Links: Animals, Elizabeth Hoyt, & Woman Facts

Workspace with computer, journal, books, coffee, and glasses.Hey there! It’s about that time for Wednesday Links! The Northeast was hit with a snowstorm yesterday and come on, it’s fucking March and I’m sick of it. I mean, I hate the summer, but this late snow is getting ridiculous.

The Bechdel test is a test given to books, tv, and movies (plus any other form of media) that gauges the portrayal of women. Are there more than two women? Do they talk to each other? And are their conversations about more than just a man? Well IWriteAllDay_ on Twitter as created the Kent test, which is similar, but rates the portrayal of femmes of color. I think it’s an interesting resource!

Need some zoo humor and photos of cute animals? Zoos are writing Amazon-style reviews on their animals and it’s A+! Which one is your favorite?

Sarah: There’s a new site for romance fans, y’all. will have a mix of articles and video from authors and readers, including op-eds, movie and tv recaps, and food. YAY FOOD.

They’ve already shared a video on how to make the chocolate biscuits from Outlander Kitchen and there’s more coming in terms of food pr0n, literary discussion, and eye candy. I’m on their advisory board, so I get a sneak peek at some of the new stuff, and I think it’s pretty spiffy. So welcome to!

If you ever need to inform someone about the woman experience, McSweeney’s has a great list of Woman Facts for the uninformed:

Behind men’s backs, all women speak French.

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The “period” is a myth devised by the 1810 Ladies’ Secret Conclave. Tampons actually serve to prevent the genie from escaping.

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Once women who lived unconventional lives were seized as witches and burned. Now people just say to them, “You look tired.”

I’m currently doing my best to keep my genie from running amok.

Excited by Elizabeth Hoyt’s next series? There are some great behind-the-scenes stuff on Twitter regarding the forthcoming covers of her Greycourt series!

Here’s just a snippet. Click the link above to see more!

Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Ren Benton says:

    This doesn’t qualify as “cool,” but Simon & Schuster abruptly shut down Crimson Romance, the only imprint on the Ripped Bodice diversity report that looked like it was even trying.

  2. 2
    Jazzlet says:

    There’s a cool essay by a woman we all know here

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    @Ren: I know, it’s a real shame. I was so sad to see that news.

  4. 4
    Darlynne says:

    Thank you for all the links. My day is immeasurably brighter now.

  5. 5
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    Ok—where was I when the Santino Hassell stuff hit the fan last week? I just saw this morning (on Smexy) a promo for a new romance anthology with an explanation from Tamsen Parker as to why Hassell’s story was still in the anthology. Perhaps I’m the last person in Romancelandia to hear about this (wouldn’t be the first time), but according to the ever-reliable interwebs, apparently Hassell is a woman who catfished, gaslit, and took money under false pretenses from her fans while posing as a bisexual male with health issues. Sometimes I hate people!

  6. 6
    Katie Lynn says:

    @discodollydeb I only heard about it in bits and pieces, I haven’t come across any one source that sets it all out in a cohesive manner without being someone screaming about it. The terrible thing is that “Santino” was a good author, and now by being an awful person have kind of ruined some of my favorite books.

    Riptide also fired an editor this week for some comments made to an author about POC on covers not selling, so Riptide is going through some weird shenanigans right now. A lot of authors are leaving, and I know that Robin Covington is choosing not to publish an upcoming book with them and she (and others) are offering help to authors who no longer wish to be associated with Riptide to get their books self published.

  7. 7
    chacha1 says:

    I appreciate the fact that a cat is trying to get into the romance cover photoshoot. What do you think the result on sales would be if the heroine – or hero! – were to be holding the cat?

  8. 8
    SB Sarah says:

    You know, now that I bang my head on my desk, I should have added something to the links post about this. I was focused on catching up on everything since I was on vacation last week when most of this happened, and have been reaching out to everyone I can think of to get clarification. Alas, clarity remains scarce.

    For a full summary, the best collection of links that I’ve seen is below. The allegations include accounts of abuse, manipulation, mining private conversations for character development and fictional portrayal without permission, and the hiding or concealing of the actual identity of the author of the books published under the name Santino Hassell.

    You can read a complete summary of everything at The Salt Miner’s three part series: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

    Riptide, Dreamspinner, and Berkley have severed business relations with Santino Hassell as a result. I’ve updated the podcast interview I did with Hassell from August 2018 2017 with a new introduction. I don’t entirely know if I talked to a co-writer or to a person posing as the author, and I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s a really painful mess.

  9. 9
    Heather S says:

    Cat Sebastian had a book to be published by Riptide this fall and she and her agent pulled it. Seems she will self publish it instead. But, wow, more was going on than just the SH debacle? What a couple of weeks in Romancelandia.

  10. 10
    cleo says:

    The Salt Miners has a good overview of the Sarah Lyons / Riptide thing too –

    This whole thing is so crazy – I’ve been kind of watching it though my fingers for the last week. I’m not on Twitter so my first indication of it was when people I follow on GR started changing their reviews of SH books.

    And now Sarah Lyons has left Riptide after allegations of harassment and misconduct, as well as mistreating authors of color. And authors are leaving Riptide, including several that I read (KJ Charles, Kris Ripper and Alexis Hall) and it sounds like more are being pressured to leave.

