Medieval Mania: Cultural Appropriation, ca. 1960

This is what you get when you do a Google search for “medieval maiden.” Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

1960 Maidenform Bra ad - detail of dog

A high-maintenance dog.

1960 Maidenform bra ad - detail of monkey

A monkey with a roll
of paper towels.

1960 Maidenform bra ad - detail of bunny

A bunny.

2960 Maidenform bra ad - detail of unicorn

A pervy yet submissive goat-unicorn.

1960 Maidenform bra ad - detail of model

Nope, nothing offensive here. Move along.

In all this visual ecstasy, let’s not overlook the all-important ad copy:

I dreamed I was a medieval maiden in my Maidenform bra

I dreamed I was a medieval maiden in my maidenform® bra
The past was never quite this perfect! I’m a legendary figure in STAR FLOWER,
Maidenform’s newest work of art! Genius idea: petal-patterned circular-stitched cup,
underlined with twin elastic bands (upper band expands for
custom fitting cups; lower band expands for comfortable give-and-take).
White cotton broadcloth, A, B and C cups. A collector’s item at just 2.50!

Yeesh. Just the words “broadcloth bra” make my boobs itchy. Let us now praise the inventors of Lycra®, even though they were men.

Medieval Mania: By Royal Command by Laura Navarre

  • By Royal Command by Laura NavarreTitle: By Royal Command
  • Author: Laura Navarre
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Historical
  • Publisher: Carina Press, July 2012
  • Source: NetGalley ($4.16 ebook)
  • Length: 274 pages
  • Trope(s): Widow, Alpha Male(s), Beta Hero, Big Misunderstanding, Simile Sex, Hair Fetish, Evil Royal Relation
  • Quick blurb: Newly widowed niece of King Ethelred (he of the Unreadiness) is forced into a betrothal with a Norman nobleman – but she’s distracted by the large and tawny Viking assigned as her escort.
  • Quick review: The author has a thesaurus, and she knows how to use it.
  • Grade: D

Grappling with savage urgency in a riot of tumbled cushions, she plunged headlong into rapture in the arms of her wrathful angel.

Status Updates: Read With Me Vicariously

You can tell by the dates that I avoided writing this review.

  • 09/12 – 40%: “…the curving shell of secrets nestled between her thighs” o.0
  • 09/13 – 42%: This book is much more Bodice Ripper than I anticipated….
  • 09/13 – 58%: The metaphors. EVERYTHING is a water, fire, weather or war metaphor. And the interjections. By Odin’s smelly underpants, the INTERJECTIONS! Lots of references to Odin and Thor, but no Loki yet. Heroine prefers to invoke St. Cuthbert and St. Wilfrid.
  • 09/14 – 65%: The book that will never end. I made it this far, but this is taking WAY too long to finish.
  • 09/15 – 78%: Still not done… *whimper*
  • 09/17 – 100%: Finally finished, and I still haven’t quite distilled why this didn’t work for me.

When I finally started the distillation process, I had to put the crankypants on.

The writing style….

I can’t really call it the author’s “voice,” because I never really heard one. Instead, I felt bombarded with every literary device we learned in junior high language arts class. Action verbs. Adjectives. Metaphors. Interjections. Euphemisms. Rinse. Repeat.

As he fitted himself against her, an epiphany burst within….

She opened herself to the storm of sensation, reached for him with both arms as he surged inside to fill her. Their joining brought him toppling down on her, in the blazing splendor of the archbishop’s bed. He gripped her in the same desperate clutch, held her moored against his rapid thrusts. Her tight channel stretched to accept him, ripples of pleasure pulsing through her. Blindly, she struggled toward the conflagration.

Without warning, it ignited her. She dug her nails into his sinewed back and clung with all her strength. The cataclysm flung her high, outside herself, as he went rigid in her arms.

The hundreds (literally) of other examples can be grouped into thematic categories, including:

Continue reading

Final Round of Fun with Fat Shaming: The Guys

As in “The Guys” brand of slacks.

