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Showing posts from January, 2020

5 Random Things I Learned From Historical Romance

This past weekend, I recorded an episode of Fuckbois of Literature, my friend Emily's podcast. It'll be out in about a month. We discussed Courtney Milan's The Countess Conspiracy. I had so much fun doing it (ahem, there may have been a rant or two)

Because we read a historical romance book--and since historical romance is practically the default genre I read--I was thinking about the random collection of historical facts I've collected over the decades (decades! What do you mean I wasn't 19 two seconds ago?) of reading historical romances.

These are, in fact, actual historical facts, practices, or incidents and not the slightly fudged history I make up for my friends' amusement.


1. A Bizarre Knowledge of the Order of British Noble Titles

Look, apparently it's not normal to know your dukes from your marquesses and earls. Fact is, a ton of historical romance takes place in England among the upper classes aka people who have titles. So while I was very confuse…

Hey, Whatcha Reading?

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This month, I asked my sometime editor, Jess d'Arbonne, to answer the question, Hey, Whatcha Reading?



1. What books are you currently reading? I just finished Chuck Wendig’s magnum opus, Wanderers (Del Ray, 2019) and it blew my mind all over my face. Now I’m reading the English translation of Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling, which is like Kurt Vonnegut writing George Orwell with a dash of George Saunders thrown in for good measure (Grand Central Publishing, 2020). And I just started Contact by Carl Sagan, a book that I’ve been meaning to read forever, but am finally getting around to (1985, Simon & Schuster).


2) How far along in the books are you?
Wanderers is over 800 pages and I just finished it. I’m weird in that when I love a book, I intentionally read slowly to draw it out as long as possible. I didn’t want it to end! And I’m about halfway through Qualityland and only on the first chapter of Contact.



3) What are the books about?
Wanderers is about America—the country’s darkest an…

As RWA Implodes

Over the holidays and New Year's, I was keeping my eyes peeled on Twitter because on December 23rd, Alyssa Cole tweeted a thread with documents about her friend Courtney Milan and a kerfuffle with the Romance Writers of America.

Basically, what happened--as far as anyone knew on December 23rd--was that there had been a complaint lodged with the Romance Writers of America's Ethics Commitee against Courtney Milan, because some months ago, she tweeted that a book, originally published in the 1990s but then re-released in 2014, was "a fucking racist mess." Somehow, this complaint went to a committee who ruled that Courtney Milan should be kicked out of RWA for a year and be banned from holding all leadership positions for a lifetime.

Well since then, this fucking mess has morphed. It's, like, honestly--nobody could write this:

The author is an editor for someone else who also filed a complaint against Courtney MilanThe book Milan criticized on Twitter "was thirty…