Category Archives: Random Musings

Depression & Amy Poehler

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Last Wednesday, in the couple hours between when work ended and Amy Poehler’s book event in Boston began, I sat in the corner of a Panera and made a therapy appointment. The frustrating thing about depression is that it sneaks up on you. Well…for me it did. For others, depression comes barging in, banging on pots and pans, demanding keys to the house. This also isn’t depression’s first visit, but in the six years since…

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The Choices of Kathleen Hale

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Next week I will be a guest of the Surrey International Writers' Conference in British Columbia, Canada, and one of the workshops I've giving is on reviews. Specifically, it's called, Reviews: How to Get Reviewed, and How to Put a Review in your Rearview Mirror. I'm a blogger and reviewer who regularly gives negative review to books, and I'm also an author of two books, both of which have received positive and negative reviews. I…

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Whatcha Reading? September Edition

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IT'S TIIIIIME! Time for The Most Expensive Thread where each month we talk about what we're reading and then we all buy a pile of books. Ready? Whatcha reading? Me, I just finished Chalice by Robin McKinley ( A | BN | K | ARe ). After I mentioned that I was reading The Blue Sword in last week's podcast with Ilona Andrews, all the lovely fantasy romance readers who know much more than I do about this…

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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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Ice Bucket Challenge: Game On

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Yesterday, Christine Merrill tagged me in the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Dammit.    (Link)   So in return, I challenge Nalini Singh, Sarah Morgan, Angela James and Jane Litte: I believe you have 24 hours to accept the challenge.  For more information about the ALS Foundation, and the Ice Bucket Challenge, you can go to the ALS website, or log on to most social media because much of the footage of people doing the challenge is…

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I’m a Paperback Kind of Girl

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I want to confess something: I love paperback books. Yeah, I know that ebooks are cheaper and easier and generally awesome, but I love my paper.  I grew up in a house filled with books. I think literally every room had a bookshelf in it. In fact one entire wall of my mother’s spare bathroom is a large bookshelf. So if you if have to be constipated, that’s the room to do it in, my…

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Chronic Pain and Coping: Why Romance Novels Are My Equipment For Living

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Eleventy billion years ago, when I was in college, I took a bunch of classes with an awesome professor who used the Blues as a method of framing Southern American literature. We read William Faulkner and Alice Walker and listened to Bessie Smith and just had feelings. Both the Blues and literature have been described as “equipment for living” (read Kenneth Burke’s literary theory tonight if you can’t sleep), a means of capturing what’s working…

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Community, Hope, and Liberation: Fandom and Fiction as Activism

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Last weekend I was a guest at BayCon 2014.  BayCon is a mid-sized science fiction and fantasy convention in the Bay Area.  This was an impeccably well-run convention, and it left me with a lot to think about in terms community, and of the roles fiction can play in inspiring and liberating the reader or viewer.  Also, there were light saber battles, so that was cool! Carrie and a young Jedi warrior BayCon came at…

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What Ever Happened to: Christi Phillips

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I recently received a letter from Sue, who was looking for an author whose books she loved:  I am trying to find out what in the world happened to Christi Phillips, author of The Rosetti Letter and The Devlin Diary. I enjoyed these books and want to find out how everything works out for the current day heroine. Last note on Amazon was that she was publishing the third book (set in France) in 2011….

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Whatcha Reading? April Edition

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We just talked about book budgeting, so now, let's talk about what we're reading and tempt everyone around us with more book purchases! Makes total sense, right?  Right now, I'm reading Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller, thanks to the sale last weekend and the continued sale this week (eek!). I don't know why I haven't read Miller before, but so far, I'm enjoying it, particularly because she sets up the conflicts and the characters…

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Book Budgeting

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In recent discussions, especially in the comments for some of the Books on Sale posts, a few of you have mentioned your book budgets. Sometimes it's howls of agony that the monthly budget has been exceeded by yet another tempting $1.99 deal – I feel your pain, as I'm equally susceptible.  But a few have mentioned interesting solutions, such as Tam and Dora on 11 April. Dora mentioned how tempting some of the sales are,…

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Old Skool vs New Skool Sandra Brown

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The first romantic suspense book I ever read was Mirror Image by Sandra Brown. It was full-on crazysauce, and I’ve never turned back. I still read Sandra Brown, although her books have gotten decidedly less nuts over the years. While on vacation recently I read Charade (1994) followed immediately by Tough Customer (2010) and it showed me how much Brown has changed as a writer, and also the ways she’s stayed consistent for her readers….

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Links and Questions: RITA Finalists and More

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The RWA announced the finalists for the 2014 RITA® and Golden Heart® awards this week – congratulations to all the finalists! There's a new judging system in place wherein any book that receives 90% of the total score automatically makes the finals. This created a very interesting finalist selection, as there are more than 15 books in the paranormal, contemporary, and historical category, but only 3 erotic romances, 2 inspirationals, and 4 romantic suspense. I'm…

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Television Without Pity: The Snark is Dead. Long Live the Snark.

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When I learned today that Television Without Pity will be shutting down April 4 I felt a big “Dude that sucks” level of let down. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt. This is not to say that TWoP disappearing affects me personally – as it does those who worked for the site and those who freelanced for it (who were left out of the article announcing the shutdown)(which… UGH).    And…

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So, Facebook

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This assembly of letters is about Facebook, which has very little to do with romance novels. In fact, my feelings about Facebook are kind of the opposite of a romance novel. My feelings about Facebook would probably be best summed up in a completely different book: Jodyne Speyer's Dump 'Em. (I did a book event years ago with Jodyne, and the two of us, with me talking about happy ever after and her talking about…

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