, seduces Lauren, and totally forgets about the fact that he shagged her, the next day. Don’t worry folks, this is a romance, of course it ends happily ever after.

I liked this book because A, I loved the theme, and B, I loved the characters. I Really liked Lauren, and even Dale wasn’t such an arsehole, ya know? What more could one ask for?

My third book choice would be Ruby Storm’s Twilight Kisses.

This is a time travel erotic romance, by one of my fave EC authors.

I can’t be arsed putting my own spin on it, so here’s the blurb from EC:

I loved this book. I really did. It felt like an epic Gone-With-The-Wind kinda romance, but I didn’t intensely dislike the heroine, and the hero didn’t make me want to barf. I loved the characters, and I thought that the author did a fantastic job, with what could have easily been a total snoozefest. The love story was compelling, and it wasn’t all about spilling enough sex liquids to rival Vesuvius. That’s always a bonus surely?

My fourth choice (yes I know I’m only supposed to choose three) is Ashleigh Raine’s, Lover’s Talisman.

I used to be a Shadow Walkers Groupie, and to this day, I’m still gutted that EC stupidly decided not to let Jen and Lisa finish this series with them. Bastards. Their loss.

Anyway, here’s the blurb, from their website, seeing as I can’t find the books on the EC site anymore.

I’m sure you will have noticed that this is a paranormal, yes? Well years ago, before the paranormal craze went into overdrive, I used to enjoy them, but alas, like everything else in romance, the bandwagon got overfull, and I got bored.

I loved the Talisman Bay series, because the writers, Jen and Lisa, created this wonderful world that drew you in, and they wrote about these wonderful characters who felt like friends. Corny I know, but seriously guys, that’s how I used to feel reading these books. Loved them.

OK, so who shall I tag? Hmmmm… Sod it, everybody who reads this post is tagged.

Ciao for now!

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Gail Northman Quits Triskelion...

I wonder what this will ultimately mean for this e-publishing house? They seem to be losing people hand over fist. Lynne Connolly's gone too.

If I was a Trisk author, I'd be feeling pretty nervous right now, what with reports of bouncing cheques, unpaid royalties, being disinvited to the RWA, and now one of Trisk's longest serving people has jumped ship, after showing severe signs of stress, and mental fatigue.

It all seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. Authors, you may want to start running towards the door... erm, don't forget to take your rights with you...


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust...

So Venus Press is defunct and not so much as an eyebrow raised within the e-book community?

I got this from Piers Anthony's site:

"April 2007 update: the bad news just keeps coming, questioning the motives of the proprietor, whose own books may have received better treatment than those of other authors. Meltdown.

I say this with regret, as I was generally satisfied with the treatment of my own book: this answers the description of what in erstwhile science fiction fandom was called GAFIA, pronounced GAH-fee-a. That is, Getting Away From It All. When a fan got overwhelmed, he/she might simply abdicate, disappearing from the scene, letting obligations fall where they might. The proprietor seems to have gafiated. And finally, as March ended, the site went off the Internet. This looks like death."

Apparently the owner just decided she'd had enough? Wow...

Not that I'm surprised, it was only a matter of time.

I have to say, it's a shame for the authors who stayed with them out of misguided loyalty. Talk about being royally shafted.


When Four Worlds Collide...

I spent most of yesterday with Eve Vaughn, Shara Cooper, and Lynne Connolly. Oh what fun we had.

Saturdays are usually busy days for me, but I foolishly agreed to meet them at 12pm, so that I could have lunch with them. Like that was ever gonna happen.

Anyway, I eventually got to the quaint pub where we were meeting round about 1530hrs.

I entered the pub, and there they all were, sitting and chatting. Totally weird.

I immediately hugged Eve, my long time cyber pal. I was so chuffed that she'd come over from Philadelphia.

Five minutes after our initial 'Oh my God, I can't believe you're really here!', greetings, we of course start talking about online stuff, and publishing in general. It was fun.

Although, I must confess, I did have a surreal moment when I sat back, and realised that we were loudly, and frankly discussing sex toys, and different erotic romance sub-genres. I looked around the pub, and noticed that people were actually listening to us discuss the vagaries of BDSM books. Heheh.

Anyway, we talked about lots of things, including online people we liked and actively disliked. I think I had a pretty short list, although there is really only one person in Blogland I would happily send to Iraq for a holiday. During an air strike.

Lynne Connolly was fun, although I have to say, I’ve always liked her online persona, so I wasn’t in the least surprised that I liked her in the flesh as well. We Brits are quite cool anyway methinks, but then again, I am biased.

Shara Cooper was all sorts of crazy, but she had me laughing out loud on several occasions, and this was without the benefit of alcohol. I also loved her crazy collection of romance books. I'm still in awe over the 600 Mills and Boon books gracing her shelves.

I’ve known Eve Vaughn since before she became an author so I knew she’d be a blast.

When we got back to Shara’s house, (minus Lynne Connolly) Eve was a total doll about us telling her that she had some of the cheesiest character names evah. She of course denied it, so we looked up all her books, and pointed out some of the craptacular names in them. Charlie Brown, notwithstanding. Her defense was that she loved all things cheesy. Eve, ya don’t say? *g*

The conversations turned to really bad book covers, and we had a hysterical time discussing these.

I finally left at 10pm, and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed my first meeting with Eve, Lynne, and Shara.

Now, I just need to make 2008, the year that I meet Sybil, Jane, and Bam. Can you imagine the carnage? Heheh…


Oh My Effing God... Number 2001

"Can you take me back to the nursing home now please, I think I've just peed myself."

Eeeewwww, that's so gross. Who the fuck ever thought this cover was a good idea? More to the point, who the flamin' hell thought that writing this kind of story would appeal to romance readers?

Check out the blurb:

That is so nasty. I've heard of May to December romances, but this is ridiculous beyond belief. The man looks about frickin eighty years old, whilst she's not even twenty yet.

AND HE HAS LIVER SPOTS!!! Yuck, yuck, and fucking YUCK!

This book cover is from Amira Press, and positively makes Changeling Press covers look worthy of hanging in The Tate Gallery, in comparison.

By the way, has anybody else noticed that the old man hero looks like The Queen's husband, Prince I'm-An-Absolute-dick Phillip?


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Karen's Observation Of The Week...

