JERR BLOGS TOO!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reviews Published in October 3, 2010 Issue of Just Erotic Romance Reveiws Newsletter

A Gentleman’s Savior Charlene Roberts
Ali: The Demon Next Door Kate Austin
Assassin's Heart: The Order of the Sicari 2 Monica Burns
Between the Covers: Covert Lovers 2 Eve Adams
Black Passion: Black Jag 2 Lorie O’Clare
Bodyguards in Love: Seducing the Sheik Carol Lynne
Chocolate Tea and the Duchess Brita Addams
Common Ground: Tales of the Darkworld 5 Lex Valentine
Compromising Charis Sahara Kelly
Down on the Boardwalk Suzanne Rock
Dragon Blood Madelaine Montague
Dragon's Oath Nicole Ash
Enemy Red: Mark of Lycos 1 Marie Harte
Fire in the Blood Lisabet Sarai
Hardest of Hearts Cat Marsters
Her Mates Suzanne Thomas
Hunters Michelle Marquis and Lindsey Bayer
Interdependence Dee Carney
Jinx and Her Werewolf: Strange Hollow Marisa Chenery
Let's Do It Again Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
Lucifer's Daughter Eve Langlais
Masquerade Sheri Whitefeather
Maui Rekindled Ari Thatcher
My Reckless Surrender Anna Campbell
My Summer of Wes Missy Welsh
Nauti and Wild Lora Leigh/ Jaci Burton
Past Pleasures: Desire Through Time 1 Charlotte Stein
Play Dirty: The Bounty Hunters Lorie O’Clare
Prince of Shadow: Bloodborn 2 Tracy L. Ranson
Propositioning Mr. Raine: Riding the Raines 1 Laurann Dohner
Pure Silk Maggi Sherwin
Quarterback Blitz Frances Stockton
Raw Recruit Gwen Campbell
Ready and Willing Cara McKenna
Sanctuary Cassidy Hunter
Seek And You Shall Find Mechele Armstrong
Shadow Of The Wolf: Heart's Desire 1 Dana Marie Bell
Soft Focus Lynn LaFleur
Something New Cameron Dane
Strokes Ashlyn Chase & Dalton Diaz
Summer of the Cougar Nicole Austin
Surrender Heather Peters
Teaching Tyler Glynnis Ivy
Tempting Alibi Savannah Stuart
Texas Tangle Leah Braemel
The Gladiators: Enslaved III Kaitlyn O’Connor
The Lieutenant’s Ex-Wife Aliyah Burke
The Major's Wife Beverly Sims
The Wanderer: Wasteland Crystal Jordan
Time Pirate Trinity Blake
Touch Me Tease Me CJ England
Trouble in Cowboy Boots: Sequins Saddles and Spurs 1 Desiree Holt
Twice Her Age Abby Wood
Two Man Team Jet Mykles
Warrior's Dawn: Blood Magic 1 Lacey Thorn
Wicked Illusion Bethany Michaels

Friday, October 1, 2010

Reviews Published in the September 12, 2010 Issue

Angelic Surrender: The Kavanagh Foundation 2 by Crista McHugh
Ariel’s Pet: An Invitation by Qwilla Rain
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
Bad Bad Girlfriend: Red Stilettos 4 by Delilah Devlin
Blood Destiny: Jewel of the Sun by Bekki Lynn
Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce
Concubine by Jill Knowles
Consent to the Cowboy by Abby Wood
Control by Kayla Perrin
Dark Desires at Midnight by Jessica Lee
Deadly Beauty by Mahogany Brown
Drilled by Regina Carlysle
Driven: Cougar Challenge by Jayne Rylon
Enchanted Palette by Brigit Zahara
Experimenting with Ed: Human Design 1 by Katie Allen
Exposing Victoria by Reese Gabriel
Foxy Lady: Predators 3 by Nicole Austin
Fugly by K.Z. Snow
Ghost Flute by Kimberly Dean
Healer: Shifter’s Coven by Marteeka Karland
Heart of the Bloodstone by Melinda Barron
Hero by Jessica Freely
Jager’s Mate: Roxie’s Protectors by Marissa Chenery
Kade: Armed and Dangerous 3 by Cheyenne McCray
Last Flight of the Ark by D.L. Jackson
Lean on Me: Master of the Shadowlands 4 by Cherise Sinclair
Marked for Desire by Jennifer Leeland
Men of Danger by Lora Leigh, Red Garnier, Lorie O’Clare Alexis Grant
More than Friends by Evangeline Anderson
Petals and Thorns by Jennifer Paris
Picture This by Kaily Hart
Playing with Barbie by Wynter Daniels
Skyport Virgo 1 by Lolita Lopez
Rivals for Love by Eve Vaughn
Scandal by Heather Lin
Shared by Lily Harlem
Simply Insatiable by Kate Pearce
Soul Bound: Soul Seer 1 by Brannan Black
Talk Dirty To Me by Tory Richards
Tease Me by Tracy Wolff
The Anniversary Present: Gifts of Desire 3 by Suzanne Graham
The Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie Dee
The Partner’s Lair by Esmeralda Bishop
The Tender Trap by Emery Sanborne
Thief by Lily Harlem
Thyme by Louisa Trent
Treasuring Evie by Tessie Bradford
Truly Scrumptious R.G. Alexander
Twice as High by Elise Logan
Twice Shy by Loribelle Hunt
Two Week Trial by Missy Jane
Undercover Love by Jewel Adams
Unforgiven by Barbara Hancock
Warrior’s heart: Gifts of the Ancients 1 by Bianca d’Arc
Zellia’s Blade by Kitty DuCane

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

List of reviews published in our August 1, 2010 issue of the newsletter

A Little White Lie by Mackenzie McKade
Dead Reckoning by Trista Ann Michaels
Digging Deeper by Barbara Elsborg
Eagle’s Refuge: Texas Passions 3 by Regina Carlysle
Ex Appeal: Hunk Du Jour 2 by Cari Quinn
Heat it Up: Out of Uniform 4 by Elle Kennedy
Into the Mist by Lacey Thorn
Bound by Sunlight by KB Alan
Raising Kane: Rough Riders 9 by Lorelei James
What She Wants by Anne Rainey
Lake Shore Escape by Moira Hanson
Desire of Three by Jade James
Crazed Hearts: Grimm’s Circle 3 by Shiloh Walker
Heart of Submission by Claire Thompson
Gothic City Lights by Brindle Chase
Raine's Blues by Sharon Cullars
Horsing Around by Wynter Daniels
Julian's Jeopardy: Dawn Endeavor 3 by Marie Harte
Private Eyes by Mikala Ash
Lovestruck by KT Grant
Never As It Seems by Shiloh Walker
Private Negotiations by Kathleen Scott
R & R: Spaceport by Lexxie Couper
Rough Edges by Ashlynn Pearce
Savage Kingdom by Deanna Ashford
Vampire Mistress: Vampire Queen 5 by Joey W. Hill
Dark Currents: Elementals 1 by Mima

