This is a very relevant topic because readers have different tolerence for both sex and violence in their reading. It is important to be able to buy what you want to keep from being disappointed in either the lack of ‘heat’ or being exposed to too much.

I guess what bothers me is the fact that violence is being mixed with sex – the ‘bodice ripper’ is returning at the hands of women who don ‘t remember the horrendous fight to MAKE rape a crime of violence, instead of a ‘she made me do it because of the way she was dressed’ social gaff.

I can understand – the women who have benefitted the most from the ‘battle of the sexes’ of the 1960’s and 1970’s were never subjected to the humiliation of being told ‘go home and have babies’ when they tried to get jobs ‘above their station’ instead of cashier and waitress.

The danger is forgetting that once women were raped and their attackers went free because ‘she was a slut’ defences. Along with the right to choose your job, being able to choose birth-control methods and even to terminate a pregnancy if that method failed.  These aren’t inalienable rights – these were hard and long fought by the women of my mother and sisters’ generations.

So I’ve made my case – and ranted my little rant.

Lily White LeFevre

All About Romance just posted about revising their heat ratings, and the pursuant discussion on The Passive Voice blog (which was where  I saw the link to the post) got me thinking about the way I view sex in romance novels.

So let me get a few caveats out of the way first. One, despite the title above, I don’t actually consider myself a prude. I am generally broadminded and have had a lot of friends over the years who were involved in one counterculture or another. I don’t find myself shocked or offended by what people do, or need, in order to achieve sexual satisfaction, even though most of it is not something I need to do. It’s like how I feel about drugs: legalize them all. Alcohol will still do me just fine when that happens, but if you need something else, go for it.

Two, I have a deeply…

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Farewell Google Chrome!

Just because I’ve got a degree in IT doesn’t mean I get my giggles fidgeting with faulty software.

 I was using Chrome as a backup browser, until 3 days ago when it refused to boot up. I fiddled with it for maybe 10 minutes before I deleted it.

These days I don’t have the patience to troubleshoot. There is too much going on.

So farewell Chrome – Google+ and anything else that pisses me off.

The Urge to Purge

I’m SO glad I’m not the only person who has this almost compulsive desire to get rid of stuff. (No, I’m not talking about puking, that’s a different urge.) I’ve had the urge on and off for a couple of years now.  This makes me an odd-ball in a family of Hoarders.

When I joined FlyLady – a life-coach for hoarders – I made a commitment to get rid of a box of stuff a month. This was easier and more fun that I though it would be…though there is about 10 pounds of paper staring at me in the corner of my office. It used to be 20 pounds, so I’ve improved.

I indulged the ‘urge to purge’ over Christmas by giving my sister a HUGE box of clothes. All good stuff, only a couple of years old that no longer fits. (It shrunk in the dryer, I swear!)

Other authors get overwhelmed by stuff – Zoe Winters who has just moved into a great house and adopted a “minimalist lifestyle” (no clue what that is, but it SOUNDS great) has found herself in trouble. Minimalism Fail: The Creep Has Started. I laugh at her struggles relate to her posts because I have the same issues.

I was once tested at work for major and minor personality traits – I was a double profectionist. My boss immediately warmed to me. (Kinda like being snuggled by a shark – but that’s another story.)

I know that perectionism and the drive for organization is the symptom of being a control freak – yeah, well, just shoot me! (If your life was as out-of-control as mine, you would want some freaking control, too!)  🙂

I bought a pack of business card organizer sheets last night – with my 4 inch memory foam bed topper – just to indulge that part of myself that was always told to ‘shut up and go away’ before. Now, being a ‘work-from-home’ writer, my clutter issues bug me. I had two beautiful closets re-done and I’m pissed because I’ve got more stuff than will fit.

The bug in my ear right now is the crap in the barn. There are too many machines, tools and assorted horse tack that I don’t have a place to store properly, so it’s scattered all over. 

I want that space for my annual Poultry Experiment. It always fails because the barn isn’t organized enough for the baby birds. I get a little better every year, but still it pisses me off that I can’t store stuff in the shed because that is the Dwelling Place of the Sacred Motorcyle.

WHICH is the heart of the matter. The shed is plenty big enough for all the crap I need to store BUT it’s the Dwelling Place of the Sacred Motorcyle and nothing is allowed in the shed because SOMETHING might get it dirty, or GOD FORBID scratch the Sacred Motorcyle.

Yeah, I’m married to a Biker – even if the Sacred Motorcyle isn’t a Harley, it’s still THE SACRED MOTORCYCLE.

So I’m off to rent a storage unit for the lawn machinery.


A Message to Nook Owners

I’m a Nook owner myself, and I understand perfectly where other Nook owners are coming from when they complain about KDP Select.

For me as a writer, this exclusive is only for 90 days. I expect that my sales will drop back to a ‘pre-Select’ level in a few weeks. By that time, there may be some pent up demand for ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ on B&N.

Meanwhile – “Swallow the Moon” the book most likely to succeed on B&N long term has still sold ZERO copies. I used to have better B&N sales than Amazon. Then something happened and all my sales stopped.

It may have been that ‘Nookboards’ changed hands and formats. It took me months to figure out how to set my profile back up. My threads no longer contained book covers – I didn’t have a signature line. None of the Moderators had been taught how to use the software, so they couldn’t help me either.

There wasn’t any way for readers to find my Books on Barnes & Noble website. Their system isn’t streamlined. Nor can Indie writers advertise on the site itself. Advertising on Nookboard doesn’t make up for that.

The only way for me to advertise is word of mouth, and I can’t get that on the B&N website, or on Nookboards. I’ve still got a banner ad up for “Swallow the Moon” my 2nd book – it’s got a whopping 1 or 2 hits per day in December. Still not a single sale. “Swallow the Moon” has sold 4 copies since July, 1 of them in November.

How do I justify leaving  “Swallow the Moon” up on Barnes & Noble when I can’t get it noticed, even after paying for advertising on Nookboards since July? I’ve given way 54 copies on Smashwords – had ZERO sales on that site.

As a writer, I can only shake my head in utter frustration.

I took my oldest book ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ to KDP Select on 12/12/11 and watched it come back to life. This was from December 18th – AFTER ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ was off the Free Chart:

UK Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #341 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) 
#1 in Books > Fiction > Erotic > Adult Fiction 
#5 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Romance > Romantic Suspense 
#5 in Books > Fiction > Romance > Thrillers & Suspense 

I was SURE that my B&N sales would take off come December…but they didn’t. Not a single copy of ‘Swallow the Moon’ sold, though I’m giving away ‘Impressive Bravado’ and have a banner ad on Nookboards.

I contacted B&N’s Pubit in June and asked if there was a way for them to promote “Swallow the Moon” or make it free for a few days in exchange for an exclusive launch on their site.

I didn’t get an answer.

Bob Mayer was able to get an exclusive launch with them. His book was free for 5 days. His book was a HUGE hit on B&N – so he brought that success with him when it went to Amazon.

(I was GREEN with envy, but I’m no Bob Mayer.)

I think Amazon saw that – and jumped on that idea like a duck on a Junebug. Only they threw it open to everyone.

Which brings us to date.

If I could have done the same thing on B&N, I would have. I still would, because I own a Nook and I think competition is a wonderful thing. But no-one was given the option at B&N.

Maybe if their customers complained, B&N would get the message. However, I’m afraid they are a Brick ‘n Mortar company struggling to become an Internet Company. While they can make a few changes over time, they can’t give the ‘best and brightest’ in IT free rein because they are basically afraid of technology. (If they weren’t the Nook wouldn’t NEED to be rooted.)