Romantic Inclusivity

Now, I’ve said before that Romance is not a genre I’m well acquainted with. It mostly bores me and drives me up a wall.

To be fair I do watch good rom-coms like Imagine Me & You, But I’m a Cheerleader, For a Good Time Call …, Pretty Woman, etc.

But it isn’t something I read I’ve tried but I can’t get into it.

I realised today, thanks to @NeolithicSheep just what the problem I have is.

She decided to tweet-stream a book. And I mean zero criticism to the charming Comrade Shepherd herself; she’s merely a catalyst and her tweet-stream is quite entertaining … far more so than I find the story itself.

And I may have made a brief subtweet on the subject of today’s blogpost but there’s zero point linking to that because I’ll say the same thing here with LOTS more words.

In fairness to the authors of these stories, I do not have the faintest idea how monochromatic they are. For all I know the were-bears are Iroquois, and were-tigers are Nepalese, and … stuff. Which, I’m sure, Tumblr-folk (look, they haven’t settled on a new platform so the name can’t change yet) will complain “that’s so problematic!” but there’s a reason nobody takes the Tumblr crowd seriously: They’re the looking for reasons to be offended sort and I’ve no patience for that; won’t even argue with it, occasionally contemplate slapping the snot out of it but mostly I roll my eyes and move on, because there’s no discussion or debate with that sort. They’re basically the alt-left, the liberal-Nazi … you know, the opposition’s morons. But to return to my point, the cast may be if divers skin tone, accent, religion, and nationality 🤷‍♀️.

But, you know, despite my wife’s cruel sense of humour including reading about all these crazy subgenres of Romance she never hits a single lgbt+ example?!

Not among were-erotica romances, not among the 50 Shades knockoff garbage (I abhor 50 Shades as much or more than Twilight), none of it. The Romance shelves are barren of a Red Sonja-esque Fabia with a damsel draped in her arms. Of a Sean Connery kissing a Valentino. Of … gimme a break, Romance covers don’t get very creative.

I mean, if you’re diligent enough you will find a het-romance with a male POV character or a 3rd person that is either over his shoulder or includes his perspective in the omniscience. That bends the mould a little.

But where’s the shattering?!

I mean, literally – near as I could determine it after weeks (months?) of scouring both trad & self pub – Now & Forever is either first of its kind or damn-near-so as being gay fiction that’s happy. I wrote the Male POV Bodice Ripper of Gay Teen Romance (note: Both girls’ bodices remain intact in the only occasion any bodices are worn).

Now, I’m probably going to have were-things in Færie Patrol because why not. And they’re going to be anywhere on the gender spectrum and anywhere on the sexuality one as is my wont.

But where’s the cliché, formulaic nonsense about A Woman and a Were-Tigress? The Alpha-Bitch taming the New York Banker Man? The (oh gods, I can’t not go here) Were-Bear Bear Couple? (Sorry, not sorry) The Trans Marine Time-Traveller and The Viking Princess/Prince?

Nowhere to be seen! Even in the nightmarish dregs of Smashwords‘ strangest tags (not for the faint of heart, it’s safer to go have tea with a Lovecraftian Horror) I found nothing.

I’m sure it exists. Schrödinger’s Novella mandates it must; but then again, Law of Cliché Themodynamics may overrule and state that no one has actually tried to counter the cis-het momentum in any meaningful way! thus it actually does not yet exist! Which, of course is in keeping with Schrödinger’s Novella because quantum cheats by maintaining strict neutrality.

Why, my dears, must we all suffer at the hands of [Insert culturally stereotypically masculine animal] were-bro of muscles, machismo, misogyny, and let’s collectively vomit 🤮 now wins the vaginal canal (surely he wouldn’t know a clitoris if it bit him on the pecker … oh! An Akira twist! I love it!) of the Lovely Lady With Humdrum Life (or sometimes a bit Kardashianesque Life) which the author conflates with her heart and they all live abusively ever after, amen 🙏?!

I say bollox to all that. Go forth, my lovely minions! I say: Subvert, pervert, and anything else ending in -vert all the Romance Genres! Flood them with lesbians, Enbys, aces, bisexuals, transsexuals, transvestites, drag queens, bears, and twinks, a veritable Pride Parade of queery awesomeness 🏳️‍🌈! Drape the cover models in rainbow flags! Have the Naga Queen with the mostly nude virgin in her clutches from behind have her hand upon yon maid’a crotch and breats the embrace rapturous rather than terrible!

Why? Because it’s getting boring around the genre. I used to boggle at the “plot” crap my wife would torment me with from this stuff and now I just shake my head and finish washing the dishes.

Let’s shake things up like the megaquakes that broke Pangea!

P.S. I proofread this twice. Any typos have earned the right to live via natural selection.

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A WIP thing

So a friend of mine, Shannon, did this and talked me into it.  I’m not really sure how applicable it is to my only concrete work in progress, since Færie Patrol is so very much a “I’ll jot down a few words if I suddenly get a bug” status right now.

Still, it’s cute, it can’t hurt, so what the hell, right?

