The Mister by E.L. James. Just… no.

The Mister by E.L. James. Just... no.

I wrote a full thousand words about E.L. Fifty Shades James’ new book (which came out this week), a book that turns the sex trafficking of Southern and Eastern European women – and the women themselves – into a fetish, but I’m thinking it’s something I’ll regret putting out there publicly.

So, instead I’ll simply say this: this book is racist. On so many levels. I’m offended on behalf of my Ukrainian family. And I’m sickened that the publisher only saw dollar signs and couldn’t care less about decency.

And now I will direct you to this review:

E.L. James’ The Mister is so much worse than Fifty Shades: EW review

Alessia Demachi is an Albanian immigrant, working illegally in England after escaping from would-be sex traffickers. Here are Alessia’s defining characteristics: She is a piano prodigy, chess master, and although she attended university in Albania to become an English teacher, she’s still befuddled by new words and speaks in the “charming” broken English of a helpless nubile sex-doll to be.

This contradictory depiction of Alessia is unbalanced and fundamentally inaccurate, reinforcing infantilising clichés about Eastern European women. As for the Albanian men in the novel: They’re all Neanderthalic thugs who are either kidnapping Alessia (something that happens multiple times) or selling her off in marriage to another kidnapper.

And this one:

‘The Mister’ by E.L. James is Bad, But You Knew That Already

Some people are not equipped to write stories of social realism that delve into topics like domestic abuse and sex trafficking. E.L. James is to these topics what Hannibal Lecter is to vegan cookery. The Mister features a heroine who was smuggled by traffickers from Albania to London to escape her abusive fiancé but escaped before she could be sold into sex slavery, and these matters are treated with the same care and focus by James as she affords to scenes where Maxim details his favourite music or the lavish meals they eat together.

Recently Reread

Lisa Kleypas’ Victorian romances are books I go back to time and again. I recently reread Devil in Spring, the third instalment in the 1870s-set Ravenels series. I reviewed it HERE, and I love it because – like the others in the series – it has unique situations in a fascinating decade of the era.

The UK/Australian cover is below. The weird, prom queen US one is at the bottom of the post!

devil-in-spring-ravenels-book-3-by-lisa-kleypas-uk-cover

An eccentric wallflower

Most debutantes dream of finding husbands. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy – and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realise their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven.

Devil in Spring (2017) (The third book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas

So: My Big News

Sonya Heaney Book Contract 2019

^^That’s Mine^^

This is what has been happening in my personal life over the past few months. It turns out there are a few people in the world who think my writing isn’t awful – in the space of a few days I received two offers from two publishers to write historical romance, but only a crazy person turns down Harlequin!

It was really stupid to wait so long before submitting anything. I finally got around to it at the end of last year, and by the end of February/beginning of March it was all happening, and now contracts have been signed, cover design information has been submitted etc. I know how lucky I am that it happened so fast.

This is why I am many, many, MANY months behind with my book reviews. I’ve been trying to get my own books written behind the scenes! I’ve hardly had any time to read.

I AM going to review my remaining ARCs (that aren’t exactly *Advance* Review Copies now!), but it’s going to be very unethical to keep reviewing historical romance books after that. I will continue to post HR book news, however.

After seven years, there’s no way I’m ending this blog, but I will be making some old posts private.

My new website is HERE (sonyaheaney.com), but it’s not properly designed yet. One thing at a time…

Oh, and I have a Facebook page, but there’s not much there yet, seeing as the first book is still in the editing stage!

 

‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped?

Theft is theft is theft. It’s disgusting that people think it’s okay to steal someone else’s income, and stealing books is a crime. Almost always, authors are making considerably less than the book pirates assume.

Here’s an article from The Guardian about the issue:

‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped?

As publishers struggle with ‘whack-a-mole’ websites, experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books, assess the damage.

And here is author Rachel Cane’s response to it:

Rachel Caine Book Piracy.