List of reviews published in our July 11, 2010 issue of the newsletter

A Staged Affair by Gem Sivad
Guilty Pleasure by Lora Leigh
Hailey's Game: Cattleman's Club 2 by Jenny Penn
A Table for Three: New York 1 by Lainey Reese
Havoc by Linda Gayle
Hot on Her Tail by Ruth D. Kerce
I Married a Demon: Para-Mates 1 by Beverly Rae
In His Thrall by Amanda M. Holt
Intimate Submission by Cara Bristol
Invisible Evidence by Kelly Wallace
Jewel of the Dragon: Dept. 57 by Lynne Connolly
Cinderella Undercover by KyAnn Waters
Kallie Revealed by Mel Teshco
Letting Go by Michele Zurlo
Light My Fire by Jodi Redford
Amaranth & Ash by Jessica Freely
Love Doctor by Mari Freeman
Nice Girl Naughty by Jan Springer
Partners by Cricket Starr
Playing Wolf: The Phoenix Prophecy 2 by Mina Carter
Roped and Branded by KyAnn Waters
Saddle Broke by Darah Lace
Classy Bitch: Last Call Europe by Lacey Savage
Shaken and Stirred by M.A. Ellis
Slaves: Entwined Fates by Trista Ann Michaels
Something To Talk About by Violet Summers
Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews
Baron�s Right by Eryn Blackwell
Spirals by Beth D. Carter
Stick Shift by Lissa Matthews
Sugar Rush by Lissa Matthews
Sunny With a Chance by Emjai Colbert
Sweet Caroline: Blue Jeans and Hard Hats 1 by Lissa Matthews
Crystal Tides: Department 57 by Lynne Connolly
The Wolf Within by Mandy Monroe
To the Max by Annmarie McKenna
Velvet Haven: Immortals of Annwyn 1 by Sophie Renwick
Wicked City by Tracey H. Kitts
Wild Nevada Ride: Wilder Series 3 by Sandy Sullivan
Be With Me by Maya Banks
Wild Rodeo Nights:Wilder 2 by Sandy Sullivan
Vampire Mistress: Vampire Queen 5 by Joey W. Hill
Big Blooming & Wild!: Mulberrilicious by Michelle Hasker
Brazen Moon: Passion & Hellfire 1 by Ruth D. Kerce
Deeper Than The Ocean: the Phoenix Prophecy 1 by Dee Carney
Camouflage Wife by Iona Blair
Cams Holiday: Cougar Challenge 7 by Ciana Stone
Casual Fridays by Bridget Midway
Firebird by Annabel Joseph
Instructing Emily by Lyla Sinclair
Rocky Mountain Haven: Six Pack Rance 2 by Vivian Arend
Seeking Charlotte: Hearts of Fire 3 by N.J. Walters
A Proper Seduction by HelenKay Dimon
All Worked Up: Pleasure Inn 2 by Cathryn Fox
Burning Dante by Lacey Thorn
Ella's Desire: The Lost Collection by Brandi Maxwell
Cilla�s Master by Katherine Kingston
Coin Operated by Ginny Glass
Coyote Home: Coyote Hunger 1 by Rhian Cahill
Coyote Wild: Coyote Hunger 2 by Rhian Cahill
Lust at First Sight by Jade James
Seducing A Wallflower by Selena Illyria
Shotgun Rider by Maggie Casper
Safe Surrender by Kristin Daniels
Falling Star: Earth Scents 1 by Olivia Brynn
First Knight by Delilah Devlin
Forbidden Heat by Opal Carew

Friday, June 25, 2010

List of reviews published in our June 13, 2010 issue of the newsletter

A Barbed Wire Cross by Melissa Harlow
A Neighbor's Ultimatum by Qwillia Rain
A Witch's Thief: Thieves and Lovers 3 by Titania Ladley
Ace of Spades by J. Hali Steele
Beyond Curious by Paisley Smith
Bite My Fire: Biting Love by Mary Hughes
By Daylight Come by Tielle St. Clare
Changing Spots by Louisa Gough
Claiming it All by Anna J. Evans
Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Conference Cupid by Eden Elgabri
Deal with the Devil by Evangeline Anderson
Double Time: Rock and a Hard Place by Kate Hill
Eye Of The Storm: Security Specialists International 1 by Monette Michaels
Fierce Heat by Celia Kyle and Lizzie Lynn Lee
Hel Hath No Fury by K.C. Sehlhorst
Hers for the Evening: Courtesans Tales 2 by Jasmine Haynes
I Spy a Wicked Sin by Jo Davis
Kessa’s Pride by Kama Spice
Kissing Steel: Cyborg Seduction 2 by Laurann Dohner
Louisiana Heat by Dominique Adair
Love Under Two Gunslingers : The Lost Collection by Cara Covington
Lush Velvet Nights by Tina Donahue
Mirror Image by Mima and Bonnie Dee
Need You Tonight: Blue Ruin 4 by Katrina Strauss
Peerless by Vivian Arend and Celia Kyle
Primal Appetite: the Hellfire Club by Belladonna Bordaux
Sensitive by Sommer Marsden
Sex and Trouble by Marilu Mann
Shapes in the Blood by Kim Knox
Sleeping with the Enemy by Kaitlyn O'Connor
Strength in Numbers by Mandy M. Roth
Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks
Take Your Pleasure by Jasmine Haynes
Texas Surrender by Claire Thompson
The Billionaire's Mate by Cooper McKenzie
The Company of Fools by Annemarie Hartnett
The Good the Bad and the Naughty by Lena Matthews
Undercover by Lauren Dane
Werewolf Me by Amarinda Jones
Winner Takes All by Jenny Urban and Elizabeth Silver

The next issue of the newsletter is scheduled for July 11, 2010.


M.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In search of...

... new software to put together the newsletter. We've been using FrontPage for ages. None of us is knowledgeable in writing code, so that means we do have to use software. However, FrontPage is obsolete now and Expression Studio has taken it's place. This time around I want to learn how to put together an issue of the newsletter too. We only have the copyeditor, Heather, who knows how to put the newsletter together. As backup we use our Promo manager, Aggie.

I downloaded the trial version of Expression Studio, which will give me 60 days to fumble with it. I just hope I can figure it out, to at least be able to put together a newsletter. I'll post back on the results.


M.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back on track ... kinda sorta ...

I can barely believe that it has been one month since our good friend, Marcy, passed away. The first two weeks were a bit surreal. My JERR co-owner, Amber, worked hard to get the Tribute issue rolling. It finally came out last Sunday (June 6). We are now going back to normal and will be doing a reviews-only issue, to be published this Sunday, June 13. After that, I'll post the usual listing of what came out here in this blog. Working a full time job and trying to coordinate stuff at JERR is no easy feat. All of us work full-time, some even go to school at night. Frankly, I am amazed that we've made it this far. This month marked our 7th anniversary. Who would have thought.



M.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Memory of Marcy Arbitman

Today I received the very sad news that one of our reviewers, Marcy Arbitman, passed away on the evening of May 6, 2010. I am in tears, though I never had the chance to meet her in person. Marcy was one of our most enthusiastic and dedicated reviewers. She truly loved to read, and she had a passion for erotic romance that never waned.

Marcy was diagnosed several months ago with thyroid cancer. Her health had not been good for starters, and at one point she even needed to take a long term break from JERR. I have to say that she came back to review with a vengeance and she broke her own personal record in the turning in of reviews for each issue of the newsletter. She was forced to stop reviewing about 3-4 months ago, and asked me if she could just hang out with us in our reviewer group. That's how much she liked to be part of JERR.

Though my personal story with Marcy was a bit shaky at one point, once she learned about the cancer and told me, we had a chance to interact a bit more at a personal level via Facebook. I learned that she and I shared very similar political views, and that she cared for the environment like I do.

I am truly saddened by these news, I am shocked as well, despite the fact that I knew what she had been facing and dealing with, and she is going to be missed by all of us at JERR.

Rest in Peace, dear Marcy. You will always be in our hearts.