Tight-fitting, polyester manly-man slacks — the “preferred profile pants.”

The Guys Slacks - No Fatties AllowedRead on or get a closer look for the full impact, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. And not just about the fat-shaming — there’s some sexual innuendo (of course) AND a lovely bit of racism in there too!

Random trivia you might need to know: “Best/Prest” = 65% polyester, 35% cotton.

From left to right….

guys_slacks_1If you are 40 or under — around the waist — The Guys are your slacks.

Being able to wear The Guys isn’t a matter of luck. If you’ve been wise enough to keep your chest bigger than your stomach – The Guys are for you. You look good, they look good on you. The Guys are lastingly Best/Prest. Get to wear The Guys!

guys_slacks_2Just 42 pounds away from wearing The Guys

It’s a worthwhile project — slimming down for The Guys. They’re made for guys 40 or under — around the waist. That way we tailor them to look good on people who look good. Naturally, The Guys are Best/Prest, handsomely finished and all those other details you’d expect in pants made only for trim people. Get to wear The Guys!

guys_slacks_3If your dad can wear The Guys slacks and you can’t — shame on you

The Guys slacks are made for special guys. Those whose chests are bigger than their stomachs. Guys 40 or under — around the waist. Guys who fit neatly into a sports car. Or slam a ball a mile down the middle. If you aren’t ready for The Guys — get ready.

guys_slacks_4The Guys don’t discriminate against fat people — just waistlines

It’s true. Not everyone can wear The Guys slacks. We make them to fit men whose chests are bigger than their stomachs. That way we tailor them to look best of guys we are 40 or under — around the waist! (Bigger sizes we leave to Omar and the other tent makers.) Naturally, The Guys are Best/Prest. Get to wear The Guys!

guys_slacks_5Preferred — by preferred profiles

Think of The Guys as a social asset. For elevation to preferred positions. If you are impressive — if your chest is bigger than your stomach — you can wear The Guys.

Oy. Uff da. Bloody hell. WHAT THE FUCK.

Let’s take a closer look at Mr. Prick McPedestal in all his Full Polyester Glory, shall we?

Mr. Prick McPedestal: Spokesmodel for SMUG International

Mr. Prick McPedestal:
Spokesmodel for
SMUG WANKER INTERNATIONAL

You might think our friend Prick is wearing haute couture slacks designed by Halston or Bill Blass.

You’d wrong. Oh, sooooo wrong.

Little does Mr. McPedestal know, the behind-the-smoke-screen designer is a guy named Marv from Wisconsin. Specifically, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where Marv can be found smoking a cigar while sitting on his plastic chair inside the exalted fashion empire of Oshkosh B’gosh.

I made up the part about Marv and his chair and his cigar, but – I shit you not – this ad was commissioned and approved by the same company who built their reputation with branding like this:

Oshkosh Fits Them All

This whole “The Guys” branding and sales pitch is just SCREAMING to be a Mad Men episode, isn’t it? Get on that, Matthew Weiner.

So, now what?

We now officially wrap up this five-part episode of Epic Mean Girl Rant of WTF Righteous Indignation. I plan on reading only GOOD books from now on, but we all know how well that’s worked out so far.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If you’re joining this rant in progress, don’t miss the beginning and middle of all this WTFery:

  1. World Series of Romance: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
  2. Follow-Up: Fun with Fat Shaming! (Part 1)
  3. More Fun with Fat Shaming: Group Project!
  4. Even MORE Fun with Fat Shaming: The Low-Fat/No-Fat Edition!
  5. Final Round of Fun with Fat Shaming: The Guys

Even MORE Fun with Fat Shaming: The Low-Fat/No-Fat Edition!

The Bonus Round: Skinny Shaming for Power & Profit!

This post is dedicated to a certain romance author who was brave enough to describe herself on Twitter as once being “psychotically skinny and boobless” —  and to all the other “oohmph”-deficient gals (and guys!) through the ages.

You Can't Afford to be SKINNY!

