Friday, October 31, 2014


I'm having a crap week.

But beyond that, or maybe it's a part of that, I'm kind of bothered by a video that's making the rounds on social media of a woman walking through New York silently and the men who comment on her looks. The video is getting a lot of flack for having only black and hispanic men shown which is a true criticism, but not to take away the message of the video and that's that women cannot be expected to be treated as true human beings now or ever. They are property and as far as the masculine gaze goes, will always be property.

It's a disturbing video.

There's the man who walks next to her for 5minutes. Talk about terrifying. The men who tell her to acknowledge them (because a man commenting on your looks deserves to be acknowledged). They look her over like she's a piece of meat.

There are men out there who defend these men. "How can you meet the woman of your dreams if they act all uppity and won't acknowledge you? Men are the ones putting themselves on the line there."

Whiny shitheels.

A woman walking down the street who doesn't know you and is living her life, isn't the woman of your dreams. She's a person in her own right, living her life and she deserves the respect of being left alone to do it. She doesn't owe you shit. (Same thing with the friend zone. If you're in the friend zone it means she thinks you're her friend. It doesn't mean you deserve a chance with her. And if you think you're in the friend zone and it's a bad thing, you're a lousy friend and probably a privledged asshole.)

I have had a stranger, in the middle of the day on a downtown street, grab my breasts. On a bus on the way to work a man took my hand and placed in on his crotch. I had a man in an elevator engage me in polite conversation and then end it by saying "you have nice tits".

Tell me again that a stranger might be my beloved if I just give him a chance to engage with me. No fucking way. 

This video makes me slightly ill. Because any one of those men can take it a step further. A woman never knows even when walking down a busy street if she's going to be safe. And these men prove again and again that she isn't.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Understanding a Bad Review : An Author's Note

It's the dreaded one star review. That's the thing that makes some authors go batshit. Hell, apparently a three star review can do the same thing.

Authors are so special, aren't we?

Well, I'm not. I've got some stories out there with one and two star reviews. I have one review :  They Hated Me  that has to be one of the best reviews evah (yes, I'm Sami Summers and I wrote that wonderful story).

Isn't that a great review? And the comments cracked me up. Also, there were plenty of one stars on Goodreads for all my titles and Amazon has one or two also. What does that mean to me as an author? It means someone bothered to read the book and comment. That's all it means.

Some people aren't going to like what you write. It doesn't mean you failed and it doesn't mean they're wrong. It means that nothing is beloved by everyone. Hell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has 27 one star reviews.  (If Little Women has 27 one star reviews, how the fuckety fuck does any author think they're not going to get some also?)

I learned a long time ago while in college that your work needs to stand by itself and get ripped. There's nothing like a college creative writing class critiquing something you think is wonderful to help you lose your ego.

And that's all it is. Ego.We hate being told we aren't perfect but seriously, we aren't.

To Kill a Mockingbird has 111 one star reviews.
Pride and Prejudice has 43 one star reviews.
The Old Man and the Sea has 72 one star reviews.

Seriously Miss Author, you think you're better than that?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mea Culpa

I cannot tell you how guilty I feel for ever buying a Deborah Smith book.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#HaleNo: Blogger Blackout

Apparently from today until Monday, bloggers are ceasing reviews and discussing our love of reading and the romance community.

We're joining with them because honestly, it's easy to forget why we're all in this and why we care.

And I'll begin with my little story:

I've always been a voracious reader but it was mostly literary fiction. Loved that shizz. Still do. Give me a beautifully written book and I puddle on the floor in a gooey mess.

But I also loved to buy Harlequins from Goodwill... a bag of them for about $5 and I could finish them off quickly and sometimes sigh. Sometimes get really annoyed because the heroines always seemed so damned weak. I hate really young heroines. Hate really innocent heroines. And a lot of the books I was reading had young, innocent heroines. So I had a great love/hate thing going on with the books.

And then somewhere I read a review for Absolutely Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz. I don't remember but since she was a Seattle author and I lived in Seattle, it was probably a local review. And I bought the book.

Ms. Krentz doesn't write innocent schoolgirls who need saving. Her heroes were alphas but her heroines were too. They worked together and saved each other. And I fell in love.

