Gone with the wind?

One of my favorite Nora Roberts’ books, Rising Tides, is on sale as a summer/beach read at various ebook retailers.  \o/  But I’m a little afraid to re-read it and find that it is no longer to my taste.

Looking at the “customers who browsed this book also looked at” panel, I see that NR has a new Irish trilogy coming soon, and it has a paranormal twist.  I miss NR’s plain contemporary romances.  Most of her trilogies or quartets (anymore) have a paranormal bent — ghosts or historic evil — on top of the romance.  There’s nothing wrong with that…but I miss series like the Stanislaski family.  (Wow, I’m seriously dating myself and my reading history with that reference.)


Something else that’s gone with the wind:  Jesse Wave’s post about het romance in m/m disrespecting readers.  My taste doesn’t square up with any of JW’s reviewers and I’m not really interested in the industry/craft type posts that go up there occasionally, but for sheer volume in terms of new m/m, I keep the site in my reader for title checks.  I read the disrespect post in my reader and it was jaw-dropping.  Then I saw many tweets about it, including references to what I assume was a giant comment thread.  But when I went to the site today to read both the post and the comments, it was gone.  Deleted.  My reader still has record of it.  The posts before and after it in my reader are on the site, but “On Page Het Sex in M/M Romances:  Why are M/M Readers Disrespected by Some Authors?” is gone.  The site owner has the right to do with her site as she wishes…but did she really think that post wasn’t going to generate backlash in the reader and author community?  Or was that the point?  More traffic and the opportunity to flounce off in a huff?



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8 responses to “Gone with the wind?

  1. Sunita

    Was that amazing or what? The post was, as you say, jaw-dropping, even by the standards of that site. It was heartening to see the pushback in the comments and on other blogs.

    I don’t think it was about traffic, I think it was sincere. Which makes it worse, really. Demanding notifications that are basically “sex between consenting adults occurs in this book.”

  2. The quartet with the wedding planners didn’t have any paranormal stuff in it (and the ghost in the latest one with the home improvement was not that huge), but it was a bit boring. I think before that, the last one she did without any paranormal elements was the Irish one that starts with Jewels of the Sun, and that was almost 15 years ago. And if we’re dating ourselves, I’ll see your Stanislaskis and raise you to the MacGregors. Although, my favourites of that sort were the MacKades.

    That post you mention, should I take it to mean that the poster thought that including heterosexual romance in an m/m was disrespecting m/m readers? Seriously?

    • I’d forgotten the wedding quartet. One of them was a DNF that made me want to do physical damage to the book. Ghosts aren’t paranormal technically, I guess, but I do prefer the strictly contemporary without ghosts or spirits or what have you.

      The post basically said that having anything other than cisgendered guy on guy action in m/m books was disrespectful to readers. JW has a right to review what she wants. As a reader, I’m not comfortable with her defining m/m so restrictively, since it essentially comes down to the “no women wanted in these books in any capacity whatsoever” message of a lot of readers and writers in the subgenre. Heidi Cullinan and Aleksandr Voinov have good posts in response.

  3. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Heidi Cullinan’s post. I don’t follows Jessewave’s blog and my Twitter time has been hit or miss for several days, so I completely missed the fireworks.

    In Cullinan’s post she included an excerpt of JW’s post that, in a nutshell, suggested that het romance readers would lose their minds if hot gay sex was inserted (tee hee) into their het romances – and all I could think was “Really!?!? Where the hell has this chick been?” While it would be “news” to find hot gay sex in, say, a Harlequin Blaze, gay couplings can be found all over het erotic romance. Heck, Emma Holly, was doing it in some of her Black Lace and Berkley novels – and we’re talking books published 6-10+ years ago!

    I always find it interesting to read the online blow-ups in the m/m reading community. You’ve been around just as long as I have – in a lot of ways I find they follow the trajectory of some of the early “debates” among het romance readers back in The Old Days…..

    • If you’d like to see the whole post, let me know — I’ll try to copy it from my reader and email it.

      Sometimes I feel a massive sense of “this again?” about the online blow-ups in m/m and other new communities and venues. I looked at my Live Journal account and saw that I first started posting back in 2005. Then I remembered that I lurked at AAR’s old boards and visited others blogs for a long time before starting my own. Which is when I realized that I *am* an old geezer in Internet years, so maybe getting all “get off my lawn” about this kind of thing shouldn’t be a surprise.

      • Sunita

        It’s an internet old-timers’ convention in the comments! I agree that there is very much a “not again” feeling, and I also agree with Wendy that’s it’s like the early het debates (and especially the old erotica v. romance debates). One heartening thing is that in contrast to the trans* mess a couple of years ago, the pushback to this was swift, strong, and across the board. Whether she meant to be as insultingly exclusive as her words were, those were her words, and the “cis-gendered men only in my books” stance is one of long standing.

        I also wound up having the whole post and a lot of the comments; I didn’t screencap but it was still on my tablet so I saved it. I’m not planning to put it up in public or anything, but if anyone wants a copy let me know.

  4. Heidi Cullinan’s post includes a link to a screenshot: http://sashalmiller.com/images/jessewave.jpg

    Unfortunately, it’s only the post, not the comments. Shame, I wanted to read the pushback as well!

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