REVIEW: Dark Eden Press: A Sexual Spark by Skylar Sinclair

Monday, December 31, 2007


A Sexual Spark
Skylar Sinclair
Dark Eden


Here are the reasons why I, personally, shouldn't have liked this story.


  1. A single title only about 10,000 words long (albeit at a reasonable price)

  2. A hero addressed as 'sir' (who hasn't been given the man broach by Queen Lizzy)

  3. Prose that borders on purple

  4. A plot that isn't much more than (werewolf) girl meets boy, boy bonks girl, girl is (really) impressed.



And here is why I actually loved it: Skylar Sinclair's writing is hot, full throttle and just, well, good. It verges on over-the-top, but any reader with a sense of humor will be able to just go with it. Take, for example, this description the heroine gives of her attire: "Tonight, I’d worn a short, tight black skirt that barely covered my pussy, bright red fuck-me pumps and a red low-cut top that showed off my ample, jacked-up to Jesus tits."

I have not enjoyed reading a story this much since... I can't even remember--maybe the first Anita Blake book before LKH demonstrated that she can't get hot sex and a good plot between the same covers. 'Sexual Spark' was well written and it was just so much damned fun that me, Google and a debit card will be having a look for anything else Sinclair has written very soon. The only thing I would have liked more was if this story was called 'chapter one' and there were three or four more to resolve the story and give me something to do with the rest of the afternoon.

If this is any indication of what Dark Eden is doing I will soon be a loyal customer--but please install a search box so I can look for books by author!

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Opus--veinglory

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I find this recent Opus cartoon interesting. It looks a bit like a Kindle, but like any e-ink device it would not have back-lighting...

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Chumming the Water--veinglory.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Well. It looks like there may be a new snark shark in the blogbowl. See: Happy Shark award (2007) for: "which e-book publisher shit the worst on authors in the wake of going out of business?"

Options include: "Triskelion, Venus Press, Mardi Gras, Chippewa Publishing, Silks Vault, Ocean's Mist, Twilight Fantasies and Other -and I'm too scared of retaliation to say who."
I do wonder how well informed the Sharky Ones are given that, um, Ocean's Mist didn't close and as far as I can tell aren't likely to during the few days left in 2007--and Silk's Vault haven't even contemplated closing. Time will tell whether the blog itself lasts longer than the usual three months before the blogger loses interest or runs out of things to say :)

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E-publishing's Niche--Pepper

Friday, December 28, 2007

Today, between the porn writing, Vivien and I were discussing Samhain's announcement that they're focusing on romance in 2008. We both agreed that we were not surprise. I can't speculate on Vivien's lack of surprise, but this announcement completely supports my theory on the niche e-publishing currently fills, and may continue to fill for some time.

My earth-shattering theory, unfortunately, is not very earth-shattering. But I like it. And it dictates how I approach e-publishing, promotion, and the books I write. Quite simply, people will not buy books from e-publishers that they can buy in bookstores. People turn to e-books because they are either unable or unwilling to find the books they want through the standard outlets.

And can you blame them? Look at all the uproar "twincest" causes now. Imagine, for a moment, that a NY publisher publishes a twincest book (bear with me here). Now imagine some otherwise normal and healthy middle-aged woman calmly going to Borders and purchasing it, or asking the librarian when it came in and reserving it for the day it arrives.

I'm having a hard time imagining that.

It seems that for anybody who likes romance with a twist (regardless of what that twist or kink is), there are two main problems. First, availability. Who is publishing gay BDSM? I'm 100% sure somebody is, but I am absolutely ignorant as to what publisher to ask for. And I consider myself a fairly worldly person. Second, privacy. Romance readers get enough flack as it is, from all corners, without broadcasting their books. Also, I think romance readers are accustomed to some level of convenience because HQN imprints ship directly to your door.

There's been a lot of talk in Romanceland about the possible future of e-publishing and e-books and e-readers, and what not. In my opinion, in the future, the publishers and writers who are successful, and who remain successful, will remember that e-publishers are currently fulfilling a specific need and a specific niche. I believe that, eventually, e-books will be mainstream. A lot of readers now insist that they only like reading, and in some cases are only capable of reading, dead-tree books. But my sister's generation is more comfortable reading e-books. The kids I'm teaching now have spent their entire lives on computers. I imagine in a few years, there will be an entire generation of readers in America who are more comfortable with e-book readers and laptops than dead-tree books. When that happens, e-publishing will shift to include all manners of genres and readers, not just the current niche it fills now.

But until then, publishing is, as it's always been, a hurry up and wait business. Change is going to come slowly, and dead tree books will always have their place, unless global warming kills all the trees or something.

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REVIEW: ERedSage: Blood Game by Rae Monet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In a perfect world we could check out presses by buying some of their work, but with sixty or more of them out there that would get expensive fast. So the best I can do is offer my opinion of a book from as many presses as choose to send me a review copy. The invitation remains open, especially to new epresses or electronic imprints. Of course after reading this they may think better of it!

Blood Squad 2: Blood Game
Rae Monet
eRedSage
novella


The core story is that vampire Byron is taken by the enemy (a rebel vampire clan). He hides from the torture in his own dream world until Sara Weston uses a device so she can meet him on the astroplane. After he recovers she goes into hiding, sure that a gorgeous vampire will not be interested in a wheelchair-bound woman. After being an evil vampire’s lab rat Byron has a few problems of his own. 'Blood Game' is a good length at around 40,000 words. The cover is a typical male torso but they digitally added tattoo isn’t even close to the one Byron is described as having. The writing is easy to read, the romance story moves along smoothly with two clearly drawn characters go through the usual throes of mutual misunderstanding before finding true love and multiple orgasms.

