Archive for July, 2006


When Good Things Happen To Bad Boys…

Lori Foster: Playing Doctor

I actually managed to finish this one despite swearing never to read another Foster book. Great set-up, even if I don’t really thinking Axel and Libby will live happily ever after–which isn’t a dealbreaker for me anyway.

Erin McCarthy: The Lady Of The Lake

This is my first McCarthy read.

I made it through despite it being a “I’m not pretty enough for you!” book.

The plot is actually very like a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. I looked it up, and I’m pretty sure it’s Nobody’s Baby But Mine.

Girl is not very pretty. But Girl wants a baby. So what does Girl do? Girl sleeps with a famous and rich and handsome athlete. Girl tries to keep Athlete and Fetus/Baby apart, but does not succeed.

Sadly for McCarthy, I remember the SEP book to be much better than her novella.

HelenKay Dimon: Hardhats And Silk Stockings

Ah, the story I wanted to read.

Very hot set-up. I really like Whit.

Hardhats And Silk Stockings is a heroine’s story though. It is Hannah who grows as a character.

I do think that it reads as though HelenKay had to cut out details to retain the novella length. But I did finish it with a smile, so it’s certainly worth a read.

No, I don’t think this anthology is worth buying just for HelenKay’s novella, especially not at trade paperback price. It is worth spending the time to read it, but not the money.

FYI, this is a signed copy from HelenKay, and her interview should be up tomorrow.


Strength and Independence

Jorrie Spencer brings up a very interesting point about the Strong Woman Stereotype.

From a Smart Bitches post (again, snurched from the lovely Jorrie):

I love strong and independent women in Romance, but professionally passionate women aren’t necessarily personally wanting and emotionally deprived (it’s often quite the opposite, in fact, at least in real life), and I wish we could move away from this stereotype in contemporary Romance.

I totally agree with that statement.

There are successful women out there who don’t regret the sacrifices they’ve made to get to where they are today. There are successful women out there who have somehow made the time to smell the roses and really live life. There are successful women out there who aren’t really looking for a significant other or want their lives to change.

Sure, there are those who came from dysfunctioning homes, or lived hand to mouth as children. That was what spurred them on to success.

But some of them came from well-off and happy homes. They just had that hunger for something more.
And I understand that latter group. My family’s well-off and we’re (mostly) normal. I just dream a little bigger than my peers do–no, I’m not referring to the NYT-bestselling part.

Okay, so I’m a bit nuts, but I don’t consider myself emotionally-deprived. There is a difference, and if you’re a shrink who reads my blog, please confirm this. 😉


Pure Sex

Lucinda Betts: The Bet

Very hot, and very sensual, but despite it’s novella-length, she does actually leave me satisfied that Zoe and Phillip are meant to be together. That is really rare for me. And their banter sure is fun!

I’ll be keeping an eye out for her.

Bonnie Edwards: Slow Hand

I’ve had problems connecting with her characters before. Same thing again, and I think it’s simply that her writing doesn’t work for me.

Sasha White: The Crib 

Alexis reminds me of Annabel from Alison Kent’s gIRL-gEAR books–I’ve just read it, before writing this review. And that’s a very good thing in my book.
Sasha’s writing style is almost raw, and it suits Alexis’s voice perfectly. I don’t tend to like reading sex scenes in first person, but this time, it works for me.

My quibble is that I don’t think the plot worked very well. I felt it suffered Novella-itis, which is when the author had to cut and cut and cut some more in order to keep it a novella.

And since she tells me she reads my blog, Sasha, are we going to get another Alexis book?

I liked this antho, but I’d honestly suggest getting the authors single titles instead. You’d probably get better value for your money.

FYI, Sasha sent me this book.


The Book Trailer

Anybody out there buy a book because of one? That’s what every body wants to know.
I know I’ve not. I’ve bumped it up the priority list, but not bought a book just because of a trailer. But I’m an oddity: I am not a visual person at all. Don’t do movies or TV.

Except that from the comments and blogs I’ve seen, the answer is no. People don’t buy books because of book trailers.

I’m an auditory person, which leads to the next issue:

I don’t like trailers with narrators/voiceovers. I don’t usually ‘connect’ the voice. It doesn’t click for me. Come to that, I don’t do audiobooks either.

Take Lynn Viehl‘s Darkyn site. I like the look of the trailer. But the narrator turned me off. Maybe it’s because I’ve already read the book. Maybe if I didn’t already have an impression of Lynn’s writing voice, I’d not have that issue.

