You start the editing process by binge reading a zillion articles on editing hints and tips. The phrase which keeps popping up is ‘delete the crutch words!’ According to the articles you waded through crutch words slow down your writing, are unnecessary and are a literary annoyance. Apparently some writers struggle to stay away from […]
Welcome to the #PNR and #UF Giveaway Party!
got together to bring your this Big Box of Paperbacks Giveaway! One
lucky winner is going to win SIXTY-TWO (62) Paperback Books!
How’s that for an epic Book-Lover’s Prize?! If you are a fan of Urban
Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction, or Paranormal/SciFi Romance, you’re going to
want to get in on this! The best part is that even if you don’t win,
you’ll be subscribed to the sponsoring authors newsletters for a chance
to grab some freebies, snag some special offers, and enter more
The funeral was a typically sombre affair, alive with soggy tissues and streaky make-up. I stood at the back, letting the vicar’s voice wash over me, and spent the whole time staring at the flower-laden coffin, wondering if the lid would suddenly flip up and a fanged monster would escape to reap its vengeance on the congregation.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t happen, and as the mourners dispersed in the direction of the pub, I quietly snuck off home. I wasn’t in the mood for crowds and needed time to think, time to try to make sense of at least something, but as I turned to close the door, it was obstructed by a perfectly polished black shoe that belonged to…
“Seb, please,” he said, easing his way through. “Only my father calls me Sebastian.” He checked down the backstreet and closed the door securely. His eyes scanned the flat. “Nice place.”
“I like it.”
“It doesn’t bother you? Living over a funeral parlour?” he asked.
“Why would it? The neighbours are quiet.”
He didn’t laugh at my joke; neither did he comment. He simply stood silently, staring. It was very unnerving and made my legs go all wobbly. Perhaps if I turned away from him, he’d disappear again? It was worth a shot. I forced my jelly legs over to the front window and stared out at nothing in particular. The light was subdued, and the sky had darkened to an air force grey. A low mist was beginning to carpet the distant fields, and I wondered if snow had been forecast.
I knew my little experiment hadn’t worked. He was still there. I could feel his presence and smell his scent, a musky, inviting aroma that filled my senses and sent my head into a whirl, and it was getting stronger.
“Your friends interrupted us the other day. Can we talk now?” he whispered softly into my neck, and his fingertips traced a fiery trail down my spine.
“What’s the point? There’s nothing to say. I wish you’d just leave me alone,” I said, lowering my head in time to see Lara leaving the newsagents. She glanced up with a look of fury contorting her face as Sebastian’s hands reached around either side of me and grabbed the window frame.
“I can’t do that. I’m not that strong,” he said.
I studied the arms now imprisoning me, with their perfectly formed muscles straining against the rolled-up sleeves of his white shirt, and seriously doubted his statement. His stance was predatory and made me feel uncomfortable. I ducked under his elbow to escape, but he caught me around the waist and pulled me against him. Our bodies moulded together perfectly, and the strength of his grip made me feel like a china doll that he’d be able to crush in an instant. He was almost a full head taller than I was, and the warmth of his breath caressed my forehead. How easy it would be to reach up and taste those lips. I imagined the feel of them, and my own parted in an involuntary invitation.
The full Foxblood series can be seen here: http://foxifae.wixsite.com/raquellyon
The authorities in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana initially did not arrest Ronald Gasser, the 54-year-old man who shot and killed former NFL running back Joe McKnight last week. Gasser has since been arrested for manslaughter. Sheriff Newell Normand, whose press conference from Friday seemed unreasonably defensive and unnecessarily combative, took it to the next level on…
Originally posted on Hugh’s Views & News: I’m celebrating the upcoming publication of my first book, Glimpses, and from now until December 2nd, I’d like to invite everyone to my prelaunch blog party. Here’s what you need to do. In the comments section of this post, write a brief introduction of who you are…
(apologies to Christopher Nolan)
“Well, it is what it is. People go into this eyes wide-open,” Rachel Maddow said during MSNBC’s Election Night coverage. “If you vote for somebody who can’t win for president, it means that you don’t care who wins for president.”