It may be because I did not read the first in the series but the setting, one-hundred years in the future seems superficial, sometimes painfully so. Vampires live underground, human up top, but nothing is said about how this is achieved. Technology seems the same as now but unnecessarily renamed (Bluetooth is an autointerface, hypodermics are autoinjectors and traffic tickets are… autotickets—the future, apparently, is automatic). Add to this blasters, turbocycles, vidmovies and helocopters and the future also sounds decidedly retro. This might not have bothered me quite so much without the three page glossary, mainly covering words not used in the book, and in no way necessary unless you are the kind of reader who needs gems like “Organics=Vegetables grown without pesticides” and “Android=Mechanical android programmed in whatever capac¬ity they are needed.” And unfortunately I was equally irritated by the pseudo-science such as “massive irregular heart arrhythmia” and the idea that a vague sort of numb paralysis of the legs, and no other symptoms, could be caused by a virus entering the eye and destroying 60% of a person’s myelin.

But enough of that.

'Blood Game' is a professionally presented and serviceable paranormal romance with sex at the appropriate place in the relationship and two flawed people who truly seem to need each other. It is a competent book but not, for me, a keeper. To be fair I have a preference for science and disability being portrayed accurately and alphas that don’t go as far as stalking and throwing things around the room. Your mileage may vary. I feel this books is let down by plotting and world-building that is sketchy and, in places, implausible. In keeping with my general feeling of benign confusion the first book in this series is going to be available not at eRedSage, but at Cerridwen Press—both are due to be released in January.

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Changes at Whiskey Creek Press--pepper

Posted the business loop for Whiskey Creek Press on Dec 26


Dear WCP Authors…
Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and we wish you a great New
Year's too. We've been working very hard at WCP, and we are making
some changes which we believe will help all of us find a bigger
audience for all our great WCP titles.
First, beginning with all new contracts signed on January 1, 2008
forward, the set-up fee charged by Pawprints to WCP authors for the
print option will be paid by Whiskey Creek Press (the book must be
35,000 words or more to be print eligible). WCP will put the book into
print and pay the set-up fee to Pawprints when one of two things happens:
1) The author pre-orders and pays for 30 copies or more, at the author
discount price (this is optional).
2) The book sells 50 copies or more in ebook format.
The test print hard copy for errata purposes will be eliminated
beginning with February releases, and all errata will be prepared
electronically, which will speed up that process considerably for all
involved.
The new contract which has the set up fee paid by WCP (when one of two
things listed above happen) will have a term of three years instead of
the current two years. This will give WCP and the author additional
time to promote the work.

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New Year is Coming, Join the Pack

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I don't know about you lot, but I need a run up to New Year's resolutions. I have been pretty unproductive over the last few months and am planning an ambitious goal for the up-coming year. Some of you may have dominatrix muses who provide both inspiration and discipline, but mine is a bit useless. She tends to send vague fantasies and respond to any other queries with a shrug or a mumble. I think she may be seeing other writers on the side (bitch).

So here is my plan. We could form our own motivational pack (pact?). All you have to do is decide on a goal for the up-coming month, or if you are very ambitious the next year (in monthly increments). I will then check up on you all on the last day of the month.

My goal is a novella or two short stories every two months. So by the end of January I need either one short story or half a book. I may use existing partials so long as there is the designated number of completed works actually submitted at the end of the second month.

Who else is in? Pipe up now and I will be back at the end of January to check up on you all!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Free eHarlequin ebooks. The perfect way to get a romance reader started on ebooks!

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Christmas Books?--veinglory


Here is my Xmas booty courtesy of fellow author SB Ashton: Holiday with a Vampire by Maureen Child and Caridad Pineiro. Yay! How did the rest of you make out, book-wise?

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Monday, December 24, 2007

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What About Stop Signs?--veinglory


The recent discussion has made me think that perhaps red flags are not the most important issues in publishing. For a start some are clearly quite subjective, such as bad covers, POD fees and how/if owners should publish through their own press.

What is less debatable is the matter of stop signs. So perhaps it is more helpful to replace the current 'smoke' and 'not recommended' tags with 'flags' that specify what is being flagged, and 'stop signs' but again specifying the reason. In which case it makes sense to start with the stop signs as the more serious issues.

If I look at the current list the 'not recommended' presses are ABCD (reported non-payment), LA Media (reported non-payment under a previous publisher name), Ocean's Mist (confusion surrounding possible closure) and Silk's Vault (reported non-payment).

So at this point the EREC stop signs seem to be:
1) reported non-payment and
2) high risk of closure/bankruptcy.

Based on this is it time to ease up on Ocean's Mist which seems to have stayed open and kept on releasing books? Are there any other conditions that should be an absolute stop sign, before moving on to less serious issues?

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Your Red Flags--veinglory

Sunday, December 23, 2007


So now we have seen the preamble, what would you consider red flags? Because it seem to me that these are things that should be added to listing at the e-publisher list. What about:

Royalties on net
Royalties below 25% on ebooks
Fees of any kind (e.g. POD set up)
Owners not named?