I couldn’t really make a game of out this one, because the messages are painfully repetitive. I guess stick chicks aren’t worth an ad agency’s creativity. So instead, let’s just all wallow in the resulting pit of despair. I’ll bring the beer.

Ready, set, drink!

I brought both light and full-calorie beer, by the way. Because I’m thoughtful like that.

No SEX APPEAL.

To the fuckwad in the first cartoon panel: Happy Sexy Curvy Girl chose the other guy because you say stupid shit like “let’s vamoose.”

Good News for Thousands of Girls Who Have No SEX APPEAL

No EXCUSES.

Yeah, well, Smarmy Guy, you’re wearing lipstick, so STFU.

There's no excuse for being skinny

No OOMPH.

I’m really, really curious why “bring out” is in “air quotes.”

Skinny Girls Have No OOMPH

No GLAMOUR.

American GLAMOR, maybe. But British GLAMOUR? Never.

Skinny Girls are not GLAMOUR GIRLS

No SOLID FLESH.

So, you say “Kelp-A-Malt” makes you feel SWELL. Really?

Girls with naturally SKINNY figures can gain solid flesh

No DIGNITY.

I think they mistyped a vowel in her last name. But let’s be fair — this was long before boob jobs were affordable for casting-couch starlets.

Don't let them call you SKINNY

No CHANCE.

Lucky for him, Lounging Lady has lots of advice ready to share (*wink, wink*).

A SKINNY Man Hasn't a ChanceNo SHAME.

But thank goodness they’re adding on normal, attractive flesh.

You're Gorgeous! How Can I Gain Ten Pounds?

But, in the end, it’s all about….

No NERVE-FORCE.

You have to read the details on this one — it’s wild. And it’s gender-neutral!

Are You Too Thin?THE MAN who is too thin is invariably of an anxious, neurasthenic type,
incapable of carrying out the duties of life with vigour and courage.

THE WOMAN who is too thin is anemic, nervous, worrying, wanting
in self-confidence, and is handicapped alongside her plump,
self-confident rival, who is bubbling over with joyous vitality.

But weight – there’s more!

Heh. That one was so good I had to use it twice.

Don’t miss the upcoming unbelievably, mind-boggingly WHAT. THE. FUCK. weight-shaming targeted at men I found. Just one, but it’s worth every pound you binge down or barf up.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If you’re joining this rant in progress, don’t miss the beginning and end of all this WTFery:

  1. World Series of Romance: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
  2. Follow-Up: Fun with Fat Shaming! (Part 1)
  3. More Fun with Fat Shaming: Group Project!
  4. Even MORE Fun with Fat Shaming: The Low-Fat/No-Fat Edition!
  5. Final Round of Fun with Fat Shaming: The Guys

More Fun with Fat Shaming: Group Project!

Now the Fun Group Project! Woohoo!

Yes, I know I failed my self-imposed “no-snark” test in the Seminar on Body Issues. But I tried – HONEST. So in celebration of my sincere attempt at writing like a grown-up, it’s time to play….

Choose How You Lose!

Vintage "Fat People" ad

Because, let’s face it, we’re all just pathetic romance readers who must aspire to have a Barbie Body to earn the love of a man. Any man. Or woman. It doesn’t matter, we’re all just one big pity party around here.

The rules are simple – just scroll through the tried-and-true weight-loss methods below and vote for your favorite(s) in the comments. And then make your guess which one is MY favorite (*snerk*).

Ready, set, GO!

Quick warning: Option 10 is NOT for the faint of heart…(er, stomach).

Option 1: Take a bath

It’s the luxurious, Parisian way to creating a flab-free figure.

Choose How You Lose: Take a Bath

Option 2: Take up smoking

And you thought the Mad Men Lucky Strike ads were bad. And there’s a lot more where this came from.

When tempted to over-indulge, reach for a Lucky instead

Option 3: Eat more beans

But not just any ol’ beans – they’ve got to be laxative beans.

