Book Review: Dead Handsome

Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk AdventureDead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure by Laura Strickland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story hits all my happiness buttons. A handsome roguish Irish man, a spunky heroine and a truly weird mix of steam punk and paranormal elements (robots!). I fell in love with Liam and Clara and their devotion for each other. Attraction wrought by magic and reinforced with good old fashioned soulmate love, these two sizzled across the pages.

While the opening moved a little too slowly for me, once you hit the major story mystery (no spoilers!) the pace picks up to where you finish reading before you know it!

The author wrought the combination of steam driven mechanical servants with 19th century life seamlessly. Her portrayal of 19th century sociology was true to life adding a realistic edge to a fantastical story. Oh, and if you are woman and don’t fall in love with Liam, you have no soul. 😉

This story will appeal to readers of romance, paranormal romance, magical realism, steam punk and science fiction. If you want some spice in your lunch time latte pick up this book.

GIVEN COPY BY AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

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Excerpt: Eastmont Clan: Jake

Available on Amazon Now. Introductory Price $0.99. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Check out other paranormal romances at the Paranormal Blog Hop

Eastmont Clan 6
Jake walked into the high school guidance office and saw his youngest brother sitting in the right bank chair. His right eye sported a bright black and blue mark. In another set of chairs across from Luke sat a brown skinned boy with dark hair and eyes glaring at him.
Yee naaldlooshii,” the boy hissed. Continue reading

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What I Want to See In My Science Fiction Romance

4345993453_a09968918d_zMiss Primm is an unabashed reader of science fiction romance. SF was my genre of choice when I tore up the libraries from age six up, and as I’ve (clears throat) matured, I gained an appreciation of the SF Romance category. But let’s have a moment of clarity here. Most of the titles under this category on Amazon are bad. Let’s face it, the writing sucks.

I happen to believe that writing sex into a piece does not automatically classify it as literary trash. Sex is a part of life, and I really don’t understand all the delicacy surrounding the subject. You remember this scene in Star Trek don’t you? Continue reading

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Narcissism and Slut-Shaming

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Warning: the following article may present some objectionable views. If you happen to believe that woman are/should be subordinate to men,and deserve to be treated badly, I suggest you don’t read it so you don’t get unduly upset. Also there are four letter words here, which may or may not be more objectionable than the views expressed here.

A three decades old study involving over 475,000 participants reveal men are more likely than women to be narcissists.

They found the widest gap in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to exploit others and feel entitled to certain privileges.

Another study found that up to 7.7% of men in the US have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a mental illness, where the extremes of narcissism interfere with the individual’s functioning in society. What isn’t clear is what percentage of the population display narcissistic traits. One study put the number at 30% of men, but then again this may be a case of figuring out what color the dress is.

It doesn’t help that narcissism seems to play a role in leadership traits, those hunky alpha male/bad boy traits that many women seem to find so attractive.

“The second largest difference was in leadership/authority. “Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power,” Grijalva says.”

Of course this last point could be explained by women suffering societal backlash when they display aggressive traits:

Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva says. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.

Another study suggests that heterosexual men’s narcissism is linked to an adversarial and angry stance toward heterosexual women more than toward other groups. Although narcissists may want to maintain feelings of superiority and power over all people, narcissistic heterosexual men are particularly invested in subordinating heterosexual women.

“This is likely to be due to women’s unparalleled potential for gratifying, or frustrating, men’s narcissism, the author concludes. They are crucial players and even gatekeepers in men’s quests for sexual pleasure, patriarchal power and status.”

The results suggest that narcissistic hostility is associated with a group’s potential to provide or withhold gratification rather than ideology about a group’s sexual orientation or conformity to heterosexual gender roles.”

Which brings us to slut shaming.

There is an alarming tendency in our culture to call women bitches, whores, cunts, and sluts.

Mind you, Miss Primm is not talking about dirty bedroom talk between two consenting adults. No, I am talking about how some men feel free to call women bitches, sluts and whores outside the bedroom when women do things that men do not like.

If you think about it, you see it everyday.

The woman who becomes the boss “slept her way to the top,” labeling her a slut. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact that the man doing the slut-shaming coveted that job. Also, the woman who is the boss is a “real bitch” even when her behavior mirrors that of her male peers. The man who sleeps around on his wife might be called a “dick,” which is a backhanded compliment, or a bastard, which is a slur against his MOTHER. But a woman who sleeps around is a whore. Yep. Even when she doesn’t take money for the sex act, she’s a whore.

It’s more than a double standard. It is the use of language in the attempt to control women. And it just isn’t right.

We do other things to our language, like labeling feminists as man-haters, dykes and controlling bitches. We twist the very word that celebrates the power of womanhood into an ugly epithet. And if you are woman, and you think that being a feminist diminishes you as a woman, then its time to rethink your role in society. Every woman should stand up for herself and her gender, and doing so doesn’t make you less of a woman. It makes you more of one.