You know one thing I’ve noticed? Everytime a black author talks about feeling marginalised, (Monica doesn’t count) nobody ever comments, also whenever a black author is interviewed, people just don’t seem to respond, or show any interest whatsoever.

The silence is often deafening.

Just sayin’.


Currently Reading: Lover Revealed, By J.R. Ward

Apologies for the lack of posts, but I've been travelling around, thus no time for blogging. I'm back home now, so all's right with the world. Although as we speak TTG seems to be taking my bicycle apart in the backyard, and he's cussing a blue streak.

Anyway, I decided to start Lover Revealed on the train, and I'm glad I did. I really like it so far, although, there's far too much blood sucking going on (yuck), and Vishous is definitely showing some gay tendencies... OK, he's showing some major homosexual tendencies, but hey, nothing wrong with a bit of man-on-man love...

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

You Need To Read This...

The hypocrisy of organised religion never fails to amaze me...

I got this via Rosie, and it was written by Joss Whedon.

It’s one of the most amazingly passionate essays I’ve come across in a long time. Every word he wrote was totally righteous.

I gotta go, cuz I’ve got a letter to write, and I urge all of you out there to do the same. Rosie says inch by inch, I say one person at a time…

Amended To Add

Bam just sent me this. It’s long, but you should read it.

Watch the film, it's gruesome, but it's a reality that women in the Middle East, and right here in my own country, have to endure.

I had a Muslim friend who ran away from home 16 years ago. She'd fallen in love with a boy from a different caste, and she was afraid that her father would kill her if he ever found out. I haven't seen her since. I hope she's still alive.

I hope every single one of those men burn in hell for what they did to that girl, especially those who took gratuitous pleasure in filming such an evil, and vile act.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Karen Scott Joins The Fray - 11 sips."

I’m not really interested in debating this any further, other than giving my official stance on The Northmangate Scandal, hence why I’ve turned off the comments.

But you and I wouldn’t know about it without “The Leak”.

Somebody wrote that on the SB’s site, and I have to say, that's simply not true. Quite a few of us were sent that e-mail, and I believe it was being forwarded to many others, via different channels.

It was simply a matter of time before it became blog fodder.

When I read the original e-mail, my first thought was, “What an absolute numpty! This was then followed up by, “What kind of fucktardly cabbage would write such personal shit about her children on an author loop?”

I pretty much still think that.

One thing I found interesting was that people were more than happy to blame the SB’s for posting this ‘private’ email, for various nefarious reasons, but not many people questioned the motivation of the person who had forwarded the e-mail in the first place.

What was their agenda?

Pissed off author? Seems likely. Maybe they were after revenge for some perceived/actual slight against them, wrought by the e-mailer, or Triskelion? Again, another possibility.

I’ve heard a lot of garbage about morals and ethics, but who the hell are we kidding here?

That highly unprofessional e-mail was sent by somebody obviously undergoing some emotional stress, and people have been very quick to point that out, but who’s to say that the person who forwarded the e-mail off the loop wasn’t going through their own mini trauma?

I tried to put myself in Gail Northman’s shoes, and wondered if I’d have possibly reacted similarly to her. In a word, no, I wouldn’t have.

Some people would argue that I couldn’t possibly know what I would do under similar circumstances, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s such a crock of shit. I’d have never sold my child down the river, by basically calling her a prostitute, on a group with over two hundred members. Never. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even call her that in a private one-to-one with my best friend. But that could just be a me thing.

I then tried to put myself in The Leaker’s position, but this was a lot trickier, because I simply don’t know what her motivation was.

Somebody asked at Dear Author if any of us would have personally forwarded the e-mail ourselves. Foolish, foolish question. The true answer? It depends.

Let me say this, If I felt I had been screwed over by the company I happened to work for, or shafted by the person who sent the e-mail, not only would I have forwarded the e-mail, (yes, probably anonymously) I would have made damn sure, that it got on every news channel going. Vindictive much? With the right provocation? Damn straight.

Would this have been the right thing for me to do?

Probably not, but then again it's easy to have a high moral standpoint on these things, when you have no emotional investment in the situation. In the same way that Gail's stress may have led to her idiotically posting that rant, The Leak may have also felt at the end of her tether. Who’s wrong? Who’s right?

As for the whole ridiculous issue of whether or not The SB’s should have posted the e-mail, why shouldn’t they have?

It was a very newsworthy item, gossipy even, but I can tell you that, had the bit about Northman’s children not been in there, the discussion would have been very different. Triskelion itself, would have been put under far more scrutiny, than they were.

The crux of the argument seems to be that the SB’s had a moral obligation to not publicly post the e-mail.

Total bullshit.

The original leaker of the e-mail was the person who had the moral/possibly contractual obligation to not forward the e-mail outside that loop. Once she failed to live up to that obligation, and sent the e-mail out of the jurisdiction of the loop, that e-mail was fair game.

Fair. Game.

The SB’s didn’t owe Northman a damn thing, whereas, she on the other hand, owed her soon-to-be team, the courtesy of A, behaving with some decorum, and not sounding off like a rhinoceros with an arrow up its arse, and B, not resorting to high school jinks, by giving her authors the middle finger, and trying to insinuate that they had no right to take their issues with Triskelion to the RWA. If promises were being broken left, right, and centre, I’d have been pissed with the publisher too.

The loop had over two hundred members, a few of which had obviously demonstrated their dissatisfaction with in-house events, by officially complaining about Triskelion.

That’s like me finding out that somebody had been leaking secret company documents, which were potentially damaging to me, then me sending them an e-mail telling them I’d kill them if they didn’t quit.

Does one really need a Masters degree in astrophysics to work out all the reasons why that would have been a really bad idea?

Bottom line, Northman shouldn’t have posted that e-mail on the loop in the first place. Also, The Leaker shouldn’t have forwarded the e-mail, but once she did, it was then up to the recipients of that e-mail what they did with it, and in my opinion, publicising it was well within the SB’s remit. They didn’t owe Northman or Triskelion a damn thing. End of.

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Feeling Down? This Is A Good Song To Listen To...

I think Corinne Bailey Rae rocks, and this song always makes me want to swing my head from side to side and sing out loud. It also reminds me of happy summer days...(Look out for the acrobatic kid at the bridge of the song, utterly fantastic!)

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Mrs Giggles' Blog Drama Drinking Game...

I just nabbed this from Monica, who in turn, nabbed it from the awesome Mrs G

Cast Of Characters:

"Anonymous" - 1 sip per appearance.