I agree 100% with Rachel Maddow’s assessment. The part she and other ‘liberal’ and ‘left wing’ commentators leaves out is why. All the talking heads- Trevor Noah, Rachel Maddow, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly- no one addressed the lack of viable Third-Party candidates. Yeah, Fox News is a Republican bedwhore- we all know that. What was surprising was the lack of commentary and critique from the Daily Show, etc. John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight was the only one who examined the issue; the rest simply hitched their wagons to Hillary, which was expected but to not even touch upon the issue first was disappointing.
If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you could well argue that these two goofballs are plants to force voters back to the Big Two. And what can you even say against that logic, especially when Democrats are still angry over Al Gore’s loss in Florida back in 2000, blaming Ralphy Nader for taking away votes rather than improprieties at polling places? The Daily Show treated this as more of a skit than anything.
Neither of these two were worth a damn (!), but the fact remains that both major parties are wedded to the two-party system since it protects their power. And when you’re left between a rock and a hard place, their shortcomings and failings are never more apparent. But you’re still left with nowhere else to go- the strategy Dems tend to count upon- and in this case their plan failed miserably.
This is largely the Third Parties own fault. I never see Third Parties anywhere except on the fringe, and when they do emerge out from under their rocks you see what we get. And those with platforms you might want to entertain- Green Party, Socialist, Libertarian, Constitution, etc- are constantly either ignored by mass media or fail to build any support in or make any impact on communities.
So no- thanks to the DNC themselves even the illusion of choice was absent. I didn’t give a fuck and I wrote in for Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren because I didn’t care who won. To openly sabotage their own party’s primaries, to rub everyone’s noses in how much their choices DIDN’T matter because they were going to give us the candidate THEY wanted to have- Democrats didn’t deserve to win this election.
Whatever you think of the Republican Party, you have to admit one thing: they respected the will of their constituents. Despite their own misgivings and public denouncements of Trump, they never tried to openly sabotage and undermine his campaign. Their voters chose him and they abided by that decision.
This is reflected in exit poll surveys. Granted the samplings are very small, but the percentages along race, gender, education and age are pretty striking. Basically, White voters, including 18-29 Millenials, across the board- including Independents (mostly Men)- with some or no college education and making over $50k voted for Trump. So anyone who’s on Twitter, etc, all upset about Trump winning, look to your friends. Simple as that.
Democrats have been so wedded to the idea of bringing America its first female president via Hillary, they wantonly ignored the salient fact that their own voters didn’t want her.
Even when Obama came from nowhere and blew her out the water, it was deemed an acceptable loss because she could still align herself with him and Democrats could crow about bringing America the first black president… which would hopefully pave the way for the first woman to take the office.
This only underscored how until this round Hillary was never able to carry a nomination on her own, and she only did so amidst a storm of controversy and accusations of impropriety- from within her own party, no less. That ain’t a good sign, especially when your political career is already littered with a stream of previous accusations. Even though all charges and accusations against her had been dismissed after ‘thorough investigations’, you know when you see enough smoke it’s because there’s a fire somewhere. And folks already looking sideways at you for all your previous bullshit aren’t going to want to keep hearing about more of it.
The only good thing to come from all this is that Hillary’s done- regardless of what you think or how you feel about her, we won’t have to deal with her anymore. Democrats will hopefully have learned a few lessons from this debacle now that they actually have to find a viable candidate now, one people across the board will want to support.
When that’s the best and most accurate summary about a elected official, let alone the Leader of the Free World, you’ve got some serious problems. We all do. Because I really want to hear an explanation how anyone could be voted into office despite the endless stream of venom, garbage and nonsense coming from a candidate. Yet it somehow seemed to suit his supporters just fine.
One thing I’ll say- we’re the first country that both elected a Reality TV star and had the future First Lady show off her fake tits.
