Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 65 - A Sexy Halloween - @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7 #MSSAuthors

Welcome to the 65th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is a sexy Halloween. What is more sexy than Halloween? We love witches, goblins and everything that this day has come to mean. Of course, for some it’s Samhain and that’s cool too. We just love things that go bump in the night.

So this week scare us in the best ways. Show us your sexy characters and their sexy romance on or near Halloween. Tell us the whole story on how they fell in love, what they do to stay in love and all the little details in between. Show us the good, the bad and the ugly as it’s those situations which pull us closer to those characters. Show us those characters even if they have nothing in common with Halloween. We still want to see them!

My sexy snippet this week does not have a thing to do with Halloween. It does come from a paranormal WIP, tentatively entitled, Ricochet and it is sexy. So it half qualifies. We have a married couple. A husband consumed with having a baby. A wife who wants one but not now. A pool boy. And a miscarriage that opens the door to some strange happenings. But this excerpt is just fun, no angst and introduces two of the characters. Enjoy.

They traipsed down the walkway to his truck. When they reached it, she turned to him.

“That first pool session was rather fast, Matt. Are you always that fast?” Sandy surprised herself with that question and its tone. Plus, she had batted her eyelashes. God was she that dick-starved?

“Fast? No, Missus Stamper.”

“Call me Sandy.”

“Sandy, then. No. This was to get a feel of what pool service is needed. Fast? Naw, not me.” He moved closer and looked her directly in the eyes. “I always take my time. Slow, steady. Never turn down a request. Right in there up to my eyeballs until my client is satisfied.”

Sandy swallowed and backed up.

“That’s re-assuring. I'm in good hands then. See you next session, Matt.” She turned on her heels and swiftly made her way back up the path. Once in the house, she went right to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer. She didn’t know whether to drink it or stick in her panties to cool off. Deciding to drink it won and she finished it off so fast no condensation got to form on the bottle’s surface before she tossed it. She spoke out loud to her absent husband, Connor.

              “Babe, you’re going to have a substantial dinner because you are going to need your strength to bang your wife half the night.”   

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Batten down the damned hatches! I said batten down the damned hatches! Oh, never mind."

Well, the last few months RomanceLandia has lived nowhere in the vicinity of that name. No loving feels given. Then again, it only does sometimes. Oh, at times it can be extremely congratulatory to its members and at other times one would think it was a Roman arena from the set of Spartacus. I have said this and I will say it again, the sisterhood of women can be wonderful but when that sisterhood is not, it's a bitch. That said, the land of alpha, tight-torsoed males, firm-tittied females, the land of image is all and the bottom line counts on it, crashed and hit the median big time last week. My sole consolation was that no PoC authors were harmed in the making of this fiasco. Cue the sarcasm.

A YA author ,with an obvious privilege complex, went batshit crazy. And I do mean crazy. As in call-the-cops crazy over a less than favorable review of her book. This behavior seems to be becoming par for the course for some authors. And it seems to be plaguing the ones who pen YA. Personally, I expected these meltdowns to come from self-pubbed authors of NA. All that angst, drugs, booze and sex that gets stirred up in that genre would be ripe for nuttiness on an author's part if his/her book was not given a glowing review. Cue the sarcasm.

Anyhoo, this author woman STALKED a blogger/reviewer because the person didn't care for her book. Obtained the person's work phone umber, WENT TO HER HOME, and even CALLED the blogger at her JOB to complain. REALLY? REALLY? Now, I'm a writer not a book reviewer. But if I were one, and that chick had turned up on my doorstep...hon, let me count the ways! I don't care if the reviewer talked about your Mama; you never have the right to STALK someone. Alright, add this incident to the ish being perpetrated by Ellora's Cave against a blogger and well you get what you've got now. Several romance book blogging/review sites will NOT be doing any business as usual until October 27th. A sort of united front action in sympathy with the lady who got harassed.

The author in question got a platform to defend her actions in a rant printed in The Guardian. The Guardian! I said The-- Never mind. I think it's part of a publicity stunt to get eyes on her work because we all know there is no such thing as bad publicity. But there is such a thing as bad manners and bad judgment. Another belief I hold is, this era of publishing has opened the floodgates, for better or for worse, to folks with talent or without talent and enough free space on their credit card to push that "print" button. Oh yes, this influx fills that punch bowl holding a block of frozen concentrate but it also dilutes it. And don't forget it fattens someone's coffers. Apparently, these authors have images of J. K. Rowling's wealth dancing in their heads. The writer in question is pubbed by a traditional publisher but her tactics to be seen remind of the self-pubbed faction who take promo to a frenzied level. She also has major book world connections. That's what puzzles me. She's got folks in key places to push her work regardless of what one blogger says about it. Whatever. She decided to take the path of writers who depend on a reviewer's opinion to sell her book. She is like many who live by the 5-star reviews on Goodreads, and passable reviews from established blogs to GUARANTEE BANK! Makes no never mind that the ouevre may be sub par. In these people's eyes bloggers/reviewers are the last word.