Yes... no? Anything else that is more than a preference but less than a stop light?

p.s. I am trying to check and expand the publisher links. Any suggestions welcome. Any idea where to find out more about LoveStruck Books other than their full online description of: "We are primarily an ebook publisher, but we do offer many of our titles in trade paperback format."

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Red Flags are not Stop Lights--veinglory

Saturday, December 22, 2007


One of the things that I think causes confusion and consternation in blog discussions is the idea that mentioning any issues or objections is 'bashing'. Here are a few points I would like to make.

1) Sometimes red flags are flown in error
Most major publishers have a few naysayers whose problems are idiosyncratic to them, their experience or their expectations. Or the practise flagged was subsequently corrected. Or something is flagged for a discussion but really is industry standard and quite reasonable and normal (how can people learn if they don't ask?).

2) Not every negative comment is a red flag
If I say I think a book has an odd title, I just mean that I think a book has an odd title. I could be wrong. The odd title could make perfect sense in context. The odd title could be a genius marketing ploy that grabs the attention of potential readers. This sort of thing, like most recreational 'snark' is not red flagging anything. Nor is just asking a question about a publisher's terms and practises and whether other writers consider them acceptable.

3) Almost every publisher flies one or two small red flags
Publishers must satisfiy the needs of the reader, the writers, the staff and the company itself. Sometimes this involves some practices that are for the greater good not the good of the writer. Sometimes they do one thing that isn't wonderful but others that are so wonderful they makes up for it and provide a great overall service. Finding one or two minor complaints about a publisher is not a major cause for concern. There will always be some cons, authors need to know about them and weigh them up against the pros and their own specific goals.

4) A lot of flags is more of a problem
If there is a pattern of complaints emerging that are consistent and serious that is a different matter. These flags only get flown if people feel safe to comment on red flaggage in general without immediately being seen as a trouble-maker or stone-caster. The thing to look for is that specific and verifiably non-standard practises are raised repeatedly by separate authors with no axe to grind. But raising a flag does not immediately mean an author does have an axe to grind--and the fact that some authors are happy and getting a good deal does not mean that others aren't being screwed over.

5) Stoplights
The dispassionate discussion of red flags reflects well on a publisher. It means they are willing to discuss and explain their practises. But some things do not have an acceptable level of occurrence. This would include, to my mind, non-payment, threats of retribution or other malicious personal attacks, issuing a grossly substandard product, no or inaccurate accounting or breaking the terms of the contract to the detriment of the author.

In order to have reasonable and open discussion we need to be able to separate analysis and discussion from emotional attacks and bashing--being a critical thinker from being a critic. And that applies not only to the publishers, but their existing and prospective authors. No one source of information will ever give the full picture and very few presses are out and out scams. As writers and and presses, we all have our strengths and our limitations. Honesty, information and communication are, in my opinion, the keys to improving our industry and increasing the the benefits for everyone involved in it.

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What do you want for Xmas?--veinglory

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Last minute gift ideas for the writer in your life.

Free (priceless)--the gift of time
Provide cooking, dog walking, child minding and other support necessary for a writer to have a whole uninterupted day to write... and insist they actually use it to write (no excuses!)

$10 level ($9.99)--the gift of hot coffee
Mr. Coffee Mug Activated Warmer
I have one of the first models of this device and love it. It keeps the writer's coffee the perfect temperature even if they get distracted by that great scene they are writing. I am showing a picture of a sleek new black model, not my own blocky white one that accidentally got stained with hair dye : /

$20 level (variable)--the gift of your own support
Buy a copy of the writer's book... then ask them to sign it for you... then ask for a picture with them and the book... then post it on your blog with glowing comments. :)

$50 level--the gift of promotional support
Buy the author their own .com domain--for five years or longer! Alternatively a gift voucher for other vital promotional materials. Or, make two cafepress shirts promoting the author's work and wear yours regularly!

$100 level ($119.00)--the gift of a neat gizmo (okay, theoretical we are back to the gift of time)
The Roomba Vacuuming Robot
Gain valuable writing time with this floor cleaning Furby.

Any other suggestions out there? Tune in after Xmas to share stories of your best gift :)

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Don't!--veinglory

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So having covered that I think anyone should be able to read anything I thought it might be a good time to realise whose squicks do have to be taken into account--the publishers. So looking at the top 10 erotic romance epublishers what is forbidden if you want to submit to them...

1) Pedophilia 10/10
Apart from being an almost universal squick this might also lead to legal issues.
2) Rape 9/10
Interestingly one press forbids only 'forced seduction', while another forbids rape but allows forced seduction.
3) Bestiality 9/10
Sentient animals are allowed. I would mention that 'sentient' here is used to mean 'like people'. In other contexts earth animals are considered to be sentient (meaning: able to think and feel).
4) Urine and scat 8/10
Many presses mention only 'bodily functions' which technically would include, um, tears, vaginal lubrication and ejaculation. What they mean, however, is poop and pee.
5) Necrophilia 8/10
Although, unlike werewolves etc, it is not specified by any press--but vampires and zombies etc are presumably not considered dead dead.
6) Hate or degradation of demographic groups 5/10
It's a politically correct age....
7) Incest and in once case specifically twincest 4/10
I think some of the others never thought to forbid it, but wouldn't really want it. But it is hard to tell.
8) Excessive, unnecessary or sexualised violence 3/10
This strikes me as massively subjective as an issue.
9) Snuff 3/10
No corpse bonking--ergo no corpse making for the purpose of bonking. Just killing people is fine so long is the plot requires it...
10) profanity 1/10
No one can say cunt. Except in the submission guidelines.
11) Weapons put in va-jay-jays 1/10
Ouch.