Someone who posts her alleged full name and then berates everyone else for being a cowardly anonymous cur - 2 sips.

The "Why Can't We Get Along?" Pollyanna - 3 sips.

The angry woman who uses a cuss word at least five times in a six-word sentence - 2 sips.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion and makes snide comments about fighting bitches - 1 sip.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion and proceeds to launch into a completely unrelated diatribe about what trash romance novels are - 2 sips.

Clueless man who wanders into the discussion to tell everyone to read "real" literature... like Clive Cussler - 5 sips.

Clueless feminist who shows up and proceeds to launch into a completely unrelated diatribe about how romance set back the movement - 7 sips.

Jayne and Jane from Dear Author join the fray - 11 sips.

Karen Scott joins the fray - 11 sips.

Dionne Galace (Bam) joins the fray - 11 sips.

Emily Veinglory joins the fray - 11 sips.

Jayne, Jane, Karen, Bam, and Emily Veinglory in the house - 50 sips.

Those ladies and Nora Roberts in the house - drink until everything turns dark.

Absolutely effing hilarious.

The Plot

"When confronted with accusations of wrong-doings, the accused starts going TMI about the house that burned down, the crossdressing alcoholic pedophile husband who needs bail, the kids who are on drugs, the IRS that stole all their money, and more - 19 sips.

Or she can be less dramatic and says that she's had a heart attack or something which is why she couldn't get back to everyone - 25 sips.

Which culminates in a post by a "friend" telling everyone that the poor dear died in some kind of accident - 28 sips."

Go read, it's so accurate, it's quite scary!


How Not To Respond To A Review...

I was reading the comments over at the SB’s site, when I came across a link that lead me to a snarky take of Anne Rice’s Amazon Meltdown.

I didn’t know anything about it, so reading it was a real treat.

This is definitely how NOT to respond to a review:

“Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul.

Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max.

I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material.

The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me. If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself.

I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes. What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives.

For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don't get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art.

Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.

Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age. If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned.

The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear.

There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point. There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out. But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are.

There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response. Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough.

If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be. If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!”

Classic. I wish I’d been around when she went batshit crazy. I would have had a field day reading the ten million blogs that would have taken the piss out of her.

Talk about Abilify withdrawal.

Ahhh, the good old days, they sure don’t make authors like they used to. Oh wait, LKH is still carrying the flag isn't she, so all is right with the world.

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Sarah McCarty Bids Goodbye To Elloras Cave, And Heads To New York...

Well, I for one was very sad to hear about Sarah McCarty’s parting of ways with e-publisher, Elloras Cave.

I love her books like a fat kid loves cake.

Did I buy the amicable split line? Hell no, all things being equal, if there hadn’t been problems and issues, the split wouldn’t have happened.

Shall we examine the evidence?

Well, apparently a couple of books that Sarah was contracted for wont ever be published now. She basically said so, on her group list. An amicable split, would surely mean that she was free to take her books elsewhere, at some point, wouldn’t it?

Also, apparently, her N.Y Promises Books will continue with The Reverend’s story, which was never the original plan, at least not with EC. I should know, I’ve been panting after more of her books from EC, for ages.

I can’t believe that they would be foolish enough to let one of their best-selling authors go. Apparently, “a compromise couldn’t be reached”, read: It’s The Elloras Cave Way, Or The Highway. Can we say, Nora Roberts and Harlequin?

Foolish, foolish, foolish. Now I’m just waiting for Lora Leigh to announce that she too will be leaving. Don’t look at me like that, you know it’s bound to happen at some point, and let’s face it, when was the last time she released a new book at EC?

Yeeess, I think there’s something definitely rotten in Denmark.

Oh well, I guess I can look forward to more of those kind of books in the future. Big effing sigh.

On the bright side, I’m really looking forward to visiting Sarah’s new books, at her new publishing home. So you see, it aint all bad.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Black Thursday...

There are some days, when I wish I hadn’t gotten out of bed. Today was one of those days. It really was.

Today, a very close family member was diagnosed with cancer.

It shocked me no end. I think I’m still numb.

The sad thing? She kept the news to herself for over two months. She was afraid to tell, and just hoped that it would go away. Well, it didn’t.

We take so many things for granted, and often think that these things wont happen to us.

This will officially be the third thing that couldn’t possibly happen to my family, that actually did happen.

If you’re a woman of any age, do yourself a favour; check your breasts as often as possible. It may just save your life.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Justin Timberlake Performs At The M.E.N Arena...

Saw him last night, and he was brill, but still not a patch on Lionel...
(Click on photos to view full-size)

Ooh... er... missus...

Justin and special guest, Timbaland


Words. Fail. Me...

I got these delicious ad photos of LKH here. They are too funny for words. Not everybody is model material, some people need to understand that.

Can anybody confirm if that’s Darla at the back on the second photo? Dearie, dearie me…

LKH, doesn't look too bad here, shame about the funny looking men on the left, and right of her. I'm not sure which of her characters they're meant to be, anybody wanna guess? *g*

Thanks to Bam for pointing me in the right direction.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

So, Who Is Really To Blame For Bad Books? The Author? The Editor? Or The Publisher?

Angie had an interesting Romancing The Blog column up yesterday. It was all about the the pre-conceived notion that e-book publishers produce sub-standard work, in comparison to the big New York houses.

She writes:

I can honestly say that I've never started reading an ebook expecting to find errors. It never occurs to me that I'll find errors in any of the books I read, period. Seriously.

I was reading Nora’s Born In Death a few weeks ago, when I came across a minor typo. I noticed it, but it didn’t bother me in the least. Why? Because the book was bigger than that one error.

I can forgive typos, imperfect grammar etc, if the story pulls me in enough. The problem is, these things become a lot more noticeable if the book sucks ass.

I remember reading an e-book a few years ago that had spelling mistakes virtually on every page, bad punctuation, bad grammar, the works. You name a publishing no-no, and it was there.

I found out later that the author was dyslexic, so I let it go, but surely, her editor should have spotted these mistakes? There were so many mistakes in that one book, that I found myself wondering if the book had been edited in the first place.

It seems to me that editors should probably be held up to closer scrutiny, than they currently are.

Like I intimated in that now infamous review, as far as I was concerned, the problems in the book should have been picked up by the editor. She should have understood the distinction between porn and erotic romance. The authors of ER have been arguing about the distinction for long enough, but let’s face it, all it takes is one poor editor, to blow holes in the “It’s not porn, it’s erotic romance” mantra.