I might actually still have that issue lying around somewhere…
Initally discovered posted on Reddit of all places.
What is the Early Reviewer Program?
The Early Reviewer Program encourages customers who have already purchased a product to share their authentic experience about that product, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. Amazon shoppers depend on reviews to learn more about products, and this program helps to acquire early reviews on products that have few or no reviews, helping shoppers make smarter buying decisions. Customers who have purchased a product participating in the Early Reviewer Program may be asked to write a review and those customers who submit a review within the offer period will receive a small reward (e.g. a $1-$3 Amazon.com Gift Card) for helping future shoppers.
1. Can I trust these reviews?
Yes. We are not giving free products or discounts to these reviewers. We only ask customers who have already purchased the product to share their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. This program is not limited to elite reviewers – we want to hear from all of our customers as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews.
2. How are reviewers selected for this program?
We want authentic reviews, and we want them from all of our customers, not just a select few. We select at random from all customers who have purchased products participating in this program, as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews and meet our eligibility criteria. We do not disclose at the time of purchase whether a product is participating in the program because we want to hear from customers who have authentically chosen to buy that product without any knowledge of a future reward. Not all products are participating in this program and not all buyers of participating products will receive reward offers to write a review. We want this program to generate enough reviews to help shoppers make smarter buying decisions; this is not a rewards program intended to encourage purchases. Amazon employees, participating sellers and their friends and family are not eligible to participate in this program.
3. How are reviews rewarded.
Reviewers will receive a small reward (e.g., a $1-$3 Amazon.com Gift Card) after they have submitted an authentic review within the offer period which meets our community guidelines. This small reward is given to thank reviewers for sharing their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. The nature of the review does not affect the reward or the chance of getting future rewards.
4. How will I know if a product has a review from Early Reviewer Program?
Early Reviewer Program reviews are identified with an orange badge that reads “Early Reviewer Rewards”.
5. Can sellers influence these reviews or reviewers participating in this program?
No. Sellers can select products to participate in this program but they do not have any influence over which customers are selected to receive the reward offers or the content of the customer reviews. Sellers are also prohibited from communicating with customers about their reviews. Amazon does not modify or remove reviews from the Early Reviewer Program, as long as they comply with our community guidelines.
OK, Amazon’s has a long haul ahead of it trying to get all these incentivized reviews under control, so I’ll never fault them for trying- despite their complicity and complacency with it. But is anyone else thinking this is another cobblestone on that Road to Hell?
I’ve been very critical of both the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series written by Laurell K. Hamilton, and deservedly so. Coming late to both, Anita Blake started out as an entertaining slice of Urban Fantasy- one of the early entries into the genre (despite Hamilton’s protestations, she didn’t *pioneer* things). There were some interesting ideas and scenarios despite the gaping holes in logic and worldbuilding and well as the kinda obvious MarySue aspects. It was something you could roll with.
Then the hubris set in. Popular wisdom has it that Hamilton suffered something of pre-midlife crisis and art began imitating life. Hamilton’s personal issues and positions began creeping into the series and Anita became less a character and more a caricature. Hamilton’s own mouthings and social media responses confirming that Anita Blake is her avatar- a true vehicle for the author to lecture & educate the masses about the glories of polyamory (Hamilton openly lives with her husband and another couple), gym workouts (though vamps & weres don’t even need this shit) body shaming (anyone woman who’s athletic or slender is a ‘boy with breasts’ and guaranteed to be a hater, while having big funbags and curves is feminine and means they’ll end up on Anita’s side) and guns, lots of guns via her books.
Merry Gentry took it further; whereas AB started out as the simple wish fulfillment of being a badass mofo, wheras from the outset Merry was her skewed version of the Madonna Whore complex- an ethical, moral & honorable savior of the Fae race who happily fucked anything that moved. It wasn’t until later in the series that Anita began her descent into bodily fluid baths.
To paraphrase Chuck D: this stuff is really bad, I’m talkin’ ’bout RAPE!
