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.


Shanna Swendson: Once Upon Stilettos

Click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Bloomies!”Katie Chandler’s life is pure magic–literally. As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., she’s seen more than her share of fantastical occurrences. A mere Manhattan mortal, Katie is no wizard, but she’s a wiz at exposing “hokum” pocus, cloaked lies, and deceptive enchantments. And she’s fallen under the all-too-human spell of attraction to Owen, a hunky wizard and coworker. Owen, however, is preoccupied. Someone has broken into his office and disrupted top-secret files, and it reeks of an inside job. CEO Merlin (yes, the Merlin) and taps Katie and her special ability to uncover the magical mole.

Keeping her feelings in check while sleuthing alongside Owen, Katie is shocked to discover that her immunity to magic is waning, putting her in grave danger. Soon she’s surrendering to the charms and enchantments of everyone and everything around her, including a killer pair of red stilettos. Katie must now conjure up her natural instincts to get to the bottom of the break-in, regain her power, and win the wizard of her dreams.

Once Upon Stilettos has joined the previous book in the series, Enchanted Inc., on my rereads pile. So frankly speaking, I don’t think I can be objective about this book, and not because I have any personal connection to Shanna Swendson.

I’m not inclined to dissect it, and well, if I’ve read it several times in the week since I first finished it, and still love it (remember, I almost don’t reread at all), then it must be a really good book, right?

I guess I’m really writing this just to ask you to go pick this book up, or Enchanted Inc. if you have to read series in order, because I adore this series, and I hope you will too.

This rates 5 out of 5.


Jaci Burton: Nothing Personal

It was nothing personal, just a business arrangement.Ryan McKay is a multi-millionaire with a problem. He needs a bride to fulfill the terms of his grandfather’s will. Unfortunately, the one he chose just bailed on him and he’s hours away from losing his company. Enter Faith Lewis —his demure, devoted assistant. Ryan convinces Faith to step in and marry him, assuring her their marriage is merely a business deal. Ryan is certain he can keep this strictly impersonal. After all, he’s the product of a loveless marriage and for years has sealed his own heart in an icy stone. Despite Faith’s warmth, compassion and allure, he’s convinced he’s immune to her charms.

Faith will do anything for her boss, but — marry him? The shy virgin sees herself as plain and unattractive, a product of a bitter mother who drummed into her head that she wasn’t worthy of a man’s love. But she agrees to help Ryan fulfill the terms of his grandfather’s will, hoping she doesn’t lose her heart to him in the process.

But love rarely listens to logic, and what follows is anything but business.


I really liked Nothing Personal. That’s the excerpt that originally hooked me, Presents-ish plot and all.

What made Ryan as a hero for me was that he would sign away his rights to any child of their union because he thought he wouldn’t be a good father. A great change from the typical “Man Insists on Custody blah blah blah” routine.

As for Faith, I think that she developed, both as a character and as  a woman, over the course of the book, but it bugged me that what her mother did to her wasn’t dealt with.

This rates 4 out of 5 and has been awarded the miladyinsanity Really Fun Procrastination Stamp of Approval.


Saskia Walker: The Strangeling

One woman alone holds the power…

…to undo the hundred-year-old curse of an invincible army of dead men who wait to prey upon the living. Maerose, a beautiful, resilient maiden must drive back the evil spirits by mating with a man of faith on the dark night of Samhain at the very gates of the underworld. Her dormant magic can only be unleashed by willing submission to her predestined lover . . . but a mad man aligned with the demonic forces of the underworld threatens to possess her in his place.

The Strangeling reads like a fairytale. A dark, sensual fairytale.

It’s the kind of book you want to read curled up by the fireplace in winter, perhaps with a nice cup of hot chocolate in your hand.

I found that the second half of the book was better than the first half, largely because there is some degree to which you have to suspend belief, but I think it’s very much worth reading through to the end.

FWIW, it was easy for me to suspend belief because Saskia’s voice works very well for me. I will be getting more of her books.

This rates 4 out of 5.


Seven Questions with Richelle Mead

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.

Ooh, tough question ‘cos it depends on what part of my life you’re talking about. As far as the Succubus Blues release goes? That’s a 1, hands down. I’m so ready for that, it’s not even funny. In fact, I’m so excited, I’m going to go buy a lottery ticket and play my ISBN # on release day. As for the rest of my writing projects…well, that’s an 8, unfortunately. Possibly going up soon. If you want to split the difference, you can stick me at a 4.5.

2. You sold Succubus Blues shortly after quitting your job as a teacher. Vampire Academy, your latest sale, which achieves your dream of having 2 books out in 2007, is a young-adult novel. Was your teaching experience helpful in writing VA?