Mireya and the JERR team

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

List of reviews published in our May 2, 2010 issue of the newsletter

Following is the list of reviews published in our May 2, 2010 issue of the JERR Newsletter:

An Invitation: Alayna's Training by Jennifer Cole
Colters' Woman: Colters' Legacy 1 by Maya Banks
Conquering India: Texas Temptations by Melissa Schroeder
Dangerous Lover: Take Me Lover 4 by Charlene Teglia
Darkest Desires: Darkest Book II by S. K. Yule
Darkest Hours: Darkest Book I by S. K. Yule
Delicious: Wicked Lovers 3 by Shayla Black
Dirty Deeds by Sheri Lewis Wohl
Embroidered Fantasies: Tapestries 5 by N.J. Walters
Engaging Evelyn: Blissful Bets by Jennifer Salaiz
French Tart: Naughty Ladies of Nice 1 by Sloane Taylor
Guardian's Realm 3: The Clash by Crystal Kauffman
His She-wolf by Amy Redwood
In The Cards by C.D. Yates
Inescapable by Saskia Walker
Lovin' The Cowboy Way by Kelly Wallace
Night Blooming Jasmine by Gemini Judson
One Weekend by Sasha White
Perfect Woman by Talya Bosco
Redline Lover: Take Me Lover by Charlene Teglia
Release by Beth Kery
Research Required by Amber Skyze
Secrets We Keep by Caitlyn Willows
Shadow Play by Jeri Duvall
Siren's Seduction: DragonKin by Mina Carter
Sunset Knight by Sami Lee
Tears of the Dragon by Cyndi Friberg
The Locker Room Diaries: Signing Bonus by Trixie Stilletto
Untamed by Crystal Jordan
What She Needs by Lacey Alexander

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Beltane erotic short story

by Heather Nestorick

Wednesday woke up before Vicrum, excitement coursing through her. It was Beltane, the day of spirituality and sexuality. Vicrum was still sleeping and she pressed a kiss to his shoulder before slipping from the bed. She pulled on a short white nighty but didn’t bother with panties, since Beltane was a celebration of passion. Wednesday began collecting her supplies for the ritual, several bundles of herbs that she would burn during the ritual and a silver cord holding two silver rings. The cord and rings had been her mothers and now she used it in every ritual she performed. She also went to the patio and grabbed a small planted fig tree, which she carried to the bed room and placed on the nightstand near Vicum. She also placed four candles around the bed, one for north, south, east and west.

As Wednesday moved around her apartment she opened all the windows, allowing moonlight and night air to fill the space.

Wednesday walked back into the kitchen and pulled the honey from the cabinet. She grabbed a small silver pitcher and filled it with milk. Wednesday carried all of the supplies into the bedroom and sat them out near the bed.

Looking around, she smiled; everything was perfect. She lit the candles she had set around in a clockwise motion, placing two packets of herbs among the candles; one at due north and the other at due south. Sniffing the last one, letting the Hawthorne, honeysuckle and St. Johnswort, fill her senses; before placing it down. All the supplies could be reached from the bed.

Throwing back the sheet, Wednesday took in Vicrum’s strong body bathed in moonlight and smiled again. She hoped he would enjoy the ritual. Wednesday climbed on the bed and straddled his body.

Wednesday relaxed her body around his and began to meditate about the meaning of the day, how important this ritual would be to their bond and ultimately their relationship.

With her arms raised toward the moon, Wednesday began to speak softly creating a circle dedicated to the Goddess.

“By the strength of the witch’s honor
Conjure the magic circle
Feminine steel, a powerful boon
I am safe within the Goddess’ womb.
A sacred space a world apart
Where enchantment births and magic starts
With air and fire, water and earth
I circle round the mother’s girth
The legions of life await my word.
The circle is cast.”

Reaching out Wednesday placed the cord containing the rings on a branch of the fig tree and softly said.

“From your mating shall spring forth life a new.
A profusion of living creatures shall cover the land
And the winds will blow pure and sweet.
O ancient ones, I celebrate with you.”

Wednesday picked up the lighter and lit the bundle of herbs sitting at the northern point of the circle. Then she picked up the milk she began to slowly spill it over her breasts while saying in hushed tones

“Oh Mother Goddess, Queen of the night and of the earth
I celebrate your union as nature rejoices in
A riotous blaze of color and life.
Accept my gift, mother goddess
In honor of your union.”

The milk soaked the front of her tiny nighty and dripped onto Vicrum’s chest and his eyes opened lazily looking at her. Without using words he asked what she was doing. “It’s Beltane.” She replied softly. “The Pagan celebration of spirituality and sex.” Vicrum nodded and wrapped his hands around her ass, pulling her body against him. “Would you like to watch?” she asked him softly. He nodded as his eyes moved over her face and body.

Placing the milk on the floor and she lit the bundle of herbs sitting at the southern point of the circle. She glanced at Vicrum and he looked intrigued. Wednesday reached down and pulled the nighty off exposing her body to him and then she grabbed the honey and let it slowly drip over her breasts while saying

“Oh Father God, King of the day and of the Forests,
I celebrate your union as nature rejoices in
A riotous blaze of color and life.
Accept my gift, mother goddess
In honor of your union.”

Wednesday placed the honey on the floor and put out the burning bundles of herbs and then the candles, this time in a counter clock wise motion. Raising her arms toward the sky once more, she said softly.

“Farewell, Mother Goddess
I give thanks for your presence here.
Go in power.”

It was obvious Vicrum had liked the ritual; his approval was running through their minds as his cock throbbed against her thigh. Wednesday watched Vicrum as he reached up and used a finger tip to swipe some honey from her left nipple, sucking it off his finger. The look on his face and the sound he made as he sucked caused her cunt to throb and drip juices onto him. Wednesday crushed herself against him not worried about the mess she was making of both of them and her lips sought his which he gave them willingly.



BELTANE LOVE SPELL

Beltane is the ancient Celtic holiday of the 1st of May, or Mayday that we still celebrate in many forms today throughout the British Isles. The word 'Beltane' it is thought, may be derived from the old solar god Belenos and the Beltane holiday is derived from his name, being the celebration of his return to our spring skies. Belenos could be compared to Apollo and has through the centuries been humanised and turned by writers and historians into Kings such as King Bellin who was said to have built a fort beside the Thames, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. So with this Beltane love spell you would be invoking Belenos power by casting on his day. This love spell is perfect for those who wish to see renewal or blossoming of the love in their relationship.

On Beltane, light a candle outside (use a storm lantern in it is windy). Your candle represents Belenos, the sun, and then as you look into the candle flame, chant:

'On this Beltane day, now it is the first of May,
Belenos you have returned and now all reborn will be,
May my lover's love for me, alos be reborn as are the leaves of the tree,
May my lover love me more so that (insert their name) their heart for me does soar, May our love be twice born, on this perfect Beltane morn,
An it harm none, so mote it be.'

Now visualise your relationship being renewed and strengthened, your love for each other overflowing. Your Beltane Love Spell is cast!

Let's celebrate May Day!

Today is the first day of May, and it is celebrated by more people than you would know. It is a rather fascinating tradition, and our copy editor, Heather, kindly offered to write a couple of pieces about Beltane (including a very spicy short story) to include in our blog. Enjoy!

BELTANE

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane. It is one of eight solar Sabbats. This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Beltane, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing). Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May Day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th.

Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times. Beltane is a joyous, open hearted celebration of life by balance counter placement in the wheel.

Beltane focuses on the principal of life as a generated though the energies of physical sexual union. It is a time to embrace your sexuality. Sexual energy represents the merging of individual consciousness into a collective consciousness. Sexuality should be uninhibited and spontaneous, a direct manifestation of ones sexual expression.

In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods "A-Maying," and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

The May pole was a focal point of the old English village rituals. Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion. Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared. Let them guide you! Breads and cereals are popular. Try oatmeal cakes or cookies sweetened with a dab of honey. Dairy foods are again appropriate...just make a lovely wedding feast and you are sure to enjoy yourself! An early morning walk through a local park or forest could be fun for everyone. Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home. Mom and daughter could braid their hair, and weave in a few tender blossoms.


DUMP CAKE RECIPE

1 large can of fruit (peaches are great for this)
1 package of cake mix
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Get coals glowing (white) and rub the outside of a dutch oven with soft soap for easier clean-up.

Pie filling and cake mix can be white cake with peaches, white with cherries (chocolate and cherry are great!!!!!)

Mix together pie filling, butter and cake mix.

