A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Full Disclosure

I have this info on one of my pages, but in light of recent events, I want to make it all very clear.

I am not an author or an aspiring author. The only writing I’ve ever had published and/or paid for is book reviews/articles about books and a few personal essays, unrelated to romance.

Actually, to be completely honest, I’ve toyed with writing a non-fiction book (also unrelated to romance) but I’m super lazy so the odds aren’t good.

To my knowledge, I only know one romance author IRL, and I never review or mention her books. (Or even read them… it just feels too weird!) I’m friendly with some authors online, though they may or may not be authors whose work I enjoy. I try to disclose whenever I’m reviewing a book by someone with whom I have a more personal relationship. I’ve never beta-read and am unlikely to; if I do, I’ll disclose. I did once spot read a book solely for formatting errors, as a favor.

The only connection I have with a publisher is that I write for “Heroes and Heartbreakers,” which is owned by Macmillan. What I choose to write for them is very much up to me. This was also the case at “Dear Author.”  I appreciate the autonomy I’ve had at both sites; I’m not sure I could work any other way.

I did not feel I could go on writing for “Dear Author” after yesterday’s revelations. The idea that I might have inadvertently reviewed, or even commented on, a book written by Jane made me extremely uncomfortable. It was sheer luck that she writes in a genre I don’t read very often — but I have done a First Look for at least one NA book at “Heroes and Heartbreakers,” so I kind of feel like I dodged a bullet there.

And I don’t like secrets in general, and don’t want to be involved with them.

If you have any questions at all about my knowledge/involvement, please feel free to ask me, here or privately. I can speak only for myself.

If you’re an online friend of mine and have an authorial/publishing relationship I don’t know about, I’d really appreciate you telling me.


When Are They Going to Start Casting Movies With White People?!

(Sarcastic title courtesy of my husband.)


I recently wrote a post about romance in Cassandra Clare’s books for “Heroes and Heartbreakers.” While double-checking on the ethnicity of the character Jem, I was disgusted to find, via this passionate post, that fans have been whitewashing the character, who is half Chinese.

While searching for that post again, I learned that the casting of an Asian actor as Magnus Bane in the movie “City of Bones” was also causing controversy amongst fans. It’s Rue of “The Hunger Games” all over again. Do people even actually read their so-called favorite books? They love these books enough to be upset by the casting, but not enough to have noticed their beloved characters aren’t white.

Here’s an especially charming quote from the comments of this post:

“I have always thought of Adam Lambert as Magnus! Adam has been doing theater since he was a kid and was in the cast of Wicked and Hair. He would make a fantastic Magnus if they could make some more of his features Asian.”

Actually, that one is really just thoughtless and naive. The reactions captured by “racebending” are far worse. (Trigger warning for racism.)

Here’s an interesting post from Clare on the casting, and on readers whitewashing her characters. And an interview at racebending.com. Read the comments for criticisms on Clare’s portrayal of race.

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Love Is Where You Find It

I have a piece about romantic elements in the works of Connie Willis at “Heroes and Heartbreakers.” I loved writing this, though my heart broke about having to exclude several of my favorite books.

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I’m at “Heroes and Heartbreakers” today with a “First Look” at The Reluctant Berserker by Alex Beecroft. Another book for those looking for a historical that really takes them someplace else.

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[Title Redacted]

The post I mentioned about the image of motherhood in Morning Glory is up at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

(8/1/14 I’ve removed the title of this post, because it was coming up in some disgusting searches.)

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Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together!

I’m over at Heroes and Heartbreakers, writing about romances based on beloved children’s books.

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Meanwhile, In Another Movie

The latest Julia Spencer-Fleming book about Clare and Russ inspired me to write about favorite catchphrases in romance novels over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Got any good ones I forgot?

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It’s Weird Out There



I’m currently writing a piece for “Heroes and Heartbreakers,” and collecting titles on a particular theme. It happens to be one simply bursting with new books right now — the popularity of certain television shows likely contributing to the trend — and many are self-published. I’m finding myself reluctant to use any of the self-published titles, and I feel bad about it. I don’t want to discriminate against indie authors, and a lot of the books have very intriguing premises. But even though I’m only mentioning books, not reviewing them, I feel uncomfortable with the possibility that a book I tacitly promote could be riddled with errors, or really obvious fanfic.

I think the freedom authors get from the ability to self-publish is terrific, but right now I’m thinking of an old fake “Saturday Night Live” commercial my husband told me about, which had the tagline: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  Something to think about, from the people at Trojan.”

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Why even bother…

I have a piece on favorite romantic meals at Heroes and Heartbreakers, with a title so perfect, I may never be able to title anything ever again.

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