Archive for March, 2007


Rape and Forced Seduction

I cannot remember when was the last time I read one of these, because it’s been so long since I read a historical, and you just don’t see this very often in contemporary settings.

What I do know is that I used to love them. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey etc. That’s what I read when I just started reading romance.

I don’t know whether I’d still love them today, but I’m keen to find out, for various reasons including the fact that my WIP has a forced seduction* and a rape scene. Sort of. I’ve decided to be a chicken (but not Southern Fried, unlike the Chicas) and skip that section, even though I don’t usually write out of order.

[It’s not a romance, but I’m looking for someone to discuss plot stuff, so if you’re one of the bunch of writers I chat with about writing regularly, and you’re curious, you know where to find me. This means the CPs, the Sisters, and the Evil people and everyone else I forgot. LOL. And it’s tagged sob story on my LJ, but I don’t think I’ve given that many specific details though.]

The marvelous** Jane says:

Let’s not sugar coat it. Anna Campbell’s hero rapes the heroine. There are no nuances that suggest it is not rape. Whether Campbell redeems Justin to a readers’ satisfaction is up to each individual reader. But romance readers are not so blind, are we, to repellant behavior that we actually excuse it to make it palatable?

I don’t know about the reader I was a few years (more like five or six…I feel old) ago, but I probably thought it was Oh So Romantic. Hey, I didn’t know anything back then!***

I think that it takes very powerful love for a woman to get past something like that. That kind of love comes under Oh So Romantic. In the hands of a great writer, it can sweep readers away.

So I don’t think readers excuse it, but that when a reader reads and enjoys a forced seduction story, the reader believes that the hero and heroine really do love each other, and so the heroine is able to get past the rape.

I do plan to get the book which started the whole thing again: Anna Campbell‘s Claiming The Courtesan (yes, I won a signed coverflat from her on Nalini Singh‘s blog).

Michelle Buonfiglio summarizes the book in her post, but this section, I think, is critical:

But Kyleborn spends three, long, irate, celibate months tracking Verity. And when he finds her? He kidnaps her, drags her to the wilds of Scotland, where he attempts to break her spirit, so angry is he that she left him and took with her the only peace he’s known.

Reading this section makes it very clear why Jane asks that question.

As far as I can remember, every romance I read where the hero rapes the heroine gives some sort of flimsy reason why he raped her. Sometimes she’s a whore, a slave etc. If you’ve read one without this, correct me in comments.

Also, I want recommends. I’m eyeing Tracy Macnish’s Veiled Desires, any others? If you can recommend a contemp with a rape or forced seduuction, that would be absolutely wonderful, but I’ll take historicals.

* Maybe more than one forced seduction. I’m a panzer, and this is a long, long story, both literally and figuratively.

** Meljean, if you see this, I begin to understand Missy better and better.


I am a Kickass Ninja Chick

And ardent defender of the Queen of Ninjas, Racy Li, even though she does not need defenders. 😉

Thank you, Rhian, for giving me a new title.

I like being a Kickass Ninja Chick better than being Malicious May, so pfffffffft to you, Evil Edie.

Yes, Edie Ramer is Evil. There is no doubt of this.

If you’re going to RWA National, Michelle Diener is looking for a new roomie, so that we can rename Edie Ramer as Evil Edie on the Magical Musings blog without fearing retribution.


Five Questions with Joanna Archer

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Um…May? I just found out I’m a part of a nefarious supernatural underworld where the battle between good and evil is literal. My already unraveling family life had been irrevocably obliterated, and my real father is some being made of thoughts and energy who is now out to kill me. Not to get bitchy or anything, but what do you think?

2. Your creator/scribe/author Vicki used to be a showgirl. Does she dance to your tune, or is it the other way around?

Vicki has a bit of a God-complex when it comes to the world of the Zodiac, and I can understand that; so much of a writer’s life is outside their control that it’s comforting for them to think they can control the work itself. The trick to dealing with her is to let her go ahead and think she’s in control; I’ll give her a plot point or two, follow her along for a couple of scenes – you know, throw her a bone now and then. It calms her down, and she ends up being unwittingly more receptive to my ideas, but in a nutshell? It’s just easier if she stays out of my way.

3. Joanna Archer vs Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan. Think you can kick her butt?

Psst … May. Rachel Morgan is a character. She’s not real. Duh.

4. Talking about kicking butt, what would be in your playlist to kick butt to?

Bodies, by Drowning Pool in specific; Godsmack; Korn, Nickelback, and NiN. The usual suspects.

5. Do you think other creatures of the night exist? Werewolves, vampires etc?

Not in my world. If they did, I’d have found them by now.



