Tag: Bookish Thoughts

Bookish Thoughts: Santino Hassell, Sarah Lyons and Riptide Publishing, Crimson Romance and RWA Awards

Posted March 16, 2018 by Holly in Discussions, News | 0 Comments

A lot has happened this week in Romanceland.

Santino Hassell Dropped by Publishers

As we mentioned in our statement earlier this week, last week the romance community exploded with the news author Santino Hassell was maybe not everything he’d been purporting himself to be. At that time we were still sorting through everything, but we felt the allegations were serious enough that we didn’t feel comfortable promoting his books. Since our statement, both Riptide Publishing and Berkley have dropped him. He posted a second statement on his website, explaining his side, though again it didn’t really feel like a true apology. “Sorry I’m an asshole” isn’t really the same thing as “I’m sorry I hurt everyone by being an asshole.” Or maybe that’s just me.

If you haven’t had a chance to sort through the whole thing, here’s a list of links:

For the most part, this played out on Twitter. A lot of authors and readers were pretty fierce in their initial defense of SH, including Megan Erickson, who co-wrote the Cyberlove series with SH, and Sarah Lyons of Riptide Publishing. When more and more stories started coming out (with proof) and the depth of the deception was made public, the apology posts started to pour forth. There wasn’t a whole lot of people who weren’t affected by this and we can’t stress enough how sad we are that our community has taken a hit like this.

Isobel Starling commented to let us know Amazon is offering no questions asked refunds for any SH book you’d like to return, no matter when you bought it.

Sarah Lyons Resigns from Riptide Publishing Amid Claims of Inappropriate Behavior From Authors

Author Xen Sanders/Cole McCade recently posted about his experiences with Sarah Lyons. He details extremely inappropriate behavior and abuse in her role as Editorial Director for Riptide Publishing. She resigned as ED shortly thereafter.

It’s really disappointing to see this happening in our romance community. It’s such an ugly situation especially since, for the most part, this community was formed as a safe haven where we could discuss romance, a genre often looked down upon. It’s truly appalling to see someone in a position of power in this industry hurt others like this.

Riptide has since posted a Pledge for the Future, promising reform:

Crimson Romance is Shutting Down

Crimson Romance announced on Twitter their intention to shut down. This comes just days after The Ripped Bodice published their annual Diversity in Romance Study (view the study here), which named Crimson as a leader in publishing diverse romance. I haven’t seen an official announcement outside of Twitter, but PW says S&S attributed the closing to:

“changing consumer reading habits and the continual evolution of the marketplace.” The publisher said these factors made continuing with the business “unfeasible.”

It’s disappointing to hear about any romance imprint closing their doors, but when the imprint closing down is one responsible for publishing such a large number of diverse romances, it hurts even more.

RWA Award Recipients Announced

In one of the only bright spots of the week, RWA announced the winners for this year’s RWA Awards.

The full list:

RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award: Suzanne Brockmann
RWA Emma Merritt Service Award: Leslie Kelly
RWA Service Awards: Xio Axelrod, Robin Covington, Katie Dunneback, Sarah Hegger, Jeannie Moon
RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award: Pamela Jaffee, Avon Books
RWA Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year: Fran Cassano, North Bellmore Public Library
RWA Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year: Crystal Perkins


 
Congratulations to all of the winners, we’re super thrilled for all of you! We’re sure there will be plenty of celebrating in Denver this year and we hope you guys have the best time. Hugs from Book Binge!


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Bookish Thoughts: Trouble with Mistletoe Casting & Wena’s Romance Collectibles Wishlist

Posted September 18, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis Casting News

As you may know, Passionflix is turning our romance novels into movies and the latest movie being made is The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis. But did you guys see that Jill Shalvis announced on her website this week that The Trouble with Mistletoe Movie has a hero and heroine?

Of all the movies that have been made so far, this is my favorite casting because it’s so close to how I saw both Keane and Willa in my head while reading their story. I’m pretty stoked about this casting and hope that their acting is just as perfect. Aside from Hollywood Dirt, this is the movie that I’m most looking forward to. I can’t wait to see it!