I actually sold SB while teaching. Got the call in the middle of teaching about the Revolutionary War, much to my students’ amusement! But that’s a story for another day. My teaching actually played a very small role in Vampire Academy. YA only became easy when I stopped trying to think like a teenager. Most of them think a lot like me, so I just wrote them very mature. I did have to tone down the sex and swearing, but that was my publisher’s call…and not necessarily true to life, frighteningly.

3. Synchronicity seems to be the trendy flavor here at Chez Insanity, where my January victims interviewees share Liliths and historical figures in their books. Jackie Kessler and you are both writing about succubi. Eileen Wilks wrote a succubus novella. Do your books share any other similarities?

Short of succubi, no. I haven’t read Eileen’s novella, but Jackie and I have written very different things (despite us discovering that in real life, we’re astonishingly very similar). You can’t imagine our relief when we swapped manuscripts because until then, we’d been worried we were pushing the same thing. We aren’t. Nonetheless, the weirdness of us both writing succubus novels and selling them to the same editor still kind of freaks us out.

4. What are the entry requirements to the Richelle Mead School of Writing and Publishing? And how do I bribe you to get in? Because I don’t think I can pass the entrance exam; a whole bottle of whiskey will probably leave me falling-down drunk.

We here at the RMSWP respect diversity, including those who can’t handle their liquor. So long as you meet the other requirements, we can probably make an exception: insomnia, a penchant for corsets and slutty tank tops, consumption of at least three cups of Kona coffee per day, and red hair. Oh yeah—you also have to submit a well thought out and perfectly punctuated entrance essay delving into the esoteric philosophies behind life, the universe, and Triple Sec.

5. Writing drunk: Good/bad idea?

Writing novels=bad. Blogging=good. Answering interview questions=also good.

6. I absolutely have to know the hows, the whys, and the what happeneds of your late, great sci-fi novel, Harbinger.

Oh, Harbinger…alas. Here’s the skinny: it takes place in a futuristic atheistic society. A drug abusing, womanizing professor rediscovers some religious texts and suddenly has a contract taken out on him. The solution? A debutante turned super-soldier bodyguard. With red hair. Wacky mishaps then ensue…for, uh, 800 pages. That’s why it never saw publication. Someday, I’ll clean it up and make it a realistic length. Either that, or I’ll become so famous, they’ll let me publish anything. Just like several other authors I’m too polite to name.

7. Seven books contracted, seven questions for a succubus author. Is your favorite number 7?

Nine is actually my lucky number. Guess I’ve got to sell two more books.

Richelle Mead blogs and is a member of Fangs, Fur & Fey.

Succubus Blues should be available in a bookstore near you. If you can’t get enough of Georgina Kincaid, she blogs at the Magical Minxes every Thursday.

Vampire Academy releases in the fall.


Thursday Thirteen: My RMSWP Application

What’s the RMSWP? Why, it’s the Richelle Mead School of Writing and Publishing of course!

This is the application she asked for.

(Note: Jo Leigh’s contest ends today!)

1. I know I can’t drink.

2. I’ve become all giggly and redfaced from a slug of rum.

3. But I can bake.

4. I’ll bring homemade baked goods to class regularly.

5. Cookies, cakes and pies. I’ll even take requests.

6. I’ll even up the ante and make alcohol-soaked cakes. Tiramisu…and rum buttercream is yummy!

7. Since I’m a cheap drunk, I’ll let the psych professor experiment on me.

8. I’ll write a book while drunk.

9. And then he can write a paper saying “It’s something every writer should think about.”

10. Cutting edge research, cheap! Instead of pouring liters of alcohol into some other possible subjects’ throats, a few mouthfuls of whisky should suffice.

11. I think I’ve recruited someone else to study, or maybe teach, there. She’s pubbed, so I guess it’s teach?

12. In case it’s not enough, I’ll even do my coursework drunk.

13. So how about it? And La Richelle’s interview goes up on Saturday!

1. Rhian’s TT

2. Scooper’s TT

3. Jaci Burton’s TT

4. Darla’s TT–on Beta Reading

5. Ankur’s TT

6. ScifiChick’s TT

7. MG Braden’s TT

8. Shiloh Walker’s TT

9. Heather Rae Scott’s TTshe’s my hero!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Gail Dayton: The Compass Rose

One desperate call to the gods…
One blast of extraordinary magic…
One gift of unimaginable power…The legends of the Godstruck were just that – legends. Until, in an attempt to defend her people, Captain Kallista Varyl called on the One for aid and was granted abilities such as no one had seen in centuries.