Bile Beans: For 1940 - Be Fit & Slim

Option 4: Wear a polyester leotard

But for maximum effectiveness, it must be a full-body footie leotard, available exclusively at Sears.

Choose How You Lose: Sears Beauty Spa

Option 5: Eat more candy

Specifically, candy made from granulated kelp. Yes, really – but these are black-market only due to federal fraud regulations. Stupid government. Almost enough to make me vote Republican.

Choose How You Lose: Candy Plan

Option 6: Eat more sugar

Real sugar, thank God.

Choose How You Lose: Domino Sugar

Option 7: Jiggle-drinking

Hands-free auto-jiggling! You’ll notice the wall mirror is behind them.

Choose How You Lose: Jiggle and Drink

Option 8: Horse exercise at home

Note: Men get to ride astride. Fuckers.

Choose How You Lose: Horse Exercise at Home

Option 9: Plug in and get off

Soothe away those unsightly bulges with a relaxing, penetrating(!!!) massage.

Choose How You Lose: Electric Spot Reducer

NOTE: This is the one I warned you about….

Option 10: Ingest sanitized tapeworms

Yes, REALLY. But don’t worry — they’re easy to swallow.

Choose How You Lose: Sanitized Tapeworms

Polls are closing soon!

Make your choices and record your vote in the comments! Because sharing snark far outweighs (hahahahaha!) voter privacy!

Then stay in your seats….

Because we’re always Equal Opportunity here at Insta-Love, we also have a special Skinny Shaming bonus round for the stick chicks!

And we have one for the guys too – and it’s a doozy.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If you’re joining this rant in progress, don’t miss the beginning and end of all this WTFery:

  1. World Series of Romance: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
  2. Follow-Up: Fun with Fat Shaming! (Part 1)
  3. More Fun with Fat Shaming: Group Project!
  4. Even MORE Fun with Fat Shaming: The Low-Fat/No-Fat Edition!
  5. Final Round of Fun with Fat Shaming: The Guys

Follow-Up: Fun with Fat Shaming! (Part 1)

Sarcasm AND alliteration in the same headline. This is like my best blog day EVER.  Except there’s no flowchart.

I did a pie chart instead:

Fun with Fat-Shaming Pie Chart

A PIE chart — get it? HAHAHAHAHAHA!
DAMN, I’m good.

You had to know I was going to go there, so quit rolling your eyes at me. I couldn’t decide on a subliminal-message kind of color scheme, so I just went with hot pink for Girly Girl Power.

I do have a point, just shut up and keep reading.

MY POINT:

The blatant, nonsensical, unnecessary and utterly fucking ridiculous weight-shaming in Kate Angell’s Squeeze Play  provided a BIG FAT TARGET for my Darts of Mockery — and several people who read the review weren’t shy about borrowing my metaphorical projectiles (see below) or bringing their own to the party:

Storify: The Squeeze Play Twitter discussion

Technical note:

My infamous Darts of Mockery are stocked in three different styles:

  1. Wimpy little foam thingies with suction cups that don’t stick to anything, like the cheap Nerf darts my son bemoans.
  2. The middle-grade Velcro darts that stick if you “throw” them from three feet away, but don’t present a choking hazard for dogs of less than usual brain power.
  3. The big-boy, bad-ass, biker-bar, don’t-fuck-with-me darts with actual POINTS that may cause pain and will hopefully cause intellectual stimulation when aimed properly. You know, like at BOOKS, not authors.

I tend to use the don’t-fuck-with-me darts the most. No, really.

ANYWAY:

I decided I couldn’t let this latest episode of Piss-Me-Offery go without having a bit of light-hearted fun with it — but with some honest constructive criticism as well. I’m saving up all the snark for the group project following the lecture, so here’s the inaugural Insta-Love Online Seminar for Romance Writers:

Using Body Image as a Character Trait in Romance Writing

Fat girls with daddy issues always try harder

Now remember son, the fat girls with daddy issues always try harder.

Don’t. Go. There.

Ever.