Continue reading

Bed of Roses

Cover of "Bed of Roses"

Cover of Bed of Roses

I’m not even sure this post will count as a review, really, but sometimes you watch something and you just feel like sharing the experience.

So let’s go with that:  Sharing.

I’ve said before that I don’t read much, if any, romance.  Strange, I know, given that I write it.  But I do watch it.  I just … I like the fairy tale of it all; even in real life, there can be fairy tales and in that regard I do read romances — I love to read about real true love and love at first sight tales.

First off you know this movie is good because of the two words right there above the B:  Christian Slater.  Has the man ever done a bad movie?  Or, if he has, was he ever not great regardless of the train wreck around him?

In the classic sense this is a comedy in that it isn’t a tragedy.  It’s a happy ending.  But, come on, any good romance in my opinion is.

Imagine Me & You, Letters to Juliet, Pretty Woman, But I’m a Cheerleaderetc.  They all take their own little twists on this formula:  Couple meets and something happens (sometimes what happens is they hate each other — I LOVE Letters to Juliet!) then the couple gets to know one another and just fall ever deeper in love.  Something else happens and the couple splits up for a time, and then they get back together, roll credits to a beautiful kiss or the like.  Cheers and tears, pass the Kleenex.

This one does it right.  You see it all coming, you know what’s going to happen, but you don’t know how.  Devil is in the details.  And, I really feel this is rewatchable.  Don’t know it, because I literally only just heard of it and watched it for the first time (thank you HBO Go.  What?  I’ve said I work for my cable provider, I have perks, and I love movies) but I seriously suspect it, because for those 80-odd minutes, you’re there and your heart is tugged and you smile and you laugh and you cry while shouting ‘no!’ and then you smile again but still cry while saying ‘awww’.

Honestly, this movie is every reason I don’t like Kissing Jessica Stein.  Just a cute, sweet, wonderful romance!  They meet, things happen, they get in a fight and … it ends.  They don’t get back together.  It’s not fair!  Mostly, I think, because of why they fight; I’m not sure how much I’d like it even if they broke up for a damned good reason, but it left me feeling cheated.  Bed of Roses is the opposite.  Lisa (Mary Stuart Masterson) is scared of … love; she’s never really known any, and you really get that — the writers gave this woman the worst past they could without throwing abuse, rape, and a few other scarring moments into the mix.  But!  (Yay!  there’s a ‘but’) Her love for Lewis (Christian Slater) is real, it’s meaningful — she starts to feel awful for leaving him and she come back and … and it’s beautiful.  Hell, given the character, if Lisa and Lewis hadn’t got back together as other than friends, it’d have been believable, disappointing, but believable — I wouldn’t have felt quite so cheated as I did with Kissing Jessica Stein; I’d only have felt cheated because … the happy back together ending is the trope I like and I always feel cheated when the twist to make something different is to play with that.

It’s short.  It’s sweet.  It’s romantic.  Any guy who says he doesn’t like it is just being macho, tie him to the chair and put some Kleenex to hand for both of you, curl up beside him and watch it.  Any guy who will sit and watch it voluntarily is probably a Lewis (hey, watch it and find out); and by ‘guy’ I mean the tough-guys and tomboys I don’t give a damn what’s between his or her legs.  I really don’t think I ever saw this title at the cinema, never do I recall seeing the trailer, and it was made in 1996 — I was in high school and saw loads of movies then!  Never this one.  If, like me, you missed this one — find a copy.  If you’ve access to HBO On Demand or HBO GO, it’ll probably be there and it’s probably on Net Flix or iTunes or something.

Right about now, for most of the northern hemisphere, this is the perfect weather for this kind of story.  Take advantage!

Romance is not porn.

A perfectly wonderful post.
Just as nudity isn’t sex, romance isn’t either — a romance needn’t have any erotic element at all. Even if it does, it doesn’t have to reach pornographic levels. There’s a reason Erotica is a separate genre, after all.

Love, Lust, and Laptops

I feel like this should go without saying, right?

And yet, not a day goes by when I don’t read some tweet, some article, some inane facebook post by someone who has never even read a romance novel, decrying “mommy porn” or “mummy porn” or “porn for women.”

And then, just yesterday, I caught this little forehead smacker on the NPR book blog (hat tip to @sesmithwrites on twitter):

“The American Library Association and Barnes & Noble were among the groups named by conservative group Morality in Media in its “Dirty Dozen List” of “the top 12 facilitators of porn.””

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/02/175987431/book-news-american-library-association-barnes-noble-called-facilitators-of-porn

Okay, full stops between every word required this time.

Romance. Is. Not. Porn.

This comparison does a disservice to romance writers and readers, and it does a disservice to the hardworking men and women in the pornography industry and their fans as well.

So why do we…

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Goodreads giveaway

4 Autographed copies of Love or Lust up on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Love or Lust by Jaye Em Edgecliff

Love or Lust

by Jaye Em Edgecliff

Giveaway ends July 27, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Oh! IBooks is live!