Now Kallista has been charged with a new destiny as one of the most powerful women in the land- but her power is useless if it cannot be controlled. Mastering her “Godstruck” abilities is the first step. The next, learning that she cannot unlock the secrets of the Compass Rose and defeat her nation’s enemy alone. And finally she must stop a demon-possessed king….

The Compass Rose: fourfold magic barely understood-or contained….

The Compass Rose is the first book in Dayton’s Rose series.

I think I expected a book with more risks taken than this, and that if I hadn’t expected more, I would have liked this book a lot better. IOW, it seems…well…tame.

I think Dayton handled the polyamory aspect quite well. You see the slow shifts as the ilian begins to meld.

I would have liked to see more of the worldbuilding.

But where this book really fails for me is Kallista, the main protagonist. I didn’t finish the book rooting for her.

This rates 3 out of 5.


I Was Going to Go Cold Turkey

I’ve been drinking coffee every morning before class lately. I wouldn’t call it a full-blown addiction–since I don’t drink it every day–but it hit me over the weekend that I was getting addicted because it’s the second time in a fortnight that I had a headache…probably because I didn’t have coffee. I have to buy my coffee, because I refuse to abuse my tastebuds with instant.

So I was going to go cold turkey, starting today.

Then I realised that, you know, it’s not such a great idea to go cold turkey right before the mid-terms. Besides, coffee, even my preferred full-fat lattes, has less calories than any caffeine substitute (Chocolate!) I’d be willing to take.

I think this is a bad sign. My procrastination skillz are improving.

Also, tell me this isn’t true!!!


Don’t Read Like A Man, Please

Tara Gelsomino on Read Like a Man:

For my money, I think the reason why I’m often drawn to “men’s” books these days is because of the intelligence factor.

Ah…WTF? I mean, really, WTF?

I’m…I’m stunned speechless!

She goes on to say:

Sadly, I just don’t see the same amount of brainpower in the female-penned novels available today, especially in the softer subgenres like romance and chick lit, where characters are often too busy being neurotic and meet-cute-ish and marveling at the size of their partner’s appendages (“Well, lordy, I jus’ never seen one soooo big!”) to actually seem realistic and intelligent.


That sound you hear is me screaming all the way from Singapore. I’m sorry, but I spent an hour editing what I originally typed to comment into the namby pamby shit that I finally posted, and the stress has to be let out somehow.

She’s generalizing! It’s exactly the kind of thing people who think romance is formulaic would say. I cannot believe that she’s an ex-managing editor for the Romantic Times.

Like Jack Reacher? Read Zoe Sharp‘s Charlie Fox, who’s been called the “female Jack Reacher.” Now there’s one smart and tough female character, written by a female author.

But if you’re looking for books like those written by Lee Child or Jeffrey Deaver, then frankly a lot of romance and women’s fiction isn’t it. That doesn’t make books by Child or Deaver relatively more intelligent, it just means that they are more suited to your taste.

Moreover, there are going to be ‘dumb’ books in every genre.

You simply can’t draw generalizations across the board like this! It’s apples and oranges.


Seven Questions with Jo Leigh

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.

11. I’m plotting a single title romantic suspense, then I need to do the partial, I’ve got 2 Blazes coming up right behind it, I’m moving to a very small house that’s going to be the interim house during the building of our new house, and I’m doing my best to help a dear writer friend who recently lost her husband. So, uh, the asylum is sounding really nice.

2. You have a very varied writing background. Do you think that writing for television has made you a faster writer? You’ve been very prolific as an author.

I don’t think it helped me be prolific. Sitting my butt in the chair and writing every day helped with that. 🙂 Also, living on my writing income. I didn’t relish the idea of having to take a normal job. I’m too spoiled. What the TV writing did for me was help with dialogue. And pacing. But it was a hard switch from thinking in script format to thinking like a novelist. In the beginning, I left out almost all the description. I still have trouble with that. I keep thinking the director and art director will fill in the blanks.

3. You mentioned on your blog that the publishing industry is very different from the movie industry. Do you think moving into book-writing has been better for you as a person?

I know it’s been better for me. I imagine national politics has more sharks in the pond than the film business, but there aren’t that many other industries that can hold a candle. It’s the combination of outrageous money and power, I think. I know too many people in film who consider themselves to be good and decent who wouldn’t hesitate to sell their own mother’s for the right deal. I watched it over and over again. Now, I’m not saying that publishing doesn’t have sharks, but as a whole, the people have been generous and honest, although, as in the film industry, it’s usually the writer who gets the short end of the stick. Don’t know why that is, just that it’s true.