Place in coals add a few coals to top of dutch oven.

It takes about 1/2 hour but cook until filling is bubbling threw cake mix.

- or-

1 can of pie filling
1 box of cake mix White or yellow (made to directions)
1 stick of butter

Get coals glowing (white) and rub outside of a dutch oven with soft soap for easier clean-up.

Prepare a white or yellow box cake mix according to directions.

Pour in the pie filling.

Cut butter into small piece and dot on top.

Check for doneness after 30 min - usually will take longer - until filling is bubbling threw cake mix.

This one I do with cherries and apples.

-or-

Bake the cakes in a oven at 350* for 30-45 minutes.

by: Heather Nestorick for Just Erotic Romance Reviews


Image: Beltane Dance by Jenny M. Heidewald (http://www.elfwood.com/)




Saturday, April 24, 2010

I love gaming

I am a gaming freak. I usually tend to go for MMOs. (Wiki should be taken with a grain of salt, but for gaming, it is pretty good, have to say, so I'll be using it for my info linking). My latest MMO adventures have been in Lord of the Rings Online, which I started playing during closed beta. This was over two years ago. I am a bit "burned out" at the moment with MMO gaming though, so I had been keeping myself occupied with little games in Facebook, namely Farmville. I haven't been playing more games in Facebook because, to make the story short, I managed to get nasty worms in my PC's hard drive via a Facebook game. The second time around, I simply decided to reformat the hard drive.

Looking for alternatives, as I am now a bit burnt out with Farmville too due to the constant grinding (or grindfest), I stumbled upon some romance related games online. I had read about them last year, when the new game based on Marjorie Liu's Tiger Eye was announced and went on pre-release sale. I admit it, I got intrigued and bought it. However, it doesn't come out until April 28. 2010.

Today, looking around for alternatives, I went to BigFish Games and found a puzzle game titled Love and Death: Bitten. Though the ending was lame imho, and I finished it in a few hours, I have to say that it kept me quite engrossed for a while. Looking for other alternatives I found two other games that are actually romance related. One is based on a novel by Nora Roberts titled Visions in White and the other is based on a Harlequin Presents novel titled Hidden Object of Desire.

I admit that I am intrigued. Though there was room for improvement in Love and Death: Bitten in terms of storyline and ending. I found it hooked me and kept me nicely entertained for a few hours. Depending on how the experience goes with the above ones (yes, I did get them as well, but only after I finished Love and Death), I think I may declare myself a convert. These games could be a nice alternative to take short breaks from my MMO hardcore gamer tendencies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who would want to plagiarize reviews ...

Yeah, it seems silly, right? Well, this happens more often than people realize. I remember that during my early days as a reviewer, the owner of a reviews website was caught copying reviews from someone else. At the time, blogs were not the in thing like they are now. It turned into a pretty nasty incident, and as a "noob" to the reviewing scene, I couldn't completely understand what was going on. On top of that, when I tried to find out more information via a Yahoo group that had just started for "noob" reviewers like myself, the "veterans" refused to talk about it. Of course, I dropped that group like the hot potato that it was. It spoke volumes that the "veterans" didn't want to talk about the ethics of reviewing. Of course, there are more layers in that, but this post is about plagiarism and not the ethics of reviewing.

Anyway, every once in a while, another opportunistic idiot shows his/her sorry face and gets caught... and no, I am not giving these people the benefit of the doubt. They know what they are doing; they know that what they are doing is WRONG. Period.

The latest incident involves what is, I believe, the "elder" among all romance review sites: All About Romance. This is the quick summary: a dumb piece of work, who dares call herself the "Queen of Romance", stole the name of a popular romance related blog (Ramblings on Romance, which has been around for about five years already), and the woman then proceeded to pretty much copy and paste whole chunks of text from reviews originally posted at All About Romance, passing the reviews as hers. This is the link to the AAR blog talking about the issue here.

As you may see from the comments section, some people are trying to give that person the benefit of the doubt. As I stated above (let it never be said that I am not opinionated hehe), I am not that generous. I am looking at all this not only from the perspective of a co-owner of a reviews newsletter, but also from the perspective of a reviewer, as I did review for a number of years.

The acts of people like her go beyond just the plagiarism. She's not only stealing the property of others, but she's also affecting how review sites and/or review blogs may be perceived by others, particularly publishers and authors. Fact remains that this woman (who alleges to be 23 in her blog: (1) is stealing from others and (2) her actions are affecting more than just her selfish, moronic person... and THAT I can't easily forget ... or forgive, given the sheer amount of work honest reviewers and review site/blogs owners out there put into their work.

As to motivation, these people often work on two premises: (1) they see the recognition some of the most popular review sites/blogs have and want a piece of that; and (2) they get free books without the need to do to the work of reading them and then writing a review of the books because, after all, there are tons of review sites out there they can steal from... and yes, chances are EXTREMELY hight that she will do it again, this time having learned that she can get caught, she will figure something out to circumvent the law. The internet provides the means to create as many personas as you want and there are tons of free options out there to start blogs, personal pages, websites, etc. It's the land of opportunity for those who lack ethics of any sort.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reviews from April 2010 issue up in the website

The reviews published on our April 4, 2010 issue of the newsletter are now up in the website. The covers will be uploaded before the month is over.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hello, my name is Mireya and I am a recovering erotic romance addict ...

I have been reading ebooks for 7 years now. I started in February 2003 to be precise. I was stuck at home, sick as a dog, with nothing to do. At that time I didn't read romance at all. I went online to research for erotica, and accidentally, I ended up finding Jaid Black’s “The Empress New Clothes” in Amazon. It said available on CD which intrigued me. I didn’t order it though, but I continued looking, found Ellora’s Cave (EC) … and that’s how I started reading romance.

Up to that point, I had only read very few romance books: a couple of Danielle Steele's books, "Rebecca" by Daphne DuMaurier, "Desiree" by AnneMarie Selinko, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen are the highlights from my pre-romance addiction times.

I bought Jaid Black’s book directly from EC and loved it. I then proceeded to buy everything else written by this author that was available at the time. Back then, I didn’t even know that Jaid Black’s was the pen name of Tina Engler, owner of Ellora’s Cave (Jade Enterprises). I was totally fascinated: lots of GRAPHIC sex and a love story, I didn’t care about the quality of the actual writing at all. Graphic sex and a lot of it is what I wanted and that is what I found. The romance was the delicious icing on the cake. I am a very fast reader, these stories are not long, and being stuck at home for so many days, I found myself going through their available catalog in less than 3 weeks. I spent a LOT in ebooks then, which also created another issue because of budgeting. Thankfully, I keep my finances separate from that of my husband’s … otherwise he would have blown a gasket!

Back then, Ellora’s Cave didn’t have an established publication schedule nor a set number of releases. Sometimes they would release one book, other times up to three. Fans had no choice but to check their site daily for new releases. It was pretty much party time whenever something new was released. Those were the good ol’ days, before the erotic romance boom started. I have to say it was fun to just “hang out” on their Yahoo group -- the original one, not the current one. That one was deleted and re-launched. EC has a very convoluted story, btw, but this post is not about their history so I’ll leave it at that.

In my early days as an erotic romance fan I used to print out the stories to bring them with me during my commutes. When it became obvious how much of a drag that was, I found out about ebook reading devices. I opted for a Franklyn ebookwise which I got for a good price at eBay. It was pretty simple, I could read in different formats (not just pdf, which had been my preferred format), I could adjust font size, and best of all, I could carry with me lots of titles. To me, it was HEAVEN.

After I pretty much bought everything I could get my hands on from EC’s website, I figured there definitely had to be other websites where I could get ebooks from. There were no Changeling Press, Loose-Id or Samhain as they had not opened for business yet. I did find Liquid Silver Books, eXtasy Books, and Amber Quill Press. I got quite a bunch of titles from them as well, however, I found myself craving more. I started spreading my wings, so to speak, and discovered New Concepts Publishing. Years ago, they had a nice catalogue of historical romance and it was there that I discovered I liked that genre.