I read everything she wrote and hunted down her entire backlist (except the historicals because I just wasn't interesting in that genre). It might have ended there too except I was in a bookstore looking for anything else Krentz and somehow saw Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. I picked it up and read the blurb. Decided to try it.

My life changed forever.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hitler tries to self publish Mein Kampf: by Colin Falconer

Passing the Word

Janet of DA has always seemed so cerebral, an intelligentsia, if you will. I like this impassioned woman much better.

Lori:  I'm adding this here and not in the comments because I want to make sure it's seen.

I'm pissed off. Seriously seriously pissed off.

Reading the comments on DA and the number of women saying that they're afraid, that they've quit leaving bad reviews, that they're thinking of stopping blogging, it infuriates me. I liken it to someone getting raped at a bar so now no women will go to bars or drink or wear pretty clothes because I don't want it to happen to me.

Nobody can promise you safety. But nobody can promise you won't get hit by a falling meteorite when you leave your house today. But you can't live your life like that and you can't make choices out of fear alone.

And if you like to drink, go to a bar. If you like to review books honestly, review books honestly.

Demand safety.

If you like a bar but you know a rape happened in its parking lot, then ask the management to have a bouncer walk you to your car. If they won't, then go to a bar that will.

Harper Teen says they won't guarantee your privacy if you accept an arc for review? Don't review Harper Teen. But guess what? Random House will so give Random House your business. (Making a point, I have no idea what RH does).

The Guardian thinks its okay to publish a stalker opinion piece? Cancel your subscription. Ask others to cancel theirs. Let The Guardian know and move on.

Demand safety.

Don't hide. Speak up. Demand safety.

Everytime a blogger stops blogging or someone deletes a negative review in fear, the StGRB group gets their wings. We don't want that to happen.

Demand your safety.

Don't give up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Promise To You

With all the crazy out there and batshit authors, name calling, crazy-ass lawsuits... I think it's time Carolyn and I make a pledge to our readers.

1. We will never stalk you. Unless you're Dwayne Johnson. Then we will.

2. You can say shitty things about our books. So can we. In fact, we'll probably beat you to it.

3. We won't stop DNFing, giving crap reviews and being the foul mouthed mean girls we are. Why? We want to. And we earned it. You don't get this many grey hairs and wrinkles without earning something. For us, it's being who we are.

4. We will never support anyone who thinks it's okay to argue with a reviewer, to call a blog or blogger mean girls, or who thinks it's okay to dox someone. Seriously, you support doxxing, we will be nasty ass bitches and piss all over you.

5. We won't always agree with other women blogging/reviewing/being nasty-ass bitches but we'll support their right to do so. Just cause you don't like the tone or language, well... fuck you. Nobody needs your permission to be who they are. Including us.

6. If the STGRB likes you, we probably won't. If they hate you, we're probably fans.

7. Did I mention you can say shitty things about our writing and we just won't care? Seriously. You should see what they said about one of my first pages on Dear Author awhile back. Eviscerated my writing. After I ate a bucket of chicken and drank a liter of vodka I just laughed it off.

8. Did I mention not stalking, doxxing, or being special snowflakes. Seriously.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Selling

Found my book Surviving America's Sweetheart on pirating sites. Sent Takedown notices and of course, they're not taken down.

It's so frustrating.

On a separate note, I try to publish my books on four sites: Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Kobo. It's interesting to note that B&N has the best sales of novels, Amazon has the best sales of the 99cent titles. And nothing sells on Kobo or Smashwords. Nothing.

I'm not choosing to go Amazon only but I can't see a reason to keep trying to sell on other platforms besides the main two when nobody buys.

I used to sell on All Romance but they make it too hard. They keep shutting down the account and demand updates that are impossible to access. So I stopped bothering.

Any reasons to publish beyond the 2? Love to know if there's a reason to bother.

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week in a Glance (A Ragey Glance)

Oh where to begin...

We're expecting a tropical storm to hit our little island. My daughter's school is closed so it can operate as a civil defense center. Mollie's happy about it. Oh well.

Otherwise we're prepared. We have bottled water, oil for lamps, food and charged Kindles. We're ready to go.