So far, I’m only talking about Flash movies.

I’ve not even gotten to the ones like Circle of Seven Productions do. I don’t even bother to watch these. I prefer to form a vague image of the characters from reading the book.

I think what’s important in a book trailer isn’t getting across the book’s plot. I think getting across the feel and themes of the book is or should be the point of a book trailer.

That’s just my opinion and your mileage may vary.


Kathleen O’ Reilly: The Diva’s Guide To Selling Your Soul

V is a good girl gone bad–she sold her soul to Lucy and helps other people sell their souls to Lucy–who finds out that she still has a core of good.

I suggest reading this book for Lucy the Devil’s columns. Hilarious!

The ending does leave me scratching my head — Suzy Wong? –but for most part it was an okay read.


Gregg Hurwitz: The Kill Clause

It started out pretty good. I like characters who step over the line.

The middle sagged and the ending dragged.

I think it might have been better if Tim did end up in jail. That might be something new, but I see that Hurwitz has released 2 books featuring Tim Rackley, so I guess that was out.


Rene Lyons Talks To Us

Hi everyone…no it’s not Milady Insanity, so forgive me if this post isn’t witty and wonderful. ;)Who am I you ask? Well, I’m Rene Lyons. Milady kindly allowed me to highjack her blog on this day, which also happens to be the day of my very first book release.

What book? Well, how kind of you to ask! That book is Midnight Sun and it’s about a Templar Knight damned by God as a vampire. If you go to either My Website or Samhain Publishing you can find out more about the books and if you find it interesting, you can even buy it at either site! 😉

Okay, now, to tackle the reason I’ve invaded Milady’s space (other than to pimp my new book *wink*). Seems there is a huge discussion going on around the Net that I’ve been blissfully uninvolved in. But alas, since I am now an ‘officially’ published author, I’d like to add my two cents.

The topic is Authors Behaving Badly.

It might seem like a cop-out that I’m taking the reader’s side in this, but the truth is, I don’t like some of the things I’m reading authors are writing in response to this mess. The main thing authors are speaking out against is the dreaded snark. Truth is, snarking has always been and it’s not going anywhere. There is nothing we can do but laugh at it (and ourselves!). Some snarkers however, really need to read up on what it means. Nasty does not = snark.

Same with reviews. Bad reviews will forever plague an author. Since anyone can have a blog, it stands to reason people will use that forum as a soapbox to vent their rather strong opinions. If authors can’t handle that heat, stop publishing your books, since once you put your work out there it will not please all of the people all of the time.

Lord knows I wish everyone loves Midnight Sun, falls in love with my Templar vampires, and floods me with emails begging me to write more books and get to writing them faster. But the truth is, while I hope some people like my work, others are going to hate it. And they will post scathing reviews about it, even going so far as to personally attack me for daring to write a book they believes is awful. They will snark my cover. They will write such awful things that I’ll probably be reduce to tears. Will I lash out on my blog about it? Call readers stupid? Whine endlessly about the injustice of it all? Absolutely not. I’ll simply ignore it publicly and annoy my friends privately about it. After they tell me to shut the hell up and grow a backbone, they will remind me I don’t write to please everyone. I write to please that one person who reads my book and walks away moved…as I did after I read Saving Grace by Julie Garwood.

So I guess it all comes down to this…authors need to grow some thicker skin when it comes to snark and bad reviews. They need to remember that they are in the public eye and represent not only themselves, but their publishing house(s), and to push it even further…the romance writing community as a whole. I will always try to remember that and conduct myself respectfully at all times. That’s how I live my private life and I can’t see that changing now that I put a foot out in the public world.

Same with reviews. Bad reviews will forever plague an author. Since anyone can have a blog, it stands to reason people will use that forum as a soapbox to vent their rather strong opinions. If authors can’t handle that heat, stop publishing your books, since once you put your work out there it will not please all of the people all of the time.

Oh…and readers…please remember that we authors aren’t robots. We’re people too and are subject to all the beautiful flaws that go with being human. 🙂

Love to you all and again…thank you May. I had fun being your guest.

Rene Lyons

Rene’s blog

Midnight SunIf you pick this up now or in the next week, there’s a 10% discount.
July 18th 2006 Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
— The Daystar —
October 31st 2006 Samhain Publishing Ltd.

Rene, thanks for your time! She’s taking questions in the comments today, so have fun in the comments today and I’ll check back as much as I can.