The ONLY exception to this rule is making a character’s weight issues an integral part of the story. And that’s a trope that should be touched only by a very select few authors who have the sensitivity AND skills in characterization to make it work.

Helen Fielding did it brilliantly in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Random Author, you are no Helen Fielding.

If you throw in references to pounds and sizes and scales and muffin-tops and Spanx, it’s going to come back and bite you in the ass. In more ways than one. (Was that snark? I made it a few paragraphs snark-free, didn’t I?)

It seems like a no-brainer equation to me:

Women come in all shapes and sizes.
+
Women are the ones buying and reading your books.

WHY would you take such a low-payoff gamble that is nearly guaranteed to alienate a significant number of your readers? Do the math. You’re not going to come out ahead.

And for the remaining readers who aren’t offended or annoyed, you risk kicking them out of their reading trance as they mentally grapple with the pounds:height:size ratios.

Case study: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell

While Stevie tipped the scale at one-thirty-six…
+
Her size sixes had evolved into tens and twelves
over the years, and the occasional fourteen.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I estimate that EVERY SINGLE READER will remove themselves from the story to calculate Stevie’s height knowing that she wears double-digit sizes at 136 pounds.

Don’t believe me? The official Answer According to Twitter was that Stevie is approximately three feet, four inches tall. EVERY contributor to that discussion, including me, put not just the fictional character into the equation, but herself as well.

And for what purpose? None. Nada. Nil. Null. After all that bullshit, there was no character change or growth. The weight-shaming was just a superficial and lazy and insulting attempt at defining a non-entity character. It didn’t matter. It doesn‘t matter.

It should never matter.

Fat Shaming - Twitter Discussion

But MOST IMPORTANTLY our lovability is
100% dependent on our dress size & # on scale #iwannapuke

And if you have your “hero” do the shaming….

You might as well just pack up and go the fuck home.

I made it to the end of Squeeze Play without noticeable damage to my Kindle, but I left little chunks of my brain behind whenever the dickhead “hero” offered his “blunt” and “honest” “advice.”

“Chocolate-covered strawberries are great comfort food.”

“Find comfort elsewhere.”

“Why all the concern?” His gaze darkened to jet, dropped to her breasts, then to her belly….

That crosses the line to MISOGYNY, and you’re out on two strikes.

Hey, Mr. Hero — you like it “blunt” and “honest”? Come over here so Betty and I  can give it to you straight:

"Sit down and stfu." - Betty White

STFU = Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Thus endth the lesson for today.

Got it? Good. Because that shit is NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Now that the boring lecture is done…

Let’s move on to the Fun Group Project: Choose How You Lose!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If you’re joining this rant in progress, don’t miss the beginning and end of all this WTFery:

  1. World Series of Romance: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
  2. Follow-Up: Fun with Fat Shaming! (Part 1)
  3. More Fun with Fat Shaming: Group Project!
  4. Even MORE Fun with Fat Shaming: The Low-Fat/No-Fat Edition!
  5. Final Round of Fun with Fat Shaming: The Guys

World Series of Romance: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell

Just so’s you know….

This started out as a One-Quote Review, and then four hours later I found myself in the throes of a Full Snark Bitchfest.

Shh! Mom's on the warpath!

You’re damn right I am. Also, if you give me
cake to relax, it better not be made of Ivory Soap.

If you read all the way to the end, you’ll see why.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Squeeze Play (Richmond Rogues Book 1) by Kate Angell

  • Title: Squeeze Play
  • Author: Kate Angell
  • Series: Richmond Rogues, Book 1
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: First published June 2006 by Love Spell; re-released as self-pub ebook December 2011
  • Source: Amazon (99¢ ebook)
  • Length: 318 pages
  • Trope(s): Angsty Athlete, Flaky Heroine, Friends-to-Lovers, Big Misunderstanding(s), Dumped in Public, Rebound, Small Town, Plot Moppets, Weight-Shaming
  • Quick blurb: Big-league ballplayers return to hometown for charity bachelor auction.
  • Quick review: A lot of eye-rolling and some major ::HEADDESK::ing.
  • Grade: D

The first in a steamy new series of romances featuring a hunky baseball team and the sirens who challenge the players in the game of love.