Bookish Swag Wishlist

I’m one of those romance readers that lives 20 minutes away from The Ripped Bodice. I don’t get out to the store very often because I don’t buy books in print anymore and I was thinking the other day about things I wish they sold at TRB. Things that I can’t find anywhere but want in my grubby little hands. I want very specific romance themed collectibles.

Here’s a specific list of things I wish I could buy from The Ripped Bodice or…anywhere, really.

Coffee Mugs

Romance Coffee Mug

This is a fabulous coffee mug and I love that it’s romance themed but I’d like to drink my morning coffee out of an I’m an Oxford Girl” coffee mug or a “Wallflowers Rule!” mug or a I Left My Heart in Heartbreaker Bay mug. You get where I’m going with all of this right?

Totes

Book Totes

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Briar Hockey tote to carry all of the things around? Or how about a Royally tote or a Play by Play tote with all of those yummy looking covers on it? I know that I can’t be the only one to want one of these, am I?

Book Pins

Book Pins

A few years ago at RWA, Julie James was sporting a “JUDD IS MY BOYFRIEND” pin and I wanted it. All these years later and I still want it. I would buy it. I swear I would and I want other romance related pins too.

T-Shirts

Book Shirts

I’d like to rock a Rusk University tee, a Harkness College tee or a Briars baseball cap. I’d love to write in a Psy/Changelings notebook, own a funko type doll of Sam Starrett, etc…

These are the things that I would go to bookstores for, the things that I want. Does anyone know where I can find some? There’s plenty of YA stuff around but I’m looking for romance stuff.

What do you think about the casting of Keane and Willa for The Trouble with Mistletoe movie? What kinds of romance collectibles do you want to see in bookstores? Do you know of any places that sell romance themed collectibles?


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Bookish Thoughts: Full Book Lists Wanted, The Ripped Bodice is Accepting Patrons, Passionflix, Series Reading and #ShallowReaderBingo

Posted August 17, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 10 Comments

Wanted: Full book lists on author websites

Authors, please include a full list of your works, including short stories, on your website. I’m the type of person who likes to read a series (especially long ones) in order, including novellas. If I can’t find the information on your website, I’m going to be pretty annoyed. As an example, I’m going to use Ilona Andrews. On the Kate Daniels page, it lists only the full length novels. However, there is a link to the full list, including anthologies.

Clicking the Small Magics anthology link takes me to a full page list of the stories set in the world, including all short stories and where they fall in the line-up.

Authors, seriously. I need this in my life. Please, if you haven’t already, go update your book lists. Keri Arthur, I’m looking at you. The title of your novella and what anthology it’s available in would also be much appreciated!

The Ripped Bodice (the only exclusively romance bookstore in the Northern Hemisphere) is now accepting Patrons

From their latest newsletter:

Today we’re taking a new step that we hope will help us to continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Many members of the romance community have expressed a desire to support The Ripped Bodice from afar.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched a Patreon, and you can become an official Patron of the Ripped Bodice.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it’s great for those who want to support them but don’t live close enough to do so in person (I live in SoCal, but the 2.5 hour drive makes it hard to get down there on the reg). On the other hand, why offer a crowd funding service instead of pushing their online bookstore? Unless this is a way to help offset the cost of author and reader events at the store? That would make sense. Anyway, here’s the info:

Why become a Patron?

Our page has detailed information about giving levels and some of the fun and exciting things you’ll receive every month. While we will never stop communicating and sharing the goings on at the store with the internet at large, some of our behind the scenes tomfoolery will be moved over to the Patreon and be available just for our patrons.

For the first month of our Patreon, all our new Patrons will get 10% off our fly new gear!
Discount code only available till 9/5/17 (code comes in your thank you email)
You can check it out here!

You can donate $3, $5 or $20 (or more!) per month for various offers and discounts from The Ripped Bodice. Check out the Patreon site for details. There’s a Sherry Thomas short story being offered for new members, thanks to Berkley and the author!

Passionflix – Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series… On Demand

Have you guys seen this? I can’t tell you how excited I am! Passionflix is a subscription streaming service that turns our romance novels into movies on demand. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about the quality of the movies being produced. We’ve all seen the traveshamockery at Hallmark and Lifetime (remember Rose Hill, the made-for-t.v. movie of For the Roses by Julie Garwood? shudder). Still, I’m hoping for the best.

