A 1-star review for The Point of it All on AMAZON:
MISOGYNISTIC BULLCRAP IS RIGHT!
"...what a message to teach/convey/endorse as a female writer! i will never purchase/borrow/recommend a jade cary book again given her bent! how truly disgusting and insulting to all women...particularly those who truly experience the horror of male control to the extent of physical abuse. jade cary should be ashamed of herself!"
I'm not. Not in the slightest. I will never apologize for my writing. My target audience is probably not 'those who truly experience the horror of male control to the extent of physical abuse'. In addition, I am not here to 'teach' or 'endorse' anything. I am a fiction writer. I entertain. I provide escape, and hopefully a few tingles south of the border. That's it. That's what I do.
However, this is the second 1-star review I've received on AMAZON that makes use of the 'M' word (I suspect that all three 1-star reviews are from the same person. The vitriolic tone and the aversion to proper punctuation are clues).
So, let's address the term misogynistic.
mi·sog·y·nis·tic (m-sj-nstk) also mi·sog·y·nous (-sj-ns)adj. Of or characterized by a hatred of women.
Now, I'm not exactly sure whom the "reviewers" are addressing with that word. Are "they" saying I am misogynistic? Well, I am a woman, and I will say, here and now, that I love women. A lot.
Are "they" saying Val Rios, my hot hero in The Point of it All, is misogynistic? Anyone who has read the book will see that from the first moment he sees the beautiful, sassy Diana Kenyon, he is moved by her. And at no point in the book does he ever verbally, or in his head, say or do anything that would lead anyone to believe he hates women, least of all this woman. In fact, there is so much exposition on Val's part throughout the book about how he feels toward Diana that the reader knows he is a man who loves hard and deep. No question.
Is the writing misogynistic? Maybe that's what the above review was suggesting. After all, I should be ashamed of myself for writing about abuse.
The first message that is conveyed to anyone looking to purchase the book is the warning at the bottom of the product description:
*** Contains scenes with spanking ***
Pretty clear. No gray area with this statement.
The next message that I, and my publishers, attempt to convey about the book is via the product tags:
SPANKING and DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE.
(I'd like to ask readers to tag the book as such if you get a chance. The more tags with the above, the more likely the book will appear with like-genre books.)
Is ROMANTIC SUSPENSE and ROMANTIC THRILLER also tagged under the book? You bet, because it's true. So, my question is, if this subject matter turns someone off, why read it? It would be like reading a book about vampires, then writing a 1-star review because you didn't like the part where he bites her. Makes no sense.
I write romances that contain scenes with spanking. Why? Because it is the genre I choose to write in. I write about the dynamics of this minor part of the loving couple's relationship because there is an audience for it. It is not abuse. No one is struck in the face (except Val, but no one complained about that. Interesting...), no blood is drawn, no implements are used for discipline, except in one scene at the end, and the scene is implied. And, it is very clear that, while Diana may not like what is going on at the time, there is a part of her that realizes she might just need it, and on some level, want/like it. Val knows it, too. Diana's strength lies in this realization, not her weakness. This is a choice. There is a scene in the book where, during an erotic spanking, Val expounds on this gift of control Diana is giving him, and how, if she decided to put a stop to it (the discipline aspect), he would respect her wishes. This speaks volumes about the kind of man Val Rios is. Diana Kenyon loves him, all parts of him. And he loves her, unequivocally. No misogyny here.
We all have issues; we all have buttons that get pushed, at times, by the things we read. I know what my issues are, what I don't like to read, and I avoid those subjects. I read for pleasure, not to upset myself. Why on earth would someone read about a subject that turns them off? I almost clicked and downloaded a book in the erotica genre the other day, then saw that the story was M/M gay erotica. Guess where I discovered this? That's right: the product description and the product tags. Since M/M gay erotica is not my thing, I skipped it. How unfair would it have been to the author if I had read it, then gave it a 1-star review because I liked the premise, but hated the part where they had sex.
Reviews are good, and I welcome them all--good and bad. For every review I get, someone new discovers the book. This serves me well. But, I don't want, and I don't want the book, to be someone's issue. I write to entertain, not set the world on it's ear. Enjoy, and if anyone feels that I could have done what I do better, please let me know. To suggest that I do something else, or call me misogynistic, or accuse me promoting abuse because the subject matter isn't your bag is a waste of time, and isn't helpful to other readers who are considering the book, which, I thought, was what reviews were all about.
I've got another book coming out in the spring. Yes, same genre. Surprise. This is what I do. Enjoy. Enjoy and be happy.
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Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
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