But then, there's the argument that the publishing company should be more discerning about who they hire as editors, so in the end the buck should probably stop with them.

Why? Because the publishers are the ones who hire the crap editors who take on the crap authors, who write the sucky books. Seems simple enough to me.

What say you?


The Rich And The Famous Offer £2.6m For The Safe Return Of Four Year Old Madeleine

Candlelight vigil for Madeleine

A host of well known celebs, including J.K. Rowling, Virgin boss, Richard Branson, and Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney, have offered a combined reward of £2.6m to anybody with information leading to the safe return of four year-old Maddy McCann, who was abducted in Portugal over 10 days ago.

Apparently it's her birthday today.

I’m praying that she’s found safe and sound.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Love, There's Only You In My Life...


So, mum and I saw him last night in Manchester. He was fantastic, bloody fantastic.

I loved how down to earth he was, and how much fun he made his concert last night.

The second (or was it third?) song that he did was Still, and he did an amazing job. (Listening to it as I type this)

He also did Penny Lover and All Night Long, and loads more of his other hits. (Yes, he did Hello too)


When he did Three Times A Lady, he basically let the audience sing the song most of the way through. A total goosebumps moment. I also loved this rendition of Stuck On You:

Stuck On You…

I loved how well he worked the audience. I haven’t danced so much during a concert, evah!

I was also amazed at how varied the age group of the audience were. Ranging from early teens to octagenerians. It was fantastic to see. Talk about the soundtrack to so many people’s lives.

Definitely a concert that I would recommend to anybody, regardless of age.

And as a treat for those closet Lionel Richie fans out there, here’s a vid of him singing with the fantabulous Beverley Knight last year:

Endless Love…

Effingg glorious… The king of timeless love songs for sure….

You can find details of his tour dates here.

Next up, Justin Timberlake on Tuesday. Can't wait!

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Currently Reading: Ugly, By Constance Briscoe...

Sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been travelling all over this bloody overcrowded country. Anyway, here’s the blurb for Ugly

I’m loving Ugly, but it’s not the easiest book to read.

I do like books that take me out of my comfort zone though, they usually make me think. That’s not a bad thing methinks.

You can visit Constance Briscoe here, and buy Ugly here.

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It's Official, Oral Sex Is Bad For You...

Apparently, oral sex increases the risk of throat cancer.

I knew there was a reason why it’s never been one of my favourite pastimes. *g*

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Things That Make You Go Hmmmm... Number 1005

I’ve just finished reading NJ Walter's newest EC book, Three Swords, One Heart, (which I enjoyed despite the fugly cover, but she’s one of my auto-buys anyway) and when I came to the end of the book, I noticed this:



Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tony Steps Down...

So, after ten years at number 10, Tony Blair announces his resignation.

I, for one will be sorry to see him go. I suspect I’ll be one of only a few people who feels this way.

Unfortunately for him, his legacy will be that of the Prime Minister who stood shoulder to shoulder with George Bush, and went to war for reasons still unknown.

He’ll be remembered as the Prime Minister who was responsible for the death of many of our British service men and women.

Now that he’s gone, I probably wont be voting for his party again. I’ve never liked Gordon Brown (current Chancellor of The Exchequer), I can’t help but think that he’s nothing more than a number cruncher.

God help us all.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Forty + Things I’ve Learned In Romanceland This Week…

Romanceland is full of nutters, and crazies not too dissimilar to The Right Honourable Betty Boozer.

Carol Lynne responded perfectly to my review. She said nothing. I admire that.

I’m not the only person who doesn’t understand what the Lotus Circle is about.

Reviews are not for authors. They are for readers.

The subject of reviewing will never die.

A Newbie author who’s book gets ripped apart will realise in five years time, that the blogger was probably right. That book did indeed suck Great Big Hairy Donkey Balls.

Some authors truly believe that bloggers / reviewers buy books just to rip them to shreds.

Until the crap that was Ben’s Wildflower, I hadn’t posted a negative review since November 2006. This must not happen again.

I’m not the only person who’s fed up with Vampires, Shapeshifters, Paranormals,and effing BDSM books.

Racism in romance isn't considered as big an issue as homophobia in romance.

Awarding a 12-book contract to unproven newbies is not sound business.

Some authors will happily stick their tongue up your arse, and take a long lick, as long as it’s not their book or their publisher that you are dissing.

I’m suspicious of anybody who peppers their posts with “Lololololol!!” all the freaking time.

Some people are better at sucking up than others.

People who take the trouble to post that they wont be visiting your blog ever again, are usually lying.

Just because you got published, doesn’t mean that you deserved it. Your editor may have been high at the time.

Romanceland is full of passive aggressive women, and hypocrites.

Authors will always Google themselves, no matter how much they say they don’t.

I'm not the only person who thinks EC standards have gone waaay down.

Some popular bloggers seem to feel threatened by other popular bloggers, and refuse to mingle with them. You know who you are.

Some people should not be let out in public, without being fully medicated. You know who you are.

The Slash and Burn Reviewer/Blogger is an urban legend, cooked up by authors who’s book (s) got dissed, and dismissed.

Reviewers/ bloggers who personally attack authors are also an urban legend, cooked up by the same group of people.

Authors can be trolls too. You know who you are.

Some authors can be snarky too, they are just less honest about it. You know who you are.

Negative reviews will always generate more column inches, than positive reviews.

Nobody ever remembers gushingly glowing reviews.

There are certain people who always seem to hijack other people’s blogs. I recently got rid of at least one of these PWTTAFBA - types.

Anybody who writes that “Snarks go for an obvious joke just because it’s funny, not because the book really doesn’t work.” just doesn’t get it.

Some authors don’t understand that it’s not all about them.

‘Nice Girl’ Review sites hate bloggers like me.

I hate pussified bloggers who hold themselves up as a shining example of how other bloggers should behave. You know who you are.

A lot of authors hate bloggers like me.

Women don’t rule the world because we cry far too easily and exhibit pussy-like behaviour in the face of adversity.

Some books suck more than others.

Authors should understand that readers like me don’t really care how much effort they put into writing a book. All they care about is whether they enjoyed it or not.

It should take longer than two weeks to write a book. Unless you are Nora Roberts.

