Category Archives: But…that’s not really about romance novels
Book Review

Rise of the Spider Goddess: An Annotated Novel, by Jim C. Hines

Rise of the Spider Goddess

Jim C. Hines is the author of nine published books and many, many short stories. He’s also the author of one previously unpublished novel, Rise of the Spider Goddess. Rise was never published because it’s awful. Really, really awful. Hines says, “I wrote this one during my sophomore year in college, based on my then-favorite Dungeons and Dragons character, Nakor the Purple. A D&D character I had created based on Raymond Feist’s Riftwar books, making…

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Book Review

Coffee: 14 Tales of the Fantastic, Edited by Alex Shvartsman

Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic

Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic, is a delightful short story collection that will warm the darkest, coldest winter day. There’s adventure, humor, pathos, and just dash of romance in these stories. This is the book to grab when you have a precious fifteen minutes to yourself – preferably in a coffee shop. All of these stories have an element of science fiction or fantasy. The two stories with the most romance are “A…

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The Smart Bitches Outlandish Cowl: A Knitting Pattern

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When I started watching Outlander on Starz I was like “OMFG ALL THE KNITTED THINGS.” If you show a knitter a bitchin’ 18th century cowl, she’s going to want to make it. And Claire’s cowl is gorgeous. I love how chunky and slumpy it is, the perfect accessory for her everyday dress. I needed this cowl. I needed it wear it when I am picking herbs in the garden with Geillis, staring wistfully at Jamie…

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Pitching for Review: A Bitches Discussion

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One topic I discuss a LOT – and do workshops about – is reviews. Finding them, requesting them, and dealing with them and reacting to them. I did a workshop on that topic at RWA this year (and thank you again to everyone who came). One of the points I stress is that the book and the author are separate things. I know it can be difficult to separate, because writing a book, especially one…

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Book Review

Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson

Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson

You know how sometimes you’re on Amazon, and you go into a fugue state, and then two days later (Gotta love Prime!) boxes start arriving at your house?  This was in one of those boxes.  In honor of the Patron Saint of this awards season’s red carpet, Emma Thompson, Our Lady Of the No Fucks Left To Give, we will be discussing her screenplay and diaries from Sense and Sensibility. There have been posts going…

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Book Review

Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite by Mira Grant

I wasn’t going to read this book.  I heard “parasitic tapeworms” and I just nope-nope-noped my way out of the room and across the street and into the next town of Nopeville where I put up my nope flag and set out my nope-chair and opened a bag of nope-corn and let my nopetopus roam freely, as it was meant to do.   You see, I am a horror wimp.  Psychological horror I can do…

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Other Media Review

Review: XCOM WiFi for International Travel

Review: XCOM WiFi for International Travel

I was loaned an XCOM MiFi unit for use in Australia, in exchange for a review. I know a lot of you travel for work or conferences, sometimes internationally, and we've all groused about the highway robbery that is hotel in-room internet in some locations. I knew the hotel WiFi where I was going to be in Sydney was rather expensive, and wanted to explore other options. After contacting XCOM, I was shipped a MiFi,…

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Other Media Review

The School for Wives: Bell Shakespeare Production, Sydney, Australia

The School for Wives: Bell Shakespeare Production, Sydney, Australia

This was an English (rhyming!) translation of a Moliere play, performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company at the Sydney Opera House. I was feeling predisposed to like this play because I was in the Sydney Opera House (COOL) and it was a perfect night to go out near the harbor. By the end, and in the days after seeing the play, I recognized it's flaws, but was so pleased to have experienced it, because I'm…

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Other Media Review

Tai Chi Zero: A Guest Movie Review by CarrieS

Tai Chi Zero: A Guest Movie Review by CarrieS

Tai Chi Zero is a movie so gloriously, epically insane that it merits a review even on a site that almost only reviews books.  Seriously, this was the most WTF crazy fun EVER. You could assume (I did) that once you are dealing with a synopsis that involves a “tai chi, kung fu, steampunk romantic comedy with self-aware comedic elements of videogame and comic book imagery” you are really beyond categories like “good movie” and…

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Something Different on Sunday: You in 1994

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I have been cleaning my office and finding all sorts of fun things, like pictures of me as a baby, books (duh), and old journals and lists – including a list of things to do that I wrote back in 1994. I tweeted about it this morning, and the responses were very funny and inspiring, so I wanted to share them with you.  This isn't about romance novels, but I love how many people had…

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Other Media Review

Movie Review: Miss Minoes

Movie Review: Miss Minoes

Friday nights in my house are “Dinner & a Movie” night. We all eat dinner in the living room and watch a movie together- and the movie part can be tricky. I have two boys, ages 6 and 4, and their idea of awesome entertainment often does not match mine. Tonight we watched a movie that was so charming and adorable, I had to share it with you.  Miss Minoes is a Dutch film from…

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Spicy Sweet Potato Latkes, Smart Bitch Style

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First, “The Latke Who Wouldn't Stop Screaming,” by Lemony Snicket, is an awesome and hilarious book. You will enjoy, guilt free. Second, I've talked about the Spicy Sweet Potato Latke recipe on Twitter, and folks have been asking me for it, so rather than email it, I'll post it here.  It's yummy. It's spicy. It's Hanukkah tonight, so grab some oil and fry things with glee. Happy Hanukkah y'all.  Makes about 24 latkes. Adapted from…

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Net Neutrality: The Internet Strikes Back

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I’m taking a break from your regularly scheduled discussion of all things Man-Titty and Romance to participate in The Internet Strikes Back which focuses on Net Neutrality. For those of you not in the US, or in the US and not sure what the hell I’m talking about, Net Neutrality is about allowing internet users the same speed and level of connection across devices, hardware, and method of connection. If Net Neutrality were not in…

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Happy Sixth Anniversary, All You Smart Bitches!

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Today marks the Sixth Anniversary of this here hot pink website. Our first review was posted January 30, 2005 – a review of Sharon Shinn’s Angel-Seeker. Wow, huh? I’m sort of shocked and amazed and ready to party! The official gifts of the Sixth Anniversary are… wait, don’t have anything liquid in your mouth, ok? … iron, candy, and WOOD. Oh, this is going to be fun. It’s giveaway time! To celebrate our sixth anniversary,…

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What I Meant Was…

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Gotta love it when I stick my foot in my mouth! Last night I did an interview with 744 ABC Melbourne about erotic fan fiction. During the interview with Alan Brough, he asked me about why erotic fan fiction so often pairs two characters of the same gender. What I meant to say was that in most countries, popular culture reveals a general discomfort with homosexuality, and that frank portrayals of homosexuality are not common….

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