I have two positive things to say about this book:

(1) It was only 99 cents.

(2) It wasn’t Sweet Jesus! Honey Dews! bad.

But it was close.

I know I shouldn’t judge an entire series by the first book, but since it had a multi-arc storyline, I figured one book was more than enough.

You don’t believe me, do you? DO YOU? Well, all I can say is READ THIS:

My nipples picked you out of the crowd.

Him: “Your first blow on my coffee turned me on.”
Her: “My nipples picked you out of the crowd.”

My first idea was to do this as a Rogues vs. McCoys box score, but I’m kind of charted-out for a while. So this is going to be a Heroines vs. Heroes play-by-play with color commentary instead.

The match-up:

  • Home: The Small-Town Girls — Jacy the Wacky Coffee Shop Owner, Stevie the Low-Self-Esteem Tomboy, and Natalie the Big City Slut Who Tries to Throw the Game.
  • Visitors: The Richmond Rogues — Pro baseball players, in town for a celebrity bachelor auction, known by their on-field nicknames of Risk, Zen/ Einstein, Shutout, Romeo, Chaser and Psycho. Collectively known as “The Bat Pack.” No, really.

The scouting report:

  • Small-Town Girls Jacy and Stevie have the home-field advantage, and they know the value of well-timed coffee-inspired innuendo-laden puns.
  • Richmond’s local-boys-done-good Risk and Shutout have history with and insider knowledge of their opponents, but mental trips down Memory Lane might weaken their defenses.
  • Natalie the Slut, unexpectedly called down from her big-city penthouse, may throw both teams off their game with her wild pitching and penchant for crowd-baiting.
  • Irrational jealousy resulting from big misunderstandings will dominate play, but players will also need to be prepared for numerous distractions from both sides of the bench in the form of cleavage- and/or ass-flashing and baseball-metaphor sexual propositions.

The pre-game show (aka the prologue):

Bottom of the ninth in Game Seven of the World Series – Rogues down one against Tampa Bay, two outs with a runner on third.

After whiffing a backdoor slider¹ and a curve, veteran hitter Risk Kincaid proves his nickname by — wait for it —  CALLING HIS SHOT (see image at right).

And of course he knocks it out of the park. But it’s not just any ol’ game-winning hit! It’s a homer to the left field bleachers aimed straight at the scantily-dressed and vividly-coiffed female fan who taunted him on the Jumbotron.

While the 80,000² Tampa Bay fans pout, cry and head out to riot in the streets, Risk makes nice with the reporters for his SportsCenter highlight reel:

“What about the girl with the pink hair?” someone asked.

“What about her?” he shot the question back.

“You nearly slammed the ball down her throat³.”

A corner of his mouth turned up slightly. “She needs to learn to duck.”

Classy, huh? But I suppose taking her head off with a line drive homer is better than yelling “TAG” in the middle of a rodeo bar.

¹ Yes, “backdoor slider.” Take a WILD guess where my dirty mind went with that one.

² Yes, EIGHTY THOUSAND fans. Which is very impressive, because the largest pro baseball venue (Dodgers Stadium) has a capacity of only 56,000. I thought maybe the anticipated crowds forced a cross-town move to the Ray-Jay, but that only seats 65,000. So it must have been a cross-country displacement to Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

³ Intentional or unintentional? You decide.

First inning (chapter one):

Oh, bloody HELL — I’m balking on the first pitch.

This stupid book has 13 chapters, and I don’t have the time or patience for extra innings. I have more angsty athletes to read about, dammit. I also have difficulty maintaining extended metaphors.

We’ll go with some obscure stats and random trivia instead.

Continue reading

Loving Lady Marcia by Kieran Kramer

Let’s be honest: It’s obvious this book was written and published JUST SO I COULD MAKE FUN OF IT.