However, things change, and I’ve found that my taste has changed. I still read erotic romance, but not as much as I used to. My list of autobuy authors has narrowed as well. For some reason, I can’t get into the writing style of many newer authors of the genre and am a lot less accepting of certain things in my reading material. Sex is no longer the driving force whenever making a reading choice. Whereas I used to read up to 3 erotic romances a day, bear in mind, again, that many are shorter than a mainstream romance, these days I pretty much only read my autobuy authors’ work. In the early days I needed my erotic romance “fix” almost literally. I started reviewing erotic romance precisely because of that. I was “inhaling” the stories and spending way too much on books. Reviewing became the best choice for me. My output for a while was an average of 6-8 books PER ISSUE of the newsletter. And the newsletter has only recently gone on a monthly subscription schedule, so that means I would review an average of 12-16 books a month as we used to publish two and sometimes three times a month.

What has changed? Well, I think that in my case, it is mostly a case of burnout. When you read so many erotic romances, it gets to the point in which, unless you find an author whose voice you absolutely adore, everything reads pretty much alike. To date, I must have read over 1000 erotic romance stories (this number includes all lengths) in a relatively short period of time, the blunt having been read within 4 years of having discovered erotic romance. I find that I have also become a lot more fastidious as it pertains to mistakes and the like, which doesn’t help either.

Though I do still enjoy reading erotic romance (I wouldn't be here otherwise) I definitely don’t crave it as I used to. Sometimes I even skip sex scenes as I read because, to put it mildly, they don’t grab me the way they used to… I guess that makes me a recovering erotic romance addict … however, I do admit I miss the sense of anticipation I used to feel whenever checking if there were new releases available or the satisfaction I used to get from pretty much everything I got my hands on because, I have to say, I really did think most of what I read way back when, was excellent even if it actually wasn’t.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A "ranty" post ...

I belong to a gaming community and blogs were recently introduced as an option in their forums. Someone took it upon herself to write about ebooks, and she is making it all sound like everything is "wonderful". As most of you know, epublishing these days is not exactly "wonderful", particularly as it pertains to those of us who have been reading in ebook formats for a long time. Anyway, I dared mention a couple of issues and was slapped on the hand by the blogger in question because she doesn't want to open a can of worms. Suffice it to say, I deleted my post. I can't link to the blog because those forums and everything in them are members-only and closely monitored by the admins (the place is run as a "benevolent dictatorship" and too PC at times for their own good).

I think it is very irresponsible to go around tooting the wonders of ebooks, presenting it as an "all is rosy" kind of thing, when in reality, there are quite a few issues and the market is ever changing. A lot of these people with the "everything is wonderful mindset" now will be the same people that will say "If I had known, I would have never adopted ebooks!" or go around complaining about their losing their investment (which has already happened to many of us veterans).

The person in question, of course, has only been reading in ebook formats since December 2009 this year, and of course, a Kindle is what she has.

It's going to prove very interesting to see what she thinks in a few more months. However, I am not participating in her "sunny, wonderful" blog at all. Let her continue giving half-assed information to others. It's her blog after all.

--end of rant--

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A brief history of JERR

A couple of years ago, when I first tried the blog thing, Amber wrote this article to include in our newly launched blog. Sadly, the site I chose changed ownership, didn't bother to tell me about it, and they proceeded to delete my blog. Thanks to Google, I was able to save the articles recently.

Thump! Thump! Thump!...is this thing on?? Ahem! Welcome to JERR Blogs Too!!! For those of you who don't know, my name is Amber Taylor. I am the co-owner, Business Manager and Feature Coordinator for JERR. I hope this turns out to be an interactive blog that will respectfully push the edge. Not too snarky! LOL! Is that in the dictionary?

JERR has a reputation...some good, some bad. We run a tight ship, but with as much compassion for our reviewers, authors and publishers as possible. When I looked at the profile for this blog, I couldn't help but be amazed by the fact that JERR has been going strong since 2003!! WOW! In June, we will celebrate our five year anniversary! Not an easy feat in this competitive industry. So, since Mireya gave me a forum to ramble on.....I thought it might help as we start this new interactive page in the JERR history to give you some of the past history of where we came from and how we started, leading us to where we are today. For some, this may explain why we do what we do and why some think we're nuts! LOL! Well, we probably are nuts, I think I recall the reviewers considering awarding each other with wooden dildoes...but that's a story for another day. There has been a method to our madness...

JERR began with 4 friends who met on the bulletin boards (they are an archaic form of a blog...lol) and mentored by another very good friend, an author (yes an author) to get us started...She set the high standards that JERR strives to continue to this day. She was able to help us get the connections to get the books we needed and help us out with ethical questions, industry questions etc. We were just readers...who wanted to review because we had built reputations of giving our opinions on books on the boards around the industry and so why not...lets do formal reviews. It'll be fun! LOL! The basic concept was that we were readers...not industry professionals, reviewing books for other readers. This continues to be true today and I'd like to think has set a new standard for review sites. At the time, there were a lot of authors reviewing. To us this seemed to be a conflict as many of the authors were friends, and who wants to give their friend a not so great review. This is the driving force behind all of our policies. The format was the same as it is now, an intro, an article, interview, website review and what they really wanted ...the book reviews. We set our format up to be entertaining as well as informative about issues involved in the industry and topics of all kinds related to erotic romance. We set it up as a newsletter to be the one source out there that came right to the reader. Delivered right to their mailbox every other week--rain or shine--hell or high-water--only our own death would have delayed the issue. And sometimes that is what it felt like. That still holds true today, as we have backups in place that protect the newsletter from suffering should one or more of us be out for a time. JERR is first and foremost a newsletter and we always refer to it as such...the website (though very beautiful and necessary) is an archive and information place...

I joined in the beginning and was asked to take a leadership role right away, Mireya joined shortly after, as a reviewer, but we had to drag her kicking and screaming into management...lol! Boy that took a while!! I quickly learned that taking that leadership role would not make me a lot of friends and even loose me a few. Especially as we grew. And boy did we grow! More than we ever thought possible. We grew in leaps and bounds...one day we were just 20 or 30 then 50 and then...OMG 1000 subscribers. What was once just for fun was becoming a real business. It happened quickly. There was a demand for people who would tell the honest truth about these books. Not in anyway to slam any other review site, they operated completely differently than what we wanted to do. This is an important part of who JERR is. We were determined not to put out reviews that were always positive and authors could count on it...if the book was good we wanted to give it what it deserved, but if the book wasn't.....well the reader had a right to know what they were about to spend their hard earned money on...tactfully!! Now that we were becoming recognized by authors as well as major e-book publishers, we tightened up the reins...we became more and more conscious of the quality and diversity of the product we put out, as well as the challenging ethical issues that easily arise with this type of endeavor. Many times we clashed over those quality or ethical issues. But we kept growing and have always had more books than we could review easily...but we prided ourselves and pushed ourselves on getting them done........and we did. Every I was dotted, every t crossed and the commas....well placed. We spent late hours, long weekends, and neglected our real lives to make it something we were proud to put out.

