Monthly Archives: March 2014

Merlin Club S01E10 “The Moment of Truth” or “That one where Merlin has changed, man.”

merlinbanner2

Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

THE BRIDE IS HERE!

THE BRIDE is available now! FINALLY!

The Bride cover draft 2

After a tumultuous year, Sophie Scaife’s relationship with her boyfriend and Dom, billionaire media mogul Neil Elwood, is hotter and happier than ever. His sizzling Dominant side pushes Sophie to new and challenging heights of submission and erotic exploration as she follows her Sir’s every whim. But with his daughter’s impending wedding and a milestone birthday turning Neil’s thoughts toward settling down, Sophie faces a much different future than she’d planned.

 Caught in a conflict between her new wealth and her desire for independence, Sophie fears she’s becoming just another Fifth Avenue trophy wife. With her fashion journalism career over and her new effort as a writer uninspiring, Sophie has to work harder than ever to prove her intentions to Neil’s family and friends.

 Sophie isn’t the only one struggling to adapt to her new lifestyle. When private jets and designer labels threaten her bond with Holli, Sophie finds herself walking a fine line between the world she now inhabits and the past—and people—she fears she’s left behind. After a shocking revelation divides her loyalties, Sophie is in danger of losing her best friend or fracturing the trust of the man she loves.

Amazon • Smashwords

For those of you who prefer to buy your e-books directly from Barnes & Noble, Sony, iTunes, or other retailers, it can take up to two weeks for a title to release in those outlets. In the meantime, however, you can find every format you might need at Smashwords.com.

The success of The Boss and The Girlfriend depended entirely on word-of-mouth, and The Bride is no different. Tweets, Facebook posts, and GoodReads and BookLikes ads are always appreciated.

As always, thanks everybody who reads this series, and thanks to everyone who doesn’t read this series but who are patient with me when I’m trying to make a deadline.

Now I’m going to go collapse in a heap before I get back to my regularly scheduled, non-release month life!

Merlin Club S01E09 “Excalibur” or “Ye Olde Walking Dead”

merlinbanner2

Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

Fiction’s Big, White Problem

One has to wonder why author Jennifer Weiner thought she was in a unique position to start a conversation about diversity in YA by creating the #ColorMyShelf hashtag on Twitter.

Natasha Carty, owner of the book blog Wicked Little Pixie, wondered: “Why is it a white author starting this hashtag? [...] We need to talk about the issue, we truly we do, but some will always raise an eyebrow that it’s always the white author starting these types of conversations.”

If this sounds unjustifiably cynical, consider the direction the conversation took when one Twitter user told Weiner that racism, rather than profit, drives the decisions of our predominately white publishing culture:

bottom line driveCreated with GIMP on a Mac

money on the table

Is the publishing industry missing out on cash that could be earned by embracing diversity in their authors, offices, and readership? Of course they are. But Weiner’s inability to grasp anything but the bottom line underscores a commonly held position in the publishing world: that cultural diversity in fiction is only attractive if it is profitable and comfortable for white people.

The first title mentioned in #ColorMyShelf was  Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, a novel in which a white protagonist gives voice to the oppression of black housekeepers. Asks Carty, “Who thought that The Help was a great book about people of color?”

It is unsurprising that it was a white woman making that particular recommendation. A book like The Help becomes a blockbuster because we white people care deeply about racism and social justice when we can be the heroes. We like to be reassured that we’re “not all bad” and that on a personal level, we couldn’t possibly be racist. We feel pity, rather than empathy, for the women of color on the page, and take pride in knowing that in this literary narrative, only we can heal racism through the power of our whiteness.

One can only assume it was this well-meaning sentiment– giving a voice to those who are underrepresented– that drove Weiner to start the tag in the first place. But as several twitter users pointed out, the conversation about the lack of diversity in fiction isn’t new. Weiner’s own crusade began after reading an opinion piece in the New York Times, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” by author Christopher Myers. She took to Twitter to express her dismay:

first

She bemoaned the difficulty she had trying to find non-white characters in her daughter’s reading material, and suggested a way to fix the problem:

I try to find my daughter

 

Theyll give us more

But the issue at hand isn’t whether or not Weiner and other white mothers can find books to “color” their children’s shelves, nor was that the point of Myer’s article. Children of color deserve books that satisfy their need for representation, regardless of white interest and spending power; that Weiner wishes  to purchase those same books for her daughter is and should remain a secondary effect.