Here’s what you get for your money:

Becoming a found member ($100 flat fee):

A 2 year Subscription (a 30% savings!)
Invites for a walk on role, Passionflix parties or set visits.
Voting privileges on our exclusive reality shows like Cast Your Book Boyfriend.
Help us find the next romantic leading man.
Discounts on Passionflix Merchandise.
Be the First to Know what’s going on Behind the Scenes.

Be an Early Bird Subscriber ($3.99 monthly fee):
Register your interest now and you’ll be invited to join when we launch for a discounted price of $3.99/month.

I signed up as a Founding Member. Despite my concerns over the (possible) quality of the movies, I’m excited about this.

Here are the movies already in production:

Hollywood Dirt

Alessandra Torre

While making a movie in a small Georgian town, Hollywood’s hearthrob Cole Masten casts spirited local girl Summer Jenkins as his leading lady, on screen and off.

Coming Sept 2017

 
 

Afterburn/Aftershock

Sylvia Day

Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

Coming Nov 2017

 
 

The Trouble with Mistletoe

Jill Shalvis

Real estate developer Keane Winters may have stood up pet shop owner Willa Davis in high school, but now he wants her under the mistletoe and in his life.

Coming Dec 2017

 
 

A Brother’s Honor

Brenda Jackson

While working to prove their father’s innocence and save the family company each of the three brothers come to terms with the past, find their own future happiness and unexpected love.

Coming 2018

 
 

Shallow Reader Bingo

Thanks to Willa on Twitter, I recently discovered Shallow Reader Bingo. You guys, this is amazing! It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a couple months, but I love the idea.

Series Reading – When is it Time To Say Goodbye?

While putting together a list of books I’m looking forward to in September, I started thinking about long-running series. Specifically J.D. Robb’s In Death series (currently at 45 books) and Hannah Howell’s Murray Family series (21 books). I had to stop reading the Murray Family series because I felt like each book was the same, so I’m not quite sure how it ended (or if it did). I’m behind about 10 books in the In Death series, but I wonder if it’s becoming stale (for the record, I’m not suggesting it is, as I’m so far behind, just wondering how long she can sustain it).

At what point should a series end? When the author is tired of it? When it stops selling well? Obviously, there’s no right answer to that question since each series and author is different, but how do you feel about open-ended series?


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Bookish Thoughts: Reading Challenges, Rereads, Goodreads Romance Week, Silver Silence by Nalini Singh and Amazon Fresh

Posted February 9, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 8 Comments


The last few years I signed up for a Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my reading goal at 200 books per year. Last year I fell short of that, but I’ve managed to meet or surpass it every other year. I get really frustrated with Goodreads, because reads aren’t tracked for the challenge unless the “date read” info is entered. Since I use the app 98% of the time, and there’s no “date read” option on the app, 98% of the time the challenge isn’t tracked properly. Last year, for example, because I did a lot of re-reading, Goodreads said I only read 33 books, when I actually read 124. It’s really annoying. Thankfully I create my own “200 Books in {year}” shelf, so I have an accurate total. I wish they’d fix that, however, so I could keep an accurate accounting.


In better Goodreads news, we can now log rereads and have them count toward our Reading Challenge. I do a ton of rereading, so I’m really excited about this. Of course, this means I need to start using the “Currently Reading” feature, but I suppose it’s a small price to pay.

How Do I Start Using the Rereading Feature?
Next time you decide to reread a book that you’ve already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle (if you have connected your Goodreads and Amazon accounts – click here to connect your accounts). We take care of marking it as a reread for you. Bonus, it will also automatically be included in your Reading Challenge.


Speaking of Reading Challenges, as an avid reader, I get pretty down on myself when it comes to how many books I read per month. Reading is life, right? So when I don’t read a lot of books in a month I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. But then I log on to Goodreads and see others have set their Yearly Reading Challenges at 10 or 20 – PER YEAR – and I realize I’m not doing so bad with my 12 per month. Not that I’m shaming anyone. Whether a person reads 1 book or 1000 per year, the fact that they’re reading is all that matters. I just tend to be hard on myself, when there’s no need.


It’s Romance Week on Goodreads. They have a list of the Top 100 Romance Novels on Goodreads (based on 4.0 ratings for adult romances on the site). I’ve read 44. I was really surprised at some of the titles listed, and even more surprised some weren’t listed. What do you think of the list? They’ve also broken down the top 10 Paranormal, Contemporary and Historical romances.

