Female Authors of M/M romance and Internalized Misogyny

Reblogged from The Fangirl:

"Authors Z. A. Maxfield, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, Anne Tenino, and Josephine Myles gave new insight into why women write gay romance fiction."


“I’m tired of women’s nasty, mean games, and don’t want to write about them,” Amy added. Backbiting and undermining of friends’ goals and aspirations aren’t often found in gay romance since men are more direct in their interactions.


Mary echoed this thought by saying, “I don’t want to write about bitchy women.”


ZAM said the equality of the partners is much more interesting to her. “There’s an equality at the beginning of the relationship that’s a very powerful dynamic to explore,” she explained.


Good to know that only men can have equality in their relationships. /sarcasm


*adds these authors to her never read ever list* 


OverDrive and Smashwords Ink Deal to Distribute Indie Author Ebooks to Libraries

Reblogged from My Reading Nook:

OverDrive, the world’s largest library eBook platform, and Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of self-published eBooks, announced on Tuesday that 200,000 self-published titles will be available for public libraries in OverDrive’s global network.


“This agreement with OverDrive represents a watershed moment for indie authors, libraries and library patrons around the world,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. “Smashwords authors now have distribution through OverDrive, the premiere supplier of library eBooks. Millions of library patrons will now have access to the amazing literary talent of the world’s best indie authors.”


Review: Sharing Space by Nina Perez

Sharing Space (The Complete Series) - Nina Perez

This review was originally posted on Bibliodaze:

I was first made aware of this book by a review by Ridley at Love in the Margins. What struck me most about her review was that she found the dialog realistic and the author’s voice memorable. Those are things that appeal to me as a reader, so I almost immediately snapped this book up. I do not regret it.

Originally serialized and now available as a bundle featuring all six novellas, Sharing Space is a low key romance. Chloe and Patrick’s love story resonates because its high and low points are relatable. It could be boring, but it’s not. The writing style makes it easy to care about Chloe and Patrick individually and as a couple. The story is told in the first person from both their points of view and their unique voices are established quickly through internal dialog and the way they speak. So I was along for the ride with Chloe and Patrick from their first meeting. I just loved the way they spoke to each other. As friends and later lovers, they made each other laugh, think and cry. In good times and bad they stood by each other. Whenever they fought, I found myself begging two fictional characters to work things out. It was also really hard to pick a side in any conflict, which is what so often happens in real life.

Both Chloe and Patrick are surrounded by loving families and friends. Patrick comes from a close knit Irish family and has six brothers and sisters. He also has two close childhood friends, Paul and Max. Chloe’s circle of friends and family is much smaller but no less close. She turns to her cousin Crystal for advice and her best friend Myra keeps her sane at work. All these characters do not simply function as a Greek chorus that comments on the status of Chloe and Patrick’s relationship. Almost all of them have their own arc, their own journey. No character, down to Chloe’s precocious niece, feels flat. I actually found myself wanting more from the side stories. I was particularly interested in Crystal welcoming the father of her daughter back into her life much to Chloe’s chagrin and Paul’s struggles with coming out to his friends and family.

All of this is not to say that the side characters do not affect the central romance. Two of the biggest conflicts in the book arise because Patrick’s mother and Myra loudly disapprove of the interracial relationship for very different reasons. Chloe and Patrick’s whirlwind romance does not exist in a vacuum.

I only felt pulled out of the story a few times. There’s a plot surrounding Patrick’s youngest sister Charlotte and a suspected drug problem. The way it is resolved felt over the top and abrupt to me. I also felt that the ending was a little too neat and tidy. The book handled the real conflicts that can arise in a relationship, particularly an interracial relationship, so deftly, the few stumbles really stood out. However, these problems did not keep me from enjoying the book as a whole. I recommend Sharing Space to anyone who loves sweet and sexy contemporary romance novels.

3.5 Stars

Welcome to Bibliodaze!

Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

Hey, we did a thing!


So after bugging you all for weeks about contributing, advice, ranting and everything in between, is now a reality! 


We're so excited about this new opportunity and hope you'll all check it out and maybe even want to contribute. We've got guest pieces from some favourite Goodreads & BookLikes people, lots of thought provoking pieces planned and even a special contributor - a YA author under cover of anonymity telling us what it's really like in the industry!


My co-editor Catherine is a genius who did all the hard work while I stared gormlessly, truly the Zapp Brannigan to her Kif. Go and tell her how wonderful she is!


And follow us on Twitter @bibliodaze



Anglo-Filles Episode 15: There’s Gotta Be Some Waxed Man-titty In Here Somewhere!

Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

Our new episode of our podcast Anglo-Filles is up. We're talking romance novels and our special guest is Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches Trashy Books!


I don't say much in this episode but I'm there, honestly! 

I have a podcast and we have a new episode!

Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

We're talking about the Fall season of TV on my podcast, Anglo-Filles.


Things we talk about: Orlando Jones's Sleepy Hollow fandom majesty, Jonathan Rhys-Meyer’s American accent in Dracula, Karl Urban’s smoulder-confused face in Almost Human, Silence of the Lambs fan-fiction with a budget (also known as The Blacklist), Ming-Na’s flawlessness in a sea of breadstick blandness on Agents of SHIELD and how to piss off a Russian with sloppy spelling with bonus topless Daniel Radcliffe!

Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

"The more reviews of varying types there are, the more I as a reader trust the average of those reviews. Disagreement to me seems more likely to be honest instead of a hype bomb from the squee-cannon. As I said before - it's easy to fake hype. It's much harder to fake anger or the process of working out how one feels about a book through a thoughtful discussion of pros and cons."

--Sarah Wendell at Smart B*tches, Trashy Books


- - - - - - - - - - - 


Smart stuff from the every fab Smart Bitches.


As a basic rule, I don't trust a book with mostly fawning reviews. 

A Woman Entangled - Cecilia Grant

I think I was a little hard on this one at first.


I've read all of Cecilia Grant's three books. So far they've all started slow and sometimes her writing style, while beautiful, takes a bit of getting used to. In her first two books, the characters made the slow start less noticeable. Both of those books were stories of complete opposites. The leads were so different at first glance. So there were chapters full of back and forth, arguments, saying/doing the wrong thing, apologies that went awry, etc. And to be perfectly honest, there was more sex in those books. What can I say? I like when there's at least a few good sex scenes in my romance novels. And Cecilia Grant writes good ones, so the more the merrier.


This book on the other hand is a friends to lovers story. These are two people whose relationship is less fiery at first glance because they're so comfortable with each other. So at first they kind of bored me. I found Kate silly and Nick too stodgy. But as the story went on, and that comfort slipped away as romantic feelings got in the way, things got much more interesting. To paraphrase the slogan from "The Real World," they stopped being polite and started getting real.


That reminds me of another thing that makes this different from Ms. Grant's other books. They are all historicals, but the others occurred on the fringes of polite society. This one takes place right in the thick of it since both main characters are jockeying for increased social standing. At first I didn't like this, but as the book went on and this part of the story was revealed to be more layered than I originally thought, I didn't mind it.


To wrap things up, even though I didn't like this book as much as Ms. Grant's other offerings, in the end it was a very satisfying read. I found myself not only invested in Kate and Nick as a couple, but them as individuals as well. They both did a lot of growing up and made a lot of tough decisions. I found myself cheering them on by the end.


Finally, this is the third book in a series. I don't think you would have to read the first two books to get this one (although you should) even though the events of both those books heavily influence this one.

The Other Side of Us (Harlequin Superromance)

The Other Side of Us (Harlequin Superromance) - Sarah Mayberry More like 3.5 stars. It got a bit tedious towards the end.
Gorgeous - Paul Rudnick What a delightful, hot mess of a book.
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller I don't even know where to begin in reviewing this book, so I'll just keep it simple...

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs A pleasant enough read, but enough little things irked me about it that I won't read the next book.
Ghost Planet - Sharon Lynn Fisher There was so much I didn't like about this book. Look, I made a list:

1. Mary Sue heroine: Elizabeth is such a Mary Sue! It drove me crazy. She solved scientific problems scientists had been trying to figure out for years in weeks. Every man fell in love with her. Every woman was jealous of her. There were three, yes THREE, attempts at love triangles involving her. She had special powers. It was bad.

2. Instalust: I still don't buy that Elizabeth and her love interest Murphy loved each other. They said it a bunch of times, but that doesn't really mean anything. It just seemed to me like they liked having sex. Oh, they had so much sex, even at really stupid times. It's a romance novel, I expect sex. but these two were so busy rutting like rabbits, their relationship didn't really develop beyond that. I expect to see a relationship to go along with the sex, and this book didn't have it.

3. The Inherent Premise Didn't Work: I don't want to spoil it, but the explanation behind the "ghosts" on the planet didn't pass the smell test in my opinion. And the more characters tried to explain it (there was so much explaining!), the more I rolled my eyes. By the end it felt like the writer wasn't confident enough in her premise to let it stand on its own two feet.