Rabid Fangirls will always tell you that “You’re just jealous because you’re a frustrated writer with no talent!”, if you diss their favourite authors.

I hate the phrase “If you can’t say anything nice”. People who believe that, have no business reading this blog, yet they continue to do so.

Some ladies in Romanceland will talk about respecting other people, whilst they secretly send e-mails trashing you to their buddies.

Good editors are worth their weight in gold.

Bad reviews wont kill you, but the Rabid Fangirl stalking you might.


Currently Reading: The Object Of Love, By Sharon Cullars... And Loving It...

Nice cover...

Have I mentioned how much I love younger man/ older woman romance books? Happy sigh…

You can visit Sharon Cullars here, read an excerpt here, and buy The Object Of Love here.

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Karen's Film Of The Week: Something New...

So me and TTG watched two films this weekend, Something New, and the new Spiderman movie. Loved them both, but the DVD had the slight edge over Peter Parker and his funky dancing.

Here’s the movie synopsis, stolen from Amazon:

I loved both central characters. Bryan was truly scrumptious, Kenya was repressed, but endearing, and the secondary characters were fun.

This is totally a girly film, but I did love the romance of it.

How hot was the love scene? *g*

If you’re looking for a deep and meaningful film about IR relationships, you wont find it here, but if you’re looking for a sensual love story, where the lead characters fall in love inspite of their differences, this film is totally for you.

You can buy Something New on DVD here.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Premiership Title Comes Back To The Theatre Of Dreams Whoopeeee!!!

Sir Alex Ferguson - United Manager

Ronaldo scores at City!

Old Trafford Football Stadium - Home of Man United


Also congratulations to our very own Roy Keane for guiding Sunderland to victory in The Championship!!!

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

What Is Going On At Elloras Cave Publishing? Some Of Their Authors Tell Us...

I was going to let the blog settle down before I posted some of the responses from various EC authors, but what the hell, TTG and I are going away for the weekend, so might as well post, and run, whilst I can.

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the responses from current EC authors:

“Crissy (Bashear) left EC under less than pleasant circumstances. She wasn't treated fairly, in my opinion, however, she handled it in a very classy manner. She opened her own publisher and Samhain is doing wonderfully. They've already established a reputation for delivering quality books... AND getting the print books to print outlets.”

EC, on the other hand, doesn't fulfill print orders. A print outlet orders so many copies of one popular author and EC would like them to purchase ALL authors so instead of sending the requested amount of the requested authors...they send a hodgepodge. Now if I went into the store and said I want a pair of silver earrings with pearls and they gave me brass with garnets, I'd be irritated as all I get out. When I'm buying, *I* get the choice of what I buy. Not the person selling it.”

“I know some people are growing unhappy with things there (no, I can't name any names offhand. I've heard rumors, nothing more.) I know some policies are changing with regard to print and I think people are frustrated by the lack of info being given about that. And I think the growing sense that EC's standards have slipped bothers everyone.

For me I think the problem is the incredibly long response time on subs. I think they should have closed to subs for six months some time ago to clear out the backlog, because talented writers are subbing elsewhere rather than wait. The only editor there I know is my own, but I know they were really crushing for editors a while back so can only guess they may have hired some people whose work wasn't stellar.”

“It's disheartening to see new authors coming in with numerous contracts. It's discouraging to see less and less of the old standards anchoring the new release page.”

“I like my overworked EC editor. So far, I've not been asked to add any sex. Though, xxxx was revised from sensual to erotic. Btw, no anal sex was involved in heating the story up. And, as far as I know no new editors were hired in recent months.”

“First, editors are NOT allowed to change content of the books at all. They aren't allowed to edit sentences, etc. Basically, they just line edit it seems. As you can tell from the quality of the books. Second, did you know that EC is selling their print rights? They just did it to one author and a few others are up for auction.
They are asking for LIFETIME contracts from newbie authors, and established authors they are asking for 10 years”

“Samhain has people who love the romance genre. EC has several people in the executive level, so to speak, that don't care for romance at all. People who come from a background of sales and not romance, not publishing, nada. It's hard to really sell a product unless you understand it. And if you hate it? Much harder.”

“It's sad that EC seems to be losing more and more readers. Between you and me, I have to agree about the quality of writing of the new authors. I lament the loss of older, quality authors who no longer write for EC or in some cases release a book here and there. Those were the good old days. In conversations I've had with some author friends, we all privately agreed that it's probably time to seek new opportunities elsewhere. SIGH.”

“Any EC author who says they haven't been told to "sex it up" is lying. It's a public message you see over and over in the company announcements, so it isn't just on the editor-level. You learn by the end of the editing process on your first book to put smut in the forefront.

It has only gotten worse since NY started playing in EC's pool. As an example, the book I am currently editing for them has xxxxx words and two sex scenes……, so it actually focuses on the plot. I took it to EC after my contract expired, and the first thing I heard was to add more sex--at least one more scene, and to really punch up the existing scenes. I guess I'll have to add some anal or something. In contrast, I just read xxxxx’s "xxxxx” It has three sex scenes for the 100,000 word novel. EC never would have let her get away with that. It's ridiculous. I can live with writing erotic romance as long as there is still plot and characters. But I didn't sign on to write porn!”

“I know they are still selling ebooks and many are going to continue to buy for the titillation factor alone, but they've lost many readers who want it all, good hot sex and a good hot story. I know it for a fact because I hear it all the time, plus I rarely buy from them anymore unless it's one of the books by my fave authors, which are fewer and fewer with them. EC sales are down and I guess they figure if they put out more and more, it will make up for it.”

“Yes, your review struck a chord because it underscores the current situation at EC. To begin with, I wasn't happy about the Wednesday and Friday new releases but I'm thinking they need the money. But quantity doesn't mean quality. That's the problem.”

“When I started with EC…, Crissy was the publisher. I liked her and personally never had a problem with her. Since she left, a lot of changes have been instituted, most of which I don't agree with. There are a ton of new authors onboard--some newbies, some previously pubbed--but not all of them are talented. They're prolific, though, some like Carol Lynne with multiple books lined up with release dates well into August and September.”

“You'll love this. EC told the authors the reason they are taking out all the commas is because commas make the readers stumble as they read, and the faster the reader reads, the more books we sell. Wow. I guess they don't take into account that most adults know how to use commas fairly well.