    I feel really sad about Riptide. It’s the first (maybe only) publisher that I’ve felt connected to – I read Sarah Lyons’ reviews at DA as Sarah Frantz back in the day – her reviews convinced me to try m/m romance. I was so excited when I heard that she was leaving to work for this new e-publisher started by two m/m authors who wanted to create a publisher that would treat their authors well.

  11. 11
    Susan says:

    @SB Sarah: I don’t think you meant to type August 2018 as the podcast date. (Unless you’re a time traveler, which is not out of the question.)

    I’d never even heard on Santino Hassell until someone mentioned the author on this site a few weeks ago, so I don’t know why I’m so interested in this.

    @chacha1: I’d buy a book with the cover that’s the exact photo there. It’s so cat it’s hilarious.

  12. 12
    cleo says:

    @SB Sarah – thanks for updating the Rita Challenge reviews of Fast Connection by SH – I was just thinking about asking you to do this. It’s weird, Fast Connection is still one of my favorite reads from 2016 and I don’t see the point of erasing that (plus I’m proud of what I wrote), but I wouldn’t want someone to stumble on the review and think I still recommended the book.

  13. 13
    LauraL says:

    What Susan said. Santino Hassell hadn’t really crossed my radar until recently. And, yikes, just yikes. Goes way beyond choosing a nom de plume!

    Thanks for sharing the Woman Facts … I needed a laugh after my testosterone drenched work day. My favorite: Once women who lived unconventional lives were seized as witches and burned. Now people just say to them, “You look tired.”

  14. 14
    Nicolette says:

    Yuck at that Santino Hassell stuff.

    I’ve heard about a white person poet who used a Chinese name after he was rejected 40 times. And I’m wondering if that woman had heard about that controversy.

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    @Cleo: You were on my list of people to email tomorrow – so thank you! I was going to ask what you’d like us to do, as it’s your review. I agree, it’s a weird and difficult place to be in, to have really enjoyed a book but being no longer able to recommend it. Thank you – for the review, and for the follow up.

  16. 16
    SB Sarah says:

    @Susan: Nope, not a time traveler, but definitely really bad with numbers and time. EEEEP.

  17. 17
    KateB says:

    KJ Charles has also pulled her upcoming title, The Henchmen of Zenda, from Riptide and will be self-publishing.

    What a mess. And Riptide’s initial statement on the resignation of Lyons? “Romance is an intimate business…” YIKES

  18. 18
    Kate says:

    I feel so bad for everyone dragged into this mess, including Megan Erickson. I read Strong Signal after hearing the podcast and enjoyed it a lot. Who the heck was speaking on the podcast??? That must be so disorienting for you, Sarah!

  19. 19
    vasha says:

    Whoa, the Riptide editors didn’t like Shatterproof? That is an astounding novel (though yeah, very unconventional and risky). Reading Xen’s account of the feedback they gave him after I have read the self-published novel is fit for hair tearing. I’m glad he got it to the world but sorry he didn’t have the extra sales Riptide would have been worth.

  20. 20
    Lexica says:

    I saw this via a tweet from K.J. Charles: since some authors might not be able to pull their books from Riptide because they can’t afford to have the covers redone, Amelia Faulkner offered to fund five cover redesigns. People responded enthusiastically to offer their support, offering more cover redesigns plus other forms of support. Details on this Facebook post, including a link to the Google doc where people are tracking this (there are 176 people offering assistance of various kinds at the time I post this comment).

  21. 21
    kitkat9000 says:

    That cat looks so much like my Tommy, it made me look again.

    Personal preference: most covers would be improved by the inclusion of cats and dogs, most especially kittens and puppies. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t like looking at cute animals?

    The whole Hassell/Lyons brouhaha was new to me since SBTB supplies most of my Romance author/ publishing/ industry information. And yet, though I was appalled, I can’t honestly say I was surprised.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    I gotta admit, I’m apparently in the minority on the cute-animals-on-covers argument. I promise I like looking at cute animals as much as the next girl, but… not so much when I’m thinking about/having sex.

  24. 24
    Ren Benton says:

    @Anonymous: Agreed. Cute animals are nearly as off-putting as babies on covers.

  25. 25
    LML says:

    Cute animals on cover counterpoint: They first give me an impression that the human characters in the book are kind and second, that I will have at least one point of identification with the those characters.

  26. 26
    cleo says:

    One more question about the Riptide / SH thing – did anyone else take them up on their offer for a $5 credit and if so, has anyone heard from them about it? They posted this before the Sarah Lyons scandal hit the fan, so I don’t even know what the status of this is.

    we would like to offer a $5 credit to anyone who has purchased already-released Santino Hassell titles through Riptide. To receive your credit, simply email with your Riptide account username or email address. Again, please allow some time for the requests to be filled, as we anticipate high volume.

  27. 27
    cleo says:

    I’m neutral about cute animals on romance covers – I’m not of fan of gratuitous cute animals (for some reason, firefighter romance covers seem to be especially guilty of this). But if it fits the story and it’s not erotica, eh, it’s fine.

    I just love the cat photo-bombing the cover shoot. And it looks like Smoke doesn’t care about the lacing – Smoke just wants to make sure that no one forgets who owns everything in that room.

  28. 28
    Miranda says:

    @SB Sarah: I’d guess you interviewed the author’s husband, who allegedly posed as the author at conventions.

  29. 29
    Amanda says:

    There’s a Harlequin series called the Rookie K-9 Unit and all the covers have dogs. No people, just dogs. My mind automatically assumes these dogs are the heroes and heroines.

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