I know, I know- this isn’t anything new to the Anita Blake series. Who can forget the introduction of Micah, one of Anita’s true loves, who ignored her protests and forcibly took her in the shower. It’s an indication of just how bad this was that the scene was completely reedited in the paperback version into more of ‘not expressly saying no’ kind of thing.
There’s a lot of filler and nonsense in Crimson Death- almost 700 pages worth and it takes literally the first half of the book before the plot gets in gear. But this is where all the sexual politics and dilemmas occur. For those familiar with the series, here’s a breakdown:
Damian, vampire daywalker, former Viking and member of Anita’s second Triumverate along with Nathaniel, has been having nightmares that leave him literally sweating blood and turns to Anita for help. Adding to this his lover, Cardinale, has been less than supportive of his issues, and knowing Anita’s proclivity for having sex with her inner circle, turns into a jealous harpy even though Damian’s been faithful to her. After Cardy’s kicked to the curb, Damian needs some emotional support and decides to have sex with Anita and Nate. Next morning Anita doesn’t really remember what happened, though Nate is well pleased with himself. Turns out he somehow managed to glamour Anita into a few more rounds of sex than she wanted and even coerced Damian- who isn’t gay or bisexual- into topping him a few times.
They turn to Jean-Claude for help, who isn’t quite certain either, but is happy that this means that through this he can somehow become more powerful than everyone’s favorite frenemy, Richard. Nate’s protests amount to he kept asking them if they wanted this even as he was exerting his influence upon them, so they never did anything they didn’t agree to, so it’s ok. Anita agrees, because hey… it’s Nate. And they fully expect Damian to be ok with things, too. Turns out he’s fine with it because hey- it’s Anita and Nate. So thanks for showing him a side of himself he never knew existed.
Nathaniel’s only regret in all this is that in the heat of passion they forgot to use condoms.
If you want the crib notes, follow the link to where my buddy, EA Solinas is posting bullet points of the book. Bullet Points for Crimson Death (spoilers, DUH)
Problem is this stuff is par for the series- longtime readers will recall the swanmares who objected to Anita trying to strongarm them in sexual servitude and she concluded that they ‘were ours to rape’ (sic) and proceeded to force them into it. Or when the local Rex of the lion pride didn’t want to have sex with Anita and stay faithful to his wife so she withdrew her protection from him. Or how Peter, Edward’s teenaged stepson, lamented how his girlfriend didn’t like what had happened between them and Anita chalked it up to ‘buyer’s remorse’. And let’s not forget (how can we?) Cynric the weretiger- whom Anita got roofied into having sex with when he was sixteen (which is legal in Las Vegas, where he lived). Granted, it wasn’t their fault (!) but at eighteen his own parents sent him to Anita to be his ward so she could sex him into his full glory. Because in this series sex is somehow now tied to your metaphysical powers, you see. In other words, she attends his PTA meetings during the day and then fucks him at night.
Think I had a couple of dvds like that.
I’ve no idea what Hamilton thinks she’s accomplishing with all this. Her sales are tanking, readers are constantly noting how she seems reluctant to even continue either series and when she finally gets dragged kicking and screaming to the publisher these are the results. I’m kinda done trying to psychoanalyze this shit; I’m just gonna take it at face value and call it for the bullshit that it is.
Wiping the crumbs off his jeans, Finn reached into his backpack and threw an apple at me, which I caught with a deft hand.
“Nice catch,” he said, grinning.
I flung the apple up into the air and caught it in my other hand. “I played third base. Little League.”
“You mean baseball?”
“Never seen a game myself.”
I gaped at Finn. “You mean you live in Chicago, and you’ve never been to a Cubs game?”
He shrugged. “Not interested.” Finn’s eyes lit up, and he shoved me playfully with his shoulder. “Now hurling. That’s a good game.”
“Well, they’re totally different. That’s not even a fair comparison,” I said with a sniff.