Spot the deliberate mistakes
"...not accepting any works of ... prose"
"Ariel, 12 pt"
"Yellow showers"

Of course now I have a strange urge to see how many of these I can slip into a story without actually making it something most erotic romance readers would find objectionable ;)

Does anyone have a manuscript where characters do a don't? let me know and I will see how many presses would consider it in a submission :)

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Odd Romance Book Titles--veinglory

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cover snark is to easy, let's try title snark?


If you don't think those titles are odd enough, try these.

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Domald Mass agency seeking single title romance, with a twist--veinglory


I found their examples of the type of romance they are looking for very interesting, and I quote:


  • An inspirational paranormal.
  • An Asian or Latina paranormal, not using Euro-centric mythology.
  • An historical military romance; e.g., special forces in the Middle Ages, a la “Sharpe’s Rifles”.
  • A literary romance like The French Lieutenant’s Woman: manners, morals, aching hearts, a heroine who belongs to another.
  • A triple-generation romance: three generations of women in one family all find love, and conflict, at the same time.
  • A stylish romance featuring an elusive free-spirit, a contemporary Holly Golightly.
  • A serious romance about a soccer mom with a secret life.
  • An ex-CIA agent who plans her wedding and struggles to keep her engagement intact while taking down her arch nemesis.
  • A marriage of convenience in reverse: A Regency man and woman must do everything in their power not to marry.
  • A time travel romance in which both protagonists travel through the ages—and never meet.

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The horror that is twincest--veinglory

Sunday, December 16, 2007


The latest comment on the horror of twincest as romance pariah of the month (following Karen Scott) comes from Dear Author: "Once your top selling book is a twincest threesome novel, I’ve lost interest in your books. If you are looking for Daddy/Daughter roleplaying stories, I’m not interested in your collection, no matter how diverse it might be". Now I love and read both blogs but there would be no need to have my own blog if I saw everything exactly the same way that Karen and the Janes do.

As a new post adds a development that solidified a feeling I have been having over the last several days. Karen's response could be summed up as 'ewww'. Which seems quite reasonable to me. Of course some people don't like some kinks and as more kinks are catered to, more people will stumble across their squicks from time to time. Dear Author seems to combine proving kinkfic with being a fly-by-night company, unprofessional and providing a poor quality product. Or at least all of these things appear, undistinguished within a few paragraphs.

So what is my thought? Well there is a phenomenon called 'moral panic' that connects deviant sexualities with a threat to a whole community--in this case presumably the mythical romance community. I say mythical because although I enjoy mixing and mingling with many writers, readers, bloggers and other participant in the romance genre more often than not the message I get from any given spokesperson for the community at large could be summed up as 'you are not really one of us'.

I would concede the point if I thought there was some kind of monolithic democracy community that determines what romance is or isn't. I don't read 99% of fiction that is shelved under the romance banner. I look forward to the day when everyone is in that same boat because romance will be as diverse as, well, people are. And what is the difference between the moral panic and a real menace. That is simple: the actual magnitude of the threat.

A lot of epublishers suck, but the worst that happens is a few writers learn a lesson, a few readers get a bad book and gravitate to publishers that are objectively good, and subjective appropriate for their tastes. And maybe along the way they learn these these are two different things. Or maybe they don't. These new epublishers will not "alienate more epress fans" because we are not a monolithic club of like minded people. That is why Dark Eden has a twincest book as a top seller. They have found a niche and attracted readers to it, those that are repelled should not, unless their cognitive powers are very limited, be repelled from ebooks in general but only from Dark Eden in particular.

A lot of epublishers are spreading into niches that the current alpha presses like Ellora's Cave don't cater too. Or at least the smart ones like Dark Eden and Noble Romance are. So twincest readers can and do buy that material, the writer sells, the readers get what they clearly want a few people go 'ewww' and go elsewhere. Viva la difference, more people get more of what they want. Romance cater to more people. Some in the former alphaphile majority will no longer be able to choose books at random of the internet, or off the shelf, and know it will always cater to the kink-formerly-known-as-'normal' (you know, whiteheterofemmesubbaldchestedrichguyphillia--now found at the back of the store between vegephillia and horse flogging fetish.)

And unless you believe letting these people read their kinks is polluting the genre or our society as a whole diversity is a good thing. And if you do think one of these things, take a good long look at your own material and whether it truly is blameless or perhaps just reflecting the perversion of the majority. I may not share your kink, but I will defend to the out-of-breath your right to write, read and distribute it--and if it includes love and a happy ending--to call it romance. I don't care if it is a story of two post-apocalyptic cockroaches or a man and his sentient My Little Pony. I don't need to like it to think that it 'counts' or even accept that it is a good story (just not for me). (Okay, maybe the pony one).

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Merry Xmas to Me--veinglory

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Thanks to Dark Eden Press and the e-Red Sage for taking me up on my offer for reviews. So we have one edgy new e-press and one brand new e-imprint of an established press. I have three more open slots and a guarantee of a review before the new year.