  • Loving Lady Marcia by Kieran KramerTitle: Loving Lady Marcia
  • Author: Kieran Kramer
  • Series: House of Brady, Book 1
  • Genre(s): Historical (Regency – in theory, anyway)
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 2012
  • Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley ($7.99 ebook)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • Trope(s): Instalove, Ruined by a Rake, Reunited, Mistorical
  • Quick blurb: “Overnight, I went from debutante to bluestocking.”
  • Quick review: It’s pretty much what you’d expect from the title and blurb.
  • Grade: DNF

Being in love, she decided, was not for the fainthearted.

I made it to about 30 percent. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be (e.g., Lady Alexandra Bad), but it wasn’t good.

All the cover quotes for Kieran Kramer’s recent debut series featured a LOT of synonyms for fluff: Delectable. Frothy. Confection. Better than dessert. All those same words can easily be applied to this first installment in the House of Brady series.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I KNOW it’s supposed to be goofy and irreverent.  But even a “confection” has to have some substance – the whipped cream is supposed to be a topping, not the main ingredient. The Tudor era offers an even better analogy — Henry VIII and his minions were extremely fond of intricate marzipan sculptures called “subtleties.”

Think of it this way:

Jersey Shore marshmallow peeps vs. Downton Abbey marshmallow peeps

Too many parodies and spoofs and homages and “inspired bys” rely on “SEE WHAT I DID THERE? HAHAHA!” neon signs and abandon the need for good storytelling. With Loving Lady Marcia, whatever attempt the author made at plotting and characterization is completely stifled by the painfully placed and phrased pop culture references.

And sometimes they’re even info-dumped with gratuitous Regency name-dropping for extra impressiveness!

A servant brought in a lovely tea tray, and her mother began the old, comforting ritual of pouring tea – Daddy’s favorite Irish blend – chatting all the while about Marcia’s siblings. Gregory enjoyed being a man-about-town but also worked with Daddy several days a week on house designs. Peter fancied himself a Corinthian and loitered around Tattersall’s and Gentleman Jackson’s with his friends. Janice had made her debut and presentation at Court several weeks before, and the whole household was at sixes and sevens attempting to keep up with all her gentleman callers; Robert was at home because he was between halves at Eton, and Cynthia was mad for Greek mythology and had asked Mama to call her Andromeda.

Yes, Lady Marcia calls her father “Daddy.” But it’s OK, because “she pronounced it the Gaelic way, Doddy.” But it’s NOT OK, because it’s distracting and extremely annoying. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

Daddy told them how lovely his three girls were – almost as lovely as their mother….

ALSO: The family name of the House of Brady is Sherwood.

So you’ve obviously been waiting ever so patiently to learn if there’s a “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” in there somewhere, right? Almost, but not quite:

Marcia’s cheeks burned. “No one was in awe of me.”

“Really? Everyone was ‘Marcia, this. Marcia, that.’ And you didn’t discourage them.”

The exchange wasn’t even with Jan/Janice – it was dialogue between our heroine and her jealous former schoolmate.

Ready for a final bite of saccharine sweetness before the closing credits? No? Too bad, so sad. Suck it up, because here it comes:

But they shared a love for their family and a zest for life that bonded them through thick and thin.

Oh, BARF. And for crying out loud, don’t TELL me. SHOW me. Ugh.

Her Magic Touch by Sable Hunter – The Full Review

  • Her Magic Touch by Sable HunterTitle: Her Magic Touch
  • Author: Sable Hunter
  • Series: Hell Yeah! Book 3
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
  • Publisher: Self-Published, October 2011
  • Purchase: Amazon, $4.99 (YES, I paid $ for it)
  • Tropes:  Insta-Love, Virgin Heroine, Cowboy Alpha Male, TSTL, Simile Sex
  • Quick blurb:Misogynistic daredevil asshole, paralyzed in a motocross accident, hires ugly voodoo priestess, who doesn’t know she’s really a guardian angel, to restore his manhood. Also, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse makes a cameo appearance.
  • Quick review: Continuing Adventures in Epic Assholery and Virgin Sacrifice: In Which Sable Hunter Mistakes Misogyny for Romance
  • Grade: F

NOTE: I’m deleting the separate posts with my “read along” status updates because I was lazy and copy/pasted them into the full review…. And because I figured I should try to contain all the bitchiness within a smaller blogographical area. I’m leaving the Bad Sex roundup intact.