4. You’ve written for a number Silhouette/Harlequin lines, but especially lately, you’ve mostly been writing Harlequin Blaze. Do you simply prefer to write HOT?

Hmmm, no. I tend to write hot, but that’s not the primary reason for sticking with Blaze. It’s an amazing line to write for. I’ve gotten to write so many different kinds of books, all within the line. From romantic comedy to nearly-mainstream romantic suspense. I have an astonishing editor, Birgit Davis-Todd, whom I’ve been with since my first Temptation in 1997, who has supported me from day one. I can’t think of another line at Harlequin or Silhouette where there’s as much diversity for the writers. I think Blaze is hitting the right notes with readers, too. They’re getting hot reads, yes, but they’re not all the same, not by a long shot.

5. What was the process of ghostwriting like?

Ghosting was odd. I was very grateful for the gig, and don’t regret it at all, despite the unsavory subject. It felt much more like writing a big term paper than writing a novel. It was easier than a novel, too. By a lot. I had some folks working with me, who gave me a lot of the material, but there was a considerable amount of research that had to be done. But I find research fun. So once I had the layout together and the research tamed, I wrote the book in short order. I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but hopefully about someone I could respect.

6. It’s said that teaching someone else helps one understand better. You’ve taught a lot of writing workshops and classes. Have you come to find that this has been the case for you?

Absolutely. Teaching is always a two-way street for me. First, I love the process. I’m one of those weird folks who wants to be in front of a hundred people, talking. It’s really about the energy. If I’m doing my job right, everyone in the room is buzzed and excited. Can’t beat it for the adrenalin rush. And once people get excited, they feel free to share, and that’s the treasure trove. In helping other’s get their ‘aha’ moments, I’m also understanding my own. Oh, just talking about it makes me want to do a weekend workshop. Any takers?

7. Has doing surveys on your blog of various matters been helpful to you? Or has it been a case of “Everyone has an opinion that only complicates the issue”?

Honestly, the surveys I can do on my blog hasn’t been much help. I appreciate the folks who participated, but the number was so minuscule there was no way to really get a feel. It has been fun, though, to let other folks express themselves. Books are so personal, and our feeling run so deep about them, it’s nice to give that private voice a public forum.

Jo Leigh blogs at Romancing The Blog. Reckoning releases this month, followed by Kidnapped in September.

And a contest! Jo’s being super-cool, and she’s giving away 2 complete, 4-book sets of In Too Deep series! Comment to win, and the contest closes March 8th.


Colleen Gleason: The Rest Falls Away

Beneath the glitter of dazzling 19th-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil… .Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.

But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria’s heart is torn between London’s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.

And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.

The Rest Falls Away is the first book in Colleen Gleason‘s Gardella Vampire Chronicles.

I liked Victoria, and I liked even more the fact that Colleen allowed her to make mistakes that Victoria is going to have to live with.

I do wonder if perhaps there’s too much relying on the vis bulla, an amulet that gives Venators (vampire slayers) qualities like greater strength and speed. Another thing that bugs me is that Victoria’s only been studying the martial art of kalaripayattu for a month, but she’s become so expert in it–at least, she comes across that way to me.

As a vampire book, it doesn’t score so well, but this is probably skewed by the fact that I like my vampire books really dark and some gore wouldn’t be amiss either.

This rates 3.5 out of 5.


Oooooh Girlfight! Pt. II

Amie and Raine are threatening me.

I don’t understand why. I only asked for a recipe for southern fried chicken. That’s all. It was Free For All Friday.

And I like fried chicken. Who doesn’t like fried chicken, you tell me? Well, except my youngest brother who doesn’t eat meat.



Oooooh Girlfight!

*giggles madly*

Angie hijacked Jaci’s blog.

Yanno, she’s one of those people you want on your side simply because you do not want to be against her.


Must be really scary to have her for an editor. Oh wait, she is the Evil Editor.


Vicki Pettersson: The Scent Of Shadows

When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert. By rights, she should be dead.Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset—a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow—seeking answers to whom or what she really is . . . and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.

But the nightmare is just beginning—for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful shadows want her for their own . . .

Vicki Pettersson does not disappoint, and Joanna Archer? She kicks ass. When she gets knocked down, she gets up and punches back.

Reading The Scent of Shadows is like taking a trip to Las Vegas! It’s comes together with great worldbuilding too–if you read comics, you have to pick this book up, and you’ll find out why when you read it.

And the final paragraph sent chills down my spine. (if you read the ending first, I’ll shoot you, plus I don’t think reading the ending first will make much sense, so DON’T)

This rates 5 out of 5.