 

__________

Nalini Singh‘s most recent newsletter included a full chapter excerpt from Silver Silence, her upcoming Psy/Changeling Trinity book. It doesn’t release until June and she’s torturing us with an excerpt now? Ahhhh. I need this in my life. Even though I’m sort of anti-werebear. I’m willing to make an exception because I know and trust Singh. Plus, it’s Silver! And, Bonus! It probably means more Kaleb (rwar).

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.


In my quest to try more new authors, I’ve been randomly buying or downloading books from Kindle Unlimited and Prime reads. So far they’ve mostly been duds. Part of it is probably my reading taste, but it’s kind of solidified my choice not to subscribe to KU.


Not book related, but I recently tried Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service. For Prime Members the service is $14.99/mo and includes free delivery, sometimes same day (though same day doesn’t seem to be available in my area yet). I used the 30-day trial to test it out and I don’t think I’ll continue my subscription. I can get most of the items for the same price or less at my local grocery. So really I’d end up paying $14.99 for the convenience of delivery. Some items, like meat, were really expensive. Bulk items, too, were more spendy than Costco. Since I would still have to visit the store, I don’t think it’s worth the money. I might consider subscribing if it were a bit less per month, but at $14.99 I just can’t justify it. I’m all for anything that allows me to shop from home, but my thrifty soul won’t let me do it.


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Bookish Thoughts: It’s Time to See Other People, Changes to NYTimes Bestseller Lists, Cliffhangers and Kindle Unlimited

Posted January 27, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 7 Comments


​I’ve been struggling with contemporary romances that focus solely on the protagonists without any external conflicts. This has been on my mind since I finished Playing the Player by Amy Andrews, book three in the Sydney Smoke Rugby Series. The hero and heroine didn’t do much away from each other. They obviously didn’t live in each other’s pockets, but all their focus and attention was on the other. There were no breaks in the story where, say, the hero was at rugby practice, or out with his boys, that he wasn’t thinking or talking about the heroine, and vice versa. I enjoyed the story overall, but I would have liked to see them have a life away from each other.

This is something I’m seeing a lot more of lately. We’d come out of it there for awhile, but now even my favorite authors are sliding back into the habit of having them focus just on each other. Can we go back to the hero and heroine falling in love, but also doing things away from each other?


The New York Times had dropped their Bestseller lists for Manga and Graphic novels. They announced plans to revamp their lists, and indicated others may be done away with as well.  From the PW article:

“Our major lists will remain, including: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children’s Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children’s Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books, and Top 10 Children’s Series. Several more including Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science, and Advice Miscellaneous will remain online. Readers will be notified that individual lists will no longer be compiled and updated by the New York Times on the relevant article pages.”

Among the lists that appear to have disappeared are the graphic novel/manga and the mass market paperback lists as well as the middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists.


This week I discovered a new UF series. Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. Stolen Magic, book one, was an Amazon recommended read. It was $3.99 so I figured I’d give it a go. I really enjoyed it, but it ended on a cliffhanger. Though I grumbled a bit, I bought book two (also at $3.99.), Murdered Gods, and read it immediately. And it ended on a cliffhanger. No other books from the series are out yet. Each book is listed around 260 pages, though they felt much shorter, especially the second book. Assuming the series stops at 3 books (though I have no idea, since I can’t find any information about it on the author’s website), I’ll end up paying approximately $12 for what is, in essence, a single full-length novel. If the author stops with three parts. Otherwise, who knows when it’ll end.

Look, I don’t mind spending money on books. Especially when I’m really loving a series. But this new trend of breaking a novel into parts and releasing it as a serial, with each part costing $2.99-$5.99, is really starting to irk me. Especially when they aren’t marked as having cliffhangers or being “parts” of a book, rather than full-length titles. Or maybe I’m just being cheap?

To be fair, both parts are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Since I don’t subscribe, I had to pay full price for them. Which brings me to…


Is Kindle Unlimited worth the money? I’ve avoided subscribing thus far because there weren’t a lot of books available that I wanted to read when it first launched. Now it seems like they have a greater, more varied selection. Thoughts?


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