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So...The Eppies--Pepper

Friday, December 14, 2007

You know what happened to us yesterday? The revised Category K list initially included Brindisi Bedfellows. So for a few brief moments, we were finalists, and I had to think about what that really means--what the EPPIEs really mean. I was excited and flattered, and annoyed when the list was revised once again, and we weren't on it. It was difficult to get too worked up about it, though, because I was working on an essay that was due this afternoon.

I didn't enter the EPPIEs myself this year. Vivien can enter all the Jamie Craig books she wants, but I am more or less removed from the situation. Did you enter? If so, why? What were the perceived or known benefits? Did you final? If not, will you be entering again next year?

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Updated Category K EPPIE Finalists--veinglory

The Lost Temple of Karttikeya
Laura Baumbach
Loose Id

Phaze Fantasies III
James Buchanan,
Jade Falconer, Eliza Gayle, Jamie Hill, Selah March, Yeva Wiest
Mundania Press/Imprint - Phaze Books

Chiaroscuro
Jenna Jones
Torquere Press Publishers

Finding Jason
Lyndi Lamont
Amber Quill Press

Ghosts
Olivia Lorenz
Torquere Press Publishers/Imprint TOP SHELF

For Better or Worse
Jodi Payne
Torquere Press Publishers

Hearts & Bones
M. L. Rhodes
Amber Quill Press

Persistence of Memory
J. M. Snyder
Amber Quill Press

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An invitation to new erotic romance epresses--veinglory

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So Xmas-time is coming up, along with some days off work that I--as a single ex-patriot--will use mainly to read, write and over-eat. But it occurred to me that this might be something of an opportunity. I have been snarking a little, okay a lot, about the every increasing ranks of brand e-presses. What do you have to go by, after all: a website, some vague claims, some cover art....

So here is an invitation to the management at any new e-publisher (less than six months old)--send me a book that you think can reasonably represent the quality of your product. I will take the first five sent in and read them with full care and attention--and write a full report about what I thought and post it before the new year. I read all genres and styles. Email veinglory at gmail.com

:)

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2008 EPPIE Finalists

Congrats to you all.

Edited to add: category K will be corrected and updated soon to reflect the withdrawal of 'A Hidden Passion'.

Category A - Action/Adventure

Murder By Proxy
Robert L. Hecker
Hard Shell Word Factory

Until Death Do Us Part: Book 2 of the Incognito Series
Karen Wiesner
Whiskey Creek Press

Category B - Children/YA

Grizzelda Gorilla
K. D. Huxman
Dragonfly Publishing/Imprint – Kittycat Books

Attack of the Killer Prom Dresses
Donna McClaire
Calderwood Books/Imprint -Calderwood Kids

Category C - Contemporary Romance

Perfectly Good Nanny
Paty Jager
The Wild Rose Press

Thin Ice
Liana Laverentz
The Wild Rose Press

Cover Me
Sharona Nelson
Amber Quill Press

Bride Of The Emerald Isle
Trish Wylie
Harlequin Romance

Category D – Erotica

Coming Together: For the Cure
Alessia Brio (Editor)
Mundania Press/Imprint - Phaze Books

Woman of the Mountain
Angela Caperton
eXtasy Books

One To Grow On
Caitlyn Willows
Amber Quill Press

Category E - Erotic Romance Contemp/Suspense/Mystery

Play Hard
Barrie Abalard
Amber Quill Press

Instinct
Denise A. Agnew
Ellora’s Cave

Fortune Cookies
Dee Dawning
eXtasy Books

Tea for Three
Anne Douglas
Loose Id

Derailed
Rhiannon Neeley
Whispers Publishing

Love My Way
Bridget Midway
Loose Id

Too Good To Be True
Marie Nicole Ryan
Samhain Publishing

Mr. Fullservice
Ruby Storm
Ellora’s Cave

Craving Candy
N. J. Walters
Ellora’s Cave

Category F - Erotic Romance Historical Fiction


The Ice Princess
Cheryl A. Cornell
Cobblestone Press

The Sanctity of Marriage
Philippa Grey-Gerou
Liquid Silver Books

Scandalous Profession
Elaine Lowe
Ellora’s Cave

Let Me Love You
Mary Wine
Samhain Publishing

Category G - Erotic Romance Fantasy/Paranormal

Blue Moon Magic 4: Night of the Blue Moon
Lynn Crain
Loose Id

Love's Alcemy
Ciar Cullen
Loose Id

The Knight's Challenge
Summer Devon
Samhain Publishing

Love Me Wild
Renee Field
Ellora’s Cave

Rated X-mas: Spiritual Noelle
Jet Mykles
Loose Id

Cemetery Dancer
K. Z. Snow
Ellora’s Cave

New Year's Kiss
Tielle St. Clare
Ellora’s Cave

Supernatural Bonds: Sophie's Dragon
Jory Strong
Ellora’s Cave

The Witch Stone
Brenda Williamson
Whiskey Creek Press

Category H - Erotic Romance Science Fiction/Futuristic

The Ta'e'sha Chronicles I: Daughters of Terra
Theolyn Boese
Loose Id

Hara's Legacy
Bianca D'Arc
Samhain Publishing

Triple X
Amelia June
eXtasy Books

Hothouse Orchid
Vashti Valant
Ellora’s Cave

Category I – Fantasy

A Time To…

Carol Hightshoe, Lee Martindale, Michele Acker, Kayelle Allen, Bobbi Sinha-Morey, Elizabeth Barrette, J. Michael Matuszewicz,Tracie McBride, M.H. Bonham, Marve Dasef, Ashley Arnold, Ken Goldman
Wolfsinger Publications