They probably aren't as adept with them as professional writers--note I say pros, not necessarily the authors EC is taking on--but they are going to notice when the commas aren't there. That is just one of the many bitches I could share about EC. The print program is a joke. The checks are late half the time, but that's all the post office's doing. They flat-out lie, telling us the checks were sent on time, and then they show up weeks later with a postmark that's three days previous. Uh huh. IF you dare ask about if/when the payments were mailed, you have fellow EC authors jumping to the company's defense. ...., brainwashed fools IMO.”

“I think they need to be reminded that their loyal readers want it all. This isn't going to happen unless readers complain. Loudly. Very loudly. And not just on blogs. They've changed their methods in the past because of reader complaints, IE: they no longer accept F/F stories of any sort because readers didn't like them. Even if it was just a brief scene in a book. They started looking for more interracial and more M/M because readers requested them. I'd like to think that if readers start strongly requesting better books, they'd do something about it.”

“EC could go back to the quality they once had. They still have some great authors. But the great authors are being forced to wait months and months for release dates because the schedule chock full of what they've been putting out lately. They aren't going to make that change unless they are made very aware that is needed. I'd like to see it happen before it's too late.”

“I didn't even get the cover until a week before release, which gave me no time to ask for changes, basically tying my hands. I wasn't able to do any advertising or promo, which is almost impossible to do without a cover. But hey, I smiled and said thanks. I already knew bitching wasn't going to get me anywhere.”

“I wanted to compliment you on drawing attention to the craphole EC has become. Unfortunately, I can't publicly support you…In private, I'll tell you they couldn't manage their way out of a paper box with a flashlight. Bunch of incompetent idiots running that place. I've had the fortune to work with two really great editors at EC, but they both left long ago.”

“Unfortunately, the powers that be at EC can get very petty when they perceive one of their authors is being critical of them. Unfair to the point that they threaten legal action, claiming libel, slander and whatever. I don't really want or need that trouble. So far, they haven't ever caused me any trouble and I fly under their radar. I want to keep it that way. High seller or not, if some people at EC get ticked off at me, they will cause me trouble. They've done it for a couple of their highest sellers so I'm under no illusions it wouldn't happen to me.”

“I will always be grateful for EC for giving me my start, but as long as it is financially feasible, I will not be writing anything else for them….after I finish my contracted commitments.”


"You can use my words, but not my name, please. I'm a coward and I'm scared of EC. I'll tell you right now that they're so incredibly litigious most of their authors are too scared to speak out (hence my wish to remain anonymous). That's why you get such a love-fest online."

It's little things, like EC's ongoing war against punctuation. I had all the colons and semi-colons taken out of my book, and a lot of the commas too (for instance a character saying, "Karen, wait a minute," would be changed to "Karen wait a minute." Just...looks wrong to my eye). This is EC policy, actually sent out in their Style Sheet.

"Any request takes days to be answered, and if it involves Raelene, often weeks. Asking readers to email her will probably have little effect since her inbox is apparently the size of Texas. I had a couple of royalty requests.... that were either ignored or refused. The first cover I was given looked like it had been done in 10 minutes with Photoshop and bore little resemblance to the painstakingly written cover request I'd been encouraged to fill out in detail."

"The bigger issue, the one that really annoys me. EC now issues, what, eight e-books a week? But hardly anything is getting into print. Every now and then we get a marvellously exciting email about some new print partner, but the fact remains that EC hasn't made a print schedule available to authors since August last year."

"We were told we'd be notified 10-12 weeks before our books went into print, and that as Raelene had had so many emails asking for more details, we weren't to ask any more. That's right, we were told not to ask when our books would be coming out. No matter that any promotion worth its while in a big publication needs far more than 3 months' notice. There wasn't even a ballpark figure to go on."

"EC has such a tight grip on contracts that getting your rights back is now relegated to the status of mythic legend, and according to rumour they're getting worse, adding sneakier clauses (and remember newbie authors are way, way too poor to afford lawyers) and often refusing to negotiate. Still I've learned my lesson now... EC is treating authors like mushrooms these days: kept in the dark and fed on shit."

So, there you have it, reading the above, and the numerous comments on previous posts leads me to conclude that something is definitely awry at EC. To borrow one of my mum’s favourite phrases; A thousand flies on shit can’t be wrong.

Will things change? Probably not. Do they care? I’m sure they do, but if they aren’t willing to change things up a bit for their readers, then it becomes a moot point.

Sex sells, and it sells well, but even the people who enjoy smut for the sake of it will start to get very tired, when nothing else is offered up.

This really isn’t a witch hunt. I have spent far too much money at EC to be slating them just for the sake of it. I simply want quality to win over quantity. I simply want authors who know the difference between erotic romance and porn. I simply want editors, who know what the word means.

I will happily continue to buy their books, if the standards improve. Whether that will happen, remains to be seen.

As for their mutually beneficial relationship with RT's Kathryn Falk? Hmmmm....

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Three Year Old British Toddler Abducted In The Algarves

Why would you go to a foreign land, and leave your three year old daughter in bed, whilst you go off to dinner with friends?

All I can think is that their other children were old enough to look after the toddler.

If the other children weren't old enough, then I think the parents need flogging.

I really hope the authorities find her before whoever’s got her does something bad to her.

I woke up this morning feeling sick with the fear that she’s been murdered.

I hope they find Madeleine. I really do.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Oh. My. God....

I just can't believe it!

I Missed Beck's 32nd Birthday Goddammit!!!

(What? It's an important occasion! *g*)



Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kathryn Falk, Romantic Times Book Review CEO, Accuses Me Of Potentially Causing Suicides Amongst Poor Authors…

If this is really her, and I can’t think that it isn’t, but I’m sure somebody will let her know that her name is being used in vain if it isn’t, she’s obviously never visited this blog before, or else she wouldn’t have given me such amazing fodder for my blog.

Sit back and read, this may take a while, because her rant was long, and drawn out, and shows me why some people shouldn’t be let out in public…

“Dear Karen

I am still in Texas at our SOS Soldiers Retreat, recuperating from the very busy and successful 24th Annual Booklovers Convention. There was a lot of warm feelings of family and good friendships this past week.

Many new "RT virgins" attended and I look forward to seeing more newly published authors and offshoot businesses spinning off of this event.

Which brings me to my concern about your blog.

I'm sitting here now with Rosemary Potter, a passionate seller of new American books, and an early promoter of Erotica and small presses. With her is Margaret Bell, another enthusiastic bookseller from Australia.