This is driving me crazy. Now admittedly, I'm living with a Republican right wingnut who parrots everything Fox News says with a certain maniacal glee, but this Ebola shit is driving me batshit.

How many people have died from Ebola in the US this year? One. How many people are infected currently? Two. Both nurses who cared for the Liberian man who died in Texas.

So where the fuck is this horrible outbreak us US citizens need to fear? Still have a better chance of dying from domestic violence or AIDs than Ebola.

Please media, leave your fear mongering at home where it belongs.

And those special ass-wipes who want to close the country to Africans and/or blame Obama for Ebola: you just keep telling yourself that you're not a racist. Cause honey, you're the only one who believes it.

John Grisham

Oh dear God.... did he really? Really?

So according to best selling author John Grisham the jails are full of white 60 year old men who are locked up because they got drunk one night and accidentally looked at child porn on the internet and that bad, bad FBI caught them.

That's akin to "it wasn't rape, I just fell into a naked brutalized woman who wanted it".

Do you know how much child porn I've seen on the internet? None. Have I looked at porn on the internet? Yes.

One can't stumble onto child porn because it's illegal. You got to go searching. And Mr. Grisham's friend who got arrested (oh yeah, it's personal) (and yeah,60 year old lawyer who might have been drinking) did in fact choose to go onto a website that specifically said it was 16 year old girls.

Not a stumble. That was jumping in with both feet.

There was more too. According to Grisham looking at 16 year old girls being sexually assaulted (yeah, they're 16 and it's assault no matter what any old, white guys say) isn't as bad as say looking at young boys. See, that would be a crime. But 16 year old girls in porn isn't a crime.

They probably knew early on they wanted this for a career. Maybe we should applaud their go-get-em. Or maybe Mr. Grisham should never sell another book again as long as he lives, the sucking waste of humanity that he is.

And on a personal front

I have a job interview in 4 hours and I'm hoping not to get caught in the beginning of the storm on the way home.

My living situation is thus: my daughter and I moved in with my brother and his wife because they invited us a long time ago and my life wasn't working the way I wanted it to and I thought being with family and being back on the island might be the right thing.

Being back on the island is good for my soul. Everything costs more, the salaries are lower and I haven't been able to find work yet. But I see the ocean every day and we live in horse and cattle country and there's a happiness I can't express. In that sense, I'm home.

But one of the reasons we were invited is that SIL's mother lives her and she's almost full dementia and she needs to be in a home. But if she goes into a home, they lose a money source. So it turns out they were looking at the bottom line when we were invited cause they wanted someone to help pay for their home.

So right now there's a crazy woman in the middle of the house who never shuts up while ranting about the catholic church, dead nuns, the fact that she has no heartbeat and my SIL has stolen her life.

My daughter pretty much hides in the bedroom a lot because she doesn't want to deal with crazy lady who will focus on her if she sits in the living room. I hide because I live with republican wingnuts.

Life is fucking weird. And don't buy John Grisham books.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

I don't read much erotica, although sometimes I wonder if most of romance is now erotica. However there are degrees and in my little world, Nalini Singh's new contemporary series is erotica.

I've always contended that everyone has their own touch of OCD and I reckon mine is collecting all the books in a particular series. I already had Rock Addiction and even though I didn't care for the insta-lust or pages and pages of graphic sex, when the next one, Rock Courtship, released, I bought it albeit not on release day.

Authors should celebrate people like me.

It was the blurb that decided me, that and the promo informed me it would be an unusual courtship. So here we go.

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band's publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn't date clients--or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she's not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn't know is that David is a one-woman man...and he's madly in love with her. David's determined to prove he's worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea's about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

You might call the hero, David, an anomaly. I'm sure there's lots of women out there who would agree. He's a rock star that tried the groupie scene early on and didn't care for it so he stopped. He's a one man woman and he found his woman and he's been true to her although she won't give him a chance. I'm a little tired of heroines tarring every man with the same brush ("my heart was broken and I'll never trust again, get away from me, kind, handsome honest, sexy man") but I liked the way Singh handled this.

They memo'd each other. David could out spin the PR artist, lol.