Wolves on the West Side
Michelle L. Levigne
Mundania Press

North Star
Pier Giorgio Pacifici
Calderwood Books

Category J - Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

A Knight's Wish
Linda Andrews
Zumaya Publications

Unbound
Lori Devoti
Silhouette Books

Rapture
Renee Field
Ellora’s Cave/Imprint - Cerridwen Press

Threads
Michelle L. Levigne
Amber Quill Press

Category K – GLBT

Chiaroscuro
Jenna Jones
Torquere Press Publishers

Ghosts
Olivia Lorenz
Torquere Press Publishers

A Hidden Passion [edited to add: Oh dear]
Lucia Logan
Dreamspinner Press


Finding Jason
Lyndi Lamont
Amber Quill Press

Persistence of Memory
J. M. Snyder
Amber Quill Press

Category L- Historical and Western

Black Crossing
C. K. Crigger
Amber Quill Press

The Hyghcock Chronicles
E. Michael Fisher
Whiskey Creek Press

Korinna: Daughters of Fire
Kristina O'Donnelly
Books for a Buck

Flag
J. E. Toombs
Treble Heart Books/Imprint – Sundowners

Category M - Historical Romance

His Majesty, The Prince of Toads
Delle Jacobs
Awe-Struck eBooks

Have Christmas Card…Will Travel
Susanne Marie Knight
Unical Press

By The Sword
Alison Stuart
Wings ePress

Highland Magic
Christine Young
Awe-Struck eBooks

Category N – Horror

Shadows in the Heart:
A Jewels of the Quill Halloween Anthology
Margaret L. Carter, Christine DeSmet, Carrie S. Masek,Jane Toombs, Karen Wiesner, C.J. Winters, Karen Woods
Whiskey Creek Press

Labyrinth
L. B. Milano
Mundania Press

Weep Not for the Vampire
William A. Veselik
Mundania Press

Category O - Inspirational Fiction

Hope: An Inspirational Anthology
Barri Bryan, Mary Eason, Loretta Jackson, Giovanna Lagana, Linda L. Lattimer, Janet Mills, Kathleen O'Connor, Steven Douglas Womack
Whiskey Creek Press

Meagan's Chance
L. C. Monroe
Samhain Publishing

Adopting Alyssa
Denise Patrick
Grace Publishing

Category P – Mystery

Switcheroo
Herbert Holeman
epress-online

Underdead
Liz Jasper
Ellora’s Cave/Imprint - Cerridwen Press

The Falling Down Man
James M. Lally
Calderwood Books

A Shadow In The Night
Kenneth L. Levinson
Unical Press

Judgment Fire
Marilyn Meredith
Mundania Press

Moon Over Chicago
J. D. Webb
Wings ePress

Combined

Category Q - Nonfiction: General

Category R - Nonfiction: Self Help


Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction: Volume 1
Michele Acker, Jeanne Allen, Piers Anthony, Milena Benini, Orson Scott Card, Carol Hightshoe, Ian Irvine, Dave A. Law,Wil Mccarthy, Michael Mcrae, Tina Morgan, Bob Nailor, Darin Park, Kim Richards, Simon Rose, Bud Sparhawk
Dragon Moon Press

Self-Promotion for Authors
Larry Moniz
MA Publishing

A Place Called the Bla-Bla Café
Sandy Ross
SLR Productions

Category S – Poetry

The Swing
C. S. Fuqua
Unical Press

Phaze in Verse
Kally Jo Surbeck, Will Belegon, Aurora Black, Kara Fey, James Buchanan, N (Nelli Rees), Michelle Houston, Eden Bradley, Sapphire Phelan, Alessia Brio, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Missy Lyons, Dahlia Rose, Jenna Allen, Victoria Blisse, Kathryn Lively, Brenna Lyons, Sarah Winn
Mundania Press/Imprint – Phaze Books

Category T - Romantic Suspense

Foxfire
Carol Ann Erhardt
The Wild Rose Press

Bed of Lies
Pam Champagne
Samhain Publishing

Liquid Hypnosis
Tina LaVon
The Wild Rose Press

Seeing Things
Jana Richards
Unical Press

Departed Acts
Katherine Smith
Tigress Press

A Killer's Agenda
Anita Whiting
Samhain Publishing

Your Saving Grace
J L Wilson
Ellora’s Cave/Imprint - Cerridwen Press

Category U - Science Fiction

Twisted Tales II: Time on Our Hands Volume 1
J. Richard Jacobs
Double Dragon Publishing

Twisted Tales II: Time on Our Hands Volume 2
J. Richard Jacobs
Double Dragon Publishing

Hoven Quest
Michelle L. Levigne
Writers Exchange e-Publishing

Category V - Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance

Devil's Due
Rhobin Courtright
Wings ePress

A Noble Sacrifice
Ciara Gold
Champagne Books

Falling
Imogen Howson
Drollerie Press

Category W - Single Title/Mainstream

Tales from the Treasure Trove, Volume III:
A Jewels of the Quill Anthology
Christine DeSmet, Liz Hunter, Nancy Pirri, Jane Toombs, Cassie Walder, Karen Wiesner, C.J. Winters
Whiskey Creek Press

Road Kill Art and Other Oddities
Niles Reddick
Whiskey Creek Press

And the Truth Will Set You Free
Linda Rettstatt
Wings ePress

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What's New?--veinglory

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


A new review website: Manic Readers. I tried to read the review but the two I clicked went to a page saying: "To access the Member's Only area enter your user name and password." I rather hope that will change when the site officially opens.