4. The Villains Were Stupid: I counted three of them. All of their plans were very similar. All of their plans were stupid.

So why did I finish this book? I have no problem with DNF-ing something. What kept me involved in this book was the writing. The author's style is very easy to read. Her dialogue is conversational. Even though I didn't much care for the story she was telling, I like the way she told it if that makes sense. And I felt like the book started off so strong with a great idea I'd never seen before. Even though I didn't like this book, I'd be more than willing to give this author another chance when her next book comes out. This is her first book. It's a bit of a mess, but I feel like she can only go up from here.
Hemlock Grove - Brian McGreevy

I kind of want to give this book zero stars. But even for a book I hated as much as this one, that seems mean. And I did finish it after all. So let's say .5 stars.

Anyway, this book is the definition of throwing a bunch of things against the wall and hoping they stick. But none of it sticks. Just look at the book blurb. It mentions a murder mystery, biological experimentation, a werewolf, and a snobby rich kid thrown into the mix for good measure. That's all there and only some of it works. Most of it is just white noise, empty words thrown onto the page. I don't understand why the biotech company was thrown in there at all, or the snobby rich kid (his name is Roman) or even the murder mystery. Because it all amounts to a whole lot of nothing. Nothing is explained really well either. The gypsy characters throw out terms that are never translated or explained. The characters who work at the biotech firm use terms that are also never explained, leaving entire chapters incomprehensible. Plot threads are dropped and picked up again seemingly at random. On top of all that, the story is buried under bloated prose that reads like someone put the original manuscript through the thesaurus in Microsoft Word a bunch of times. At first glance, the words seem poetic, maybe even meaningful; but once you look closer everything's empty. By the end I started picking sentences apart, removing all the unnecessary words to get to the root of what the author was trying to say at any particular moment. It was much more fun than trying to follow the story that was being told.

Another thing that bugged me were a lot of throw away lines about women that were more than a little offensive. There were also uses of slurs that rubbed me the wrong way that felt thrown in just because. Sometimes I thought maybe these lines and words were supposed to say something about the immaturity of the characters who say them, but as the book wore on I became less and less sure of this original assumption. The female characters in this book are thinly sketched at best. And they fall into two categories for the most part, victim or bitch. When male characters talk derisively about women all the time and then the female characters live up to the dumb things they say, that's troubling to say the least.

The only thing that works is Peter's story. Peter's the new kid in town, the Gypsy, the suspected werewolf. Peter feels fully fleshed out, almost like a real teenager. The scenes of him at school, with his mother, hanging out with Roman; they work. When a romance is thrown in, it works too. It makes me wonder if this book started out as a YA novel about Peter and then somewhere down the line the author decided to turn it into something else by throwing in all the other nonsense. Or maybe even a YA novel about all the teens in the strange town of Hemlock Grove, because all of them worked for me as characters on some level. And there was this entire thread about discovery of sexuality that was interesting.

But then again, Roman was a teenage character, and he was the worst. He wasn't so much a character as much as a jumble of characteristics into an unlikable whole. I never understood Roman's motivation for doing anything. I think his selfish and bratty attitude was supposed to explain his irrational behavior, but that can only explain so much. My breaking point was when he did something I found reprehensible about 2/3 through the book that he shows no remorse for and is never mentioned again. I had to put the book down and walk away from it for a few hours, that's how angry the act and the response to it made me.

In the end, Hemlock Grove is bogged down by too many plots, too many trying to be profound but failing miserably moments, and hacky prose. But I read the whole damn thing anyway. It is compulsively readable nonsense. I don't recommend it.

The Runaway Princess - Hester Browne So aggressively bland that by the end it made me a little angry.
How to Lead a Life of Crime - Kirsten Miller The second half of this book gets four stars. The first half gets two (actually, it's more like 60-65% than a half).

The first half of this book was a slog. Not because the story dragged, but because I found the story so uninteresting. I predicted most of the plot turns, and even if I didn't, I wasn't really invested enough to care. I think this is because the main character, Flick, just did not work for me at all. I felt for him, but I didn't care about him because he lacked so much common sense.

But once that second half hit and Joi comes back into the story, things got interesting. (I feel like even the publisher knows this because this is spoiled in the book blurb.) Not only did the pace of the plot pick up, she called out Flick on all the things that bothered me about him as a character.

In the end, I appreciate this book for being different, but it just didn't quite work for me. Even the more enjoyable second half had some plot turns that I didn't care for. And the book was far too long on top of everything else.