It’s time for us ladies to stand up and put a stop to it. And if you are a man, take a few minutes to stop and think about how you or the men you know display just these attitudes. If you feel in any way feel these attitudes justified, then it is time to take a look at just how well that is working for you in your life. If you count the number of broken relationships on more than one finger it just might be the problem wasn’t the other party.

And ladies, there are some of you who have men in your life with these attitudes about their past relationships. And you, being the good girlfriend/wife may sympathize with him. But I can almost guarantee that it is a matter of time before you are the next bitch, slut or whore in his life when you do something he does not like.

It’s time to stand up for ourselves, and it’s time to stand up to those who abuse us with words. We need to go beyond, “you never hit a woman,” to “you never disrespect women with your words.”

Because we don’t deserve it. We never, ever, deserve it.

Photo published under a Creative Commons License issued by Flickr user Charlotte Cooper

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Ellora’s Cave & E-book Sales: A Cautionary (First Amendment) Tale

If This Was Your Cover for your erotic e-pub Amazon would hide this search result.

Amazon Would Bury This Image in Search Results

In a Publisher’s Weekly article, Ellora’s Cave admitted to some shocking news:

Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks confirmed the house is downsizing in the wake of what she described as “drastic’ and unexplained declines in its e-book sales via Amazon. Marks confirmed the layoffs of freelance editors, and said the house continues to have discussion with Amazon to find the cause of the sales dropoff.

According to Marks, the issue is likely related to a change in Amazon’s search algorithm. Many of Ellora’s Cave’s bestselling authors and titles simply don’t show up in the Amazon search engine anymore.

Marks said Ellora’s Cave sales via Amazon have dropped by as much as 75%.

Ouch! Continue reading

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Modern Sex: To Sext or Not To Sext

Sexting

Miss Primm, being a baby-boomer, and just a year out of a two decades long marriage is sometimes a little thrown by modern sex practices. One usually believes that in this regard there is nothing new under the sun. But then there is, and it’s called sexting. And it’s most perplexing.

Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones. The term was first popularized in the early 21st century, and is a portmanteau of sex and texting, where the latter is meant in the wide sense of sending a text possibly with images.[1] In August 2012, the word sexting was listed for the first time in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.—Wikipedia

But it is a very popular thing. As one writer put it: Continue reading

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Book Review: Mike Well’s Lust, Money and Murder

Mike Well's Lust, Money & MurderMike Wells generously gives the first installment of his series, Lust, Money and Murder as a perk for signing up to his Twitter feed. He calls it a book, but in length and breath it is not a book, it is the first part of a serial.

The premise of the book is interesting and the plot in this first part of the series has many twists and turns. Elaine Brogan is the only daughter of a doting lower-middle class father. At sixteen she convinces her father to pay for a modeling school, which turns out to be a scam. Mustering her bravado, when she realizes how she was taken, she demands her money back. Surprisingly the scam artist gives her the money—in cash. But the cash isn’t what it seems, and when dad deposits the money into an account for his daughter, treasury agents visit and arrest her father. Ellie is left alone in the world and she vows to get even. To this end Elaine vows to become a Secret Service agent, to find the man who ruined her father. West takes us through her education, her application process to become an agent, and her training. Finally she gets her first posting, and then her second. This is where the story picks up. Continue reading

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Do We Give Men Short Emotional Shrift In Our Stories?

Men and EmotionsFamiliar?

Genre: Romance Novels

Plucky (or unplucky) heroine is in new situation. Her past love life has been disappointing, or hurtful or just plain dismal. She may have faults, or is just unlucky. Enter Mega Hunk Hero. He is the alpha of his world. Big, powerful, in control, and often rich, he is unusually hunky and gorgeous. However, he may have a hidden physical or emotional flaw that only matters to him. His past love life is equally dismal as plucky heroine. For his physical needs he has consigned himself to one-night stands or a FWB relationship with someone with who he has no emotional attachment. Once POUP heroine arrives he is intrigued, but has low expectations of anything coming out of his interest. However, some incident draws the two into close proximity. Their physical reaction is immediate, overwhelming and confusing. POUPH and Mega Hunk spend several chapters in avoidance/denial until they can’t deny their attraction any longer and they have HOT SEX, the hottest sex either experienced or is ever likely to again. More chapters of avoidance/denial until Mega Hunk realizes that he is in LOVE with the POUPH and can’t live without her. He proposes marriage and HEA ensues. Continue reading

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Your September Sexscope

AriesThe Ram prefers his or her sex fast, hot and uncomplicated, preferably without strings. But even with strings, you demand a certain amount of freedom. That’s not likely this month, when someone binds you with pleasures so sweet and forbidden you beg for more.

TaurusThe planets grace you with the sexual lottery this month, giving you all that you desire and more between the sheets. The catch is that you must let someone else take the lead, and you must fill his or her desires first before you get yours. Are you up for the challenge?

GeminiThose born under the sign of the twins is well known for their propensity for casual friendships and even more casual affairs. This month, however, draws you into shit so hot and deep, you won’t know where ‘up’ is. When you catch a breath, call for help. You’ll need it. Continue reading

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