Boycott World Cup 2018

I hope many people will develop a conscience and join in the boycott of the World Cup in Russia that begins today. Who cares about men chasing a ball when it’s happening in Putin’s corrupt, brutal dictatorship?

I’m not sure how many war crimes in Ukraine and Syria, how many invasions and annexations, or how many assassinations it will take for the world to prioritise humanity over soccer, but we’re not there yet.

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Coming Up Soon

For this blog, I mean! With each month of 2018 I’ve fallen a little more behind with my reading and reviewing, and it’s only going to get worse in the second half of the year as I spend a couple of months overseas and interstate.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been reading, and will be reviewing soon:

Watchmaker's Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

For Miss Phoebe Lockswell, fashionable London tea parties and balls aren’t her style. Instead, she prefers to tinker tirelessly with a clockwork diffuser she’s built from scratch. If only she can get the invention to work on command, she might earn her way out of an arranged marriage to a repugnant member of the House of Commons. London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd was brought up hard in the arms of an infamous London gang. Despite the respectability he strives for now, the gang leader is blackmailing him. When Mortimer sees Phoebe’s diffuser, he thinks he’s found a way to buy himself out of trouble. The brash Phoebe manages to steal his heart, however, before he can purloin her invention. Will Mortimer’s unsavoury past catch up to him before he convinces Phoebe of his devotion? Worse, once Phoebe learns the truth, will she ever trust him again?

Resurrection (Rock Solid #4) by Karina Bliss

Resurrection (Rock Solid #4) by Karina Bliss

No more rock stars. Ever.

Lily Hagen Stuart has done that scene to death. Her new career in early childhood education is way more rewarding and she deals with far fewer tantrums. Then a stolen sex tape is posted online and her future is in jeopardy. She needs to get away from the paparazzi and the only place that offers refuge is the world she swore never to return to: the music world. Fine. A few months—tops. That’s all she needs to get her life back. And keeping her hands off gorgeous Moss McFadden? Should be easy since they’ve always avoided each other. Moss McFadden may be a rising rock star, but he’s quite happy to keep everyone at arm’s length. Until Lily needs help, that is. They strike a deal that puts them in closer proximity than is good for his equilibrium. Still, he can keep his growing fascination with her in check. Or can he? Because when she lends him a hand in a life-changing situation, all his defenses are shot. And as he goes down in a wave of longing, he wonders if she just might be his salvation.

Isle of Shadows A Risk Worth Taking the third book in Brynn Kelly‘s Legionnaires series

A Risk Worth Taking (The Legionnaires #3) by Brynn Kelly

He can’t outrun himself… Legionnaire Jamie Armstrong lives in the shadows. A medic haunted by his mistakes, he knows better than to hope for redemption. But his latest mission brings a threat he doesn’t see coming—an attraction as irresistible as it is dangerous. Hacker Samira Desta is a woman he swore to forget, but as a key witness to a deadly conspiracy, Samira is his to protect. But the woman he rescues might be the one who saves him After a year in hiding, Samira’s worst fears come true when her cover is blown and the unlikeliest of allies comes to her aid—the secretive Scot with whom she shared one unforgettable night. Hunted by lethal forces and losing the battle against their desire, Jamie and Samira make a desperate play to take the fight to their enemy—but those at greatest risk of ruin may be themselves…

Someone to Care (Westcott Family #4) by Mary Balogh

Someone to Care (Westcott #4) by Mary Balogh

No one has felt the death of the Earl of Riverdale more keenly than his wife, the now dispossessed countess Viola Kingsley. On her way home alone from Bath, Viola meets an adventurous aristocrat at a country inn. Since she is being forced to stay for a day and night, she goes to the village fair with him and impulsively gives in to his suggestion that they run away together for a while—a brief respite from their lives of duty and responsibility. What they discover together is the last thing Viola would have ever expected…

A Roswell Remake?

roswell-tv-show 1990s 2000s

In the late-1990s and early 2000s, there was a cult television show about teens in Roswell, New Mexico, USA – the home of the alleged UFO crash in 1947. (Episode One is HERE.)

The show – based on a series of young adult books – was about a group of high schoolers, half of them regular teens, and half aliens from the crash, masquerading as teens to stay safe.

The basic plotline of the first Twilight book was taken from Roswell. In both stories the hero uses his powers to save the heroine’s life, therefore revealing his true identity to her. In both stories hero and heroine are biology lab partners and she has to cover up the fact he isn’t human. Etc. Only, this heroine is SO much stronger, and this hero is NOT a creepy stalker.

