Links! Sales! Announcements! Mayhem!

Double Down - Katie Porter. Dude with a plane behind him standing over strip in Vegas. I think he might be wearing a member's only jacket, though.

I've got links to half the internet up in here, plus stuff on sale, and whatever else I can fit in here. I think there's a character limit to the entry fields in this database – and I'm prepared to hit it!



The Sizzling Book Club Chat for Katie Porter's Double Down will be tonight at 9pm ET, here at the hot pink palace. Come on over  – it's always a lot of fun and I hope you'll join us.

Via Carrie, (I think) I learned about AudioGals, a review blog devoted to romance audiobooks which examines both the books and the narrators. I feel like I must be the last person on earth to discover this site, but it's rather awesome.

AllRomance, sponsor of the Sizzling Book Club, has an anonymous survey they'd like me to tell you about: it's about discovering, accessing and reading ebooks – with particular attention paid to DRM and sharing of books. If you've got a few minutes, here, have a survey. I took it in about 3-5 minutes.

ETA: The earlier link was not working – but I've fixed it. Sorry about that! 

CBS Sunday Morning did a profile on Nora Roberts which you can watch online or right below this sentence. It's positive and not very sniffy (yay!), but the best part is the shot of Nora Roberts' high school portrait, at about 3:05 in. 

I was invited to participate in a collection of essays titled “Book: A Futurist's Manifesto,” by Hugh McGuire and Brian O'Leary. They asked me to write about how SBTB came to be and how and why I believe book discussion has changed and evolved over the past 7+ years.

Brian O'Leary wrote about the chapter I contributed over at Magellan Media Partners, and you can read the whole chapter online if you'd like. It's partly personal essay and partly my perspective on how reading and book interaction has changed and continues to change.

Celine Dion rolling her eyes.
GIFSoupTina sent me this article and of course I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly bruised my eyesockets. Celine, too. Get ready for this headline:  Belief in TV Romances May Hurt your Love Life.

To quote Tina:

“Because this one thing absolutely causes the other thing.  Aren't scientists who perform studies supposed to be aware of logical fallacies? Of course, it could be less about the preconceptions and logical fallacies of the one conducting this study and more about the one reporting it.  The study was of 392 married couples (really?  The pool was THAT large?) and they were asked such probing questions as, “Television presents romantic relationships as they really are in life;” and “Television helps me understand what I can expect from my romantic relationships.”  People who believe strongly in these statements are more likely to be “less committed” to their current relationships.”


Oh, Unrealistic Expectations, I've missed you. It's been awhile!

The one thing in common with all of these OMG X = Unrealistic Expectations is that it presumes a complete lack of thinking for oneself. 

Tina agreed: “Well, you know us women – our weak, emotional brains can't possibly distinguish between fantasy and reality.  We can't simply enjoy a good story and like romance without it turning us into sad wrecks, unable to be happy in our normal, real-life relationships.  That's why we need others to explain how we're damaging ourselves and our relationships on an all too regular basis.   
What I don't understand is how such idiotic “studies” get published.  I was serious about the logical fallacy of causation.  Unlike chemistry, where x might definitely cause y, in the “soft” sciences, it's beyond stupid to say “x definitely causes y”.  Human beings (OMG – even women!) aren't simple systems.  Pretty much everything we do is caused by any number of environmental, psychological, and sociological reasons, working in concert.  How on earth does something that, at least from the summary that appears in that article, appears to have a scientific method that is so fundamentally flawed not vetted before it's published in what looks to be some sort of academic journal?  Do you think it's because it plays into preconceived stereotypes about romance and the people who enjoys them? “

Yup. No question. It serves up more of the same and the repeat cycle begins. If one more shoddily researched summary about X giving women “unrealistic expectations is published, I'm going to develop unrealistic expectations about the intelligence and training of the scientific community. The entire community, based on the behaviors of a few. It's only fair, right? 

(I'm kidding! I know some excellent scientists read this site – you're perfectly awesome. Except that you might be giving me Unrealistic Expectations about… something).

You know, now that I think about it, I think there needs to be a perfume called Unrealistic Expectations. No one would wear it though. It'd probably smell like bullshit.

And here are some realistic expectations for you: books on sale!


  • From a Distance by Tamera Alexander * $0.00-$2.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • All the Pleasures of the Season by Lecia Cornwall * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • A Well Pleasured Lady by Christina Dodd * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • To Pleasure a Duke by Sara Bennett * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Ann Long * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • His Christmas Pleasure by Cathy Maxwell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • Sinful Pleasures by Mary Reed McCall * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • The Pleasure of Her Kiss by Linda Needham * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks
  • Passion and Pleasure in London by Melody Thomas * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe | iBooks



The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    Your link for the survey isn’t working…it appears to just link to surveymonkey to get us to MAKE surveys.
    LOL @ Tina.  I know MY emotional and tiny brain can’t distinguish the difference between reality and fiction! (we really need a font for sarcasm)

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    OOPS – thanks! All fixed. Thank you!