Which brings me to observation two: romance book blog/review sites. I read them for fun. I like to see what's out there and what readers are interested in. Do I follow them for recs? No. I pick books to read all by my lonesome. I rely on my instincts. No one person's taste is like mine. Just because I like so-and-so does not mean I'll like so-and-so-2. No. That's why I DETEST that feature on Amazon. Back on track. I read a thread on a popular romance blog which asked readers who they put faith in when considering buying books. To my surprise, the vast majority of them rely on other people and these review sites. I was shocked. Floored. And another thing that floored me was, it was not due to possible wasted money that they trusted the blogs instead of their own tastes. It was due to not wanting to waste time on a possibly unworthy tome. Why question is, what if they found the blog's rec to be sucky? Who would they blame then? The rec sucked, you've wasted money and time. And it wasn't even your choice. Which leads me to believe that this is one of the reasons why nuts like Miss Privileged go apeshit when they get anything less than "stupendous" praise for their books. They follow the path of the reader and the reader trusts the blogs. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, listen. No reviewer deserves anything less than thanks and appreciation from an author that his/her book was chosen for review. They do it for free and don't need the grief.

But it's become a Catch-22. These unhinged writers see these sites as a route to the promised land of moolah and recognition. It's a given that if an author's book makes the cut for review, readers do take it into consideration when making book purchases. And if it's a glowing one, readers flock to the book and it's gonna sell. I get the madness but I in no way condone it.

Reviewers, expect this sort of behavior as the romance business scrambles to find its footing in this new Wild West. Expect it more and more as publishers have made review sites the new slush piles. And have foisted promo off on these sites shoulders. Bloggers do not get paid for their service and major publishers use them as FREE PROMO as they spend next to nothing on promo anymore. Hopefuls are looking to  review sites, not capable authorship, to lift them out of the swiftly moving current of the slush pile. And since promo for this new kind of slush pile has been re-directed to book review sites, these sites have every right to slime the ill-prepared when they present unpolished work and they have every right to sink the ill-mannered when they show their asses.

My solution if I were a book blogger? I'd draw up some sort of document stating that any bad behavior directed at a blog/review site, by an author, because said author's work was given a less than stellar review, would result in a boycott of reviewing books by that author's publisher for a loooong period of time and a lifetime ban for the author from submitting anything else to that blog for review. Let them go bitch about that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Auntie Fee vs. Thug Kitchen

Another instance of appropriation? You be the judge. Auntie Fee of Facebook, You Tube and recently of some T.V. spots fame, is an African-American woman who dispenses economical ways of stretching your food dollar with today’s slim paychecks. Astrologer, Samuel F. Reynolds described her as the person who would emerge if Samuel L. Jackson and Martha Stewart had a baby. That’s…priceless. Aunt Fee doles out her recipes and wisdom from her kitchen with the aid of her son and his camera. See the results on her channel:

Her meals are not for the gourmand. It is filling food for those short on cash. Her delivery of the recipes is one-of-a-kind. This food you learn how to buy and make and enjoy eating if your butt is on a tight budget and your butt wants to eat! No arugula, no heirloom tomatoes, no truffles. But I’m sure that Auntie Fee would whip up a bitch of a meal with those items if you gave them to her.

This woman is the real, friggin’ deal. She started this to hand out tips to strapped households. She is sincere in her efforts and I hope it pays off for her.

Which brings me to the item called Thug Kitchen. It is a vegan cookbook in blackface, slapped together by two White twenty-somethings, who found it cute to use what is categorized as thug language to describe the preparation of straight-forward, no-nonsense meals. Anyone seeing the Elvis Effect here? Cute for whom, dear hearts? To what audience is this tome directed? Surely not the thug (code: urban, code: BLACK/BROWN) in the title. The people whose parlance you’ve borrowed may want cooking advice but they would NOT be the buyers of this ish. And you know it. How fortuitous that this book has dropped in time for Xmas gifting! How wondrous it will be to gather ’round yon holiday hearth over cocktails to deconstruct the recipe descriptions and the recipes themselves (whose ingredients, by the way, do not come from Bottom Dollar)! The only fretting that will arise will be “What 40 oz. goes with kale?”

Oh, the quandary!

The following is a comment from a guy on Facebook:
“Look, intellectualize it all you want, but these two wrote a book with the knowledge that it would be perceived as "ironic" -applying "street culture" (read: Black) to typically yuppie (read: White) trends - to appeal to a certain demographic. That demographic is generally the hipster kids of rich white parents, who don't think of themselves as racist but revel in these stereotypes and have no problem gentrifying the shit out of everything. So it's dishonest, bullshit marketing at best, and profiting off of tongue-in-cheek making fun of, and perpetuating racial stereotypes at worst.”