A new epublisher, Dragon Spell, apparently cold-emailing authors for submissions. (Because nothing spells success like overt desperation?). "Welcome to Dragon Spell...where reality and fantasy collide." (From Merriam Webster: to come together with solid or direct impact )

Another epublisher, Circle Dark, with a mission of revolution. "Why only e-books?: To be perfectly honest, it’s because we’re poor, and e-books are cheaper." (I am filled with confidence).

The romance divas forum is down, there is an interim yahoogroup.

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I spy with my little eye....--veinglory

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

...something that looks very much like a new incarnation of Mardis Gras. However 'LA Media' is "a PRIVATE distributor and Independant [sic] Co-op structured publisher. Submissions accepted by invitation ONLY."

I am sure you are all very disappointed.

ETA: More at Karen Scott's blog

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Bare or Bear?--veinglory

Monday, December 10, 2007


The more I look at erotic romance covers, the more I think of naked mole rats. I get that this is probably just me, but shouldn't men have *some* body hair? Why do people think smooth torsos are the height of sexitood?

a) If he has bodacious man titty why block the view with a chest-beard?
b) The sex scenes are so acrobatic he needs to be shaved and greased just to get through without serious injury.
c) No hair at all stops the werewolf character from ever crossing over into even quasi-bestiality.
d) The effort of generating a full Fabio-esque man-mane has exhausted his body's ability to produce hair anywhere else on his body.
e) Screw that, real men don't shave anything but their chins.

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On the importance of titles--veinglory

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I notice a new magazine is lining up for a March launch. Amongst other things I do have to make an observation about the title... actually three.

1) Eye glasses, as shown beside the title, are always referred to in the plural as spectacles. Why the singular?
2) If you drop the 'the' this title results in an acronym.
3) Selective use of the dictionary gives a meaning of the brazen object of curiosity or contempt.

But that is all fairly pointless snark. I have seen a number of writers clammering to secure advertising already. I would note that according to my rough calculation the price quoted will get you an advertisement in an established magazine with a circulation of around 5000 readers. Is the Brass Spectacle likely to have that for its inaugural issue and if not, what would make advertising their a good investment? It might be wise to buy an issue and look it over first.

Now don't get me wrong, I really hope for a new successful magazine. But in comparing circulation figures to ad rates I discovered that almost all of the magazines I used to enjoy over the years have now closed. The odds against magazines still being around a year after launch seem to be even steeper than for e-publishers. In terms of this one being a success for readers and advertisers, my fingers are crossed but the jury is out. Those who are considering advertising need to do their research and know exactly what they are getting into, their product, their plans and who they are and their expertise. Also to consider, to what extent is paying for advertising the writer's role at all?

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On the casting of stones--veinglory

Saturday, December 08, 2007


There is an old saying that only he who is without sin should cast the first stone. This is why I don't think the same principle always applies to casting aspersions.

When some questionable happens, or appears to happen, it seems to me that the most appropriate thing to do is to question it. Even asking the question can be seen as a criticism, and clearly it is often accompanied with actually criticism or insult. But even so, this is an opportunity for a publisher or other informed people to respond with forbearance and information.

For example, in a thread over at Absoluter Write a question was raised about Mundania offering terms for writers to buy their own books. Discussion ensued which gave the pros and cons of this practice, and the publisher participated. The result was a mine of valuable information.

Currently there are some questions about Whiskey Creek Press, for example that they do not provide authors with sales figures. Discussion ensues including that some authors are happy at WCP. I await responses on whether providing sales figures is essential, optional or just a nice perk publishers might choose to offer. And if it is indeed the case that WCP does not provide them.

Other issues may also arise and be discussed. Hopefully without people taking the low road too often, for example by ascribing malicious intent to those who want to inform and discuss fairly issues of clear relevance and importance to our industry. This discussion should air and dispel rumours or complaints if they are unwarranted or unreasonable.

I think we can foster a culture which welcomes questions so long as we remember not to leap to hasty judgements.

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Where is the power--pepper

Friday, December 07, 2007

One thing that bugs me a little in my daily journey through Romanceland is the complaint about the sort of books currently offered on the romance market. Mind, I am not bothered by the complaint of the QUALITY of said books--I think a lot of the complaints about quality/editing/style/etc are more than justified. But when people say there are too many vampire books, too many menages, too many werewolves, too much gay, too much of this, that, or the other, it makes my eye twitch. When readers insist that the publishing is NOT a reader-driven market, it really makes me twitch.

I think authors are incredibly responsive to and aware of what sells and what doesn't. If people are writing, say, twincest now, it's probably because the return they see for their effort is worth it. I know I shy away from writing het contemporaries for epublishers because e-book readers simply don't want them! At first, I thought it was just a reflection on my own abilities, but my gay stories and my menage stories do just fine.