I'm sorry they had to overhear my incoming calls and become aware of emails directed to me concerning such negative nasty comments on your blog from romance book people. It was an eye opener I wish they hadn't experienced.”

I feel so honoured, people ringing RT to talk about my lil ‘ole blog? Be still my beating heart, I’ve finally arrived, now where the hell is my tiara…?

“I am very proud of Ellora's Cave and the small presses run by women. I am proud of any woman who writes erotica and gets published. I know how tough it is. I am the only woman who owns a magazine (except for Oprah and Martha) and no woman has ever owned a publishing house in New York. Be it Harlequin, Berkley, Dorchester or Kensington, it's owned by businessMEN.

This has been the situation since I started up in 1981. That is why I have been so supportive of e-publishing women and will continue to be. None of us had money to invest, instead we invested ourselves and our hearts.

Do I think we are all brilliant and perfect? Of course not. But we do our best and that's what counts. We have to try harder in publishing. Whoever thinks that anger and mean criticism helps our genre is off base.

None of our members deserve such ridiculous bloggers, especially from mean-spirited women posting notes from the quiet of their houses while those in the rat race of business life are working long hours. To think you only have time to promote personal vendettas is sad.”

Hey, I take offence at the notion that I work long hours, I’m currently sitting here, a margarita in one hand, and a J.D. Robb book in the other, a Julien McDonald scarf wrapped round my head, Jackie O-type sunglasses, and my extra comfy orange striped kaftan, wrapped round my sylph-like body…

“If this was investigated, I suspect there's more to this than meets the eye.

E-publishers had little support in the beginning. I made certain my magazine promoted them to the best of our ability. Ellora's Cave, in particular, has always been savvy and displayed great energy and enthusiasm from the very first time I encountered them. They deserve respect for l3eading the way, as does Red Sage and other erotica companies that paved the way. Attacking them is mindless. Positivity is the key to helping our genre.

Many newcomers followed them and their companies are now run by women as well, I feel we should all feel protective towards all of them. Most businesses fail in 2-3 years, people who succeed beyond that have something special.

I don't want that flame of passion for books and e-publishing to ever be extinguished for our loyal readers. If one "hurts" -- be it something nasty published towards a publisher, editor, or author. We should all hurt unless we are heatless.

Learning that so-called romance enthusiasts on your blog are referred to as bleeding hearts or an idiot, is not acceptable.”

*cue dramatic cry* “If you cut me, do I not bleed…?” I’m really getting into this tale of betrayal and deceit…

“Unless your bloggers are genuinely perverse and have no regard for people's feelings and livelihood, then I predict you all will needlessly add turmoil and discontent to yourselves. I hope you are ready to take responsibility for some of your remarks.

Writing is a livelihood and those kinds of attacks are of no value. Nor does it give your blog credibility or vital interest in the long run. Disrespect for our industry and its members reflects the dark nature of the person spewing it -- not the object of the attack.

We've never communicated, and I would have telephoned if I'd had a direct number. But I would like to nip this in the bud if it's possible. I'm told you are living in England and since I'll be there July 15, in Barrow, perhaps you'd like to meet up at our summer prom? Anyone in the romance world would enjoy it and is invited. We have a lot to discuss, perhaps.

I am certainly aware of the function of blogs, but Romance Books are not a Political forum. We are a fantasy business that reflects Everywoman. She doesn't want sadness, discontent, fighting and negativity in her life, for that she watches the news or reads the newspapers. Our writers and editors are sometimes fragile, as the line of our work is pure emotion.

I question if your blog today (Tuesday) is being used -- I repeat - being used -- to spread inaccuracies and ill will. It appears to be promoting everything romance books do not stand for. These personal attacks are embarrassing, hurtful, and do not reflect our hardworking community.”

Hey, that’s realllllly offensive. My blog is interesting dammit!

“You are in the position to tell troublemakers to move on or get out of the book biz, and if possible, learn who the Liars are....

Please start by asking them to not muddy our waters with ugly suppositions and invalidated comments -- and to be impeccable with their words -- this would be an excellent practice of gratitude and most appreciated.

Some of the postings are obviously from unhappy unpublished/published individuals who deem it appropriate to share their pent up angst and intensely personal attacks on your blog. I've never understood why some writers feel that other people's success affects their lack of it.

Putting down editors and writers also displays a lack of knowledge about this industry. Romance is the most successful genre of all time because people have banded together with a collective consciousness to do good not evil. This is true camaraderie. I hope it continues or we will perish.

All publishers do their best. All authors do their best. My reviewers do their best. It's a plus for our community that this is so.

I know there are small minded people who have difficulty in loving what we do, even though it's what they want to do, In the long run they are spreading negativity about themselves.

Why not realize that authors are sensitive, and so are publishers -- and inflicting harmful words does all of us a disservice. I was attacked for starting a romance magazine. I was attacked for discovering Fabio and predicting he would be a household word. I was attacked for just about every successful thing I've accomplished.

But, it wasn't the men who attacked me in this business (with the exception of one crooked literary agent!!) but the women.
As Bertrice Small says to those women who tried to put her down: "Honey, I laugh all the way to the bank, they don't even have an account."”

OK, I get it, authors are sensitive, and Bertrice Small has lots of money. I love this whole learning about the industry thing, isn’t it fun?

“It's easy to spot jealousy, it's usually against the successes of our business. Our industry has always created tremendous resentment for those with small minds. They have no idea of the complexities of business, or they wouldn't go around complaining.


There is constructive criticism and there is destructive criticism. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know the difference.

Nothing goes in a straight line -- every problem is actually a situation in publishing. And every situation is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow.

My advice to authors who appear to be on a mean streak: The big picture is -- where do you want to fit in and how do you see yourself in our industry in five years? How do you see the industry if you're causing havoc and spreading a virus of negativity?
Put your energy on what you want, and don't waste the moment thinking so negatively of others. It hurts your peace of mind and is an obstacle to your success.

I believe our books and publishers provide enough categories and reviews to please ALL the many types of readers. Everyone has and deserves diverse reading choices and preferences.

Bloggers who have no idea of the work it takes to be an author and a publisher in today's competitive market should not be welcome on board. And if you check into the sales of some of the people you're "dissing" don't be surprised to see they sell well, or is that the reason they are the object of your disaffection?

