Lessons Learned from the Hell Yeah!/Dear Author Madness

Or, where do I go from here?

Jane at Dear Author is amazing. The Dear Author reader community seriously Kicks. Ass.

Little Tales of Misogyny by Patricia HighsmithI’m attempting to genuflect and suck up at the same time. Is it working?

I still can’t believe Jane published even one of the Hell Yeah! reviews, let alone all four. My stream-of-consciousness snarkfests weren’t (aren’t) even remotely close to the Dear Author brand she’s carefully built over many years, and I can only say that I’m honored to be even a teeny tiny part of her empire.

When I sent my guest review of Book 1: Cowboy Heat to Dear Author, it was purely in fun – the Simile Sex was just too hilarious not to share. I enjoyed writing that one so much I threw myself into the second book of the series. It wasn’t until I visited the author’s blog that I realized I had flung myself off the Cliffs of Romance Insanity. I couldn’t let it go. I just couldn’t.

And Jane let me drag the DA readers down with me. Unbelievable.

Thank you, Jane, for publishing my reviews and for your support of my rantings, and thanks a zillion times over to everyone who read the reviews and to those who took the time to comment (pro or con). Romancelandia ROCKS, and I don’t know what I ever did before I crossed the border into this weird and wonderful world.

[NOTE: My spellchecker suggested "necromancer" as a correction for "Romancelandia."]

For the record…..

Before I get to my Lessons Learned (see below – no new flowcharts this time, sorry), I need to state emphatically that I truly believe that ANY author who publishes ANY work of fiction is much, much braver than I am. It takes BALLS to write stories and let them loose in the world for readers like me to glom onto.

And despite my sometimes (oh, all right, often) rage-filled reviews, I include authors l didn’t connect with in my admiration. I love writing, but I know I could never muster the courage, commitment and skill to it takes to breathe life into characters, settings, plots and HEAs. Any writer who can arouse my interest and passion gets my applause.

Including – and especially – Sable Hunter.

She’s accomplished more as a writer than I ever have or ever will, and it’s obvious that she not only has found her niche with fans, but also listens and responds to them. She thanks every Goodreads user who posts a positive review, and beyond two “thumbs down” ratings on my vicious Amazon review of Book 3: Her Magic Touch, there has been NO backlash from her, her publisher or any of her fans. Zero.

All those reader-hating YA authors and their Flame War Fangirlz can take Classy Author Deportment Lessons from Sable Hunter.

That, of course, is making the huge assumption that she is aware of any of this.

Continue reading

Badass by Sable Hunter – The Full Review

Badass by Sable Hunter

  • Title: Badass
  • Author: Sable Hunter
  • Series: Hell Yeah! Book 4
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
  • Publisher: Self-Published, March 2012
  • Purchase: I don’t want to link to it, but I suppose I should: Amazon, $4.99 (courtesy of Jane at DearAuthor.com)
  • Tropes: Unrequited Love, Virgin Heroine, Cowboy Alpha Male, Simile Sex, Misogyny
  • Quick blurb: Preacher’s daughter undergoes self-imposed slutification to earn the love of a biker cowboy Dom.
  • Quick review: Not nearly as painful as the last one, but demeaning treatment of female characters is stomach-turning.
  • Grade: D-

All right, so I may have gone overboard with the length of my last review. Smarminess levels were appropriate, but I freely admit I have difficulty shutting myself up sometimes.

To avoid a repeat of that tl:dr trauma, and because I am a Geek and a Nerd and a Dork with NO LIFE, I decided take the opportunity to use a social media site I’ve been dying to try:

Live-Tweeting and Storifying Isaac & Avery’s Story (Hell Yeah! Book 4)

Prologue and Chapter 1
In which preacher’s daughter runs away to Shady Lady Ranch in Nevada for Self-Imposed Slutification under the tutelage of mentors Destiny, Desiree, Roxy and Claret.

Chapter 2
In which Avery Rose and her pink Miss Kitty luggage and sleeping bag arrive back in Kerrville on Harley Sportster. Bar fight, blow job in hotel room, ecstasy, he leaves.

Chapter 3
In which our heroine displays her Shady Lady Stripper Skillz, news of Slutification hits local headlines, deflowering occurs and Isaac shows his true colors as a Manwhore McCoy.

Chapter 4
In which the heroine outs herself as an erotica writer named SABLE HUNTER and then gets a microphone stuck in her mouth.

Chapter 5
In which we enjoy granny panties, Braveheart, bacon and glitter.

Chapter 6
In which we meet villain-bait stock characters, enter our hero’s Secret Basement Sex Dungeon Playroom, push up through the Valley of Delight, rejoice in our heroine’s expanded vocabulary, and get called up to the Big Leagues of Sex. Also, plot moppet puts Sub collar on family dog.

Chapters 7 & 8
In which I attempt to distract myself politics with a hermaphrodite, sex on a mechanical bull, ooey-gooey pumpkin butter cake, some unexpected and inexplicably good writing (!) which segues into abrupt POV change to family dog, yet another kidnapping but this time foiled by family dog, and swelling organs during HEA.