This was a novella, so although there was sex it didn't completely overwhelm me. I'm sorry to say, it all starts to sound the same after awhile. This book was just the right size for the story and, unlike Rock Addiction they don't have sex until well into the book, 'cause they're too busy memo-ing.

And this story was about family, another reason I really liked it. We spend time with David's family and Thea's family which I loved. The problem near the end, which in a novel would have been drawn out for chapters and chapters, was efficiently taken care of and there were no big misunderstandings to keep the lovers apart while they agonized for pages and pages and PAGES!! (God, I hate that!)

Anyway, I do recommend this little book. I loved the hero, loved him. The heroine was good too, once she got over her hangups. Lori, try this one and see what you think.

The next book in the series is to be a full length novel, or so I understand and I'll be dithering again. To get or not to get ... arrgghh!


Lori: Nope. Although it was easier to read, it was still too erotic by half. And even if they didn't have sex till a third of the way through, they did it like rabbits the minute it started.

And I truly dislike the entire I can only express myself if my dick is inside you. These people couldn't talk while wearing underwear.

Sorry. Disliked it. Less than the first book but plenty.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ranty McRant Has Come to Town

So this is a personal ranty post...

I moved to Hawaii at the end of August. I had sent resumes out previously and had calls from people, I was feeling really hopeful that the job market here might be welcoming.

Oh my freaking God... this is a horror story.

First of all, there's the Hawaiian time thing going on. Example: I applied for one job which called me for an interview three weeks later. At the interview they said that they haven't had a receptionist for months and they're hoping to hire someone by November. You know, a month away.

Oh dear God.

Then there's the hospital. Had multiple job openings. I applied online and got a call when I was in Seattle. Manager said she loved my resume and I knew the computer system they used. Got to Hawaii and there's still multiple jobs. I email. Nothing. I call. Nothing. I go down twice and nothing.

All the jobs are now filled. I didn't even get an interview.

And of course my favorite thing wherever you go: at the end of the interview the promise that they'll contact and let you know what happened. They don't.

I'm getting so crazy frustrated. I've interviewed for jobs I could do in my sleep and no response. I send resumes and no response. I got an email from one place that said my resume and interview were incredible.... but they offered the job to someone else.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

Carolyn: I've been waiting for Picnic's story, it seems like forever. Picnic is hawt, just the right age, and has a softer center than I expected. See, what happened ... well, let me put up the blurb first.

As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese "Picnic" Hayes has
given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he'd
never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a
club to manage, that was just fine with him.

These days, Reese keeps his
relationships free and easy--he definitely doesn't want to waste his time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong

Too bad he's completely obsessed with her.

Besides running her own business, London's got her junkie cousin's
daughter to look after--a more reckless than average eighteen-year-old.
Sure she's attracted to the Reapers' president, but she's not stupid.
Reese Hayes is a criminal and a thug. But when her young cousin gets
caught up with a ruthless drug cartel, Reese might be the only man who
can help her. Now London has to make the hardest decision of her
life--how far will she go to save her family?

Yeah, London has to make a decision. That's the whole crux of the story for me and I don't agree with what she decided. Totally don't agree, to the point it's affected my whole perception of the book, which up until then I'd been enjoying immensely.

Lori:  I just finished the book maybe like 10 minutes ago and let me say that this book did not work for me at all. Not at all.


To begin, I wanted Picnic's story. He's older, is a widower with two grown daughters and the president of the Reapers. It should have been a great story. Instead, his "heroine" is a woman with big breasts. Seriously. His attraction to her from the beginning is that she has large breasts he wants to fuck.

I was moderately repulsed.

But they get involved and in no time at all, London, the big bazoomed lady, is in a HUGE family crisis where her only way out is to betray the MC... and then to kill Picnic. Which isn't much of a spoiler since the book begins with that scene.

Could London have told Picnic what was happening and would he have been able to fix it? Why, yes. Yes she could have told him and yes, he would have rescued the damsel in distress and won the day. So why didn't she?

No damned reason at all.

That's right. For no reason at all, London decides that killing the man she's fucking who is the powerful president of a motorcycle club and could solve all her problems makes more sense than talking to him.

She's not just TSTL, she's too stupid to be readable.