“Fair enough,” Finn said, wistful. “Really, nothing can compare with hurling.”
I laughed. “Moiré tried to explain the rules to me once, but she lost me after hurley stick.”
“Oh, it’s simple, really.” Finn jumped down and rummaged around the rubble until he found a large branch. He swung it, the stick cutting through the air, slowly at first, but then with more force. Finn’s chest muscles rippled between the flaps of his leather jacket, and my blood pulsed in my ears at the sight of him, dancing from foot to foot as he practiced his swing.
“Now the point of hurling,” Finn began, “is to use this stick, the hurley stick.” He raised the old branch in the air. “To get a little ball called a sliotar either over or under your opponent’s goalpost.” Finn picked up a handful of small rocks and, using his “hurley,” sent a pebble whizzing over the stone wall, inches from my head.
“Hey, watch it!”
Finn smiled up at me. “You with me so far?”
“Now,” Finn said. “If the ball flies under the goalpost into the net, it’s worth three points.” Finn sent another pebble skittering against the wall, right next to my boot. “But you have to get it past the keeper, and that can be a challenge.” His eyes glittered at me as he swung his stick again. He threw a rock up in the air and with a loud thwack sent it zooming over the wall. I held out my hand and caught the stone, the look on Finn’s face making up for the sting of impact.
“And he’s out!” I cried, jumping off the wall and doing a mock victory dance. “Cubs win! Cubs win! Wooooooooooooo!”
Finn stalked over to me and grabbed my fist. “Will you settle down!” he said, attempting to pry the pebble from my grip. “I’m trying to teach you a three-thousand-year-old art form and you’re nattering on about the fecking Cubs.”
I giggled, snatching his hurley stick from his hands.
“Technical foul!” Finn barked behind me, but I sprinted away, swinging the hurley over my head as I climbed the wall.
“Get back here, you brat!” Finn bolted after me so quickly, he lost his footing on the stone wall and tumbled to the ground. I laughed as he came to his feet, his hair loose, chasing me.
“It’s the bottom of the ninth, bases are loaded!”
Finn made a snatch for the stick, but I feigned to the right.
“Tanner’s up to bat.” I climbed a set of old stairs to nowhere and tossed up the stone. I popped out my hips and, following through on the turn, sent the stone flying over the hill and down the cliffs below. I jumped down, swinging my baseball/hurley bat. “Homerun by Tanner! And the Cubs win the pennant!”
Finn smacked into me, and I collapsed to the ground, his wide body over mine as he grasped for the stick.
“Dammit, O’Connell!” I gasped beneath Finn, his whole weight crushing my chest. “Now I know for a fact hurling is not a contact sport!” I laughed as I squirmed to get away, holding out the stick just beyond his reach.
“Neither is baseball!”
With a devilish grin, Finn tickled my armpit, and I curled up in a fit of giggles. He made a grab for my wrist, pinning me to the ground, and his gray eyes danced as he looked down at me. My laughter faded, and running my other hand through his hair, I pulled his face to mine. He kissed me, a low moan rumbling deep in his throat.
Finn nipped my bottom lip with his teeth, and my back arched as our hips melded together, my better judgment forgotten. He slid his arm beneath my shoulders and pulled me close against him, kissing me long and hard, and I gasped, gulping for air as he lowered his mouth to my neck.
Thanks to the #notchilled hashtag on Twitter- a very loose affiliation that’s been discussing what’s going on with Ellora’s Cave- here are screens of the email Jaid Black/Tina Engler sent out and contract EC is offering its authors to revert their rights back to them. As always- we report, you decide. 😉
Word’s going around that EC will be shutting its doors on Dec 31, 2016.
Nothing official’s been posted on their site or FB page, but many authors are already klatching about it on social media. In typical EC fashion, it’s being said that they/she (Jaid Black/Tina Engler) are trying to hold hostage the revision of author’s rights in lieu of waiving any claims to outstanding royalties due.
Sadly, neither of these developments came as a surprise to anyone.