Tuesday, July 31, 2012

News!

Okay we're all set to announce exciting news about a new series coming from Samhain Publishing!



Wedding cake 1
From cakes2011
We're not 100% sure of the series title yet, but it involves a wedding...sort of...that takes place in Promise Harbor, Massachusetts (Population 20,121). (And I still can't type Massachusetts without using Spellcheck.)

There are four connected stories:   JILTED (written by ME!) BOLTED (written by Meg Benjamin) BUSTED (written by Sydney Somers) and HITCHED (written by Erin Nicholas).

Release dates as always are tentative, but the plan is to release the books close together in March and April 2013! We're totally excited about this project, which has been in the works for longer than we probably want to even say, but 2012 was the year we all buckled down and did it. I for one, having read the other three books, can say I LOVE them all and this is gonna be great! Stay tuned for more details!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On the outskirts of Stressville going down Rant Lane


 


The last week or two, I've been watching a number of dramas unfold on the internet, dramas like soap opera from hell drama. It's entertaining but also makes me feel a little sick. It's also kind of fascinating. I'm curious about human nature and the personalities of people who like to stir up shit soup, and the people who then jump into them seemingly without any apparent knowledge of what's really going on. I'm curious about why some people don't see the bigger picture and can only focus on the miniscule issue that appears in front of them. And I'm curious about the level of judgement and hypocrisy that exists on the internet and how people who are so quick to lash out at others for doing certain things are completely blind to the fact that they're doing the same effing douchebag thing. 


It spirals and multiplies, from the initial "wrongdoing" and the first response to that, to someone attacking the responder which is repeated by someone else and someone else until it's a whole bunch of people behaving like “That unprofessional flaming shit-bird who did that really unprofessional shitbird thing and now it’s a stain on his career like a permanent skidmark that bled through his tighty-whities and onto his khaki shorts.” (as Chuck Wendig said so eloquently). As a social phenomenon it's kind of fascinating. Is it the anonymity of the internet that leads people to do this? Is it the fast pace of the information that flows online that makes people react so quickly to information that's not even true, without even checking the facts? Does it make people feel better about themselves to criticize others, perhaps because of some deep-rooted insecurity or lack of self-esteem?

I've seen things tweeted that were then completely twisted into something else, retweeted with outrage, which someone else sees and retweets with more outrage until a whole bunch of people are all angry shitbirds about something that never really happened.

I've seen people stir up conflict between two groups of people by tweeting things that are their own perception of something and not the reality, which other people then see and assume is reality and then respond with more outrage and indignation and turn it into an us vs them thing that never really existed except in one person's own mind. Or, again thanks to Chuck Wendig, they are “Fighting In The Trenches Of The Any Imaginary War” (sic).

I've seen authors tweeting awful things about other authors. An author who is wildly successful is mocked and scathingly criticized. Someone who promos too much is (in one author's opinion) "douchy". Could she be referring to me? I don't know. I don't think I promo too much, but I do retweet a compliment about my book or a good review. Am I douchy for doing that? I guess a lot of us might be. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Stories about authors choosing to self-publish instead of going with the traditional publisher's deal, stories about authors "outing" a pirate who stole their book, stories about librarians concerned about how ARCs are given out at conferences — are tweeted about with vitriol, hatred and anger. Tweets are twisted to mean something else. People often don't name names. Is that better or worse? You can hide behind the fact that the person you're tweeting about may never see what you said. Or if they do, they'll wonder if you're talking about them or someone else. But often it's not hard to follow a trail and find out who it's about. Would someone say those things to someone's "face" i.e. an @ message saying those same things? Why would you tweet them "anonymously" then? Does it make people feel better about themselves, bigger and more important, to judge other people and call them names?

Oh wait, I actually have seen people saying those things to someone's face, with @ messages on Twitter — and it looked like they were a shark going on the attack. But you know what? You wouldn't see that unless you happened to follow both those people.

And the "outing" of personal information about people - saw it happen twice in the last week, and once by someone who vociferously denounced someone else for doing that same thing.

Another us vs. them was started (okay, actually re-started as this has happened before) between reviewers and authors with the "a negative review is not bullying" meme that sprang up. A group of people started a blog about "bullying" on Goodreads. The group states they aren't even authors (I have no idea who they really are). They aren't  talking about negative reviews. They're talking about specific behaviours on a particular website (whether it's bullying or not is questionable, but I'm not going down that path here). But someone sees a tweet that says "a negative review is not bullying" and says "Hell yeah! That's true!" (because it is true, right?) and they retweet it, and that happens over and over until so many people have seen it and it gets all twisted and spun into "authors hate reviewers" and "authors are too sensitive and can't take criticism" and lots of angry, vicious tweets. Then people start reviving old stories about authors responding to negative reviews. One author even used the Twitter hashtag #morebadauthors to tweet about another author who'd responded to a negative review — six months ago! WTF? What purpose does that serve, dragging up old crap like that? It just propagates the whole conflict. Why? Do we really need to all hate each other? Do people just like the attention they get for doing this?

And then when someone reasonable steps in to ask why or to present a different viewpoint, I've seen people (including an author!) respond with rudeness and defensiveness and the comment "feel free to unfollow". Um. Nice.

People do bad things. People make mistakes. I live in sick fear of making some kind of mistake that someone will turn into a huge internet "scandal" that grows and grows until I'm so demoralized and humiliated I have to disappear. Nobody's perfect. I'm not a religious person, but that biblical passage "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" comes to mind. If you've never done anything wrong or made a mistake in your life (Really? Really?) feel free to attack and deride and denounce and ridicule someone online. But just know this — attacking and deriding and denouncing and ridiculing someone, to their face or even if you don't name them, makes you look kinda like a douchy douchebag unprofessional shitbird.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hot Jocks in July Blog Hop

Photobucket Welcome to the Hot Jocks Blog Tour! I'm giving away winner's choice of one of my "hockey books" - Breakaway, Faceoff, and One Man Advantage.



These books feature hot hockey player heroes - the Heller brothers, Jason, Tag, and Logan. They're connected stories that do stand alone, but if you haven't read them you might want to read them in order. You can find blurbs and excerpts and reviews of these books at my website.

I grew up watching hockey with my mom and my grandma (her mom) on television every Saturday night – Hockey Night in Canada. Strangely my dad wasn’t all that interested in hockey and used to nap on the couch during games. As a teenager, my first boyfriend played hockey and I used to go watch some of his games. He also liked to go to live games, and our local team was the Brandon Wheat Kings (yes, we lived on the prairies J). I remember sitting in the Keystone Centre watching the Wheat Kings while my boyfriend patiently explained what icing was, why they just gave a penalty and what made a play offside. I think I tried to be interested mostly because I wanted him to like me, but it somehow turned into a real love of the game!

When I started writing romance, I wanted to write a story with a hockey player hero, but hesitated because I kept hearing you shouldn’t write about heroes who are professional athletes. Athletes are big and muscular and strong. When they’re successful they’re confident, wealthy and famous. Are these heroic qualities?

Well, big muscles and a sexy smile are important for a romance hero, but qualities of determination, passion, loyalty, dedication, sacrifice and courage are important for heroes too. And don’t professional athletes have all those? 

What athlete romance heroes have you fallen in love with?


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sizzling Summer Reads

Yes it's the Sizzling Summer Reads Event at The Romance Reviews! Today I'm up with a Q&A for a chance to win! Go to the party site here to enter!