Joanna Archer is the star of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson. The first book, The Scent Of Shadows, has already been released, and the follow-up, The Taste Of Night, releases today.



A novella in the Zodiac world will be part of a Fall 2007 anthology with Kim Harrison, Marjorie M. Liu and Lynsay Sands.


Reviews? What reviews?

I think Bev “but I don’t DO that re-view thing” has the right idea.

I’m slightly behind.

Okay, horrifically behind.

But you get the idea.

And well, I’ve run out of other things to ramble about.

I’m not even reading enough books to post a weekly review. It’s difficult because I’ve an ARC I want to read and…I’m just not interested in reading it.

Even to procrastinate other stuff, like, studying.

By the way, Patricia Bray is right when she says “It’s a vast conspiracy” not to tell writers when they start out about the way writing eats into reading time.

Also, has anyone heard from Maili? Her site’s down as well–at least, it has been for me. Anybody know anything? I just want to know that she’s okay.


Patricia Briggs: Blood Bound

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places–and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary–and neither is the demon inside of him…

It took me awhile to get into this book. I must have read the first 2 chapters half a dozen times!

I think the plot from the blurb didn’t interest me much, though I did enjoy reading the book.

I’m actually more interested in the ‘love triangle’ than the book’s plot. Samuel! *sigh* I also do think that’s the only overarching plotline developed in Blood Bound.

This rates 3 out of 5.


7 Questions with Ilona Andrews

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Gordon: I am pretty grounded, so about a five. I guess because mainly I get to do what I want.

Ilona: Eleven. ‘Nuff said.

2. How did you guys meet? And tell us how you got to writing together.

Ilona: We met in English 101. Andrew decided I was the only writer in the class who could prove to be his competition, so he decided to take me out. As to how we started writing together… How did we start writing together?

Gordon: It started with college papers. We would edit each other’s papers. We made a pretty good team.

3. A husband-and-wife writing team. What’s it like in the house come deadline time? Do the kids stay out of the way? 😉

Gordon: Yes. Well, they should. But they don’t always.

Ilona: Actually, the worst time is the first 24 hours after we get revision requests. I mostly rant non-stop about how the revisions make no sense and how we’re not going to do it and bang the cabinet doors. But once that passes, usually we get to work and finish before the deadline. Curiously, with time the revision requests make more and more sense.

4. Another author I interviewed, Jaci Burton, who has co-written two novels with her husband, said “When writing with a partner, their schedule isn’t always going to match your schedule.”

Gordon: I don’t think that’s a problem for us. We always kind of matched our schedules, both in writing and in life. When I was in the military, Ilona would get up at the same time as I did.

Ilona: Yes, pretty much. If I need Andrew to look over something, he will stop what he is doing and look over it. And vice versa.

5. This question’s for Ilona: Would you translate Magic Bites into Russian yourself? Why, or why not?

Ilona: Oi. Not sure. I would like to, but I am not sure I would have time. Since the second book is due to come out in April 2008, the schedule is a bit tight at the moment.

6. Short people are sneaky people. True or false?

Ilona: True. We make excellent thieves.

Gordon: Yes.

7. Plot bunnies leave holes large enough for people to jump through. Chocolate Easter bunnies that you break, and find out that 1) they are hollow and 2) the chocolate sucks. Bunnies, too, are the root of all evil. I hear Ilona disagrees.

Ilona: Bunnies are not the root of all evil! They are cute, cuddly, and fluffy, especially if you photoshop some horns and demonic wings onto them.

Gordon: …… Bunnies taste good.

The Ilona-half of Ilona Andrews has a LiveJournal, and she has a great post about her path from unpubbed to pubbed. She is also a member of Fangs, Fur and Fey and Urban Fantasy Fan.

Their debut novel, Magic Bites, will be available in bookstores March 27th.


Gena Showalter: Playing With Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire aren’t just a band anymore…

Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye!

It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my Grande Mocha Latte.

Of course I got wicked sick.

Next morning I’m waking up with this total hottie bending over me.

He tells me

1) his name’s Rome Masters,

2) he’s a government agent and

3) I can control the four elements with a thought.

He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation than I am…. Because now he’ll have to kill me.

I liked Playing With Fire better than the other Gena Showalter books I’ve read.

It doesn’t have that rushed feeling I had come to associate with Showalter after reading Awaken Me Darkly and Heart Of The Dragon. I actually would be interested in reading more books set in this world, and I didn’t with the other two.

Belle starts out as your typical girl-next-door. I don’t think she grows as much as a character I would like though.

Liked the resume at the back. Is it wrong that my mind leapt into the gutter when I read that she “aced all extra-credit assignments” in the School of Rome?

This rates 3 out of 5.