  3. 3
    Jenny Dolton says:

    Ugg. Repeat after me: correlation does not equal causation.

    Though, I know a woman I respect a lot who chose to stop reading or watching romances because she started becoming dissatisfied in her marriage because her husband didn’t act like the hero of the books she was reading. (Not that he wasn’t a good guy—he was fantastic, just kinda clueless sometimes.) She felt that *for her* reading romance wasn’t helping her relationship with her husband. I really appreciated that she never made assumptions about anyone else’s relationships or blamed romance novels for what was going on in her life. I’d guess that there are other women out there who feel the same way—and that’s fine—but it doesn’t mean that all (or most, or even many) women are going to have a similar experience.

  4. 4
    Lindleepw says:

    No offense to anyone who likes the TV shows listed in the article, but what I got out of the study was that anyone with crappy taste in TV had less successful marriages. Maybe because they also have crappy taste in men?

    LOl Hey it makes as much sense as their conclusions!!

  5. 5
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    Thanks for the Audiogals shout-out! Anyone who enjoys romance audiobooks will find the site really helpful. There are reviews, but there are also tons of narrator interviews, and a “How To” column for the technically challenged among us. The site has been live less than a month, so it’s just now getting traction. I hope people pop over and say Hi!

  6. 6
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    Just had to add—the Nora Roberts interview is great. What an interesting person she is.

  7. 7
    Sasha says:

    And….what I notice is that every sale book has the word “Pleasure” in the title except the first.  I need a drink….

  8. 8
    ms bookjunkie says:

    Hey, it’s the month for Pleasures! ;) (Sounds kinda Clan of the Cave Bear-ey, doesn’t it?)

  9. 9
    Vicki says:

    I don’t know about correlation but I spend a lot of time in the office telling people that association does not equal causation. If it did, the sunrise would be caused by roosters. Also, sample size and sample randomization do make a difference.

    It’s mostly, I think, that they are jealous that we have something to do in our brief spare time (I read while walking from office to hospital – thanks, nook) that makes us happy.

  10. 10
    Christina Auret says:

    It’s funny, the more romance I read the more my expectations (in at this point a potential partner, girl is looking *again*) boil down to the following: Common decency and intelligence. Possibly this has more to do with me getting older and a little smarter, but lets blame it on romance reading. If those two things constitute unreasonable expectations -honestly- I would rather just not play.

  11. 11
    Bajram04 says:

    Your link to “A Beginner’s Guide to Pleasure” by Suzanne Enoch on Amazon does not lead to that book; rather, to other kinds of pleasure such as “An Ultimate Guide to Fellatio,” “Anal Pleasure and Health,” “Fifty Shades of Pleasure,” and “Eating for Beginners.”  Pleasure comes in many forms, it seems.

  12. 12
    Isabel C. says:

    Annnnd I’m gonna rant for a second:

    As I mentioned over at Jezebel, I’m also sort of dubious about the tone of that study, especially the Horrific Fate of Mary Hatch bit where they’re all “…women are more likely to consider alternatives LIKE BEING SINGLE” like they’re holding a flashlight under their chin at a third-grade slumber party.

    Here’s the thing: even if romantic blah blah blah does make women more likely to consider alternatives…so what?


    So what?

    Why is this a bad thing?

    Life is *about* considering alternatives, taking some of them, not taking others, reconsidering five years down the line, and so on. A sane adult woman won’t leave her boyfriend because she expects to find the Pretty Woman guy down the road, any more than she’ll quit her job and become a teacher because she expects it’ll be just like Dangerous Minds.

    (That’s what college is for. But I kid.)

    But there’s a difference between expectation and inspiration. If something about heartwarming teacher movies really calls to someone, maybe they *should* look into getting that M.Ed. or tutoring some SAT students, and see how it goes from there—and I bet a lot of people do. Not jumping in wholesale this-will-be-just-like-my-dreams, but realizing that there’s something here you want and doing the research to find out how you can realistically have it.

    Likewise, if someone’s really drawn to romances, especially romances of a particular type, and also finds that her SO’s not doing it for her…maybe she *should* consider alternatives. Maybe, even if Giles doesn’t actually exist, your crush on him means you want someone a little more scholarly; maybe seeking out the rippling thews and so forth means you want a guy who takes better physical care of himself; maybe liking the will-they-won’t-they dynamic means you’d rather be single. Maybe not, but maybe—and if it is the case, shouldn’t you find out?

    Why is “lowered commitment” a problem?

  13. 13
    SB Sarah says:

    Hey JanLo – thank you! I’m not working on a new book right now, but thank you for asking. That makes me smile.

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:

    What in the…? I’m so confused – will take that down and figure it out. Sorry about that!

  15. 15
    Bohemia_1918 says:

    Unrealistic Expectations reminds me of that MAD TV sketch, “Lowered Expectations”. And that’s what the authors of this study would like us to have, right? :P

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