I just learnt that Love or Lust has been live on iBooks for the past ten hours!

Here’s a link

I’m very happy. IBooks is my favourite ebook platform and store.

Announcing: Love or Lust now available!

Love or Lust coverNow available in eBook and Print: Love or Lust the first of four books in the Now & Forever series.

A light-hearted, slice-of-life, romantic-comedy for young adults, Love or Lust introduces you to Lauren Conners, a ballerina, a Good Girl, studious, and sweet, and to Salencia Constellino, an exotic, irreverent cowgirl new to the little Washington town.

When the girls meet it’s love at first sight; sparks fly, angels sing, lightning and fireworks. But they attend the best school in the area, a Catholic secondary school, Immaculate Conception. It’s not just their school that brings trouble for the young couple. The young teens have their own inner turmoils and anxieties — especially Lauren, who always wants to think the best of people, but quickly learns just how petty people can get.

It’s an uplifting story, though, meant to inspire and give hope. The girls have supportive and loving friends and families. And, largely, the obstacles of life and of being teenagers are navigated with quirky senses of humour and strange misunderstandings.

In this book Lauren and Sally are first and foremost, young high school freshmen, fourteen years old and trying to make sense of themselves and the world around them. It is my hope that it might show people that we’re all human beings no matter who it is we choose to love. That homosexual, heterosexual, bixsexual, asexual, trisexual, or what have you, are still people; still feeling beings with hopes and dreams.

Print book us$17.99/£11.50/€13.75
createspaceamazon-logo3-150x73

eBook us$3.99. Available in numerous countries at proportionate price.
Currently in:
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Coming soon to:
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Simply beautiful

As I’m writing a story of love at first sight, I sometimes like to peruse the web for real stories of it.  Sometimes they inspire, sometimes they just warm the heart, others just affirm that I’m on the right track.  I found one that just … this one I felt I ought to share, so here it is.

Proof there is true love at first sight: On their very first date they vowed to marry. 20 years on, their love has survived the most astonishing tests… 

 

By AMANDA CABLE

PUBLISHED: 17:30 EST, 13 February 2013 | UPDATED: 04:51 EST, 14 February 2013

As I was searching in my husband’s wallet for some change, I found a small, dog-eared picture of us taken 20 years ago in a photobooth. Ray and I are gazing at each other in the photograph, dizzy with expectation and high on love, joie de vivre written across our fresh, 20-something faces.

I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. We had just agreed to get married and have children; to spend the rest of our lives together, grow old together and, eventually, be buried together.

To record this life-changing moment for posterity, we ran, laughing, into a photobooth in London’s Leicester Square, and smiled widely for the camera.

(continued)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2278251/Proof-true-love-sight-On-date-vowed-marry–took-photobooth-snap-Twenty-years-love-survived-astonishing-tests-.html#ixzz2Nv27Dvhi 
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The end is in sight!

Ready or Not (concept only)Well, I’ve reached the end of Ready or Not‘s chapter 20.  I feel like the next one or the one after should be the wind down to the end and then I can get started on the third book.

So far I’m not sure what to call that one.  I’m likely to be several chapters in before I’ve got a clear vision of a name.  At least the fourth book has a name:  Now & Forever.  I think I was planning to call it that all along, I’m not sure, but I am now.

I’m still waiting to hear back from Ms Lakosil to decide how I’m going to proceed.

Cover Official

Which does, by the way bring me to a perfectly related detail.  Love or Lust should be done editing in two weeks, maybe three.  I mean done done.  It’d be sooner, but I want to give it one more personal read through.  The lovely part of this is that the agency’s expected response is supposed to be 2-4 weeks which would put today the earliest I’m likely to hear back and the latest just about the time I finish my read through — just in time to decide what I’m going to do!

One thing I have decided to do, but haven’t got around to is tweaking the cover for Love or Lust to a less dark colour.  It doesn’t go as well with the second book.  Admittedly it won’t matter if I end up going with an agent and a traditional publisher, but I’m going to operate on the idea that I won’t be using an agent.  If I do self-publish the cover will be tweaked down to a shade of blue similar to the maroon that Ready or Not‘s cover has.

Sneek preview of the third book (and part of the second, I suppose):  image

Nearly there!

Here I am on the eve of the 27th of November and I’m less than 2000 words away from the 50K target!  This means, theoretically, if the word count I’ve managed the past few days continues, I could finish tomorrow.

Ready or Not itself isn’t quite ready to be called done though.  Completing NaNoWriMo will put me at right around 92k – 100k words, but like with Love or Lust the final tally will probably be closer to 135k – 140k.  This story is heavier on the slice of life element and so the chapters and scenes feel a bit more glimpse in time, or anecdotal.  It’s sweet, it’s romantic, but it also has tragedy and eroticism.

I’m quite curious to see where this goes.  Especially since once I’ve found out I’ll actually know how their junior year is going to go.  Pity it’s not likely to include a week in Paris again — that was fun.  Maybe Rome or Naples next year, hmmm.

Good night all

Love

Jaye