With our author mentor in the background we grew into our own entity. Running it completely by ourselves. And with success always comes controversy...over the direction we were headed, policies and ultimately who actually had the final say in what. Try as we did to be a democracy, a business has to have a leader to succeed. Thus began a huge debate and consequently a great divide in the then, current management, and ultimately lead to a series of events that broke apart the newsletter and threatened our very existence. If not for the support of Mireya, her cool head and absolutely wonderful advice (plus she ALWAYS told me like it was) I don't think JERR would still be here. I am very proud of our partnership...we keep each other in check. But, we are still here and we are going strong. Mireya devised the current management structure, complete with job descriptions. Jule took over the HUGE task of putting out the newsletter......never bending under the pressure and learned as she went...and we rebuilt. What you see put out today is a stellar newsletter that I am proud to be a part of. Aggie picked up many of my duties when my personal life was falling apart and kept those features coming as well as updating the website....I'll never be able to thank her enough for all her help...she bailed me out more than once. We finally got working on updating the website with those reviews and features and some website tweaking too! When Fran joined the management team she brought skills we desperately needed, in editing, database management...how we ever got along without her I don't know. This is our current management team...who I cannot say enough good things about .
I guess the point here is that we have had a long hard road to get where we are. Our management is as dedicated to JERR as anyone can be with no real payment. We are fanatical about anything that may be perceived as a conflict of interest because we hold our reputation dear and protect it at all costs...its what keeps us here. That isn't to say that we don't have friendships but its how you handle those friendships that counts...At all times we are aware that other opportunities may be presented to us in the form of editing, publishing or PR to become involved in that end of the business. That end and ours doesn't mix...we've all been through it, even me...and I have lived to regret it dearly. Reputations take a long time to build, but only one keystroke to ruin. Not only for the review site, but the reviewer as well. If you loose your credibility, you have nothing in this industry.
JERR stands for fair reviews and practices that make authors and publishers feel safe handing over their books for review.....though some tend to sweat a bit.!! LOL! I think that is one think that makes me most proud...an author may fear getting a review from JERR, but still wants it, good or bad. We all know reviews are subjective, just one person's opinion, but feedback, good or bad is always helpful. Especially to new careers. What good does it do to tell an author their book is perfect when it isn't? And don't think that's an easy task either, or something we take lightly because we don't. If a reviewer turns in a review that is not good we make every effort to get a second opinion, make sure it is accurately stated, tactful and not something the author will be offended by, but something they will see as constructive criticism. Most frequently a low rated review has to do with our criteria. We make sure that book meets our criteria. It's not fair to rate a book down based on the expectation that it is a romance with graphic sex included when it's really chick lit, or straight erotica or mainstream romance. Nothing is wrong with any of those genres but our rating system is based on two components. Romance and heat level. If those are lacking it rates the book down, when based on another rating system the book might very well be award winning. We wish we could review all books, but we are still a small operation with only so many reviewers and so much time.

As we approach our fifth anniversary and 3000 subscribers, look at how the industry has changed! JERR is secure in the knowledge that we have tried to change with it. Sometimes this means laxing on some things and tightening up on others. Gone are the days when every book submitted is reviewed. The volume of books we get for review is astounding to me when I think about those 20 or so books we scrounged for in those first issues. Again, we wish we could review every single book request, but in today's market it's just not possible. So we do what we can to continue to put out the best product we can. We hope we entertain you, make you think; give you the information you need about the books, the authors, the publishers and the industry in general.

JERR is the blood, sweat and tears (believe me tears) of many people. Being the only founding member left, I sometimes mourn the loss of those friendships and the empty place left behind, but I love all of our staff and coordinators and especially Mireya for her support and incredibly hard work...through everything....I can think of no one I'd rather be co-owner with.
Move over RT...JERR is here to stay!

Hey, they don't call me Amber the Rambler for nothing.........

Sunday, April 4, 2010

List of reviews published in our April 4, 2010 issue of the newsletter

Following is the list of reviews published in today's (April 4th, 2010) issue of the newsletter. These reviews will be available in our website in about 2 weeks:
A Perfect Fit for Three: Liebling Texas 1 by Sydney Holiday
A Pirate's Mercy by Brenda Williamson
Alpha: Shifter's Coven 1 by Marteeka Karland
Another Dream Another Reality by Mechele Armstrong
Black Jack: Elite Ops by Lora Leigh
Boning Up by Summer Alan
Bound Branded & Brazen by Jaci Burton
Bound By Rebellion: The Blood-Vine 2 by Christa Paige
Bride of Death by Celina Summers
Claimed by the Wolf by Charlene Teglia
Dark Harmony by Lilly Cain
Demon Lover: Fairytale Fantasies 2 by Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor
Fallon's Flame: Dawn Endeavor 1 by Marie Harte
Fine Print by Alanna Coca
Full Disclosure by Cari Quinn
Heart of a Huntress: The Kavanaugh Foundation 1 by Crista McHugh
Hunting JC by Dominique Eastwick
Irish Sex Fairy by Kelly Jamieson
Last Call Europe: Devil's Advocate by Belinda McBride
Let Sleeping Demons Lie by Maree Anderson
Love Unexpectedly: Wild Ride to Love 2 by Susan Fox
My Shifter Showmance: Shifting Reality 1 by R. G. Alexander
Once Bitten: Spellbound Moon 1 by Loribelle Hunt
Riding the Wolf by Mary Winter & Jessica Quinn
Scarlett's Wolf by C.L. Casey
Seduction Island by Lorie O'Clare
Slow and Wet by Helen Hardt
Stalked By Love by Brenda Williamson
Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
Tamsin's Choice by Mardi Ballou
The Chosen: A Tale of the Blood Breed by Jenika Snow
The Lovely Kittengirls of Mew Orleans by G.G. Royale
The Triple S Bride: Tasty Treats 10 by Dee S. Knight
Tough Love by Kira Stone
Twice Haunted by Honey Jans
Uncaged by Alisha Paige
Velvet Valentines by Violet Summers
Wild Instinct by Sarah McCarty
With a Touch: The Guild Chronicles by Rhiannon Leith

Friday, April 2, 2010

Five big publishers' Agency Model and the mess they've made for ebook fans

Some of you probably already read about this in blogland. Jane Litte, contributor to the popular blog Dear Author, has been reporting on the issue of pricing control by the publishers for months. Other popular blogs have been reporting on this as well, though maybe not as in much detail or as it pertains to the romance audience as Ms. Litte has.

As a bit of a background: Since before the Kindle phenomenon started, Amazon had been pretty much in "control" of the pricing of the books sold via their website(s). In terms of ebooks, they had a set price of $9.99 for the Kindle version of bestselling books published in hardcover format. That was a steep discount compared to the standard price of a hardcover. There was a brouhaha involving MacMillan and Amazon in January 2010 about which several media outlets and blogs reported about.

Then iPad came into the picture, and to make the story short, publishers (yes, in plural) hit the brakes altogether. Five of the largest publishers in the world announced that they were going to implement what is called the Agency model as it pertains to books in e formats.

The simple consequence of this: SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER prices on many ebooks, particularly new releases that may be issued simultaneously with the print version. Other consequences that a lot of ebook fans are not even aware of but that remain firmly in place: DRMs, another exclusive format is being thrown to the mix (Apple's, as the iPad comes out in a matter of days), limits on how the book can be shared, and the ever present risk of seeing your book disappear from your ebook reader if you don't save a copy to your computer. At this point, I believe there may be more, but I am a mere romance fan and not too techie oriented despite liking gadgets a lot.

Then there is the whole issue of how is this going to affect authors. As it stands, it does seem that authors are bound to suffer consequences too.

One of the things the big publishers involved in this are counting on (as per several articles) is the potential the iPad has of attracting more readers to the ebook market, readers who will not have expectations of lower prices like the current/veteran ebook fans do.

It is going to be interesting to see how all this develops. As it stands now, ugly is the understatement of the year in this case.

Romance Trading Cards

Okay, this is awesome. I'd buy them! Courtesy of Mrs. Giggles:
http://mrsgiggles00.livejournal.com/100745.html

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Erotic romance doesn't seem to be what it used to be ...

I have been reading erotic romance for more than seven years. I actually discovered the romance genre as a whole thanks to erotic romance. Granted I always had romantic tendencies i.e. I used to write romantic stories for my little sister to read when I was in my teens, and I loved "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre", as well as "Rebecca" as much for the story as for the romantic elements... I just had not realized it yet.