I personally do think there's a lot to the old adage, "Don't buy it if you won't like it." Why? Because authors, by and large, won't know if you like it or hate it. Authors only know the numbers on their royalty checks. And if there's a particular genre you'd like to see more of, the e-publishing world is so small that you really can vote with your dollars.

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Smoke at Whiskey Creek Press--veinglory

There has been some low level grumbling especially re: royalty reports. More details at Piers Anthony:

December 2007 update ... one author decided not to go POD, then discovered that the book had been printed anyway and was being sold on Amazon ... It seems the division of the money is in this order: Amazon, Paw Prints, WCP, and finally the author, who apparently receives no accounting ... a call to the owner of WCP was met with immediate hostility and abuse ... They refuse to correct errors made by their editors ... may not even send out books for review. No actual accounting on their royalty statement how many books are sold, and they refuse to answer questions about this ... if there is to be a pissing contest, bring an umbrella. Meanwhile, be wary; there is a noxious odor here.

ETA: for some interesting comments, see Karen Scott

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Random Linkage--veinglory

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

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Stock, Horror!: a challenge--veinglory

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stock photographers are like the ebook writers of photography. They toil away valiantly, saving our covers from bad Poser for not nearly enough money. And they have the same issues with illegal distribution but are less able to detect it because photos can easily be made anonymous. So my first point is, when looking for photos to use on your books, blog and promo materials--please check that they are free to use, or pay the photographer! (Okay, you caught me, I dabble in stock photography myself).

I do think though, that some of the more profitable publishers could splash out and pay a little more. Stock photos are cheap because their use is non-exclusive. So they tend to pop up over and over. So my challenge is, can we find the most over-used stock photo in erotic romance? If you have a cover that you think looks overly familiar send me a link and we'll see how many clones can be found. One point for every small press use found, two points for large presses and, bonus points of it was highly modified and so harder to find. Anyone who comes up with a good example can have a cover spot on the blog :)

Just to get you started here is one example :):

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Wiggle Room--veinglory

Monday, December 03, 2007


The EREC Wiggly Graph is based only on currently available books, so we lost a few to the recent closures. However the database is back up to over 100 books. I would like to remind authors to please send any data you have. First month's sales alone is fine! If you have more, send more.

COPIES SOLD
First Month: 180
First Year: 360
Total to Date (all books): 420
Total to Date (books out one year or longer): 580


We also have here 'Daughter of Wiggly Graph', starting to show some data for specific publishers. However I am not very happy with the graph yet. Although I have data for over a hundred books they are also from 13 different publishers. So the data set for any particular press is still weak. I have shown the number of books contributing to each figure. Now less that 20 books, that really isn't very many. That would be only two or three week's output for many publishers. So I would be the first to admit these figures are not strongly representative. So, um, please send me more data.

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Erotic Romance as a Genre--veinglory

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let the rampant opinion commence: 10 questions. Agree, disagree?

1) Does erotic romance have an identifiable and unique quality apparent in its content, presentation, writer, publishers and market?
Yes

2) Do some readers read erotic romance but nor other types of romance or other types of erotica?
Yes.

3) Is erotic romance a significant and substantial force in publishing large enough to suggest it is a genre in its own right?
Yes. And in e-publishing, even more so.

4) Is erotic romance a category routinely used by distributors?
No. Erotic romance generally shelved under romance, and sometimes under erotica or other areas. Erotic content is generally treated as a theme or rating within romance.

5) To be a genre must a body of work be uniformly appealing, or even acceptable, to all of its fans?
No

6) Is erotic content in romance new... romantic content in erotica?
No... and not entirely but you could argue that genre-romance themes in erotica were, until recently, rare. Erotic themes in romance were less overt but I certainly recall seeing ample amounts over the last 30 years.

7) Is erotic romance not romance?
No

8) Is erotic romance not erotica?
No

9) Is erotic romance a genre?
No

10) Is erotic romance a sub-genre?
Yes, of both romance and erotica.

In terms of romance, erotic romance is a rather large and demanding offspring that is making the nest uncomfortable for others and starting to piss off Mom (as adolescents often do). In terms of erotica, well--I think he would count as an absentee father on the whole (Wham, bam, thank you bottom line).

I can actually conceive of works that would be erotic romance without meeting my own definitions of either one of the parent genres but they are rare enough not to invalidate general taxonomic categories (Liger, anyone?). I could certain conceive of most erotic romance not meeting definition constructed by other specifically for their purpose of excluding them. But I think it is those narrow definitions that are at fault.

So erotic romance meets all the positive definitions of being a genre but not to the extend that it has stopped belonging fully to the parent genres--some taking more after one than they other, and a certain number who look suspiciously like uncle Bob (the western, thriller or come other genre). That makes it a sub-genre in my book... albeit not a submissive one ;)

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The JJ Massa Thang--veinglory

Saturday, December 01, 2007


The interverse is all abuzz (again). The first accusation came from a fanfiction writer, that JJ Massa's title 'The Edge' (Linden Bay) borrowed heavily from her story. You can see the relevant excerpts more clearly here. Linden Bay seems to have withdrawn the title from their site while they presumably look into the matter. The accusations are spreading to other of Massa's title and other published and unpublished sources.

Who knows how this will shake out. The copying is not direct and word for word but it is well beyond what can be explained by coincidence. One thing this issue does prove--an awful lot of people don't know how to spelled plagiarism ;)

My prediction: cue lots of angst about how this reflects on epublishing/small presses/POD/romance etc etc.

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