Out of the mouths of babes. This is a vegan cookbook. A cookbook coming out at holiday time which would have blended in with, and gotten lost in the crush of all the other overpriced, shiny cookbooks. It's a hit because of, and ONLY because of, its spin. Not its content. Veggies have been written about in cookbooks since...forever. 

So dear writers and publishers of Thug Kitchen, while depositing those royalty checks, darlings, do remember Aunt Fee and CUT HER A F*&^KIN’ CHECK!

Appropriation. ‘Tis a heady intoxicant. And so very profitable.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thank you but...

Thanks to the people who have read my books. EXCEPT. Why don't you ever leave a review on Amazon or wherever you got it? Legit or pirated. Yes, I know some of you don't get my stuff through the correct channels. SHAME ON YOU. Why don't you think my effort is worth your money? It's worth your time apparently because I used to find my work on those kinds of sites all the time. I must say that the IR/Multicultural book threads are in heavy rotation on the pirate sites. Is it such a forbidden pleasure that you can't be found out buying one from a legal ebookstore? Is it so freaky? Well, you aren't alone in your "freakdom." Somebody is reading them. 'Cuz I can hear you breathing. 'Cuz fellow authors lament low sales and low royalties in spite of readers emailing them or commenting on Facebook how much they loved the book. So as I have said, "Somebody is reading them." SO IF YOU ARE READING MY ISH, LEAVE A REVIEW, WHY DON'T YA? Thank you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hi y'all!

This is a shout out to all who check in on my blog. Hi, U. S. A.! Hi, Canada! Hi, France! Hi, United Kingdom! Hi, Germany! Hi, Russia! Hi, Italy! Hi, Japan! Hi, Poland! Hi, Ukraine! Hi, China! Hi, Singapore! Hi, Bulgaria! and so far Hi, Kazakhstan! And if I've missed anyone else, I'll shout out to you next week. Thanks!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Outlander" at last!

I'm thrilled to see that author Diana Gabaldon's mammoth Outlander series has finally found its way to film. Unlike readers today, who have to know everything before they even consider looking at a book, I picked up that huge book without knowing a damned thing about it other than it was about time travel, Scotland and Jacobites! How could I have lost? It was/is chocked full of eternal love, action, sex, betrayal, etc. Good stuff. The stuff of which terrific historical romances are made.

The making of this series has taken the long road to FOREVER. The first book came out in '91 and I've followed it ever since. For me the first three books are the best. An early contender for the role of Jamie was, hold on to your bandana, are you ready? AXEL ROSE. Yep, The GUNS N' ROSES front man. I suppose it was because he had red hair. Could he act? Probably not. Well, you know Hollywood. That use-the-flavor-of-the-moment.mentality regardless of talent level. He was the popular rocker of the nanosecond. That's all that mattered. Since early plans had been for a feature film, a name was needed to sell tickets. Translation: put asses in seats. Anyhoo, it didn't come to pass. Thank goodness. But hopes were still high. High for over twenty freakin' years:( Just happy it happened before the next century rolled around.

The choice of Sam Heughan for Jamie is spot on. Catriona Balfe makes a radiant Claire. Which brings me to the subject of fandoms. I've never encountered such a crowd. They live for the "feels." Now, I can get lost in a story as completely as the next person but the difference is I come the frig back. I don't sit staring at the TV, pillow to my mouth screaming into it because something befell a character. It's not real. It's acting. I'm a little scared of the zealotry of fandoms. And Lord, they have risen up for this series. I guess all that True Blood love had to shift to some place. If the adoration of Mr. Heughan plays out like the adoration for Twilight's Robert Pattinson, I fear for Heughan's career. I pray that women stop asking him what he's wearing under his kilt. Really, folks. Grow up. I hope his career blooms and does not stagnate because women want to see him in Outlander, season 57 and will expect him to attend every convention for the next 40 years as "Young Jamie" no matter how old he'll be. But what truly scares me are the fandoms of people who've never read the book, and have no clue as to the extremes that Jamie will endure. When, and if a particular situation in the book is televised, a mass howl will reach the heavens and dogs will drop dead from burst eardrums.

The other part to Outlander madness is women will be booking flights to Scotland to find their very own Jamie Fraser. Hell, I'm sure some are there already with versions of Claire's wedding dress in tow! Any guy with a pulse and a kilt will be fair game. Plus, Scotland? Yo, Scotland? Are you listening? Expect a gazillion Americans to flood the place for vacations and weddings. They'll be looking to stay in digs "just like that castle" they saw on TV. Get ready because they are a' coming! I say jack up the prices, gird yer loins, and think of England.

In closing, I take my hat off to the creators of this series. The actors, the locations and the script are superb. I'm hooked and waiting eagerly for next April. But the person who deserves the largest chunk of credit is Diana Gabaldon. She is a ROMANCE WRITER. That's the one thing the creators of the series neglect to call Outlander. First and foremost, it is a ROMANCE. And Ms. Gabaldon gave birth to it all with the power of her imagination and her love of the genre. Long live romance! And gorgeous Highlanders.

image courtesy of