Tag Archives: Smart Bitches Trashy Books

This is what an exclusionary society looks like.

8 Aug

(This post has been edited to add more links

for further reading as I become aware of them;

there is a second edit to address my inaccurate reporting

of the ending of a book I have not read)

This rant, which has been percolating in my brain and heart since the morning after the Ritas were handed down,¹ is brought to you by the inclusion of the book For Such a Time, by Kate Breslin, into the list of finalists for RWA’s Rita Awards.

Why would that be a problem? you may ask. Well, a couple of reasons, which have been thoroughly discussed in several places, but let us start with a quick summary, shall we?

The novel, set during WWII, is about a blue-eyed, blonde Jewish young woman–described as Jewess in the actual blurb, I kid you not–who is ‘rescued’ from Dachau’s concentration camp by the SS officer in charge of Theresienstadt concentration camp, and how they fall in love. The book ends with the Jewish protagonist’s faith being healed by the Bible (New Testament included), and with the SS officer having been redeemed by the power of (Christian) love.

Chew on that for a second, if you would.

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Strolling down memory lane

28 Mar

(This post was written and scheduled on Sunday March 23, 2015, as I had hoped to post two or three reviews during the week. Fat chance, after this. I thought about re-scheduling or deleting it then, but you know what? Fuck that. So here you have it, a stroll down memory lane.)

*

I have been part of the Bitchery–as a habitual reader and regular commentator for most of the ten years the website has existed. There are many things about the site and the people who run it that I adore, many that I enjoy, some that I disagree with (which is, you know, normal when we are talking about people–not two people are going to agree on absolutely everything, right?)

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Skies of Gold, by Zoë Archer

7 Jan

Skies of GoldSkies of Gold by Zoë Archer

I am usually very much a stickler when it comes to reading series in order, which means that by the time I got my greedy mitts on Skies of Gold, I should have read at least two, or more likely four, other books.

See, this is actually the fifth book in the Ether Chronicles, a steampunk historical series written by Zoë Archer and her husband, Nicco Rosso. That is, they do not write the books together, they write alternating books in the series.

The thing is, though, that I probably wouldn’t have even known about the series, let alone this novel, were it not for an interview podcast with the authors at SmartBitches.

Still, and even though I’ve liked what I’ve read of Ms Archer’s other work, I don’t think I would have looked Skies of Gold up, except that it went on sale right after I read this very enthusiastic review–also at the SmartBiches.

What’s a reading addict to do then?

Obviously, get the book and inhale it.

Which I did.

Now all you lovelies get to see what I think about it 😀

But first, the blurb (directly from Ms Archer’s site):
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Previously on EC v DA… (a couple of updates)

23 Oct

(not two hours after publication, updates ahoy!)

Ellora's Cave sues Dear AuthorSince I last posted about the vexatious defamation suit that Ellora’s Cave filed against Dear Author and Jane Litte, a number of things related to the case have happened.

(Some other significant shit has also happened, which has made me think a lot about what I’m doing here and elsewhere. I hope to be able to post something coherent about these thoughts in the next few days.)

Some of them are significant, some of them not so much, but all the same here you have some thoughts on the matter, with plenty of linkage.

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Ellora’s Cave, Dear Author, the Streisand Effect and freedom of speech.

27 Sep

(Edit Tuesday 03/31/15: a couple of important links at the end)

(Edit Thursday 10/30/14: a master cheat sheet and a fundraising anthology)

(Edit Friday 10/03/14: SmartBitch Sarah has created the Dear Author/Jane Litte Defense Fund using crowdfunding service GoFundMe)

(Edit Tuesday 9/30/14: unsticking, as there is something more pressing happening. I will continue to update the list of links at the bottom, though)

(Edit Monday 9/29/14: making this post sticky for the nonce, as I continue to update the list of links at the end. Scroll down for updates on this, and new posts on other topics.)

Welcome to my little corner of the intrawebz. Ellora's Cave sues Dear Author

I am a blogger and, among other things, I talk about things I feel passionate about. I appreciate the fact that I live in a country where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution. I am grateful that there are those who are willing to help others by putting their money and/or their labor where their beliefs are, and so defend everyone’s right to speak.

There are always people who would like to silence their critics and are happy to try and use the legal system to do so.

Like say, Ellora’s Cave, the subject of the very well written “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave”, by Jane Litte (online name) and published in Dear Author. As I understand it, not having access to the legal documents, Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder of Ellora’s Cave (henceforth, EC for short), is suing both blogger and blog in an effort to set an example.

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Synchronicity–yeah, it does happen

28 Sep

Isn’t it funny how, when you are into something, it seems like suddenly everyone else is into it as well?

Probably it’s just that one is more attuned to any mentions whatsoever of one’s current obsession, but this one instance struck me as particularly funny.

I am reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series right now–and enjoying the absolute bejeesus out of it.

Oh my good lord, I love it!

*

It all started a while back when I got Wicked Intentions during RWA 2010 and devoured it. Mid seventeen hundreds, the heroine is genteel poor and runs an orphan home in one of the most notorious and dangerous slums of the time in London. The hero is a Lord–a simple Baron, mind you!–with a reputation as a Greek scholar and as a sexual deviant. Ms Hoyt populates her world with numerous secondary characters (more than 20, in fact) with not only speaking parts, but enough personality as to be more than just named plot contrivances; they are not sequel bait, they are people you want to know better, whose stories you can’t wait to know. There is a number of plot threads running through the book, and only a handful of them seem to be solved by the novel’s end. The sex between hero and heroine is hot but never gratuitous, the conflicts between them are realistic–it’s never just a matter of “he can’t love me!” or “she’s too good for me!” or some other shorthand for “all the issues between the main characters would be solved if they could communicate like rational adults sometime.” And the solution to these problems is just dramatic enough to be convincing without being so neat it becomes a fairy tale no one beyond the age of six can buy.¹

*takes a breath*

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What Happily Ever After can mean.

26 Aug

Earlier today I was reading the comments on this post¹ at the Smart Bitches blog. One of the commenters made a point of saying how unrealistic genre romance HEA is–people don’t live happily ever after, they must face all the things life throws at them over the years. Growing pains, unemployment, illnesses, differences of opinion, families.

As someone who is currently single and unattached–and not feeling very optimistic about change on this front, frankly–I embraced the idea articulated by another commenter: the HEA is the single most escapist aspect of romance. I’ll go one better and say that the HEA is what makes it so accessible to, and beloved by, so many people of different backgrounds, different educational, social and economic levels.

And then, I saw this video:

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