First impressions:

I didn’t hate it. I even LIKED parts of it. I’m in Book Purgatory, actually considering a C- grade. But what if my enthusiasm is merely disguised relief that it wasn’t a CESSPOOL OF CRAP like the last book? I need to think about this.  My worldview has been disrupted. My personal paradigm has shifted. I might need a sabbatical in Kerrville, Texas, to reconnect with my Inner Bitch Goddess.

If my doctor does recommend Cowboy Immersion Therapy, my first shrine of worship will be Hardbodies Bar. If they don’t have Isaac’s black leather Dom hood with the Tebow Rockin’ T ranch brand embossed on the forehead on display, I’m going to be REALLY disappointed.

[Oh, sorry - that was a spoiler. I keep forgetting to despoilerize. You know, because of all the suspense.]

Also, I’m 99 percent sure that me and the mechanical bull should stay far, far apart. But what’s a mental health sabbatical without a visit to the emergency room?

Let’s make it a road trip. You know you want to come with me. No, wait, a bus trip. That way we can drink heavily and let someone else do the driving.

Read the full review at DearAuthor.com

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

Hot on Her Trail by Sable Hunter

  • Title: Hot on Her TrailHot on Her Trail by Sable Hunter
  • Author: Sable Hunter
  • Series: Book 2 in the Hell Yeah! series
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
  • Publisher: Self-Published, February 2011
  • Purchase: Amazon, free in Kindle Lending Library (regular $4.99)
  • Tropes: Insta-Love, Virgin Heroine, Cowboy Alpha Male, Serial Killer, Magical Orgasm Cure, TSTL
  • Quick blurb: Homeless orphaned dyslexic pregnant virgin hides out in baby daddy’s barn to escape her bipolar stalker/serial killer.
  • Quick snark: A return to Tebow Ranch, where the women are childlike virgins and the men are misogynistic fuckwads.
  • Grade: F

Soooo, after laughing my way through the first book of this series, I strapped on my big-girl undies for Book 2:

Jacob McCoy wishes for a wife and a family. Tis the Season for miracles when a young woman shows up on his doorstep: homeless, in danger and expecting a child – Jacob’s child.

Their relationship is complicated by the fact that, A – they’ve never met before and B – she’s a virgin. Jessie is determined not to be a burden to the McCoy family. As far as she’s concerned, she is just passing through. Jacob has a different opinion – he wants Jessie in his life, in his bed and in his heart.

It’s a good thing I suited up in protective gear, because in between the vomit-inducing Insta-Love and some serious WTFery, this book PISSED ME OFF. Therefore, I am subtitling this review:

A Return To Tebow Ranch: Where The Women Are Childlike Virgins And The Men Are Misogynistic Fuckwads.

This is going to take a while, so fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a long and wild ride. Like getting your bra strap caught on the fake horns of a mechanical bull and you can’t get off until someone takes pity on you and unplugs the damn thing.

Warning: If you don’t like spoilers or dirty words, go elsewhere. You know, in case that “fuckwads” thing wasn’t a big enough hint.

Read the rest of the review at DearAuthor.com

Cowboy Heat by Sable Hunter

  • Title: Cowboy Heat
  • Author: Sable Hunter
  • Cowboy Heat by Sable HunterSeries: Book 1 in the Hell Yeah! series
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
  • Publisher: Self-Published, October 2010
  • Purchase: Amazon, free (now regular $4.99, free in Kindle Lending Library)
  • Tropes: Insta-Love, Virgin Heroine, Alpha Male, Wicked Ex-Wife, Magical Orgasm Cure, Plot Moppet, Simile Sex, Sports Metaphors, Religious Metaphors, Cowboy, Sensitive Artist
  • Quick blurb: Virgin cancer patient, artistic cowboy, orgasmic brownies. You do the math.
  • Quick snark: A truly astounding collection of Sex Similes.
  • Grade: D-

I’m always on the lookout for cheap, fun and short erotica, and this one caught my eye because it was free, it had decent ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, and the blurb was intriguing:

Aron McCoy has sworn off women – except for sex. When Libby Fontaine arrives at Aron’s Tebow Ranch, she is determined to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. The doctor has told her that she can’t count on her remission from leukemia being a permanent one. Their attraction to one another is instantaneous and overwhelming. But when Aron finds out that Libby is innocent – he backs off. He has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in his stock tank and hears her cry out his name – and the heat is on.

I wasn’t expecting award-winning literature, but this went straight onto my “Thank God It Was Free” shelf. Inconsistent characterization, random point-of-view changes, painful dialogue, laughable sex….

And the similes. MY GOD, the similes.

You’ve never seen a collection of Sex Similes like this, and you likely never will. Here’s a quick sample to get your juices flowing:

Twin globes of perfection hung down like the most delicious melons. Sweet Jesus! Honey-dews!

No, really. And that’s just a teaser.

(Didja get that “juices flowing” metaphor? <snort> I crack myself up sometimes.)

Read the rest of the review at DearAuthor.com