When I first started reading erotic romance the stories were all shorter than a standard print book. Many were also pretty "light" on the plot/characterization department, yet I never had issues feeling the romance in them. Of course, I liked that they had so much explicit and hawt sex. Everything was fine until one day I realized that a story I had just finished reading for review had "too much sex". Say WHAT?

I have to say I never thought I would feel that way about an erotic romance. It never crossed my mind at all. From that point forward, the number of stories I found were "too much about the sex" kept increasing exponentially, and that is when I started wondering why: was it me being picky, was the writing style too heavy on the sex, was the publisher changing its "house rules" or flat out sucking in a big way as it pertained to their editors, was it something else.

Shortly after my realization that there could be the perception of "too much sex" in an erotic romance, I started mentioning it to some friends and fellow reviewers of the genre. That's when I discovered that I was not the only one having the issue with an increasing number of erotic romance books. Talking about the subject with them, I also noticed that we went through the same phases: from the "discovery" phase, when everything we got our hands on was WOW, to the "burnout" phase in which the number of titles that we found to be satisfying kept decreasing. I now call that initial "wow" reaction from newcomers to the genre as the "titillation phase".

I think that, initially, people who discover erotic romance go through the "titillation phase". They are readers of romance that had been thirsting for graphic sex in their reading material (and by graphic sex I mean MORE than what can be found on mainstream romance), and they didn't find it until they stumbled on one of the epublishers that specializes on the genre. This phase, however, seems to wear off for many of us fans the more erotic romance we read. That certainly has been the case for me and most of my friends that read this genre.

Once this novelty/titillation factor wanes, we get into the biggest issue for most veteran fans of erotic romance: the seemingly “too much sex-too little plot syndrome.” Yup, ironic isn't it? But erotic romance is supposed to be about the sex after all, right? Well, the answer for many of us is a big NO. In the online circles in which I move, readers demand at least a semblance of a romantic plot and characterization in an erotic book to actually call it a romance. A cursory "I love you" at the end of the story is simply not enough or satisfying enough for a veteran reader looking for a good read unless, of course, all the reader is seeking from her read is sex for the sake of sex. However, even if the book has a lot of sex more than anything else, the "I love you" has to feel real to the reader for the reader to feel "satisfied" with the story. And that is the bottomline: reader satisfaction.

As I see it, I don't think most erotic romances today have more or less sex than their predecessors. However, there are a lot erotic romance titles available and several of the large print houses introduced erotic romance imprints to their lines over the past several years. Add to that the differences as to how each publishing house interprets the words "erotic romance", and the choices out there are many and quite different between one another, even though they all use the tag "erotic romance". Though many argue that there is an audience for all interpretations, fact remains that the market is pretty full, the economy is shot, readers are reaching their "reading maturity" on this genre, meaning that they now know the differences and there is no novelty factor to take into consideration any longer. Readers tend to start looking more for a story and characterization the further they read into the genre. Many start outright skipping sex scenes as well.

In short, I think the epublishers should start taking into consideration the "reading maturity" of their audience and improve on the quality of their product i.e. make sure that what they call erotic romance has an actual story and characterization to match. If they don't, some of them will start losing their reader base. It may not be noticeable at first, but in the long run, it could end up seriously affecting them. After all, a solid reader base is what keeps a publisher in business, particularly with the economy as shot as it is.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Priceless

As I was doing my rounds on Facebook, I found this little gem while reading the wall of one of my favorite authors. One word comes to mind: PRICELESS. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thought process is all over the place

I started writing a blog post ... and then the thing started growing and growing in all sorts of directions.  Now I have 2 blog posts saved, both incomplete ... and I suspect I may end up with yet a third post ... argh!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

List of reviews published in our March 7, 2010 issue of the newsletter

I am aiming at posting a list of our published reviews every month, once they are uploaded to our website. Following is the list of reviews published in our March 7, 2010 issue, and yes, they are uploaded to the website:

A Date With Mr. Wonderful: Lavender Lace 2 by Lynn LaFleur
Afterthought by Cat Kane
Bait: Angler 1 by Annie Nicholas
Binding Saber by Jade James
Blood on the Moon by Kelly O'Donnell
Briar Rose by Lila Dubois
Cave Creek Cowboy: Trailer Trash by Brit Blaise
Close Contact: Protective Affairs 3 by Rebecca Airies
Damon's: Blind Date by Sophia Titheniel
Death Sequence: Men of O.D.I.N. 1 by Ann Vremont
Deliciously Wicked: Dimi of the Seven Moons by Jenika Snow
Doing the Right Thing by Barbara Elsborg
Double Dare by Jeanne St.James
Double Your Pleasure by Fran Lee
Eidolon Arms: Vanity's Obsession by Adrianna Dane
Healer's Garden by Nina Pierce
Healing Seduction by Jory Strong
Highland Hijinks: Great Scots! by Sahara Azod
Hostile Takeover by Eve Vaughn & Shara Azod
Impassioned: Mate Marks Cursed 2 by Kate Hill
Iron by P.G. Forte
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Michelle Cary
Jaguar Hunger by Regina Carlysle
Lover's Key by Sherri L. King
Loving Sophia by Jayelle Drewry
Mating Frenzy: Shifting Priorities 4 by Anne Kane
Miami Heat by Savannah Stuart
Obsession of Jayde by Eliza Gayle
Possession by Rosalie Stanton
Punishment and Mercy by Cris Anson
Red Rio Blue by Marianna Lauren
Resurrection: Ishadarian Saga 2 by Alexandra O'Hurley
Ritual Passion by Cathryn Brunet
Roped In: Bondage Ranch by Sindra van Yssel
Scent of Cin by Ella Drake
Sex Games by Cara Carnes
Shadow Hunter by J.C. Wilder
Slipping The Past by D.L. Jackson
Soul of the Wildcat by Devyn Quinn
Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
The Collector by Melissa Harlow
The Pearl Heartstone by Leila Brown
The Reaper's Seduction by Linda Gayle
The Serpent's Lair by Kaye Sykes
The Sweet Spot by Kimberly Kaye-Terry
Tori's Secret: Wicked Wraiths by Mina Carter
Untamed Hunger: Alpha Colony 1 by Aubrey Ross
Venus Envy by EM Lynley
Watching Amy by Alysha Ellis
Winter of the Beast by Vonna Harper
Yuletide Fire by Nyla Rose

The eternal question: Why do you read reviews?

As I was browsing my copy of Romantic Times magazine (yes, I admit it, I am a subscriber), I started thinking about my habits in reading reviews. I don't review as much as I used to and I tend to go for tested and true favorite authors on the few occasions I do. At the same time, I find myself researching much more in depth before purchasing a book from a new author, this means that I do look for reviews as an additional source of information.

Now, one thing I've discovered about myself is that I don't like to read long reviews of more than 3 or 4 paragraphs. Too detailed reviews are not for me. I am all for conciseness and my style in writing reviews tends to show that. I do read reviews that are all synopsis, though I don't exactly consider them reviews as they don't provide enough of an opinion and often all they offer is a gushing, quotable, two-sentence paragraph. However, those reviews are helpful to me in terms of giving me additional information on what the story is about. I often find that the publishers blurbs are either not too accurate, or are too vague. When I read a review from RT Mag, for example, I do it with the specific intent of finding out more info on what the book is about rather than what the reviewer has to say about it, for the reason I mentioned before. Frankly, a two-sentence opinion is way too short. Telling the readers "I loved this book, it was fantastic" no matter how creatively phrased simply is not enough, from my personal perspective.

I also read reviews at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, however, I do have to clarify that I do not read the reviews from the top rated reviewer in those sites. Why? Well, have you noticed how every single romance book ever published has been reviewed by the top reviewer there and that her reviews are basically saying that each of those books is a masterpiece? Sorry, I may not be a genius, but I am not stupid either. In both sites I go for both the good and the bad reviews from reviewers that don't seem to have an agenda.