Also troubling was the fact that  many of the initial replies came from white women eager to boast the titles of the racially diverse books they’d given their children. As Carty states, “While the sentiment was probably in the right place, the amount of racism in the replies is disturbing.”

Considering the number of existing lists found by a simple Google search (including Melinda Lo’s “Diversity in YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults“), it’s no wonder that Weiner’s leap from opinion piece to enlightenment was considered by some to be the actions of an “ally” using her platform to solicit education from the very people she believed she was helping. Rather than asking her followers to consider the predicament of non-white and interracial families trying to find fiction for their children, Weiner created a conversation directed by white need. How could we, as white readers, “color” our shelves?

That isn’t to say that valuable discussion didn’t come from Weiner’s hashtag, or that the venue was devoid of participation from authors, readers, and bloggers of color. Still, it was Weiner who created the hashtag and who began the conversation by suggesting that publishers should deliver more characters of color that white parents can feel good about and spend money on.

As white authors, bloggers, and readers, we must stop promoting diversity as a business opportunity or a chance to buy ally points with our disposable income. By perpetuating the white supremacist belief that all media must be created for white consumption and profit, we are erasing people of color from our literary legacy, no matter how good our intentions. Every child deserves to see themselves in stories they can enjoy, but it isn’t the place of white people to decide how and why those stories are created and marketed. If we truly seek diversity in fiction, we have to let the needs of others come before our need to define ourselves as social justice allies.

[In the interest of protecting twitter users from harassment, Weiner's tweets have been photoshopped to remove user names.]

THE BRIDE blurb and a sneak peek scene!

The wait for The Bride is almost over!  The manuscript has just another minor hoop to jump through. I know a lot of you are waiting to get this book, and I love your enthusiasm and your patience!

I’m finally able to share with you the blurb or back cover copy for The Bride, and a sneak peek after the jump!

The Bride cover draft 2

After a tumultuous year, Sophie Scaife’s relationship with her boyfriend and Dom, billionaire media mogul Neil Elwood, is hotter and happier than ever. His sizzling Dominant side pushes Sophie to new and challenging heights of submission and erotic exploration as she follows her Sir’s every whim. But with his daughter’s impending wedding and a milestone birthday turning Neil’s thoughts toward settling down, Sophie faces a much different future than she’d planned.

 Caught in a conflict between her new wealth and her desire for independence, Sophie fears she’s becoming just another Fifth Avenue trophy wife. With her fashion journalism career over and her new effort as a writer uninspiring, Sophie has to work harder than ever to prove her intentions to Neil’s family and friends.

 Sophie isn’t the only one struggling to adapt to her new lifestyle. When private jets and designer labels threaten her bond with Holli, Sophie finds herself walking a fine line between the world she now inhabits and the past—and people—she fears she’s left behind. After a shocking revelation divides her loyalties, Sophie is in danger of losing her best friend or fracturing the trust of the man she loves.

Read on after the jump for a sneak peek of The Bride.

Continue reading

Merlin Club S01E08 “The Beginning of The End” or “Damien.”

merlinbanner2

Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

Guest blog: Lisa Orchard on behalf of VolunTEEN Nation

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling Super Spies series. I’m here today to share with you an exciting project that I’ve been working on; it’s called “Books on Base.” Books on Base Logo

The purpose of “Books on Base” is to gather children’s books and donate them to our military bases. I’m working in conjunction with VolunTEEN Nation on this project. VolunTEEN Nation is an organization that encourages teens to volunteer. They have volunteer opportunities throughout the United States. To learn more about this wonderful organization click this link http://www.volunteennation.org/

We’re hoping to improve the selection of books for the young people whose parents are serving our country. As we all know by improving the libraries, we’ll improve the literacy levels of those bases. Check out this blog post for the proof: Improving our libraries will improve our literacy levels.

What a wonderful way to show our support of our troops by donating books to their
libraries. I’m going to be making a donation. How about you?

If you’d like to make a donation, you can send your children’s paperbacks to this address:

VolunTEEN Nation
500 South Meramec Ave
St. Louis, MO 63105

The covers, blurbs, and buy links from my own books are below. They’re great reads for the tweens and teens in your life!

Continue reading

Merlin Club S01E07 “The Gates of Avalon” or “That Time Joss Stone Tried To Murder Arthur”

merlinbanner2

Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading