New Release: Cassia
It's live! *Cassia* is now available in hard copy and e-book format for purchase on Amazon.com! It's time to market, promote, sell.
Wow, this one took a long time to get to publication. Many thanks go to those who serve as volunteer beta readers.
In order to stimulate some sales, Rowan (the first book in the trilogy) has been reduced in price to $2.99.
Purchase. Read. Enjoy.
Romance and the demise of Women's Lib
I see a disturbing trend in romance novels these days, a trend that sets the Women's Liberation movement back about fifty years or more. Nowadays it seems like every other romance novel wallows in BDSM, which isn't liberating at all. Over the last several years, BDSM has started become mainstream. I blame Fifty Shades of Gray for accelerating that unfortunate trend.
Hey, fellow authors, there's a subtle and significant distinction between "dominant" and "domineering." One can be sexy and allows for give-and-take in the relationship; the other is just bullying.
Romance has been touted as the only genre that has a goal of elevating women to being worthy subjects of books, of making women's happiness a priority. BDSM gives lip service to that idea, but said women can only achieve happiness if they're obedient and willing to accept punishment for so much as speaking without permission. Who in the hell decided that was liberating? And in these novels, there's a dominant and a submissive--guess who's always the submissive? You got it, honey.
BDSM isn't about love or even pleasure; it's about power and control. There's no give and take, no interaction. It's all about one person doing something to another person, commanding that other person, assuming the position and authority of judge, jury, and executioner. BDSM in these romance novels reduces a woman to malleable blob of pliant orifices to be filled in any way her master wishes. And since when is pain sexy? I don't get that either.
Ugh. Maybe I just don't understand. But shouldn't a man be strong enough to accept a woman's own strength as complementary to his? Why should a woman be forced to deny her strength of personality and reduced herself to a mindless sex doll because the man she's with is threatened by it? Perhaps he should grow a pair and grow up.
Is it karma?
The Barbary Lion received a scathing 1-star review. Some would say (sarcastically) that it couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Others would just nod and say that it's karma coming 'round.
Regardless, I thanked the reviewer for her (assumed female reader) candor and noted that the book isn't a sweet, fluffy romance. Because, let's be frank: Atlas Leonidus is not a nice man. Especially by today's politically correct standards.
I weave a background for that though. Atlas isn't a modern man. He's 1,600 years old and his attitudes remain medieval. After all, modern sensibilities are just that--modern. In the last 30 years I've noticed a general softening of traditional masculine attitudes. But what's 30 years to an immortal who's already 1,600 years old? That's like a week to you and me--not terribly influential.
So be it. Atlas is flawed. He cares deeply for his mate whom he drugged, kidnapped, imprisoned,a and coerced into sex; however, he doesn't know how to show it. His elderly retainers have more modern sensibilities than he he does and try to persuade him to lighten up. But Atlas isn't all bad either; he's not a one-dimensional character. He works for law enforcement, catches violent criminals, protects the most innocent of citizens.
Then we come to Dmitry, the tiger shifting hunter Atlas employs to hunt down Chloe after she escapes. He's not exactly a young metrosexual either. He's 800 years old and also subject to the chauvinistic attitudes of his first formative decades.
Then we have the conundrum: man or beast? By the time Atlas catches up with reluctant mate (and, yes, she's reluctant for damned good reason), there's very little "man" left. Both Atlas and Dmitry are strongly influenced by their beasts and animals know no social correctness as understood by human society.
Ah, well, the two reviews received may be karma coming back to me. Or they may be entirely justified and will prevent further sales. <shrug> Whatever. I write primarily for my own amusement, then the entertainment of others. No no is obligated to like what I write, although I'm gratified when someone does.
For what it's worth, the typos and grammar errors mentioned in that 1-star review have been corrected. I'm not perfect, but when someone points out errors like that--which I (obviously) missed in the self-editing process--I do go back to correct them.