A good tested and true source for me are my friends who enjoy romance as much if not more than I do, and I often ask them for their opinions. One of those friends and I are so much alike in taste that sometimes it's scary. I also share the same taste with my younger sister, who is also a fan of romance.

What do you all look for when you read a review? Do you read more than one source or do you have a tested and true place be it blog, review site or bookseller that you consistently use when seeking information on a book that interests you?

About authors/publishers loosing their "cool"

This is something I can't help but feel compelled to comment about.

Though most ordinary review sites and bloggers try to distance themselves from the "snarkier" ones fact remains that on many occasions, we all wish we could sayez it as we seez it. I don't have a problem admitting this, and especially not after looking at the circus acts we witness every week if we dare take a closer look at blogs and forums. Also, the bits of gossip sometimes end up proving to be correct. On the other hand, and as much fun as a snark may be to read and even participate in, fact remains that sometimes they are insulting just because the snarky bloggers feel like being insulting in the name of “honesty” and “free speech.” Frankly, it really is not my thing, even when at times I have agreed with some of what has been said. Simply put, this is all a matter of style and personal preferences. Neither style is right or wrong and that is the gist of it.

Though many seem to believe that we all have to play "nice," fact remains that not playing nice only affects authors and publishers. The rest of us, pffft ... if you are just a reader you can pretty much do whatever you want online. You can get away with essentially anything with zero consequences, unless you are doing something outright illegal that is. An author or a publisher has a lot more to lose than a reader that can just come and go as she pleases and say whatever pops to her mind without a second thought and who doesn't have to answer to anyone but him or herself. A reader's career is not at stake nor is her company, right?

Like in most industries, appearances are everything, and whilst readers in general can pretty much do whatever, an author or publisher should always do their best to appear professional in all dealings with the public … even if a sector of the public seems to do nothing but try and egg people on. That is the nature of the beast, and the sooner authors and publishers understand this, the better it will be for them. I have to admit I have a morbid fascination over the “drama of the week/month”, as it seems we have an incident involving an author and/or publisher every other week … and most times the incident is something that could have died relatively quickly, if people had tried to keep their cool.

Now, as much as it may irk some authors/publishers how some snarks literally blast and crucify and in a very humiliating way in the name of “honesty” and the right to free expression, fact remains that, in the end, and in most cases, the one that is going to end up in a bad spot if he or she reacts is the author or the publisher that becomes the “flavor of the week”. Why? Because author/publisher gets involved, author/publisher is bogged down by emotion, author/publisher replies leaving him or herself open to further snarking nee attack, which in turn becomes the perfect recipe for disaster and gives the muchly hated snarks the fodder they need to become even more popular. See what I am trying to say here? The only thing that would shut a snark blog would be if people outright stopped reading it ... and well, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out when is that going to happen ... can we say when Hell freezes over?

Going to a snarky blog or site in a self-righteous frenzy accomplishes nothing. Bringing in a mob accomplishes even less. In the best case scenario you and your friends risk being banned, some or all of the post may end up disappearing after they are "shared" and very much ridiculed and with added comments to make them juicier. Other tactics that only make the author/publisher look ridiculous: opening counterattack blogs – all anything counterattack does is make people laugh or in the best case scenario, have people shake their heads and wonder “what are these people on”. Others have complained about it in their PUBLIC forums including brandishing insults about the readers in general (that is the ultimate symptom of complete and utter online cluelesness), or emailing about it to people they don't really know with the emails ending up uploaded in very public sites further escalating the situation (a sign of sheer naivete or stupidity, depending on how you look at it). Sad thing is that the only one standing to lose here, and I know I am repeating myself, is the author/publisher. The snarker has absolutely NOTHING to lose. Au contraire, the snarks thrive on this, it’s entertainment after all.

Is this a lose/lose situation? Not necessarily. Learn to sit on your hands and wait it out. When no reaction is forthcoming, they will look for a different “flavor”. The solution can be that simple. If you feel like you can have a calm discussion though, you could try to email the snarker directly and enter into a dialogue with him/her. Who knows, you could even end up starting a cordial relationship with the person in question. They may be snarky, but that does not mean they would not listen, as long as you remain reasonable. Bottomline: going into aggressive counterattack mode backfires more often than not and the more you say in your defense, the more you leave yourself open to further attack.

Bottomline here is that as much as it may hurt to keep quiet when you feel that you are under attack, if you have anything at stake here (your writing/editing/whatever career or your company) the more you try to defend yourself the worse it is bound to get... and the longer it will take for things to calm down. Even if your friends tell you “oh yeah you should defend yourself yadda yadda yadda” … stop and chill out… and more importantly, THINK before you act. If what you want is exposure, and damn the consequences, then by all means, go ahead and do it ... I'll get a seat and bring in my popcorn and a soft drink.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I love talking to myself!

I continue messing around with the settings and layout in this blog. I even bought a Blogger for Dummies guide (sad sad sad...). But I shall prevail, sooner (or later), I'll have this set up properly!

Friday, March 5, 2010

How can people blog so much on a daily basis?

Even now that I am stuck at home, job hunting, I just can't find the energy to blog frequently (by frequently I mean every day or every other day ... heck, even once a week!). It is amazing... and I don't mean this in a bad way. Some bloggers do seem to love to "hear" themselves talk, you know what I mean, however, there are others that obviously just have a passion for blogging on their favorite subject(s). Either way, I don't see myself being a super active blogger, at all. As it is, whenever I think of a topic, it tends to fizzle by the time I sit down to write anything. :P

Monday, March 1, 2010

What is with the ebook "hate"?

I am not talking about big publishers that have their heads well lodged up their you know what ... I am talking here about actual readers. What prompted this post was a Facebook group that I discovered, while I was checking if there was a Facebook group related to the official read an ebook day. The group in question is posted ... get a hold of this ... in the Internet & Technology - Software section of Facebook. It is titled: 1,000,000 strong against anything that resembles an ebook. Their statement: Books should not be placed on an iPod-like machine where all books can be downloaded or uploaded onto a single device where they can be read on a screen. Books need binding and pages and they should have new book smell. Books should not be electronic. End of story.

First of all, the group has a grand total of 39 members. So the 1,000,000 strong seems like wishful thinking... HUGE wishful thinking.

Second, why post that piece of utter ignorance in the Internet and Technology-Software section of Facebook.

Why do some people feel so threatened by books in electronic formats? Despite the fact that technology is changing everything, and the publishing industry has not been spared, I seriously doubt that books in electronic format will substitute printed books any time soon.

I guess it all comes down to the tendency to resist changes of any sort some people have ...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Facebook

I got hooked on Facebook a bit over a year ago. Yesterday, as I was doing one of my rounds, some malware sneaked into my system via one of their games (Cafe World). This is the second time I get malware and I now can say with certainty that it was that game... and no, I am not stupid. I keep my firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware/malware utilities up to date and running in the background when I a go online. This comes to show that things like this can happen to pretty much anyone: both the prepared and the unprepared.

Anyway, I managed to remove the malware but in the process, the software removal software I used (it's supposed to be reliable software) did something to my internet settings and I couldn't go on line using anything but Firefox. At that point I just went F this and reformatted the hard drive.

My system is squeaky clean now.

Bottomline, be very careful what you do online. Social networks are risky in more ways than one.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Starting from scratch

This is what happens when you start a blog and (1) don't pay attention, (2) don't read the small print, (3) check your junk mail folder for notices, (4) keep some level of activity in your blog, and (5) keep backups of the articles you had posted, just in case, you know, your original blog gets deleted.

I know ...

I SUX ... :P

There's just aren't enough hours in one day to do everything I want/need to do. *sigh*