Some people in our community do make more money and gather more acclaim but there's a reason -- they are more in touch with the readers and they are more positive.

They possibly work with positive energy at what they love. Fanaticism is the key to success. Publishers support winners and sales figures determines who stays and who goes. This isn't personal, this is business.”

Hey this woman is a business guru too, I love that whole fanaticism being the key to success, that may explain why Charles Manson was so darn successful…

“Primarily, successful writers do not dwell on rage and anger and others' discomfort. Personal attacks are not fodder or successful people but spring from the opposite personality type -- the loser displaying her anxieties and insecurities, the very things that holds her back from building a strong writing career.

I've learned in the past quarter of a century that truly successful people are compassionate and helpful. We have had some insensitive people writing sensitive books, but there's a reason if you look beyond.

One writer was the child of alcoholics, another makes millions but still lurks around the Internet because she has a tremendous need to be in control. One is suffering because her child died. Their actions deserve compassion.”

Would this be a good time to mention that my daddy left the house over six years ago, and didn’t come back because some truck driver caved his car in? Perhaps not, carry on…

“That's the way of the world. But they are not muddying our waters so that booksellers from Australia and newcomers have to hear about it. Compassion does not breed contempt.

New writers and new readers have an option the old-timers didn't have -- the use of the Internet. So use it to improve our slice of the publishing industry. Together we grow, separated we cut our chances.

To learn how to be positive and attract abundance, watch "The Secret" documentary. Today there is help in showing you how to attract the success you crave. And, believing in yourself is the essential trait, not behaving negatively.

You don't have to feel confused and resentful about a romance writing career if you are truly of good heart. Occupying your mind with ill thoughts or wallowng in attracting negative people and forming negative perceptions just continues to perpetuate the cycle of feeling unsuccessful.

Emotions make things happen, and the people on your posting should be aware that everyone's words have power; they come back to wreak havoc on the speakers, be it their health, wealth, or happiness. I've never seen it fail.

Perhaps the nay seekers should read Don Miguel Ruiz's book, about the Four Statements of Life. He says simply:

Your Words Should be Impeccable (they have power, don't voice negative things)
Don't Pass Judgment (it reveals self esteem)
Don't Take Things Personally (comments to hurt you are really the speakers self-thoughts)
Do Your Best”

Shit, this woman could be our new Oprah, she’s good.

"I have heard from several people on your post who are saddened by what they read today. One person mentioned has offered her resignation. Another is contemplatiing suicide. Is that what you intended for your blog? Do you want this on your conscience?

To most of us who devote our lives to publishing, romance is uplifting and increases joyfulness. These intensely negative and vituperative postings make our role so much harder and -- most important, cause booksellers and others to doubt their own dedication.

Anyone who thinks this kind of dialogue on a blog is valuable is truly sick in the heart and the head.

Everyone reflects our genre, particularly those who are vicious. You can help by encouraging bloggers to consider the repercussions of their actions before lashing out.

This action, be it name calling or hatred, only reflects the speaker's deep pent up anger that started long before their involvement with the romance community.

All writers should know that you can lose support faster than you can build it. So why should the builders ever spawn such negativity? Do you want publishers, booksellers and readers to doubt the validity of their commitment to the romance genre?

We should be aware that giving recognition to romance bloggers who spew vindictiveness that is personal and harmful, is out of line and out of place, and out of control. This attracts more of the same for the blogger, I might add. Like always attracts Like.

Blogs of this nature are harmful when they could be productive. Giving frustrated voices a place to say outrageous things to destroy is evil. Why not encourage frustrated women to spin to the positive?

I'm embarrassed that hardworking booksellers in Australia who authentically love romance novels and the romance authors had to learn that book bloggers endorse people offend our customers -- the booksellers and readers. Someone should stand up and say: I'm not taking this anymore."

Oh the drama…..

"Everyone is on such a "high" about the world of romance books after our Houston get together.

So many people, particularly authors and publishers, are passionately devoted to writing and promoting romance. We all spend long hours at the computers, to the point of endangering our health to be part of the romance community.

The blog in question that you posted, bashing one or more publishers and authors, is detrimental to the principles of romance.
If you have influence, please spend your time helping our romance community. People are sensitive and a string of suicides is not what is needed."

Take me to the gallows now, I am a bad, bad person!

"The bashing and airing of such personal attacks is a personal issue reflective of the writer and her rage. From what I see, people with an axe to grind are using you. They sound like (according to today's diatribes) rejected disgruntled suitors in a romance novel seeking to undermine good will. Why shouldn't your blog be used for fun and joy, not hatred and harmfulness?

I'm sure you didn't intend such a sad development, and can be more aware.

This bashing is reflective of personal dissatisfaction, not our book biz. They remind me of novel and movie villains who don't know they are wrong -- they think they are just guys trying to make it. However, like attracts like, and nothing good or positive can come out of inappropriate behavior.

It's such a "low" (after a week of "high") to hear that people are attacking and causing unnecessary dissension. WE (the Australian booksellers included) ask ourselves, what is the benefit of this?

We don't have time to pay much attention to blogs, but when we hear of people are upset by inconsiderate vicious bloggers who seem committed to spreading bad feelings instead of working in harmony for the good of all, it makes us wonder about who we are supporting with our businesses!!!

I salute those who say "I won't condone such viciousness about publishers and writers". And I warn all to be aware of hearing more pent up rage comments; the good will attract someone's wrath as this site has attracted a strange frustrated breed of bloggers.

If this kind of negative mood and behavior is allowed to spread, I predict that no one will care or dare to support romance in the future.

It will set us back years if we are portrayed as a bunch of jealous females baring their claws, upsetting our colleagues, and seemingly approving of a small group of savagely narcisstic women who can't stand to see other people succeed.

We know what to do: support our editors and publishers, support our booksellers and authors, or -- if you can't say "nice" -- say nothing. Your words have power, use them appropriately and you will benefit the romance book biz and be a standard bearer. Also, you'll benefit from peace of mind as well.

I wish you all peace and bliss....and the enlightenment to pass over a rough patch and avoid this ever happening again.

Kathryn Falk
CEO RT BookReviews Magazine
Rosemary and Margaret Booksellers

OK guys, you can all come out now, she’s done. Wasn’t that an eye-opener? Hehehehehehehe… (Incidentally, she wrote this in the Carol Lynne review post below, I thought I'd give it the attention it deserves, heheh..)