There is an interesting discussion going on over at Goodreads, between a couple of people trying to decide whether or not to read THE POINT OF IT ALL, as if it might explode, or get them fired if they do. It's a good book, and rather tame (the discussion is taking place under the elusive BDSM banner, which The Point of it All is decidedly not). Read it! It's a good book--great, to some. It's inexpensive--heck, it was even free for a time. I promise, it won't bite.
My new erotic novella, TO LOVE A WOMAN is available now on Amazon Kindle for $2.99. Get it while you're hot!
We live an in interesting culture. We seem, more often than not, at the mercy of those in a position of power, and much of the time that power is misused. In an effort to get the word out and promote my forthcoming book, TO LOVE A WOMAN, I created a FACEBOOK ad. I've done it before with previous works, to great success. I was just informed by FACEBOOK that my ad promoting TO LOVE A WOMAN was inappropriate, and they will not run it. What, you ask, was inappropriate? The cover art.
Now, I've got kids, and despite the subject matter I write about in my novels, I'm quite careful around them. I write under a pseudonym, and I'm very aware that I do not write for the under 18 set, so I only target those over 18 in the ads I run. I can appreciate FACEBOOK taking precautions. I can. What I would like to know is, what has FACEBOOK done about cyber-bullying? Sexual predators? These, to me, are much bigger issues than a picture of a woman's half-naked backside draped in a sheet.
TO LOVE A WOMAN--Backside and all.
My new erotic novella, To Love a Woman, is due for release this month. What do you think of the cover?
I had a lively discussion about erotica, spanking, and The Point of it All with the folks over at Freddy and Eddy recently. Check out this podcast:
EROTICA EXPLORED: Sex Talk From Behind Our White Picket Fence
OK, so I finally did it. I read 50 Shades of Grey.
I began the book expecting not to like it, based on only what I heard, and nothing more. I felt that if I was going to comment on it, at least I should read it.
50 Shades reminds me of a song that starts just above or below pitch, and the singer never quite finds his/her way. Beautiful moments in between make you forget momentarily that something is...not right, but the overall feeling at the end is a letdown. I liked the story more than I thought I would, but big problems with the theme and the writing somewhat overshadowed what, with some major editing, could have been a very good romance.
I want to begin with the idea that this is erotica and that, thanks to this book, the genre has been given new life, and that Minnie in the Midwest will soon be picking up Alta, Maren, Alison, Carolyn, et al. Uh...no. 50 Shades of Grey is not erotica. I write erotica, and to write it well, you need variety. The sex is the same every time, and it is quite vanilla. She runs her fingers through his hair--every time. He pulls her hair back so she can look at him--every time. The coupling is the same--every time. To write erotica well you need visuals, you need feelings, you need to make your reader tingle and tighten right along with her, or him. The reader of 50 Shades learns that when turned on, those tingles reached Ana all the way ‘down there’ (italics are the author’s, not mine). For some reason, the author felt that having Ana’s ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’ rear their clueless heads throughout the book in lieu of learning Ana’s true feelings was the best route. In fact, I believe the author was hiding behind these props because the idea of writing pussy, clit, cunt and cock was undoable for her. And, I’m sorry. In erotica, this language is essential—otherwise, it’s romance.
Sadly, the reader is not treated to what Ana is feeling during all the generic-same-sex, during which she climaxes every time (congratulations) in the exact same way. The author did not feel obligated in any way to switch things up, make each scene a bit different, maybe introduce some oral sex, some anal play—something else besides inserting tab A into slot B. From the kink standpoint, the scenes in the Red Room of Pain (silly) were too quick and, frankly, very dull and generic for those familiar with BDSM. The author breezed through the scenes (only 3) so quickly that the reader doesn't have time to get into the scene. It all just got glossed over somehow, in favor of the romance and the psychological twist that is Christian Grey. The book would have been so much better if we could have seen how twisted Christian was, instead of being told.
Christian as a true Dominant becomes a hard sell once he threatens to spank her and then does not follow through. For fans of erotica, BDSM and spanking in particular, this was incredibly unsatisfying. For me, from that first error in judgment, the book becomes a formulaic romance with (gasp) a troubled, tortured hero and the seemingly normal woman who tries to save him. Nothing unique here. The author's unfamiliarity and obvious discomfort with a subject matter like BDSM was evident in so many ways; the most glaring to me was the heroine, Ana's, reference to a spanking Christian gave her as 'hitting'. A Dom would immediately correct her on that, pointing out the cavernous difference between hitting and spanking, yet Christian used the term 'hitting' himself toward the end when he punished her for some transgression. For a Dom to say, 'I am going to hit you...' is so wrong, that the only conclusion I could come to is that the author did not do her research—or she did, and it made her uncomfortable. So, then don’t write BDSM erotica. Write romance. But, for God’s sake (and ours), get it right.
Now I’ll move on to the biggest disappointment about 50 Shades, and that is the writing. The author has not met an adverb or an adjective she doesn’t love, and so as not to play favorites, she uses them all with equal vigor, which takes the reader immediately out of the story. ‘Greatly relieved’ (is there any other kind?), ‘blond woman smiles pleasantly…’ (is there ever a smile that is unpleasant?) These are juvenile mistakes that I hope the good editors at Vintage will correct. The other habit the author must be broken of under threat of a good 'hitting', is her references to her ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’. It’s irritating by the third reference, and downright cringe-worthy by the 333rd. The author also filled a lot of page space by the innumerable ‘oh my’s, ‘holy cow’s, and the constant reminder to the reader that Christian was good-looking and that Ana was into him. Take all the above out and you have a novella, but a good one. Oh, and it’s OK to be British in Seattle. Both characters are so obviously British; so introduce them as British. To NOT acknowledge that, yet pepper the book with so much Brit-speak, AGAIN, takes the reader out of the story.
I could go on and on, but what’s the point? This book now has over 1,000 reviews, and I’m saying the same things many others are saying. That this is the book that is getting wives back into bed with their husbands is wonderful, but somewhat surprising, given the very generic subject matter and the immature writing style. I have to say that I would re-read after Vintage gets hold of it, just to see what changes they make. It will be interesting to see what the motivation was for Vintage to pick this book up. Was it to produce a better book and promote a somewhat promising author, or was it to ride on the back of a horse that has already crossed the finish line? We shall see.
Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
SITES I DIG
A FADED ROMANTIC
ALTA HENSLEY, ROMANCE AUTHOR
ART OF AUTHORITY
BASIA ROSE, AUTHOR
BLACK VELVET SEDUCTIONS
BOTTOMS UP BOOK REVIEWS
CARA BRISTOL, AUTHOR
CDD FOR LIFE/PATTY DEVLIN
CELESTE JONES, AUTHOR
THE DISCIPLINED FEMINIST
EMMA K. GARDNER, AUTHOR
FREDDY AND EDDY - A WEBSITE OF ALL COUPLES
THE HAND OF LOVE
HEART AND SOUL
THE IMPROVED CHAUVINIST
KARLA DOYLE, AUTHOR
KOREY MAE JOHNSON, AUTHOR
LAZY DAY PUBLISHING
MY BOTTOM SMARTS
RENEE ROSE, AUTHOR
SADEY QUINN, AUTHOR
SARADORA'S SPANKING FICTION
SUE LYNDON, AUTHOR
TROLLOP WITH A LAPTOP