At the end of the Hell Yeah! Book 2 review, I mentioned that a few glimpses of the main characters of Book 3 made me cautiously optimistic that we would finally get a grown-up female worthy of being called a “heroine.”

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

I also bitched and whined about the misogyny in the previous book, but Oh. Dear. God.

This was worse.

Therefore, I’m subtitling this review:

Continuing Adventures In Epic Assholery And Virgin Sacrifice: A Misogyny Manifesto

NOTE: For the purposes of this review, I’m defining “misogyny” as:

  • Infantilizing or otherwise demeaning and marginalizing women;
  • Inferring or stating outright that life without a man is not worth living;
  • Demonstrating double standards regarding male and female sexuality (e.g., manwhores rewarded with virgins);
  • Depicting assertive female characters as sluts;
  • Referring to female characters as “fresh meat”;
  • Repeatedly comparing female characters to abused or abandoned animals; AND/OR
  • Depicting a woman in premature labor serving coffee and doughnuts to lazy-ass men who are perfectly capable of getting the fucking coffee themselves.

It can be a little confusing, so here’s a handy dandy flowchart. Also available in printer-friendly PDF. It’s even color-coded for extra impressiveness! (Yes, I have a day job. Shut up and keep reading, and stop picking on me because I worked really hard on this and now you’re hurting my feelings.)

But wait, there’s more! In addition to the character inconsistencies, eye-rolling “coincidences” and inane detail we’ve come to expect, we also get a whole muddle of unnecessary paranormal nonsense – all of which completely distracted me from the Bad Sex. And of course that just sucked all the fun right out of this, officially making it the Absolute Worst Book I Have Ever Read.

(No, I have not read The Book That Shall Not Be Named, because I refuse to pay $10 for a crappy self-pubbed ebook. I only budget $5 for that sort of thing.)

Let’s get this over with – I need to cleanse my brain with… Something. Anything.

WARNING: This review/diatribe contains irrelevant analogies, bad sports metaphors, gratuitous musical interludes, self-indulgent run-on sentences (heh) and buckets of righteous indignation (it’s a manifesto, duh), with definite overtones of Mean Girl. It’s also very long, so I hope you brought snacks.

Read the full review at DearAuthor.com >>

Oh Dear God: Flaming Waves of Bliss and Hot Whipped Cream

Hell Yeah! Book 3 – The Bad Sex

No room for these apples and elevators and car engines and wild cherries and treasure houses and summer thunderstorms and banquets and wieners and homing devices and ancient pagan rhythms of life in the ridiculously over-long full review coming soon to Dear Author.

But of course these are too good not to share….. Number indicates Kindle location.

A few favorites:

Her Magic Touch by Sable Hunter

  • 2975: Ripples of pleasure sparkled from her vagina.
  • 2982: Waves of bliss flamed up from her vagina.
  • 3391: …the orgasm just burst upon her like a summer thunderstorm, raining down rivers of refreshing, engulfing pleasure.
  • 3539: …it was like his cock was a homing device and her hand was on a special mission.
  • 3574: …creating a fire that a thousand orgasms would never douse.
  • 3590: …it was like a high-speed elevator that had pushed upward and upward and upward finally being released and freefalling down in an extreme rush of blissful heat.
  • 4150: …sucked him in like quicksand – except this was like sinking into hot whipped cream.
  • 4335: …her knee resting right on top of his package. He just hoped she didn’t bear down hard and smash his wiener.
  • 4850: …getting her nekkid and primed for his loving.

Continue reading