Carolyn:  Totally agree with you, Lori. Haven't seen anything written about this in the reviews I've read. Seen stuff about almost non-consensual sex, but not murdering THE MAN YOU MIGHT LOVE! Not a spoiler, happens in the prologue. She pulled the damn trigger, ya'll. Now my next opinion may be a spoiler:


As far as she knew, the gun was loaded with real bullets. She pulled the trigger, fully intending to kill him, and like Lori, I'm going "tell him, tell him - he can fix it!' Even London thought Picnic might be able to fix it but she just wouldn't take the chance, No, she'd rather MURDER THE MAN SHE MIGHT LOVE! Yes, her cousin was in Cartel hands, but did she really think ... but, of course, she wasn't thinking because she was TSTL.

I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with her.  But, even worse, this book has a HEA, so y'all know what that means, right? Yeah. I can't imagine how he could ever trust her again.


I am so disappointed in this book, so disappointed. Lori gives it a D. I'll give it a C, because the writing was good and hey, it was Picnic.

But man, oh man ...

Check Out Az

Her Hands My Hands

You've probably already met AztecLady but if you haven't, go do so. She's totally on the ball and up to date with the EC/DA lawsuit... she has the best screencaps about the craziness and on top of that, she reviews books too.

We likey her a lot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

Ann Aguirre is a good writer, there's no question about it. This is book #2 of her 2B trilogy and a stand-alone. It has a lead named Lauren who has returned home to Sharon, Nebraska after flunking out of college and her always crush/love, Rob who is her best friend's brother and her always love.

Lauren has crippling social anxiety which was a huge part of her falling apart at college as she used alcohol and acting-out to cover up. Which led to some horrendous decisions. And Rob, well, he's movie star gorgeous, an accomplished carpenter and construction guy but not a genius. Which apparently everybody who has ever met him likes to let him know that his flame is dim. His color is muted. His B-I-N-G-O is missing the O.

Anyway, Lauren recognizes that Rob isn't book smart but he's brilliant in other ways. A fact which nobody else seems to understand because they all treat him like a drooling neanderthal (something that made no sense to me at all).

So Lauren and Rob crush on each other, finally get together, split up and then have a HEA. It was readable and everything but... well, the book just missed so much with me.

I constantly felt like the story was written not with a huge desire to tell a love story but rather with a desire to make a point. Lauren hooked up a bit in college and she's unashamed. There's nothing wrong with female sexuality no matter how it plays, she states a few times.

Rob is perfect except for his astonishing low IQ (which we never see evidence of except when he doesn't know the meaning of a couple of words, words that many people wouldn't know the meaning of) but he's understanding of Lauren's issues and he just... um, isn't realistic at all.

But more than anything it's about Lauren's growth and her multitude of messages. So really good writing that emotionally was connected to getting messages across rather than the story it was telling.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Defense Fund

A defense fund has been set up to help finance DearAuthor and Jane Litte in their fight against Ellora's Cave. Lori and I have donated and I hope readers of our blog will also. This is a free speech fight and will affect everyone in and out of Romancelandia.

Almost $30,000 has been raised already, just today.

DA Defense Fund

Just read this blog (thanks A.L. for the link) and wanted to link it too:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shopping Trip

Went over to The Passive Voice after Lori's post and thought this aspect merited reposting. Courtney Milan reminded us that SM Book Obessions is keeping a list (with links!) of non-EC books written by EC authors.

I'm not sure I can buy everyone; I'm not much into erotica. But I'm eyeing some Karen Stivali books. They sound like even if they are erotica, they have a good storyline and a plot! I find plots essential. ;-)

Everyone should do some shopping. Yeah.

More EC Madness

The Passive Voice

Jaid Black/Tina Engler just couldn't help herself. (Oh the crazy, it hurts, it hurts!!)

Anyway, read the Passive Voice post. See Jaid/Tina mock Courtney Milan by calling her a cookie. See Jaid/Tina come up with a conspiracy theory. See Jaid/Tina claim everybody got paid (even all those haters).

See the crazy for yourself.

Then get an aspirin. You'll need it.

Thanks to Has at Bookpushers for the link.