Now? They’re remaking Roswell, due out in 2019. You can see the new cast HERE.

I’m not sure I want to see this remake. Recently Hollywood hasn’t met an old show they don’t want to do a remake of. I wish they’d let cult shows be cult shows, and come up with something new!

A side note: I used to take ballet classes with one of the stars of the original Roswell TV series, so I feel a little protective of it!

Avon, what are you thinking?!

Admittedly, Avon Romance has never been known for beautiful historical romance covers, but recently I’ve been cringing badly at some of their offerings.

There was the infamous – and awful – 80s prom cover for Lisa Kleypas’ Hello Stranger (a book I otherwise loved), and now there’s THIS.

I don’t even know where to begin! There’s the fact the people look like they’ve been poorly made in Photoshop. There’re the modern hairstyles. There’s the modern clothing.

However, the thing I find most awful about this one are THE VEINS. Both models’ skin otherwise looks smooth and artificial, so they stand out even more.

I don’t know when women collectively decided that bulging veins were a sexy trait for men, but they make me feel a little ill. It’s bad enough that the hero in this has hands that make him look a hundred, but why does he have bulging veins… on *his shoulders*?

Apologies to author Cat Sebastian. Often a good book is hidden behind a terrible cover.

Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters #1) by Cat Sebastian

The Week: 4th – 10th June

Winter Lake Burley Griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th June 2018 Carillon Nature Sunset pink

Winter Lake Burley Griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th June 2018 Carillon Nature Sunset

Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin – with the National Carillon (a gift from the Queen that she personally opened in 1970) – late on Saturday afternoon.

It was a surprisingly dreary week here. Usually winter is really sunny, but the last few days felt like winter! At least it got sunny on Saturday afternoon!

This week in the book world has been full of drama, which I seem to have written a few thousands posts about. Sorry for the spam!

My review of A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

A Cocky Weekend

cocky-final-2 Cocktales the cocky collective cockygate cover

Book Stuffing and Author Ethics

Book Stuffer Kindle Unlimited Scammer

Why “outing” someone makes you an utter arse – #1

and

Why “outing” someone makes you an utter arse – #2

_86601698_authorandbook Richard Brittain used Facebook to track down the reviewer, a teenage girl from Glenrothes, and drove all the way (some 800 kilometres) from the south of England t

Cover Love

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

Book Stuffing and Author Ethics

If you keep up with dramas in the publishing world, you’ll probably have already heard about the scammers infiltrating the Kindle Unlimited program.

You can go to this Twitter thread to understand in detail what is going on.

Authors who enter their books into the Kindle Unlimited scheme must agree to sell exclusively through Amazon. They are paid via page reads, from a pool of money that is shared between ALL authors.

In order to make lots of money, some “authors” have been employing all sorts of tricks to make their readers skip through thousands of pages per book. By doing this they get paid a great deal per book – at the same time as stealing that money from their fellow authors. Having only one pool of money means there’s only so much of it to go around.

Book Stuffer Kindle Unlimited Scammer

A book with heaps of other books stuffed in the back.

The #cockygate drama helped to bring the scammers to attention (Faleena Hopkins, of cockygate infamy, is a book stuffer and system cheat).

One of the worst scammers, Chance Carter, has *finally* been removed from Amazon, after years of making his fortune by cheating the system in every imaginable way. His porny “romances” shot to the top of Amazon’s romance bestseller lists with thousands of fake or solicited reviews, stuffed books, and offers of diamond jewellery for positive publicity.

He was also collecting a bonus for being one of the “All-Star” bestsellers.

Chance Carter Book Stuffer Amazon Scammer

Chance Carter offers diamonds in the middle of a book!

Unfortunately the Kindle Unlimited scheme is full of male romance authors looking to get rich quick. They pose as women and publish books stuffed with five or six other, previously published books, often written by ghost writers.

This is especially troubling as when they pose as women they also go to social media with questions like this for their readers:

Kira Blakely Book Stuffer Kindle Unlimited Scammer

It’s creepy, and shows an agenda that has NOTHING to do with a love of the genre.

Many readers have uncovered these men’s identities when alarm bells started going off in the sex scenes of their books. The scenes contain revolting things no self-respecting woman would *ever* write, not even those writing kinky stories (I’ll spare you the details, but they’re on Twitter if you look). The lack of respect for women is appalling, especially considering the books’ target audience.

Cockygate looks to have tanked Faleena Hopkins’ career, but she’s managed to do even more than that. Now she’s set off a chain of events that have widely exposed many other unethical authors.